Monday Nitro – January 13, 1997

Monday Nitro #70

Date: January 13, 1997

Location: Louisiana Superdome, New
Orleans, Louisiana

Attendance: 10,034

Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby
Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyzsko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

This is another step towards Souled
Out but we have another show after this before we get to the Saturday
PPV. Tonight sees one of the most interesting (and unsuccessful)
marketing gimmicks ever but it wasn’t as bad as a lot of things they
tried. More on that later. Anyway other than that, we’re getting
the PPV main event to close the show….kind of. Let’s get to it.

We open with Giant trying to get at
Hogan in the NWO locker room. Giant: “You’re a four legged
feline.” What kind of an…..never mind. Giant calls him a coward
which Tony and Larry immediately say means Hogan isn’t defending the
title.

Mr. JL vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Larry and Tony talk about the Hogan
vs. Giant non-match with Larry seemingly referencing Showdown at
Shea. They trade headscissors and Chavo dropkicks him to the floor.
Chavo hits a pescado to the floor and there’s an ECW chant for some
reason. JL gets in a shot and misses a dive off the top to the
floor. Back in JL misses a slingshot splash and Chavo hammers away.
Cross body gets two for Guerrero. Chavo goes up but gets chopped
down and JL hits a rana for one. Guerrero knocks him down and hits a
moonsault press for the pin.

Rating: C+.
Pretty
fun
little
match
here
as
the
Cruiserweights
get
to
go
out
and
show
off
a
little
bit.
It’s
got
nothing
on
Rey
or
Dragon
or
anything
like
that
but
it’s
not
supposed
to.
This
was
a
good
choice
for
an
opener
as
the
crowd
was
getting
into
this
pretty
strong
at
the
end
which
is
always
a
good
sign.

Here’s Duggan with the WCW flag.
WCW is awesome and Sting needs to pick a side.

Jim Duggan vs. Super Calo

Sting comes out and drops Duggan
because he doesn’t want to watch this match. Larry/Tony: “HE’S
NWO!!!”

Craig Pittman vs. Chris Jericho

This is a replacement match
apparently. They cover the guys being in gear by saying this is a
match scheduled for later. That’s something that would save a ton of
time in wrestling: a never seen matchmaker who makes matches just
because matches need to be made to fill a show. We could save so
much time on going to see the GM saying that so and so is facing so
and so. Anyway this lasts like a minute and Jericho wins with a
missile dropkick.

Harlem Heat vs. High Voltage

Larry and Tony have the following
discussion during the entrances. Larry: “Sting must be NWO. Even
I wouldn’t hit Duggan.” Tony: “Yeah you would.” Larry: “Well
not from behind.” Booker and Kaos start with Booker dominating.
Off to Rage who hits a slingshot legdrop…and then it’s off to the
back where Giant charges at the NWO again, this time calling them
monkies. Eric and Hogan talk about how there was no contract so
there’s no match.

Tony and Larry talk about how he
should get the shot because of winning World War 3 as Harlem Heat is
in control. Booker misses a middle rope elbow and it’s off to Kaos.
Everything breaks down and the Heatseeker (Doomsday Device with a
missile dropkick) gets the pin. Too short to rate due to the
NWO/Giant stuff.

The WCW Executive Committee is
meeting at the WCW Headquarters across the street (why they’re in New
Orleans is beyond me) and they’ll make a decision about Hogan vs.
Giant.

Bischoff and Dibiase take over on
commentary.

We get a video on Sting since he
became Crow Man.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Mark
Starr

Starr actually gets an entrance and
comes out second. Maybe he used his Starr power to get it?
Thankfully the Diamond Cutter ends this in about a minute so I can’t
be pelted for that horrible joke.

The Outsiders come out to give Page
the colors and Page hugs Nash. He puts on the shirt and shakes
Hall’s hand before pulling Hall in and laying him out with the
Diamond Cutter. Nash gets sent to the floor and Page bails through
the crowd.

The Outsiders have an NWO promo
about how they’re going to come after Scott Steiner’s back in the
match at Souled Out.

Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero

This is non-title. We’re told that
there’s going to be a decision from the executive committee and
they’re walking across the street to give it to us, because phones
don’t exist in the bizarro world of WCW. Technical stuff to start
and Eddie takes him to the mat. He works on the arm but Dean grabs
the knee. Eddie spins out of that and it’s a standoff. Dean hits a
leg lariat to take over.

We get breaking news: Piper was
speaking an ancient version of Gaelic last week when he was being
taken away. Tony has MORE breaking news. Hogan has to face the
Giant, TONIGHT. Remember that, because it becomes important later.
Eddie escapes a belly to back suplex and I have to make sure to look
at the screen because the announcers are busy reading announcements
like a public address system announcer.

