Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board

Smelly watches every Nitro-era Nitro, Thunder, Clash, and PPV while sitting and sometimes maybe standing


Recommended Posts

Show #68 - 23 December 1996

"The one where Chris Benoit shows he's down with the kidz"

  • Tony S. is SUUUUUUPER excited about Benoit/Guerrero, who will contest the other semifinal bout in the U.S. Championship tournament. We look back to mid-November, Show #62, where Benoit was able to finagle a win. He's here without Woman tonight, though. The timing of the intros is a bit off, but does that matter? We're getting a banger to start this show. Benoit is grumpy as fuck and slaps Eddy, who is also not in his finest mood and slaps right back. The crowd pretty clearly senses the volatility between these two and are into it. Basically, these dudes chop and slap the shit out of each other. Well, you know, sometimes I guess you just take the painful shortcut of beating the shit out of each other to get things hyped.


  • Kevin Sullivan mutters through a long inset promo that no one cares about, and then DDP comes out to join the desk while wearing a Three Stooges shirt. He says he flew down from "Hotlanta", which is very, very DDP. The pace in the ring has slowed down, which is fine except they don't really do enough to sell the matwork, which is mostly Benoit laying around in a headlock for a couple minutes. Really, they're just sucking in some oxygen. They pick back up into the break, and when we come back, the crowd goes nuts for Benoit hitting Eddy with a Stun Gun. These two basically decided to work super-snug in these faster-paced segments of the match, which everyone in the arena buys into, and which I also buy into. Benoit hits a sick powerbomb, but generally, he seems more interested in looking for the camera and telling Sullivan that the Taskmaster's gonna get some of what Eddy is getting than he is with getting a pinfall. 


  • They take a breath for a minute in a chinlock before picking the speed back up. Eddy hits a tilt-a-whirl slam, but gets cut off on the top rope for a superplex. Benoit sells a head injury from the impact, which delays his cover and only gets two. Eddy dodges a punch on a sunset flip attempt, then gets two on a small package. He wins a chop-fest, but loses a suplex struggle that ends with him draped over the top rope. Benoit goes for a cover, but Randy Anderson sees him using the ropes for leverage and breaks it up. Benoit sets Eddy up for a top-rope back suplex, but Benoit is distracted by Anderson trying to get him down from that illegal position, and Eddy knocks Benoit to the mat with a back elbow, then twists around and hits a Frog Splash for three. It's Eddy and Page at Starrcade for the U.S. Championship in name, if not in physical title. This was a fine opener. I would complain about the laying around except that they worked at such a frenetic pace the rest of the time that I can't begrudge them the couple of minutes of rest between each burst. Very good TV match. 


  • The Four Horsepeople (again, minus Woman), talk to Gene on the ramp. He's doing his yellow journalism deal where he's like Whoa Arn, you took an asswhooping that was really meant for Benoit last week, how do you feel about that? Arn knocks Benoit for being unfocused and losing his match tonight before launching into a comparison between Sullivan and a beer-bellied sharecropper who comes home to his wife banging the mailman. Arn's annoyed that Woman's not here to face up to her increasingly-complicated personal life and its consequences. Debra cuts Arn off to hate on Woman like usual. Benoit just sort of ignores her at first to tell Arn that he and Woman were putting in some real work, Horsemen business, actually, over in Europe together. Then, he addresses Debra, and when Mongo jumps in - and I swear, I forgot this until it happened - Benoit is filled with the spirit of the '90s youth: He holds up his hand to Mongo's face and says TALK TO THE HAND CUZ THE FACE DON'T UNDERSTAND, and it is absolutely like someone taught a robot to speak by introducing the robot's AI to English colloquial speech by showing it a bunch of '90s-era UPN and Nickelodeon pre-teen programming. It is, as the kids annoyingly say, cringe. Very, very cringe. But also hilarious! 


  • Mongo's real heated about that, and Flair has to step between Mongo and Benoit and assert that Woman's dissatisfaction with her home life, particularly her sex life, naturally would lead her to trying out a Horseman-affiliated alternative. That's how I'd put it. Then he flatters Debra, who is easily flattered, and Mongo is flattered by proxy. Yay, the Horsemen aren't fighting anymore! For like two seconds probably, but still!


  • The nWo's music hits so that we can get more talking: Hogan struts down the aisle, flanked by Ted DiBiase, Vincent, and Liz. Hey, the Horsemen just totally gave up on Liz. When Arn was like Forget her, just leave her back here, I guess that really was it for them. Woman was the only one to care enough to try and help. I actually do think that this deserved follow-up, even if Flair in the next week or three was just like I was using Liz to drive you wild Randy, but I get hotter women every day, and she's not Horsemen material or something. Hogan's cutting a promo on Piper, and I'm blanking out a bit.


  • I was watching the WCW Classics show that aired on Turner South for about six months after the WWF's purchase of WCW. If you don't know about this show, It was hosted by Dusty Rhodes and showed all these old matches that originally aired on World Championship Wrestling in the early '80s. I just watched an ep from June 2001 in which current Nitro color commentator Larry Zbyszko had an awesome little TV match with a very green Rick Rude from 1983 that was partially worked around the strong rookie frustrating Larry Z. by doggedly refusing to be countered out of a headlock. Larry Z. was fantastic, man, I'm kinda looking forward to seeing him wrestle Scott Hall even considering Hall's deteriorating abilities due to alcoholism. Anyway, I do snap back in time to hear Hogan call himself "the star of the nWo," which I'm sure gave Kevin Nash literal hives backstage when he heard it. As he talks, I realize that Hogan even stole Flair's whole "I'm with your ex, Savage" deal. God, this dude just steals everything from more over wrestlers, doesn't he? What a sociopath. No wonder Liz just left the Horsemen and Flair never bothered to comment on it. Hogan was like, THAT'S MY THING NOW, DUDE, I WANNA DO THE LIZ THING FOR HEAT NOW, huh? Hogan poses. Please get me a wrestling match after the break, please. 


  • WCW obliges me by next offering a match including Tombstone, a guy I forgot worked for WCW. He's out here so Luger can rack the fuck out of another big dude. Luger is wild over on his way out, too. Luger always does something that entertains me, and in this match, here it is: Tombstone gets in a shoving match with him. Luger is confused about Tombstone's seeming venom toward him and mouths HEY, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?! and it's great. Luger does clotheslines and a few WAUGHs and OUHHHHs, but then he hits the flying metal forearm and gets the rack for the win. Luger is so enjoyable, and I love that they just have him racking the biggest dudes they can find each week right now. 


  • Speaking of the biggest dudes WCW can find, the Giant comes down to jump Luger, but Luger uses that pipe-wrench loaded forearm to wobble the Giant and then rack him, and it is SWEET, but he only has him up there for a few seconds before Nash and Hall come down and Luger bails. I guess Luger and the Giant are wrestling at Starrcade, which sounds like a match that I want to see. The crowd definitely wanted to see more. 


  • Video of Real Sting putting Fake Sting down from last week. They really go a bit too close-up on Fake Sting's bat, which is clearly rubber. No one used either bat, so they might as well have gone with real bats for the tight shot. Whatever, Real Sting murked Fake Sting, and it was cool. Then we get video of Real Sting's WCW compatriots being dumb, which is par for the course. 


  • Hey, haven't seen Mr. J.L. for awhile! He's fodder for Rey Misterio Jr. tonight. There's some cursory matwork, but I'm here for the high spots. Let's get to it since that's what will be treated as important. We soon get that stuff in a sequence that ends with J.L. dropkicking Rey off the apron, but whiffing on a tope. Rey fakes his own tope and then hits a running rana from the apron to the floor. Much better. Rey hits a top-rope legdrop on a hanging J.L., but Lynn takes over with a sitout powerbomb on a rana reversal that gets two. I think Lynn is a pretty darn good base for Rey's offense, and in general for the cruisers in WCW. I take this TV match as another exhibition to see Rey do some wild shit that is promised to be replicated, but even better somehow, on PPV. Lynn gets another two count, gets frustrated, boot chokes, and whiffs on a corner charge. Rey hits a rana that sends Lynn outside, then hits a wild suicide dive. Hey, don't give it all away for free, my man! Make 'em pay to see the best stuff! Rey rolls Lynn inside and tries to hit the springboard rana, but Lynn dodges it and gets Rey in a La Magistral for two. Lynn goes up top, but gets caught by Rey for a top-rope rana for three. I mean, seriously, this should have been shorter just because Rey gave too much awesome shit away on free TV. I can't complain about the quality, though! 


  • Rey drags himself over to the desk to cut a promo. Oh no, Rey is still bad at these. Whew, he actually does a solid bit of work here where he says that he's pretty sure that last week, Sting was just reacting to a guy leaping on his back when he tossed Rey, not trying to actually hurt Rey like Nash or the Giant did. He's convinced that Sting is WCW and defends his actions. Sting is probably glad to see that someone gets it, finally, GEEZ. The Sting super-cut that they showed on past Nitros where he walks around giving dudes receipts and looking mopey plays again, at Rey's request. He sees a pattern in the video (which is, of course, that Sting only tags the nWo or the very vocal idiots in WCW). Well, that's one somewhat-aware WCW wrestler! Can we go for two?!


  • It's hour number two, so swap Larry Z. for Mike T. and Bobby "T.B." H. They talk about Hogan and Piper, and then we get a replay of some of Hogan's earlier remarks, which really bums me out. 


  • Will Glacier's entrance + outro tonight be longer or shorter than his match? I'm not going to time it; let's just play this one by feel. I appreciate that Glacier's name is outlined in a frosty-looking light blue on the chyron. That's a nice little touch. His opponent, already in the ring, is Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker. Parker jumps him early, but basically eats a bunch of trips and kicks and sweeps and even a chop somewhere in there. This crowd, which has been into everything so far tonight, is pretty quiet for this. Glacier kicks Parker to the floor, then tosses him back in and does some more kicks...and some more kicks...and some more kicks...and this is a reasonable squash in that Glacier's kicking the dude from everywhere, highlighting the thing he's supposed to do better than everyone else on the roster. Problem is, there are so many kicks that Parker doesn't realize that the Cryonic Kick is the one he's supposed to stay down for, and he kicks out at two before Glacier hits a second Cryonic Kick for three. Oh man, I think Buddy Lee Parker just killed the Cryonic Kick dead. The match was actually probably slightly longer than the entrance + outro, but it probably didn't need to be. I continue to maintain that the idea of Glacier makes sense, but the execution does not. 


  • The nWo sells shirts, which they were very good at. 


  • O CANADA/OUR HOME AND NATIVE LAND/TRUE AWESOMENESS/THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS! They're going to work Public Enemy, who I'm pretty sure aren't very long for WCW at this point. Man, people love putting their arms in the air and waving them like they just don't care. Ah, the '90s. I love 'em. Do you know how hard it is to sing the Canadian national anthem poorly? Even beer-chugging hockey fans can truly put on a great performance when called upon to do so in a public arena. This terrible singing by the AFCs is legitimately a secret talent. PE jump everyone and pull a ski mask over PCO's face and beat him up, and I thought the crowd would be hotter for this. PE feels that way too, I think, since they spend some time trying to hype the crowd. They set Rougeau up for a table splash, but PCO cuts Rocco off, and the AFCs get the jump on Grunge. They hit him with a top-rope Thesz press (!!!) while Robert Parker puts the boots to Rocco on the outside. I want to stop here and say that while I don't think PE is particularly good, I find them strangely compelling. Even their awkward matches like this one that feel very stilted tend to captivate me for some reason. Anyway, the AFCs are going for a table-assisted cannonball for some reason (the table doesn't do anything but give an extra two inches of height on the cannonball). PCO gets knocked down, the table breaks, and the PE get DQ'd for using the table to batter both of the AFCs before hitting a top-rope cannonball of their own onto PCO and the broken table. See? This wasn't good, but I couldn't look away. 


  • Video recap of Big Bubba defecting to the nWo. Norton did too, I think. The nWo is officially too large. 


  • Bubba comes out to the nWo theme. Get the B-team theme composed already because Bubba is too washed for Rockhouse. Konnan comes out with Jimmy Hart at his side. Hart unfortunately does not grace us with a VIVA LA RAZA followed by maniacal cackling. Oh great, Nick Patrick is reffing again. Thanks, I hate it. Actually, Patrick is a perfectly fine referee, but you know, this angle. I still don't understand why Konnan joined the Dungeon, honestly. That's not a fit for him. The Wolfpac(k)? Yeah. The nWo? Sure, I can see that. Patrick slowly counts Bubba out after Bubba's dumped at ringside. Konnan gets mad, so Patrick runs a distraction or two so Bossman can take control. Bossman uses a scarf to choke Konnan and toss him outside, where Patrick fast-counts to five before Konnan can get back into the ring. Whatever, let's take this home. I admit to looking at the My Nintendo store to see if that new Kirby keychain is available to order yet while Bossman did a bunch of slow choking in front of a nonplussed Patrick. I'm sort of interested in Kirby's Dream Buffet, but I feel like I should be able to play it for free with my Expansion Pack subscription. Oh, somewhere in here, Patrick sends Hart away from ringside for trying to cheat in Konnan's favor, and Konnan is DQ'd in short order for tossing Bubba over the top rope. I mean, yes, this is a DQ, but also yes, Patrick was very selective about calling the cheating in this match. Riveting stuff. Can't wait for more. 


  • I do wonder, seriously, if I will look back on this Nick Patrick stuff when I finally make it into late 1999 Nitro/Thunder and sort of miss it from the standpoint of Vince Russo being even more consistent at booking bad angles and stupid matches and segments.


  • Lee Marshall does his Road Report from Knoxville, Tennessee. Nashville (the home of Starrcade 1997) is an underrated dining city, IMO. Never been to Knoxville, though. 


  • Oh, it's TV Champion Lord Steven William Regal! I missed who came out before him as his opponent...and it looks like Dean Malenko. Ooh, this could be good. Regal jaws with the ham-and-eggers in the crowd and gives very specific directions to the woman who takes his robe. Malenko's all ready to wrestle and shit, and Regal's just taking his time heeling. Regal works Malenko's arm early with some dope offense, some of which I can't really name. They cut a pace because that's what Malenko loves to do, and it ends with Regal whacking the heck out of his thigh as he hits an enziguri. Sonny Onoo's back out here with that camera. One thing that I find interesting is that Regal's working a match that's more Malenko's match than his match. He's moving quicker and working more high spots, two-counts, and counter-counter-counter spots. Usually, he'd be grinding a smaller opponent down, laying on him, leaning into him, grinding him down. He does a very little of that stuff, but yeah, this feels much more like a Malenko match to me than a Regal match. He's pretty much good at everything, so this is entertaining, but I do really like when he effectively uses his weight advantage against smaller opponents. I will say that even though it's entertaining, it all feels a bit like empty calories more than anything. They do a bunch of stuff, and a lot of it looks real nice. Malenko hits a brainbuster, but can't even get a one-count before the time limit is up. Malenko looked like a legit competitor, but the crowd did not get into the drama of the time limit at all. Oh yeah, and Sonny Onoo got kicked from ringside as well this match. 


  • Rick Steiner and Jeff Jarrett get the final matchup tonight. Rick's giggling like a maniac during the early mat wrestling for whatever reason. The crowd chants for Sting. Rick really gets to giggling as he hits an elbowdrop. I'm not really sure what's going on in this match, but Jarrett gets belly-to-belly'd and stuff and it's cool. The match only lasts for a couple minutes before Fake Sting comes out, tries to hit Jarrett with a Scorpion Death Drop, but gets Steinerlined and then pinned by Jarrett for some reason. The ref counts three and everything. Jarrett and Steiner stand around for a bit while the crowd chants for the actual Sting, then they randomly kick Fake Sting and leave. Well, that was a thing that happened, I suppose. 


  • Rockhouse hits one more time. Hogan's back out because Piper is apparently not here, on this go-home show before the biggest PPV of the year for WCW. Sure, he's not. Oh man, too much Hogan. He talks shit before Eric Bischoff walks out while dressed as Piper, but with an old-school red-and-yellow Hulkster shirt on. Bischoff has so much material to work with here in his Piper impression, and this could actually be pretty funny, but nope, it's bad. Instinctually, I try to flip over to RAW. What was the main event? Bret Hart vs. Fake Razor. Yeah, I might just rather watch that. Piper comes out, led by some bagpipers. Bagpipists? Oh, just pipers. Obviously, duh. Thanks, Google. Anyway, they trade a few punches before the nWo comes out and helps Hogan get the upper hand. Real Sting watches from the rafters, clearly thinking that he's the only person competent enough to handle this nWo mess. 


  • For comparison, here's Bret/Fake Razor with Honky Tonk Man on guest color:


  • Personally, I'm more into watching Rick Bogner as he is clearly thinking about doing Razor-type mannerisms and doing wrestling moves at the same time while HTM yammers on like a lunatic than I was into watching that last Nitro segment. Bogner's control segment is so bad that it's perversely entertaining, unlike that Hogan/Bischoff stuff, which didn't get bad enough wrap back around and be enjoyable to watch. I think you can see Bret give up like three minutes in and decide to just take it easy for this one. Can't blame him. 


  • I'm off to watch Starrcade. That main event is going to suck, but everything else seems amazing. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #69 - 30 December 1996

"The one where the Giant leaves the nWo. Don't worry, he'll be back in black and white soon enough"

  • I'm about to make it to 1997! 2001 looks a little less far away now. But before I can enjoy the days of Sugar Shane Helms beefing with Chavo Guerrero Jr., I must first deal with all this Starrcade '96 fallout. Well, that and four more years of WCW Nitro (and probably Thunder, geez). 


  • We start with the shot of a limo. The nWo hops out and talks about how great they are. They all feed Hogan's delusions that he beat Piper at Starrcade the night before. I note that the Giant is still heated about eating multiple L's at Starrcade, and actually, everyone in the nWo notices also. Ooh, dissension in the ranks! Giant says that he'll admit to dropping the ball just to keep things copacetic (Scott Hall from off-camera: "Fumblerooski!"). Also, he wants that title shot he won at WW3. I'm sensing a "Sting wins the round-robin at Starrcade '89 and wants his title shot against Flair, so he gets kicked out of the Horsemen" sort of vibe here. Hogan's like, Nah, fuck you son, I should beat your ass for even asking, but in a way that is surface-level friendly and therefore plausibly deniable; still, the Giant gets irritated and initiates takesies-backsies on admitting to that whole "dropping the ball" thing. Man, you might as well take off that nWo shirt and let them spray paint you right now, big man. 


  • Now we cut to Tony S. and Larry Z., who are excited about Piper winning last night's match, though they should be pissed at Piper for being too dumb to negotiate a title shot into the deal. I guess the argument (which I think Tony fairly decently gets over) is that Piper was not really part of WCW and was just here for a one-off to beat Hogan. In fairness, WCW had set up for that aspect of this story, but they neglected to clearly indicate that the match was non-title in the run-up, unless they had Chris Cruise do it every week on a bunch of Pros that I didn't see or something like that. 


  • We get stills of the FANTASTIC Luger/Giant match from Starrcade. If you haven't seen it in awhile (or at all), go watch it. 


  • The Amazing French Canadians are here with Col. Robert Parker and Quebec flags and the Maple Leaf flag as well, and also a bunch of great double-team moves. Rougeau calls "O Canada" the most beautiful national anthem in the world, and it is on the shortlist IMO as I have said before. Tony S. also credits its beauty. The AFCs start singing, but are cut off by Public Enemy's theme. They bring a table that I'm pretty sure will not be intact by the end of this segment. Forgive me if I've written this before about a PE match, but it starts as a four-man brawl. Larry is offended by men wearing earrings and wants mustaches to come back in trend. Living in 2022, in a world which has seen a Top Gun sequel, I can confirm that Larry is wrong and incorrect and mustaches sans-beard are, and always were, a bad idea. Except for Billy Dee Williams. Rocco and Grunge break the table missing a cannonball attempt, and Rocco gets rolled inside and hit with the AFC's version of the assisted cannonball for three. The match never really became a normal tag match, so we missed out on an extended FIP segment and the potential for many AFC double-team moves, and therefore this was all a bit pointless IMO. 


  • Jushin Liger is wrestling on Nitro. He and Rey had a match that was perfectly okay at Starrcade, and we see stills of that in split-screen. He's getting a shot at Ultimo Dragon, the new WCW Cruiserweight Champ after defeating Dean Malenko in a match that also was just okay and also at Starrcade. They work this sucker at full speed and Liger busts out the surfboard like ninety seconds in and then drops it to do some other shit at high speed. It's nice watching Liger be crisp on offense, and Dragon isn't too far behind him in that department tonight. They go inside and outside and hit dives and kicks and powerbombs and stuff, and it's like junk food. It's all empty calories, but I enjoyed it and got a little bit of a sugar high. Dragon eventually hits a top rope rana followed by what I think he calls a Dragon Suplex, but which is not the type of Dragon Suplex that you're probably thinking of. Anyway, he wins. 


  • Considering that Dragon beat Liger and Liger beat Rey, Rey will have his work cut out for him should be get a shot at Dragon, and I hope WCW remembers this order of match results and plays it up if we ever get there. 


  • Konnan is wrestling Big Bubba, who gets the B-Team theme! He's so ashamed that he doesn't rate well enough to get Rockhouse as his permanent theme that he doesn't show up. M. Wallstreet doesn't have any shame, though, so he comes out to face Konnan instead. Wallstreet initially just tells Konnan that Bubba ain't here, so too bad, but then he jumps Konnan from behind and we get a strap match. Konnan tears up Wallstreet's ballsack with the strap, and Wallstreet does the Rick Rude "OW MY BALLS" sell about a quarter as well as Rude does it. So there's that. Then we get a trope I hate, which is Konnan tagging the corners right behind an oblivious Wallstreet before Konnan gets the fourth. This version of the trope is even worse, as Wallstreet punches an out-on-his-feet Konnan into the fourth corner himself. Konnan is the winner, but stumbles out looking like he got his ass whipped, which he did. This was nonsense. 


  • Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff strut down to the ring. They pretend that Hogan beat Piper. It goes on too long; we get the point. Then he poses. I do think there's a meta-element to this: Hogan's delusion is obviously worked on the most surface of surface levels, but how much legitimate shoot delusion has leaked into these promos at this point? 


  • The Dungeon of Doom's theme is low-key one of the least-enticing entrance tracks to hit. If it's not the Faces of Fear, it's doo-doo most of the time. Tonight's doo-doo: Hugh Morrus. I am similarly not inspired by Sonny Onoo leading Kensuke Sasaki out to "generic Eastern music track #12." Onoo and Sasaki had beef during Akira Hokuto's WCW Women's Championship win at Starrcade, so we'll see if this builds from that. I forgive a bored Tony S. for being more focused on the footage of Piper beating Hogan that they will definitely show later on to dispute Hogan's claims. I'm sure Bischoff and Hogan aren't going to threaten Craig Leathers with a swirlie if he even thinks of playing that tape. I swear that I typed that and like thirty seconds later, Bischoff comes to the desk during the match and claims to have stolen the master tape from the production truck. Larry Z. is like, That's okay, we have other tapes, right? Why don't we just, you know, show the backup tape? Any one of them? Poor Tony sounds like a fucking idiot being like, Uh, sorry, that tape was it. All we have is stills now. WCW is kayfabe run like absolute shit, is what I'm learning. What do they even pay Craig Leathers for? 


  • Oh yeah, the match. Onoo breaks up Morrus's pin attempt after a No Laughing Matter with a flagpole to the back. Morrus wins by DQ. Woof, this Nitro has sucked so far. 


  • Bischoff didn't steal any of the stills because he's an idiot, I guess. Everyone's an idiot. We see stills of Piper with his hand raised and boot on Hogan's chest post-match. It was as exciting as it sounds. 


  • It strikes me, as I hear Harlem Heat's music, that I haven't seen them in a minute. They weren't on the Starrcade card, and maybe not on Nitro for a few weeks before then, either. Booker T goes out of his way to tell the camera and the people watching him through that camera that we thought they were gone, but they're back, sucka. Hey, the one time the Dungeon's music hits and I don't get hives: the Faces of Fear are their opponents. The opening clubbering is good, but I'm a bit distracted because Tony S. notes that Souled Out is the next PPV. This show will be a classic "interesting in theory, bad in execution" deal, IIRC. Barb hits the top-rope belly-to-belly on Booker, which is cool. Booker plays a solid FIP for a second, but he quickly gets a tag and Harlem Heat take over. Cue Colonel Robert Parker, who smacks Sherri on the ass, triggering a brawl outside that diverts the ref. This is meant to allow the Amazing French Canadians to run in and screw over Harlem Heat, but it doesn't work out. Rougeau throws powder in Stevie Ray's eyes and Meng hits a kick and covers, but the ref is still diverted. This allows Booker to catch Meng with a clubberin' blow from the top rope and put Stevie on top, which the ref turns around to see and count three for. This was okay, I suppose. I expect better from this combination of teams, TBH. 


  • Diamond Dallas Page is pretty somber during his interview with Gene Okerlund. Gene wants to know what DDP's going to do about that asswhooping he took from the nWo at Starrcade. Page talks like he's going to be joining the nWo as a consequence, but I think it's subterfuge, dear reader. 


  • Let us all hope that hour number two is better than hour number one. Starrcade '96 got stronger as it went on for the most part (that main event couldn't really follow Luger/Giant, but it was solid). May tonight's Nitro follow a similar pattern. Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan are out to join Tony Schiavone at the desk and talk about Hogan and also the minis who will be wrestling tonight. We see a recap of the Giant being super-irritated and Hogan fakin' it until he's makin' it from earlier tonight. Tony announces that Roddy Piper decided to show up  later tonight.


  • But the real big news is that Disco Inferno is here!  Oh no, he's jobbing to Glacier. I'm fine with Disco jobbing; it's his whole thing, but to Glacier? It's sort of a waste. Well, let's see if Disco can at least make this squash fun. I love that Tenay reminds us of the match that Disco had with Dean Malenko at the Bash earlier that year as evidence that Disco can be dangerous if he's focused. Thank you for trying, Tenay. Disco grabs a mic and immediately pimps the new leg-based submission that he can't remember how to lock on. Then he shits on Peyton Manning, which the Knoxville rubes give a cursory boo, but are I guess too cynical re: cheap heat to really get angry about


  • Disco makes this match fun by bumping nicely and being totally unable to get his submission move on. Glacier actually gets a smattering of cheers. He probably needed this match after last week's Buddy Lee Parker mess. Disco grabs the ref to divert Glacier and clotheslines Glacier. He has him down and goes for the new leghold, but can't figure out which leg he's supposed to put it on, which spells doom for him...no, wait Disco hits a spinning neckbreaker. He's really on top, now, and so naturally, he follows up by dancing in the corner and turning right around into a Cryonic Kick for three. Dammit, Disco! Focus! I think this was my favorite match so far tonight. 


  • Benoit/Jarrett stills from Starrcade. Woman was the MVP of that whole deal. Benoit is here right now, in fact, with Woman at his side. He's going to wrestle Chris Jericho in a match that I feel like I should be interested in. I give them credit because they have their working boots on and go at pace early. Probably they needed to because this crowd has been pretty dead for the past bunch of segments, and they perk up a bit at these two. They do a lot of chops and slaps and Benoit hits a nasty powerbomb and high-angled back suplex. Jericho resorts to trying for flash pins, but lights Benoit up with a clothesline. This crowd has quieted down and is not impressed, but Benoit and Jericho are working basically the type of match that your typical '90s smark would cream their jeans over. These dudes are beating the shit out of each other, and Benoit wins when a Jericho whiff leaves him ripe for a top-rope back suplex that Benoit gets three on. I'm not a huge fan of guys killing each other to get a reaction anymore, and probably less so with a Benoit match, but it was definitely a good match by any aesthetic standard. 


  • Okerlund interviews the Horsepeople (sans Arn Anderson), and Debra opens by disingenuously telling Woman that she's glad Woman is back because she missed Woman sooooo much. I laughed. Woman is heated and tells Debra and Mongo that they're barely even Horsepeople. Flair tries to break it up, but then Jarrett clatters in and acts like he's a Horseperson now. Flair dances with Woman and acts wacky in order to try and cool things down, but Benoit grabs the mic and shits on Jarrett while a dejected Ric says "No, no, nooooo" in the back, which is AMAZING. Woman and Benoit storm off, and Debra says that Woman's just upset because she (Woman, that is) got fat over the holidays, LOL, Debra is fucking killing me. 


  • Lee Marshall makes a Sputnik Monroe reference since he's in Monroe, Louisiana. Speaking of getting fat, I would assume the etouffee and gumbo and jambalaya and crayfish and shrimp did their work on Marshall's weight gain that night. Ooh, and Dixie Beer. 


  • Piratita Morgan and Jarrito Estrada wrestle Octagoncito and Mascarita Sagrada in a minis tag match, and they work at full speed and the crowd is kind of into it at first, but then not so much by about two minutes in because they apparently hate pro wrestling in all its forms. Tony S. is confused about the lack of tags. I do not judge your ignorance, Tony, for I felt the same way when I first saw lucha tag matches. Octagoncito gets the win with a rollup. It was a bit of a blur, honestly. 


  • Dean Malenko and Rey Misterio Jr. are in the ring when we come back from break. So, as someone who generally enjoys Malenko's matches, he might be one of the most flawed dudes whose work I generally enjoy. This match is an example of why (though unlike many of his matches, this bored the hell out of me). Cursory matwork? Check. Inability to sell anything? Check. Face that clearly is thinking about how quickly he can get to the next spot? Check. He's good, sure, but he's only as compelling as his opponent, which is why Rey is his best opponent IMO. Rey is a dope bumper and seller, but they basically move through any sympathy-building possibilities really fast so that they can do another spot. Actually, they do a half-crab spot for a bit that doesn't really mean anything. They mostly do stuff, but none of it has much impact. I'm ready for Malenko to be cycled out of the Cruiserweight title spot on PPV for awhile.


