Monday Nitro – May 26, 1997

Monday Nitro #89
Date: May 26, 1997
Location: Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Attendance: 6,484
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyzsko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
back to the regular two hours again and that might be something good in
this case. Also Hogan is here tonight which always helps make the shows
feel bigger than they do without him. We’re coming up on the Great
American Bash in three weeks and odds are we’ll get the main event
announced tonight. Let’s get to it.

Here
are Hogan and Bischoff to open the show. Hogan’s beard appears to be
infecting his head and is growing at an alarming rate. This is the one
year anniversary of Hall jumping the guard rail. Bischoff says he’s
checked under the ring and there’s not Sting this week. Hogan talks
about partying in the Bahamas with Nick and Brooke, which are names that
don’t mean anything at this point. Hogan runs down Sting and Eric says
that Sting is just afraid of Hulk. Hogan says he’s going to be looking
around and if he finds anyone in Sting makeup, he’s going to take them
out.
Hector Garza/Juventud Guerrera/Super Calo vs. Ciclope/Damien/La Parka
This
is under Mexican rules, which means if you go to the floor, another
member of your team can come in just like a tag. La Parka and Juvy get
us going with Juvy taking over with a quick spin kick to the face. Juvy
goes up but his cross body is caught and La Parka struts over to the
corner and sets Juvy up top. Juvy comes back with a big top rope rana to
send Parka to the floor.
Off
to Ciclope as Larry complains about the Mexican rules because “we’re
not in Mexico.” Sometimes common sense is the best approach. Calo comes
in to replace Parka and hits a headscissors to send Parka to the floor.
Calo hits a HUGE suicide dive to send both guys into the crowd, giving
us Damien vs. Garza. Garza is basically here for one move: a corkscrew
plancha to the floor. The idea is that he’s going to hit it but you
don’t know when or how many people he’ll take out.
Everything
breaks down and it’s almost impossible to tell who is legal as four
people came in at the same time when Garza and Damien went to the floor.
It appears to be Calo vs. Damien now with Calo in control, only to take
his eyes off Damien and get jumped. Off to Garza who speeds things up
but gets sent to the floor.
Everyone
goes to the floor and it’s time to fire off the dives. Garza hits his
big corkscrew plancha, prompting Larry to ask if Garza thinks he’s
Captain Planet. Turner property or not, that’s the best Larry can come
up with? Damien tries a seated senton back inside but Garza catches him
in a powerbomb and hits a standing moonsault for the pin.
Rating: B.
This is pretty much the textbook definition for a lucha libre spotfest
and there’s nothing wrong with that. Other than Juvy, none of these guys
have stood out but they know how to fire off all kinds of flips and
dives. While not a great match from a technical standpoint or anything
like that, it was fun and the dives were great. That’s what you want to
do with an opener too. Good stuff here.
Alex Wright vs. Psychosis
This
is Wright’s first match after his heel turn last week. Wright flips
around to escape a wristlock but Psychosis does the exact same thing. A
jumping kick to the face gives Wright control again and he pounds away
in the corner. Psychosis comes back with a moonsault press for two
followed by a top rope spin kick to the back of Wright’s head for one.
Wright bails to the floor and dances a bit, only for Psychosis to bust
out a mostly missed moonsault to take both guys out. 
Back in and the
guillotine legdrop pins Wright.
Rating: D+.
This was pretty messy. Also why in the world would you have Wright lose
completely clean after a heel turn last week? The announcers are
pushing this as a huge upset and to be fair it probably is. The match
had almost no flow or story to it at all and the big spots didn’t hit.
Not terrible but really messy.
Sonny
Onoo still has a surprise for Chono tonight but won’t say who it is.
Sonny tries to sign Psychosis as he leaves and Psychosis is interested.
As Sonny gloats, Madusa comes out and wants a Women’s Title shot. She
says she’ll do anything for it and immediately regrets saying it. Sonny
says she’ll get the shot at the Bash but if she loses, her career is
over. She agrees and that’s it.
We get a quick look at Ernest Miller and his martial arts background.
Wrath vs. Mark Starr
Total
squash with Wrath throwing Starr all over the place, including out to
the floor so Mortis can get in some shots. Wrath does look awesome and
has a great name, but this feud went on so long that it killed whatever
he had going. A top rope clothesline kills Starr and a bicycle kick sets
up the double arm Rock Bottom to end the massacre. Apparently that move
is called the Death Penalty.
Konnan vs. Villano IV
They’re
going really light on the promos tonight. Hugh Morrus talks about how
he doesn’t like Konnan anymore, which I think happened at Slamboree.
Konnan and Villano shake hands before Konnan hits him in the ribs to
start. Konnan pounds him into the corner and fires off a dropkick. He
shouts VIVA MEXICO which apparently fires up Villano.
After
a brief comeback, Villano shouts VIVA MEXICO as well. Not that it
really matters as Konnan hits an Alabama Slam out of the corner to stop
the momentum dead. Here’s Morrus but security stops him in the aisle.
The 187 (fisherman’s DDT) kills Villano dead and Tequila Sunrise (half
crab with armbar) gets the win for Konnan.
Rating: C-.
Just a squash here as Konnan was a guy who had a decent place in the
midcard. The next step for him of course: put him in the NWO where he
got lost in the shuffle. He was a Mexican wrestler who could actually
wrestle a style different from the dozen or so other luchadores they had
which gave him something to offer. Then it went nowhere because the NWO
didn’t have enough lackeys.
Konnan runs down the Dungeon and Sullivan post match.
Masahiro Chono vs. ???
Sonny
comes out to introduce the surprise: The Great Muta. Chono is NWO. We
get a LONG stall at the beginning of the match, during which Larry
announces that the Japanese are in fact a different race. No contact in
the first minute. Or in the second minute. Muta puts on a VERY weak
headlock. So weak that Chono just ducks out of it and Muta doesn’t move
his arms. Sonny freaks out on Muta, Muta sprays mist in his eyes, and
Muta joins the NWO. Well no one had joined in a few months so I guess we
needed someone else to inflate the ranks.
Hour #2 starts.
Savage
talks about his feud with Page. Apparently he wants a rematch at the
Bash, which may or may not already be set. The idea is that Savage was
embarrassed by a guy in his first main event match at Spring Stampede
and it’s driving him crazier than he already is.
Here
are Page and Kimberly with a rebuttal. The match is already signed
apparently. Page has the crutch that was broken over his back by Hogan.
He talks about how he’s under Savage’s skin and how he owes Hogan a
Diamond Cutter. Page owes Savage even more though and he’ll get that at
the Bash. Kimberly says she’s keeping the pieces of the crutch as a
memento. She also has some of the hair that Savage pulled out of her
head. Page says you don’t mess with family or his wife, and Savage
messed with both. See, this is how you build up a match. I want to see
these two fight now.
Barbarian vs. Jim Powers
Powers
fires off some basic offense to start but can’t take Barbarian down. A
clothesline takes Powers’ head off and Barbarian sends him out to the
floor for some more beating. Back in and they chop it out with Barbie
taking over. Powers gets in some boots but he doesn’t jump far enough
coming off the middle rope so Barbarian can catch him in a powerslam. A
big boot ends Powers.
Rating: D.
Powers is FINALLY done after this, not appearing on Nitro for over a
year after this. Why we needed to have Barbarian get a squash win on
Nitro is kind of head scratching but it was something different than
they’ve had in the rest of the show. Meng has been doing some singles
stuff around this time so maybe that’s why.
Benoit
comes out post match and wants Sullivan back soon. Hart says Barbarian
is ready for Benoit right now so Benoit takes his jacket off and gets in
the ring. Hart says next week.
