WCW: Monday Nitro (06.23.97)

WCW Monday Nitro
June 23, 1997
Macon, GA
Macon 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: Syxx (2/23/1997)

Last Week on Nitro: Hollywood Hogan, Dennis Rodman and the rest of the nWo leave Lex Luger and the Giant lying face down in the ring.

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

Gene Okerlund starts the show bringing out Diamond Dallas Page and his wife Kimberly. Gene recalls that DDP has a partner set up to face Scott Hall and Randy Savage at the Bash at the Beach PPV, but Page wouldn’t tell us who his partner would be. Page says that’s because he just LOVES surprises – particularly on birthdays and on Christmas, apparently. Guess nobody should ever wrap up a hockey stick to give this guy as a present. Since there’s no wonderment looking at that gift, he just might BANG you! Surprise! Anyways, this leads to Kimberly saying that she HATES surprises, so in order for her to know that DDP knows who he’s facing come the BATB PPV, she asked JJ Dillon to set a match with DDP tonight against Scott Hall! There’s your main event. Suck it, Raw!

  • La Parka & Damien vs. Public Enemy

Boy, have Public Enemy gone down the card over the last couple months. La Parka and Damien get in a ton of offense here as they dominate the match. Grunge gets a hot tag and Rocco Rock somersaults over the top rope to put Damien through a table. DQ perhaps? No way. With Grunge still inside and the ref busy looking at Rocco and Damien, La Parka sneaks in and blasts Grunge with a chair for the 1-2-3! (3:57) Ouch. Now TPE is jobbing to the luchadores! After burning bridges with ECW and choosing WCW over the WWF, where else can they go? ½*

Over to Gene Okerlund, he introduces Eddie Guerrero. Gene questions Eddie’s integrity for sending out his nephew Chavo to wrestle Dean Malenko last week. Eddie explains that he wasn’t medically cleared to wrestle just yet, and Chavo offered to wrestle in his place. Chavo is out to corroborate this story, but he doesn’t exactly remember it happening the way Eddie said. To make up for getting Chavo to fight his battle against Malenko, Eddie offers him the Cruiserweight title match he was originally scheduled to compete for later in the show. Chavo accepts the title shot, and Eddie says he’ll be there to watch his back every step of the way. We shall see.

  • Alex Wright vs. Chris Jericho

Rematch from two weeks ago when Alex Wright cheated to win. Wright pearl harbors Jericho to start, just like he did in their previous match. He’s all headlocks and rump shaking too. Jericho fires back with a spinning heel kick and clotheslines Wright to the floor. Back inside, Jericho grabs a wristlock. Wright pulls the hair to escape, but Jericho catches Wright with a shoulderblock. Once he rolls to the apron, Jericho gives him a springboard shoulderblock to the floor and then whips him into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Jericho flies down into a dropkick. Wright puts the boots to him and comes off the top with a flying stomp. Instead of capitalizing, Wright reverts to dancing. Jericho rallies back with a Lionsault press for two. Wright tries a float over out of the corner, but Jericho catches him in mid-air for a spinebuster to lead to the LIONTAMER for the win. (4:41) Kind of dull until the nice finish. *

Video recap gets shown of Vincent screwing with the Harlem Heat and the Steiners who are just trying to figure out who the number one contenders are to the WCW tag team belts.

  • Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri)

Since there was shenanigans last Sunday at the Great American Bash to settle who the number one contenders to the tag belts are, a rematch is in order. Booker and Scott start the match here. Stevie Ray nails Scott in the corner from the apron and shoves him into a Harlem Side Kick. Scott comes back with a press slam and the crowd EXPLODES. Tag to Rick, he throws the Heat boys around. Scott tags back in and delivers the Spinning Belly to Belly Suplex on Booker for two. Back over to Rick, Booker flips out of a back suplex and shoves Rick into a forearm from Stevie Ray, which staggers him back into an Axe Kick. Stevie Ray works a chinlock for a little bit. Tag to Booker, he misses an elbow drop and does the Spinaroonie to lead into another Harlem Side Kick, but Rick catches him for a powerbomb. This crowd is HOT for the Steiners. Booker’s wide-eyed expression lying on the mat is priceless. Hot tag to Scott, they go for the STEINER BULLDOG on Booker, but Stevie Ray breaks it up. Sister Sherri gets up on the apron for some reason, but Rick reverses whips Booker and knocks her off the apron into the arm of Stevie Ray. Booker staggers back over to Rick, who is up top for the abbreviated (and kind of ugly, but Macon doesn’t care) Steiner Bulldog for the 1-2-3. (8:12) So Sherri “costs” them the big match, which will become more important in the next few weeks. *½

