Monday Nitro – September 1, 1997

Monday Nitro #103
Date: September 1, 1997
Location: Pensacola
Civic Center, Pensacola, Florida
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schivaone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re two weeks from
Fall Brawl which has barely been touched on so far. The show wound
up being pretty lame if I remember right but that goes without saying
for a lot of these WCW PPVs. The main event tonight is a rematch
from Clash of the Champions with Hall/Savage vs. Luger/Page. Let’s
get to it.

This is the two year
anniversary. Ok then.
We open with a video
package on the career of Arn Anderson. That’s very cool and he still
doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.
We also recap Hennig
getting Arn’s spot on the team last week.
Eddie Guerrero/Jeff
Jarrett vs. Steve McMichael/Chris Benoit
Like a true man from
Memphis, Jarrett stalls on the floor before we get going. Benoit and
Guerrero start things off and it’s a feeling out process.
Considering how often they’ve fought, you wouldn’t think they would
need to feel each other out. Eddie pounds him into the corner and
does that spinning boot onto Benoit’s eyes move of his. Jarrett
comes in and gets chopped down as we take a break.
Back with Guerrero
doing pushups to annoy Benoit. So he’s Scott Steiner now? Jeff
comes in again for a dropkick onto Chris before it’s back to Eddie.
Chris gets a fast two off a rollup but gets caught by Jarrett in the
running crotch attack while in 619 position. Benoit chops Jeff down
and Mongo adds a clothesline to a BIG pop. Eddie comes back in with
a clothesline to Benoit but Mongo breaks up the Frog Splash.
The Canadian hits a
fast superplex to put both guys down and the hot tag brings in Mongo
to clean house on both heels. Everything breaks down and Eddie trips
Benoit up, allowing Jarrett to chop block McMichael. Jeff puts on
the Figure Four and Eddie goes up for the Frog Splash, only to have
Dean Malenko come in, shove Eddie off the top, and frog splash Jeff
to break up the hold. Mongo gets the easy pin.
Rating: C+.
Basic tag match here which went fine. I don’t know why it took so
long for Dean to get involved with the Horsemen as he’s pretty close
to a natural fit for them. Jarrett wasn’t long for WCW as he would
have his last televised match in the company in the first week of
October. Pretty decent opener here though and it advanced the story,
even though I’m not sure they knew what that story was anymore.
Luger congratulates Arn
on his career. I’d expect a lot of these testimonial kind of things
tonight.
Here are Hall, Savage
and Liz to the announce desk. Hall steals the mic from Larry and
says Happy Labor Day. He talks about doing it for the little man and
says the NWO is the real draw instead of WCW. Come on dude don’t rub
it in that much. Hall brags about the NWO’s disrespect of authority
to Larry who doesn’t have a great comeback. Savage challenges Page
and Luger to a rematch that was already talked about earlier and
that’s about it.
Silver King vs.
Mortis
Mortis pounds away to
start but King flips over him ala Daniel Bryan and kicks Mortis’ face
off. Well his mask off but you get the idea. A mini springboard
kick to Mortis’ gets another two as you may be noticing a pattern
emerging here. Vandenberg finally realizes Mortis is losing to
freaking Silver King and trips him up to let Mortis take over.
A guillotine legdrop
gets two for the masked (Mortis if you’re not clear on that) dude
before hooking an abdominal stretch for a few moments. King hits a
quick backdrop and a paid of dropkicks to send Mortis outside for a
plancha to take him down again. Back in they go and King’s run ends
via a Russian legsweep. The Flatliner (middle rope Samoan Drop) gets
the pin in an abrupt ending.
Rating: C-.
This wasn’t bad but at the end of the day how interested can you get
in Silver King vs. Mortis? That’s one of the things you did get on
Nitro: matches between guys you would never think to put together
that wound up being decent. They have these guys under contract, so
why not throw them out there for five minutes and see what they can
do?
Vandenberg wants the
Faces of Fear to come out here, only to have his boys cleaned out by
the monsters.
Time for some dancing
chicks.
We recap Bischoff
getting beaten up by Sting last week.
Yuji Nagata vs. Dean
Malenko
Bah it’s Nagata. I
never cared for this guy and he never was anything interesting in
WCW. They fight for control to start until Dean takes him down to
the mat and cranks on the arm a bit. Both guys try for the others’
leg with Yuji settling for the ankle. Dean is all like “oh you did
not just try a mat hold on me” and puts on a freaky leg lock that
only lasts a few seconds until Yuji gets a rope. Dean hits his leg
lariat for one and we hit the chinlock.
