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On 4/15/2023 at 6:52 PM, SirSmUgly said:

Show #104 - 25 August 1997

  • J.J. 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? 


  • Jeff Jarrett/Chris Benoit in 1997 is a matchup of very high quality.  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. 

  • Ric Flair and the Horsemen come to the ring to beg Curt Hennig to join them. 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. 


  • I'm surprised that people are clamoring for face Larry Z. to get in the ring against Eric Bischoff in 1997. 

the JJ Dillon stupidity is on a scale of its own. If JJ couldn't figure out what Sting wanted when he was IN THE RING WITH HIM, then how in the hell did he figure it out from a vulture and some kid's poem? always bothered me.

2nding the love for Jarrett/Benoit and Faces of Fear/Wrath & Mortis. awesome, awesome stuff.

Arn's retirement promo is SOOO good. i mean, you can't expect anything less from the man, but it really is fantastic.

the Larry Z stuff has always stunned me too. in 97 i had never seen him wrestle, but his commentary was pretty atrocious. now, after seeing more of his stuff, i'm STILL baffled why the crowds were that into him.

On 4/16/2023 at 6:34 PM, SirSmUgly said:

Show #105 - 01 September 1997

  • 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. 

  • 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.

oh man, blackface aside, i can't agree with this point. "wrestler a dressing up as wrestler b" were some of my favorite bits during the MNW. this and the DX/Nation parody were replayed endless times in my house. but you are completely correct in that it takes 90% of the heat off Hennig when the turn happens. 

yikes, 2.25/5? is that your lowest rating yet? feels like it probably is. i kinda remember the entire fall being a holding pattern until Hogan/Sting finally happens, so it's a lot of weeks of "more of the same".

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1 hour ago, twiztor said:

the JJ Dillon stupidity is on a scale of its own. If JJ couldn't figure out what Sting wanted when he was IN THE RING WITH HIM, then how in the hell did he figure it out from a vulture and some kid's poem? always bothered me.

The way WCW made its officials and commentary (and heck, wrestlers) look like dummies all the time bothers me in general. It's fine if heel officials and commentary look like doofuses, but you can't have faces who don't understand that stuff. WCW's a bunch of Crush-in-1993 types. Hard to keep rooting for. 


the Larry Z stuff has always stunned me too. in 97 i had never seen him wrestle, but his commentary was pretty atrocious. now, after seeing more of his stuff, i'm STILL baffled why the crowds were that into him.

He's a very unlikely face. I guess a lot of 1997 WCW fans are giving him love because they still remember his early '90s Dangerous Alliance run, which honestly did rule a whole lot even if he was a heel (and TBF briefly a face once he got kicked out, but that was less memorable). 


oh man, blackface aside, i can't agree with this point. "wrestler a dressing up as wrestler b" were some of my favorite bits during the MNW. this and the DX/Nation parody were replayed endless times in my house. but you are completely correct in that it takes 90% of the heat off Hennig when the turn happens. 

I think I got old and cranky, haha. I have a hard time with a lot of the stuff that this period of wrestling introduced/really focused on. 


yikes, 2.25/5? is that your lowest rating yet? feels like it probably is. i kinda remember the entire fall being a holding pattern until Hogan/Sting finally happens, so it's a lot of weeks of "more of the same".

I think one of the hour-long Nitros because of the NBA playoffs got a lower score from me. One of those shows was impossibly bad. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Show #105 - 08 September 1997

"The one where a pro wrestler ostensibly falls from the rafters, but it's just a dumb skit and not due to negligence on the part of the company's owner, who probably should have spent time in prison for manslaughter even though I'm not a lawyer, but still, that seems like reason for a manslaughter charge, right?"

  • Someone in Wisconsin has an nWo sign with a marijuana leaf in place of the "W," so yes, this is the 1990s. Eric Bischoff storms out to yell at Larry Zbyszko as commentary starts. He calls Tony Schiavone fat (unnecessary) and yells at Craig Leathers to run tape of the "dress up as the Horsemen" sketch from last week. My timeline with Bischoff and Ric Flair falling out is off, so I'm doing my Googles right now. I guess it was 1998 when he suspended Flair for no-showing in order to see Reid wrestle instead? OK, I couldn't remember, and my copy of the Nitro book isn't near me. I had jumbled this sketch and Flair no-showing a show in the Midwest together as very close to one another in the calendar in my head. So, they start playing the whole thing until the Horsemen come out and chase Bischoff away, I suppose (we didn't see it). Now the Horsemen want to fight the nWo for last week's skit. 


  • I love that, when the Horsemen are interviewed in the ring, everyone gets face pops except for Mongo. Hey, he was a Packer for a year! All four Horsemen talk, but Flair is the only one who says anything good, which of course is because he cares deeply about what he's saying. I was just (re-)watching the episode of Poker Face where Charlie Cale doesn't believe Ellen Barkin's actor character until the very end of the show, when Barkin's character does her monologue and is being totally honest about what she's saying in that monologue. That's what's happening here. I believe completely in Flair because I'm not sure that much of what he's saying is a shoot, even though they're ultimately working. 


  • The Horsemen refuse to leave the ring until the skit guys come down to fight them. They're still here after the break. Gene Okerlund can't pronounce Mike Holmgren's last name correctly, but gets a cheap pop anyway. Doug Dellinger and two flunkies come down and...clear the ring? Ah, the Horsemen in the '80s would have knocked them out. 


  • Eddy Guerrero and Rey Misterio Jr. as our opening match? Um, yes. The crowd thinks that EDDY SUCKS, but I think this is unfair. He might be a grasping, greedy, cheating, sadistic jackass, but as a pro wrestler, he's pretty aces. Someone holds up a DEPORT EDDIE sign in the crowd, so yes, this is the 1990s. Eddy's from El Paso, you rube. Eddy kills Rey on a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, a move that I feel like he only usually does against Rey, at least in WCW/WWF. I get why; it looks great with those two working together. I wonder if my perception is true.


  • Anyway, we get a break in the middle of this match, which is a bummer. Eddy works the arm when we come back. Rey almost trips on a rope-assisted headscissors, but saves it because he's an elite athlete, at least for pro wrestling. Rey's not crisp, but actually his recoveries are effective in this match because he's been out with an injury, so him being a little rusty plays into the match. Eddy tries to murder Rey with powerbombs and slams and shit, but can only get two-counts. I love the finish. Rey runs at Eddy, who catches him and throws him outside. Rey lands on his feet, scrambles back up onto the apron, and catches Eddy with the springboard rana for three as Eddy turns around. It's just a joy to watch this pairing in the ring in any capacity. 


  • Too much Okerlund on this show already. Page and Luger are having a mini-miscommunication/feud, sort of. Someone yells LUGER SUCKS while Gene explains the past few weeks of discord between the two men, and I'm pretty sure Gene heard it too because he has to take a second to regain his thoughts. Page comes out for an interview. He does his corny hard-working face thing, which is enjoyable and effective because he actually does believe what he's saying even though he's speaking as DDP. He wants respect from Luger, and the only way you get that in pro wrestling is by beating the shit out of someone. Luger comes down and accepts his challenge for TONIGHT. That's exciting!


  • DISCO FEVER DISCO FEVER DISCO FEVER, YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH will be taking on Hugh Morrus, meh meh meh meh. They should have run a "Honky Tonk Man holds the number two title in the company for a really long time somehow" angle with Disco at some point. Or do it with the TV title, that'd be fine too. Morrus moves well for a big man and has a solid control segment until he misses a corner charge. Disco does a little stick-and-move follow-up and stays aggressive. Unfortunately, Disco aggressively slaps Morrus in the face, which just pisses Morrus off. Morrus takes control, shows some nice agility with a corner jump into a clothesline, and knocks Alex Wright off the apron when Wright comes down to dance. Wright slips Disco the TV title when Morrus goes up for the No Laughing Matter, but Disco holds it to his abdomen and Morrus just drives it right into his gut on the landing, then holds a winded Disco down for three. Disco and Wright argue after the match. I liked this. Morrus has some decent movement and balance for a man his size. He sort of reminds me of Big Boss Man, but he's missing the extra oomph, the little something, that '80s Ray Traylor had as a worker. 


  • The nWo sketch dudes come down. Syxx needs some baggier jorts. Nash is dressed like he's headed to a bodega in East Los Angeles after this show. But also, he has a fanny pack on. This guy looks amazing. I don't even know how to categorize his fashion choices. Anyway, Nash is disinterested in a wrestling match against the Horsemen tonight, but Buff Bagwell and Konnan are willing to go down there and be a decoy for an nWo beatdown wrestle the Horsemen in a straight-up wrestling match. 


  • Brad Armstrong is sauntering down the aisle and he grew a beard, so I guess he must have turned heel on WCW Pro or something. Yeah, he does the whole "fake slapping hands with the crowd before turning away dismissively" thing. I assume his heel turn has brought him a few wins on Pro - and maybe even Saturday Night - so he's now earned a shot at Chris Jericho's Cruiserweight Championship. These guys don't even lock up before Eddy comes down with a mic and tries to take Brad's spot in this match. Brad doesn't go for it. Instead, Armstrong jumps Jericho, but that spot of control doesn't last long. Jericho does a springboard shoulderblock over the ropes to the apron instead of his typical springboard dropkick. That was cool. Tony S. talks about an interim commissioner to replace the injured J.J. Dillon. Booooring. Talk more about Armstrong hitting a nice tornado DDT instead. Both guys in the ring trade moves until Jericho hits a missile dropkick, at which point Eddy jumps him and ends the match by DQ. Jericho turns things around and gets the Liontamer on Eddy, but Armstrong jumps back in, clotheslines Jericho, and even helps Eddy stomp Jericho out despite Eddy costing him a title shot. Aw, how nice. 


  • It's hour number two, and we start it with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. Hogan does his whole thing where he talks about how great he is, takes a shot at Ric Flair, and uses the phrase "chinny-chin-chin," because nursery rhymes are very '90s. Well, they sort of were if you were a kid because The Stinky Cheese Man was a very popular book in the school library. But maybe not so much in 1997 pro wrestling. Anyway, Hogan cuts a bad promo on Sting. The STING STINKS sign someone's holding up behind him is far more effective heelery. Oh yeah, this is the segment where they crash a Sting dummy from the rafters and pretend that Sting really fell to his death, which is ROUGH considering what happens in about a year and nine months from this segment. Hogan yells THAT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN, DELLINGER! WHO'S RIGGIN' THAT CRAP UP THERE? Thankfully in WCW, whoever's doing it is using more than a cheap-ass clamp you can buy for three bucks at True Value. Anyway, Hogan beats up the Sting dummy. It's fucking STUPID, never mind that it's also retroactively tasteless. Let's move on. 


  • Lee Marshall's in Charlotte, theoretically. Charlotte is a cool city. You know what's not cool? Weasel jokes.


  • Yeah, the Faces of Fear! They're wrestling the Steiner Brothers. Ah, a night of good TV matchups. I love it. These teams just club the shit out of each other. There are suplexes. The Steiners clear the ring early. The FoF are undeterred and clubber their way into control. They beat up Rick Steiner for awhile. It's mostly chokes and headlocks, though. Bummer. Oh well, can't go full speed every time, I guess. Barb misses a headbutt, and we go into an end run where the match breaks down. Harlem Heat and Wrath/Mortis all end up running in and fighting the Steiners and FoF respectively as the bell rings wildly. 


  • Super Calo against Scott Hall is some WCW-ass WCW shit. I would have guessed the only place this match would happen is on someone's copy of FirePro, but here we are. Calo's overdone back bump off a tiny shove is funny to me. Hall eats an early Calo flurry and then clotheslines Calo before going to work. Calo does get in some offense, though. This is a weirdly entertaining match because of the style clash. Hall hits a fallaway slam from the middle ropes just to up the ante with Calo's flips and rope running. A follow-up Razor's Edge (and a very cool pin in which he sits on top of a folded-up Calo for three) ends the match in Hall's favor. Ray Traylor comes down to face off with Scott Hall, and they end up in a punch-out. Traylor drops Hall with a spinebuster, then hits a Boss Man Slam on an onrushing Vincent. Hulk Hogan walks down and causes a distraction so that Scott Hall can get up and hit a Razor's Edge on Traylor. What a strange little match and segment this has been. It's all novel, weird matchups and confrontations that I don't remember and didn't expect. The nWo members spray paint Traylor and celebrate. I think Hogan calls Traylor the Big LOSS Man, and as dumb as that is, it's dad-joke level funny. I liked this whole segment because of its weirdness.


  • Dean Malenko wrestles Psicosis in a decent TV match. They do lots of counters and standing switches and all that. The best move in the match is when a fan runs in and Brian Hildebrand throws a knee and cinches in a facelock until security comes over to get the guy, then nonchalantly goes back to reffing the match. That was cold. Onoo gets involved as a distraction, but he can't do much to turn the tide for his client. After some more back and forth, Malenko locks on the Texas Cloverleaf for the win. Jeff Jarrett coms down to challenge Malenko immediately after the match; their Fall Brawl match is for a U.S. Championship shot, though I suspect that Jarrett will not win. Anyway, Malenko is glad to fight Jarrett right then and there, so of course, Jarrett runs away. Debra grabs a microphone and demands to talk to the manager. No, wait, she shit-talks Dean Malenko, sorry. 


  • Hulk Hogan beat up J.J. Dillon on a recent Nitro, so Gene Okerlund is here to introduce the new acting commissioner or whatever, who cares. Oh God, it's Roddy Piper. I mentioned earlier that WCW should steal an old WWF angle and re-run it, but I didn't mean THIS old WWF angle. It wasn't even that old an angle! Piper literally just did this last year in WWF! Piper cuts one of his typical promos. Roddy Piper knows pop culture mentions: Mike Tyson, the Brady Bunch, Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Yes, it makes particular sense that Piper's the one to replace Dillon since Piper slept Hogan, but sometimes what makes sense ain't what makes cents, you know what I'm saying? Though with the way this crowd cheered the announcement, it probably does make some decent money. 


  • Buff Bagwell and Konnan face off with Ric Flair and Curt Hennig, and the Horsemen control the early going, but the nWo targets Hennig's knee. Hennig makes brief comebacks during his long FIP segment, but Konnan and Buff take out the knee to maintain control. Hennig does a solid job of selling the knee damage in his movement, and eventually gets a hot tag after ducking a Konnan dropkick. Flair takes over and eventually locks the Figure Four on Buff before Konnan breaks it up. Konnan and Buff try a double-clothesline on Hennig in the ring, but Flair trips Buff and Hennig ducks the clothesline, catches Konnan in a PerfectPlex, and gets three. He wasn't even the legal man, I don't think, but since when did that matter in WCW? It's a fine, if weirdly heatless, match. I will take back my "subterfuge for an nWo run-in and beatdown" comment from earlier. 


  • Lex Luger and Diamond Dallas Page are the main event. I sort of zoned out somewhere in the middle of this show, and I'm wondering why. Let me see: I was into Calo and Hall, so I think maybe after that, there was just too much talking about the new commissioner and War Games hype in the middle of these other matches. They really have not been good about calling the action all night over at the desk. Why are they talking about what Hogan might be doing in his locker room during this Page/Luger match for an extended period? There's a really slow opening to this match during which the nWo comes out and beats up Lex Luger after Page dumps him to the floor. Is Page nWo?, asks the desk. I'm bored with the "is he nWo or not" subterfuge, or maybe just in this specific case I am for some reason. Page capitalizes on the beatdown, though he eyes the nWo members standing around the ring with wariness.


  • Luger makes a comeback, but gets dumped outside and beaten down by the nWo again in front of Page, who dives over the top rope to save Luger. We get a no contest; Luger and Page try to fight off the nWo members, and the Giant comes down to back them up. WCW clears the ring. The crowd cheers. Someone throws a cheesehead in the ring. It's all par for the course here in Wisconsin! Hall stomps away from ringside, but not before grabbing a cheesehead and popping it on. I think I want Scott Hall to be the WCW Champ. It's too bad about the substance abuse issues because Hall as champ would have been pretty great. Luger and Page hug it out as the show ends.


  • This show was okay. It did its job as a go-home show and had a couple of good matches - I liked Rey/Eddie, Disco/Morrus, and Calo/Hall - but I do think a lot of the talking left me cold, and Hogan's act is well beyond its expiration date in terms of novelty or entertainment. As is Piper's. I'm ready to move on from this current nWo dominance dynamic and like the idea of an nWo split as a way to keep things interesting. I'm not looking forward to another War Games against the nWo that WCW doesn't win, though. Let's see how they contrive a heel victory this year (or maybe I'm delightfully wrong and WCW wins). The show itself: 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
Edited by SirSmUgly
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Pretty classic Nitro for that era. Great lower card matches, some random but good matches, a mixed bag of angles balanced out by the numerous NWO/Hogan angles and promos and the announcers being almost solely focused on NWO/Hogan.

As for Disco, I'm pretty sure he has a HTM-style run with either the TV or Cruiserweight title at some point.

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4 minutes ago, DJ Hero Morganti said:

From my weed/xtc addled memory.  Piper was over as fuck during that bit.  ICON and his hip taunt were just as common among my friends as crotch chops.

It's not just you. Piper is WAY over. I can't stand the guy, and I do remember this enough to recall that at the time, I was like, "They're just re-running the angle with Piper replacing Gorilla Monsoon!" 

But yeah, this guy is mega-over, so I want to make clear that my distaste for him is not at all matched by the reactions that he gets. 

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Show #106 - 15 September 1997

"The one where Eric Bischoff tries to kill off WCW's ability to draw in Horsemen Country some more"

  • This show begins with a grisly still of Ric Flair all fucked up after War Games, which had a terrible finish. The guys at commentary are all somber about what was, IMO, a show-killing angle to close Fall Brawl: War Games the night before. Tony S. is so upset that he's OUTTA HERE, so it's just Tenay and Zbyszko on commentary for the first hour. I would assume that most of the fans in Winston-Salem are also out after that show. I'm not even a Four Horsemen fan like that, and I think maybe giving them a win wouldn't have been out of order. Hennig whipped that door into Flair's face for real, though. Oof. That's reminiscent of Chyna whipping the door into  Mick Foley's head or Gordy absolutely killing Kerry with the cage door. That spot looks brutal because it actually involves swinging a heavy-ass door into someone's head. 


  • Dean Malenko and Disco Inferno have had pretty good chemistry in the past, so hopefully they do tonight! Malenko stomps a mudhole in Disco, working out frustrations from his clean loss to Jeff Jarrett the previous night. Stomping a mudhole gets a big pop from the crowd because it's one of the best moves in pro wrestling. Who doesn't love someone stomping the shit out of their opponent in the corner? Disco tries his best, but neither cheating nor crafty counter can give him much space. Finally, he gets a bit of room by working on Malenko's injured knee - kayfabe injured by the Figure Four last night - and the crowd chants that DISCO SUCKS. Hey he's got some quality control of his opponent here! Though just as I type that, Disco is distracted by the taunts, so he taunts the crowd back and dances, and would you be surprised to hear that this is his downfall? He immediately gets caught in a double-underhook powerbomb and a Texas Cloverleaf. Disco's lack of focus is truly his Achilles' heel. 


  • The Faces of Fear are also coming off a loss at Fall Brawl (to James Vandenberg's boys), as are their opponents Harlem Heat (to the Steiner Brothers). I like clubbering and we get a lot of it here. We get clubbering and sidekicks. Stevie spends most of the time in the match, starting it and ending up as FIP. He takes a beating while the announcers talk about Flair and the camera takes a look at Raven sitting in the crowd. There's no Flair on this show since he's selling injuries, I guess, and this is a Nitro in Charlotte. Is Bischoff drunk? What a dope. Terrible show to have Flair sell injuries and stay off TV. Let's hope he shows up and cuts a promo, at least. Stevie dodges a double headbutt to finally get the hot tag, which is indeed hot as Booker flies around and throws kicks while the crowd cheers loudly. Booker's got Barb dead to rights off a Heatseeker, but I guess Meng's actually the legal man, so Patrick refuses to count it. Meng jumps Booker from behind with a Tongan Death Grip and, though Booker fights it, gets a pinfall off the move. Honestly, I forgot who the legal man even was, but in my defense, so do WCW refs 95% of the time. 


  • The Nitro Girls dance, and Kimberly sticks around after the routine to hang with Okerlund and DDP as they do an interview. Wait, no, she just throws up THA THA THA ROC and then leaves. Page cuts a dorky promo. DALLAS DOES CLICHÉS: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. OK, only one this time. Page wants to wrap back around to that Savage feud and challenges Mach to a match at Halloween Havoc. Meh. I'd rather see Page beef with Hall or Nash since they have the that interesting backstory to build around. I have not enjoyed Page/Savage as a feud, but I'm ready to turn that viewpoint around with a good Havoc match.


  • Rey Misterio Jr. has a mask over his mask so he can give one of them to an adorable young lady at ringside. He's up against Psicosis tonight, about a month away from wrestling one of the greatest matches of all time. He's still working out the rust from a layoff that lasted from Road Wild to last week, but he's looking much crisper tonight. Psicosis fucking SPLATS Rey with a powerbomb to the floor. I think Rey's head snapped back and caught some concrete, actually. Jesus. I hate that. It takes me a bit to be able to enjoy this match again because of that bump. I sure hope Rey's just selling and actually don't splat himself too much, but it looked gross. Not in a fun way, either. I bet in my soulless "entertain me" teenage days, I loved it, though. This match has a lot of spectacular counter-wrestling in it and a couple of sick bumps. It's very good, and I guess Rey is okay enough because he looks just as crisp as he did before that big bump. Rey is MAD over with this crowd. He does a super rana off the top and gives himself a ten for that move, Tye Dillinger-style. It was spectacular. Misterio stuffs a Psicosis springboard with a powerbomb and then hits his own springboard rana for three. Jesus, these dudes worked their asses off. Heck of a match, especially for free TV. 


  • Lord Steven William Regal gets a shot at Alex Wright's TV title tonight. The crowd chants YOU SUCK at Wright, so Wright sneers at them and dances. Good response, Alex! Regal controls the arm after an early Wright flurry, then just bullies Wright. He slaps Wright in the face and flexes, haha. Regal's over as a face?! The crowd chants his name, and wow, that dance Wright does is the biggest heel in the whole company, maybe. Wright keeps dancing and Regal keeps taking advantage of it. But give Wright credit; he escapes a Regal Stretch attempt, then whips Regal into the corner and catches him in a German Suplex on the rebound for three. That's a credibility-building win for Wright, and the match was decent to boot!


  • Ray Traylor cuts an interview in which he calls Curt Hennig "Mr. Perfect." No, that nickname's reverted back to Jerry Stubbs now. He does a generic yelling I'MMA GETCHU NEW WORLD ORDER promo. 


  • The Giant has an opponent for tonight: Konnan. The Giant still doesn't have entrance music, though. Bischoff's handling of babyface Giant should be illegal. Geez. The Giant is crazy over and has been for months, but he's basically been in the midcard for most of that time, after Lex Luger moved on from their makeshift tag team. This match is like if Michael Myers were the babyface and Laurie Strode were a skeezy, shit-talking jerk. The Giant stalks Konnan, and there's tension in when he's finally going to get his hands on Konnan and plant him through the mat. The Giant dominates, but Konnan gets space and goes to the top, only to get caught and goozled in mid air. Chokeslam, three, DO SOMETHING INTERESTING WITH THIS GUY, BISCHOFF.


