WCW: Monday Nitro (09.01.97)

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WCW Monday Nitro
September 1, 1997
Pensacola, FL
Pensacola Civic Center

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/9/1997)
WCW U.S. Champion: Steve McMichael (8/21/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Alex Wright (8/21/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (8/16/1997)

Awesome. An Arn Anderson retirement video. I freaking love it. In fact, this whole THREE-HOUR program is dedicated to Arn Anderson. Let’s hope that doesn’t backfire on us. After that, they replay the Arn Anderson retirement speech IN FULL. Curt Hennig gets his “spot” and joins the Four Horsemen.

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Mike Tenay. Tony touts this as the third season premiere for Nitro.

  • Eddie Guerrero & Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra) vs. Steve McMichael & Chris Benoit

Flair and Hennig walk out with Benoit and Mongo to show Four Horsemen unity, but return to the dressing room. They show a clip of McMichael blasting Jarrett with the US title two weeks ago in Birmingham. I love those “WHAM” pops where the heel gets what’s coming to them. That just doesn’t happen anymore. Say what you will about Mongo being US champ, he was getting HUGE reactions during this period, and they capitalized on it by giving him gold for a brief period. It was also a natural progression since Jarrett was the former US champion who took away his wife. This crowd in Pensacola is hot for Mongo as well. Benoit and Eddie do some mat stuff to start. Tenay mentions how these two have been feuding for many years. Eddie turns it into a brawl with his European uppercuts. Tag over to Jarrett, Benoit chops back and Jarrett goes cowering over to Eddie. Commercials! When we return, Benoit becomes *your* face in peril. When he gets a break, Jarrett takes a shot at Mongo. Benoit and Guerrero do a Hurracanrana reversal into a sunset flip, which is VINTAGE GUERRERO for two. Jarrett hits the Bossman straddle, but misses a corner charge and stumbles into a clothesline by Mongo from the apron. Huge pop for this one move. This one dude in a Sting t-shirt marks out five feet into the air seeing Jarrett get what he deserves. Eddie still manages to help out and bring Benoit back over to his corner. He delivers a back suplex and calls for the FROG SPLASH, but Mongo helps stop him. While Jarrett is protesting to the ref, Benoit runs over and brings Eddie down with a superplex. That sets up a HOT TAG TO MONGO! He’s all slams and forearm shivers as the match breaks down. Benoit gets pulled out by Eddie while Jarrett football tackles the knee to set up the FIGURE-FOUR. Now Guerrero wants to FROG SPLASH Mongo hoping to put him away, but Dean Malenko appears out of nowhere and shoves Eddie off the top. He then climbs up to the top rope and gives Jarrett a Frog Splash of his own! Debra has the ref’s attention all this time. Mongo frees himself and covers Jarrett for the win. (7:22 shown) Just so much fun stuff to like here. ***

Lex Luger wishes Arn Anderson a “happy retirement”. I get that Luger is like the face of WCW right now, but those two have so much bad kayfabe history.

Scott Hall, Randy Savage, and Elizabeth interrupt the show and head over to the announce table to tell everybody that they are the reason everyone is watching Monday Nitro. Of course, Schiavone and Tenay exit stage right. Hall explains that they do what they do for all the little people. Like Zbyszko for example, he never had anything going on in his life, and people like him can live through the nWo. There are people out there who hate their jobs and wish they could tell their boss to “stick it”, but the nWo tells WCW to “stick it” on a weekly basis. Zbyszko makes a wise comment, and Randy Savage advises him to leave before Hall gets really really really really really really really really really really mad. Savage hypes the main event and stirs up the “DDP and Luger do not trust each other” angle. They’re just too sweet, ya’ll.

