Monday Nitro – April 7, 1997

Nitro #82
Date: April 7, 1997
Location: Von Braun
Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Back to Nitro and it’s
the first night after Spring Stampede. Almost nothing has changed as
that was one of the least important shows in recent memory. We’re
now on the way towards Slamboree which will set the bar even lower as
Hogan’s spring/summer vacation continues. Hopefully this is a more
interesting show than last week. Let’s get to it.

Tony and Larry suggest
there’s turmoil in the NWO. This would be the first of about 87
times this was potentially happening. We get a lot of stills from
the main event last night with Nash power bombing Nick Patrick after
the pin was counted for Page.
Konnan/Hugh Morrus
vs. Psychosis/Alex Wright
Wright and Morrus start
us off and the fans seem rowdy tonight. Alex uses the Daniel Bryan
moonsault out of the corner and works on the arm of Morrus. Off to
Psychosis as the announcers talk about having an opening to beat the
NWO now. Konnan comes in illegally but walks into a superkick that
didn’t appear to connect from Psychosis. A better looking top rope
spinwheel kick puts Konnan down and Psychosis takes Morrus down on
the floor as well.
Morrus comes in and
with nothing better to do, we go split screen to show Page arriving
earlier today and looking hurt. A powerslam gets no cover on the
masked man and a middle rope elbow misses for Morrus. Double tag
brings in Wright and Konnan and Alex cleans house. A top rope cross
body gets one on Hugh but Konnan hits him with a neckbreaker and No
Laughing Matter (moonsault) gets the pin on Wright.
Rating: D+.
Not much here but it wasn’t bad. The Dungeon of Doom was about a
year and a half past their expiration date and they would never mean
anything again. For that matter you could say the same for Wright
and Psychosis as well, but they had some moderate success. Not a lot
to say here.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Steven Regal
No entrances for either
guy but at least we got that nifty set of stills from Madusa vs.
Hokuto. Regal takes over to start and sends Rey out to the floor and
into the barricade. Back inside and we’re told the NWO has arrived.
Naturally we look at this instead of the match. I know they’re a
bigger deal but this gets on my nerves. You could EASILY show this
between the matches and nothing would be any worse. Hogan and
Bischoff talk about problems in the family and it’s only the two of
them plus DiBiase and Vincent.
Back in the ring,
Mysterio sends Regal to the apron but misses a charge. Regal goes up
top but takes too long, allowing Rey to hit a springboard
headscissors for two. West Coast Pop doesn’t connect properly and
only gets two. Regal takes him down and puts on the Regal Stretch
but Rey makes the rope. For some reason during part of that hold
referee Randy Anderson had his hand on the back of Rey’s head. Regal
won’t break the hold and it’s a DQ.
Rating: D+.
Not much to see here again but at least we could see most of the
match instead of having most of the time being spent on the NWO
buying a newspaper or whatever they’re doing this week. Regal was
snapping at this point but I don’t remember anything coming out of
it, which is a shame as he was good at being psycho.
Prince Iaukea comes out
for the save but Regal beats him down and puts him in the Stretch
too. The totally calm look on Regal’s face as he tortures Iaukea and
punches him in the face is borderline chilling.
The rest of the NWO
arrives. Savage is on crutches.
We recap last night’s
bizarre one on one match for the tag titles which was basically Rick
Steiner being squashed by Kevin Nash. This led to Ted DiBiase
getting upset by the amount of punishment Steiner received.
Ice Train vs. Chris
Woman is continuing to
look good here so at least the squash won’t be a total loss. Benoit
pounds away to start but walks into a press slam from Train. Benoit
starts chopping away but Ice Train yells at him and clotheslines
Benoit down. Train puts on a chinlock as we go split screen to see
Hogan throwing the belt down and the NWO gets in an argument.
Savage seems to be the
one with the most issues here. Nash walks away and Norton says get
it together. Back in the ring Woman takes Teddy Long down and a
Benoit DDT gets the pin. It was barely long enough to rate in the
first place and since we missed a good piece of it for an NWO
argument I’ll pass on a rating. It was exactly what you would expect
We get a video on the
premiere of Double Team, which is Dennis Rodman’s new movie. This is
shown because the NWO was there, which brings up a question: the NWO
is supposed to be a totally different organization from WCW in
storyline terms right? So why would WCW show this stuff? There’s no
disclaimer saying that the NWO paid for this and Tony intros it, so
why would they show it?
Hector Guerrero vs.
Kevin Sullivan
Hector is a dead ringer
for Eddie and may actually be more talented in the ring than Eddie
was. Sullivan pounds Hector down to start and knocks him to the
floor so Jackie can slam him which is supposed to be impressive for
some reason. Back in the ring and Sullivan keeps up the assault and
then throws him out to Jackie for more of her punches and another
slam. The Tree of Woe and double stomp end this quick, and by that I
mean the guy that got in all the offense so far, as in Sullivan,
wins, in case that was too complicated for you.
Here’s the NWO with
something to say. DiBiase says there are clearly problems here and
we need to fix them now. Hogan says that Nash has a problem with
this and throws the belt down again, saying it means nothing. Nash
says that he has no problem with Rodman as he used to be a ball
player too. But he spent Easter Sunday in a hotel room with Syxx
which was a big problem for some reason.
Hogan says next Easter
they’ll go on an NWO Easter Hunt, but for now he wants to know where
Hall is. Nash says Hall is NWO for life but Hogan wants to fight
right now. Nash talks about Hogan joining Hall and Nash and about
how they’re NWO for life. That apparently buries the hatchet but
Savage is mad. The fans want Sting. Hogan says he doesn’t want to
fight Savage so get it together. Savage says ok but he and Bishoff
are on probation with each other. That settles things apparently.
