WCW Nitro: February 10, 1997

Before I jump in, InVerse took a little exception to my glossing over Ron Powers’ victory over Bunkhouse Buck, instead opting to talk about poop: Wait, how are you just throwing this out there with no commentary at all? At first, I figured it was a typo, either you were actually talking about Jim Powers or else you just spaced out who won the match, but ProFightDB confirms this outcome. It’s also the only victory that Ron Powers has on record. Ron Powers beat a 62 time champion! This is bigger than the time Mitchell Rose handed Butterbean his first loss in what was the only victory of Rose’s entire career! Bunkhouse Buck is a former NWA Alabama Heavyweight Champion! He’s held the NWA Rocky Top Heavyweight Championship! He’s held tag team titles with 18 different partners, including Keith Hart and Brian Lee! This has to be the biggest upset on WCW Saturday Night since March 28th, 1987, almost a decade earlier!
I need to apologize, this was THE oversight of the year on my part. Ron Powers has everything I look for in a jobber: he’s awful, and he never wins. His victory over the former 62-time champion is something that should not have been taken lightly, and should have been celebrated as the first steps towards seeing Ron capture the World Tag-Team titles with his now-brother Jim. I’ll make sure to keep round the clock updates on all Ron Powers related happenings moving forward. I am thoroughly embarrassed.
With fireworks exploding and the comforting voice of the strangely confident but eternally confused TONY SCHIAVONE coming at us, it’s clear that Nitro is LIVE from Jacksonville, Florida! LARRY ZBYSZKO retains his completely undeserved seat. And, are those cheerleaders I spy at ringside? Yes, it appears to be the first on-camera appearance of the NITRO GIRLS, though it only comes as an overhead shot of the entire arena. The dancing will have to wait.

An irate DEAN MALENKO comes to the ring, and you can tell he’s upset because he’s wearing a poker face. He has managed to deduce that Syxx stole his Cruiserweight title, and gives him a chance to show up and face him like a man. So of course, we’re instantly greeted by someone else.
DEAN MALENKO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)
This is a rematch from Saturday Night, where we were unable to get a clear winner before the show ran out of time. Eddie Guerrero is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, but let’s be clear: THIS Eddie Guerrero is NOT. He has done absolutely nothing for US title, which is entering Year #2 of being a shell of its former self. There was a time you put this belt on the guy who wasn’t far off from competing for the World Title, but ever since Kensuke Sasaki defeated Sting last December, it’s just been passed around in mid-card hell; even getting completely written off and ignored for months when The Giant walked away with it one day and treated it as a prop on nWo Saturday Night. If they’re not going to move forward with Lex Luger as the WCW guy to face Hogan, he’d be as fine a choice as anyone right now. Lord Regal might be nearing that point, Chris Benoit is starting to look like a legit player, and this is all assuming the Faces of Fear just don’t decide they want it themselves. Bland Eddie Guerrero whose entire WCW career to this point can be summed up as “that guy on the receiving end of many racist jokes” is probably not the answer … at least not yet. I know this is a blasphemous opinion on the Internet, and I await the impending rapture. Malenko hits a hard backdrop suplex coming out of a headlock, and the pair start trading leg holds that nearly sees both guys counted down simultaneously. Eddie tries an Oklahoma roll, but Malenko pulls him up in a wheelbarrow, and then propels him up and over with a German! SYXX sneaks down to ringside as both guys start trading finishers, while SOME FAN nearly comes to blows with Syxx when he tries to steal the Cruiserweight title back on Malenko’s behalf! You go, random fan! Syxx is trying to steal the US title again, but Eddie hits the floor and defends his turf. Syxx takes off as Eddie gets counted out in a ridiculous decision at 5:00. There was a time, just 4 months ago, when nWo appearances meant stopping everything so WCW could defend themselves. Now they’re just part of the show; an annoyance that ruin more matches than Larry Zbyszko’s commentary. *1/2
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE arrives with a chair in hand. It’s not your typical steel chair, but a nicely padded seat, because it looks like he’s planning to stay awhile. He says he’s tired of running, and calls out the nWo to settle the score. STING and RANDY SAVAGE answer the call, oddly, coming in through the now manic crowd. Together they circle Page like sharks, and he looks a little worried. Savage smacks his chair with the bat, and kicks it away. Sting shoves him in the chest repeatedly with the bat, and goes to hit a home run over Page’s head. Page covers up, expecting the absolute worst … but Sting backs off. He hands the baseball bat to Page, and both guys turn their backs. Page doesn’t move a muscle, so Savage snatches the bat away and they head back into the sea of fans. Page, confused, returns to the back. These Sting segments are getting a little convoluted and overdone, but I don’t hate the idea of a group of silent vigilantes (not to be confused with THE VIGILANTE Sting). I just wish it would lead to wrestling.
