WCW: Monday Nitro (10.20.97)

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WCW Monday Nitro
October 20, 1997
Biloxi, MS
Mississippi Coast Coliseum

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/9/1997)
WCW U.S. Champion: Curt Hennig (9/15/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick & Scott Steiner (10/13/1997)
WCW World Television Champion: Disco Inferno (9/22/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Eddie Guerrero (9/14/1997)

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

We open with a scene from backstage where the nWo B-team (and Hennig) are down on the concrete. Eric Bischoff, Hollywood Hogan, and Randy Savage walk by and start to freak out. There’s a baseball bat, DDP spray painted on the concrete, and a Roddy Piper ICON t-shirt laying around. The nWo guys act like they have been gassed or something: coughing and can’t stand up. I THOUGHT WE SAID NO CHEMICAL WARFARE, PIPER! Wait, why is WCW security back there?

Hogan, Bischoff, and Savage storm down to the ring to call out Sting, Piper, and DDP. Didn’t the last time the nWo were beaten down backstage they made some cuts in the crew? Hogan wants the cage that’s hanging from the ceiling to hype Halloween Havoc to come down so they get it on a week early. Savage isn’t wearing a neck brace anymore. No one leaves the building until they get their revenge. Crowd wants Piper, but none of the WCW 3 come out. Well, at least we know Piper and DDP didn’t say the “N” word while they were beating up Vincent, amirite? Oh yeah, that’s the other show. Alright, let’s go to the ring.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit

Would you believe this is the last 1-on-1 meeting between these two on Nitro? This is their eighth meeting on Nitro and Benoit has a very narrow lead of four wins over Eddie. Benoit controls to start and launches Guerrero into the air. Eddie fires back with chops, but charges Benoit and gets launched again this time onto the turnbuckle. More crazy chops from Benoit takes Eddie to the floor, but he flips out of a suplex back inside and rolls up Benoit for two. Guerrero steps on Benoit’s face, but then gets hung out to dry and chopped off the apron onto the guardrail. CRAZY. Suicide dive by Benoit! Yeah, let’s take a break. We wouldn’t want to see more of this match, right? When we come back, Guerrero has Benoit in an abdominal stretch. Benoit armdrags out and clotheslines Eddie down. He goes to launch Guerrero again, but Eddie sees it coming and headscissors Benoit into the corner. By the way, the ruling on the Hennig-DDP match from last week is *now* that DDP is disqualified thanks to interference from Ric Flair. Over in the corner, Benoit avoids Splash Mountain and the Tornado DDT, but then runs into a drop toehold and goes face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Benoit is totally knocked out. Even while the ref is checking on him, Eddie ensures victory by dropping the FROG SPLASH on him and demands the 1-2-3. (4:39 shown) Benoit wasn’t booked for Halloween Havoc anyways and Eddie is a big part of the show, so I’m fine with this as it makes Guerrero look unbeatable in the cruiserweight division. A little on the short side though as the commercial break killed some of the momentum, but it’s not always a bad thing to have an abrupt finish as it feels more effective and realistic than just the usual stuff you see. ***½

Flashback to last week when DDP *didn’t* win the WCW U.S. title from Hennig.

  • Bill Goldberg vs. Wrath (w/James Vandenberg)

The first of many quick squashes for Goldberg. SPEAR and JACKHAMMER ends Wrath in :21. It’s the Slam of the Week! WHO’S NEXT?

Goldberg and Steve McMichael stare at each other in passing as Mongo heads to the ring for the next match.

  • Steve McMichael vs. Mortis (w/James Vandenberg)

Mongo uses foosball tactics and hiptosses to start. He wants a quick win too, but Vandenberg distracts him. FLATLINER to Mongo! Cover, 1-2-NO! Death Valley Drop gets two as well. Mortis delivers a pair of elbow drops to the sternum and dumps out Mongo so Vandenberg can then kick him in the sternum. All leverage superplex from the apron on Mongo gets two. McMichael fights back with a back suplex and punches Vandenberg off the apron. MONGO SPIKE to Mortis and that’s all she wrote. (4:59) Say what you will about McMichael, but he was super over in 1997. Week after week, pop after pop. *

As Gene Okerlund meets with Mongo for an interview, Debra comes out and tells him she’s got a surprise opponent for him at Halloween Havoc because with her looks and her money, she always gets what she wants. When it’s over, Mongo walks over to Stevie Richards and rips up his sign. I didn’t know he was still here!

Raven talks to us about the bullies in the playground when he was a kid. So it is written, so it shall come to pass. Quote the Raven, nevermore.

Lucha Libre y el Mexicano Luchadores: Rey Mysterio walks the poor streets of Mexico City and discusses how wrestling was his way out of poverty. Dude, you were born in San Diego. 6-1-9? Anyways, this is a highlight reel of what he has done over the past year and some change in WCW to put over luchas de apuestas at Halloween Havoc.

  • Yuji Nagata (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Juventud Guerrera

Nagata makes Juventud wrestle his match with kicks and blocking headscissors with powerbombs. Hey look, it’s Raven and his followers coming down to ringside. Juventud does manage a headscissors and a missile dropkick to the back of Nagata’s head, but Sonny Oono kicks Juventud down when he tries for the 450 Splash. Belly to Belly throw and the NAGATA LOCK takes care of business. (2:24) Ultimo Dragon is out to chase Oono around until he’s ultimately attacked by Nagata. I’m telling you, GREAT build for Halloween Havoc. ¾*

Right now, Raven’s Flock consists of Perry Saturn, Billy Kidman, Sick Boy, and Stevie Richards.

  • Damien & Los Villanos vs. ???

Yeah, no match. The Giant returns to Nitro and essentially calls Kevin Nash a pussy for being away from WCW for so long just over a knee problem. There’s only one Giant in WCW and you’re looking at him. Then the luchadores attack and are promptly destroyed.

NITRO GIRLS!

  • WCW World Television Champion Disco Inferno vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey tries to get the quick win on Disco, but Disco stops a headscissors with a powerbomb. Mysterio fires back with a legdrop on Disco when he’s stuck in between the ropes. He hits a springboard butt butt on Inferno and calls for the SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA, but Guerrero sneaks down and pulls Rey off the apron for the DQ. (2:32) Disco is happy about retaining the TV title until Jacqueline storms down to the ring and beats him out of the ring and up the aisle. ¾*

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

Bischoff, Hogan, and Savage return to the ring to call out the WCW 3 again. Hogan will fight everyone in this building to get his payback. Savage says there will be no Diamond Cutters, no Sleepers, and no bats. Bischoff vows that only one organization will control this industry and it’s the nWo. Yeah, they don’t answer the challenge.

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Curt Hennig vs. Dean Malenko

Malenko frustrates Hennig on the mat to start to the point that he takes a powder. Crowd wants Flair, which Hennig pays attention to. Hennig takes over when we go to commercial. When we come back, Hennig wins a suplex battle and they trade blows from their knees. Malenko comes back with a back suplex and a sunset flip for two. Crossbody block and a flying body press (!!) from Malenko gets another nearfall. Hennig nails Malenko from behind and goes for the HENNIGPLEX, but Malenko avoids the move and dropkicks the knee. He works on the leg a little bit and calls for the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF, but Hennig is turned over into the ropes. They crash into each other in the corner, but Hennig gets the better of it and applies the HENNIGPLEX for the three-count. (7:18 shown) Real clash of styles type match and I don’t think they meshed all that well to recommend seeing the match. **

NITRO GIRLS!

  • Scott Norton (w/Vincent) vs. Ray Traylor

Yeah, this REALLY needed a rematch. Buff Bagwell is conspicuous by his absence. Traylor fights off Norton and Vincent for a second, but charges into a powerslam by Norton. Avalanche and shoulder tackle catches Traylor as well, but then Norton runs into a Sidewalk Slam and a splash gets two. As he gets to his feet, he manages an enziguri kick to Norton! The camera catches Vincent has a can of spray paint wedged in his jeans. It would be weird if he didn’t have a can of spray paint on him right now. Norton fights back with a hotshot, but Traylor quickly decks Norton with a flying clothesline. Bossman straddle and the uppercut connects. Flying body press (!!) takes out Norton as well! Now Vincent is on the apron. As Traylor grabs him, Vincent spray paints him in the eyes. Uhh, ref? Clothesline by Norton ends Traylor. (3:13) Ray Traylor is working HARD here, folks. I’m impressed. Of course afterwards, the rest of the nWo that isn’t Hogan, Savage, or Bischoff come out and attack the poor guy. *½

  • Lex Luger vs. Booker T (w/Jacqueline)

Booker asks Jacqueline to stay away from Lex as a matter of respect. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen Luger as well. Weird! Luger and Booker trade shots to start. Lex fires away with a powerslam for two. They both miss elbow drops, but Booker makes it look cool with the SPINAROONIE~! and the Harlem Side Kick. AXE KICK gets two. Luger fights out of a chinlock, but Booker hotshots him to take back control. Harlem Side Kick misses and Booker crotches himself. Whoops! Luger comes back with THREE running lariats and hits the Bionic Elbow! Booker blocks the Torture Rack and kicks Luger away so he can land the Side Slam. Time for the Harlem Hangover, but Luger rolls out of the way and applies the TORTURE RACK for the submission. (6:30) Everybody on the Halloween Havoc PPV going in strong. Good match and good to see Booker being treated fairly. *½

Gene Okerlund grabs a word with Lex Luger. He puts over Booker as getting “real good”. Lex sees the tide turning into WCW’s favor right now and thinks it will continue after Halloween Havoc. Well, Larry Z comes out to talk to Lex. He will call this match right down the middle because nothing is worth losing the respect of the fans. Luger is fine with that. He doesn’t understand why Zbyszko kept reiterating that point though.

  • Scott Hall vs. Scott Steiner (w/Ted DiBiase)

Conspicuous by their absence, the REST OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER. Hall does the survey by himself this week. On a side note, October 20, 1997 is birthday number 39 for Scott Hall. If Larry Z does anything but call his match at Halloween Havoc down the middle, he will have to deal with Scott Hall. Steiner runs down Hall to start. Hall applies an armbar and slaps Steiner on the head, so Steiner throws him away. Hall rolls out to take a breather and gets punched down by DiBiase. YES. Commercials. When we come back, Steiner slaps Hall on the head to return the favor and applies a full nelson, which is weird since Steiner is shorter than Hall and doesn’t have very much leverage. I mean, his arms are gigantic, but that’s about it. Anyways, Hall does a great job of trying to power out of this hold with his facial expressions and just never being able to quite do it. Anyways, he ends up running Steiner into the corner, which Steiner NO-SELLS and runs Hall into the turnbuckle. Hall gets the Fallaway Slam though and clotheslines him down for a two-count with his feet on the ropes. Hall delivers the Chokeslam and mocks the Giant as he fires back at what the Giant said about his buddy Kevin Nash earlier in the show. Hall cheats with the abdominal stretch, which is just VINTAGE HALL. He gets in the ref’s face when he gets caught. Steiner delivers a desperate Pumphandle Slam and follows up with a belly to belly throw. During Steiner’s comeback, Hall whacks the ref and hopes for a DQ. Butterfly Slam by Steiner. He covers, but he should know there’s no ref to count the pinfall, you dummy. When Ted DiBiase can’t revive ref Billy Silverman, Hall catches Steiner and hoists him up for the OUTSIDER’S EDGE. Another ref (with extremely dark skin color) wearing a hood with eye holes runs down and counts the pinfall. (10:40 shown) Hall on his way backstage – “Guess there’s more than one special ref, huh?” HOW DO WE NOT KNOW THAT IS VINCENT? *½

We close the show with those who started the show: Hollywood Hogan, Randy Savage, and Eric Bischoff with a much different temperament than before. No heart, no soul, and no will to win. No, Bischoff isn’t talking about Vince McMahon – he’s talking about Roddy Piper, Sting, and DDP. More hype for Assault on Devil’s Island for the October 28 TNT premiere. I bet the hype is going to be *real* fun next week. They have finally realized that they are overreacting and look forward to getting their payback at Halloween Havoc. Don’t worry folks, the nWo isn’t freaking out. They are cool, calm, and collected. Fake Stings abound and two of them end up in the ring and unmask to reveal Roddy Piper and Diamond Dallas Page. AWESOME. They start beating up Hogan, Savage, and Bischoff until the rest of the nWo head down. The cage is lowered so that our heroes have nowhere to run, but then the REAL Sting slowly descends from the rafters inside the cage! Hogan and Savage get chased out the cage door by DDP and Piper while Sting holds off the rest of the nWo.

FANS, WE’RE OUTTA TIME! We’ll see you at Halloween Havoc!

hh97

WCW and Slim Jim presents Halloween Havoc on October 26 from Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Here is what the card looks like as we speak:

MAIN EVENT: Cage Match – Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
WCW U.S. Championship: Curt Hennig (c) vs. Ric Flair
WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Title vs. Mask – Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Last Man Standing: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage
Special Referee – Larry Zbyszko: Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall
Steve McMichael vs. Debra’s Mystery Opponent
Ultimo Dragon vs. Yuji Nagata
Disco Inferno vs. Jacqueline

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