  • Bobby Heenan joins the desk for hour number two. 


  • Stevie Richards is such a goofball. This matchup against DDP should be entertaining. It could go thirty seconds or ten minutes, who knows? Stevie goes to the ropes for a break, so Page kicks him in the ass. The disrespect! Because Stevie's basically a pushover, this match is more like a DDP heel match where he maintains control and does some of his cool offense. Stevie gets a bit of control for himself with a thumb to the eye, then hits a back suplex so good that DDP painfully exclaims GOOD GAWD as he sells it. But mostly, Page rocks Stevie with big moves - a gutbuster, a pancake, and a TKO-style Diamond Cutter from the fireman's carry position. Post-match, Raven enters the ring, slaps the fallen Stevie, and pretty much ignores Page. For now, at least. Raven punks Stevie, then leaves through the crowd. I would like Raven/Stevie to make faster progression; this has been going on with little movement for awhile now. Let's start to further define their relationship. 


  • Mortis and Wrath, or Vandenberg's Boys as I call them when I don't want to write out "Mortis and Wrath," are a treat for this viewer and ardent fan of fun pro wrestling. What's not a treat is that they're going to job to the Outsiders (w/ Syxx). This is a matchup that I'd be very into if they'd give a bigger push to Vandenberg's Boys. They've got this momentum from last night's win over the Faces of Fear, so why job them here? Nash can't be this pressed about Adam Bomb getting over, can he? Wait, I guess he can. He says into the corner camera: "Wrath, I have one question for you: What, my son, is the riddle of steel?" What is that, a Nightstalker reference or something? 


  • Hall wins an opening punch-out with Mortis, but ducks right into a Rocker Dropper while Larry Z. crows about how overrated Scott Hall is as a wrestler. Mortis eats a fallaway slam, but catches Hall with a kick when Hall is distracted with perpetrating an unprovoked attack on Wrath in the opposing corner. Wrath is in; Hall spits on him and tags in Nash. Nash crotch chops Wrath, hits some big knees in the corner, and casually whips Wrath. That's a mistake, as it gets reversed, and Wrath hits a clothesline and some punches. Wrath hits a big boot that gets two. I'm telling you, a properly-built Wrath/Nash match is worth something here! The crowd was into that segment. Mortis is back in, but Syxx runs a distraction so that Nash can take control with a big boot. Wrath tries to break up a Jackknife attempt, but Nash and Hall cut him off and dump him outside before Nash hits the Jackknife for three. Meanwhile, I'm over here having fully become a Bryan Clarke fan. What an unexpected quirk of this Nitro project. I'm not saying that he's World Champ material, but he's "gatekeeper who I want to see in good PPV matches like WCW uses Meng" status.


  • Eric Bischoff and the nWo crow about buying off Curt Hennig. I've said it elsewhere, but this Hennig turn is actually a well-developed and logical series of events. Hennig a) beefed with Flair so bad one of them had to leave WWF and b) openly said that he wanted to get paid when he showed up in WCW. Flair and Arn c) chose Hennig over Jarrett for that fourth spot and paid dearly for their error in judgment. But even though it makes perfect (ha!) sense, it's not really in line with what the crowds want. The crowds want the Horsemen to finally get a few W's after the past year. Hennig comes out in Flair's robe and to the strains of Thus Sprach, and they have a dopey interview segment where Hennig pretends to be Ric Flair. Someone pelts Hennig in the face with a missile from out in the crowd, which gets a pop. Hogan and Macho talk a bit; this ring feels very '80s WWF right now. Hogan does some shit-talking to sell Piper/Hogan Age in the Cage. Hall and Hogan tell Piper to eat a dick in roughly those words. Hogan does most of the talking, so I'm disengaged. The crowd is glad to chant about how much the guy sucks, though, so good for him getting the appropriate reaction. 


  • Now we get a video that runs down the Piper/Hogan feud from the past, oh gosh, year. It started at Havoc 1996 if my memory serves me correctly. They've had two matches on WCW PPV so far. The first one was legitimately good. The second one was decent. Ooh, is that diminishing returns that I see here? My hopes for quality in a third Hogan/Piper PPV match within ten months are low. 


  • Eddy Guerrero is our neeeeeeeeew Cruiserweight Champion, and it rules. He's not long for the gold, but I'll enjoy it while I can. He's up against former Cruiserweight Champ Ultimo Dragon. Charlotte loves the [INSERT NAME] SUCKS chant tonight; a weak one with EDDY in the [INSERT NAME] part starts up early. The match is decent, but nothing special. I do like that Eddy's response to Dragon's corner headstand is to use referee Mark Curtis as a shield, though. Dragon hits a running powerbomb for two. Someone yells C'MON DRAGONNNNNN and then Dragon starts clapping to the crowd and the crowd claps a bit. Otherwise, though, they just seem tired. They have exerted a lot of energy tonight, in fairness. Dragon's arm has been injured by Eddy's focus on his shoulder, so Dragon can't complete a giant swing or cinch in the Dragon Sleeper, and Eddy's able to escape the latter, hit a shoulderbreaker, and follow up with a Frog Splash for three. 


  • The main event is Mongo McMichael vs. Curt Hennig, with Mongo's U.S. Championship on the line. Immediately, I know who is going over even though I don't remember the U.S. Championship lineage past Mongo. Look, if there ever were an annoying, shitty booking decision, it would be to bum out all of Winston-Salem by brutally jobbing the Horsemen in a War Games match, then come back to Charlotte the next night, tease Ric Flair, have that tease turn out to be heel Curt Hennig in a Flair robe, and then job another Horseman in a title match on that same show. Some pimply teen in an Austin 3:16 t-shirt holds up a SUNNY 6:9 sign. The '90s, everyone!


  • Mongo runs down and is ready to fight, but Hennig jumps on him. Flair and Benoit are not here, selling injuries. Mongo has zero backup. Hennig is able to use Mongo's unthinking exuberance against him and takes out Mongo's knee. The crowd chants WE WANT FLAIR. Haha, nope. Hennig slowly (and somewhat dully) works the knee, and Mongo basically sells being unable to do any of his power moves. Mongo has a couple of Disco Inferno-bursts of control, in that they last for about fifteen seconds at most. Finally, Mongo gets his first real control segment of the match, whips Hennig into Hennig's signature sliding ball-buster bump in the corner, and hits a series of moves culminating in a football charge attempt that gets whiffed. Hennig immediately gathers Mongo in the PerfectPlex and wins the U.S Championship cleanly. Well, the small contingent of nWo fans are happy!


  • Other than the Cruiserweight and TV titles/divisions, the booking for this show sucks. Notice that the nWo is holding or contending for every title except the Cruiserweight and TV titles. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes


Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #107 - 22 September 1997

"The one where it's GOLLLLLD-BERG (read that name in Big E's voice) starting The Streak. No, not THAT The Streak. The other The Streak"

  • Let's do a rare mid-weekday Nitro watchin'! 


  • They're blowing off Jeff Jarrett's U.S. Championship shot tonight rather than waiting for Halloween Havoc since he's on his way out of the territory. 


  • Before that, though, Eric Bischoff shows up to the commentary desk so that he can tell Larry Zbyszko off. The crowd is vocally behind Larry Z., and I continue to be staggered and somewhat impressed that this guy is this over. Larry Z. has Craig Leathers run the "Bischoff gets Jackknifed" video from GAB '96. I mean, that was fun, but was it necessary? Zbyszko thinks so - he thinks it shows what a gutless lame Bischoff is for letting a dude Jackknife him and then running to join them in response. I mean, he's a comparatively little twerpy dude, give him a break. Larry Z. rants on about Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite reporting on terrifying news stories without vacating the desk, but Tony S. being too much of a gutless lame to do the same when he should instead be commentating on terrifying pro wrestling angles. Tony S. responds: "Yeah, well Walter Cronkite never had to call a cage match." Counterpoint, Tony! 


  • Rey Misterio Jr. gives another mask to another kid, and that kid is as nonplussed about it as last week's kid. It's not quite Bret handing out the Raybans yet. Misterio gets in the ring and generally rolls Silver King. This is a good, pacey opener of the type that Nitro is known for. The crowd is somewhat distracted by Raven coming through the crowd and to a front-row seat while Rey dishes out offense. Rey gets the crowd back with a spectacular top-rope Frankensteiner...and now Eddy Guerrero is a distraction as he walks out. Lots of stuff is happening! Huge EDDY SUCKS chant because Eddy's a very effective heel. Silver King uses the distraction to take control, but he whiffs on a moonsault and eats Rey's springboard rana to end the match. 


  • Post-match, Eddy and Rey face off, and Rey hops over the ref, hits a dive on Eddy, and holds up Eddy's gold. This is going to be a fun month of wrestling, huh?


  • It's GOLDBERG!!! He gets a jobber entrance, unlike Hugh Morrus. Goldberg rolls through an armbar and into a legbar. Rope break. Morrus hits a counter-clothesline and gets a cheer. That's the first and last time that Morrus will get cheered over Goldberg. Morrus goes up for the No Laughing Matter, hits it...and only gets two. Goldberg gets elbowed on a corner charge, but hits a nice powerslam, then drops Morrus with a Jackhammer for three. 1-0. Salt Lake City enjoyed Goldberg's offense, and who wouldn't, really? I mean, other than Bret Hart (sorry, Hitman, if you somehow against all odds ever read this). 


  • Gene Okerlund tries to get an interview with the winner after the match, but Goldberg metaphorically Jackhammers the black hole of conversation that Gene Okerlund offers him and just walks on by. 


  • We get an nWo video with part of the Four Horsemen parody in it. Someone really thought the "my spot" routine was funny. YMMV about whether or not it was, but boy, they keep repeating that whole deal in subsequent promos. 


  • Oh yeah, so I forgot that the reason Bischoff is heated about Larry Z. is that Zbyszko came down and inserted himself into the Hall/Savage vs. Luger/Page tag match at Fall Brawl. And I just saw it! And I enjoyed it! Look, I have a lot going on right now. Anyway, Larry Z. explains why he did what he did and manages to talk about his golf game at the same time, which might be his most polished skill as a commentator.


  • Disco Inferno has the people dancing. Terribly. He's up against Alex Wright for the TV Championship, and I've got my fingers crossed that we get a title change tonight. No offense to Alex Wright, who I like quite a bit! But come on, it's Disco. Disco's the de facto face - we get an ALEX SUCKS chant before the bell. 


  • Wright slaps Disco immediately after a break, then hides in the ropes. Disco turns on a bit of offense and knocks Wright outside, where Wright smartly begs off, considering the TV time limit. Raven's sitting right there in the front row, and the dad of the kid who got the Mysterio mask just mean mugs the shit outta the guy for some reason. He's not trying to be all up in the camera; I just think his Utahn sensibilities are disturbed by Raven's burned-out Gen-X'er look. It's hilarious. We get a TV break in a ten-minute time-limit match, which is dumb. When we come back, Wright kills a stream of Disco offense with a leg lariat. Wright stomps a mudhole and dances.


  • This match comes down to who can be the least distracted by doing a shitty dance, I think. In fact, Wright dances, which gives Disco time to breathe, and Disco back elbows out of a corner charge and then hits a back suplex. Wright is quickly up with a clothesline that gets two. Wright goes to the air and drops a weak boot to the chest. Smelling victory, Wright goes to his big move, which is dancing. Wright finally cuts that out, hits some chops, Irish whips Disco, and gets countered, but Disco can't keep any momentum. Finally, Disco crotches Wright on the ropes and then gives him a ride, which the fans LOVE. Disco hits a spinning neckbreaker for two and - I cant believe this - doesn't stop to dance. He goes up top and badly misses a double sledge, then gets dropped for two on a belly-to-back suplex. Wright whips Disco in and goes for a crossbody; Disco has the same idea on the rebound and they crash into each other. Disco's lucky enough to land on top of Wright, who's lost his wind, and gets a surprising three count. 


  • Jacqueline comes down with Gene Okerlund because she's pretty sure she can whoop Disco. Disco just wants to leave with his gold, maybe to dance a bit, but Miss Jackie is like, Bitch you left the territory because you were running from me. But not in those words. Disco tries to walk away, but I'm not sure that's the last we're going to see of Jacqueline trying to yam it on Disco. In fact, Jacqueline says, "Believe me, this isn't over." Disco could have just got his ass beat by Jackie six months ago and kept drawing a decent paycheck from Turner, but sure, let's just do all this now.


  • I know most people (including at least a couple people who have commented in this thread) love the "dress up as the opps" sketches, and I know that I've said that I don't love them so much anymore, but I can't speak about every sketch since I haven't seen many of them in awhile. However, Bischoff is running these nWo videos with parts of the segment in them, and we get a second one tonight. I'll say this; I might start calling "X-Pac Heat" something like "nWo Sketch Video Heat" instead. 


  • The nWo theme is starting to depress me whenever it plays. I need this Wolfpac split to happen soon. Scott Hall and Syxx come out together, though, so that's cool! Hall does a weird blaccent because he gots ta know: Did SLC come to see WCW or the nWo? The crowd kinda cheers for both, so either they're split down the middle, or (more likely) they're just happy to have a hot wrestling show come to their town. Hall is heated about Luger pinning him at Fall Brawl. He disses Larry Z., then calls out Luger for a one-on-one match now instead of at Havoc. Luger doesn't come out immediately, so Hall immediately assumes that Luger's just scared. Then, Hall calls out Zbyszko, who heads down to the ring, but doesn't enter. It's one-on-two, and Larry's not stupid. 


  • Larry Z. decides to head back to the desk and bide his time until he has his eventual fight with Scott Hall, so Hall's actual opponent for the night - Hector Garza - comes out. Sure, why not. Hall and Calo had a cool TV match last Nitro. Give me more random Scott Hall TV singles matches. Hall harasses Mark Curtis some more two weeks after KO'ing him at Fall Brawl, then hits an avalanche fallaway slam before going back to Curtis, fucking up his bow tie, yanking out his shirt, and slapping him. But, much like Alex Wright is too excited about dancing to actually win his matches sometimes, Hall is too enamored with punking Curtis to pay attention to Garza creeping from behind. One schoolboy later, and Garza is your unlikely winner. Hall hits a couple of Razor's Edges on Garza and Curtis in response because he's a dick. Look, I like Scott Hall and Mark Curtis, but no thank you on any more ref angles, please. 


  • La Parka, Psicosis, and the Villanos come down to the ring with Sonny Onoo, who I guess has moved on from repping most of the New Japan guys who come through to repping as many lucha guys as he can. Ultimo Dragon, Lizmark Jr., Juvi and Ciclope are their opponents. They do fast-paced tag stuff. Juvy looks great. Let's give this guy a bit of a push again. They stopped it cold because of 1) Juvi's English and 2) his propensity to blow moves, and I think 1) should have been rectified by the office by giving him a manager, and 2) is not really an issue lately. Everyone's in the ring and then some dives happen - Ciclope damned near kills himself - while Psicosis and Dragon fight it out elsewhere. Onoo tries to hold Dragon for a Psicosis double-sledge, but Dragon moves, and Onoo eats the damage. Back in the ring, Juvi rolls through a headscissors for a three-count on La Parka. Yeah, push Juvi! 


  • Acting commissioner Roddy Piper is sick of everyone's shit, and he's here with Gene Okerlund to respond to it all. Piper's assigning a referee to Hall/Luger at Havoc who it'll be a bit harder to push around - you guessed it, Larry Zbyszko! Piper claims that THE WCW wants to ban cage matches after the War Games carnage, but Piper likes carnage, so he's excited to have a cage match with Hogan at Havoc. Piper rambles about said cage match.  Roddy Piper Knows Pop Culture: Mike Tyson, ear biter ("I'm gonna make Mike Tyson look like a vegetarian"). So the fuck what if Tyson likes a bit of long pig to re-energize himself during a boxing match, Piper? Who are you to judge? Anyway, Piper is very over in SLC. I know people talked about Age in the Cage retrospectively as a shitty match, but Piper and Hogan had at least one good match in the past year and Piper is way over as a face. It seems like a no-brainer to run it back one more time and make it a full trilogy of matches. 


  • Lee Marshall claims to be in Woosta, Mass., which is WWF country. I only recognize Worcester as a sauce, myself. 


  • The Faces of Fear and the Steiner Brothers will probably be somewhat reckless with one another's safety. Or maybe not considering that no one wants things to escalate to eye-pluckings or head-dumpings. There's clubberings and throws and such. It's good! Scotty Steiner dragon suplexes Barb, so Barb powerbombs him in response. My kinda spotfest! Scotty's FIP for a bit, but he is able to hit a double-clothesline on the FoF and get a hot tag to a clothesline-throwing Rick. Rick actually does damned near dump Meng on his head on a belly-to-belly, then goes up top for a super bulldog. Meng is able to get back to the apron and shove Rick off the ropes, then lock the Tongan Death Grip on him for a three-count. Heck of an upset for the FoF, but is it really when you consider that this team is dope as fuck? The FoF join Goldberg, Hector Garza, and Disco as somewhat unlikely winners tonight.


  • Hogan and Bischoff come out to knockoff Hendrix. No, not the regular nWo theme, but a terrible Voodoo Child knockoff. Or maybe it was Voodoo Child on the original broadcast, but was replaced for streaming. They talk. I'm bored by it. It's the same old corny stuff you expect from these two. In their defense, though, the crowd is into booing them. Though not in their defense, the crowd is into everything tonight. Oh, and Hogan's wearing a Flair robe with the arms cut out. Of course he cut the arms out. That's actually funny and a solid heel move. 


  • Macho Man comes down to the ring, but I'm primarily focused on/enamored with Elizabeth, who's looking extra MILF-y today. Yeah, yeah, I'll get enamored with envisioning a cold shower instead. Savage talks to a random lady at ringside. He's awfully nice to her; that's not heelin', Savage! You're breaking immersion! OK, he goes over and threatens Penzer to get his heat back. He and Elizabeth dump on DDP - hey, this is the most Southern Elizabeth has ever sounded, IMO. I wouldn't have figured her for a Kentuckian any time she spoke in her WWF run, but I can hear it clearly now. Savage sticks around to wrestle/beat up Stevie Richards; somehow, I doubt that Stevie's going to continue the run of (on-paper) upsets tonight. Elizabeth gets a choke on Stevie in the midst Savage beating Stevie up without any resistance. Savage throws Stevie into the railing in front of Raven's seat as a challenge, and Raven stands up. Of course, Raven's not confronting Savage. He's confronting Stevie after a Savage Elbow and a boot on the chest get three. I'm incredibly excited for Savage/Raven, weirdly hyped for it, this is a match I never knew I wanted so badly, in fact. Savage shoves Mickey Jay and steps up to Raven...who turns around and spikes Stevie with an Evenflow DDT. Even Savage is confused and weirded out by Raven's strangeness, and he leaves the ring quietly. Well, quietly for him. 


  • Jacqueline - Jacquelyn, on the Chyron - comes out with only Booker T. even though this is supposed to be a tag match between Harlem Heat and Scott Norton/Konnan. Booker grabs Penzer's mic to tell us that Stevie's injured, but he'll just fuck one of these dudes up in the ring tonight. The nWo refuses to amend the contract to make this a singles match, so we're getting a handicap match instead! Booker ducks a clothesline, back-kicks Norton off the apron, eats a back bodydrop, and immediately Spinaroonies up and kicks Konnan to a pop. Only when Norton pulls the top rope down as Booker runs them does the match turn in the nWo's favor. Still, Booker regains control pretty quickly; he hits a full nelson slam for two, then has to fight off Norton and Vincent from outside the ring before getting a roll-up for two. Norton and Konnan dispense with even pretending to follow tag rules. They spike piledrive Booker, and Vincent says Fuck it and jumps in to spark a DQ. They stomp Booker out as we go to break. 


  • Jeff Jarrett and Curt Hennig form the main event. Tony S. admits to wanting Larry Z. to cheat - "That's right, I said it" - when reffing the Havoc match between Hall and Luger. Hey, no Luger, no Giant, no Page, no Sting, no Nash this show, I realize. Were they all in Japan or something? Elizabeth is back out to second Hennig and maybe counter Debra. Jarrett is just a heel no matter what he does, so even though he fires up with punches and outsmarts Hennig early, he doesn't really get much support. The crowd is basically just waiting to see what will happen. Hennig finally posts Jarrett's knee to start a control segment, and I wonder if we got a good Mr. Perfect vs. Double J match on some Coliseum Video collection. This isn't bad, but it's not going to go very long. Hennig whiffs on a chair shot, then gets his head smashed into said chair. Oops!


  • Back in the ring, Jarrett misses a dropkick, then gets clotheslined out of the ring on the other side. Hennig takes too long to follow up and gets tripped and ball-smashed; he really has to keep himself out of that situation. His signature ball-smash bump should be easy enough to avoid; just stay away from a corner when your opponent is outside the ring and near the corner. After a standing ten-count, Hennig locks on a sleeper and gets countered with a jawbreaker. This match feels like if it were on PPV and ten minutes longer, it'd be pretty dang good. As it is, they're moving through these spots a bit quickly. Jarrett locks on the Figure Four, but Liz gets on the apron to draw the ref's attention, and Savage runs out and hands Hennig the U.S. Championship. Hennig is able to bash Jarrett in the head with it, then stumble up and hit a PerfectPlex for good measure. See ya in 1999, Jarrett! So, considering my pace here, that'll be some time in 2025. 


  • Hogan leads a bunch of nWo guys out to celebrate/beat up Jarrett a little more. Hey, it's the Giant! He storms out and chases the whole nWo off by himself because he fuckin' RULES. End show. 


  • This was fun! There were a lot of (at the time) unexpected winners, which I think is a neat wrinkle. Also, GOLDBERG showed up. GOLDBERG. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #108 - 29 September 1997

"The one where Buff has a cool new hat for sale"

  • Nitro! 


  • Tony S. announces a Curt Hennig/LE GEANT~ matchup for later tonight. I just want the Giant to win the (secondary) gold, but I know better than to go from "wanting" to "expecting."


  • We open with a refresher on the Randy Savage/Diamond Dallas Page feud that's been off and on over the past half-year. Page puts the Slim Jim catchphrase over more than Savage does in his promos. DALLAS DOES CLICHÉS: I don't get mad, I get even. That, and a bunch of times where he yells SNAP INTO THIS. 


  • That video leads into a Page/Buff Bagwell opener. Buff wins a very early exchange and flexes. He powers Page into a headlock, and when Page finally gets out, Buff hits an elbow and a shoulderblock. Dang. We cut to Raven in the crowd, but forget all that, I want to see if Buff can keep it up. This is a neat match where Buff shows that his muscles are for go, not just for show. Page finally gets the advantage, so Buff fakes that he blew out his knee so that he can jump Page from behind. Buff's very proud of his subterfuge.


  • Bagwell's cheating and heeling and very big selling when he eats a punch or clothesline rules, man. He sells an inverted atomic drop just like a good heel should all knock-kneed and trembling. Page gets Buff against the ropes, so Buff back kicks him in the jewels, hits a spinning neckbreaker, and covers with his feet on the ropes for two. The ref doesn't appreciate that, so he gets in Buff's face, and Page gets a flash rollup for two. Vincent decides that it's time to get involved, especially when Page gets run into the ref. Vincent tries to help Buff, but eats a Diamond Cutter. Buff tries to take advantage of Page being distracted by Vincent, but Buff eats a floatover Diamond Cutter that the ref is aware enough to count three on. Man, I really liked that match! 


