Monday Nitro – February 24, 1997

Monday Nitro #76

Date: February 24, 1997

Location: ARCO Arena,
Sacramento, California

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

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s after SuperBrawl
now and we’re on the way to Uncensored, which had a very unique and
what I thought was a very entertaining main event. That’s in three
weeks though so for now we’ll stay on this show. Piper lost last
night after Savage became the newest member of the NWO. Yeah I’m as
shocked as you are. Other than that not a lot happened other than
Luger and Giant beginning what I’m sure will be a LONG tag title
reign. Let’s get to it.

Public Enemy vs.
Jeff Jarrett/Steve McMichael

Jarrett beat Mongo last
night to become an official Horseman. Rock is now bald and starts
with Mongo. That goes absolutely nowhere so a double tag brings in
the other guys. Grunge puts him down with a swinging neckbreaker and
Rock comes back in to work on the shoulder. Rock misses a charge in
the corner and Jarrett stomps away on him. Off to Mongo for nothing
and Jeff comes back in. Jeff leapfrogs him and Mongo takes out
Rock’s legs twice in a row. Rock tries a leapfrog but gets
powerbombed down. Here’s the briefcase but he hits Jarrett again,
allowing Rock to get the pin.

Rating: D+.
This feud just wouldn’t end no matter how long it kept going for. At
the end of the day though, Jarrett and Debra weren’t interesting at
all but they kept forcing those two and Mongo down our throats all
summer. Jarrett FINALLY went back to the WWF and Mongo stopped
getting TV time to end it, but that’s months away.

Cue the Horsemen to the
ring to yell at Mongo. Anderson rips him apart and Flair is mad.
Flair says we need to be a team. Anderson says that everyone is
getting stronger while we’re getting weaker. Jarrett and Mongo are
the only two healthy Horsemen so Anderson makes them shake hands.

Jim Duggan vs.
Galaxy

Galaxy is somewhat more
famous as Damien. Tony says this will be a classic. We need to have
a chat about what that means. Galaxy is just tiny compared to
Duggan. Duggan throws him around and backdrops him with ease. Out
to the floor and the fans are into Jim here. Duggan beats up Galaxy
on the floor and no sells Galaxy’s limited offense in the ring.
Three Point Clothesline and the taped fist get the pin. Nothing but
a squash.

Post match Duggan
challenges Hogan.

Hugh Morrus vs. Joe
Gomez

Gomez takes him into
the corner to start and breaks clean. Morrus takes him into the
corner and pounds on him. See who had the better career and figure
out what the smart move to make is. Gomez tries to speed things up
and grabs an armbar which defeats the purpose of speeding things up.
A dropkick puts Morrus down and it’s back to the armbar. Morrus
catches a leapfrog into kind of a spinebuster to set up No Laughing
Matter for the pin. This was nothing again.

We get some stills of
last night’s Sullivan vs. Benoit match. It was another wild brawl.
I don’t remember Woman looking good like this at all from this era.

Ice Train vs. La
Parka

We get an inset
interview from Teddy Long to Jackie of all people. La Parka starts
with rapid fire kicks but Train runs him down and hiptosses him for
two. Train keeps running him over but La Parka hits an enziguri to
take over. Top rope spinwheel kick gets two. World’s Strongest Slam
gives Train the advantage again and a corner splash has La Parka
flattened. The masked man comes back again with a spinwheel kick (he
likes that one) and Train is knocked to the floor. A big corkscrew
plancha takes him out and they head back inside. Train hits a HUGE
clothesline and a splash for the pin.

Rating: D+.
I liked Ice Train but this didn’t work all that well for me. I seem
to remember these two having a match a few weeks ago that was better
than this. Not much to this but the power vs. speed idea is
something that it’s hard to screw up. Given who was in this, it was
what you would call a pleasant surprise.

Chris Jericho/Eddie
Guerrero vs. Faces of Fear

Jericho and Guerrero
faced each other last night for Eddie’s US Title with the champion
retaining. Barbarian and Jericho get things going. Eddie comes in
with a cross body but his cover is easily shrugged off. Off to Meng
who shrugs off all of Eddie’s offense and headbutts him down. BIG
(not HUGE) powerbomb plants Eddie but he comes back with a
headscissors which allows the tag.

The small guys double
team Meng but it doesn’t get them very far. A backsplash gets two
but Meng kills Jericho with a belly to back. Barbarian hits a
superplex to the Canadian but Jericho manages a rollup for two. Meng
will have none of that though as the Faces (of Fear) hit their
backdrop into the powerbomb spot which is always cool.

There’s the double
headbutt but Eddie makes the save. Jericho finally avoids an elbow
drop and it’s off to Eddie. Everything breaks down and it’s time to
fly. Jericho loads up a Lionsault but Barbarian stops him from
trying (he would have missed by a mile anyway). Dean Malenko comes
out and shoves Eddie off the top, right into Meng’s boot for the pin.

