Monday Nitro – April 28, 1997

Nitro #85
Date: April 28, 1997
Location: Norfolk
Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Attendance: 9,467
Commentators: Larry
Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is a special
edition of Nitro which only runs for an hour due to the NBA Playoffs
airing after the show. That being said, after the debacle of last
week’s show, cutting this in half is probably best for everyone
involved. We’re still creeping towards Slamboree and the main event
that only WCW seems to care about. Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip
from Starrcade 1993 with Flair beating Vader for the title.
Here are Piper and
Flair to open things up. They head to the announce table and say
they want the NWO tonight.
US Title: Prince
Iaukea vs. Dean Malenko
Jarrett says he’ll win
the title from Dean at Slamboree. So even he doesn’t think Iaukea
has a chance here. Dean immediately takes him to the mat to start
and grabs a headlock. They trade armdrags and Iaukea hooks an
armbar. Larry points out how stupid it is to try to take Malenko to
the mat and he appears to be correct as Dean quickly escapes and
elbows Prince in the corner. Iaukea comes back with a superkick for
two but Dean powerbomb the tar out of Iaukea for two. A powerslam
sets up the Cloverleaf for Malenko to retain. This was basically a
Cruiserweight Title:
Juventud Guerrera vs. Syxx
Syxx is defending.
Juvy speeds things up to start and a headscissors put Syxx on the
floor. A spinwheel kick hits Syxx in the throat but Guerrera botches
a flip out of the corner. Syxx hits one of the best looking spin
kicks I’ve ever seen and Juvy is in trouble. There’s the Bronco
Buster and a vertical suplex gets two for the champ.
A top rope double ax
gets two for Syxx but as he goes up again, Juvy crotches him.
Guerrera slips off the top again before driving Syxx’s head into the
mat on a rana attempt. Juvy tries a flip dive attack but kicks
Waltman right in the mouth. FREAKING OW MAN! Syxx finally has
enough and the Buzzkiller ends this quick.
Rating: C-.
Sweet goodness this was a match of two different wrestlers. Syxx
looked fine out there but Guerrera looked almost dangerous in the
ring, botching nearly everything he tried and probably hurting Syxx
on that flip move. It’s so strange to see Syxx wrestling at all and
it’s at least giving these other Cruiserweights something to fight
Lee Marshall does his
thing with the road report.
Here are Syxx and the
Outsiders to the announce desk. Hall might debut the name Wolfpac
here. They don’t care what the old guys say, but if the old guys
want to fight at the PPV, it’ll cost 75% of the gate money.
Chris Benoit vs.
Steven Regal
This should be good.
They fight over a wristlock to start with Regal doing his usual
amazing counter while laying on his back and spinning around using
his feet. Off to a test of strength grip with Regal being shoved
down, only to nip up and escape. They trade pinfall reversals and
for some reason we go to a wide camera shot. Blood maybe? And
here’s Sullivan for the DQ. I mean, why would we want to see Benoit
and Regal tear the house down when we can get Benoit vs. Sullivan
continuing a feud that has been going on since July?
Meng shows up to save
Sullivan and puts Benoit in the Tongan Death Grip to take him down.
Savage says he’ll beat
up Page.
Amazing French
Canadians vs. Lex Luger/The Giant
Luger vs. Oulette to
start things off with Lex controlling with basic power, but the
Canadians hit a double team hot shot to take over. The Outsiders
have accepted Piper and Flair’s challenge for later tonight. Jacques
slams Luger down and Lex is in trouble, but not enough to get elbowed
off the middle rope by Oulette. Hot tag brings in Giant and it’s a
chokeslam for the pin on Jacques as Luger Racks Oulette. Not long
enough to rate but more competitive than you would have expected, at
least for awhile.
Video on the Bears vs.
the Packers to hype up White vs. McMichael.
Steve McMichael vs.
Barbarian jumps Mongo
as he comes through the ropes and we’re off fast. It’s so fast that
Tony ignores the match and reads house show ads. Mongo knocks him
into the corner, only to get his head kicked off a second later. Out
to the floor and Mongo is sent into the barricade and then into the
post. Back inside and a piledriver gets two on McMichael as the
announcers argue over whether or not football players make good
wrestlers. Barbarian argues with the referee, Debra slides in the
case, the referee somehow misses the thud and Mongo wins.
Rating: D+.
I can appreciate the idea of giving Mongo what should have been a
natural feud with White, but a match like this isn’t making him any
better in the ring. This was basically a Barbarian squash until
Mongo hit one illegal shot for the pin. It was just over three
minutes though, which is about Mongo’s shelf life in a match, which
makes it all the more amazing that he and White got fifteen minutes
at Slamboree.
Here are Flair and
Piper for the fight with the Outsiders. Flair says he knows he can
take Syxx because he’s had more title reigns than Syxx has had women.
The NWO music hits but it’s an NWO paper drop from the ceiling
instead. They say “Tradition Bites! NWO 4 Life!” Nash, Hall
and Syxx finally come out and Flair beats them all up in the aisle.
Piper lets him fight all three at once until the numbers catch up
with Flair. After about a minute of Flair getting beaten up, piper
comes in for the save to end the show.
Overall Rating: C.
This show wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that interesting. The fact that
this was just an hour helped it a lot as we didn’t have time for
nonsense that no one wanted to see and was only there to fill time.
The longest match is less than five minutes long, but that’s
understandable in this case. The problem with the show though was
that the main story isn’t that interesting with the six man at the
PPV being worthless and did anyone care about White vs. McMichael?
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