WCW: Monday Nitro (06.02.97)

WCW Monday Nitro
June 2, 1997
Dayton, OH
Hara Arena

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: Steven Regal (5/18/1997)
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 open the program with Scott Hall and Syxx in the ring. They start running down their opponents from the last time the nWo were all together at Slamboree. When Hall starts wondering where Flair is, WCW Commissioner JJ Dillon runs down with some good news. Ric Flair is on his way to Dayton as we speak and he wants a match with Hall – TONIGHT. Hall tells JJ Dillon that he has no control over him. If Hall doesn’t come out and face Flair, then he can drop off the tag belts by his office first thing tomorrow morning. So there’s your main event. Dayton is HOT tonight, fellas.

It always seems that even though WWF has their idea of what they’re going to do on Raw a week ahead of time and lets you know what it is, WCW finds a way to get you interested before Raw can even shoot off any opening pyro.

  • Glacier vs. Alex Wright

Real short encounter here. Wright doesn’t seem to think there is anything wrong with a little bump and grind during a wrestling match. There’s a huge problem with that line of thinking though. CRYONIC KICK ends Wright. (1:38) Mortis and Wrath attack with James Vandenberg at the helm. Wright even joins in to make this a 3-on-1, but he fails at this and eats a superkick from Mortis. During all of Glacier’s comeback, Tony is busy talking up Ernest Miller for some reason. ¼*

  • Buff Bagwell (w/Scott Norton) vs. Joe Gomez

Sort of a Nitro debut for Vicious and Delicious. Seems like they were going for a HBK-Diesel connection here. In a split-screen interview, Buff and Norton laugh about beating up Lex Luger and the Giant over in New Japan, which is actually quite legit. Gomez takes advantage of Bagwell posing too much, but gets dumped out to the floor to meet Norton. That’s bad news. Back in, the BUFF BLOCKBUSTER gets the win. (3:08) At least they’re giving the B-team something to do, I guess. ½*

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! Special start time of 7PM eastern! TBS! Public Enemy, Harlem Heat, Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly, and Mexican sensation Hector Garza! Plus, many other superstars that we are actually unaware of at the moment! Don’t miss out! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS, CLUBBERIN, AND PLUNDAH, BABY!

Mike Tenay stands over by the guardrail and introduces a high school football picture of Ernest Miller. Also some ka-ra-te pictures too! Next week, we’ll get a video! Now let’s check out a trailer of Roddy Piper’s latest flick: Swept Away. It’s movie #22 for Piper! You may know this flick by the REAL title, Dead Tides. Still have never heard of it? That’s because it went straight-to-video. That makes you the premiere!

  • Hugh Morrus vs. Prince Iaukea

During Hugh’s entrance, Konnan comes up and WHACKS him in the back of the head with a broomstick. He’s fine though and makes it to the ring. Apparently though, he’s not fine, because Iaukea school boys Morrus pretty handily in 47 seconds. Two months ago he was TV champ, now he’s beating Morrus and it’s an upset. Afterwards, Konnan comes out and throws up gang signs to let Morrus know WHO happened to him.

Gene Okerlund meets with JJ Dillon in the aisle. He confirms that Ric Flair is near the building for tonight’s main event against Scott Hall. JJ then announces that the Steiner brothers are the #1 contenders to the WCW tag team belts. Instantly, Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri head out to try and intimidate JJ Dillon into making them the top contenders. It doesn’t seem to work though.

Here’s a special video look at Diamond Dallas Page. He proved everyone wrong. He showed the world no one wanted to be at the top of the wrestling business more than he does. He BANGED Randy Savage in April at Spring Stampede. He’ll BANG Randy Savage again at the Great American Bash on June 15.

  • The Great Muta & Masahiro Chono vs. Rick & Scott Steiner

In case you haven’t been keeping up, Muta and Chono are the leaders of nWo Japan. Obviously these two teams know each other from the different stints the Steiners had in Muta and Chono’s home promotion of New Japan. Scott and Muta start the match. Scott overpowers Muta to begin things with the double underhook slam and a wonderful press slam. Rick comes in doing his bulldog shtick and scares Muta out of the ring. Chono gets him to calm down. Rick grabs hold of Chono’s nWo t-shirt so he can spit and stomp on it. Haha, why not. Tag to Chono, Rick ends a test of strength by tossing him over like we’re playing WCW/nWo Revenge. Steinerline puts Chono on the floor. Back inside, Chono gets caught trying a leapfrog and Rick plants him with a powerslam. Muta comes off the top, but he’s nailed in the gut on the way down and eats a Steinerline from Scott! That cleans house on the New Japan boys. Back in, Scott gets cornered for a bit. The heat segment is real short as Scott levels the two with a double clothesline. HOT TAG TO RICK! STEREO BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEXES ON CHONO AND MUTA! Then, Chono wipes out Scott with a MAFIA KICK. Meanwhile, Muta nails Rick with a Handspring Elbow followed by a bulldog. Now they go for the kill on Rick. Muta holds him while Chono tries the MAFIA KICK, but Rick moves and Muta gets nailed. Steinerline to Chono. Rick heads up top for the STEINER BULLDOG, but Harlem Heat yank him off the apron and whack him in the back with a chair. Meanwhile, Chono MAFIA KICKS Scott and out he goes. Rick gets rolled inside. Muta drops an elbow and applies a legbar instead of just pinning the man. With Rick knocked out and his shoulders down with the hold applied, the ref just counts the 1-2-3. (8:55) So now either the tag team titles scene is muddier than before, or Muta and Chono are now the top contenders. Who knows. This was a hot and heavy tag match. Definitely the best standard tag match we’ve seen in quite a while from WCW. **½

Out comes JJ Dillon to let Harlem Heat know that this last match will be reviewed due to nefarious involvement. JJ tells them that maybe Harlem Heat should worry about their own match lined up for tonight. Booker says tonight is just about SLAUGHTERING a couple of suckas.

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

The first hour gets a quick recap before Gene Okerlund brings out Ric Flair to respond to the challenge. He says he doesn’t know if he can beat Scott Hall, but he knows he wants to find out. WOO! Nash isn’t here. It’s just Hall and Syxx tonight. He promises that he will stomp a pothole in Hall’s toothpick-chewing white honky posterior.

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Michael Wallstreet

Wallstreet is still doing the anti-WCW thing. Nick Patrick is the ref here and most of the match is trying to put over Patrick’s reformed ways. He spends a LOT of the match arguing with Wallstreet. You know Wallstreet gets caught cheating during the ab stretch. As Jeff Jarrett and Debra head down, they try for the Strongbow pin, which completely fails somehow. Wallstreet thinks he’s won the match, but Patrick tells Malenko it isn’t and he applies the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF. Nick Patrick stands in the way of Wallstreet crawling for the ropes and eventually he has to tap out. (6:25) As he should, Heenan calls BS on that whole finish. ¾*

After the match, Gene Okerlund gets with Jeff Jarrett and Debra. Jarrett wants a rematch next week on Nitro in Boston. Malenko gives him the rematch and tells the world that he will prove that his win over Jarrett at Slamboree was no fluke. All a sudden, Steve McMichael asking why he didn’t talk this over with his fellow Horsemen members. Jarrett says he’s just looking out for number one now and tells Debra to leave with him. OH SNAP. Mongo doesn’t quite care for that, but he’ll take care of that situation backstage. As for Kevin Greene, he calls what Greene did stabbing him in the back two weeks ago on Nitro, totally forgetting that the whole reason Greene did it in the first place was because Mongo stabbed him in the back last June.

  • Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) vs. Ciclope & Damien

Seems kind of obvious that something screwy is about to happen because of so much trash talking from Harlem Heat. Ciclope gets destroyed, but Damien is tagged in for a double-team. Ciclope gets down on all fours while Damien runs and jumps off his back onto Booker T. To the floor, Damien hits Booker with a suicide dive. Back inside, the Heat destroy Damien. Meanwhile, out comes the Steiners as Booker eats a chair while the ref is busy with Stevie Ray. They roll Booker back in as Damien splashes from the top for the 1-2-3 and the biggest win in their WCW careers. (3:17) Well, that sets up Steiners-Heat for the Great American Bash. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but Tony says something completely absurd by wondering if perhaps Ciclope and Damien are the number one contenders to the tag belts. *

It’s time to check in with Lee Marshall for the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. He’s in Boston this week. This is probably the best joke he ever made at Bobby Heenan’s expense. He tells a story of how WCW wrestlers have presented particular Boston sports legends gifts and how they would have a great night using those gifts. Sting gave Larry Bird a pair of sneakers and Bird scored 40 points that night, Lex Luger gave Bobby Orr a pair of skates and Orr scored a hat trick that night (which is impossible considering Orr played for the Bruins in the 1970s), and Bobby Heenan gave Bill Buckner a first baseman’s mitt and that night, Buckner only made one error. Apparently, Heenan is not a Red Sox fan. He calls Buckner the best player they ever had and he hopes Buckner chokes on some chowder. That’s WEAK, Bobby.

