Monday Nitro (04.07.97)

WCW Monday Nitro
April 7, 1997
Huntsville, AL
Von Braun Civic Center

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)

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

We start off with stills shown of the DDP-Savage match at Spring Stampede – complete with Tony Schiavone commentary! There is turmoil inside the nWo!

  • Konnan & Hugh Morrus vs. Alex Wright & Psychosis

An odd pairing: a German and a Mexican. Not trying to make an obscure political statement, it just seems weird that Alex Wright and Psychosis would team. Wright flips around Morrus to start and grabs hold of him to tag Psychosis. Tag to Konnan, he hits the Rolling Clothesline. Psychosis fights back with a headscissors out of the corner and a flying heel kick. He knocks Morrus off the apron and takes him out with a corkscrew moonsault! Konnan dropkicks Psychosis when he comes back in and lets Morrus take over. We go to a split-screen to show DDP from earlier today driving up to the arena in his Chevy Blazer. He’s wearing a shiner and he’s got an iced-up shoulder and I don’t mean he’s wearing jewelry. Back inside, the DOD are still brutalizing Psychosis. Morrus misses a flying elbow and HOT TAGS WRIGHT! Flying bodypress hits Morrus for 1-2-NO! Konnan elbows Wright from the apron into a swinging neckbreaker to set up NO LAUGHING MATTER for the win. (5:05) Afterwards, Konnan drops Psychosis with the 187 just for fun. This is one of those Nitro tag matches where you know it’s meaningless and you’ll forget about it the next day, but they still rock the house and force you to take notice. Fun TV match. **¼

Stills of Hokuto-Madusa are shown – including a terrible shot of Luna Vachon which was pretty important. Of course, Tony doesn’t explain for those who didn’t see the show.

  • Lord Steven Regal vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

This is the match that the TV title should have been fought over in February and March, but the Prince Iaukea experiment got in the way. Regal uses his superior strength to absolutely dismantle Rey to start. Meanwhile in the back, nWo Hollywood arrive to the arena. That means Hogan, Bischoff, DiBiase, and Vincent. Hogan says they have to keep the family together. Marlon Brando, he isn’t. Back inside, Rey counters a butterfly suplex into an armdrag and we’re off and running. Rey delivers a springboard dropkick and headscissors Regal off the middle rope. Cover, 1-2-NO! SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA gets 1-2-NO! Regal catches Mysterio with a European uppercut and hits a reverse suplex to set up the REGAL STRETCH. Rey manages to reach the ropes, but Regal won’t release on the five-count and loses by DQ. (4:33) Prince Iaukea heads down to save Rey. He gets stuck in the REGAL STRETCH too. A bunch of refs appear, but Regal’s done hurting people anyway. Back to back good matches! **½

Now we go backstage where the other nWo members appear. Randy Savage is on crutches with his ankle in a cast. Not sure why because I don’t remember DDP doing anything to it. Elizabeth, Kevin Nash, Syxx, Buff Bagwell, nWo Sting, and M. Wallstreet all appear together.

Stills are shown of the Iaukea-Regal match. Looks like a replay of the last match with Iaukea in the Regal Stretch!

After the break, they show us stills of how the WCW world tag titles match went from being a handicap match to a singles match between Nash and Rick Steiner.

  • Chris Benoit (w/Woman) vs. Ice Train (w/Teddy Long)

Ice Train gives Benoit a press slam and then NO-SELLS his chops before running him over. We go to the split-screen as we see the entire nWo meeting together. Hogan tells Nash and Savage that they have a few minutes to think about where they want to go from here. Randy Savage is being harder to deal with than everyone else in the crew. For some reason, Hulk is all concerned about where Scott Norton’s allegiance is at. Back to the match, Benoit knocks Ice Train into Teddy Long and sends him flying off the apron. And the crowd pops? Not a pro-black man town, I guess. Benoit drills Ice Train with a DDT to finish. (3:08) So much nWo talk, why can’t they talk about what happened between Malenko and Benoit last night after their match? ¾*

This leads to stills of Malenko-Benoit.

Where was Hollywood Hogan last Monday night? He was in Chicago to support his buddy Dennis Rodman for his big movie premiere of DOUBLE TEAM with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Rodman drops the July 13 date, which happens to be the day for Bash at the Beach. SPOILER ALERT~! When they return, Tony doesn’t mention it.

