WCW Saturday Night: August 16, 1997

August 16, 1997
This will not be a regular segment. I found a few of these shows on YouTube and reviewed them when I was sick. I will post them in chronological order with Tommy’s reviews.
A clip at the end of Road Wild with Dennis Rodman and the nWo.
Your Hosts are Dusty Rhodes and Tony Schiavone

Jim Powers vs. Eddie Guerrero

Dusty and Tony discuss the nWo Sting as Powers tosses Guerrero. Eddie rolls out and yells at the fans, who are chanting “Eddie Sucks.” Dusty talks about Eddie’s change in attitude and even said that he tried to talk to him in “Latino” today. Back in the ring, Powers hits a shoulderblock and wins a test of strength. Side headlock takedown by Powers who catches Eddie with a belly-to-belly suplex shortly afterwards. Guerrero catches Powers in a drop toehold. He hits a brainbuster to set up for the Frog Splash, getting the win (3:09). After the match, Eddie yells into the camera.
Thoughts: Dull squash to give Eddie a win. Dusty’s comment about speaking “Latino” was the highlight of the match.
Dusty and Tony discuss the Sting/JJ Dillon confrontation from Nitro and mention that Alex Wright will defend the Cruiserweight Title against Chris Jericho tonight.
A plug for the Clash of the Champions XXXV, which will air on Thursday.
Lenny Lane vs. “Dancing” Stevie Richards
This is the WCW in-ring debut for Richards. Tony brings up their “Grudge Match” that will happen at the Clash and talks about Raven refusing to sign a contract. Stevie gets a chop in the corner. Lane comes back with a poor excuse of a clothesline then chases Stevie around the ring. Stevie begs for mercy then the camera pans to the crowd and when we come back it appears that Stevie it Lane with a low blow. Was that not allowed on TBS? They then show a clip of the Stevie/Raven confrontation from Nitro and when they return to the match, Lane is in control. He gets two off of a missile dropkick and a bulldog. Stevie ducks an attack and hits the Stevie Kick for the win (3:09)
Thoughts: An unmemorable debut for Richards to say the least. They were trying to portray him as a face and his act is anything but that. His WCW tenure was a bust and he was done a few months later. Panning to the crowd and showing a clip of Nitro during this match speaks volumes.
Clip from Nitro where DDP attacked Curt Hennig during his match with Randy Savage. Scott Hall runs out and attacks DDP along with Savage. Lex Luger runs in and clears the ring.
Rick Fuller vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Tony says that Luger is here tonight then plugs the main event for this show, Wrath & Mortis vs. Ric Flair & Curt Hennig. DDP starts things off with an armdrag. They trade shots in the corner for a bit until DDP gets a back suplex. Fuller shoves DDP back in the corner and works on him as the crowd chants for DDP. Legdrop gets two then DDP fights back. He hits a facebuster which sets up the Diamond Cutter for the win (2:26).
Thoughts: The outcome was never in question here. Fuller, despite being huge, never got pushed past jobber status. There were a lot worse big men in the ring than him.  A quick win for DDP before his tag match with Luger against Hall & Savage at Clash of the Champions.
Mean Gene is in the locker room with DDP and Luger. DDP calls Hennig  a low-life backstabber then goes on about how he wanted respect from the other wrestlers. Luger talks about being a cohesive unit and taking a stand against the nWo. He promises they will take care of business at the Clash. Dull promo.
Texas Hangmen vs. Konnan & Syxx w/Vincent
The Texas Hangmen are the same guys in Disorderly Conduct. They are wearing masks and a full body costume. The nWo guys get jumped before the match but turn things around quickly and start posing in the ring. Syxx gets a Bronco Buster but Hangman #2 clotheslines him from the apron. Syxx gets double-teamed for a bit until he hits a spinning wheel kick and tags Konnan. He runs wild and hits his cradle DDT before Syxx tags and finishes the match with the Buzzkill (2:30).
Thoughts: A meaningless win for the nWo guys before their match at the Clash against Ric Flair & Curt Hennig, which no one cares about.
Mean Gene is in the locker room with Flair and Hennig. Gene asks Flair if Hennig is a Horseman and Flair says that he is not but is confident that he will follow down the right path. Hennig says he is still a free agent but that Flair can “boogie woogie woogie” with the best of them and is leaning towards the Horsemen. Its very clear that Hennig is turning on Flair at some point soon.
Back from break and Okerlund is plugging the WCW Hotline including news of a wrestling promoter in Mexico who was kidnapped along with other news.
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Alex Wright (Champion)
Wright won the belt from Jericho less than weeks ago on Nitro. Jericho attacks Wright as he is dancing. Wright begs for mercy in the corner and Jericho stomps away. Jericho gets a dropkick and a snap suplex as the crowd starts a “USA” chant, which prompts Dusty to tell us that Wright is from England. Jericho gets a hiptoss and a scoop slam then stomps on Wright in the corner. Jericho misses a charge in the corner and Wright goes to work. He taunts the crowd after hitting a back suplex. Wright works the back for a bit as Jericho comes back with a crossbody but gets taken down quickly with a clothesline. Wright knocks Jericho down again and starts dancing. He places Jericho up top but gets shoved down to the mat. Jericho leaps off the top rope but Wright catches him in mid-air with a dropkick. Wright chokes out Jericho, who fights back. Jericho misses a dropkick but manages to hit a missile dropkick shortly afterwards. He gets two off a flying back elbow smash but Wright comes back with an eye poke. He gets nearfalls with a gutwrench and a double underhook suplex. Wright blocks the Liontamer but Jericho gets it on during the second attempt and Wright eventually taps, making Jericho the new champion (8:39) **1/2. After the match, Jericho celebrates and Eddie Guerrero runs off the apron and pushes Jericho’s face, then walks away.
Thoughts: Match was fine but the Cruiserweight Title is completely meaningless at this point. Also, I have no idea why Jericho lost it only to regain it three weeks later to start a feud with Guerrero.
Chris Cruise calls from the road. He is in Birmingham, AL and went to the zoo and saw “Big Cat.” That was the entire segment.
The nWo celebrates their first birthday. Watching Nash f--- around in these type of things is still funny to me.
Clip from Road Wild where Jarrett threw his match where he teamed with Dean Malenko against Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael.
Mark Starr vs. Jeff Jarrett w/Debra
Good lord, Mark Starr was still wrestling on national TV in 1997. Jarrett gets a takedown and struts to start off. He gets caught in a drop toehold but Starr misses an elbow drop and Jarrett gets a slam before laying in the corner. Starr comes back with a clothesline, hiptoss, and a scoop slam. He gets in some mounted punches in the corner as Debra jumps on the apron to distract Starr. Jarrett gets a suplex and chokes Starr as a “Mongo” chant breaks out. Jarrett hits an enziguiri then ducks a clothesline and hits a back suplex. He then softens up the leg or Starr before slapping on the figure-four leglock and getting the win (4:12). Dusty warns Jarrett on commentary that “Mongo’s a comin’.”
Thoughts: Jarrett is not getting over as a star, despite the push. I know matches against Mark Starr is not helping but neither did Debra or the Horsemen angle.
Mean Gene is with Jarrett and Debra. Alex Wright interrupts and speaks with Debra, who says “no gold, no queen.” She says that Jarrett will be the champion.
Another clip from Nitro where the Giant is arrested for violating a restraining order put out by Bischoff.
Renegade vs. Super Calo
What a matchup! Calo gets a crucifix then sends Renegade to the floor with a dropkick. Renegade signals for a timeout but Calo takes him out with a tope. Back in the ring, Renegade sidesteps a dropkick then chokes out Calo. He hits a pumphandle backbreaker then stretches out Calo. Powerslam gets two. Splash gets two. Calo escapes from a Camel Clutch then the Renegade royally fucks up a sunsetflip attempt before missing a handspring back elbow smash in the corner. Calo then places Renegade up top and hits a headscissor takedown for the win (3:58).
Thoughts: The Renegade sucked and if they wanted to give Calo a win, couldn’t they have at least threw in a Luchadore in the match to make it interesting. Speaking of Renegade, I forgot he was even in the promotion at this point.
Another WCW Hotline Plug
Steve “Mongo” McMichael vs. Hector Guerrero
Dusty talks up the Guerrero’s as Mongo hits a shoulderblock. Mongo hits a sideslam and hammers away. Guerrero takes down Mongo and works the leg as Dusty tells us how Virginia and Ohio pale in comparison to Texas when it comes to “whuppins” before he starts to sing “Miss America.” Guerrero sidesteps the Three Point Stance and gets two off a sunset flip. Flying headbutt gets two. Mongo then catches Hector with a powerslam before hitting the Tombstone for the win (3:44). After the match, Jarrett runs in and attacks Mongo’s legs and puts on the Figure Four before Chris Benoit runs in and clears the ring.
Thoughts: Hector could still go at his age, which was 42 at this point. He made Mongo look decent. Further continuation of the Mongo/Jarrett feud.
Clip from Nitro with JJ Dillon in the ring with Mean Gene. JJ has a contract for Sting, who comes from the rafters. JJ tells him he can have a match with any member of the nWo and he says Syxx before ripping up the contract. Fans start a “we want Hogan” chant.
Jerry Flynn vs. Yuji Nagata
Flynn starts with some kicks then lets out an evil laugh. They do some matwork for a bit until Flynn hits a suplex. Nagata fires back with kicks then gets an enziguiri. He gets a back elbow smash but Flynn catches him with a hook kick then chokes him out. Nagata fights back then catches Flynn’s leg and turns it in to an ankle lock. He hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex then makes him tap to the Nagata Lock (The leg lock one, not the crossface) (3:33).
Thoughts: I believe Nagata was like a tweener at this point and didn’t re-align with Onoo for another few months. He was an awful babyface at this point though.
Wrath & Mortis w/James Vandenberg vs. Ric Flair & Curt Hennig
Hennig and Wrath start things out. Wrath easily escapes a go-behind and Hennig goes over to talk with Flair. More stalling from Hennig before Wrath works the arm and grabs a headlock. Shoulderblock gets two from Wrath, who tags Mortis. He misses an elbow drop and that allows Hennig to tag Flair. They beat on Mortis, quickly tagging in and out. Mortis gets two off a rollup on Flair. Neckbreaker gets two. They double team Flair in the corner for a bit. Wrath hits a sideslam for two. Mortis tags but misses a top rope leg drop and that allows Flair to tag Hennig. The crowd is silent as Hennig runs wild before hitting the Fisherman’s Suplex for the win (5:39) ½*.
Thoughts: Bland match. The crowd was silent for this but after watching this show, who could get excited for a boring match like this. Hennig was not really over that much at all, actually. His WCW run was not too memorable.
Final Thoughts: When you had Nitro go two hours, there was no reason at all for this show to go on longer than an hour. The Crusierweight title changing hands was the only competitive match. A lot of unimpressive squash matches and clips from Nitro and Road Wild were showcased. They attempted to put over the Clash and I still didn’t care about the show. Dusty on commentary is a highlight in that its unintentional comedy but this show had nothing going on. With all of the talent on the roster, they could have used this as a show to give the younger guys a chance and give the cruiserweights some matches but instead it was a clip show with a bunch of squashes that lasted two hours.