  • Mysterio crotches himself on the top rope trying to springboard to the top. That must have hurt like hell. He also fell awkwardly in a crossbody off the top rope. Mysterio does hit an amazing seated senton to the outside, and they have a very nice sequence centered around a series of counters, including counters of both men's finishers. The bell sounds, though - apparently there was a time limit on this thing. OK, I guess that no one has separated themselves from the pack when it comes to Ultimo Dragon's next title opponent. Rey wants five more minutes, but nah, I'm good. 


  • Greg Valentine and Lex Luger are in what I am assuming is our final match before the ending segment. I'm just here to see the Torture Rack, and I get to see it. Success! The crowd is so dead that it takes awhile to get into Luger's initial comeback. It can't be overstated how over Luger is right now, so their quietness is notable. I should be easier on Knoxville, though. This has not been a good show. They pop for the Torture Rack, at least! It's a dope move, so they should!


  • They're pretty awake in Knoxville for Roddy Piper. He rambles and rambles. He puts himself over in every way he can think of. He says that he's retiring, but oh, we're not going to be so lucky. Rockhouse cuts him off; well, it tries to, but he talks through that for a bit. Hogan and Bischoff show up, and Piper says this to Hogan: "The only way I seen you be a dog is when you wee-wee on a hydrant." Hogan tries to respond, but isn't sure where he's going with it and tells a silent crowd to shut up. Good save, Hogan! Hogan actually walks over and gets a cue from Bischoff while Piper stalls for time. Hilarious. Piper's ready to fight after Hogan brings family into his argument, but of course we get exactly the thing you think we get: an nWo beatdown. The Giant is late to the ring and doesn't really join in, though. He broods while the rest of the gang attacks Piper's hip with a chair. The nWo wants the Giant to hit Piper with the chokeslam, but the Giant lets Piper out of the goozle.


  • Piper does a stretcher job while the nWo works out their issues. By that, I mean Hogan slaps the Giant and the Giant goozles Hogan and threatens to chokeslam him unless the rest of the nWo vacates the premises. I will say this: Hogan's sobbing while the Giant extracts his title shot is hilarious, as is his post-Goozle coughing and apologies. He stumbles out of the ring and only then, from the safety of ringside, does he sic the dogs on LE GEANT~. They all stand around for awhile as B-teamers get their asses whipped before dogpiling the Giant. The crowd shrieked when the nWo jumped back in the ring. Hogan was terrible tonight until the goozle, when he suddenly turned it on and did some excellent heeling. 


  • That show sucked, but there were a couple of bright spots. Still, not the best follow-up to Starrcade at all. I'm especially peeved that new U.S. Champ Eddy Guerrero was nowhere to be seen. Even if he wasn't at the show for some reason, give him a little video hype package or something. He got nary a mention. out of 5 Stinger Splashes.



Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #70 - 6 January 1997

"The one that starts 1997 off pretty ominously, like man, this show was bad"

  • What's the best way to kick off 1997 on Nitro? Apparently, um, it's Glacier. Well, okay. Bobby Eaton is Glacier-fodder tonight, and they blow a leapfrog about a minute in. So, the thing about Glacier is that he's not any good. He's slow and sort of awkward, throwing kicks as though he's encased in mud. I guess Eaton is supposed to stay down off a roundhouse kick, but he kicks out even as Glacier tries to hold him down, so they just do it again and Glacier gets three. OK, get Ernest Miller and Chris Kanyon involved ASAP so we can salvage something watchable out of this gimmick. 


  • Now we get Tony S. and Larry Z. introducing themselves from the power desk instead of the little dinky ringside table. I'm assuming this is permanent now; I can't remember the last time I've seen them at ringside for a call. It honestly might have been two shows ago, but you know, there's lots of gap here in my watch. 


  • We see video of the HOT Bubba/Konnan feud that is a result of the dungeon exploding. I think they fucked up the package, though, as they showed Bubba choking Konnan with a strap and indicated that it was from last week's Nitro. It was not. It was from two weeks ago. Zbyszko is vocally confused when the package ends with clips of last week's Wallstreet/Konnan match: That's Wallstreet, he says, expecting Bubba instead. Tony was all confused because of the misidentified clip, and it confused everybody. I would have been confused had I not been paying attention.


  • Big Bubba comes down in the nWo shirt, but with his own generic rock riff. He didn't even get the B-Team theme, damn. Oh, lovely, we get another strap match this week, as Konnan/Bubba is ON FIRE. Look, I'm going to offer a hot take at this point in my rewatch, which is that these Nitro undercards were way more bad than good as soon as this show went to two hours. Maybe that'll change as more solid workers come in, but wow. I felt before I started this like a year or two ago that those early one-hour Nitros were the best the show ever was, and I feel pretty strongly about that now. Anyway, the crowd is fairly hot for Konnan using the strap on Bubba, and credit to Konnan for showing really good fire. But yeah, this match SUCKS. This has been a real bummer start to the show. Also, why is it a Mexican Strap Match? There's no extra strapation in this match to separate it from regular strap matches. The flesh isn't bubbling from the skin. It's just another shit strap match like last week's, with the SAME EXACT FINISH as last week's, basically. Konnan did actually touch all three himself without being dragged around, but like against Wallstreet, he was punched backward into the fourth corner by Bubba. Fuck off. 


  • Dammit, now I have to listen to Kevin Sullivan cut a promo about Benoit and Woman. Gene Okerlund conducts this interview and asks Sullivan to join up with the Horsemen against the nWo instead of this petty fighting bullshit, but Sullivan is like NO U.


  • After the break, Okerlund comes out to the ramp and interviews the Horsefolks, except for Benoit and Woman, who are not here tonight. Arn is confused about what exactly is happening to his once-elite group. Flair is excited that Benoit is giving Woman a bit of the ol' Horseman business lolololol, and then Debra calls Woman "as ugly as grandpa's toenails," genuine LOL from me there. Debra is trying to do what people merely accuse Yoko Ono of doing, and really no one even tries to stop her. The Horsemen are dead. Again, if this were Baby Doll in 1985 doing this shit, Tully would have tamped that down, but then again, Baby Doll would never have even tried to pull a Debra in the first place. 


  • Jeff Jarrett comes out and wants to replace Benoit, who isn't anywhere around as far as he can tell. Jarrett's actually pretty good tonight! Arn's like, Yo, you're not a Horseman, and Jarrett says that Arn's just second fiddle to Ric, Ole, and Tully (Flair is shaking his head and saying "no, no, noooooooo" again, in a nice touch). Then, he says that he's here to talk to the head of the Horsemen and not the "horse's rear," which immediately sparks a brawl. Jarrett also was very patronizing about Benoit and Arn giving it their best shot at Starrcade, but not having what it takes to beat him.


  • This was really good, as was the brawl that ended up in the ring. The crowd is not digging Jarrett and wants a DDT. I guess this was a match because Jarrett gets three using the ropes for leverage. Mongo wants to beat Jarrett up, but Debra wants to hit Jarrett in her own way (lolololololol), so she stops Mongo. Flair throws a tantrum. This whole thing is hilarious. Why is Debra running the Horsemen, basically? Why is Flair letting Mongo push him away from Debra? Debra looks into the camera and mouths "I ALWAYS GET MY WAY" with a shit-eating grin on her face. Fabulous! Seriously, she did what a bunch of folks couldn't do and just blew up the Horsemen entirely. Now, after Mongo says "If Flair says he's [Jarrett's] okay, he's okay with me," Debra looks back into the camera with the same grin and says, "And he's DEFINITELY okay with me!" LOL, Jarrett and Debra single-handedly turned this whole Nitro around for one segment. Jarrett holds the ropes so Debra can get out, and Mongo's facial expression is gold. Larry Z. hates Debra's voice, and yes IRL IMO, but also that's the point and it's perfect for her whole beauty queen gimmick. 


  • Diamond Dallas Page is getting a shot at Lord Steven William Regal's TV Championship, except that Page doesn't bother to show for it. Come on, why would you do this to me? OH NO, Regal's replacement opponent is Jim Duggan, FUCK. Fuck you, WCW. Nash, Syxx, and Bischoff wander over to the desk, and Tony and Larry just give up doing their jobs and book it. They talk about Page joining the nWo while Regal mugs and stalls and sells and tries to get something out of this absolute bum. Bisch pimps the Miss nWo thing for Souled Out. Syxx says "No fat chicks, no heinous broads," which makes me laugh because it's such a scumbag thing to say. I have complex thoughts on heels saying heelish things and how to pull it off without just sounding like you're being a pro wrestler to say mean stuff, but maybe they're not that complex: Be good at pro-wrestling style acting, and you'll get away with it.


  • I blank out for a bit. Nash rambles on about stock tips or whatever, and they make fun of Randy Savage, and this match is going on FOREVER. Regal basically wrestles himself until this match mercifully ends when Duggan uses the tape and the bell rings because Duggan was finally DQ'd for cheating the time limit was up. Syxx notes that he beat Duggan, which he did back in Show #54, but the desk genuinely doesn't seem to remember. It's absolutely hilarious.


  • This Nitro has been the worst one of the bunch so far. Truly the pits.


  • Tony S. and Larry Z. are back on the desk. What the fuck sort of music is Hugh Morrus coming out to? It's like some sixth-rate funk-based cover band played the Seinfeld theme. He's up against Jim Powers, who tonight is managed by Teddy Long. No Nick Patrick reffing this match, though! Things are looking up! Anyway, this is a quick semi-squash won by Morrus with a No Laughing Matter. It's inoffensive. Larry Z. shits on Morrus when Morrus tells the camera, "He who laughs last...wins!" Larry's like, of course you'd only laugh if you won, duh


  • Lex Luger tells us to stick around to watch him wrestle Meng tonight. I sure will! They had a great little Nitro match way back on Show #4. It was pretty good! 


  • Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay join Tony S. for hour number two. They blame women for ruining the Horsemen. Sort of, but I'd blame the nWo and Ric Flair being a shit leader more than anything Woman is doing. Debra, sure, okay, she's pulling a power play. But even then, she's probably behind those other two things. But you know, BITCHES BE CRAZY and shit. Heenan insults Tony's luck with women and his wife's cooking, heh heh. OK, that last bit was funny.


  • Psicosis is firmly slotted in as the sort of second-tier cruiser who will put up a game fight before losing to his opponent tonight, Rey Misterio Jr. It's been a pleasure to watch Rey get more and more over from week to week on this re-watch. Psicosis hip-tosses Rey over the top, which is not called a DQ in kayfabe for some reason, then botches a top-rope move to the outside and lands on the apron on his head. Is there something in the water tonight? Tenay tells us that Ultimo Dragon lost his eight non-WCW belts to Jushin Liger back in Japan, so he's got one belt left to cherish. Brain has been drinking and it causes him to jabber on nonsensically about Dragon having all the belts (no, he just lost them all, nearly), but not having the one thing he really needs (which he still has, assuming that the Brain was talking about the WCW Cruiserweight Championship). Then, he trails off after even he realizes that he's talking nonsense. It's awkward. Meanwhile, Psicosis falls off the ropes and has to scramble back up before missing a splash to the outside.


  • This is a disjointed series of dives and other high spots that are being hit with varying levels of cleanliness and impact. Rey hits a lovely roll-up from atop Psicosis's shoulders somewhere in there, to be fair. I think Tony and Heenan are legit beefing over the comments from the top of the hour about Tony's wife and her cooking because Tony randomly cuts him off and throws it to Tenay, who awkwardly is like Heh heh, I guess we're in trouble to start the new year while Tony demands that Heenan PICK IT UP ["it" being his attention to details], Tony/Bobby is the hottest feud going this second hour. We get a few moves before Rey hits the springboard rana for three. This was not a good match. Tony and Bobby are still arguing and cutting each other off, worked-shooting or shoot-working or whatever, and it's verging on distracting. It was amusing, but take the break to fight it out or whatever and then move on. 


  • We see Eddy Guerrero getting beaten up at Starrcade in a split-screen while Kevin Sullivan stomps out. If I have to watch Sullivan wrestle in 1997, Miss Jackie had better not be far behind. Tony is confused again and says that maybe we'll see the footage with Eddy later even though we just saw it. Chavo Guerrero Jr. comes out, which is just super because I definitely want to see him be fed to Sullivan considering that he showed so much promise with the short DDP feud. Oh, wait, I guess the footage they meant to show instead of the Eddy footage was Sullivan hitting Benoit with the chair at Starrcade, so they cut in on split-screen and show that now. Chavo hit a missile dropkick on Sullivan, knocking him into Jimmy Hart. That was cool, but now we're getting boilerplate Taskmaster squash. Tree of Woe, double stomp, whatever. Feed this dude one of like a billion other people next time. 


  • We see last week's attack on Piper. That was a really fun show-ending angle, actually. Piper yells a lot and I guess we are getting the footage of Piper getting stretchered backstage that we didn't get because we got to see the Giant get kicked out of the black-and-white. It's just really Piper yelling until they load him into the ambulance.


  • Hey, Alex Wright! Oh, and WCW U.S. Champion Eddy Guerrero! Haha, they re-show the footage of Eddy getting beaten up in side-by-side again. Yes, this was probably the place where you were supposed to show it originally. Craig Leathers was hitting the Henny with Heenan before the show, I guess. This is the best match so far, though it could have used some trimming. They open with a nice counter-counter-counter approach. I love Wright's headscissors takeovers. They look so fluid. They wrestle to a competitive stalemate over the first few minutes, but Eddy takes over, hits a nice tope con hilo. He controls for awhile, but Wright hits a lovely lariat to take over for a bit. Wright works from a headlock into an armbar, then gets to standing to hit a few strikes before going back to the mat with a headlock.


  • Syxx strolls on out with a ladder and Eddy's U.S. Championship. He uses the former as a chair to taunt Eddy from the aisle. Eddy is distracted, and Wright rolls him up from behind for two, then hits a dropkick and a bridging suplex for two. He gets a handful of two-counts over the next couple minutes and busts out some nice moves, including a dodge of an Eddy back elbow that leads to a belly-to-belly. Wright's pretty much been killing Eddy since Syxx came out, actually. He just can't put Eddy away, who eventually hits a superplex and a Frog Splash for three before chasing Syxx off. This match needed some editing, but I enjoyed it. It didn't help that the crowd was in no way interested in scrappy Wright almost getting the win over the U.S. Champ. This was still solid, though. 


  • Lee Marshall's On the Road in New Orleans. He's on a boat in Pontchartrain eating po boys and shit. Oysters are only good when breaded or baked. Fight me.


  • The Amazing French Canadians walk down to the ring, Robert Parker in tow. I love Jacques Rougeau shitting on Cajuns and their mediocre pidgin French. We all know that Louisiana Creoles speak the best French-American dialect anyway. It goes Creoles > Quebecers > Cajuns in the "North American French dialect" rankings. This is objective science. Harlem Heat also walk down to the ring, Sherri in tow. They don't even want to talk shit to the camera; they just want to fight. Wow, Harlem Heat is pretty over. They beat up Jacques for awhile until Booker misses an elbow, but SPINAROONIEs up and hits a side kick. Much like the Rock hitting a People's Elbow in the 1998 Royal Rumble match, the crowd doesn't react as you would expect with the benefit of hindsight, though they're sort of feeling it and make it clear that it's a spot Booker should keep doing. Sherri looks like she's about to have a wardrobe malfunction as she runs around at ringside. Anyway, Book becomes FIP and we get some good heel control work from the AFCs until PCO whiffs on a flag swing and hits Jacques Rougeau. Then, Harlem Heat hit a sweet powerbomb/top-rope elbowdrop combo for three. That was really fun! 


  • We see the end of Giant/Luger at Starrcade. Luger/Meng is our final wrestling match of the night, with Hogan talking a lot as our main event. Let's see if he can approach the entertainment level of last week's show ending segment. Anyway, the match! Let's talk about that instead of Hogan or the nWo or whatever. I think these two have sneaky-good chemistry together. This has been a dawning realization on me as I've watched through these Nitros. Meng shakes off early blows and takes control, but Luger fires up and hits a clothesline and a nice powerslam. The fans want the TORTURE RACK and so do I. Meng tries to fight back, but misses a corner charge and gets TORTURE RACK'D. Unfortunately, he knocks the ref over as he applies it, and Barbarian comes in and breaks it up. Luger then puts Barb in the rack and Barb gives up...and the bell rings...okay. Sure, this is classic WCW. They didn't even sell the switcheroo very well or much at all. The desk was just like FUCK IT, DOESN'T MATTER WHO HE RACKED. 


  • Hogan and some nWo flunkies come out. Bischoff and Hogan say some typical heel shit. Hogan rambles and rambles and what the fuck is even he talking about now? I think he's trying to promote a few things at once (Souled Out, Piper feud, Giant feud), and he ends up getting all scrambled and sounding like a moron. Thankfully, the Giant stomps out fairly quickly. They do the thing where they attack him one at a time so he can fight everyone off. He clears the ring until only Bischoff and Hogan are left. Hogan tries a punch, but the Giant catches it, and Bischoff decides that he must now intervene. His weak double-axehandle distracts the Giant long enough for Hogan to get a steel chair and start the beatdown. Giant takes a couple chairshots to the head and a bunch to the back. They hold him up so Bischoff can throw a kick and then hold the BGB over his shoulder, which really I think is what Bisch wanted all along out of this whole angle. The nWo walks out. Well, it was short and the crowd was into the Giant killing dudes, so there's that.


  • Aw man, now they come over to the desk to talk. They ramble on while Sting walks down, whispers sweet nothings into the Giant's ear, and points his Louisville Slugger at the desk before dropping it and leaving. OK, I remember this, and it's pretty funny. The nWo sends Vincent down to pick up the bat and hit the Giant, but of course, it doesn't quite happen that way. Vincent plays it pretty great, like Tom trying to tiptoe past the sleeping bulldog in the next yard over so he can get at Jerry. I mean, that was some quality Looney Tunes-type shit. Anyway chokeslam, yada yada yada, and the Giant fends off the onrushing nWo with the bat. WE WANT STING, chants the crowd. Yeah, me too. They overlay Sting's mime face over the crazed, bat-swinging Giant to end.


  • Yep, that was a good ending segment, but the midcard is a fucking MESS. Holy shit, it's bad. Most of the matches were bad, too, with only a solid Eddy/Wright and a fun, but quick couple of matches in Heat/Canadians and Luger/Meng saving the show. I'm trying to figure out how to calibrate this score because I know some truly putrid Nitros and Thunders are coming, and I don't want to hand out a low score that I really should have saved for some of the Russo-era garbage. Ultimately I think there was enough to give this show 2.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes, basically a 2.75 with a little bit specifically shaved off for Craig Leathers having a dreadful week. But man, the midcard angles need direction and they really need better TV matchups right now. It's been rough coming out of Starrcade. 


  • I'm going to watch an episode of 1982 Mid-South to wash the taste from this show out of my mouth. 
Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #71 - 13 January 1997


  • The typical Nitro opening roll cuts halfway through so we can see the Giant kick in the nWo door and then call Hogan a "four-legged feline." Man, Giant was corny as fuck. 


  • Mr. J.L. comes to the ring as Tony S. and Larry Z. surmise that Hogan ducked out of his title match against the Giant at Souled Out. Sure. I am going to watch Souled Out, and I regret it already. Ooh, it's Chavo Guerrero Jr.! This should be some solid TV. J.L. fails to go over the top rope on a headscissors, clearly curses himself, and then also fails to take the bump properly on a follow-up dropkick. Jerry Lynn is having a rough night. Lynn's crispness (or relative lack thereof) aside, this is still a decent match. The crowd enjoys the dives and the rail whip outside, especially the dudes sitting right in front of it. The Superdome is here for some WRASSLIN', folks! They are very much into Chavo hitting a lovely moonsault for three. Chavo asks the camera WHO'S NEXT?! He does not go 173-0 over the next two years or whatever, though.


  • The desk has been chattering about Hogan backing out of his - let me check - WCW-mandated thirty-day title defense that goes to the Giant by way of his WW3 Battle Royal win. So...strip him? Where is the championship committee? Where is Dr. Harvey Schiller, that bum?!


  • Hacksaw Jim Duggan is over in New Orleans, which at least makes a little sense as they may remember him from when he only mostly sucked thirteen years prior. He's going to wrestle Super Calo, which is going to be bad, but hopefully interesting in its badness. First, he cuts an irritating promo on the ramp about how he's going to take down the nWo. He's carrying a WCW flag and Okerlund won't just end this fucking thing. Oh, wait! Hacksaw tells Sting to BE A MAN! Hey, that's Randy Savage's line! Well, at least Sting is going to fuck Duggan's world up, so there's that. Haha, we don't even get the match because Sting just rolls up to the ring and Scorpion Death Drops Hacksaw! Thank you for saving us from that mess, Stinger! You're truly WCW's savior. 


  • That bum Duggan sells Sting's finisher for about thirty seconds before he's like THAT'S ENOUGH and pops up to salute and kinda hold his head a bit because he's obligated to sell it. And now he's replaced with Sgt. Craig Pittman, so that's a hell of an upgrade in every way. And I suppose Chris Jericho is an upgrade from Calo (maybe Calo's still injured from a month or two back and isn't even in the arena, come to think of it). Jericho is low-key one of the wrestlers who has most ruined professional wrestling and I blame him for many of the shitty "yak on the mic" tropes that exist among modern main eventers. He BLOWS and I can't believe I once thought this "best as a gatekeeper midcarder" fuckhead should have been WWE World Champ, but so it goes. He does have a pretty good match with Pittman because he's young and still has reasonable athleticism. Also, it's over in like a minute when he hammers Pittman with a missile dropkick. He jumps into the crowd and gets a little kid to hit the bicep pose and yell ARE YOU READY?! into the camera. Heh, that was cute. Hey, no one is ALL bad. 


  • DANGER! HIGH VOLTAGE! Actually, the danger is to them because Harlem Heat is probably going to fuck their worlds up. Larry Z. is going on about Sting and Hacksaw and says "You know why? Because Hacksaw...is an IDIOT" and I honestly didn't really catch any of his rant before that, but I fell out at that line. Kaos hits a nice counter-clothesline on a Booker arm twist, but before we see much follow-up, the camera cuts to the back because the Giant's stupid ass is busting back into the nWo locker room. He calls Hogan a monkey. Hahaha, it's funny because usually Hogan's the one using "monkey" as an insult!


  • Anyway, none of that stupid locker room shit is interesting and I am good with not having to watch any more of it. Back in the ring, High Voltage is trying to show some babyface fire, but the crowd is behind Harlem Heat, who are starting to reach the point of being over with the crowd just for being vets in the company for long enough. They hit some kicks and stuff that the crowd likes, but Book misses a top-rope move and we have a very dead hot tag because Harlem Heat are the de facto faces. Behind the refs back, the heels hit a Heatseeker for three and the crowd pops. Yeah, just turn 'em face at this point. 


  • Hey, Tony S. says the WCW Executive Committee is going to make a ruling on the Giant's title shot! The mechanisms of WCW are, well, weak, but they're trying to work. Slowly work, sure, and bogged down by bureaucracy, sure, but they're somewhat working. A little bit. Bischoff, DiBiase, and Vincent come out to chase Tony and Larry away from the desk. Larry tells Bisch that Bisch'll be "mowing Verne Gagne's lawn again soon." Or back working the meat truck. Or doing foldout photos for Target. Or revising history on a podcast. What's a podcast, asks 1996 Larry Z.? I'll explain later. 


  • Sting video where we see him be mysterious and are motivated to question his motives even though honestly, they are pretty dang clear, IMO. 


  • Diamond Dallas Page comes to the ring. The desk is sure he's nWo. Mark Starr is Page's opponent. Page hits a bit of dope offense, as is his way, including a nice DDT and a rebound Diamond Cutter that Starr jumps into a bit too obviously, but I still enjoyed it. In about sixty seconds, Page is your winner. In what is a classic (to me, at least) post-match angle, Hall and Nash come down to induct Page into the nWo. Page hugs Nash and the crowd pops, heh. The crowd pops even more when Page hits a Diamond Cutter on Hall behind Nash's back, dodges Nash, and takes off through the crowd. Yeah, this was awesome.


  • We get an nWo-style Souled Out commercial (paid for by WCW!) in which Hall and Nash promo the Steiners, who will be facing them at Souled Out. There's no heat on this matchup, but as I recall, they'll take it there pretty quickly over the next few weeks. I appreciate Nash's "I'll take two guys who are together by choice over two guys who are together based on genetics" line, though. Really good stuff. Back at the desk, Larry and Tony think that Sting should be more like Page. What, do they want to eat a Death Drop or something?


  • Dean Malenko and Eddy Guerrero should theoretically generate a decent match. The U.S. Champ comes down without his belt and to a chiron that spells his name "Eddie," which actually started a week ago, I think? Did he have a preference on spelling? My opinion of Dean Malenko as a worker is changing as I watch him each week. The sheen is coming off. We do some cursory matwork that is smooth and has little struggle; the struggle it has is imbued by Eddy, I think. Malenko does have a sweet leg lariat, though.


  • At the desk, Tony and Larry are confused by the very concept of the Gaelic language. It's a Piper thing, don't sweat it, reader. Then, they let us know that the WCW Executive Committee has determined that the title match between Hogan and the Giant will happen tonight, which is a hell of a way to hotshot a big title match! That's some counter-programming shit right there, yeah? Hold on, what's on RAW tonight? Nothing that looks like a threat at all (Lawler/HHH vs. Goldust/Mero, Rocky Maivia vs. Bulldog, and Undertaker vs. Crush). Maybe it's the Austin/Hitman angle stuff on RAW that had Bisch worked up. That RAW was a taped show, though. I don't know what Bisch is thinking here...until I hear that the premiere of TNT's new Robin Hood show is after Nitro. OK, that clears things up. And actually, as Tony mentions the premiere of this show, I suddenly recall the bait-and-switch that's going to happen at the end of this Nitro with the main event. Well, maybe not a full-on bait-and-switch, but definitely a bullshit-tinged sort of deal.


  • Dean and Eddy are having a match full of smooth moves that feels very much like a Malenko contest, though Eddy at least sells like he means it. Malenko doing crisp, snappy shit just to do it only goes so far. I appreciate his work as a base for the cruisers and a stylistic contrast to most of them, but he's probably going to be best tagging later on with Benoit, who is the exact opposite to Malenko in that Benoit moves very intentionally, like he's in a legit fight. Malenko locks on a hold and just sits there for awhile while Eddy sells it. The crowd is enthralled by Syxx climbing a ladder off in some corner of the arena. The guys in the ring eventually get the crowd back to some degree with a bunch of flash pin counters. This finishing run is good! It's just like the first ten minutes were only there so that we could eventually do this. Part of the crowd tries an EDDY chant for the third time during this match, which is awesome because he deserves all the chants. Eddy hits a brainbuster and is thinking about a Frog Splash, but he sees Syxx and goes to the corner to motion at him; Malenko creeps up from behind and hits a powerbomb for three. I mean, this was cleanly worked and all that. It wasn't bad. I'm just sort of bored with Malenko doing Malenko things right now. 


  • It's hour number two, yeah! Tony Schiavone's here with Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan. Guess what they talk about? Yes, the Giant and Hogan. Also Piper. We get to see the Giant breaking into the nWo's locker room one of those times that he did earlier tonight. Stick around for the Most Important Match We've Ever Had on Nitro! Also for Robin Hood, TNT's new hit show about the Merry Men of Sherwood!


  • Super Calo is here, and he is out, and his elbow is not exploded anymore, so good for him. We're getting Calo and Konnan, which wasn't good the last time I saw it. Tenay ignores the banter between Tony and Heenan to talk about Calo taking his name from what is almost surely a terrible rap group. Konnan throws some of the worst palm strikes I've ever seen in my life, and I don't think I'm being hyperbolic. They go through a fast-paced sequence that actually comes off nicely, and then Calo almost splats himself on a suicide dive. Calo always looks like he's about two seconds from ending himself in these matches. See, right there, he takes a flip bump right on his head that bends his neck real funny off a Konnan clothesline. Geez, man, geez. Konnan murders Calo with a powerbomb and you know what, I'm enjoying this. Calo is killing himself for my enjoyment, and I appreciate it. We get our first clear botch on a cradle piledriver counter-attempt off a rope run where Calo just bounces off Konnan, but they do the move again and Calo gets his spine driven through his asshole, so you know what? I'll allow it. The crowd thought it was sick, too. It gets three, and boy, that was fun as hell and far surpassed any expectations that I had for it. 


  • Chris Benoit - and more importantly, Woman - are out for a Starrcade return match against Jeff Jarrett. We cut away to see Sullivan cut a shitty promo in front of a chessboard. Bring me Miss Jackie, you stubby fuck. Otherwise, stay off my TV. Schiavone lets us know that the Hogan/Giant match will be non-title. OK, so who gives a shit, then? Make the match for Souled Out, you bums on the Executive Committee, fuck a non-title match. This thing loses luster by the segment. Anyway, there's a big JARRETT SUCKS chant and he gets booed on his first strut. Benoit gets up and is SEETHING at Jarrett's strutting, and it genuinely makes me laugh. He's shaking his head like Prince in Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories when Charlie tells Prince that their basketball game will be the shirts against the blouses. 


  • Arn, Mongo, and Debra stroll down the aisle to observe the match. In the ring, the work is solid, Jarrett is really good right now and Benoit is pretty much going to be watchable every time out. I will say this: Benoit's not the guy you should put on top of your company for any significant period of time, but he's like the perfect gatekeeper. He's eternally believable as a threat and actually is a really good seller. Mongo and Debra fight over the briefcase outside, and Debra throws off Mongo's focus; Mongo hammers Benoit with the Halliburton, not Jarrett. Jarrett gets three off the interference and Arn comes over, upset. Benoit and Woman are also upset. Mongo is upset, too. You know who's not upset, though? Do I even need to say it? Anyway, Jarrett and Benoit have really good chemistry and probably could give the crowd four-plus snowflakes on any given night you match 'em up. 


