The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 08.11.97
It’s the night after Road Wild! Also Lord Steven Regal apparently got drunk and pissed on a stewardess and won’t be on the show. That’s how you know it’s time for rehab. Also, Syxx was briefly fired for violating the various Standards & Practices rules (vis-a-vis pointing to his crotch all the time) but the Outsiders threatened to quit and Bischoff backed down. For now.
Live from Denver, CO, drawing 7444.
Your hosts are Tony, Larry & Mike
The Giant is served with a restraining order backstage in the cold open.
The Wolfpac is out to start the show, not be confused with Kimmy, Stephanie and DJ. Although Nash has better hair than any of the girls. Anyway, Hall reiterates that they’re still the best team in the world because they still have the belts, and if the Steiners were so great then they would have found a way to win them. That’s reasonable.
The Outsiders v. Bobby Starr & David Moore
So the jobbers are two of the most ridiculously old school Crockett pasty white doughboys with terrible gear, and Hall quickly destroys both of them.
BREAKING NEWS: Tony and Mike have now figured out that the Sting at the end of the PPV was in fact clearly not the real Sting. YOU THINK?
Anyway, Nash finishes with the Poochiebomb at 1:30. The Steiners and Dibiase rush out, lay out the nWo, and steal the tag belts, to get a bit of revenge I guess.
Meng v. Wrath
Oh my. They start brawling in the aisle and Wrath fires away with chops in the ring, but Meng WALLOPS him and sends him to the floor with a clothesline. Wrath hauls him out and pounds away with chops, then whips Meng into the railing and follows with a somersault senton off the apron! Back in, Wrath goes up and Meng crotches him and brings him in with a superplex for two, and it’s ONE MAN CLUBBERING in the corner. Meng charges and hits elbow, and Wrath hits a clothesline out of the corner for two and follows with a big boot for two. Sadly, he walks into the TONGAN DEATH GRIP at 2:38, at which point Mortis flies in and attacks, and then Ballbearing makes the save. I liked that they had a clean finish and THEN had the bullshit afterwards, instead of just booking a lazy DQ. This was kind of an awesome 2 minute hoss fight, and I award it my highest slobberknocker rating…
The Steiner Brothers, who have apparently returned the belts already, come out and let Mean Gene know that they’re here to make a statement. And in fact, Dibiase accuses Nick Patrick of still being with the nWo. And Patrick comes out and throws Randy Anderson under the bus instead, pointing out that the entire nWo came out in the main event and hit Luger with a baseball bat, and Randy completely ignored it. Good point.
Eddie Guerrero v. Chris Jericho
Eddie charges in and Jericho dropkicks him into the corner and follows with a PRESS SLAM of all things. He gets what appears to be a codebreaker, but Eddie sells it as a monkey flip and lands on his feet, at which point Jericho puts him on the floor with a leg lariat. Back in, Eddie pleads for mercy and then pokes Jericho in the eye and dropkicks him in the head. Larry of course admires the sucker move from Eddie, but Jericho comes back with a series of corner clotheslines and the Lionsault, which hits the knees. Eddie makes the mistake of pointing to his head to indicate intelligence, and Jericho counters him with a powerslam for two and a crazy high german suplex for two. Powerbomb into the LIontamer, but Eddie blocks it, so Jericho uses a Giant Swing instead and Eddie takes a comedy bump to the floor. Jericho follows with a dive and heads up in the ring, but Eddie crotches him and finishes with the frog splash at 4:35. They were going a million miles an hour here and Eddie was GREAT. ***1/2
Alex Wright interrupts the Nitro Girls with his dancing, and wants everyone in Denver to know that they’re losers who are jealous of his dancing. The truth hurts, Denver.
Dean Malenko v. Jeff Jarrett
So now the storyline has been retrofitted into “Jarrett was just suckering Malenko into the tag match at Road Wild so he could turn on him”, instead of the original direction where they were forming an anti-Horsemen stable. Doesn’t matter, Jarrett is gone in a month anyway. Malenko angrily attacks and stomps away in the corner and Jarrett bails and walks out. Dean catches him and runs him into the railing and back in for the leg lariats, and Jarrett bails again and decides to leave a second time. This time he gets cut off by Mongo and we take a rare mid-match break. Back with Malenko continuing his assault, but Jarrett runs him into the stairs and follows with a dropkick in the ring, and a backdrop suplex. JJ with a snap suplex and he goes to work on the leg, but misses a charge and crotches himself on the ropes. Dean makes the comeback with the butterfly bomb into the Cloverleaf, and Eddie runs in for the DQ at 6:18. Jarrett and Guerrero double on Malenko until Mongo makes the save to a big reaction, and then Malenko turns on him as well and sends him out of the ring while Mongo takes a Sid-like mannequin bump to the floor. All of this went nowhere but the crowd was hot for it. **1/2
Ric Flair and Curt Hennig are out to continue the courtship of Mr. Parfait. Hennig was talking to Eric Bischoff backstage and Ric DOESN’T LIKE IT. Curt’s in the main event against Randy Savage tonight, so he’s got a lot on his mind and won’t be commenting on his allegiances as of yet. But he and Flair will be teaming up at the Clash of Champions, and that’s a promise. Have they even mentioned a date or card for that show yet?