Nagata fights up
quickly and counters a whip into the corner with a boot to the face.
We get the dragon screw leg whip which is getting more and more
common in WCW at this point. They fight for the submissions on the
mat again with Dean trying for a cross armbreaker that doesn’t last
long due to those pesky ropes. Dean suplexes Nagata down for two and
Nagata gets the same off a backdrop. Cue Jarrett for revenge from
earlier (shouldn’t this be Eddie?). Debra distracts the referee,
allowing Jeff to nail Malenko to give Nagata the win.
Rating: C+.
This was one of the more entertaining matches I’ve ever seen from
Nagata, although that may have been due to Malenko being able to do
no wrong in 1997. The match was very technical, which shows another
strength of Nitro: this is the third match of the night and we’ve had
a tag match, a high flying match and a technical match. That gives a
lot of fan bases something to care about and that’s a great idea.
The Girls dance some
more.
La Parka vs. Ultimo
Dragon
This is part of Sonny
Onoo’s war with the Ultimo Dragon. La Parka pounds away to start and
chops Dragon down. Ultimo is fine with that though, coming back with
a nip up and an armdrag before sending Parka through the ropes and
out to the floor. We head to the floor where Dragon’s handspring
elbow misses La Parka but hits the barricade. Dragon tries to suplex
Onoo on the floor but gets taken out by a nice suicide dive.
The fans chant for
Dragon to mess with la Parka’s mind so he puts Ultimo in the Tree of
Woe. A hard kick to Dragon’s chest keeps him down but he fires (see
what I did there?) off a clothesline for one and it’s time for some
martial arts. La Parka gets two off a powerslam but Dragon escapes a
backdrop and fires off the kicks. A bridging fallaway slam (not a
move you often see) gets two for Dragon so Sonny distracts the
referee. Parka gets a chair but walks into kind of a Van Daminator
from Dragon for the pin.
Rating: C.
Not bad here although the ending was kind of stupid. The referee
sees a chair laying next to the guys, La Parka is out cold, and
presumably he would have heard the chair cracking off La Parka’s
head, and he’s perfectly ok with that? Eh that’s one of the things
you have to deal with in wrestling I guess. Dragon’s feud with Sonny
would eventually move onto Nagata as Sonny’s enforcer I believe.
Sonny fires off a kick
to Dragon and gets slammed as a result. Dragon puts him in the
Dragon Sleeper but has to run from La Parka’s chair.
Buff Bagwell vs.
Glacier
Now here’s an
interesting match. I didn’t say good mind you but it’s definitely
not a pairing I would have put together. Buff of course is obnoxious
and makes fun of Glacier’s karate stuff. Ok to be fair it’s Glacier
so it’s hard not to make fun of him. They trade armdrags and Buff
pulls his eyes back like an Asian person. Ok then. Glacier can’t
get in a shot as Buff is ducking around like a boxer. I don’t think
a boxer often leapfrogs people but you get the idea.
Buff makes fun of
Glacier some more and gets kicked in the head, ribs and chest for his
efforts so far. After Bagwell chills (man I’m nailing these unfunny
puns tonight) on the floor for a bit he comes back in to get kicked a
few more times before Glacier hits a legsweep to take him down. A
few shots by Buff slow Glacier down but Vincent actually doing
something by tripping Glacier up puts him on the mat. Glacier, ever
the schmuck, yells at Vincent instead of focusing on Buff and gets
clotheslined in the back of the head for his troubles.
A back elbow to the
face gets two for Buff and it’s time to pose. To be fair, Buff is
really only good for a Blockbuster and posing so you can’t fault him
for going to one of his pair of moves. I don’t think he had the
Blockbuster yet anyway. Bagwell charges into a boot in the corner
before Glacier unleashes the PALM STRIKES.
A hard kick to Bagwell
face drops him but Glacier goes up and misses what I think was
supposed to be a splash. Vincent gets kicked in the face as does
Bagwell, but Glacier takes him to the top for no apparent reason.
Vincent finally does his job again and holds Buff’s foot, sending
Glacier to the mat. Blockbuster hits and we’re done.
Rating: D+.
Not the best pairing in the world here but they gave me some decent
joke material so I’ll forgive it. Either way, Glacier was clearly
outliving his limited usefulness at this point while Buff continues
to be at the top of the NWO C list. The fact that such a thing
exists says a lot about where the team has gone in 13 months.
Larry Z thanks Arn for
his career. They were world tag team champions back in the early
90s.
Piper is back at
Halloween Havoc.
Lizmark Jr. vs.