  • Benoit sort of ruins it by talking post-match, though. He's intense, but he's so halting and uneasy when he talks. Anyway, Benoit tells Mongo that he's fuckin' up out there ("fumbling the ball") and tells Mongo that he's sort of a bum who only got invited to join to get at Kevin Greene and Randy Savage. Benoit tells Debra that she can talk shit about whomever she wants except Woman and also basically that he prefers big naturals to silicon. Personally, I love 'em all. But I'm gonna settle down, Smellynetico. Mongo is certain that his Halliburton strategies outside the ring are good, and hey, he'll get it going soon. Benoit asks where Flair is tonight because they need leadership (ouch, Arn) ,then tells Mongo to "shape up or ship out," and Debra jumps in and says that it's a shame that Benoit and Woman could ever think she'd talk about them behind their backs. Why, she just doesn't know where they'd get that idea? Mongo is ready to fight Benoit if Benoit won't accept his apology for the suitcase whiff, and they all leave Arn behind. Arn's cracking under the pressure; that's why he's only second-in-command, I guess. The whole segment, match and interview, was great, and Benoit actually got better as he went along in the interview part. 


  • It's Billy Kidman! What a lanky dork! That also describes me at the time, by the way! And maybe now! His opponent is Scotty Riggs, and Riggs yells WHAT'S UP WHAT'S UP I'MMA TELL Y'ALL **swings hand** SMACK SMACK SMACK and yeah, let's get this dude's eye poked out so he can join Raven's Flock already. Riggs claps his hands. The crowd boos. The future multi-time Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling Champion takes control with an armbar. Kidman is such an awkward good athlete. Oh, hey, it's Buff Bagwell! He's on the ramp, watching the match, and he tells the camera HE'S JUST NEVER GONNA LEARN! HE'S FAT, AND I'M BUFF! I mean, that's like only two-thirds of Buff's true power, but it's way better than Riggs. In the ring, Kidman whiffs on an SSP and Riggs hits a Fisherman Suplex and bridges for three. Buff is not impressed, nor should he be. This dude rules. Riggs, um, does not rule. Overall, though, this was a perfectly cromulent two-minute thing. 


  • Tony and the desk sure are nonplussed about this main event being a non-title match after months of panicking that the WCW Heavyweight Championship is in nWo hands. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Chicago and, according to Bobby Heenan, full of farts. Marshall retaliates with a whole Weasel joke like he always does. Aaron Neville is in the crowd back in New Orleans. Not Adrian Neville, who is probably at St. James's Park or something. I've made that mistake before. I shan't make it again.


  • Lex Luger is super-awesome and is finally over enough that you could absolutely put the BGB on him for awhile and the crowd would be into it. The problem is that Hogan is dominating the gold right now. Hey, it's Rick Fuller. He probably made some great money being a JTTS in WCW during this very hot period. I love that they feed Luger these huge dudes so Luger can overcome their power moves and rack them. It's great. It's definitely not old after two or three months of it, at least to me. Fuller hits Luger with some power moves and even kind of works the arm to counter a potential rack attempt. Luger shakes off a head to the buckle and fires up, and the crowd is FOR IT, man, hell yeah. He hits a few clotheslines and then racks this punk bitch and everyone is excited. Luger rules. 


  • As Luger heads to the back, the Giant walks out toward the ring. Oh yeah, they still have beef after Luger whooped Giant's ass at Starrcade. They pass each other warily. The Giant's doing an interview with Gene Okerlund next. The Giant cuts a mediocre fiery babyface promo, but the crowd is pretty much excited for anything right now. Legit, Giant might be worse than Benoit on the mic at this point. He has this tortured book metaphor that he carries through to the end of the promo, and it's stupid. He's been hanging around that idiot Kevin Sullivan for too long. 


  • Arn Anderson still looks shook at the Horseman dying an ugly death right in front of his eyes when he comes down to the ring for his match against Rick Steiner. Rick is on a leash and Scott's leading him down. The Steiners got a little weird a few shows back, and they're just really on some low-key fuckery week to week if you pay attention enough. This is a fine TV match that is helped by Arn wrestling as though he's clearly thrown off. He whiffs on a punch, eats a belly-to-belly suplex, and gets out of the ring to call for backup. Backup does not come. Meanwhile, Tony's priming the audience with the news that TNT, in their goodness of heart, will show the main event if it goes into the Robin Hood premiere by showing it during the premiere's commercial breaks. That's some good carny shit right there. I mean, unless you're not interested in Robin Hood. I, for one, loved Howard Pyle's illustrated Robin Hood stories in that one book collection of abridged classics for kids. Illustrated Classics? I think that's the series name. Anyway, Arn walks out and gets counted out because he can't even get some fucking back up. Then the Steiners have a post-match interview in which Scott GOES OFF and threatens to rip Scott Hall's goozle out. Then he says that Kevin Nash's size might be an advantage in basketball, but at Souled Out, there ain't gonna be no basketball. Also, he'll break Nash's face. I mean, it's unhinged in the best of ways. 


  • Here in 2022, Bianca Belair and Big E try to sell me a WWE-themed prepaid Mastercard. I don't know how I feel about this.


  • It's the main event, and man, I love how they do this. Tony says we're six minutes out from the end of the show. We get entrances. Guess how long the entrances take? Let's just say, if you need a hint, that Rockhouse plays more than once! In fairness, Tony says we have two minutes left after the Giant makes it to the ring. OK, so before the match starts, Hogan bails, then grabs the mic and heels. The Giant grabs him and brings him in the hard way, and the bell rings. We actually get some action! The Giant tosses Hogan into a couple of corners and hits a boot. Hogan bails, killing a precious twenty seconds before Robin Hood premieres. The Giant grabs Hogan in the aisle and takes him back to the ring. Hogan calls timeout and...well, in 1997, you were watching a shitty, low-budget version of Robin Hood that wasn't made by a British production company. Now, I just sit through an anti-vaping ad before we come back to the Giant chopping Hogan. But you have such nice punches, Giant! Giant no-sells a nut shot. Hogan begs off. The Giant dominates some more and we head back to that show no one wants to watch. We come back to the Giant basically beating Hogan around the ring in slow motion. He signals for the chokeslam, gets the goozle, and denies Hogan's attempts to escape before the nWo runs in for a DQ. Hogan bails, Giant holds his own, Syxx takes a sweet bump, and we are finally, mercifully done. 


  • When I watched that main event on Youtube years ago, the uploader left the Robin Hood segments in the video. I watched them rather than skip ahead so I could feel a bit of the irritation that the 1997 viewer would have felt. It was a bad show! This Nitro was not, though. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes









Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #72 - 20 January 1997

"The one that desperately needs the Clash to salvage the build toward Souled Out"

  • Randy Savage just hops the railing to start tonight's show in Chicago. He grabs a chair and a microphone and basically plans to chill out until he gets someone with some power to address his concerns w/r/t workers' rights in WCW. He also tells Eric Bischoff to pucker up, buttercup. He actually uses the word "ass," which means that it is definitely 1997. According to Tony, this is making us miss out on Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Maxx (is Maxx still in the Dungeon of Doom or what?), but you know, I'm sort of okay with that. Chavo comes out and gently confronts Savage. He is beaten for his insolence. Larry Z. likes Savage because he is a man with "grit,' which gives me what I believe is chance number two to mention classic American literature icon Mattie Ross in these here posts. Maxx comes to the ring - same result. The crowd loves it. They also love when Savage punks Scott Dickinson, Doug Dellinger, an upset Alex Wright, you know the deal. Who can stop this wild man from going bananas in this ring? That was a rhetorical question. Sting is the obviously the answer. He rappels down from the catwalk, does the bat point, shoves Savage around with it, lets him take hold of the bat, does his typical trust exercise, and leaves with Savage, all in that order. 


  • I'm bummed that we won't get Sting's Dark Army of Sting/Savage/DDP striking back against the nWo because Savage goes nWo and feuds with DDP, but this was still cool. 


  • Video of Masahiro Chono joining the nWo from Show #66. He'll be facing Chris Jericho at Souled Out, which segues us into Jericho/Wright, starting in the ring. Hey, that explains why Alex Wright came out after Maxx and Chavo were dispatched; he wanted to make sure at least he'd still be able to squeeze his match in. Gotta get paid, after all. Nice attention to detail there. You know, the illusion of matchmakers scheduling a show in advance is one that is pretty much lost in modern times, but I miss it. Give me a ghost championship committee or mention the booker trying to balance matchups more often. 


  • Oh, the match! It's solid for a four-minute TV thing. You'd expect that from these fellas. There's a small contingent of the crowd chanting BOOOOOOORING, which I think is the same part of the crowd that got off watching Savage sit in a chair for eight minutes. These gents fight over a few roll-ups, and Jericho blocks a German suplex attempt with a roll-up attempt that gets three. It was short and perfectly fine. 


  • The B-Team theme brings out Fake Sting. His opponent is Scotty Riggs, who is corny and lame and trying to get SMACK SMACK SMACK ALL OVA YA FACE over. Nope, not gonna happen. Fake Sting fails an OWWWWWWW, which comes out more like a Dude Love OWWWWWW crossed with a Ric Flair WOOOOOOOOOO. Riggs does some fiery babyface offense to start. Fake Sting takes over with some cursory heel control, but Riggs puts boots up on a corner charge and hits a nice missile dropkick. Riggs is so dull, which is too bad since he's got perfectly fine midcard fiery babyface offense. Buff comes out for the distraction, but Riggs dodges an attack and hits Tito Santana's flying forearm before vacating the premises as Buff and the B-Team backups chase him. They force Dave Penzer to say Fake Sting is the winner. Fake Sting is not the winner. Riggs wins by DQ. 


  • Ric Flair briefly talks to some hockey guy I don't know. Bob Probert. I am forever impressed by the athletic skills of hockey players, but their sport is fucking unwatchable trash from a viewer standpoint IMO. 


  • Mongo McMichael and Arn Anderson are tagging up against Eddy Guerrero and Jeff Jarrett, and this sounds like a matchup with some potential for fuckery. I'm here for it. Jarrett has been incredibly fun on this WCW run. As a guy who pretty much thinks Jarrett has been a detriment to the average pro wrestling show that he was on over his career (minus his fiery babyface stuff in Memphis and his sad dad face run in TNA), I am pleasantly surprised by his work on this rewatch. Chicago pops huge for Mongo bullying Eddy, who is flying around and flopping everywhere. Give me a Mongo/Eddy singles match, please. I'm sure they had one; I'll have to head to the YouTubes later. Jarrett tags in and shows some fire, but Eddy randomly runs to the back. We miss Syxx showing up entirely, so there's confusion as to why Eddy took off. Nice one, Leathers. Meanwhile, the Horsemen are kicking the fire out of Jarrett when Debra throws in her sash (clever, even if she's not his manager so I'm not sure how that would legally stand!) and saves Jarrett from a further beating. Arn is mad a Debra, so Mongo is mad at Arn. The Horsemen explode, etc., etc. 


  • Ric Flair comes out in a suit and dances around. Gene Okerlund interviews him, and the rest of the Horsemen, on the ramp. He finally addresses that the Horsemen are a mess. Take some ownership, fella! He has full faith in Arn, but these other two, he's unsure about. He's just like BE A MAN (hey, Savage already left the building), which doesn't seem like helpful leadership, but that explains a lot about this whole mess. Mongo grabs the mic and gets a huge pop. Debra grabs it and gets booed. She criticizes Arn and Flair. Benoit flubs communication of his thoughts at first, but eventually gives some love to Mongo and none to Debra. Mongo claps back and insinuates that Benoit can't beat Jarrett. Everyone leaves except for Debra and Mongo because Debra wants to stick around and talk about Woman's exquisite child-bearing hips as though that is an insult. It is not, I assure you. It is not.


  • We see an nWo video in which Eric Bischoff heels it up and tries to message that the nWo and WCW are the Big Two in American pro wrestling. Yeah, give me some of that Monday Night War pettiness! He runs down all of the nWo's enemies and talks about the nWo's greatness. It's too long and not particularly enthralling. He talks shit about Randy Savage, which is why Savage angrily showed up tonight from a narrative standpoint.


  • Dean Malenko and Ultimo Dragon are in the ring when we come back. This is a spectacle of crisp moves, which I am fine with. It's shallow, but it's fun to watch for a little bit. Malenko hits a really nice powerslam and floats over for two. Then he drills Dragon with a brainbuster that looks awesome. It doesn't feel like a competitive match as much as it does a MOVEZZZZZZ exhibition. For me, in this kind of match I'm really just waiting for the finishing run with the multiple counters and all that. When it does come, it's solid with a sweet top-rope rana from Dragon and, for that matter, a lovely La Magistral from Dragon that gets three. It wasn't too long and meandering, so I enjoyed it!


  • We roll into hour number two with the Tenay/Schiavone/Heenan team. We talk about Sting. We see Sting, but from earlier tonight on replay. The members of commentary continue to be confused about Sting's motives, which continually makes them sound somehow dumber than before as the weeks pass.


  • We get Jacques Rougeau and Lord Steven William Regal for the TV Title, which has a lot of potential. I love a good heel vs. heel matchup because anything goes, like Robert Parker tripping and then attacking Regal on the outside. No fiery babyface indignation needed; it's all in the game. Regal stomps Parker's hand when Parker tries a second trip; then Parker whiffs on an attack when Rougeau holds Regal for him. The match ends by DQ after like three minutes, and I am bummed. What the hell, man. 


  • Souled Out - a Saturday PPV, as God intended - is in Milwaukee, which is also where Lee Marshall supposedly calls from for this week's Road Report. Oh, and guess what? There's a Clash of the Champions, maybe the last one WCW ever airs(???) the penultimate WCW-aired Clash, coming up the night after this Nitro as well! You'd never have known this if you didn't watch WCWSN and Pro, I'd guess. OK, I have a lot of other WCW watching to do before my next Nitro watch.


  • Chris Benoit attacks Kevin Sullivan in the aisle and they do the same arena brawl they've done multiple times in the past nine or so months. I don't give a shit about any of this. The crowd liked it, though. Good for them. Eventually, they get back in the ring and have the rest of their match. Jimmy Hart slips Sullivan the ring bell and Benoit rings it with a diving headbutt. Sullivan covers for three. Great, can this fucking feud be over now? Tony and Tenay inform me that, no, not it cannot be, and to expect more of this type of thing at the Clash. Lovely. 


  • Pretty much the whole nWo comes down except for Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan. The former lost his smile recently when Jerry Sags beat his ass over a chair-tossing incident a couple weeks back on a Louisiana house show. Anyway, the present nWo members are now on commentary. Sure, why not.


  • Carl Ouellet comes down and gives us our second terrible rendition of "O Canada" tonight. PCO is out here to...job to Hacksaw, that flag-waving fuck. This Nitro is really killing me inside right now. Scott Hall is here tonight! Bisch alludes to Hall being less visible the past couple weeks, then says he's put together a Scott Hall/Booker T match for tonight that, yes, I want to see that! Please be good. PCO does some cool offense so that Hacksaw can Hack Up. The Steiners come down the aisle for whatever reason and attack the AFCs - Rougeau is on the outside watching the match - allowing Duggan to get the win with a taped fist. 


  • We get an nWo-commentated recap of the DDP/Outsiders saga via video. Nash is great as usual - in his very "I'm so cool" way, he sells legit hurt at DDP rejecting the nWo. Well, he goes beyond that at the end by hammily yelling JUDAS! JUDAS! when DDP hits Hall with a Diamond Cutter, but I laughed, so it's okay. Nash can get away with a lot as far as I'm concerned because he really does crack me up. 


  • Before Hall/Book, we get Bischoff's other match of the night, Masa Chono vs. Dave Taylor. Maybe they'll just hit each other pretty hard. I feel like Chono should get Rockhouse and not B-Team as his theme. Chono hits a reverse DDT, and it looks good! Then he goes up top and lands a diving shoulderblock. Taylor's dressed up like he's headed on a Kenyan safari after this match, which slows down as the two men fight over a backslide, but really, this is a reasonably entertaining TV match that isn't too long and goes to the floor and has some cool moves. Chono gets a win with an STF, which Nash surprises himself by properly calling. This was acceptable television wrestling. 


  • Booker and Hall make their entrance while Bisch trashes the 1997 Rumble. It probably sucked, off the top of my head. The Rumble match itself was pretty sweet, though! Hold on, this is the one that was heavily papered at the Alamodome and had the lesser Sid/HBK WWF Championship match. Nevermind, it was a perfectly cromulent show. Hall/Luger is set for the Clash, which I am into. Hall being a net negative in-ring for most of his WCW run is really too bad because I am hyped for all these potential matchups. I don't think Hall and Luger wrestled each other in WWF. Hall starts out on top working the arm, but a Booker sidekick gains control for Book, who explodes with some nice offense before getting caught on a splash and hit with a fallaway slam.  Book elbows out of a second-rope back suplex attempt and hits a splash, but Nick Patrick is the ref, so it gets one instead of the three it looked like it should get. Book argues with Patrick and Hall jumps him from behind and hits the Razor's Edge for three. Well, that explains the really fast pace, and also, man fuck that, I want a longer match between these two. 


  • Ad for the nWo hotline, which explains Nash riffing on Gene Okerlund's WCW Hotline pitches earlier tonight. I didn't remember that they ever even had an nWo hotline.


  • Nash has racial blindness for a second and is therefore confused when Stevie comes out with Sherri instead of Luger. Nash is also confused about Southern cuisine, which includes neckbones, as they are used primarily for flavor in a pot of greens. Get these nerds at the desk some potlikker and a bottle of hot sauce. Anyway, Stevie's up against Lex Luger tonight. Nash praising Luger's physique: "See, I could look like that, but I'd have to give up too many things I enjoy in life. One of them has a pop-top." Bless you, Nash. Someone should hire him to do snarky commentary on a modern wrestling show. It would convince me to watch a modern wrestling show for once. 


  • Oh, the match! We're here for Luger racking Stevie, right? The match that gets us to that point is acceptable. By the way, Syxx gets on the headset and Nash clarifies that the last time they were here, they did not acknowledge Syxx's assertion that he beat Hacksaw, so he's acknowledging it now. It's genuinely funny to me because they ABSOLUTELY all forgot they booked that match except for Syxx (Show #69), which in fairness was about four months before that (Show #54), but man, Nash and Bischoff totally forgetting and then (theoretically) going back to check the tape for the purpose of apologizing now tickles me. 


  • Hulk Hogan walks down with Ted DiBiase and Vincent. He's going to talk. I'm going to halfway pay attention. You know what happens. Posing. Corny self-aggrandizement. Hogan rants about the Giant until the latter comes down and tries to get into the ring. He is stopped by security. Then he throws them all off. It did not succeed in positively building to a match that I want to see. 


  • This show wasn't very good. They gave Dragon/Malenko the right amount of time, but I wanted more out of Regal/Rougeau and Hall/Booker. On the other hand, this never-ending Benoit/Sullivan feud got a segment that felt like it was twenty years long. Hopefully the Clash does a better job of building hype for Souled Out than this Nitro did. 3.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes


Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i still think this is one of the most underappreciated opening segments ever. Savage just chucking dudes was awesome. There hasn't been a "i'm not leaving the ring until i get my way" angle better than this one yet. savage had been away for just the right amount of time, and was just crazy enough that you can easily buy in.

despite me repping the nWo 24/7, i was SO PUMPED for the Savage/Sting alliance. so it was hard to be upset when the inevitable outcome came to pass.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, twiztor said:

i still think this is one of the most underappreciated opening segments ever. Savage just chucking dudes was awesome. There hasn't been a "i'm not leaving the ring until i get my way" angle better than this one yet. savage had been away for just the right amount of time, and was just crazy enough that you can easily buy in.

despite me repping the nWo 24/7, i was SO PUMPED for the Savage/Sting alliance. so it was hard to be upset when the inevitable outcome came to pass.

I think it's probably the most effective of these segments, yeah. It low-key was run into the ground, especially in Attitude-era WWF, in such a quick time that I think it sort of ruined it for me on re-watch. But yeah, the crowd was definitely into it. 

I didn't want a Savage heel turn/nWo defection at all. Logic says that after taking a million beatings over the past two years because he was one guy fighting a Horsemen/nWo machine, Savage would absolutely get sick of it and jump ship so that he could be the one dishing out the gang beatings and not taking them for once. 

But that's not what I wanted to see in my heart, dammit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #73 - 27 January 1997

"The one that puts together a bunch of matches of all lengths and types and with all sorts of goals and nails it, mostly"

  • They really should have updated the Nitro opener to replace face Hogan with heel Hogan and Surfer Sting with Crow Sting at this point.


  • Eric Bischoff, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash are at the desk, which is an upgrade solely because I don't have to listen to Larry Zbyszko


  • Everyone at said desk is heated about the Steiners beating the Outsiders at Souled Out with an assist from Randy Anderson. Anderson is getting called down and fired, and I don't care about all these ref angles. Hall being a dick to Pee-Wee is funny, though. Hall wants to just beat the poor little guy up, but Bischoff is going to entangle Anderson with help of the biggest heel of them all: byzantine corporate policies! Anyway, Anderson gets fired, Hall and Nash laugh, and Anderson is very sad. Then, Bisch calls the Steiners out. The Steiners won the tag titles off Hall and Nash last night, but they are not long for possession of the gold. Hall is making this part of the segment work just by being shitty: "Dogface. DOGFACE. Gimme the belts. NOW."


  • At the time, this was a cool angle, but I'm living in a post-Mr. McMahon world, and Bisch is maybe about three-quarters of the performer McMahon was at best. Needless to say, I don't care about this and just want to see some wrestling. The crowd was hot for it, though, so obviously the ravages of time have changed my perception, and probably many other perceptions, on this sort of angle. 


  • The Faces of Fear come out to wrestle the now-former champs, who still look pissed about getting stripped of the titles while waiting in the ring. Bisch promises that we will get a tag title match tonight now that this opener isn't one anymore, and so I'm sure the Outsiders will crush some jobbers, which I honestly am cool with. We get clubbering, we get clotheslines, we get suplexes. We also get the backdrop-powerbomb combo. We get a glimpse of Harlem Heat in the crowd, and Hall wants to remind everyone that actually, these dudes are from Houston, and he genuinely is hung up on this every time he talks about the Heat. Barbarian hits a nice running powerslam on Rick while  Hall threatens Jerry Sags on commentary legit, I'm pretty sure. No one would have any clue what he was talking about unless they were reading the sheetz or listening to that free call-in wrestling newsline from back in the day. The teams in the ring do some really cool throws and stuff, the hot tag to Scott Steiner is entertaining, and this is absolutely enjoyable TV tag wrestling. Hall is so chirpy tonight; usually Nash is the dude who won't shut the fuck up. Scott Steiner hits a belly-to-belly for three. Good stuff. 


  • Now Tony and Larry are at the desk, and it takes fifteen seconds for Larry to say NEW WORLD ODOR. Fuck off. 


  • We see some photos of Syxx/Eddy at Souled Out, then DDP outfoxing the nWo at that same show. The stills are presented as though they were taken on disposable Kodak cameras by roving WCW cameramen who had to buy a ticket to get in. Apparently, the nWo has all footage from their show on lockdown. That's cute. 


  • Roadblock/Giant should last maybe ninety seconds, that's about it. Larry Z. says that the Giant is the champ in reality. No, that would be observably false. This match is sweet. There's a clothesline, a big boot, clubbering, attempted slams by Roadblock, and a successful slam by the Giant. This match rules. Holy shit, Giant dropkicked Roadblock over the top rope and through a broadcast table at ringside! Chokeslam, three, and that was EXACTLY the sort of spectacle I want to see in my pro wrestling. The Giant put some mustard on that chokeslam, too. Best match on Nitro in awhile, honestly, and worth going out of your way to see. Oh no, the Giant gets a mic after the match. Well, that brings me down a bit. He threatens Hogan and, you won't believe this, compares himself to a mystical animal. This is better, though, and he improves as he talks. He wants a rematch tonight. Why not? Heel Hogan and Giant have decent matches whereas face Hogan and Giant did not at all. 


  • Jeff Jarrett/Eddy Guerrero is a tantalizing matchup for the U.S. Championship., but I know it won't have a clean finish, and that kinda bums me out. They could legit sell me a PPV partly on the strength of this match for the secondary singles title. It's very good, as you would guess. They work some lovely sequences, and I do think it's funny that Jarrett worked a wily vet heel gimmick in the '00s, but never came off as more of a wily vet as he has during this run. Hey, it feels like a legit contest because both guys put some thought into their counters and convince me that they're premier professional wrestlers. Jarrett is beaten by Eddy's speed early, so he slows things down and leans on Eddy as soon as he can. Whenever Eddy can run, though, he's dangerous and liable to turn the tide. I should give Larry Z. credit for pointing out the speed-vs.-weight advantage psychology of the match just after I wrote this.


  • Eddy hits a niiiiiice brainbuster and heads up for a Frog Splash, but he takes some time and Jarrett cuts him off and hits a superplex. We cut to the aisle, and dammit, here come Mongo and Debra. I know, it's a good angle, but the match is good. Mongo gets on the apron at Debra's behest, but he's like, nah, fuck this and clobbers Jarrett instead. Jarrett wins by DQ, and there is dissension between Mongo and Debra. Debra looks at the camera and says "When we get home...**points at Mongo emphatically**...he's in trouble." Oh Debra, you are wonderful


  • Somehow, WCW got their hands on the one Hogan/Piper Starrcade tape WCW had produced before Bischoff stole it. Tony and Larry are so excited to show the finish to you, and they are the only ones who are shocked when the tape is cut before we see Hogan's hand drop for the third time. Craig Leathers gave up the tape to Bischoff back in the truck like the punk bitch Leathers is. Bischoff comes out to the desk and threatens everyone who dared show the one tape they have of the match before tearing the tape apart. I think you should be safe now, Bisch. Surely, Leathers didn't copy that tape.


  • Somewhere, an EWR message about Bischoff being overexposed on the last show pops up on a screen. 


  • Someone named Billy Pearl comes to the ring, looking like he's cosplaying '70s Bob Backlund. He's a very occasional TV job guy according to the Internet Wrestling Database, and he's here to get beaten up by Ultimo Dragon. He wins a semi-elaborate sequence at the beginning, which astonishes Dragon, who punches Pearl and puts on a headlock in response. Dragon takes over after a rope-running exchange, but Pearl dodges a handspring elbow and then goes up for a crossbody that Dragon counters with a dropkick. Dragon hits a fallaway slam and a moonsault, then bridges on a chicken-wing suplex for three. Huh, that was a very fun semi-competitive jobber match. Dragon was awfully nice to give Pearl some decent offense in there. 


  • It's yet another giant Horsemen get-together with Gene as the interviewer. Flair continues to be deluded about things not falling apart within the Horsemen. Arn insults the people of Tennessee and their reading comprehension in English, including one Jeff Jarrett. Arn's proud of Mongo for bashing Jarrett in the head earlier, and he's proud of Benoit beating up Kevin Sullivan at the Clash last week. Hey, everyone appears to be making nice. Even Debra lets Mongo's shit-talking of Jarrett pass; heck, she compliments Benoit on being a pretty good Horseman. Benoit is the worst talker of the bunch, but even though he stumbles a bit, he's ultimately fine. OK, maybe everything is okay with the Horsemen!


  • (I doubt it.)


  • Ron Powers (who looks like Kenny Powers's baseball-washout-turned-pro-wrestler cousin) is a big dude who's gonna get Torture Rack'd! Lex Luger hits the aisle, poses, etc., and he's really over and should have had a longer title run than a week. At least a month, maybe even two. It wouldn't have knocked the Sting thing off course. Clubber, clothesline, rack, wooooo! I like it. Post-match, Lex talks to Gene. Lex hypes the Giant and says that as someone who has had trust issues about and tested others' trust issues severely (mostly Sting for both of those), he's embracing openness and trust this year and welcoming the big man back to the WCW side with open arms. Well, Lex went through some genuine personal growth there, which is maybe one of the most babyface things you can do, TBH. 


  • Tony S. is joined by Tenay and Heenan at the desk. Heenan is firmly into being consistently, notably awful at the desk, so I'm not sure this is much of an upgrade from Larry Z. We're watching video of Bischoff, Hall, and Nash being dicks from earlier in the night again. 


  • The Amazing French Canadians match up with Arn and Mongo in a tag match. Heenan's been fine so far, actually, and does a good job of pointing out that the AFCs have tag experience that Arn and Mongo don't have as the AFCs, in fact, jump Arn and are able to take control immediately. Good call. The AFCs have that nice move where Rougeau slams PCO onto a dude, and it looks great every time. These dudes just beat the piss out of Arn in a great control segment. It's too bad that the hot tag comes off a bad-looking bump; PCO bumps into Arn, rebounding from an atomic drop that knocked him into the corner, and it looks fake as hell. Mongo comes in and hits a lot of simple, but impactful offense. He press slams Rougeau onto PCO, and when PCO calmly puts Rougeau down, he knocks them down with a double-clothesline. Then, as Parker tosses the flag in to PCO, Mongo points it out to the ref and uses that distraction to grab the Halliburton and clobber Rougeau with it for three. They went out there to get Mongo over in the ring, and by God, it worked. Great match layout and execution on all parts...except for that shitty bump that led to the hot tag. 


  • Lee Marshall is not the King of Memphis, Tennessee, not even close, but he's on the road there, thinking really hard about how to frame his weekly weasel joke. Spoiler alert, it's bad. The Brain retorts with a Beverly-Hillbillies-based insult. Tony, dryly: "Well, that's just not funny." That was actually the funniest thing anyone said during that whole segment!


  • The Outsiders (w/ Syxx) have the tag belts back! Some dude in the crowd has N-W-O shaved into the back of his head, and man, would that set off the conspiracists if this was posted on social media in 2022. WHAT DOES HE KNOW? IS THAT YOUNG MAN JFK JR.'S SECRET LOVE CHILD WHO WAS PARTIALLY GROWN FROM THE DEAD CELLS SCRAPED OFF PRINCESS DIANA WHEN THE PAPARAZZI, WHICH WAS ACTUALLY CIA IN DISGUISE, KILLED HER? But in 1997, it's more like you'd get an Oh, do you watch that pro wrestling stuff? Anyway, Ace Darling and Devon Storm come out to the Hollywood Blondes's theme, which means I guess that Greg Valentine is done with the company and won't be needing it anymore. Whatever happened to the future Crowbar? I checked his Wikipedia page and saw that last year, he was on an AEW show cutting a worked-shoot promo with Blue Meanie. *sigh*. Scott Hall hits Crowbar with a Razor's Edge for three. Solid squash. 