  • Kevin Sullivan (w/Jacqueline & Jimmy Hart) vs. Hector Guerrero

Typical Sullivan squash. Hector tries to stand up to Jacqueline and fails. The Tree of Woe sets up the DOUBLE STOMP for the win. (2:48) This was like every other match of Kevin Sullivan for the last two years of his career. ¼*

Stills are shown of the Public Enemy-Horsemen match.

We are close to the second hour so time to bring out the nWo! The sides remain segregated. Ted DiBiase says they will all make amends or fight it out. One way or another, this will get settled. Hogan gets on the mic. Without the family, the World title doesn’t mean crap. He asks Nash if he has a problem with Dennis Rodman being a part of the crew. He has no problem with Rodman, but he was a little pissed for having to spend Easter alone with Syxx last week. Wait, but I thought you guys were pals! Hogan promises that Nash gets to go on an nWo Easter hunt next year. WHAT. Hulk look over at Savage and tells him that they are not on speaking terms. Wouldn’t it have been super mature of Hollywood to tell Nash to tell Savage that he isn’t talking to him? Hogan asks Nash what the deal is with Scott Hall’s absence. Don’t worry Hulk, the guy is nWo for life. In closing, Hulk doesn’t like the way Nash is staring holes through him. Either Nash needs to let him know they are cool or they need to do “the thing” right now. The crowd pops and Savage starts to get a little excited hopping around on his crutches. When it looks like something might go down, Nash tells Hogan that he doesn’t have to love him to respect him. When you’re nWo, you’re nWo for life. It’s not a catchphrase for them, it’s a way of life. Hogan and Nash touch Wolfpac signs and all is well between them. As far as we know. Savage is still super pissed and threatens Eric Bischoff. Hogan tells them to quit acting like a couple of goofs (no, seriously) and get it together. Savage tells Bischoff that he’ll go with the flow, but he’s keeping an eye on Bischoff just like Bischoff will keep an eye on him. The sharing of Wolfpac signs seem to seal the deal. Hogan and Savage share a quick half hug while Bagwell hogs the camera.

You know, some might say that this just shows that WCW had something here and failed to deliver on it. They had a way out of this angle and didn’t take it. In 1996 and 1997, WCW could stretch out angles and make them last for quite some time – the most famous being the Sting-Hogan feud that lasted over a year. Couldn’t you say that this was just a part one to the nWo split in 1998? I mean, how strong of a unit would they really be if they broke up after their first fight? Most smart marks would say I’m giving WCW way too much credit and maybe I am, but couldn’t this all just be a fraction of a larger part that is the nWo Hollywood-nWo Wolfpac feud? You can already see how the lines are drawn between Nash and Savage together against Hogan and Bischoff. It’s just a thought.

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

To kick off the hour, Gene Okerlund brings out Ric Flair. He’s ready to do it all again – one more time. He’s still saying that almost fifteen years later. He brings out Roddy Piper. They really bonded last week, you know. Piper says that after what we just saw happen with the nWo, now is the time to strike. Flair’s ready to play, Piper’s ready to play, and so is Kevin Greene. He comes out and acts like a meathead jock playfully knocking Piper and Flair all over the place. Okay then!

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho

This is supposed to be Jericho’s return match from Superbrawl. Jericho stops Deano Machino from being Deano Machino with an enziguri. He follows with the springboard dropkick on the apron and tosses Malenko back in for a missile dropkick. Backslide gets two. Malenko fights back with a powerbomb and quickly goes for the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF, but Jericho makes the ropes. Jericho meets Malenko up top and takes him down with a superplex. Double-KO ensues and Jericho rolls out to the apron. He tries a turnbuckle smash on Malenko, but Malenko blocks and smashes Jericho’s face instead. Jericho rolls back inside and acts like his face is really hurting. Malenko looks down to check on him and then decides to PUNT HIM IN THE FACE! Cover, 1-2-3! (3:02) Awesome! Malenko doesn’t care, folks. *½

  • Public Enemy vs. High Voltage

This is a rematch from two weeks back when Jarrett and Mongo cost Public Enemy the match. PE clean house to start so they can wave their arms around. Rocco gets dumped, but he makes Kaos pay with a swinging neckbreaker. Grunge tags in and PE double-team High Voltage again. Meanwhile on commentary, Tony says that Chris Jericho might have a broken nose. Grunge calls for the table and Rocco sets Kaos up, but he moves and Grunge dives through the table. Whoops. Back inside, Rage drops Rocco with a Northern Lights suplex for the odd 1-2-3. (3:07) People don’t normally win with that. Nevertheless, HIGH VOLTAGE IS FOR REAL! ¾*

Gene Okerlund joins Public Enemy in the ring. They challenge High Voltage to a Philadelphia street fight next week on Nitro. Since they will be in the Spectrum, that makes sense! Rocco tells us that since they are going back to their roots, they might have to get a little bit EXTREME~! Whoa!

Stills are shown of Mysterio-Dragon!

After the break, we see that Prince Iaukea is getting his ribs taped up after being attacked by Regal. Hey, the dummy shouldn’t have risked it since he has a TV title defense tonight.

  • Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) vs. Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael (w/Debra)

Jarrett and Debra come out together, but there’s no Mongo. Pretty simple story: Jarrett gets beaten down for close to ten minutes when Mongo walks out and gets tagged. He destroys Harlem Heat with slams and three-point stances, but then tags Jarrett and shoves him into a Harlem Side Kick for the 1-2-3. (9:04) Being a total dick, McMichael asks Jarrett why he couldn’t beat them? He says he thought Jarrett was a Horsemen. *

You KNOW Gene Okerlund has to get in on this. Jarrett asks where Mongo was at? He’s sick of Mongo making him look like an idiot week after week. Debra tries to start up with him, but Steve interrupts her squawking and tells everybody in WCW to be very afraid of him. Does that mean he’s going solo? Jarrett feels like that went nowhere since he didn’t answer his question.

Time for On the Road with Lee Marshall. He’s in Philadelphia snacking on Philly Cheese Steaks! SNACKING ON PHILLY CHEESE STEAKS?! Is he sitting on the couch putting down a whole tray of them? Did he get a six pack of Philly Cheese Steaks? This is a man who is clearly not concerned about his cholesterol level. Instead of his usual weasel wise crack, he makes an EVEN WORSE joke. Not even a forced chuckle or tee-hee from Tony this week.

  • WCW World Television Champion Prince Iaukea vs. Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Oono)

Dragon can’t believe Prince Iaukea came out here with his ribs all taped and exposing an injury. That makes things pretty easy. Iaukea tries to get the win with a couple quick pins, but Dragon unloads with the kicks and punts him in the ribs for the 1-2-3. (2:04) Dragon is your NEW WCW TV champ. ½*

Stills are shown of the four corners match from last night.

  • The Giant vs. Scott Steiner

Giant comes out to Lex Luger’s music. GIT YOUR OWN MUSIC, SON. No match as Konnan and Hugh Morrus attack Scott Steiner in the aisle. Giant heads over and chases off the Dungeon of Doom guys as he and Steiner head to the back in harmony. Thanks for coming, guys. This could only mean one thing – main event interview!

We see more stills of DFG-Nash.

A beaten and broken down Diamond Dallas Page heads down to the ring and gets on the stick. He says if anybody told him that he would be on the main-event of a WCW PPV two years ago, he would have thought they were crazy. However, he’s an anomaly. His whole career has been about doing things that aren’t supposed to happen, and he happened to Randy Savage last night. If he had found Savage at UnCeNSoReD when he assaulted Kimberly, DDP says he would have KILLED him. Sometimes winning a wrestling match isn’t enough. He’s hurt and he knows Savage is hurt. It doesn’t matter though. He wants more of Savage and calls him out. Cue the nWo music. Randy Savage gets about half way down the aisle when Hollywood Hogan tells Savage that he’ll take care of this. The entire nWo is standing behind them on the rampway. Just when things look bad for DDP, Sting comes down from the rafters and stands between DDP in the ring and Hogan in the aisle. Hogan starts to walk towards him when Sting pulls out the baseball bat from his jacket and points it at him. He tosses the bat back to DDP and pulls out another bat! Has he got a guy making bats in that trenchcoat? Sting joins DDP in the ring and we are at a standoff as we run out of time.

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