WCW: Monday Nitro (06.30.97)

WCW Monday Nitro
June 30, 1997
Las Vegas, NV
MGM Grand Garden Arena

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)

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

We jump right into the middle of Gene Okerlund in the ring with Ric Flair accompanied by two lovely ladies. They have no reason to talk. They are just there to look good. Gene completely debunks what I just told you by asking them if Ric Flair is truly the 60-minute man. One of them has no clue what he’s talking about, the other thinks Gene is talking about Roddy Piper. FAIL. Oh, and there’s a strange male mannequin in the ring that tries to look like Piper. Another FAIL. This segment is going down the tubes real quick fast and in a hurry. While I didn’t get to see the entire interview, this seems to have turned the whole Piper-Flair feud around into just another run-of-the-mill angle that merely highlights their differences (Flair being the party animal, Piper the family man) instead of being anything interesting or fresh. It also makes everything that happened last week when the other Horsemen started giving Piper the bad mouth completely null and void.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera

Our esteemed commentators revel in the fact that WCW has retrieved the Cruiserweight title away from the nWo. Jericho defeated Syxx in a quick impromptu match on the Internet PPL Saturday Nitro in Inglewood, CA. Guerrera misses a couple springboard attempts in this match. I don’t know what it was, but he just could not get it going. Things pick up for him though once Jericho misses a corner charge and goes flying out to the floor. Juventud redeems himself with a plancha. Back inside, the 450 SPLASH gets 1-2-NO! Jericho blocks a hurracanrana with the Double Powerbomb and the crowd erupts. Super Frankensteiner connects! VINTAGE JERICHO! LIONTAMER gets the win. (6:49) A little sloppy here and there due to Juvi, but the crowd seems to be into Jericho right now. **

Gene Okerlund gets a word with the new Cruiserweight champ until Syxx interrupts. Syxx thinks that the only person Jericho beat last Saturday night was himself back at the hotel room. Gene will not tolerate such buffoonery. Anywho, Syxx still considers himself the Cruiserweight champ and explains what happened when Jericho scored the quick win over him. This leads to a lengthy pull apart brawl that goes through a commercial break. Awesome!

For some reason, this leads to Gene Okerlund talking with Alex Wright in the aisle. He thinks he’s being held down in WCW because he’s German, and quite the good looking guy at that. Maybe it’s because you’ve been here three years and you’re still terrible? No, that couldn’t be it.

  • Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero

Finally, these two square off with definitive roles in WCW. Malenko the face, Guerrero the heel. Guerrero pearl harbors Malenko during his entrance and beats him into the ring. Tenay reminds us that Eddie was once a part of the most hated tag team in lucha libre history – Los Gringos Locos – and what you have seen of him over the past two years is not what you get anymore. Eddie is in total control until Malenko avoids a Hilo. These two know each other so well, it’s almost down to a formula. Malenko stops Eddie up top, but Guerrero shoves off a superplex and tries a Tornado DDT, however Malenko counters by tossing Eddie aside. Malenko launches Eddie off a charge into the corner and hits a back suplex. Nasty powerbomb connects. Out comes Chavo Guerrero Jr. as Malenko counters a wheelbarrow rollup into a suplex. With Chavo on the apron and Malenko all distracted, Eddie runs Malenko into his nephew and delivers the Brainbuster to set up the FROG SPLASH for the 1-2-3. (3:59) So much good wrestling, but again it felt a little formulaic. Eddie leaves with his arm around his nephew. **½

Over to Gene, he brings out Rey Mysterio who challenges Kevin Nash to a match tonight because he’s sick and tired of all the times Nash keeps giving him Jackknife powerbombs. So Nash waltzes out and obliges. The match is on!

After the break, Eric Bischoff rides out on a motorcycle to get everybody pumped for Hollywood Hogan. One of the most fun things he’s done lately was join Dennis Rodman in beating up the Giant and Lex Luger. Tonight, he’s just going to sit back and watch the Outsiders and Randy Savage take on Luger, the Giant, and DDP. What’s that? Hogan hyping up a main event he’s not in? He even talks up Mysterio v. Nash! WHAT. Then he flexes and leaves.

  • WCW World Television Champion Steven Regal vs. Hector Garza

Only the second match for Garza on Nitro and he’s getting a TV title shot. Crowd doesn’t care for this one. It gets a little awkward on the floor where Garza lands a back flip off the apron, but then they don’t seem to be sure what to do next. Back inside, Regal misses a charge and goes flying to the outside so Garza can half way hit the TORNILLO! Back in again, Garza delivers a missile dropkick and tries a Quebrada, but Regal brings up the knees to block. REGAL STRETCH! Good night. (3:37) Regal can work with all different styles. Except for a few moments, tonight was just not Garza’s night. ¾*

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! The Public Enemy faces Harlem Heat, Ric Flair SPEAKS, the Steiners Brothers will be in action, and so will Chris Benoit! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS, CLUBBERIN AND PLUNDAH, BABY!

Speaking of the Steiner brothers, Gene Okerlund is standing by with them right now. They want to know when they will get their tag team titles shot. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash come out to confront their challenge. Oh, but Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton, Syxx, Vincent, and Masa Chono back them up though. Hall has a contract with him and without even reading it first, the Steiners sign the contract. Once they leave, Hall announces that the Steiners signed a match with Masa Chono and the Great Muta instead. Whoops! Nash says that just because they’re big, doesn’t mean they’re not intelligent.

