The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 03.17.97
– Live from Savannah, GA
– Your hosts are Tony and some other guys.
Psychosis v. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey rides Psy to the mat to start and they trade facelocks, into a sunset flip from Rey that gets two. They do a sloppy test of strength reversal spot and then a SHOCKING moment, as That Guy’s name slips through on commentary! Have the censors been sleeping on the job? Rey dumps Psych and follows with a crazed somersault plancha, but back in Psy comes back with a slam into the corner. Blind charge misses, however, and he hits the post, and Rey follows with another flip dive. Back in, Rey nearly drills Psychosis’s head into the mat with a West Coast Pop for the pin at 3:45. Were they drunk or something tonight? That could have killed the guy. **
– Mean Gene brings out Arn Anderson, who announces that he has to have the dreaded vertebrae fusion surgery, which will end his career.
Maxx v. Diamond Dallas Page.
I’m disappointed they don’t mention the connection with DDP and former bodyguard Maxx (Muscle). Page elbows him into the ropes to start, but Maxx catches a clothesline and drops two of the shittiest elbows this side of Jerry Sags. Page slugs him down and goes up with a flying elbow to vary the offense, but Maxx basically no-sells it and goes to a full-nelson. Just as I’m thinking that it would be a hell of a reversal into the Diamond Cutter, that’s just what happens at 1:27. I could totally be booking this crap. *
– DDP cuts a promo against Randy Savage, revealing that Kimberly is his wife for the first time. He’s shooting, brutha! Savage and Evil Liz (who was acting all happy at the time but was apparently pretty miserable being paired with Savage again) respond from the stands, and DDP charges up there after them. This was quite the hot feud.
Hugh Morrus & Konnan v. The Renegade & Joe Gomez.
The Dungeon attacks Gomez while they’re gawking at the Outsiders over by the announce table, and work on his leg. That goes on for a while and Morrus clotheslines him once they let him up. They keep switching off on the leg and Konnan gets an anklelock, but this was pre-Shamrock so no one cares. Morrus misses an elbow to give us the hot tag to Renegade, who then tags Gomez back in? The Dungeon quickly finishes him with the moonsault at 5:01. I don’t recall that Gomez-Renegade angle going anywhere, but then I don’t recall much about Renegade in general. Dull stuff. *
US title: Dean Malenko v. Scotty Riggs.
I was watching some kind of car racing at work the other day, and one of the racers was named Scott Riggs. True story. Dean grabs a headlock to start, but gets hit with a dropkick and a slam for two. Nice suspenders, Scotty. Dean drops him with a neckbreaker and baseball slides him to the floor, and sends him into the railing. Back in, Dean follows with a corner clothesline, and they do a pretty good pinfall reversal sequence. Riggs comes back with a backdrop and another dropkick, having apparently used up his offensive repertoire, and Dean figures that out and cradles for the pin at 2:28. See, that’s smarts — he figured “Aha, Riggs is already repeating the dropkick, he’s ripe for the picking.” Pretty much a squash. *1/2
– Tony notes that WCW Saturday Night is “setting the standard for wrestling on the weekends.” What does that even MEAN?
Lex Luger & The Giant v. T. Rantula & Knuckles Nelson.
You know, if you name your kid “Knuckles,” you’re kinda dooming them to a life of professional wrestling. Giant casually batters both jobbers and chokes out Nelson in the corner. The jobbers decide to team up on him, but that ends badly in the form of a double clothesline, and the chokeslam ends it at 2:50. Luger racks the other guy for good measure, but that’s just poor sportsmanship. Total squash, duh. DUD
– So we get clips of the PPV, as Sting finally chooses a side and destroys the nWo, after they already won the match with WCW a man down. The thing is that since Sting was never talking, there was never any clear character motivation, which makes it a very confusing storyline in retrospect. It was a big angle at the time, but they took another six months to follow up on it, and probably should have blown it off at the Great American Bash instead of waiting until Starrcade.
Ultimo Dragon v. Bobby Eaton.
Bobby slugs Dragon down to start, but goes up and gets brought down with a rana to give Dragon the pin at 1:18. Well, that was short. 1/2*
– nWo group wankfest time, as they gloat about being able to challenge for any title at any time. Well, gee, they’ve already got the World title, the tag titles and the Cruiserweight title, so you can see how well thought out this whole thing was. They announce Steiners v. Outsiders at Spring Stampede. That match didn’t actually happen, in case you’re wondering.
Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael v. Alex Wright & Mark Starr.
Wright dropkicks Jarrett, but gets caught in the Horsemen corner and double-teamed. Mongo with the sideslam, but Jarrett misses a charge and Wright brings Starr in. Mongo clips him, however, and Jarrett finishes with the figure-four at 1:54 as the idiot announcers use this as conclusive proof that Jarrett & Mongo are now on the same page forever. Public Enemy tries to attack and they do a lame brawl before PE just kind of leaves so that the Horsemen can do an interview. Well, that’s nice of them.
Scott Norton v. Chavo Guerrero.
Norton no-sells a dropkick and kills Chavo with a clothesline, and then totally shrugs off Chavo’s offense and catches him on a pescado and throws him back into the ring. Chavo dropkicks the knee and Norton acts mildly irritated, and Chavo goes up with a missile dropkick that barely budges him. Norton won’t sell the punches and whips Chavo into the corner, then blocks a sunset flip and pounds him down before finishing with a powerbomb at 2:30. DUD What a fucking punk move by Norton, as he gave Chavo nothing and treated him like a jobber. As if anyone ever cared about him in the US.
– Meanwhile, more Hogan, as he and Rodman have a shaky cam interview that says nothing.
WCW World tag titles: The Outsiders v. Bunkhouse Buck & Mike Enos.
Hall works on Buck’s arm to start and gets a sloppy bulldog even by his standards. Enos at that point decides he’s already had enough and refuses the tag, leaving Buck to get elbowed by Nash in the corner. Nash forces a tag to Enos, who walks into the blockbuster slam from Hall. Enos pounds Hall in the corner and the jobbers actually get a double-team in their corner to take over. Powerslam gets two for Enos. Sleeper follows, but Hall backdrops out of it. Over to Nash, who drops Buck with Snake Eyes and sideslams Enos. Poochiebomb and Outsider Edge finish at 5:06. Sloppy as hell, but at least the Outsiders lowered themselves to sell for the challengers for a couple of minutes. **
The Steiner Brothers v. Harlem Heat.
Booker slugs on Scott and gets the sidekick, but Scott press-slams him. Over to Rick for some Steinerlines, but the Heat double-teams him in the corner. Rick comes back with a powerslam for two, but Stevie powerslams him right back. Booker gets a sideslam and drops an elbow, but Rick gets the hot tag to Scott. Overhead suplex for Booker and it’s BONZO GONZO, and everyone just kind of aimlessly brawls until the nWo runs in at 3:22 for the DQ. Bleh. * Luger and Giant make the save and Sting rappels in long after the nWo has run away, and we’re desperately out of time!
The whole show was basically time filler until the Sting angle at the end, and the next month of shows won’t be much better because Spring Stampede had no real main event to focus on.