The Giant vs. Jerry Flynn/Johnny Swinger/Rick Fuller
The
jobbers have to tag here so what are you expecting to happen? Swinger
starts and can’t do anything. Flynn can’t do anything so it’s off to
Fuller who is by far the biggest guy on the team. After Fuller gets
beaten up, all three come in with Flynn and Fuller getting belly to back
suplexed at the same time. There’s a chokeslam to Swinger, there’s one
for Fuller, and there’s one for Flynn. Giant pins all Swinger and Flynn
at the same time.
Luger
and Giant are in the ring and we hear about an open contract issued by
Hogan and Rodman for the PPV Luger talks about being an NBA fan and
watching Rodman. At Uncensored, Rodman came into the WCW world and Luger
would like to invite them back. Luger issues the challenge for the PPV
and Giant says they’re ready. I’m missing something because that match
wound up happening at Bash at the Beach. Maybe that’s what they meant or
maybe it was changed.
Lee Marshall does his road report jazz.
Here’s
Syxx to talk about Flair. He shows us a video from last week of him and
the Outsiders beating up Flair before bringing the Outsiders out. Hall
and Nash have the newer design of the tag titles which I’ve always liked
better. They make fun of Piper and say Piper couldn’t make Hogan sleep
unless they showed him Piper’s latest movie. To the shock of everyone,
Hall and Nash offer to defend the titles. The opponents aren’t the
shock. It’s that they’re actually defending the belts. They want Piper
and Flair so they can retire them once and for all.
Jeff Jarrett/Steve McMichael vs. Harlem Heat
Before
the match we get a quick recap of Kevin Greene running in last week.
Booker and Jeff start things off but it’s off to Mongo before anything
happens. Mongo runs him over but Booker won’t tag out. Booker escapes a
belly to back suplex but gets punched in the face and clotheslined down.
Off to Jarrett as Greene is on commentary now. Stevie comes in and
pounds on Jarrett in the corner before slamming him down. We cut to the
commentators so we can see that Greene is in fact wearing a football
jacket.
Off
to Booker vs. Mongo again with the Horsemen taking over. Booker misses a
charge into the corner but Stevie blasts Mongo in the back of the head
to put him down. Stevie uses the power stuff to take over on McMichael
before it’s back to Booker for a chinlock. Harlem Heat double teams to
draw in Jarrett which allows for even more double teaming.

Stevie puts on another chinlock so we cut to the announcers again. Mongo
comes out of nowhere with a powerslam to Booker and it’s hot (?) tag to
Jarrett. Jeff fires off dropkicks to take over and everything breaks
down. Mongo realizes Greene is with the announcers and walks off for a
brawl. Jeff puts Booker in the Figure Four but Stevie breaks it up and a
Hart Attack with Booker hitting a side kick instead of a clothesline
gets the pin for the Heat.
Rating: D+.
This was long and not interesting. The problem is there’s no reason for
these guys to be fighting and the main story of the match was about the
football players fighting, which I don’t think anyone was interested in
seeing. Just like last week: these matches have almost no meaning
because the Outsiders never defend the belts, so these guys are all
fighting for nothing.
Jarrett says that might be the last straw.
Here
are Hogan and Bischoff to end the show. Hogan says the title is on the
line right now if Sting wants to face him for it. Bischoff says
unfortunately Sting isn’t here tonight. They turn their backs to the
camera and Sting pops up through the mat. And of course it’s the fake
one and the announcers are fooled.
The
NWO Sting stays on his knees in front of Hogan and nods when asked if
he’s half the man Hogan is. He bows down to Hogan and the real Sting
repels into the ring. There’s a Death Drop for Bischoff and Hogan falls
over the bowing fake Sting. The real one beats up the fake one and here
come the troops. Sting flies into the rafters again to end the show.
Overall Rating: C.
This started off hot but slowed way down afterwards. Having Hogan
around helped a lot and you can see that they’re building to Sting vs.
Hogan eventually. I don’t think anyone expected it to take another seven
months, but it was worth it in theory. As for the rest of the show, it
wasn’t bad but as always, the show is better when the bigger names are
in play.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews