Monday Nitro – June 9, 1997

Nitro #91
Date: June 9, 1997
Location: Fleet Center,
Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the go home show
for Great American Bash and Savage vs. Page II, which is a match that
I actually want to see given the build that we’ve got. The other
main match on Sunday is Hall/Nash defending against Flair/Piper. The
main event of tonight’s show: Hall/Nash vs. Flair/Piper, although
this one is non title. Other than that we’ve got Malenko defending
the US Title against Jarrett and that’s about it. Let’s get to it.

We open with a video
about Rodman and Hogan for Bash at the Beach before heading into the
opening sequence.
Tony confirms that
Rodman and Hogan will in fact be wrestling at Bash at the Beach and
we’ll find out their opponents tonight.
We cut to the back
where Savage and Liz are arriving but before Savage can get out of
the car, DDP runs up and kicks the window in. Liz slams the door on
Page’s ribs and jumps in so they can speed away.
Super Calo/Juventud
Guerrerea/Ultimo Dragon vs. La Parka/Psychosis/Silver King
Psychosis vs. Calo to
get us going but all six get in the ring before anything happens. It
winds up as Psychosis vs. Dragon to start and the headstand into the
headscissors by Dragon out of the corner doesn’t quite work. Going
to the floor is just as good as a tag here so when those two hit the
floor, it’s off to Calo vs. Parka. A headscissors out of the corner
sends La Parka flying and Calo knocks him to the floor, followed by a
slingshot Swanton Bomb to the floor.
It’s off to King vs.
Juvy with Silver King superkicking Guerrera down. Back to
Psychosis….who ignores being tagged for some reason. Guerrera hits
a great hurricanrana and a HARD dropkick to the face. Tenay talks
about Silver King’s famous father Dr. Wagner who Larry apparently
fought. Juvy is sent to the floor and King tags out, bringing in
Dragon vs. Psychosis but it’s quickly off to Juvy and La Parka again.
I can’t even keep up
with how fast this match is going which is the right idea for
something like this. Psychosis takes over on Calo and the fans start
loudly chanting something that sounds like boring. I can’t believe
that’s what they’re saying. Everything breaks down and Juvy
hurricanranas King down.
We finally get down to
Psychosis vs. Dragon with Dragon hitting a rana for two but Psychosis
counters into a near fall of his own. Both guys get sent to the
floor and it’s La Parka vs. King now. We unleash the dives with
everyone hitting at least one. Dragon throws Psychosis back in for a
super rana and the Dragon Sleeper for the submission.
Rating: C+.
When you need something good to start a show, throw six
cruiserweights out there and let them go nuts. That’s exactly what
they did here and the fans (I hope) liked it quite a bit. This
wasn’t a cliché yet so the idea of it was still appealing and fresh,
much like the rest of WCW at this point.
La Parka attacks his
opponents post match.
Here’s Luger for a
chat. Luger and Giant (who apparently is in Germany tonight) have
signed to face Rodman and Hogan at Bash at the Beach. They’re
waiting on Hogan and Rodman to sign but there’s bigger news. Hogan
hasn’t defended the title since February, so tonight it’s Luger vs.
Hogan. Lex never says if the title is on the line or not.
Earlier today Piper and
Flair arrived and they’re fired up about the match tonight.
Alex Wright vs.
Chris Jericho
Feeling out process to
start with Wright being sent to the apron where Jericho hits his
springboard dropkick to send Alex to the floor. Back in and Wright
stomps away in the corner followed by a suplex for no cover. Alex
goes up and misses a knee drop, but he catches Jericho’s superkick in
a dragon screw leg whip. A Vader Bomb gets two for Wright as does a
sunset flip for Jericho.
Off to a chinlock by
Wright but Jericho suplexes out of it. We head right back to the
chinlock to kill some more time and Wright puts his feet on the
ropes. Jericho fights up and hits a spin kick to the chest but
Wright clotheslines him down for two. Off to a camel clutch which
Jericho gets to the ropes to escape. The fans boo because a beach
ball they have is taken away. My goodness you paid for tickets to a
show and you have a freaking beach ball? I’ve never gotten the point
of that. Jericho puts Wright in the Tree of Woe for a baseball slide
followed by a cross body, but Wright rolls through and uses the ropes
for the pin.
