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Show #85 - 21 April 1997

"The one where a lot of useless talking can't get in the way of some very good in-ring action"

  • Let's Nitro, everybody!


  • Do you like watching dudes step out of limos? If so, have I got the opening for you! James J. Dillon gets out of a limo to open the show. Tony S. creams his jeans over it (WHAT A WAY TO OPEN NITROOOOOOO, he yells).


  • Larry Z. is not impressed with Saginaw, tonight's Nitro location. He thinks the Great Sucking Sound of jobs from the area going south to Mexico makes a whole lotta sense when you consider the surroundings. NO POLITICS, LARRY.


  • In the first General Thread of this new year of 2023, a few of us decried the generic Eastern entrance music trend for Asian grapplers in both WCW and WWF at the time. I mention this because the master of the Nagata-lock, Yuji Nagata walks out to a terribly generic theme. Nagata/Dean Malenko is our opener. Hey. Malenko has his U.S. Championship back! I don't think he had it last week. That, or I just lost track of it entirely. Last I remember, the Dungeon of Doom gave it to Eddy Guerrero and paraded him out of the arena at Spring Stampede. 


  • This is a title match. Hey, they're going to have Syxx/Rey Misterio Jr. in another title match (Cruiserweight) later tonight! YEAHHHHHHHHH


  • These fellas do a bunch of clearly-choreographed mat exchange stuff to begin. Then Nagata puts on a chinlock and the crowd chants U-S-A. Am I in hell? Reggie White is once again viewing the show live, as we see in a camera cut. Back in the ring, we get a whole lotta mediocre, inoffensive work. The crowd is hot as fuck, though. I'm glad someone is really into this. Nagata hits a capture suplex, so that's cool. Then, he ups the ante with a sweet overhead release belly-to-belly. OK, I'm interested. Heck, even the finish is pretty good; Nagata throws a kick that gets caught; he tries an enziguri to counter the counter, but Malenko ducks it, drops an elbow on the knee, and turns Nagata over in the Texas Cloverleaf for the win. I just did not enjoy the parts of the match where Malenko was mechanically, obviously just going from spot to spot without selling or making it look like an athletic competition, which unfortunately was most of it. 


  • Man, I love everything about Ciclope's get-up. That mask is sweet. Ah, look, Glacier is here as his opponent. We didn't get any continuation of his feud with Vandenburg's guys last week, so I hope we pick it up this week. The match itself is a thirty-second squash ending with a Cryonic Kick. The actual thing I'm here for is post-match, when Glacier's little martial arts demonstration is cut off by Wrath's entrance. Glacier is fired up and ready to fight, but as Wrath gets in the ring, smoke rises from the ringside area and Mortis pops out. He kicks Glacier from behind, and we get a nice little beatdown. Mortis steals Glacier's helmet, hands it to Vandenberg, and then slaps the shit out of Glacier. Wrath hits a Death Penalty and Mortis puts the claw on Glacier's snowy-blue eye. They try to dig his eye right out using the ridge of the helmet. Ooh, great old-school beatdown. It just needed a touch of blood, but also I am not an animal and am okay that Glacier didn't gig himself. Wrath yells IF YOU NEVER BELIEVED BEFORE, YOU'D BETTER BELIEVE NOW, but oh no, his accent really undercuts his whole look and aura. 


  • Tony S. with breaking news: J.J. Dillon has been appointed the head of WCW's Executive Committee. I don't think the kayfabe politics of upper-level WCW management are as interesting as Bischoff does. 


  • Nick Patrick comes out and holy shit, how did I just notice that he's basically Danny McBride's older cousin? Anyway, he grabs the mic and explains himself and his whole nWo defection/current petitioning for a return to WCW. I appreciate the logic in part of this promo - that he defected partly because he was heated at Savage and was upset at WCW's executive committee for not upholding the fines Patrick levied on Savage. He notes that Savage in general was dangerous and unruly...and the nWo then turned around and brought in Savage, the very guy who spurred Patrick's defection from WCW in the first place. Hey, yeah, Savage was dangerous and unruly, but also in true "can't admit that I was wrong" fashion, Patrick doesn't confess his own part in escalating the issue. Ultimately, though? This is a fucking ref cutting a promo about being a ref. Who cares?


  • Bobby Eaton gets a shot at Ultimo Dragon's TV title because dubs and Ls don't matter here in WCW. It's a semi-competitive squash, but what's there is entertaining. There's a nice sequence in which Dragon uses his speed to duck a few Eaton strikes, but Eaton finally catches him on a lariat. Onoo gets involved, distracting Eaton and throwing a few kicks at a downed Eaton on the outside. Heck, he even gets on the apron to launch a jumping kick at Eaton. Dragon hits a top-rope Frankensteiner and then pops on the Dragon Sleeper to get the win. Eaton gets these little three- and four-minute matches on Nitro that he gets quite a lot out of, and I appreciate it. He's a really good wrestler from underneath. 


  • Lord Steven Regal cuts an interview with Gene Okerlund in which he makes spurious claims about Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, and the state of her vagina. No, that's not a typo. Then, he indirectly compares Japanese and American manufacturing unfavorably for us Americans (apropros for the region this show is in, but NO POLITICS) and plans to beat Ultimo Dragon for the gold at the next PPV, Slamboree. This guy is amazing.


  • Meng will hopefully kick Chris Jericho into the fifteenth row tonight. Every Meng match is a slasher flick where Meng is determined to advance and advance and advance, no matter what offense you throw at him, so this is a really good matchup. These two are natural partners as Jericho has all sorts of interesting offense and plays a really good Final Girl for a pro wrestler. In one unfortunately example of the term "interesting offense," Jericho springboards off the ropes for a moonsault, but he's a mediocre athlete, so he falls well short of Meng, who saves it by just letting him fall and then dropping two knees on his head. Jericho eventually gets two on a back suplex, but he subsequently gets draped over the top rope and Tongan Death Grip'd for the loss. Even though Jericho's reach exceeded his grasp in this thing (I could write that sentence so many times for so many things that Jericho has done), the match was overall really good. 


  • Post-match, Jimmy Hart and Meng meet up with Kevin Sullivan and Jacqueline in the aisle. Jacqueline's dress is magical, let's just say that. You might ask me to settle down, but if you see this dress, you too will be unsettled. Sullivan moans about Benoit, but I legit didn't catch most of it because I was basically staring a hole through my computer screen. At one point, they did a close-up of Sullivan's face, and I got irritated. Meng and Jacqueline almost get into a fight for some reason, which would rule, probably. 


  • I enjoy watching the Steiner Brothers throw around portly dudes, so this matchup against Public Enemy should be goo-oh, wait, the Steiners don't come out when their music hits. The reason why? Konnan and Hugh Morrus have jumped them in the back, and all four men fight. Officials break it up so the Steiners can make their match. We get the Steiner spots that are pretty much always fun: suplexes, clotheslines, and so forth. Rocco Rock whiffs on a top-rope move, which is a really impactful spot. Morrus and Konnan run out to ruin the whole thing, but Scott Steiner picks up a plastic chair and just clobbers Morrus with it, so that's cool! This is a Steiners win by DQ, which PE is pissed about. Logically (and awesomely), they are so mad at the Dungeon members for costing them the match that they help the Steiners fuck Konnan and Morrus up. Haha, okay, that is GREAT. Scott holds Morrus up so a giddy fan can hit him with a shitty punch. YEAH, THAT UNEXPECTEDLY RULED


  • It's hour number two and time to review! Review hour number one, that is. J.J. Dillon then cuts an interview with Gene Okerlund on the ramp. Dillon is cutting a promo with, as Mick Foley says in Have a Nice Day, "all the flash and sizzle of a UPS truck." Tony S. cuts in and asks Gene to ask about Nick Patrick being reinstated, which Dillon says is being considered. No need to spend a lot of bandwidth on it, J.J. Anyway, Dillon goes on and on about Bischoff's contract and the nWo contracts, and two are invalid (Bubba's and Wallstreet's), blah blah blah. Bischoff comes out and says BITE ME, which is corny but gets a pop. Bisch notes that he is NOT fired and still managing/running the nWo. Bisch is the most boring fucking heel ever. Vince McMahon came out and did this sort of thing in half the time, much more entertainingly, and then ate a Stunner or had Patterson and Brisco eat stunners. Comparatively, these two guys Bisch and Dillon talk backroom politics and the WCW/WWF war and WHO THE FUCK CARES. Bischoff hits another BITE ME and leaves, but Dillon goes on and on about WCW's wonderful corporate structure that Bischoff has sullied. Dillon gets played off by the outro music and ignores it to hurl dumb insults at Bischoff. Yeah, that expectedly sucked.


  • I am hyped for Mongo McMichael vs. Reggie White, so hyped you wouldn't believe it. He's not up next, though. Jeff Jarrett is up next, in a rematch from WCWSN against Scotty Riggs. Riggs used the ropes to beat Jarrett in that SN match, and Jarrett retaliated with a couple of piledrivers and the Figure Four. Debra thinks she looks really good tonight. She's aight. Sorry, Jacqueline and her magical dress have raised the standard around here. Jarrett hits a gutwrench powerbomb and then THE STROKE, but as with Booker hitting a Spinaroonie a few shows back, the crowd doesn't have the reaction you'd expect them to have just a couple years later. Riggs takes over and does some basic offense, but Debra draws Mark Curtis's attention so that Jarrett can backdrop Riggs to the floor. Jarrett and Riggs trade control outside and then inside, but Debra again helps Jarrett by putting his foot on the ropes as Jarrett is being pinned. Mongo is incensed by Debra being so focused on Jarrett's well-being that he comes out with the briefcase to cause some mayhem, but Reggie White jumps the rail and cuts him off; White takes the briefcase and declares that Mongo's gotta fight him to get it back. In the ring, Jarrett knocks Riggs off the top rope and puts on the Figure Four for the victory. That segment was full of action, and I enjoyed pretty much all of it.


  • Syxx comes out for his title defense with Kevin Nash backing him up. This is great, as you know it would be. Rey and Syxx have a nice exchange, after which Syxx gets in Rey's face and Rey disrespectfully slaps him. Syxx takes control on the next exchange and celebrates. He has a great running legdrop. I love how low it is. It looks like it hurts. Syxx hits the Bronco Buster, which is even more disrespectful than a slap. Or many slaps! Syxx pops on an abdominal stretch so he can cheat, which is legit one of my least favorite spots in wrestling no matter who does it, but a) it doesn't last long, b) Pee-Wee Anderson kicks Syxx's arm off the ropes, and C) Nash gets on the apron to complain, which draws Anderson's attention so that Syxx can illegally hip toss Rey to the floor. Bonus: Nash stalks Rey on the outside, but nothing happens...yet. It's a tease for what everyone knows is coming, and it's effective. Ratchet up that tension! Syxx busts his balls on a whiffed Bronco Buster attempt, and Rey hits a pop-up rana that only gets two, but looks great. Rey goes up top and hits another rana on Syxx, who is standing way the hell across the ring; it knocks Syxx outside, where Rey hits him with a massive plancha. The crowd is fucking HYPED, and as Anderson is tied up with Syxx on the outside and Rey is fired up back in the ring, Nash comes in and hits the big boot and Jackknife on Rey. Syxx locks on the Buzzkiller for an easy win, but J.J. Dillon stomps down with WCW Security. Rey does a stretcher job as security backs Syxx up. Nash and Syxx physically get into it with security. Dillon lays down the law. Nash yells BITE ME in response. Somehow, that was way cooler than when Bischoff did it. But yeah, fantastic match and aftermath. Woo, that was real good, and that's two matches back-to-back that also make me want to give some money to watch Mongo/Reggie and Syxx/Rey in a cage on PPV. 


  • We got a Benoit highlight package set to some generic rock music earlier. Now, we get a Luger highlight package set to what would eventually become the WCW Thunder theme. Oh yeah, Thunder. I'm still figuring out how to/whether I should go about reviewing those. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Norfolk, Virginia, and he is DETERMINED to make as many rodent/music band name puns as he can. 


  • A nWo video plays in which Hogan jabbers while on the set of some movie. Let's find out what it probably is: Well, the ICONIC Grace Jones pops up in the video, so it's clearly *checks the internet* McCinsey's Island (1998), which I didn't even know was a movie until today. Synopsis from IMDB: A former secret agent finds a treasure map and decides to find the loot. But he is not the only one. Well, at least it's got a score over 3/10! (It's a 3.1/10.) Robert Vaughn is also slumming it in this. He cuts a half-hearted promo on the video, probably to appease Hogan. Grace Jones just did her whole Grace Jones thing and dropped an "nWo" in there, so she was much more effective. 


  • The nWo comes to the ring now. Syxx borrows the insult "banana-nose Flair" from Terry Funk while dumping on Flair and Piper. He claims that Ric Flair ripped off Buddy Rogers and then calls Flair a BITER, hahaha, I can't believe this white guy from Minnesota called someone a "biter," but I am here for it. He issues a challenge to both men. Syxx is the best. Nash speaks next and does that well-known, indulgent "you old guys strip-mined the business" promo that would work better if he wasn't walking around allied with Hogan. He recounts the political mess that was 1990 - 1993 WCW and, though Festivus was only a few days ago, he goes through an airing of grievances from back in 1991 or whatever. This worked-shoot stuff was shocking at the time, but in 2022, it's not particularly engaging. It'd work better if Nash were railing against WCW being too backward and provincial and the nWo coming in to re-shape it and take it worldwide. But then, WCW'd need to definitely win this feud, and that's at odds with Bischoff and Turner trying to make WCW something more than a regional promotion. Anyway, times have changed, so I was less into this than I was as a younger man. 


  • Psicosis comes out and some woman dances to his music so badly that it gives me hives. DDP's going to Diamond Cut this dude in a couple of minutes. Well, not even that long. Psicosis hits a dropkick, and then goes up top, where Page crotches him and hits a Cutter on Psicosis from that position. We rushed through that so that Randy Savage can come out in the crowd and do more taunting of Page. He reminds DDP of his throttling of Kimberly at the last PPV, but Page gets a mic and is like, Ah, I'm over chasing you around, come down here and let's fight instead. Also, your girl is trash. The crowd would like to see a fight, and Savage is sort of thinking about it even though he's working an injury, but Liz holds him back. All of this was inoffensive, I suppose. 


  • Next week is a one-hour Nitro because of the NBA playoffs? I love it. Oh brief, tightly-packed Nitros like those from 1995, how I have missed you. 


  • Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, and Kevin Greene come out to rebut the nWo's interview from a few minutes ago. Remember when we had two good matches in a row that had great in-ring work and a bit of outside interference that made me ready for more of the feud? It feels like a long time ago, but it really was this show. This hour of the show, even. Well, at least there's not really much talking; Flair is ready to fight and calls the nWo out. The nWo comes out, then looks back at the entrance, where Scott Hall comes out. He's out of rehab (this time, at least) and back in time for what will be a six-man tag against the men currently in the ring at Slamboree. The B-Teamers run in first and get beaten up. Then the A-Teamers run in and everybody brawls as the show ends. Well, Piper didn't talk! That's something!


  • Everything from Eaton/Dragon through the end of Rey/Syxx was GREAT, with the exception of the Dillon/Bischoff summit. Five out of five Stinger Splashes. That everything around it was dull, kinda shitty, generally unimpressive isn't enough to make me forget how good a straight hour of this show was. I'm going higher on this score than I otherwise might because of how good this show, minus Dillon and Bischoff, was between those two matches. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #86 - 28 April 1997

"The one where I realize just how much I miss tightly-packed, one-hour Nitros"

  • The show starts with video of Ric Flair beating Vader at Starrcade to hype his ability to beat another big man, namely Kevin Nash. Heh, that's some good MNW pettiness. 


  • Flair and Piper head to the desk...oh no...please, no commentary from Piper. Piper grabs a mic and keeps his yelling to a focused minimum, which I appreciate. Flair WOOOOs and dances and is ready to fight the nWo tonight. 


  • Dean Malenko faces off with Prince Iaukea. As the match starts, Jeff Jarrett cuts an inset promo hyping his match against Malenko for the U.S. title at Slamboree. I'm pretty sure Jarrett wins it there and then loses it to Mongo eventually, which all sounds extremely entertaining, and I'm here for it. Back in the ring, this is a good, fast-paced opener. Both guys in the ring are thrown off by something going on in the stands at one point, but they get their concentration back, Iaukea barely sells a vicious powerbomb to start a series of pinfall counters, and so forth. You know how Malenko matches are. Malenko wins with the Texas Cloverleaf. 


  • THA JOOOOOOOOCY ONE faces off with Syxx next. Waltman, as I have probably typed more than enough, is an awesome pro wrestler who at this point will get something good out of guys who are struggling or trying to find consistency. Juvy, who has struggled in his appearances on Nitro, needed this match. Even when Juvy's athleticism fails him on intricate spots, Syxx saves him: In this match, see Juvy's backflip leapfrog attempt that is saved by Syxx keeping calm and finishing the spot with a sweet kick to take control. Syxx's control segments are always fun, too. Juvy blows another spot, but resets and hits a nice rana from the top rope. then, he hits an AWESOME flipping springboard dropkick for two. That's as close as he gets to victory, though, as Syxx works his way out of trouble and locks on the Buzzkiller for the win. That match was fun, and Juvy having a somewhat rough night didn't keep him from looking like an impressive talent who is just a level or two below a champ like Syxx. 


  • The bad thing about Lee Marshall's job is that he has to spend a lot of time in Florida. Not even, like, Miami, but the Florida Panhandle and a bunch of beach towns on the strip. He's in Lakeland this week. Well, at least they've got some neat Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings to look at there. 


  • Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Syxx chase the desk jockeys away. Hall grabs a mic and indicates that they have a response to Piper and Flair from earlier in the night. Hall's response: "Whatever." Nash wants most of the money for any future match they have, which is on brand for him. 


  • The desk jockeys wander back to the table in time to talk over Chris Benoit's entrance. Benoit is wrestling William Regal in a match that might be the Platonic ideal of a pro wrestling match for a lot of modern fans. There's a reason for that, of course! Regal is so good at the little things, like boot wipes and dropping knees where he can and all that. These two just have a perfect stylistic connection, and while this isn't the Best Match Ever, it's a very, very good four minutes. The hard cam backs way the fuck up, so someone must be bleeding. Sullivan comes out to blow up the match before it can really get going, and he and Benoit brawl into the aisle. Jacqueline jumps onto Benoit's back and throws forearms, which distracts Benoit long enough for Meng to come out and lock on the Tongan Death Grip. Regal's pissed about the match being prematurely ended and tries to punch Meng, but he gets dropped for his trouble. This was a great segment in a vacuum, though as I've said many times before, I am completely done with Kevin Sullivan on my TV at this point.


  • Savage cuts a promo on DDP that's straight out of 1990, but unfortunately, it's a promo cut in the then-modern black-and-white nWo style in 1997. 


  • Lex Luger and the Giant are two of the best guys on this program, and I think they are way underutilized. They don't get enough time, even if neither guy is a great face promo (they're not bad face promos or anything, just not great). Their opponents, the Amazing French Canadians, got jobber entrances. So did Regal last match, owing to this Nitro only being one hour. This is a standard tag match with Luger having a hot opener, a great-looking AFCs double-team to take control, and the Giant getting a hot tag and murdering everyone. This is an enjoyable five minutes, and we get a stereo chokeslam and rack just like I like it. The crowd is going INSANE when this happens, so why don't these two get more TV time?! Well, at least they got a look-in on this shortened Nitro.


  • Steve McMichael and Debra walk to ringside. Debra's sash says "Queen of the WCW." That's an unnecessary "the," Debra. Come on. We see Reggie White stealing the 'burton from Mongo last week in the inset. Barbarian gets the jobber entrance this time around. Hell yeah, I want to see these two clubber each other, which they in fact do. I'm pleased that DVDVR generally thinks that Mongo is fun as hell and I hope that his run is getting re-examined in the wider internet wrestling world. We get beefy forearms galore, clotheslines, a big boot, and some other fun-looking and impactful offense. Barbarian even sticks Mongo with a piledriver. FIVE STARS. Anyway, Mongo went out and bought another Halliburton in the intervening week, so he's able to use it to clobber Barbarian while Debra draws the ref's attention. Mongo gets the pinfall off that briefcase bashing and immediately finds a camera into which to threaten Reggie White. Ah, when pro wrestling is good, it's GOOD. 


  • Ric Flair and Roddy Piper come to the ring to talk some more. I'm fine with it because it's a) not too long and b) it sets up for the event-closing show. Flair says he can "whip Syxx's ass" because he's "been World Champion more times than [Syxx] has had pieces of ass." Tony and Larry chuckle nervously. The nWo music hits, but instead of Nash, Hall, or Syxx, we get a bunch of flyers fluttering down from the rafters that say TRADITION BITES nWo FOR LIFE. Corny, fellas, and was it really necessary to kill a bunch of trees for this? Well, at least Hall, Nash, and Syxx come out after the flyers are done falling from the sky. Syxx and Flair tear down the aisle to fight, and Flair initially fights off all three nWo members with nutshots while Piper ineffectually crumples paper in the ring. Flair puts a Figure Four on Syxx, which is a smart move when two other guys are there to help Syxx fight back. They end up kicking the shit out of Flair in the aisle while Piper stands around, LOLOLOL. What the fuck? Flair calls frantically for Piper's help for a good thirty seconds before Piper decides to intervene. That was dumb. And not in a good way!


  • Next week, we get another hour-long show. This one ruled except for the Flair/Piper/nWo stuff, so I welcome it! 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
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  • 2 weeks later...

Show #87 - 5 May 1997

"The one where the NBA Playoffs continue to improve the show layout...wait, I may have spoken too soon"

  • Nitro! AW YEAH


  • We see a recap of the end of the previous week's show. Remember Piper standing around like an asshole while the nWo beat Flair up? If not, just look directly above this post.


  • There's a large TRADITION BITES! banner or two that Piper, Flair, and Greene rip down before they can even start promo-ing at the desk. Piper has had ENOUGH and stomps off along with Flair and Greene. They stomp off as far as the ring so that they can talk there instead, I guess. The nWo kills a lot of trees with a buncha dropping leaflets. They flutter to the mat while Piper yells a bum-ass promo at us. WE CAN HEAR YOU, STUPID. Resident UPS truck JJ Dillon comes down to tell Piper that he has to show up for the Slamboree match even though the nWo has an ironclad contract to earn 3/4ths of the match purse OR ELSE. Now, Piper had just got done saying that he didn't give a fuck about the purse ("I don't want no purse, I don't wear no purse!"). So, um, why is Dillon responding by threatening him about showing up because of the lesser purse? Also, Flair is fine with Piper just letting him get beat up last week because Piper said basically Aw man, I thought you could take 'em yourself. Flair's nodding his head like, Oh yeah, makes perfect sense.


  • This is goddam DIRE, let me tell you. Just not a good segment. Flair tries to bring it back, but it's dead, my man. Kevin Greene actually grabs the mic from Flair while Flair prepares to talk again, which I feel like is a breach of protocol, but Public Enemy's music starts playing. PE comes out with tables while Flair, Greene, and Piper are still loitering in the ring. They finally just leave. What the actual fuck was that segment and transition? I was waiting for the old dudes and the football player to start destroying the guys coming down for a match or something, but I think they just mistimed that segment.


  • So PE and the team of Konnan/Hugh Morrus have a wandering brawl. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and then from the recesses of your emptied mind, just conjure yourself up a vision of the typical WCW-era PE TV tag brawl with plundah. That's basically what we get here, except Johnny Grunge goes through two tables and not just one. Grunge damn near killed himself sliding off the tables as he went through them somehow. I will say this; the finish is visually awesome, as Rocco puts Konnan on a table in the ring and goes up top, but Morrus catches him and superplexes him off the top rope, onto Konnan, and through the table. The sheer mass of humanity crashing to the mat is pretty damned impressive. Morrus covers Rocco for three, and we're off to a commercial break.


  • Rey Misterio Jr. is out in the Spider-Man suit to wrestle Syxx. I reiterate: AW YEAH...wait, Syxx isn't even kitted out to wrestle. AW MAN


  • Syxx jumps Rey while Nash distracts the ref, and I guess we will get a match of some sort. Oh, this is great: Syxx immediately goes for the Bronco Buster, and Rey double-boots him in the balls. The crowd goes wild while Rey fights off Syxx and Nash, but Hall comes in the ring and hits the Outsider's Edge, and Syxx locks on the Buzzkiller. Dillon's out to ringside, Nick Patrick is out to ringside, Eric Bischoff is out to ringside, and now Bisch is like You can't do nothin' Dillon even though Dillon was threatening to reverse the decision. Syxx and Nash are mad at Dillon, I guess, and yell at him. They're basically like: We didn't like you when you were McMahon's water carrier and we don't like you now, nyah nyah, and no one watching this knew or cared that Dillon worked for WWF in an administrative role before coming back to WCW in this very ineffective TV role.


  • Lee Marshall is in the best city for pro wrestling crowds, Baltimore. Also arguably the best city for dipsomaniacs who write good short stories.


  • Hulk Hogan is back from shooting his crappy movie to come down to the ring, and can I impress upon you how much this show has sucked? It has been awful. Now Bisch and Hogan are going to talk. We are nearly halfway through this show and we've had Piper rambling, Hogan rambling, Dillon rambling, a bunch of nWo guys rambling, a match that was barely two minutes and basically an interference-fest, and a match that was essentially two table spots. This crowd is engaged, though! They want Sting right now! They've also been quick to pop. I appreciate this crowd staying into it. Hogan yammers, challenges Sting, and yammers some more because Sting's not here to respond with violence.


  • Lord Steven William Regal is going to wrestle Meng next, which I guess might be pretty awesome! Let's hope. This show has had a couple of cool spots, but has been dreck otherwise. Holy fuck, Regal slaps the shit out of Meng, who goes YAHHHHHHH and then starts throwing a bunch of wild strikes. You know what happens next to escalate things? Regal dives onto Sullivan at ringside, the match is thrown out, and Meng Tongan Death Grips Regal while he's preoccupied with Sullivan. FUCK OFF, WCW. Regal tries to fight back, but gets TDG'd again.


  • This Nitro is fuckin' TERRIBLE.


  • DDP/Savage feud package, then DDP and Kimberly come to ringside. Kimberly, wearing some imposing-looking heels, trips on the ramp. Even that looks good, somehow. DDP runs through a few cliches, Kimberly cuts a perfectly acceptable promo with a dorky-ass DDP-like zinger toward Savage, and then Savage and Liz respond from the crowd. Savage is like YOU LIKE ME KIM and Kim is like NUH-UH, I DO NOT and DDP is like BANG! and Mach is like ASS and the crowd goes OOOH. God bless 'em, they are into this. Alex Wright's music plays everyone off.


  • I don't know what happened, but the layout of this show is all sorts of fucked this week. Wright is irritated by some dick who hooks his jacket as Wright's headed to the ring. Might be the same guy that two-hand shoved Bisch a bit earlier. Calm down, dude in the crowd. Jeff Jarrett practically jogs to the ring, so I'm guessing that we get a short match. He still takes the time to strut, but he sort of rushes it. This match is like a look into the near-future of 1999 WCW. It was two minutes and seemed like it could have been good if it were given even a modicum of time, but it wasn't given time and therefore was entirely forgettable.


  • Lizmark Jr. versus Glacier seems promising. Oh, who am I kidding. Let's at least get a quick and merciful Wrath/Mortis run-in. Glacier Cryonic Kicks Lizmark in thirty seconds, and it's a kick that something something black belt at a YMCA. Mortis runs in and beats up Glacier. Wrath ambles on down calmly. Just hit the Death Penalty, big man. That's all I ask. Wrath just watches Glacier beat up Mortis for awhile before Mortis reverses a whip and runs Glacier into a Death Penalty. Yeah, that ruled. Mortis hits a second-rope Samoan Drop. Quick, somebody call Ernest Miller up to be Glacier's second because Miller is one of my guilty pleasures in late-era WCW. They beat the shit out of Glacier with a staff, and you know, this was a really effective beatdown. I enjoyed it. I enjoy Vandenberg's guys. More of Vandenberg's guys, please.


  • Harlem Heat hustle out to wrestle Lex Luger and the Giant, but I guess Luger is hurt. Is that kayfabe or legit? Maybe legit because only the Giant comes out. I guess we're getting a handicap match? Nope, we're not: The Giant grabs the mic and introduces his stand-in partner for the night: Diamond Dallas Page! Kimberly comes out, looks at the ramp, shakes her head while wearing a goofy look on her face, and takes her heels off. Then she scoots down the ramp and laughs. Oh man, I remember why teenage me loved her so much. That was adorable.


  • So, Savage comes out to ramp-side, distracts DDP, and then Hogan jumps DDP from behind and beats him up. Meanwhile, the rest of the nWo has hit the ring and is beating up the Giant and Harlem Heat. Yeah, why have a match when you could just have another nWo beatdown? I would feel more okay with this if the Rey/Syxx thing didn't already happen twenty minutes ago. It makes more sense to have a beatdown at this point in the show since Flair, Piper, and Greene can come back down for the main event segment, but the nWo basically beats the shit out of those dudes, too. Hogan and Savage are at the desk doing commentary on the in-ring shenanigans, but I already have tuned this show out.


  • Yeah yeah, they're trying to get everything on the Slamboree card some angle time in about forty minutes, but this wasn't it. You still have Saturday Night, fellas! This thing made me want to dip into my 1999/2000 WCW scores a bit early. I was going to be nice because of the time constraints and give this a full two Stinger Splashes, but no, this was basically '99 Nitro before '99 Nitro was a thing: 1.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


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Show #88 -  12 May 1997

"The one where we go home to Slamboree with one more hour-long show"

  • Michael Buffer is giving us a damn main event opening at the very start of Nitro. Baltimore deserves no less. He's got me READY 2 RUMMMMMMMMMBLE


  • Macho Man Randy Savage and Liz walk right out here, no music or nothin'. Savage swipes the mic from Michael Buffer, who doesn't get paid enough for this shit. Mach is out here ready to slap DDP like Rick James slapped Charlie Murphy. He's not interested in UNITYYYYYYYY is what I'm saying.


  • The desk tells me that Eric Bischoff has secured a one-on-one interview with Sting. Hmmm, this feels like it miiiiiiiiiiiight be bogus. 


  • THA JOOOOOOOCY ONE still hasn't had his breakout performance in WCW, and I doubt that a possibly-rushed TV match against the World TV Champion, Ultimo Dragon, will be that performance for him. Steven William Regal cuts an inset promo in which he says "hunnacunrana," bless him. Regal's done with being nobility and is going to beat the shit out of Dragon at Slamboree like he beat up dockworkers in Blackpool as a young man. In the ring, Juvy gets the best of an early exchange and sends Dragon outside, but Dragon takes over with his signature kick combo and an Argentinian backbreaker. Cool series of moves there! Juvy hits a wheel kick and a fisherman suplex with a bridge, then both guys trade moves and counters at a lovely pace for the next couple minutes until Dragon hits a superplex for a standing ten count that both men beat. Sonny Onoo interjects when both men tumble outside, and Dragon takes advantage of Onoo's distraction with a dive, then gets Juvy back in the ring and hits a top-rope rana before locking on the Dragon Sleeper for a win. That was very, very good television wrestling. They got just a sliver of extra time compared to last week's wrestlers and used it well; also, if you're going to have shorter matches, have dudes who can really pack a lot in there come out and wrestle. This was worth watching if you like good, short semi-competitive TV bouts.


  • Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, and Kevin Greene come down for an interview with Gene Okerlund. Greene is fantastic, with a nice line about death, taxes, and breaking his feet off in people's asses as three inevitabilities of life. Flair keeps it short and WOOs. We leave the worst for last. Piper makes an extremely current Wizard of Oz reference, but thankfully is cut off early into his rant by Hall, Nash, and Syxx, who interject from somewhere in the back. Hall basically is like Eat my dick, Piper and then Syxx is like You know who eats my dick on the regular? Flair's wife. The '90s, everyone! Nash announces that their upcoming Slamboree match will be no-DQ, no-count-out, which is a way better stip for this match than a regular three-on-three. 


  • Mongo McMichael, Debra, and Jeff Jarrett come to the ring, during which time Mongo finds the camera and does some SUPREME shit-talking of Reggie White and the whole state of Wisconsin. I can't do it justice. Mongo RULES. Dean Malenko is out here to wrestle Mongo. Is this a title match, or like nah? Well, doesn't matter. This ends up being a nice little free-TV match! Mongo spends his time clubbering and trying to swat Malenko away. Malenko tries to take out Mongo's wheels and stick and move. Jarrett grabs Malenko's leg on a rope run, which allows Mongo to rip Malenko's head off with a clothesline. Unfortunately for Mongo, he tries a high-angled bodyslam, and Malenko's legs swing up and knock the ref out of the ring. This gives Reggie White time to come down, hit Mongo with a clothesline and a splash, shove Jarrett, and exit the ring. Malenko covers and bridges for three; the crowd chants REGGIE; this show is way the hell better than last week and more on par with the one the week before this. What happened last week?


  • White cuts a boilerplate face promo in which he defends the people of Wisconsin in front of a bunch of folks from the state of Maryland who don't care. He invokes the names of the Packers and Bears, but all these Ravens fans are just like, yeah, whatever, go Ravens. Not a bad promo, but not right for the crowd. 


  • Lee Marshall is on the road in Asheville, North Carolina. He notes that it's a "breathtaking" part of the country. I've spent very little time in North Carolina, but I was surprised at how pretty it was when I was there. Really lovely country. Larry Z. to Bobby Heenan, after another lame "weasel" joke from Marshall: "Do you owe him money or something? He's always on you." It made me laugh out loud. 


  • Scotty Riggs is the sacrificial lamb for Wrath, who finally gets his name bestowed upon him by James Vandenberg so that the commentators know what to call him. I am overly excited to see Wrath hoss it up in a squash. We get a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker - one of my favorite pro wrestling moves - and a Death Penalty in about sixty seconds of match time, so I'm a fan of this whole thing! Glacier comes out to the ramp to have a little standoff with Vandenberg's men in the ring, but nothing more happens before we go to break. 


  • Konnan and Hugh Morrus are my favorite odd couple tag team. One guy's a vato, the other's dressing in cowboy boots and fringed jackets half the time. A very young-looking Ray Lewis, pre-stabbing-someone-to-death, is in the crowd. Alex Wright and Ice Train come down to oppose the Dungeon members, but Wright's sick of all the losing he's been doing lately and bails until Train gets the advantage. So, Wright's turning heel; last week, he took the chance to rip away from the fan who grabbed his jacket and also did some shitty dancing for Debra when he should have been trying to win. This week, he only wants to be in the ring when Train has earned the advantage and he wants to dance. A lot. I love Alex Wright's terrible dance move, which is apparently the only dance move he has. Anyway, Wright gives up on the match because he tweaks his calf dancing, and Train is left to die, tapping out to a Tequila Sunrise. This match/segment was stupid, but I was strangely entertained by it.


  • We see video of Hogan and Savage jumping DDP from last week, but we cut away from it in a rush to see a cameraman high-tailing it backstage. This allows us to catch the aftermath of Piper being Pillmanized by Syxx, Hall, and Nash. Will Piper make it to Slamboree? I don't care. 


  • I've said this before and will say it again, for which I apologize: Vince McMahon Jr. is such an elite pro wrestling performer that Eric Bischoff trying to do this heel authority shit, even though he started doing it before McMahon, somehow comes off as a pale imitation. Anyway, "Man Called Sting" plays so that Fake Sting can come to the ring as Tony S. says, "We should have known." Yes, you should have, you gullible fuck! Poor Tony comes off like a total idiot way too often. The crowd wants Real Sting, who I assume will be here to hand out at least one Scorpion Death Drop before the show is over. Bischoff conducts a sham interview in which he bigs up Hogan and hates on Real Sting while Fake Sting agrees. But as it turns out, my assumptions are correct! Fake Sting eats a death drop! Baltimore is pleased! So am I! Bischoff runs off through the crowd to end the show on a nice visual. 


  • MUCH BETTER. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Show #89 -  19 May 1997

"The one where the NBA Playoffs are still raging on TNT, apparently"

  • Gene Okerlund welcomes us to Nitro so that he can get right to interviewing Ric Flair on the ramp. We only have an hour - fifty minutes, really - once again. WCW got a big main event win at Slamboree, which the crowd loved and I loved and everybody loved because we, you know, ultimately want the good guys to win something. Eric Bischoff clearly took absolutely nothing from this. 


  • Flair is very excited about his success the previous night, but Syxx cuts off Flair's celebrating. Syxx is deluded about the loss and angry that Flair said that, while he 'didn't know if [he could] take Hall or Nash," he knew then and knows now that he "can take Syxx." Syxx is convinced after last night that it's the other way around. Flair drops a swear ("ass") and the two men get in a slapfight before Syxx runs away. I was quite entertained by this segment. 


  • New TV Champ Steven Regal comes to the ring to defend against his upset-causing nemesis Prince Iaukea. Iaukea's early goal is to catch Regal on a flash pin, which makes sense considering their history. He gets a 2.9 on a crucifix, which Tony S. reminds us is what Iaukea won the TV title with against Regal in a nice bit of PBP. Once Regal gets control, he hits some sweet moves, including a nice reverse suplex, and locks on the Regal Stretch, throwing a few open-palm strikes while cinching it in, to get the win. Fun TV sprint. 


  • Dave Taylor, who hasn't fared as well as his fellow former Blue Blood Steven Regal, wrestles Masahiro Chono randomly. Sure, why not? I think wrestling should be a work and that hitting each other hard legit is sort of against the point, but maybe they'll work really snug or something. Or at least look like it. Taylor has some nice European uppercuts. Chono is typically pretty boring, I think, but this match is okay because it's compressed, they do a couple decent spots, and the STF Chono locks on for the win looks alright. 


  • Sonny Onoo is very proud of himself for showing that he ultimately was in control of Ultimo Dragon's TV title success at Slamboree, and he comes out to the ramp to tell Chono that there's more of that sort of cheap-shotting, head-kicking fuckery in store for Chono himself next week. Onoo tells Chono (heh) that Onoo'll be bringing someone in next week to help him exact revenge, but he won't say who it is. I'm glad Onoo is still heated enough about Chono turning on him back in Show #66 to address this. 


  • J.J. Dillon sits at a desk and enthusiastically talks about reinstating Nick Patrick as a WCW ref. Patrick's put on probation, sure, but for only thirty days. Well, that's quite the worker-friendly corporate policy! Then Tony S. is like, "Let's hear from J.J. Dillon!" Then J.J. Dillon sits at a desk and enthusiastically talks about reinstating Nick Patrick as a WCW ref. Again. IT'S GROUNDHOG DAY! Seriously, that was eerily appropriate production fuckery from WCW for today's post.


  • Hahahahaha, Larry Z. says that pro wrestling combines the two of the worst features of U.S. life: "physical brutality punctuated by committee meetings." Holy shit, that is genuinely funny. Of course, he spoils it by saying that women should stay in the kitchen shortly afterward, but hey. 


  • Scotty Riggs and V.K.M. Wallstreet is the sort of match that really does not need to be on an hour-long Nitro, but I guess if we had time to listen to J.J. Dillon say the same thing twice in a row, we have time for this. At least this is short, so Wallstreet's chinlock spot isn't five minutes long like normal. I was far too young to remember the U.S. Express and haven't seen enough of their stuff - weird blind spot for me - but otherwise, Wallstreet has never been good and might be the worst (read: won't kill you in the ring, but can't put a compelling match together with anyone because his half of it will always suck) fundamentally sound wrestlers ever in general. Oh yeah, the match ends when Nick Patrick stops Wallstreet from cheating a bunch of times and Riggs wins with a rollup. Craig Leathers can't get the replay quite right in the truck, so the finish runs backwards and then we don't see it run properly before they have to cut to Gene Okerlund talking about a fucking stock car. Larry Z. and Bobby H. both go out of their way to highlight the production fuck-up. This match specifically existed so that we could see the redemption of Nick Patrick. That's what Bischoff thought was a good use of my time on this show. This Nitro isn't going to score very highly, you can probably guess. 


  • Some NASCAR dude named Mark Martin comes out here alongside Ric Flair to pimp a stock car giveaway. Boy, this has been a lot of things that I don't care about in a row after that enjoyable opening with Flair/Syxx and Regal/Iaukea


  • Lee Marshall is in Nashville, which is a city that I have heard a lot of good things about. It seems like Nashville is an extreme example of a city that doesn't fit the profile of the rest of its state. Marshall sings a shitty, Weasel-focused version of "Heartbreak Hotel." I mean, if you're going to do a Weasel joke, please don't make me sit through a shitty Elvis cover to hear the equally-shitty punchline. 


  • Recap time: At Slamboree, Diamond Dallas Page and Randy Savage had a brawl, and Page got revenge on Savage by beating him with a crutch. I will never argue that DDP's booking post-face turn wasn't the right thing to do. It obviously worked. I just think that on re-watch, this feud is weak, and Page isn't even getting a chance to hit Diamond Cutters each week on Nitro at this point because he's too busy getting in ineffective mic battles with Savage instead. They started out with the KIM'S NUDEZ motivation for the feud, but someone probably figured out how logically silly that was, so now these guys just don't like each other for whatever reason. I think I'm particularly biased, though, in that I didn't like this feud when it was actually happening, so the odds that it was going to capture my appreciation in the present day were quite low. 


  • Let's hope that the Steiner Brothers vs. Jeff Jarrett and Mongo McMichael can bring things back for this show. Scotty is looking incredibly gassed up even for him tonight. Jarrett and Scott have a fun opening sequence, as you'd expect. The crowd loves Scott's no-sell of a Jarrett suplex and follow-up gorilla press. Then Rick and Mongo get in and have their own good sequence. Mongo is pressed by Rick's clubbering, so he takes out Rick's knee, but Rick eventually gets back in control with a suplex and a top-rope face-crusher. All four men enter the ring and Debra runs interference so that Jarrett can grab the Halliburton. He readies himself to use it, but Kevin Greene runs out and cuts him off, gets ahold of the briefcase, and bashes Mongo over the head with it. Rick covers Mongo for three; Mongo comes to and goes ballistic once Jeff Jarrett tells him what happened. Yep, not surprised that everyone involved in this match turned things around for the show. 


  • During the break, Mongo found Greene in a locker room and continued their disagreement. I am suitably hyped for Mongo/Greene at an upcoming PPV. 


  • Syxx and Ric Flair make up the main event, probably. It looks like there's a segment after this, but probably it's just dudes talking or a gang beatdown or both. The crowd is hot for this, and they should be because Syxx comes out here and immediately bumps, sells, and stooges like a champ...but a minute seconds in, Hall and Nash come in and we get a beatdown. Man, fuck this shit. This was going to be flames before it devolved into a standard beatdown. I appreciate that Tony S. tells us that Mongo, Jarrett, and Greene were all escorted from the building by Doug Dellinger because of the backstage encounter, so there's no one in the building to save Flair. Ultimately, though, we can't even have 24 hours of triumphant WCW or a good main event match without a run-in, can we? Nash threatens Flair into the camera even though he's laid out in the ring, but then he moves on to threatening Piper. He basically says Piper, you'd better have a few guns for protection because we're coming to Oregon and invading your home just to fuck you up. Somewhere up North, Stone Cold Steve Austin thinks, Eh, that plan sounds better when you come up with it than it is in execution.


  • Oh wonderful, it's Eric Bischoff for our show-closing angle! I sure love heel Eric Bischoff talking! He blathers on about Sting ducking his calls and thinks the Stinger's a coward. The crowd wants Sting to show up and Scorpion Death Drop a bitch. Well, that would certainly make this segment worth it. Hahahaha, okay, this is pretty good. Bisch has gone on about Sting not being anywhere, not even in the rafters. He's taken the chance to look up a couple of times just to make sure. He's absolutely certain that Sting's not up there. So naturally, Sting pulls an Undertaker and comes from below the ring, popping up right through the mat. That spot, which ends in the customary Scorpion Death Drop, actually did make this whole segment worth it! 


  • If you could carve out the whole wretched middle of this show, production gaffes and all, you'd have something good. There's no way a fifty-minute show like this should have dragged like it did. I'm also irritated at the way Syxx/Flair went, even knowing that it makes sense to save the real thing for PPV, and knowing that I have access to that PPV. I can't separate the fan in me from the "well, this is a logical way to build toward a PPV match" me. But there was good stuff here, and the Steiners/Horsemen tag was almost perfect five-minute TV wrestling, angle-advancing stuff.  3 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Show #90 -  26 May 1997

"The one where Kevin Greene vs. La Parka for the WCW World Championship is a money match, trust me"

  • Hey, we get a regular-sized Nitro this week!


  • Eric Bischoff comes out to start Nitro. He doubles our fun by motioning out and bowing to Hulk Hogan, who poses while I think about how nice it was when he was shooting a direct-to-video movie the last few weeks' worth of shows. Hogan cuts a terrible promo, uses the words "deep deep doo-doo," in fact, and I get that ideally he's supposed to be a corny, irritating lame, but I think actually that Hogan thinks this promo is legitimately good heel work. Bisch and Hogan talk about how scared Sting is of Hogan, you know the drill. Then, he poses some more. Theoretically, this is good heeling, but in practice, I just want it to stop. Get Vince Russo into the company to talk about Hogan's bald spot ASAP, please. Then (of course), immediately fire Russo. Out of a cannon.


  • I'm not even watching SN or anything, but holding off on Hogan/Sting for eighteen months was ideal in theory, but terrible in practice. Luger is the only guy to break up the long Hogan reign, and it was only for a week. Hogan being champ for that long in 1996-1997 is a bad idea, actually. There's nothing fresh about Hogan holding onto the gold forever. That shit is over a decade old at this point. A heel turn isn't going to make it bearable for longer than about six months. 


  • I wonder if my foreknowledge of the terrible Starrcade '97 finish and the fact that the nWo would never quite go away, at least not until late into 2000, is the biggest factor in my tiring of all this stuff...but hey, I still enjoy Hall, Nash, and Syxx


  • Trios tag alert: THA JOOOOOOOCE, Super Calo, and Hector Garza tag up against Ciclope, La Parka (!!!), and Damien 666. Parka catches Juvy on a dive, does the PARKA SHUFFLE while carrying him to the other corner, and puts him up there for a move. La Parka rules, make him the champ. No, not the Cruiserweight Champ, the World Champ. I don't like the typical lucha trios style, so these matches depend on spots. And there is a WILD spot where, you guessed it, Calo almost murders himself and a bunch of guys in the crowd when he dives so fast and with such momentum that Ciclope can't catch him and he ends up legit in the third row. That was incredible. I replayed it a bunch. I think he might have kicked a kid (who no-sold it) in the head on his way in; that was dangerous and irresponsible and I loved it. Well, this match was a success no matter what else happens. They continue to splat each other a lot, and it's the equivalent of junk food - empty calories, but I don't regret them. I don't like when everyone stands around so the sixth guy can do a dive onto all of them - it's one of my most hated spots, actually - but it can't ruin this. Garza wins with a powerbomb and standing moonsault. The crowd was HOT for this, and rightly so. What a great way to start off a show hot. I mean, after you get Bisch and Hogan the fuck off the screen. 


  • Psicosis is out next to wrestle heel Alex Wright (w/ Alex Wright's one terrible dance move). Wait, he does the Rick Rude hip swivel as part of the dance, too. Two moves! He's been in the lab! Seriously, I'm glad he is a heel because that dance is fucking stupid, a perfect heelish thing to do, and it works so much better as a part of his act now. He spams the shit out of it, though. This match is not very good. Psicosis and Wright are sort of off, and Psicosis's offense looks weak in spots. He nearly misses Wright on a corkscrew, and Wright can't quite move over in time to properly catch him. I don't blame Wright because Psicosis is so far off on his dive that he ends up slamming against the guardrail. Anyway, Psicosis wins with a guillotine legdrop. Wright throws a tantrum in the ring. I am underwhelmed.


  • Hey, it's a smug Sonny Onoo, who is with Gene Okerlund and is excited to get revenge on Masa Chono tonight. Onoo stops Psicosis as the latter heads back after the last match and initiates some sort of business deal with him. Onoo's excited about his business prospects, but he's suddenly interrupted by Madusa. I am so bummed out right now. She's a really awful promo, which was not always true, right? I feel like she was solid when she was running with Rick Rude. Anyway, Madusa will do anything to get a shot at the WCW Women's Championship, and Onoo is like, Sure, but if you lose the shot at Hokuto that I give you, you have to retire. Hey, I thought Onoo was the heel, but he's trying to get rid of Madusa. Madusa dawdles a bit, but accepts the stip. Onoo's like YOU'RE GONNA LOSE. GO HOME AND BE A FAMILY NURSE. Again, I thought he was supposed to be the heel. 


  • The desk talks about The Ayatollah Ernest Miller and shows him doing some kickboxing in slo-mo. I'm hyped. Wrath comes out for a match. I'm even more hyped. Brad Armstrong does his fiery fightin' babyface thing, but mostly gets killed. We get a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a diving clothesline off the top and a DEATH PENALTY from Wrath. I love a good squash. 


  • It's a Villano! The IVth one. It's Konnan! The cholo version. Hugh Morrus is mad at Konnan because Konnan split with Morrus after a loss at the previous PPV. I'm not quite sure that a tough loss to the Steiners is indication that your team should break up immediately, but Konnan probably figured out that he really sticks out in the Dungeon of Doom and that maybe another stable would be more suitable for him. This match is a match that happens. Doug Dellinger cuts off Hugh Morrus before Morrus can get in the ring; WCW officials hold the Laughing Man back. In the ring, Konnan hits the cradle DDT and locks on the Tequila Sunrise for the win. 


  • Gene Okerlund talks to Konnan post-match, and I love that when Gene's like THIS IS AMERICA, SPEAK ENGLISH, Konnan's like "This isn't for you, white boy!" Finally, someone returned the disrespect! Then Konnan says "bitch" in carny. He was in the wrong company during this time, wasn't he? Also, I love his "1-8-7 On an Undercover Cop" knockoff theme. Hilarious. I guess Turner execs don't know what a 1-8-7 is. 


  • Sonny Onoo comes out and introduces THE GREAT MUTA YEAHHHHHHHH. I think I remember this angle, though. The crowd wants mist, so Muta spits some mist into the air. Larry Z. enlightens us about the "Japanese race." Thanks, Lar. Yeah, Muta finally puts on a weak headlock because he's not actually planning on fighting Chono. Then Muta mists Onoo and stomps him out. Hahaha, Chono holds Onoo up and yells about the nWo while Muta uses Onoo's instant camera to take pictures of Onoo's shame. So yeah, Muta's NEW NEW NEW NEW WORLD ORDER. This was pointless...except that I got to see Muta mist a fool. 


  • Barbarian is out to the ring to do a fun little TV match, probably. Jim Powers is fine and tries hard, so yeah, probably. I'm sure both men's managers, Jimmy Hart and Teddy Long respectively, will get involved somehow. You know what rules? A shoulderblock spot where the face tries to shoulderblock the monster heel, but they barely move and then just yell or laugh or whatever. We get that spot here, and Barb beats his chest and goes AWAOUGHAGAAHA, and yes, it rules. Anyway, I was right about this being a fun little TV thing. There's a good chopfest in there, and Barb catches a splash and turns it into a powerslam, which is a cool spot even if he doesn't quite grab him cleanly. I was wrong about the managers getting involved, though. 


  • Barbarian and Hart are prepping to cut an interview at ringside, but Benoit and Woman are down to cut them off. Benoit wants to *sigh* get Kevin Sullivan in the ring yet again. Jimmy Hart's like, If you can beat Barb, I guess you can fight Sullivan *sigh*. That one mixed tag brawl aside (which was TREEEEEEMENDOUS, in DVDVR parlance), this feud has to be one of the worst long-running feuds of the '90s. It's not quite Lex Luger/Tatanka, but it's not that far off. 


  • LE GEANT~ and Lex Luger come to the ring to lots of cheers and no music while Tony S. hypes a new major wrestling star coming to WCW in about a month at the MGM Grand, June 30th. I'm blanking out on who this might be. Don't spoil me, anyone who might happen to read this. 


  • So, the Giant fights Johnny Swinger, Rick Fuller, and Jerry Flynn in a one-on-three handicap match. Each one gets nothing going one-on-one against Giant, so they attack him all at once, and it rules. Giant hits a double back suplex and chokeslams these bums. Now, that's some good squashin'! 


  • Gene comes into the ring to interview Luger and Giant about title shots, Hogan, and Rodman. Luger wants to challenge Hogan and Rodman to a tag match, gets a little marble-mouthed as is his way, and kicks it over to the Giant. The Giant a) goes immediately to a strained metaphor, and b) calls himself the "shylark" who hasn't been paid. Ah, I see he's been reading The Marchant of Varnarce


  • Lee Marshall is in Dayton, Ohio, the HEARTLAND OF AMERICA, the location of the death of Hulkamania and the coronation of BRET HITG.O.A.T HART as King of the WWF. I'll stop before I wax poetic about the Nutter Center. 


  • Syxx would like to talk to the crowd now. He's still in denial about that last loss on PPV. Then, he's onto shitting on Flair, replaying that Outsiders' beatdown on Flair from last week, and generally acting like a dickhead. Hall and Nash join him on the ramp. Hall calls Flair an "old drag queen," and while I think Flair's robes are elaborate, I don't think old boy really has the style to pull off a full drag queen look. He's more of an old-baseball-cap-and-spittoon style, which I guess there might be a drag queen or two who adopt that style somewhere, but it's probably unlikely. Nash swears that the only way Piper could put him to sleep is by making him watch Piper's next movie. Nash has the better iMDB page, I must admit. Maybe that's a hot take. Hall and Nash want to fight Piper and Flair at some indeterminate point in the future, but probably actually the next PPV. 


  • We see video from last week's Nitro of Kevin Greene finally getting his revenge on Mongo. Remember when the Horsemen would jump anyone who attacked one of their members, no matter who it was? Now, Flair's palling around with Greene and just letting him beat the shit out of Mongo. The Horsemen are so washed. 


  • Mongo, along with Jeff Jarrett and Debra, come to the ring for a match against Harlem Heat. Basically, WCW's mid-card core is going to put up enjoyable TV matches as long as they're given a few minutes. Kevin Greene joins the desk and does a fantastic job. I feel like if this dude enters wrestling in like 1981, he becomes a pretty big star. He's got so much 'roidhead charisma. He reminds me, weirdly, of mid-aughts 'roid freak Kurt Angle or late-'90s 'roid freak Scott Steiner. I know all those guys are very different in execution, but they have, at their core, a sort of hopped-up, drug-fueled intensity that makes them believable. Greene is over there talking shit about Mongo in commentary and keeping up with Tony and Heenan, no problems at all.


  • Heenan warns Greene that Mongo might be embarrassed enough to try to take him out and make him miss the NFL season, and Greene's like "In all honesty, I thought about it, and I don't care." I mean, come on, that's awesome. He put over a wrestling feud as more important than his NFL career. He goes on about thinking about getting Mongo back all year, "waking up in a cold sweat" thinking about it, and right now, you could convince me that Bisch should book Kevin Greene to be WCW Champ. Seriously, the tag match is solid, but it's worth watching just to listen to Greene kill it on commentary. He's fully hyped me up for their PPV match. Mongo gets a hot tag to Jarrett, but sees Greene at the desk and walks over to brawl with him. As they fight their way to the back, Harlem Heat and Sherri play the numbers game and get the win off a Booker T side kick. When is Jarrett going to finally get sick of Mongo's disrespect? Debra's sick of it for him. 


  • I started watching this Nitro a week ago, put it down for work, and now have been reminded that back at the beginning of this show, Hogan called Sting out. I didn't actually read over what I'd written a week ago before starting to write again and thus had totally forgotten. Anyway, Hogan and Bischoff are back out to end the show. Where will Sting pop up from now? Well, Fake Sting pops out from underneath the ring. Boy, they love the "Fake Sting pretends to be Real Sting and admits that he's worse than Hogan" thing. While they're going through this charade, Real Sting comes down from the rafters, Scorpion Death Drops Bisch, scares Hogan out of the ring, and Scorpion Death Drops Fake Sting. Hogan calls out the troops and then has a standoff with Sting, but Sting just ziplines back up into the rafters before the rest of the nWo can jump him. 


  • When I did re-read this whole thing, I immediately remembered how fun the trios tag was. Also Konnan being Konnan, Wrath killing a dude, and Muta showing up were things that happened that I liked. Combine my fond memory of those things and my general enjoyment of the second half of this show, and I give it 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
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On 2/12/2023 at 3:38 PM, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

Nash swears that the only way Piper could put him to sleep is by making him watch Piper's next movie. Nash has the better iMDB page, I must admit. Maybe that's a hot take.

man, that's actually a tough comparison.

Piper has They Live, which is awesome, and then a shit ton of B- and C- level flicks. i've only seen a handful of them, but they're mostly terrible (hey, i love Hell Comes to Frogtown as much as the next guy, but it's not a great film!). He seems to act to the level that his movies are, which is my nice way of saying that he's not great.

Nash has played bit parts in some decently big movies, and he's usually great at what he does. But AFAIK he hasn't led anything. Maybe he was a main character in Magic Mike? i didn't see that one.

Does one great starring role, followed by a bunch of mediocrity, overrule a slate of above average minor performances?

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22 hours ago, twiztor said:

man, that's actually a tough comparison.

Piper has They Live, which is awesome, and then a shit ton of B- and C- level flicks. i've only seen a handful of them, but they're mostly terrible (hey, i love Hell Comes to Frogtown as much as the next guy, but it's not a great film!). He seems to act to the level that his movies are, which is my nice way of saying that he's not great.

Nash has played bit parts in some decently big movies, and he's usually great at what he does. But AFAIK he hasn't led anything. Maybe he was a main character in Magic Mike? i didn't see that one.

Does one great starring role, followed by a bunch of mediocrity, overrule a slate of above average minor performances?

Nash in Magic Mike is hilarious. He's basically a washed stripper with bad knees, Marisa Tomei's stripper character in The Wrestler if she were played for comedy. 

They Live is great, and if we were including TV, Piper's appearances on It's Always Sunny would be in the "good" column, too, but Nash is consistently funny in the comedy parts he gets. Even in a bad movie like the remake of The Longest Yard, Nash nails his very broad comedic spots. 

I guess you can throw Nash as Super-Shredder in there if you're into "was in a bad movie that I enjoyed" parts. 

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Show #91 -  2 June 1997

"The one where Flair, Hall, and Syxx put in a heck of a performance" 

  • Hall and Syxx of the NEW NEW NEW WORLD ORDER are already in the ring to start the show. Hall basks in his popularity with the viewers at home and at the arena. Syxx and Hall think Ric Flair is old as hell and has been world champ more than enough. They're sorta right...and this was 26 years ago, or about 25.5 years before Flair's "Last Match," as if. J.J. Dillon runs jogs chugs down to the ring. Dillon is super-excited to tell everyone that Flair is en route to the show, and he accepts Hall's boastful "I'll slap him around" as agreement to a singles match tonight in this very ring. Hall bristles at being told what to do, so Dillon threatens to strip him of the WCW Tag Team Championship. Hall relents, declaring that he's going to beat Flair, and we go to the intro proper.


  • Alex Wright and Glacier have a match that isn't very long, but Wright does his best to be newly aggressive and heelish. Wright is basically Disco; does some offense to take the advantage, dances, gives his opponent time to recuperate, gets beat up. Disco's fired at this point, I'm pretty sure, so Wright-as-Disco is a decent enough substitute. Wright raises his arms to the crowd in celebration and leaves his jaw open for a Cryonic Kick that gets three. Geez, Wright hit a full 10/10 on the Disco scale there. Post-match, Wrath and Mortis attack Glacier in the ring. Wright wants to get in on the beatdown, so they let him get a bunch of kicks in, but when Wright holds Glacier for a Kanyon superkick, Glacier ducks. The timekeeper insistently hammers the bell until Glacier finally fights both guys off and escapes. Sure, but where's Poochy Ernest "the Cat" Miller?


  • Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton cut an inset promo about how the nWo is taking over New Japan while Joe Gomez prepares to do the job in the ring. His opponent: That very same Buff Bagwell, who is seconded by Norton. This is a below-average semi-squash. Bagwell has charisma, though, and his asides to the camera about how wonderful he is are amusing. Norton beats up Gomez outside the ring and we get a Blockbuster, which honestly looks like it should hurt Bagwell about as much as it does his opponent. 


  • In a cool spot, Konnan flies in from off-camera to attack Hugh Morrus as Morrus comes to the ring for his match. Tony's OOOH really sold it, too. Morrus continues to sell a head injury that I totally buy, the way Konnan jumped into frame with that forearm. Prince Iaukea, who I guess has some sort of charmed "my opponent is ripe for the picking" aura or something, fights through an early Morrus beatdown to take advantage of his opponent's concussed state and win with a schoolboy. I'm usually sour on Morrus, but he did an excellent job of physically selling that head injury. Konnan comes to the head of the ramp to celebrate his nefarious deed and its consequences. 


  • J.J. Dillon (w/  the rolled-up paper he always carries around as a sign that he's very busy) meets with Gene Okerlund. Dillon updates us on Hall/Flair (Flair has arrived at the arena) and the tag team title scene (the Steiner Brothers are the number one contenders no matter what happens in their match tonight). Harlem Heat bustle on down and Sherri yells at J.J. while Booker mad dogs him. It's hilarious. Dillon basically blows them off and says the Steiners winning their match tonight will pretty much seal their number one contendership; Sherri essentially promises that she and the Heat will see about that, then! 


  • Next: A video package that hypes DDP going from jobber in 1992 to fringe main eventer in 1997. It's a quality package and not only gets over Page's improvement as a wrestler, but the Diamond Cutter as the move that has vaulted him from a curtain jerker to the same level as Randy Savage


  • Chono and Muta meet the Steiner Brothers in a tag match, and I expect this match not to make it very far before Harlem Heat make themselves known. Muta gets tossed around a bunch before Chono comes in and gets beaten up. The Steiners run the first five minutes, no problems. Tony S. confirms that they'll face the winner of the Outsiders vs. Flair/Piper at the Bash if they can slide past nWo Japan tonight. The cursory  control segment for the heels is alright. We get a handspring elbow, after all. The Steiners take control right back after Rick ducks a Chono Mafia Kick, but Harlem Heat jump Rick Steiner when he's headed up top for a super bulldog attempt, and Muta wins with a cursory leg grapevine that Rick isn't even aware enough to fight out of. J.J. comes out and spoils Harlem Heat's celebration: This match will be under review from the championship committee, and also Harlem Heat has to win their match later tonight...gee, wonder what's gonna happen in that one?


  • Fresh off the plane, Ric Flair comes out and talks to Gene Okerlund. Flair threatens to kick Hall's "white honky ass," which seems maybe like not the best insult coming from Flair? Yeah, I know, he's shading Hall for not actually being Cuban, but like, uh, the crowd's demographics are mostly white dudes. Ah well, I guess it's okay if Flair says it.