HOUR #2! The hour that secretly ghost-wrote “This Is Your Life, Rock”!
Eric Bischoff and Scott Norton join us, and soon it’s an all-out nWo party. They sing “Happy Birthday” to Hulk Hogan, and frankly I’m shocked that the Network didn’t overdub them with a generic holiday celebration song. Onto other business, as Eric explains very slowly to the Giant that a restraining order means he can’t get within 50 feet of the nWo. So Buff measures out 50 feet down the aisle and sprays a literal line in the sand for Giant to cross, complete with a helpful visual aid saying “50 FT”. So Giant comes out, steps across the line, and police swarm him. Larry tries to talk sense into him, but Scott Hall sneaks out of the ring and antagonizes Larry as well.
Attention fans! Do you have a computer at home? Then log onto THE INTERNET and chat with Harlem Heat!
The Steiner Brothers v. Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael
Scott pounds on Mongo but falls victim to a sideslam, then comes back with a belly to belly for two. Benoit comes in and pounds on Rick with chops, but Rick powerslams him and Scott comes in with a gorilla press into an STF. Benoit fires back with a snap suplex, and then we get Mongo and Rick trading shots like Frye and Takayama, but Rick suddenly hits an overhead suplex, and Mongo takes the bump on his own head and seemingly knocks himself out, so Rick pins him at 4:10. This was kind of a charming mess and it certainly was not boring. **
Lex Luger is out to cut his traditional post-choking interview and he’s got nothing of note to add here.
Buff Bagwell v. Diamond Dallas Page
DDP tries for a cutter early and Buff bails to cut a promo for the camera about how it was close and he managed to escape. Back in, Buff gets a knee and follows with a dropkick, then goes to the work on the eternally injured ribs. Page tries a powerbomb, but Buff lands on his feet and hits a neckbreaker for two. Buff gets into a shoving match with the ref, which is always effective, and begs off by telling him “It’s cool!” and then turning to the camera and revealing that it’s actually NOT cool! Bagwell was just getting better and better every week. Buff asks for the time to distract the ref, but Vincent fucks up the interference and the Diamond Cutter finishes at 4:00. Heel acts like an arrogant shit, and then gets what’s coming to him. There you go. Fun match. **1/2
World TV title: Ultimo Dragon v. Mortis
As if this show couldn’t get any more batshit crazy. Tony finally clarifies that the Clash is on August 21, by the way. No wonder it was the final one. Mortis gets a backdrop and chokes Dragon down to start, but they head up and Dragon tries a superplex. Van Den Berg grabs the leg to stop him and Mortis gets his own front superplex and a northern lights suplex for two. Fameasser gets two. He goes up to finish with the Flatliner (the samoan drop one, not the more famous one), but Dragon reverses into a powerbomb and finishes with a dragon sleeper at 3:08 to retain. I don’t really like that they suddenly changed the Flatliner from “top rope samoan drop” to “variation on the downward spiral”. Another fun trainwreck of a match. **
JJ Dillon is out and he’s still trying to get Sting to sign and he’s got a BRAND NEW CONTRACT! I bet it’s a doozy. A real humdinger. So Sting rappels to the ring and JJ offers him a one-on-one showdown with SYXX. That’s pretty big. Sadly, Sting rips up this contract as well and disgustedly leaves as Gene and JJ just can’t figure out what Sting wants. Good lord. The literal time-wasting storyline continues unabated.
Randy Savage v. Curt Hennig
Savage quickly dumps him and they brawl on the floor, but Hennig runs him into the railing as we take a break. Back with the slow brawl continuing up the aisle. Back in, Hennig puts the boots to him and follows with the necksnap and kneelift, but Savage takes out the knee and Hennig sends him to the floor, at which point DDP runs in for the DQ at 5:00. And then all the nWo bullshit commences, but Luger makes the save to set up the Clash main event and we’re out. ½*
This was as crazy good entertaining show, but the main event stuck out like a sore thumb, coming off as two washed up guys going through the motions before the run-in finish. Unfortunately, THAT was the direction that the company was going, not the one from the rest of the show. Still, a super hot show that I really enjoyed, and it’s well worth checking out.