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The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–03.03.97

(Whoops, I realized that I forgot to add this one with the RAW repost of the Germany tournament a few days back.) 

– Live from Atlanta, GA

– Your hosts are Tony & Larry and others.

– As usual, the nWo’s arrival is the first thing, followed closely by Harvey Schiller of TBS. Has TBS gone nWo? Stay tuned to find out!

Hugh Morrus & Konnan v. Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael

Jarrett slugs it out with Morrus to start, but misses a charge and crotches himself. Morrus clotheslines him and does some strutting of his own, and Konnan comes in with the rolling clothesline. Jarrett would seem to the face in peril, which is mostly contradicted by the crowd cheering for the Dungeon of Doom, but then WCW was pretty clueless anyway. They work Jarrett over in the corner and Morrus goes up and moonsaults Konnan by mistake, and it’s hot tag Mongo. Slams abound and he clips both Doomers, but Public Enemy get involved, and Jarrett “accidently” hits Mongo with the briefcase to give Konnan the pin at 3:14. Replay shows Steve bleeding, so either he did a subtle blade there or that’s one sharp briefcase. 1/2* Too short to be worth anything.

– Ric Flair and Arn Anderson hit the ring to give Jarrett a piece of their mind, and as always Debra is the calm voice of reason. Or not. Sadly, the Horsemen never really recovered from this whole thing.

DDP v. Rick Fuller

Fuller would become a WCW Saturday Night mainstay later on. Page works the arm, but gets chopped in the corner until DDP hits him with a backdrop suplex. Fuller blocks a Cutter attempt with a jawbreaker and follows with a legdrop for two. Page comes back with a discus clothesline and the Diamond Cutter finishes at 2:03. Fuller was looking pretty good in the short time they got. 3/4*

Juventud Guerrera v. Ray Mendoza

Juvy takes Mendoza down for two, but Mendoza comes back with a clothesline. Juvy puts him on the floor with a flying headscissors and follows with a baseball slide, but Mendoza grabs his legs and yanks him to the floor to counter. A suplex follows, and they head back in, where Mendoza charges and hits boot, but comes back with a clothesline for two. The “IV” on Mendoza’s tights kind of gives away his secret identity as Villano IV. Juvy gets a springboard legdrop for two. We hit the chinlock, and Juvy gets a rana for two. Mendoza bails and Juvy hits him with a tope suicida from the apron, then brings him in with another rana. They fight on the top rope and Mendoza gets crotched, and Juvy brings him down with a leg lariat, then finishes with the 450 at 5:03. Finish was pretty sloppy and the splash actually hit Mendoza’s knees. **

– Hey, it’s Hank Aaron in the front row. Well there’s one record that’s safe. I mean, no one’s gonna break 755, it’s just not possible.

Mike Enos v. Dean Malenko

Enos attacks to start, but Dean takes him down and pounds away on the mat. Dean chokes him out in the corner and then dropkicks the knee to bring him down. Enos bails to escape, but Dean puts his leg up on the railing and kicks the railing, which would probably hurt. Back in, Enos catches him with an overhead suplex, but Malenko drops a knee on Enos and goes back to the leg with a legbar. Malenko goes up with a high cross and Enos rolls through for two, then follows with a short clothesline. A splash misses, however, and Dean starts stomping the midsection to take advantage, and finishes with a small package at 4:26. They obviously had Malenko wrestling in the heavyweight style here to prep for putting the US title on him at Uncensored. **

– Mean Gene brings out Uncle Eric for his usual power trip interview, and finally they give the fans something to cheer for, as Harvey Schiller makes an electrifying appearance and suspends Bischoff. Talking about “the rules of professional wrestling” is like discussing the nutritional value of McDonalds. Tony calls it “one of the biggest moments in WCW of 1997”, which was before his ridiculous hyperbole, but wasn’t a good sign. Apparently Eric can’t even pee in CNN Center now. That’s a little harsh, I mean, the guy’s only human.

US title: Eddie Guerrero v. Ultimo Dragon

They trade takedowns to start and Dragon snaps off a rana after a criss-cross, but Eddie returns fire with his own. Dragon dumps him and Sonny Onoo takes a shot, which Eddie shrugs off, and back in Dragon fires away with the kicks and really stiffs him on a couple of shots to the back. Leg lariat and a handspring bodypress follow, but Eddie rolls through awkwardly and gets the pin at 2:07. What the fuck happened there? They both looked really pissed off. Super-short. *

– Mean Gene wants to know “What’s up with Dean?” and Eddie’s all “Dean doesn’t love me anymore!” and then Malenko joins them and they yell at each other and Gene walks away before anything can be clarified. Thanks, guys. This whole angle ended up going exactly nowhere, as you can probably guess.

