Monday Nitro – August 25, 1997

Monday
Nitro #102
Date: August 25, 1997
Location: Carolina
Coliseum, Columbia, South Carolina
Attendance: 8,048
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re past the Clash
and the main change is that we have Sting vs. Hogan on the verge of
being announced. Other than that we’re getting ready for Fall Brawl
which is in like three weeks I think. The main event tonight is
Savage vs. Luger as they renew an old rivalry. Other than that I
wouldn’t expect anything big tonight. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of
the vulture stuff from Clash which is over the top but fits well for
Sting at this point.
Here’s Gene in the ring
to recap JJ’s offers to Sting. He calls out “Earic” Bischoff to
address the possibility of Sting vs. Hogan. Bischoff says ultimatums
can come back to bite you, which means the WCW ship has to sail
without Sting. JJ is on the phone (seriously? They couldn’t get JJ
Dillon to a show?) and says that Eric is jumping to conclusions.
Apparently WCW was
flooded with letters from fans so Hogan vs. Sting will happen. Eric
FREAKS and says it won’t happen because Hogan is too busy, but if the
match happened, Hogan would destroy him. Cue Sting who puts Eric on
his knees and puts a Hogan shirt down his throat. Sting smiles for
the first time in a year.
Raven jabbers a bit.
The Nitro Girls dance.
Ernest
Miller/Glacier vs. La Parka/Psychosis
Glacier vs. La Parka to
start with Ice Man kicking him in the face. I’m as shocked as you
are I assure you. Psychosis trips up Glacier but gets caught by a
spin kick from La Parka in a bit of heel miscommunication. A
powerslam puts La Parka down and Psychosis screws up again by hitting
his partner by mistake. They’re even now I guess. Miller comes in
and gets caught in some EVIL double teaming on the floor while being
stretched over the railing. Back in and the masked guys screw up
AGAIN with La Parka kicking Psychosis in the head. Everything breaks
down and La Parka hits Glacier with a wooden chair for the upset pin.
Rating: D+.
What in the world was the point of this? Go show that Glacier and
Miller aren’t a good team? I think we established that about the day
they started teaming together. Other than that, it’s nice to see a
new team who has done well before getting a win, even though they
look like the Three Stooges at the same time. Nothing to see here,
as usual.
Silver King and Ultimo
Dragon come in as the brawl continues post match. Dragon gets beaten
down, leading to this.
Silver King vs.
Ultimo Dragon
Dragon is in trouble
from the beating by all three other luchadores before we get going
here. He says he’s ready to go and it’s on. King already misses a
charge but a following kick in the corner connects with Dragon to
take him down. A top rope legdrop and moonsault get two for King and
we hit the chinlock. Silver misses a top rope elbow but takes
Dragon’s head off with a clothesline.
King chokes away a bit
but jumps into a dropkick as Dragon makes his comeback. He pounds
away on King in the corner and adds a Muta Handspring Elbow. A kind
of rana is botched by Dragon and both guys are down. They try it
again and Dragon gets much higher this time and hits the rana
perfectly for two. King goes up and after bumping the cameraman
twice, gets caught in the super rana and the Dragon Sleeper for the
tap out.
Rating: C-.
Not much here but at least they’re trying to give these guys a story.
What that story is I’m not sure but at least they’re trying somehow.
Other than that though, the botch on the rana wasn’t great and it
really slowed the match down. Silver King is a much bigger deal in
Mexico, but in WCW he never amounted to anything.
Here are Savage and
Hall for a chat. Hall says you can’t have a party without the NWO
and they’re the reason why everyone is here and watching on TV at
home. Apparently DDP has joined the NWO even though Savage voted no.
As for Luger, the slump will continue tonight when he takes the Big
Elbow. Gene asks Page to come out and asks if the Diamond Cutter to
Luger on Thursday was intentional or not. Page calls the question
stupid and says he and Luger will settle their differences like men.
Just advancing stories here.
Chris Benoit vs.