  • Joe Gomez looks for a win tonight, having ditched his erstwhile tag partner Renegade for the evening. Bold move, but Kevin Sullivan is here to work a typical Kevin Sullivan WCW squash on TV. Look, you know what I want from a Sullivan squash in 1997. Will I get it tonight? No. No, I will not. I didn't even get a Tree of Woe. Well, maybe next week. ADDENDUM: Or maybe later tonight!


  • I like all the squashes, both non-competitive and semi-competitive, sprinkled into this show! This show actually has a really nice balance of match lengths and competitiveness, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit from an in-ring perspective. 


  • Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, and Liz come down. On the flip side of the in-ring tonight, the talking has been weak overall. I find little value to Bischoff talking up Hogan and being delusional. Bischoff pretends that Hogan beat the Giant at Souled out decisively by using his best MOVEZZZ (I mean, if your idea of MOVEZZZ is still from 1967). I put my head on my desk for a bit. Hogan accepts the Giant's challenge from earlier in the night. The crowd stops paying attention, though, because they notice Sting and Randy Savage chilling out in the stands. Bischoff invites Savage to join the nWo. Come on, don't put ideas in his head. This segment goes on for another three minutes past that - for no good reason, mind you - before mercifully ending. 


  • Jerry Flynn and his magic unibrow are going to put Dean Malenko in holds tonight even though Malenko doesn't even feel them, not even a bit. Malenko is one of those guys whose rep is hurt by watching too much of in a short time period. But you know, Flynn hits a nice back kick, and Malenko drops Flynn with a pretty belly-to-belly, and they don't spend much time working holds for no reason. Malenko's better in shorter go-go-go stuff. Malenko works the leg of the kickboxing Flynn, logically, and Flynn mistimes a corner charge and looks like an idiot as he whiffs about five seconds after Malenko had already dodged him. Flynn goes back to kicking, but Malenko catches a leg and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf for a submission victory. Yeah, you know what, that was alright! 


  • The desk hypes Giant/Hogan. Tenay says that the Giant has dominated their previous matches. Isn't he like 1-2-1 against Hogan at this point or something like that? Security delivers a telegram (not a fax???) from WCW management that Hogan will defend the WCW Championship against Roddy Piper at SuperBrawl. Ooh, that might be a miss for me. Actually, their Starrcade match was alright, and maybe the SuperBrawl card'll be good beyond that. 


  • Hugh Morrus and Chris Benoit are the semi-main, but actually, probably the main because I doubt Hogan/Giant lasts very long before degenerating into fuckery. HEYYYYYY so this match is brief and hard-hitting and JACQUELINE comes out of the crowd and gets in Woman's face. That distracts everyone and allows Sullivan to run in and hammer Benoit with a chair. Morrus hits a No Laughing Matter Last Laugh (according to Tony S., that's the name of the move now). Post-match, Gene interviews Sullivan, Jacqueline, and Jimmy Hart in the aisle. Hart's like AW MAN, BITCHES BE TROUBLE. Jacqueline, who is offended by this simplistic and sexist characterization of her usefulness to Sullivan, is a walking DAT ASS meme, and I am settled down, Smellynetico, I promise. She runs down Debra and Woman and we've got another love triangle thing going! Jacqueline makes Sullivan about a thousand times more interesting AFAIC. 


  • Aw, a Power Plant ad. Sure, I'd love to pay lots of money to get mediocre training from Buddy Lee Parker


  • Hogan's back out again with his retinue. He runs down Piper before the match, but alas, he gets the Giant as his opponent tonight. They know they're not going very long, so they work at pace, and it's really fun. I mentioned this earlier, but Hogan/Giant is always fun when Hogan's the heel, and it's terrible when Hogan's the face. Vincent puts Hogan's foot on the ropes to avoid a three-count. Bisch jumps in and gets grabbed after some ineffectual double-axes, but the Outsiders rush down to attack the Giant before Bisch gets planted. Lex Luger comes down to back the Giant up, but everyone has to pretend that he might have gone nWo for a second over on the desk. I'm just here ready for a Luger/Giant vs. Outsiders match. Give it to me. I want it. The fans in Des Moines wanted it. Do it, book it, let's make the match.


  • The wrestling was fun, the stick work wasn't (except for Debra and honestly, Jacqueline being a pissed-off Southern woman was entertaining, too). But that's good enough for me to give this show 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Show #74 - 03 February 1997

"The one that I already wrote, and doing it again, I still like pretty much everything except the main event program, which is insufferable"

  • I love getting a chance to write something that I want to write, especially when I don't have time to really do much writing except for work. 


  • I don't love it when I hit Submit Reply and the board decides to log me out randomly and doesn't post my writing, much less save it in the editor. 


  • But I really love Nitro!


  • The show has no traditional intro and starts with the nWo. Not the entertaining members of the nWo, but Hogan, DiBiase, and Vincent. Hogan rants about Piper and asks for a title match against him TONIGHT which, let's be real, no one believes will actually happen. 


  • Ultimo Dragon and Rey "Don't Call me Villano V" Mendoza Jr. have a decent match. They work quickly and have a few nice move chains. It's a quality athletic contest that ends with a Dragon poisoned rana and chickenwing suplex with a bridge. Dragon is alright, man, he's pretty good at this "fun TV match" thing.


  • Glacier needed the match that he had tonight with Billy Kidman about two months earlier. He kips up from a Kidman dropkick and hits a nice leg sweep. Then he immediately cancels out any coolness by doing a dorky celebration, but we can't go expecting all that much from Glacier. Anyway, this match is decent enough for a Glacier showcase and ends when Kidman tries a dive off the top rope and eats a sidekick for three. It's a bit late for Glacier (and that gimmick was dead in the water from the jump considering how the nWo changed the tone of the show), but hey, this was alright!


  • Ice Train would have had a better career if he came up as half of a tag team in a company that cared about tag team wrestling. He's a fun energetic babyface, could be a really good hot tag, and is great at working big man spotfests with lots of throws and clotheslines. They broke up Fire & Ice way too quickly. Train's been directionless since the end of the ice-cold (ha!) Norton feud post-breakup. He has a long, but fun match here with La Parka (!) where he just beats the guy down early on and Parka has to resort to dodging him and taking risks. Train catches Parka on a top-rope dive and buries him with a slam in the spot of the match. Parka slips out of a Train headscissors just in time for us to go backstage, where Hall and Nash, metal pipes in hand, are beating down Lex Luger. Since earlier in the show, Tony S. promised us a Luger/Jeff Jarrett match that I was immediately excited for, I am heated. We come back to the ring where Train hits another slam and a big splash for three. Fun match! It was a bit long, maybe to accommodate the cutaway to the backstage beatdown, and so Train sort of ran out of ideas there toward the end, but not to any real detriment of the match itself. 


  • Gene Okerlund does his weekly "the Horsemen are okay, no, really" interview at the ramp. Arn's not here tonight, but otherwise, everyone else shows up and plays nice. Chris Benoit does okay on the mic, but I swear, he's '90s Keith Lee with the verbiage. Or maybe Lee is '20s Benoit. Whatever. Woman shit-talks Jacqueline and so does Debra, who a) praises her own beauty, b) praises her own IQ, and c) makes fun of Jackie's head shape. MEAN. Truly, she is the worst (in kayfabe; in reality, she's aces). Mongo is excited about the space in the Jarrett match left by Luger's beatdown and would like WCW's matchmaking committee to consider him as a substitute opponent for Jarrett. Flair is so happy that everyone's getting along that he focuses solely on Kevin Sullivan, who he asserts is too short to get or keep a woman, or to keep Woman specifically, for that matter. 


  • Harlem Heat wrestle the Steiner Brothers, right after hour two starts with a flashback to the Steiners having to give up their gold last show. This match is fun as fuck, as is the usual for these two teams. Booker gets press-slammed to ringside by Scott in the early going, but Book takes over and he and Stevie Ray hit a few kicks as they beat up Rick. It's sweet. Rick catches Booker on a leapfrog and dumps him, then gets a hot tag to Scott that is just getting going when, after a Scott double-underhook suplex on Book, the Faces of Fear and Public Enemy both hit the ring at the same time and start hitting anything that moves. The match is a no contest, and both the Heat and the Steiners look at the ref, peeved that PE and FoF showed up and got their match thrown out. PE and FoF fight each other all the way to the back, meanwhile. RE-START THE MATCH, DAMMIT.


  • I'd figured that Mike Enos and Dean Malenko would have a decent match, but actually it's probably the weakest match on this show. Enos is usually good for a couple of neat, creative spots, but not tonight. Malenko does some cursory arm work that gets dropped and seemed to just fill time. The best performance is, for a brief time, the commentary desk, which puts over Malenko's composure and focus by talking up how hard it can be for wrestlers to get locked in with the distractions of a TV taping such as pyro and rolling cameras. Nice work, desk! Then they immediately start talking about Hogan and Piper while the match is going on, but hey, we can't have everything. Partway through the match, Syxx comes out of the crowd, yaps Malenko's Cruiserweight Championship from Dave Penzer, and leaves. Malenko only finds out after he small packages Enos for three and subsequently looks around for his gold. He freaks out, or at least as much as a charisma vacuum like Malenko can credibly portray "freaking out."


  • The Dungeon of Doom comes out. Well, some of them do - Konnan, Jimmy Hart, Kevin Sullivan, and Jacqueline. This starts out shitty as Sullivan drones on with another terrible monologue, but once everyone starts flinging insults, it's all good. Hart, noted friend of Intergender Wrestling Champion Andy Kaufman, thinks that women have no place in wrestling, but Konnan eyes Jacqueline and is like Good job boss, I'd hit it, good for you, hey let me beat up Chris Benoit for you tonight boss. Jackie claps back at Debra, but poorly, since she calls Debra plastic and declares that unlike Debra, she's all natural. Sorry, Jackie, but I'm pretty certain that the top-front half of you in particular is, um, enhanced. You can't use an insult that also describes you, silly. She tells Woman that she'll "beat [Woman] like she stole something," though, which saves it because that line is a guaranteed pop in this house. Then Sullivan strongly implies that Ric Flair is impotent. So there's that. 


  • Diamond Dallas Page comes out, and I'm ready to see him hit some chump with the Diamond Cutter! Tonight's chump: Renegade. This match is about three minutes of Renegade dominating, but when he goes to the top rope, DDP cuts him off and hits a Diamond Cutter with Renegade in a seated position on the top turnbuckle. Sweet, I got what I wanted! Post-match, Hall and Nash wander out to the ramp with their beatdown pipes and beckon DDP to make his way back to the locker room. DDP has other ideas and grabs a chair, but before Hall and Nash can advance much further, they spot Sting and Randy Savage watching silently in the crowd. The bright boys at the desk see Sting and Savage in black and white and surmise that they are going to come down and help Hall and Nash corner DDP. Sting should hit Schiavone and Tenay in the head with that bat and maybe knock a modicum of sense into them. Heenan's got a bad neck, so he's spared. Anyway, Hall and Nash back off and DDP, who hasn't seen Sting and Nash (even though the rest of the crowd has) looks confused. Uh, look back and to the left, buddy. Back and to the left. 


  • Alex Wright and Super Calo is another weird little matchup as is WCW Nitro's way. They have an okay match, though Calo botches a springboard early and the crowd laughs at him. Oh, Calo. They're pretty much dead after that, even though Calo hits a couple springboard moves after that and the match picks up. Wright looks really good in there tonight. The match even develops a little story here, in that the winner's going to be the man who manages not to whiff from the top rope last. That ends up being Wright, who dodges a Calo dive from the top rope and then goes up himself and hits a missile dropkick for three. 


  • Konnan and Chris Benoit could be terrible, okay, pretty good, anywhere on the spectrum of match quality, really. As it turns out, it rules. Konnan comes in and is a bully, beating the crap out of Benoit and yelling at a shaken Woman as he does it. He finds the camera and calls out Taskmaster, hoping to earn his favor. When Benoit finally gets some offense in, he explodes, and that flurry of offense pops the crowd. Konnan smothers it, but soon enough, Jacqueline comes out with a belt and makes a beeline for Woman. Benoit flings Konnan over the top rope, drawing a DQ, and heads out to snatch the belt from Jackie. Jacqueline's fine though, she'll just grab another weapon...oh wait, this is WCW, and the WCW techs are morons who are bad at their jobs, so there is nothing under the ring on that side except for a tiny water bottle. I'll give Jacqueline credit because she should look like a complete doofus spending three minutes looking under the ring for something, anything, that can be wielded as a weapon, but actually she grabs the water bottle and spikes it in (kayfabe? nah, shoot) frustration and it makes her look like a genuine nutbar. Eventually, Konnan and Jimmy Hart grab her as though she's holding a machine gun and drag her away. Oh WCW, you are so bad at the little things. 


  • Jeff Jarrett's ready to wrestle, but Steve MONGO McMichael comes to the ring, though he is dogged all the while by Debra, who does not want him to beat Jarrett to a pulp. They argue in the ring while Jarrett tries to get mongo to move so that he can strut. Debra gets Mongo to move, but he just circles back around and jumps Jarrett mid-strut. This match is fun, especially when Mongo's in control. Jarrett tries a crossbody off a rope run, but Mongo catches him, yells AWWWWW YEAH, and then shifts him up to his shoulder and hits a power slam. Come on, that's great television. There's entertainment for any wrestling fan here, especially with Mongo's semi-reckless offense on display, but Mongo tumbles outside and Debra resumes her argument with him. In fact, she does it so long that Mongo forgets to get back in the ring before the ten-count and gets counted out. Mongo fumes. Jarrett celebrates. Debra looks at the camera with a shit-eating smirk on her face and snarks, "Well, I just don't know what happened there." I mean, she is DEPLORABLE. 


  • Roddy Piper comes to the ring with one of his kids. Piper is awful and always has been pretty much, with the exception of a few bloody brawls and a few matches in which he was the fiery face against a cowardly heel. And I guess the Bret match at WM VIII. But his mic work is basically trash in general, and tonight, he self-indulgently prattles on for a bit, then has his kid Colt talk to the crowd, and finally rambles on about fatherhood, and I guess this is his way of turning down the title shot at SuperBrawl. Hogan soon comes out, flanked by Eric Bischoff, and pretty much threatens to beat up at least one of the Pipers standing in the ring if Roddy doesn't say that Hogan actually won the Starrcade match and that Hogan's the best and you know the story. Look, I would prefer Hogan in the red-and-yellow at this point because self-aggrandizing god complex Hogan is tired as fuck. At least I might get a Yavapai Yappapi Apple Pie strap match promo, fueled by coke and greenies, about Drs. Proper, Unger, and Hughes or some shit. IT'S THA WALL, MAN is way better than this shit. Piper says all that stuff Hogan told him to and gets his kid out of the ring, then comes back and beats up Hogan and Bischoff. He accepts the match with a SAN FRANCISCO, WATCH MY FISTS GO and oh God, this is the PPV with one of the all-time terrible wrestling skits where Piper breaks out of Alcatraz to make it to the match, fuck off, WCW. 


  • If you took Piper/Hogan off this show, everything else would be great. I'm also irritated that Hogan does so much talking, but Hall and Nash are too often relegated to short, non-speaking segments. The nWo was great when the focus was Hall and Nash. Now, the focus is Hogan, and it sucks. There also isn't enough Sting on these shows. Find more ways to have him pop up. Only a very little Sting, Hall, Nash, and Syxx (the latter of whom almost never wrestles) and too much Hogan, Bischoff, and Piper is a bad mix for a show. I will say this, though: All the other stuff is really fun. Hell, Jacqueline and Woman have me mildly interested in this never-ending Sullivan/Benoit feud! Syxx the belt thief is interesting, and the Debra/Mongo/Jarrett love triangle is great. Steiners/Outsiders didn't really progress this week, but that's good too. It's just Hogan, Piper, and Bischoff who are consistently hurting this show. This was a really fun show, wrestling-wise, and if not for the opening and closing, I would have scored it higher. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Show #75 - 10 February 1997

"The one that leads into Kevin Sullivan feuding with a Four Horsemen member at SuperBrawl. No, not that Four Horseman member. No, not that SuperBrawl, neither."

  • Two more weeks of SuperBrawl build. Woof. 


  • No opening reel again this week. We're just jumping right into the show with Tony S. and Larry Z., and also Dean Malenko. He's still Cruiserweight champ, but he is without the gold after Syxx just walked up and stole it last week, if you remember. Eddy Guerrero is his opponent, and he knows something about Syxx stealing belts. Malenko cuts a promo on Syxx before Eddy comes out, and it sucks because he sounds like a robot, but the crowd is kinda into it! I remember almost nothing about Eddy's U.S. Champion run, honestly. 


  • These fellas know each other so well that it's probably not possible for them to have a bad match. They do what you'd expect - quick opening sequence with lots of reversals, a couple of very nice moves that rely on balance and precision that the crowd pops for, and Malenko taking control with a power move (in this case, a nice looking power slam). Well, it's not really control for long as Eddy gets right back on top with a backbreaker and then sits in a headlock so everyone can catch their breath after the pacing in the first three minutes. Malenko takes a few seconds to rest, then works up and counters out of the hold with a back suplex. A few more counters, and Malenko hits a nice release German. Hey, this match is a fun little thing, and then Syxx comes out! He tries to get the U.S. Championship from Penzer, but Eddy sees it and grabs it back. He ain't going to the pay windah, since he gets counted out in the process, but at least he's still got the gold! I like that Malenko's irritated with winning that way and sullenly rips his raised arm away from the ref before barely slapping hands with Guerrero and leaving the ring. Malenko can't talk, but he's pretty good with the gruff character work otherwise.


  • DDP comes out immediately after this match with a chair. He is pretty much sick of barely escaping the wrath of Hall and Nash and will sit in the ring until they all just have it out right here and now. Sting and Randy Savage are the ones to answer DDP's call, though, not the Outsiders. They come through the crowd and enter the ring. Circle, circle, hit chair with bat, kick chair over, nudge DDP with bat, fake swing at him, offer him the bat, turn their backs, etc. Yo, the crowd is HOT for this, they want Sting, Savage, and DDP to join up and fuck the nWo up, and I will continue to be bitter that this never happened. Anyway, they leave, then DDP leaves, but the intrigue? It sticks around.


  • Bobby Eaton's jobbing to Konnan tonight in what honestly is a weird little matchup that I'm interested in watching. Konnan starts off hot, but Eaton ducks a corner clothesline and throws some sweet rights, man, they looked great. This is fun enough, even if it's just your-turn, my-turn stuff and Konnan almost blows a leapfrog. He hits a cradle piledriver for three in maybe just a couple of minutes. It's perfectly fine at its goal of establishing Konnan as a dangerous midcarder who can guzzle the guys at a level or two beneath him. 


  • We see Luger getting attacked by the Outsiders last week. Nash: WHAT DOES NOT KILL US MAKES US...UNCONSCIOUS! Okay, that's dumb, hokey villainy snark right there. Apparently, Hall and Nash will defend the tag titles against Luger and the Giant at SuperBrawl. Really slow-playing this Steiners feud, huh, Bisch?


  • Lex Luger is here to rack Ron Powers, and as is true every week, I am all for it. I have a strong feeling that I'll be arguing that '95 - '01 Lex Luger is an undeniable asset and an underrated worker from this period when this all ends. Anyway, Luger's got a cast on, and Bisch comes down to cut him off before he gets in the ring. Luger's ready to fight, but Bisch won't let him get in the ring without being medically cleared. I remember this - I think we get a Giant/Outsiders handicap match at SuperBrawl, right? Ah well, we'll see soon enough. Bischoff does some pretty good heeling, but I am so over his heel executive persona right now that I don't enjoy it very much.


  • The Giant comes out while Bischoff talks about how good he is at being an executive, the crowd cheers, and he thinks the crowd is cheering for him. Again, this is good work! It made me chuckle. Also, I've had enough of it! He'll replace Luger in this match. The Giant basically murders Powers and we get a real big chokeslam, which is a fair substitution for a Torture Rack. Mike Tenay interviews the Giant in the ring after the match, and in said interview, the Giant avoids stupid metaphors. The Giant has trust in Lex Luger, the only guy who respected him enough to give him a chance after he defected back to WCW. He has a question for Luger, who comes back down to the ring to answer it. The Giant wants to know if Bischoff's little doctor's note subterfuge is stopping him from wrestling at SuperBrawl, and Luger says no. The Giant seems pretty resigned to wrestling that match handicap, though, and swears that once he wins, he'll be glad to give Luger one of those tag belts as his partner. Hey, that was a really good segment! Get the Giant away from Kevin Sullivan for long enough, and he brings the mic work. 


  • Jacksonville is hot for EVERYTHING tonight. Good crowd. 


  • Hall, Nash, Syxx, and, uh, Bubba get out of a limo and walk toward the arena. Bubba wants to beat DDP up for his new buddies, and they're basically like Sure, just make sure you leave time to stock more tonic in the limo to go with our gin, which is your primary purpose for being here. I laughed. 


  • The Steiners are probably going to murk poor ol' High Voltage. They cut a promo in the inset while they get into the ring, and the promo is entirely nonsensical, as is the Steiners's way. The crowd is into Scott tossing Rage, but as we cut back to the ring after looking at Harlem Heat and Sherri watching on, Rage throws a great chop block that puts him on top for about two seconds before he eats a release overhead belly-to-belly and a press slam. Faces of Fear wander out to look on while Rick and Kaos are way less entertaining than Scott and Rage just were. Oh wow, it's Public Enemy out to watch the match! Competition is HOT AND HEAVY in WCW! Anyway, this match actually made me want to see Scott/Rage in a C-show singles squash. That's not really a sentence I expected to type today. Rage does a springboard somersault, but Rick catches him in midair and powerbombs him - man, this dude Rage was trying really hard tonight. He eats a super bulldog for three. Yo, that was fun.


  • "Rockhouse" hits, and the Outsiders, Syxx, Nick Patrick, and Eric Bischoff roll out. They head over to the desk, threaten Larry Z., and take over the headsets. Oh man, Randy Anderson's going to come out here and plead for his job with his family in tow, a segment that I vividly remember hating as it happened 25 years ago. There is no amount of Hall and Nash snark that will make this not feel like torture. Nash has read his Dickens (or seen Scrooged, whatever). Bisch reiterates the firing, but then relents and decides that Anderson can get his job back if he wrestles Nick Patrick next week. The family does some shitty acting - Anderson's wife is like NO, YOU KNOW WHAT THE DOCTORS HAVE SAID in a classic soap opera move - and then Anderson accepts and fuck off, WCW.


  • Everyone sans Bischoff leaves for the ring, where Hall and Nash will wrestle Devon Storm and uh, let me Google, ah, that's Ace Darling. They're wrestling under the name The Extreme and coming out to the well-worn, oft-used Hollywood Blondes theme. Hall and Nash jump 'em in the aisle while Larry Z. joins Bisch on color. Zbyszko is irascible and Bisch makes sure to say that The Extreme hail from Stamford, CT as they catch a beatdown. We do get a stereo Torture Rack/chokeslam from Nash and Hall, though Nash's rack is shit, come on man, you see it applied like every week! Syxx is hypeman and interviewer after the match. Nash reads the dictionary, everyone. He understands synonyms. I love Nash's self-indulgent "I read books and also watch the news" promos. I'm a total sucker for them. Hall, on the other hand, is full on Mean Girls about the Giant (basically: Nash stopped growing at the cool stage, but you kept growing into the dorky, awkward phase, Giant).


  • It's hour number twooooo with Tony S., Bobby H., and Mike T. They talk about Bischoff's disingenuous nature. I don't care. Get Bisch out from being all up in the videos.


  • Rey Misterio Jr.! He's been injured, and he's also been sorely missed during said injury. And his opponent is WCW TV Champ Lord Steven William Regal! Truly, this show is now blessed. Regal is unconvinced by the smaller stature of his opponent. He jaws with the Jacksonville yokels in the crowd. In short, he wastes a whole lot of this TV title time limit. Regal versus a smaller opponent is awesome because he smothers the smaller opponent and is a real bully, grinding forearms and boots into his opponents' jaw, and so when the opponent pops up and hits offense, it feels earned and easy to cheer for. He tries to destroy Misterio's arm early on, but Misterio escapes and hits a springboard dropkick. Regal is slightly more convinced of his opponent's abilities despite said opponent's smaller stature. He hits a Euro uppercut, then flexes, then dances around. He's got the dudes right in front of the camera heated. One of those dudes has a shirt on in which Calvin, of Calvin & Hobbes fame, pisses on the letters FSU. Not even the FSU logo, though then again, maybe it's good that a little white kid isn't pissing on a Seminole on his t-shirt. Regal milks this crowd's ire for all he's worth, bailing out, jawing with them, and so forth. He's also somewhat unfocused as a result of this, so he gets countered quite a bit. The timekeeper accidentally rings the bell on a close Misterio two-count, then sounds the bell for the time limit when Rey's got Regal in another pinning combination. This was pretty good for one of Regal's seemingly-endless ten-minute draws as champ. 


  • Lee Marshall's calling 1-800-COLLECT on the road in Tampa, Florida, the home of Hulk Hogan and road rash. Did you know that 1-800-COLLECT still exists in the year of our Lord 2022? Wild.


  • The Dungeon of Doom music hits, and it's a real crapshoot whenever that happens. Then, some other music hits before we go back to the DoD music. Fuckin' Craig Leathers. Kevin Sullivan comes to the ring along with Jacqueline and Jimmy Hart. Ah, now, um, Maverick Wild come out to the music that hit early. I had to Pro Wrestling DB this guy. Anyway, Jacqueline fucks him up outside the ring. It's not Chyna-level good, but it still rules. The crowd pops huge when Sullivan tosses Wild back outside and Jacqueline slams him. I approve of Jacqueline-assisted Kevin Sullivan squashes. Anyway, double-stomp, three, and that ruled. Jackie throws a forearm at the defeated Wild for good measure. I, like Ted Turner, am a fan of athletically-built women beating up male jobbers because it fuckin' RULES and is always entertaining. 


  • Someone yells TASKMASTER YOU SUCK while he tries to cut a rampway promo after the match. I don't give a shit about Sullivan's Woman problems. He name-drops a bunch of people in the wrestling business because HE'S A SHOOTIN'. It sucks. I mean, it really sucks. Well, he does have a line about Woman - er, Nancy - coming from a community, but he and Jackie coming from the neighborhood. It would be a good line in isolation, but this whole thing blows. Then, when Jimmy Hart cuts in to talk to Taskmaster, he says "It's Kevin tonight." Yo, fuck off with this shit. Jacqueline cuts a shitty promo where she repeats the community/neighborhood line, but I'll accept it because she comes off as legit ready to fuck someone up most of the time. 


  • Recap of last week's show-ending angle. They go ahead and straight-up replay far more than necessary of this thing, believe me.


  • I guess Hugh Morrus has left the Dungeon? Did this happen? Did I forget? He comes out to his own nondescript guitar-led music, and he'll face Alex Wright. They work with some pace. I will give Morrus credit because he's got the body type of someone who ate all the pies, but he's not one to get gassed super-easily. This is a really fun little five-minute TV match with lots of counters and dodges and a botch from Alex Wright (that he almost saves) when he trips off the top rope. Morrus follows up on this whiff with a powerbomb and a No Laughing Matter, so it works just fine; Wright's beaten because he went high-risk and failed. 


  • Benoit and Mongo are in the ring when we come back, their opponents tonight being Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Jeff Jarrett with the jobber entrance. I think I know who will be taking the fall here. Chavo and Jarrett beat the fuck out of Benoit to start. It's awesome. Finally, Mongo sticks a knee in Jarrett's back as he runs the ropes and turns the tide. Mongo tags in and hits a nice powerslam, then tags out so Benoit can lose control and Chavo can get a hot tag that no one cares about. Jacksonville, this is when you stop reacting? Chavo has a really good hot tag segment, but Debra distracts Jarrett outside the ring. She buzzes around him, checking on his health and the state of his gear, and Chavo eventually finds himself in a two-on-one situation. Mongo hits Chavo with a Tombstone - why the fuck would anyone take that move from him? - and gets three. Then he notes that Debra is spending her time obsessed with Jarrett and gets pissed.


  • Arn Anderson and Ric Flair come down so the whole group can cut a promo with Mike Tenay in the ring. This Horsemen/DoD feud has been going on for a year or so now to no end. It's got to be one of the shittiest long-term feuds from this decade. Benoit vocab check: ideologies, alienated. Mongo gets cheap heat by shitting on the Jags, which is funny because he and Debra both throw up the L at he same time. These two are funny as fuck. Debra vocab check: fastidious, which she uses for some truly awful wordplay w/r/t Sullivan and Jacqueline


  • Was Debra a regular In Living Color viewer back in the day? She loves to drop an "I'm not one to gossip, and you didn't hear this from me" before shitting on someone, which reminds me of Benita Buttrell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfG-gD2ILrg (the board isn't really much for embedding video after this latest update, sorry).


  • Piper and Hogan have a parlay. Piper's in the ring, Hogan's on satellite from Hollywood, supposedly. I tune most of this out. Wait, Piper calls Hogan bald, I noticed that. You know that shoot hurt that man. Then he goes back to talking about his kid and shit, accuses Hogan of being a GAY just like Eric Bischoff, and then won't shut the fuck up at all. Hogan responds. I continue eating this Ritter Sport bar with cornflakes in it. This is some delicious-ass chocolate. Piper rants about OJ Simpson and then mentions Dennis Rodman? It's total nonsense. He finally shuts the fuck up and leaves, and this crowd full of bums eats it up. I take back my praise for their consistent popping. Can't get hyped for Chavo on the hot tag, but cheer this trash. 


  • My comments about this show are the same as last week's, with a lower score on it because it had more shitty Hogan/Piper/Bischoff garbage ruining the show, with a bonus "too much talking from Kevin Sullivan" complaint. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #76 - 17 February 1997

"The one that should have multiple entries into the This is How NOT to Cut a Promo DVDVR thread (which I would have directly linked to if linking worked on the board)"

  • The nWo gets out of the limo, but one of them gets picked off. We can't tell which one. Ooh, MIND GAMES. 


  • Boy, they're just throwing stuff at us because now we're right to Rey Misterio Jr. against Super Calo (w/ jobber entrance). Oh nooooooo Tony S. is excited that we'll be going direct to ALCATRAZ. Fucking Roddy Piper. This fucker. Anyway, Rey has a rare botch trying to flip over the ropes, but like the pro he is, he aborts immediately and just steps through the ropes so that he can get countered on a springboard dropkick. Calo straight MURDERS Rey with his own springboard dropkick. This match is awesome. Calo almost murders himself on a senton to a prone Rey lying at ringside. Even though we cut back from these guys beating the hell out of each other to see Big Bubba as the man who has been stretchered, I'm still giving some love to this match. The crowd explodes for Rey's comebacks - it feels like a particularly kid-heavy crowd based on the timbre of the cheers, which is really nice. Eventually, Rey hits the springboard rana for three. Everyone is happy! I am too!


  • Hugh Morrus is still about as good at pro wrestling as he was a year ago, which isn't promising. However, i'm pretty excited because tonight, he's wrestling Mongo McMichael, which seems like it could be dumb in the best of ways. And it is! Mongo hits Morrus with a nice lariat and Morrus, who is a very good bumper, takes some nice ones on Mongo's three-point charges. Unfortunately, he's got to have a heel control segment (since Mongo is a Horseman and therefore a de-facto face). It's boring, but Mongo tries really hard and slightly oversells stuff, so there's some entertainment value there. Debra eventually gets involved and slips Mongo the Halliburton while Morrus readies for the No Laughing Matter. She distracts the ref, Morrus eats the case and is covered for three, and Debra looks into the camera and says: "Now THAT'S funny...hee hee hee hee hee." Debra is the absolute best. 


  • Some video about Roddy Piper and his little puke kid plays for the viewer at home. Also, Hogan's in it. You don't care, trust me. 


  • Dean Malenko is wild over in Tampa, which I believe is where he made his residence at the time and maybe still does today. He's wrestling Robbie Brookside (?!), who has tassels on his boots (?!?!), but first Malenko cuts an AWFUL promo on Syxx. He's in Tampa, so he gets away with it. You know this is pretty solid TV wrestling even though none of the initial matwork goes nowhere. I'm not asking for the consistent selling of accumulated damage in a TV match, necessarily, but hey, Mongo sold the knee damage he ate both during and after the previous match. Malenko puts on what has to be the worst Texas Cloverleaf I've seen him put on, like he had zero proper positioning on the legs, and maybe that's Brookside's fault for not helping him? I'm not a wrestler, I don't know. Syxx comes out and cuts a fire-ass promo where he says that the respect he had for the Malenkos, his trainers, died with the old man because he never liked Dean any-fuckin-way. Syxx rules.


  • Hall, Nash, and Syxx roll out to the desk and shit on Tony S. and Larry Z. Oh, I forgot to mention that the Steiners won't be wrestling for a title shot at SuperBrawl because of what's coming up, which is the infamous car crash video. "NASH IS VERY SMART" WATCH: Mentions the Warren Commission, gets "acquisitions" and "accusations" confused for a second, paraphrases Johnnie Cochran speaking at the OJ Simpson murder trial. The crowd is very hot for Scott Hall and Larry Zbyszko squaring up, like HOLY SHIT, they start chanting for Larry Z. I can't blame Bisch for following up on this with that reaction. 


  • The Amazing French Canadians! I hadn't seen them in awhile and assumed that they were out of the company. But they're here and wrestling Public Enemy, who frankly I thought would be gone from WCW by 1997, too. They are not, though, so we are here to watch them do some graps. Before that, PE sets up a table, the AFCs sing poorly, Harlem Heat watches on from the audience, etc. This match is better when there isn't a strict approach to tag rules. Colonel Parker cheats effectively outside and the AFCs have fun offense. They do some fun stuff to beat up Johnny Grunge, cut off a hot tag through chicanery, and then whiff on the assisted cannonball. Rocco Rock finally gets a hot tag and clears house. The AFCs whiff on a team move, and PCO eats a table dive and gets rolled back in for three. See that was the sort of TV wrestling stupidity that I can get into. We see PE's SuperBrawl opponents at ringside because that's what passes for build for this upcoming PPV match, I guess.


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Diamond Dallas Page on the ramp and pretty much accuses DDP of having attacked Bubba. DDP denies it and calls Randy Anderson "Pee-Wee Herman," hahahaha. Anyway, this was pointless and Gene Okerlund is a net-negative on interviews at this point. 


  • Ooh, it's Prince Iaukea, who I just recently found out is basically Lance Von Erich, but Polynesian. And wait, Lord Steven William Regal is on his way to the ring, and now I remember all of this. Regal was set to wrestle Rey Misterio for the TV Championship at SuperBrawl, but with no time limit. Bisch has Okerlund telegraph what's about to happen by stopping Regal on his way to the ring to interview him. Regal dismisses Iaukea and focuses on Misterio - could he be overlooking Iaukea?! Yes, yes he could. Meanwhile, Craig Leathers has WCW's budget at his disposal, but can't find the adapter that he needs to play the nWo's Steiner tape. LOL, Leathers is kayfabe completely incompetent. Regal is really good at this whole pro wrestling thing and, through a mix of jawing at the crowd; selling confidence and then pain, annoyance, and surprise; and being good at the graps, puts together a decent little TV match that gets the upset loss over. It won't last because Iaukea is boring as hell, but Regal did his best. Rey comes out to watch the match, and Regal gets rolled up for three while taunting Rey. Regal even gets shoved over by the ref while protesting the decision. A bunch of faces come out to celebrate with Iaukea. Hey, WCW gave it their best shot. 


  • The problem, of course, is that Bisch is mimicking Rocky Maivia upsetting Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship on RAW about a week before this show, and I shouldn't need to tell you that Prince Iaukea is not exactly The Rock. 


  • Hey, look, hour number two! 


  • Oh no, Randy Anderson vs. Nick Patrick!


  • The ref loads Anderson's fist before the bell rings. Pee-Wee winds up and clocks Patrick and gets three. The crowd is hot for this too, by the way. Bischoff comes down, reverses the decision, and fires every-damn-body. This crowd is just into everything, man, but this still sucks, their positive attention toward this angle can't fool me. The match itself was fine for what it was in a vacuum, but heel Bischoff + a continuation of this ref garbage is the larger issue.


  • Oh God, another Avatar movie. Maybe movies are over. Maybe we should stop making them entirely. 


  • Lee Marshall is On the Road in San Francisco, being that SuperBrawl's in the Cow Palace. Marshall drops a few local radio names and does a whole Weasel joke that, as usual, takes WAY too long to set up. Heenan's retort is awful. 1988 Heenan would have ended Lee Marshall. My man is going out sad as a Nitro commentator.


  • ROADBLOCK! Dude is one of my favorite jobbers of all time. Benoit's wrestling him tonight. Also, there will be some Sullivan-and-Jacqueline fuckery in this match, probably. Larry David George Steinbrenner is in the crowd, thinking about how to spend more money on Yankee payroll, unlike Hal. George would have offered Aaron Judge 10/400 before last season even started, I can guarantee you that. Roadblock slams Benoit and wanders over to talk shit to Woman, who slaps him. The distraction allows Benoit to hit him with something between a dropkick and a baseball slide which looks great. Benoit beats on him outside, then inside, before hitting a diving headbutt for three. That impact sounded nasty, damn. 


  • We get the video of the nWo harassing the Steiners into a rollover. They catch the Steiners at a Citgo. Gas is $1.24 a gallon. I think we're all old and much time has passed since the nWo caught the Steiners at this Citgo. Anyway, the camera jerks away suddenly and when it's focused back on the scene, the Steiners are flipping their car over in a cow patch. Well, that's what happens when you let slowpoke Rick drive. This was pretty cool at the time, but it's pretty dopey now. Not bad, just dopey. 


  • We see the footage again after the break. Tony S. is ready to LITIGATE! 


  • Gene Okerlund is placed on the ramp, ready to interview Kevin Sullivan, Jimmy Hart, and Jacqueline, the latter of whom is wearing a sheer top that is INSPIRATIONAL, and fine, fine, I'll settle down. Jimmy Hart quotes "2 Legit 2 Quit" in 1997. That happened. Sullivan will not shut the fuck up about his personal life. He acknowledges his time in Florida and shoots on "Nancy" and stuff. Then Jackie and Kevin both repeat that whole "2 Legit 2 Quit" thing, which, why are they trying to get this over? Jacqueline declares that Woman has a fat ass, which she kinda does, and that absolutely is not an insult. 


  • Kevin Sullivan beats up our second tasseled jobber of the night. Oh, it's Doc Dean, one of my go-to signings in EWR! Jackie beats his ass on the outside for a bit a couple times, and Dean's sunset flip attempt is the only offense he gets. Wait, he gets a small package for two as well. Otherwise, it's Sullivan doing Sullivan squash things. Jackie chopped the everloving FUCK out of Dean, though. That was great. I'm not typically a huge fan of hard chops, but come on. Jackie drops a few elbows on Dean post-match. She legit makes Sullivan's act watchable in 1997, bless her. 


  • The Dungeon of Doom is such a strange entity. I'm not entirely sure why it still exists. Konnan comes out repping the DoD, but he's not using their music, doesn't have Jimmy Hart at his side, and in general absolutely does not belong with them. Eddy Guerrero is Konnan's opponent tonight. Konnan works a bad chinlock somewhere in the middle of a boring control segment, but otherwise, this is a perfectly cromulent televised wrestling match. Eventually, Eddy shoves Konnan off the top rope and hits a frog splash for one...two...and the Faces of Fear run in, apparently aware that I didn't really get whether the DoD was still rolling together. Chris Jericho runs down to help Eddy; they're facing off for the U.S. Championship at SuperBrawl, which should be no less than good. 


  • Hey, it's all of the Horsemen and Women! They come down to have their weekly group interview with Gene Okerlund. They have basically the same promo they always do about being back on the same page and the Dungeon of Doom and nWo being cooked, etc. Also, Debra is still irritated about Mongo having it out for Jeff Jarrett, thinks Jacqueline has bowlegs, etc. Benoit repeats literally the stuff that Sullivan said in his earlier promo, minus the MC Hammer line, and boy he goes about seven or eight out of ten on the Keith Lee scale. They're like WRAP IT UP B off-camera, but Benoit is like NO U and then keeps cutting a garbage promo. This dude is super-trash on the mic. Fucking AWFUL. I never want to hear him talk again. 


  • Give the Giant some entrance music, like damn. He's a main eventer. He beats up Top Gun and Johnny Swinger in a handicap match, and man, I love that I wrote that sentence. The Giant spray paints the jobbers' backs with HALL and NASH. Lex Luger comes down to the ring with what seems to be a release to wrestle 9and also with Gene Okerlund). I'm irritated that Luger is working an injury and therefore can't wrestle and rack the utter fuck out of some hefty jobbers each week. On the other hand, Luger's an incredible fiery babyface. He's excited! So am I! You know what I'm not excited about? Bischoff's shitty heeling. Anyway, Bisch won't accept the release because it's a week late. Luger basically rules hard and tells Bisch that he'll show up to SuperBrawl anyway. That's the sort of FUCK AUTHORITY attitude that makes a top babyface right there! 


  • Roddy Piper is training on Alcatraz Island. *sigh*. 


  • Apparently, this is live from Alcatraz, but it sure looks like the late morning in San Francisco and not the early evening. Anyway, this is a MONUMENTALLY shitty promo, but its saving grace is that it's not as long as Piper promos normally are. Then again, Piper says this: "I'm not doing some 'wrestling promo' (yes, he used air quotes) to sell tickets" and it fuckin' SUCKS ASS and is the WORST. He is hung up on wearing spandex versus wearing kilts and his kids who I don't care about. Piper is a massive negative and I judge all the crowds who are popping for him. I judge them harshly. This legitimately is one of the worst promos that has ever been cut as far as I'm concerned. 


  • Thank God fiery babyface Luger kept those Benoit and Piper promos from going back to back or I might have given up on pro wrestling in general. 


  • The main event pits Chris Jericho against Jeff Jarrett. This looks like an upper-midcard AEW match that a) will be booked on PPV in 2023 and b) will haunt me simply for having happened even though I'll avoid ever seeing it like the plague. Anyway, the actual star of this match, Debra, saunters on down to ringside to watch. The match itself is just fine. They work it like they know they're not going long, so that's enjoyable. Well, it's not long before Mongo comes down and, upset by his wife's fealty to Jeff Jarrett, whacks Jarrett with the briefcase to give Jericho an easy win. Mongo pretends that he didn't understand the unclear pronoun "him" when Debra asked Mongo to help him not get hurt


  • Hulk Hogan and his entourage come down the aisle. Why is Liz still in the nWo dress? I forgot that she was randomly being held hostage by the nWo or whatever. Hey, so yeah, the nWo is hot trash actually. Rockhouse, Syxx, Hall, and Nash are great. Everyone else can roll out. Sting and Randy Savage come onto the ramp to view the proceedings, but Bisch and Hogan just power through and keep talking. This is merely a mediocre promo, rather than a dogshit one, so I guess relatively speaking, it's alright. Sting decides to head all the way to the ring, but Savage stops him and changes Sting's mind. They leave. Hogan emphasizes that he's lost the rights to call himself Hulk - damned Marvel Comics, scraping for every last licensing penny - so call him Hollywood, dammit, he's not made of cash. The show mercifully ends.


  • What can I say that I haven't said a thousand times already? Benoit should never talk when he has Woman, an actual good promo, standing next to him. Piper should be yeeted into the sun. Bisch needs to mess with the format because "long Horsemen promo" and "long Bisch and Hogan promo" and "long Kevin Sullivan promo" should not happen every week. No wonder WWF beat the shit outta these guys eventually. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Show #77 - 24 February 1997

"The one where Liz and Randy get back together in kayfabe, but no one in the crowd is crying because it's 1997 and not 1991"

  • With SuperBrawl over (which had a Syxx/Malenko match you should definitely watch and also a generally fun middle-of-the-card besides), it's time to, um, spend more time wasting main event space until December. Oy vey. At least we'll get a one-week Lex Luger title reign out of this whole thing. 


  • It's Arco Arena, site of Royal Rumble 1993. This crowd seems pretty hot. Or maybe some of this is pumped in because there is a baseline level of noise that does not appear to match what the crowd is doing on camera. Public Enemy (w/ table) are still in WCW well past when I thought they'd be. Their opponents are new Horseman Jeff Jarrett and fellow love triangle participant Mongo McMichael. We get stills of the SuperBrawl match between Jarrett and Mongo, which had an ending that ruled. Rocco throws a few open-palm thrusts that have no business being thrown even in a match where a father is play-wrestling his three-year-old kid. Just terrible. Whereas Sabu has an aura that goes beyond the situation in which he is working, PE very much needs to be in a dingy bingo hall to really work. Without that ECW aura, I'm just watching the slightly-more-mobile Nasty Boys. Then again, PE were never as good as the late-'80s Nasty Boys anyway. 


  • The match itself is unobjectionable. Mongo has so much physical charisma, and the Jarrett/Mongo/Debra storyline is so fun, that I'm attentive if only to see how that story is progressed. Jarrett powerbombs Rocco Rock out of a leapfrog (!!!) and even if it wasn't a great powerbomb, who expected that? Anyway, Debra hands over the Halliburton to Mongo in hopes that he'd help Jarrett, but nope, he tags Jarrett with the briefcase instead. Rocco gets three and Mongo indicates that he just paid Jarrett back for the SuperBrawl finish in which Jarrett used the 'burton to win. Debra is heated. Arn comes out and is heated. Flair just wanders around with the fingers in the air. He needs JJ Dillon to tamp this shit down for him. Mongo cuts a pretty great promo in which he basically says Jarrett is like his little brother who got one over on him and needed to get that brotherly asswhooping in return. Flair admonishes him, and as he does, Jarrett plays annoying little brother perfectly, jumping in like RIC SAID I COULD BE A HORSEMAN SO I AM ONE! I'M TELLING ON YOU FOR HITTING ME! Arn wants Mongo to shake Jarrett's hand, and Mongo is cool about it, honestly. He's like, Yeah, I might beat you up, but I won't let anyone else do that, and they shake hands and make up. Mongo, Jarrett, and Debra are one of the biggest positives of the show right now.


  • Tony S. and Larry Z. introduce the rest of the show before going to break. We'll talk DDP and Malenko! And Piper. Two out of three ain't bad. 


  • I head to the internets to find out who the masked luchador Galaxy is and find that it's Damian 666, apparent father of Bestia 666 and someone who I have seen before at least once. Hacksaw Jim Duggan is his opponent. Flag wave, HOOOOO, USA, HOOOOO, subpar clubbering, HOOOOO, USA, more subpar clubbering, Hacksaw bodyslam of Galaxy onto concrete because I guess Hacksaw is offended by people simply being of other nationalities that aren't USA HOOOOOOO, cursory bare minimum selling of two seconds of weak offense, three-point clothesline, taped fist, three count. This was marginally more entertaining than your usual Hacksaw in the sense that Duggan did things faster than he normally does. Unfortunately, he can't just leave us with this barely-acceptable squash and has to talk to Gene Okerlund about Randy Savage, Terry Hogan, and the nWo. He uses the word jabroni and then wants to have sex with Bubba or Hogan or maybe both of them, I think, I can't be sure. He's not interested in any back-door action, though. 


  • Pedro Morales and Miguel Alonso were, on this night, commentating this live Nitro in Spanish on the internet! What will this wild, wacky internet be used for next?


  • Joe Gomez and Hugh Morrus are the next match, and I'm thinking, hey, can we have a good match soon? Larry Z. unnecessarily overstates Morrus's agility by saying that he moves like Rey Misterio Jr. on the top rope. I shouldn't be too harsh re: this match being good. It's fine for a little TV match. Gomez always works really hard when he gets a bit of TV time. Morrus is bland; his issue is that all he has is his finish. He has no idea how to fill a match until the point in time that he goes up for it. Morrus catches Gomez on a leapfrog, hits a weak spinebuster, and then drops the No Laughing Matter for three. The finish itself looked great! Everything else was, you know, was there. Existing. 


  • We get stills of the Jacqueline/Sullivan vs. Woman/Benoit match from SuperBrawl. It was great! You should watch that, too! The women are the stars of this show; they've totally revitalized this otherwise garbage feud. Well, not even REvitalized it. Vitalized it in the first place.


  • La Parka walks out, dripping with charisma. Ice Train walks out, dripping with baby oil. Train is excited to be in California and yells WEST SIDEEEEEEE. Dude, it's Sacramento, not somewhere in California that you'd actually want to be. In the inset, Teddy Long cuts a promo where he's trying to save Jacqueline from Kevin Sullivan even though she didn't ask for his help or input. Why would Teddy Long even care? Is this some weird THE WHITE MAN IS TAKIN' OUR SISTERS AWAY FROM US sort of thing that WCW would be misguided enough to actually attempt as an angle? Did I accidentally end up visiting the less savory side of Black Twitter in 2021? 


  • Oh, the match! It's disjointed, but fun enough. Parka dives off the top rope and Train hits a couple of nice power moves. Train rolls outside and Teddy Long fires him up - "COME ON, GET UP, GET IN THERE" - and it fails miserably as Parka hits a plancha. Did someone in WCW offices have something against Teddy Long? He looks like a dope every week he's on TV. Train hits a sweet lariat, then catches a Parka dive and hits a powerslam before hitting his big splash for three. He and Teddy Long continue to be excited about being in Sacramento for some reason. Ice Train should have gotten Hugh Morrus's spot in the upper midcard. 


  • Eddy Guerrero and Chris Jericho are a makeshift tag team tonight, up against the Faces of Fear. OK, I'm interested. We get stills of Jericho/Guerrero from SuperBrawl, which I don't remember anything about. This is a decent match because these teams are a good match for one another. Barb and Meng toss Eddy around, and Eddy fights back valiantly, but gets his ass whipped. Meng destroyed this man with a powerbomb. It ruled. Eddy gets a tag after a headscissors, and Jericho hits a senton splash before eating a knee to the back from Barb and a nice back suplex from Meng. Barb takes Jericho up to the top rope and hits the super belly-to-belly. Jericho lands somewhere near Yreka. Jericho takes a beating before hitting a nice springboard crossbody for two. Meng gets right back in control, though. He runs interference so that Barb can put the boots to Jericho. Then, Meng and Barb hit the backdrop/powerbomb combo for a two-count. It RULES.


  • This match also rules in general. It's just two teams running through their best spots at a good pace. Now Meng and Barb hit the stereo second-rope headbutts for a two-count. Jericho takes more of a beating, but is able to finally get a hot tag after hitting a springboard moonsault and an enziguri before diving out of the way of a Meng elbowdrop. It was a great visual because Meng was like a villain in a slasher flick who couldn't be shrugged off with just one or two moves. Jericho went out of his way to earn that tag. Eddy and Jericho take over and hit a few double-team moves, but Meng pulls Jericho outside; meanwhile, Dean Malenko runs down and shoves Eddy off the top rope and right into a Barbarian big boot for three. Yeah, this match was fun as fuck. 


  • Hour number two starts with a recap of the Horsemen shenanigans from hour number one. It's swiftly followed by THA JOOOOOOOOOCY ONE. He'll be up against Rey Misterio Jr., and it's pretty much a lock to be good. Juvy counters a backbreaker with a DDT, which looks lovely, but these guys want to do a bunch of limb work that I know is going nowhere. Just throw bombs, as is the advantage of your style. Ew, they do a double-bridge up on a contrived mat sequence, everything that I dislike about this style. The crowd liked it, though! They laughed. It was barely a level above the contrived counter-moves leading to a standoff while the zombies in the crowd clap and chant THIS IS WRESTLING, though, at least IMO. I said this was pretty much a lock to be good, and I think "pretty much" are instructive words here as in fact, they do not mean "certainly" or "definitely" or absolutely for sure 100%." This match actually sort of blows in practice. There's still good stuff in here, like a springboard top-rope powerbomb by Juvy, but this match doesn't have any sense of escalation that makes sense or is compelling, and some of it feels VERY worked and takes me out of the feeling that this is a legit competition. Rey hits the springboard rana for three, and I'm somehow glad that this is over. That is not what I expected to feel when the bell rang. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Atlanta, making terrible Heenan puns about Gone With the Wind ("Frankly, my dear, Weasels can't build a dam!"). I laughed at that stupid-ass dad joke, I admit. Lee Marshall, everybody!


  • Pat Tanaka comes out, but for a second I got excited that Goldberg was here ahead of schedule. He'll wrestle Prince Iaukea because giving Pat Tanaka, who hasn't been on Nitro in months, a TV title shot that Iaukea wins is the way to get Iaukea over. Stills of Iaukea/Misterio from SuperBrawl. Pat Tanaka is fine, so this match is fine for what it is, but even though he works hard and hits a couple nice bumps to try and get Prince Iaukea over, nobody cares. Iaukea hits a top-rope crossbody for three, but he is charisma-less. You know who's not charisma-less? That charming dork Rocky Maivia over on the other channel. 


  • Hey, Sonny Onoo and Ultimo Dragon were supposedly doing online commentary in Japanese for this show. Who is spelling them while they come out here for this upcoming Dean Malenko match? Onoo taking lots of pictures with a disposable camera at inappropriate times because he's a Japanese foreigner is, you know, a decision. Taking inappropriate pictures is a human condition anyway. The last time I went to the Tate Modern, I saw a veritable rainbow of people taking inappropriate pictures while I was just trying to look at some fucking Rothkos, you assholes. Malenko is tired of all the malarkey after Eddy Guerrero was unhelpful in Malenko's SuperBrawl match, so he's out here clotheslining dudes who offer handshakes and looking grim. Well, even more grim, somehow. This is a solid TV match, which you'd expect out of these two. Malenko gets Dragon outside and starts whipping him into the rail and being quite aggressive. They fight over a couple of pinfalls and Malenko gets dumped outside; Malenko gets dropkicked off the apron and eats a couple boots before Dragon dives onto him from the top rope. They get back in and trade pinfall attempts before Malenko catches a handspring elbow and hits a release back suplex. Malenko doesn't go for the cover, though: He just chokes the shit out of Dragon and gets DQ'ed when he ignores the five-count. He's SNAPPED, folks. It's not exactly Ken Shamrock going WAAAAAAUGH and ankle locking fools (which is great), but it's effective enough. 


  • Okerlund interviews Malenko on the ramp post-match. He feels disrespected, which I understand considering Syxx's actions. However, Malenko's current focus is on Eddy Guerrero and not Syxx. I think Malenko's set his sights on the U.S. Championship, which will make for a very good PPV opener in the next couple months, I'm sure. 


  • I'm glad that Diamond Dallas Page is a featured player on this show because he's fantastic. I wish there were more of him on the show after each show, kind of like how I feel with Luger and Booker. Allan Quatermain Squire Dave Taylor comes to the ring and hits some impact offense. DDP gets back on top, but before long, the Outsiders come out. Page hits a TKO-style Diamond Cutter after about a minute, but he sees Hall and Nash saunter down before he can even make a cover. They're soon joined by Randy Savage, who sneaks up behind Page and clobbers him with a can of spray paint. The nWo celebrates! Some farmer from Sacramento jumps in the ring and gets immediately dumped! Savage spray paints Page's back! For good measure, Savage drops the elbow on Page, and I am not looking forward to this Savage/Page feud. I remember not liking it much then, and I saw some of the matches out of order a few years back and still didn't vibe with it. 


  • We get back from break, and Hall, Nash, and Savage are still out here. Savage is a bit too dorky for this nWo spot and won't really fit until he goes full on "psycho middle-aged man who took his testosterone therapy too far" in a year or two, by which point, he'll be too broken down to do much in ring. They call Hulk Hogan down, and immediately Savage looks less dorky by comparison. Hogan calls Sacramento "The City of Sac." Hall tries to save it by referencing "California Love"/"West Coast Poplock," but you know, it doesn't really work. Then, Liz and Savage are reunited, and we have this very '80s couple dragging down this very '90s concept. 


  • The main event is purportedly Harlem Heat up against Lex Luger and the Giant for the WCW World Tag Team Championships, but I suspect that this match will not happen. Stevie Ray yells a lot and almost elbows Sherri in the stomach on their way to the ring, and the look on Sherri's face cracks me up. She clearly gets a kick out of these guys. Sure enough, Eric Bischoff confiscates the gold before the match can start, with the backing of the whole nWo. Luger offers to give the belts back as long as WCW gets shots at all the titles that the nWo holds at Uncensored in a month. I guess it'll be a tag match or something like that? Before the terms of the match can be formally determined, Sting comes down and gets in the middle of the ring. He gets in Hogan's face just like in the WCW/nWo Revenge intro! YEAHHHHHHH! Aw, Hogan hugs Sting. Sting doesn't hug back. Sting does stand with the nWo as the show ends. He looks bummed about it, though.


  • Roddy Piper was nowhere to be seen, but also Rey and Juvi had a shitty match. Dualities, everyone. Dualities. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #78 - 03 March 1997

"The one where one of the worst segments in American pro wrestling history happens, and you guessed it, Roddy Piper is heavily involved"

  • Nitro from the Omni! It starts with the nWo getting out of a Hummer limo, ick. Behind them is another limo, carrying Dr. Harvey Schiller! "He's way above Bischoff," Larry Z. helpfully notes. It took you long enough, Schiller. 


  • Hugh Morrus and Konnan are a tag team tonight, and I guess they're both still in the Dungeon of Doom. Konnan grabs his balls and keeps up a non-stop stream of chatter as he comes down the aisle. Their opponents are Jeff Jarrett and Mongo McMichael. For whatever reason, this tag matchup sounds like it could be fun as hell. I sort of wish they'd just put the belts on Jarrett and Mongo, as crazy as that sounds. Give me Jarrett/Mongo vs. the Outsiders in the alternate universe where Jarrett sticks around, please. Morrus gets his ass beat in the early going until Konnan can give him a bit of help. Terrible Fargo strut from Morrus. Jarrett is FIP early as Konnan and Morrus try to get Mongo to get in the ring and allow them free reign to double-team Jarrett by taunting, slapping, and spitting him. He finally figures out what they're trying to do after like the third time, haha. Bless you, Mongo.


  • Morrus tries to hit Jarrett with a crossbody while Konnan holds him, but Jarrett gets out of the way and Mongo gets a hot tag that everyone is into. Mongo is beating everyone's asses, but outside the ring, Public Enemy accost Debra and try to yap the briefcase. Jarrett comes out and tries to regain possession, but in a mirror to Eddy accidentally whapping Malenko with the Cruiserweight Championship while trying to pull it away from Syxx at SuperBrawl, PE just lets the case go and it flies backward into Mongo's face. That spells the end for the Horsemen. Okerlund follows up in the ring with the Horsemen after the match, where Arn is heated at Jarrett. Jarrett is all like RIC LOVES ME, but Flair is irritated that Jarrett keeps fucking up. Mongo took a SHOT from that case, by the way, and his forehead is knotted already. Debra is the one who ends up rallying the troops. Apparently, PE is facing Jarrett and Mongo at Uncensored, which explains their interference. I enjoyed this whole thing very much. 


  • DDP comes out to quite the ovation! Rick Fuller is his opponent. DDP starts out hot and then gets big DDP chants during Fuller's heat segment. I like that Larry Z. is amazed that Page is this loved after years of scumbaggery and failure. DDP hits the Diamond Cutter by flipping out of a powerslam attempt. It looks great, DDP wins, and I am THRILLED. He parlays with Gene Okerlund after the match. We re-live Page finally catching an asswhipping from the nWo last week. Page hits a variation of Savage's Slim Jim line, but he'd like Savage to eat Diamond Cutters instead of bad pseudo-jerky. 