Hour #2 begins and we
recap the first half of the show.
Gene brings out Flair
for a chat. Flair rants a bit about the NWO and how he’s going to
take them out. Here’s Piper who says he’s out of the asylum and
rants a bit as well. Flair says Kevin Greene wants to join up with
them and I think we’ve got a six man coming. Piper on the NWO: “They
smell like six dead otters in a drainpipe.” Greene comes out and
praises both guys before going insane as well. This would be the
main event of the PPV.
US Title: Dean
Malenko vs. Chris Jericho
This should be awesome.
Things start off fast and Jericho hits a pair of kicks to take
Malenko down. They head to the floor for some more kicks before a
missile dropkick gets two back in the ring. A backslide gets the
same but Jericho ducks his head and gets powerbombed. There’s the
Cloverleaf but Jericho grabs the rope. Dean goes up but gets
superplexed down. This is the first slow down they’ve had so far.
As Jericho gets up, Dean hits a standing version of Orton’s Punt for
the pin.
Rating: B.
For a three minute match, this was AWESOME. Dean going all evil and
kicking Jericho in the face was a good change of pace for him and it
would lead to a decent heel run for him. Jericho was starting to get
pushed and it would turn into a title run in a few months in a big
win over an NWO member.
Public Enemy vs.
High Voltage
High Voltage jumps the
Public Enemy to start but gets slugged down almost immediately. A
double flapjack sets up a double suplex on Rage for no cover. The
fans like the arm waving thing the Public Enemy does. Rock and Kaos
officially get us going before Rock is sent to the floor for a
beating from Rage. Back in and Rock hits a neckbreaker on Kaos for
two. Tag to Grunge who cleans house. They head to the floor and
Kaos is put on the table. The elbow through said table misses while
back in the ring, Rage hits a northern lights suplex for the pin.
Short but energetic again.
Public Enemy says
sometimes the table works for you and sometimes it works against you
but it’s all good. Rock challenges High Voltage to a Philadelphia
street fight next week. They say they’ll get extreme next week.
Prince Iaukea is
getting his ribs taped up.
Harlem Heat vs.
Steve McMichael/Jeff Jarrett
And there’s no Mongo.
Booker gets things going in a match that would be for the world title
in about three years. Booker runs him over to start but Jarrett
comes back with some hip tosses. Jarrett goes to the corner but gets
pounded down as the Heat takes over again. Stevie comes in and
catches Jarrett in what we would call the World’s Strongest Slam.
Jeff dropkicks both guys to the floor and things slow down a bit.
Stevie slams him down
again and it’s back to Booker. The numbers game is catching up with
Jeff as Booker side kicks him down for two. Debra has left ringside
as the announcers are trying to figure out if Mongo was here earlier
or not. The ax kick hits but Booker tags out instead of covering.
Jarrett grabs a small package out of nowhere for two and a sunset
flip out of the corner gets the same on Booker. A double suplex puts
Jeff down for two and Debra is back again. Jeff misses a dropkick
and Stevie guillotines him on the top rope.
Even Sherri is getting
in some attacks on Jeff, hitting him in the chest and choking him a
bit. A quick backslide gets two for Jarrett and he avoids the Harlem
Side Kick, crotching Booker in the process. Stevie hits a
brainbuster and here’s Mongo who looks fine. Stevie misses something
off the top and Mongo is on the apron. There’s the tag and Mongo
cleans house. Jarrett is spent so Mongo tags him back in. Mongo
shoves him into the side kick and Booker gets the pin.
Rating: D+.
This was a long angle advancement which is a good thing, but it’s an
angle that wasn’t interesting for the most part. At the end of the
day, they’re fighting about Debra who is just annoying beyond belief.
Mongo wasn’t any good in the ring and Jarrett was awful as a face at
this point. It wouldn’t be until be became a male sexist pig in the
WWF that he really came into his own.
Jarrett and Mongo
bicker post match. Mongo says he wants more pain but never would say
where he was.
TV Title: Ultimo
Dragon vs. Prince Iaukea
Iaukea is injured from
the attack by Regal earlier in the night. He tries to speed things
up to start but a slam fails. Iaukea rolls him up for two and a
backslide gets the same. Dragon uses his first opening and kicks the
Prince in the ribs to take over. Iaukea gets the feet up to take out
a diving Dragon but Dragon kicks him in the ribs a few times and pins
him quickly for the title. This was basically a squash.
Another package of
stills from last night. I’ll give WCW one thing: other than the
title matches which are obvious, they haven’t said who won any of
these matches. That’s one thing that annoys me about WWE doing this:
they’ll tell you to buy the replay but they’ll explain every single
thing that happened. Here at least they’re just showing pictures of
it but no endings.
Giant vs. Scott
Main event here, but
Konnan and Hugh Morrus jump Scott on the way to the ring. Giant
makes the save. Scott didn’t wrestle last night either so maybe he
was injured. No match.
Here’s DDP to close the
show. He talks about last night and how no one would have believed
that could have happened a few years ago. Page says he’s an anomaly
and if he had gotten his hands on Savage last night when Savage was
hurting Kimberly, he would have killed the Macho Man. Cue Savage on
crutches but Hogan follows him out and stops him.
Hogan says this one is
on him and the rest of the NWO appears on stage. Hogan rips his
shirt off and here’s Sting on a zip line and repelling from the
ceiling. He stands in the aisle in front of the NWO and holds the
bat out at Hogan. Sting hands Page the bat but pulls out another one
to point at Hogan again. The NWO cowers to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-.
This show worked MUCH better than the previous week’s did and that’s
because the big stars were here. Last week and at Spring Stampede,
no one showed up and it felt like an unimportant show. This show
came off like it mattered and even though the PPV would mean nothing
again, this was a good start on the six week build to Slamboree.
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