  • Silver King vs. Mortis (w/James Vandenberg & Wrath)

Zbyszko wants the nWo to be fined. Schiavone just wants Zbyszko to smack one of them. Zbyszko doesn’t want to pound and stretch Hall though, because then he would be at war with the nWo, and that could wreck his golf game. HA. Silver King tries one back flip off the top too many and eats a spinning heel kick. Other discussions include Wargames at Fall Brawl on September 14 as WCW will take on the nWo. DDP, Luger, and Flair’s names are mentioned, but Team nWo haven’t been mentioned yet. Reverse STO sets up the FLATLINER to give Mortis the win. (3:31) Vandenberg calls out the Faces of Fear. Well, here comes the Faces of Fear as they actually clean house on Mortis and Wrath. These two teams will meet at Fall Brawl. *½

The Nitro Girls are here! Of course, Tony can only think of Hollywood Hogan right now.

Arn Anderson Moment: his epic turn on Dustin Rhodes at Bash at the Beach 1994. Hey! He works for the WWF now!

In order to pad this hour, they take us back to last week where JJ Dillon announced over the phone that he would make Sting vs. Hogan happen by the end of the year. When Eric Bischoff denied every claim that it would, Sting appears and shoves Hogan’s t-shirt in his mouth. He smiles about that one.

  • Dean Malenko vs. Yuji Nagata

Tenay puts over Nagata’s amateur accomplishments. They work on each other’s knees, which is a large part of the psychology of this match. Malenko steps it up a notch by hitting a back suplex, but then Nagata does him one better with an exploder suplex. Jeff Jarrett and Debra start to power walk down to the ring. After Nagata misses a spinning heel kick, Malenko looks to put him away starting with the butterfly powerbomb and TEXAS CLOVERLEAF. While Debra chats with the ref about how her mall has moved around all her favorite stores, Jarrett thumbs Malenko in the eye and snaps his neck off the top rope. As Nagata lays on top of Malenko, Jarrett holds down his feet so that Nagata gets the cheap three-count. (4:51) Nagata seems to have NO CLUE what just happened. OK, then. When Tony and Larry wonder if he understands English, Tenay says Nagata *should* understand English because his mother is a junior high English teacher in Japan. So if his dad was a brain surgeon, should he know everything about brain surgery too? That’s REAL sound logic, Tenay. *½

Diamond Dallas Page shows Arn Anderson some respect. Funny how both people so far wishing Arn the best in his retirement are out of the business while Arn Anderson is still in it.

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

More Nitro Girls. Tony hypes the Nitro Parties, so folks send in your VHS tapes of *your* Nitro Party so the Nitro Girls can invade your home! Are they already running out of dance routines? Is that why this is happening?

  • Ultimo Dragon vs. La Parka (w/Sonny Oono)

Sonny Oono has a FRAMED picture of himself putting Ultimo Dragon in the Dragon Sleeper on Saturday Night when Dragon was attacked by Silver King, Psychosis, and La Parka. Lots of flippy-floppy running the ropes stuff to start. La Parka goes flying feet first through the ropes out to the floor. Dragon tries faking him out and nails him with a dropkick through the ropes anyways. He looks for a handspring elbow up against the guardrail, but La Parka moves out of the way. Sonny Oono starts kicking at Dragon and winds up getting lifted up half way for a suplex when La Parka kicks Dragon over. With Dragon shaking the cobwebs loose, La Parka nails him with a tope suicida. Both men are dazed and confused. Back inside, La Parka hits Dragon with a powerbomb and a belly to belly suplex, but can’t get the three-count. He kicks Dragon around while he’s stuck in the tree of woe. Dragon fights back and delivers a quebrada for two. He continues with the kick combo and gives La Parka a bridging Fallaway slam for two. After Oono gives Dragon a cheapshot and receives a warning from the ref, La Parka now has a chair. He swings and misses, allowing Dragon to dropkick the chair in his face. Cover, 1-2-3. (6:38) Like most of these matches, a little messy at times. Probably the top luchadore match of the night though for me. Dragon will probably always be one of my faves, while La Parka has that crazy personality that you can’t look away from. Afterwards, Dragon puts Oono in the Dragon Sleeper until La Parka scares him away with the chair. I’m sure this will continue on Saturday Night. **

starcade_arn

Arn Anderson Moment: From Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling 8/13/85, Arn cuts a promo (wearing a New York Yankees so you KNOW he’s a heel) beside Buddy Landel and Bob Caudle. All Arn has got to say is that he’s Double A. What’s this “Starcade 1985” listed here? First off, how do you misspell your own supercard name? Secondly, what does that have to do with the video clip?