  • Jobber entrances for Ray Mendoza Jr. and THA JOOOOOOCY ONE out of the break. Juvi was pretty bad last week! He's better this week. The match layout is much better, really. Juvy hits a dive, but eats apron on a counter and is suplexed outside. Mendoza eats boot on a charge back inside the ring, but hits a niiiiiice release belly-to-belly as Juvy tries to follow up. He can't keep control for long as Juvy goes swinging neckbreaker -> elbowdrop -> springboard legdrop for a two-count. He takes a few seconds to catch his breath before going into the finishing run. He gets a two-count on a rana, then hits a sweet suicide dive between two sides of ropes from his starting point on the apron. He brings Mendoza back in with a springboard rana off the apron, then no-sells a missed corner charge so that he can run up the ropes and meet Mendoza at the top. He hangs Mendoza across the ropes, hits a springboard enziguri, and finishes with a 450 for three. This was a good match not because it had flow or told a story, but because Juvi desperately needed a showcase where he did impressive stuff so that he could look like a threat in the Cruiserweight division.


  • Kevin Sullivan, Jacqueline, and Jimmy Hart crash the desk. Hart celebrates that Benoit and Woman are still laid up while they're at Nitro. Jackie wants to beat up any man, she doesn't give a fuck, she'll beat up the whole nWo. She's not beating Keeevvvvvvin, though. Sullivan talks, but honestly I am distracted because Jacqueline does a bicep flex and her dress, which she is wearing without a bra, slides dangerously away from her chest. Look, you can say what you want, settle down, etc., but I am only one man, still young enough to have a, let's say, distraction-bearing amount of testosterone running through my body at any time. They try to get 2 LEGIT 2 QUIT over again, and even Jimmy Hart's airbrushed jacket with said quote and caricatures of Sullivan and Jacqueline on it isn't enough to make it work.


  • Hank Aaron is in the stands. If he had time after the show, I hope that he got the chance to get Bill Watts fired again somehow. 


  • Mike Enos is neither mean nor ready nor rough. He's just a jobber who will hopefully make the most of this TV time to do some cool moves, especially since Dean Malenko is his competition. Malenko is still heated over what happened at SuperBrawl, and he wrestles like it. It's pretty cool, actually. He's got enough physical charisma to make this work without having to rely on the mic. Malenko does mean shit like draping Enos's leg over the guardrail and then big booting the rail. We see WCW's web address on the screen as Tony S. pimps it. www.WCWWrestling.com. World Championship Wrestling Wrestling. Oh WCW, bless you. It's even worse than when someone, say the Hitman, says "the WCW." I get it, it's a tick from when he was in the WWF, but still. Malenko continues to try and destroy Enos's leg, and though Enos gets a desperation two-count by rolling through a crossbody, he never really seems a threat. Enos gets one more chance when the ref has to pull Malenko away from Enos in the corner, but Malenko turns Enos's slam attempt into a small package for three. Hey, he controlled his rage long enough to win this week! Good for him. Unfortunately, Malenko talks after the match, and it's doo doo. He still wants to beat Eddy up, and he threatens him a bit before mercifully leaving. Boy, that really killed some of the aura he built up through all the effective wrestling he just did. 


  • Eric Bischoff getting de-pantsed (not literally, thankfully) by Harvey Schiller is up next. Heel Bischoff is dire. He stands in the aisle to talk with Gene Okerlund. He does his whole shitty heel thing where he revels in his power at a fraction of the return of heel Vince McMahon. The crowd pops for Schiller even before Gene can explain that Schiller is Bischoff's boss, hahaha. Gene is actually pretty great with his little punk-ass interjections now that he's got Schiller here. "Mr. Schiller," Bisch says, and Gene cuts in with "DOCTOR." Anyway Schiller suspends Bischoff from his position in WCW leadership. Uh, kayfabe, I should note, not legit. Yet. 


  • Ultimo Dragon wrestles Eddy Guerrero tonight, and I'm thinking that Dean Malenko makes himself known here. Guerrero is the victim of an inconsistent push because he's been presented as a future star many times over the past eighteen months, but they really don't use him right or give him a sustained run of looking like a future main eventer. This U.S. Championship run has been a super-flop IMO. It's a shame because Eddy's fun in ring, but that heel turn can't come soon enough because there isn't much to this bland fiery babyface thing he's got going. The match itself is short, but enjoyable! That's not surprising. Dragon loooooooves his counter-counter-counter spots, which we get a couple of, and then, hey, Eddy rolls through a Dragon somersault and uses the ropes to win since his feet landed there anyway. Is he breaking bad just like Deano? Let's find out when he talks to Gene Okerlund post-match! Eddy cuts a mid promo, it's shocking how consistently poor he is on the mic, actually, but it brings Dean down to respond. Eddy's tired of apologizing, and oh no, now Dean Malenko is talking. Dean is like, I know you're a punk motherfucker anyway, but with less verve, and I'm excited for their no-DQ Uncensored match even though neither guy could talk their way out of an overdraft charge. 


  • Wait, that was only one hour? There's another one? That felt packed in a good way. 


  • We recap the thing that happened like ten minutes ago w/r/t Bisch getting suspended. Why not just do this at the top of the hour? 


  • You can tell that the nWo is an elite group because member VK Wallstreet comes to the ring rocking the black-and-white. Scotty Riggs is his opponent. I don't want to watch this, come on. I shouldn't be so bitchy because this is fine for what it is, but these two should be on SN or Pro instead. They work pretty hard, I need to say. Sure, Wallstreet goes to the restholds as he sweats profusely, clearly exhausted from four minutes of moving around at a decent clip. Riggs is so corny, I can't even deal with this overbearing babyface act. Riggs hits a shitty back elbow, but Buff Bagwell runs in and beats him up before he can get three. We don't need this feud to continue. The match at Souled Out was enough. Riggs escapes, grabs a chair, and haha, Wallstreet bails without even telling a posing Buff that Riggs is behind him. Buff dodges a chairshot and leaves. This segment needed like WAY more Buff and WAY less everybody else. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Panama City, one of many beachside strip malls that calls itself a town in Florida. He has even weaker anti-Heenan material than normal. Heenan's anti-Marshall riposte is equally weak.


  • Roddy Piper comes out wearing an I.C.O.N. shirt, and he can fuck right off with that shit. The crowd in the Omni encourages this fuck. Though Marshall and Heenan started the lame insult train, Piper busted through and took over driving it in this promo. Oh no, is this the fucking nightmare segment with the "Third Family" shit? It is! Oh, this is some AWFUL television. I.C.O.N. = I COWER OVER NOTHIN'. This is legendarily bad. Anyway, he's gonna wrestle some guys to see if they can be on his wrestling team at Uncensored. I'm frantically trying to Google the guys in this segment. The first one, IDK, and he gets rolled around and paintbrushed. The crowd isn't into him. Luther Reigns come down! YEAH! I am weirdly a mark for that guy. He's my favorite bland hoss of the WWE's mid-aughts Bland Hoss Era. He slaps Piper and gets in a few blows before Piper counters his slam attempt with a sleeper. The ham n' eggers aren't feeling Horshu.


  • The third guy comes down, but he's jumped by a fourth guy who is wearing boxing gloves, LOLOL WTF. This guy looks like Nick Dinsmore and Dr. Death had an illegitimate child together. Piper puts on gloves and these dudes throw a bunch of punches and knock each other down and then Piper hits the guy in the back of the head. Baby Eugene drags Piper down and, look, this is stupid, trust me. Eventually, Piper stops the fight...and oh, man, he just got this guy back to standing so they could do some more shitty boxing-wrestling hybrid. Piper wants to add the guy to the team, but the crowd is like FUCK THIS GUY, hahahaha. 


  • Someone call the cops because Piper is attempting to murder this crowd. Piper goes full Jeb Bush and is like PLEASE CLAP, but the crowd refuses. Now they're wrestling! Why?! Dude, you are not getting this guy over via this segment. Honestly, thinking he could pull off this segment is more vainglorious than anything Hogan's done on WCW TV so far, and that is saying a hell of a lot. Now some bearded guy gets in the ring to do some Muay Thai, I guess. Muay Thai and shitty pro wrestling forearms. Some really garbage work ensues as the Omni tries desperately to stay excited. This guy can barely hold Piper up for a press slam. Piper doesn't even ask the crowd for thumbs ups anymore. He's just like I'm winded, I'm tired, this guy is on the team, fuck you. 


  • Finally, the last man comes out, and it's John Tenta. John Tenta rules, yeah, but late-career Tenta is not saving this segment by being awesome, unfortunately. He at least got a pop coming down. Then the fourth and fifth guys, who honestly both look like Steve Williams, jump in and attack Tenta, and they all fight while Piper celebrates that he has his team of four people. 


  • OK, so I guess at Uncensored, WCW, the nWo, and Piper all have four-person teams for whatever the main event is? I don't remember any of this. Piper slaps his team across their faces and then threatens Hogan with his team of jobbers and also John Tenta. This crowd is SILENT. I have never EVER seen one person kill a crowd this hot, this fast, barring like, legitimate in-ring tragedies. Though if you wanted to argue that on some level, this segment was an in-ring tragedy, I would understand. 


  • Post-break, Rey Misterio Jr. and Mr. JL are in the ring. Rey got a jobber entrance to help fit in that last segment? Shameful. Prince Iaukea cuts a bad inset promo while the match happens. This is a decent little TV match because Lynn and Misterio are good workers who work hard. This crowd is so dead, none of Rey or JL's dives or flips or ranas work to get them hyped. I just want to point out that this show gave Piper all that time, but we got like four minutes tops of DDP and Luger's nowhere to be seen so far. Rey does some magic by getting the crowd to wake up and pop big for his springboard rana, which gets three. Rey rules. 


  • Ugh, it's Madusa. Gene Okerlund is like, Hey, you still work here?  Madusa reminds us that she dumped a title in a trash can, and for what? She demands to see Bischoff's manager to request his firing; then, she shit talks Luna Vachon who is apparently here! Tenay jumps in with a "From the famed Vachon wrestling family?!" when Tony S. mentions her name. You're in fine TNA Wrestling form already, Tenay! You goof. Anyway, I don't even remember Luna having a WCW run. This can't be a very long run because she's seconding Goldust in just a few months from now. 


  • The whole nWo comes out next. Sting wanders out with the rest of the nWo, though in fairness, he's quietly hanging in the back of the group, looking like a sad puppy. Bischoff is going to talk again. Wonderful. He and Hogan are like, Whatever, we're buddies with Ted. Fuck off, Schiller. OK. I don't care. Oh God, Hulk Hogan says he's gonna "shoot," then makes a Piper's Pickled Peppers insult that really was unnecessary in its badness. You stupid bums have Hall and Nash standing around here, and you don't let them talk? Some fan yells YOU EGG-SUCKIN' DOG at Savage. Bless that fan. Savage and Hogan and Bischoff are all arguing who the biggest ICON is, but I don't give a fuck. The nWo is trash. Let's get the Wolfpac spun off ASAP so at least Nash gets more promo time. 


  • Hogan calls Hall and Nash THA COOLEST BRAHS IN THE WORLD WR-WORLD OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING. This guy is terrible, hahahaha. Just get to Sting swinging a baseball bat around already. The nWo celebrates. Sting just stands there. There was no bat-swinging. I am disappointed. 


  • The Steiner Brothers are back for the first time since the car crash incident. They get no promo time and just come out at the very end of the show. They're up against Lex Luger and the Giant. Hey look, four guys who I wish were on TV way more, and who are going to get - let's check - fewer than seven minutes of combined TV time in total tonight. I've said it before and will say it again, but Nitro was falling off by late 1996 and is a mixed bag with some dire shit on it at this point. This show peaked in its first eight months in a lot of ways. 


  • This match is short, but I love Scott Steiner belly-to-bellying Luger and then rudely gesturing at the Giant while yelling like a maniac. The Giant gets a tag shortly after that and hits one of his really awesome elbowdrops that he's got in his bag. Rick Steiner hits a blind tag, double-axehandles the Giant, and then the Steiners team up for a vertical suplex on the big man. This is fun, but it's not lasting much longer. The teams square off in the middle of the ring, and then the nWo comes back out through the crowd. Sting comes down the aisle and joins them. Piper brings his crew of bums (and Tenta) out as well. Everyone teases a fight while the Omni chants for Sting. Sting just stands around in the aisle watching things unfold. The melee begins, Sting backs away, end show. 


  • That was a tale of two hours. The second hour was so bad that playing it on repeat 24 hours a day to extract information from suspected terrorists should be a crime punishable at the ICC. 2 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i dabble in a little bit of schadenfreude, so i have been looking forward to you watching this week's Piper segment. Especially after the way you (deservedly) raked him over the coals for the SuperBrawl build. 

OTOH, i can't get behind your take on Savage. I'm obviously biased, as he's my #1 of all time, but my point stands. Also, you weren't a fan of the Savage/Page feud? I thought the build was good (not great, but better than your average non-main event feuds) but that the matches were top notch.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, twiztor said:

i dabble in a little bit of schadenfreude, so i have been looking forward to you watching this week's Piper segment. Especially after the way you (deservedly) raked him over the coals for the SuperBrawl build. 

OTOH, i can't get behind your take on Savage. I'm obviously biased, as he's my #1 of all time, but my point stands. Also, you weren't a fan of the Savage/Page feud? I thought the build was good (not great, but better than your average non-main event feuds) but that the matches were top notch.

Savage is my second-favorite wrestler ever behind Bret Hart. I love the guy. I think the Flair feud, while ultimately a bit directionless because Bischoff never gave the story a satisfying ending, was an amazing piece of work on his part. 

I just think that he's lost in 1997, as to be fair a lot of '80s guys were, and he's here in the nWo still wearing tassels on his arms and saying stuff like VERY COOL, YEAH while Nash and Hall and Syxx sound contemporary. It sticks out in a bad way.

The Page feud, I found a mixed bag, from what I recall. I thought using Kimberly's Playboy photos made no sense. She was happy to be in the magazine. I don't see why that's a diss that Page would get hot over. In fact, it goes entirely against Page as a character to get mad about that. He's the type of dude who'd be like, "Yeah, my hot wife was in Playboy" and puff out his chest proudly.

The matches are fine, but there is at least one wandering brawl in there that probably felt fresh at the time for people who weren't ECW regulars (like myself as it wasn't on syndicated TV consistently, at least where I was living at the time), but that feels lesser than what they could do watching it now. Savage is a good brawler, but other than Austin, those '90s brawls that go everywhere feel cookie cutter in the hands of pretty much every worker, IMO. 

I haven't seen all that stuff recently, though! Just some of it. I'm hoping that most of it is better than I remember. 

Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #79 - 10 March 1997

"The (first) one where Dennis Rodman gets paid without having to do any of that damn wrestling shit."

  • SPRING BREAK! WOO! I dig these spring break outdoor shows. The setup at Club La Vela is genuinely cool.


  • Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan are hanging out together somewhere before the show, standing in front of a Double Impact movie poster. They shill both the movie and the potential of future Rodman-and-Hogan-related fuckery. 


  • A white limo pulls up, and out steps Roddy Piper, John Tenta, and the bums from last week's four-hour-long segment.


  • High Voltage faces off with Jeff Jarrett and Mongo McMichael in a match that basically is perfect TV pro wrestling. I find, as I get older, that I really value those four-to-eight minute matches that get a bunch of stuff done. This match does that. Jarrett and Mongo are clearly placed a couple of levels above their opponents. They generally control the match, and though Jarrett gets into trouble when he gets loose with his ring positioning and allows Rage to help Kaos double-team him unexpectedly, he's never really in trouble. In fact, he gets out of the jam by himself, no hot tag needed. Mongo is a wrecking ball, and Jarrett's tag to him after High Voltage's heat segment is over is simple and definitive in ending the match. Mongo hits Rage with a swinging neckbreaker and a Tombstone for a relatively easy three-count. During the match, Larry Z. and Tony S. helpfully put over High Voltage as rookies with potential who just need time to learn the ropes (heh). Larry Z does one of my favorite commentator tricks around by comparing High Voltage to a young Harlem Heat - I love it when a commentator with credibility does the old "these young guys could be as good as [X] established wrestler(s) someday if they just keep working at it" thing. On top of all that, the match itself is fun, a simple little tag match with some good moves and nice spots. There is something to be said for matches that don't shatter your worldview of what professional wrestling can be, but that just are a nice entertaining little bit of entertainment that you're glad to have watched. Pro wrestling is good sometimes.


  • Pro wrestling is also bad sometimes, as in the next segment. Gene Okerlund comes to the ring and kills all the vibes by inviting Roddy Piper and John Tenta (w/ bums, in kilts) to the ring. So, this week, Piper makes shitty dad versions of sex jokes and yells UNCENSORED (hey, that's the name of the next WCW PPV!) after each punchline. He SHOOTS on Howard Stern in the meantime, maybe because Stern doesn't want this fucking dork on his show. He also SHOOTS on the WWF for talking bad about his hip and makes a dumb pun about it ("YOU HAVE NO ONE WHO'S HIP ON YOUR PAY-PER-VIEWS"). I guess everyone hated his shitty segment last week, because he is upset about THA (nameless) CRITICS.


  • Thank God, it's Ric Flair and the Horsemen to abort this whole "Roddy Piper and his Merry Men" thing by offering the services of the Horsemen instead. Arn totally disses my man Tenta by lumping him in with the "amateurs" on the rest of Piper's team. Part of the crowd is chanting WE WANT FLAIR while Arn talks, damn. No need for that. Piper, who has just said that he's no fair-weather friend in his very remarks tonight, is about to get convinced to ditch his group of dudes. In fairness, Flair is cutting a heck of a promo here. He's convinced me. He's like, Look, you've done what you can, and it's been impressive, but now you need to run with people who can get as nasty as Hogan and the nWo can. But it's much better than that, of course, I can't possibly capture it via paraphrase. Anyway, this segment rendered that whole thing last week to be entirely pointless, but I'm glad that I watched it so that if anyone ever tells me to re-assess Piper's career, I can refuse on the grounds of that one segment.


  • Squire Dave Taylor is apparently done killing wild animals in Kenya or whatever, and is back wearing his typical Brit-garb. He's got a TV Championship shot against Prince Iaukea tonight. We are reminded via inset how Iaukea won said title. Squire Taylor cuts a quick promo on the inset next, but before that, I go ahead and watch Rocky Maivia vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley from the 2/13/97 RAW to see how the matches compare. Skip these inset bubbles if you don't care about RAW, you're like fuck that, you are only reading this post because you are mildly interested in one old man's ranting about a 25-year-old wrestling show, but not the other 25-year-old wrestling show.


    • Ode to Joy" is HHH's best entrance music, I'm going to say. That's a great choice for an entrance. There needs to be more classical used as entrance music because Ride of the Valkyries" and its rock remix Flight of the Valkyries also ruled for Bryan Danielson to the point that I think it's way better than "The Final Countdown." And I do like me some synth (though more synthpop than synth rock). 


    • Ah, this was THURSDAY RAW THURSDAY and Shawn Michaels had lost his smile earlier in the night. Wow, historic show. Anyway, these two do some decent matwork, but the crowd is convinced that ROCKY SUCKS. Haha, he does pretty much suck as a bland white-meat babyface. HHH works on top and disrespectfully slaps the Rock, who is fired up in response. HHH ducks between the ropes, doing some solid heeling here in spite of the crowd's dislike of the Rock. The Rock fires up and barely hits a dropkick, sending HHH outside. HHH gets back on top, hits a couple elbows, and sits in a chinlock because he literally didn't have one interesting heel control segment ever until WrestleMania fucking THIRTY, and it's not even WM 13 yet at the time this match takes place. Rocky works up and hits another dropkick that spills HHH outside. This time, he goes out to follow up, but eats post on a charge. HHH goes to work on the arm. Armbreaker, kneedrop to the arm, and then, hey, we're going to sit in an unimpressive-looking armlock that HHH doesn't work much at all. We get a straight ROCKY chant because HHH is so fucking boring that his boringness has somehow moved the crowd over to the Rock's side. Well, I guess there's something to be said about this control segment after all.


    • HHH is still in control coming out of the break, but the Honky Tonk Man wanders out and HHH is mildly distracted by it. HTM's on commentary now. Sure, why not? Honky's trying to find his new Rockabilly to mentor and doesn't think either guy in the ring has it in them. In the ring, HHH *sigh* slaps on a sleeper hold. Remember when he tried to get that over as a finisher in the early-aughts? It didn't work because - and I'm going to praise Roddy Piper here - he doesn't exactly work it or anything like Piper does. Even Dan Spivey hit the crazy eyes and yanked the guy around in his Waylon Mercy days. Give me something, Hunter. The Rock reverses into his own sleeper, but gets run into the buckle chin-first. HHH hits the Rock with a piledriver that looks good, that was awesome, but it only gets two. Heated at what he thinks is a slow count, he sets the Rock up for a superplex that also only gets two. He goes for the Pedigree, but we get the Bret Hart/Diesel Survivor Series spot where the Rock plays possum, so HHH relaxes too much and the Rock gets a small package for three. This was WAY better executed than the Dollar Value version in the Iaukea/Regal match. The whole thing could have been five minutes shorter, maybe, but I get the idea behind it going longer because you'd have to sell that HHH would have time to beat the Rock up and then buy into the Rock's selling of that beating/playing possum as something that would work based on what led up to it.


    • Also, a green Rocky Maivia is still a million times more fun to watch than a green Prince Iaukea, so factor that in, even if Regal >>>>>>>>> HHH. 


  • Back to Nitro! Iaukea and Taylor have a pacey opening sequence, but we immediately cut back to the nWo getting out of a Hummer limo. Someone jumped VKM Wallstreet while everyone was strutting around grinning into the camera, oops! We watch as the rest of the nWo stands around him while a match happens in the ring. We get back to said match and it seems fine, honestly. Taylor and Iaukea trade pinfall attempts, but the finish is Iaukea shifting his weight on a Taylor bodyslam attempt and getting a three count when Taylor falls backwards, oh come on, get this kid a finish because these finishes are not doing him any favors. I get it, you're trying to show that the kid can win out of nothing, but this isn't the way to do it. 


  • Jim Powers is getting a U.S. Championship shot at Eddy Guerrero for some reason. Oh no, Dean Malenko is on commentary for this. Why? Dean Malenko is asking himself "why," too, but about why Eddy is so jealous of him. OK, sure, whatever. Apparently, Eddy's winning matches in controversial ways, like on Nitro last week and also on SN from last week, too, Tony S. tells me.  Malenko says that Eddy's basically jealous of how great he is and the titles he's won, which is weird because Eddy is the number-two champ in the fucking company. I will give Dean credit for being like, yo, he won that because the nWo won it for him, that's not a real champ there. OK, good point. Larry Z. helpfully agrees. The crowd chants for Eddy a bit, and Eddy responds with a tope con hilo and a pinfall attempt. His feet are in the ropes, so that dumbass Teddy Long jumps up on the apron to complain...and gets knocked off as Eddy runs Powers into him so that he can roll Powers up off the rebound. I blame Long for being a negative-WAR manager. Malenko swears that this is more proof that Eddy will do whatever he needs to win. What, are you saying Eddy would lie, cheat, and steal to win a match? I don't see it myself. 


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Eddy in the ring after the match. Eddy points out that Dean Malenko's the guy who's getting DQ'ed for choking dudes out instead of trying to win wrestling matches, so why is everyone saying that Eddy's the one who has changed? I feel like Eddy is basically going to take the Nick Wilde approach to turning heel - Everybody already thinks I'm a heel, so fuck it, I'm heeling it up - and I am here for it. 


  • Hey, it's Pitbull Pittman, and his opponent is Diamond Dallas Page. Low-key, Page and Pittman are a really good matchup for one another. They've had fun TV stuff in the past. Pitbull scores a double-leg takedown and celebrates. Page goes one better in the next exchange, strikes Pittman to the mat, and then throws up THE THE THE ROC. I dig that Bischoff knows what we all want to see, which is DDP killing dudes with Diamond Cutters. But before that, DDP hits a Rocker Dropper (!) and Pittman gets a fairly lengthy control segment where he does some chokes and hits a sloppy belly-to-belly. DDP fights back, wins a punch-up, and then hits a boot out of a corner charge into a Diamond Cutter for three. This was the least of the TV matches they've had, but it was still fun because these two are fun, especially DDP. Post-match, Okerlund enters the ring to talk to Page, who has threats for Randy Savage. Well, we'd hear those threats if the production truck/generator/transformer outside the club didn't explode. The lights around the ring go out, the mic cuts out, but Page and Okerlund just keep talking. Tony S. has to send us out to break before we can learn the nature of DDP's anger toward Savage. 


  • It takes a commercial break, but finally, we come back to the ring so that Page can finish his promo and remind everyone of his name. We really didn't need to wait for this, honestly.


  • Galaxy has a sweet-looking getup on. I would assume that he and Rey Misterio Jr. have mixed it up many times both before and after tonight's matchup between the two. Rey's got an inset promo as he enters the ring in which he politely addresses Prince Iaukea, his opponent at Uncensored. This match is cool. Galaxy tries to walk the top rope, and Rey, who is not held in thrall by Galaxy's zombie powers, just yanks him down. Galaxy hits a nice lariat after that anyway, but he whiffs on a moonsault and then eats a springboard rana for three. Short, sweet, and Rey rightfully shouldn't need more than three minutes to put away jobbers. Rey speaks softly into the camera post-victory and then yells SPRING BREAK! Geez, finally, someone who knows what to do when they're on Spring Break. 


  • Hour number two is here. Let's hope it doesn't go off the rails like last week. The fellas at the desk are hyped about Dennis Rodman being involved with the program. Hey, it's John Sencio, one of the lesser VJs from MTV. Speaking of '90s MTV, I've never been into the alt-girl look, but I did think Serena Altschul was cute when I was a pre-teen. So, my wife has CBS Sunday Morning on a couple months ago and it's forty-something buttoned-up mom Serena Altschul doing one of the segments! She's got serious MILF appeal, and I'll settle down, fine. Anyway, Miss WCW Spring Break comes down. She's really struggling with getting through the ropes. Eh, she's Florida pretty, I guess. I apologize to anyone from Florida who is reading this. Sencio shills WCW's upcoming MTV appearances. Okerlund warns Heenan not to sexually harass Miss WCW Spring Break, which, um, warn yourself, Okerlund, you creep. 


  • The AFCs are here! Along with Greg Valentine and Roadblock, oh man, are we getting a WCW-ass WCW matchup? We are! This is an eight-man tag in which WCW's Uncensored representatives are here as their opponents - Lex Luger, the Giant, and the Steiner Brothers. Tony S. finally gives up the rules to the four-on-four-on-four match at Uncensored. If team WCW wins, the nWo is dead for three years. If Piper's team wins, one winner gets a shot at Hogan in the cage. If the nWo wins, they get a standing title challenge for any title. OK, these stakes are intriguing, though the nWo's stakes are so punitive that it's clear that WCW isn't winning (and the cage match stip means that I'm pretty sure I know who is winning, but that's not WCW's fault since I'm watching from the future). 


  • The match is short and the Giant chokeslams Roadblock. It did what it was supposed to do, and the Giant chokeslammed Roadblock. I liked it. Post-match, Okerlund interviews team WCW. Luger and the Giant give standard shit-talking rah-rah. Rick Steiner starts a sentence that he forgets how to finish and kicks it over to Scott Steiner, who is unfortunately subdued (well, for him) tonight. Luger proves that the University of Miami does in fact offer its athletes a decent education by successfully using the word "repugnant" in a sentence, twice. Then we go to break. 


  • THA JOOOOOOOOOOCE is here and getting regular Nitro time, finally. I expected the Cruiserweight scene to feel more robust by this time, but they're still not quite getting the competitiveness of the division right. Ultimo Dragon is the opponent. This could be a mess or pretty good, who knows? Well, as it turns out, it's cromulent. Everything feels really choreographed and somewhat disjointed to start. They tease a dump in the pool surrounding the ring for a few seconds, which perks me right up. I dig Dragon's offense. He hits a sweet backbreaker in there, for example. Dragon is one of the better "guy who just does a moves exhibition" workers of this time, IMO. He almost decapitates Juvy with a running powerbomb, though, as Juvy's head comes VERY close to snapping against the bottom rope. Dragon just runs through a shitload of offense and hits the Tiger Suplex for three. It's not really a contest, more of an extended squash, and was generally entertaining for what it was, though it was better once Dragon started running through MOVEZ~.


  • Current AEW superstar and proud Florida Man Chris Jericho excitedly yells COME AWNH as he stomps down to the ring. He's only the second-most annoying bubbly babyface in this match considering his opponent is Scotty Riggs. This match is fine. I don't really want to watch either of these guys, but that's not really their fault. Well, Jericho was overexposed and irritating fifteen years ago, so it's kind of his fault. Riggs needed a character reboot almost as soon as the American Males broke up, and he unfortunately didn't get it. But this work is crisp and the match is competitive, with a couple of nice sequences in the late game. Buff Bagwell runs in and whips the fuck out of Riggs with a belt, spurring the bell and a Jericho DQ, but Jericho stops him and Buff bails. Not even a finish? We could have done this on Saturday Night, Bischoff. 


  • Gene Okerlund is talking to Madusa in the entryway. She talks about herself in third-person for part of this segment and refuses to go back to managing. She also struggles to put together clear sentences, pronounces "especially" with an "x," and calls out an absent Luna Vachon. Well, it was short. 


  • Lee Marshall does his road report from Savannah, Georgia. Marshall references the Citadel accepting women in order to make a shitty joke (the joke was about poop, though it was also bad) about Bobby Heenan. It makes sense in context. Just trust me on that. 


  • Kevin Sullivan is down to the ring, but who cares about him? Jacqueline is going to fuck up this jobber and life-imprisoned piece of shit Hardbody Harrison and maybe dump him in the pool! That's what we want to see! Harrison's sent outside, and she snapmares and slams him while in an evening dress and heels, which is one of the more impressive athletic achievements that has been done in pro wrestling, TBH. The crowd pops huge for it. The match ends in a double-countout after Jacqueline and Sullivan just beat the shit out of this dude right over to beachside, then back to the set, where Jacqueline and Sullivan dump Harrison into the pool and then go cut an interview. No, don't let them talk, it'll fuck up their aura! They really should just let Jimmy Hart talk for them completely, but I guess this goes okay. Sullivan goes on too long in supporting the team-up between Piper and the Horsemen, but that's the worst I can say about it. Okerlund skeeves on Jacqueline, but only after she leaves, as is safest. 


