Monday Nitro – February 17, 1997

Monday Nitro #75

Date: February 17, 1997

Location: Florida State
Fairgrounds, Tampa, Florida

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

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

This is the go home
show for SuperBrawl which came out of nowhere. This is probably the
beginning of Piper on Alcatraz (don’t ask) and I’m sure more of the
Horsemen being destroyed before our very eyes. Also I’m sure we’ll
get Piper and Hogan talking a lot and expect to hear the words
“biggest match EVER” quite a bit tonight. Let’s get to it.

The two NWO limos
arrive to open the show. They walk in but realize that one of their
members is down. They throw out the cameraman and we couldn’t tell
who it was.

Rey Mysterio vs.
Super Calo

Calo grabs the leg to
take Rey down and puts on a chinlock. Rey comes back and speeds
things up but springboards into a dropkick. Rey gets knocked to the
apron and Calo tries a sunset bomb but Rey counters into a rana.
Calo pops up onto the apron and hits a missile dropkick to the floor.
We’re told that the Steiners are out of the fourway on Sunday
because of a car wreck. Oh we’ll get to that in a minute.

We cut to the back and
Bubba was the NWO member that was hurt and is being loaded into an
ambulance. Back to the ring and Calo drapes the arm over the top
rope. Rey comes back with something like a springboard Whisper in
the Wind for two. Springboard guillotine legdrop gets two. Rey goes
up but gets headscissored down. That goes nowhere as Rey knocks him
down and the West Coast Pop gets the pin.

Rating: C+.
This was a pretty good high flying match and that’s the right idea
for an opener. Rey was in a different league than almost anyone else
on the roster. He was also almost as popular as anyone on the
roster, which is why it took years for him to get away from the
Cruiserweight division. Makes sense right?

Hugh Morrus vs.
Steve McMichael

McMichael runs him over
a few times to start things off and the fans actually seem to like
him. He yells something to Debra and gets run over for his efforts.
Morrus grabs the ankle and works on the leg a bit. He keeps laughing
at Debra which fits him pretty well I guess. He loads up the
moonsault but Debra throws in the briefcase to Mongo. The moonsault
hits the case and Morrus gets pinned as a result.

Rating: D-.
Mongo just wasn’t that good. He was very slowly getting better but
putting him in the Horsemen and then giving him the US Title just
wasn’t a good idea. He would pretty much be the same guy for the
rest of his career and I don’t think anyone really cared. Nothing to
see here though as Debra was almost the focus of the match.

We get a video of a few
weeks ago with Piper and his son getting humiliated by the NWO.

Dean Malenko vs.
Robbie Brookside

Brookside is a somewhat
famous British guy. Dean actually talks before the match, calling
out Syxx on Sunday. The match starts and Tony explains to us about
how Dean’s dad trained Syxx. My goodness an actual story! Dean
takes him down and works on the arm. He tries some holds but
Brookside keeps rolling out of them. Robbie hits a northern lights
suplex for two. They go to the mat for a pinfall reversal sequence
that results in a Dean suplex into a modified Cloverleaf for the
quick tap out. Too short to rate but this was really fast paced.

Syxx comes out and says
that the respect and gratitude he had for Dean’s dad died with Dean’s
old man. He never liked Dean and Dean has been ducking him.

The NWO sneaks up on
the announcers’ desk and talk about the car wreck the Steiners were
in. You can’t pin that on them though and there’s a tape to prove
it. Larry almost gets in a fight with them.

Public Enemy vs.
Amazing French Canadians

Harlem Heat and the
Faces of Fear are in the audience. We get a quick French national
anthem and the brawl begins. The Canadians take over quickly and
send Grunge to the floor where Parker stomps on him a bit. We
officially start with Oullette vs. Grunge and the Canadians keep
control early on. Off to a fast chinlock but Grunge gets up. He
sends Oullette into Jacques but Oullette collides with Grunge. No
tag to Rock but the Canadians miss the Cannonball. There’s the hot
tag and Rock cleans house. Everything breaks down and Oullette is
put through a table and pinned.

Rating: D.
This didn’t work for me at all. The whole ending was horrible
looking as the table spot looked like it was about as planned out as
you could ask for. The rest of the match was nothing of note. For
the life of me I don’t get the appeal of the Canadians as a serious
tag team. They would get back to WWF within a year.

DDP has no idea what
happened to Bubba and doesn’t like being accused of it.

TV Title: Steven
Regal vs. Prince Iaukea

Before the match Regal
says that Rey reminds him of Dopey of the Seven Dwarves. Regal yells
at a lot of fans before we get going. The Prince shoulder blocks him
down and Regal isn’t sure what to do. The champ comes back with a
European Uppercut and a release suplex. A butterfly superplex puts
Iaukea down and Rey comes out to watch. Regal poses at him and the
Prince rolls him up for the pin and the title in probably the biggest
upset in Nitro history. Public Enemy and Teddy Long come out to
celebrate for some reason.

Rating: D.
The match sucked because it was so short. See, four days before this
Raw had a special Thursday episode where their islander/Samoan Rocky
Maivia beat their blueblood HHH for the IC Title in a shocking upset.
Think that’s a coincidence? I know it might be but to me, that’s
too close to be a stroke of luck. Iaukea would SUCK as champion for
almost two months.

Hour #2 begins so we
hit the recap button.

Nick Patrick vs.
Randy Anderson

If Anderson wins, he
gets his job back. Patrick trained to be a wrestler but blew out his
knee so he became a referee instead, meaning he actually has an idea
of what he’s doing. Apparently Anderson has an amateur background.
He even gets fire as he comes to the ring. The regular referee
checks for weapons and hands Anderson a foreign object. On camera of
course so you know it’s going to be called out later. Randy hits him
and wins in about 30 seconds.

