Bigelow’s Replay: WCW Nitro 8/25/97
WCW Nitro 8/25/97
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Larry Zbyszko
– We open the show with our animation before heading inside the arena where Tony Schiavone welcomes us to pro wrestling’s number one program! We head over to the announce booth where Tony, Larry and Mike talk about last Thursday’s Clash of the Champions. Sting made it clear that a match with Hollywood Hogan will get him back in the ring. Tony sends us to a clip of the final moments of the Clash, which feature Sting appearing in the rafters with a vulture while a young boy reads a passage. The lights would go down and when they came up, the vulture was on the top rope staring at the NWO, who had been holding a birthday celebration inside it. We then cut back live to Gene Okerlund, who is in the ring. He runs down JJ Dillon’s recent offerings to Sting over the past couple weeks before bringing Eric Bischoff out for a chat. Eric is soundly booed upon his introduction, but he is all smiles as he saunters to the ring. Eric tells Gene to shut up and takes the mic. JJ should have learned from him that ultimatums can come back to bite you. The WCW Ship will have to sail without the Stinger because the Birdman will be flying the coop. Ok, that cracked me up…maybe it was his delivery or the subtle Koko B. Ware reference. Gene tells Eric to slow his roll because he has JJ on the phone from WCW Headquarters. JJ says there may have been a deadline for the Clash, but we all saw what happened in Nashville. The fans lit up the switchboards on Friday and JJ has heard Sting loud and clear. He is now committed to signing a match between Sting and Hollywood Hogan at some point before the end of the year. Eric flips out and says it will never happen because he says so. Hogan has title defenses scheduled all over the world and has movies to make as well. Hogan is the most important man in wrestling today and if he wanted Sting, he would take him out easily. He has taken out Piper, Luger and the Giant. The crowd erupts as Eric rants on and the camera zooms out to see Sting climbing the steps behind Eric’s back. Sting enters the ring, grabs Eric’s shoulder and turns him around. Eric drops to his knees and begs off as Sting pulls out a Hogan shirt and holds it up. Sting puts the shirt over Eric’s head and then shoves him to the mat with a boot to the face. Sting shoves the shirt in Eric’s mouth and the crowd is erupting here. Eric is shaking as Sting stands over him smiling. Tony and Larry are freaking out about the smile as Sting stalks around the ring and we head to break.
– When we come back, Raven is again alone in a room. He rambles on about suffering and redemption and salvation. To attain salvation, there is a price to be paid. The end of the road is not quite what you expect; it may be some horribly disfigured fun house reflection of your own inner dreams. Quote the Raven, never more. Back live, the Nitro Girls are getting down in the aisle as we are set for our first match.
1) Glacier & Ernest Miller vs. La Parka & Psychosis
The lights turn low and snow starts to fall as Glacier and Miller make their way to the ring. Tony talks about our last segment a bit. Parka and Psychosis are already in the ring and we are set to go. Parka charges Glacier but eats a big boot. Psychosis nails Glacier from the apron on a whip, but he recovers and slugs both men down. Glacier takes Parka over with a powerslam for two. All four men end up in the ring and Miller takes out Parka with a spin kick as Glacier leg sweeps Psychosis down. Miller and Psychosis are now the legal men, it seems. Psychosis clubs away at Miller and then tags in Parka and the double team the Cat a bit. They try a double boot, but Miller catches both feet. Parka tries an Enziguri, but Miller ducks and he cracks Psychosis instead. Miller tags in Glacier who comes in and takes out both men with right hands and spin kicks. Miller nails Psychosis with a spin kick from the top. Mark Curtis forces Miller to the corner and that allows parka to smash Glacier in the back with two chair shots. He rolls Psychosis on top and that is it. That was a fun little match that ended in a decent sized upset. Psychosis & La Parka d. Glacier & Miller when Psychosis pins Glacier after a Parka chair shot at 2:04; Grade: .5
– Now Ultimo Dragon is out and is trying to tell Curtis what happened. Dragon starts yelling at Sonny Onoo, but Silver King comes in to get involved. Dragon takes out King but Psychosis and Parka attack and beat Dragon down. They hold him up and Onoo lays in some slaps and kicks on his former charge. King hoists Dragon up and tosses him with a spinning powerbomb throw. He follows with a somersault legdrop. Parka flies out of the ring with a dive onto Glacier and Miller follows with a dive onto Parka. Everyone is down and out except King and we head to break. That was a hella crazy segment.
