Monday Nitro – June 30, 1997

Nitro #94
Date: June 30, 1997
Location: MGM Grand
Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is probably a
bigger show than the PPV from earlier in the month, or at least it’s
being treated as such. There are two major debuts tonight and
apparently Hogan is going to be here too. Other than that, the card
is pretty much stacked with a lot of big names in action. This arena
would host a bunch of PPVs so it has a big show feeling to it. Let’s
get to it.

Tony does a quick intro
and it’s off to Gene who brings out Naitch. Before Flair can talk we
hear Piper’s music but instead it’s two women carrying a Piper
mannequin. Flair starts to talk but the girls drop the mannequin.
Apparently this is all that’s left of Piper after the girls had him
all night long. One girl isn’t sure why Piper is called Hot Rod,
because he isn’t hot. Oh these are Flair chicks for sure.
Flair says Piper
crossed the line last week when Piper tried to tell Flair how to
wrestle. That’s what he said? Thanks for clearing it up. Gene asks
the girls if Flair is really the sixty minute man. Girl: “More
like 30 seconds.” Flair immediately picks up the kilt and pretends
he didn’t hear that line. He holds a funeral for Piper and the girls
take Gene’s clothes off. He says his mother in law is watching so
Flair struts a bit. This heel turn by Flair was way out there and it
didn’t work on most levels.
The announcers tell us
about Jericho winning the Cruiserweight Title two nights ago and then
it’s right back to talking about Flair, who faces Piper at the PPV.
Cruiserweight Title:
Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho is defending
his newly won title. That’s probably the biggest win WCW has had
over the NWO to date. They trade wristlocks to start but no one can
get control. Jericho hooks a bow and arrow hold on the mat followed
by a headlock. Juvy tries a moonsault but misses Jericho, who hits a
belly to back suplex for two. A regular suplex gets two as well and
Guerrera is put in the Tree of Woe followed by a baseball slide.
Jericho walks into an
elbow but Juvy misses a springboard dropkick to put him right back
down. Jericho misses a charge and hits the floor, where Juvy hits a
HUGE dive to take him out. A release German suplex by Jericho sets
up a double powerbomb but it only gets two. Instead it’s the super
Frankensteiner by Jericho into the Liontamer for the submission win
to retain the title.
Rating: C.
This was basically a squash with Juvy being a jobber out there.
Jericho winning the title was a big shock but to their credit it felt
like a big deal. Guerrera was good at what he did and would become
one of the best in the division for years to come. I was kind of
surprised by how one sided this was but it wasn’t bad at all.
Post match Gene comes
in to talk to Jericho and Chris puts the title on Gene’s shoulder.
There’s an image for you. Jericho says this is a WCW belt and it’s
back where it belongs. Syxx comes out and says the NWO still
recognizes him as champion. He says Jericho can have another match
for the title right now, and a brawl breaks out. Post break security
pulls them apart and Alex Wright is in the aisle. He’s tired of not
getting interviews and not getting title shots. Wright says he has a
better body than Luger and that’s it.
Dean Malenko vs.
Eddie Guerrero
Eddie jumps Dean as
he’s coming through the entrance and rams him into the steps. They
head into the ring as we hear about Los Gringos Locos, Eddie’s team
with Art Barr in Mexico. Dean is in trouble as the bell rings and
Eddie suplexes him down. A back elbow puts Dean down but the
slingshot hilo misses and Eddie is sent to the apron. Guerrero goes
up and gets crotched followed by having his tornado DDT countered.
Eddie gets launched
face first into the buckle and a backbreaker gets two for Dean. A
WICKED powerbomb puts Eddie down but Dean wants to beat on him more
instead of pin him. Here’s Chavo to ringside and then to the apron
as Malenko is loading up the Cloverleaf. Eddie shoves Dean into
Chavo, followed by the brainbuster and Frog Splash for the pin.
Rating: C+.
This was more about storytelling than the match, but the match wasn’t
half bad. These two have been going after each other for weeks and
it’s a good idea to have the first match end with some questionable
means. It continues the story and was good at the same time. What
more could you possibly want?