Jeff Jarrett
Benoit drills him three
times in a row to start and ducks the enziguri attempt from Jeff.
Jarret heads to the floor and is immediately caught by a baseball
slide, so he hides behind Debra like a coward. Back in and Jarrett
misses a charge in the corner but manages to avoid the Swan Dive.
Jeff goes up top but Benoit pops up for a superplex, but Jarrett
hooks Benoit’s legs once they hit the mat for a fast pin. Short but
intense as you would imagine from a Benoit match.
The Nitro Girls dance
some more.
Mortis/Wrath vs.
Faces of Fear
Apparently this is a
rematch from Saturday Night where the Faces of Fear lost. Wrath and
Barbarian start things off with neither guy being able to keep an
advantage. Vandenberg grabs Barbarian’s leg and Wrath kicks him down
for two but Barbie pops right back up. A top rope lariat gets two
more for Wrath but he misses a middle rope elbow. Off to Meng for a
double middle rope headbutt for two more. Everything breaks down so
let’s talk about WarGames.
There’s no Jimmy Hart
out here with the Fear dudes for some reason. Things calm down a bit
and Wrath charges into a Meng boot in the corner. Back to Barbarian
who gets caught by a cross body of all things. Not hot tag brings in
Mortis to fire off kicks but Meng goes into MONSTER MODE….which
lasts about four seconds before Mortis kicks him down for two.
Everything breaks down again and Mortis jumps into the Tongan
Deathgrip to end this.
Rating: C.
I’ll give them this: they’re giving these lower level guys some
programs which while not great do in fact exist. So many people
today have nothing of note to do and just wait for a story to come
along. This isn’t much of a story for these guys but it’s something
to do and a chance for them to show their skills a bit. That’s kind
of nice to see and the matches aren’t horrible or anything.
Wrath and Meng fight
some more post match.
BUY THIS STUFF!
Hour #2 begins.
Here are the Horsemen
with something to say. Flair wants to know RIGHT NOW if Hennig is
with them or against them. Curt comes out but he says he’s still not
ready to give Flair an answer at this point. However, Flair was
expecting this so here’s Arn Anderson to give a final sales pitch.
Anderson talks about how he’s never been the biggest, the strongest,
or the best at anything, but he’s parlayed that into a wrestling
career. Then a few months ago he had to have neck surgery which left
his left hand (he’s a southpaw) too weak to hold a glass or button a
button.
Then a few days ago at
the gym, he dropped a water bottle and saw the water falling out of
it like the sand in the hourglass of his career. Therefore, he’d
rather walk away than endanger the careers of men he respects. Every
time he got in the ring, he gave you everything he had and that’s how
he wants to be remembered. However he has one more challenge and
that’s to Curt Hennig. He asks Hennig to be the new Enforcer of the
Horsemen, which is Anderson’s spot on the team. Hennig says it would
be a privilege and shakes Arn’s hand to join the team.
US Title: Steve
McMichael vs. Eddie Guerrero
Mongo (the champion)
gets jumped from behind to start with Eddie going after the knee. A
snapmare puts the champ on the mat and Eddie stomps away before
hitting a DDT out of the corner for two. A headscissors gets the
same as Mongo is in trouble. Steve comes back with some basic power
stuff including a slam and another slam and then a SPINNING slam. A
charge misses in the corner and Eddie goes up, only to jump into a
Tombstone for the pin to retain. Nothing to see here.
Here’s Rey to update us
on his knee injury. He shouldn’t have wrestled at Road Wild which
brings out Konnan to run his mouth. Trash is spoken but Giant comes
out to scare Konnan off.
Bischoff comes out and
runs off Heenan and Tenay, saying he and Tony are doing commentary
for the rest of the show. Ok then.