  • DDP leaves through the crowd, but he unfortunately chooses to step over the guardrail right where Raven is sitting. Raven is irritated enough to remember that for later, but they don't do anything but mean mug each other for now. 


  • I feel like some weeks, Bischoff gets a bug up his butt for video features, and he does a bunch of them in one show, but then that's it for a few weeks until the next time he decides that he wants to do it. Do I just feel like that, or is it true? Not that I'm complaining about this first entry in a new video series, which inovlves Tenay interviewing a bunch of luchadores and showing footage of wrestling from Mexico in order to give a brief history of lucha. I love the idea of educating your fan base like this. Neat idea. 


  • Rey Misterio Jr. plans to give a mask to a fan, but he's jumped by a masked wrestler who is so obviously Eddy Guerrero, though the desk just sorta accepts that he's some rando named El Caliente. Tenay, dammit, you should have seen through this from the jump. It takes Eddy's El Caliente's hilo from the apron to the ring for anyone at the desk to sense that something's fishy. I'm distracted by the desk being so dumb that they take literal minutes to figure out it's Eddy, especially considering that the crowd started a weak EDDY SUCKS chant like a minute in. I come back to attention when Eddy attempts murder on Rey by hitting him with a powerbomb that violently snaps Rey's body. Eddy leans on Rey, but makes the mistake of letting Rey back to his base. Rey makes him pay with a springboard (x2) rana that looks pretty sweet! Then, he takes his mask back from (and off of) Eddy as Eddy freaks. Do I even need to tell you that this was a cool match?


  • The Giant comes out to cut an interview. He pushes Page for the cliché championship. LE GEANT~ DOES CLICHÉS: What goes around comes around; Paybacks are hell. Well, it was short! So that's good. 


  • We almost cut to break, but suddenly, we see Sting in the crowd, just standing there, chilling. Exciting! No, really, I'm excited!


  • Goldberg still has no entrance music. Oh shit, he's facing Barbarian! YEAH, gonna start a THIS IS WRESTLING chant in my home office. You like beefy shoulderblocks? We got 'em! You like quasi-MMA Goldberg offense? We got it! You like Goldberg throwing a dropkick? Look, I don't want to brag about the bounty of riches we've got here, but yeah. Goldberg goes up top after some opening dominance and gets caught. He eats a top-rope belly-to-belly for two. He eats Barbarian's chops like candy. He eats a Barb powerslam, again for two. However, he powers out of a powerbomb attempt, drops a knee, and hits the Jackhammer for three. This music they give him after the pinfall sucks. GIVE HIM THAT CLASSIC GOLDBERG INTRO/OUTRO ALREADY! Goldberg blows off that bum Okerlund again. Pro wrestling needs more former football players doing powerslams and Jackhammers and such. 


  • Unlike Goldberg, Larry Zbyszko loves talking and doesn't know when to shut the fuck up. He's excited to be back in WWF country, but Worcester is blasé about him. I don't know that many people are still mad that he backstabbed Bruno eighteen years ago in this crowd; they just seem far cooler on him than literally everywhere else in the country. Maybe Worcester just loves Razor Ramon more. Larry Z. rambles about fairness being the best way to make Scott Hall's life miserable or some crap. FUCK THIS, GET GOLDBERG BACK OUT HERE


  • Tony S. is upset about being upset about Ric Flair a couple weeks back, but the real news is that Flair's probably going to cut a dope promo tonight. He can really lock it in for these big promos, as anyone reading this knows. 


  • THA JOOOOOOOCY ONE is out next. This crowd is silent for him. They should be ashamed, dammit! He's got a shot at Disco Inferno's TV Championship, and I feel like the matches on this card were basically booked just for me, at least so far. I note that the crowd has quite a few [INSERT NAME HERE] 3:16 signs in it. Add to that the [INSERT WOMAN IN WRESTLING'S NAME HERE] 6:9 signs from the past few weeks, and I think this signifies something about the point that we've reached in this pro wrestling boom period.


  • Juvi's style confuzzles the heck out of Disco, who eats Juvi's offense from every direction. Disco is able to stuff a rana attempt with a Stun Gun, then uses his intricate offense of hair whips, stomps, and punches to get a bit of control here. Alex Wright comes out to watch this match while wearing  a pair of banana yellow pants that are FANTASTIC. In the ring, a Disco neckbreaker only gets two when Wright puts Juvi's foot on the ropes. Disco's now distracted by Wright and eats a rollup for two, then a spinning kick for another two, then another rollup for two. Jacquelyn (we'll go with WCW's spelling) comes out to argue with Wright, then trips Juvi on a rope run because she wants to be the one to beat Disco. Disco uses that break and hits a front suplex for three. He rolls out of the ring, where Jackie and Alex both share with him their intentions for taking his gold. Man, this show has been consistently entertaining. All the mid-card angles that they've highlighted are working for me in their presentation. 


  • Hour number two brings out nWo members Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. No, she's a liberated woman now: Ms. Elizabeth. Savage cuts his typical '80s heel promo in 1997. He drops a bunch of song lines from two decades ago and rambles about a lot of stuff w/r/t Piper and Page and Sting.


  • Hey, it's Jeff Jarrett. Huh, I figured he was out after last week. But his purpose for being here becomes apparent when his opponent, Mongo McMichael, hits the ring. Well, at least they capped this long feud off with a match to end it! Sure, it wasn't on PPV, but that's fine. I totally forgot that they actually ended this feud in the ring. Jarrett tries to style on Mongo and use his quickness to stay ahead, but Mongo hits slams and forearms and a boot or two to take control. We get a commercial break and come back to Jarrett posting Mongo outside the ring. Aw, we missed the transition.


  • Jarrett stomps Mongo outside the ring, gets back in, and maintains control until he eats a vertical suplex, but is back up with a sleeper after a standing six-count. Mongo's arm only drops twice, and the big man escapes and locks on his own sleeper, which Jarrett counters with a jawbreaker. Jarrett's feeling himself, but unfortunately for him, his turnbuckle bashing approach doesn't really have an effect on Meathead Mongo. Mongo hits a side slam, a couple of clotheslines, and signals for the Tombstone. Jarrett spins out of it and hits another jawbreaker, then goes to work on Mongo's knee. He looks for the Figure Four, but Mongo kicks him away and tries a powerslam; Debra jumps on the apron and tries to stop him, so Mongo drops Jarrett with a Snake Eyes. Debra chews Mongo out and slaps him, then Jarrett jumps Mongo from behind and, uh, gets three with his feet on the ropes? So was Bisch still planning to bring Jarrett back on a fresh contract or what? Mongo stalks Debra as she leaves the ringside area, and I feel unfulfilled. 


  • Recaps! Recaps from tonight and last week. Also, the Nitro girls danced somewhere in there. 


  • Scott Hall's on crutches when he comes to the ring. He and Syxx do their thing on the mic; Worcester actually gives them a nice reception because they like and appreciate Razor and 1-2-3. They're more than happy to agree that they're here to see the nWo and not WCW, hahahaha. Craig Leathers thinks that we're going to break, but we're not. He struggles to not play the nWo music while Scott Hall talks. I struggle not to burst out laughing. Hall threatens to beat up Larry Z. if Larry doesn't call his Havoc match down the middle. Larry already said he would, dude. Come on, get with it. 


  • Syxx stands in for Hall against Chris Jericho, I guess? Or maybe Hall's just seconding Syxx. Both were indicated as reasons for this match by the desk. Whatever, let's just renew the Syxx/Jericho feud, I guess. These fellas have good chemistry, and Syxx is magnificent in general, so they have a very good TV match. The moves come fast and look great. Syxx gets control, but whiffs on a top-rope senton splash. Jericho has a nice fiery babyface comeback, knocks Syxx to the apron with a back kick, and hits his signature springboard corner-to-apron dropkick. Being a dumb babyface, he follows that up with a splash to the outside right next to Scott Hall. Hall can't get a crutch shot in, but he's enough of a distraction that Syxx catches Jericho on top. Jericho fights Syxx off and hits a crossbody for two; then, he does a giant swing because why not? It's a shitty giant swing, though. Jericho hits a Lionsault and starts applying the Lion Tamer, but Hall gets on the apron and distracts Jericho for long enough that Syxx recovers and puts on the Buzzkiller. Hall harasses Scott Dickinson and keeps him from calling off the match (poor Scott Dickinson's beer belly; it really got some negative attention from Hall), and so Larry Z. comes out to break the hold. Luger comes out to back him up, and the nWo members take caution and leave. Why do all these hot babyfaces get left off the shows so much and get very little time when they do show up? Luger hasn't racked a dude for a win on Nitro in what feels like forever. 


  • Ric Flair calls in for an interview. He's oddly polite: "Well [Tony S.], it's equally nice to hear from you" and "I don't want to take a lot of your time" and such. That's how you know he's serious. Flair teases retirement, but come on, he's Ric Flair. He's not going to ever fucking retire. In fact, Flair was inspired to continue on by some things Tony S. and Larry Z. said on commentary over the past few weeks. He was also inspired by Curt Hennig slamming the door on his head because I guess it knocked some sense into him about how awful he's been at running the Horsemen for the last two years. I mean, that Savage feud completely undid him, and even if they didn't intend to tell this story, I will always posit that the real story that played out over this time was Savage infecting Flair with the uncontrollable madness and leading Flair to ruin. Only after Flair's impaired judgment lost him the WCW World Championship, then lost him a willing Horseman in Jarrett, and finally lost him that War Games match has he found a way to snap out of it. Anyway, he plans to take that robe back that Hogan was wearing last week and he spends a lot of time putting over Benoit and Mongo. Then, he disbands the Horsemen because, you know, his judgment w/r/t said Horsemen has been awful for the past two years. Flair's dishing out threats to his enemies, going full Liam Neeson in Taken. Sure, yeah, let's see it! Fiery babyface Flair rules. Also, so did this promo (Of course, obviously, you didn't even need to say so McUgly, you should change that user name to McStupid, you dipshit, you might be thinking). 


  • A bunch of so-called "research scientists" from Brown have a so-called "Nitro party" and there's a so-called "cheese plate" at the party. Well, it is Brown, which is the DeVry of the Ivy League. 


  • Luger and Giant can't get consistent TV time, but this fuck Eric Bischoff can bore us to death on the mic every damned week. He fucking sucks, but I guess at least he pimps Assault on Devil's Island. He also tries to juice those house show ticket sales by talking about Sting showing up at random house shows and beating up nWo members (Tony S. did this earlier as well). So hey, at least this bad Bischoff heel promo did something other than be bad and irritate the hell out of me. 


  • The Buff Bagwell nWo hat is too sweet. Buff had the best hats. 


  • Craig Leathers's wife had their third child, Tony S. tells us. I wonder if, when the contractions were at their closest and his wife needed all the support and attention she could get, Leathers accidentally hit the nWo's music, then stopped it, then awkwardly started it again. 


  • Lex Luger's gonna wrestle? He showed up twice tonight? And the Giant's wrestling on this show, too? What could have blessed us with such a bounty of face main eventer appearances tonight? So, he's up against Wrath in a match that I'm sure happened on a forgettable RAW in 1994 and was also probably shit. Vince Jr. was crazy distracted with the steroid trial and whatever else in 1994 because he'd have used these guys to their potential if it was the Vince of either five years earlier or five years later. This match also kind of stinks because Wrath mostly does boot chokes and keeps his dynamic offense mostly bottled. A LUGER SUCKS chant starts. Well, I guess the "fiery babyface Luger" success story is coming to an end. Luger's a solid worker, but his style meshes so much better in WWF's house style. Anyway, this match is boring; Luger takes a beating, comes back, and racks Wrath. I would be disappointed by this, but hey, we got Luger racking a dude, so I think I can vibe with it. 


  • Eric Bischoff comes out to join Tony S. on commentary for the Curt Hennig/Giant matchup. Hooray! Hennig must relish getting to bump like a maniac for this guy, right? The Giant hits a Stinkface on Hennig, who sells it way more than most anyone ever did for Rikishi's version. The Giant dominates, but takes his own wild bump to the floor on a whiffed clothesline. Hennig gets Giant back in the ring and actually hits a PerfectPlex - that was GREAT - but only gets two. Then the Giant fucking kips up and chokeslams Hennig! The nWo runs in, and I'm so angry because they should have just put the belt on Giant after that awesomeness. Finally, like eight nWo members hold onto the Giant for long enough that Scott Norton can hit him with the belt. Sting comes down the ramp with the baseball bat and clears the ring without a single swing. The nWo finally tries Sting after he drops the bat, and he beats the shit out of all these dudes, and the roof is OFF the place. Poor Giant is out here selling a belt shot like a gunshot for the second time in semi-recent memory. Sting just beats the utter crap out of everyone from Vincent to Savage as we go to black. 


  • Goldberg is killing dudes, the Giant is doing kip-ups, and Buff Bagwell has a cool new hat. Things are looking great for WCW. 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
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Show #109 - 06 October 1997

"The one where it's all reviewer positivity today, baby"

  • Let's emphasize the awesome and de-emphasize the negative when it comes to NITROOOOOOOOOO, at least for this post.


  • A notice of condolences to Brian Pillman's family airs before the opener. 


  • Chae is front and center for this dance routine and, bless her, she has a nip slip that someone came back and pixelated out of this recording. Chae was truly a bright spot during the tumultuous and sometimes bleak days of my teenage-hood. What a lady. 


  • Minneapolis is hot for Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. The nWo's co-leaders think that Sting is scared of them. Someone in the audience thinks that Hogan is scared of Jesse Ventura, considering the sign right behind Hogan in the camera shot. Hogan promises to confront Piper later tonight, and honestly, everyone mentioned - Hogan, Sting, Piper - got pops in this segment. This is actually a solid build to two different matches on two different PPVs in the next three months, all wrapped into a single segment to start the show. 


  • I remain surprised, but pleased, that Jeff Jarrett is still showing up on Nitro. He's going to show up on RAW in two weeks from this show's date. He's up against Booker T. in what will be a look into WCW's main event future in 2000. If you were in 1997 and I told you that this would be a main event for WCW in 2000, you'd probably think WCW was in pretty good shape then, right? I would.


  • Jarrett wins an early exchange with a hiptoss and lounges in the corner; Booker has that irritated Booker T. look on his face, and he goes over and punches the crap out of Jarrett. Booker dodges a dropkick, hammers Jarrett, and raises the roof to the crowd's delight. Jarrett bails, and he's able to reach back into the ring and trip Booker, then hammer Book's knee across the apron. JARRETT SUCKS, says the crowd. Well, he's got great fundamentals, so I can't agree with that. Both men miss elbowdrops, but Booker Spinaroonies up from his miss and hits a kick. Man, that Spinaroonie is an obviously over move even now. 


  • We hit a commercial break. When we come back, Jarrett's got control, though Booker gets two on a sunset flip. I will continue to carry water for Booker T., awesome singles worker. He's so explosive an athlete, especially in his WCW run, that it's fun to watch a guy that big do some of the stuff he does. Booker makes a comeback and hits an axe kick that only gets two because Jarrett's foot finds the ropes. Booker actually instinctively turned to the corner to make a tag, but then remembered that he's in singles competition and went for that last cover, which is a nice touch. Mongo runs down, gets slapped by Debra, and decks Jarrett before throwing him back into the ring. Booker takes advantage and rolls Jarrett up for three. Good opener! Run it back...in three years. 


  • Hogan/Piper hype video. Gosh, I don't remember anything about how this cage match ends. I just remember Cornette going off about it on RAW the night after it happened. I'm interested to see it because I wonder if the perception of the match was particularly influenced by Cornette's rant, which got some play online even in that early age of the internet as I remember it (hey, I was logging onto the net at school and using Netscape for twenty minutes a day to check out the wrestling news at the time).


  • The crowd chants for former AWA Champion Larry Z. while the commentators at the desk hype stuff. Aw, that's nice. Do Minnesotans feel nostalgia for Larry Z., AWA Champ at all, or was the AWA too near death for that sort of nostalgic love? I have a weird sort of nostalgia for that time since I was watching AWA on ESPN as a young kid. I was always cool with the weekly trips to LarryLand. 


  • Larry Z. promotes Ben-Gay while threatening the nWo, which I hope he and/or WCW got paid for!


  • Billy Kidman beat Alex Wright on WCWSN! The upsets continue! The rematch is up next. I love that Wright has more big-match experience even though both guys are young, and they show it when Wright slaps Kidman disrespectfully, which is actually a baiting strategy. Kidman rushes in and gets hammered in the gut. Raven is chilling out with Perry Saturn at ringside. Saturn rules, man, I'm into his coming debut. Kidman knocks Wright outside the ring and then hits a dive. This match is picking up, but we cut backstage to see Mongo and Debra's kayfabe (also IRL, I guess) marriage breaking up. Jarrett comes over, but Debra handles her own business and ends the whole relationship with a slap. Jarrett's like, Eh, let's cut the camera, fellas, and I agree, let these people kayfabe and also IRL break up in peace.


  • Back in the ring, Wright's taken over. He controls Kidman until he loses a bit of focus and eats a jawbreaker counter. Kidman shows that good babyface fire, stuffs a corner charge with a boot, then hits a missile dropkick, which is objectively one of the three best wrestling moves in existence. Kidman stays a step ahead of Wright and hits a springboard bulldog that gets 2.9. Kidman sells out for a somersault splash from the top rope, but misses; he was a bit distracted by Raven and Saturn just chilling in the crowd. Hmm... Anyway, Alex Wright quickly follows up Kidman's whiff with a Falcon Arrow. Whoops, no sorry, I mixed up two very similar Alex Wright signatures moves. He actually follows up by dancing. My bad! Of course, Wright dances because he knows that he's got Kidman dead to rights, so after taking the time to boogie, he casually hits the German Suplex for three. 


  • Glad to see Mortis on Nitro again! He's in singles action against Ernest Miller - I'm legitimately hyped for this. I'm also excited for Commissioner Miller and Ms. Jones (who, much like Chae, truly brightened up my high school years). Miller gets two off a nice high kick early. He goes to the top rope, but Kanyon grabs ref Scott Dickinson so that James Vandenberg can trip Miller without the ref seeing. Kanyon goes up and tries a top rope leg lariat, but Miller leaps too early and it looks not-so-great. Kanyon/Mortis (I use them interchangeably without thinking, I noticed just now) covers, but gets caught using the ropes for leverage. Kanyon busts out a fireman's carry-to-powerslam that looks sweet. He dumps Miller outside, then hits a vertical suplex while standing on the middle rope that brings Miller in from the apron. Kanyon slugs away and hits a Flatliner that only gets two. I thought it was over, not remembering that the Flatliner was not yet established as a finish, much like Booker's axe kick. Kanyon tries a splash from the top, whiffs, and eats a series of kicks, culminating in that very cool springboard roundhouse that Miller does. It gets a pop - and a three-count - because it rules. Miller celebrates and chases Vandenberg away. More Ernest Miller on my screen, please! 


  • Scott Hall has been coming out and being a pretty awesome heel the past few weeks. I find him to be the best heel because though he's in cool heel mode, he's the sort of cool heel that bullies people to maintain his coolness, so really underneath it all, the fans who cheer him are really revealing something about themselves. He's with Syxx, and they do a crowd check regarding the relative popularity of WCW and the nWo. Someone in the crowd did some sweet art for their Wolfpac sign. It's up there when it comes to wrestling sign art. Hall, who this week is working a back injury, shouts out Nash at home resting a knee injury which I assume is not a work, but with WCW's internal politics, who knows? Hall claims that he and Nash got injured laughing at Larry Z.'s shitty old wrestling tapes. I chuckled. See, this reveals something about me! And it's not good! Hall promises to beat Luger at Havo no matter how many injuries he gets from chuckling at Larry Z. getting his ass beat by Masa Saito or Bruno or whomever. 


  • It's another upset rematch next! Hall sticks around to wrestle Hector Garza. Hall bullies the ref, Syxx jumps in with a Bronco Buster, and as Hall hits a Razor's Edge, the desk gravely puts its hopes in Larry Zbyszko, Troubleshootin' Ref. Hall makes the ref carefully raise his hand - remember, he's injured - and Syxx kicks the ref in the back of the head before Hall racks the poor dude. See, this is unnecessary. The man's just trying to do his job! They spray-paint the ref just for kicks - they paint a Z on him this time. The Z stands for misguided support for Russian warmongering and imperialism Zbyszko, of course. 


  • The commentary desk is intrigued by Bill Goldberg, which makes, let me count, all of us. Every one of us is intrigued by Goldberg. 


  • Disco Inferno has quite the mountain to climb in his TV title defense against Diamond Dallas Page. I'm not sure that even Jacquelyn's interference can save him here. In a nice touch, Disco doesn't really want to hand his belt over to Nick Patrick. Come on now, you can't assume you're not going to be able to win it back! Some folks might say that the finish is obvious, and that someone will stop DDP from winning the gold. OK, maybe, but the interest here is in who does it. Alex Wright? Jacquelyn? Randy Savage? Raven and Saturn? I'm excited to see what happens here, though the match itself is fun, too. Disco escapes an early cutter attempt and damned near bolts backstage. Disco's not a bad wrestler, is the story of this match. He's just completely outclassed by Page, who is on another level. It's like watching a top-ten college football team from the SEC dismantle a high-quality Division II opponent. It's not that the Div. II team lacks talent; there are just levels to this shit. 


  • Disco gets a bit of control, hits a lariat, but makes a mistake and ducks into a backslide for two. Disco's back up quickly and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two of his own. He desperately asks for three from Patrick, and that little distraction gives Page room to initiate and win a punch-up. Page hits the DDPancake and throws up THA ROC, then drops Disco with a TKO-style Diamond Cutter. Randy Savage is the guy who stops the three-count, running in like a madman and destroying Page outside the ring. Savage is clearly looking for a kill shot; he exposes the concrete floor and goes for a piledriver on concrete, but Roddy Piper runs out to cut him off. Savage shoves Piper; Piper spits at him. Just before Savage can go off, Page gets to his feet and lays Savage out with a Diamond Cutter on the concrete. Piper and Page escape through the crowd as the nWo angrily runs down and Savage does a stretcher job. Hey, you know what? That fuckin' RULED. What a great segment. We got a good TV match, we had the intrigue of what the finish would be, and then the post-match jibber-jabber was actually intense and violent. 


  • Piper had enough time while they stretchered Savage out to circle back through the crowd, get backstage, and be ready for his music to hit as he walks down the ramp for an in-ring interview with Gene Okerlund. Now, that's efficiency. Good to have a commissioner who's on time and all that. OK, so Piper has a good dad joke. He salutes the Twin Cities, then says, "Can you imagine if Hulk Hogan was twins? He'd have a full head of hair, almost." You got me, Piper, dammit. Piper wants to see some Slamboree footage from when he beat up Scott Hall, so they show it. Piper has no time for Hall and Nash being injured, so he sets up a title defense for next Nitro with promises to strip. Wait, let me finish that sentence. To strip the Outsiders of the title if they don't show. See, it's not as bad as you thought! Piper makes Savage/Page a Last Man Standing match for Havoc, which I think is a good stip for that feud-ender. 


