WCW: Monday Nitro (12.29.97)

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WCW: Monday Nitro
December 29, 1997
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Arena

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Sting (12/28/1997)
WCW U.S. Champion: Diamond Dallas Page (12/28/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick & Scott Steiner (10/13/1997)
WCW World Television Champion: Disco Inferno (12/8/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Eddie Guerrero (11/10/1997)

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

Purple and gold balloons drop from the ceiling! WCW is alive and well! It is a happy day! Sting has defeated Hulk Hogan to win the WCW world title! Larry Zbyszko has beaten Eric Bischoff! Nitro is still WCW’s show – unless the nWo just comes out and takes over the set again! Speaking of Larry Z, he gets his own entrance as B-More goes nuts. Zbyszko reminds us he will get Scott Hall on January 24 at Souled Out.

NITRO GIRLS! FYRE GETS A SOLO PERFORMANCE. I AM A HAPPY MAN.

Tony – “For you 18-25 year old young men who still live with your mom, who don’t have a job, who are nWo fans, let me suggest to you the Cartoon Network. I’m sure Space Ghost: Coast to Coast is on right now.” HEY SCREW YOU TONY. Space Ghost was awesome.

  • Bill Goldberg vs. Glacier

Thus begins the one-minute squash period for Goldberg that takes him all the way to the world title. Glacier attacks and fails. Spear and a JACKHAMMER wins it. (0:58) Next.

Gene Okerlund introduces Bret Hart to the ring. He talks about how justice was served last night and that’s the way it should be: good must ultimately prevail over evil. He calls the nWo the scum of the earth and how they remind him of the mess he just left. Bret looks forward to facing all of the top WCW talent: the Giant, Lex Luger, Chris Benoit, and of course the WCW world champ Sting. Everybody in the nWo will pay a price when they step in the ring with him, but Hulk Hogan will pay the biggest price of them all. Bret says he’s been looking for Hogan for a long time. Hulk escaped the WWF a long time ago, but now there’s no hiding. It is time Hogan steps in the ring with the best there is, was, and ever will be.

Tony informs us that this is the first time all year that WCW holds all the belts.

We go over to Raven and his Flock. Raven calls Chris Benoit a masochist and has serious psychological damage. Yikes. Since Benoit wants abuse, the Flock will continue to give it to him.

  • Chris Benoit vs. Hammer

Benoit lunges over the guardrail onto the Flock. He gets thrown back over the rail and handed over to Hammer. In the ring, Hammer chokes Benoit and manages a superplex for two. He misses a corner charge though and gets caught in the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE. The Flock hit the ring and start attacking Benoit. No bell for some reason. Out comes Benoit’s old pal Steve McMichael to save the day. (1:54) He and Benoit clean house and stand tall as the crowd goes nuts. Meanwhile, Raven watches the whole thing from his seat. ½*

Gene Okerlund calls Ric Flair out to the ring. The ankle seems fine now. He congratulates DDP for walking that aisle and beating Curt Hennig. Flair still wants a piece of Hennig at some point. He is also happy with how Sting took down Hulk Hogan, which causes Flair to bring up Bret Hart. Flair tells Bret that he’s finally in the big leagues now. When Bret was out here earlier mentioning the names of great WCW talent, Flair couldn’t help but notice his name wasn’t mentioned. Flair pulls out a clipping from the Calgary Sun and quotes somebody who quotes Dave Meltzer that night after night, Ric Flair is the greatest wrestler of all-time. With that said, Flair woos and struts away. He didn’t need to say anything else, I suppose.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon

Eddie jumps Dragon from behind during his entrance like a jerk. Once they get in the ring, Guerrero immediately delivers one of those nasty powerbombs he’s always doing. Up in the corner, Dragon blocks a superplex but also fails to deliver the spinning headscissors that usually sets up the Dragon Sleeper. Eddie brings Dragon over with the Tornado DDT. He wants another powerbomb, but Dragon slips away and applies the DRAGON SLEEPER for the submission and his second Cruiserweight championship title. (1:27) Gotta be the quickest CW title swap to this point as well. Dragon is heading to New Japan for the January 4 Tokyo Dome show to face Shinjiro Otani over the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title, so I guess New Japan wanted him to have a little bit of gold to seem more of a legitimate threat to Otani. *

So THREE matches in under FIVE minutes bell to bell? Raw isn’t even that ridiculous now.

Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff come out to the ring. They are definitely singing sour grapes tonight. They don’t talk about the Eric Bischoff match because Hollywood Hogan is more important. They explain what happened saying that JJ Dillon made Nick Patrick the referee and not Bret Hart. They show Bret Hart decking Nick Patrick. Hogan says that Sting sneak attacked him at some point. In his eyes, Hogan feels he is still the champion. Bischoff angrily tells JJ Dillon to fix the mess that has been created because this cannot stand.

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby Heenan. Bobby stops by and George Costanzas his way back into his broadcasting position. He was giving the nWo false information, guys! Bobby was trying to help WCW! Come on.

NITRO GIRLS!

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page vs. Mortis (w/James Vandenberg)

Headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. DDP hits the swinging neckbreaker and calls for the Diamond Cutter, but Mortis hits the deck. During a ten-count corner punch, Mortis low blows DDP and delivers an Electric Chair Facebuster, which is pretty cool. He follows up with a face slam out of the corner and then delivers a modified Rocker Dropper for two. Time for the FLATLINER, but DDP slips away and lands the DIAMOND CUTTER out of nowhere. (3:51) DDP nails Vandenberg, jumps the rail, and celebrates with the people. Fun stuff. *½

Gene Okerlund introduces JJ Dillon to respond to Hogan and Bischoff’s comments made earlier tonight. Dillon says the decision that was rendered last night is going to stick. However since there does seem to be some controversy surrounding the title match, Sting has authorized JJ Dillon to announce that he is challenging Hollywood Hogan for a rematch TONIGHT here in BALTIMORE. Well, Baltimore loves Sting and certainly loves this idea. Talk about a ratings grabber and a SCREW YOU to everybody who paid money to see the Starrcade match.

  • WCW World Television Champion Disco Inferno vs. Booker T

Wristlocks and hammerlocks are traded to start. Booker blocks a hiptoss with a clothesline. He misses an elbow drop and SPINAROONIES to his feet to land a Harlem Side Kick. Out to the floor, Disco gets whipped into the guardrail. He blocks a suplex on the apron and gives Booker a CHARTBUSTER onto the top rope. Disco makes Booker pay with a toss into the guardrail. Back inside, he tries to wear Booker down with a chinlock. Swinging neckbreaker by Disco gets two. Booker surprises Disco with a jumping forearm smash and Side Slams him for the HARLEM HANGOVER to win the match and the TV title. (6:55) Stevie Ray comes out and celebrates with his brother. You can definitely see WCW going in different directions with their midcard already on this one show. They have given up on guys like Alex Wright and Disco Inferno to turn the reigns over to more talented guys like Booker T and Chris Benoit. Terry Taylor did do some things right, I think. *½

Afterwards, JJ Dillon meets with Gene Okerlund to get an answer from Eric Bischoff about the Sting challenge. Bischoff seems antsy, but he says Hogan will take the match – ALTHOUGH HOGAN DOESN’T THINK HE SHOULD HAVE TO DO IT.

  • Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) vs. Chris Jericho

Rude has lost his mustache again. I have a feeling Jericho is just here so that Hennig can get some heat back after his last night’s loss. Hennig acts like Jericho is no big deal to start and then gets super frustrated when he has to bail out on the floor. He tells Rude that he’s going to hurt somebody if he’s not careful. Back inside, he chops Jericho around in the corner. Hennig blocks a corner charge and grabs a chinlock, but Jericho escapes with a jawbreaker. He looks for a Liontamer it appears, but botches it since he can’t do a flip. Hey, not like I can, but I don’t claim to be a professional wrestler either. Nevertheless, Hennig has enough of this fooling around stuff and delivers the HENNIGPLEX for the win. (3:34) Afterwards, Jericho knocks ring announcer Dave Penzer out of his chair and beats the chair against the ringpost in total frustration. This is the beginning of the Jericho character. More changes ahead for 1998 and Jericho is certainly a part of the highlights of that year. ¾*

NITRO GIRLS!

Scott Hall walks out wearing one of the fake WCW world tag belts that actually become the real WCW world tag belts. Instead of being scared of the nWo, our esteemed commentators mock him on the way to the ring. Heenan – “How many boxes of cereal did Hall have to buy to get that belt?” That was a good one. Hall comes out to do the survey and that’s it. Okay then. Commercial break time.

Billy Ripken is in attendance! He’s doing the People’s Eyebrow too!

They air a Nitro Party video. Corny stuff as usual.

  • Lex Luger vs. Buff Bagwell (w/Scott Norton)

And just like that after taking a pinfall loss no matter how much cheating went on, Luger gets a rematch. No build or continuation of the feud. Why wouldn’t Luger chase Bagwell a little bit more. Have Buff lose to somebody via countout. Do something different. This is really just a typical short Luger match. He takes all the punishment, ducks away from the finish, and comes back with the TORTURE RACK to get the win. (3:02) They must have realized that Bagwell isn’t ready for a singles run last night and had to do some damage control as Luger heads into Souled Out to face Randy Savage. That’s the only logical outcome I can see. ½*

  • WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan

Michael Buffer handles the ring introductions. He has to run out of the ring when Hogan goes after Sting before the bell sounds. Hogan nails Sting over the back with the world title belt. After a few elbow drops, they go to the floor where Hogan slams him on the floor. Back in, Sting starts to NO-SELL and beats Hogan out of the ring. After some guardrail action, Sting takes Hogan back inside for an inverted atomic drop. Hogan goes to the eyes and clotheslines Sting in the corner for two. He pounds away on Sting and hits a Big Boot. He jumps on the cover for 1-2-NO! During a double-KO, Sting falls headfirst into Hogan’s balls. It’s great to see Sting out there again. Hogan goes to the eyes again and slams Sting for the LEGDROP, but Sting moves out of the way. Sting hits one Stinger Splash and tries for another when Hogan pulls the ref in the way. Fans, we’re outta time. WE GOTTA GO. (5:45 shown) This was much closer to what the Starrcade match should have been. Hogan had been backpedaling about facing Sting all throughout 1997 for good reason: he was scared that Sting might actually beat him. Hogan was on the offense, but it was out of desperation and not domination. With some well-placed comebacks from Sting, this was a much better rematch with a great pace to it. *½

Then again, maybe that was Hogan’s idea all along. Give the fans a great match for free after the event is over hoping that more people will buy the replay thinking that match must be as good or better than the one they just saw for free. Hogan has never been about delivering after he’s got your money, he’s just really good at getting you to give him your money. Once that transaction happens, it doesn’t really matter to him.

Good night everybody!

TOTAL BELL TO BELL TIME: 27:26 shown.

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Posted on October 15, 2015, in WCW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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