HOUR #2!

Scotty Riggs v. Michael Wallstreet

And what a way to kick off the hour! Riggs gets a dropkick and works the arm, and a double axehandle gets two. Wallstreet dumps him, and back in gets the clothesline that used to be called the Write-Off for two. We hit the chinlock, and a legdrop gets two. Back to the chinlock, but Riggs escapes with a jawbreaker. Wallstreet dodges a splash and pounds him in the corner, but misses a charge and Riggs gets a missile dropkick. Riggs follows with a sunset flip for two, but Wallstreet slugs back as Buff Bagwell runs in for the DQ at 4:20 and beats on his former gay life partner. They needed a DQ finish for THIS? 1/2*

– Roddy Piper joins us for yet another senile rant…and oh my god, I had blocked this segment out of my mind! Yes, it’s Roddy Piper v. Six Guys for the right to compete at Uncensored. First up, it’s Some Guy, and he taps out to a hammerlock in a minute. Next up, it’s Horschu, aka Luther Reigns, who would later be rumoured to be Bill Goldberg but wasn’t. He goes down to a sleeper in 30 seconds. Next up, it’s Some Guy In Boxing Gloves, who looks like Vince Russo with more hair. Piper magically produces his own gloves and beats the guy up. But The Guy keeps coming, and Piper begrudgingly respects him. Not enough to give him a name, of course. Piper accepts him into his team, although the crowd still boos him. The crowd is losing patience with this segment pretty quickly, and this was a hot crowd. And Piper, after putting the guy over, then beats him up SOME MORE. Next up, Big Ugly Guy, who is apparently a martial artist, in much the same way that Stan Lane or Pat Tanaka were. He’s barefoot, see, so he must be an MMA expert. He throws a lot of kicks and the announcers call them “future superstars” while the crowd rapidly turns on this stupidity. It’s supposed to be MMA, but they do this awful, awful worked match and the crowd won’t even respond now. Finally we get a name, as John Tenta is the next to try out and gets a pop. That doesn’t last long as everyone turns on each other and Piper approves of this course of action. Good lord. This group of nobodies was supposed to headline a PPV against the nWo, before WCW shocked everyone by actually having half a brain and putting the Four Horsemen in as Piper’s team instead.

Rey Mysterio v. The Mysterious Mr. JL

Test of strength and Rey turns it into a sunset flip for two, then springboards with a senton for two. JL comes back with a faceplant for two. JL gets a cradle for two, which looked like three to me but whatever, and a clothesline allows him to go up. Diving headbutt misses, but he comes back with a baseball slide to put Rey on the floor, and follows with a rolling senton off the apron. Back in, Rey brings him in with a rana off the top and that gets two. JL comes back with an atomic drop, but Rey finishes with the West Coast Pop at 3:59. This was more awkward than being exposed as a client of Dr. Astin. *1/2

– Mean Gene interviews Madusa, as if anyone cares what she has to say. She sounds WASTED, dude. She puts over women’s wrestling, but Luna Vachon attacks her to further bloat the roster. Shows like this really showed that they had too many guys under contract than was useful.

– The nWo is out for their group interview and they essentially bury Piper’s team and write him off as a non-threat. I don’t blame them.

The Steiner Brothers v. Lex Luger & The Giant

The graphic lists Luger & Giant as World tag champions, which is typical WCW sloppiness. I’m betting on an nWo non-finish right now. Luger fights for the lockup with Rick, and Rick slugs on him to win. Blind charge hits boot, however, and Luger follows with a clothesline out of the corner. Rick no-sells and powerslams him, and that brings Scott in for the belly to belly. Butterfly powerbomb , but Giant comes in and everyone is upset with everyone. The Steiners get a double-suplex on Giant for two, and the match just grinds to a halt for no reason as everyone stands around and jaws until the nWo comes in through the crowd, and it’s a Sportz Entertainment Finish at 4:00 or so. Piper’s crew of jobbers joins the WCW guys in the ring, and the crowd barely even gives them a courtesy cheer. And we’re out of time! Thank god.

The Pulse:

Are you kidding me? A ***** match against one of the most fucking retarded angles ever conceived? No contest, RAW wins this one by a mile this week.