  • V.K.M. Wallstreet should come down to C.C. Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat," that's my argument. Wallstreet in the anti-WCW shirt, which someone posted pages back in this thread, cracks me up. He's not nWo, but he's still carrying the anti-WCW banner! Dean Malenko makes this singles match okay because he likes to go-go-go, and so forces Wallstreet to move at a pace that is something other than glacial. Referee Nick Patrick looks like Danny McBride's older brother. He should be the secret fourth Gemstone that Eli fathered in the next season of The Righteous Gemstones. Patrick's character can even be carrying on his secret daddy's legacy in the southern pro wrestling indy scene as a ref! Fuck yeah, do it, book it, make it happen. Wallstreet does his signature abdominal stretch/rope grab deal that no one likes, but that someone should actually bring back in 2023 since no one does that sort of shit anymore, as we talked about in the general thread.


  • Heenan declares that both men are excellent at aerial maneuvers, which is total nonsense that got a genuine laugh out of me. Jeff Jarrett runs down and tries to help Wallstreet beat Malenko, but his interference fails and Malenko locks on the Texas Cloverleaf for the win. This finish was confusing because it sure looked like Patrick counted three for Wallstreet, but then he signaled that it was only two. There's also a dumb "what's up with Nick Patrick's reffing" spot as a part of this finish, even though that storyline is fucking DEAD, give me Patrick and Edi Patterson cussing at each other over who's going to inherit the masters for the Gemstone family music catalog instead. Jarrett challenges Malenko to a rematch for the U.S. Championship afterward, and then Mongo comes out to bitch at Jarrett for not including him in this whole Malenko deal. Jarrett storms off and Mongo sticks around to yell at Kevin Greene. Hey, the Bash is shaping up to be a pretty interesting card!


  • Harlem Heat make another appearance, this time to wrestle. Their opponents, Ciclope and Damien 666, theoretically should be fairly easy pickings. As it turns out, Harlem Heat's domination of the proceedings doesn't do much for their odds of victory. The perpetrator of their demise is RICK STEINER with a STEEL CHAIR at RINGSIDE, and Booker T has no clue (HAR HAR) where he is when Damien comes off the top with a splash shortly after for three. It was short and meant to further a potential Steiners/Heat feud, and it did so just fine.


  • Lee Marshall is in Boston, one of the more prominent American cities that I've never been to. If I'm going to the East Coast for fun, which is rare, I always end up in New York or maybe Toronto. Marshall has really gotta make his shitty weasel jokes shorter. Bill Buckner also got some undeserved shots fired at him here. It's not like that one play lost that game! Whatever, Buckner showed up on Curb and made light of it, and good for him and his shitty knees. 


  • Barbarian looks like he's ready to kick someone's head off, and I hope he does tonight because if he doesn't, Chris Benoit is going to wrestle Kevin Sullivan AGAIN. FUCK. Jimmy Hart has to run a diversion to help Barbarian get himself into the match, and then Barb fucking KILLS Benoit by front suplexing him across the ropes recklessly. Benoit hit the ropes and spiked himself on the head, fuck. I guess Barb was sick of getting chopped to hell. A Barbarian piledriver gets 2.9. Barb hits the top-rope belly-to-belly toss, but when he tries it again, Benoit blocks it and hits a flying headbutt that snapped his head back again. I mean seriously, it's okay to sit in an abdominal stretch like IRS sometimes instead of doing too much. He locks on the Crippler Crossface and gets Barbarian to submit! That match was entertaining and violent, but man, maybe protect yourselves better, fellas? 


  • Benoit and Hart squawk at each other post-match. Hart says that beating Barb wasn't enough to get a match with Sullivan and that Benoit's gotta beat Meng in a deathmatch at the Bash, which is fair enough since Meng beat Benoit cleanly at Slamboree. I mean, Hart should have said that up front instead of saying that beating Barbarian would be enough, but it's fair. Then Hart says there's a ThIRD step that he'll tell Benoit next week. He's just throwing stipulation after stipulation up. I guess he's as sick of seeing this matchup as I am. Keep stalling, maybe they'll forget about one another. 


  • Scott Hall and Ric Flair are our main event, and the time left in this show makes me think that it'll actually happen! Tony S. is bigging up this match as a PPV-quality main event, which it is. I wonder what was on RAW that Bisch was counter-programming against. I'll just check while Flair beats the shit out of Hall after getting a toothpick to the face. Let's see: Faarooq/Ahmed, HHH/Goldust, Michaels and Austin versus the Road Warriors - holy shit, Flair dove onto Syxx outside and choked the shit out of him. So, this match is just Flair trying to murder these disrespectful dudes, and it's pretty great. Hall takes over now and gets Flair back in the ring. Ah, over on RAW, the main event is Undertaker/Sid for the WWF Championship in a sub-five minute match, followed by the Nation beating both guys down post-match. Well, not exactly hard to counter that one with this spectacle. Syxx comes in and hits a Bronco Buster on Flair while Hall diverts the ref. There's 2.9 for Hall off a fallaway slam, then 2.9 for Hall off a back suplex. Hall goes to the abdominal stretch and leverage spot, which is much more palatable a spot when he does it rather than IRS


  • Flair fights back with chops, but Hall locks on the sleeper...until Flair counters with the knee drop and Hall counters that counter with a clothesline. That ruled. Hall rolls over for the cover, but it only gets two. Flair wins a strike-fest and nails an inverted atomic drop, then punches Syxx off the apron. Syxx tries again and goes up to the top, but Flair crotches him. Then, he back-kicks Hall in the junk and whips him into Syxx. This match is FANTASTIC, everybody. Flair goes for the Figure Four, but Syxx jumps in and Flair cuts him off instead. Pee-Wee Anderson lets it go for as long as Flair is able to control both guys, but Hall takes the easy way out with a belt shot to the back of Flair's head. That ending is a real downer after how awesome that match was. Syxx and Hall slap Flair around, knock him outside, and continue the beatdown until MONGO runs out and swings the Halliburton around. Jarrett's there, too, and he raises Flair's hand in victory. Why weren't these fellas, or Benoit for that matter, out here watching Flair's back like Syxx was watching Hall's? GET IT TOGETHER, HORSEMEN. 


  • There are still ten minutes left, and I have some trepidation about how we're ending this show. Ah, there we are - the nWo's music hits while Tony and Bobby chatter about the previous match. Randy Savage and Liz are here, Savage dragging Okerlund behind him. Gene doesn't want to go to the ring, so Savage threatens to knock him out and drag him there. They should have done this segment before Flair/Hall, which was HOT and would have been a great way to end this show. Oh, here's J.J. Dillon! He's really going to heat this segment up! Savage yells about having a match with Okerlund because he's a lunatic and has the MADNESS and all that. Dillon is not happy with Savage's foolishness, obviously. He's going full disappointed dad here. Eventually, Savage gets as sick of it as I already am and beats up Dillon. Bischoff runs out to try and stop Savage, but when the MADNESS CONSUMES YOU, IT CONSUMES YOU, OH YEAH, etc., etc. 


  • I don't really buy this feud being the catalyst for Savage speeding toward his eventual woman-beating nutcase gimmick of 1999. I just don't think his feud with DDP has done enough to convince me that its intensity caused Savage to go nuts. I guess if I look at this as Savage cracking because he hasn't dealt with all the trauma and baggage from the Flair feud, which was certainly enough to drive him over the edge, then it works. I know they feuded for about two years already, but I would rather have seen crazed heel Savage terrorize face Flair, which I think would be fresh enough because of the flipped roles and because it would make much more sense. What if Savage cracked and went out and got a bigger, badder gang to terrorize Flair in ways that Flair and the Horsemen could only dream of doing to Savage? Now I wish this happened. Flair having to cope with the monster that he created coming back to torture him after years of abuse would have been great TV and would have absolutely warranted Savage going full uncontrollable lunatic like this. 


  • I also would have loved to see a Flair/Hall rematch in a cage after that main event. This show was really fun. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


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Show #92 -  9 June 1997

"The one where the ending is GREAT" 

  • I find it hard to believe Tony S.'s announcement that we're getting the Outsiders vs. Flair and Piper on this Nitro, at least not straight up, but as I contemplate what type of fuck finish Bischoff might have planned for us in that match, DDP tries to rip Savage out of the nWo's limo backstage, and Liz has to slam the car door on DDP so that the limo can speed off. Wow, a lot of stuff is happening, and now Super Calo and Ultimo Dragon are here! And Juventud Guerrera, is it? I'm on action overload! Their opponents are Psicosis, LA PARKA, and Silver King


  • I don't think anything is topping Super Calo trying to kill himself and also random crowd members on dives from a couple shows ago, but I hope this match is only half as good. It takes two seconds for Ultimo Dragon to fuck up a top-rope move while Psicosis just stares at him doing it, so my hopes are dampened. But here's Calo! What sort of stupid shit might he do tonight? Actually, it's La Parka who does the first dumb, entertaining thing of the match, taking a wild bump to the floor off a Calo monkey flip. This is where things pick up: Calo follows up with a senton over the top to Parka on the floor, and THA JOOOOOOCY ONE takes a wild bump onto his neck on a corner charge. I should give Psicosis more love for taking a wild corner-to-floor bump earlier, really.


  • This match is only slightly marred by Larry Z. playing the stereotype of the stodgy, annoying middle-American who refuses to learn anything new about a different cultural approach, as he makes stupid-ass comments about this trios match that are about one-one billionth as clever as I think he thinks they are. Anyway, this is fine, and some dudes tried to kill themselves, but there was nothing nearly as spectacular as Calo doing Calo things two weeks ago. There's a cool assisted-backflip spot from the ring to the floor that is nicely pulled off by Silver King. Parka does a chair-assisted dive. The crowd picks up around here and generally enjoyed the chaos to the end. Dragon gets the Dragon Sleeper on Psicosis for the win. Parka beats Calo with a chair after the match because why not? 


  • Gene Okerlund introduces Lex Luger for an interview. Luger is back WOOOOOOO. The shows have been generally good the last month or two, but they've missed him all the same. I don't remember anything about Luger and the Giant wrestling Hogan and Rodman in a tag match at the Bash. Anyway, Luger hypes that and reveals that Luger/Hogan has been MANDATED by J.J. Dillon for TONIGHT. This Nitro is showing some promise so far! Seems like it might be pretty great!


  • Tenay interviews Flair and Piper in a pre-taped interview. They declare that they're united and also are going to perform like Boston sports stars of yore, since Boston's where this Nitro is emanating from (the phrasing that a show "is emanating from [x]" is one of my favorite minor Vince-isms). 


  • Alex Wright still dances for us all, but now he does it with a sneer on his face. Chris Jericho, his opponent, is on Nitro for the first time in awhile, all like YEAH BAYBAY, and I did not miss him when he was off working New Japan shows or whatever for the past couple months' worth of Nitros. Wright's working Disco's gimmick (dominate, dance, occasionally get beat down because he spent too much time dancing), but worse. Has Disco crawled back to Bischoff to get re-hired yet? I sure hope it happened not too long after this. Wright misses a top-rope knee drop, but beats Jericho to the punch and catches Jericho with a leg to the throat anyway. He gets two on a splash and continues to utterly dominate this match. There's a long headlock spot that sucks. Tony and Larry are more interested in talking about the nWo and the Bash, and I can't fault them. Oh man, there's a totally separate long headlock spot that sucks! I pray for the finish, please get to the finish fellas, and they won't just get to the finish because this doofus Jericho has to take time yelling COME AWNH and UNHHHH to try and fire up this fairly bored crowd. FINALLY Wright covers and uses the ropes for leverage and it gets three. What a black hole of suck that was. Surprising, coming from these two. 


  • Malia Hosaka has some epic-ass music, damn! We need to remind the crowd that Akira Hokuto is still the WCW Women's Champion since she's got a Bash match on Sunday, so she's wrestling on Nitro for the first time in like 53 years or so. I think Hosaka's cute, though, so this match is gravy with me just because she's here. Hokuto hits Hosaka with a brainbuster that gets an OHHHH from the crowd because it looked sick. It gets three, and then Hokuto does it again post-match, like that is a WICKED looking brainbuster. The crowd agrees that it looks wicked. Madusa comes in for the save with a trio of German suplexes. Yo, I have to say that this improbably did a great job of heating up the Bash match. I can't believe that they pulled this off. Madusa's yelling I HATE YOU at Sonny Onoo as he escorts Hokuto out and I somehow truly believe it when she yells that. I can't believe that I believe it. Good job, everyone involved!


  • The Steiner Brothers come out to yell about how awesome they are in an interview, but Harlem Heat disagree and cut in on the interview to retort. Talks break down between the teams, and they resort to the language that they know best: violence. Eventually, a team of mediators break it up, but a final conflict seems inevitable. And it is: These teams will wrestle for the number-one contendership at the Bash.


  • Konnan/Mongo McMichael probably has the greatest variance of any pairing that WCW can put in the ring together. This could be amazing, shit, or amazing shit...or Kevin Greene could dive onto Mongo in the aisle and nearly steamroll Debra in the process. That was great. Mongo drapes Greene's throat across the rail and starts walking to the ring again, but Kevin Greene doesn't give a fuck about a little throat injury and jumps him once more. That ruled, man. Then, get this, we cut to the ring and Konnan's down with a broken broomstick nearby. I guess Hugh Morrus got a little revenge of his own. This match, which didn't happen, somehow defied the nearly infinite range of possibilities that I envisioned for it. Also, it was very compelling television. 


  • So, Bischoff and Hogan come to the ring to jabber. Hogan is more over as a face in Boston than he is elsewhere, which makes sense considering his time as a face champion in this region. Obviously, Hogan and Bischoff are ducking Luger, but they have to go on and on about how they're ducking Luger. It's a bummer. Then Hogan poses. Luger ain't havin' it, though! He comes down to the ring and has a face-to-face with Hogan. The heels bluster, but Luger believes that actions are louder than words, so he piefaces Bischoff and hits the metallic elbow on Hogan. Pee-Wee Anderson's in the ring and is just like THIS IS NOW A MATCH, I GUESS, and the bell rings. It's obviously not going long because Hogan is doing offense at a reasonable pace. However, as we go into break, Luger takes over with a clothesline...until Hogan grabs the tights and tosses Luger headfirst into the corner. 


  • We come back to Hogan in control. A belly-to-back suplex gets two. Hogan tries an elbowdrop, but Luger moves. The nWo makes their move on the outside, but Luger knocks Syxx into Hall, catches Nash on the apron, then racks Hogan for the submission victory. Of course, Luger immediately catches a beatdown. Hogan hits the legdrop as the fireworks go off for hour two, which is a cool visual. Tony S. is nice enough to point out that the Giant isn't in the arena tonight so that we don't wonder why Luger has zero backup. The crowd would like Sting to be Luger's backup, and they chant for him, but instead Hogan hits like twelve legdrops, seriously. The refs just drag Luger out of the ring. Now Hogan and Bischoff start talking again. They cut their promo while lying on the mat because Hogan's probably gassed. But you know what? That was a great overall segment, what with the acceptable (if somewhat long-winded) promos and the good, action-packed match. 


  • J.J. Dillon brings his brand of fiery promo excitement to the ring. Last we saw him on camera, he got rung up by Randy Savage. Dillon compares Savage to Albert Belle when talking about fines, and I remember Belle, a "mercurial" type as the sports media often called him, and a personal favorite player of mine. Remember when he broke up a double play by murdering the second baseman with a full-on body check? Albert Belle ruled. Anyway, Dillon fines Savage ten times the amount MLB recently fined Belle and then makes his Bash match with DDP a Falls Count Anywhere match. Speaking of Savage, he's found his way back into the building and has a microphone. From his place in the crowd, he says that he'll just tack another fifty thou onto that fine and beat J.J.'s ass this week, too. Hahahaha, okay, that was good. DDP comes to the ring to retort. I remember when DDP was Diamond Cuttering dudes every week instead of having weak promo battles with Randy Savage. It was awesome. Well, after DDP's "SNAP INTO THISSSSS" line, which is super-lame every time he says it, Savage comes to ringside and brawls with DDP for approximately two seconds before security pulls them apart. I love Falls Count Anywhere matches and I enjoy DDP and Savage, so this should be good, but the buildup just never did much for me. I hope this Bash match definitively ends this feud. 


  • Lee Marshall is ON THE ROAD in Chicago, a great city for art and food. I've only been once, but I wouldn't mind going again. Marshall's Weasel jokes get a) longer and b) worse every week. I still prefer him to Ricki Rachtman, though. 


  • Jeff Jarrett and Dean Malenko mix it up for the U.S. Heavyweight Championship. Crisp exchanges and Fargo struts make up a great start to the match. Malenko gets a couple of two-counts on flash pin attempts. Jarrett tries his own flash pin attempt, but Malenko sits down on it for another two-count, and Jarrett bails, frustrated. Textbook feeling-out process here. So, as Jarrett and Malenko re-engage, Debra comes down the aisle, finds the camera, and says, "I know y'all been looking for me tonight; I finally made it." Then she winks. Debra is number one and the BEST. 


  • There's a break, and when we come back, Jarrett slaps on a sleeper that gets reversed by Malenko, who seems one step ahead tonight. Jarrett gets out of it with a back suplex, and there's a standing ten-count. Debra takes this opportunity to get on the apron, but nothing comes of it...yet. Jarrett hits a DDT, but Malenko's head doesn't come close to the mat. Maybe that's the kayfabe reason he recovers quickly enough to hit a clothesline. Malenko locks on a half-crab that turns into a weird side half-bow-and-arrow-ish sort of thing; then, he spins into a leg grapevine. Malenko doesn't get a submission, so he gets to standing, shoots Jarrett into the ropes, and hits a leg lariat. He gets two, but Jarrett puts his foot on the ropes. Jarrett counters an Irish whip with a Tombstone, then locks on the Figure Four. Malenko turns it, and Jarrett immediately gets to the ropes.


  • This is a nice, competitive match. Malenko hits a double-underhook powerbomb and goes into a Texas Cloverleaf, but Jarrett grabs Malenko for a small package that gets two. Jarrett throws a clothesline that Malenko turns into a backslide for two. They trade moves, and Jarrett blocks a Malenko double-axehandle attempt and puts him up top for a superplex, which is successful. Now, this whole time, I've been keeping an eye on Debra and wondering how she'll factor into the match...when the person I should have been watching for is Eddy Guerrero, who hops the rail and hits Malenko with a Frog Splash while Debra has Scott Dickinson distracted. Jarrett wobbles to his feet, locks on the Figure Four, and coaxes a submission out of Malenko to win the U.S. Championship. That was really good, just a nice competitive match with some fuckery at the end to advance both the Malenko/Guerrero feud and the Mongo/Jarrett/Debra love triangle (because Mongo's definitely going to be jealous about Jarrett being Debra's literal champion). 


  • Jimmy Hart, flanked by the Faces of Fear, introduces Kevin Sullivan and Jacqueline. Based on that dress, Jacqueline is apparently auditioning to play Cheetah in the DC universe, but way sexier. Sullivan blathers on, but he's in Boston, so the crowd allows it. Please please please LET THIS FEUD END, FINALLY. Sullivan tells everyone to back off, then calls Benoit down so they can punch one another. Jacqueline can barely hold herself back, so Meng has to grab her, but then he's like, Eh, fuck it and puts the Tongan Death Grip on Benoit. The Dungeon beats Benoit down as we go to break. 


  • Hall, Nash, and Syxx come to ringside. Let's see how this main event goes. All four men brawl in the ring once Flair and Piper finally make it there. Hall and Nash gain control as we go into an early break, and they're beating up Piper when we come back from the break. A guy is carrying a WHAT'S ON RAW? sign, and while I wouldn't have cared enough to flip away from this, I'm in the future and can just look it up. Let's see: Looks like Mankind/Brian Pillman in a five-minute match. Meh. Anyway, Piper fights his way to the corner with a couple nutshots, but Syxx draws Flair away so Piper can't tag his partner, and everything breaks down and we get a three-on-two nWo beatdown while the bell rings. Finally, Jarrett, Mongo, and Benoit come down and actually help Flair. Novel concept, watching Flair's back, Four Horsemen! You should try that more often! Some more nWo members come out, then Kevin Greene comes out and fights off the nWo guys until he finds Mongo, at which point he fights Mongo instead. Harlem Heat come down, but are cut off by the Steiners in the aisle, and yeah, this is GREAT. What a fantastic way to fully hype me for the Bash. We get a cool wide shot in which we can see the ring brawl and stage brawl going on at the same time. 


  • Oh man, just as I was bummed that the Glacierverse didn't make it onto the show, Wrath and Mortis are randomly kicking the fuck out of Glacier in the aisle! Haha, where did that even come from? Nitro has been really good for random, sudden attacks from nowhere the past few weeks. The crowd wants Sting, is begging for Sting, and man would that put this whole segment full of fuckery over the top. What the fuck? Now all the luchadores from earlier tonight are fighting each other again for whatever reason. We get a glimpse of Konnan slugging it out with Hugh Morrus in the back. Kevin Sullivan and the Faces of Fear hit the ring to fuck up Benoit again. Tony S. split the desk like five minutes ago, and we are left with Heenan on the mic, who gets more and more frantic calling the action until he splits, too. 


  • Now SAVAGE is here, so DDP ain't far behind. Sure, why not? The crowd EXPLODES as DDP tries to murder Savage and half the nWo besides. Hogan comes out and belt shots DDP and Flair.




  • Sting clobbers Nash and Norton with the bat! He hits Buff with the bat! Then he puts the harness on DDP and rides Page, in a comical doggy-style position, back up into the rafters! But that's okay because pro wrestling is often a homosocial and even homoerotic pastime! Then everyone starts brawling again!




  • That ending was so good, this Nitro gets 5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes, and I don't give a good goddam how many boring Jericho/Wright matches this show had. 
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Show #93 -  16 June 1997

"The one where Chicago-affiliated athletes invade the United Center" 

  • GAB '97 was a fantastic show, only slightly marred by Hugh Morrus and Konnan being mediocre at pro wrestling and the heels winning the double main event. But those are small things, and that show cements that we might be in the midst of Nitro's best run as a television show. I still love the run from September 1995 up to BatB 1996 a whole lot, but re-watching these shows from about two months ago up to now is giving me something to think about. 


  • The heels who won the double main event last night show up in a limo to start the show. They are in a celebratory mood, understandably. Larry Z. calls Rodman "Denise," which is really clever. I bet no one's ever made that joke before. Hogan cuts a lame promo while Rodman smokes a cigar. I think I didn't properly indicate last Nitro review that Hogan/Rodman vs. Luger/Giant is at Bash at the Beach and not the Great American Bash. I have to stop saying "the Bash" for both of those shows. GAB is "the Bash." Anyway, Hogan tries to leech off Rodman being a Bull in front of the Chicago crowd, but he fails. Rodman calls Lex Luger "Lex Luthor." In short, this segment went about as well as you'd expect it to. 


  • Time for the Glacierverse! I dig it. Glacier/Mortis is our next match. I just want more weird dudes in silly costumes to be added to this feud. I don't think they went far enough with it. Mortis busts out a top-rope Rocker Dropper, but he clatters into Wrath when running the ropes and eats a Cryonic Kick for three. James Vandenberg has brought the handcuffs that they locked onto Glacier the previous night at the Bash, but before they can repeat that scene on Nitro, hey, it's Ernest Miller! He kicks his way through Vandenberg's men and I, for one, am EXCITED. Glacier and Miller stereo superkick Wrath and Mortis over the top rope and to the floor. YEAH, EXPAND THE GLACIERVERSE


  • Madusa had an insanely good performance at the Bash, lost her shot at the title and her career, and is here to tearfully confirm that her knee and her career are both wrecked. OK, this actually was an effective match and angle. It's almost so good that it was worth all the flag-humping and mediocre wrestling in the eighteen months that led up to it. On the other hand, I need Madusa off TV for awhile so that when she comes back as the on-again, off-again lust interest of Evan Karagias, I will have the deepest possible reservoir of patience available for her. 


  • Dean Malenko calls out "Guerrero," meaning Eddy, but gets Chavo Guerrero Jr. instead. Chavo defends his uncle Eddy's honor gamely and with lots of energy, but Malenko targets Chavo's leg and puts a little stank into his striking offense besides. Malenko hits Chavo with a pancake and then locks on the Texas Cloverleaf for the win while a disaffected Eddy watches from the top of the ramp. Eddy dips before Malenko can reach him. 


  • Super Calo might do some wild shit tonight. So might his opponent, La Parka. And they're going to wrestle each other, which doubles (squares?) the potential for wild shit to happen. Immediately, Parka takes a wild bump off a corner splash attempt, so yeah. This is the sort of fast-paced match you'd expect from luchadores, but these dudes are a bit bigger, so the impacts feel a bit weightier. Holy fuck, Calo planchas into the fourth row, and it rules yet again, assuming no one got concussed or anything. They exchange moves, leading to Parka hitting a nasty flapjack for two. He whiffs on a corkscrew moonsault, and Calo gets three on a top-rope headscissors. Parka takes the L poorly and CLOBBERS Calo in the head with one of those really hard plastic chairs like are attached to school desks. Jesus. Calo is probably actually hurt, no need to actively sell. Shit man, on slo-mo replay, that is absolutely fucked. 


  • Lex Luger and the Giant cut a corny promo against the nWo. Less talky, more fighty fellas. 


  • I was wondering if the Amazing French Canadians were done with the company, but here they are on Nitro, taking on Harlem Heat. Stevie Ray, into the camera: "How many times I gotta tell you? Every Monday night, I'mma knock a sucka out!" Elite shit talking there. The AFCs feint that they're going to sing the Canadian National Anthem (always in English, never in French for some reason), but two lines in, they jump a disengaged Harlem Heat. Parker and Sherri still have bad blood from the whole "almost got married but Parker was with Madusa on the side, IIRC" angle. Booker turns around a long AFCs control segment with a flying forearm, and Stevie Ray gets the hot tag. Booker and Stevie team up for a powerbomb/top-rope elbow combo, but Booker gets clobbered with Parker's boot right behind the refs back while he's covering. Jacques rolls over on Booker, but the boot shot only gets two, and Booker gets the win with an assisted side kick (the Big Apple is the name of that move, apparently; how did I not know/remember that?). Stevie Ray, into the camera: "I TOLD YOU I was gonna knock somebody out." I won't hear any slander against Stevie, dammit. 


  • Post-match, J.J. Dillon and his rolled-up paper meet Harlem Heat on the ramp to tell them that they don't get their shot and there will be a rematch for the number-one contendership. Booker and Stevie are rightly peeved at this sudden close attendance to wonky finishes and their effects on contendership. Vincent comes down to tell Booker and Stevie that they're welcome for their opportunity at the title shot, apparently having missed that J.J.  took said title shot away. Booker and Stevie beat his ass in response. If they've got fifty g's available, they should get at J.J., too. 


  • Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Syxx take a long stroll to the ring. Syxx is the guy in action tonight, defending his WCW Cruiserweight Championship against Rey Misterio. I'm begging Bischoff to book this match to some sort of reasonable finish this time around. Syxx drops Rey flat on his face as hour number two begins. He's in control, hitting that nice low legdrop and preening. Hall rudely flicks the ashes from his cigar onto a downed Rey while Syxx celebrates. Syxx hits a Bronco Buster and pretty much looks unbeatable in the early going. Rey gets a little room and spills Syxx outside, then follows up with a seated plancha over the corner to the floor. Syxx tries to fight back, but whiffs on a splash into the ring; Rey hits the top-rope hurracanrana, but only gets two before he has to jump up and fight off Hall and Nash, which he does. Unfortunately, this gives Syxx enough time to recover, hit a spin kick, and lock on the Buzzkiller for the win. Rey eats a GROSS Jackknife post-match. Ew, he landed high on his neck. That was about as gross as the chair to the head that Calo took earlier tonight. 


  • Post-match, Hall and Nash get a mic to crow about how awesome they are. Then, they call out Randy Savage to crow about how great he is. Savage cuts a promo and continues to struggle to adjust to the fact that it's 1997. He's still got tassels on his tights, for the love of it all. I'm a Randy Savage stan, and watching him go out sad like this is no fun. Savage is pleased with the victory that he squeaked out over DDP at the Bash (with a lot of help from Hall). Page is the one to respond from the stands tonight, and he challenges Savage and Hall to a tag match against a secret partner. It took me awhile to remember who the secret partner was: Curt Hennig, right? Doesn't Hennig turn heel on DDP, then also turn heel on Flair or something like that? I remember him having, like, multiple heel turns inside of a few months. I'm a bit fuzzy here, admittedly, as I was very much into the Hart Foundation/DX/Austin stuff on RAW at this time and made that my viewing priority. I've seen it, to be sure, but I don't have the memory for that like I do for 1997 WWF. 


  • Ultimo Dragon and Chris Jericho are set to wrestle. Sonny Onoo comes out and offers Jericho some "beating up Ultimo Dragon" cash, but Jericho doesn't accept it, BAYBAYYYYY. This is your typical, solid, fast-paced match from two of the younger, smaller wrestlers. Control see-saws back and forth; after a weird top-rope struggle that doesn't make a lot of visual sense re: who takes damage, Dragon takes control and gets a couple of two-counts. Jericho catches a rana attempt and hits a double-powerbomb for two. See? Back and forth. They even do the typical "shift the pinning combination for dueling 2.9s" spot. Right after that spot, Dragon gets the win with a Dragon Suplex. 


  • Lee Marshall is on the road in Macon, GA. Unfortunately, Macon's own Johnny B. Badd will not be making an appearance at Nitro next week. 


  • Aw, shit Roddy Piper's going to cut an interview. Surprise, though; it's not that bad! He's pretty magnanimous about Flair ditching him in their GAB tag match. Still, he'd like to hear directly from Flair if Flair ditching out was a message for Piper to get fucked. Well, that's reasonable. Flair comes out, and smugly asks Piper if he took care of business and won the match. Uh-oh. Piper notes that Flair had left the arena by the time Piper made it to the back last night, so what the heck? Flair reiterates that he and Piper are cool, and Piper accepts this. I'm not quite sure that Piper should accept it, though! 


  • The nWo B-Team music brings out Vicious and Delicious. You would think that if Norton got sick of dealing with Ice Train in about a month, he'd only last with Buff for like, a week. Ten days, tops. Their opponents are Jeff Jarrett and Mongo McMichael, and I suspect that it shall go poorly for these contentious Horsepartners. We start with Norton and Mongo clubbering. Norton hits a big clothesline and yells THIS AIN'T THE NFL, PUNK, THIS THE NWO, and I am a fan of it. Mongo gets back on top with a bulldog and a clothesline. He tags in Jarrett, who immediately loses control of the match to a Norton shoulderblock. Jarrett fights back with a dropkick and back suplex, but he gets caught on an axehandle attempt, and Buff coms in and does his move-pose-move-pose routine. He hits a dropkick and says WHOAAAAAA DID YOU SEE THE HEIGHT ON THAT THING?! Honestly, I fell out a little bit at that one. This match is the sort of fun TV tag match that I relish. 


  • The crowd loves Mongo, but hates Jarrett, even though Mongo and Jarrett are ostensibly a team. Buff and Jarrett trade moves, and then Norton and Buff hit a series of quick tags, with Jarrett in peril. Jarrett finally gets some help from Mongo, and Jarrett asks Mongo to strut with him. Mongo takes a step, then hits Jarrett with a Tombstone and leaves. Buff crawls over, hooks the leg, and gets three. Hey, Debra's on Mongo's side for once! Well, I see the end of Jeff Jarrett's WCW run in sight, and it's been my favorite part of his career by a wide amount. I'm not looking forward to round two of Jeff Jarrett's WCW wrestling career, though. 