  • Hulk Hogan would like to talk to the manager, so he and Eric Bischoff come down to the ring. Hogan has the facial expression of a man who asked for 2% in his latte, but got whole instead. He's tired of all the rule-making and the regulations and the oversight that Piper's offering in his job as commissioner. He liked it better when things were laissez-faire and he could just do whatever he wanted. They re-hash old arguments about stardom and overness and drawing power that I think are best worked out through bashing one another into a cage rather than mere words. You know how serious Hogan is? He uses the word "ass." That's serious, man! Bisch kicks Piper from behind to give Hogan a chance to jump Piper with no immediate resistance. Hogan holds Piper up to give Bischoff a free shot. Would it surprise you to know that Bischoff whiffed? Piper ducks, punches Bischoff, then punches Hogan until some nWo members can come drag him out of the ring. Piper stands in the ring, whipping the WCW Championship over his head and basking in the adulation of the crowd. Man, it's been a good night for Piper! He landed a joke, saved DDP from a serious head injury, and punked the world champ. Feel free to have two beers when you're flying home tonight, Pipes! You earned it. 


  • We get a Tenay historical video on lucha, Arena Mexico, Salvador Lutteroth, etc. One thing that I always appreciated about WCW was that it would bring talent in from all over the world, and beyond that, would sometimes give the fans a bit of insight into stuff going on outside of their typical cultural bubble w/r/t wrestling. Many of us were clued into puro as kids because of Muta and Liger and wanting to know more about them. I'm sure for many, it was the same with Rey, Eddy, and others in 1996/97 WCW and lucha. This is just a neat thing to do, and it wisely capitalizes upon Tenay's position on WCW television as lucha expert. 


  • Eddy Guerrero and Ultimo Dragon mix it up. They do some intricate leverage stuff, and Dragon drops Eddy on a tilt-a-whirl slam, but it looks cool because he plays it off like he was just disrespectfully dumping Eddy. Eddy eats kicks and survives; he takes over, hits a vertical suplex that gets two, then locks on an abdominal stretch. Eddy tries a pop-up powerbomb and gets rana'd for two, but he's back up and bullying Dragon immediately. He goes for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Dragon whirls right out of it and hits one of his own. Dragon's a bit off tonight, not sticking his landings clean, but commentary does a good job of covering by claiming that it's a result of Eddy's effective control segment. Dragon hits a clean suicide dive to the outside, then hits a gross release German after a series of standing switches. It only gets a 2.9, though. Dragon tries a running powerbomb, but Eddy escapes, though Dragon then flips out of an Eddy suplex attempt and right to a Dragon Sleeper. Eddy's just too near the ropes, and he immediately drapes a foot over the bottom rope. This match has a nice finishing run. Eddy hits a tornado DDT to counter a top-rope rana attempt. Dragon lands almost in the other corner, but Eddy gives zero fucks and makes a pretty impressive leap for a Frog Splash that mostly connects and that ends the match. That was a fun little TV match!


  • The Minnesotans pass some time waiting for the next match with a GREEN BAY SUCKS chant. Bless them. Being a Vikings fan ain't easy!


  • Chris Benoit was going to face Randy Savage tonight, but since Savage is out via Diamond Cutter on concrete, instead we'll get another WCWSN rematch. Curt Hennig's up against Chris Benoit instead, and video evidence has it that Benoit was about to beat Hennig on Saturday Night until the nWo ran in and jumped him. Ah, an all-too-common story for WCW's guys. Benoit has no patience for Hennig's sauntering and meets Hennig in the aisle. They brawl and Hennig takes a WILD bump and hits his head on the stairs, goddam, that shit had to hurt. This match is already pretty great! Benoit just drops Hennig across the top rope, and Hennig takes ANOTHER nasty-looking bump. He them bumps from the apron into the railing. This is just an ass-whooping. Hennig throws a couple punches, but Benoit is undeterred. Benoit makes the mistake of going up to the corner, especially considering his effectiveness standing toe-to-toe on the mat, and Hennig dragon whips Benoit from the second rope and starts to work the knee. He stomps it, posts it, and goes back to working it whenever Benoit fires up.


  • There's a commercial break in a spot where Hennig's working the knee outside; we come back to Benoit trying to fire back inside the ring. They just have a wild brawl at one point, and Hennig finds a way to win it, then celebrates like he's fired up to do more violence. Man, this match is intense, like PPV-level intense. Hennig pulls the pad off a turnbuckle, but Benoit reverses him chest-first into it, then hits the first of three Germans. His knee gives out, though. He falters, recovers, rushes Hennig in the corner and eats the exposed buckle himself, then turns around right into a PerfectPlex for three. That shit was GREAT. RUN IT BACK!


  • The nWo B-Teamers come down and kick the shit out of Benoit for a bit, but RIC FLAIR runs out! He knocks out the B-Teamers, then tears after Hennig. So, this is fantastic - he blows right past Doug Dellinger, who tries to catch him, but falls down due to Flair's momentum. Flair chases Hennig out onto the street. Man, WCW's put so much heat on a lot of these angles for Havoc. Hennig gets away, but Flair comes right back into the building just to cut a fiery promo. What can I say? He yells a lot and threatens Hennig and Hogan. He doesn't care about backstage politics or being the best when it comes to those two; he just wants to engage in violence. Sure, I would like to see him engage in violence! This Flair story arc between 1995 and 1997 has been something. I was sort of over him when I started this project, though I obviously understood why you'd continue put a guy as over as him on your show. This whole arc where he lost it due to meeting Savage at Savage's level, got taken advantage of by Hennig as a result, and now is taking the rage and madness of the past two years that's been building inside him and pointing it at Hennig and Hogan restored my interest in Flair doing some awesome pro wrestling shit. 


  • Some dude in the front row holds up an I ENJOY WRESTLING sign. stingiagree.gif


  • Wrestling ain't always perfect, but sometimes, you just gotta sit back and let yourself have a little fun. When you do, even imperfection can be sublime. 4.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes






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I don't think it was intentional past maybe the initial point where Flair got a little crazy back in early 1996. It really played out nicely as a long-term character arc, though. 


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Show #110 - 13 October 1997

"The one where there are like twenty Stings, and yes, I realize that I am probably not being specific enough" 

  • The sign art has improved vastly the last couple of weeks. There are very good Giant and Sting signs with awesome character art.


  • Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, and Randy Savage come to the ring to start the show. Hogan's sans title belt since Piper took it last week, and Savage is, um, reverse-sans neck brace after DDP planted him on concrete with a Diamond Cutter last week. 


  • Sign: Cornette FEARS Bischoff. I would pay money to watch those two old blowhards scrap in 2023. Put it in Wembley on the undercard of that big AEW stadium show. 


  • Bischoff desperately tries to get people to shill Assault on Devil's Island by holding up posters at any and all sporting events they go to. He sure hopes that they don't hold them up at next week's live Monday Night RAW. So you want WCW fans to pay for WWF tix and go to their show? That's not very competitive, Bisch! Hogan does his thing on the mic, but I'm more interested in the young Sting fan persistently waving at the camera because he realizes that he's on the hard cam side of the crowd. 


  • There are title shots galore tonight. Weirdly, the Steiner Bros. are getting a shot at the Outsiders' tag titles tonight, which is a decree that Piper made last week, if I recall correctly. Methinks that'll be more of an angle than a match, but what do I remember? Nothing about this show, honestly. 


  • The opener is a title match; Psicosis has a shot at Eddy Guerrero's Cruiserweight title. Eddy's name is anglicized on the chyron, I notice. I'll stick with the -y ending, but did they just change it, or did I not notice it before? Eddy's veins have veins, like damn. His physical transformation sort of works in the way that I knew a couple of basically genial young men who started a 'roid diet and got hair-trigger, shitty tempers out of nowhere. I'm going to assume that this is the kayfabe reason that Eddy's turned heel that no one will actually say out loud.


  • Psicosis hits a senton splash from the top rope to the floor, and it is SICK. Psicosis fuckin' rules, man. Psicosis started out throwing bombs, which makes sense as he's got his chance at the title and wants to take full advantage of it, but the splash has slowed him down, and he whiffs on a big splash because he busted his tailbone on the splash. Psicosis still brings it to Eddy, who spends the first few minutes of the match just trying to figure out what the fuck hit him, and in fact, Eddy struggles to keep any sort of control for long. Psicosis is in a race to get a pinfall before he splatters himself. He's throwing bomb after bomb, but unfortunately for him, he throws one bomb too many. Eddy catches Psicosis up top, crotches him, and hits a superplex, then quickly lands a Frog Splash to survive. He even tries to rip off Psicosis's mask after the match, he's so emboldened by his successful title defense. Fun stuff!


  • The next Mike Tenay lucha segment goes over the culture of the mask. Lucha masks are the coolest, man, the coolest. This is a neat little segment about the cultural and sociohistorical importance of the lucha mask. Poor Rey doesn't want to lose his mask, and oh man, I have bad news for him. They interviewed the Misterios in Mexico City, a place that I would like to visit soon, largely because of the Diego Rivera museum. Did you know that Mexico City low-key has an awesome art museum scene? If you are into that sort of thing, it might be worth a trip. 


  • Roddy Piper's out here to do some commissionin'. Roddy Piper Knows Pop Culture: Allstate's tag line ("You're in good hands..."), Tammy Faye Bakker. He actually doesn't do much new commissionin'. He simply reinforces the edicts that he laid down in previous interviews. 


  • Steven William Regal has been off of WCW TV quite a bit, considering his legal and addiction issues as of late, and I'm glad to see him back on Nitro. He's up against Mongo McMichael. He promises to bust Regal up so we can see if the term "blue blood" literally applies to Regal. Mongo is an elite "shit talk the camera on the way to the ring" guy. Does anyone in modern WWE do that? It would set them apart from everyone else, easily. Seems like a quick way to get over initially. This is two big dudes putting in work, with one guy using his size explosively and the other using it to gain leverage and grind his opponent down. Regal's losing that battle, so he fakes an injury and then casually pokes a confused Mongo in the eye to take control. The match is a bit clunky and it's easy to see Regal calling this match, which breaks the illusion a bit, but then again, Mongo might have nearly killed Regal with that Tombstone for three, which looked damn near like he was shoot trying to kill the guy. On balance, I liked it.


  • Debra cuts an interview to tell us that Jeff Jarrett single-J jetted WCW. Mongo, walking back from his match, is triumphant and in so many words tells Debra to get in the kitchen and make him a GODDAM sandwich, which of course gets a pop because we're at a wrestling show in Tampa in 1997. Debra is nonplussed by the blatant sexism and promises to have someone else with her to fight Mongo at Havoc. IDK who that's going to be, honestly. Surprise me, I'm here for it!


  • We've got a random Yuji Nagata match on Nitro, which I feel is a thing every six months. Onoo is still trying to get someone to beat up Ultimo Dragon. Give it a rest, my man. I guess we're getting Nagata/Dragon at Halloween Havoc. Sure, that's a reasonable palate cleanser in between two bigger matches. Nagata's wrestling Chris Jericho tonight, and I wonder if they're actually going to job Jericho to Nagata as a short-term way to heat Nagata up for Havoc. Nagata is undeterred by Tampa's weak U-S-A chant, but Jericho's back kicks, shoulderblocks, and clotheslines have much greater effect. Nagata finds a way out of a headlock with a nice counter suplex and goes to work. Though Jericho counters with a missile dropkick at one point, Nagata hits a flurry of kicks and then an Exploder Suplex that lands Jericho on the apron. Nagata follows up with a forearm that knocks Jericho all the way to the rail, and these fellas have picked it up and are having a pretty dang good TV match. Jericho gets control, dumps Nagata into the ring, and goes up top, but Onoo pushes him to the mat and Nagata locks on the Figure Four Nagata Lock for the win.


  • Raven is sad and lonely and in a room with a crib for this video promo. He talks about how his upbringing, which (one would assume even if they didn't know Raven) was one of a latchkey kid existence where his material wealth couldn't replace his derelict mommy and daddy's love and time, with has irrevocably shaped his very humanity. He drops the Poe line about a sepulchre by the sea quoting the raven nevermore. 


  • Goldberg has his dope entrance music and is gonna kill Scotty Riggs. Raven's collecting his flock, and they're chilling out in the first row watching the show. Goldberg barely takes Riggs seriously, but does he have to, really? Riggs tries to use his speed to duck a couple clotheslines, which he does, but the downside is that Goldberg spears the fuck out of him on the rebound. Riggs works the best he can to get something going, but even when Goldberg is careless - he whiffs badly on a big elbowdrop - Riggs gets stuffed almost immediately. He tries a press onto Goldberg outside and gets caught and draped across the railing. Goldberg gets Riggs back in the ring, punches him in the gut, and drops him with the Jackhammer for three. Ooh, when mom tells you to eat your squash, you always wish it were as delicious as this squash was. 


  • The nWo is finally taking my advice and using the Freebird Rule as Syxx comes down to the ring with Scott Hall to defend the tag titles against the Steiners. I sure wish they'd done this back at Spring Stampede. It would have made for a better match. Hall surveys; Tampa is an nWo town. Then again, someone spikes Hall with detritus from the crowd while he's talking, and the direct hit gets a pop. Hey, maybe this Tampa crowd is just full of dicks. The Steiners come down and get jumped about as soon as they get in the ring. They endure and clear the ring about five seconds after, though. Syxx gets his ass beat by Scott Steiner; Hall takes a beating from Rick for a bit, but gets a reversal and clothesline, though he eats a clothesline off a reversal in turn soon enough. Hall's really struggling to stay on top of things even after turning a second-rope crossbody into a fallaway slam, so Syxx throws a kick from outside to help gain control. The ref was jawing at Scott Steiner for some nonsense reason that was really telegraphed to be for the purpose of a heel cheating spot, which took me way out of it. The nWo hits a number of quick tags to keep control, but Syxx takes a boot to the jewels on a Bronco Buster attempt, which leads into the hot tag.


  • This is a great hot tag during which Scott kills these dudes and then hits a super DDT on Syxx for...two, as Scott Hall yanks the ref out of the ring. Ted DiBiase shoves Hall, but backs off when he senses Larry Zbyszko coming down the aisle. Hall backs into the ring, is blind to Rick Steiner coming off the top with the bulldog, and is down for a stereo three-count (along with the still-downed Syxx being covered by Scott) that Zbyszko counts off. 


  • That was anticlimactic. That was the culmination of months of the Steiners chasing, almost a year, and Nash wasn't even anywhere near the ring when the Outsiders finally dropped the gold. Let's hope we get a proper rematch that Nash is around to do the job for.  


  • Dean Malenko and Rey Misterio Jr. continue their rivalry as Tony S. assures us that the tag title result will stand since Bischoff can't just reverse it and Piper seems cool with Larry Zbyszko, Troubleshootin' Ref. Rey puts his mask on a toddler-aged kid who throws that shit back, just rejects it, like Get that fuckin' mask off me, no one asked you to put a mask on me, I don't know you. Rey's a heel to that little guy. Malenko and Rey do some intricate stuff to open that feels like Cirque du Soleil. Since I've seen Rey do this with other workers and have it feel like a fight, I'm going to have to put this on Malenko. He doesn't feel so mechanical in hot finishing runs, but his opening work just feels so cursory. Malenko controls the middle of the match, though both men exchange two-counts on reversals and such. Rey does hit the springboard rana, but Eddy runs in and rips off Rey's loosened mask; Rey lets go and covers his face, and Malenko easily rolls through and reverses into a Texas Cloverleaf. Rey taps immediately with his free hand. Eddy was so fast on that run-in that I completely believe that the ref didn't have a clue. That's some really good run-in work right there!


  • DDP cuts a pre-taped promo down at the Power Plant while wearing an Albert Einstein t-shirt. I was trying to process that for a bit and didn't pay complete attention to what he was saying, but I caught enough to know that Page appreciates Piper's leadership and knows he's in for a fight against Savage at Havoc. It's mostly unmemorable, but it's inoffensive.


  • Roddy Piper comes storming back out to talk to Gene Okerlund. Piper's doing more commissioneering or what have you, and he confirms that Larry Z. was made a legal WCW referee last week in preparation for Havoc and the Steiners have thus legally won the gold. He's going to keep talking - and I should note that Roddy Piper is aware of the film Reality Bites (Piper Knows Pop Culture) before I move on - but anyway, Bischoff and Savage come down to the ring to confront Piper before Piper can yammer on much more. They're mad about Savage getting his shit pushed in last week and all the title belts that they lost or that Piper took last week, and soon after, most of the rest of the nWo comes down to the ring to confront Piper, too. It looks like there's going to be a group beatdown, and then a fake Sting comes down and somehow no one can tell that it's a fake Sting. So yeah, Hogan is fake Sting this time, and he belts Piper with the bat and then a beatdown commences. Piper's done so much to help WCW out, but no one in the locker room gives a fuck about this dude getting killed. I'm no Piper fan, but come on, you gutless cowards in the back. 


  • We get a Ric Flair/Curt Hennig video package. I dig this feud, actually. I give Bischoff credit for successfully using old WWF feuds as jumping-off points for feud continuations in WCW. 


  • Tony S. has to stop pointing out how lame WCW is and how bad they are at combating the nWo on commentary, man. I mean, I agree with you, but you're just burying the whole company. Ray Traylor is still a WCW wrestler even though 1997 is damned near over, and if you recall, he's waging a one-man war against the nWo. He's up against Scott Norton tonight. Traylor's problem is that the wrestlers in WCW don't back one another up, so he's got to combat Buff Bagwell and Vincent running interference by himself. Norton launches Traylor and presses him way the hell up in the air before dumping him. That ruled. That's the last thing that rules in this match. Norton is doing super-boring offense during a long control segment, so I don't mind when Billy Kidman comes out looking like he hasn't showered in a few weeks and joins Raven's Flock in the front row. This is a pretty dull affair, but it reinforces how weak WCW is. Buff has a spray paint can that gets used to clock Traylor for a three count, and they beat Traylor down and spray paint him with said can in the post-match kerfuffle. 


  • WCW really does deserve to get taken apart by the nWo from a kayfabe standpoint. Bischoff needed to book a big "WCW comes together" moment toward the end of this year. Maybe he did and I just forgot about it. Maybe this is building to that. But probably not. 


  • In our third of four title matches tonight, Alex Wright gets a return match against Disco Inferno for the TV Title. The jackets both men are wearing don't even come off before the match starts, Wright is so ready to get his gold back. He throws a ton of offense, including a couple of nice standing dropkicks. This is surprising! Wright is super-aggressive and wants to get his belt back, but Disco has an equally intense comeback because he likes being champion. These dudes aren't even stopping to dance, which is how you can tell that both are serious. This is a good, pacey match. This goes outside and inside again and Wright really presses the advantage, passing up potential covers to do more damage. That might be a mistake because he gives Disco room to slip a two-count off a backslide, but he takes over again with a clothesline and continues to dish out punishment. He finally goes for a cover on a splash that gets two, then goes up again to kill Disco off and gets caught. This is a good match, so I'm not thrilled that Jacquelyn comes down here. Wright gets two on a Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge. Disco fights back with a swinging neckbreaker and Jackie's dumb ass chooses then to distract him by jawing with him. That gives Alex Wright a chance to come from behind and roll him up, but Disco rolls through it, pulls the tights, and gets three. I really enjoyed this match, honestly. The lack of dancing gave it a sense of desperation. Neither of these fellas stopped to dance during the whole match. I can't believe how meaningful that non-action ended up being. 


  • Diamond Dallas Page and Curt Hennig are the main event; the U.S. Championship is on the line. Wait a minute, I think I am remembering the title lineage. Hennig -> DDP -> Raven -> Goldberg (after a single day), correct? We getting a title change tonight, maybe? 


  • DDP controls early and tries to hit a snap Diamond Cutter, and I remember that Page and Hennig never really blew off their own feud from a few months ago. Hennig bails, spits at Page, and gets a loogie right back from Page. Hennig's been having some intense matches with guys the past few weeks, and this feels pretty intense too. When Hennig gets control, he throws kicks to the ribs and is generally disrespectful. Hennig hits a nice standing dropkick of his own for two. Standing dropkicks rule, especially when a dude over six feet throws one. Hennig uses the ropes for leverage as he tries to put Page to sleep, but Page holds the arm up on the third time and fights up and out...and right back into another sleeper. This time, he gets out quickly by dropping a jawbreaker, then moves when Hennig whiffs on a kick (with typical Hennig wild bump). Page hits the pancake and signals for the Diamond Cutter, but everyone is looking at the aisle, and I expect Randy Savage. What I get, though, is Ric Flair being held back by six security guards. So, Hennig is distracted by Flair and Page takes the chance to roll up Hennig for three as Flair breaks into the ring. I guess Randy Anderson's dumb ass decided that even though Flair didn't actually touch Hennig, Anderson's DQ'ing Page anyway. The first thing WCW needs to do is to get rid of these punk-ass refs, let me tell you that much. 


  • Roddy Piper has recovered from his ass-beating enough to come out here and, bless him(!!!), set things right. Oops, first Page and Piper have to fight off the whole-ass nWo. It's not going well! They're outnumbered again! I agree with the guy holding the WCW SUCKS ASS sign! Tony S. is like, The fuck is up with these lames in the back, and I'll allow it because even though he bolts at the first sign of danger, he's also just a commentator. But also, I don't allow it because he's telling the truth too damn much. Dellinger had six guys out here holding Flair back, but is nowhere to be seen during this wild-ass beatdown. Sting shows up to watch this shit, but that's about it. Look, if this is the sort of fight WCW is going to show when faced with adversity, sell 'em to Vinnie Jr. now. 


  • OK, FINALLY Sting comes down to the ring. Oh wait, there are like ten Stings. Aw man. The multiple Stings card. Don't ever playing the multiple Stings card. You can tell none of these Stings are real because the nWo doesn't back off and then feed for his punches one by one. Finally, one of the Stings eats a Buff punch for dessert, hits Buff with a Scorpion Death Drop, and we get the end of the show. 


  • Man, Bischoff really ran out of ideas about how to keep this "Sting watches over WCW" thing fresh by about two months out of Starrcade, didn't he? This was still a good show, though. Lots of talking, but that's okay. Dumb, sure, but that's just pro wrestling. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes


Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #111 - 20 October 1997

"The one where you can have Hogan vs. Piper and even Eddy vs. Rey - I want to see Goldberg vs. Mongo most of all

  • Welcome to Nitro! The nWo got jumped in the arena, and based on flimsy evidence, it was, Sting, DDP, and Piper! Or someone who dumped a bunch of their merch in the area as a way to throw Hogan and Bischoff off the trail!


  • The latter two come on down to the ring right from the back, followed by Randy Savage. Bischoff is pretty convinced that he knows who perpetrated the attack based on this meager evidence. Does the crowd know what's happening? Did they even see that the nWo was laid out? I don't see a big screen. 


  • Hogan is pressed by the cage hanging above the ring, which I didn't understand he was mad about until the cameraman panned up to the cage. Well, despite the lack of clarity around this angle for the audience (and even us, considering that Hogan ranted about a cage we didn't see until after he ranted about it, I suppose that wrestling fuckery has to feel chaotic sometimes, right? 