Eddie stays on the knee and tries a
Figure Four but Dean blocks the leg from going down. Now the hold
goes on full and Tony bothers to talk about the match a bit. Dean
gets to the rope and hits the floor. Back inside and Eddie takes
over but loads up a tornado DDT which is countered by Eddie being
thrown into the middle of the ring. Off to an abdominal stretch as
Tony plugs the Adventures of Robin Hood TV series which debuts
tonight.

Syxx is watching from the other
side of the arena. Malenko hits a belly to back suplex for two.
Eddie grabs a Gory Special but Dean counters into a sunset flip for
two. Backslide gets two for Eddie. Victory roll gets two for Dean.
Off to a test of strength position and Eddie climbs the ropes and
hits a rana for two. This is getting really good. Eddie’s top rope
double ax is blocked and they go into a series of standing switches,
resulting in a braibuster by Dean for two. Eddie comes back with one
of his own but gets on the ropes to look at Syxx so that Malenko can
powerbomb him out of the corner for the pin.

Rating: B.
Good
match
here
as
you
would
expect
from
these
guys.
As
usual
the
announcers
wanted
to
talk
about
anything
not
related
to
the
match
for
the
most
part
but
if
you
block
them
out
(a
required
skill
to
be
a
Nitro
viewer)
then
you’ll
have
a
good
time
with
this
match.
Good
stuff
as
always.

Hour #2 begins.

We get a clip from earlier of Giant
breaking into the NWO’s locker room.

Super Calo vs. Konnan

Dang they really wanted to get Calo
on this show didn’t they? Konnan takes him down and gets a rolling
cradle for two. Calo speeds things up with an armdrag and dropkick
to send Konnan to the outside. Suicide dive takes Konnan out and
gets two back in the ring. Konnan hits a rolling clothesline and
then kills Calo with a powerbomb. Then he does it again but Calo
pops up in less than ten seconds.

Konnan goes and sits on the middle
rope for no apparent reason other than to allow Calo to headscissor
him down. In another weird bit, Konnan sends him into the ropes and
Calo tries a cross body but Konnan doesn’t move an inch. The 187
(fisherman’s brainbuster) ends this clean. Too short to rate but
there were some weird parts to this.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Chris Benoit

The Horsemen Split continues.
While Benoit is on the way to the ring we get a promo from Sullivan
in front of a chess board. He says he owns the board and he’s taking
it back next week. More BREAKING NEWS: Hogan vs. Giant will be
non-title because apparently a champion has to have 48 hours to
prepare. Sweet Christmas where do they come up with these things?

Benoit takes him down to start so
Jericho does the same thing and struts a bit. This is a rematch from
Starrcade if you don’t remember that. Mongo and Debra come out after
the fans all look towards the ramp. Heenan freaks out because
something is going on then sees who it is and calms down again.
Benoit takes him down with a clothesline and this is a very slow
match.

We hear about a brawl in Louisiana
between Jerry Sags and Scott Hall. Is there a reason they picked now
to talk about that? Jeff comes back with a neckbreaker to load up
the figure four but Arn yells at the referee for some reason. This
allows Mongo to try to hit Jeff with the briefcase but he hits Benoit
by mistake to give Jarrett the win.

Rating: D+.
Not
much
here
because
this
was
just
here
to
have
the
angle
continue.
Why
in
the
world
the
Horsemen
had
to
be
broken
up
like
this
is
beyond
me,
but
I’d
assume
it
was
so
that
they
would
wind
up
being
as
forgotten
as
possible.
I
mean
think
about
it:
women
are
breaking
up
the
Horsemen.
Think
about
that
for
a
minute.

Post match the Horsemen argue in
the aisle. Benoit says we’re solving this tonight. Benoit says the
Horsemen are an elite team and Mongo knows what being on an elite
team means. If Mongo wants to keep being a Horseman, quit fumbling
the ball because this isn’t looking like an elite team at all.
Benoit was hand picked and Mongo became one due to an unfortunate
circumstance. As for Debra, she can badmouth him but badmouthing
Woman is just a bad idea. He insists Woman is all woman and he knows
by experience.

Mongo says he made a mistake and
that the case has won them a lot of matches. Benoit wants to know
where Flair is. Anderson says this has to be solved because they’re
a team. Benoit tells Mongo to shape up or ship out. Debra says
she’d never gossip because she loves the Horsemen. Mongo gets in
Benoit’s face but Anderson separates them. Benoit says he wants
results and it’s time for the Horsemen to match his effort. This
would carry on in one form or another well into the summer.