  • So, they've been teasing Hogan/Rodman vs. Luger/Giant for the main event. Let's see how we don't get remotely close to this match actually happening! 


  • Well, Hogan talks a lot. We get a commercial break. There's like thirty seconds of something resembling a match. Then we get a *yawn* nWo beatdown. So, yeah. But other than the really dull nWo beatdown ending, this was a solid show. 


  • So solid, in fact, that it easily earns 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


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Show #94 - 23 June 1997

"The one where Konnan and Mongo finally have their highly-anticipated bout"

  • I creep ever closer to 1998. Let's see if I can pick it up over the next three or four weeks before I inevitably slow to a crawl again. 


  • Recap of Rodman dropping elbows in the show-closing angle last week. Someone had a pretty dang good drawing of Sting on a sign in the crowd. I should have given the art on that sign more love. 


  • Diamond Dallas Page talks to Gene Okerlund. Page teases his partner for the Bash match he's having against Randy Savage and Scott Hall at Bash at the Beach. Page is super-corny, but people love him! I enjoy him too, but not on the mic when he's a face. Kimberly apparently can get matches made; she called J.J. Dillon and got him to sign Page/Hall for later in this show. Sure, I'm into it!


  • La Parka and Damien 666 are wrestling Public Enemy in a weird tag matchup, the sort that this era of Nitro thrives upon. I'd describe the shirts that PE are wearing, but I'm not sure I can do them justice. Johnny Grunge's alter-ego is apparently "Violent MacDaddy," (not Mack Daddy, MacDaddy) according to the back of said shirt. Rocco Rock is "Naughty MacDaddy." But this only gives you a hint of the splendor within these '90s-ass corny pro wrestling shirts. I would like to buy one. Anyway, this is a short match with a hot tag about two minutes in and lots of double-teaming. Rocco does a lovely splash to Damien through a table outside the ring, and the ref is so mesmerized by it that Parka has free reign to clobber Grunge with a chair from behind. Parka covers for three, and that was some inoffensive fun! 


  • Okerlund's talking to a newly-heel Eddy Guerrero now. He's already being a dick to poor Chavo. He even calls Chavo out to join him in the interview after Okerlund accuses Eddy of sending Chavo to the wolves last week. Chavo's like, Eddy sort of pushed me to take his place against Malenko last week, IDK and Eddy's like, Nuh-uh, and also, I talked to J.J. Dillon tonight and got him to give you what was originally my title shot against Syxx because you helped me out last week. Chavo is suspicious. Eddy is irritated at Chavo's suspicion. This is going to end with Chavo doing some pretty good comedy stuff in a few months. 


  • Alex Wright is heeling on Macon because hates Americans, or so he says to the camera. WELL JOIN THE CLUB, ALEX. We're getting another Wright/Chris Jericho match that I cannot imagine will suck as bad as the one from two Nitros ago. In fact, it is a better match, perfectly cromulent in fact. They have a back-and-forth bout that ends when Jericho flapjacks a leaping Wright on a corner charge and transitions right into the Lion Tamer for the submission victory. This match was shorter and more focused, and that made it much improved. 


  • We get a video recap of all the tag team title contendership shenanigans. Vincent gets beaten up a lot. Post-recap, the Steiner Brothers and Harlem Heat meet one more time to determine who gets a shot at the Outsiders. This starts out pretty darned good; these teams have wrestled each other so often that their meetings are starting to blur together. I like the opening exchange where Booker hits a nice spin kick on a corner break and then Stevie runs over to throw a bunch of illegal clotheslines. For me, I'm hoping that they can throw more wrinkles like that into their matches. The lesser brothers on the team get in the ring next and have a decent exchange...but then there's an armbar. My theory is that these teams should have short matches. They're big dudes with explosive offense; they should more likely to kill each other off quickly. No scientific bouts here, and no need for armbars.


  • Luckily, we get to Booker and Rick having a decent exchange that ends with Rick catching Booker in mid-air and slamming him, followed by a couple of two-counts on Booker. In a neat spot, Booker reverses a Rick Steiner move and pinballs him into a Stevie forearm on the apron, which knocks Rick back into a side kick. Then, we get the unfortunate typical Stevie Ray chinlock. You might tell me that it wasn't that long, but it was more than long enough, let's say. Booker tags in, goes for a side kick, and gets caught and dropped in a sort of powerbomb by Rick. Hot tag, leading to Scott doing many throws and getting a two count. The Heat break up a super bulldog attempt, and Sherri gets on the apron for whatever reason. Booker plows into her, which throws him off enough to eat a top-rope bulldog from Rick for the loss. Not a bad match at all, but there were glimmers of something that was better and more mold-breaking in there. 


  • Vicious and Delicious stomp out, Vincent in tow, to declare to Gene Okerlund that actually, Scott's arms are shriveled compared to Buff's; also, they argue that their team is way better than the Steiners and will beat them up. I would like to see that match. They roll out and the Steiners walk over to Okerlund to retort. Mostly, their retort is that they don't care that much about Vicious and Delicious and just want their title shot. 


  • Mike Tenay introduces an Ernest Miller video package while some dude who looks like Lloyd Christmas's kid and is wearing a Dolphins jersey WOOOOOOOs a lot and might possibly be legally braindead? His braces-wearing girlfriend pops into the picture after the video is over, and I wonder if those two crazy kids made it or if (more likely?) they're strung out on ketamine somewhere. Separately. Because they didn't make it. Macon's a tough town, you know. 


  • Hector Garza and Villano IV do some nice moves at reasonably high speed, but the moves are mostly pretty beefy (nice clothesline, IV!) and not overly-choreographed gymnastics routines, so I'm cool with it. Tenay's semi-shoot (?) annoyance with Larry Z.'s continued confusion about lucha wrestlers and their styles is pretty funny, though. It's so hard to tell with these WCW announcers who actually has beef and who's just working at any given time. Macon has been pretty quiet tonight compared to other crowds, and this matchup's pace isn't doing much to pop them. Garza does a corkscrew to IV on the outside and hits his head on the floor and no one cares at all. You're not getting over just on the strength of your work here in Macon! Back in the ring, Garza wins with a standing moonsault. 


  • Yay, Lex Luger and the Giant are here! Boo, they're in street clothes. I don't want to hear them talk; I want to see them wrestle. They cut an acceptable promo. The Giant's metaphor count stays at a reasonably low one metaphor made, and he talks about Hogan dyeing his hair, which I guess isn't off limits like *whispers* the bald spot. Luger says that their talking will be done in the ring, which is all I'm asking with these two. At least as faces in 1997 WCW. The Total Package in 2000 is welcome to say dumb heel shit on my screen. 


  • Hour number two starts with Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Syxx in a Cruiserweight Championship match. Eddy told Chavo in that earlier interview that he'd watch Chavo's back tonight. Well, Chavo's out here alone, but Scott Hall is backing up Syxx. This is a nice match because Syxx plays it like he's a wily veteran, and Chavo's energy is probably not enough to carry him to victory. For example, Syxx ducks a Chavo crossbody early and then shakes his head on some WELCOME TO THE LEAGUE, ROOKIE shit. But also, Hall helps him out just because Syxx and Hall are assholes. Hall does it in little ways at first, like surreptitiously grabbing Chavo's hair to lock him in place for Syxx's Bronco Buster. However, Chavo's exuberance and energy do give him a credible chance of finding a way to a surprise victory. He fires up and gets a couple of two-counts late as Eddy comes out to watch on the ramp. Eddy's face says that he's really hoping Chavo doesn't actually win, what the fuck, he sent this kid out there to get beaten down. Syxx gets dumped outside and Hall immediately runs in and hits a Razor's Edge on Chavo that the ref somehow doesn't feel or notice at all. Eddy lets it happen without helping Chavo at all, disguising his relief as disappointment in Chavo for not overcoming the odds. Syxx locks on the Buzzkiller for the submission win. 


  • Konnan and Mongo McMichael are finally going to have that match that they never got around to a couple weeks ago. Konnan decides that he's going to match three-point stances with Mongo and loses. Then he goes outside and verbally threatens Debra. Yeah, this is more the sort of fuckery that I expected two weeks ago. Now, Konnan wants a test of strength that he absolutely doesn't end up locking into. He boots Mongo into the corner and ankle locks Mongo while using the top rope as leverage for the hold. Matches that are aesthetically ugly, but beautiful in their layout are some of my favorites. I don't think anyone would call this match good, but I think that's a bit reductive and focused too much on how good these dudes' moves look. Konnan's in control when Hugh Morrus heads toward the ring; Konnan is distracted, and Mongo recovers and grabs Konnan from behind for the Tombstone. It gets three, and I really liked this short match/angle-movement thing that they gave us. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer. Half the internet would want to commit me for asking Konnan and Mongo to go five more minutes, but I accept their disbelief and questioning of my mental state. 


  • A Chris Benoit hype package plays. He's fired up to become WCW World Champion join with Mongo to face off against the Outsiders wrestle Kevin Sullivan a-goddam-gain.


  • Lee Marshall is in Las Vegas. I was looking at hotels in Vegas, a place that I think is fun for exactly 24 hours before you realize that you're in a pop-up city in the middle of a bleak desert where the height of culture is a Celine Dion residency or whatever, and I decided, nah, I don't need to visit again anytime soon. 


  • Roddy Piper talks. You know, I complain about the Giant with all his metaphors, but Piper's like a hundred times worse. And all his references are tortured pop culture references, too. No, referencing movies out of Leonard Maltin's 1997 Movie Guide does not make you "cool" or whatever. I guess Piper's mad at Flair now? I thought they were cool after last week. Piper tells a joke where the punchline is basically, Flair can't get it up LOL, and that is what brings Flair out all mad and shit, HAHAHAHA. OK, that was actually pretty funny. They're both bitchy about not getting enough help from one another. Did Roddy Piper and Jenny McCarthy shoot a movie together or something? Flair makes a reference to Piper and McCarthy hanging out in the Caribbean, and I'd think she'd aim higher than Roddy Piper if she were looking for a romantic tryst. 


  • Now Mongo, Debra, and Benoit come down. Jarrett's not here, and Debra is fine with that. I think Debra comes off as capricious enough that I can believe her sudden souring on Jarrett here. Though Flair and Piper seem to have sewed things up again, Mongo is really pushing for a fight with Piper here, and it threatens to blow up the fragile peace that Flair and Piper have come to. Mongo, who has suddenly remembered that he's a Horseman, is like Let's beat this dude up already, he'd probably do the same to you. Benoit speaks. Benoit's Keith Lee Memorial Vocabulary Extravaganza: osteoporosis. Piper throws punches at Benoit and Mongo, and Flair mixes is up with Piper next. He's not faring well! Luckily for him, Benoit and Mongo come up from behind and Benoit puts Mongo in the Crippler Crossface while Flair and Mongo stomp Piper out. This whole Flair/Piper friendship think has been about as capricious in nature as Debra's obsession/disgust with Jarrett. 


  • Glacier and Ernest Miller! They're tagging up against High Voltage. This probably will suck, but actually I'm wrong because Rage hits a springboard bulldog on Glacier as Kaos tries to sunset flip him. High Voltage hit a double-team move on Glacier and Rage snarkily does a Crane Kick pose. Hahaha, forgive me for lacking faith in this match-up. Rage whiffs on a top-rope move, and Miller gets the hot tag and hits a springboard kick. Lots of kicks, including a Cryonic Kick, ensue, and Miller hits Rage with a jumping roundhouse kick off the top for three. Wrath and Mortis, who were watching at the top of the ramp, rush the ring, but think better of it when Miller and Glacier spot them. That was fun. 


  • A Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan promo video plays; a zooted-out Rodman looks like he definitely doesn't want to do any damn wrestling shit. Hall and Nash shill some Outsiders pins after that; Hall and Nash shilling merch is endlessly entertaining. Lots of Don West vibes from these dudes.


  • Main event time! Diamond Dallas Page comes out. Now, before I mention what happens next, I have to note that Tony S. has made a big deal, multiple times, of knowing that Kevin Nash was not in the building tonight. Oh wow, Hall's going to be alone tonight! No Nash with him! It's not like Hall has a bunch of other nWo associates in the building or anything! So Hall comes out and points to the top of the ramp - everyone be as shocked as Tony S. is that Randy Savage is here to join Hall. Kimberly understandably jets after Savage makes it to ringside.


  • The bell rings. The Diamond Studd and his former manager EXPLODE. The crowd wants Sting, but Hall is unconvinced that Sting's here. Hall works on DDP's eternally-taped ribs. Hall dominates the early going off the strength of this strategy. DDP's flurries of offense are cut off pretty quickly. Hall tries to unwrap DDP's bandage and eats a discus clothesline in response. This is acceptable TV wrestling, but nothing amazing, and Savage immediately jumps in the ring when DDP gets up and motions for the Diamond Cutter. It's nWo beatdown time! We get about sixty seconds of DDP getting his ass whipped before Sting comes out into the crowd and points his bat at the dudes in the ring. It stops Savage from hitting a Savage Elbow for a few seconds, but Savage eventually drops it. That leads Sting down toward the ring, and Savage and Hall back off. Trash flies everywhere, and that trash represents this Macon crowd not caring about any actual wrestling and only popping for taunts and like six wrestlers. Eventually, Savage and Hall try to corner Sting, and as the show ends, Sting obliterates them with the baseball bat. 


  • I ultimately liked this show, but everything feels like it's in a holding pattern. I noted that Sting/Giant/Luger/Flair/Savage/Hogan in the pre-nWo Nitro days felt like it was a big, interconnected story that ultimately ended in a holding pattern for like three or four months' worth of shows, but I chalked that up to the nWo storyline being so important. I can also understand this Crow Sting storyline being drawn out to Starrcade even though, like with the previous storyline, it led to a lot of repetition, the same thing over and over with little movement and a weak resolution (or no resolution). But this show is also slow-walking Steiners/Outsiders. It's slow-walking the interminable Benoit/Sullivan deal that should have finished probably weeks or months ago. That Woman/Benoit vs. Jacqueline/Sullivan tag at SuperBrawl was incredible, much better than it had any right to be, and was a great stopping point...in February 1997, about four months prior to this Nitro and after about a year of Benoit and Sullivan feuding. Heck, though I mentioned that Debra is capricious enough as a character for me to believe that she's just done with Jarrett after all those months of championing him, that angle took a LONG time to play out and the resolution of the love triangle is sudden and underwhelming. If not for Jarrett leaving the territory and dropping the belt to Mongo on his way out, it would have been something like a failure of an angle. Probably this is no new idea to anyone who reads this, but Bischoff has zero idea how to properly end an angle. We point to the nWo never dying, but he can't even end secondary or tertiary angles in definitive, interesting ways. If any single thing explains the creative gap between him and Vinnie McMahon Jr., that does.


  • But yeah, this show in a vacuum?  4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
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Show #95 - 30 June 1997

"The one where Scotty Flamingo and Mr. Perfect shake things up, maybe, tune in next week to find out!"

  • Ric Flair comes to the ring to cut a promo. Two ladies carrying a dummy in a kilt follow along behind him. Somebody help these ladies in the ring; they're struggling, especially with heels on. LOL, they drop the dummy and the kilt falls off; there's a pretty good physical comedy going on behind Flair and Okerlund as the men start this interview. The crowd cheered Flair and are now cheering for Piper, which makes me wonder about why Bischoff is booking this feud. I don't really think the crowds are going to relish picking sides between these two. This whole thing is cringe, as the kids would say. Gene asks the ladies some questions, and I feel too much embarrassment to even talk about their reactions and answers, and basically this was a bad segment unless you really love awkward comedies.


  • Chris Jericho is the Cruiserweight Champ, I guess? Wait, hold up, I'm going to pause here to check that out. I don't remember that at all. It happened at the Los Angeles Saturday Nitro show two days prior, but there's only a fancam of it up because I think it was originally only broadcast on Real Audio or whatever. Syxx wins a long match against Rey Misterio Jr. first, then loses pretty quickly to Jericho in a Hart/Yoko/Hogan-at-WM-IX scenario. So, yeah, that was a weak way to end the title reign, but whatever. I went over to Cagematch and Syxx is still wrestling matches in WCW until November, so it's just a change for the benefit of the special L.A. show and not yet a sign that Syxx and Bischoff are in full-on beefing with one another mode. 


  • THA JOOCY ONE Juventud Guerrera's going to face off against the new champ next! These fellas are going to have a good match, you know it, and after a nice even opening exchange, Jericho gets a takedown and rolls Juvi over into a bow and arrow. There's a nice little contrast here where Juvi wants to get in the air and Jericho counters by keeping things grounded. Juvi falls off the top rope on a move attempt, as he does at least once a match at this point, but Jericho gets us viewers back into it with a nice back suplex. The crowd is not very much into Jericho, which makes sense because he is a very bland and corny face. Juvi blew another move, a springboard, and boy is he looking like shit. He does hit a nice suicide dive that the crowd digs, but man, I don't know if he's still not used to the ropes or what. Juvi follows up with an equally nice 450 Splash for two, but Jericho takes back over and hits the double powerbomb to a pop. OK, who knows what this Las Vegas crowd is into. They love the top-rope Frankensteiner and Lion Tamer finish, too. I guess Jericho won the crowd over with his work!


  • Post-match, Jericho's interview is cut off by Syxx, who claims that Jericho is only the champion of jacking off, more or less ("you beat nothing until you got back to your hotel room"), and the crowd POPS for that. Oops. Gene is like, Come on man, you can't say that, but Syxx is like Say what? What did I say? Explain it for the people at home, and Gene begs off. Then Syxx slaps Jericho in the face. They have a pull-apart brawl as we go to break, and back from break, security is pulling them apart. Meanwhile, Alex Wright takes up the rest of Gene's interview time at ringside to claim that there was a CONSPIRACY against him because WCW hates the Germans. Is it 1944? He also claims that he has a better body than Luger, which I think fits in more with forty-something power lifter-era Wright, but okay. 


  • Larry Z. buries Wright ("he can't talk") and spots a Zbyszko Bites sign in the crowd and gets mad about that, too. He's a net negative, put this man in the bushes instead of on commentary. Eddy Guerrero jumps Dean Malenko from behind as Malenko enters for their match. Mike Tenay on commentary is like, Oh yeah, I guess I never mentioned this, but Eddy used to run around with Art Barr, both acting like assholes. I mean, he was a real piece of shit. He was faking his good guy nature this whole time. That would have been nice to know six months ago, my dude. In the ring, Eddy and Dean have a very good match. There are a bunch of counters and they all feel logical and fluid. Eddy is pinballing around and generally is a great heel, as you know. I feel like his 2005 run as a beloved face was the first time that he was effective as a face, though he didn't get a lot of room for face runs between 1995 and 2005, but I've seen enough of his stuff with Barr to know that he was born to be a pro wrestling heel and in every heel gimmick, he was fantastic. So, Dean's in control of the match when Chavo comes out to ask Malenko to chill for whatever reason. Eddy uses the distraction to push Malenko into Chavo, who is standing on the apron. Eddy follows up with a brainbuster and a Frog Splash for three. 


  • This is a fast-paced Nitro. Rey's out here now, talking to Gene. I guess Kevin Nash is going to prove to everyone in the back that he can do a job because Rey's out here challenging Kevin Nash to a match after all the lawndart incidents and powerbombs and such over the last year. Nash comes out to respond. Rey spouts corny sports cliches, but Nash is just like, Nah, I'mma kill you tonight. Then he accepts the match in Spanish. Nice touch. 


  • Hogan and Bischoff are here to blather on. Some cute kid in the crowd with an nWo cap on and holding an nWo teddy bear is definitely nWo 4 LYFE. I sort of tuned out Hulk Hogan's nonsense. I was thinking about how much Nash, Hall, and Syxx seem out of place in this late-'90s WCW almost as much as the Glacierverse does. This man Hogan just used DDPeepee as an insult multiple times in this interview, and as lame as he is, this is sort of the level WCW's at based on what Bischoff and the suits at Turner are comfy with. I'd like to see the alternate universe where Nash and Hall jumped back along with Syxx in 1998/1999. Hall's probably a wash because of his alcoholism, but Nash would be way more interesting in 1999 WWF than he was at any point in WCW outside of 1996. 


  • Lord Steven William Regal is back on TV! He's still the TV Champ, too. He'll wrestle Hector Garza, who at least got a win over a Villano last week for logic's sake as to why he's getting the shot. Regal has to contend with Garza's speed early, and he doesn't enjoy the experience, so he sticks a thumb in Garza's eye and lays in some forearms. This is a typical enjoyable TV match that Regal can basically churn out in his sleep as long as his opponent is remotely game, as Garza is. Garza just befuddles Regal with flips and pace, culminating in a spinning forearm from the top to the floor that Garza barely connects on. Back in the ring, Garza hits a missile dropkick, but gets caught with knees on the Asai moonsault. Regal locks on the Regal Stretch while Garza tries to catch his wind and escapes with a victory even though he struggled against Garza's style. 


  • The Steiners are talking to Gene Okerlund, who is earning his paycheck tonight. The Steiners want their fucking title shot already. The jacket Rick is wearing is spectacular, what with the dog figurines on the shoulders and the airbrushed frothing dog on the back. The Outsiders come out, flanked by Vicious and Delicious and Syxx, and Hall has a contract for the Steiners to sign. The Steiners don't even read it before they sign it - Larry Z. and Okerlund both note this literally as I typed that sentence - and so yeah, I'm waiting for the catch. The catch is that the Steiners have to beat Chono and Muta before they can get a title shot, which was buried on the second page. I'd rather it be a match against Vicious and Delicious, but okay. 


  • Sonny Onoo seconds Psicosis to the ring, where Psicosis will face Super Calo (on jobber entrance duty). Calo is one of my favorite shitty wrestlers because he's shitty in spectacular fashion. If you're going to be shitty, at least wipe yourself out on dives regularly or be so bad that your performances are funny or something. Onoo gets his kicks in when Calo's outside. Psicosis whiffs on a double axe to the floor and slams his head. The spot looks cool, but he gets right back up like nothing happened so he can go to the finish. Bummer. Psicosis wins with leverage help from Onoo. Calo is mad and attacks Psicosis post-match, but La Parka comes out and smashes a chair over Calo's back. Juvi comes out and involves himself for whatever reason. Just let La Parka dance and bash people with chairs, please. 


  • I love a good six-man tag, and tonight, Vicious and Delicious team with Masahiro Chono to face off with the Three Horsemen (no Jarrett anymore, I suppose). Random six-man tags are so much fun. Buff dominates Flair early, and Flair throws a tantrum and tags Mongo in as a response. Norton takes over against Mongo, and this seems like a dope matchup that they should run back a few times in singles. Eventually, Chono's in and getting roughed up in the Horsemen corner. Chono no-sells some Benoit chops, eats a suplex, and basically every bit of offense Chono hits on Benoit is immediately canceled out by a response. Benoit hits the flying headbutt, and the match immediately breaks down. Vincent jumps in to make it four-on-three, but eats a 'burton shot as the Horsemen take control of the ring. They've won by DQ after Vincent's interference, but I do wish this match had gone on longer. I'd really like it as a Nitro main event with an actual finish (haha, I'm asking for too much, I know). 


  • Last week, we got a Chris Benoit video package. This week, we get one for Sullivan. I think for Benoit, his association with the Horsemen is way more important to getting him over than this feud (obviously), but it strikes me especially hard tonight because he got huge crowd support in that previous six-man in a way that he often gets when hanging out with the other Horsemen and not really when he's off on his own wrestling Sullivan. Bischoff splitting off the Horsemen into their own feuds for large chunks of 1996 and 1997 was a huge error. 


  • Wrath and Mortis! They're wrestling a team that is legit one of my favorite underneath tag teams, High Voltage. Is it weird that I want to argue for High Voltage being a little bit underappreciated? Here, they have another enjoyable tag sprint with a team positioned above them. The match doesn't even take a typical structure to start as Vandenberg's boys start swinging as soon as the bell rings. This is a fun beatdown where Wrath in particular hits a bunch of nice impact offense and High Voltage pinballs around nicely. After a minute or two, Ernest Miller and Glacier come down to challenge them, and Miller scrambles around to the other side of the ring while Wrath and the ref are focused on Glacier. Miller gets up top and drills Mortis with a kick while Mortis has Rage up in a fireman's carry position. Rage just has to fall on top of Mortis to get the unearned upset win. Glacier and the Cat strike first for once! I'm thoroughly enjoying this feud, especially now that it seems to be moving along. 


  • We cut to a white limo idling outside the arena. Maybe it has DDP's BatB tag partner sitting inside of it? Hey, there's an old school TNN production truck in the back. That logo won't be around for much longer, considering that ECW's (soon to come) move to TNN foretells the WWF's (slightly less soon to come, but still pretty soon) move to TNN Spike TV. There's something comforting about seeing that truck and its old logo because it means that we're not yet out of the '90s and into the aughts, which basically were shit in a lot of ways after 9-11 happened, and we still haven't recovered in a lot of ways (IMO). Or maybe I'm just old and cranky now (YMMV, but also probably true). 


  • Lee Marshall is in on the road in Memphis. Raven is right here in Las Vegas, sitting in the crowd. Tenay drops a "WHAT'S HE DOING IN THE IMPACT ZONE HERE?!" for maybe the first time. The desk speculates on if Raven got out of the limo. No, because he's Raven and not Johnny Polo or Scotty Flamingo


  • Konnan is facing off with Jeff Jarrett for the U.S. Championship. I've found that not only do I enjoy Jarrett, at least in this run, I get a surprising amount of joy from watching Konnan, who is also in the wrong company. I've said this before, but Konnan really should be in Attitude Era WWF, having two-minute matches every Monday and saying wild shit on the mic. I'm peeved that the desk is running with the "Is Jarrett still a Horseman or not" line when I think the line should be "Jarrett used Debra's infatuation with him to social climb as soon as he got into WCW, and now that he's the #2 champ, he feels he doesn't need the Horsemen anymore." That really is what the story reads as, at least to me. The match itself is solid, but before long, the Horsemen come to the ring. Konnan walks over and spits at Flair, which allows Jarrett to chop block his knee from behind and lock on the Figure Four. Hey, Flair helps Jarrett out with a bit of leverage, and Konnan submits. But this seems like a classic Horsemen trap. Is it?


  • Well, post-match, Jarrett's like The rest of the Horsemen are jealous and imo they suck and I beat each and every one of them over the past few months, I'm only here to be a Horseman because Ric is vaguely on my level and he agrees. And yep, Flair kicks Jarrett out of the Horsemen right after that. He's basically like Debra said you're out, stupid. Debra takes the mic and confirms this statement. Jarrett's like Y'all are jealous of me lol and that includes you, Flair. Jarrett promises to retire Flair. Uh, you're gonna have to wait a couple of decades and change. Benoit's Keith Lee Memorial Vocabulary Extravaganza: conform, conformity, conformist, non-conformists. I mean, this doofus really wore out that root word and its various forms in about three sentences of stupidity. Let's let Mongo talk instead next time. Anyway, they didn't beat Jarrett's ass, so he's got at least that going for him! Well, and the number two title in the company.


  • I still think Jarrett should have been more openly socially climbing here than he was, but as I said last post, Debra getting bored with him and deciding that he's out fits with her character enough that this works for me. 


  • Kevin Nash and Rey Misterio Jr. wrestled at least a couple times, IIRC, so I'm not sure Nash does the job here. Misterio runs out, hits a missile dropkick, a few other dropkicks, and a springboard plancha for two. He tries a sunset flip and eats a disgusting looking inverted atomic drop that proves that Dominick is actually Eddy's kid because that was a testicle-exploding atomic drop. Nash beals Rey into the lights, Jackknifes him, and gets three with the foot on the chest. Rey eats another Jackknife post match; Nash punches Scott Dickinson. Konnan comes out to the ramp as Nash hits one more powerbomb on rey. Konnan comes to the ring. Is he going to protect Rey? No. He's going to appreciate Nash's work. Nash walks away and Konnan puts Rey in a leg grapevine because he's very interested in nWo membership. I enjoy the concept of the nWo Wolfpac, which is a bit closer to what the nWo should have been in these cynical and trashy late '90s, so yeah, I'm interested in this. 


  • Rey does a stretcher job when we come back. Tenay talks to a positively soporific Raven in the audience. Raven is too disaffected to answer Tenay's annoying questions. 


  • Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Randy Savage invade the ring to face off in another six-man tag, this one against DDP, the Giant, and Lex Luger. MORE SIX-MAN TAGS, YEAHHHHH


  • The faces try to figure out how to approach the ring, and finally they all get in together and dominate. There's a long beatdown by the faces before the heels can switch control at the same time, though in different corners of the ring. The pairings so far have been Savage/DDP, Nash/Giant, and Luger/Hall. Nash/Giant is a heck of a spectacle. Few things are better in pro wrestling than two 6'8-and-up guys who can work at least a little bit facing off against one another, IMO. Pee-Wee Anderson is just gonna let this be a tornado tag, and I agree with his decision. Hall diverts to help Nash, but the Giant claws them both and bashes their heads together. He charges them, but they backdrop him over the top. This rules and I'm getting excited to see more, but Hogan jogs down to ringside and clobbers the Giant over the head with the belt. In the ring. DDP hits Savage with one Diamond Cutter. Luger comes outside to confront Hogan and gets jumped by Hall, then Hogan, Buff, and Norton. Nash is free to hit DDP before Page can drop Savage with a second Diamond Cutter. The way we got to this nWo beatdown was at least different than normal, but it's still just another nWo beatdown in the end. 


  • Fake Sting comes into the crowd to watch, but Real Sting drops down from the ceiling and clears the ring. Then Curt Hennig walks down the aisle, and as that happens, Raven steps over the guardrail. Well, okay, I guess that was intriguing. We could have done without the meaningless Fake Sting bluff (PLEASE STOP with the Fake Sting bluffs) and the beatdown was more than long enough, but this was a pretty good cliffhanger.


  • This show felt packed full of stuff. Man, did a lot of things happen, and in a good way, not in a Russo-esque "this is nonsensical" way. I feel like things got pushed along to some degree. Jarrett's finally out of the Horsemen, Konnan's practically out of the Dungeon, Syxx has a feud partner, and so forth. I was quite entertained, and the wrestling matches were generally short, but of quality. 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.




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Show #96 - 7 July 1997

"The one with the continuing mystery of DDP's Mystery Partner, and also that damn kilt-wearing mannequin is back"

  • Is DDP's Mystery Partner Curt Hennig? Raven? Sting? Who is it, Tony S. asks, who? 


  • Speaking of Hennig, he comes down to talk to fellow AWA alum Gene Okerlund. He's here because he's done collecting on his Lloyd's of London policy and mentoring Triple H. Hennig heels it up a bit and the Memphis crowd responds as you'd expect. Hennig says he'll be working at Bash at the Beach, but he won't reveal what he'll be doing there. He wants to get paid, first and foremost. Hey, that might be an important thing to remember for later on. Ric Flair comes out and inducts Hennig into the Horsemen, but unlike Jeff Jarrett, Hennig is nonplussed by the possibility. Flair tries to ply Hennig's interest with the help of a lady in a gown, as is Flair's way, but Hennig said he wanted a paycheck, not a tryst with some  lady he doesn't know.


