WCW Monday Nitro
March 31, 1997
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Dean Malenko (3/16/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Prince Iaukea (2/17/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Syxx (2/23/1997)
WCW Women’s Champion: Akira Hokuto (12/29/1996)
Maybe I’m just now paying attention to the intro, but Hulk Hogan has finally been taken out and replaced with the Giant and his mighty chokeslam.
HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko.
The nWo arrive backstage and they seem a little peeved. Also, Hollywood Hogan, Scott Hall, and Eric Bischoff are all absent from the crew.
- Lex Luger & The Giant vs. Rick Fuller & Roadblock
Yep, still being billed as the WCW world tag champs on the entrance graphic. Not sure if it’s WCW’s perception of who are the champs or just a mistake. It’s never explained. I liked this! Fuller and Roadblock are able to give Lex and the Giant a decent little glorified squash. Luger plays the face-in-peril and Giant gets the hot tag. CHOKESLAM to Roadblock while Fuller is up in the TORTURE RACK gets the win. (5:05) Harlem Heat run out and attack Lex and the Giant until we go to a commercial. *½
When we return, Gene Okerlund is with Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri. Booker tells Luger and the Giant to come get some if they are big enough and bad enough to take some at Spring Stampede. It’s the same old song. Stevie Ray cries that Harlem Heat aren’t getting any respect. It’s also on like neck bone, sucka. Sherri’s plan for Spring Stampede – divide and conquer.
- Meiko Satomura vs. Toshie Uematsu – WCW Women’s Cruiserweight Title Tournament
Mike Tenay joins us on commentary for the next couple matches. This is the quarterfinals of this short-lived title made primarily for the GAEA promotion. Satomura goes after the arm, but fails on a frog splash when she hits knees. Uematsu runs up Satomura a couple times in the corner, but Satomura nails her from behind. Larry Z has trouble figuring out which one is which. Uematsu armdrags her down from the top and delivers a big Swandive flying splash for the 1-2-3. (2:22) Well, the crowd turned on this match pretty quickly. The tournament finals would air on the Main Event in mid April, but there would never be a WCW Women’s cruiserweight title defense on Nitro. ¾*
- Psychosis vs. Villano IV
Crowd doesn’t really know who to cheer for here. You’ve got a villain and a psycho. Villano is all headscissors and armdrags, but then here comes Psychosis to plow him down with a clothesline. Psychosis places Villano on the top rope and flying spin kicks him down to the floor. He ain’t done just yet. Psychosis heads to the top again and gives Villano a Corkscrew Senton on the floor! Back in, Villano catches Psychosis on the way down and slams him for two. There’s a commotion going on backstage! It’s the nWo and they are fairly upset about something. Michael Wallstreet tells Kevin Nash that somebody needs to get this thing straightened out. It’s all very unclear, but Tony and Larry Z still manage to go off the deep end with it saying that they are HUGE problems in the nWo. Back to the match, Villano misses a flying moonsault and takes the GUILLOTINE LEGDROP. Psychosis covers for the win. (4:33) Kind of a clash of styles, but they pulled off some decent stuff. *½
Gene Okerlund brings out the NATCHA BOY. Of course, Roanoke loses their collective minds. Flair brings up Roddy Piper and… is that bag pipes I hear? Yes it is. Roddy Piper is in Roanoke. He’s here to put an end to the rumor – that Ric Flair’s girlfriends call his water bed the Dead Sea. Ba-DOOM-CHHH. Did Gene just call Roddy gay? Flair appreciates Piper for humbling his Hollywood tail long enough to come to WCW tonight. OH SNAP. Piper tells us that he’s glad to be here. Back to Flair, he finds it hard to tell Mongo and Jarrett that Piper’s the man when he can’t be found. Nobody ever said Piper is the greatest wrestler alive, but nobody is calling out Piper because he’s the guy who put out Mark Lewin in 1983, he put out the Nasty Boys in 1993 (?), and put Hogan to sleep twice. He wouldn’t want that guy on his bad side. Piper puts over Flair for being the 13-time world champ who’s never been beat. Oh Roddy. Do you not understand how titles work? They pretty much end the rumors of any tension and join forces. In comes a middle-aged ring girl, who “dances” with Piper.
After a break, they show last week’s finish where Randy Savage and the nWo took care of Prince Iaukea and of course Diamond Dallas Page.