Rating: C-.
This was a fairly long match for Nitro and it never got going.
Wright was ok but when he lost the first match after his heel turn
his whole new persona was broken. Also the announcers spent the
first part of the match talking about how big a roll Jericho has been
on due to some success in Japan, so they have him lose here? I’m not
sure I get this.
Akira Hokuto vs.
Malia Hosaka
Akira is Women’s
Champion and has a title vs. career match vs. Madusa on Sunday.
She’s a heel here because she has Sonny Onoo with her. Hokuto is
receiving oxygen on the way to the ring. Akira jumps Hosaka to start
and kicks at the ribs over and over. She bites Malia’s fingers for
good measure which fires Hosaka up enough for an ax handle to the
chest. A top rope cross body gets two on Akira but Hokuto comes back
with a brainbuster out of nowhere for the fast pin. Basically a
Hokuto gives her
another brainbuster for good measure but Madusa comes out for the
save with a few German supelxes.
Luger vs. Hogan is
officially non-title. So what was the significance of pointing out
that he hadn’t defended the title since February?
Here are the Steiners
for a chat. Rick says they beat the NWO and now they have to prove
themselves all over again. Scott says they’ll beat whoever they have
to beat to get another title shot. This brings out Harlem Heat who
says they should get a title shot. They’re fighting on Sunday but a
brawl breaks out here.
Konnan vs. Steve
Kevin Greene jumps
Mongo on the way to the ring but Mongo drops him throat first onto
the barricade and walks away. Greene jumps Mongo again and the brawl
is finally broken up. We cut back to the ring to see Konnan out cold
with a broom broken next to him. That would imply Hugh Morrus who
Konnan attacked with a broom last week. No match.
Here are Bischoff and
Hogan with the latter in a sweet white NWO shirt. Bischoff tells JJ
and WCW to bite him because Hogan isn’t getting in the ring until
he’s ready. Hogan says he won’t wrestle tonight but he’ll pose a bit
for the fans. Cue Luger who gets in the ring before Bischoff and
Hogan can see him. Hogan gets in Luger’s face and says get out of
here. Luger decks him and we have a referee and a bell.
Lex Luger vs. Hulk
Non-title. Luger
forearms him to the floor and the NWO comes out for support. Hogan
clotheslines Luger down and drops some elbows. The fans are on fire
already which is something you can’t take away from Hogan: he got
reactions that no one else in WCW could get. Luger forearms him down
and we take a break.
Back with Hogan
scratching Luger’s back as we start hour #2. Hogan clotheslines him
down again and Luger is in trouble. A belly to back suplex puts Lex
down for two but Hulk misses an elbow. Luger stops to beat up the
Wolfpack and the Rack gets the submission on Hogan out of nowhere.
This ran less than six minutes in total and we saw about two minutes
of it.
The Wolfpack runs in
immediately and crushes Luger. Hogan hits the legdrop….and the
pyro goes off to start hour #2. They couldn’t do this thirty seconds
earlier when Hogan was pinned in a shocking moment? Instead we wait
for the guy that beat Hogan to get destroyed? It was THAT important?
The beating goes on for awhile to make sure Hogan gets every single
bit of his heat back. Hogan lays on the mat and brags to Rodman
about being awesome.
Here’s JJ in the ring
to say that Savage is fined fifty grand for what he did last week.
There’s no suspension though, but Savage vs. Page II is now
non-sanctioned and under what would be called hardcore rules. Savage
pops up in the crowd with Liz and says he’s not paying the fine. Cue
DDP who says let’s do it right now. Savage comes to the ring and
they brawl for about ten seconds. Somehow all that took five and a
half minutes.
Road Report wastes some
US Title: Jeff
Jarrett vs. Dean Malenko
Dean is defending and
there’s no Debra with Jeff. Jeff’s outfit is now gold and white
instead of just the white. Dean takes it to the mat to start and
they trade hammerlocks. Jeff takes Dean down and struts a bit. A
rollup gets two for the champion as does a small package. More back
and forth technical stuff with Dean getting a small advantage.
Here’s Debra because what would Nitro be like without her right?
We take a break and
come back with Dean stomping away in the corner. Jarrett hooks a
sleeper but Dean quickly rams him into the corner to escape. Off to
a sleeper from Dean which is reversed into a suplex to put both guys
down. A DDT puts Dean down for two but Malenko comes back with a
clothesline to slow Jeff down. Dean slams him down and puts on a
half crab with an arm trap to make it something like a surfboard.
Off to a spinning leg
lock instead by Dean as he keeps the focus on the leg. A leg lariat
gets two for Dean but Jeff comes back with a tombstone of all things
for no cover. There’s the Figure Four and Dean is in trouble. It’s
not big trouble though as he turns Jeff over in about five seconds to
escape. Dean hits a butterfly powerbomb to set up the Cloverleaf but
Jarrett small packages him for two. Backslide gets two for the
champion as does a neckbreaker for the challenger.
Jeff misses a charge in
the corner but blocks a shot off the top from Dean. A superplex puts
Malenko down and here’s Eddie Guerrero out of the crowd. Debra
distracts the referee and Eddie hits a Frog Splash on Dean. The
sling his arm is in is fake apparently, so he leaves it on Dean’s
chest. The referee finds nothing wrong with this and Jeff puts on
the Figure Four and gets the tap out for the title.
Rating: B-.
I was digging this but I could have done without the Eddie
interference. It’s also hard to believe that the referee isn’t going
to notice a freaking sling on Dean’s chest and be perfectly fine with
it. Also it’s not like Dean’s leg was hurt that bad but he taps out
that fast? It wasn’t that bad but it’s kind of a stretch for an
ending. Still though, good match.
Gene is with Jimmy Hart
and the Faces of Fear. Jimmy brings out Kevin Sullivan who says you
can go home again, and he’s done that here tonight in Boston. He
wants Benoit, Benoit comes out, the Dungeon beats him down.
Outsiders vs. Ric
Flair/Roddy Piper
Non-title again. It’s
a brawl to start of course with the old guys taking over. Scratch
that as the old guys get taken down and we take another break. Back
with Hall vs. Piper but it’s quickly off to Nash. Flair tries to
come in which only allows more beating on Piper. Roddy hits both
Outsiders low but Flair is on the floor fighting Syxx. Syxx comes
into the ring and gets decked by Piper and it’s thrown out quick.
Nothing to see here.
The NWO and the
Horsemen come out for the big brawl, although we’ve got a good deal
of time left. The Horsemen get beaten down but here’s Green for a
failed save. The annoying timekeeper rings the bell through all of
this. Didn’t the first hundred rings or so tell you that it wasn’t
going to work? Harlem Heat and the Steiners are fighting in the
aisle. We get a pretty cool looking wide shot of the arena.
Glacier, Wrath and
Mortis are fighting in the aisle now too. The announcers get run off
but come back a second later. The fans chant for Sting but we get
luchadores fighting instead. Harlem Heat and the Steiners head to
the announce booth again and we’ve lost Tony. The Dungeon of Doom
gets in on this too and Heenan bails. The fans still want Sting but
Savage and Page run in instead.
Tony is back on
commentary now and Bobby joins him a bit later. Hogan is out now and
takes out Flair with the belt. Page is out on the floor and here’s
Sting from the ceiling. He holds off the NWO with the bat, even
getting in a few shots in on them before attaching Page to the wire
he’s on and flying into the air while holding Page. AWESOME ending
to the show as the brawl ran like ten minutes.
Overall Rating: B-.
This is a strange show but it worked for the most part. It was an
entertaining show on its own, but it didn’t exactly make me want to
see the PPV. Hogan and Luger weren’t there on Sunday, and the match
they had tonight is never mentioned again as far as I know. The main
event meant nothing but that’s par for the course in WCW. The ending
sequence was incredible though and it would have had me begging my
parents to get me the PPV. Other than that the show was entertaining
enough and it went by very quickly, which is a good thing. As usual,
when Hogan is around it’s a better show.

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