Rating: C+.
This was pretty good here but you again had power vs. speed with the
speed team being a very good combination. Based on that alone you’re
going to have a good match. Malenko lost the title last night
because of Eddie so so there’s your explanation for the interference.
Fun match.

Time for hour #2.
There’s not much to recap so we’ll talk about the PPV a bit. Oh ok
we can talk about the Horsemen from earlier.

Juventud Guerrera
vs. Rey Mysterio

Juvy doesn’t mean much
yet. Rey tries a kind of backbreaker but Juvy counters into a DDT
and a springboard spinwheel kick to take Rey down. Off to a knee
lock but Rey kicks him in the face to escape. They grab a test of
strength grip and we get a nice gymnastics routine. Rey tries a
moonsault press but Juvy ducks underneath and hits one of his own for
two. Off to a chinlock which doesn’t last long. There’s a SWEET
springboard into a sunset bomb by Guerrera. Out to the floor goes
Rey and Juvy hits a sweet suicide dive. Juvy’s rana is countered
into a powerbomb and the West Coast Pop gets the pin.

Rating: C+.
These two are usually gold together but this was bronze at best.
Still though they were the best at this point for the high flying and
the flips and stuff like that. Also there was a great bit of
commentary in this right before Rey went up for the finish. Tony:
“He’s going to try something from the top too.” Heenan: “Thank
you Sherlock!”

Lee Marshall is in
Atlanta.

TV Title: Pat Tanaka
vs. Prince Iaukea

Tanaka comes out to
what would become Goldberg’s theme. Slow feeling out process to
start as the Prince is very apprehensive. Iaukea tries a kick to the
ribs but gets caught in a dragon screw legwhip. Prince comes back
with another kick and it’s time to stand around. He takes Tanaka
down, hits a springboard senton backsplash and the top rope cross
body retains. Bad match.

Dean Malenko vs.
Ultimo Dragon

Dean is all serious to
start and drives Dragon into the corner. They go to the mat and
trade some quick submission holds. That goes to a stalemate so Dean
offers a handshake and pulls Dragon into a clothesline. Dragon gets
ticked off and fires off his kick series to take over. Dean trips
him up and fires off fists to send Dragon to the floor. Dragon is
whipped into the barricade as Malenko is turning heel as the match
goes on.

Back in for a chinlock
as Malenko is in control. That shifts into a camel clutch but Dragon
reverses into a surfboard. This is the seated version with the
chinlock instead of the full bridge. Now it’s the Indian Deathlock
with the bridge. This is getting fun. Sunset flip gets two for
Malenko. Tiger bomb gets two for the same. Dragon sends him to the
apron and tries the same springboard dropkick that Jericho uses but
it TOTALLY misses.

Dean is knocked to the
floor anyway but Dragon hits a big dive to take Dean out to make up
for the miss. Back in Dragon hits a springboard rana for two but
Dean rolls through for two. La Majistral gets two for Dragon. Dean
snaps off a release German and chokes Dragon which is completely
against his character. Sonny gets on the apron and earns a right
hand. Dean keeps choking and gets disqualified.

Rating: B-.
As always these two have great chemistry together. Dragon was one of
the few people that could keep up with Dean on the mat but had a
different style to him than Eddie or Benoit which made him a more
interesting opponent. This was good and it gave Dean a heel turn
which was a good thing for him here.

Dean says he’s tired of
the lack of respect he’s been getting. He’s coming for Syxx too.

Diamond Dallas Page
vs. Dave Taylor

Taylor is in a pith
helmet, khakis and a vest. Two of those come off to get us to the
match. Taylor starts fast but Page knocks him back. Cue the
Outsiders as Page hits what we would call a TKO to take out Taylor.
No cover though as Page stares down the Outsiders. Savage runs in
through the crowd to set up the main event feud of the summer. The
match just ended. A fan runs in which goes badly for him. Page gets
spraypainted and takes the elbow. Savage officially gets his NWO
shirt.

After a break the NWO
is still in the ring. Hall talks for a bit about nothing in
particular and brings out Hogan. He gives Savage a gift: the now
happy Elizabeth.

Tag Titles: Lex
Luger/The Giant vs. Harlem Heat

And never mind as Eric
comes out and says the titles are going back to the Outsiders because
Luger wasn’t medically cleared. Luger says he’ll do it if all of the
titles were on the line at Uncensored. This stipulation would lasts
all of five minutes because it was forgotten the next week. Luger
talks about getting a team together which means….oh dear it’s THAT
segment next week. Sting comes out with the bat and stares at Luger.
Then he stares at Hogan, who hugs him to no reaction. Announcers:
“HE’S NWO!”

Overall Rating: C+.
See, this is what good wrestling gets you. Nothing really happened
again here but the wrestling was good. That also made the show go by
faster which is always a good thing. The main event would be set up
next week in one of the dumbest segments ever, which would go against
one of the best Raws ever. Then again no one was watching Raw at
this point so it didn’t matter. Better show this week.

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