- WCW World Television Champion Prince Iaukea vs. La Parka
Iaukea ducks a few charges from La Parka, but can’t avoid the spinning heel kick. La Parka tries a double-jump moonsault and nearly breaks Iaukea’s neck. No fault of his own though. Flying Senton by La Parka gets two. Double-Jump Moonsault gets two. La Parka misses a corner charge and falls out to the floor. Iaukea follows him out with a springboard double-sledge. La Parka whips Iaukea into the guardrail and finds a chair from underneath the ring. He sits Iaukea down and gives him a tope suicida. Back in, Iaukea superkicks La Parka back and misses a flying bodypress. To the floor again, La Parka baseball slides the chair into Iaukea’s face. The bell rings prematurely. I mean, it DOES look like a DQ. La Parka ups the mayhem by leaping off the chair and springing off the top rope down onto Iaukea. This is just getting out of hand. Back inside the ring, Iaukea makes a short comeback and gives La Parka a flying bodypress while La Parka is holding the chair. (4:46) Whatever. ¾*
When we come back, Gene Okerlund introduces Lord Steven Regal on his way to the ring. He gives his usual peasant interview and denigrates Rey Mysterio for being a dwarf.
- Lord Steven Regal vs. Chris Jericho
Finally! Some Chris Jericho. Four years later, both would be fighting over the IC title at WrestleMania 17. Nice wristlock and hammerlock exchange to start. Jericho is on the move and knocks Regal to the floor. Once he’s back on the apron, Jericho sends him down to the concrete with his signature springboard dropkick. Back in, a suplex and the Lionsault connects for 1-2-NO! Regal shoves off a superplex or a hurracanrana. He goes for the necktie spin into the clothesline, but Jericho ducks and kicks Regal away. O’Connor roll with a bridge and Jericho gets the upset 1-2-3! (2:30) Regal proceeds to kick Jericho’s butt after the bell with a Butterfly Superplex. Piledriver on Jericho! REGAL STRETCH and here comes the Renegade. Instead of helping, he just stands back and does nothing. Really? A Renegade heel turn? Joe Gomez comes out to save, but Regal drops him with a piledriver. Billy Kidman gets thrown away. Lenny Lane gets kicked in the testicles. REGAL IS CRAZY! Look out, Prince Iaukea. Right here, match of the night. **
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HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay.
Another ‘in case you missed the first hour’ recap like we got last week.
- WCW Women’s Champion Akira Hokuto (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Debbie Combs
Got to remind people of Hokuto going into the PPV since she hasn’t been seen in WCW since Starrcade. I don’t think Debbie Combs has bought any tights since 1976. Hokuto is all over Combs to start. Combs gets a gutwrench suplex, but it’s not long before we see a Bridging German Suplex from Akira Hokuto for the win. (2:29) Oh Madusa, Hokuto is watching you. ½*
When Gene Okerlund brings out Madusa, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a big lady fight between her and Akira Hokuto.
Let’s take a special look at Sting. He was telling the truth!
- Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael (w/Debra) vs. The Amazing French Canadians (w/Col. Robert Parker)
Huh. I wonder how this is going to go. A replay from last week pretty much gives the finish away. The Horsemen have little trouble working over the AFC in this one. Public Enemy arrives and tries to take the Haliburton away from Debra, but Col. Parker takes it away from Grunge! He tosses the briefcase into Rougeau, who decks Mongo. Cover by Oulette, 1-2-3. (3:00) Well it didn’t go exactly like I thought, but close enough. Last week it was High Voltage with an upset over Public Enemy, this week it’s the AFC getting the win over the Horsemen. ¾*
Gene Okerlund joins Jarrett, Mongo, and Debra in the ring. She hogs all the mic time making bad jokes towards Public Enemy. Meanwhile, Jarrett and Mongo are arguing. It’s a mess.
On the Road with Lee Marshall: He’s in Huntsville, Alabama to hype next week’s Monday Nitro. Another awful weasel joke, another great comeback by Bobby Heenan.