Just as you knew would
happen, Eric comes out and says no way. Anderson is still fired. I
think the regular referee is done too.

Lee Marshall is in San
Francisco.

Chris Benoit vs.
Roadblock

Roadblock looks like
Rhyno if he was about 9 inches taller and 200 pounds heavier. George
Steinbrenner is here. Benoit goes right at him but Roadblock uses
his size to take over. Woman slaps him and Roadie goes to the floor
after her, allowing Benoit to hit a GREAT baseball slide. Benoit
goes off on him and throws him back in. A boot to the face puts
Roadblock down and the Swan Dive gets the pin. Basically a Benoit
squash.

Now we get one of the
dumbest moments in the history of professional wrestling. It’s the
video that the Outsiders gave to Tony earlier. It’s from inside a
car with Syxx manning the camera, Hall riding shotgun and Nash
driving. They’re in a small town and see the Steiners at a gas
station. They follow the Steiners’ car and bump into the back of it
a few times before ramming into the side of it, causing it to FLIP
OVER and crash. And remember, the NWO gave this tape to WCW to air
ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.

Even Tony Schiavone
realizes that this is evidence of a criminal act.

Jimmy Hart, Jackie and
Sullivan stop for a chat before their squash. Jimmy talks about how
Jackie and Woman will be tired together on Sunday. Jackie has no
issue hitting Woman. Sullivan thinks it’s perfect timing to have
Jackie return right before this match. That’s a funny comment when
you think about it. He makes more vague statements about leaving the
neighborhood and says on Sunday, we’ll see who has more fire. Jackie
says something and no one cares.

Kevin Sullivan vs.
Doc Dean

Sullivan immediately
runs Dean over and I don’t like Doc’s odds. He sends Dean to the
floor so Jackie can beat him up. Dean grabs a small package out of
nowhere for two. Jackie beats Dean up some more. There’s the Tree
of Woe and the double stomp ends the massacre.

US Title: Konnan vs.
Eddie Guerrero

Power vs. speed to
start and Konnan is sent to the floor. Konnan sends him into the
barricade and takes over with a chinlock and low dropkick for two.
Eddie comes back with a rana but gets launched over Konnan’s head,
sending him face first into the buckle in a sick bump. Back to the
chinlock, followed by a sitout powerbomb for two. There’s chinlock
#4 and Eddie is in trouble. Now Konnan hooks a right armbar. Eddie
comes back and hits a brainbuster and goes up for the Frog Splash.
He shoves Konnan down and hits the Splash but the Faces of Fear run
in for the DQ.

Rating: D+.
Pretty boring match here with neither guy seeming to care much at
all. The hot shot into the buckle looked GREAT but other than that
there was nothing at all of note. When you have four chinlocks in a
six minute match, you know things aren’t going well. Konnan could
get lazy with the best of them.

Jericho, Eddie’s
opponent on Sunday, makes the save.

Here are the Horsemen
for a chat. Flair calls Benoit a love machine. Anderson talks about
how Bischoff is the boss but they’re still the Horsemen. If Randy
Anderson needs $100,000, he’s welcome to it. Mongo continues to be
confused about whether or not he’s a face or heel by making fun of
the Buccaneers. Debra thinks Jackie can’t walk in pumps. Benoit is
ready for Sullivan on Sunday. Somehow this took seven minutes.

The Giant vs. Johnny
Swinger/Top Gun

What in the world are
you expecting here? Both guys are chokeslammed and pinned in less
than a minute.

Giant spraypaints the
words Hall and Nash on the jobbers’ bodies. Luger comes out and has
a doctor’s note but Bischoff comes out to say he’s a week late.
Luger protests but that gets him nowhere.

We go to another insane
moment in wrestling history. Roddy Piper has locked himself in a
cell on Alcatraz (In the words of Road Dogg on Are You Serious:
“Which apparently you can just do”) and is staying there for a
week before the match. He says that he’s been dead inside for years
because of Hogan (who he calls Mr. Spandex in a visual I really
didn’t need). He talks about how Hogan needs the spotlight and how
he (Piper) doesn’t weak a kilt in airports. Piper is going to stay
in his cell for seven days to train for Hogan. To this day, I don’t
think ANYONE knows what the point of this was.

Jeff Jarrett vs.
Chris Jericho

Debra comes out to
watch of course. This is a technical match which shouldn’t surprise
anyone. Jericho uses his mat stuff but gets caught by a top rope
cross body for two. Jericho goes up and Debra begs him not to hurt
Jeff. The distraction makes him miss coming off the top so Jeff
hooks the Figure Four. Mongo hits him with the case and Jericho gets
the pin. Seriously, did ANYONE care about Debra?

Here’s the NWO to close
things out. Hogan is here and Bischoff does the talking. Hogan
brags some but Sting and Savage appear on the stage. Bischoff sucks
up to Hogan some more and Hulk brags about how he put Tampa on the
map. Sting and Savage come to the ring and then turn around and
leave. Hogan says he was going to beat up Piper tonight but Piper
locked himself in a cell so that didn’t work. He poses to end the
show.

Overall Rating: D+.
This show was almost too stupid to be good. Between the Alcatraz
thing and the televised attempted vehicular homicide, this show can
only be so good. On top of that the wrestling was pretty subpar
tonight. I guess we have something interesting in the Bubba attack
which I actually don’t remember the reveal of, so that’s kind of fun
for a change. Pretty weak show here but things would pick up soon.

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