WCW: Monday Nitro (07.07.97)

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WCW: Monday Nitro
July 7, 1997
Memphis, TN
Mid-South Coliseum

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Jeff Jarrett (6/9/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Steven Regal (5/18/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (6/28/1997)

They take us back to last week where we had a standoff between the nWo, Sting, and newcomers Curt Hennig and Raven. So many questions! Will they be answered tonight? Probably not. WCW is slow about these sort of things.

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Mike Tenay.

Gene Okerlund brings Curt Hennig to find out why he’s here in WCW. He’s got his reasons for being here, but he’s not clear on what those reasons are. Hennig says he will be at Bash at the Beach this Sunday July 13 LIVE on PPV though and he won’t be sitting in the crowd. Okerlund asks Hennig if that means he’ll be DDP’s mystery partner to battle Scott Hall and Randy Savage. Hennig admits right now that he is a free agent and nobody backstage should take the word “free” lightly. That’s when Ric Flair brings a blonde wearing a fancy evening gown with him to meet Hennig in order to offer him a place within the Four Horsemen, if you know what I mean. Flair tries to sell him on the idea, but Hennig isn’t so sure.

  • Public Enemy vs. Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri)

Booker beats up Grunge to start, but then takes a swinging neckbreaker. The Heat work over Rocco Rock for a bit. Side Slam by Booker gets two. Grunge and Rocco double clothesline Stevie Ray, but then they both are ran over by Booker. Out comes Vincent as Harlem Heat call for the Big Apple. Sherri does what she can to get Booker’s attention. As Booker chases Vincent backstage, Sherri shoves Rocco off the top onto Stevie Ray as Grunge covers him for the win. (4:57) Upset win there! Harlem Heat have had enough of Sherri’s problems and decide to fire her, but then she quits on the spot to end their near three-year partnership. ¾*

  • Konnan vs. Joe Gomez

Boy, Joe Gomez has almost zero muscular definition. They show us what happened with Konnan last week when Kevin Nash gave him the nod to break Rey Mysterio’s leg. Is he joining up with the nWo? Yes. Yes, he is. We see Raven is sitting in the front row looking very distraught having to sit through this match. There’s not much to care about in this one. Konnan wins via TEQUILA SUNRISE. (3:11) Konnan threatens to break Joe’s leg as well and the crowd seems to want it to happen too. ¾*

  • Juventud Guerrera & Hector Garza vs. Villano IV & V

For you lucha libre nerds out there, this is our first look on Nitro at Villano V. He does some cool mat stuff with Garza to start. Nice dropkick by Garza. Tenay mentions that a six-man lucha libre style match has been discussed for Bash at the Beach. They tag out and Juventud is looking better than normal. He hits Villano IV with a quebrada and headscissors him over. In comes Villano V and Garza again. Villano V gives him a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker as Villano IV flies off the top rope with an elbow drop. They work him over for a bit. Juventud gets a blind tag of sorts and springboards onto Los Villanos. He’s caught, but Garza dropkicks them over for a nearfall. Juventud uses Garza as a launching pad a few times. He gets caught in mid-air on the second shot and slammed down hard. After some corner whips, Garza launches Guerrera into a double dropkick onto Los Villanos. They slow down Juvi with a double-team rib buster. Garza makes the save while Juventud regains his bearings. With Los Villanos on the floor, Juventud drills one of them with a suicide dive. Meanwhile, Garza lands a MOONSAULT PRESS onto Villano IV for 1-2-NO! Los Villanos are dumped back on the floor, but only Villano IV takes the TORNILLO from Garza! In the ring, Guerrera hits the Juvi Driver to set up the 450 SPLASH for the win! (6:17) RIP Hector Garza. Everything was on point here and had a minimum of missed spots. I’m a fan. ***

Randy Savage, Scott Hall, and Elizabeth take over the announce position. Larry Zbyszko stays to see what the “wormpack” look like up close. They can’t wait to get to Daytona Beach to take care of that nothing happening, mid-card jabroni Diamond Dallas Page. Savage says that DDP’s surprise isn’t even working because they are taking him very, very, very, very lightly. Later on tonight, Savage says he’s going to give somebody a wrestling lesson. OH YEAH! As they start to leave, Hall throws his toothpick in Larry Z’s face, prompting some trash talking. Savage acts like he’s holding Hall back from whooping Larry.

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! Eddie Guerrero, Diamond Dallas Page, Public Enemy, and the *new* Cruiserweight champion Chris Jericho will all be in action. DON’T MISS IT!

We get a video package highlighting how unselfish Giant and Lex Luger are in their friendship. Luger has forgiven Giant for switching over to the nWo. He knew he made the right move when Giant allowed him to gain a WCW world title shot back at Spring Stampede when he could have easily won the match against Harlem Heat. How sweet!

  • Vicious & Delicious (w/Vincent) vs. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero Jr.

This is the period where Eddie tries to teach his nephew Chavo how to be tough. We see a limousine leaving the Mid-South Coliseum parking lot. How is *that* news? Buff lets his ego get in the way as he takes a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a dropkick. In comes Norton, Eddie gets a blind tag and can’t drop Norton with a missile dropkick. They try a double suplex, but Norton takes them both over. Eddie dropkicks Buff in the back when he’s trying to do his pose and takes a slap across the face! NOBODY INTERRUPTS BUFF! That fires up Eddie, but he’s cooled down with a press slam. Tag to Norton, Eddie gets caught in the wrong corner and walks over on his knees to tag Chavo. When Chavo gets in trouble, Eddie refuses a tag. Hey, he’s trying to teach him to HANG TOUGH. Eddie leaves the ring apron and starts to head for the dressing room. VD just toys with Chavo until they give him the double-team BUFF BLOCKBUSTER for the win. (8:02) Eddie digs deeper and deeper into his heel persona that we will sometimes enjoy for the next year and a half. *½

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay.

  • Randy Savage (w/Scott Hall & Elizabeth) vs. La Parka

This is all about Randy giving a wrestling lesson, YEAH DIG IT! During La Parka’s entrance, they show what he’s been up to lately, which is mostly beating up Super Calo with a chair on a weekly basis. Savage is definitely taking this lightly. He shows La Parka an armdrag or two. Meanwhile, Scott Hall heads over towards the announce position to badger Larry Zbyszko. Back in the ring, Savage looks to put away La Parka with a MACHO ELBOW, but flies down onto La Parka’s feet! As Savage gets up, La Parka turns him around for a DIAMOND CUTTER! Off comes the mask to reveal that La Parka is indeed Diamond Dallas Page! The crowd erupts as DDP covers Savage for the 1-2-3! (3:09) Realizing what just happened, Scott Hall jets himself back down to the ring to show how furious he is that DDP got one over on the new World order. This had been done many years earlier in World Class when Chris Adams pulled the same trick on Jimmy Garvin. It worked to perfection then, and it definitely worked here as well. No rating.

  • Psychosis & Silver King (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Glacier & Ernest Miller

As the match begins, we cut to the back where Eddie and Chavo are beating each other up. Psychosis and Ernest Miller hit a couple springboard moves on the opposing team. Before this really gets interesting, James Vandenberg directs Mortis and Wrath down to the ring to beat up Glacier and Ernest Miller for the DQ. (2:31) Pissed about losing the match, Silver King and Psychosis fly on top of the piles. ½*

It’s time to check in with Lee Marshall for the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. He’s already in Orlando, FL enjoying a Disney-themed Nitro party. I don’t know what the heck that means.

Gene Okerlund brings out Ric Flair. He’s got that blonde chick with him who REALLY looks like one of his daughters. Apparently, he couldn’t get Hennig to take her for the evening. Anywho, Flair has with him a mannequin wearing a kilt that he calls the Hot Rod. Blondie wants to know why they call him “Hot Rod”. She’s got quite a southern accent. After Flair insults Roddy Piper like crazy, Ric starts feeling on the wrong kilt as Roddy stands right behind him. Piper chases Flair into the ring for a suit-tearing brawl. Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael head down to save their boss man. While Flair holds him down, Benoit comes off the top with the Swandive Headbutt. Right before we go to commercial, the Savior of Memphis Jeff Jarrett runs out to help Roddy Piper.

We now go to the front row with Mike Tenay to see if he can get some answers from Raven as to why he’s here in WCW. Stevie Richards debuts and interrupts the questioning because he feels that Raven will only talk to him. He asks Tenay’s questions, but only gets a slap across the face before Raven walks away. Richards blames Tenay for this whole situation. That’s fair.

  • Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael (w/Debra)

Mongo gets stretched on the mat to start by Scott, but then delivers a running powerslam. Scott fires back with the Spinning Belly to Belly Suplex for two. Tag to Rick, he grabs a chinlock on McMichael and makes cat calls towards Debra. In comes Benoit, he takes an overhead suplex by Rick for two. Benoit takes Rick into the Horsemen corner for a moment, but Rick powers out with a release German suplex. Scott takes McMichael to the floor and abuses him while Benoit protests to the ref. Backstage, we see that Randy Savage has attacked ref Nick Patrick for counting the fall on him earlier in the night! He’s screaming in agony and Tony think it could be a broken arm. Savage must be looking for DDP as well. Back in the ring, we’re getting VINTAGE SCOTT STEINER as he powers Benoit around. The Steiners trade off on an STF to send a message to Masahiro Chono. Mongo gets a tag and receives a Belly to Belly Superplex from Scott! Before Scott can get up, Benoit nails him with the Swandive Headbutt. Hot tag to Rick, and the match breaks down. Jeff Jarrett comes down to beat up on McMichael and Jimmy Hart is out to distract Benoit. Kevin Sullivan shoves Jacqueline out of his way to get into the ring and break a wooden chair over Benoit’s head! Sullivan grabs a piece of the chair and threatens Benoit, but Rick scares him off and covers Benoit for the 1-2-3. (9:17) Sheesh, ref. DQ much? There’s wood scattered all around Benoit. Some pretty good action here, but it felt like mostly filler with a convoluted ending. *½

Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff come out to close the show. They ramble on and on about how great they are and what Hogan and Rodman are going to do to the Giant and Lex Luger at Bash at the Beach. There’s just so much trash being thrown into the ring. Eventually, Lex Luger and Giant come down. Luger grabs Bischoff and puts him in the TORTURE RACK while Giant makes Hogan cower in the corner. Vincent and Buff Bagwell both try to stop the Giant, but both take CHOKESLAMS for their trouble. It looks like Hogan is going to just leave Bischoff behind, but Lex and Giant dump him out at the feet of the nWo as we end this edition of Nitro.

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