Monday Nitro – September 8, 1997

Monday Nitro #104
Date: September 8, 1997
Location: Wisconsin
Center Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 8,596
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the go home show
for Fall Brawl which I don’t think we have much of a confirmed card
for. It’s pretty clear that Luger, Page, Hall and Savage will be in
WarGames but other than that we don’t have much confirmed. This
week’s show has to be better than last week’s or at least less dull.
Hopefully this won’t be a bunch of whining from the announcers for
two hours again. Let’s get to it.

We open with the Nitro
Girls dancing in the ring with Tony running down the card for
tonight.
Tony tells us that
Flair is on Team WCW along with Luger and Page for WarGames. He
starts to talk about the Horsemen parody last week but gets cut off
by Eric Bischoff. Eric says run the tape but after a few moments,
the tape cuts off and we see the Horsemen at the desk instead. Mongo
(booed because he used to be a Bear (and a Packer) and we’re in
Packer country) wants to fight right now and the Horsemen march to
the ring.
They want the NWO right
now so of course no one comes out. Hennig says that since he’s the
enforcer of the Horsemen, it’s his job to get revenge. Flair says
that last year was the first time that he was embarrassed to be a pro
wrestler. Oh just wait Slick Ric. Just wait. Flair says that he’s
not leaving until he gets his hands on Bagwell, Syxx, Konnan and
Nash.
Post break the Horsemen
are being escorted out of the ring.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Eddie Guerrero
During the entrances,
Tony says that the new commissioner might be named tonight. Eddie
grabs Rey’s arm to start but gets tossed around to break the hold.
Guerrero comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker before cranking
on the arm some more before we go to break. Back with Eddie cranking
on the arm some more until Rey breaks out and pounds on Eddie, only
to get slammed back down.
Guerrero slides to the
floor for no apparent reason, allowing Rey to dive down onto him to
take over. Tony of course talks about the NWO and basically ignore
the match while Tenay tries to keep the focus in place. Back in and
a moonsault press gets two on Eddie but Guerrero catches a top rope
cross body in a slam for two of his own. A BIG powerbomb takes Rey
down again for two more, as does a butterfly powerbomb. Eddie busts
out the Gory Special, but Rey rolls off his back to escape. Rey
escapes powerbomb attempt #2 and heads to the apron, hitting West
Coast Pop out of nowhere for the win.
Rating: B-.
These two are guys that you always expect a good match out of. They
would have a masterpiece at Halloween Havoc and while this is nowhere
near that one, it’s still a solid back and forth match and a good
choice for an opener. Also, can anyone take a powerbomb as well as
Rey Mysterio? He sells them really well.
DDP says he wants
respect and thinks both he and Luger have earned said respect.
Tonight it’s Luger vs. Page so Team WCW can get along on Sunday.
Luger says ok but don’t hold anything back.
Hugh Morrus vs.
Disco Inferno
This is fallout from
last week. Hugh pounds him down to start with clotheslines and
headbutts, followed by a good looking spinwheel kick. The future
Tough Enough trainer misses a corner splash though and crashes out to
the floor for a bit. Back in and Disco slaps him because Disco isn’t
that bright. Cue Alex Wright for some dancing as Morrus loads up No
Laughing Matter (moonsault). Wright slides in the belt, but Disco
puts it face down on his chest to injure himself. Like I said, he’s
not that bright. Morrus gets the pin over the idiot.
Wright and Disco argue
post match.
The NWO makes fun of
the Horsemen again and apparently it’s Konnan/Bagwell vs. two
Horsemen tonight.
Cruiserweight Title:
Brad Armstrong vs. Chris Jericho
Before the match here’s
Eddie to say that last week he should have gotten a shot. He asks
Brad to step aside here but Brad basically ignores him and jumps the
champ to start things off. Apparently the winner of this has to
defend against Guerrero on Sunday anyway. Dang Eddie is greedy isn’t
he? And didn’t he lose earlier tonight anyway?
Jericho blocks a monkey
flip to send Brad to the floor, followed by a suicide dive from the
champ. Back in and Jericho charges into a boot followed by a tornado
DDT from Armstrong for two. Jericho comes back with a standing
Lionsault for two followed by the missile dropkick to send Armstrong
to the floor. Not that it matters as Eddie runs in for the DQ.
Rating: C+.
These two were working well together with some solid back and forth
stuff. Unfortunately it didn’t get to go anywhere because Armstrong
was there to fill in a spot, but he could fill in a spot quite well.
With Mysterio back and Eddie going after the title, the
Cruiserweights are about to come back with a vengeance. Good stuff
here and I wouldn’t mind seeing more from these two.
Hour #2 begins and it’s
time to dance.
We recap Hogan beating
up JJ from last week, which brings out Bischoff and Hogan. Eric
introduces him as the champion of the universe before handing the mic
to Hogan. Hollywood says everyone is here to see the NWO. Yeah
that’s pretty much true. Flair isn’t the man apparently. I don’t
remember him saying that lately but ok then. Hollywood says no one
is going to touch Bischoff again. He’s kind of all over the place
here. The Horsemen are going down tonight apparently. Finally,
Hogan says he’ll put the title on the line RIGHT NOW against Sting.
Hogan poses…..AND
HERE’S STING! He falls REALLY fast and hits the barricade….and
it’s a mannequin. This causes Tony to have to act concerned and he
makes Stephanie McMahon look Oscar worthy. Hogan freaks out and says
that’s not what is supposed to happen and a stretcher comes out. The
NWO picks Sting up and puts him limp body in the ring as Tony gets
what’s going on. Hogan drops a pair of legs and Bischoff, now in a
referee’s shirt, counts the pin.
Lee Marshall does his
schtick.
Faces of Fear vs.
Steiner Brothers
Scott starts and
immediately walks into a powerslam from Barbarian. That’s not
something you see that often. A double tag brings in Rick to face
Meng and the Steiners clear the ring for their signature running
around the ring pose. Of all teams that face the Steiners, the Faces
of Fear actually are the ones smart enough to rush the Steiners when
they’re posing and get the advantage.
We wind up with Meng
vs. Rick with Meng hitting the dropkick which always impressed Jesse
Ventura. Off to Barbarian for another powerslam for two as Rick is
in trouble. Back to Meng who gets caught in a sunset flip of all
things. That goes nowhere so it’s back to the Barbarian for a double
headbutt from the monsters. Off to a chinlock by the Tongan which
doesn’t last long as Rick fights up and hits a Steiner Line. The
third slam of the match by Barbarian looks to set up the diving
headbutt but Rick dodges.
The hot tag brings in
Scott who cleans house until everything breaks down. Barbarian gets
caught in a belly to belly superplex from Scott but Meng puts Rick in
the Tongan Death Grip. Cue Harlem Heat along with Mortis/Wrath for
the double DQ. Heenan: “Why do the NWO guys never fight each other
like this?” Oh don’t worry Bobby. They will, and in different
color shirts!
Rating: C+.
The Faces of Fear were on a mini roll at this point and would have a
surprisingly good match with Mortis and Wrath on Sunday. The
Steiners would continue to spin their wheels against Harlem Heat
while they waited to be able to win the titles they should have won
about five times already. Another decent little match here.
Scott Hall vs. Super
Calo
Hall wants Calo to take
his glasses off, even though I believe they’re painted onto his face.
Calo gets a shot in on Hall in the corner and that’s about the
extent of his offense. Hall sends him to the floor before going back
inside and cranking away on both arms. The fallaway slam from the
middle rope sets up the Outsider’s Edge to end this squash.
Post match Big Bubba
comes in to face off with Hall and lay him out with a spinebuster.
Vincent comes out and takes a Boss Man Slam before Hogan himself
comes out. Boss Man stares him down but poses in the corner,
allowing Hall to hit the Outsider’s Edge and lay him down. Total
time for Traylor to stand tall: about 83 seconds. Hogan calls him
the Big Loss Man.
Dean Malenko vs.
Psychosis
Apparently the winner
of Malenko vs. Jarrett on Sunday gets a shot at the US Title at
Halloween Havoc. They head to the mat quickly and why would you ever
do that against Dean Malenko? Psychosis breaks a headscissors and
gets up, only to get caught in a standing armbar. Psychosis tries a
leg lock but Dean is in the ropes before it can be on full. A
dropkick puts the masked dude on the floor and as they come back in,
a fan tries to come in. Referee Mark Curtis, who might weigh 110lbs
soaking wet, KNEES HIM IN THE HEAD and chokes him down until security
takes him out.
After that’s settled
down, Psychosis kicks Dean to the floor where Sonny Onoo can get in a
few shots. Psychosis has to save Sonny from getting killed and we
head inside again. Scratch that as we go right back to the floor
where Psychosis hits a good looking suicide dive. That and a victory
roll get two for Psychosis back inside but Dean takes him down with a
leg lariat. Psychosis slams him down and loads up the guillotine
legdrop but it only gets two. Sonny argues with the referee, which
winds up meaning nothing as Dean counters a rana attempt into the
Cloverleaf for the tap out.
Rating: C.
Not bad again here as Dean can barely do anything wrong in 1997.
Sonny Onoo as a manager was about as worthless as you could get as a
manager around this time as he just kind of stood around and yelled
at people while throwing kicks that didn’t do much damage. Also it’s
interesting to see the cruiserweights being pushed more and more
lately. It isn’t likely to last but it’s cool while it lasts.
Jarrett comes out and
wants to fight right now but immediately runs away.
WE get the reveal of
the new commissioner and it’s Roddy Piper. He says this is like
putting John Belushi in charge of the frat house. Well Bluto became
a Senator (and President if you got the anniversary edition) so that
might not be a bad idea. Piper says he used to be President of the
WWF so tonight he’s going to do three things. First of all he
guarantees Sting vs. Hogan by the end of the year (BIG pop). Then he
says he’s facing Hogan at Halloween Havoc in a cage (not as big of a
pop). Finally he’s putting the Horsemen in WarGames (moderate pop).
Not a terrible start I guess.
Ric Flair/Curt
Hennig vs. Buff Bagwell/Konnan
The Horsemen clear the
ring to start before we get down to Bagwell vs. Flair. Flair chops
away to start but gets clotheslined and backdropped down. I’ll give
Flair this: he never had an issue with making any kid look good. Off
to Konnan for some choking before it’s back to Buff. Nice to see the
Cuban contingent contributing so much here.
A dropkick puts Flair
down again and it’s off to the corner for a Flair Flip. Naturally he
runs the apron to go up top, but surprisingly enough he isn’t slammed
down. Instead Buff crotches and superplexes him down for no cover.
Buff poses as even Konnan is yelling at him to do something. A top
rope elbow misses and it’s hot tag to Hennig who cleans house. The
NWO is sent to the floor and Bagwell sneaks back in to take out
Hennig’s knee.
Konnan drops Curt on
the steps before getting tagged back in to work on the knee. A kick
to the face misses though and it’s another hot tag to Flair to face
Buff. Tony of course is going nuts about how THIS is how you work
together. Flair fires off chops but walks into a powerslam because
Heaven help us if WCW gets to look strong over Buff freaking Bagwell.
Hennig jumps Buff and Flair locks on the Figure Four but Konnan
makes a fast save. A quick PerfectPlex on Konnan gets the win
despite neither guy being legal.
Rating: C.
Basic tag match here to set up WarGames a bit more which is fine.
Hennig looked good and Bagwell continued to look goofy as he always
did. Flair wasn’t exactly furious here like he said he would be
earlier, which makes the match seem like it doesn’t mean all that
much. Still though, not bad.
Lex Luger vs.
Diamond Dallas Page
Luger shoves him down
to start as Tony says let them go at it. This coming from the same
“STOP FIGHTING AND WORK TOGETHER” guy. Lex cranks on the arm and
grabs a headlock before running Page over with a clothesline. Cue
the NWO as Page throws Luger to the floor. Page didn’t seem to know
the NWO was there.
Luger gets beaten up
and thrown back in as now DDP sees the NWO. A neckbreaker gets two
on Lex and there’s the Pancake for two more. Lex comes back with a
belly to back suplex and his string of clotheslines. The third one
misses though and Lex falls to the floor. Page follows and brawls
with the NWO for the DQ.
Rating: D+.
This was storyline advancement rather than a match. Page and Luger’s
issues are pretty much done now as they threw up their hands and said
forget about it. Well why bother having a conclusion to a storyline
when you can just stop working on it at all? They would face
Hall/Savage again on Sunday.
Page and Luger beat up
the NWO as the Giant comes down to help. WCW stands tall to end the
show.
Overall Rating: B-.
For a go home show, this was a pretty solid edition with a lot of at
least decent matches. The main issue here is that the Horsemen
didn’t close the show despite being the Team WCW for Sunday’s
WarGames. Still though, good stuff here overall with some solid
cruiserweight stuff. I don’t know what’s gotten into WCW lately with
them but it’s working well.

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