  • After a bit of recap of Stingerman: Into the Multiverse from last week, we get, ooh, a Chris Benoit/Eddy Guerrero match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship! Eddy's title reign, though it will be short, has been fun as fuck. These dudes just go at each other. Eddy's over as a heel, and so the crowd is into Benoit sending waves of stiff offense at him. They're obviously working with pace, so I can't capture it all here. Benoit throws a bunch of chops that send Eddy outside, but Eddy gets two off a roll-up reversal when Benoit tries to suplex him back in and takes control. Benoit eventually chops Eddy back outside and hits a suicide dive. Hey, Eddy should dodge all those Benoit chops. Seriously, Benoit's spamming them here. 


  • We get a break, after which we come back to Benoit breaking an abdominal stretch. Well-timed! These two go back and forth, lots of counters, lots of chops, and Benoit uncharacteristically springboards to the top rope for a move. He gets caught and there are a bunch of dope counters into and out of moves until Benoit ends up getting drop toe-held (toe-holded?) headfirst into the lower buckle on the other side of the ring. It knocks Benoit clean out, and Eddy has no problem going up top, hitting a Frog Splash, and getting three. Ref Mickey Jay wanted to stop the match, but Eddy came off the top and made him count three before he could call the match off by KO. Creative finish that you don't often see + Eddy really is a dick = great TV bout. 


  • So, if you recall, last week's main event had a weird finish that I guess ends up with Hennig still as the U.S. Champ because Randy Anderson should have been fired, there, I said it, Bischoff did the right thing for the wrong reasons all those months ago. 


  • Goldberg doesn't have time for anyone's shit. He walks to the ring with purpose. His purpose, you ask? To steamroll, um, looks like one of Mortis or Wrath. Well, it's Wrath, who tries to take his ceremonial garb off and gets FUCKED UP because Goldberg spears Wrath as soon as the bell hits while Wrath is still finishing up his intro, then Jackhammers him for three to quite the pop. Then he yells like a goddam PSYCHO. This match took about a third of the time that Wrath's entrance did. Do you love great TV, dear reader? If you do, watch this squash with the entrances included. And watch the post-match, too, as Goldberg points at Mortis and yells YOU'RE NEXT while Mortis is trying to wake Wrath up from the bus that hit him. 


  • So, this is the best linked series of segments that Bischoff has booked in awhile. Goldberg's walking to the back, yelling WHO'S NEXT, and Mongo comes out and is like MOVE OUT THE WAY, SON, I GOTTA GO FUCK MORTIS UP. Welp, I can guess who Debra's going to get as her second at Havoc. These two big hosses face off in the aisle, then Mongo goes out and tries to finish off Mortis in about the same time that Goldberg killed off Wrath. Vandenberg's back to his senses enough to distract Mongo during the early flurry so that Mortis can get in a bit of offense. Mortis has extended offense, aided by liberal misdirection and cheating by Vandenberg, who gets involved once too often and eats Mongo's fist. Mongo then stuffs Kanyon's attempt at an Irish Whip and hits a Tombstone for three. Maybe you can quibble with how long it took Mongo to put Kanyon away considering what will happen in a few days, but this two-match segment was sublime television. I am so ready for Mongo/Goldberg, which I assume is going to be the match at Havoc now. 


  • Mongo has an interview post-match and interviewer Gene Okerlund lets us know that if Mongo wins, Debra's got to jet WCW. Ooh, late match stip! Debra comes out here to tease Mongo about his opponent. If that opponent isn't Goldberg, I'm going to be very let down. 


  • Raven walks around a dilapidated boat schoolyard and talks about how miserable his childhood was. The '80s were a merciless decade, yeah. And I guess the late '70s were a prelude to that. 


  • Tenay segment on lucha culture and history. Rey Misterio Jr. talks about being from the barrio in Mexico City. This man is from Chula Vista, come on now. Though Chula Vista has its own barrio unless it's been gentrified away at this point. Anyway, this is a nice little package on Rey that hypes the Eddy/Rey Havoc match as Mask vs. Belt, a thing that I forgot was a stip and that would have given away the finish at the time of original viewing. 


  • Yuji Nagata kills Juventud "THA JOOOOOOOOCY ONE" Guerrera. Someone's rocking a Juvi 3:16 sign because they know what the hell is up. During the match, Raven makes his way to a ringside seat. In the ring, Nagata and Juvi have a really nice little TV bout with some enjoyable, crunchy moves (especially that Nagata powerbomb). It feels like both guys are trying to kill one another off quickly, and the end indeed comes pretty quickly after Sonny Onoo interferes and Nagata capitalizes with the Standing Figure Four Nagata Lock. Ultimo Dragon comes down to confront Onoo and gets beaten up. 


  • Raven and his flock watch from ringside. The lady sitting next to Raven is hilarious to me, just the way she eyeballs Raven like she thinks he might be up to mischief. 


  • Damien 666 and some Villanos are going to get murked by LE GEANT~, who I guess actually we're not pretending is Andre's son anymore, so he's just The Giant. The Giant isn't even worried about having to fight three luchadores; he'd rather grab a mic and issue threats toward Kevin Nash. He thinks Nash is secretly a wuss who is milking a knee injury. Damien is sick of all the yap yap and storms over to attack the Giant. It goes poorly. The Giant kicks the shit out of these dudes, chokeslams a Villano, and Jackknifes the other one while cutting a promo about how he's going to show Nash the proper way to powerbomb a man. Then he leaves. He didn't even need to pin anyone and get the night's purse! That's pretty cold.


  • The Nitro Girls are dancing in the ring. Then Disco Inferno is dancing in the aisle. I would like Disco and the Nitro Girls to have more interactions. 


  • This "Nevada's Athletic Commission won't allow Disco/Jacquelyn to be a title match at Havoc" nonsense is horseshit. Kayfabe horseshit, legit commission horseshit, doesn't matter. It's all horseshit. Of course, Disco probably wouldn't even have made it to Havoc with the gold without help two weeks ago against Page or this week against Rey. Rey promises to put his mask and the TV Title up against Eddy at Havoc should he win the latter here, at least according to Tony S. Yes! Finally, a child is pleased to get a lucha mask from Rey! I felt bad for poor Rey these past few weeks with all the rejections, some of which were emphatic. 


  • Rey gets a quick two right after the bell on a roll-up. I love that Disco's the bigger guy, but is clearly overmatched even though Rey's a consistent underdog. Then again, Disco kills a Rey rana attempt with a powerbomb, so good for him. Disco does the Macarena, which is NOT disco, and that of course allows Rey to recover and beat Disco's ass. Rey drapes Disco across the middle ropes and hits a top-rope legdrop. He then turns a crucifix bomb attempt into a roll-up for two and hits a crossbody for another two. He's ready to finish Disco with the springboard rana when Eddy runs down and knocks him off the ropes for the DQ. Eddy destroys Rey outside the ring, and Jackie runs right by them both, shoves Disco, and then takes him down when he tries to blow her off. He bails, grabs his gold, and tries to leave, but Jackie jumps him in the aisle. The crowd wants to see Jackie beat the crap out of him. Agreed, crowd!


  • That was a fantastic hour of wrestling. It started with Hogan, Bischoff, and Savage storming to the ring all mad and stuff. They do it again at the top of hour number two, so hopefully that augurs well for the next sixty minutes!


  • The nWo claims to have the whole arena on lockdown until Sting, DDP, and Piper come out and confront them in the ring. Savage sees a SAVAGE FEARS ROGAINE sign and, knowing him, his feelings were probably shoot hurt. He goes over to jaw at the guy holding it. We've hit the point in the '90s when there is a sea of signs every Monday night. A brief selection - (we want) STING, BAT OPTIONAL; HEY MOM, SEND MONEY; the recently-mentioned Juvi 3:16 sign; and some good Sting art. Bisch claims that everyone is scared of the ratings success of Assault on Devil's Island, including Vinnie Mac. Vinnie was far more scared of the monthly cost of Crystal Springs water delivery than a Hogan made-for-TV movie, Bisch. 


  • Curt Hennig has recovered from the show opening attack enough to defend his U.S. Championship against Dean Malenko here in hour two. Man, they have this early multiple armbar reversals spot that looks terrible. No struggle at all, just dudes ducking under each other for awhile until Hennig gets frustrated. The crowd wants Flair. Hennig don't want none of Flair, though. Hennig takes over into a commercial break. We come back to Hennig blocking Malenko and hitting a vertical suplex, so maybe there was a Malenko comeback in there. This match isn't the worst so far, but it leaves me a little cold. May I note that the crowd is sort of quiet compared to some of the other stuff that happened in the first hour, so it's not just me. Malenko gets two off a terrible-looking crossbody from the top rope. He argues that it was three with the ref and gets jumped by Hennig. Both men do some uninspired counter-wrestling before Malenko starts a targeted attack on Hennig's knee. He finally works Hennig into the Texas Cloverleaf, but it's too close to the ropes, and Hennig forces a break. Malenko does that not-great-looking spot where he runs into someone in the corner and bumps heads, and that allows Hennig to get the PerfectPlex for three. Not a good match. Not "torch your TV" level bad or anything. Not good, though. 


  • We relive the latest chapter in the lukewarm Ray Traylor vs. nWo feud that only like three members of the nWo are taking any notice of. Next, it's a return match between Ray Traylor and Scott Norton. Last week, Norton cheated to win. Some thirsty pre-teen in the crowd would like to get at Buff (who isn't here tonight) based on her sign. I'm glad to see that pre-teen thirst for good-looking pro wrestlers crosses gender lines. We really are all just humans. Traylor starts out hot, but can't handle a bit of misdirection from Vincent and gets rocked. This match is better than last week's because there are lots of splashes and shoulderblocks and powerslams. The offense is meaty and the pace is a bit quicker. Traylor even hits an enziguri, which he gains him a two count.


  • Norton reverses the momentum with a Stun Gun, but eats a diving clothesline from the second rope. We get the Bossman splash 'n sliding punch spot - does it have a formal name? - and a crossbody from the top rope (!) that gets two, but Vincent gets involved and spray paints Traylor in the eyes, which leads to an easy pinfall for Norton. Traylor gets up after the loss and fights back anyway, so a few nWo members who aren't Norton or Vincent actually bother to come down and jump Traylor. That was a much better match, but I'm not sure what the point of Traylor taking all these losses on Nitro are. If they were telling a story with it - Traylor went nWo and now has no friends in WCW, so he's got to go it alone until another WCW'er finally decides to trust him and help him fight the nWo midcard, for example - I could see this making sense. But they don't really seem to be interested in that story from what I can tell. We'll see. 


  • Booker T and Jackie head to the ring; Booker will be doing the fighting next, against Lex Luger. Hmm, Luger is not often on Nitro lately. Post-Fall Brawl, he's been pretty much de-emphasized. Booker asks Jackie not to mix it up with Luger, who is still very over, at least with this crowd. Booker and Luger trade shoulderblocks and flying forearms to start. Booker tries to hop a Luger charge in the corner, but gets caught and powerslammed for two. I very much like both these fellas, so I'm into this match. Luger hits a vertical suplex, but misses an elbowdrop. Booker misses one of his own, but Spinaroonies up (no pop - the crowd is behind Luger) and hits a kick. Booker works a headlock, and the crowd has fun cheering for Luger to work out of it, I admit. Luger does, but eats a Stun Gun for two. He goes right back to the headlock, but this one's not as long. Booker crotches himself on the top rope when he whiffs on a kick. That seems to spell the end, as Luger hits the forearm and goes for the Torture Rack, but Booker blocks it and goes back on the offensive. He hits a side slam and goes up for the Harlem Hangover, but he misses and gets racked for the Luger win. That was a solid TV match. I like that Booker is getting a little bit better at singles action from week to week; just avoiding the rack the first time was a big advancement for him even though he lost. 


  • Post-match, Lex Luger cuts a promo in which he goes out of his way to put over Booker T before he celebrates the nWo getting laid out earlier in the show. He is quite confident about his chances against Scott Hall at Havoc. Luger expresses his confidence in Larry Zbyszko's refereeing ability, but Larry Z. wants to come down and yap and yap and yap some more. He is going to tell us all, once again, how impartial he will be. WE KNOW, LARRY. He spends far more time than necessary reiterating this point. Hilariously Luger's face expresses bemusement at Larry Z.'s need to talk about this for like four or five minutes. "That's what I thought I asked for," Luger says, confused, after Larry Z. makes sure we know he's going to be an impartial ref. Hilarious. Almost funny enough to justify Zbyszko's jabbering. 


  • Scott Hall and Scott Steiner go one-on-one in a BATTLE OF THE SCOTTS. Hall takes his now-typical pre-match survey. This crowd actually prefers WCW. Like a good heel should, he ignores that shit and scores it for the nWo. He is displeased with the Steiners not letting Kevin Nash get healthy before their title match and promises the Giant that Kevin Nash is prepping for him while recuperating at his home in Scottsdale. Hall also shits on Luger for good measure. He ends by threatening Larry Z., and part of the crowd starts chanting BO-RING. Man, we got a true pro-WCW crowd up in here!


  • We're not going to let Scott Steiner have a response? Missed opportunity. Hall gets outwrestled early to start. He gets an armbar on Steiner and paintbrushes him, which is a mistake. Steiner fights out of the armbar and hits a suplex. Hall bails and eats a punch from Ted DiBiase going into the break. Hall is back in the ring when we come back, where he gets taken down and paintbrushed by Steiner. Steiner locks on a full nelson, which Hall struggles to break, like really hard. It's entertaining watching him strain to break it. He eventually just has to back Steiner into the corner to break it, but Steiner  is right back on him, though Hall slips out of a suplex attempt. He hits a fallaway slam and a clothesline, then gets two with his feet on the ropes. Hall hits a chokeslam, then does his hilarious THE GIANT IS A BIG GOOF taunt. Hall locks on an abdominal stretch and immediately cheats. He gets caught using the ropes for leverage on the third time and has to break; he tries to lock it on again, but gets reversed into a pumphandle slam. 


  • Steiner goes suplex crazy, which is always entertaining. Hall ducks a clothesline and straight hammers the ref out of frustration. He wants the DQ and tries to crotch chop Steiner when the ref is too, you know, KO'd to actually do it. Steiner takes the chance to suplex Hall, but then Steiner's distracted by the ref and gets jumped by Hall, who gets Steiner up for the Razor's Edge on the second try and hits it. A masked Vincent runs in with a ref shirt on and counts the three. The thirsty woman in the second row with the SCOTT HALL: HOT HOT HOT sign is overjoyed, but the rest of the crowd seems bummed. Hall's super-enjoyable in the ring, so pretty much anything he does will be fun at this point. I'm curious to see when his in-ring decline starts. It's gotta be soon. 


  • Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, and Randy Savage come out to end the show. Bischoff: "No heart, no soul, no will to win. No, I'm not talking about Vince McMahon..." He's talking about Piper, Page, and Sting. Meanwhile, Vinnie Mac had Steve Austin and the Hart Foundation tearing it up over on WWF television. And I guess Shawn Michaels's doped-up ass. Anyway, these nWo members are convinced that their opps are just scared of them, and a Sting comes out on the ramp while two more jump in the ring. The Stings in the ring = Piper and Page. They put the boots to the fellas in the ring. The Sting on the ramp gets hit by the nWo on their way out to jump Page and Piper. The cage, which I forgot existed, lowers to trap Page and Piper for a beating, but Sting rappels down before the cage comes all the way down and helps turn the tide. This crowd has been waiting ALL NIGHT for something like this, and they respond accordingly. 


  • I liked this show, but I came out of it incredibly hyped about the midcard matches at Havoc and merely whelmed (it's a word as far as I'm concerned) by the upper-card stuff. It was classic Bischoff-era WCW, in other words. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes


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Show #112 - 27 October 1997

"The one where Hogan and Sting are going to have a contract signing during the middle of tomorrow's showing of Assault on Devil Island, and that's all I can remember about this Nitro for some strange reason"

  • This is a three-hour show, post-Havoc. That’s a lot of pro wrestling, maybe too much pro wrestling in one sitting, and I like pro wrestling!


  • Hogan and Bischoff are here. Hogan got his ass beat by Roddy Piper again, but he got his Big Gold Belt back and Piper’s in the hospital after a post-match gang beatdown, so he’s happy. Piper dominated Hogan across three PPV matches over the past year, won two, but never won the title. Weird. Hogan and Bischoff cut their typical promo. Hogan really goes full-on cartoon villain, and honestly, he hits a level of hammy that’s pretty entertaining in this one.


  • I guess Sting Mask Run-In Guy from Havoc was a plant since Hogan goes out of his way to challenge anyone from the crowd. Or maybe not. WCW loved its crowd plants and having wrestlers wandering around out there, though. Bischoff is excited about nWo Nitro. Oh no. I’m going to have to watch that in the process of doing these re-watches.


  • People who didn't see Havoc are getting a lot of info about what happened to Piper and Larry Z. at that show. It's nine minutes in before we get an entrance for a match. Rey Misterio Jr., fresh off a classic against Eddy Guerrero the night before, matches up with a regular dance partner in Dean Malenko. Rey just won the dang thing and he's got to defend it the next night. They do a lot of very choreographed counter-wrestling to start. It looks good because Malenko's a good base and Rey is an incredible athlete, but it also might as well include a trapeze and maybe clowns being shot out of cannons. The crowd is distracted by Raven's Flock making their way through the crowd. In the ring, we get lots of counter-wrestling that is well-executed, but dry. Malenko does hit the super gutbuster, though - that move is so sick. It only gets two because Malenko takes some time to crawl over, and Rey is able to reach the ropes. Good way to protect that killer move. Malenko blocks a springboard rana with a powerbomb and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, but Rey small packages Malenko as he leans down to lock it on and retains the gold. I liked the ending run a lot! 


  • Tenay's lucha series covers lucha merchandising. Tenay says that TV coverage of the major companies is limited, so wrestling magazines are big there. I assume that's not still true in the streaming era, but assuming Tenay is accurate, when and why and how did that change? 


  • Man, look, I don't want to any more questioning of the booking than I already do, but Bisch had better not job La Parka to Glacier. It's too bad Glacier wasn't around four years earlier. I'd be down for a cage match with Sting and Glacier vs. Flair, Arn, and some random midcarder wearing an elaborate mask on a PPV main event. Parka makes fun of Glacier's whole kick routine and is generally disrespectful. He gets a pair of one-counts off shoulderblocks, but then he eats a bunch of kicks that send him outside. Glacier follows up with a dive over the top to the floor. Park recovers, dodges Glacier, and hammers him with a clothesline. He takes control and hits a piledriver, then dances. The La Parka Shuffle rules. He's a better dancer than Disco and Alex Wright combined. Parka hits a splash to the floor, then grabs a chair. Oops, I think Parka's the one getting over as a face with the crowd. He does rule. You'd think Bischoff would notice. Parka sets up an elaborate chair-assisted move, but gets caught and eventually sent into the chair that's set up outside the ring. That's about it for Parka, who whiffs with a wild swing back in the ring and eats a Cryonic Kick for three. The good news is that this match definitely showed that someone deserves a push. The bad news (for Bischoff) is that it wasn't Glacier. 


  • Gene Okerlund yaps at us for a bit before bringing Diamond Dallas Page out. Page goes to the ring instead of stopping next to Gene in the aisle. Gene doesn't really want to move, but what's he going to do? Page is in the ring. So, Page lost another match to Randy Savage, this time at Havoc, and, in his remarks, steps up to Hogan instead. Hogan was the guy in the Sting get-up who knocked Page silly so that Savage could win last night. He's answering Hogan's open challenge from earlier in the show...TONIGHT! 


  • Gene's still in the ring when we come back, and he's interviewing Larry Z. next. Larry went to the Nitrotron to reverse a decision in the Hall/Luger match at Havoc, and let's just say that said decision wasn't in Hall's favor and Larry Z. got a beatdown for it. Larry wants retribution, and he's got a contract to wrestle Hall that he just needs Hall's John (not Ms.) Hancock on to make it official. Hall and Syxx come out to the ramp to respond. Hall shouts out the crowd and Kevin Nash, and then he politely declines the proffered contract. Also, he offloads this whole feud onto Eric Bischoff, who jumped Zbyszko in last night's post-match antics. Wow, I'm impressed by Hall causing all these issues and then dodging them almost entirely. Hall asks a question to Okerlund that prompts Okerlund to respond to him with DOWN HERE, and Okerlund enjoys the insinuation, that perv. Larry promises to haunt Hall. Anyway, nothing really happens in this whole segment. 


  • Hey, Stevie Ray's back! He's here (with Jackie) to wrestle Lex Luger. Luger's probably not going to put poor Stevie's wrestling prowess over to the level that he did Booker's last week. Or any level, really. The announcers spend the first few minutes of the match putting over Jackie. Poor Gorman did not enjoy Disco/Jackie, but I loved it, and I would suggest that if you even remotely vibe with my tastes, you give it a watch. Speaking of Disco, he's defending the TV title against Goldberg. I don't remember Goldberg winning that title, so I'm assuming he'll be winning by DQ tonight. Booker has his own title shot against Curt Hennig later tonight as well. I'm more interested in the commentary than the match, the latter of which is acceptable. I actually like Stevie, but he's definitely a tag team specialist. I dig the Slapjack, though. It's one of the few things I'm looking forward to in 1998-1999 WCW. Then I get Stevie Ray commentary in the last twelve, eighteen months of Nitro. Stevie Ray rules. This match is not one of the things that I would use to make that case, however. Luger fights out of a mediocre-looking bearhug and hits the bionic forearm, but Stevie hooks the rope to block the Torture Rack. Stevie tries a clothesline, but whiffs and eats a powerslam and Torture Rack for the submission L. 


  • Raven wants a haven. A Haven for Raven, this week's Hallmark Special Movie of the Week theme for a Raven promo. 


  • Eddy Guerrero faces off with Chris Jericho in a rematch from this year's Fall Brawl. They show Jericho splatting himself trying to do a move that he's not athletic enough to do from Havoc. Nah, I'm good with watching a guy dump himself on his head from three different angles, but thanks. Eddy just can't get anything on Jericho early, who dodges an Eddy dropkick and hits a nice tilt-a-whirl slam. He's over-aggressive, though, and Guerrero catches him and hits a shoulderbreaker on Jericho's bandaged shoulder (hurt in that self-administered and accidental head drop at the Havoc, you see). Eddy goes to work on the shoulder - he hits a nice targeted dropkick on it - and is able to fight off one Jericho counter attempt. He eventually gets caught whiffing on a strike and Jericho hits a nice release belly-to-back. Jericho follows up with a powerbomb, but misses the Asai moonsault. Eddy tries to capitalize, but he's too slow going up to hit a move, and Jericho crotches him and hits a superplex that hurts Jericho as much as it does Eddy. Jericho has no strength to put on the Lion Tamer, but he's able to suplex Eddy out of the ring...except that it wrenches his neck and arm and Eddy is able to land on his feet. Eddy rushes the top rope and hits the Frog Splash on Jericho for three. That was kind of a visually messy finish, but I got what they were going for, and their idea was creative. It's fine if your grasp doesn't quite fit your reach sometimes. 


  • Hey, Fit Finlay's back! He and Chris Benoit are going to punch each other, possibly for real. Benoit is vicious in this match, and honestly, these two work at high-speed for a long time to start. It's hard to follow it all, in fact, because it's done at video game speed. I can see  how a generation of future wrestlers would decide that they want to be wrestlers and work like this all the time because it's pretty breathtaking. Finally, Finlay gets Benoit back in the ring and it slows down a bit. Finlay punts Benoit right in the spine, but I guess that just woke Benoit up. Benoit throws chops and kicks, so Finlay scissors the leg, takes Benoit down, and casually chokes him before putting him in a surfboard. Finlay eventually does some apron-based offense, then swings for the fences and hits the post when Benoit ducks. Finlay gets control right back and celebrates while someone holds up a Ken Patera sign in the crowd. In San Diego. In 1997. Sure, why not? Benoit finally hits a German Suplex and drops the diving headbutt for three. The crowd liked this and why not? They beat the shit out of each other. 


  • After some Flair/Hennig recap, we get Ric Flair interviewing with Gene Okerlund. Flair is barely keeping it together. He swears to take out Hennig, then puts DDP over before renewing his feud with Randy Savage. I mean, y'all need to agree to a permanent detente. He promises to fuck the Macho Man, or maybe Elizabeth, or maybe both of them? IDK, as long as they're consenting. No, wait, I think when he said "Drugs, no, violence, yes, sex, yes," he was offering the violence to the former and the sex to the latter. Anyway, Flair is having a totally normal one, as you can tell from this recap.


  • This is going to rule, I think. Doesn't Raven injure Scotty Riggs's eye and then Riggs joins the Flock and wears an eyepatch? This is a Riggs/Raven match, and I'm pretty sure that's what happens. Raven hops over the railing from his seat in the crowd, and his Flock surrounds the ring. Stevie Richards grabs a mic and notes that Raven still hasn't signed his contract with WCW and therefore will only wrestle if ref Nick Patrick and opposing wrestler Riggs sanction this match as no DQ. Patrick and Riggs agree to the terms. Raven, though, grabs the mic and points out that Riggs is on a long losing streak, but that he - Raven - can save Riggs from his failures without them having to fight. JOIN THE FLOCK. JOIN THE FLOCK. Riggs offers a rude gesture in response. Raven sounds just like Cousin Greg from Succession with his verbiage: "So it is written, so it shall come to pass." Greg's "If it so be, so it be, so it is" is AWFULLY close. Maybe Greg's a Raven mark? No, wait, maybe Raven's a Cousin Greg mark?!


  • Raven stomps Riggs out, gets a chair, gets knocked into the chair, and then drop-toeholds Riggs face first into the chair. Kidman jumps in to stop the match and gets dumped by his own friend cult leader; then, Raven leaves the ring and sits down while Riggs screams in pain. Uh, Raven looked like a goddam boss right there. 


  • Buffer's out here to introduce DDP and Hogan, and it's not even the main event of this Nitro. The entrances span a commercial break, and when I look back up, the match starts with some cursory shoving and Hogan working a long armbar, which is kind of novel, actually? He actually works the thing instead of just sitting in it. Hogan has been trying really hard this whole year in the ring. I think I've come to the conclusion that as shitty as 1996-97 heel Hogan is on the mic and how not-giving he ends up being to Sting, he was a clear positive in the ring. Hogan hits a high knee that Triple H might be jealous of. OK, maybe not, but it looked good. Page is able to get control of Hogan's arm and tries to transition into a quick Diamond Cutter, but Hogan avoids it and bails. Hogan gets back in the ring, eats a discus clothesline, and bails again. He thought he had Page dead to rights by catching his kick, but got caught. Hogan regains control and hits the two elbowdrops-and-a-boot-wipe move, then dumps Page to the floor. Hogan follows outside and hits a couple of loud chops, then a back suplex on the mats. Page has spent most of his time fighting from underneath, and the crowd is pretty ready for that DDP comeback at this point!


  • Back in the ring, Page blocks a hip toss and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Page sells his everlasting rib injury, which slows him enough that Hogan gets in an eye rake and then an inverted atomic drop. Hogan is very disrespectful during this beatdown, and that fires Page up, who struggles back into the match from underneath. Man, I am really enjoying this Hogan control segment. Hogan gets two off an AXE BOMBAH and let's throw a tildebang in there because it looks good: AXE BOMBAH~! Hogan hits a combo and covers Page four straight times, but never gets more than two. Page tries to fight up and this time finds enough strength to win a punch-up and knock Hogan outside. Page follows and starts unloading on Hogan with wild rights, rolls Hogan back into the ring and then, just as Page is picking up momentum, he eats a big boot. DDP dodges the legdrop, however, and just as Page is looking to capitalize, Fake Sting *sigh* runs out and eats a Diamond Cutter. Randy Anderson calls for the bell even though Page hasn't been touched, but Hogan grabs his weight belt and hammers Page with it, so I suppose it was inevitable. The nWo *sigh* runs out for an unopposed beatdown of Page while the crowd chants for Sting. This is a perfect example of a very good match ruined by the finish, though at least the real Sting does actually come through the crowd to save Page. Vincent doesn't understand the concept of a Slop Drop, but eventually turns himself around the right way and gets drilled. Hennig, Hall, Norton, and Konnan all rush Sting and take an ass-beating as we go to break. 


  • Disco Inferno's going to try to avoid utter devastation at the hands of Goldberg. Alex Wright is mad about getting Jackhammered at Havoc the previous night, and he runs out and pushes Goldberg while Goldberg stalks to the ring. Wright eats a Jackhammer for his troubles; Disco eats a spear and Jackhammer soon after, but Charles Robinson never actually, you know, CALLED FOR THE FUCKING BELL, so Mongo takes the chance to run down and kill the match just by tying up with Goldberg and coaxing security down to clear the ring. GOLDBERG WAS ROBBED. 


  • Man, Hogan, you were doing so well, you had a really good match and your heel control work was excellent, so there's no need to ruin it by coming back out here to talk...except Hogan walks over and punks a yappy fan who refuses to make eye contact with him. Never mind, this was worth it just to see that. Hogan's on fire tonight, I must admit. I'm going to forgive him for this actually alright promo with a couple of lame lines in it because of how good he's been tonight. And NO ONE IS WATCHING ASSAULT ON DEVIL'S ISLAND, GIVE IT UP. I guess the big deal here is that Hogan promises to sign a title match against Sting for Starrcade. (Note, I wrote that last sentence BEFORE the rest of the show happened.) 


  • The Steiner Brothers come out with Ted DiBiase to cut a promo. Their tag title chase ended with quite the whimper, and I sort of forgot that they were champs. Scott Steiner is out here thanking people like he won an Oscar. DiBiase is completely superfluous, and I guess they moved him out of the nWo since Bischoff became the prime non-wrestling talker, but just send DiBiase to a road agent position or something and keep him off screen. He is not a good babyface manager. The Steiners will take anyone on for their gold, just sign that contract, or so DiBiase says.


  • Ooh, the Steiners will now wrestle. For some reason, Public Enemy is still around is getting a title shot. Man, PE do a lot of stalling. A lot of uninteresting stalling. A lot of it right into the break while commentary prattles on about Sting and Hogan. Finally, we come back and someone is doing something in the ring. Oh, I see, commentary is hyping a Sting/Hogan contract signing that will happen in the middle of that shitty Hogan movie. They're pulling a Robin Hood premiere here. There is a boring double-team beatdown on Scott outside the ring while that happens. Scott eventually makes a comeback by hitting a double clothesline and getting a hot tag. A top-rope bulldog soon follows for the Steiner Brothers win. I don't think commentary called one move in that whole tag title match, though I guess at least Tenay apologizes for not calling any of it. Then right after that, Tony S. promises to ignore the U.S. Championship match that's coming up next to talk about Sting and Hogan some more, so that completely undid the goodwill that Tenay attempted to gin up. 


  • Booker T. and Curt Hennig face off for that U.S. Championship, and it's too bad that the desk won't be trying to get young midcard star Booker T. over so that they can talk about this contract signing. Then again, I'm not sure how Booker is getting a title shot after eating a bunch of Ls the past few weeks anyway. Tony and the desk finally run out of steam for a second. What the fuck else can you say about a contract signing? I can sometimes overlook the desk not calling the in-ring action, but this has been so bad, almost show-ruining. I'm fine if you hype it here and there for the rest of the show since you are trying to sell a movie, but come on. Booker and Hennig are having a dull match anyway, and the young lady who clearly yells BO-RINGGGGG agrees. It goes outside and inside again, but it never really picks up...no, wait here comes Liz. Booker is putting up offense on Hennig, but Liz runs a distraction so Savage can interfere. Flair runs right out and attacks Hennig to earn Booker a DQ loss anyway. Flair chases Hennig out of the ringside area. Wow, this has been bad television. 


  • OK, coming out of the final break, Flair's back out and he tackles Savage. They have a wandering brawl that exists, I suppose. Then Flair kisses Liz against her will. Look, this show was great from the Raven/Riggs match all the way though Disco/Goldberg, and they'll never take that away from me. Savage does take a gnarly-looking bump whiffing on a double axe from the top to the rail, though. Curt Hennig runs out to draw the DQ and trigger a Hennig/Savage beatdown of Flair. 


  • I thought the show was very fun in hour number two, and I'm impressed with Hogan's Hogan Hogan Sting Hogan contract signing Hogan Sting Las Vegas Sting Hogan Sting contract signing Assault on Devil's Island Sting Hogan Hogan Sting. Hogan. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
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Show #113 - 03 November 1997

"The one where everyone feels good about their chances in a big battle royal even if, like, only five or six guys have a realistic shot at winning it"

  • WCW's in ECW country tonight! 


  • Did you know that Sting and Hulk Hogan signed a contract last Tuesday night? Do you want to learn more about the Human Game of Chess (tm Zybszko)? Do you want to know how well-rated Assault on Devil's Island was? If your answer to all those questions are "yes," then I have a rip-roaring Nitro opening for you! We actually see some of the film, which is sadly not bad enough to be entertaining (or good enough to be entertaining, obviously). Then we get some clips of a contract signing that apparently happened at the MGM Grand in Vegas on Tuesday. Huh, I didn't know that this contract signing was happening. I wonder why WCW failed to promote it. During said signing, Sting shows up, signs, and has a face off with a very nervous Hogan, you know the drill.


  • Eddy Guerrero is tagging up with Dean Malenko. Huh. You'd think Malenko would be more likely to punch Eddy in the face than tag with him. In fairness, they do eye each other warily, both remembering their recent history with one another. But you know what's even more strange? Rey Misterio comes out with his tag partner Lord Steven William Regal. I don't understand this booking, but okay. Tenay tries to explain this weird set of pairings and fails to convince. Rey and Malenko trade some early pinfall attempts on the mat. They wrestle to a standstill, and Malenko blind tags Eddy, who gets in the ring and eats a Euro uppercut from Regal. Eddy and Regal have a nice sequence in which Regal uses his size to get the advantage, so Eddy clips the knee and tries to work it. Regal snaps Eddy with a kick, tags out, and Rey gets two with a rana. Malenko breaks it up, and a bunch of stuff happens leading up to Misterio hitting his own man with a springboard dropkick. Eddy hits Rey a powerbomb and sets up for a Frog Splash, but Malenko hits another blind tag and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission victory. I don't know why this match existed, exactly, but it was a fun opener, and I'm glad it did!


  • Chae was really counting out the beats so that she didn't miss her cue. 


  • Roddy Piper has facial damage from the beating he took at Havoc because he's always kayfabe hurt after every main event in WCW so that he doesn't use all his dates up too quickly. I can only take Piper in short bursts, if that, so may he take a long time to recuperate.


  • Dave Taylor and Fit Finlay are going to do the business tonight, and I am here for it. Finlay controls with a hammerlock and presses for two. The crowd is more interested in, I don't know, a fight in the crowd? Sting? No, it's Raven and his Flock, as ECW chants ring out around the Spectrum. Finlay works a nervehold, then pulls on Taylor's nostrils. The match goes outside, where Finlay uses the apron. His apron-based offense ruled. Best apron-based offense in wrestling history as far as I know. Taylor gets control and hits a press gutbuster, which looked awesome. He misses a springboard splash, however, and eats a lariat and a Tombstone for the three. Finlay yells WHO'S NEXT into the camera. Damn, dude's out here biting both Mongo and Goldberg


  • Eric Bischoff calls in to the commentary desk. He's basically very bitchy about Sting. Oh, and Roddy Piper. Oh, and Vincent Kennedy McMahon! Bisch accidentally shits on Hogan by claiming that USA and Vince McMahon doing their Survivor Series retrospective special opposite the premiere of Assault was a low-blow, and Vince put "Hogan in his prime" on TV to try and sink the movie. How much do you think Bisch had to apologize to Hogan for insinuating that Hogan's not in his prime anymore? The crowd chants BO-RING, and honestly, they have sat through just how much of commentary yammering on during this show? Try running a few matches, a few feud-focused promos, anything, fellas. 


  • Former Sonny Onoo client Psicosis wrestles current Sonny Onoo client Yuji Nagata. Onoo has quite the burn rate when it comes to clients! Nagata controls early with kicks, but Psicosis turns thing around by being speedy. He ducks a few strike attempts and hits Nagata with a nice springboard dropkick. Lots of springboard moves so far tonight. Nagata bails, and Psicosis just barely clears the corner on a pescado that scores. Psicosis follows with a running legdrop from the apron to the floor before getting Nagata back in the ring for a two-count. Psicosis follows up with a dropkick, but Nagata blocks Psicosis's top-rope rana attempt and Psicosis really bonks himself on the bump. Nagata takes control, and his style is kick. And chinlock. Kick and chinlock. Nagata hits a weak powerbomb, then tries an overhead German that Psicosis is able to flip out of. Onoo distracts Psicosis, though, who eats a back suplex and the Nagata Lock for the loss. Onoo drops some pesos on Psicosis because he's such a generous guy. 


  • Raven is recounting his sad and pathetic childhood in a promo. He's not wrong about middle school kids being a conduit to, in his words, "the depths of human evil." Oh man. Raven says that "nothing in nature behaves more consistently and rigidly than a human being in pursuit of destruction." Oh, did he watch the Succession finale the other night? 


  • Disco Inferno dances to the ring. How will he slither away with his title this week? Saturn, his opponent, hops in the ring as a siren sounds. Saturn puts on a suplex clinic of the highest order, and it rules. He tries to rip Disco's fingers off his hand. Raven watches Saturn from ringside, a typically dour look on his face. Well, both of their faces. Saturn efficiently and ruthlessly out-wrestling Disco is pretty fun! Saturn had hype at this time, and it's easy to see why. His offense is just so fun and creative, and fluid to boot. Saturn could have won this match about two minutes in, but he appears to be waiting for a signal from Raven. Saturn torques the wrist on an armbar, but lets Disco back up so that he can drive his knee into the injured arm. Saturn goes back to the armbar, and Disco somehow hasn't given up yet. Just when Saturn appears to be slowing down, he hits an overhead hammerlock suplex. I love it. MORE SUPLEXES. Disco's first offense is an elbow that busts up a corner charge, followed by a lariat that gets two. His flurry doesn't last long, though, and he eats a release German soon after. Disco does get space to try a swinging neckbreaker, but he whiffs and eats a suplex instead, and Saturn locks on the Rings of Saturn for the submission win and the TV Title. Philly likes this. Stevie celebrates a bit too much and gets shot through the ropes by Raven. I enjoyed watching Saturn dismantle Disco very much. 


  • Gene Okerlund's primary job these days seems to be interviewing Ric Flair. Flair claims that Philly loves blood 'n guts (true) and that Flair loves Philly (probably also true). Flair basically wants to beat everybody up in the whole nWo and yells about how he would very much love to do so. World War 3, the WCW PPV with the oddly violent name for a Turner company event, is coming up, and Flair will be there too. I think he'd like to be World Champ again! 


  • Hey, it's hour number two of Nitro! 


  • Scott Hall comes to the ring with what looks like one-half of the tag team championships. Someone holds up a HALL FEARS ZABYSCO sign, which is not a bad phonetic attempt at spelling Larry Z.'s name. Larry doesn't mind the misspelling and would like that sign to be held higher. It's nice that he understands how challenging Americans find it to spell names of Eastern European origin, generally. If this were 2023, I'd suggest that the dude maybe Google it beforehand, but it's not. 


  • Hall's catchphrases are over with the crowd. Larry Z. is also over with the crowd. Such is the nature of ECW country also being WWF country. Heck, the nWo is over, too. Everything is over here! Philly is a really good wrestling city! Hall would like all the people who are questioning the health of Nash and Syxx to suck some genitals, which I would guess many people are fine with doing anyway. Then he harasses Larry Z. ("You sit there in La La Land...you and Bruno, you guys put yourselves over") and prepares to beat up that babyface dork Chris Jericho.


  • But wait, not so fast! After being a dickhead and tossing a toothpick in Jericho's face, Hall gets outwrestled early by Jericho and eats an arm drag. Hall focuses and works the arm, but every time he gets disrespectful, he gets caught. He paintbrushes Jericho and eats a series of kicks. He focuses and catches Jericho in a fallaway slam. He takes time to talk shit to Larry Z. in the camera instead of just hitting the Razor's Edge, and he gets reversed and inside cradled by Jericho for three. Hall immediately jumps Jericho and hits a Razor's Edge or two, but that was a fun little wrestling match and a decent morality play besides. Oh, Hall points to the ref, and the crowd approves Hall hitting a Razor's Edge on poor Billy Silverman, so Silverman jets. The crowd wants Zbyszko to come down and confront Hall, which he does (with that contract from the last show), and that gets Hall to leave. Larry Z. foams at the mouth, begging Hall to sign the  contract for a match against him, while Hall walks away calmly (Hall: "Come on, you can't even beat Bischoff.") Hall was a walking internet troll at this point, in kayfabe and apparently IRL as well. Bold and somewhat visionary stuff from him in 1997, in kayfabe and in IRL as well!


  • Tenay names some of the most common lucha high spots in what I think is his final lucha segment. Imagine educating your fanbase on another style rather than homogenizing your house style and presenting it as the only way to wrestle. 


  • It's a luchador battle royal! I assume it's not until Vince Russo shows up that the commentators spend most of their time making racist jokes about Mexican folks during the match. There are only eight luchadores in this whole thing, but okay. Tony S. uses this battle royal to pimp the big three-ring WW3 battle royal, which I will watch, and which will be visually ugly because of the multi-camera approach to the whole deal. The Royal Rumble is basically the perfect version of a battle royal, and it's hard to find another version that works as well in terms of visual clarity and structure. Yes, I know I just said something about WWE's homogenized house style, but come on, the Rumble is so good. There are always exceptions.


  • Oh, no, they're just going to disrespect these luchadores by having the Giant come down and destroy them all. Well, at least there wasn't a ton of racism involved. The 'cism peaked in this episode with Onoo dropping the pesos onto Psicosis while Larry Z. talked about it keeping Psicosis in beans and rice for a few years.  The Giant and Lex Luger have been so misused, it's crazy, especially since Road Wild a few months ago. No wonder the Giant took off for WWE, where he was also consistently mis-booked, but I get why he'd think the pastures were greener there at the time. The Giant grabs a mic after clearing the ring. He really loves figurative language and would like to note that he's much bigger than Kevin Nash, who is kinda puny if you really look at him. Nash skips leg day. Anyway, he didn't exactly say that, but he pretty much did. 


  • Ric Flair comes out to the ring, all fired up, and works over a game Alex Wright. Wright's canny offensive slight-of-hand doesn't do much to stop Flair, whose series of chops and occasional knee-based attack both thrills the crowd and keeps Flair firmly in control. Flair hits a nice stalling vertical suplex, lays in some chops to Wright on the outside, and back in the ring, locks in a Figure Four for the win. He has something to say to Debra on his way out, too. I guess he can stop putting up with Debra being a total dick now that the Horsemen are disbanded. 


  • Mongo McMichael locks up with Ray Traylor, who is taking time off from fighting B-Team nWo members to fight a few former Horsemen, I suppose. The match that follows is fine, but people are sort of muted on this until GOLDBERG walks out to watch the proceedings. He's wearing Mongo's Super Bowl ring, and Mongo, being easily distracted, walks over to yell at Goldberg. When Mongo turns around and walks back over to Traylor, he gets caught in a Bossman Slam and eats a three-count. Sure, that was neat, but do we get to watch Goldberg kill a dude tonight or what?!


  • Gene Okerlund works his backup job, which is interviewing Diamond Dallas Page. Page cheesily tries to curry favor with the crowd, then he recaps his ascent up the card to start his promo. He is inspired by taking Hogan's best shot last week and surviving. That match was really good! I would like a rematch! Page has his Battlebowl ring on tonight because he wants to remind everyone that he is formidable in battle royals. Well, yeah, but he won that battle royal in the style of 1997 Steve Austin


  • Public Enemy and the Steiners are going to have a Philly Street Fight. I'm whelmed by the idea. Everyone brawls a lot and I'm not really going to do much to do PBP. There's clubbering, there are weapon shots, you know the deal. Rocco Rock and Scott Steiner do wander over to the desk, and in a cool spot, Rocco climbs partway up the commentary set's scaffolding to dive onto Scott with a forearm. But really, most of this is stuff I've been bored by for a long time now. Give me two guys trying to punch each other into unconsciousness until they both bleed while surrounded by a cage over the wandering plundah brawl. It's weird because some of those hold up - I'm thinking Nastys vs. Payne and Cactus - but many of them do not. The finish is gross, though, as Johnny Grunge whiffs on a dive through double tables while Rick Steiner bleeds from a gash in the side of his head nearby. That was a good visual. I think Rick caught the edge of a chair while taking a shot to the head. Anyway, Scott cursorily pins Grunge for three. 


  • Recap of last year's WW3 Battle Royal finish. Luger looked like a beast, and same time this year, he barely exists on Nitro, IMO. I'm so frustrated about how de-emphasized he's been. I get that you need to cycle him down the card, but put at least half the energy into his stuff that you put in for Page's stuff, Bischoff.


  • Our Buffer-introduced main event pits U.S. Champion Curt Hennig up against, hey, Lex Luger! It's nice that he has a big match on Nitro. The feeling-out process favors Luger, who uses his power to win the first exchange with a shoulderblock. Hennig takes over into the break, and when we come back, he's jawing with some Philly dude in the front row. Luger can't take advantage of the distraction, and Hennig puts in some work. This match is alright, and it makes me wonder why they had a super-shitty match at WM IX. These are two good pro wrestlers! Even if they don't have the greatest chemistry, they should have been able to do something compelling! Maybe the answer is in face-heel alignment, as Luger selling for Hennig's heel control segment is much better than the reverse. Luger finally makes his comeback with a corner whip and a series of atomic drops. Hennig does his wild bumping and selling as he eats clotheslines and the metal forearm. Luger tries for the Torture Rack, but Hennig grabs the ropes, blocks it, and spills everyone outside, where Ric Flair runs in and attacks Hennig. Man, quit fucking up Luger's shine, Flair. Luger puts Hennig in the rack, but Flair's dumb ass knocks Luger over so he can get at Hennig. Luger and Flair have a tense conversation as Hennig escapes and the show ends. 


  • This was a decent show that laid some solid ground for the next PPV and got a bunch of folks some TV time, which I feel like wasn't happening in the previous week4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
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Show #114 - 10 November 1997

"The one where Bret Hart's career starts an inexorable downhill slide" 😞 

  • It's the weekend and the dishes are done, the wife is turning in early, and the house is quiet. This is the perfect time for Nitro!


  • Any time is the perfect time for Nitro, honestly.


  • So, uh, if you don't remember the date of the infamous Montreal Screwjob, Bret Hart got screwjobbed the night before this show because the nWo rolls out with a bunch of Canadian flags. I am excited to have the HitG.O.A.T. on my screen, but also, I am not looking forward to seeing the HitG.O.A.T. be booked into the ground and then eat a kick from Goldberg that puts him out of wrestling. 