BOBBY EATON vs. KONAN
Konan starts in with his “methodical” offense, and you can use your powers of deduction to figure out what that means. The Cradle DDT finishes at 1:21. No more Konan. DUD
RON POWERS vs. LEX LUGER
Now here’s a man brimming with confidence after his huge win this past weekend, and he’ll take his 3rd crack at Lex Luger over the last month or so. Luger’s sporting a cast, because the nWo broke his forearm apparently. ERIC BISCHOFF stops Lex on his way to the ring, and asks if his arm is broken. Luger reminds Eric that WCW’s where the Big Boys Play, and he’ll wrestle through it. Bischoff tells him to forget it, he’s not risking Luger’s long term health. Unless he’s given a release tonight, he not only won’t be given a match tonight, nor will he wrestle at Superbrawl. Luger stomps off, while Bischoff turns to the camera to give us a PSA about wrestlers’ safety and health. The fans pop huge, and Bischoff thanks them for their support, not realizing THE GIANT has lumbered down. Bischoff takes off immediately, and an irate Ron Powers pleads his case not to have to fight here; and he shouldn’t have to! He was promised Luger, Luger pussed out, so he wins – end of story. Ron Powers, future champion, doesn’t deserve this.
THE GIANT vs. RON POWERS
Giant misses a Stinger Splash, and Powers lays in, a house o’ fire! Big Ron goes for a boot to the midsection, but Giant blocks, and runs him over with a clothesline. Powerslam, ROARRRRR, Chokeslam, 1:47, sigh. My rating: one sad emoticon.
MIKE TENAY (Mike Tenay?!?) hits the ring to chat with Giant. Giant admits that he’s a real fire-breathing Giant. I think he’s confused his Giant fairy tales with the Dragons. That, or he’s been training with Glacier’s sensei, Dhalsim, and he’s acquired this fine new skill. LEX LUGER powerwalks to the ring, and The Giant asks Luger if he’s going to let anything stop him in his quest to capture a little gold. Luger says no way Jose, and Giant feels the same. So even if he’s forced to fight the Outsiders alone in San Francisco, he’ll do just that, and he’ll hand the other belt over to Luger, his new best friend. That’s hot.
A limousine arrives, and inside are nWo besties, THE OUTSIDERS and BIG BUBBER? Bubba asks the boys if he’s granted permission to take out DDP, and Hall happily gives his blessing.
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS
Scott’s upper body is starting to look ridiculous, his already jacked frame has put on about 30 pounds of muscle in the last 6 months alone. HARLEM HEAT with SISTA SHERRI watch this one from the top of the ringsteps, while Scotty’s overhead belly to belly sends Rage flying from corner to corner. THE FACES OF FEAR wander out to look on, reminding me how much I’d love to see them take on the Steiners in a long tag-team war. Rick about kills Kaos with a fireman’s carry slam, while THE PUBLIC ENEMY slide in to watch Scott tie Kenny to the tree of woe. Rage comes in to face Roid Rage, and that’s a no contest. Rick heads in as Rage tries a springboard Thesz press, but Steiner turns it into a powerbomb mid-move that nearly kills the poor guy. Kaos goes to save, so Scotty destroys him, before they finish Rage off with the super bulldog at 4:00. This was a fantastic squash, with the fans just going mental for every movement. These guys are clearly the cream of the tag-team crop, and WCW would be wise to push the ever loving shit out of them and ride this for as long as they can. **
ERIC BISCHOFFTHE OUTSIDERSSYXX, and NICK PATRICK chase Schiavone and Larry away; with Larry happy to retreat early to “get paid to order room service”. Man has a point. Bischoff relays that his secretary had a special guest in house who really wanted to talk to him, and so he brings out …
RANDY ANDERSON, accompanied by HIS WIFE and TWO KIDS. His children are dressed in their best clothing, and Anderson pleads for his job back, pointing to the pain his entire family felt after he was canned. Bischoff asks what the names of his children are, so Randy introduces Montana and Chase, along with his wife Kristie. Bischoff asks the family to step forward, beckons the children, leans in closely and softly tells them “would you please tell your daddy that he’s STILL fired? Would you do that for me?” Montana: “Please Mr. Bischoff?” Anderson: “Please, Eric, I’ll do anything. I’m trying to be professional for WCW.” Bischoff: “Wah wah wah, everyone here has responsibilities, you need to learn to deal with adversity.” Eric asks them they really want to see Randy Anderson get his job back, he’s giving him one shot … next week, if he wrestles Nick Patrick. Kristie tells him absolutely not, given that he’s in cancer remission. However, seeing as how he’s got a family to support, he agrees.
THE OUTSIDERS (with Syxx) vs. THE EXTREME (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
Bischoff orders Zbyszko to re-join him in the booth, and Larry’s happy as hell to lay in to the Outsiders. “Here’s a 7 foot tall coward! These guys aren’t worthy competitors. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are two big strong thugs who have sold their individuality, wrestling like pack rats, they’re cowards who attack Luger with pipes, that’s who they are.” Nash defeats Storm with the Rack while Hall chokeslams Ace at 1:20. Syxx congratulates them on another four star MOTYC. Nash vows to stay 2 Sweet 4 Life, while Hall brings out the big guns, calling the Giant a dork.
Hour #2 sees Tony return to his post alongside MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)
This match has been prepped for weeks, but Rey’s knee injury delayed his opportunity. Regal doesn’t appear to be particularly concerned of facing the little guy, even asking the referee “really?”, while measuring his height. In fact, of bigger concern are the rowdy fans at ringside, whom Regal takes a couple of moments to lecture and threaten to slap the shit out of. Rey tries to do an armdrag, but Regal picks him up and gives him a hammerlock backbreaker. With Rey selling the arm, Regal’s head starts moving like a bobblehead, feeling good. Rey tries a headlock, but you’re not gonna outwrestle Regal who shoves him off easily. Rey goes to what he knows, the springboard dropkick, and Regal sells it like the ring is made out of ice, slipping and sliding around in the corner unable to find his footing and looking horrified. Rey charges again, right into the thumb of the Lord – but the thumb just HAPPENED to be there, it wasn’t intentional or anything. Rey takes a series of knees to the face, and Regal dances like Ali. In fact, he drops to his knees, pretending to be in tears, before wrapping Rey’s arms around his own neck, choking himself. Rey shoves him forward, and dropkicks a shocked Regal to the floor. His Lordship hits the apron, Rey charges … again right into the thumb, hah! A quick jawbreaker over the top rope puts the champ back in charge, and Regal literally starts tooting his own horn.
Regal goes for a rough clothesline, but Rey ducks and hits a rana. Regal shows Rey a little lucha libre, putting on La Majistral for 2. Rey comes back with a headscissors take over for 2. Another attempt gets Rey caught in a wheelbarrow, but Rey slides down the back and time expires as Rey gets the 3 at 6:56, which is tonight’s official time limit. The fans have had just about enough of Regal’s cheating ways, but the Lord is happy to keep his belt through whatever means necessary, celebrating his greatness as we head to break. ***
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jacquelyn and Jimmy Hart) vs. MAVERICK WILD
This is Wild’s debut, but the future New England Pro Wrestling 2010 Hall of Fame inductee doesn’t fare particularly well on the national stage, getting beaten up by Jackie on the outside, and Tony blows his load, amazed that she knows how to do a lariat. “WE NEED TO SEE THAT AGAIN! A LARIAT, BRAIN!” Wild is sent out to the floor a second time and this time takes a body slam, and I’m fairly sure Tony’s head just exploded in amazement and wonder. Back in, it’s the usual, tree of woe, double stomp, and Sullivan wins at 2:16. I’m sick to death of this formula, but I guess I can take solace in the fact that Sullivan typically isn’t putting himself anyone notable, an occasional Arn Anderson job aside. 1/2*
MIKE TENAY stops the Dungeon, while one audible fan overpowers the interview by shouting “TASKMASTER, YOU SUCK!” Sign that guy to a contract, ASAP! Sullivan says “Paul E” called him last night, and he was disgusted at how Kevin’s life has deteriorated. He said Paul thinks the world of both Woman and Kevin, and wonders how King Curtis might feel about this mess. You know what, I ALSO want to know what King Curtis thinks about this – can we teleport back to the dungeon and ask him ourselves? He rambles about the fact he’s a man of the hood, and that Nancy’s a fraud because she’s not as tough as she pretends to be. He’s completely lost his mind, none of this makes any bloody sense. Jackie gives us a little sass, and the upshot is that they want to whoop “Nancy” or something. Jesus H Christ make it stop.