  • This is a '90s-ass '90s Wrestling Show Alert: A man in the crowd wears a Troll doll head and waves his arms in the air while Public Enemy walks to the ring. I mean, that's a thing that probably would only happen in 1997 Anno Domini, right? Harlem Heat are their opponents; Booker T comes down wearing a Yankees cap. Where is Scott Hall when you need someone to go HEY YO, WHY NOT WEAR AN ASTROS CAP, BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW YOU'RE A HICK FROM TEXAS WHOSE FAVORITE BALLPLAYER IS CRAIG BIGGIO? Where, indeed?


  • Booker gets face pops for his offense. If Vince McMahon Jr. were booking, he'd have broken up Harlem Heat six months ago. This match exists, and it's not offensive or anything, but really the interesting things are Booker getting huge pops, especially for a double-clothesline on PE, and Vincent coming to ringside. Sherri sends Booker to chase off Vincent, and when she tries to assist an isolated Stevie Ray by pushing Rocco Rock off the top rope, she pushes him right into Stevie. That stuns Stevie long enough that Johnny Grunge holds him down for three. Booker and Stevie are not pleased with Sherri's questionable management. Post-match, Booker threatens Sherri with a firing, but Sherri leaps before she can be pushed. Is this because Bischoff is taking her off TV and firing her due to her substance issues, or were there plans for her after this?


  • Joe Gomez and Konnan have a match in which the Troll doll guy and his friends pop big for Konnan's taunts. We cut to a shot of Raven being all disaffected in the crowd during the match, which is fine because we're not going to miss much with these two in the ring. We don't miss Joe Gomez's chinlock spot, though. Then we go back to a shot of Raven. Geez, you could have done one of those shots during these guys sitting in a chinlock. At least Konnan hits a nice belly-to-belly suplex in there, and not long after that, Konnan wins with the Tequila Sunrise. Huh, I think we see our first Austin 3:16 shirt in the crowd at a Nitro, at least that I've noticed. 


  • Villanos IV and V have a tag match against Juventud Guerrera and Hector Garza that is okay, I suppose. THA JOOCY ONE has really struggled ever since he got to WCW, and I keep waiting for the light to come on for him. A lot of this stuff looks very choreographed to the point that it takes me out of the match, and some of the exchanges look like they should hurt both guys, especially the opening exchange between Garza and a Villano. Juvi's good for one wild spot, and in tonight's wild spot, he does a splash and spills all the way to the floor because of his momentum. He does it again and gets caught and powerbombed. That was the best series of spots in the match, I thought, especially because Juvi spilling to the floor felt organic (because it was). I think Juvi impressed the crowd with his athleticism, especially his hops, which are pretty impressive. When he does a suicide dive, I think he wins the crowd over, which has gotten louder with each spot. Garza legit splats his head on the floor on the corkscrew to the outside again, so maybe he should stop doing that. Juvi hits a 450 for the win. Good for those guys. I found the match a bit too obvious in how most of the spots were put together, but the crowd understandably dug it. 


  • Scott Hall, Macho Man, and Elizabeth stroll over to the desk. Tenay and Schiavone jet, but Zbyszko refuses to leave. I have zero interest in Zbyszko/Hall as a feud, like not even an iota, and I like Larry Z. in the ring quite a bit! Hall is confident that Hogan and Rodman will beat up Luger and the Giant. He's equally as confident that he and Savage are going to beat DDP and whomever DDP's partner is. Hall paintbrushes Larry Z. and toothpicks him, and they face off. 


  • Tony S. has crawled back to the desk to do his job, to drop the SN matches for later in the week, and to introduce a Luger/Giant segment where they talk over some video of Luger and Giant at a couple of past PPVs and explain their very dull motivations for helping each other out. They are not fans of Hogan and Rodman, and they make this clear. 


  • Vicious and Delicious, seconded by Vincent, match up against Los Guerreros, which is the name I'll be using for them even though it's anachronistic because I like it and it's easier to write than their full names. We cut to the back to see a limo driving around before the match starts. Intrigue! Buff's celebrating after getting off a successful move cracks me up and probably won't get old to me for awhile. Chavo has fun opening work with Buff and then, after Eddy hits a blind tag, they double dropkick Norton. They try to double-suplex Norton, who suplexes both of them instead. Holy shit, this got heated because Eddy dropkicked Buff in the back after a bit of subterfuge and posed mockingly, so Buff slapped the SHIT out of him. This rules! They didn't quite keep up the intensity from that spot, but Norton doing strongman spots is pretty great, as is Eddy running to Chavo to avoid getting clubbered.


  • Chavo's irritated for some reason; I think Eddy's desire to tag out made a lot of sense there. Anyway, Chavo's irritation pisses off Eddy, who refuses to give help Chavo on a hot tag and leaves. Norton hits two back suplexes on Chavo, who barely kicks out. Buff tags in and taunts Chavo about Eddy leaving him to die. Chavo tries to fight both of them off, getting a 2.9 off a slam reversal, but he's outnumbered. Buff clobbers him with a clothesline, and it's all academic from there. Norton pulls Chavo up from a pinfall just to beat his ass some more. They hit a super-Blockbuster and finally pin Chavo while Eddy shows his disgust at Chavo's lack of fortitude from the top of the ramp. Some of that beatdown was really mean, and I think Eddy/Chavo as a feud is off to a fine start. 


  • Larry Z. is refusing to leave the set after hour one because he wants to mean mug the nWo, specifically Randy Savage. Bobby Heenan is irritated because now he doesn't have a seat. Savage and Hall come to the ring and taunt Larry Z. Savage rips someone's Sting poster. Heels be heelin', which I like, but I hate to see La Parka get fed to Savage here tonight. Though waitaminnit, I now remember this, I think. Isn't DDP in La Parka's getup? This whole deal rings a faint bell...and the way La Parka is moving, it's pretty clearly DDP. Also, I mean, DDP's attempt at the La Parka shuffle is so bad, there can only be a dorky white guy wearing the suit, no offense to dorky white guys. Dorky white guys are great. Some of them probably can do a pretty good La Parka shuffle, even. I just doubt Page is one of them. Savage is taking DDParka lightly; Hall is busy crotch-chopping the Memphis crowd. Eventually, Hall heads back over to the desk to taunt Larry Z. Savage is sort of distracted by that and is casual about dropping the Savage Elbow; he lets fly, eats double boots to the chest, and then has a Diamond Cutter for dessert. Page gets three and escapes through the crowd. Hall hears the crowd pop and starts celebrating because he hasn't looked back toward the camera, haha. That was pretty funny. That was a good segment, generally. I just appreciate WCW letting the faces outfox the heels every once in awhile.


  • Sonny Onoo continues to purchase the services of wrestlers. He's now added Silver King to his little coterie; Silver King and Psicosis face off with Glacier and Ernest Miller. It pops off in the ring and in the back - Eddy is beating up Chavo backstage, which we cut to early on in the tag match. The tag match itself is decent enough, and Miller does a fine job of countering a Psicosis leg lariat with a powerbomb. Unfortunately, we don't get a finish because Wrath and Mortis run down and blow things up. Silver King and Psicosis dive onto everyone because they're luchadores and it's what they do, I guess. Everyone's fighting or laying there hurt as Nitro goes to break. 


  • There's a baby in the crowd dressed exactly like Roddy Piper. That's pretty good! Lee Marshall is in Orlando. That's less good, I think. His Weasel joke definitely isn't good, but it's short. 


  • Ric Flair comes out with the blonde lady again. Oh no, and that stupid mannequin is under a sheet. I can see its kilt. This will probably be a pretty stupid promo. The mannequin is back. The blonde lady asks WHAHHHHH DO THAH CAWLH HIM HAWT RAWD?! This sucked last week, why did they do this again? Piper shows up for real and Flair runs away. Piper catches up to him in the ring and they brawl. Why is Bischoff so insistent upon Flair being a heel? Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if it's Flair who wants to be a heel considering that he tried to pull off a double-turn with Hulk Hogan where Flair'd be the one turning heel in front of a WCW crowd about two years from now. Like, who the fuck in a WCW crowd would want that? They love Flair and hate Hogan, and that shit is eternal. Flair is delusional. Piper strips Flair of his belt, whips him, and puts a pants-less Flair in the sleeper. Piper fights off Benoit and Mongo somehow when they run down, like for a good minute or two in fact, but finally the numbers game gets to Piper and he catches a beatdown. As we go to break, I think Jeff Jarrett runs in and fights off the Three Horsemen as Piper's laid out. That was some pretty good fuckery after the shitty Flair promo. 


  • Raven ignores Mike Tenay again. Can't blame him. Stevie Richards and his majestic cut-off jorts tell Tenay to beat it; Stevie cuts the interview on Tenay's behalf. So, Stevie calls everyone in Memphis "morons" and some dude standing nearby yells FUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. Good heelery, Stevie; I think your barbs worked. Stevie asks Raven if Raven's signed with WCW, so Raven waffles him and leaves. As expected! 


  • Benoit and Mongo vs. the Steiner Brothers seems like something that I might enjoy watching. Sometimes, you just wanna see big dudes do power moves to one another. Mongo hits Scott with a powerslam; it's cool. Scott responds with a belly-to-belly. I appreciate the aesthetics of the move. Rick whoops at a disgusted Debra while mauling Mongo on the ropes. Rick and Benoit stiff each other. You know, it's just good quality television. We cut backstage again where Savage is attempting to murder Nick Patrick, apparently. Patrick was in the ring when DDP did his thing earlier, you see. Back in the ring, both teams exchange control until Mongo loses his mind about as much as Savage and decides that trying a top-rope move is a good idea. Scott catches him and hits the super-belly-to-back, but Benoit nails Scott before Scott can capitalize.


  • We get a hot tag to Rick and a nice finishing run where Jeff Jarrett comes back out and jumps Mongo; meanwhile Jimmy Hart gets on the apron and distracts Benoit. Kevin Sullivan runs in, destroys Benoit with a chair, and runs away when Rick Steiner confronts him. Rick's not so nice that he refuses to take advantage of the chair shot, though, and he covers Benoit for three. Pee-Wee Anderson was standing there watching Mongo get his ass beat by Jeff Jarrett and should have given this match to the Horsemen by DQ, but whatever. Sullivan barrels over Jacqueline as he leaves and they scrap a bit because why not. Boy, a lot of stuff happened there, and even if most of it seemed superfluous and unnecessary, it was still chock full of entertainment. 


  • Bischoff and Hogan talk and pose and all that nonsense. Luger and the Giant come down and cut them off after about three minutes too much time. Bischoff tries to divert Luger with a weak attack. Vincent runs in. Bisch gets racked and Vincent gets chokeslammed. Buff runs in and gets chokeslammed, too. Hogan wisely leaves the ring. And that's it until the Bash at the Beach, which I might start watching after the late NBA game. 


  • This show felt a bit less tight and had fewer good matches than previous weeks, but a lot of stuff happened, and quite a bit of it was entertaining. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.




Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #97 - 14 July 1997

"The one with Sting deciding that Luger has learned his lesson, finally. Maybe. Sting sure has a lot of faith in this guy, you know"

  • WCW paid for Michael Buffer, so they were gonna use Michael Buffer, who intros us into Nitro to hype...uh, the Nitro Girls. This is our first appearance of the Nitro Girls, who I think existed pretty much through the rest of the run of this show? Through 2000-ish, at least? Kimberly is the leader of the Nitro Girls, and she intros all of them on a microphone that is barely working. Some OONTCHA-OONTCHA-OONCHTA-style dance music plays while the ladies do some mediocre-to-terrible dancing, not that it matters because they look terrific. Chae is such a cutie, man, let me tell you. I'm settled down, BTW. 


  • Craig Leathers has the levels all fucked up back in the truck. Fuckin' Leathers. Tony's barely audible, and Tenay and Zbyszko are booming. FIX THE FUCKING LEVELS. Tony S. took the whole day post-BatB to figure out that Fake Sting was being played by Kevin Nash last night because Nitro-era Schiavone is the dumbest PBP man in the history of our great sport. 


  • Alex Wright cuts an inset promo about how very good-looking he is before his match against Prince Iaukea. He slaps Iaukea and runs after Iaukea looks for a pre-match handshake, and Iaukea gets at him by leapfrogging the ref. OK, that was a neat little spot. We're like thirty seconds in when the crowd pops huge because the Giant is here to do the whole thing where the main eventer doesn't have time for these lower-midcard chumps to have their little match because he has something to say. He chokeslams the ref and Iaukea; Wright is smart enough to take off before eating a chokeslam. Security comes in and eats chokeslam after chokeslam too. This is a spot that works in this instance, but it became a bit too common later on. I retroactively don't love it, but at the time, I ate it up. Giant's pissed about Nash clobbering him with a baseball bat at BatB (while Nash was dressed in the aforementioned Sting getup). He is looking for revenge. You know what, fuck it, this was really effective television, and saying anything different would be unfair and totally given to hindsight. 


  • Eddy Guerrero has been putting nephew Chavo through his paces, and now they're going to fight. You will be shocked to know that this was very good. Chavo's about as fed up with Eddy as the Giant is with Nash, and he shows it. He slaps Eddy back after Eddy disrespectfully slaps him in the face, then hits a back bodydrop that Eddy gets a ton of air on and flies on a dive to the outside. Eddy, desperate, clatters Chavo and superplexes him, then grabs Chavo's face and yells into the camera: CHAVO, SAY HELLO TO GRANDMA - HI MA before slapping him. LOL, that is peak heel behavior right there. Eddy gets cocky and eats a Northern Lights Suplex for two, then a German Suplex for two. Chavo eats knees on a Frog Splash, though, and Eddy hits a powerbomb and a Frog Splash of his own for the win. RUN IT BACK, that ruled. Eddy talks shit to a prone Chavo and then drops another Frog Splash. Hector Guerrero comes out and stands over Chavo to protect him from further attack, and an irritated Eddy shoves Hector and leaves. Man, this feud is flames already.


  • Kimberly is back out after a quick costume change, along with Diamond Dallas Page, for an interview with Gene Okerlund. Okerlund's like, What the fuck was up with Curt Hennig ditching you in your tag match last night? Page tells a long story full of dumb clichés ("I found out that Hennig and me went to the same school...the school of HARD KNOCKS") to give the backstory of how Hennig and Page ended up meeting one another and getting in contact for the match. Page then hits like ten more dumb clichés in a row in this interview and is really awful on the mic in some ways, not gonna lie. He's so sincere that it works, I guess. I think all the clichés work better for a heel, though. 


  • Oh, the costume change was for a bad dance routine with the Nitro Girls, but again, who really cares about the routine? Okerlund pervs on the ladies and then calls Harlem Heat out for an interview. Booker T. drops a Lee Harvey Oswald reference, but gets the year of JFK's assassination wrong (it's '63, not '62). Still, eight out of ten for working a U.S. history reference into your promo, Booker. Anyway, they've got a match against Hall and Nash later tonight that they are certain they'll be winning. 


  • Vicious and Delicious, seconded by Vincent, face off with the Steiner Brothers. Orlando is hot for everything so far tonight, and they love Rick Steiner cutting off Buff's posing ("He's trying to get my airtime," yells an aggrieved Buff before he continues posing). Buff is winning early battles and yelling about Tree Rollins (yes, his mention of the long-forgotten NBA big man makes sense in context). Scott Steiner wins an exchange against Buff, poses, indicates that his posing is way better, and gets slapped by an incensed Buff, which irritates him enough that he decides to try and murder Bagwell in response. Everyone is getting the most out of these disrespectful hate-filled slaps tonight, and let me tell you, it's working for me as a hype-getter. For some reason, we cut to the back and Konan, Syxx, Scott Hall, Scott Hall's strangely short jorts, and Kevin Nash all get out of a limo. They walk. We could have done this without cutting into Scott Norton and Rick Steiner throwing beefy boy moves at one another, though. 


  • Back in the ring, Norton DDT's the fuck out of Rick Steiner, who plays FIP for a bit. Scott gets the hot tag after Rick hits a belly-to-belly on Buff, and we go into the finishing run. The crowd pops huge for Scott's belly-to-belly suplexes on Norton and then Buff. The Steiners set up for the super bulldog, but Muta and Chono hit the ring along with Vincent and commence a beatdown. Actually, they try to commence a beatdown, but Scott runs through Muta, Chono, and Vincent; Rick suplexes and dumps Norton and then clotheslines Buff. That was a pretty impressive beatdown turnaround by the Steiners. They got zero help from outside and still stood tall at the end. 


  • Okerlund's putting in a shift tonight. We're talking about Raven and his terrible poetry now. Okerlund wanders over to Raven and Stevie Richards, who are sitting in the front row once again. Raven spits another verse in which he says that he has nothing to say. Stevie Richards is much more talky, which gets him spat upon and piefaced by the enigmatic Raven. I'm not sure how much more we can get out of these interviews, but then again, Raven shitting on Stevie's pretty entertaining. 


  • Chris Benoit finally is out of this all-time awful Kevin Sullivan feud, which he cuts a victorious inset promo about before his match against Mike Enos. This is a decent TV match that Enos probably gets a bit too much of. I love his offense, but I think WCW's botched what is clearly meant to be a meaningful build for Benoit with the Sullivan feud being so long. Benoit probably needs to buzzsaw these lower-midcarders on TV for a bit before he moves into whatever's next. Benoit takes a bit of a beating before countering into a flash Crossface for the submission win. I don't even like Benoit that much and think that upper-midcard gatekeeper is his proper ceiling, but man, even with that ceiling, he should be taking more of almost every match he's in. 


  • Hot take: Benoit's best opponent isn't Eddy or whomever people typically argue it is. It's Meng


  • Super Calo and La Parka are going to do some dumb shit, I'm guessing. I don't use the term "dumb shit" as a pejorative, either. Calo probably should stop crashing into the crowd at full speed, though, as he's surely hurt someone by now. Kimberly flashes THE THE THE ROC at La Parka, and everyone wonders if Page is in once again in Park's getup or not. Well, we can be sure as soon as Parka hits the dance - there it is, it's definitely not DDP, trust me. Randy Savage isn't paying attention to Park's moves and just runs down to attack both men in the ring; DDP follows and attacks Savage. Hennig joins the party as well, uses a loaded fist to KO DDP, and leaves. Savage drops a Savage Elbow, celebrates, and leaves as well. Calo didn't kill someone on a dive, so I guess things turned out okay?


  • Hennig talks to Okerlund back at the top of the ramp. Hennig calls Page "the biggest mark in the business." OOH, WE SHOOTIN' BOYS. Then Hennig says Page ejaculates before he can even begin to pleasure his gross wife when they have sex. Or, you know, more or less that's what he says. It's not exact words here. Ric Flair, who naturally digs that kind of insult, comes out to woo (and WOO!) Hennig into joining the Horsemen/a typical Horsemen late-night party. Uh, I know the people watching 1997 WCW weren't watching 1992 WWF by and large, but for those of us who were, why would Flair not expect Hennig to still be sore at him about their fissure? Flair's got the memory of a damn goldfish. When I originally watched this, I called Hennig finding a way to screw over Flair and the Horsemen based solely on a feud from a different company because of how aware WCW's booking seemed to be of past WWF feuds and alliances. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Jacksonville. Lemme make like Jason Mendoza and BORTLES! Jacksonville gets a special Tuesday Nitro next week. I need to make sure to not fuck up the date on the next review.


  • Kevin Nash is faking an injury - no wait, let me explain, he's obviously working, but he's only working the crowd and the kayfabe WCW executive committee, not Bischoff and the boys in the back so that he can get out of jobbing. *sigh*. Talking about Kevin Nash's injuries in WCW can be confusing. The nWo wheels Nash out so that Nash can lie about not being Fake Sting at BatB the previous night. Nash then announces that Konan is nWo. "THIS ONE IS FOR LA RAZA," yells Nash, who then crumples back into his wheelchair in "pain" from the exertion. I can't tell if I liked this segment or not. Nash makes a reference to Larry Flynt, but calls him "Larry Flynn." Ooh, so close, just like Book and the year of JFK's assassination. Chet Lemon and Black Snow need to do their homework before commenting on historical events. 


  • Harlem Heat is down; the Outsiders are going to Freebird Rule this match and let Syxx stand in for Nash. Somehow, I don't think this match is going to get a clean finish. Syxx and Booker have a pretty good exchange. Syxx wins an exchange and crotch chops Stevie. Booker spinaroonies up and hits a side kick, and it gets a face pop. Stevie gets enraged at Hall toothpicking him and beats him down. Hall hits a leaping bulldog from the second rope. Stevie clotheslines Hall and then crotch chops Syxx in response. Early on, this match is a series of spots that I find supremely entertaining, and everyone involved seems genuinely irritated with one another. Harlem Heat clubber Hall for awhile. Hall tries to make a hot tag to Syxx after back suplexing Stevie, but Booker cuts him off and hits the axe kick. Huh, what a weird match structure. Booker gets the face pop for cutting off a hot tag, too, so it's not like they've shifted how they structure the match because the crowd has made the nWo faces. Anyway, every time Hall tries to get a hot tag, he gets cut off, so Nash eventually gets up and clubs Booker to save Hall. Hall hits a quick Razor's Edge and gets three while Stevie is murking Syxx outside the ring. Strange match structure, but it worked nicely. 


  • Vincent as a tag team second is a good role for him! He comes down to the ring with Chono and Muta; their opponent Public Enemy is seconded by their trusty table. I really misremembered how long PE were in this company. It's July 1997, and they're still showing up on Nitro. I thought they were gone by the beginning of 1997 or so. Some of the slowpokes in the crowd start a U-S-A chant. That chant is only ever good when it's ironic - like Chelsea fans chanting it after a rare Christian Pulisic goal - and is always awful otherwise. I was watching the World Baseball Classic and fans started chanting it after the U.S. scored their first runs against Great Britain last night. It's embarrassing, it's corny, it shows a lack of creative imagination. Let's ban it. Let's ban it in the Constitution. 


  • Uh, the match isn't good, but it isn't terrible. It's just boring, which I think is par for the course in a Chono/Muta WCW tag match from this time. Here, we get a hot tag that never actually works out as a hot tag because Muta, the heel, wins the exchange by a wide margin. Boy, these tag matches are really playing with the typical structure, huh? Rocco has to stick a knee in Muta's back to stem the offense; then, we get another hot tag that Rocco wins as would be expected. Well, okay, that wasn't boring in terms of structure (in terms of execution: total snoozefest). Vincent is good enough at being a distraction to give Muta a chance to mist Johnny Grunge, which leads directly to Muta and Chono's win.


  • Jeff Jarrett and Debra McMichael are together, forging what would be a multi-company alliance that would win Jarrett a whole lot of secondary titles. I assume it worked out for them quite well from a kayfabe monetary perspective. And probably a shoot perspective considering the era in which they were midcard constants! Jarrett is defending his U.S. Championship against Ric Flair tonight. Flair, who didn't want Jarrett in the Horsemen even though Jarrett wanted to be one, is going to invite Hennig to be a Horseman though Hennig is totally disinterested. Ric Flair is as bad at making decisions in kayfabe as he is in real life. Flair is the face in this match, so it's one of his better matches. Both guys work this match as though they desperately want to show each other up. Flair tries to Flair flip, fucks it up, sells it like he jammed his neck, then repeats the spot again and pulls it off just so he can hit the very cool spot where he goes up top and gets dropkicked in the solar plexus. That was a mess and Flair just repeating the spot was sort of immersion breaking, but also it worked on some level that I can't really explain.


  • Jarrett pretty much controls Flair for most of this match, but Flair is still the master of the Figure Four and its various counters, and he is able to avoid Jarrett's attempt to wrap it on. Flair gets back to his feet; then, he wins a strike-fest that feels very hateful. He thrusts his junk at Debra, as is his way. Right after that, Debra cuts a whole promo into the camera about why she ditched Mongo while Flair beats Jarrett's ass in the background, LOL. Holy shit, I love this. She rants for like three straight minutes about backstabbing Mongo because he's a has-been camera whore before Mongo actually comes to the ring (along with Benoit) to beat the shit out of Jarrett. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this whole thing. I don't have the words to explain the joy that I feel in any sufficient manner. Jarrett escapes and runs away, and it's a shame he didn't stick around WCW longer and have this whole feud play out in a more satisfying way. 


  • The main event is Gene Okerlund interviewing Lex Luger. It sounds like garbage, but surely we're getting some run-ins, maybe a few beatdowns, hopefully a big Torture Rack or two. The Giant (un rappel, en français: LE GEANT~) has been booted from the arena for his earlier transgressions against Prince Iaukea and some security grunts, so Luger's alone here. Luger once again ran through a bunch of nonsense interference to get a win with the Torture Rack at the previous night's PPV, so he's looking in line for a title shot...maybe at or before this year's Hog Wild, our next PPV. Hmm? Maybe? Maybe just? Luger talks about how much it ruled that he racked Hogan and Rodman and then ponders said title shot, which is the point at which the nWo, sans Hogan, makes their way to the ring. Sting comes down. Real Sting! He dressedup as Fake Sting so that he could reveal himself as Real Sting, which is one of my favorite dumb Sting signature ploys because of how absurd it is. Apparently, Luger has suffered enough over the past year and Sting is ready to stand next to him again. The crowd shrieks as the show ends and...aw, nothing happens. At least on camera. Well, shame on me: As if Sting forgiving Luger for acting like a fool and then having the temerity to question Sting's loyalty after Sting stood by Luger for months is "nothing."


  • Man, when these Nitros get the "variety show" feel right, they get it right. This had a lot of everything, covered a bunch of feuds, made some progress on a few of them, and generally did things up right. 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
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  • 2 weeks later...

Show #99 - 22 July 1997

"The one with that B-Team theme over and over and FUCKING OVER"



  • There's so much hype. There are Nitro Girls, a Flair announcement about the newest Horseman, a Curt Hennig match, and I'm so excited! And then the nWo theme hits and Hogan and Bischoff come out. OK, excitement dampened. I wouldn't want too much excitement, after all. Might aggravate a heart condition that I'm unaware of. 


  • Hogan and Bisch do their deluded heel thing that's long past its expiry date. You know the deal: Vince McMahon Hogan brought wrestling out of smoke-filled armories, Hogan beat up a bunch of WCW main eventers that he didn't actually beat up, etc., etc. He did call Konnan "K-Dawg," though. That was kinda funny. Hogan hypes his title match against Lex Luger at Hog Wild. 


  • The B-Team theme brings out K-Dawg himself. It's it K-Dawg or K-Dogg? Let's go with K-Dawg. Tsubasa is his opponent. Not Captain Tsubasa; nary a soccer ball is in this ring. Konnan hits the cradle piledriver and locks on the Tequila Sunrise too quickly for me too look up much about Tsubasa's career. 


  • We come back to Ultimo Dragon and Steven Regal in the ring, sans entrances, locking up for the WCW World TV Championship. Dragon fucks up the landing on a flip but throws that nice kick combo he does, and it pops the crowd. This crowd is pretty into Dragon, actually. Regal stuffs Dragon's corner headstand with a powerslam, then keeps Dragon grounded with strikes. He puts Dragon up top for a suplex attempt, but it's a mistake; Dragon reverses into a sunset flip from the top. After a nine-count, Regal wins a strikefest and hits an inverted suplex. He tries the Regal Stretch, but Dragon kicks away and hits a series of strikes. He locks on the Dragon Sleeper and gets a near-immediate tap for the win. That was sudden and disjointed, but I liked it well enough. I guess WCW started doing tap-outs to signify submissions before WWF did, right? I feel like WWF didn't start doing tapouts until the fall of 1997 with Ken Shamrock ankle-locking dudes. Maybe I'm wrong. 


  • Gene Okerlund introduces Ric Flair. Okerlund tells Flair that Cab Calloway would be in love with him. What?! Flair calls out the newest member of the Horsemen, but Syxx is the guy who comes out. Syxx lets Flair know that there is no Fourth Horseman. I guess the nWo already got to Hennig. Syxx goes on about how the Horsemen have been injured and Flair is only back because he's been reckless with his money. Well, yes, that seems like it's probably true. Flair pretends to walk away, but coldcocks Syxx, and Benoit comes out to back him up. Syxx yells about how they wouldn't have dared do any of that if Hall and Nash were around, so I'm assuming that next week, when Hall and Nash are around, we'll see a follow-up to this incident. 


  • Muta's out to job to the Giant, who confusingly comes out to Lex Luger's music. Why did they never get this man his own music? Weird. Muta floats a kick right up near Giant's face, and Giant doesn't even flinch. That was cool. Muta tries a couple of dropkicks that do nothing, and the Giant's like FUCK YOU and goozles him, but Muta's like NAH FAM, FUCK YOUUUUU and mists him. Then Vincent and Savage come down and whale away at LE GEANT~ for awhile. Luger comes late for the save and the blinded Giant goozles him before letting go once Luger is able to signal that it's just him, his good friend Lex Luger, late for the save. So did they just shift Savage over to the Giant now? That DDP/Savage feud was undeniably huge for DDP, but he ate two losses in three (decent, but not especially great) matches and then the feud just sort of petered out. It kinda stunk, is what I'm saying. Or more accurately, what I'm continuing to say.


  • Dean Malenko versus Mongo McMichael has some potential! Mongo threatens to concuss Malenko so savagely that Malenko will forget many of those thousand-and-one holds he purports to have mastered. But he yelled it and used coarser language, and it was much better as a result. This is a cool power vs. speed-and-technique layout. At one point, Malenko reverses a German suplex attempt with one of his own and just dumps Mongo on the side of his head. Maybe don't do that again; Malenko doesn't have the strength to do stuff like that to bigger wrestlers. Mongo regains control with a one-handed slam, but Jeff Jarrett and Debra come out to run a distraction, and Jarrett hits a rope-assisted Stone Cold Stunner Chartbuster on Mongo behind the ref's back, which allows Malenko to slip on a small package for three. I'm looking forward to Mongo getting his revenge and the U.S. Championship, I must admit.


  • Post-match, Jeff Jarrett busts in on a Dean Malenko interview to talk about how he and Malenko should have a mutual defense pact against guys like Mongo and Eddy Guerrero. Malenko's like, I HAVE PRINCIPLES, MY FOREMOST ONE BEING THAT I STAND ALONE, BUT IN THIS CASE, I DON'T BELIEVE IN MY OWN PRINCIPLES, SO I MIGHT HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT OFFER. Then Debra and Jarrett just about talk him right out of that decision because they're heels who can't help but keep running their mouths long after they should have shut the fuck up already, and Malenko chooses to just think it over for now. 


  • LOS GUERREROS EXPLODE! No, wait, not those Los Guerreros. I mean, yes, Eddy is here, but not Chavo. Instead, he's wrestling Hector Guerrero after their confrontation from last week's show that I wrote about, oh, eight months ago, it feels like. They move through everything at full speed, but it's still pretty enjoyable. Eddy bites his way out of a pinning combination, then goes full Tyson and bites Hector's ear again just for the fuck of it. I'm not sure Eddy should be going essentially 50/50 with Hector at this point in their careers, but they're trying to get over that Eddy is desperately cheating his way out of trouble because he is a man of low moral character. I still think they could have done this without giving Hector so much offense, though. Eddy kicks the ropes into Hector's nuts, rakes body parts whenever possible, and bites. He also hits a Frog Splash for three. Dean Malenko comes marching back out post-match and attacks Eddy from behind. The crowd fucking EXPLODES. I didn't know this feud was that over in Jacksonville. Hector wobbles to his feet and tries to talk Dean out of Texas Cloverleafing Eddy, then punches Dean off of Eddy. Eddy is not entirely thankful for this, and he shoves Hector into Malenko, who beats Hector for his insolence. Hahaha, Eddy's such a dick. 