2) Ultimo Dragon vs. Silver King
When we return, Dragon is fighting to get to his feet while King waits in the opposite corner. The bell sounds and King charges and dropkicks Dragon in the head. King follows with a spin kick in the corner and tries a backdrop, but Dragon lands on his feet. King drills him with a spin kick and heads up top. King comes off with a missile dropkick and heads to the middle rope. He lands a moonsault and gets two. He mares Dragon over and clamps on a chinlock as Tenay runs down the upcoming ticket sale dates. King releases the hold and plants Dragon with a DDT. King heads up again but misses a splash as Dragon rolls out of the way. Dragon ducks two clotheslines but King catches him with a third attempt. King locks in an abdominal stretch and starts to wear down Dragon. He lets go of the hold and chokes Dragon on the top rope. He slams Dragon and heads up top again. He comes off with a leap but Dragon meets him with a dropkick to the gut. Larry tells a neat little story about wrestling Dr. Wagner in Mexico and leaving town just before an earthquake hit and destroyed his hotel. King and Dragon slug away at each other and Dragon is able to push King into the corner. He mounts King and pounds on him for a ten count. He follows with a handspring elbow but eats a boot on a charge. King charges but Dragon takes him over with leg scissors. Both men get up but Dragon takes him over with a huracarrana. They trade pinfall attempts but King drills Dragon with a back elbow when they pop up. King misses a charge in the corner and ends up crotched on the top rope. Dragon heads up as well and takes King over with a huracarrana. He locks in the Dragon sleeper and picks up the hard fought win. That was a really good match with some nice uncertainty worked in. Dragon d. King with a Dragon sleeper at 5:18; Grade: 1.5
– As Dragon celebrates, the NWO music fires up and Scott Hall, Randy Savage and Elizabeth head out. Tony tells us that Savage is scheduled to wrestle Lex Luger later tonight. Hall has a mic and says we can’t have a party without inviting the NWO. This crowd is WCW country tonight. Hall, Savage and Liz were talking backstage and they know they are the reason everyone came tonight and is watching at home. They want to take this opportunity to welcome the newest NWO member: Diamond Dallas Page. Hall says Page helped them at the Clash. Tony and Larry don’t want to believe it. Page doesn’t show and Savage says Page must be camera shy. Tony says Page inadvertently hit the Cutter on Luger on Thursday. Savage says he voted No on Page, but the NWO didn’t have a weak link, so it is cool that he is in. He tells Luger to understand that he has gone to the very top but starting at Sturgis and the Clash, Lex has been in a slump. He is going to punk Luger out tonight and continue his slump. Lex doesn’t have any friends in WCW or South Carolina. They take off and we head to break.
– Tune into WCW Saturday Night this weekend as Glacier, the Steiner Brothers, Eddie Guerrero, Steve McMichael and some NWO members will be in the house. We now head to the aisle where Gene Okerlund is located. We get a clip of Thursday night when a blinded Page accidentally took out Luger with a Diamond Cutter. Gene brings Page out for a chat to attempt to gain some answers. Gene says we have heard from Hall and the NWO, but he wants to hear it from Page. Was the Cutter inadvertent or intentional? Page says Gene is ridiculous but Gene defends himself. Page says joining the NWO would be ludicrous. The Luger question is equally as ludicrous. Page was blinded and grabbed the wrong man. All the fans know what Page has been through to get where he is and that is why Lex opted to be his partner. Gene doubts Lex trusts Page now. Page hasn’t spoken to Lex since that night but he has tried to get a hold of him. Page is a stand up guy and he tells Lex to come out to talk if he is in the house. Gene says Luger will be here but Page doesn’t think he is yet, because if he were, he would be out there already. They are two men and not low lives like Savage and Hall. Page takes off and we take a break.
– When we return, the Nitro Girls are getting down in the ring and Tony is discussing what is still to come here tonight. We then head back to Gene in the aisle. He plugs the Nitro Party contest, requesting videos of various Nitro parties from around the country. The winning parties will get a visit from the Nitro Girls, Gene and Wildcat Willie for a live Nitro party. Sounds like good time to me. He runs down the Nitro Party pack and this is some of the best promoting I have seen WCW do, to be honest. Gene and the Nitro Girls take off as we head back to the ring.