  • Bischoff manages to get a shitty Elvis impression in while introducing the previously injured Kevin Nash, whom Syxx rolls to the ring in a wheelchair. But it's all a fake-out! Nash is up and quite spry, actually! He and Hall are carrying their own pair of WCW World Tag Team Championship belts. Nash riffs on the Lou Gehrig retirement speech (not quite as timely as most of his references), then lists beating the Giant up as the thing he'd like to most do next to winning Ben Stein's money (much timelier joke, and here I will note that WCW did have their own special episode of that show, though Nash was not able to fulfill his dream. Raven, Kimberly, and Disco were on this show. Also, really bad taste and terrible edgelord "humor" was on this show, since it was the '90s and Jimmy Kimmel was involved).



  • Bischoff talks about Bret Hart being a knockout kinda guy, which, like, no one in this crowd even understands. This is a crowd full of WCW fans who were mostly not on the internet at that time, probably! I was, though. I was scandalized. I know we're all sick of the Montreal Screwjob, and for good reason, but I'll always remember that night and clicking around the early internet trying to figure out WTF happened. It was a formative internet experience for me. These nWo scumbags BUTCHER "O Canada," which I have said before in this thread is one of the most fun national anthems to sing. My God, drunk hockey fans can belt this one out and make it sound good. This was like Amazing French Canadiens-level bad, but times a hundred. Thanks, I hated it. 


  • We get the proper Nitro introduction almost ten minutes into the show. 


  • The mooks at the desk talk somewhat cryptically about Bret Hart and just assume, I guess, that Bisch ain't lying about Bret Hart being a part of the nWo. Larry Z.'s smart enough to point out that Bischoff makes shit up all the time, though. 


  • Gene Okerlund shills the WCW Hotline like he's never shilled it before to sell a bit of that sweet, sweet Hitman-clobbered-Vinnie gossip. Excuse me, I had access to RajahWWF for FREE, Okerlund, you bum.


  • The Blue Bloods are back together! Steven Regal and Dave Taylor come to the ring to wrestle Harlem Heat. Booker backdrops Regal, hits a sidekick, and arm drags Taylor. Regal gets a shot to the eyes and tags Taylor in, but Booker pushes Taylor back into his corner and tags in Stevie. I'm sure this is not going long because they're moving pretty quickly. Anyway, a bunch of nonsense happened during a match between these two on WCWSN and Chris Adams was somehow involved, so this is a return match. Everyone else was filling us in on that when Tony S. randomly yelled OMIGOSH, BRET HART IN THE nWo?! and I know it's not his fault because he's just doing what the producers of this show tell him to do, but no wonder everyone hated him by the middle of 1998. Booker topples from the top rope and Regal and Taylor hit a combo of strikes on Stevie before Taylor floats over on a butterfly suplex for three. It's quite the upset, but Regal's not long for WCW, so nothing will come of this in the long-run. It was a perfectly cromulent television bout. 


  • This is a pretty loaded show, with Flair/Luger (based on last week's discord at the end of the show), Eddy/Rey, and DDP/Hennig as announced matches tonight, if I heard right. I'm into it!


  • Disco Inferno got worked by Saturn for the TV Title last week, but he's over it. He'll face off with Chris Jericho, who should, as Saturn did last week, find it a pretty easy night's work. Weirdly, these dudes have an intense punch-up to start, like where did that come from? I guess Disco was mad about whatever music Jericho was using at the time cutting him off. We got a badly-edited-in version of "Break the Walls Down" on the Network. Disco dodges a corner charge and hits a clothesline. He opens up on Jericho while the whole crowd on the hard cam side ignores the in-ring action to look at Raven and his Flock walking to their seats. In the ring, Disco misses a top-rope kneedrop, manages to block a roll-up, but celebrates that block and eats a thrust kick. Jericho follows up with a backbreaker and the Lion Tamer for the submission win. That was short and sweet. 


  • As Disco walks to the back, Billy Kidman tosses a drink in Disco's face. Disco responds by hitting Kidman with a Chartbuster, but Sick Boy and Saturn hop the railing and beat Disco down. Pirate Scotty Riggs and his eye patch run down for the save, but Riggs finds himself unable to take a swing at the charismatic leader of the Flock. He backs off while Raven silently uses his Rasputin-like psychological influence to convince Riggs that life sucks, so join the Flock. 


  • Barbarian! I haven't seen this guy kick the shit out of someone in too long. Let's hope he kicks the shit out of Glacier. For a second, I was hoping it'd be Goldberg coming out here, but no, I've been let down. Glacier loses a lockup, but kips up and hits a bunch of strikes. He uses his speed to confuse Barb, hitting a leg sweep and throwing more strikes; Barb gets sick of that shit and clubbers Glacier. The crowd EXPLODES as Jimmy Hart comes to the ring. We're in Memphis, so obviously Hart's going to get some love. Hart still has Barbarian's management contract, so I figure after sitting at home wondering where it all went wrong with the Dungeon of Doom, he probably decided he needed to come back and get his cut.


  • Glacier swings, gets blocked, and eats an inverted atomic drop. In a nice spot, both men block arm drags, then block belly-to-belly suplexes until Glacier finally gets his suplex on Barb. Hart jumps onto the apron and Glacier immediately Cryonic Kicks him - rude! - which allows Barb to take control. However, Barbarian comes off the second rope with a double axehandle and, with his hands raised defenselessly over his head, can do nothing but choke down a Cryonic Kick that earns Glacier the win. Meng won't stand for this nonsense, and he comes down and Tongan Death Grips Glacier in the post-match. Sure, I'm here for Glacier/Ernest Miller against the Faces of Fear, why not? This match was also pretty enjoyable in and of itself, by the way.


  • Raven comes to the ring, takes Penzer's mic, and slumps in the corner. He apologizes to Riggs for the whole eye injury, but I'm not sure how sincere he is. Raven complains about his shitty childhood in which he was mercilessly bullied while the Flock stands around in the ring. Tony S. thinks the bullying was totally justified because Tony S. is a dick. Anyway, Raven blames society for being mean to him as the reason that he and his Flock will beat everyone up. Meanwhile, the desk freaks out over the somewhat androgynous dress and makeup that Van Hammer's wearing. It's a nipple ring and lipstick, fellas. That used to be typical dress on a Saturday night in Capitol Hill. 


  • After a short Goldberg/Mongo feud recap, Sonny Onoo escorts Yuji Nagata to the ring. Nagata's opponent is Alex Wright, who is a bit too impressed with his own cleverness in the early exchanges and eats a wheel kick for his insolence. The match goes outside and Wright beats the shit out of Nagata (aside, to a fan, as he chops Nagata: "Is this what you wanted?"), with a clothesline and a bunch of strikes. He rolls Nagata in the ring and goes up top, but Nagata catches him and hits a superplex. Wright backs into the corner and gets control again in short order, hitting a top-rope knee drop. He runs the ropes and eats a suplex, but hits his own back suplex for two.


  • Outside the ring, Onoo shoves some money into Debra's hands and then kisses her, so she smacks him, and the whole exchange distracts Wright and allows Nagata to jump him and lock on the Nagata Lock for the submission. I guess Onoo thought that he could just pay Debra and then kiss her in return, but he didn't actually attempt to a) work out a deal before just jamming some money into Debra's hand and then kissing her, and furthermore, b) why would he think that she was interested in sex work, and c) even if she was, why would he assume that she wouldn't choose her clientele meticulously?


  • This show has had a LOT of stuff jammed into it, let me tell you. This is an incredibly fast-paced television show. We're already at hour number two, and it doesn't feel like we should be. 


  • Bischoff and Hogan are back out here. They've got a movie poster for some movie called The Real Reason (Men Commit Crimes), and I guess someone cast Sting in it, so Hogan and Bischoff are mad about that because Hogan's ego is big but fragile, you know how it be. Hold on, let me see more about this movie Sting's in. To IMDb! OK, I guess according to the movie, the real reason that men commit crimes is to impress women. Yeah, I mean, for straight men, that's probably true in most cases. Most of what I did growing up was to impress my mom, and now most of what I do is to impress my wife. This could just be me, but I suspect that I am not alone here. The IMDb rating is a respectable 7.7/10, but it's iMDb, so I'll just assume that this score has been brigaded.


  • Looking up that movie was more fun than paying attention to this promo. Hogan challenges Sting to a match tonight, but we all know it's not happening, so whatever, let's move on. 


  • Man, Chris Benoit's booking in WCW has been nonsense. He had something like a fifteen- or sixteen-month feud against Kevin Sullivan, was a Horseman when the Horsemen didn't run like a dominant pack, and since the end of that Sullivan feud, has been kind of floating around doing nothing. Oh, and the Horsemen are dead. I don't think Benoit is some long-term, main-event level talent, but he got over totally on his work because the booking did him zero favors. Saturn and Benoit kick the shit out of each other because that's what these guys do. Seriously, this is a match where they just clubber each other for three minutes before Saturn sits down on a Benoit roll-up and holds the ropes for three. Then, the Flock runs in and Benoit dumps them. Tony S. has no idea what the fuck is going on and missed the pinfall. He's unsure why the bell is ringing. Benoit faces off with Van Hammer, which gives Finlay a chance to run in and hit Benoit with a Tombstone. Finlay leaves and then the rest of the Flock jumps in and stomps out an unconscious Benoit.


  • This is an uneven, but ultimately entertaining Crash TV approach to Nitro. I don't think I want this every week, but there's been little to leave me bored or fidgety on this show. 


  • The Nitro Girls dance. There are some Nitro Girls who should always be in the front, and some Nitro Girls who should be on the back line permanently, and yeah, I'll settle down. 


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair, which is something like a cold shower. Flair puts over Elvis and basically yells about beating everyone up. Flair's yelling a whole lot, like all the way through this thing. I like it when Flair is a bit toned down at some points in his promos. It makes the parts where he goes off and starts yelling hit harder. Anyway, he yells about hopefully banging a few of the Nitro Girls after winning the WW3 Battle Royal, more or less. 


  • Eddy Guerrero is very over as a heel. Rey Misterio gives a kid his mask, and that kid is hyped. Progress! Eddy jumps Rey at the bell while the crowd chants EDDY SUCKS. Eddy gets an early two count, and I should note that this is a return match from Havoc for the Cruiserweight Championship (but not the mask!). These fellas have lightning-fast exchanges, and I can't call all of this stuff, but there's a good sequence that ends with Rey hitting a monkey flip and some sort of weird, awkward-looking headscissors from the ring to the floor. Rey doesn't keep control for long and ends up getting superplexed for two. Rey turns it around and hits a backdrop, then a rana for two. Rey hits a springboard moonsault for another two count. Rey slows it down with a headscissors on the mat. Eddy works his way out of it and hits a series of moves that culminate in a series of powerbomb attempts that Rey blocks three times before hitting a springboard DDT that puts both men down for a standing ten count from the ref. Rey stumbles to his feet and sets up for the springboard rana, but Eddy catches him and drops him neck-first across the cable. Eddy follows up with a Frog Splash and then wraps Rey up snugly for what is, to me, a surprising victory. Wow, they just swapped that belt around in 1997, didn't they? No sooner is Eddy presented the belt than Dean Malenko comes to the ring and mean mugs him to start Eddy's next program. 


  • Ray Traylor's stepping up his anti-nWo campaign tonight. He bumrushes Randy Savage and beats him around ringside. I mean, he just washes Savage, tossing him into the steps, hitting an enziguri, and popping Savage with a chair. I didn't expect Traylor to come out here and fuck Savage's world up, and Savage didn't either because after that beating, it takes an eye rake for him to turn the tide of this match around. That doesn't last long, though, and Traylor catches Savage in a spinebuster for two. Traylor hits his sitdown splash/sliding punch combo, then goes to the top rope, where Liz reaches up and knocks him off balance. That allows Savage to get a quick body slam and a Savage Elbow for three. I mean, dude got like five offensive moves, one of which was Liz's, and still won that sucker. Liz runs off while Savage drops another elbow for the heck of it. Liz runs back out with a can of spray paint while Savage drops one more elbow. Savage pops referee Billy Silverman and then lets Liz spray paint Traylor before dropping another elbow. This felt like a strange segment. I think it only works if Traylor is done after this show, Savage having stopped his revenge tour by killing him off entirely. 


  • Curt Hennig and DDP have their own return match from a few Nitros ago, Show #111, in fact. Man, Hennig showed up in WCW and started beefing with as many people as possible, huh? They spit at each other, and Page hocks a gross loogy, ew. They trade slaps and strikes before Page has a neat spot where he grabs Hennig in a headlock, stops a Hennig counter with a hair pull, and when the ref starts a five count, Page breaks it, punches Hennig in the stomach, then reapplies the headlock. That's pretty good! Page hits a swinging neckbreaker and tries a Diamond Cutter, but Hennig bails and tries to walk out with his belt.


  • Page tracks him down and brings him back to the ring, but Hennig gets leverage and shoves Page into the buckles. Hennig starts his heel control segment, focusing on Page's taped ribs. It works well enough, and ends when the ref breaks up an illegal Hennig hold and Page makes his comeback. Page unloads with a flurry of punches, and the crowd is INTO it. Page hits a DDPancake, but Hennig blocks a Diamond Cutter attempt with a jawbreaker. Hennig grabs the title and hits Page in the ribs with it to draw a DQ, but Page fights him off with a boot. Hennig is bleeding like a motherfucker as he leaves the ring, so I guess that boot really caught him. That was good, but hurry up and put the belt on Page already. 


  • Ric Flair and Lex Luger settle their differences from last week's show in the main event. Luger uses his power to overwhelm Flair early. He clotheslines Flair to the floor, and Flair gets on his horse and uses misdirection and speed to trip Luger and, uh, ineffectually chop him. Luger eats the chops like chocolate chip cookies and goes right back to work on Flair. Flair resorts to an eye poke and a chop block to take control of the match. Flair works Luger's knee in the typical Ric Flair way. You know what this entails. He locks on the Figure Four pretty early and gets a couple of two-counts before Luger decides to stop laying flat on his back and turn the move over. Luger gets into the ropes to break while Pee Wee Anderson and Ric Flair have a physical confrontation.


  • Flair moves past that incident and punches Luger, then struts. Flair sets Luger up for a vertical suplex from the ring to the floor, but that obviously gets reversed. Flair goes back to chops, the one thing that Luger ate and fired up from earlier in the match. Great strategy, Flair! Luger turns it around, hits a gorilla press, and works Flair over in the corner. Flair tries a top-rope move and, wouldn't you know it, gets caught and superplexed. Luger hits a powerslam and signals for the Torture Rack, but Curt Hennig runs out and enters the ring, and even though Luger sidesteps him and dumps him, Anderson calls for the bell. Luger tosses Flair into Hennig, who probably appreciated the assist as Flair immediately transitions into attacking Hennig and they brawl from the ring and down the aisle. That was an unsatisfying ending. I don't know what ending would be better off the top of my head, but I did not love how that was booked.


  • The nWo music hits yet again. Bischoff and Hogan come down yet again. Woof. These guys suck, man, I don't want to hear them talk. Sting rappels down, walks to the ring, and faces off with Hogan. The nWo comes in from behind and jumps Sting, and for once, these guys get one over on the Stinger. It's an nWo beatdown, everyone! I guess this functionally needed to happen so there could be some threat of Hogan winning, but it's overlong and there was way too much nWo talking all night before this happened. 


  • That show sure was full of stuff! A lot of it was pretty entertaining, too! 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes



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Show #115 - 17 November 1997

"The one where the nWo is all up in the videos like Missy Elliott in a fish-eye lens"

  • We're going home to the WW3 PPV this Nitro!


  • Sting is apparently taking over the entertainment business with that one movie part, according to Mike Tenay. Anyway, that's what he claims while we watch the end of last week's show to start this Nitro. I mean, you gotta promote, but let's not go too over the top with it. 


  • You will never guess how this Nitro starts: Rockhouse hits and the nWo wanders out. 


  • Wow, I love the switch-up to the typical format!


  • At least Bischoff and Hogan aren't out here. Scratch that, Bischoff is here. Of course I couldn't be so lucky. There's a survey, Hall harasses Zbyszko, Hall passes that feud onto Bischoff's plate, Nash wants the tag titles back from the Steiners, Nash says that the Giant is reminiscent of Quasimodo and calls himself sexy, Bischoff blathers on and my eyes glaze over. Oh no, now Hogan's out here to ersatz Voodoo Child. Hogan points to the entrance and the enforcer of D-Generation X (at least based on the RAW airing that night, he still is at time of original viewing) Rick Rude comes to the ring. Rude is quite disapproving of the Montreal Screwjob, and he makes that clear in this polemic w/r/t what is wrong and what is right with pro wrestling circa-1997. Shawn Michaels gets some shade by name, as does Vinnie Mac. It's a pretty good promo! Rick Rude is endlessly entertaining. He also makes it clear that he's got everlasting beef with Sting! Man, the scars of 1992 have not yet healed! This was entertaining enough that I don't mind Hogan talking on and on after that Rude promo. 


  • I really did zone out there and started watching Hakeem vs. Shaq one-on-one on PPV (sponsored by Taco Bell!) promos on YouTube. 


  • Larry Z. won't stop talking about his golf game, dammit!


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Ray Traylor. Traylor doesn't want anybody to feel sorry for him, and believe me, he has zero sympathy from anyone in this arena. Mostly because no one cares about him. The nWo runs out and jumps him. I'm tired of the nWo for now. Let's try to string together two segments without any of these fellas all up in the videos, please. Traylor gets whipped and spray-painted. 


  • Glacier comes out next, and he's still only got one loss in singles competition since he debuted. Let's see if Meng can nudge that number of Ls upward by one. Glacier hits a clothesline and a series of kicks ending in a leg sweep for two. He tries a few punches, but Meng eats them and hits a backdrop, followed by a clothesline of his own. Meng lays in some chops and kicks on Glacier in the corner, then chokes him just for fun. Meng clubbers Glacier down, then raises his armor to a bit of a pop. Glacier tries to use his agility, but Meng stuffs his offense until he misses his own splash. Glacier finally gets some sustained offense in, and Jimmy Hart calls for Barbarian, but Barb's not needed. Glacier whiffs on a kick and gets Tongan Death Grip'd to the mat for three. Ernest Miller runs in for the save, and is doing quite the job until he runs into Meng, who walks through Miller's offense and locks a TDG on Miller. Meng absolutely RULES WCW.


  • Diamond Dallas Page cuts a promo on Bret Hart in the bumper. Everyone just believes Bisch that Bret's gone nWo. Like, come on, I know you're babyfaces, but you can't be this dumb. 


  • Segment number two in a row without the nWo, maybe! Alex Wright and Debra have had a losing partnership so far, at least on Nitro, but I guess since the first time they interacted, they got off on the wrong foot - Debra was disgusted by the guy - there's not really any long-term basis for a good working relationship. Wright's up against Mongo. I was hoping for Goldberg, but the guy hasn't wrestled on Nitro too damn long. Sorry to disrespect your presence, Mongo. Wright unloads with strikes early, but Mongo has POWA and uses it to back body drop and clothesline Wright. Mongo's issue is that he's arguing with Debra and turning his back on Wright, which gives Wright openings to take control again. I'm pretty sure Mongo and Debra were actually IRL recently splitting up at this time, and I don't know how these people work together while going through that, or even having gone through that years ago a la Savage and Liz. I stopped talking to every ex I ever had after we broke up, though, so probably I'm less capable of doing something like that than most people. Wright misses a crossbody from the top and Mongo jumps on Wright and just clubbers the crap out of him. Nick Patrick tries to force a break and Mongo tosses him aside for the DQ loss. That was highly unsatisfying. 


  • Chris Jericho's wrestling Rey Misterio Jr. tonight. Jericho was a bit more vicious and quite snarky last week against Disco, so I think we're getting what is a much needed heel turn for this guy. He's actually a solid fiery fightin' babyface, but he doesn't have the pure natural babyface essence to get over like that in front of 1997 crowds. Jericho is one of those guys whose reach exceeds his grasp, particularly athletically, but for being a mediocre athlete (at least when it comes to smaller pro wrestlers), he's smart enough to use his size advantage effectively against cruiserweight opponents. I hate to give him any credit because he's just so generally (shoot, IMO) unlikeable, but even in these first couple years of his WCW run, you can see a guy who understands how to pitch his performance to different opponents, even as he struggles to keep up with many of them athletically. I mention this because Jericho hits a super press slam off the top rope, and it looks like he's going to fuck it, but he doesn't. It's a great move in this context because a) Jericho's playing bully ball with Rey effectively, being the bigger guy, but b) this is still a Cruiserweight match, so he's got to do something spectacular that you won't see from the larger heavies. Jericho is a complicated guy for me to judge as a pro wrestler, let me tell you. I think he got worse as he got older because he couldn't deal with the fading of what athleticism he had and he has rabbit ears and really believed the broader internet fandom when it asserted that he was a pro wrestling genius.


  • Anyway, Jericho hits a nice stalling vertical suplex after dragging Rey back into the ring by his mask. Yeah, I'm ready for this heel turn. I've been writing mostly about Jericho because that's just where I ended up going, so I apologize for doing a Tony S. and not doing justice to this match, which is awesome. There's a spot that looks great but falls apart with three seconds of thinking in which Jericho stuffs a rana with a powerbomb, then goes for his signature triple bomb, but on the third powerbomb attempt, Rey flips out and hits a springboard rana for three. You telling me those two powerbombs did zero to Rey? I mean, it looked fantastic, but come on, two Jericho powerbombs should probably keep you from doing perfect flippies with no ill effects immediately after taking them. Sore loser Jericho confronts and shoves Rey after the match, but Craig Leathers cuts away to show the replay. Dammit, Leathers! 


  • Chris Benoit cuts a promo w/r/t the Hitman and the nWo next. He's also gullible, just in case you were wondering.


  • We made it three segments before Bischoff had to insert himself back into the show. He faces off with Larry Z., and man is this Cincinnati crowd HOT for that. I continued to be staggered by how over Zbyszko is in front of these crowds. Bisch baits Larry Z. into a shocking spot where Bischoff is thrown into the scaffolding of the announcer table set and then stripped down to his skivvies! No, wait, it's just another generic nWo beatdown of another babyface.


  • Scott Hall is nowhere to be found. This guy is the true mastermind of the nWo, starting feuds that he never has to finish. 


  • I should note that the crowd has stayed hot for pretty much everything, including the nWo stuff, so I'm just a crabby old man. 


  • A Villano jobs to Diamond Dallas Page. I wrote that sentence before the match started, by the way. Kimberly and DDP do their entrance taunt, and man, the people at AKI nailed it in WCW/nWo Revenge, let me tell you. I saw this and immediately thought that I need to find some time to play Revenge. Watching this show has brought me back to Revenge a couple times in the past however long I've been doing this. Page gets an early two count on V, and IV tries to run interference, but the Villano family is out of their league tonight. IV does run a distraction and then choke Page later, and give the Villanos credit because they go deep into their bag of tricks to try and cheat a win, but Page takes their best shots and essentially wins an unofficial handicap match with the Diamond Cutter. Both dudes get it, and IV gets an Avalanche Diamond Cutter just for all the cheating. Page rolls out through the stands after he wins because he's a rebel and shit. 