  • The nWo floods the ring. Bischoff and Hogan talk too much. Sting is out here with them. Hogan introduces the rest of the video that we saw a snippet of at the start of the show, in which Hogan initiates Dennis Rodman into the nWo. I mean, Rodman is a really good get from a profile standpoint! He also drops a decent line in that video. We come back, and Bisch and Hogan want to give Sting his nWo shirt tonight! Hogan drapes it on Sting, who looks constipated. No, irritated. He's irritated. Nash gets to talk and is very smart: Mentions Loss-Damage Waivers because he is a fine legal mind (or has just rented a lot of cars, probably). Hall, like the Giant earlier, uses the line "Don't sing it, bring it" in his promo. Then, the rest of the nWo pretends that they don't know DDP's name since DDP was like WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH in his promo. Savage still thinks things are COOL, YEAH and Hogan says that nWo IS TITS, the latter of which only Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds can get away with saying credibly. This segment was not good, you will not be surprised for me to report. 


  • It's the final segment of the night! Fireworks go off and Public Enemy's music hits. I am going to assume that we're going to get a giant brawl to end the night? PE stop in the entryway to talk to Gene Okerlund, but it's a bit hard to hear since fireworks are going off and PE's music is still playing. Someone finally figures out to cut that shit off. Fuckin' Craig Leathers. Johnny Grunge thinks the Horsemen are bums and that Jarrett and Mongo can't stand up to PE. Grunge also asserts that Arn Anderson is washed. Chris Benoit goes unmentioned. Rocco Rock just quotes Rob Base and EZ Rock's "It Takes Two" until Harlem Heat run out and attack them for whatever reason to end the show. Um, okay. 


  • Hour number two did suck, and though it wasn't a total loss like the previous week, it really dragged. This run of shows into Uncensored has been, um, suboptimal, let's say. I don't even understand why this Nitro ended with that segment. It feels like after that first fun TV tag match, the show just slid downhill, with a lot of people who struggle to talk effectively spending time talking. Put it this way: If Rocky Maivia/HHH from THURSDAY RAW THURSDAY had been on this show, it would have been the second-best segment on the thing at absolute worst. 2.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #80 - 17 March 1997

"The one where Hall makes getting pelted with a full soda look cool as hell somehow"

  • We start with video from Uncensored of Dennis Rodman and the nWo spray-painting Lex Luger in a finish that was infuriating, man, just infuriating. They didn't show Sting beating the nWo's asses, though, so they're probably saving that for later in the show.


  • Psicosis and Rey Misterio Jr. start the in-ring portion of our show. It's a hot opener that the crowd is very into, full of dives and high-risk moves. Psicosis misses a corner charge and eats a plancha and a springboard rana for three. This was what you'd expect from a five-minute match between these two, but the crowd being into it definitely made it come off especially well. 


  • Arn Anderson cuts an interview with Gene Okerlund. Arn's glad to see Sting repping WCW, but he's getting fusion surgery in his neck, which at this point is a death sentence for pro wrestlers, much like TJ surgery or ACL surgery was for baseball and football players in the '80s. Arn cuts a wonderful promo in which he relates his coming retirement to his grandmother's desire to die only after she's sure Arn and the family can take care of themselves. He also squashes the Kevin Sullivan beef with some story about Sullivan's kid disowning dear old Dungeon Dad. He's like You've gone through enough, Kevin, let's kill all this feuding, I'd feel bad if I didn't at least try to stop all this and died on the operating table before I could make things right. This was a surprisingly emotionally low-key "Arn's retiring" promo, that's for sure. They couldn't give this man more flowers considering how important he's been to the company?


  • WCW Uncensored stills are shown. DDP and Kimberly are embarrassed by the widely-distributed nudes that Kimberly happily and willingly did for Playboy being seen by a couple of nWo members. Chaos ensues. 


  • It's Maxx, who we last saw getting beaten up by an annoyed Randy Savage in Show #71. Now, we're going to see him get beaten up by an annoyed Diamond Dallas Page. Coincidences! Maxx is pretty shitty, but his terrible offense lasts for about twenty seconds before DDP takes over, blocks a full nelson attempt with a jawbreaker, and hits a Diamond Cutter for three.


  • DDP cuts an interview post-match in which Gene Okerlund is all like Savage still won't ACKNOWLEDGE YOU, DDP. Also, he beat the shit out of you and tagged your wife. How do you feel about that? Wow Gene, no chill. DDP calls Liz a "bimbo" and then says that Kimberly is his wife, and I'm asking, how did they get back together anyway? Did DDP comfort her in her time of need after Johnny B. Badd left her and the Booty Man tried to go nWo (and got beat up)? Did they reconnect because Page had genuinely changed? I need details. Savage is standing in  the crowd with Liz and is like BROTHER BROTHER BROTHER BROTHER, and though he tells DDP to "take the bass out of [his] voice," which is a great line, he's pretty much a total cornball, and Page is also a cornball, but he's OUR fightin' babyface cornball. Savage denies Page a match or even a name, and he runs away when Page chases him. This feud is going to be a hot one to most people, so I accept that I will be a naysaying outlier here. 


  • Hugh Morrus and Konnan tag up to face Renegade and Joe Gomez. Hold on, the match is delayed by Eric Bischoff, who walks over to the desk with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in tow. Bischoff has an announcement, which is that we're getting Hall and Nash in a tag match on FREE TV, YEAH! They fuck off to the back after said announcement, and we get our tag match. It's mostly boring, but while it happens, Larry Z. makes a reference/joke about Bill Clinton falling down Greg Norman's steps in the hopes that the Outsiders might visit Norman's house and do the same thing, and I laugh because it's such a bizarrely-specific reference. In the ring, Gomez is getting murdered, gets a hot tag, and Renegade jumps in, hits two moves, and tags right back out like an asshole, LOL. Gomez immediately falls victim to a No Laughing Matter. That was great. Renegade being an excitable dolt and making an error that led to the finish was unexpected, but neat. Bonus: Post-match, a groggy Joe Gomez is clearly like, Yo, what the fuck man, why did you tag me back in? I dug the last thirty seconds of this thing. 


  • Scotty Riggs comes out and claps off-beat. He got his ass whooped by Buff Bagwell at Uncensored. We see stills of Buff's victory last night. Dean Malenko comes out, and now the inset picture shows stills of Malenko/Eddy Guerrero from Uncensored. In the ring, Riggs and Malenko have a decent match. Riggs is a solid-enough worker who will have good TV matches consistently, and Malenko doesn't bother with the pointless matwork and goes right at Riggs. Malenko hits a Stun Gun on Riggs and rolls him up for three, then tells the camera that he's planning on being a dual-title holder and beating Syxx next. That was entertaining TV wrestling right there. 


  • Lex Luger and the Giant come to the ring. The chyron lists them as WCW World Tag Team Champions. Are they, now? I thought Bischoff gave them back to Hall and Nash before he was deposed. Fuckin' Craig Leathers. They beat the shit out of a couple indie jobbers named Knuckles Nelson and Tarantula. We get a couple chokeslams and a rack and the crowd is like YEAHHHHHHHH because Luger and the Giant both rule. I concur. YEAHHHHHHH


  • Luger and the Giant interview with Gene post-match. They, too, are excited about Sting being WCW. Luger believes in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and Leprechaun again now that Sting is back. Well, you'd better believe in the Leprechaun, you've probably talked to Braun around the water cooler backstage. Luger is very marble-mouthed and probably doesn't need to talk so much right now, and the promo as a whole stinks, but whatever, these guys are great anyway. 


  • Larry Z. is confused about the Mortis/Wrath/Glacier stuff. I feel you, Larry. Don't think about it so hard and just enjoy James Vandenberg's crew doing cool offense. Anyway, the next match is Ultimo Dragon and Bobby Eaton. It's a quick little squash match that Dragon wins with a Tiger Suplex. He stuck the mask on and came out to do this match even though he was on internet commentary duty again this week. Pay this man twice!


  • Rockhouse hits, which means we're going to get a ponderous promo that never FRICKIN' ends and that Hogan, Bischoff, and Savage will dominate. Well, at least Hogan and Savage don't go on too long and we get to Nash and Hall challenging the Steiner Brothers at Spring Stampede. Hahahaha, this is where someone nails Hall with a drink and he just smooths his hair out. That's the coldest shit I've seen in awhile. Here's the link, you remember it probably, but watch it again, it's cold as hell though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu_NTCG0LYo


  • Hour number two brings us a recap of the budding Savage/DDP feud, followed by Mongo McMichael and Jeff Jarrett tagging up to face Alex Wright and Mark Starr. I'm glad to see Alex Wright on Nitro again. Jarrett and Mongo are a very enjoyable tag team, I gotta say, and I remain sad that we're not getting Jarrett/Mongo vs. the Outsiders on PPV. Mongo clips Starr's knee so that Jarrett can hook on the Figure Four for the win. Public Enemy come out to resume their feud with the Horsemen, who helped Harlem Heat beat PE at Uncensored. Debra helps out with a briefcase shot to Johnny Grunge as the four men brawl up the ramp. After all that, they walk over and calmly cut a promo. Man, this trio rules! Debra is very excited about being right w/r/t Jarrett being a quality Horseman, and Mongo says I DARE YOU PEOPLE TO BOO THIS LADY and the crowd boos anyway because they are ANIMALS. Debra insults Johnny Grunge's girlfriend and Mongo pats Gene's head before everyone leaves. I loved all of this Horsemen-related fuckery, a hundred percent. 


  • Lee Marshall is in AWA Country this week: Duluth, Minnesota. I've never been to Duluth, but Minneapolis is an underrated city. Great place. Marshall makes some Bob Dylan-related Weasel jokes. I did not know that Bob Dylan was born in Duluth. 


  • It's Scott Norton, hey! I'm assuming he's been in Japan, and that's why he hasn't been seen on Nitro or PPV lately. His opponent, Chavo Guerrero Jr., has also been off Nitro and PPV. WCW has way too many guys and not enough TV time for them. This is a fun big-little match in which Chavo gets shoved around and desperately tries to use his speed and agility to get an advantage. The finish is great: Chavo tries a sunset flip, it gets blocked, and Norton hits a DISGUSTING powerbomb for three. Yo, these short TV matches have been enjoyable tonight. 


  • Hulk Hogan desperately tries to be cool by mugging with Dennis Rodman in a video promo. It doesn't work. 


  • The desirable members of the nWo (Hall, Nash, Syxx) come to the ring for a match. Before they wrestle,they sing the fucking COPS theme, so hey, even they get it wrong sometimes. HOLY SHIT, IT'S A BUNKHOUSE BUCK SIGHTING. He and Mike Enos are here - Bunk and Ready? - as the Outsiders' opponents. This match is whatever, and Hall and Buck have like zero chemistry (Hall is visibly irritated at one point). Enos refuses to tag in and get his ass beat, so eventually Nash has to force the tag by tossing Buck into Enos. Hall dominates until Buck throws a knee into his back from outside the ring. Enos gets a two-count on a lovely powerslam, but that's about as close as he gets to victory. Hall works out of a sleeper and hits a hot tag to Nash, who destroys both opponents and hits a Jackknife Powerbomb on Buck; Hall follows up with a Razor's Edge on Enos that gets three. I just wanted to see these two hit their big moves, and they did, and I liked it just for that reason. 


  • WCW, in its infinite wisdom, replays part of that garbage Piper promo he cut at Uncensored the other night. Fuck off. Now Chris Benoit and Woman come out, which, cool! Benoit beats holy hell out of Billy Kidman tonight and debuts the Crippler Crossface on Nitro to boot. He gets a submission with the move after about forty-five seconds. No need for him to talk! That was effective enough! No, Gene, just direct your questions to Woman! Before Gene can pose a question, Ric Flair comes to the ring and gives Benoit and Woman a hug. That doesn't stop Benoit from talking, though. FUCK. Benoit's Keith Lee Memorial Vocabulary Extravaganza: repelling, saddening, okay, that wasn't too extreme. He did okay for himself this week in general. He gives love to Arn and tells Sullivan to stop with their feud because Taskmaster's in too deep to win. He suggests that Sullivan focus on personal growth rather than displacing his rage outwardly. That's not the worst advice. Then Flair does late-WCW-era Flair stuff, but also shits on Piper for being terrible at Uncensored. Eh, he acquitted himself okay. It's not like Mongo, Jarrett, and Benoit exactly dominated that match. Flair makes fun of Piper for wanting to spend time with his family. Well, that's uncalled for. You know what else is uncalled for? A Piper/Flair feud in 1997. Don't even do it, Bischoff


  • I guess Michael Buffer gave Bischoff a two-for-one discount because he's here to introduce the Nitro main event a night after he introduced the Uncensored main event. Said main event: Harlem Heat vs. the Steiner Brothers. They don't have a lot of time, so the match is very pacey and has lots of "big dudes doing really cool power and agility" spots in it for its length. It doesn't get a finish, though; the nWo runs in and beats the shit out of both teams, sparking a no contest. They enjoy free reign for a few minutes, but Luger and the Giant come out and help the Steiners and Harlem Heat clear the ring. Then Sting comes down from the rafters and everyone goes BANANA, Hogan is shook, and we go to black. 


  • I think I pretty much liked this Nitro. It moved quickly and had a bunch of short, fun matches. It also had some pretty bad talking, but the matches outweighed the bad talking segments. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #81 - 24 March 1997

"The one where Hacksaw continues to cheat and no one does anything about it and he's a real piece of shit, why do crowds cheer for him, damn it?"

  • Bischoff is testing a new strategy: Start the show with video of something that happened on the previous major show. This week, we start with clips from last Nitro's Savage/DDP confrontation. It's not a bad idea to build hype at the start of the show in this way!


  • Larry Hennig is in the front row. That man has a giant fuckin' head. 


  • Konnan and Dean Malenko are kicking this show off. This is one of those weirdly-appealing matchups to me. These fellas don't have a lot of chemistry, but the crowd is hot for it and it works for me. I think Konnan's sort of fun to watch doing this erratic, violent cholo gimmick. Syxx cuts a promo on the inset that we can barely hear, but that he's using to insinuate that Eddy was trying to Cheat-2-Win at Uncensored and just fucked it up. He's obviously fomenting dissension between Dean and Eddy, so of course these two won't figure that out. Konnan tries a top-rope move, but Malenko catches his legs and turns him over in the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission victory. I liked this for what it was. 


  • Dean Malenko is still heated about Syxx and Eddy in a post-match interview, but he's also got a new target: Chris Benoit, who is his U.S. Championship opponent at Spring Stampede. He cuts a mediocre promo, but I do think there's a nice "is the wrestling machine stretching himself too thin in the name of competition and titles" thread working through his story right now. 


  • Tony S. and Larry Z. hype the rest of the show and walk us through some of the footage of the Glacier/Mortis/Wrath stuff from Uncensored. Good news, everyone: Now we get a Mortis match, a weirdly competitive one against Jerry Flynn. Kanyon Does These Cool Moves: Wheel kick, avalanche Rocker Dropper, avalanche Samoan Drop (which Tony S. calls the Flatliner). He also eats a nice powerbomb. Mortis gave way too much to Flynn in this match even though it was entertaining. 


  • La Parka is a fashion icon tonight (and every night, really, but especially tonight). THA JOOOOOOCY ONE contrasts with a simple black-and-silver attire. Parka's ahead on points for me right now. This match rules because La Parka is entertaining as hell, strutting, dancing, catching Juvi and strutting while carrying him, etc. Duluth is on fire tonight, but this match really gets them going because of Parka's antics and Parka & Juvy's dives. I'm happy for both these dudes to get this type of reaction on TV. Parka blocks a top-rope rana with a powerbomb, then hits a Tsukahara for three. I very much enjoyed this match. 


  • It's more PPV recap! This time, we jump back to Souled Out to see the end of Steiner Brothers/Outsiders. We also see Bischoff getting suspended, Rick Steiner being downed at Uncensored, and the whole car crash thing. I guess Bisch must have seen a ratings jump and figured that he needed to do more recapping for all the new viewers. 


  • Rick and Scott cut an interview with Gene after all this recap. It's acceptable.


  • High Voltage and Public Enemy wrestle one another next. Robbie Rage has been pretty fun in his past few TV matches and seems to have a little potential. Duluth waves their hands in the air in, well, let's say something that resembles rhythm, I guess? I've seen more rhythm from wacky waving inflatable tube people in the middle of a wind storm, honestly. It's a quick little thing with some babyface shine, a short heat segment, and a hot tag leading to a table spot that the crowd is desperate to see. All of those things are competently worked. Unfortunately for PE, their table-assisted cannonball of Rage doesn't get them a win; Debra and Jarrett come out and Jarrett clocks Johnny Grunge with the 'burton, then rolls Kaos onto Grunge for three. Mongo is mad that he wasn't included in this plan for whatever reason. I feel like bookers in general are bad at actually concluding love triangle angles, as good as they often are.


  • Lex Luger and the Giant interview with Gene Okerlund. We're getting a Four Corners match for #1 Contendership to the WCW Championship at Spring Stampede, Gene informs me. Apparently, this match will include Lex, Giant, and Harlem Heat. Huh, that's a come up for Booker and Stevie. The Giant and Luger are friends and think that the nWo stinks, basically is the summary of this whole interview. 


  • Psicosis and Calo enter the ring for a one-on-one competition while Sonny Onoo insults Rey Misterio's height in the inset. Misterio/Ultimo Dragon is on for Spring Stampede. Psicosis/Calo is fine, though all the high-risk dives are offering diminishing returns to some degree. Duluth is still sort of into this, ultimately. They also are chanting something at one of the wrestlers, I don't know what. Psicosis hits the guillotine legdrop for three. This was inoffensive. 


  • We are welcomed to the second hour of Nitro with fireworks and some recap of the first hour of Nitro.


  • Hugh Morrus and Chris Benoit should be a decent matchup. Hey, Woman's not around tonight. Boo. The desk talks about Kevin Sullivan destroying his own family ("in real life," says Tenay) because of this whole Woman thing without getting at exactly how Sullivan destroyed his family. I don't know what's a work or a shoot or a worked shoot, and I really do not care when it comes down to it. I'm glad we got that SuperBrawl match out of this feud, but let it go already. This match is a short, hard-hitting one, and Konnan helps Hugh Morrus win by shoving Chris Benoit off the top rope after Jimmy Hart runs a distraction outside. Sullivan is in the ring now *sigh* and also jumping Benoit. Malenko runs in for the save, but not really because he got his ass beat immediately. What does this segment serve? The crowd chants for the Horsemen for what feels like an hour before Ric Flair makes the save by his own damn self. 


  • Bischoff can't book a midcard feud properly to save his life. He can book a beginning, but then the middle seems to go on forever and ever, and there is no end. I guess that's just his style - he never ended the Sting/Hogan/Savage/Luger/Giant feud (though the nWo coming in and cutting it off makes sense from multiple perspectives). He never ended the nWo. He never ends any of these midcard feuds. The Sullivan v. Horsemen feud has literally been happening since 1995. I'm up to March 1997 in this viewing. It's still going. 


  • My re-assessment of Bischoff is that he was awful at the creative aspects of his job and should thank Hall, Sting, Nash, and (initially) heel Hogan for any success he had. I don't even need to see the rest of his initial run as head of WCW creative to make this judgment. It's not getting any better from here. 


  • Harlem Heat/Faces of Fear is a fun little matchup. So, there's a spot early in the match where Barb catches Booker, has him in powerslam position, and Barb walks over to his corner and has Meng dump Booker from Barb's shoulders directly to the floor. It's a GREAT spot. You are good for at least one awesome spot in pretty much every FoF match, I think. The dopey crowd starts a LET'S GO GOPHERS chant because they kind of suck. Booker does his "missed kick self-crotching" spot followed by Meng clotheslining him. That rules. We get a stereo middle-rope headbutt spot. Also great. I guess this crowd just wants the flippies. We get a HARLEM HEAT chant during this last FoF control segment, so I guess the crowd picked who they wanted to root for that was actually in the ring rather than at the Final Four. Stevie Ray doesn't even care about tagging and just jumps in, takes over, and launches Booker for a Heatseeker that gets a two-count. Booker gets two off a Harlem sidekick, but ducks on a backdrop attempt and gets powerbombed by Meng. Stevie and Barb go at it outside; in the ring, Sherri takes one for the team and shoves Booker out of the way of a Meng charge; Booker hits another side kick and rolls up Meng for three. This was solid televised wrestling action, as is par for the course for these teams. 


  • Ric Flair and Chris Benoit are back out to interview with Gene Okerlund. Benoit doesn't stretch his vocab this go-round; he's still mad at Sullivan and is confused about Dean Malenko's intentions w/r/t coming out for the save. Ric Flair thinks Roddy Piper sucks, basically. Flair is committed to the gimmick in this promo and in real life, too - he's confused about Piper not hitting the bars and having sex with strange people seven days a week (well, six now, Flair says, since he's getting older). He basically says YO WE ALL GOT WIVES AND KIDS, YOU NEED TO NEGLECT THEM AND GET FUCKED UP EVERY NIGHT IF YOU REALLY LOVE PRO WRESTLING AND WCW. Well, it was the nineties. 


  • Look, though I have a significant amount of distaste for Madusa, I do think that her WWF run had some good in-ring points, especially that one RAW match against Bull Nakano. But now, we've got late-stage WCW Madusa coming out here and being below replacement level in the ring, so I feel free to complain about how little I want to see her every time she shows up. She's wrestling Malia Hosaka tonight. Madusa's attire and opponent of partial Japanese descent spur a huge U-S-A chant from the humanoids, bleh. This match isn't any good, but Malia's cute, so I'm somewhat mollified. Look, I get that I just complained about "fans going full lowest common denominator" and then did exactly that in that previous sentence, but I am human and therefore inconsistent. Madusa wins with a back suplex and bridge. 


  • Lee Marshall does his road report from Roanoke, Virginia, which I'm pretty sure is the capital of DVDVR spiritually, if not in terms of server location. Correct me if I'm wrong. 


  • Well, I'm glad all the flag-fucking is over now that Madusa's match has finished. Let's see, what's our next match? 


  • Damn it, it's Hacksaw. Wrestling Renegade, of all people. Renegade shakes Duggan's hand, so Duggan throws his tape wrap away. I bet he has a second in his trunks, the cheating fuck. Renegade is irritated by Duggan being patronizing on breaks, so I guess, considering his ill treatment of Joe Gomez on the hot tag last week (which was genuinely delightful, TBH), we're getting a Renegade heel turn. Oh boy! This match stinks, and I am proven absolutely right when Duggan takes a second roll of tape from his trunks and winds up for three. No, I did not remember that from a previous watch. It's just the kind of thing scumbag Duggan would do. 


  • The Amazing French Canadians are Steiner Brothers fodder tonight. Oh no, please, not more nationalistic heat/shine getting with the Canadian National Anthem routine. Not three matches in a row. Anyway, the match itself is short, and it's fine. There's a little double-team fun from the AFCs, a few suplexes, what you'd expect from these fellas. The AFCs actually hit an assisted cannonball after some Rob Parker subterfuge, but Scott prevents Pee-Wee Anderson from making the count by trying to interfere, and Parker's interjection with his boot goes all wrong when Jacques hits PCO after Rick dodges his swing. The boot shot gets three for the Steiners in what was another surprisingly competitive match. 


  • The nWo, by way of their win at Uncensored, can challenge for any title at any WCW show at any time. Randy Savage has decided to challenge for the TV Championship because it's easy pickings, right? Right?! Our main event pits Savage against Prince Iaukea. Almost the whole nWo entourage comes down along with Savage (notable absences: Hall, Hogan). Nash shouts out Shawn Michaels on his way to the ring. The visual of Iaukea all by his lonesome standing in the corner while the nWo looks at him like fresh meat is pretty good! Savage has cut tassels into his nWo shirt, which is ABSURD, let the tassels GO, man, it's 1997. 


  • Iaukea gets a quick two-count early, and Savage bails and stalls. Iaukea gets another close two count off a press, and Savage is actually working this like he's rusty and has underestimated his opponent. The crowd is not buying this dude, unfortunately, because both guys are working this match smartly. Savage ducks a top-rope dive, hits the bodyslam, and drops the elbow, but he gets cocky and pulls Iaukea up. DDP runs through the crowd (in a Golden Gophers shirt for max crowd pop), but he can't quite fight his way through the nWo, and the ref calls for a no contest when the brawl spills into the ring. Page eats a couple finishers while the crowd chants for Sting. Iaukea gets Jackknifed just because, I guess. The WCW guys get spray-painted, and I suppose there is no catharsis for us tonight. The nWo music plays while the crowd chants desperately for someone from WCW to do something - they were chanting for Piper last I heard, and you know what, I get it. Piper sucks, but I get it. 


  • Solid matches for the most part + mediocre stick work and a lack of interesting movement on any feuds = A typical Nitro since about the middle of 1996. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #82 - 31 March 1997

"The one where ROANOKE ROCKS, YEAHHHHHH (but it kind of doesn't rock, tbh, I expected better from this crowd)" 

  • I wish the winter break could last forever so that I could make some real headway on this whole Nitro watch-through, but alas. Let's crank out what I can before it's back to the grind, and I only get to watch a show every ten days. 


  • Recap of last week's ending to the main event and then the intro (!!!) for the first time in weeks. Bonus, they changed it up so Hogan's not all up in this wearing in the red-and-yellow. I dig it. That opening theme definitely gives me a bit of nostalgia-caused endorphin release, and I've missed it the last few shows. 


  • I wonder how much of DVDVR's Grand Order was in this crowd? 


  • The nWo gets out of a limo and walks. Well, not Hogan, Hall, or Bischoff, as Tony S. notes. Where could they be? I wouldn't notice this very much except that commentary speculates on it.


  • Lex Luger and the Giant come out to the huge pop they deserve. They're wrestling Rick Fuller and Roadblock, two big dudes who are going to get chokeslammed and racked and I am HERE FOR IT. Giant walking around casually slapping and clotheslining dudes is great. Luger gets a chant when he's briefly in trouble and quickly turns things around with a back suplex, but he goes ahead and plays FIP for a few seconds longer after getting poked in the eye. It's dope because Roadblock hits a big corner splash and elbow drop that look impactful. Actually, this heel heat segment is good! Fuller cheating from the outside and Roadblock hitting some simple, good-looking big-man offense is really fun. Dude hits a DOPE legdrop and I briefly think about adding "Roadblock" to the list of my favorites that I should defend. I probably will because I am always excited to see this guy on TV. Roadblock goes to the second rope and whiffs on an elbow smash, which allows the Giant to get hot tagged into the ring. He does big boots and chops, and he blocks a double-clothesline attempt with one of his own. Chokeslam for Roadblock, rack for Fuller, and it's over. THIS WAS GREAT. 


  • It gets better! Harlem Heat run out and start brawling with Luger and the Giant, hyping the Spring Stampede main event and YEAHHHHHHHHH I AM APPROPRIATELY HYPED


  • Seriously, that was great television. I loved it. 


  • Harlem Heat talk to Gene Okerlund after the break, and basically they're sick of being disrespected. Booker is especially tired of it, and when Stevie Ray starts talking, he mean mugs the camera because he rules and is the best. Fuck it, I like Stevie Ray, too. He's tired of suckas talking too much shit. He has a dope jacket on and looks like a guy who really will fuck the Giant up. Sherri talks too, and I love her, but I don't think she needed to say anything after all that. 


  • Meiko Satomura comes out for a match in a WCW Women's Cruiserweight Championship tournament, which I do not remember at all. Toshie Uematsu is her opponent, and I know these names, and I have seen these wrestlers before in random YouTube matches that I've watched, but I don't really have much of a reference for them beyond general vague remembrances. Hey, that Women's Cruiserweight Championship is a sweet-looking belt. This match is short, fun, and fast-paced, and Uematsu wins with a GORGEOUS top-rope splash, that was dope as hell. 


  • Psicosis and Villano IV give us some male cruiser action next. They do a pretty mat sequence to start. Larry Z. actually provides solid color commentary w/r/t strategy and Tenay fills in all the Villano family history, and this is a textbook segment for WCW at this time, opening up a new world of pro wrestling to us insular American wrestling fans. Psicosis hits the corkscrew/Tsukahara to the outside, but gets caught and, um, slammed, maybe? trying a move from the top rope when they're back in the ring. It's ugly. We cut away from this to see the nWo chattering amongst one another backstage. They're upset about something, I guess, a lack of leadership on some issue or another. VKM Wallstreet is acting like he has better options than this. Man, you'd better shut the fuck up. Back in the ring, Psicosis lands a guillotine legdrop for three - we saw pretty much nothing but the finish when we came back to the ring. Sort of annoying!


  • Gene Okerlund invites Ric Flair to the ring for a public conversation. This man is OVAH, as you'd expect in general and in this region of the country specifically. Before he can trash the current focus of his ire, Roddy Piper, Piper walks out to the ring to defend himself. Piper is going to try and have a mic battle with Ric Flair, and it's probably going to go poorly for him if Ric Flair really wants it to. Piper tries to make a "Flair's girlfriends and wives" crack that goes over poorly, but Flair just mocks him w/r/t Piper's commitment to the game and the crowd pops big. He doesn't go out of his way to kill this man, though, since they're actually tight. It's interesting because I think popular opinion is that Flair and Piper, if not at the same level on promos, are in the same general atmosphere. This segment would demonstrate that that statement is simply not true. This is an over-the-hill Flair when it comes to ring work and promos, and he's still pretty much better than most guys could dream of when he wants to be. Anyway, these dudes make up and decide to team up. Awwww, it's kind of sweet, weirdly. 


  • We see another recap of last week's show ending. Different video clips, though. 