  • Buff Bagwell (w/Vincent) vs. Glacier

This seems like worlds colliding here because you would never think these two would cross paths. Bagwell makes fun of Glacier’s character for the first couple minutes and doesn’t take him seriously at all. Zbyszko makes a point to say that Glacier needs to stop being so disciplined and get MEAN. Glacier catches Bagwell not paying attention and kicks his head off. He gives Bagwell a series of Tatanka head chops to send him out to Vincent. His demeanor changes after that. They trade hiptosses and armdrags. Vincent trips up Glacier and backs him into the apron. Back inside, Bagwell delivers a nice dropkick. During Glacier’s comeback, he tries a crossbody block out of the corner and falls onto Bagwell’s knees. Yeah, that looked like a Bagwell mistake to me. Some heel miscommunication ensues, and Glacier kicks both men down. He tries for a superplex on Bagwell, but Vincent grabs hold of Bagwell so that Glacier crashes on the mat. BUFF BLOCKBUSTER. Cover, 1-2-3. (6:24) Tenay exclaims that this is Glacier’s first pinfall loss. This crowd really loved Bagwell. Surprised they gave Glacier so much offense in this one considering Bagwell will be in the Fall Brawl main event, but kudos for letting it happen anyway. *½

Larry Zbyszko feels Arn Anderson almost had a legendary career, but now he’s wrestling history. Zing?

Speaking of legendary careers, we get a video package on Roddy Piper’s year in WCW. He’s a MAJOR Hollywood actor, you know.

  • Lizmark Jr. vs. Villano IV (w/Villano V)

Tenay updates us on Rey Mysterio telling us that he will not need surgery; just rehab and a knee brace. This crowd didn’t seem to care for this one, and I don’t really blame them. This felt very much like a badly choreographed match, which is when I don’t care for lucha libre. When the crowd was losing interest, they had Raven walk through the crowd doing nothing in particular. Los Villanos do a switch (because that’s what they do!) on Lizmark and Villano V gets pinned after a quebrada. (4:11) Larry Z – “Enough luchadores, I want to hear what Hollywood Hogan has to say about JJ Dillon!” I’m actually right there with you, Larry. ½*

Gene Okerlund brings out Lex Luger. He apologizes to Diamond Dallas Page and invites him out to bury the hatchet. Well, DDP doesn’t show. Luger figures he will see where he stands with DDP in tonight’s main event.

Arn Anderson Moment: WCW Worldwide, 4/12/93 – Arn Anderson turns on Bobby Eaton, which is more of a SMW feud if I’m not mistaken. Pretty awesome moment though. It shows Arn’s intensity. He’s so driven and pumped up, that he doesn’t even hit Eaton with the Spinebuster flat on the mat.

NITRO GIRLS! Disco Inferno makes his first appearance on Nitro since 12/30/96 and tries to dance with the girls, which is what Alex Wright had been trying to do recently. They want nothing to do with him. Alex Wright comes out for the next match and has a little dance-off with Disco. You know wrestling is hot when you think a dancing feud is must-see TV.

