The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 02.10.97
Oh hi! Turns out there’s a month-long gap in my Monday Night Wars posts from 2007, so you get a fresh review of Nitro and RAW for the next month of shows. But since I have limited time in my life, we’ll take it one show at a time.
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony & Larry
Dean Malenko v. Eddie Guerrero
Well this is quite the start. Dean is Cruiserweight champion and Eddie is US champion, but neither title is on the line. They do a little mat sequence to start, complete with Tony’s full armdrag and twist, but Eddie takes him down with a headscissors, and Dean responds with a powerslam for two. They trade backbreakers and Eddie gets two and goes to the chinlock. They do an awkward rolling leglock spot on the mat and Malenko goes after the leg, then just hits him with a german suplex for two instead. This brings out Syxx, who steals the US title belt and Eddie chases him into the crowd for the countout at 4:58. Didn’t really have a chance to go anywhere. **1/2
Diamond Dallas Page immediately comes out after that with a chair to stage a sit-in, because he’s tired of running and just wants the Outsiders right now. This brings out Sting and his new protégé Randy Savage, and they give him some kind of test by harassing him with the baseball bat and then leave. Randy is clearly not into this pacifist direction.
Konnan v. Bobby Eaton
Konnan gets a pair of corner dropkicks, but Eaton fires back and Konnan won’t even sell it. Seated dropkick into the move later called the 187, which finishes at 1:20. Konnan completely gobbled him there and it was a complete squash. DUD
Lex Luger v. Ron Powers
Interesting, Powers has turned up a few times in the Observers from 1992-93 as a semi-featured guy in New Japan. Clearly his career was on the downslide by the time he got here. Sadly, Bischoff comes out and prevents Lex from wrestling due to the huge cast on his arm, sending him back to the dressing room to get a proper medical release. And Lex won’t be allowed to wrestle for the tag titles at SuperBrawl, either, and can you SMELL the screwjob coming a mile away or what? Bischoff actually has a very reasonable stance here: The man is clearly not cleared to wrestle with that cast on. So Lex heads back and gets the Giant instead.
The Giant v. Ron Powers
Giant pretty effortlessly throws Powers around and finishes with the chokeslam at 1:45. ½* Mike Tenay interviews Giant afterwards, and he trusts Lex to be his partner 100%, so he’s gonna beat the Outsiders by himself and give Lex one of the titles. Kind of funny for Giant and Luger, two guys who have turned more times combined than nearly anyone else in the sport, talking about how much they trust each other. Not to mention that they just wrestled at Starrcade!
The Outsiders and Big Bubba arrive in the limo, and Bubba is already dragging down the team by association.
High Voltage v. The Steiner Brothers
Aside from the thrill of seeing the future World tag team champions, Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos, on opposite sides of the ring, this is just the usual Steiners destruction of a pair of jobbers and they finish Rage with the flying bulldog at 4:25. *
Eric Bischoff and the Outsiders come out and take over the announce position, while Randy Anderson brings out his wife and children to plead for his job back. Eric tells the kids that Daddy is still fired, but he can have his job back if he can beat Nick Patrick next week. Bischoff was entertaining here, but this stuff with Randy Anderson was DEATH. On the scale of things I care about, the employment prospects of referees ranks somewhere below midget matches or Total Divas.
The Outsiders v. The EXTREME
The transformation of Devon Storm from “Triumph tribute band lead singer” to Crowbar is still pretty astonishing. The Outsiders completely destroy the two geeks and Nash finishes Storm with the world’s worst Torture rack at 1:24. Storm wasn’t even facing the right way! DUD According to the Observer at the time, this was a not-so-subtle shot at ECW.
HOUR #2! The hour that stepped in to direct Justice League when Zack Snyder bowed out, then won an Oscar for it and formed its own studio!
World TV title: Lord Steven Regal v. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey’s knee was a mess at this point but they basically forced him into the ring. We get more or less 4 minutes of stalling from Regal, who mostly yells at the front row about the fact they’re a bunch of redneck hicks. Well, he’s probably correct, but still. Regal stomps him down after a cheapshot and works on a chinlock, but Rey chases him out of the ring, so Regal necksnaps him to cut him off again. Rey gets a rollup for two, but time expires at 6:53 for the world’s fastest 10 minute draw. That wasn’t even CLOSE to the real time! This was a lot of nothing with a couple of hot near-falls at the end. *1/2
Kevin Sullivan v. Maverick Wild
Wild is just some local goof who then has to go out and get beat up by Jacqueline at ringside before Sullivan finishes destroying him in the ring with the double stomp in 2:22. ½* for the poor guy throwing himself around ringside for Jackie. Sullivan then gives a completely rambling and nonsensical promo about Benoit and Woman and how they come from a “community” but Kevin comes from “the neighborhood”. To say this feud was on fumes at this point would be a gross understatement. Funny note, as Dave points out that Nancy and Kevin were trying so hard to make all the boys backstage think they were separated, that they actually WERE separated. And that proved to be prophetic.
In case you missed it last week, let’s watch the entire Piper/Hogan segment from last week’s show.
Hugh Morrus v. Alex Wright
I’m starting to feel like whatever decent wrestling we’re getting in this show has already come and gone. Wright gets a quick rollup out of the corner and puts Morrus on the floor with a spinkick, then follows with a dive. Back in, Morrus misses a charge, but Wright goes up and blows a missile dropkick, and Hugh quickly puts him away with a powerbomb and the moonsault at 2:30. Hugh Morrus had no program at this point and wasn’t on the PPV, so…great job, bookers! *
Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael v. Jeff Jarrett & Chavo Guerrero
Chavo gets a headscissors and beats on Benoit for two, and Jarrett comes in with a backdrop suplex for two. Wasn’t Jarrett supposed to be allied with the Horsemen still? Mongo comes in and hits Jarrett with a powerslam for two and Benoit throws the chops. Chavo gets a hot (?) tag so I guess Jarrett is supposed to be the babyface? This whole storyline was a complete mess. Chavo gets a moonsault on Benoit for two, but the Horsemen finish squashing him with a Mongo tombstone at 3:56. Jarrett and Debra have some kind of discussion as Jeff leaves. We move to a Horsemen group interview and it’s the same go-nowhere rhetoric we hear every week about “Horsemen business” and “being on the same page”. The group was basically circling the drain at this point, slowly disintegrating with no payoff. And then Mongo cuts a heel promo on the fans and someone throws popcorn and it sticks in Debra’s hair in distracting fashion.
And finally, Roddy Piper comes out for a meandering promo while Hogan responds “via satellite” and nothing is particularly accomplished.
Well that show sucked.
Next time: THURSDAY RAW THURSDAY!