Monday Nitro – March 3, 1997

Monday Nitro #77

Date: March 3, 1997

Location: The Omni,
Atlanta, Georgia

Attendance: 13,693

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

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re closing in on
Uncensored and we need to get the main event established already. So
far we know it’s Team WCW vs. Team NWO but if my memory is right,
tonight we’ll hear about a third team being added. This show would
be going against Raw in Germany which had Bulldog vs. Owen in one of
the best TV matches ever, so I think Nitro is going to lose in the
quality war tonight. Let’s get to it.

The NWO arrives in what
looks like a Hummer limo. After they come in another limo pulls up,
containing Dr. Harvey Schiller, the real head of Turner Sports.
Again with WCW’s idea of having real suits with no connection to the
business playing themselves.

Hugh Morrus/Konnan
vs. Jeff Jarrett/Steve McMichael

Morrus and Jarrett get
us going and it’s time to talk about the Dr. that showed up earlier
on. Jarrett speeds things up and takes Morrus down with a shoulder
and an atomic drop. Morrus comes back with right hands and brings in
Konnan with the rolling clothesline. Morrus tries a spinning cross
body while Konnan holds Jarrett, but Jeff low blows K-Dawg and Konnan
takes the fat man. Mongo cleans house but here’s Public Enemy.
Jarrett swings the briefcase at Rocco but it blasts Mongo for the
pin.

Rating: D-.
How many weeks in a row have we seen these two have some kind of a
mishap that leads to a pin? It seemed to go on for months on end and
it would continue over the summer. Jarrett didn’t get over because
of this and he made the right move by jumping to the WWF in the fall.

Here are Anderson and
Flair to complain about the miscommunication. Jarrett says that he’s
Horsemen material but Flair gets in his face. Ric says Jarrett is
making Flair look bad. Now THAT says a lot. Mongo yells a lot and
Debra starts talking, drawing some LOUD booing. She doesn’t want to
be on a losing team so GET IT TOGETHER.

Rick Fuller vs.
Diamond Dallas Page

Fuller is a big guy
standing probably 6’7. Page works on the arm to start followed by a
belly to back. Fuller powers him down and drops a leg for two. The
fans chant for DDP so he hits the spinning clothesline to take Fuller
down. A slam is reversed into the Diamond Cutter for the easy pin.
Fuller had a good look.

Page talks about the
NWO beating him down last week and focuses on Savage in particular.
He tells Savage to snap into the Diamond Cutter.

Juventud Guerrera
vs. Ray Mendoza Jr.

That’s Mendoza, not
Mysterio and he’s more famous as Villano IV. Mendoza tries to make
this a technical match by taking it to the mat which makes sense
against Guerrera. Juvy is like screw that in Spanish and hits a pair
of ranas to send Mendoza to the floor. The plancha misses though and
Mendoza takes over again. Back in an overhead belly to belly gets
two. Juvy takes over and hits a springboard legdrop for two.

Off to a chinlock so
the guys can catch their breath which is fine. Back up and a victory
roll into a rana gets two for Juvy. Mendoza gets backdropped to the
floor and they ignore the DQ rule because they want to. Juvy hits a
suicide dive but Mendoza kicks away at him anyway. A slingshot rana
brings Mendoza back in and they both go to the corner. They both go
up and Mendoza gets crotched. A spinwheel kick puts him down and the
450 (to the knees) ends this.

Rating: D+.
This was a lot sloppier than you would expect. The match wasn’t bad
but other than Rey, you could more or less throw any Cruiserweight
from another country and throw him in these spots and it would be
about the same. Then again, this was still pretty new stuff at the
time so it’s ok.

Kevin Sullivan, Jackie
and Jimmy Hart take over the announcers’ desk and Jackie takes credit
for Benoit and Woman not being here. She challenges any man on the
roster, throwing out names like Hogan, Nash and Savage. Why is she
allowed to talk? Who thinks it’s a good idea?

Hank Aaron is here.