We go right over to Gene Okerlund who had planned to speak with the number one contenders, but Vicious & Delicious interrupt. Buff says Scott’s arms look like they are going through atrophy and shows what arms are supposed to look like. While you’re at Buff, show us how calf implants are supposed to look like. I have no idea. VD put over the Steiners, but they don’t care and they ain’t skeered. Oh yeah, Vincent was with them too. Sorry, he just blends in with the background sometimes. They leave once the Steiners come closer. Now that their thing with Harlem Heat is over, Rick and Scott just want the Outsiders next week in Las Vegas.

Poor Mike Tenay. Always having to show interest in Ernest Miller. He introduces some clips of the Cat showing off his karate skills and championship trophies he’s won. Miller debuts on hour numero dos! Never knew Glacier had so much pull around WCW that he could convince them to not only stop kicking him out of arenas when he jumps the rail, but also to get him signed to the company. Wild stuff.

Check out Saturday Nitro! June 28! LIVE on that new fad called the WORLD WIDE WEB! It’s the ONE WCW event you can listen to using your RealPlayer software streaming on your 56K modems that you don’t want to miss! Also, if you don’t have TWO phone lines in your house, tell all your friends (if you have any) NOT to call you that night! This is too important to miss! WCW says this is the show Eric Bischoff doesn’t want YOU to see!

  • Hector Garza vs. Villano IV

Looks like they are trying to get Garza over as a singles guy, but Macon isn’t buying into him. They go through their lucha armdrags and such. Villano tries waking up the crowd with a tope suicida. Back in, Garza tries a backflip off the middle rope and once he lands, Villano is there with a clothesline. Hurracanrana gets two, but he tries it again and gets planted with a powerbomb. Villano hits a shoulderbreaker and comes off the top for a flying moonsault, but Garza gets out of the way. On the floor, Garza delivers a baseball slide and follows up with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to stun Villano long enough to hit the TORNILLO! Back inside, a snap suplex and a standing moonsault gets the win on Villano. (4:48) Nothing to point to that was necessarily wrong with the match, just the crowd didn’t care for these two. *

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

Gene Okerlund introduces Lex Luger and the Giant to respond to what happened last week. To be fair, Luger isn’t exactly the best or most interesting on the stick. Long story short, Bash at the Beach will be Hogan and Rodman’s day of reckoning.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Syxx (w/Scott Hall) vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Does it annoy anybody else when Bobby Heenan tries to defend the LOGIC of the success of the nWo, and then Tony treats him like he’s in favor of them? Chavo fires off a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and Syxx is on the floor. Back inside, Syxx ducks a crossbody out of the corner and delivers a spin kick. Kick combo in the corner sets up the Bronco Buster. Sitout slam leads to a series of sliding legdrops. Then, Chavo avoids a corner charge and Syxx takes the Bobby Eaton bump in the corner. Forward rollup gets two. Now that Chavo looks to possibly dethrone Syxx, out comes Eddie Guerrero onto the rampway. He looks kind of disgusted. Chavo dropkicks Syxx to the floor for a HUGE dive from the top. Back inside, while the ref counts Syxx, Scott Hall attacks Chavo from behind and gives him the OUTSIDER’S EDGE. Eddie remains on the ramp with his arms folded. Meanwhile, Syxx crawls back inside and applies the BUZZ KILLER for the win. (6:01) Syxx and Hall wave for Eddie to come get some, but Eddie does not budge. *½

  • Konnan vs. Steve McMichael (w/Debra)

Not sure why they show us footage from two weeks ago when the PPV was last Sunday and it appears both feuds these two were involved in are through. Anyways, Konnan challenges Mongo at the line of scrimmage, but gets destroyed and heads to the floor. Back in, Konnan grounds and pounds McMichael until Hugh Morrus storms down to ringside holding a broom stick. Security keeps him at bay, but Konnan is distracted nonetheless. He turns back around into a MONGO SPIKE for the win. (3:14) Dang, and I thought he and Konnan were done. Hugh Morrus laughs his way backstage. ½*

Video package hyping Benoit-Sullivan III for the Bash at the Beach on July 13.

It’s time for On the Road with Lee Marshall. This week he is living it up in Las Vegas getting everyone STOKED for Nitro. Insert weasel joke here. Heenan wishes he could shove Marshall off the Hoover Dam. Don’t worry Bobby, everyone would turn the other way. The man is completely useless at this point and I doubt there’s ever going to be an improvement.

Gene Okerlund brings out Roddy Piper. They love him in Macon! Roddy thinks he’s been too much a goody-two shoes lately for his liking. When he’s bad, he’s better. As for the situation between he and Ric Flair, Piper says he doesn’t think Flair would ever betray him. However, Flair does have his quirks. Why does Flair date two girls at the same time? Because when he’s asleep, they have somebody to talk to. Now being a man who will NEVER take an insult when it comes to his experience with the ladies, here comes Ric Flair to the ring. They keep saying what happened when Flair left Roddy Piper to the Outsiders to chase off Syxx at the Great American Bash was at Slamboree. Didn’t Nick Bockwinkel as WCW commissioner get fired one time for not remembering the name of a PPV? Flair says all he’s out there to do tonight is help Piper avoid a disaster. Just as those words come out of his mouth, out comes Steve McMichael and Chris Benoit to the ring. Okerlund asks Debra where Jeff Jarrett is at. She says he’s been tossed away like last year’s fashion. Okay, then. Tony says Jarrett has been suspended for interfering in Mongo’s match at the Great American Bash. Wait, WHAT? Back to what really matters, Flair tries to get Piper to leave before Mongo and Benoit start running their mouths defending their “team captain” Ric Flair. Piper reminds Ric that he’s got control over the Horsemen and he needs to regain control here. Piper won’t stand for any man trying to run him out of the ring. Benoit calls Piper spineless and that’s all he can take. Piper knocks down Benoit and Mongo. Flair throws a tantrum because now he’s got to do what he doesn’t want to do – take a swing at Roddy Piper. That doesn’t work as Piper backs Flair into the corner. With his back turned, Mongo nails Piper out with the Halliburton, allowing Benoit to slap on the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE while Flair and Mongo stomp Piper in the face. Finally, security and referees head out to put a stop to this.

  • Glacier & Ernest Miller vs. High Voltage

Here is Ernest Miller’s wrestling debut on Nitro. High Voltage are now a couple of cocky heels. Cool spot where Kaos blind tags Rage and tries a sunset flip on Glacier. Since Glacier won’t go down, Rage springboard bulldogs Glacier over. Mortis, Wrath, and James Vandenberg watch the action from the ramp. Eventually Rage misses a springboard and allows Glacier to get the HOT TAG TO ERNEST MILLER! Karate kicks everywhere! He finishes off Rage with a Double-Jump Roundhouse Kick at 2:15. Vandenberg’s team try and BUM RUSH THE SHOW, but Glacier and Ernest Miller see them coming, so we just get a big standoff instead.

Special video look at Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman set to the wonderful tunes of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”.

  • Diamond Dallas Page (w/Kimberly) vs. Scott Hall (w/Randy Savage & Elizabeth)

Tony is completely surprised by the appearance of Randy Savage and Liz. Kimberly refuses to stay around ringside with these lunatics nearby. They slap each other around while applying armbars. Tenay actually reminds us all that DDP once managed Scott Hall before he became a wrestler. DDP gets off an inverted atomic drop, but Hall backdrops him to the floor for some guardrail action, including a ride into the ringsteps. Back in, Hall covers with his feet on the ropes for two. Hall beats on the ribs some and goes for a suplex, but DDP counters with an armbar-style counter. Hall starts unwinding the rib tape, but DDP spins back around and hits the Discus Clothesline. Both men down. As Page rises to his feet, he signals the Diamond Cutter, so Savage runs in and nails DDP for the DQ. (3:27) The beat down continues as Hall gives DDP a Back Superplex to set up the Macho Elbow. That’s actually a great cool tag team finisher. Next thing we know, Sting is in the crowd pointing his bat at the nWo boys. As Savage hits the Macho Elbow, HERE COMES STING. He scares away Hall and Savage and checks on DDP. It looks like Savage and Hall are planning something, but the show fades to black before anything can happen. ¾*

WCW presents Bash at the Beach on July 13 in Daytona Beach, FL!
Here is the announced card as of June 23 1997:

MAIN EVENT:
Lex Luger & The Giant vs. Hollywood Hogan & Dennis Rodman

Diamond Dallas Page & “Mystery Partner” vs. Scott Hall & Randy Savage
Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan – Career Match

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