  • Chris Benoit vs. The Barbarian (w/Jimmy Hart)

In order to get to Kevin Sullivan, they have apparently postponed that match and they’re making Benoit face the Faces of Fear again, one by one. In the real world, Sullivan had been asked to take a sabbatical during this time period. Benoit is WOUND tighter than a cheap watch to start. He kicks Barbarian all over in the corner and hits a Northern Lights suplex. Jimmy Hart distracts and gets him to take his mind off Barbarian for a moment as Barbarian put the boots to him. Barbarian tries hanging Benoit out to dry, but makes it look A LOT worse by dropping on the top rope shins-first. Piledriver gets two. Barbarian gives Benoit a Belly to Belly Superplex and Benoit rolls out on that one. Back in, Benoit pushes off another superplex and delivers the Swandive Headbutt, which sets up the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE for the submission. (3:55) Afterwards, Benoit asks Jimmy Hart when he gets Kevin Sullivan. Jimmy tells Benoit that he just made it a lot harder on himself. He’ll have to face another opponent in another death match, but he won’t tell Benoit who that person is until next week. *½

  • Ric Flair vs. Scott Hall (w/Syxx)

It’s a main event anywhere in the world, folks! Flair is all jabs and chops to start. WOO! Syxx tries to jack him from the apron, but Flair jacks him instead. Back to Hall, the Flair Flip sends him running down the apron on top of Syxx. A short-sighted plan indeed. Hall punches Flair back inside and stomps him in the corner. While Hall pulls the ref away, Syxx runs in and gives Flair the Bronco Buster. Fallaway Slam gets two. Crowd wants Sting. Hall grabs an ab stretch and gains some leverage from Syxx, but the ref catches them cheating and Flair hiptosses Hall away. Hall lays in on Flair with quick jabs, but he takes the punches and fires back with chops. Flair escapes a sleeper with a shinbreaker, but he’s too exhausted to capitalize. He gives Hall a running chop and follows up with an inverted atomic drop. Syxx takes a forearm off the apron. Syxx climbs up top, but gets caught by Flair. He grabs Hall and whips him into Syxx to send him crashing to the floor. Now Syxx tries to attack Flair with a title belt. That fails and Flair gets a hold of him, but Hall nails Flair with the belt and the ref calls for the DQ. (7:50) That’s the thing about DQ’s in WCW. If the face is handling the interference, then it’s no problem. Once that babyface gets wiped out, call for the bell. The 2-on-1 beatdown continues until Mongo and Jeff Jarrett run down for the save. Oh that’s right! The Four Horsemen still exists. ¾*

While you would think the show would come to a close there, Randy Savage is pulling Gene Okerlund by the collar out to the ring for an interview. Elizabeth is still by his side too. Savage tells the world that he’s the best wrestler – past, present, and future. Gene says that somebody needs to bring him back down to earth. That was the WRONG thing to say, Gene. Savage grabs him by the tie this time as WCW figurehead JJ Dillon heads down to intervene. Gene has had enough and leaves after handing the mic over to JJ. Savage gets scolded for putting his hands on a WCW announcer. JJ calls Okerlund the “dean of wrestling journalists.” Gordon Solie is Gene Okerlund? JJ Dillon tells Savage that he used to have respect for him, but no longer. At one point, JJ feels that Savage at one time would have handled this situation with Diamond Dallas Page face to face like a man, but now Savage is addressing his problems from the upper decks of coliseums all over America hiding behind Elizabeth. Savage snaps and starts assaulting JJ. What’s wrong with him?! You should know better than to say things like that to crazy people. Security people and Eric Bischoff head down to try and stop Randy Savage. Instead of getting JJ Dillon the HECK out of there, they check on him 15 feet away from the man who just punched and kicked him down. That leads to Savage breaking loose and punching on JJ some more. Once Savage calms down (at least calm as Randy Savage can be), Eric Bischoff gets on the mic and tells JJ Dillon that he brought this on himself. Well, he’s not wrong. SNAP INTO THIS, DDP!

WCW presents the Great American Bash on June 15 in Moline IL!
Here is the announced card as of June 2 1997:

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage

WCW World Tag Team Champions Scott Hall & Kevin Nash vs. Ric Flair & Roddy Piper
WCW Women’s Champion Akira Hokuto vs. Madusa – Title v. Career Match
Kevin Greene vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Chris Benoit vs. ??? – Death Match


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