  • Super Calo vs. Psychosis (w/Sonny Oono)

Armdrags and such to start. On the floor, Sonny Oono distracts Super Calo so Psychosis can nail him from behind. That leads to Oono’s signature kick combo. Psychosis misses the dive off the top and eats the guardrail. Back in, they go for the Strongbow finish as Calo tries to suplex Psychosis in from the apron and Oono trips him up as Psychosis falls on top for the 1-2-3. (2:40) Afterwards, La Parka heads out with a chair to continue his rivalry with Super Calo until Juventud Guerrera makes the save. ¾*

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

  • Scott Norton, Buff Bagwell & Masahiro Chono vs. Ric Flair, Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael (w/Debra)

When did Chono get a sword? That’s crazy. This match really makes no sense. The Horsemen, now acting as the heels against Roddy Piper, are facing the so-called biggest heel crew in the organization? Come on. Flair and Bagwell do their exchange, which is exactly what we’ve seen in years past. Ya know, when Bagwell was a babyface and Flair was a heel. I don’t know. All the roles are mixed up here. Once that’s over, Mongo gets caught in the nWo corner. As he fights out, he tags in Benoit. He ducks the MAFIA KICK and delivers a snap suplex. Benoit telegraphs a backdrop and takes the MAFIA KICK anyways. As Chono turns around to mess with Flair, Benoit drills him with a clothesline and comes off the top with the Swandive Headbutt. That sets up a big brawl that causes a DQ as Vincent attacks. (3:32) Mongo makes him pay with a Halliburton shot to the back. The nWo B-team clear out as the Horsemen stand tall. WHAT. Match was fine I guess, but none of this makes sense to me storyline-wise. *½

  • Mortis & Wrath (w/James Vandenberg) vs. High Voltage

Glacier and Ernest Miller used High Voltage as a warm up match last week, now let’s see what their real opposition can do. Hardly a match. Wrath and Mortis just beat on High Voltage at the same time until Glacier comes down and distracts Wrath out of the ring. Meanwhile, Miller sneaks in and gives Mortis a Roundhouse Kick from the top rope. Ref turns back around as Rage lays on top of Mortis for the upset win. (1:17) Again, WHO IS THE BAD GUY HERE? The team who just got screwed or the ones doing the screwing? Everywhere I see tonight, there is backwards logic. ¼*

There’s a white limo outside the arena. Who is inside? We don’t know! Heenan wonders how hard can it be to just open the door like a normal person.

It’s time to check in with Lee Marshall for the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. He’s in Memphis, TN this week thinking up more weasel jokes.

Just as that abomination is over with, we look to see RAVEN is in the audience. He’s not signed with WCW, but he’s been a champion in many organizations. Tenay wonders if Raven is DDP’s mystery partner. He’s going to find out. Perhaps Tenay just didn’t want to see this next match. Who knows.

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Konnan

Jarrett is still on probation from the Horsemen crew after costing Mongo his match with Kevin Greene at the Great American Bash. Take that for what it’s worth. So Konnan loses to Mongo last week, now he’s getting a US title shot! Bah, who cares about this match. No way Konnan is walking out with the strap. Eventually, Flair heads out and distracts Konnan so Jarrett can chopblock him for the FIGURE-FOUR. Flair grabs hold of Jarrett’s hands for added leverage to get the submission. (4:11) The rest of Horsemen join Ric Flair and it looks like they may lift Jarrett’s probation. Jarrett proceeds to suck up to Flair and says he’s a Horsemen because Flair says so. Well, let’s see about that. Flair drops the bombshell on Jarrett and tells him as of right now, he’s no longer a part of the Horsemen. Jarrett thinks the Horsemen is just jealous of him and that he’s going to be the man who finally puts Ric Flair out to pasture where he belongs. Chris Benoit says Jarrett had his chance to be a part of the Horsemen and he completely shanked it. Oh yeah, the match rating. ½*

  • Kevin Nash vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Rey is all dropkicks to start. He delivers a springboard somersault that takes Nash off his feet. Rey jumps on the cover for 1-2-NO! He tries a sunset flip of sorts, but that proves to be his biggest mistake. Nash lifts him up by the throat and gives Rey an atomic drop of EPIC proportions. Big huge toss out of the corner leads to the JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB as Nash lays a boot on top of him for the 1-2-3. (1:49) He gives Mysterio another Jackknife after the bell and then decks ref Scott Dickinson. Wait a sec, what’s Konnan doing at the top of the ramp? In full ring attire, no less. While Konnan walks down to the ring, Nash gives Mysterio a THIRD Jackknife. Then, Nash leaves Konnan alone with Rey, who then tries to tear up Rey’s knee. After the break, EMTs take Rey backstage on a stretcher. This action takes Mysterio out of action for a month to get his knee fixed and practically initiates Konnan into the nWo. They are truly WORLDWIDE. ½*

Mike Tenay tries to get a word with Raven concerning his current relationship with DDP and his negotiations with WCW, but Raven just pushes Tenay away.

  • Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & Randy Savage vs. The Giant, Lex Luger & Diamond Dallas Page (w/Kimberly)

Just a big Texas tornado-style brawl that lasts for around five minutes. The rest of the nWo – including Hogan – come down to help out. Sting appears to be in the stands, but then we see the REAL Sting descend from the rafters. Hogan gets scared away as Sting heads inside to get everyone off DDP. Next thing we know, out walks CURT HENNIG down the ramp! Now Raven jumps the railing, but we’re outta time! We obviously know who the ‘Impact Player’ is now, but WHO IS DDP’S MYSTERY PARTNER? Find out next week or at the Bash at the Beach PPV, I suppose.

WCW presents Bash at the Beach on July 13 in Daytona Beach, FL!
Here is the announced card as of June 30 1997:

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

Roddy Piper vs. Ric Flair
Diamond Dallas Page & “Mystery Partner” vs. Scott Hall & Randy Savage
Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan – Career Match
Rick & Scott Steiner vs. The Great Muta & Masahiro Chono
Glacier & Ernest Miller vs. Mortis & Wrath

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