  • J.J. Dillon (w/Very Important Document) is here to talk about contract signings and Raven, but he's immediately interrupted by Stevie Richards. Richards dances over and announces that he has signed with WCW. Dillon's like, Yeah, yeah, you signed, no one cares, where's Raven? Stevie wants J.J. to walk the contract over to Raven in the front row ("C'mon, J.J., you need the exercise"). Stevie lets Raven know that he negotiated Raven's deal, and of course, Stevie did a shitty job at it - he's so excited about negotiating a rental car with a tape deck in it in 1997 ("for those long trips!"). Raven does some terrible poetry, rips up the contract, and punches Stevie Richards. All of these things are reasonable things to do when Stevie Richards is fucking up your guap. Even the poetry. Stevie whines "Ow...I mean well!" from a prone position on the ground, and honestly, this guy fucking KILLS me. Hilarious. He had me cracking up this whole time. 


  • Lex Luger comes out to Lex Luger's music this time, as is appropriate. His opponent: Another nWo B-Teamer, this time Scott Norton. Buff Bagwell and Vincent try to be distractors at ringside, and Tony S. notes how weak WCW is, what with their letting Buff and Vincent just stand around out there and do whatever. Luger takes a cursory beating so that he can come back and rack Vincent before tossing Buff into Norton. Luger wins by DQ. None of these matches are here for anything other than pushing along angles, except for maybe the TV Title match. Luger grabs a mic and prepares to talk about his Hog Wild match with Hogan, but Hogan comes out and cuts him off. Hogan babbles. Luger chases him back to ringside. Actually, he is only like two steps behind Norton as he heads to the back. I'm assuming that he caught up right behind the curtain and  got his ass beat during this commercial break.


  • Nope, I guess nothing happened. 


  • Scott Hall and Kevin Nash HAVE ARRIVED. Konnan meets them to gossip about Flair and Benoit and Syxx having an unfortunate meeting earlier tonight. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Charleston, West Virginia. Charleston and Morgantown are the only two West Virginia towns that I could name. I've never been to West Virginia; I have only seen it in pictures. The pine-covered mountains look pretty. The ones that have had their tops blown off to dig coal from, not so much. 


  • Vandenberg's boys come to the ring. Huh, they're wrestling Sonny Onoo's boys. What a weird matchup. Hell yeah. So of course, we cut to Ric Flair and Curt Hennig talking in the back. I don't care about that, though, because La Parka and Wrath are in the ring! Parka throws some shadow kicks. Wrath throws some actual kicks. Parka gets some room, goes up top, and dives into double boots. He does a wild flip bump off a back elbow. Psicosis tags in, but is immediately pushed into the opponent's corner. Mortis takes over with strikes. He whips Psicosis, who tries to run up the buckles and falls all the way to the floor in what was a spectacular fuck-up. At least that fuck-up looked amazing, like a car crash that you see happening in slow motion, but are unable to stop. Psicosis hits a dive to Mortis outside, then Parka dives onto Wrath when the latter comes over to check on Mortis. Psicosis and Parka try some more dives, but Wrath blows all that shit up because he is sick of it. He tosses Psicosis into Parka; then, Mortis hits a second rope vertical suplex on Psicosis that gets two. The match breaks down; Onoo confronts Vandenberg on the outside for a second. Psicosis hits Mortis with a rana and hooks the legs for what should be a three-count, but the ref is distracted by Wrath beating Parka's ass in the corner. Wrath tosses Parka outside, breaks up the pinfall, and then hits a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo with Mortis's help for three. Post-match, Parka brings in a wooded chair and bashes Mortis with it, so Wrath kicks Parka right in his fucking chest and tumbles him through the ropes and to the floor. RUN IT BACK, I LIKED IT


  • Oh man, I am utterly sick of that B-Team theme. Buff Bagwell's back out with Vincent and Scott Norton. His opponent: Booker T, alone, wearing a Yankees cap when we all know it should really be an Astros cap. They were a solid team in those Bagwell/Biggio days, and there was no shame in being a fan. As a Mariners fan, the current-day Astros should piss me off, but I really can't work up much hate for them. Now, the Angels, the fucking Orange County Angels of Disneyland, are the worst. THE ABSOLUTE WORST. Anyway, this exact matchup got Buff fired and a WCW Nitro revival shuttered in 2001 WWF, but the crowd is into it here. Booker does leaps and kicks and hip tosses Bagwell to the floor, and the crowd cheers. Just turn the guy face already. Buff gets a bit of control, but eats knees on a splash and has to struggle out of an ass-kicking by draping Book's throat across the ropes in desperation. This control segment is a bit more effective for Buff than the last one, but Buff gets in a shoving match with Nick Patrick. Hey, the crowd eats it up, especially when Buff begs off. That distraction allows Book to hit a flying forearm on a rope run. He hits a series of moves ending with a side kick that gets two. He's on his way to victory, but Patrick misses Norton jumping up and clotheslining Book from the apron, which allows Buff to hit a Blockbuster for three. The B-Teamers put the boots to Booker post-match. 


  • 1997 Rey Misterio Jr. is a bummer on the mic. He's on crutches as he cuts a mediocre fiery babyface promo, but the crowd's behind him. This is a good crowd. Konnan comes out and kicks Misterio's crutches away. A few luchadores come down to back Rey up; Rey's like YOU AIN'T LUCHA and Konnan calls the luchadores "refugees" and rolls out. Unnecessary, sir! 


  • VKM Wallstreet and his anti-WCW shirt are still in this company for some reason! Oh goodness, he's wrestling Curt Hennig in a match that I'm sure I saw at least two separate terrible Coliseum Video house show collections. I am sure that when I did see it, it sucked really bad. D-D-P chants bust out. Yes, I wish he were here to Diamond Cut everyone. This match is super-short, and Hennig wins it with the PerfectPlex, but no one really notices because Page comes through the crowd while it happens. Page and Hennig brawl in the ring. Hennig sets up for a PerfectPlex, but DDP punches his way out and hits a Diamond Cutter before worthless-ass Doug Dellinger comes out with his mooks to break it up. 


  • I've refrained from saying anything about Kimberly or Chae, but the last terrible dance routine had them in tops that were inspirational, shall we say. 


  • So, Hall and Nash decided that they would fight Benoit and Flair tonight since the two Horsemen dared to punk Syxx. That's the main event for this show. Flair and Hall have fantastic chemistry. It really is a shame that we didn't get a longer singles feud between those two. Flair and Benoit dominate Hall, Benoit getting two on a Northern Lights Suplex. Hall wisely tags out to Nash, who ain't having any of this shit. He overpowers Flair, who weathers the storm and tries to take out Nash's knee. Nash shoves him into a Syxx cheapshot and hits a sidewalk slam for two. Hall's in and hits a fallaway slam for two. The Outsiders stay on top of Flair, who is our face-in-peril for the night. Flair takes a long beating, and finally slips on a sleeper out of nowhere, but Hall reverses into a sleeper of his own. Flair's able to counter with a back suplex, and we get a hot tag. It's impressive that Benoit looks totally believable fucking up Hall and Nash on the hot tag even though he's much smaller than either of them. Syxx tries to intervene, but Flair grabs him off the apron and beats him up. Benoit hits the flying headbutt, but the pinfall is broken up at two by Nash. Nash goes for a Jackknife, but Benoit punches out of it and looks like he might juuuuuust pull it off, but a bit of misdirection allows Nash to hit a vicious big boot for three. Syxx locks the Buzzkiller on Flair outside, but Mongo comes out to save him. Hall and Nash look like they've survived, but the Steiner Brothers come out to the ramp and slowly make their way to the ring as SORRY FOLKS WE'RE OUTTA TIME


  • I was duly entertained, though the wrestling wasn't quite there. The second hour was much better in that regard, though. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.




Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #100 - 28 July 1997

"The one with A TRUE RIDER, YEAH, DIG IT!"

  • We creep ever closer to WCW hot-shotting the WCW World Championship onto Lex Luger for a week, and I am here for it. 


  • Ah, the Nitro Girls!




  • Well, once I got over that damned theme, I was interested in Vicious and Delicious up against Ric Flair and Curt Hennig. Hennig's still mad at you, Flair! It doesn't matter that he won the Loser Leaves WWF match! He's still heated about that whole feud! You should have just run with Jeff Jarrett as a Horseman!


  • WCW was bursting with really good gatekeepers at this time: Norton, Meng, Barbarian, and Wrath immediately come to mind. I'm not sure a company has had a better set of credible gatekeepers before or since. 


  • Norton does his whole brick house deal to start, and eventually Flair gets in and weathers a Buff assault, locking on the Figure Four. Buff escapes, barely, as we go to a commercial break. We come back to Flair working Buff over until Buff gets a floatover powerslam as Flair rebounds off the ropes. Norton's back in and striking Flair, leaning on him, and being generally a very mean dude. Buff's back in and gets two off a slam and a cocky pin ([tm] AKI). Flair and Hennig struggle to keep Norton down, but Flair hot tags to Hennig, who takes control of the match. Syxx runs down and pulls flair off the apron, and though Flair fends him off, Syxx is persistent. It doesn't matter, though; in the ring, Hennig hits Buff with a PerfectPlex and gets three. Weird, sort of disjointed match. Flair and Hennig didn't have much chemistry as a tag team, and I think it dampened some of their reactions, particularly to the hot tag. But at least it had a semi-clean finish!


  • Lex Luger announces, in an in-ring interview, that he is JACKED. He flexes; some ladies in the crowd shriek. He also announces that he's getting himself a shot at Hogan's gold next week on Nitro because Hogan's got to make a mandatory thirty-day defense. Oh, I'm sorry, is that still in effect? Could've fooled me. I can't complain too much, though. A top-three Nitro moment of all time is going to happen on the next show. 


  • Ultimo Dragon is putting in a mandatory weekly defense of his newly-won TV Championship against former shock TV Champ Prince Iaukea. Iaukea's a solid worker, I think. Not flashy, but he mixes well with a lot of the smaller guys on the roster. They work a pretty pacey match that's solid enough. The crowd is lame and there are quite a few empty seats on the hard camera. Vinnie Jr. would have moved a bunch of fans up front if he were running this show. In the ring, we get a number of solid counters, including an Iaukea powerbomb being countered into a series of back-and-forth pinfall attempts. Then, they have a hideous exchange going into the finish where Dragon, true to form, totally whiffs on a strike that was supposed to connect and has to save it with a terrible-looking clothesline. Dragon wins with the Dragon Sleeper, and I won't let that ugly finish color my general satisfaction with that bout. 


  • Flair is back out to cut an interview. He's stoked about Curt Hennig being the newest Horseman. Hennig comes out and says that he is, in fact, NOT a Horseman. Flair is like, Aw, he just doesn't want his wife to think that he's out here fuckin' on the side. Then he grabs a blonde lady from somewhere off-camera and tells Hennig that he'll be getting much ladies for him tonight, too. I would guess that you're not allaying the fears of Ms. Hennig, Ric. Hennig's still reticent about joining. He leaves, Flair leaves, and Chris Benoit and Mongo McMichael head to the ring to tag up against the Texas Hangmen. The Texas Hangmen are just Disorderly Conduct in masks. In the middle of a ho-hum match, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash call in. Tony S. uses the opportunity to plug 1-800-COLLECT, and as I write that sentence, Hall lampshades the plug. Hall shits on Larry Z. Nash says some general pro-nWo stuff, and then hangs up on Tony before Tony can hang up on him. Meanwhile, Mongo drills a Texas Hangman with a Tombstone and Benoit locks the Crippler Crossface for the tap. Well, none of that was particularly good, but there was so much going on all at once that I stayed engaged. 


  • The Nitro Girls do bad dancing. I enjoy it. Alex Wright does bad dancing. I don't enjoy it as much. We're getting Alex Wright and Chris Jericho: round three! I completely forgot that Jericho's the Cruiserweight Champion; he's putting the gold on the line in this match. Well, at least Wright has a win over Jericho from a few weeks back to give this match a kayfabe reason to be made as a title match. The crowd wakes up for this match because Jericho does a really nice job working as a fiery babyface, and Wright stalls a lot to break the momentum. Sometimes, it's just that simple. Wright only gets control after finagling a vertical suplex on the mats outside, but it's clear that he's struggling to handle Jericho's fire. Wright hits a big stomp from the top rope, but gets lackadaisical and focuses too much on dancing. When he tries to hit another top-rope move, he misses and Jericho takes over. Wright eats an Asai moonsault and only gets a bit of control again by using the ropes to force a break, then poking Jericho in the eye. After that, he uses his ring position to stop Jericho's onslaught again and hit a neckbreaker over the top rope. Jericho, who didn't take the chance to put Wright away after the moonsault, gets caught in a German suplex, and Wright bridges for the three-count and the gold. Huh, don't remember this at all. This was the best of the three Nitro matches they've had in the past few weeks by a LONG way. They certainly got better at working with one another over time. 


  • Dean Malenko's music hits, but Jeff Jarrett and Debra come out before Malenko does. Gene Okerlund wants to know if the alliance is on, and Malenko says he is into the whole deal, except for one thing. Apparently on Saturday Night, Jarrett and Eddy Guerrero were talking or meeting or something? i don't know, on account of I didn't watch Saturday Night, and they didn't show a clip during this interview. Malenko's like, Yo, wazzupwidat? Jarrett and Debra blow it off entirely as Eddy wanting to work a deal with them first, but they swear that they're interested only in an alliance with Malenko. That's enough of an explanation for Dean.


  • Syxx/DDP seems like it could be very good, but there's probably going to be too much fuckery to let it be as good as it could be. Syxx disrespectfully slaps Page, who decks him. West Virginia is very into DDP. Some fan in the crowd holds up a crutch to help cheer his boy Page to victory. Sure, why not. All the seats on the hard camera are filled now. Syxx is pretty much overmatched. He gets knocked around, pinballing all over the ring. DDP hits a pancake, and Vincent tries to intervene. Syxx uses the distraction to attempt a Buzzkiller, but DDP backs him into the corner, breaks the hold, and hits a Diamond Cutter from that position. That's when Curt Hennig runs in, loads up his fist, and clocks Page. Hennig places Syxx on top of Page and vacates the premises, just in time for Pee-Wee Anderson to turn around and count the pinfall. This was solid, but please make this match longer and with no outside interference; then, run it back, please. 


  • Dean Malenko is back out to finish what he started last week and beat Hector Guerrero's brains in. We are reminded of Jarrett beating Malenko for the U.S. Championship with Eddy's assistance through the magic of video. These fellas will have a decent TV match in their sleep. There's some nice mat wrestling here and a decent pace with a few two-counts sprinkled in. It feels competitive. Maybe it should feel more hate-filled, though? I feel like it has the wrong tone, as entertaining as it is. They shouldn't be interested in pinning each other; they should be heated over what happened last Nitro. Jeff Jarrett and Debra come to the ring mid-match. Malenko wraps on the Texas Cloverleaf after Hector is conceivably distracted by Jarrett and Debra's advance. Dean wins, he looks morose as usual, and Jarrett and Debra celebrate. Chavo comes out to check on Hector and Dean blindsides him. Jarrett and Malenko stomp out the Guerreros. Malenko is irritated by these loud, flashy people he's aligned with, but he lets Debra raise his hand in victory anyway. 


  • Konnan drags Gene out for an interview. Gene says that he's not as old as Konnan implies because he got carded last night. Konnan mishears on purpose: "Where'd you get carted off to, a rest home?" He calls Rey an affirmative action hire, which is off-base. WCW only does that sort of thing when they're getting directly sued for being racist. Konnan is clearly hyped to be in an actual competent gang after months of running with the sorry-ass Dungeon of Doom. I almost feel happy for the guy. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Detroit, a very good city for pro wrestling crowds and kind of an underrated place from what I saw when I went there a few years ago. I'd live there. The cold sucks, but you can drive right into Ontario really easily. Being in a border town (or within a couple hundred miles of a border) is a vacationing bonus. 


  • The Giant comes out to silence this week. I guess someone realized that him coming out to Lex Luger's music was dumb. We're getting a Giant/Muta rematch from last week. This should last no more than three minutes, no matter the finish. Oh no, before we get the match, we get Savage standing in the crowd being lame as fuck. It hurt me to write that sentence. He calls himself a TRUE RIDER, NOT JUST A RIDER, BUT A TRUE RIDER. Blurgh. It's not exactly CUP 'O COFFEE, let's just say. The Giant retorts. Savage responds to the retort. Then the B-Team theme hits. That was not a great three minutes for my eardrums, let me tell you.


  • Oh, great, heel Bischoff comes out to be color commentator for the match. I think about muting this show for a second; just then, the West Virginia fans start a U-S-A chant while Muta has a boring control segment. I'm in hell right now. Muta tries to get Giant back down on the mat, but his aerial moves have no effect. Muta jumps into a goozle and tries the mist, but Giant blocks it with his forearm and drills Muta with a chokeslam for three. Oh, great, Bischoff's going to stick around to call the rest of this show. Giant challenges the rest of the nWo, but we cut away from it so we can hear Larry Z. yelling at Bischoff over the top of Giant cutting a generic promo. Larry Z. punks Bischoff and drags him down to the ring, where the Giant chokeslams him. I can see how this would be hype if you were in the arena itself, but it was messy as a TV viewer. 


  • But at least Bischoff won't be at the desk anymore tonight! La Parka comes out with a chair that has Konnan's name on it. Konnan comes out with a t-shirt that has nWo on it. Konnan is truly joyous. What an excitable and excited guy. So, if you recall from the previous post, Konnan is beefing with the other luchadores. Honestly, Konnan is beefing with as many people as possible. I said earlier that he would have been perfect for Attitude Era-WWF, what with his lowest common denominator, insult-focused promo style and contemporary gimmick. He almost feels out of place on this show. La Parka gets a bit of an advantage and tries to waffle Konnan with the chair, but Konnan kicks the chair into Park's face, then hits a cradle piledriver. He locks on the Tequila Sunrise for the win, and Psicosis runs out to break up a potential post-match beatdown. This was fine; I don't entirely remember this angle, and I'm interested to see where it goes. 


  • Hey, it's another phone call! This time, J.J. Dillon calls in to talk about a contract offer he wants to make to Sting. It's very exciting! There's flash! There's sizzle!


  • Randy Savage and Scott Steiner are our main event. I said earlier that I'm bummed about Savage being so painfully corny. I expect Hogan to be totally out of place in the nWo, but Savage? Of course, he's going to go full crazed misogynist in his next heel gimmick, and while that was actually much better pulled off and fit well into the zeitgeist, it's also super trashy. I haven't seen it in a long while, but it's gotta be better than Savage being a TRUE RIDER and wearing tassels on his tights in mid-1997, though. Right? Rick Steiner exhorts Savage to get up when Savage rolls outside after eating a gorilla press. Savage freaks out, punches Rick, and wanders over to find a chair to fire into the ring.


  • We get a commercial break and come back to Savage throwing fists at Scotty, but Scott quickly regains control with a belly-to-belly suplex. Savage tries to stall again, and Scott comes out after him. Savage uses Liz as a decoy to clock Scott and then starts bashing him around the ringside area. They brawl into the crowd a bit, and Savage sneaks out at the end of the row so that he can ambush Scott as Scott crawls back to ringside. The match finally gets back to the ring, and Savage pretty quickly loses control of it, eating a belly-to-belly off an attempted double-axehandle. Scott dumps Savage outside while Rick and Liz argue on the apron. They brawl back into the crowd with Scotty in control, then back to ringside. This is a slow-paced, dull brawl. It's really not doing anything for me.


  • Savage punches Scott in the nuts to dig himself out of a hole and tries a suplex, but it doesn't work at all. Scott gets right back on top with a clothesline and a double-underhook powerbomb. He hits a Super Frankensteiner, and Liz immediately takes off a high heel and gets on the apron. Rick tries to stop her, and that's when Hall and Nash run out and attack Rick and Scott, drawing a DQ win for Scott Steiner. Oh wow, didn't see this coming. The Giant comes out for the save. He's fine with waiting until Road Wild to beat up Savage, but he'd enjoy tangling with Nash right now. Nash refuses - "I'm not fighting through all these guys," he says of the security team between him and Giant. Dellinger and his mooks immediately part like the Red Sea. Nash wanders down for a fight and, on cue, we run out of time, folks! 


  • Weird show. We're treading water with the nWo, and it's tiresome. A lot of this show rides or dies on its undercard angles and matches because of the stasis at the top of the card. The stuff I liked, I liked quite a lot, but there are some guys - Savage and Bischoff are two from tonight's show - who I don't want any part of, at least as they currently are. But there are guys like Konnan and Syxx who bring some energy to this show each week. Ultimately, there was no Sting appearance, no Eddy appearance, no Faces of Fear or Harlem Heat, and no Glacierverse segment, so this scores a bit lower than last week's show for not having any of those acts that I very much enjoy. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.




Edited by SirSmUgly
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  • 2 weeks later...

Show #100 - 4 August 1997

"The one with maybe the G.O.A.T. Nitro moment of all time?"

  • Michael Buffer's in the ring and getting me suitably hyped in the ring to start the show. I am ready to rumble, yes I am! 


  • Tony S. says that this show is actually a) Show #100 and b) three hours long. I had it as Show #99. Oh man, let me go see where I fucked up the count. Hold on.


  • It was at Show #65. I vow to edit each and every one of these bad boys before continuing my watch. 


  • OK, I checked and double-checked, and either I can't math, or WCW is wrong and this is show #101, and WCW being wrong isn't entirely out of the question. It's 70/30, maybe 65/35 that it's my fuck-up and not WCWs. Well, this is how the count is staying. Fuck you, WCW. 


  • EDIT FROM WAY IN THE FUTURE: While making a master list of matches and segments, I found a duplicated post that threw off my count. This, in fact, was episode #100. FOLKS, WE DID IT. WE FOUND THE ERROR. AND SOMEHOW, IT WAS NOT WCW'S. SMH.


  • I'm not making it through three hours in one go, am I? Eh, let's find out. (NOTE: it took me like a week to come back to this thing to even watch it past Tony’s opening.)


  • We start the night with Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff. The announcers talk about the Steiner Brothers having a "bombshell" that will rock the nWo, but I'm pretty sure it's just Ted DiBiase as their manager. Hogan hypes his matches with Lex Luger tonight and at Road Wild. Nothing particularly notable was said. 


  • Mortis wrestling not-Glacier? I didn't know this was possible! He's wrestling Curt Hennig, which is a WCW-style weird and interesting matchup. The match they have doesn’t really live up to weirdness and isn’t all that interesting, with Hennig having the edge until Vandenberg decides to run as much interference as he can. Kanyon doesn't bust out anything particularly cool and Hennig hits the PerfectPlex for the win. That was underwhelming. 


  • Sting hype video. A shot of Sting rappelling down right in front of a Chicago Bulls championship banner is a strangely cool visual. Very '90s. 


  • Chavo and Hector Guerrero tag up against Jeff Jarrett and Dean Malenko. The latter tag team is on Road Wild against Mongo McMichael and Chris Benoit. I wonder if Malenko and Benoit are excited to work in front of the supportive and knowledgeable Sturgis crowd for a second-straight year. Some thirsty dude leans over the guardrail to get a picture of Debra, and that engages me a bit more than Malenko's obligatory opening matwork. The dude is trying to get pictures of everyone, and I'm pretty sure he yells at Malenko when Malenko's on the apron to try and get him to pose. This dude, who looks like he might be related to the Rhodes family, is enthralling. The tag match itself is perfectly cromulent. Hector plays a solid FIP, and ultimately he falls victim to a Texas Cloverleaf. 


  • Gene Okerlund tries to have a meaningful conversation with Raven. Instead, he has a meaningless conversation with Stevie Richards. Richards has tried to improve on the contract that he's negotiated for Raven. Richards blathers on so long that Okerlund hits the WRAP IT UP, B. You may be shocked, but Raven chooses to assault Stevie Richards rather than sign the contract. The crowd hits a RAVEN chant because Raven assaulting Stevie is entertaining. Stevie finally blocks a punch from Raven and swears to stop taking ass kickings from his buddy/boss/nemesis. Raven smiles and walks away. 


  • The Giant gets no entrance music, but he does get dope pyro. The Giant wrestles a one-on-three handicap match. Scott D'Amore and Lenny Lane are getting beaten up tonight, and I think Joey Maggs too. Giant destroys these dudes all at the same time because he can. Three chokeslams, three pinfalls. I love that D'Amore sold not only the chokeslam that he ate, but also the impact (haaaaa!) of the chokeslam that Giant gave to Lane. Bless that guy. He deserves better than booking Impact for the last two decades or whatever. Post match, Randy Savage comes out with a mic and lures the Giant after him, but we don't see any of what occurs between the two after that. 


  • Lex Luger hype package. Are you hyped for Luger winning the BGB? I know I am! 


  • I'm weirdly excited for High Voltage. Low-key, they're a fun enhancement talent team. Rage has a mustache now because he is evil, I guess. Rage's willingness to bump and be really active should make this match against Public Enemy at least passable. The announcers get over that High Voltage could be good, but they're young and inexperienced, and they probably need a seasoned manager to guide them. Rage hits a springboard bulldog just because. See? This guy tries to do at least one cool thing a match. Tony S. and Mike T. over on commentary are now emphasizing that the bikers in the crowd at Road Wild are probably going to say some foul shit, so please cover your kids' ears, parents at home who order the show. This match isn't any good, but I've at least wanted to see what Rage might do because he's really working his ass off with every Nitro opportunity. Rocco Rock whiffs on a senton and crashes himself through a table at ringside, but High Voltage is too busy being cocky to pin Johnny Grunge, and Grunge dodges a clothesline and rolls up Rage for the win. Post-match, High Voltage use a piece of the busted table to beat up Grunge. I'm okay with discontinuing this series, but Bischoff seems determined to give us more. 


  • Alex Wright comes dancing through the Nitro Girls' routine, and honestly, it cracked me up. Sometimes, you need to just do the obvious sight gag that everyone knows is coming. Wright starts cutting a promo in German, so Okerlund of course goes full xenophobe. Wright cuts a terrible promo in English that I'm pretty sure Gene Okerlund hates deeply based on his facial expressions. Okerlund was glad to bury a guy for whom English was not their L1 when he interviewed them, let me tell you. Wright beats up Scotty Riggs in a match shortly after his shitty interview. It's actually a decent little match that picks up when it goes outside, though sadly the only thing in this match with any overness or heat is Wright's terrible dancing. Riggs gets a two-count off a violent-looking crossbody, and though he hits a series of offensive moves that bring him near victory, Wright headbutts Riggs down to the mat and hits a missile dropkick for three. Fun stuff! 


  • Okerlund is back in the aisle to get a pop for himself by mentioning the Stanley Cup-winning Red Wings in Detroit. This guy sucks, man, get him off my TV. It's 1997, for the love of it all, no need for Okerlund to still be in this position. Lex Luger comes out to cut an interview. Luger cuts an okay promo about how tonight is the night, etc. If you knew enough about Luger's record in big matches, you'd be sure he was going to choke tonight. I mean, he guarantees a victory! Boy, is he tempting fate. 


  • Syxx and Chris Benoit? Uh, yeah, this is gonna be good. They do all the stuff you'd want from them, and at a good pace, too. There are a lot of counters, lots of sick-looking counters, in fact, and when Benoit hits a suicide dive on Syxx, the crowd explodes. It's good, is what I'm saying. Benoit looks like he's going for an (uncharacteristic) moonsault when Syxx traps him in the Tree of Woe position and takes over. Syxx has a nice beatdown, hits a Falcon Arrow, but whiffs on a senton or legdrop attempt, I can't tell. Benoit has a fiery comeback, and you can tell why he got over. It's incredibly intense. He's a guy who looks like he's legitimately trying to win a competitive fight, something that can't be undersold as a key to good pro wrestling. So, Benoit's on top when Jarrett runs in and jumps Benoit. Mongo runs in and jumps Jarrett. Malenko runs in and jumps Benoit. The Horsemen are the ones to clear the ring. All of that was entertaining and has me ready for any combination of matchups between the four left in the ring, but also let's run this Benoit/Syxx matchup back, too. 


  • The nWo B-Team music hits, and it's not even Vicious and Delicious. While I have time for Vincent when he's fiery-babyface Virgil in a TV or Coliseum Video match, I will pass on heel nWo Vincent. Booker T. comes out to the ring (seconded by brother Stevie) to run through Vincent, which he does. Stevie Ray gets his lumps in, too. Booker wins with a side kick in about ninety seconds, and Harlem Heat beats up Vincent after the match just because. 


  • Diamond Dallas Page gets thrown off by some guy yelling YOU SUCK at him during his short interview, I think. Or maybe I misheard. But someone said something that threw him off for a second. Anyway, he cuts one of his lame babyface promos. He's way better as a scumbag heel when it comes to promos. We're getting DDP/Flair tonight for the first time ever, probably? Well, face DDP/Flair for the first time, certainly. 


  • Look, Luger/Hogan and DDP/Flair are great matchups for this show, but may I suggest that Barbarian/Wrath is secretly kind of on that level, sort of? Or at least on Benoit/Syxx's level? These dudes throw clotheslines and kicks and suplexes and stuff. I enjoy it. Barbarian punches his way out of a Death Penalty attempt and then whips Wrath into the stairs to turn the tide of the match. Wrath tries a headbutt, but it goes poorly because Indigenous peoples of the many Oceanic islands all have very hard heads, you know; it's proven science just like phrenology in general is proven science (*cough*). Barb hits a floatover powerslam, but goes up top for a double-axehandle and jumps right into a Death Penalty that gets three. Then Meng comes out and faces off with Wrath! Yeah! You know, I would be glad to watch the Faces of Fear wrestle Mortis and Wrath in a best of five. Or seven. Or twenty-one. 


  • The Steiner Brothers and their big surprise, which is Ted fucking DiBiase in 1997, come to the ring for an interview. The interview is boring. The Outsiders come out for a retort. DiBiase's head does look like a pumpkin, but I don't think Nash needed to point it out so prominently. Nash saying that the Steiners got DiBiase as their manager so someone could read the menu to them at roadside stops got a chuckle out of me, I'll freely admit. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Denver. Their airport had, years ago (and maybe now?), a Wolfgang Puck's in it. I was connecting on a long cross-country flight, and somehow a roast chicken from an airport Wolfgang Puck's was one of the best things I've ever eaten. I mean, I destroyed that sucker. I think what happened was that I skipped breakfast and lunch, is what it was. 


  • Konnan continues his war against Mexican wrestlers with a matchup against Psicosis. The fans in the front row, which Faux-dy Rhodes and his trusty camera are a part of, hold up a 100% RUDOS sign. Yep, they've been rooting for the heels all night. But both these guys in the ring are heels, so how did they make their choice to back Konnan? This is kind of a clunky match, but it moves quickly and ends in a cradle piledriver/Tequila Sunrise combo for Konnan. Ultimately, it made for decent television. Rey Misterio Jr. hobbles out on crutches like a dumbass. I'm hoping he's faking here, but Rey is a really dumb babyface...no, thank goodness, he was faking. Good for him! He yams Konnan with a crutch, helps Psicosis up, and declares that Konnan is KICKED OUTTA THE FAMILY into the camera. 


  • Silver King and Damien 666 face off with Glacier and Ernest Miller. It's pretty enjoyable! King and Damien try to use misdirection to take an advantage on the rookie team, but Miller hits a jumping front kick on Damien for the win. 