Mysterio is with Gene
and says that he’s tired of being pushed around by Nash and the
Wolfpac. It started when he was launched like a dart into a trailer
and then powerbombed during his match with Syxx. Rey wants a match
with Nash and the big man comes out to laugh and accept the
Here are Bischoff and
Hogan with something to say. Eric is on a motorcycle because he
enjoys being on them. Hogan talks about beating down all of their
enemies and partying with Rodman (not here) later tonight. The party
is the highlight of the interview. Pretty much Hogan had nothing to
say here.
TV Title: Hector
Garza vs. Steven Regal
Regal is defending, in
case someone actually needs clarification. Regal, now in a singlet,
tries to take Garza down with a Boston Crab to start. When that
doesn’t work, Regal pounds away in the corner to take over. Garza
comes back with a forearm but Regal takes him back down and struts a
They head to the floor
for a second which goes nowhere so Garza low bridges him back to the
floor. Garza loads up the Corkscrew Plancha and we go wide to get a
better look at it. This is a bad idea as Garza COMPLETELY misses
Regal, barely grazing the champ’s shins. Back in and a moonsault
hits Regal’s knees and the Regal Stretch retains the title.
Rating: C-.
This was a fine enough way to kill off six minutes I guess but
there’s nothing to it beyond that. Garza was about as much of a one
move guy as you could possibly have and when that one move looked bad
in a match, there wasn’t much else he could do. One thing you did
get almost every week was a random pairing like this. There’s
nothing wrong with that because you can throw something out there and
see what works. If it doesn’t, you lose six minutes and that’s it.
WWE seems to be trying this with Cesaro lately and it’s a good idea.
The Steiners want their
match with the Outsiders accepted tonight. Didn’t they already win
the #1 contendership? Why would they need a match to be accepted?
This brings out the NWO en masse. Hall says he has a contract right
now and the Steiners sign it without reading it. The contract says
that the Steiners have to beat Chono and Muta before they get their
shot. I’m sure THAT will be the last match before the title match
Super Calo vs.
Calo knocks him to the
floor and Psychosis stalls a bit. Sonny Onoo, Psychosis’ manager,
distracts Calo and Psychosis takes over. Back in and Calo powerslams
him down but gets enziguried to the floor. Psychosis goes up but
missed a double ax handle, landing face first on the barricade.
FREAKING OW MAN! Calo suplexes him back in as they try to do the
Warrior/Rude finish from Mania 5, but Sonny misses the foot, making
Calo look completely inept. Too short to rate but it was pretty
pedestrian stuff.
Post match Calo beats
down Psychosis but La Parka comes out and breaks a wooden chair over
Calo’s back for the second time. Juventud Guerrera comes out for the
Hour #2 starts.
Steve McMichael/Ric
Flair/Chris Benoit vs. Buff Bagwell/Masahiro Chono/Scott Norton
Bagwell and Flair start
things off and we get a strutting competition. Buff pounds on Flair
in the corner and it’s off to Mongo who has a dumb look on his face.
Mongo gets caught in the wrong corner but he comes back with right
hands to Chono. Back to Flair who pounds away for about five seconds
before Benoit comes in to a nice reaction. Chono kicks him down but
stops to argue with Flair, allowing Benoit to clothesline Chono down
and hit the Swan Dive. Everything breaks down and Vincent comes in
for the DQ.
Rating: D+.
Nothing to see here as the whole match wasn’t even four minutes long
and had the NWO DQ as required by WCW law. Also I’m not sure what
was accomplished here at all, but on a shot this big I can understand
the matches being this short. It isn’t fun to sit through but it’s
High Voltage vs.
Wrath pounds on Kaos in
the corner and things break down in about twenty seconds. A top rope
clothesline puts Kaos down and the squash is on. Glacier and Miller
come to ringside and the distraction draws Wrath to the floor,
allowing Cat (Miller) to kick Mortis in the face and give High
Voltage the big upset.
A limo is in the back.
Presumably this is the impact player. The door opens, the camera
zooms in on it, and the door closes.
Road Report.
Raven is in the front
row and the announcers all know who he is. He’s mentioned as a
champion from elsewhere but ECW isn’t mentioned by name of course.
Tenay thinks he might be the Impact Player or Page’s mystery partner.
US Title: Jeff
Jarrett vs. Konnan
I think this is for the
title but I’m not sure. Jeff pounds him down to start but misses an
enziguri, allowing Konnan to hit a low dropkick to take over.
Jarrett comes back with a DDT but Konnan takes it to the mat and
hooks a kind of abdominal stretch on the mat. Konnan loads up a
Figure Four but a rake to the eyes breaks it up. Here come the
Horsemen who distract Konnan and allow Jeff to take the knee out and
put on the Figure Four….which is almost immediately turned over.
Jeff turns it back over and Flair helps Jeff with some extra leverage
for the tap out.
Rating: D+.
Nothing to see here again with another match feeling like pure
filler. I just hope this doesn’t lead to more problems for the
Horsemen as that story has been going on for about a year now.
Jarrett never clicked at all in WCW and he felt forced in there as a
Horseman. How many US Title shots is Konnan going to get anyway?
Post match Jeff brags
about everyone he’s beaten but Flair says Jarrett is off the team.
Halle-freaking-lujah. Jarrett says you can’t do that. Flair is like
dude, I’m Ric Flair. Debra runs her mouth for a bit and Jarrett says
he’s going to put Flair out. Benoit talks about how Jarrett blew his
chance. This didn’t make a ton of sense, but anything that gets
Jarrett out of the Horsemen is cool with me.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Kevin Nash
Rey goes right at him
and takes Nash down, but a sunset flip goes about as badly as you
would expect it to for Mysterio. Nash LAUNCHES Mysterio across the
ring and the Jackknife ends this quick. So Mysterio stands up to the
NWO and is promptly destroyed. Thanks for wasting our time on that
Nash drops Mysterio
again and hits the referee too. Konnan comes out as Nash powerbombs
Rey a third time. Nash leaves and Konnan puts on the Tequila
Sunrise, apparently joining the NWO. Mysterio is taken out on a
Tenay goes to talk to
Raven but Raven won’t say anything.
Diamond Dallas
Page/Lex Luger/The Giant vs. Randy Savage/Outsiders
Main event time. We
take a break before the match starts and come back to see the NWO
still not letting WCW in, just like what we saw before the break.
Luger and Giant finally get in and the match gets going. Page goes
right for Savage and WCW rules the ring to start. Hall gets in a
shot on Luger, and according to wrestling law, the rest of the NWO
takes over at the exact same time. All six guys are still in the
ring and I don’t think we’ve had a bell yet.
Savage and Page fight
to the floor before getting right back into the ring. We still
haven’t had two people alone in the ring yet. Luger goes down so
Giant headbutts both Outsiders down at the same time. Giant charges
at them both but gets backdropped to the floor. Here comes Hogan and
Page Diamond Cuts Savage. Hogan blasts Luger with the belt on the
floor and apparently he took Giant out with it earlier. Page gets
beaten down and I think the match is thrown out. It never started I
don’t think so I won’t rate it, but it was just a big brawl anyway.
The NWO destroys Page
as Hogan walks around on the floor. Savage hits a second elbow and
Sting is in the crowd. Savage hits a third elbow and another Sting
drops in from the rafters. Hogan bails and Sting clears the ring.
Curt Hennig walks down the aisle and the show ends with him doing
nothing at all. Raven jumps the guardrail, which is some of the only
main event interaction I ever remember him having in WCW.
Overall Rating: C+.
This is a back and forth show. It feels like a big show for sure,
given all of the matches they had on here and some of the stuff they
had going on, but nothing on here is anything more than ok from a
quality standpoint. That being said, we had a lot of stuff on here
and it certainly feels like a big show, which is what they were
shooting for. The ending looks really interesting, but the important
question is how will they follow up on it.
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