- Chris Benoit (w/Woman) vs. Hugh Morrus (w/Jimmy Hart)
Jimmy Hart’s suit tonight is all black. That’s how you know he means business. This is a rematch from last week where Morrus upset Benoit thanks to interference from Konnan. Morrus attacks early, but Benoit gets off a snap suplex. Morrus comes back with an avalanche and a powerslam. He calls for NO LAUGHING MATTER, but Benoit stops him before he can head up top with a Bridging German Suplex for the win. (1:38) Too short. Kevin Sullivan, Konnan and Jacqueline join the fight. Jacqueline shoves Woman down and flying splashes Benoit. She tries again, but Woman shakes the ropes and crotches her pretty good. Woman shoves down Jimmy Hart, but that’s about all she can do here. Just like last week, Ric Flair makes the save and kicks the Dungeon of Doom in the balls. Arn Anderson is at ringside and lets Kevin Sullivan pass by him to confirm what he said about wanting a clean slate. ½*
Gene Okerlund joins Chris Benoit, Woman, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair in the ring. Benoit asks AA if he’s in some real pain. He admits it, but says he’ll always be there to watch the back of the Four Horsemen. Back to Benoit. He calls Kevin Sullivan a victim, but also the perpetrator of his own demise. Benoit also says he’s got a lot of respect for Dean Malenko, but his US title win at Spring Stampede will be a victory for himself and not necessarily for the Four Horsemen. Ric Flair thinks it’s awesome that not only will Benoit have Woman, but he’ll also be the US champ. WOO!
For the third time tonight, we catch the ending of last week’s Nitro where DDP gets a zero spray painted on his back.
- Diamond Dallas Page vs. Lance Ringo
Newcomer Lance Ringo and the next guy on DDP’s list of guys he’s going to bang comes out flipping through Kimberly Page’s Playboy centerfold with the nWo letters sprayed over her naughty bits. What a bold individual. Ringo would later become Sick Boy in Raven’s Flock. He does what he can, but takes the DIAMOND CUTTER out of a fireman’s carry for the 1-2-3. (1:57) BANG! ½*
Gene Okerlund meets DDP in the ring. DDP ain’t going to lie. He thinks it’s pretty awesome that his wife is in a magazine with Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy. What isn’t awesome is Randy Savage grabbing his wife by the hair and holding her head down while Liz spray paints his wife’s back. Not cool. When Okerlund asks if Kimberly will be at Spring Stampede, Randy Savage and Elizabeth interrupts where DDP can’t get to him and says he can answer that question. Savage says Liz just filled him in on who DDP is. He’s the guy who does the Diamond Cutter, which is a move DDP won’t be able to do to him. Huge “Macho Sucks” chants go up. Savage wonders if DDP is some kind of a gemologist or something. Savage doesn’t care if Kimberly comes to the show or not. At Spring Stampede, the entire world is going to see if DDP has any “family jewels” or not, because right now Randy Savage says DDP doesn’t have any at all. Back over to DDP. He tells Savage to not forget to bring his bimbo Liz to the PPV. Since DDP is bringing the lady, Savage might as well bring the tramp. Savage is less than thrilled with that comment. DIG IT?
- Rick & Scott Steiner vs. High Voltage
Yeah, no Michael Buffer this week either. The Steiners go suplex crazy to start. Once Kaos rolls out, Rick follows and gets his head sent into the ringpost. Back in, Kaos gets a drop toehold on Rick while Rage delivers a slingshot legdrop to do more damage to the head for two. More head damage done to the DFG. Rick avoids a springboard somersault move by Rage who misses by like four feet. HOT TAG TO SCOTT! Rage receives the STEINER SCREWDRIVER SUPLEX to end him as the Steiners look strong going into the PPV at 3:32.
Just as it appears the show is over, Kevin Nash and Syxx take control of the announce table to make a “State of the Union” address for the nWo. While Syxx just complains about the headset being turned on, Nash gets serious real quick and tells the world that if Hogan and Bischoff don’t find it all that important to be at Monday Nitro since they started hanging with Dennis Rodman, then that’s fine because he can fight WCW alone if he has to. As for Scott Hall, he’s away taken care of business more important than wrestling. WHAAAT? More important than wrestling, you say? It’s safe to assume that he’s suspended due to his substance abuse problems again or he’s dealing with other family problems. As for Nash, he says he’ll take on the Steiners by himself at the PPV if need be. Conversation over.
Here is the final card leading into Spring Stampede on April 6!
- MAIN EVENT: Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page – No DQ Match
- Lex Luger vs. The Giant vs. Booker T vs. Stevie Ray – Winner gets a WCW world title shot
- WCW U.S. Champion Dean Malenko vs. Chris Benoit
- WCW World Tag Team Champions The Outsiders vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
- WCW World Television Champion Prince Iaukea vs. Lord Steven Regal
- WCW Womens Champion Akira Hokuto vs. Madusa
- Steve McMichael & Jeff Jarrett vs. The Public Enemy
- Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon