WCW: Monday Nitro (12.08.97)

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WCW: Monday Nitro
December 8, 1997
Buffalo, NY
Marine Midland Arena

The current WCW champs are 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: Perry Saturn (11/3/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Eddie Guerrero (11/10/1997)

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby Heenan. Larry Zbyszko is taking a leave of absence to focus (or to not get distracted) on his match with Eric Bischoff.

  • Ray Traylor vs. Konnan

We haven’t seen Sting since he sold a beating from the nWo a month back, which is where all the talk is focused right now. While Traylor beats up on Konnan, Tony announces Ric Flair will be making his first appearance here tonight since World War 3. The fight spills out to the floor as Konnan runs Traylor into the post. Back inside, Konnan blocks a slam with an inverted DDT. Konnan whips Traylor from corner to corner when the lights start to flicker and then everything goes dark. After a full minute of darkness, the lights come on and Konnan is out cold in the middle of the ring. WHAAAAT. Not knowing what just happened even though he’s in the ring, Traylor puts his foot on Konnan’s chest and the ref counts three. (5:37) Was it Sting? The Steiners? Who did this?! ¾*

Raven’s Flock head to their usual seats, but they are Raven-less right now.

  • Steve McMichael vs. The Barbarian (w/Jimmy Hart)

Really punchy brawl with nothing really happening. McMichael delivers the MONGO SPIKE for the win. (4:10) Jimmy Hart calls out Meng who puts Mongo down with the TONGAN DEATH GRIP. YES. ½*

Gene Okerlund brings out Disco Inferno to ask him about Jacqueline and why everybody thinks he’s a loser. Disco defends himself saying he was in a no-win situation and everybody knows it. Now stop asking him about it!

After the break, Gene Okerlund interviews Buff Bagwell. He faced Lex Luger last week and didn’t seem too impressed with the so-called total package. Buff issues a challenge to Lex for a rematch tonight. He feels Lex can’t handle him because he’s buff and we’re in BUFFALO. Nice.

  • Prince Iaukea vs. Dean Malenko

Bobby Heenan gives up his headset to Eddie Guerrero for this match. He just makes fun of Dean Malenko and how boring he is. Wristlocks are traded to start. Malenko goes for the leg and when he can’t keep Iaukea down, he delivers a back suplex. Iaukea fights back and hits a springboard sunset flip for two. After a few back and forth rollups, Malenko catches Iaukea with the jumping knee kick. Butterfly powerbomb leads to the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF for the win. (3:51) So much for that win streak for Iaukea. *

NITRO GIRLS! They appear all over the commentary table. Heenan – “You’ll never hear me complain about the working conditions at WCW.” Boy, talk about sarcasm.

Buffalo Bills greats Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith are given a few seconds of airtime here tonight.

Kevin Nash sends in a video promo. He’s the TRUE GIANT. He wants the big man at Starrcade. Nash says Giant is one-dimensional. All he has is the Chokeslam. Since he and Hall have taken care of the hand, Giant will be the biggest lamb ever going to slaughter. Nash is just TOO SWEET. For a rebuttal, Gene Okerlund brings the ONE TRUE GIANT out to the ring. He’s still wearing a cast on his goozling hand. Giant accepts the challenge and says he’ll be bringing the Chokeslam with him. Actually, it was more like CHOKESLAMMMMMMMMMMMMM. But, yeah. Nash versus Giant at Starrcade.

NITRO GIRLS! There’s no Fyre, so I’m FUHFUHWID.

  • Chris Benoit vs. Lodi

Of course everyone pronounces Lodi’s name like the CCR song at first until Tony corrects them, but it’s pronounced Lo-Dee. It’s another week where it’s supposed to be Benoit versus Raven, but Lodi hops the rail and answers the challenge. Absolute ownage here by Benoit. He chops Lodi around the ring. He gives Lodi a superplex, delivers the Swandive Headbutt, and applies the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE for the win at 2:16. Without their leader, the Flock make no effort to go after Benoit or help their follow Flock member. Benoit dares Raven to get in the ring with him to find out what abuse and victimization is all about. Yikes.

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

Who better to start off the second hour than with Ric Flair as Gene Okerlund welcomes him to the ring. WOO! Gene asks Flair about Curt Hennig. Flair can’t discuss Hennig without talking about the rest of the nWo. He makes some Starrcade predictions. He’s confident that Sting will beat Hollywood Hogan, the Steiners will take care of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (even though that match isn’t on the card), he doesn’t know what Randy Savage is doing that night (and brings his name up all the same), and Flair has to be at this Starrcade to face Curt Hennig in a CAGE MATCH. Talk turns to Bret Hart joining the nWo. Best there is, was, or ever will be? Flair says comparing Bret to Flair is like comparing John Elway to Jim Kelly. Cheap pop. WOO! Well, that’s just silly. Both John Elway and Jim Kelly are great players, but one lost three Super Bowls and the other lost FOUR.