Mike Enos vs. Dean
Malenko

Malenko is all fired up
here because of Eddie ticking him off and costing him the title if I
remember right. He chokes Enos in the corner and takes out the knee.
They head to the floor and Malenko works on the leg using the
barricade. Back in and Enos finally gets in a knee lift to slow Dean
down. And never mind as Dean takes the knee out again almost
immediately. Malenko hits a top rope cross body but Enos rolls
through for two. A clothesline puts Malenko down but a splash
misses. Enos tries a slam but Dean small packages him for the pin.

Rating: D+.
Basically just a squash but it was fun to see Dean going OFF like
this, showing emotion for almost the first time in his career. He
would pick up the US Title at the PPV, which should have been a step
up in the card for him and to a degree it was, but he never really
moved past that. To be fair, Malenko didn’t exactly have the
charisma to get much higher.

Dean says he’ll do that
to anyone that gets in his way.

Here’s Bischoff who
says he would love to put up the NWO’s belts at Uncensored because
they’re awesome like that. As he brags about how great the NWO is,
here’s Harvey Schiller. Once we actually explain who he is (he’s in
charge of Turner’s Sports and Bischoff’s real life boss), he says
that Bischoff has to follow rules which he hasn’t been doing.
Therefore, Eric is SUSPENDED. This was a big deal and it was one of
the first big shots that WCW got back against the NWO. And of course
WCW capitalized on it and won the war within 4 months right?

US Title: Eddie
Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon

Eddie is defending.
The fans chant USA and it’s a feeling out process to start. Eddie
takes him down with a headscissors but gets sent to the floor. Sonny
tries to fire some kicks but Eddie is having none of that. He will
however have some of Dragon’s kicks, including a spinwheel kick to
take him down. Eddie rolls through a cross body and even though his
feet are in the ropes, Dragon’s shoulder was up and Eddie is rolling
on top of Dragon, the pin counts. That was a major botch of some
kind and Eddie looks stunned by whatever happened.

Eddie says he’s tried
to apologize to Dean so here’s Malenko in the flesh. Dean says he
knows what Eddie’s true colors are and Eddie has no idea what’s going
on. They yell a lot and that’s about it.

Hour #2 begins.

Scotty Riggs vs. Mr.
Wallstreet

This is a fine example
of people that remember Nitro being all drama and young guys having
great matches. A lot of the time we had stuff like this to sit
through. Riggs takes over quickly and hits a double ax to the head
for two. Wallstreet sends him to the floor and does nothing out
there, so let’s go back inside.

Schiller has officially
made the main event for Uncensored, but it’s going to be a three way
match with Piper having a team as well. We hit the chinlock but
Riggs jawbreaks his way out of it. Elbow drop misses and Wallstreet
takes over again. Riggs comes back with a middle rope missile
dropkcik and a top rope sunset flip for two. And here’s Buff Bagwell
for the DQ because MICHAEL FREAKING WALLSTREET has to be protected.

Rating: D.
This got four minutes and a DQ finish. Look at the participants in
this match for a minute and let that sink in. Riggs vs. Bagwell was
such a pathetic feud and it was about as close to the Billy and Chuck
of their day as you can get. Nothing here and for the life of me I
don’t get why they didn’t just have a regular ending.

Piper is here because I
guess he heard the announcement about getting a team and warped over.
He talks about beating Hogan twice and calls the Outsiders cloned
monkeys. Piper has two families: one in Oregon and one here with the
fans. He’s going to make a third family out of people he…..oh
sweet goodness not this. He’s going to have a series of tryouts
tonight and the three winners make his team. Assuming there was
nothing set up in a different kind of time frame, this was all set up
within the last eight minutes or so. The fans are going to get to
decide who makes his team.

Now keep in mind: three
of these six guys will headline a WINNER TAKE ALL match on PPV in 13
days. Piper gets down to his trunks and the first guy is…..some
dude in jeans. Tony: “I have no idea who that is.” Piper takes
him down in an amateur position and the guy taps to a hammerlock very
quickly. That’s a thumbs down.

Guy #2 is Horshu, who
is more famous as Luther Reigns, who isn’t named Horshu yet and would
only become a WCW Saturday Night guy in a few years. He fires off
some left hands but gets put to sleep quickly.