Tonight’s edition of Monday Nitro is brought to you by Selsun Blue. Are you a total flake on Mondays? Grab a bottle!
HUGH MORRUS vs. ALEX WRIGHT
I get that WCW is unopposed tonight, but Maverick Wild? The Extreme? Alex Wright and Hugh Morrus? All in the second hour? This is just flat out laziness and arrogance. More of the same from Morrus, big fat angry offense, laughing like a hyena, racial epithets. The Arian Nation battles back with European uppercuts, and he trips on the top rope and botches whatever the hell he had planned. Morrus powerbombs him into tomorrow, nails No Laughing Matter, and he picks up a squash victory at 2:29. I’m downright shocked actually, I guess they’ve finally given up on the Alex Wright experiment after nearly two and a half years. 1/2*
CHRIS BENOIT and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Woman and Debra McMichael) vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR. and JEFF JARRETT
Jeff’s chosen an interesting partner, to say the least. I’m amazed that even the lower tier Chavo didn’t look at him and go “yeah, I’d love to, but I was thinking about going in a different direction”. Benoit takes an asskicking from both Chavo and Jarrett for the first minute, but the second Jarrett starts strutting, Mongo pounds him in the back of the head and Benoit goes at him so viciously I’m shocked he didn’t leave a bible next to his body. Mongo powerslams the pain in the ass, and Benoit chops him to pieces. Chavo comes in, trading blows with Benoit. He manages to take out both Horsemen in quite possibly the Least Believable Hot Tag Ever. Debra heads over to check on Jarrett, while Chavo nearly pins Benoit off a sunset flip. While Debra goes through Jeff’s suspenders, Mongo ends Chavo’s night with a tombstone at 4:01. Debra sends Jarrett to the back, and goes back to posing with her man. *1/2
ARN ANDERSON and RIC FLAIR join the rest of the Horsemen crew, as does the versatile MIKE TENAY. Anderson calls Jarrett right out, saying he might have caught Debra’s eye, but the last guy that did that wound up in a hospital room asking “how many of them were there?” Flair, who hasn’t had a bad day in his life, is all smiles as usual, reminding the world that whether they like it or not, they best learn to love it, because the Horsemen are the best thing going today. Flair kills me; these guys could be rolling around the mat trying to kill each other, and he’d be dancing and offering everyone champagne to make it all better. Benoit tells Sullivan to keep trying to play his mind-games, but he’s playing a game he can’t win. Meanwhile, Mongo trolls the Jaguars for awhile, before turning to his wife and asking Debra what the hell the deal with Jarrett is. She says Jeff should be a Horseman, but she’s not doing it to hurt Steve, she just believes in him. She was so upset after last week, actually, that she didn’t even go shopping. Mongo says if Jarrett can beat him at Superbrawl, which he figures is roughly a 1-1,000,000 chance, he can join the Horsemen because they could use a few good men in their war against the nWo. Their war against the what? They haven’t paid them any attention in months – and THIS IS THE PROBLEM.
RODDY PIPER heads down for this week’s main event, blowing the roof off the building. HOLLYWOOD HOGAN joins us by split screen, on satellite. Piper screams at Hogan to get his ass to the arena, he’s here because Hogan had said last week he actually wanted to fight. He had promised his son he was quitting for good, until the bald headed geek came out and made him break his promise. Hogan asked if he also lied to his kid that he was able to beat him? What happened to keeping his promises, like retiring when he said he would? He said the nWo doesn’t hide behind their kids, “you puke”. Piper promises to do like OJ, only when he’s finished with Hogan, there’s gonna be no doubt about his guilt. Before Hogan can respond, Piper slams the mic and walks off set as Nitro heads off the air.

I stand by what I said last week – if they don’t pull the trigger on World Champion Roddy Piper, they’re nuts. This is a once in a lifetime chance to capitalize on a man who is more over than everyone else on the roster; and the heat is going to be off the charts at Uncensored when Hogan cheats to get his title back en route to Sting in December.