  • La Parka! I guess his win last week has earned him a shot at Prince Iaukea's TV title, and I know it's not going to happen, but CROWN LA PARKA, PLEASE. Parka whiffs on a wild splash attempt early and decides to wrestle this thing at full speed, I guess. He and Iaukea miscommunicate on a move and Iaukea undercuts Parka, but luckily no one gets hurt. Parka hits a couple of nice top-rope moves to almost complete silence. Bummer. He posts himself on a shoulderblock and gets hammered by an Iaukea double-axehandle. Parka gets control, whips Iaukea into the guardrail, and then sets up a chair and sits Iaukea in it. He then gets in the ring and suicide dives onto Parka. This crowd does not give a fuck, they want the big WCW stars and it doesn't matter what any of these midcarders do, I guess. This match goes to a draw when the bell rings, but Parka is like FUCK IT and hits a bunch of moves, no wait, the time limit isn't up. What is up with WCW's timekeepers consistently fucking up? Seriously. Parka blocks a dive with a chair, but I guess it hurts Parka and not Iaukea? Iaukea is the one to cover for three. This was a dumb car crash of a match that Tony S. spends too much time trying to explain the ending of, but I can't say that it was boring. 


  • Lord Steven William Regal, Prince Iaukea's TV Title opponent for Spring Stampede, comes out to cut a promo with Gene Okerlund. He calls Bisch "J. Edgar Bischoff," heh. He then calls Rey Misterio Jr. "Dopey the Dwarf," hahaha, this man is on one tonight. He straight up says he's going to beat Iaukea and then give Rey the first shot, but Rey had better "forget all the bloody hunnacunrannas and the planchas," HAHAHAHA, this man is AWESOME.


  • Regal continues to the ring to wrestle Chris Jericho. This is a nice TV match in which Regal is overwhelmed by Jericho's speed and exuberance. The clear story is that he's so distracted by Rey and Iaukea and the TV title that he's ripe for the picking, and though Regal survives Jericho's initial onslaught and catches him with a knee on a high-risk dive, Jericho quickly turns it around by ducking a short-arm clothesline and rolling Regal up for three. This was extremely effective television, and now four guys - Regal, Jericho, Rey, and Iaukea - are set up to have a nice midcard feud and a series of matches over the TV Championship. Regal is pissed and immediately attacks Jericho after the match, hitting a piledriver and putting on the Regal Stretch. Renegade and Joe Gomez run out for whatever reason, but Renegade backs off and Joe Gomez takes a piledriver when he tries to stop Regal from beating up Jericho. Billy Kidman and Lenny Lane run out to help Jericho and are quickly dispatched as well. Regal goes back to stomping Jericho out going into the break. Almost a perfect segment, but no one cares about Renegade's impending heel turn. No need to showcase it here.


  • Hour number one was quite good! Hour number two starts with recaps. You've read about that stuff already. 


  • Hey, it's Debbie Combs?! WCW in the mid-'90s, you are a wild and wonderful place sometimes. The WCW Women's Champion is still Akira Hokuto, who comes out to the ring with Sonny Onoo at her side. Hokuto comes out wanting you to be clear that she is From Japan, and that Japan Is Bad, So Boo. *sigh* This match sort of stinks, I'm going to be honest. Hokuto hits a sweet back suplex and a bridge for three, though. Well, Madusa/Hokuto is on at Spring Stampede, but WCW's not even trying with this division. 


  • Speaking of the devil, Gene Okerlund talks to Madusa in the rampway. She starts her interview by yelling ROANOKE ROCKS, YEAHHHHHH and it is a sweet, merciful God that leads Hokuto to jumping Madusa before she can talk much longer. They have a shitty pull-apart brawl that the crowd is strangely into. 


  • The desk takes a whole segment to talk about Sting and show a video dedicated to him. Sting has one of my favorite character arcs in pro wrestling. I love that by the time Flair turned on him for the third time in WCW, he basically was like I know you're going to screw me, Flair, but I'm teaming with you because the kids in the crowd want me to. Jump to TNA, and he's always a step ahead of screwjob plots because he can see them coming from a mile away after so many years. 


  • We come back to footage of the Horsemen/Public Enemy feud, which leads us into the Amazing French Canadians vs. Mongo McMichael and Jeff Jarrett. These are two good tag teams, and the match early on is built around the AFC's double-teaming getting blown up by Mongo and Jarrett outsmarting them. Who would cheat and double-team better than Horsemen, right? The AFCs finally do catch Jarrett for a bit of offense, but Jarrett hits a counter-dropkick, then eventually finds Mongo for the tag. Mongo is cleaning house when Public Enemy run down, pull Jarrett off the ramp, and grab the briefcase from Debra. Grunge goes for the briefcase strike, but Rob Parker steals it and tosses it to his men in the ring, who use it to get a three-count. 


  • I dig Debra telling the camera that she doesn't know why she's always to blame for losing the Halliburton and then commanding Gene to get in the ring so she can talk. She then gets in the ring and is indignant that Public Enemy caused her great injury - two broken nails. She then shares gossip about PE and, off the top of her head, comes up with a reason for Rocco Rock shaving his head (he was unaware of the existence of special shampoo for head lice). I cannot stress enough how much I love Debra. What a shit-talker. Mongo and Jarrett argue over who lost the briefcase or whatever, but I think, you know, just go back to Debra and let her sling insults at everyone. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Huntsville, Alabama. I always wanted to go to Space Camp as a kid. I dreamed of getting on a Nickelodeon game show and winning that prize. 


  • Hugh Morrus and Chris Benoit have a rematch of last week's encounter next. This is fine. Benoit hits a back suplex with a bridge for three when Morrus is going up for the moonsault and takes a bit too much time in doing so. Jacqueline shoves Woman on her ass and then goes into the ring to help the Dungeon of Doom beat Benoit down. This is boring.  Well, except for Jacqueline going to the top in HIGH HEELS and hitting a splash. Jacqueline is great. She goes up a second time, but Woman shakes the ropes and crotches her. Finally, Flair makes his way down and hands out nut shots and punches for the save. Mongo and Jarrett can't drag their tired asses out here? Anyway, I think the only thing more annoyingly repetitive than this feud is my comments on how badly it needs to have ended a year ago. 


  • We get a promo from some of the Horsepeople who are in the ring. Benoit feels SOAR-RY for SullivanBenoit's Keith Lee Memorial Vocabulary Extravaganza: meticulous ("You've been quite meticulous in spinning this psychological web"). Geez, just let Woman talk for him. Flair speaks for a bit, which Roanoke is into. He likes Benoit's U.S. Championship chances at Spring Stampede, and so would I if the Dungeon weren't at the arena. 


  • Sick Boy Lance Ringo walks out, and he's checkin' out Kimberly's nudes. In the interests of science, I searched her in GIS with Safe Search firmly set to off, and DDP is in one of the damn pictures! I can't tell you how much I hate Kim's nudes being a flashpoint for this feud. Page and Kim shoulda been proud of that shit. Also, she is 52 now, and how did everyone get old?! Page is going to kill this jobber out of rage, obviously. Page controls the match and hits a TKO-style Diamond Cutter for a win. I was suitably entertained. Page is interviewed by Gene Okerlund post-match and is RIGHTLY proud of his hot wife being a Playboy centerfold, but is heated about Kim getting roughed up, spray-painted, and generally scarred by the encounter. YES, that would be the thing to feud over! Page saves this feud for me just by cutting this part of his promo. Excellent. Oh no, Savage and Liz come out with a mic somewhere in the crowd. Apparently, Macho will finally ACKNOWLEDGE PAGE, but he's cut off by a MACHO SUCKS chant. Sadly, yes. Savage's promo is doo doo, but he does say THE MACHO MAN DOESN'T CARE IF KIMBERLY COMES OR NOT, which I think would sum up Macho's whole philosophy as a lover, probably. Page insults Macho's lady and Macho insults Page's lady, and meh. 


  • The Steiner Brothers match up with High Voltage as our main event. It's nice that the announcers reference High Voltage's win over PE last week as a reason they're getting this main event match, no matter how tainted the victory was. This match is whatever, BUT Scotty hits a STEINER SCREWDRIVER on Rage for three, and so this match gets FIVE STARS. 


  • Well, that Nitro went pretty smoothly, no problems here - oh wait, Nash and Syxx come over to the desk. Heenan KILLS it with a comedy spot where he tries to go over the table to escape, gets his foot caught in some cords, and milks it for all its worth while Nash looks at him with distaste. Oh man, that was so good. Nash is like, Hall's out taking care of REAL LIFE issues, but the rest of these bums are at Rodman's movie premiere instead of here putting in work. Syxx, tampering with his headset: "Is this thing even workin'?" Nash's response: "Who knows, it's WCW." I mean, come on, that's funny on multiple levels. Anyway, Nash will take the Steiners on alone if he has to. He fires shots at a few of the angry vanilla little guys in the back and then storms off as the show ends.


  • I have zero expectations for Spring Stampede, but I'm looking forward to it after this Nitro. That means something w/r/t figuring the rating, I think. Also: No Hogan or Bischoff4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #83 - 07 April 1997

"The one where the nWo EXPL-no, false alarm"

  • The nWo is EXPLODING (not really that much tho) and will probably continue to explode on Nitro tonight, maybe, I don't know. 


  • I watched Spring Stampede 1997 a few days ago. It was fine, I guess. I'm hyped for the coming Lex Luger title reign, though!


  • Konnan and Hugh Morrus come down the aisle, and I think they're going to put the beats on poor Alex Wright tonight. Wright and Psicosis are an interesting tag team, I will say. Tony S. hypes a Giant/Scott Steiner match in the next hour that I would certainly like to see. Wright has a really fun early sequence with Morrus, then tags out to Psicosis, whose double-axe to the arm is totally no-sold by Morrus so that he can tag out. I'm deciding that Morrus kayfabe found the axe too weak to hurt him, is what I'm deciding. That means that I'm deciding against Morrus shoot just rushing along to the next segment of the match with no transition. I remain optimistic, I suppse. 


  • Psicosis gets back on top briefly, but crashes and burns on a top-rope move, and is our FIP for the night. We get an inset of angry DDP, face ALL JACKED UP, making his way into the building. I focus on it instead of Morrus being boring as hell in this control segment, and eventually, Morrus misses an elbow so that Wright can get a hot tag. He does a nice job of fighting both men off, but only gets two on a top-rope cross body, and Psicosis just chills out at ringside on the hard camera watching Morrus regain control, make his way up to the top rope, hit the No Laughing Matter, and cover for three. Psicosis wasn't selling exhaustion or a beating or anything. He just stood there watching. He only gets in the ring after watching everything go down so that he can eat a package piledriver from Konnan after the fact. *sigh*


  • Ooh, Lord Steven William Regal and Rey Misterio Jr.! He uses his size and weight to immediately control the match. He launches Misterio on a toss, then drapes Misterio's throat across the guardrail outside. Tony S. notes that Regal has been a bit too lax in his approach to his opponents, lately, specifically Prince Iaukea, and I wonder if that will play into the finish of this match. Unfortunately, we cut backstage to hear Hogan talk about the "family" and the nWo being "for life" and anyone who isn't a part of the family for life "sleep[ing] with the fishes." Did old boy watch a bunch of mob movies before he came to the arena? Back in the ring, Regal finally loses control, takes a sweet bump over the rope directly to the floor, and then gets caught in no man's land on the top rope, where he eats a headscissors. Misterio tries to get three with a top rope rana, but can't hold Regal down, and Regal hits a front suplex and puts on the Regal Stretch. Rey gets the ropes, but Regal refuses to break the hold until Prince Iaukea comes in to what is initially a nice pop. Regal sidesteps an Iaukea dropkick and locks the Regal Stretch on Curtis's fake kid. Regal has left 'em laying! The crowd says BOOOOOOO, but I was saying BOO-GAL. 


  • Bischoff gives us some more HLA - Hot Limo Arrivals - and some other nWo members get out, including Savage (on crutches), Nash, Syxx, Buff, and a few B-Teamers. Could there possibly be an nWo split, is what I'd have been thinking at the time this originally aired? Future me would tell past me that yes, it is possible, but no, it's not as good as you think it might be. 


  • Chris Benoit is way more enjoyable a watch when he's working a power wrestler, and hey look, he draws Ice Train as his opponent tonight. Benoit doing pacey counters and chop-fests with similar sized guys of a similar style SUCKS and is boring. I wish we could get him another round with the Giant because they had a dope match, but it lasted like fifteen seconds. But just as I bitch about chop-fests, Benoit and Ice Train have one, and Train is merely angered by the puny Benoit's chops; in response, he lariats the sweet fuck out of Benoit. That RULED, so of course we go to inset so the nWo can bitch at one another. Train has a decent little control segment, but his issue is that he tends to run out of ideas, and it's not like he hasn't been wrestling for a few years by 1997. Benoit catches Ice Train talking to Teddy, and uses the opportunity to knock the two together and hit a DDT for a quick three. Hot take: That was better than every Benoit/Angle match ever. 


  • Video of the premiere for the JCVD/Worm bomb Double Impact. Dennis Rodman's sister is a legit 6'2, 6'3, if high heels aren't doing most of the work. Rodman himself is dressed like he's the progeny of Chris Tucker in the Fifth Element and "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) singer Sylvester, and you know what, it's pretty stylish in its way.


  • I don't want to talk about the nWo through every segment, Tony and Larry, sweet hell. Kevin Sullivan squashes Hector Guerrero. Jacqueline gets her licks in on the outside of the ring, again while wearing heels. This gets a solid seven out of ten on the Kevin Sullivan Squashes a Dude scale. 


  • The nWo comes to the ring to air their dirty laundry in public, as is the way when it comes to pro wrestling. Hogan and Nash lead their nWo factions out. Larry Z. keeps calling these guys "the Rat Pack." No, that's the other faction DiBiase was a part of, you idiot. Anyway, Trillionaire Ted introduces the debate and then hands it off to Hogan. Hogan's mad that Nash is mad that Hogan was in Chicago. Nash is not mad at or about Rodman and is apologetic for being perturbed last week. Hogan's pleased about that, but he's wondering about Scott Hall's whereabouts. Hey, did you not notice that Hall was struggling with alcohol? You shared the same limo every week! Nash still looks pissed, so Hogan is like Hey, should we fight this out?, but Nash is like Eh, I'm not a fan of you, but whatever, it's more important to keep the group together.


  • Oh, good, everything's oka--oops, Savage is thinking about clubbing Bischoff with his crutch. The crowd, bored, chants for Sting. I, bored, wouldn't mind him showing up either. Hogan's like, Look, Nash and I buried the hatchet, so what about you two? Savage declares Bischoff on probation with both WCW and with Savage himself, and Savage puts himself on probation with Bischoff, and Bischoff is cool with that, and thankfully this segment is over. 


  • Hour number two brings us more talky-talk, this time with Ric Flair. After Flair went through a bunch of late-stage Flair promo cheap pop material, he called Wallstreet "Rotundo" and introduced Roddy Piper. Bischoff should have really separated these two segments full of mediocre yapping with a cruiser match or something. I'm not going to recap this in any detail because it's awful. They want to fight the nWo and have Kevin Greene join them, and Kevin Greene actually does join them in the ring. There. 


  • Greene goes full jock and inspires everyone in the ring to start throwing forearms at one another, though. That ruled, I admit. The last thirty seconds of this thing got immensely more entertaining when Greene showed up. 


  • Oh no, it's Chris Jericho. I don't blame Bisch for not knowing how oversaturated this dude would be twenty-five years later, but woof, man, woof. He's got a shot at Dean Malenko's U.S. Championship tonight. OK, my interest is piqued somewhat. These fellas are all pace and do lots of counters and high-risk moves one after the other. It's crisp stuff and generally fun. We get a nice missile dropkick and a pretty good powerbomb. There's a lovely superplex, too. It's a nice little MOVEZ-fest. Jericho hits his head on said superplex, so Malenko punts Jericho right in the face and gets three. Hey, that was an AWESOME finish. That whole deal was quite good!


  • Can High Voltage steal another win over Public Enemy (see Show #80 for more about their previous win)? Huntsville Cabbage Patches along with PE, very poorly in fact. PE hits a nice team vertical suplex, and after High Voltage have a dull control segment that is mercifully brief, Johnny Grunge hits a hot tag and Kaos ends up on a table. He then gets off the table as Grunge plummets through it on a nasty dive attempt. Oops! Rage hits a weak Northern Lights Suplex on Rocco Rock back in the ring for three, and High Voltage duplicates their win from a couple shows ago, but without the help of Mongo and Jeff Jarrett. Post-match, Grunge is surprisingly well-adjusted about the loss, but Rocco challenges High Voltage to a Philadelphia Street Fight. Poor Grunge wants to make the "E" in "WCW" stand for "Excitement." Bless his illiterate heart. 


  • Prince Iaukea's getting his ribs taped backstage before his TV Title match against Ultimo Dragon tonight. I smell a title change!


  • It sure seems like Harlem Heat versus Jeff Jarrett and Mongo McMichael should be solid. Well, that is if Mongo makes it out to the ring; he's nowhere to be seen when the Horsemen enter. Booker and Jarrett have the sort of nice opening sequence that make me think 2000 WCW won't be a total write-off. Stevie Ray clubbers the crap out of Jarrett in the corner, and it is exquisite. Jarrett fights off the Heat briefly with a few dropkicks, but Sherri runs interference so that Booker can snap off a savate kick and regain control of the match. Debra is perturbed by her hubby's absence - "He's always late," she declares disdainfully - but that doesn't do much to help Jeff Jarrett, who is getting his ass whipped. Jarrett gets a couple two-counts off flash pin attempts, but basically eats a beating. Finally, Mongo strolls down the ringside. He gives Jarrett a hot tag and cleans house. Then, he tags a still-hurting Jarrett back in - hey, he pulled a Renegade! Booker blasts Jarrett with a Harlem Side Kick for three almost immediately. Mongo mocks Jarrett for not being able to capitalize on Mongo's hot tag. MEAN. 


  • Post-match, Jarrett dresses Mongo down in the post-match interview. Debra interjects, but Mongo cuts her off and then basically threatens the whole-ass company rather than responding to Jarrett's concerns. 


  • Lee Marshall is in ECW! ECW! country ahead of next week's show. He eschews the weekly Weasel joke for a corny wordplay joke about houses of ill repute. Moving on.


  • I think what I want out of this Prince Iaukea/Ultimo Dragon match, I get. Iaukea needs a flash pin badly and tries to get one. Dragon has cool kicks and solid offense, and it's fun watching a battered Iaukea sell them. Heenan forgets that Iaukea is selling an injury he got TONIGHT after he'd already arrived at the show and talks about how Iaukea could barely get out of the car when he got to the arena. The desk falls silent. Yeah, I understand not even bothering to come up with a cover for that one. Dragon hits a kick combo and gets three. That was short, it worked booking-wise and aesthetically, and I am interested in Ultimo Dragon working a bunch of ten-minute matches on TV. Good stuff all around. 


  • The Giant comes out to Lex Luger's entrance music. Sure, why not? I wonder why the Giant never got his own theme after he left the Dungeon and then the nWo. Scott Steiner doesn't even make it to the ring before Konnan and Hugh Morrus jump him. The Giant comes down for the save and shrugs off a Morrus chair shot. Eventually, the Dungeon dudes run off, Giant and Steiner shake hands, and everyone leaves. MAN, FUCK YOU, WCW.


  • Diamond Dallas Page is still heated and figures, hey, there's no main event tonight. I might as well come down and vent my spleen. He's proud of himself for main eventing and identifies himself as an "anomaly," which, sure, that's fair use. He is not happy about Savage trying to smack Kimberly, understandably, and would like to mete out more punishment to Savage TONIGHT! Savage hobbles out by himself, which seems like the set-up for a trap. Hogan runs him down and tells Savage that he'll beat up DDP instead. Savage isn't really into it, but Hogan convinces him otherwise. Then, Hogan hits the crotch chops and prepares for battle...until Sting rappels down into the aisle. The Stinger flips a bat to DDP. Hogan, emboldened by his crotch chopping, says the word "ass." Sting and DDP own the ring as the nWo stands in the aisle looking like a bunch of chumps. 


  • This was a solid show, but the back-to-back talking segments and the constant cuts back to limos were irritating. I can't complain about anything else, though, especially the in-ring product. It was very good tonight, so good that I think this episode deserves some love! 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.





Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #84 - 14 April 1997

"The one where ECW ECW ECW ECW"

  • Well, this crowd should be lively! 


  • Larry Z. gets a little chant during the desk's introduction to the show. I guess the folks in the crowd have long since forgiven him for being a dick to Bruno Sammartino


  • The nWo strolls out, but Hall's still in rehab and thus isn't around to antagonize Larry Z. Nash tells Luger that before Luger can get his title shot at Hogan (won in the tag match at Spring Stampede a couple weeks back), he's gotta face Nash. Then, he hits a catchphrase and the nWo strolls away. They do a lot of strolling, the nWo does. A lot of strolling, a lot of sauntering. 


  • Chris Benoit/Barbarian is going to be good, I just know it. This is a great matchup for a guy like Benoit, as I noted in my last show review. This match does rule, by the way. Benoit escapes a flurry of power moves and hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Jimmy Hart, who is an elite manager and I should just denote this every time I mention him, trips Benoit on a rope run. Benoit steps out to confront him and Hart runs away. Rather than chase Hart, Benoit just waits for him to circle the ring, grabs him when he runs all the way back to where he started, and punches him, hahaha. That was a great spot! Barb kicks Benoit from behind after Benoit extracts his revenge on Hart, and then we get the heel control--no, Benoit ducks a clothesline, hits a release German, and goes up top only to get crotched. Barb tosses Benoit into the lights on a top-rope belly-to-belly, but whiffs on a top-rope headbutt. Benoit quickly goes up top, hits his own headbutt, and gets three, but the rest of the Dungeon (minus Meng) comes down and jumps Benoit right after the bell rings. Jarrett and Mongo are late on the save. If you like fun, explosive three-ish minute-long matches, watch this one. It was great. 


  • Benoit speaks post-match, unfortunately. Benoit's Keith Lee Memorial Vocabulary Extravaganza: retribution, cure-all, plus he talks about karma a whole lot and clearly gets lost toward the end. I'm not averse to expanding the promo vocab or anything, but you can't sound like a robot when you do. 


  • Hector Guerrero faces off with Dean Malenko. Interesting, considering Malenko's beef with Eddy. How the fuck did Hector get what Tony S. tells us is a shot at the number-two title in the company? He just got his ass beat by Kevin Sullivan and Jacqueline last week! I hate it, thanks. I don't need rankings and W-L records or anything; just basic logic. This is one of those nights where Malenko works mechanically and his spots come off as choreography more than a fluid wrestling match, but though the illusion of legitimate competition is somewhat broken for me, as a short match with a nice finish (powerbomb/Texas Cloverleaf combo), it was fine. Eddy comes down to confront Dean and check on Hector post-match. 


  • Reggie White's in the front row. He no-sells the camera. Tony S. reports that Reggie's signed to WCW to wrestle Mongo at Slamboree. I am here for that. 


  • THA JOOOOOOOCE and Rey Misterio Jr. have a mediocre TV match. The ECW chants hit early on. I have to give Bisch credit for getting as many dudes who successfully passed through ECW out here to wrestle early on. It's a smart crowd-engager. In the ring, both guys go to the floor in a contrived headscissors spot, but Juvy powerbombs Rey from the apron to the floor, so ultimately the destination made the journey worth it. Back in the ring, they have a horribly contrived series of counter spots that ends in Misterio getting the springboard rana for three. I said "mediocre" earlier, but other than the apron bomb, it was kinda shitty, actually. 


  • Luna Vachon comes out to cut a quick promo on Madusa with Gene Okerlund while he tries to hit on her. You know, standard Gene in WCW. 


  • Ultimo Dragon defends the TV Title against Lane Carlson/Lenny Lane. I guess Lane's getting the shot because he came out to assist in an unsuccessful pull-apart a few weeks back. This match is perfectly acceptable television wrestling. Lane hits a nice bulldog and even a pretty nice Cactus Clothesline. After that, he damn near kills himself on a splash from the top to the floor. I do like that he initially looked like some geek, but then he slowly escalated his offense and looked more and more competent as he went along. Dragon takes over outside,then gets Lane back in the ring and hits a top-rope Frankensteiner and a Dragon Suplex for three. I love it when I get a solid five-minute TV match like this one. 


  • Holy crap, Syxx is wrestling on Nitro?! What a rare treat! His opponent is the newly championship-free Prince Iaukea. A former TV champ with multiple successful defenses getting a title shot makes reasonable sense! Good for you, WCW Booking Committee! Of course, WCW as a whole has invited Nick Patrick back to his previous WCW ref job with apparently no repercussions, so WCW as a whole is still pretty stupid. Syxx rules and I think of the story, told by Chris Jericho IIRC, that Vince McMahon considered you a lost cause as a worker if you couldn't have a good match with Sean Waltman. This is a cool little TV match, and Iaukea is not entirely a lost cause based on this performance, but really most of the fun is Syxx's offense, Syxx's bumping and facial expressions, and Syxx being a dope pro wrestler in general. I even dig the Bronco Buster as a move that a cocky shithead would do just to be a dick. Now, as a face move, um, well, the Attitude Era was just a different time and place. Iaukea's offense is just not good enough at this level, I don't think. He's got a few nice moves, like the springboard clothesline he hits for a two count that everyone bites on, but he has too many weak looking chops and kicks in his arsenal. Syxx eventually locks on the Buzzkiller for a submission victory. He won't take it off because he's a jackass. PUT SYXX ON TV MORE OFTEN


  • Ric Flair, Kevin Greene, and Roddy Piper cut a promo. I wish they'd done more to explain how Greene and Flair made good with one another. I know, I know, does it matter? But they were beefing big time and Greene's buddy Mongo sold him out for Flair's money! Piper does Piper things, you know how it is. It's depressing. This man thinks of every semi-recent pop-cultural figure, event, or song and makes shitty dad jokes out of each and every one of them. It's so bad at one point - he sings a (the?) Right Said Fred song with his own bespoke Dennis Rodman and Pee-Wee Herman lyrics inserted - that I take my headphones off and just wait for him to shut the fuck up already. Kevin Greene is mad at Hogan once Piper stops talking, and I'm waiting for Philly to turn on these guys TBH because Greene is a lame bitch who complains about rookies who get paid too much, and he probably wants a rookie pay scale NOW, dammit. Aw man, this is a shitty promo from Greene, but I guess he can't be expected to save these segments all the damn time. He's primarily a football player. I think Flair realizes that he's gotta save this thing, so instead of taking it easy, freaking out, and doing the typical crazy Flair hits, he cuts an excellent promo about his journey in wrestling. He freaks out at the end, but it's earned. He fired himself up with his own promo. 


  • High Voltage are so geeky, man, but I have generally enjoyed Robbie Rage's work over the past couple of months. They're here for a Philly Street Fight with a Flyers-jersey-clad Public Enemy at the top of hour two. This is pretty much the same boring plunder brawl PE always does. There is a cool spot where Johnny Grunge surreptitiously hands a trash can lid to Rocco Rock while Rocco's in a seated position on Kenny Kaos's shoulders. Rage tries a springboard clothesline and gets lid-swatted out of mid-air. The rest of it was mediocre weapon shots up to the finish, which sees Rage get piledriven, then cannonballed through two tables. PE wins, and hey, it wasn't that long is the best thing I can say about it (besides the springboard clothesline spot). 


  • The Giant squashes Big Al in ninety seconds. He hits a decent chokeslam. It's good for what it is.


  • Konnan/DDP is the weird type of matchup that I'm here for. Both guys have interesting offense, but we don't get much time for any of it to be performed. After maybe a minute or two, DDP hits a floatover Diamond Cutter when Konnan foolishly ducks during a rope-run. Once again, I enjoyed a short TV match on this Nitro. Then Savage came out in the crowd holding a mic, which I found slightly less enjoyable, but it ended up being okay. Page takes off after him when Savage claims that Kim's been calling him. 


  • Lee Marshall's chilling out in Saginaw, Michigan. Michigan looks like the type of place you'd want to live in the newly-warmed world of two decades from now. Maybe I should buy a cheap house in Michigan and pay the currently piddly property taxes on it now; Detroit could have quite the rebirth in our lifetimes. 


  • Harlem Heat and Mongo McMichael/Jeff Jarrett have a return match tonight. I continue to get excited about more Booker/Jarrett matches in the future. I think they have clear chemistry with one another. It's unfortunate that their future singles matches will be marred by stupid-ass finishes most of the time, though. There's a commercial break that is inserted so that Jarrett's the FIP when we come back. Stevie gives us Ye Olde Chinlocke Spot, so that's a thing, but Booker and Jarrett are fun when they're in the ring together. He hits a side kick that the crowd digs. The match breaks down when Jarrett tries a Figure Four and draws both illegal men into the ring. Mongo goes for the 'burton, but Sherri jumps in and grabs it. Sherri ends up grabbing Debra also and Mark Curtis just says FUCK IT and calls the match. Sherri fucks up the big spot; she's supposed to try and whack Debra with the Halliburton, but have it rebound off the turnbuckle and hit herself in the head. Instead, she whiffs...and hits Debra in the back anyway, but sells it like she whacked herself. Ooh, not your best moment there, Sherri.


  • Mongo and Jarrett have an interview post-match, but mostly, Mongo says he's going to beat up Reggie White, who sold out the Eagles anyway if you really think about it. The crowd pops for that last point, haha. Anyway, Mongo draws Reggie into the ring, where they are held apart. Mongo spits in Reggie's face, and it pops off. But it pops off kinda lamely. 


  • Kevin Nash and Lex Luger are our MAIN EVENT, but there are only eight minutes left in the show. Nash comes out with a few of his charges, who run interference for him when he's in trouble. Nash does some plodding offense in a control segment that kinda sucks, and as soon as Luger starts a comeback by hitting the forearm, everyone jumps in and draws a DQ win for Luger. DDP comes down to help, but he's overwhelmed along with Luger. The Giant strolls down, but stops in the aisle and considers how to approach a pipe-wielding Nash...and so Sting walks down the aisle with a few baseball bats to help even the odds. He tosses one to Luger and one to DDP, both of whom have been dumped outside, then gives one to the Giant. Then he pulls ANOTHER bat out of his coat for himself. WE GOT A STANDOFF FELLAS! Sting clobbers Nash and the nWo bails as WCW stands tall.


  • Almost all the wrestling was good, what wasn't good was short, and though Piper was awful and talked for too long, there was no Hogan or Bischoff on the show. That's another very good Nitro from WCW, which is hitting some solid week-to-week consistency even if there aren't many high highs. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...