  • Randy Savage vs. Hugh Morrus

Savage gets into a silly little scuffle with Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith. Morrus takes advantage and beats Savage into the ring. Savage avoids a corner charge and knees Morrus to the floor for a ride into the steps. Back inside, Morrus reverses a whip and powerslams Savage to set up a possible MACHO ELBOW, but Savage moves out of the way. Time for the REAL MACHO ELBOW. He connects and lifts Morrus up off the canvas. Another MACHO ELBOW. Once again, he picks up Morrus off the mat to make an example out of him to Jim Kelly. The ref Charles Robinson tells Savage to just end this match, but gets punched out. Savage heads up for a third time, but the lights start to flicker again until everything goes pitch black. There’s some weird electrical sound effect happening. Things are happening in the ring and apparently the fans can see something. Heenan – “20,000 people are cheering at darkness.” (4:36) When the lights come back on, everybody is down and out and Savage has a Sting mask on his face. Call it a NC, I suppose. Reason #38197 Randy Savage is better than Hulk Hogan. ¾*

After the break, Eric Bischoff and Rick Rude invade the commentary table. Rude does all the talking. He calls our esteemed commentators the Three Wise Monkeys. Since they are WCW, they absolutely know what is going on with the arena lights. If it happens again, the nWo will take them out. To make them look really stupid, Rude forces Tenay to cover his eyes, Schiavone to cover his mouth, and Heenan volunteers like the weasel character he portrays and covers his ears. When they leave, Heenan ponders leaving the desk.

  • WCW World Television Champion Perry Saturn vs. Disco Inferno

Lots of roughhousing from these two to start. They end up on the floor where Saturn takes a spill into the steps. Back inside, Saturn starts busting out suplexes all over the place. He misses a flying legdrop though and we’re back on the floor. Disco gets whipped over to the Flock area, but he elbows them away and backdrops Saturn on top of them. Lodi takes a CHARTBUSTER on the guardrail, which doesn’t look as cool but is way more effective than a STONE COLD STUNNER on top of a truck. Back in the ring, Saturn fights back with a reverse neckbreaker and lands another pumphandle suplex. He goes for a powerbomb, but Disco flips out and catches Saturn off guard with the CHARTBUSTER for the win and regains the TV title. (4:24) The Flock bum rush Disco, but he’s out of the ring and got the title in hand before they can touch him. Probably the most entertaining of their three matches, but they never really showed a ton of chemistry. *

NITRO PARTY VIDEO. It’s scary how many people in real life were doing the nWo shtick back then.

  • Lex Luger vs. Buff Bagwell (w/Vincent)

It’s another nWo match and Sting is one of Lex Luger’s greatest allies. Our esteemed commentators are verbally sweating bullets. Bagwell armdrags and hiptosses Luger over to start and laughs it up over those accomplishments. He catches Luger with a dropkick and does his signature strut and pose only for Luger to NO-SELL and pop up. Lex gives him the receipt for those two moves and poses a little bit. He runs Bagwell down, but Buff counters a headlock with a back suplex and turns the tide. He knee lifts Luger down and sits on a rear chinlock. Luger escapes with the electric chair drop as Scott Norton makes his way to the ring. Is Vincent COMPLETELY useless? Luger gets his comeback going with clotheslines and calls for the Torture Rack. Bagwell bails which draws Luger out to the floor. He gets in an awkward confrontation with Vincent and Norton while Bagwell slides back into the ring to pick up the win via countout. (5:20) Buff gets carried out on Norton and Vincent’s shoulders while Lex looks pissed in the ring. *

  • Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Hall

This is the first Nitro where Curt Hennig did not wrestle on since winning the US title back on September 15. Shoulderblocks and headlocks to start. They trade punches and blows on each other, but Hall wins that exchange with a flying bulldog for two. Fallaway Slam gets the same result. Hall cheats using the ropes during an abdominal stretch and buries his elbow into the taped ribs. DDP backdrops the OUTSIDER’S EDGE away though to trigger his comeback. Pancake Slam connects and he calls for the DIAMOND CUTTER. Curt Hennig (wearing a Syxx t-shirt) is the first one out to go after DDP to signal the DQ. (8:00) Vincent is taken out with a DIAMOND CUTTER, but Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton slow DDP down. Hall gives him the OUTSIDER’S EDGE after all as Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff appear in the ring. It looks like Sting is here, but it’s just the dummy dropping from the rafters through the mat again. Hogan and the rest of the nWo have a big laugh. He tries to kill the crowd’s confidence in Sting saying he’s all washed up now and won’t show his face around WCW anymore. Trash is being thrown in the ring. Hogan says his biggest concern is having to wrestle Scott Hall in February due to winning World War 3. Hogan then tells his boys to pull the dummy up so he can slap it around for funsies. They yank him out and drape him over the top rope. When Hogan goes to slap that dumb look off the dummy’s face, the Sting mask comes off and the REAL STING IS IN THE RING. While Hogan and Bischoff wet themselves on the floor, Sting destroys the nWo still attached to the cord. WE’RE OUTTA TIME! *½

TOTAL BELL TO BELL TIME: 38:14.

Starrcade1997logo
WCW presents Starrcade LIVE ON PPV on December 28 from Washington, DC.

MAIN EVENT: WCW World Title – Hollywood Hogan (c) vs. Sting
NITRO ON THE LINE: Larry Zbyszko vs. Eric Bischoff
The Giant vs. Kevin Nash

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