  • Eric Bischoff is back out to set up a feud with Larry Zbyszko. Aw, man. Bischoff calls J.J. Dillon down to talk over last week's Larry Z./Giant-induced asswhipping that Bisch took. Nothing that I just wrote sounds remotely interesting. Bischoff threatens to sue the Giant and beat up Larry Z. Without saying it directly, Dillon pretty much assumes that Larry will be stomping an old mudhole in Bischoff. That's it. That's the segment. We could have squeezed Meng squashing Jerry Flynn in here or something instead. 


  • Who cares that Chae isn't a great dancer? Look at this cutie chilling on the commentary desk. Teenage me felt some feelings about Chae; not like your regular gross teenage male feelings, but more like your unrealistic Ooh, she's probably a college girl, I bet she's so smart, too, I bet she'll become like an environmental lawyer or a heart surgeon or something like that, I wonder if I should try to date older women even though lI'm vaguely aware that I'm an immature mess of a human being feelings. But yeah, also your regular gross teenage male feelings. 


  • Kimberly, who was dancing behind the desk, leaves to join DDP as Page comes out to wrestle Ric Flair. The crowd seems a little conflicted. Flair has weirdly been doing his own mini-version of Bret Hart's deal in 1997, moving between heel and face depending on who he's facing off with rather than where he's wrestling. Page DESTROYS Flair with a powerbomb, man that ruled, and Hennig runs out as we go to break. It's too bad that there's a break in this match because it's got good intensity. Flair looks overmatched and gives the vibe that he didn't expect Page to go at him so hard. Flair finagles his way into control and eventually locks on the Figure Four, but he's too near the ropes and Page gets a break. Flair indicates that the folks in the front row should move and then sets up on the apron to suplex Page from the ring to the floor, but of course, it's reversed. Page gets the Figure Four on Flair, who pokes the ref in the eye. Hennig runs in while the ref is distracted and gets rolled up for a visual pinfall while Flair suffers in the Figure Four. Flair gets the ropes, but Page dominates until Hennig jumps in the ring and gets decked. Page picks up Hennig's knucks, but chooses not to use them and instead fights Hennig and Flair straight up as the bell rings. He wins that confrontation as well as the match, the latter by DQ. I'm not sure this did much to move along the angle, but it was entertaining enough in a vacuum for me not to care. 


  • Villanos IV and V face off with Hector Garza and Lizmark Jr. in a match full of high spots that no one pops for. It's an aesthetically-pleasing match, too. A lot of these spots look crisp. I think the biggest ooh came from a corkscrew splash onto everyone standing there at ringside waiting for it to happen, but the second-biggest ooh was from a simple, but nasty overhand slap. The Villanos do a switcheroo while the ref is distracted and get the win with a small package. 


  • J.J. Dillon is back in the ring to proposition Sting. No, not like that. Anyway, he's got a contract with him - when doesn't he? - and he's ready to get Sting back in the ol' squared circle. Sting rappels down for a parlay. Is it a parlay, really, if one side does all the verbalizing? I guess as long as both men communicate somehow, it counts. Sting communicates pretty clearly that he's not interested in a contract for a match against Curt Hennig even though he says not a word. He takes Dillon's contract, rips it in two, and threatens Dillon with a bat-assisted backslap when Dillon moves toward him to remonstrate. In Sting's defense, that is an insulting offer. Dillon vows to try harder. Gee, I wonder what you could offer Sting to get him to come back, Dillon? You moron, you rube, you idiot?


  • MAIN EVENT TIME! We've talked at length in threads past about how great the reffing was in this match; part of the charm of the finish, which I am looking very forward to, is that the ref let Luger overcome waves of interference rather than instantly call for the bell. It's probably unfair to gloss over the stuff that leads up to it, which builds nicely to that point of catharsis, but I feel like around the mid-'90s is when pro wrestling in the U.S. got worse at offering catharsis for its audience. I don't know why, but since that point, it's just gotten worse and worse. Sure, there are exceptions (see all the times Austin owned Vince McMahon's soul in a wrestling ring), but watching stuff from the '70s and '80s, promoters were far better about giving fans that emotional release. I'm just an emotionally needy American pro wrestling fan, I guess. 


  • I feel sort of like the crowd is just waiting for the fuckery, too. Luger's comebacks don't really elicit a lot of emotion from the crowd. They're conditioned to wait for the waves of run-ins that characterize these main event title matches. The biggest reactions before the finish come when heel Hogan snuffs out Luger's comebacks and the 100% RUDO crowd gets hype for that. Hogan only gets two on a big boot, and only two on a legdrop. He tries a second legdrop, but Luger rolls away for the finish, in which Luger destroys Hall, Nash, and Savage before racking Hogan for the win. It ruled! Now see, THAT'S catharsis. Especially if you, like me, remembered Luger choking as a little kid multiple times when he had a chance to become the champ. WCW comes out to celebrate with Luger even though they were apparently uninterested in stopping nWo members from running out to get in the way in the first place. Luger leaving Malenko hanging during the in-ring celebration will never not be funny, either. Anyway, this is an awesome Nitro moment, maybe the best one. 


  • And Luger's only going to choke the belt away AFTER he wins it for once. Good for him!


  • Chae sitting on the desk looking like an angel + Luger title win = can't do worse than four Stinger Splashes. A lot of the undercard was enjoyable on top of that, so...4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #101 - 11 August 1997

"The one with schlubby dudes handing unimpressive pieces of paper to legit main eventers" 

  • This Nitro starts out HOT - Doug Dellinger gives a piece of paper to the Giant! WHAT A WAY TO KICK OFF A WILD NIGHT ON NITRO oh, who am I kidding, Tony S. didn't really sell it to me. 


  • Buffer. Nitro Girls. Syxx, Hall, and Nash. That's how Nitro starts after the intro. Hall does what I think is his first official survey of the crowd. He doesn't score another one for the good guys since this is the first, but he does most of the rest of that whole spiel. Hall is convinced that the Outsiders are better than the Steiner Brothers because the Outsiders have the gold. In true heel fashion, he ignores the two Ls that the Outsiders have taken against the Steiners in two PPV matchups. So, we're getting a return match from last night, I guess? Aw, no, it's a bait and switch. Two tubby guys come out to the Steiners' music and get beaten up. The crowd is kinda into the Outsiders as faces. A powerbomb later, the Outsiders want more competition since they've already beaten the "Steiners." The actual Steiners jump out of the crowd and beat Hall and Nash down to their own face pop. The Steiners grab the gold for themselves. Maybe they'll take off with the belts and hold them hostage even though they're not the champs. Turn the tables on the nWo for once with the belt-stealing antics!


  • Wrath and Meng have a match that starts with clubberin' in the aisle. Fuck yeah. These big dudes beat the hell out of each other with clotheslines and Irish whips into steel and sentons (okay, Wrath is the only one doing that last move). I won't go on more about how fun Wrath is since I always do that, but maybe I should re-watch Adam Bomb in 1994? Was he this dynamic? Actually, probably it's more that WCW in 1997 is a good place for Clarke because he's allowed to do whatever athletic shit he wants to do in short TV matches and tags where he doesn't get over exposed. Meng puts the big man down with the Tongan Death Grip, which honestly gets us all at some point, it's like death and taxes. Both men's tag partners come out and the Faces of Fear are cleared from the ring, where they save face by chasing Vandenberg into the crowd. We're getting the tag match I want on Fall Brawl, I just know it!


  • BartScottCan'tWait.gif


  • The Steiners and DiBiase cut a promo which sucks except for Scott's semi-crazed rambling. They would like a rematch against the Outsiders, to say the least. They are also...*sigh*...suspicious of Nick Patrick DQ'ing Nash for yanking him out of the ring during the determining three count last night. Patrick comes out to shit on Randy Anderson's handling of the main event. Oh boy, I love talking about spotty pro wrestling refereeing as part of a storyline! It's just as fun as talking about VAR instead of the actual footy or the point-shaving NBA official who's making stupid-ass calls instead of the athletes on the court!


  • Eddy Guerrero versus Chris Jericho? OK, sign me up! This is a good match, obviously. They work really quickly and I think Jericho does a good job of emphasizing his size advantage by leaning on slams and suplexes over his usual aerial-focused approach. It makes for a nice contrast. Jericho hits a nice double-underhook powerbomb, and when Eddy blocks the Lion Tamer, Jericho changes tack and hits a giant swing (!). That move makes everyone so dizzy that Jericho needs to take time to recover, but he finds Eddy with a crossbody over the top rope. Tenay does a nice job of pointing out that they're in Denver, and the altitude might have exacerbated the dizziness for both men. Maybe the altitude does matter, Tenay, especially since the thin air and lesser pull of gravity at five thousand feet in the air help Eddy hit a Frog Splash from way the hell across the ring for three after Eddy breaks up a Jericho top-rope move attempt. 


  • Alex Wright hears an OONTCHA OONTCHA and just has to dance, doesn't he? He dances through the Nitro Girls' routine again. Poor guy has to talk to Gene Okerlund this week, too. Why? Wright does some mediocre heeling on the mic, which is too bad because his heeling in the ring is actually really good. They should give the guy a mouthpiece and give him some room. He's a quality worker. 


  • The crowd wants Dean Malenko to murk Jeff Jarrett - JARRETT SUCKS, they fervently chant - and they love Malenko throwing blows at Jarrett in revenge for Jarrett's actions at Road Wild. Jarrett tries to take off once, but Malenko brings him back to the ring. Jarrett takes more of a beating and tries to leave a second time, but Mongo comes down the ramp to force Jarrett back toward the ring. There's a break, and when we come back, Jarrett is getting smacked around and hiding behind Debra. Maybe he should pull a Vandenberg and head out through the crowd? Well, he's able to get control after Debra distracts Malenko, but he's sort of lost his focus and struts when he should be trying to put Malenko away. Eventually, he crotches himself and gets put in the Texas Cloverleaf, but Eddy Guerrero runs down to beat up Malenko, drawing the bell. Mongo runs back out and beats down Jarrett, then puts his hand out to Malenko. Malenko, who's feeling pretty used and utterly mistrustful at this point, beats Mongo around a little instead. Mongo takes the beating like a champ and remarks to the camera that he's impressed with Malenko's size-to-strength ratio and general toughness. Ooh, good segment! First of all, I'm ready for Mongo to spike this turd Jarrett and take his gold. Second, Mongo vs. Malenko and Mongo vs. Eddy and Malenko vs. Eddy are all matchups that I want to see, and I'm fine if they're all centered around the U.S. Championship, too.


  • Flair yells at Curt Hennig because he spotted Hennig talking to Eric Bischoff backstage. Flair, who I remind you turned away (and made an enemy of) a willing Horseman in Jeff Jarrett rather than properly integrating Jarrett into the team and squashing Jarrett's beef with Mongo, pretty much begs Hennig to be a Horseman like a chump in this interview. The last Clash ever is coming up, and Flair wants Hennig to be his partner at that Clash against Syxx and Konnan. Hennig agrees to that, but not to being a Horseman. Meanwhile, I'm feeling melancholy about the last Clash ever coming up. 


  • Eric Bischoff is looking corny as fuck on a bike. He rides out behind Scott Norton. There's a whole restraining order angle we've got going, which I hate in pro wrestling because it's pro wrestling, baby, if you're in the arena, you can get got! Even executives can get got! This restraining order deal is laaaaaaaaaaame. A bunch of other nWo guys come down and celebrate the nWo's recent successes. They sing Happy Birthday to an absent Hogan. It's compelling TV! Haha, I lied, it sucks, actually! There's a HOGAN FEARS CHYNA sign in the back. Chyna ruled. Bischoff crows about the restraining order and has Buff mark out the fifty feet that the Giant must stay from Bischoff. The Giant comes out and steps over the fifty-foot line, so he beats up the cops, gets in the ring, and hits chokeslams on the whole nWo meekly gets taken to jail. Woof. Scott Hall sneaks up behind Larry Z., who went to try and talk the Giant down, and toothpicks him. I really did not like this segment at all. 


  • Mongo McMichael and Chris Benoit versus the Steiner Brothers should bring things right back, though! Mongo shows his rookie nature by being a bit out of position early, but it doesn't matter because Scotty just clubbers him a bit anyway. You can always cover for any awkwardness or miscommunication with a bit of quality clubbering, IMO. Benoit is a guy who I'm slightly coming around on in-ring. Not that I ever thought he was bad, but I thought he was overrated. I still think he was overrated, but he's very good and doesn't look out of place at all going toe-to-toe with these guys even though he's by far the smallest person in the ring. He gets the most out of his smaller frame through intensity and lots of steroids. Unfortunately, it's hard to disconnect his in-ring intensity from the fact that it almost certainly stems from his mental fucked-up-ness in real life. Anyway, the finish: Mongo goes up top, jumps off, gets caught by Rick, and then gets dumped right the fuck on his head with a belly-to-belly that ends the match. Mongo might legit be fucked up, I don't know. If you like guys being intense and just saying, Fuck it, we'll just hit each other for real, this may be a worthwhile TV match for your viewing.


  • Lex Luger has an interview in which he's basically like Eh, I lost the title, but WCW was super-solid and feeling the togetherness there for a second when I won it, right? Right?! He vows to win the gold back and gives some of the higher-pitched members of the crowd quite the rush when he rips his shirt off.


  • Buff Bagwell (w/ Vincent) faces off with Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly, hooray!). You know what, I love wrestling for its storytelling, its physicality, its camp, but also for the eye candy. Some people enjoy Luger ripping his shirt off; some people enjoy Kimberly dancing around in minimal clothing; some people enjoy both of those things. Bless us all, every one. The match is a pretty good TV match with a nice finish. Buff avoids one Diamond Cutter with a backslide that gets two, but when he misdirects the ref and tries to get Vincent involved, Page reverses an Irish whip, knocks Buff into Vincent, and fires off a Diamond Cutter on a disoriented Buff for the three. Buff asked Scott Dickinson to check the TV time remaining with the timekeeper to cause the initial distraction, which actually is a really clever way to gin up a ref distraction spot! If only they emphasized TV time for any match other than TV Title matches; it would have been even better in a context where TV time actually mattered to every match. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Birmingham, Alabama, a historic American city. He also didn't do a dumbass Weasel joke! Free at last, free at last! 


  • I'm not sure that Mortis has won enough singles matches to earn a TV Title shot against Ultimo Dragon, but okay, sure! Dragon's headstand move in the corner is sort of like Undertaker walking the ropes - no one has a consistent counter for that shit? Really? These fellas just threw a bunch of bombs at one another for five minutes until Dragon countered a top-rope Samoan Drop with a sunset flip powerbomb and locked on the Dragon Sleeper for the win. Yeah, more violent and brief TV Title matches, please! 


  • J.J. Dillon is still a dipshit. He's very confused about what will entice Sting back into the ring. Dillon talks about contractual obligations for the nWo, and no one cares, blah blah blah, but Sting is here! He comes down from the catwalk to see Dillon's new contract offer. Dillon offers Sting a match against Syxx. Sting is showing remarkable restraint here; rather than pulling a Raven and pie-facing that sentient circus peanut Dillon, he merely rips up the contract and stares Dillon down. Gene's like WHADDYA WANT as the crowd yells HOGAN HOGAN HOGAN and Sting points at the crowd; Gene and Dillon are still confused. Come on, fellas, I know it's pro wrestling, but put two and two together! Heck, even that slowpoke Tony Schiavone gets it! 


  • Randy Savage and Curt Hennig are the main event matchup, but honestly, I'm looking at the progress bar, and I'm not sure it's actually gonna happen. Well, they lock up, at least! You know, this match could have semi-mained WM IX and we would all have been better off for it. I don't care that they were both babyfaces at the time. Hennig just swung right over Liz when Savage hid behind her. More people should do this instead of calmly moving her out of the way only to get jumped from behind. There's a break, and they're fighting in the aisle when we come back from it. I mean, these guys are really going at each other, which I guess you can do if you're not wrestling long and to a definitive finish. Hennig basically dominates this match until Dallas Page runs in and blows it up. He attacks Hennig; Savage still is not a fan of Page and attacks Page. Scott Hall is also unhappy about Page faking him out into a couple of Diamond Cutters, so he runs down and attacks Page as well. Page eats a fallaway slam and a couple of Savage Elbows until Luger runs out for the save. Note: Hennig was nowhere to be seen during this beatdown. Hmm...


  • Man, Nitro is reliably good at churning out a lot of solid wrestling with engaging mid-card angles to support said solid wrestling. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


Edited by SirSmUgly
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13 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

I'm not sure that Mortis has won enough singles matches to earn a TV Title shot against Ultimo Dragon, but okay, sure! Dragon's headstand move in the corner is sort of like Undertaker walking the ropes - no one has a consistent counter for that shit? Really? These fellas just threw a bunch of bombs at one another for five minutes until Dragon countered a top-rope Samoan Drop with a sunset flip powerbomb and locked on the Dragon Sleeper for the win. Yeah, more violent and brief TV Title matches, please! 


i really liked Mortis/Kanyon back in '97 when i watched WCW live, but i think it was as much because of the Mortal Kombat-adjacentness of it than anything. Or maybe just because Glacier sucked. i dunno. But when i rewatched this era a decade or so back, i really started to appreciate how awesome he was in the ring. He'd probably make his way into my top 20/25 all time list.
AFAIK without checking, these two only faced off one more time- on a WWE pre-show Heat back in 2003. enjoy!



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6 hours ago, twiztor said:

i really liked Mortis/Kanyon back in '97 when i watched WCW live, but i think it was as much because of the Mortal Kombat-adjacentness of it than anything. Or maybe just because Glacier sucked. i dunno. But when i rewatched this era a decade or so back, i really started to appreciate how awesome he was in the ring. He'd probably make his way into my top 20/25 all time list.
AFAIK without checking, these two only faced off one more time- on a WWE pre-show Heat back in 2003. enjoy!



The second time they busted out that sunset flip powerbomb counter was as good as the first. 

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Show #102 - 18 August 1997

"The one before the last Clash on TBS 😞 😞 😞

  • Let's start Nitro with some POETRY! YEAH! Poetry is legit over in my house, TBH. Raven's poetry is also legit over in my house. I think I wrote something pretty much like his poetry when I was thirteen. I didn't see much of ECW at that time since I don't think it was consistently on TV where I lived, so imagine the kick I got out of Johnny Polo back on my TV as a burnt out Gen-Xer!


  • Harlem Heat being managed by Jacqueline is right up my alley of things that I am guaranteed to enjoy. I totally forgot that she managed the Heat until I watched Road Wild '97 again, and now I'm excited about it again, though it doesn't last that long IIRC. Honestly, I'm not sure about the Nitro-era timeline in general anymore. Speaking of Road Wild, this is a return bout against Vicious and Delicious. Birmingham, Alabama is very excited for this match. They pop huge for Stevie catching Buff on a crossbody and powerslamming him. Alabama knows what good wrestling is, IMO. Booker gets a hot tag not too much later after that and the crowd is fucking HOT for it, to the point that I'm taken somewhat aback. And I'm a Harlem Heat fan! This match ends with a DQ after Vincent gets involved in sight of the referee, but Harlem Heat cleans house to a huge pop. Like, I'm not exaggerating.


  • Mortis/Barbarian sounds like a good time. Barbarian is super-underrated and his tag team with Warlord was good. I recently re-watched a few of their squashes and more competitive matches and they were very entertaining. They knew when to sell and how much. I've done over a hundred of these Nitro reviews, so I'm sure I said this elsewhere, but Barbarian is a solid singles worker and a great tag worker. I feel like he should get more love. I don't know why he doesn't. Credible gatekeepers never get enough love. Maybe that's it. Mortis throws weird offense at Barb to start and gets a couple of two counts, but eventually, Barb realizes that hey, he's Barbarian. He powers out of a suplex attempt and goes to work. Mortis puts a boot up to stop a Barb corner charge, but he gets caught and floatover powerslammed off a crossbody attempt. That only gets two for Barbarian, but it's academic from there as Barbarian lays a big boot in on Mortis that does get three.


  • Wrath runs down and gives the victorious Barbarian a Death Penalty, but Meng slides in as Wrath celebrates and locks the Tongan Death Grip on the big man. Mortis recovers enough try to punch Meng off Wrath, but Meng really doesn't give a shit about a couple of puny strikes. The refs try to get him off as well, but Wrath only saves himself by wriggling underneath the ropes to break the hold. I mean, this burgeoning feud is just fun as hell. You're guaranteed to get an enjoyable match when any combo of these four are in the ring together. 


  • Bischoff yada yada yada "loves each and every one of you" yada yada yada "Clash of the Champions" yada yada yada "Larry Z. is a big dummy and I have a restraining order against him" yada yada yada "nWo Nitro should be a real thing" yada yada


  • Ric Flair and Curt Hennig have a message for Konnan and Syxx. Well, actually, they sort of avoid that topic and talk more about themselves. Hennig wants to talk about his need for better competition and swears to beat the Giant down tonight. Flair is so thirsty to get Hennig to admit he's a Horseman, but Hennig just ignores it and talks more about himself. OK, they didn't actually have a message for Konnan or Syxx even though that match is the very first thing Gene Okerlund asked them about. 


  • Stevie Richards debuts on Nitro (!) and is wrestling Raven at the Clash (!!). Stevie is going be initiated into WCW by beating Scotty Riggs, just like everyone else does. You're not a real WCW wrestler until you've beaten Scotty Riggs. Stevie mocks Scotty's dumb hand signal taunt, but as goofy as Riggs is, he's actually a decent underneath wrestler. Riggs actually takes more of this match than normal, which makes sense because Richards is a goof. Stevie is able to turn the tide by reversing an Irish whip and sending Riggs into the post. He calls his attacks like a Street Fighter character and does the cheesy overhead clap thing like an '80s babyface (or Scotty Riggs), but he can't put Riggs away and ends up eating a lot more damage. Riggs gets a couple of two counts, but eats a Stevie Kick on a corner charge. Not more than a few seconds after Stevie has earned the three-count, Raven enters the ring and immediately hits an Evenflow DDT on the poor dancing bastard. Aw, Stevie means well!


  • Dean Malenko is Jeff Jarrett's old best friend and he's a loser anyways. Eddy Guerrero is Jeff Jarrett's new best friend now! Alex Wright shows up during their interview time and demands to be on Debra and Jeff's team. Debra does a fair appraisal of Wright. Wright's pros, according to Debra: Good-looking, German, can dance. Wright's cons, according to Debra: His very presence is less enjoyable than getting stung by insects, does not have any championship gold. Wait, Wright's not the Cruiserweight Champion anymore? Hold on. Apparently, Chris Jericho won the title back on Saturday Night the weekend before this show. Anyway, Wright vows to get the TV title at the Clash in hopes that it's enough to overcome Debra's preference for a fire ant swarm. 


  • There's a nWo video in which they sing happy birthday to themselves. Uh, they're like a month late. The video promises more celebrating of the nWo's birth at the Clash. 


  • Back in the arena, Chris Benoit and Mongo McMichael have come out to face off with Jarrett and Eddy in a tag match. Eddy tries to jump the Horsemen in their corner and gets chopped to the mat. Benoit and Eddy have a nice segment that pops the crowd and ends with Eddy crawling back to his corner in pain. Mongo tags in and wants Jarrett in the ring. Of course, he doesn't get Jarrett in the ring. This segment of the match uses the lure of Jarrett to force Mongo into a mistake, and that's what turns the tide and starts the heat segment. Jarrett and Eddy try to avoid Mongo's knee with quick tags and a bit of dynamic offense. Mongo flapjacks Eddy and tackles him, then gets a hot tag that everyone in the crowd loves, and I love it, and it rules. Benoit gets two on a snap suplex, but Eddy is able to dump Mongo through the ropes and save Jarrett from the Crippler Crossface. While the ref is shepherding Eddy out of the ring, Mongo closes down Debra and causes her to drop the U.S. Championship, which Mongo picks up and uses to hammer Jarrett. Benoit gets an easy three-count off the weapon attack. That was so much fun!


  • Video recap of J.J. Dillon being a trash-level contract negotiator. I missed Dillon saying that he took suggestions from fans who called into WCW offices before writing up the contract for a match against Syxx. What the fuck, which fans were these? The crowd from last week chants HOGAN loudly! Not those fans. 


  • The Outsiders want some mic time. Hall is still refining his survey technique. They curry favor with the crowd and leave because we needed to fill some time. There are worse ways to fill time, I suppose. 


  • Chae could get it, though. I'm settled down.


  • Syxx has retired his THUG tights for 6PAC tights. Bring back the ludicrous THUG tights! He's in our second return bout from Road Wild on this Nitro. His opponent, Ric Flair, WOOOS. Syxx responds with a bunch of crotch chops. Flair struts. The crowd is into it. This is a good scrap, with Flair being a wily and somewhat fiery face and Syxx being a shitty heel. Rather than trying to out-cheat one another as at Road Wild, they just try to outwrestle, then out-slug one another. As at Road Wild, Syxx trying a second Bronco Buster is a mistake, but this time, he doesn't get pinned off his mistake. Flair goes for a Figure Four, but the nWo B-Teamers run in and cause a DQ, with Hennig running everyone off for the save. That was good before the non-ending.


  • You know I'm over this "ref controversy" shit, so I'll keep it short: J.J. Dillon and the Executive Committee have cleared Nick Patrick's Road Wild reffing in the tag title match, but Patrick is so bitchy about getting cleared that they should unclear him. Patrick shades Pee-Wee Anderson's reffing, and Anderson comes down to spark a good old ref feud! YEAHHHHH REF FEUD! 


  • La Parka gets a TV Title shot against Ultimo Dragon. As with last week's Mortis match, I'm not sure about the W-L logic of giving Parka the shot, but hey, isn't entertainment more important anyway? Park struggles with Dragon's speed and agility and generally is one step behind Dragon most of the way. Sonny Onoo has to interject with a few kicks to give Parka any breathing room. Parka tries to bully Dragon from here, whipping him into the stairs and hitting a powerbomb for two. Parka can only scratch out another two-count before he whiffs on a splash and ends up eating a top-rope rana. Dragon tries the Dragon Sleeper, and though Onoo tries again to interject, Dragon sends Parka into Onoo and then re-applies the Dragon Sleeper for the win. He even gets to dropkick Onoo off the apron as a cherry on top!


  • Curt Hennig starts his match against the Giant by slapping him, which seems like needless provocation. He tries a series of chops, but his Irish whip is easily stuffed, and he gets bealed around the ring for awhile. Hennig bounces around the ring for the Giant's offense like he never had a career-terminating back injury. The crowd pops HUUUUUGE for the goozle, but can you believe this shit, Bischoff comes out holding the restraining order and then attempts to get the Giant arrested. I'm pretty sure that's not how restraining orders work, Eric! The Giant comes toward Bisch in the aisle, and Larry Zbyszko traps Bisch from the other end. Bischoff tries to get through the crowd, but Giant yanks him back into the aisle, the fans helping shove Bischoff back - okay, that was a cool visual. But this restraining order deal bums me out. I guess the match was a no contest. 


  • Lee Marshall is in Columbia, South Carolina. I've been there. It's a nice city, and the University of South Carolina has a gorgeous campus, but me and the not-Southerner that I hung out with while I was there were mystified by the multiple postcards and t-shirts declaring the spread of kudzu to the north as revenge for the Civil War that we saw at more than one gift shop. 


  • Master negotiator and elite critical thinker J.J. Dillon is back out here with another contract, that fucking dope. He actually says, paraphrasing: I'm not sure if Sting even is WCW anymore after he rejected my last two contracts, and he'd better tell me who he wants to wrestle by the Clash or fuck him. What a dickhead. Sting's here in the crowd, and I'm hoping that he Scorpion Death Drops this flesh-colored mailbox tonight. Sting comes down and literally points to all the signs in the crowd declaring that Sting should wrestle Hogan as the crowd chants HOGAN! I mean, there are literally multiple signs out there. On the one hand, that means that this angle is working. On the other hand, this is a level of stupidity even for a pro wrestling administrator that is just too unbelievable for me. Gene and Dillon are STILL baffled, so Sting grabs one of the signs and holds it up to them. Is this what it's like trying to get a particularly dumb dog to sit? Well, at least the dumb dog is almost certainly cute, friendly, and loyal, none of which you can say about Okerlund or Dillon. 


  • There's an nWo promo involving silly string and a J.J. Dillon caricature. You'd never see Stone Cold Steve Austin doing some corny shit like this. Or if he did, he would make it somehow not come off as corny. 


  • Lex Luger and Diamond Dallas Page face the Outsiders in the main event. I'm looking forward to a clean finish with zero run-ins. Luger and DDP get a title shot for some reason. This is Steiner Brothers erasure, WCW Championship Committee. Luger outmuscles Hall and then punches his way out of the Outsiders' corner early on. Nash tags in and demands DDP. Nash mocks Page's taunts and then puts a knee in his gut, haha. Page looks overmatched, but he hits a couple forearms and then a spinning neckbreaker for two. Nash tries to gain control with a clothesline, but gets side Russian'd for two. Finally, a big boot gets Page down long enough to start the heat segment. The crowd is VERY hot for DDP as he tries to escape the long control segment, and they've been really excellent all night. They might be the best Nitro crowd so far. Page eventually revives from near death, works out of a Scott Hall sleeper hold, and hits a back suplex. However, Nash cuts off the hot tag, and Birmingham desperately wants to explode. I like that they didn't give them the release just yet. Page uses a headscissors to avoid a side slam and FINALLY get the tag, and HOLY SHIT this crowd is into it! Unfortunately, we don't even get a proper hot tag segment because the nWo immediately jumps in the ring and starts a beatdown. Come on, you could at least give this great crowd a hot tag to enjoy! Flair and Giant run in for the save; the crowd is into Giant and Nash fighting one another. That's how we leave things before the Clash! 


  • The crowd and wrestling were great. This was an excellent show...BUT the nWo spoiled four of the night's eight matches and three of the final four matches, if my count is correct. Even if it isn't, there were WAY too many nWo run-ins, which is sort of a bummer and which this hot crowd really deserved better than. The show was so good otherwise, though, that I still think it's one of the better Nitros I've seen. 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.



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Show #103 - 25 August 1997

"The one where Luger and Page still aren't quite reading from the same script"

  • It's a weekend afternoon, I have some space to do something that I love, and I love watching professional wrestling YEAHHHHH. 


  • Clash 35 recap. More specifically, we see Crow Sting and Vulture Sting (the latter is a literal vulture, just in case you were wondering) being awesome at the end of that show. Whoever wrote the poem at the start of Sting's Crow theme did some dope-ass, wonderfully corny emo-esque poetry. Raven's probably jealous as fuck. 


  • Gene Okerlund tries to explain away J.J. Dillon's stupidity by saying that Dillon wanted to hear Sting speak the words that explain what he wanted, but I guess Sting sending a vulture to the ring when Hogan's not even at the arena was enough for Dillon to finally get it. What the fuck? I guess I'm just impressed that Bischoff recognized that he was making Dillon and Okerlund look exceedingly dumb even considering the baseline for idiocy that is afforded to pro wrestling babyfaces, announcers, and booking committee members. Bischoff comes out to heel it up. He and J.J. Dillon, the latter of whom is calling in from wherever he's printing out pieces of paper to hold importantly, have a stupid-ass riposte about Sting. Dillon finally figures out that Sting wants a Hogan match and vows to give it to him. Bischoff swears that it'll never happen. He calls J.J. a fat tub of goo, and I immediately think of Shawn Michaels being mean to Jim Ross before HBK's IYH: D-X match against Ken Shamrock - he used the same insult. I don't know why I thought of that, but I did. Sting comes down, walks up behind Bisch without Bischoff noticing even though the crowd is pissing themselves with excitement, and then demonstratively covers Bischoff's head with a Hollywood Rules shirt. He nudges Bischoff over with his boot and then stuffs the shirt down Bischoff's mouth before drinking in the adulation from the crowd. This was a short, effective segment; most importantly, it gave the fans what they want! At least until Hogan gets in Nick Patrick's ear before the Starrcade main event.