  • WCW World Television Champion Alex Wright vs. Hugh Morrus

As a kid, I always wondered what Morrus could have done with the TV belt around this time period. Maybe I was mesmerized by the moonsault. Being an American, Morrus gets cheered by the crowd. He punches Wright out to the floor. Back inside, Wright corners Morrus with European uppercuts and stomps a mudhole in him. He then wraps Hugh’s knee around the post, but then Morrus wills himself up and runs down Wright with a clothesline. Morrus still sells the knee, which Wright capitalizes and goes after inside the ring. One flying stomp on the knee connects, but then Morrus slams him off the top when he tries again. His comeback comes complete with clotheslines and slams. Disco Inferno appears at ringside and the crowd chants his name! He tries to cost Morrus the match, but then gets flipped inside the ring and punched back out. That allows Wright to catch Morrus with a spinning heel kick when he’s not looking for the quick three-count with his feet on the ropes. (5:52) So Tony declares that Alex Wright will go onto Fall Brawl to face Ultimo Dragon in his TV title rematch. *

We now see that Raven has a ringside seat.

Bobby Heenan thanks Arn Anderson for all he has done for this sport. He wishes he had more than ten seconds to talk about him though.

Tony and the gang once again advertise the Nitro Party contest. If you have the best video, WCW will send the Nitro Girls to your house. Imagine the short amount of legal tape you would have had to go through back in 1997 – compared to 2014.

Video package highlighting Sting’s transformation over the past year set to the speech from the Clash. This. Is. Sting.

  • Stevie Richards vs. Damien

Stevie pays Raven no mind on his way to the ring. However, Damien does, and gets dropped on his head with an EVENFLOW DDT. The ref has no idea any of this is going on. Raven rolls Damien’s unconscious body into the ring for an easy pin for Stevie. Instead, Stevie tries to REVIVE him with CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitation. Raven gives him a slap across the face to change Stevie’s mind. Cover, 1-2-3. (:50) Okay, then! No rating.

Dean Malenko wishes Arn Anderson the best in his future endeavors. Yep, Malenko is already shaping up to be quite the WWE office guy.

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

NITRO GIRLS!

Time to check in with the 1-800-COLLECT On the Road with Lee Marshall. He’s in Milwaukee getting everybody pumped for next week’s Nitro. As he will often do, Marshall tries to name as many landmarks in a town as he can, and feels moderately sincere that he cares about these places. He makes a SUPER LAME weasel joke. Get ’em, Bobby. And he does.

Gene Okerlund reintroduces us to Big Bubba, but then Bubba says he wants to be known as just Ray Traylor now. He’s SHOOTING, ya’ll. He finds that the now is a bunch of crap. After he was KO’ed in the parking lot about seven months ago, he never received one phone call from those guys. Of course, all Bubba received was a FedEx letter from Eric Bischoff saying his services were no longer needed. Traylor says he used Eric Bischoff’s picture to motivate himself to learn how to walk again. And now that he’s back, he’s going to rip Bischoff’s head off. Nobody kicks Ray Traylor when he’s down. Very impassioned interview here.

  • Ray Traylor vs. Prince Iaukea

Traylor looks good here in his semi glorified squash. He plants Iaukea with TRAYLOR TRASH at 3:16. He’s a motivated man.

JJ Dillon calls Arn Anderson an ICON of the Four Horsemen. Is “icon” the word of the year in WCW?

As Gene Okerlund is ready to bring out the Four Horsemen, instead we get Syxx as Ric Flair and Konnan as Steve McMichael. Gene won’t stand for this disrespect and leaves the mic with Syxx. Lots of WOOS from Syxx. Great impression though. Out comes Buff Bagwell as Curt Hennig. Basically, they mock last week’s verbal exchange between Flair and Hennig. Bagwell makes several “spot” jokes. With that over with, they bring out Kevin Nash as Arn Anderson. Just fantastic. He’s wearing a neck collar and carrying a cooler out to the ring, which Nash admits on Legends of Wrestling was Arn’s actual cooler from his car. Of course, Nash confuses the truth so much, that he probably has no clue what is reality or not anymore. He runs Arn down into the ground, makes fun of his drinking problem, and calls him “average”. Nash also felt like everybody was laughing, but you can hear more boos than laughs. More “Horsemen” chants than “nWo”. The tears coming from Syxx’s wig is a nice touch though. He makes more “spot” jokes as he gives Bagwell his spot. In Bagwell’s Georgia accent, he tells Nash that he doesn’t like anybody in the Four Horsemen, but he’ll take his spot anyways. In fact, “it would be an honor.” They reveal some t-shirts with four jackasses on the back that represent the Four Horsemen, obvs. Our esteemed commentators have never been more disgusted. This would have been fine if the Four Horsemen weren’t completely embarrassed two weeks later at Fall Brawl. They were still a hot commodity in the South no matter what the nWo was doing.

Arn Anderson Moment: Monday Nitro, 6/17/96. He cuts a promo the night after the Great American Bash when he stood by the rest of the Four Horsemen and turned on the Dungeon of Doom.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Before the match, Eddie Guerrero comes out and tries to get Chavo to give him the title match here instead. Do the right thing for the family, Chavo. When that happens, jobbers and cruiserweights galore appear until it turns into a big huge brawl. Alex Wright and Ultimo Dragon stare each other down. Next thing we see with them, Dragon has Wright in the Dragon Sleeper. It comes down to just Eddie and Jericho, so Eddie blasts him with the Cruiserweight belt. He then places the belt on Jericho’s face and delivers the FROG SPLASH TO THE FACE! Yep, no match.

The Giant congratulates Arn Anderson on his retirement.

Alright, here comes the WCW World Heavyweight champion Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff. Hogan does what he can to get Sting to come to the ring. When Sting won’t show up, Hogan and Bischoff ask for the junior WCW executive JJ Dillon. Well, here he comes. Dillon is trying his best to get Sting vs. Hogan for the end of the year, so Hogan hauls off and punches Dillon down for the LEGDROP. Bischoff may have just had an orgasm. They turn him over and spray paint his back. That does it for JJ Dillon for a while. Crowd wants Sting, for sure. Hogan tells the camera that the nWo is just too sweet.

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

Luger and DDP have separate entrances to continue the drama.

Tony – “This is the worst night for WCW.”

Bobby – “It could get worse yet…”

Tony – “Yeah?”

Bobby – “Stick around…”

DDP handles both Hall and Savage pretty handily to take us into break. When we come back, Luger still hasn’t received a tag. Savage and Hall start to work over Page on their side of the ring in between antagonizing Luger quite a bit. Moving on, Hall catches DDP’s kick and spins him around only to get met with a clothesline. You know the bit. HOT TAG TO LUGER! Oh, but Savage has ref Nick Patrick’s attention, and Patrick doesn’t see a thing. Luger is a house of a fire all the same and can’t be stopped. He atomic drops the crap out of Hall and goes for the BIONIC FOREARM, but Hall moves and DDP gets wiped out. Oh, boy. Instead of submitting the legal man, Savage gets caught up in the TORTURE RACK. While Luger is busy with that, Hall covers the legal man DDP for the pinfall. (8:02 shown) It’s been quite a night for the new World order, I must say. DDP and Luger stare at one another awkwardly in the ring to close out the show. **½

WCW just does not have the roster to fill three hours right now.

Will they have it a year from now? Let’s find out.

Nitro 9/7/98
Hour 1
Konnan vs. Bull Pain
Wrath vs. Lenny Lane
Hour 2
Scott Steiner vs. Evan Karagias
Juventud Guerrera vs. Hector Garza
Ernest Miller vs. Kenny Kaos
Stevie Ray vs. Chris Adams
(Perry) Saturn vs. (Scotty) Riggs
Hour 3
Chris Jericho vs. Jim Neidhart
Curt Hennig vs. Dean Malenko
Bill Goldberg vs. Scott Putski
Sting & Lex Luger vs. DDP & Roddy Piper

I used to think they did have a better roster, but now I’m starting to wonder.

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Posted on August 7, 2014, in WCW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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