Villano IV
I’m sure their dads
fought at some point. They pound on each other to start but Lizmark
dropkicks him to the floor and hits a big over the top dive. Tenay
talks about Lizmark and his dad being cliff divers from Acapulco. I
don’t know if all this stuff he says is true or not, but man alive
does it make matches more interesting. Back in and Villano takes him
down with a clothesline and hits a backsplash as Raven is in the
audience.
A DDT puts Lizmark down
and Villano drops a knee only to get taken down by a spinwheel kick
for two. A standing rana gets two more for Lizmark and the seem to
mess something up in the corner as Lizmark tries a running dropkick
but Villano puts his feet up. Lizmark sends him to the outside and
hits a big dive to the floor, only to see Villano IV change with
Villano V. Not that it matters as Lizmark hits a standing Lionsault
for the pin out of almos nowhere.
Rating: C+.
Is this Cruiserweight night or something? This is the third match
with a luchador in it out of six matches we’ve had so far. This was
entertaining stuff though as Lizmark is a pretty good diver (from
Acapulco. Thanks Mike!). The Villanos were fine for a lower card
heel gimmick and the match worked pretty well despite how short it
was.
Luger says he and Page
can get along and asks Page to come out and bury the hatchet. Page
is nowhere to be seen so Luger shrugs.
Remember earlier when
the Nitro Girls danced? They do that again here, until Disco Inferno
comes out to join them. Alex Wright comes out for his match and a
dance off breaks out with Inferno.
TV Title: Hugh
Morrus vs. Alex Wright
Wright tries to use
some speed stuff to avoid Morrus before punching his way out of the
corner like a jerk. Hugh charges right back at him and pounds the
champion (Wright in case that was missing) in the corner. Wright
bails to the floor for a bit before coming back to run a bit more.
He gets Morrus to chase him and when your name is Hugh Morrus, it’s
pretty clear you’re not that bright. Alex gets in some shots to take
Hugh down and works on the knee, wrapping it around the post in the
process.
Morrus goes to the
floor and hits a clothesline from one leg but gets taken right back
down inside. Wright stays on the leg but goes up and gets slammed
down. Hugh’s leg is suddenly fine enough to run back and forth to
splash Wright in the corners, although he does limp a bit after each
one. Disco is at ringside again as Hugh slams Wright down. Disco is
pulled in and beaten up but walks into a spinwheel kick for the pin
(with feet on the ropes) to retain the title.
Rating: C-.
This was going well until Wright got slammed off the top. I get that
Morrus is a power guy, but the lack of selling was stupid. Selling
does not mean doing all of your moves and then limping a bit.
Selling means you CAN’T DO THE MOVES PROPERLY because of your injury.
The match didn’t work at that point, and it didn’t do either guy any
favors.
Raven is still here.
Heenan spends most of
the ten seconds he has to thank Arn for his career complaining that
he only has ten seconds.
Video on Sting.
Damien vs. Stevie
Richards
As Damien comes to the
ring, Raven grabs him for a DDT on the concrete. He throws Damien in
to Stevie who didn’t notice what Raven did. Stevie of course
performs CPR until Raven smacks him upside the head, making Richards
cover him for the pin.
Here’s Gene for an
interview with Big Bubba of all people. Bubba says he’s tired of
wearing different costumes and his name is Ray Traylor. He got
beaten up when he was in the NWO but they never came to check on him.
Bischoff sent him a letter throwing him out of the group and that’s
it. Now, he wants to take the NWO out. Makes as much sense as any
other reason.
Prince Iaukea vs.
Ray Traylor
Traylor pounds on him
to start (GOOD MAN!) and sends him to the outside after no selling a
dropkick. Ray sits on a sunset flip attempt and hits a big boot to
send the Prince’s head back to whatever island he’s a prince of.
Prince manages to block a powerbomb but walks into the Boss Man Slam
to end the squash.
JJ thanks Arn for being
awesome.
Gene calls out the
Horsemen but instead he gets the NWO. It’s time for a parody! Syxx
is Flair and Konnan is Mongo. Syxx has a big fake nose and a bad
blonde wig while saying WOO a lot. He calls Flair down to the ring
as Tony thinks he’ll be sick. I think the same thing every time you
call a show Schiavone. Bagwell is playing Hennig here. Flair talks
to Hennig about joining the Horsemen (WOO!). Bagwell keeps chewing
the gum and says spot a lot. Flair brings out Anderson (as played by
Kevin Nash) who has a bald wig, a neck brace and a cooler. Oh and
he’s fat.