  • Raven philosophizes. He's a self-loathing type of guy and suggests, via a tortured metaphor, that you should loathe yourself too. Aw, I'm kinda down after that.


  • The Nitro Girls are here. I'm happy again. Someone in the crowd agrees; they hold up a NITRO GIRLS - DA BOMB sign. Yeah, it's the late '90s. 


  • Sonny Onoo brings his luchador clients La Parka and Psicosis down for a tag match against Glacier and Ernest Miller. Hey, this was a fun two-minute sprint! I love La Parka's double-stomp over the ropes and to the apron on a prone Miller. In a nice touch, anytime the luchadores try to stand and strike, they give up control immediately. Miller's slow to leave the ring after a jumping roundhouse from the top, and Parka hammers Glacier with a chair while Mark Curtis is trying to shepherd Miller from the ring. Parka gets three; Ultimo Dragon comes out to protest, and then Silver King tries to jump his opponent for tonight, Dragon. It doesn't work, but Psicosis and La Parka are able to get the drop on Dragon and beat him up. So, this beatdown is pretty interesting. Silver King recovers to hit a crucifix toss and a flipping legdrop on Dragon; Parka dives onto Glacier as he's just trying to make his way back up the ramp, and then Miller dives onto Parka. That was a creative post-match beatdown!


  • Oh, hey, that Silver King/Ultimo Dragon match starts right out of the break! Dragon immediately incurs a standing ten count and then a couple of boots to the dome. Silver King hits a superkick and slaps his thigh at juuuuuust the right time, and this is proof that it works when wrestlers aren't fucking lazy about it like 98% of the superkick spammers that I've been unfortunate enough to watch in modern-day American pro wrestling. King dominates, but whiffs on a senton splash from the top and gives Dragon a bit of room. King does quickly regain control with a clothesline as Dragon suffers and tries to survive; Darong finally hits a clean offensive maneuver by countering a dive with a dropkick. Dragon gets momentum, but generally, it gets snuffed out by the fresher and less beaten down Silver King. King's just not got the quality of Dragon, though, and Dragon is able to hit a rana and lock on the Dragon Sleeper for the submission win.


  • That was a neat chained-together series of events. Dragon looked great, confronting his former manager and surviving that beatdown, and I generally enjoyed how different these segments felt from the usual, with a narrative connection that worked for me, that brought us back to the Dragon/Onoo issues for a potential feud, and that gave us some entertaining wrestling of two different types - one short sprint, one longer heel-controlled match with interesting offense and a never-say-die win for the babyface. 


  • The nWo comes out almost immediately after Dragon wins. Wait, not the whole nWo. It's Randy Savage, Scott Hall, and Liz. Hall would like to emphasize that the nWo is the primary ratings driver for this show. He is also wisely looking to capitalize on DDP's accidental (blind) Diamond Cutter on Lex Luger at the Clash. Hall and Savage claim that DDP went nWo. Lies! Lies and slander! A "Macho sucks" chant arises in the crowd. *sigh* Yeah, he sorta does, at least on the mic. It hurt me to type that. Savage challenges Luger for tonight's show. At least the commentary desk doesn't believe the nWo immediately for once. That's progress!


  • Bischoff is trying to interlock segments tonight. Now, Page is out here to respond to the nWo's claims. DDP finds any claims that he dropped Luger on purpose to be ridiculous. He actually uses the word DUH unironically. The crowd chuckles. Yeah, it's the late '90s. Page offers to meet Luger face to face to talk things out. If Russo were booking this, he'd very obviously turn Page later tonight. I am not looking forward to Vince Russo booking this company. 


  • Jeff Jarrett/Chris Benoit in 1997 is a matchup of very high quality. Benoit is intense; Jarrett is a preening cheater who really wants to avoid violence against himself, but also is a dickhead who loves to celebrate obnoxiously, thus inviting violence against himself. Jarrett is just so good, man, I love that he yells I GOT 'IM will dropping down off a leapfrog, only for Benoit to stop his run, look at Jarrett grimly, and stomp him in the face. Jarrett shoves Debra into Benoit to get some control over Benoit, but they basically trade control back and forth, both guys countering the other to death. The end comes that way as well: Benoit cuts off Jarrett on the top rope and superplexes him, but Jarrett reaches back and hooks Benoit's leg upon landing, then holds him down for three. These two couldn't have less than a very good match against one another if they tried their hardest not to. Every time they've been in the ring, since their Starrcade 1996 meeting, they've been on fire together. Tags, singles matches, whatever: Jarrett is low-key one of Benoit's all-time best opponents. 


  • Kimberly does a dance during this Nitro Party sweepstakes segment that dead-ass reminds me of Tina Fey's Liz Lemon. Here's the clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAb8FAYi8p4. I'm pretty sure she's not trying to look like a goofball, but holy shit, she is such a goofball. 


  • The Faces of Fear are here! I think we're finally getting a true tag match between them and Mortis/Wrath tonight. You like clubbering? We got clubbering. You like heel managers being effective interlopers? Mortis runs a distraction so that James Vandenberg can help Wrath turn the tide; shortly after, he gets Barbarian to chase after him, allowing Wrath to hit a diving clothesline. Wrath misses a second-rope elbowdrop to turn the tide; he eats a double second-rope headbutt. Mortis breaks up a pinfall attempt, so Meng hits him with a GROSS sit-out powerbomb. Ah, you know how much I'm loving this. It's obvious. Wrath is Dude In Peril, eating forearms and a Front-Russian Leg Sweep before he hits a crossbody and gets the hot tag. No one reacts because these teams are both heels. Mortis punches Meng a whole lot, and Meng asks for more, so Mortis goes to a kick to keep control. I don't know, this match has a lot going on, but trust me, it's incredible fun. Mortis tries to come off the top rope with a double-axe, but he jumps right into a Tongan Death Grip and is laid to the mat for three. I feel like trying a double-axehandle against Meng is like trying a powerbomb against Billy Kidman. Wrath dispenses of Barbarian and jumps Meng after the bell as the fireworks go off for hour two. Man, that was a lot of stuff, all entertaining as hell. 


  • Ric Flair and the Horsemen come to the ring to beg Curt Hennig to join them. Hennig's still not ready to join. Flair calls Arn Anderson down to a huge pop. Can Arn convince Hennig to join? Arn shows up basically to retire because of the damage done to his arm and neck over the years. He tells a story about dropping a water bottle that he could barely hold and seeing the last drops of water running from the bottle as a metaphor for his career. I mean, come on, that is elegant stuff, especially for pro wrestling. Flair is legit tearing up behind him. Everyone remembers Nash putting on the bald cap and mocking this promo, and I get that, and it's a shame because Arn doing this and Hennig going out of his way to turn on the Horsemen anyway is pretty dastardly! All the heat should have been on Hennig, and Nash just yapped it away for himself. Arn wants to give Hennig not a spot in the Horsemen, but his spot specifically. That gets Hennig to agree...for now. 


  • Eddy Guerrero comes out to fight Mongo McMichael. Eddy takes it to Mongo, throwing bomb after bomb. He hits a Tornado DDT and a big headscissors off the top rope; Mongo is able to hit a Stun Gun on Eddy to take control, then hits a clothesline and a big tilt-a-whirl slam. Eddy hops a three-point tackle attempt, but when he runs up the opposite corner to hit a plancha, Mongo snags him out of midair and Tombstones him. That was a bit of an obviously choreographed spot, but it was a neat finish, so I'll allow it. 


  • Rey Misterio Jr. comes out to cut an interview and sell his knee injury, which he apparently reaggravated after Konnan kicked his ass at Souled Out. Konnan fake-hobbles out and talks some pretty good shit to Rey. He told that man to get a Happy Meal and call it a night. He promises to put Gene's dentist in a higher tax bracket if Gene keeps interrupting him. I mean, this man is killing me. Konnan advances upon Rey, but the Giant comes out and backs Rey up. Sure, why not? 


  • Eric Bischoff invades the desk. He kicks Heenan and Tenay off color so that he can do the job instead. Tony S. is bummed that he's still gotta be PBP man. The crowd is VERY into Larry Z. fighting Bischoff and chants for him. I'm mind-boggled that the crowd is into this, but okay. I mean, I love Zbyszko as a worker and a talker, but I'm surprised that people are clamoring for face Larry Z. to get in the ring against Eric Bischoff in 1997. 


  • Yuji Nagata has a match with Chris Jericho, but the crowd's more interested in chanting ERIC SUCKS for the first part of it. I'm not sure why Yuji Nagata is getting a title shot, but okay. Jericho hits a double powerbomb and transitions into the Walls of Jericho for the win. Liontamer. You know, I'll just use those names for his finisher interchangeably. This wasn't bad or anything, but no one cared. Bischoff was also pretty awful on color, and his bickering with Tony S. and general focus on anything but the match was irritating. 


  • Lee Marshall's in Pensacola, Florida, located in one of the two Wild and Wooly Panhandles of the United States. Marshall tries to clown on Bischoff instead of Heenan, but Bischoff no-sells it. That is, in fact, the proper way to react to Lee Marshall's jibes. Instead, he's fixated on a crowd sign that clowns on the WWF, which quite honestly was very good at this time as well. 1997 was quite the year in the pro graps!


  • Jacqueline and Harlem Heat come down. Jacqueline is killing me with these tops. My eyes ARE up here, I promise! Booker is mad about the Steiners being so high on the tag title contendership list. The Steiners and Vicious and Delicious have their own POVs on this topic, and they come out to share them before all these teams brawl to the back. 


  • Alex Wright has traded his Cruiserweight Championship for the TV Championship. He's got a rematch with Ultimo Dragon, who he beat for the gold in quite the bout, on tap for Fall Brawl, but he's got to get past Dean Malenko tonight first. Malenko wins the early exchanges, so Wright bails. Wright's been able to outfox his more experienced opponents in the past few weeks, but Malenko stays a step ahead of him for most of this match. Malenko dodges a Wright dropkick and senses that it's time for the Texas Cloverleaf, but Wright pops Malenko in the face and follows up with suplexes for a couple of two counts. Wright gets countered into another Texas Cloverleaf attempt, but Jeff Jarrett and Eddy Guerrero run down and jump Malenko. Eddy hits a frog splash on Dean while Jarrett has Malenko trapped in the Figure Four. Jeff Jarrett's on PPV against Malenko at Fall Brawl. Hmm, when did he show back up to the WWF? It looks like October of '97, so probably, he's doing the job on the way out at Fall Brawl. Or maybe to Eddy on a Nitro shortly after Fall Brawl, if their partnership keeps bearing thistles and causes them to feud. 


  • Randy Savage and Lex Luger are in the main event. This show has slowed down considerably since Mongo drilled Eddy with that Tombstone a few segments back. Bischoff has been awful on commentary. I mean, there's a thin line between an irritating, but effective heel and an irritating guy who makes me want to hit mute or, IDK, maybe see what's on RAW right now instead. I can enjoy Jim Ross excoriating Vince McMahon Jr. as a nominal heel (because TBH the true heel is always McMahon, in kayfabe and shoot alike), but Bischoff is no Jim Ross. I've kind of tuned him out, but also, I've kind of tuned out this Nitro. Savage beats Luger around ringside and uses the steel stairs to his advantage. Luger's matches always have a long heel control segment, pretty much unbroken, after the initial Luger flurry to start the match, and Savage does a pretty good job in the heel control spot. Luger makes his comeback, hits three inverted atomic drops and the metal forearm, and I'm thinking hey, are they going to get to the finish because we've got under a minute left. Scott Hall runs out, Luger shoves Savage into Hall and is knocked down on the rebound. Luger then racks DDP when DDP comes into the ring to support him and taps him on the back without Luger seeing who's touching him. That was a bit more contrived because it seems a bit harder to rack someone without seeing them! We don't even get an end to the match; it just ends with Luger racking DDP while the crowd shrieks and Savage struggles to his knees. 


  • This was a great show through Mongo/Eddy and a weak one from there to the end. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #104 - 01 September 1997

"The one where three hours to fill, an ill-advised skit, and some nonsensical booking really kill a hot show and a hot crowd"

  • We start the show with an Arn Anderson (and Four Horsemen) tribute. Then, we go to the commentary desk to see Arn Anderson retire and to see Curt Hennig accept Anderson's spot in the Horsemen from last week. This angle had Flair looking like a bum for weeks, and then Arn came out and saved the angle with that excellent retirement promo and offer of his spot. I said it last post, but it's a shame that Eric Bischoff's just going to let Kevin Nash go out there and blow up what should be a huge heat-getter and feud starter for Hennig for no reason other than, I guess, not really liking Ric Flair very much? Eh, I'll expound upon that more when we get there. I will say that the initial idea is great, though. WCW had a lot of success running Flair's feud with Savage in WWF right back in WCW and doing a good job of referring to the WWF feud without being too explicit. You could enjoy the WCW feud for what it was, but you got an extra sense of the long story between the two if you were watching 1992 WWF as a bonus for your fandom. The idea that they could do the same thing with Flair and Hennig makes a ton of sense. 


  • Jeff Jarrett and Eddy Guerrero are a weird temporary tag team that I wish existed for longer. They could wrestle a whole series against their Nitro opponents Chris Benoit and Mongo McMichael, and I'd not get tired of it. All the Horsemen come out to flash the four fingers on the ramp - Hennig does a rude gesture toward the ring as he throws his hand up - and the crowd pretty much loves the Horsemen here in Pensacola. Benoit and Eddy are intense, man, so intense, and they say fuck the counters, let's just beat the shit out of one another after Benoit slaps Eddy in the face. I'm not surprised that Eddy's best matches as a face in 1995-1996 WCW were when he showed a bit of peevishness and intensity, like against Johnny B. Badd on some Nitro way back (Show #11) and against Syxx in the ladder match at Souled Out '97. 


  • Anyway, Jarrett gets knocked down and the crowd EXPLODES as Jarrett runs to Eddy for comfort and we go to break. This match is fucking awesome, and this feud rules, too. Eddy and Benoit do some choice wrestling and the crowd AHHHHHHS on a Benoit roll-through of a rana that gets 2.9. Jarrett takes potshots at Mongo while working over Benoit, and the crowd goes BANANAS when Jarrett misses a corner elbow on Benoit and Mongo runs over and clotheslines him from the apron. Mongo stays active on the apron and traps Eddy on a Frog Splash attempt for long enough that Benoit can get up there and hit a superplex. Benoit crawls over and gets the hot tag to Mongo, and the crowd's all MONGO MONGO MONGO, and then Mongo jumps in and hits a buncha forearms and clothesline and even though initially, he's not sure where to position himself to hit a sidewalk slam on Jarrett because he's still basically a rookie, who cares? Some other intense stuff happens, but I can't possibly write about all of it. The finish sees Eddy go up for a Frog Splash while Jarrett has Mongo in the Figure Four, but DEAN MALENKO runs down and shoves him off the top. Then, Malenko takes Eddy's place on the top rope and hits his own Frog Splash on Jarrett and the crowd is like WOOOOOOO as Mongo covers and YEAHHHHHHH as Mongo gets the three. Did you all know that pro wrestling is one of the finest art forms that humans have ever created? If you doubt me on this point, please watch this awesome TV match. Mongo yells IT DON'T MATTER WHAT YOU DO TO A HORSEMAN, WE ALWAYS COME OUT ON TOP, and I'm like YEAHHHHHHHH


  • There are numerous bumpers of other WCW wrestlers wishing Arn a happy and productive retirement tonight. 


  • Scott Hall, Randy Savage, and Liz come out to the desk. Hall disses Larry Z. and basically tells the peons in the crowd that they can live through the nWo. Hall basically says, without naming him, that the nWo is doing the Stone Cold Steve Austin gimmick of letting wrestling fans live out their dreams of dissing the boss. Savage takes the mic and *sigh* sounds like a fucking doofus. Eventually they all leave and the guys on commentary come back. 


  • Silver King is dressed like a somewhat flamboyant vaquero, which I think is generally a cool look. Someone should steal that look. Mortis is his opponent, and these fellas are going to be good for a solid TV bout. Larry Z.'s upset about WCW not keeping the nWo away from the desk. Tony S. asks Larry Z. to solve their problem with the nWo for them, and Larry answers by yammering on about his golf game, and look, Silver King is trying to kill Mortis in the ring. Let's talk about that instead. Silver King is doing springboard leg lariats and shit. It rules. Sometimes, you just need a match with two guys doing cool offense that looks like it hurts. Like, Mortis will do springboard legdrops and stuff, but also, he'll just hit a tight looking semi-Jackhammer-ish sort of slam. These fellas go back and forth and execute good-looking offense, though Silver King doesn't hide his thigh-slapping very well. Mortis finally applies his second-rope Samoan Drop for three. James Vandenberg gets a mic and wants a rematch against the Faces of Fear right now. I, too, would like that. The FoF run out and everyone brawls before the FoF clear the ring and get a face pop for it. 


  • Man, if we could just bottle up WCW's 1997 midcard and preserve it forever, I would love that so much. 


  • We also get bumpers of notorious Arn Anderson moments - Arn betraying Dustin Rhodes is our first one of those. I mean, come on Dustin, you should have guessed. 


  • We are going to review Sting-Bischoff from last week, video included. And we do just that.


  • Dean Malenko faces off with Yuji Nagata, the latter of whom had a dull little match with Chris Jericho last week. This match is likewise dull. I don't mind a slower, mat-based match, but neither of these fellas are all that interesting with their work. At least Nagata sells a bit for a legbar or whatever. Malenko is so bad at matwork beyond the most technically solid aspects. He doesn't sell pain effectively, doesn't sell struggle effectively, and works it in a way that he almost sort of pulls back the curtain. His matwork feels like a cursory first act and not a fight. He's better in a brawl or acting as a base for a flyer. Nagata hits a nice Exploder-ish Suplex, and at the point where I'm kinda intersted in the match, Debra comes down to distract the ref while Jeff Jarrett hits Malenko with the Stone Cold Stunner over the top rope. Nagata gets the win off that move, though Jarrett makes sure to hold Malenko's foot down just to make sure. They could have cut a minute or so from this and got to the fuck finish quicker, maybe. Alternately, less matwork and more standing offense would have made things more entertaining for me. 


  • La Parka (w/ Sonny Onoo and inflammatory photograph of Onoo putting the Dragon Sleeper on Ultimo Dragon from last WCWSN) comes down to the ring to face Ultimo Dragon (w/ lots of residual anger about Onoo having a bunch of guys jump him and then putting the Dragon Sleeper on him last WCWSN). This match is dumb, but I think a generally enjoyable dumb. Parka slaps Dragon right in the chest on a Dragon leapfrog, Dragon does like eight half-kips before actually kipping up and attacking a confused Parka, lots of stuff like that happens. While I prefer wrestling matches that maintain the illusion of a legit fight, I can get into a wrestling match that maintains the illusion of maybe actually being a game of Smackdown 2! Know Your Role. Parka hits a gross-looking suicide dive. He struts. This crowd starts chanting for Dragon, which is cool. What a good crowd this is. They've been into everything except the bulk of Nagata/Malenko, and that's more than fair.


  • Dragon makes his comeback, but runs into a nice floatover powerslam that gets 2.9 for Park. Parka tries to follow up, but eats Dragon's kick combo and then gets caught in a fallaway slam with a bridge that gets 2.9. Onoo's nervous about that last close call and runs a distraction, but it fails when La Parka grabs a chair and gets it dropkicked back into his face. Onoo tries to point out the chair laying on the mat after Dragon gets three, but the ref's like, I ain't see SHIT. Onoo begs off and then tries to attack Dragon from behind, but he gets slammed and put in the Dragon Sleeper until Parka can run Dragon off. Hey, that was cool! I liked the whole thing! I wonder if this blows off Dragon/Onoo or what. 


  • Buff Bagwell/Glacier is a weirdo matchup, and I love the idea of it. I also sort of like the reality of it, mostly because Buff is a goof who mocks Glacier's martial arts act, but also because he ducks a high kick, jumps a leg sweep, and then slaps Glacier in the face. The disrespect! Of course, he then bumps for a bunch of Glacier strikes and rolls outside, astonished that Glacier would do that to him. His animated dickhead heelery contrasts nicely against the mostly stoic, but also mildly irritated Glacier. Vincent inserts himself into the match; where the heck is Ernest Miller? Glacier eventually fights up from underneath and does an ugly rollthrough into a springboard splash that errantly hammers Buff in the knees. Vincent tries to intervene by holding Glacier, but Glacier dodges Buff's charge. Buff hits Vincent and Glacier Cryonic Kicks them both, but when Glacier tries to follow up with a superplex, Vincent surreptitiously holds Buff's legs down so that Glacier falls backwards by himself. Buff lets Glacier get to his feet, then hits the Blockbuster for three. That was just one of those weirdo WCW matchups that you'd enjoy if you were letting YouTube autoplay random WCW matches from this era. 


  • Lizmark faces A Villano in a match where I'm going to just guess that the ol' switcheroo happens. This match is perfectly fine in a vacuum. Some of the work is disjointed, and stuff like the dueling kicks in the corner makes little sense in the context of the match. There's stuff that's potentially cool like Lizmark hip-tossing whichever Villano this is over the ropes and to the floor. Mostly, though, I wonder after the switch why the Villanos would wear their numbers on their tights if they're trying to do the switcheroo. Then, the finish sort of explains it: When Lizmark pins the wrong Villano off a moonsault, the Villanos try to argue that it shouldn't count since the wrong Villano was pinned. But um, then that's a DQ in favor of Lizmark since an illegal wrestler attacked him. This is dumb. Larry Z. says "Enough luchadores, I want to hear what Hogan has to say!" and I mean, I disagree because no one wants to hear what Hogan has to say in 1997, but the illogical nature of that match sort of made me feel like I don't have the energy to argue about it. 


  • Lex Luger comes out for an interview instead, so I guess Larry's going to need to wait on that Hogan interview. Luger pauses to address a question about whether he can work with Page. Some guy yells YOU SUCK. Nah, can't agree. Luger basically is like, I was mad about Page hitting me with that cutter until I realized that in a wild fight against the nWo, it's easy to make mistakes. Reasonable! So, last week, Page called Luger out to talk to him, but Luger declined. This week, Luger asks the reverse, but Page doesn't come out. DISSENSION IN THE RANKS?!


  • The Nitro Girls have that one idiot dance through their routine. No, not Alex Wright. Disco Inferno! Disco is back! He chases the ladies away, then dances, but he's cut off by Alex Wright's music. Wright comes out and dances, and obviously he and Disco have a dance-off, and it's GREAT. Each man discusses in depth the finer cultural and artistic points of their respective dance styles. No, wait, they dance and then they get mad and shove one another. Disco stomps off, but I'm just glad that this doofus got rehired after being shoot goofy enough not to sell for Jacqueline


  • Wright's still got to wrestle a TV Title match tonight, and his opponent is Hugh Morrus, a guy who hasn't been on Nitro in forever. I'll just assume that he's been racking up the dubs on SN and Pro. Pensacola's fans remember that they're still Floridians and start a loud U-S-A chant. I guess since Wright's heel promos ask for it, I'll allow it, but just barely. Can't we do better, Americans? At least get some creative chants about our country going sometimes. Wright has been very good as a heel, and luckily, he's in control for a lot of this match. Morrus isn't particularly good, but he's decent enough to sell Wright's knee-focused attack effectively. I don't buy him as a fired-up babyface, but it's not like that hurts this match. Disco comes back to ringside to observe. A DISCO chant starts because of course it does! It should, dammit! Disco jumps up and hits Morrus, who tosses Disco away and turns right into a spin wheel kick for three. The ref saw all that shit and just let it ride, and even Tony S. notes the questionable nature of the wrestling literally as I typed that clause. 


  • This show is three fucking hours. Did I realize that before starting? It's too long. I just saw a three-hour PPV and have another one coming up, along with Nitros and also a Clash in there. No wrestling show should be more than two hours on TV, and no wrestling show should be more than three hours on PPV. 


  • Sting hype vid with his new theme. I love it.


  • Stevie Richards/Damien 666 seems like another WCW-ass WCW matchup. Raven's sitting at ringside, and Damien gestures at him, which is enough for Raven to jump over the railing and hit an Evenflow DDT on the mat. Stevie and the ref, who were talking while all that happened, look over when the bell rings and see Damien laid out. Stevie shows compassion for his fellow man, assumes that maybe the poor man had a heart attack or stroked out, and tries to give Damien CPR. For this, he is called a "lamebrain" by Tony S. and slapped by Raven. He covers for three after the slap, but I feel like this is a sad story in which everyone tries to mock and/or beat the inherent goodness in Stevie's heart out of him. 


  • Nitro Girls. Lee Marshall in Milwaukee, WI. Excruciatingly awful Weasel joke and equally awful response insult from Heenan. My "three hours is too long" argument is holding.


  • Hey, another return: It's Big Bubba Ray Traylor. He's got a shaved head and he's WORKED-SHOOTIN'. He wants us to call him by his SHOOT name and reminds us, holy shit, yeah, he got dropped in a Nitro opening like months ago as a way to write him off (Show #77). I forgot about that! The nWo apparently did not visit him in the hospital, a la Hogan avoiding Paul Orndorff during the latter's recovery. Traylor's like I GOT THAT FAMOUS FED EX FIRING FROM ERIC THAT HE LOVES TO DO WHICH SOME OF Y'ALL MIGHTA READ ABOUT IN THE SHEETS, BUT IF YOU DIDN'T, WHATEVER. POINT IS THAT I GOT FIRED FROM THE NWO. See, worked-shootin'! Also, he did, in fact, mostly yell that part. Anyway, he threatens Bischoff and the crowd is kinda with him, so good for this guy!


  • He's wrestling Prince Iaukea - WCW-ass WCW matchup yet again - and looks a little more mobile after the six-month (!!!) layoff. He blocks a sunset flip with a sitdown splash, but gets up at two to beat the young guy up a bit more and the crowd is ready for a Bossman Slam, I guess! He pretty much punishes Iaukea with very little resistance before finally hitting a Bossman Slam that gets three. I don't think I remember this Traylor run at all. So, I remembered Bubba getting laid out when the nWo was entering the building. Then, I remember Bossman showing up next to Vinnie McMahon at some point in like late 1997 or early 1998 WWF. This? A total blank. 


  • Gene Okerlund introduces the Horsemen for interview time, but it's just Syxx in a fake nose and Konnan in a Bears jacket. Hey, are these "dress up like the opps and clown them on the mic" skits one of the worst things about this era of wrestling? And I'm not even getting to the unfortunate use of fucking blackface. I mean, in general, these sucked, and then also many of the particulars sucked even harder than that. 


  • So, let's talk about this fake interview, in which Kevin Nash mocks Arn's retirement speech and pretty much calls him a broken-down drunk. I admit that I genuinely laughed Syxx answering Buff's "Hennig" character with WOO! and looking really proud of himself that he remembered his lines. But yeah, this was fucking dumb and pointless. The nWo's not even really feuding with the Horsemen like that right now, and even if your argument is that they love to do fuckery and shit on anyone who's WCW, again, they're lifting the heat right off of Hennig when Hennig eventually rejects Arn's spot for that sweet, sweet nWo contract. I usually have a lot of time for Nash's shooty-shoot "I'm so smart" nonsense, and I'm not really a fan of Arn Anderson the person or anything, but I don't really see the need to shit on a guy who just retired due to injury. But even as pointless and unnecessary as this is, I admit that I laughed at Nash's "Arn" saying that the significance of his left arm injury is "that's the hand I open beer with." Look, it was so audacious in its meanness that I couldn't help it. 


  • I will also note that the crowd sort of laughs at a lot of this. I mean, it's very late-'90s mean, like an edgy Family Guy cutaway or an insult battle between two Jerry Springer guests. Anyway, has Eric Bischoff ever talked about why he put this on TV? I prefer not to listen to him because he's such an irritating dude, the stereotypical dictionary definition of a used car salesman except he worked in pro wrestling instead. But did he justify putting this on TV in any way? I just assume that he wanted to be a dick to Ric Flair specifically. Bobby Heenan seems shoot upset over on commentary. Anyway, we didn't need to spend time on this; Nash really brought that Seth MacFarlane feeling to this segment, and therefore at the time, I probably just found it kind of mean, but also kinda funny in spots, but also a bit confusing w/r/t why the nWo would go out of their way to do this. I get the sense that "mean, but funny, and also why is this happening right now?" is how Pensacola felt, too. 


  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. will face off with Cruiserweight Champ Chris Jericho and a bad dub of "Break the Walls Down." Wait, Chavo won't be wrestling the song. Just Jericho. But we get a dub of the anachronistic song on Jericho's entrance. Eddy doesn't even wait for the dub to end before he comes to the ring to EDDY SUCKS chants. Eddy demands that Chavo give him his spot in this title match. Now Scotty Riggs comes down and apparently thinks that he should get Chavo's Cruiserweight Championship shot tonight against Jericho? This is nonsense. Iaukea and Damien come down to argue for a shot, which is ABSURD. Both these guys just got beaten up tonight! Ciclope and Super Astro are down, now? OK. Even Billy Kidman makes it down to try and get a title shot. Everyone starts fighting. So I guess we're getting a random battle royale now, or what? Calo runs out to join in, but boy oh boy, this is dumb, and not in the good way. Half these guys eliminate themselves on dives. Alright, look, this show is getting a shit rating, which after the first hour, I would never have guessed. I just hate this Nitro at this point. At least Dragon pops the Dragon Sleeper on Alex Wright outside the ring to further that feud, and in the ring, Eddy clobbers Jericho with the belt and then Frog Splashes him. But this was terrible television, a totally nonsensical segment. 


  • This show continues to crap out with a Hogan-and-Bischoff interview segment. At least Hogan's off shooting shitty straight-to-video flicks most weeks at this point. Look, Sting's got to at least show up and scare Hogan or punch Bischoff or something to pay off this crappy promo. No, instead we get Hogan punching J.J. Dillon and giving him a couple of legdrops, then a Vincent spray-painting. The crowd chants WE WANT STING to no avail. Are they trying to kill this crowd? It was so hot, and by the end of this feud as Dillon's laid out, it's sort of quiet. They're still reacting, but not like they were back in hour one. 


  • The main event is Lex Luger and DDP versus Scott Hall and Randy Savage, but I just want this show to end, man. It's nice to see Kimberly, but once she heads back through the curtain after Page's entrance, I'm just marking time on this main event. The crowd wakes back up for Page's offense a bit, which I'm happy about, but they are burned out. Compare the heat for this match to the heat for the opener. I still think this should be hotter, though. Page tries his best to get the crowd into it, including spitting at Savage. I appreciate it. There's a break, and Page is still in the ring when we get back. The story is that Page isn't even trying to tag Luger in, so the desk can fret about how mad they are at one another and how the nWo is fracturing WCW again. DDP finally makes a comeback and hits a discus clothesline. He finally gets the hot tag to Luger, who cleans house to a fired-up crowd. Luger accidentally hits the metal forearm on Page, and while he's racking Savage, Hall covers Page for the three since I guess Nick Patrick didn't spot the hot tag. I deflate. Pensacola does, too. This crowd is very quiet.


  • This show was a wet fart. If you ever watch it, peep the opener and then just sort of skim the rest. I mostly hated it, TBH. And by "hated it," I mean to "Russo might as well have booked a huge chunk of this" levels. 2.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.





Edited by SirSmUgly
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