  • Dean Malenko apparently finagled a shot at Eddy Guerrero's Cruiserweight Championship tonight just by mean mugging Eddy last week. Man, Eddy rules. He looks disgusted by Doug Dellinger's presence. I don't blame him. He tries to shake hands with Dean Malenko, who apparently has a longer memory than most pro wrestlers and swats it away. They go really fast, so I can't catch everything, though Eddy's tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by him getting up and yelling YEAHHHHH C'MON to celebrate made me laugh. Eddy really works over Malenko and controls a large portion of the match. Rey Misterio Jr. comes back out to scout this match right before the break; he's got the shot at the winner of this match at WW3. 


  • Back from break, Eddy's poking Malenko in the eye and choking him. Of course. Malenko makes his comeback soon after, with a press slam and a mudhole stompin'. He goes head-to-head with Charles Robinson after the break, but has the wherewithal to catch Eddy sneaking up on him. Eddy offers a handshake, and Malenko accepts and pulls Eddy in for a clobberin'. Eddy survives a Malenko flurry and turns the tide with a basement dropkick. Malenko makes another comeback and hits a weak double-underhook powerbomb, but can't find a way to lock the Texas Cloverleaf on. Eddy regains control and goes for the Gory Special, which is reversed into what becomes a series of two-count pinfall reversals. Malenko gets back to his feet and hits a wheelbarrow slam, but the Cloverleaf gets countered into a small package for two. Malenko regains control and goes to the top, but gets caught and superplexed. The men go up again, and this time Malenko drops Eddy with a back superplex. Super back suplex? Whatever. Both guys hit hard and the match ends in...a double-KO when Robinson counts to ten. I don't know, that was a big enough move to rate that sort of finish in a vacuum, but I just saw Rey shrug off worse and still win his match. 


  • Lex Luger is also gullible in a bumper w/r/t the Hitman and the nWo.


  • Scotty Riggs really shouldn't be wrestling with a still-injured eye, but he's probably got to pay a massive doctor's bill, so off to work he goes! Saturn is Riggs's opponent, and the whole-ass Flock is in the front row. Billy Kidman offers Riggs salvation from this ass-whipping he's about to catch from Saturn as long as Riggs joins the Flock, but it's a no from Riggs. Riggs does manage to get more offense in than Disco did, so there's that! Riggs has this whole offensive flurry that everyone just sits on their hands for. Poor bastard. It must be 1997 because some doofus in the front row has a South Park-themed sign. He was too lazy to even draw Stan or Kyle or Cartman or Kenny - he just put the "You killed Kenny!" quote on the sign by itself. Lazy prick. Anyway, Saturn takes over, hits a nice keylock suplex, and basically rolls Riggs for awhile. Riggs's patch and gauze pop off his eye, but he fights back a bit anyway and even gets two on a splash. Ew, Riggs has a milky eyeball. I'd be worried about keeping the contact in during the match too much to do wild spots if I were him, but this dude dives from the top rope over the rail and into Raven's flunkies in the front row. That ruled! Also, that's why he was a pro wrestler, and I'm not. Raven is unmoved; Saturn grabs Riggs and sends him into the steps. then hits a top-rope legdrop and locks on the Rings of Saturn for the win. We get a somewhat uninspired post-match beatdown, but mostly Raven just kneels in front of Riggs and looks like an extra in the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit." 


  • The nWo are in the final three matches of the night. In the ring, the Nitro Girl with the slasher smile does a solo dance. Well, I'm anti-hyped by all that. The Steiner Brothers come out for a match and, oh wow, get jumped in the aisle by the nWo and catch a beatdown and a spray painting. Tony S. has been going on about how smart the nWo's strategy has been tonight. This is literally the same strategy they've been using for almost eighteen months! 


  • Curt Hennig's out next. You know, at least Hennig's actually a proper nWo member who came from a long WWF stint and wasn't a jobber there. Hennig and Luger are going to rematch from a couple weeks ago. I see these nWo bums are smart enough not to try and jump Luger, at least. 


  • The desk hypes WW3 some more. You know, I have zero idea who is winning this one. I didn't remember any of these at all except for the one Savage won in 1995. That's sorta refreshing. I think, though, Scott Hall wins one at some point. Could be this year, could be next. Probably not in 1999 or later, considering his condition. Did they run this PPV through 2000? Gosh, I can't remember anything about 1999-2000 WCW, damn near. (Note: I went over to start WW3 1997 after this show and found that it ends after 1998. I do not remember what show takes its place.)


  • Luger takes it to Hennig, who takes the opportunity to do a bunch of wobbly-legged selling. Hennig takes over, but not for long, and Luger hammers him with a lariat and hits a stalling vertical suplex. Hennig has to crawl to the apron and lure Luger over before he can get some space with a neck snap over the top rope. Hennig gets two off a kneelift, then locks on a sleeper. Luger fights out of it just before his arm drops for the third time and gets to hit Hennig with offense that Hennig does way too over-elaborate bumping for - no one's bumping off that Luger inverted atomic drop like that, Hennig. Hennig bumps all the way outside, shoves Nick Patrick into Luger, then clobbers Luger with the U.S. Championship. The crowd wants Flair, but they get Hennig rolling Luger back in the ring and hitting the PerfectPlex, though at least Patrick correctly calls for the DQ on Hennig. The Giant's the man to come down for the save. Hennig escapes with the damage already done. 


  • I get that the idea is the nWo is feeling good about themselves for beating Sting down last week and so they're just going HAM on everyone else, too, and that idea makes sense in theory, but the execution of this idea sucked tonight.


  • Scott Hall mocking the Giant with the Frankenstein's Monster walk is hilarious every time. Kevin Nash chases Heenan away over at the desk and decides to join commentary in his place. Hall toothpicks Giant, who looks like a disappointed dad in response, honestly. Hall ducks a Giant punch, but decidedly loses a collar-and-elbow tie-up. They tie up again, and Giant sits Hall on the top rope and lightly pats him on his cheek. Ooh, disrespect! I pop for disrespectful behavior in a wrestling ring. At least when it's good, I do. The Giant open-hand slaps the shit out of Hall's chest. Hall is getting murked here. A guy in the front row holds up his TOSS 'EM HERE sign, fully-designed with a target, but Giant merely slams Hall in the ring. Only when Hall goes outside and is able to break a goozle by slamming Giant's hand against the post does the tide of this match change. Hall works the hand back in the ring while I childishly giggle at the TAZ: 3 LETTERS, 1 WORD, 4 FEET sign someone walks by holding in the stands. Oh man, I feel like a jackass, but I just couldn't help myself. The Giant fires up with headbutts and then a punch with the injured hand. Giant's hand is legit busted up, which is a cool visual. The Giant fights through the pain and goozles Hall for the chokeslam anyway, but, OH WOW, it's an nWo run-in and beat down. A few WCW undercard guys run down and we get basically a WW3 preview, but only in one ring.


  • The structure of this show made a lot of sense, and I also did not like it generally, though there were good things sprinkled throughout the show. Next time, instead of the nWo showing up in like six segments, let's have Eddy show up for six segments instead. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes



Edited by SirSmUgly
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12 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:
  • Jericho is one of those guys whose reach exceeds his grasp, particularly athletically, but for being a mediocre athlete (at least when it comes to smaller pro wrestlers), he's smart enough to use his size advantage effectively against cruiserweight opponents. I hate to give him any credit because he's just so generally (shoot, IMO) unlikeable, but even in these first couple years of his WCW run, you can see a guy who understands how to pitch his performance to different opponents, even as he struggles to keep up with many of them athletically. Jericho is a complicated guy for me to judge as a pro wrestler, let me tell you. I think he got worse as he got older because he couldn't deal with the fading of what athleticism he had and he has rabbit ears and really believed the broader internet fandom when it asserted that he was a pro wrestling genius.
  • Note: I went over to start WW3 1997 after this show and found that it ends after 1998. I do not remember what show takes its place.)

WCW Mayhem is the November ppv in 1999-2000. it didn't have a specific gimmick or anything that i can remember.


re: Jericho, he's an interesting case. i agree with your general assessment of how he changes up match style to reflect his opponent's style, and how that has largely led to him having more varied (and better) matches than most of his contemporaries. That's doubly so for having gained/earned a reputation as a 'pro wrestling genius'. And especially as it pertains to his relative athletic ability. I think that may be why initially in AEW he was having a harder time- he had lost some of the athleticism he DID have, and now that he was coming against a younger crop of wrestlers, he struggled to keep up/find ways to work with/around that style. Obviously, he has turned the corner on that, and while he's not a must watch for me in 2023, he doesn't stink up the joint. 
Jericho is incredibly charismatic, which is proven time and time again by him "reinventing" himself, creating dozens of catchphrases, and ALWAYS being over. That has gone a long way and led to a wide berth of wrestling content he's created- those "conspiracy victim" bits in WCW you'll see in 1998, the "Highlight Reel" in the mid 2000s, his 2008 complete makeover, and the list goes on. But i think in AEW he's been given even more freedom (a bit too much IMO) which has led to an eye-rolling amount of "parlay"s, "town hall"s, and especially the "dinner debonair". i think he's trying to find new ways to connect, but instead they come across as old hat.

1996-2006 Chris Jericho was absolutely one of my favorite wrestlers ever- i may even put him as high as #3. Everything past that has been diminishing returns for me, but i'm also less invested in pro wrestling than i was during that time period. wow, i got pretty navel-gazy there. @Gordlow style. 



can i vote for you to include PPVs in this thread instead of the WWE Network one? keeps the continuity straight.

Edited by twiztor
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1 hour ago, twiztor said:


can i vote for you to include PPVs in this thread instead of the WWE Network one? keeps the continuity straight.

Yeah, I think this is a good idea. I wasn't planning on watching every PPV, but it's turned into that. I also plan to briefly cover Thunder here when that starts, so what the hell. 

P.S.: I love the navel-gazing, encourage as much of it as possible in this thread, and plan to respond to it when I can digest it. 


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World War 3 '97 notes:

  • I like the switch-up to just have four dudes doing a ton of strikes to open the show in this Faces of Fear/Glacier and Ernest Miller match. I've weirdly come around to enjoying Glacier in the ring these past few months, and he was pretty dreadful early on, so that's saying something. The crowd was interested in seeing a Tongan Death Grip, and they got one from Meng (after a minor Jimmy Hart distraction) for the victory. Solid tag opener. 


  • DDP somehow gets Mark Madden mixed up with Gene Okerlund. Don't ask me how. 


  • Raven gets a mic and declares that we let the Wild Rumpus begin the stretchings start before this Disco Inferno/Saturn rematch for the TV title. Saturn's confused face at Disco actually getting some offense in had me laughing. He's genuinely unsure of when and where Disco figured out how to wrestle after the first three minutes of action. It actually makes for a good match narrative where Saturn doesn't expect Disco to be aggressive, but we know that Disco can focus and really bust out some solid skills when he wants something other than to dance. Disco walks over and Chartbusters a couple of Flock members because he's so fired up, but Van Hammer's not having that shit, and it lets Saturn take control. That Chartbuster over the guardrail looked and sounded nasty, though. Disco and Saturn have a very good match full of counters that ends on a counter: Saturn just barely rolls through a top-rope crossbody from Disco into the Rings of Saturn to get the submission. 


  • Gene shills the hotline. He wants to tell you about some of the surprising faces backstage who might just be in the big battle royal tonight! Ooh, who did you see, Gene? Shawn Michaels? Steve Austin?! Sgt. Craig Pittman?!?! The Giant comes over to interview about his busted hand while I think about the possibilities for the battle royal. 


  • Hey, Ultimo Dragon! He got that elbow injury cleared up (was it work or shoot or worked shoot? IDK) and is back to wrestle Yuji Nagata again. Low-key, this Ultimo Dragon/Sonny Onoo feud has been long and uninteresting. How long have these two been working together/against one another? Feels like decades. It's not as bad as Benoit/Sullivan or anything, but there has to be something more interesting for Dragon to do at this point. Oh yes, the match! It's okay, but overlong. It drags a bit during the Nagata control segment and probably could have stood to be three minutes shorter or so. It's not bad or anything, though. Dragon is a stupid dummy who lets go of the Dragon Sleeper before the ref has called the match, and it costs him in an awkward-looking finish. Trim these matches based on lukewarm midcard feuds down, please. 


  • Ah, here is the reason for the Blue Bloods getting a mini-push over the past two weeks: Bischoff needed a spot tag team to program against the Steiners in a one-off PPV match. This should be decent and successfully get us to the big Outsiders/Steiner Brothers match at Starrcade that, oh man, let's hope that they FINALLY run and then we can end this fucking feud. A year-plus to build Hogan/Sting makes sense, but doing that for a bunch of feuds, not so much. There's a lot of clubbering and suplexing and big dudes doing cool stuff in this thing. Regal tries to fight Ted DiBiase at one point, too. The tower bulldog gets three for the Steiners, and man, that was enjoyable. It's too bad that Regal had his health and addiction issues at the time from a professional as well as personal standpoint because he and Dave Taylor are an excellent tag team that the division had dear need for.


  • At least Bischoff stopped using J.J. Dillon on TV all the time. I realize after seeing Dillon here on the show that he hasn't been around lately. He's here to bitch about Raven not signing a contract, but still participating in these shows. Dillon, after seven months (!!!), finally gives Raven only 24 more hours to sign a contract or he's DONE with WCW. I'm staggered by how incompetent this front office is. STAGGERED. I mean, even if you're incompetent IRL, don't actually portray yourselves like that as a work, too! 


  • Seven months! That's how long this angle has been going on! Bischoff, what the hell? Raven jumps over the rail to beat up Scotty Riggs (w/ milky eyeball). There's a Juggalo in the crowd. This is the '90s, fellow wrestling fans. Kidman establishes that this match is Raven's Rules (no DQ) before Riggs dives into the Flock at ringside. Riggs, per usual, comes out on fire, but eventually flames out. This match is fine as a garbage-lite brawl, but I'm so invested in the finish that I'm really wanting to get there almost as soon as the match starts. That's not fair to either guy - Riggs and Raven orchestrate a 2.9 off a Riggs chair-assisted bulldog that got me even though I know that Riggs has no chance. Raven drops Riggs with an Evenflow DDT, then grabs a mic and implores Riggs to stop taking a beating and join the Flock. He emphasizes his desire by hitting multiple Evenflow DDTs on Riggs. But apologetically! He does it apologetically. Raven wins by KO, but somewhere in Lights Out Land, I think Riggs is convinced by the force of Raven's argument. Van Hammer lugs Riggs along as the Flock vacates the premises.


  • Mongo KO'd Goldberg with a lead pipe pre-match. Lead pipe, taser - WCW-era Goldberg really did need that little bit extra to be defeated, huh? Mongo got his ring back and, since Goldberg is cooked for the evening, he calls out someone else to face him tonight. Debra drags Alex Wright out, but Wright's heart really isn't in it. Wright gets worked over and tries to leave, but Debra coaxes him back to the ring. Wright tries again with some offense, but Mongo again puts a stop to all that. Wright finally sticks Mongo with a boot and maintains some control for about fifteen seconds. Mongo hits the three-point stance a couple times, rips off a lariat, and nails a sidewalk slam. The Tombstone Mongo Spike that puts Wright down for three is academic after all that. Debra's going through it out at ringside, let me tell you! 


  • Rey Misterio Jr./Eddy Guerrero was so nice at Havoc, they decided to run it back. I do wonder why no one remembers this match. I mean, Havoc was awesome, but they had a dope Nitro match two weeks later or whatever that no one talks about to switch the title back, and then no one mentions this match either. Do we not appreciate Eddy zonking Misterio with a GROSS release German? Honestly, with some of the back-of-the-neck bumps that Rey takes regularly on these shows, it's a miracle that he's still able to talk in 2023, much less work regularly. This match is very good - surprise! - and they go for huge bombs in this that aren't all aerial, like sunset flip powerbombs and superplexes and release Germans and stuff like that. That gives this match a bit more flavor. Eddy working as the power wrestler is so much fun and something that he didn't get to do enough of in the United States (I can't speak for his work in Mexico). There's lots of counter-wrestling, and even though a lot of this match is worked in the air, it feels violent and spontaneous rather than light and choreographed. Some doofus in the crowd missed a great Misterio moonsault because he went to get food and is passing it out. Who gets food during a Rey/Eddy match? What is wrong with that guy? Eddy grabs the ropes to avoid losing to a Misterio springboard rana, then drapes Rey's throat across the ropes and hits a Frog Splash to retain. This was nearly as good as the Havoc match, IMO. 


  • Ric Flair and Curt Hennig have another match, this one no-DQ. These matches, at least in this era, generally have diminishing returns, and we've had one already on this show. Flair takes a nasty backdrop on the floor, certainly, but I don't know that this does much to really differentiate itself from all the other no-DQ arena brawls in this company. The Raven/Riggs bout had the angle-focused ending that made it all click for me. I want to be charitable: Hennig trying to take out Flair's wheels so that he doesn't have to keep running from Flair or risk the Figure Four makes a ton of sense. I think, as with many things that happen in this era of WCW, the idea is sounder than the execution. Maybe it doesn't help that Flair barely bothers to sell any of that damage even medium-term. He's kneedropping and strutting immediately after all that knee damage. Of course, he's got to get his spots in! The best example of this is Flair doing a Flair Flop and the crowd applauding for it even though the babyface is getting his ass beat. I have problems with Ric Flair's work sometimes. This match verged on actually sort of almost bad, though I don't think it quite got there. There's some poetry in Flair destroying Hennig's leg in response, but meh. Hennig survives with a belt shot to Flair's head while Flair has him in the Figure Four. Weak finish.


  • It's another sixty-man, three-ring battle royal! Let's just do a few notes: 
    • They were smart to have Goldberg get attacked before his match so that he is unable to enter this match and therefore get tossed and have a blemish on his record at all. 


    • Kevin Nash doesn't show up to start this match, so we're at 59 guys in the ring for now. Man, it should be an auto-DQ if you don't make it by the time the bell sounds. 


    • The Giant just chills in the corner and tosses dudes as they come to him. Four in the first thirty seconds or so, in fact!


    • There was sadly not enough Norman Smiley in this match. 


    • One of the only benefits of this match using three rings is that the people who survive a ring that's cleared out more quickly have an advantage. They can just chill out in their emptied ring while they wait for the ref to merge the rings when it gets down to only a few wrestlers left in the whole match. WCW booked around this feature a bit last year, but not so much this year.


    • Ring 2 is a total cluster of humanity and it's just visual clutter. They don't hit the three-ring split-screen very often, and with good reason because it doesn't look great, but they spend a lot of time on the ring with the most guys in it standing around and trying to find room to work a punch. 


    • Barry Darsow's back and wearing gear that calls back to Krusher Khrushchev


    • Scott Hall teases a near-elimination, and three nWo members save him while the crowd shrieks at the first ostentatiously teased elimination in the whole dumb match. It took this long for that sort of teased elimination to happen. Gosh, we are well into this thing, too.


    • Since Hall is the guy doing the teases, I'm thinking that he ends up winning this WW3 battle royal, now. 


    • Page and Benoit beating the hell out of each other makes me want to see them run that back in a singles match. 


    • James Vandenberg, ever active outside the ring, cuts a quick deal with Alex Wright on behalf of his client Mortis. They are now allied. Let's see how long THAT lasts. 


    • Rings 2 and 3 clear out, but Ring 1 stays fuller than you'd think after all this time. The nWo is taking awhile to get rid of everyone in that ring. Misterio's trying to pull a Kofi Kingston in that ring to avoid elimination.


    • While everyone in Ring 2 just chillaxes, Mortis and Wright go at the Giant in Ring 1 and get eliminated. That leaves Giant and Meng, who I guess are like fuck it, why wait to merge the rings? 


    • No wait, Ring 2 starts fighting, too. Meanwhile, the nWo have cooked everyone in Ring 1 and are relaxing because they are far smarter than WCW. 


    • The Giant dropkicks Meng out of the ring because the Giant RULES.


    • Final ten entrants into the single ring: DDP, Lex Luger, Booker T, Rick Steiner, and the Giant for WCW. Randy Savage, Vincent, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, and Buff Bagwell for the nWo. 
      • I always forget that you can get eliminated under the bottom rope in this match. The Giant eliminates Vincent by rolling him to the floor with a boot after Page hit Vincent with a Diamond Cutter. 


      • Booker T got eliminated somehow.


      • Rick Steiner did, too. 



      • The Giant dumps Buff Bagwell while Buff and the rest of the nWo tries to knock Luger out. 



      • Hennig and Luger hit the floor as part of that mass elimination attempt on Luger.


      • Final Four: Page, Savage, Giant, and Hall.


      • The Giant rules, did I mention? He cuts off a Savage Elbow, dares Savage to launch, and catches him when Savage does jump. This provides enough of a diversion for Page to hit a Diamond Cutter on Savage, but the Giant insists on chokeslamming Savage before dumping him. Surprisingly, he doesn't pay for all that moxie and Savage gets rolled underneath the ropes after the chokeslam. 


      • Waiting for Kevin Nash to show up. 


      • Kevin Nash is showing up. 


      • The nWo runs a misdirection: Everyone expects Nash to come down the ramp, but actually Hulk Hogan comes down the ramp instead. Why is this doofus allowed to enter the match this late? WCW really needs to tighten things up. What is wrong with their rules committee?


      • Hogan slams the Giant to a huge pop. I, uh, I don't love this twist. It's nonsensical. Why is Hogan allowed in this match? Why is he allowed in so late? Why not just run a Hogan/Page match on this show instead, even if it's not for the gold? 


      • Hogan casually dumps Page as Nash-as-Sting rappels down and uses a bat on the Giant to knock the big man out. Hogan dipped out of the ring, so Scott Hall wins in what has to be one of the shittier finishes that WCW has cooked up in the Bischoff era. I mean, the desk pretends that they're actually looking at Sting when, uh, Sting isn't 6'10!


  • Fuck you, WCW. 
Edited by SirSmUgly
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i've always enjoyed the WW3 battle royals as a concept, but yeah, they are just visually terrible. you can't focus on anything because there's just SO MANY PEOPLE. i can't imagine watching one live in person.

honestly, the Royal Rumble is probably the greatest battle royal idea ever. and when it's booked right? perfection. most people get their moment to shine, every entrance gets a reaction, and every elimination gets some focus. contrast that with WW3, where you don't even know who's even in the damn thing, let alone which ring they're in.

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10 hours ago, twiztor said:

i've always enjoyed the WW3 battle royals as a concept, but yeah, they are just visually terrible. you can't focus on anything because there's just SO MANY PEOPLE. i can't imagine watching one live in person.

honestly, the Royal Rumble is probably the greatest battle royal idea ever. and when it's booked right? perfection. most people get their moment to shine, every entrance gets a reaction, and every elimination gets some focus. contrast that with WW3, where you don't even know who's even in the damn thing, let alone which ring they're in.

Yeah, the issue here with WW3 is that the Rumble is already a perfected version of the battle royal. I don't think you can trademark a match type (only a name), so WCW would have been better off upping the amount of entrants, but not the amount of rings. Do sixty men, cut down the entry time to ninety seconds between entrants, and go forth with only one ring (or maybe one slightly bigger-than-regulation ring if you really want to do something visually different, though that probably would be a bitch for the high-flyers to get used to for one night only). 

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