#3 is a guy but “some
guy with boxing gloves” jumps him. He looks like a cross between
Eugene and Steve Williams. Piper has boxing gloves in his trunks for
no apparent reason and let’s have a boxing match. Piper punches him
into oblivion, gets knocked down then beats up Boxing Guy again,
until Boxing Guy takes out the legs. The fans are starting to boo.
Piper says bring it on and eventually gives the guy a spot on his
team.

Wait we’re not done
with Boxing guy because Piper says the fans are being too harsh so
let’s fight some more. They take the gloves off and fight for about
20 more seconds before finally giving up on it.

#4 (I guess?) is a big
fat guy who REALLY looks like Steve Williams. He’s barefoot so Tenay
declares him a martial artist. Heenan: “He’s barefoot and
tattooed. Sounds like the winner of the Miss Kentucky contest.”
Piper gets kicked down but comes back with kicks of his own. He’s a
legit black belt in Judo so he actually knows what he’s doing in a
fight. This is before the letters UFC meant anything though, as they
were only on their 12th show. The martial artist (none of
them have had a name so far) gets totally gassed but tries to throw
Piper out anyway. Piper escapes and gives this guy a spot on the
team.

The final guy is John
Tenta who at least gets a reaction because people know who he is.
After a quick fight, the other teammates get in and it’s a big brawl.
There’s the team I guess. Piper says it’s war with the NWO now.
Thankfully this lasted about 5 minutes before WCW forgot these people
existed and put in Jarrett, Benoit and Mongo instead. This got
EIGHTEEN MINUTES. Let that sink in for a minute.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Mr. JL

Prince Iaukea gets to
talk during this match for some reason. Rey takes over to start with
a corkscrew dive for two. JL throws him into the air and brings him
down into a DDT for a delayed two. He goes up but misses a diving
headbutt. They go to the floor and JL hits a flip dive off the
apron. Back in and Rey ranas him down for two. Rey finally gets to
the apron and hits the West Coast Pop for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: D.
This was a REALLY awkward match. It wasn’t terrible I guess but
these two might as well have been wrestling blindfolded. They didn’t
click at all and it felt like they were going with random moves
instead of any kind of match with a flow or story at all. Just
didn’t work at all.

Madusa is here and says
she’s been here for more than a year. She threw away a title belt to
open up women’s wrestling but can’t get on TV because of Bischoff.
Gee what a shock. This goes on for awhile with her talking about how
great women are until Luna Vachon debuts and jumps her.

Here’s the NWO in full
force with “Sting”. Wait that’s actually him. Ok then. Eric
says that they’re not worried about Schiller because they’re friends
with Ted. Hogan makes fun of Piper’s team and Savage says Piper
needs a psychiatrist. This somehow takes seven minutes to get
through.

Steiner Brothers vs.
Lex Luger/The Giant

Rick and Lex get things
started as we’re rapidly running out of time. Lex takes him into the
corner and Rick comes back with punches. Luger shows off the power
and down goes Dog Face. Off to Scott as this is the Steiners’ first
match back from the car wreck. Scott hits a butterfly powerbomb and
it’s off to Giant who gets the crowd fired up. Rick tags himself in
and comes off the middle rope with an ax handle to take him down. A
GREAT double suplex puts Giant down for two. Everyone stops to stare
at each other and it’s NWO time. Sting stands with the NWO and the
match just kind of ends.

Rating: D.
This was a lot of standing around for the sake of standing around
until the NWO ran in to end the match. These four would wind up
being Team WCW at the PPV which would be fine as all four had reason
to face the NWO guys. This could have been a big time tag match too.

Piper and company come
in through the crowd and the brawl finally gets going to end the
show.

Overall Rating: F.
This was a horrible show on all accounts. All of the matches were
either barely watchable or horrible, there was a nearly 20 minute
segment that got booed out of the building, and other than the
Bischoff suspension (you know, the guy that was back an hour and a
half later saying it meant nothing), NOTHING happened on this show.
Terrible episode here and one of the worst in the history of the
show.

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