Scotty Riggs vs. Billy Kidman

Billy is just a cruiserweight
jobber at this point. The announcers use this as time for another
Hogan vs. Giant commercial. Scotty controls with the arm as Tony
compares it to the Super Bowl. Kidman works on the arm now for a
change as Bagwell in a new look comes out to the entrance. He says
he’s buff. Kidman misses the 450 (Tenay calls it the shooting star
for some reason) and Riggs wins with a fisherman’s suplex
(Bagwell’s former finishing move) so that their old tag team music
can play. Is he a jilted lover? Just there to have Bagwell come
out.

The announcers talk about Hogan vs.
Giant some more.

Lee Marshall is in Chicago.

Some singer is here.

Rick Fuller vs. Lex Luger

Fuller is of course an overly tall
power guy because Luger doesn’t know how to face anyone else. They
shove each other a few times and Fuller hides in the ropes to avoid
getting punched. Fuller takes him down and drops a leg for two. He
chops Luger in the corner but Luger Lexes Up, hits some clotheslines
and Racks him for the win. Moving on.

Giant comes out and stares Luger
down in the aisle. Nothing happens though because Giant is here to
talk about the main event. Giant goes on a rant about how this is
about him and how he wants the title. His theme is about books and
how he was a bookend but tonight he’s closing the chapter. He wasn’t
much of a talker so a basic theme like that was a good idea for him.

Arn Anderson vs. Rick Steiner

Arn uses wrestling skill for a
quick advantage which is a rare thing to see against a Steiner. That
pretty much stops working because of a belly to belly suplex that
sends Arn to the floor. And now we hear the announcement about the
ending of the show: we’re running low on time and JUST IN CASE we run
out of time, make sure to watch the debut of the New Adventures of
Robin Hood because we’ll show you the match during the commercials!

Anderson calls for help from the
back but no one comes out. Shoulder block gets two for Rick. Arn
keeps calling for help but we’re told that the Horsemen are fighting
in the back. Anderson gets knocked to the floor and walks out for
the countout. Enough short matches!!!

The Steiners are ready for Souled
Out and the Outsiders.

Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant

Tony says we have six minutes of
air time left and you know what’s coming. Hogan talks for awhile and
says he doesn’t have to do this so Giant grabs him and starts the
beating. The bell rings and we have a minuet of TV time left. Giant
knocks him to the floor and Hogan says he’s done. Giant throws him
back in and we’re out of time.

At this point, the show ends and
Robin Hood would have begun. The idea was that the fans would watch
Robin Hood and get to see parts of the match during the break. This
would go on until the final break, meaning the match would go 45
minutes. Since I don’t think Hogan wrestled 45 minutes combined in
1997, you can probably guess that it didn’t go that way. Also, most
people (myself included) watched something else and flipped back to
see if the match was going on or not. The version I have airs it in
one straight shot for the sake of simplicity.

Back with Giant chopping him in the
corner. A clothesline puts Hogan down and giant no sells a low blow.
Hogan hides behind the referee and it’s time for a test of strength.
Giant steps on his hands and we take another break. Back with Hogan
getting thrown back into the ring. There’s a slam but the Chokeslam
is countered. The NWO runs in and it’s a DQ. The match itself was
supposed to have run about 45 minutes but from what I can find, it
ran about 6 minutes live.

Rating: D.
I
probably
shouldn’t
give
it
a
grade
based
on
my
rules
but
I
feel
like
I
haven’t
done
enough
during
this
show.
The
match
was
exactly
what
you
would
expect
from
these
two
in
1997 with
Hogan
doing
nothing
on
offense
while
Giant
tossed
him
around.
The
match
at
Souled
Out
would
be
a
longer
version
of
this.

Overall Rating:
D+.
This
is
a
strange
show
indeed.
WCW
was
in
an
awkward
place
at
this
point
which
is
similar
to
the
original
Super
Mario
for
NES.
It’s
like
the
big
match
that
we’re
told
about
and
are
teased
with
are
on
another
show.
The
problem
WCW
had
was
that
you
never
really
got
to
the
show
that
had
those
great
main
event
matches.
At
the
end
of
the
day,
Hogan
was
getting
paid
no
matter
what,
Hall
and
Nash
were
getting
paid
no
matter
what,
and
so
they
had
no
point
in
putting
any
kind
of
effort
in
at
all.

WCW never gave us the great main
events they hyped up for months on end and finally, the people got
tired of it. They gave us the matches they said we’d get (most of
the time), but those matches were usually horrible. At the end of
the day, it’s a wrestling show and sometimes, the answer to all your
problems is to go and have good wrestling matches. That never quite
connected in WCW’s main event scene.

Oh yeah this was about Nitro. This
show did a good job of building up some of the matches for Souled Out
but as usual, you’ll get so sick of hearing about the NWO and Hogan
vs. Giant that you won’t care about the match when it finally
happens. Also this parade of squashes really needs to end. This
isn’t Superstars in 1987. The drama on these shows was great and it
was easy to see why you would want to watch week to week, but the
quality wasn’t there for the most part.