3) Faces of Fear vs. Wrath & Mortis
Barbarian and Meng make their way to the ring as we get clips from last week when a brawl broke out between the Faces of Fear and James Vandenberg’s boys. Speaking of whom, Vandenberg leads Mortis and Wrath out to the ring, looking for revenge from last week’s brawl. Vandenberg says that the final nail will be driven in Barbarian’s coffin tonight. Barbarian and Wrath start things off as we get some more talk about Sting. Barbarian clubs away on Wrath in the corner but Wrath ducks a clothesline and hammers back. Barbarian fires back but he gets tripped up by Vandenberg and kicked down by Wrath. Wrath misses a clothesline and Vandenberg trips up Barbarian again. Barbarian chases Vandenberg around ringside and then slides back in but he eats a big flying clothesline of the top by Wrath. He covers and gets a two count. Wrath slams Barbarian down and heads to the middle rope. Barbarian avoids an elbow drop and tags in Meng. They go to opposite middle buckles and hit a double headbutt for two. Mortis comes in, but Meng crushes him with a powerbomb. Wrath puts Meng down with a clothesline and then hammers away at him. Wrath eats a boot on a charge and Meng peppers him with rights and lefts. He tags Barbarian back in and he plants Wrath with a front Russian legsweep for two. Wrath ducks a clothesline and hits Barbarian with a cross body block. Both men tag out and Mortis gains the advantage on Meng with right hands and kicks. Meng recovers but misses a splash in the corner and Mortis continues to kick away. Mortis lands two clotheslines, but Meng shrugs them off, so Mortis nails him with a spin heel kick to put him down for two. Both men are back up and Meng goes for a powerbomb, but Wrath comes in and kicks him in the gut. That allows Mortis to shift position and ride Meng down with a rocker dropper. Barbarian breaks up the pin and a big brawl breaks out again. Mortis heads up top but Meng catches him with the Tongan Death Grip and that is all she wrote. I could have watched these guys smack the shit out of each other for another ten minutes at least. Faces of Fear d. Mortis & Wrath when Meng pins Mortis with the Tongan Death Grip at 4:43; Grade: 1.5
– All four men continue to brawl as the Hour Two fireworks start going off and we head to break.
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Bobby Heenan
– When we return, Gene is in the ring and brings out the Four Horsemen for a chat. Ric Flair, Mongo McMichael and Chris Benoit all head out to a big pop. Tony believes Columbia is Horsemen country and Gene agrees. Flair is fired up and wants to cut to the chase by bringing Curt Hennig out to get the scoop on where he stands. Hennig heads out and Flair tells Gene he wants an answer tonight. Curt gets in the ring as Gene runs down the story for us. Flair asks Curt if he is in as they have now been waiting for two months. Curt would love to give an answer, but he isn’t ready to do that tonight. Flair puts him over and says he gets special consideration. In anticipation of that answer, Flair has a special guest to talk to Hennig tonight: Arn Anderson. Double A heads out to a mega pop as Gene gives him a big time introduction. Arn is in the ring and he has something important to say. He is a realist and despite having average speed, size and ability, he was able to parlay that into a successful career based on sheer will. Four months ago, they took four vertebrae out of his neck and his left hand is too weak to even hold a glass or button a button. He fought through it with sheer will, but at the gym some guy came up and slapped him in the back and a jolt went through his body and his system shut down. He realized the sand in his career hourglass was running out. Not only would he put himself in a suicide situation in the ring, he would also be risking Mongo and Benoit’s careers. And to be anything other than Flair’s Enforcer, he would rather walk away. For everyone who ever bought a ticket to watch Arn wrestle, they knew when the bell rang, he gave all he had despite the result of the match. He now has nothing left to give, and he wants the fans to remember how he was, not how he is. His final act as a Horseman is a challenge to Curt Hennig. The challenge isn’t for a fight, it is for Curt to stand beside his best friend and lead the Horsemen back to glory and prominence. Hennig’s prize is not just a Horsemen spot, it is Arn’s spot and that is all he has left. Curt says there are many wrestlers that could not come out and turn down Arn’s Horsemen spot, and he is one of them. After weeks of back and forth, Curt Hennig officially joins the Horsemen. He embraces with his new stablemates and Gene is all sorts of revved up. Flair is near tears as they all shake hands and start heading out. As they leave, we are set for our next match.
