The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 03.10.97
– Live from Panama City, FL.
– Speaking of interesting visuals, this is on the beach, with a pool surrounding the ring. See, that’s the kind of outside-the-box thinking that the WWE never really did. And someone HAS to take a bump into that pool or I’ll be really disappointed.
High Voltage (danger!) v. Jeff Jarrett & Mongo McMichael
Kaos pounds on Mongo to start, but walks into an elbow and Mongo takes him down with chop blocks. Jarrett comes in for a double-team and hits Kaos with a neckbreaker and the running choke. Kaos misses a blind charge, but Rage hits Jarrett from behind instead and High Voltage takes over. Rage gets two and Kaos slingshots himself in for two. Kaos suplexes him and Rage comes off the top with a flying splash, but it hits knee. Jarrett declines to tag Mongo and makes his own comeback, clotheslining Kaos to the floor and finally bringing Mongo in. Neckbreaker for Rage and he finishes with the tombstone at 4:40. Well, no troubles for the Horsemen here. *
– Roddy Piper and his team of nobodies come out for an interview, as Piper is EDGY by calling Howard Stern “hung like a pimple”. Wow, Howard only makes that joke himself 10 times a show. He also responds to the WWF’s “no one-hipped wrestlers” cheapshots by noting that they didn’t mind his one hip when they put him over Goldust the year before. Ouch. However, things improve as the Four Horsemen (minus one guy) come out and offer to take the place of his team of jobbers at Uncensored. And for no real reason, Piper accepts. Typical WCW lameness, but at least it meant that John Tenta wouldn’t be main-eventing a PPV.
WCW TV title: Prince Iaukea v. Squire Dave Taylor
Taylor uses a vicious eye-poke to start, but gets monkey-flipped while we cut back to the nWo arriving in a Hummer. They’re so evil, they don’t even CARE about gas mileage! They go through the back because “Hall knows the dishwasher”, but we’re shocked to see Michael Wallstreet unconscious behind them. Anyway, back to the ring, as Taylor pounds Iaukea with forearms in the corner, but they trade rollups for two. Iaukea falls back on Taylor during a slam attempt and gets the pin at 2:42. Lame. Not enough of the match aired to rate.
US title: Eddie Guerrero v. Jim Powers
They trade wristlocks to start and Powers overpowers him then follows with a hiptoss and a clothesline. Eddie comes back with a dropkick, but Powers gets an overhead suplex for two. Vertical suplex gets two. Eddie gets a leg lariat and the slingshot tope for two, but Teddy Long interferes and gets knocked into Powers, which allows Eddie to get the pin at 2:48. They’re all about the shitty finishes this week, aren’t they? 3/4*
Craig Pittman v. DDP
Pittman takes him down with a double-leg to start, but gloats about it too much and gets slugged down by Page as a result. Pittman gets a snapmare and gloats again, but DDP grabs the headlock and then turns it into a fameasser. Pittman bails and necksnaps Page from the apron, then pounds on him to take over. Clothesline gets two. Page catches him with a small package for two, but Pittman gets a weak belly to belly for two. Page makes the comeback and finishes with the Diamond Cutter at 4:16. Standard DDP match. *1/2
– DDP tries to do a post-match promo, but the power goes out, because it’s WCW.
– And so after the break, they try it again, although it’s not like DDP has anything more vital to say than “Randy Savage is going to feel the bang.”
Rey Mysterio Jr. v. Galaxy
Galaxy gets dropkicked to the floor and almost goes into the water, but sadly doesn’t. Rey fakes the highspot and lets him get back in, then hits him with a springboard moonsault for two. West Coast Pop finishes at 2:12. *
– Mean Gene brings out MTV VJ John Sensio, back from the days when MTV played videos and people cared about it. He then introduces Miss WCW, Pamela Rogers, who is some chick in a bikini. Apparently Hall and Nash are doing an MTV show that week. Totally pointless segment.
The Amazing French Canadians, Greg Valentine & Roadblock v. The Steiner Brothers, Lex Luger & The Giant
Luger slams Valentine to start and Rick adds a Steinerline, but he gets caught in the jobber corner. The Canadians double-team him and Roadblock adds a slam, but he misses a moonsault. Scott comes in with a suplex and it’s over to Giant to finish with the chokeslam at 2:05. Total squash. 1/2*
Juventud Guerrera v. Ultimo Dragon
Criss-cross and stalemate sequence to start, and they each block the other before Juvy dropkicks Dragon to the floor and then follows him out there and gets jumped by Sonny Onoo. Dragon catches him from behind as a result and they tease going into the pool, but head back in instead. Bah. They exchange chops and Dragon gets the kick combo, into a spinning backbreaker. Rita Romero Special, but he releases and gets a slingshot suplex instead, for two. Dragon hits the chinlock, but Juvy fights up and dropkicks him out again, and follows with a somersault senton off the top. He comes back in with a springboard leg lariat for two. Rollup gets two. Juvy fires a good high kick, but misses a blind charge and eats a running powerbomb for his troubles. Dragon puts him on top and finishes with the rana and tiger suplex at 4:49. Juvy had zero passion here and Dragon never does, so it wasn’t a very exciting encounter or anything. **
Chris Jericho v. Scotty Riggs
It’s so incredibly sad to see Riggs clinging to his American Males gimmick like Tito Santana still wearing the Strike Force tights 5 years later. I mean, at least Strike Force was over and held the tag titles for a significant amount of time. Riggs gets a slam for two and hits the chinlock, but Jericho escapes with a jawbreaker and gets an overhead suplex that puts Riggs on the apron. Jericho puts him on the floor with a springboard dropkick and suplexes him back in for two, then follows with a corner clothesline, but Riggs powerslams him. Dropkicks and Riggs goes up, but Jericho drops him on the top. He can’t get the superplex, and Riggs comes down with a flying clothesline for two. Jericho with a german suplex for two. Riggs gets a forearm, but Buff Bagwell runs in for our first DQ of the night at 3:35. Surprised it took them so long, actually. Major yawner. 1/2*
– And now another interview with Medusa, who STILL can’t pronounce “Akira Hokuto” properly, but seems slightly less drunk than last week.
Kevin Sullivan v. Hardbody Harrison
Sullivan tosses Hardbody, which allows Jackie to beat the crap out of him, and back in Harrison gets two off a sunset flip. Small package gets two. Sullivan tosses him again and crotches him on the steel railing around the pool, and they brawl over to the beach for the double countout at 1:34. The finishes get weirder by the match. DUD Kevin and Jackie brutalize the kid and, finally, someone goes into the pool. Thank god. Kevin takes credit for the destruction of the Four Horsemen (as we cut to the crowd when he’s about to mention a certain name) and basically tells Piper not to trust them. (I haven’t watched the Network version to see if the Benoit editing is still intact, but given that most of those shows were just imported from the 24/7 edits for the sake of speeding up the process, I’m gonna say “Yes”.)
Main Event Interview: The nWo
Hulk Hogan introduces Dennis Rodman as the newest and lamest nWo member in a pre-taped segment that was 10 seconds long and only served to advertise Rodman’s bomb “Double Team”. They give Sting his nWo shirt, which he never actually puts on and everyone gets to cut their promos for Uncensored.
And you’d think that would be it, but there’s MORE of this boring show, as the Public Enemy does an interview making fun of the Horsemen, although they make no mention of That Other Guy. Harlem Heat attacks them and we’re out of time!
– RAW gets the nod from me this week for being historic and jammed with crappy matches, rather than Nitro, which is just boring and jammed with crappy matches. And man, that Nitro show just kept GOING, didn’t it? Next week the winner seems obvious already.