Cruiserweight Title:
Yuji Nagata vs. Chris Jericho
I never got the appeal
of Nagata. I know he’s a big deal in Japan but his WCW stuff bored
me to death. Technical stuff to start with Jericho being sent into
the ropes where he misses a spinwheel kick. Yuji takes it to the mat
and fires off a HARD kick to Jericho. You know, because he’s
Japanese and Japanese wrestlers kick a lot. Jericho comes back with
a dropkick and slam to set up a springboard splash for two. We hit a
chinlock for a bit before Nagata is put in the Tree of Woe for some
kicks.
We take a break and
come back with Jericho getting dropped stomach first onto the ropes.
We head to the floor where Jericho comes back with a cross body and
it’s back inside. Yuji punches Jericho coming off the top to break
up an ax handle shot. Jericho shrugs that off, hits the Lionsault,
the WCW-rare double powerbomb and hooks the Liontamer for the tap out
to retain.
Rating: D+.
This didn’t work for the most part for me. Nagata is another guy who
is just there with no real character or anything resembling one aside
from “he’s a big deal in Japan.” Therefore, it’s hard to care
about him and it’s hard to buy him as a legit threat to Jericho’s
title. Not bad but nothing interesting at all here.
Harlem Heat wants to be
#1 contenders but they have to get past the Steiners apparently. Ray
talks about not having to go up north (to WWF) or to Japan because
they’re the big tag team of WCW. The Steiners come out to say they
deserve another title shot because of how the previous match ended.
Vicious and Delicious come out to brag and a fight breaks out.
More dancing.
TV Title: Alex
Wright vs. Dean Malenko
Alex is defending.
Dean messes with him by using amateur stuff on him to start before
taking him to the mat for two. The champ heads to the floor and
comes back in with a strategy of punch Dean in the face over and
over. Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that work best I suppose.
There’s an elbow drop but the champion stops to dance instead of
covering.
There’s a backbreaker
and Wright bends Dean over his knee for a little while. Wright’s
piledriver attempt is blocked into a backdrop. Malenko loads up a
superplex but gets shoved down. Instead Dean settles for a dropkick
but Wright goes to the eyes to break up the Cloverleaf attempt. A
pair of suplexes take Dean down but Dean counters into another
Cloverleaf attempt, drawing Dean and Eddie out for the DQ.
Rating: C-.
This was just waiting around until we got to the ending. The matches
tonight haven’t had much to them at all other than setting up stuff
for the future. That’s ok for a bit but when that’s all that happens
on the show it gets old. Dean needs Jarrett to go to the WWF already
so he and Eddie can just do their thing without being dragged down.
Lex Luger vs. Randy
Savage
Savage, an old Memphis
man, stalls before we get going. Luger punches him into the ropes
and gets pulled away by the referee, resulting in Savage getting in a
punch to take over. Randy seems to be keeping things simple tonight
with punches and a clothesline as we head to the floor. More basic
attacking by Savage as he starts focusing on the ribs by sending
Luger into the barricade.
Luger tries crawling
around but gets kicked in the head. You can’t say Savage didn’t live
up to his name. A double ax off the apron puts Luger down again,
preventing him from getting back into the ring. Savage finally
throws him back in and drops the top rope ax on him for two. A
sleeper on Luger is quickly countered into a belly to back suplex and
both guys are down.
Luger gets up first and
starts his comeback with his complete assortment of non-Rack moves
(punch, clothesline, atomic drop, forearm) before calling for the
Rack. Hall of course runs in and rams the guys together by mistake.
Page comes out and checks on Luger, resulting in Lex Racking him to
end the show.
Rating: D+.
This was again just there for the ending to play off the idea of
Luger and Page having issues. Based on that, I’ll set the over/under
for pleas for WCW to come together at 4 for the first hour of next
week’s show alone. Savage and Luger fought forever in WCW so it’s
kind of nice to see them rekindle that a bit here.
Overall Rating: D.
This show just wasn’t very good. It was almost all angle
advancement, but at the same time there weren’t any good matches to
back it up. We’re heading into WarGames now and nothing is really
set in stone yet. We can see most of the card though, and that’s the
most important part. Anderson’s retirement speech is worth checking
out, if nothing else to keep in mind for the parody that would
follow.
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