4) Eddie Guerrero vs. Steve McMichael for the United States Championship
Eddie Guerrero heads to the ring as he has a shot at Mongo’s newly won US Championship. Of course, he defeated Jeff Jarrett for the belt at the Clash. Eddie slides in the ring and attacks Mongo as the bell sounds. He works Mongo’s knee and the runs him to the buckle. He takes Mongo down and dropkicks him in the head. Eddie is all business here. He chops away at Mongo and then goes to the eyes to keep control. Eddie taunts the fans and the Horsemen as he keeps the assault on. Mongo reverses a whip but eats a back elbow on a charge. Eddie hits a tornado DDT for two. Eddie walks along the top rope and takes Mongo over with a headscissors for two. Mongo reverses another whip and this time he drops Eddie with a stun gun. He takes Eddie’s head off with a big clothesline and then plants him with a tilt-a-whirl slam. He stomps on Eddie’s knee but Eddie dodges him and heads up top. He goes for a moonsault but Mongo catches him in mid air and plants him with a Tombstone for the win. That may have been one of the best Mongo matches I have seen. Eddie was awesome and Mongo fed right off his energy. If they had a few more minutes, it could have been really good. McMichael d. Guerrero with a Tombstone at 3:07; Grade: 2
– Mongo celebrates and we take a break.
– When we return, Gene is in the aisle and he gives a shout out to Hootie & the Blowfish. He then brings out Rey Mysterio, Jr., who limps out. Gene tells us that Rey’s rehab has not worked to this point. Rey wishes he could be in the ring, but his knee is really bad. He should have known better than to wrestle Konnan because he wanted to end his career. He will go see Dr. James Andrews tomorrow to get a final opinion. As Gene talks, Konnan comes out and gets in Rey’s face. He tells Rey to grab a Happy Meal and call it a night before he breaks Rey’s other leg. The next time Gene interrupts Konnan, Konnan says he will put Gene’s dentist in the next highest tax bracket. Konnan taunts Rey some more but Giant comes out to assist. Konnan scampers away as Giant protects Rey. Rey says that Giant is family and they shake hands and hug. They walk off and we are going to head back to the ring. But, before we can, we are joined by Eric Bischoff, who heads to the announce booth. Eric tells Bobby and Tenay to leave and they oblige. Eric tells Tony to stay put as he has a seat. Eric talks some trash to Larry and Giant about his restraining order as we now head to the ring.
5) Yuji Nagata vs. Chris Jericho for the Cruiserweight Championship
Tony asks what role he should play as Yuji Nagata heads to the ring. Chris Jericho is out next as Eric busts on Larry some more. They lock up off the bell and Yuji takes control. They both dodge some moves but Yuji catches him with some clubbing fists and a kick. Jericho blocks a mare and takes Yuji over with a suplex for two. Eric wants the truck to not show a “Hogan Fears Sting” sign that is in the crowd. Jericho slams Yuji and hits a slingshot splash from the apron. The crowd is loudly chanting for Jericho and it even catches him off guard as looks out to the fans. Jericho hooks a rear chinlock and then follows with some chops. Eric calls Tony “Fathead” which makes me laugh. Jericho slugs Yuji down as we take a quick break. When we return, Yuji has Jericho in a side headlock. Jericho fights free and slugs away at Yuji before suplexing him across the top rope. Jericho nails him with a springboard dropkick and Yuji falls to the floor. Jericho flies out with a plancha as Eric keeps making fat jokes at Tony’s expense. Back inside, Yuji takes Jericho over with a belly to belly suplex. He kicks Chris in the kidneys and then slams him down. Yuji misses a spinning kick and Jericho hits him with some clotheslines in the corner. Jericho follows with the Lionsault and the double powerbomb. He turns Yuji over into the Liontamer and Yuji taps out. Jericho showed fire, but they didn’t really click that well. Jericho d. Nagata with the Liontamer at 4:33 (plus commercial break); Grade: 1
– Tony tells us that Jericho will defend the title against Eddie Guerrero at Fall Brawl as we get the Castrol replay. We pan the crowd a bit before tossing it to Lee Marshall with the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. He is in Pensacola, FL and imploring the fans to go out and get tickets. There is no truth to the rumor that the city was founded by Ponce de la Bischoff while looking for the fountain of arrogance. Back live, we see some Anti-WWF signs, which Bischoff gets a kick out of. Back in the aisle, Gene brings out Harlem Heat to talk about the tag team division. Booker, Stevie and Miss Jacqueline make their way out and Gene asks them what is on their minds. Booker wants us to know that Miss Jackie is the new member of Team Harlem Heat. They now have someone to watch their backs going forward. He wants to know what is going on with the championship committee because the Steiners are still the number one contenders. He puts the Steiners over, but he thinks they deserve the shot because they are seven time champions. Booker asks the Steiners to step aside so they can take on Hall and Nash. Stevie starts to talk, but we are joined by the Steiners and Ted DiBiase. Stevie says they proved themselves in WCW and they didn’t have to go up North or to Japan to do so. Scott Steiner calls Harlem Heat idiots for some reason that I can’t follow. Rick calls them hambones and says they had their chance and couldn’t beat anybody. Now Vincent, Bagwell and Norton make their way out to stir shit up. Bagwell trash talks both teams and officially crowns their team Vicious & Delicious. A brawl breaks out between all six men…and Vincent starts grabbing at Jackie as we go to break.
– We are back and the Nitro Girls are in the ring dancing again as Eric and Tony talk about various subjects to eat up some time. Alex Wright now makes his way out with his newly won TV title around his waist. He dances his way to the ring.
6) Alex Wright vs. Dean Malenko for the Television Championship
Tony tells us that Alex will have to face Ultimo Dragon at Fall Brawl if survives this match here. Malenko is out next and we are set to go. They lock up and trade some holds on the mat. Dean gets a roll up for two and Alex bails to the floor. He stalls a bit and heads back inside as Eric rags on Sting’s vulture from the Clash. Alex puts Dean down with a shoudlerblock and then dances a bit. He kicks away at Dean and then plants him with a nice backbreaker. He goes for a powerbomb, but Dean back flips Alex to block it. Dean drills him with a clothesline in the corner and then sits Alex on the top rope. He follows up, but Alex fights him off and Dean falls to the mat. Wright comes off the top but catches a boot to the chest from Dean. Dean hits a leg lariat and gets two. Alex misses a dropkick and Dean goes for the Cloverleaf, but Alex fights him off. He takes Dan over with a back suplex and gets two. Alex hits a vertical suplex for another near fall. He chops at Dean, but Dean blocks a German suplex with a mule kick. He goes for the Cloverleaf but Jeff Jarrett and Eddie Guerrero come in to draw the DQ. Malenko d. Wright by disqualification at 3:43; Grade: 1
– Eddie takes Dean down with a brainbuster as Eric rips on the lack of control in WCW. JJ hooks the figure four on Dean as Wright nails him with a top rope kneedrop and Eddie drops a frog splash on him. That was a pretty sweet triple team. And we are off to break.
– Back live, the Nitro Girls are earning their money tonight as they dance around the ring. Eric and Tony talk about the Nitro Party contest as the NWO music fires up.
7) Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger
And it is main event time as Randy Savage and Elizabeth head down to the ring. Eric laughs off Tony’s questioning of possible NWO problems. We take a quick break and when we return, Lex Luger is making his way out. Luger hops into the ring and is fired up, posing in Savage and Liz’s face. Savage ducks to the apron as the bell sounds and we are underway. They circle around a bit before locking up. Luger forces Savage to the ropes and then nails Lex on the break. Savage clotheslines Lex down and then stomps away in the corner. Eric keeps mispronouncing Tony’s name, which is also pretty funny. Liz runs some interference as Savage hammers on Lex and dumps him to the floor. He runs him into the steps and then runs him into the guardrail. He hammers on him on the floor and won’t let him get back in the ring. Every time Lex gets near the ring, Savage boots him to the floor. He heads up top and drops a big double axehandle onto Lex. This is certainly an interesting strategy. Eric says Sting doesn’t even qualify to open a show, let alone garner a title match. Savage finally tosses Lex inside the ring and he drills him with another double axehandle for a near fall. He drills Lex with a knee to the back and then hooks in a sleeper. Lex fights out and takes Savage over with a back suplex. Savage crawls over and gets two. Lex fires away at Savage, drilling him to the mat. He hits an inverted atomic drop and then follows with two more. Savage is staggering and Lex nails him with the forearm. Lex calls for the Rack, but Scott Hall hops on the apron. Lex shoves Savage into him, but Lex and Savage bang heads as he bounds off Hall. While there wasn’t much action, I liked the psychology of the match as Savage just pummeled Lex on the floor. Savage and Luger wrestle to a no contest at 8:09; Grade: 2
– Now DDP slides in the ring and he starts to help Lex up. Lex is blinded and he hoists Page into the Rack as we quickly fade out to black. See you next week!