Anderson makes fun of
himself for being fat and says he feels like he’s in labor here on
Labor Day. He talks about how he has average size, speed, quickness,
looks, intelligence and carpentry skills but he parlayed that into a
wrestling career. Then he hurt his neck and lost the strength in his
beer opening hand. A few weeks later he went to a bar and a fat
broad slapped him on the back and it woke him up. He looked at the
longneck he was drinking from and it was like sand going through an
hourglass…..and so are the days of our lives.
Anderson makes fun of
himself for being a drunk who would give as much as he could every
night he was in the ring. Now he wants the fans to remember him as
he is now, not as he was. This brings him to Hennig. All he has
left to offer Curt is a spot. Not a liver spot or a dog named Spot,
but his spot. Hennig agrees and that’s that. Tony acts like we just
saw the Kennedy assassination or something.
This segment apparently
was controversial and offended the Horsemen badly. At the end of the
day….the NWO are heels. What do you expect them to do? Write
Anderson a card and get him a plaque? Yeah the Horsemen probably
should have been allowed to run in or something, but this really
isn’t as big of a deal as I’ve heard it made out to be.
Given how ridiculous
some of Flair’s promos were back in the day and how ridiculous Flair
would get, I find it hard to feel bad about this. You can’t be a
group on top for so long and not expect to be made fun of once in
awhile. If you don’t like it I can totally understand that, but to
nearly quit over it as I’ve heard Flair and Anderson wanted to do is
a bit much.
Cruiserweight Title:
Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Chris Jericho
Eddie comes out before
the match to yell at Chavo (who is challenging). He says he’s failed
to make Chavo a man, causing Chavo to yell a bit. This draws out
Scotty Riggs, Damien, Prince Iaukea and Kidman for no apparent
reason. A brawl breaks out and here comes the Villanos. Dragon and
Wright are out now. They all get in the ring and throw each other
out like a battle royal until only Jericho is left. Eddie blasts him
with the belt and hits a frog splash and that’s it.
Giant thanks Anderson.
Here are Hogan and
Bischoff to respond to Sting. We still have the main event to go
even though this show has felt like it’s been on for nine hours or so
now. Eric says that Hogan has driven Sting to the rafters and Hulk
suggests Sting get into dry cleaning because he won’t be in the ring
anytime soon. Hogan says he wants Sting and calls him down to the
ring (and calls him a jabroni in the process). Instead Hulk calls
out JJ Dillon and demands that JJ produce Sting. Since there’s no
Sting, Hogan beats up JJ instead. Tony walks off set, instantly
making this segment better. Dillon gets the spraypaint. Tony is
already back.
Randy Savage/Scott
Hall vs. Lex Luger/Diamond Dallas Page
Tony of course whines
about how hard is job is and dear goodness are we supposed to care?
JJ has been treated like a goon since he got here so why are we
supposed to be all depressed about this? Luger and Page are in
different corners due to not trusting each other until it’s Page vs.
Hall to start. They slug it out in the corner with DDP taking over.
Off to Savage and you know Page is cool with that.
We take our second
break in about five minutes (first was during the NWO’s entrance) and
come back to see Hall holding Page in an armbar. Apparently Page
hasn’t even tried to tag in Luger yet. Savage takes Page down before
it’s back to Scott for the fallaway slam. We hit the chinlock from
Savage followed by a double ax from the top for two.
The announcers are
sounding like they all just saw their puppies drowned. Page finally
hits a discus lariat to drop Hall but Savage distracts the referee
from seeing the hot tag. Luger comes in anyway to beat on the NWO
with atomic drops all around. Lex accidentally decks Page with the
forearm but Racks Savage anyway. There was no tag though so Hall
makes the legal pin on Page.
Rating: C-.
Just angle advancement for WarGames here but DANG was that commentary
annoying. “WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER!” Yes Tony, we know this
because you’ve been saying it FOR THIRTEEN FREAKING MONTHS ALREADY!
LEARN A NEW TRICK YOU STUPID PARROT HEADED MAN! The match told a
decent story but at this point it’s really hard to care as I just
want this show to end.
Luger is frustrated
with Page to end the show.
Overall Rating: D.
I’m glad I’m laying down as I watch this or I would have collapsed a
few times during the show. SWEET GOODNESS did this feel long. It’s
one of those episodes that just keeps going with almost nothing being
done at all. This show had ten matches and two LONG talking
segments, which is too much for a two hour program. The announcers
are reaching the levels of annoying that they’re famous for, as it’s
constantly “we’re doomed!” and “please pull together WCW!”
Yes, we get it: the NWO is dominating right now. TELL US SOMETHING
NEW! Really bad show this week.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews