WCW Nitro: January 6, 1997

Tenken347: Good stuff, cfgb. But I have a point of order: Regal won that parking lot brawl in April, not Finlay.
I hope I didn’t make any other factually incorrect statements in my Year End Recap.
texasranger9: I have a huge request. You have all these shows on VHS, and you can convert VHS to digital now. Can you make a video of all of “SQUIRE” DAVID TAYLOR’s European Uppercuts he threw in this glorious year? Unless the universe would melt.
I was banned from Youtube a couple of years ago for committing the heinous crime of uploading a video of Tank Abbott’s nipples dancing with 3 Count. I do have a new account (where you can find all my failed attempts at Vlogging!), but I’m not sure I want the WWE police to come at me for stealing all the footage of Dave Taylor that they’re planning to put to good use someday. I may get some quality screencaps of him as the year progresses; and while my memory has been reduced to room temperature guacamole, I believe 1997 is the start of Taylor’s beekeeping expedition, so we all have that to look forward to.
And speaking of things to look forward to, Nitro lights fireworks here, fireworks there, fireworks EVERYWHERE! Tonight should be wonderful, because it’s not LAST week’s show, and ANYTHING has to be better than that. TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO don’t have time for small talk, because we’re kicking things off in the ring. Bonus points for that booking decision!

GLACIER (showing off his brown eye) vs. BOBBY EATON
Discipline! Georgia State Patrol! Orient! Complete! SWEET – BUZZWORD BINGO! I’ll head to the pay windah to collect my prize; I’ve got at least 21 minutes anyway while Glacier enters the ring. Glacier bows to the referee, bows to Eaton, but totally disrespects the audience by not visiting them one at a time to bow to them. Pffft, discipline my ass. Glacier misses the spin kick, but he continues his swing on the ground with a leg sweep. A mule kick drops Bobby, setting up the Cryonic Kick – but Eaton makes the ropes. Superkick finishes at 1:55. A bored Sting rains snow down from the ceiling. I guess Sudoku wasn’t all the rage just yet. DUD
Did you know you can buy a DENIM WCW SHIRT just like Mongo McMichael? The low cost of $39.95 + shipping and handling is all it takes to pick up one of these bad boys, and eliminate any chance of ever having sex again.
You know, I remember 1997 vividly. It was NOT that long ago. So why do I feel a MILLION YEARS OLD when the commercials air? We just had a deodorant commercial that focused on a fairly bland looking stick, and the elimination of sweat. At no point did hundreds of scantily clad women throw themselves into the nearest shower to have vivacious intercourse with the fellow for choosing their brand. There was no charismatic black man on a horse. Just a straight up commercial. Next you’re going to try and sell me a typewriter.
BIG BUBBER vs. KONAN (with Jimmy Hart) (in a Mexican strap match)
This was supposed to happen last week, but Bubba wasn’t interested in fighting. Apparently it’s just that easy. Can you imagine this happening in UFC? “Nah, I won’t be there tonight, you can fight this other guy and maybe next week we’ll throw down.” I’m recapping this at 2:30am, and I don’t expect these guys to help me make it through the next 90 minutes, so I’m going to ignore the entrances to make a cup of Maxwell House with a splash of Butter Pecan creamer; the choice of today’s insomniacs. Bubba throws a clothesline at Konan, and gets a shockingly loud and angry reaction. Konan starts taking whips from the Mexican strap (which is the same thing as a strap match, but it works cheaper and incites the locals). Bubba starts jawing with his old friend Jimmy Hart, so Konan takes that chance to start a lightning series of whips to the back of Bubba. It doesn’t last long, and Bubba quickly finds himself in control, and starts the slow-ass delayed stroll around the corners. He gets to 3 before Konan mounts him like a Craigslist pervert, but Bubba eventually shrugs him off by the 1st corner (which resets the count because strap matches). Stall, stall, stall, whip, whip, whip. Konan manages 2 corners before taking a ham hock to the chin. Konan crotches his mortal enemy of 2 weeks with the strap, but gets stopped at 3 corners this time. Bubba winds up, and decks him to kingdom come, knocking Konan into the 4th corner for the win at 5:51. That was the finest strap match of the year. DUD
KEVIN SULLIVAN, looking tired, old, and haggard, is with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Of course, that’s par for the course with the Taskmaster. The pair talk about the subject that’s on everyone’s mind: Whether or not it’s time to take down the Christmas lights yet, or just leave them up until next year. Oh, and also Chris Benoit. He vows to issue a Checkmate. Gene tells Sullivan he has a new video tape, featuring “you know who”. Sullivan tells him it better not be. Gene promises he’s got the goods. Sullivan drops his head like a bad dog, and glumly retreats the set. Of course, nobody actually lets us in on the secret. This is the same thing as a couple of friends giggling in the corner, but insist that it’s “nothing”.
After a break, we head right into the Shank of the Evening with RIC FLAIRARN ANDERSONMONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL joining “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND on the red carpet. Arn is annoyed because he has no idea where the hell Benoit and Woman are. Flair doesn’t particularly care, because after 10 years with Sullivan, she deserves to get plowed by Benoit on a regular basis. Debra, on the other hand, is sick to death of Chris and Woman; who is as “ugly as grandpa’s toenails”. Debra points out that no matter how much sex Flair has, he’s always at work. Mongo never missed a football game. That draws out JEFF JARRETT, and Flair flashes a big smile and shakes his hand. Jarrett asks if Flair wants a part-time Horsemen, or a full-time Horsemen. Anderson interjects and tells him point blank he’s not a Horsemen, they don’t want crybabies and “victims”. Jarrett reminds Arn that he’s just the second banana to Ole, Tully, and Ric, and he didn’t ask the horse’s ass, he asked the horse’s head. BIG MISTAKE. Arn gives him the beating to end all manly beatings, and somehow they wind up in the ring with a referee …
ARN ANDERSON (with Ric Flair, Mongo McMichael, and Debra McMichael) vs. JEFF JARRETT
The beating continues, with Arn just assaulting the snot out of Memphis’ finest. Jarrett eventually fires back, so Arn just dumps him to the outside and smashes his face on the ring apron. Back in, Jarrett hits a swinging neckbreaker and pins Arn with his feet on the ropes at 1:04. Mongo goes to kill him with the Haliburton, but Flair refuses to let them go, causing Mongo to just feed it to him for being so bloody disloyal to Arn. However, Debra sides with Jarrett for some reason, and now everyone’s ready to throw down. Arn grabs the Haliburton, while Flair starts dancing with Jarrett for some reason. Anderson figures to hell with this nonsense, and takes off. Somehow, Tony blames Woman for all of this.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)
Regal enters to Trumpet Voluntary for the first time. However, Page fails to show up, and the announcers have no idea why since all Page ever dreams about is capturing titles. Never to fear however, because a new opponent is waiting in the wings.
“LORD” STEVEN REGAL vs. “HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN (for the WCW world television title)
There is nobody in the world who is able to express more disgust with the entire concept of Jim Duggan, than one Steven Regal. His facial expressions tell a finer story than any Shakespearean novel. While Duggan stomps around the ring like a confused rhinoceros, Regal lectures a chest thumping moron in the front row. Don’t bother trying to watch this however, because…
THE OUTSIDERSSYXX, and ERIC BISCHOFF decide they want to take over the commentary booth. Tony and Larry scatter.
Back in the ring, Duggan’s hitting clothesline after clothesline to a massive USA chant, which fires up Regal to the point he’s ready to fight the thousands of fans at the same time.
Bischoff announces that they’ve signed DDP to the nWo, and he’s now welcome to come over to house for an “adult beverage” on the weekend if he wants. Regal clotheslines Duggan, and Duggan just starts spinning in circles, confused about his surroundings. Once he realizes he’s in the middle of a fight, he goes back to throwing clotheslines. Regal’s ears start to spurt blood from the USA chants, and he’s fading fast. Duggan steps on his face, and keeps the referee up to speed with the match: “I GOT HIM!” A headlock is applied, and the pressure helps his ears clot – giving Regal a second wind. They trade punches, and Regal wins that battle with a thumb to the eye. Duggan swings wildly at nothing at all, so Regal just drops down and sweeps out his legs. Meanwhile, Bischoff announces he has yet ANOTHER nWo member, but he’s saving this one for later. Duggan misses a charge in the corner, and Regal quickly drops an elbow for 2. A somersault legdrop misses, and Duggan starts pounding away at the champ, and loads the boot. However, his finisher isn’t the Kick of Fear, so that was a bloody waste of time. Both guys crack heads in the middle of the ring, knocking them out. Duggan comes to first, and whips out the roll of tape. The referee can see it plain as day, but he allows the taped punch. He heads down for the pin, but time expires, and we have a draw at 8:26. Duggan announces a new standard in America, and starts waving around the yellow and purple WCW flag. Nash: “Nothing like jumping on a loser!” *1/2
HUGH MORRUS vs. JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long)
Morrus has new music for some reason; and it’s basically the kind of stuff the Nitro Girls will one day be dancing to. If they gave me a hundred generic songs to choose from for Hugh Morrus, this one would be amongst the LAST choices. Tony and Larry return to the booth. Morrus beats down Powers in the corner, but his avalanche is blocked by an elbow. Powers comes of the second rope with a clothesline, and scores 2. Powers throws a high knee; fair game since the Booty Man has been drying his tears for the last 5 months. Morrus comes right back with a clothesline, and No Laughing Matter finishes at 1:39. How much longer is Teddy Long going to put up with this loser? DUD
Hour #2 kicks off, and Zbyszko fades into Bolivian. MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are in the hizzle; and Heenan could not look less interested in being here. Tony talks about the Horsemen to try and engage Bobby, who figures Flair is the glue that’s going to keep the group together. The segment from the first hour is replayed.
PSYCHOSIS vs. REY MYSTERIO JR.
These guys absolutely tore it up at Bash at the Beach, so I’m all-in on this one. Psychosis effectively acts like a brick wall to block Rey’s shoulderblock. A hiptoss sends the little guy to the floor, and Psychosis is right behind him with a double jump springboard moonsault. It’s botched, so Rey rolls Psychosis back in and heads back for the attack. Mysterio springboards in, but Psychosis is ready and dropkicks him in the midsection. He heads up, and nails a top rope spinning heel kick to some pretty strong heat. It gets 2, and Psychosis kills me by holding up his fingers and uttering the only English he knows: “Come on – 3!” Rey rolls outside, and Psychosis quickly plants him with a baseball slide! He heads up, slips, and that extra time allows Rey to prep for the move. Psychosis tries again, and misses his move, smacking his face on the guardrail. Rey crouches in wait, and nails his springboard dick to the face on the floor! Psychosis fights him back to the apron, but Rey elevates him and Psychosis goes face first into the ringpost – not a good night for his face! I hope his face mask is made of titanium. Rey hits the springboard moonsault for 2. An Oklahoma roll looks to finish, but Psychosis kicks out at 2 again. Rey, thinking fast, buys time by applying a headscissors submission. Psychosis has a height advantage and reaches back to pick at Rey’s mask, so Mysterio releases. Psychosis slams him quickly, and heads up to nail the guillotine legdrop! Rey kicks out at 2, because there’s no justice. Psychosis tries a powerbomb, but Rey slips off the back and holds the tights, getting a really close 2. Psychosis tries a dropkick, but he hits the rope, allowing Rey to finish with a beautiful West Coast Pop at 6:45! ***1/2
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.
Man alive, they’re pounding out the wrestling tonight – this is the 7th match and there’s still about 45 minutes left in the show. Does Kevin still live in his cave with the Master? Who’s still bunking there these days, now that The Giant moved out months ago, Bubba gave his notice, and the Leprechaun died of complications from cannibalism. Konan seems pretty tight with the clan, and nobody’s going to tell the Faces of Fear where to sleep; but should they consider downsizing and moving into a much more affordable cave? Maybe one with less colorful mist, because while the colors add character to the cave, the long-term side effects of consuming all that moisture in their lungs may be wreaking havoc on their breathing. Harlem Heat understands why open airwaves are an important part of any successful group; they might want to compare notes. Chavo nails Sullivan with a missile dropkick, which is probably the first time a lower card wrestler has successfully hit Sullivan with anything in years. Kevin doesn’t like that, and sends Chavo to the floor, before whipping him into various ring-parts. Chavo’s taken into the front row, as is the style in a Kevin Sullivan match. Chavo’s put in the tree of woe, and finished with the Double Stomp at 2:16. Not that I’m clamoring for longer Kevin Sullivan matches, but it’s bloody ridiculous that DDP, clearly headed into the upper echelon of the company, has to spend 10 minutes selling for Chavo, but Sullivan is able to destroy him in a couple of minutes. 1/2*
It wouldn’t be Nitro without replaying a Piper segment; so we watch the whole beatdown and gurney wheelin’ from last week.
ALEX WRIGHT vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (in a non-title match)
What is this, Worldwide? I’d appreciate keeping my Alex Wright appearances to a bare minimum, and definitely as far away from the A-shows as possible. Not that Eddie is a ball of excitement, because outside of his matches with Chris Benoit, he’s shown the charisma of … well, Alex Wright. If you weren’t watching WCW at the time, that kind of statement probably comes across as blasphemous, but I can’t understate just how unbearable Guerrero and Jericho were during the early part of their careers. Just bland kiss-asses who couldn’t connect with a crowd to save their lives, but were pushed down our throats anyway. (Incredibly, in a year from now, you’ll be seeing me scream bloody murder to push them with the weight of a steam engine.) Eddie drops Wright with a spinning heel kick, and follows with a slingshot senton for 2 while the fans erupt in a “BORING” chant. Wright takes note, and slows things down with a series of holds. SYXX saunters out with a ladder, wearing the US title. He takes a seat on top of the ladder, taunting Eddie. Wright uses the distraction to hit an overhead belly to belly with a bridge for 2. Syxx: “Come on Guerrero, if you can’t be Wright, how do you expect to beat me?” Wright hits a sunset flip off the top for 2. Eddie tries to counter the series, but takes a belly to belly for 2. Finally, he regains his focus, hits a t-bone suplex … and walks right into a spinning heel kick. Wright comes off the top with a double axehandle, follows with an overhead belly to belly with a bridge for a second time, and gets another 2. Wright goes up, but Eddie cuts him off, nails a superplex, and finishes with the Frog Splash at 9:06. As soon as the bell sounds, Eddie rushes out of the ring, and Syxx is forced to jump off the top and make hay to the back before Eddie can catch him. Also, that match sucked. *
THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri)
Rougeau promises “the real French national anthem”, and the announcers just yuk it up all over this because there’s no such thing apparently. I get that we’re supposed to hate these guys, but can we at least be educated about our reasons and not base it on the uncontrollable spewing of diarrhea that Tony Schiavone insists on feeding us weekly? Anyway, all hell breaks loose and it isn’t long before Booker kills Rougeau with a Harlem sidekick – but the Colonel distracts him and Ouellette turns Booker inside out with a clothesline. WCW played to Booker’s strengths perfectly, letting him sell like crazy in the ring, hit his fantastic trademark spots, and never ever speak under any circumstances. Can you imagine if anyone was crazy enough to put him on commentary? And speaking of selling, Rougeau puts Booker in the Quebec crab, and Ouellette drops a leg off the top for 2. Stevie winds up distracting the ref by mistake, and Rougeau grabs the homemade Quebecanada flag to hit Booker. Alas, he misses, and Ouellette takes it upside the head. Booker gets rid of Ouellette with a Harlem sidekick, and they finish Rougeau with the Heat Bomb at 4:06. Apparently Harlem Heat are fan favorites now. *1/2
MENG vs. LEX LUGER
So back in 1999, when I was a young impressionable WCW lifer, I made the trip to Toronto to see WCW’s first foray into Canadian pay-per-view. On the card was Lex Luger vs. Meng (with his out of control afro). Even then, I was a little Menganite, and if you’re ever watching WCW Mayhem 1999, through the crowd sitting on their thumbs, you might just hear the hoarse screaming of a lunatic from the 3rd deck. When he actually WON, I wound up giving him so much love I lost my voice. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but I was studying Radio Broadcasting in college at the time, and had to be back in Ottawa by 5:00am for my morning radio show. I remember nothing about the next morning’s show since I was on zero sleep and had the raspy voice of a middle-aged crackwhore, but it was worth it. Because, I had Meng’s back then, just as I have it now. Sadly, I don’t forsee positive results here; but I’ll make a rare exception since Luger’s white-hot and worthy of the Meng rub. Meng no sells the forearm shots because even metal plates can’t damage this man, and he runs over Luger with a clothesline and shouts “HOOOO WAH!” Whatever that means, I agree. Luger starts taking knife edge chops, and then Meng actually seems to get mad, and stomps Luger in the corner like he’s crushing grapes for wine. He threatens the Tongan Death Grip, but changes course and uses a throat punch instead. How charitable! Well, until he hits a tombstone piledriver, and follows that with a spike piledriver for 2. The 1990’s – piledrivers for everyone! With Luger’s neck broken in 100 different places, Meng starts clubberin’. But, Luger on the HGH, and we all know that means insta-recovery (just ask the baseball hall of fame voters), and Luger pops up with a giant roar. A backdrop and powerslam combo gets 2. The fans start making Torture Rack gestures, as Meng misses an avalanche and staggers backwards into Lex. Luger delivers, but Meng won’t tap out!!! HELL YES! Luger swings back and forth, and the leg of Meng kicks the referee in the face, drawing in THE BARBARIAN. Luger drops the hold, and powerslams Barbarian. Now HE is put in the Rack, and because all brown guys look the same, the referee sees him tap out and gives Luger the win at 4:56. Well, we know who the weak link of that team is now, don’t we? Perversely entertaining. **
THE NWO gather all over the stage for the main event; and I ain’t doing role call cuz it’s all of them except for their Japanese allies and Kyle Petty, including the usually absent Fake Sting. Marcus Bagwell follows Hogan closely as they strut to the ring, and he plays backup air guitar. So the story goes, that Hogan was layin’ out on Venice Beach with the Outsiders, that they figures if they held an nWo invitational battle royal, they could destroy WCW single handedly. What the hell is he talking about? This transitions into the destruction of Piper and The Giant, but that’s probably an error. THE GIANT storms out, and he’s returned to the single-strap singlet! Everything old is new again! He gets right into the ring, ignoring the fact it’s like 15-on-1. Nash attacks first, and Giant disposes of him easily. Then one by one, he beats every single guy up (because they’re too stupid to think of attacking together), leaving him alone with Hogan and Bischoff. Hogan begs off, but realizes he has nowhere to go and throws a punch … right into Giant’s hand. Giant squeezes it, trying to replay the cantaloupe scene from Suburban Commando, and even Bischoff’s punches can’t break it up. Finally, the nWo get their act together, and get back in the ring as one. A chair is handed to Hogan, and that starts the group beatdown. Hogan and Bischoff share a tender moment, and Hogan even grants Bischoff a couple of free shots at the Giant. Bischoff happily kicks Giant in the face, and is gifted the World Title belt. They appear to leave for the night, but make a turn and head to the announce booth. The announcers bolt, with Heenan jumping over the table, tripping over himself.
STING walks down to the ring with his bat, standing over the fallen Giant. He rolls the Giant over, grabs him by the head violently, and has a stern talk with him. He doesn’t take a shot, instead turns towards the nWo and points his bat in their direction. It’s dropped at Giant’s feet, while Nash figures it was him pointing respectfully to his new friends. For god knows WHAT reason, Vincent jogs down into the ring, and pokes at the Giant to make sure he’s dead. Once he’s satisfied, he picks up Sting’s bat, and stands on Giant’s chest, showing even he can pin the big man. Of course, he misses the fact Giant’s awake now, until it’s too late, and Vincent’s taking a HUGE Chokeslam. The group rushes back to the ring, and Giant starts swinging the bat with home run power at anyone who comes near him. Honestly; one false move and he’s killing someone at that speed. The fans chant “WE WANT STING”, who has returned to the rafters and stares blankly at the carnage he started.

The fans figured it out weeks ago, even if the announcers are far too stupid to do the math. Sting is WCW’s only hope.
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