Monday Nitro – October 20, 1997

Monday Nitro #109
Date: October 13, 1997
Location: Ice Palace,
Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 12,000
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s one of the last
shows before Halloween Havoc and WCW has been on fire lately. The
main match tonight is a tag title defense with the Outsiders fighting
a team to be announced. If they don’t defend the belts, they’ll be
stripped of the titles. Not that it took forever to get them to
defend the stupid things or anything like that though. Let’s get to
it.

Here are Hogan (sans
belt), Bischoff and Savage to open the show. Bischoff plugs Hogan’s
new movie Assault on Devil’s Island and takes jabs at Raw for not
being live. Yeah Eric I wouldn’t compare my show to 1997 Raw. Oh
and Savage is in a neckbrace because of the Diamond Cutter last week.
Hogan wants Piper to give him his belt back (Piper took it when he
was running from Hogan and Bischoff last week) and that’s about it.
We see the Diamond
Cutter on Savage from last week.
The announcers say
there are four title matches this week. Is it sweeps week or
something?
Cruiserweight Title:
Eddie Guerrero vs. Psychosis
Eddie is defending and
there’s no Sonny Onoo with Psychosis for no apparent reason.
Psychosis misses a charge into the corner to start, allowing Eddie to
hit a fast suplex for two. Apparently Disco vs. Jackie at the PPV is
non-title due to the athletic commission. Why is that match even
happening? Has that ever been answered? Psychosis shrugs it off and
hits a quick leg lariat and a baseball slide to send Eddie to the
floor.
We get the spot of the
match as Psychosis hits a big old senton backsplash to the floor,
possibly injuring his back in the process though. Back in and the
guillotine legdrop misses Eddie but Psychosis grabs a quick rollup
for two anyway. Psychosis goes for the arm which is kind of rare to
see in a lucha match. Once that goes nowhere Eddie takes over, only
to walk into a backbreaker. The masked one goes up but is quickly
crotched, superplexed and Frog Splashed for the pin to retain the
title.
Rating: C.
This didn’t work that well but the injury might have had something to
do with it. Eddie was gearing up for the showdown with Rey which
needs to be announced already. This kept him looking strong though
and that’s what a champion needs going into a big PPV title defense.
Not a good match here but the big senton got the fans going at least.
Eddie teases ripping
off the mask but walks away.
It’s time for the
second of Tenay’s videos on lucha libre. Today he’s talking about
masks and how important they are to culture of lucha libre. We see
the making of masks and hear from Rey Mysterio Jr. and Senior (Rey’s
uncle) who says how important the masks are in identity. We hear
from Dr. Lechuga (I know some Spanish and either that’s a fake name
or we’re hearing from Dr. Lettuce.) about the history of masks and
the various cultures that form them. Psychosis talks about how
important his mask is.
Rey worries about
losing his mask, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Only a completely
stupid company would stop making masks that popular which were
guaranteed money makers. Silver King says why cover up my pretty
face? La Parka says he wears a mask to scare people. We get clips
from When Worlds Collide with Eddie getting his hair cut and hear
about Luchas De Apuestas. For a two minute segment, this was
AWESOME. I love these segments and there’s some really interesting
stuff in there.
Here’s Piper who looks
a bit different in the face this week. Makeup maybe? Piper is here
to talk about Bischoff and makes it clear that he is the boss, not
Bischoff. What happened to Savage last week was justice, not an
unfair attack. Also Hogan doesn’t deserve to carry the belt (which
is nowhere in sight) so for now it’s gone. Piper says the same thing
he said last week about the Outsiders having to defend or be stripped
and that’s it.
We recap Jarrett/Debra
vs. Mongo.
Steve Regal vs.
Steve McMichael
Mongo grabs a quick
headlock and runs Regal over with a shoulder block. I do love it
when heels like Regal are shocked when a much bigger and stronger guy
runs them over. That’s always amusing. Off to a wristlock which is
more Regal’s speed and he takes it down to the mat for some control.
Mongo again powers out of it and tosses Regal around like something
that is large and easy to throw around. Regal comes back with an
uppercut and some stomping but Mongo pops up again. Now Mongo looks
confused so he hits a few elbows and finishes Regal with the
tombstone. That was a really awkward looking ending.
Rating: D.
It continues to amaze me that Mongo somehow kept getting worse in the
ring. He’s in there with one of the best technicians of all time and
can’t get a watchable match? Regal is more than capable of walking
him through this but I guess Mongo is even beyond Regal’s help. That
says a lot.
Gene is with Debra and
asks about rumors that Jarrett is gone. Apparently he is indeed gone
(SWEET!) but she has a surprise for Mongo at Halloween Havoc. Mongo
calls her a snake. No that would be her future husband, who would
also be named Steve.
Yuji Nagata vs.
Chris Jericho
The quest for Nagata to
be useful or interesting continues. Sonny is here with Nagata but
wasn’t with Psychosis. Apparently it’s Dragon vs. Nagata at the PPV.
I know that would sway me into buying it. Jericho immediately goes
for the arm with whatever hold he can put on it. When that doesn’t
work, he goes with the easiest idea there is: kick him in the face.
Now back to Nagata’s arm but Nagata hits a fast superplex to take
over. A snapmare puts Jericho down and there’s a HARD kick to the
Canadian’s back.
Now Nagata works on the
arm but runs into a boot in the corner and gets caught by a middle
rope missile dropkick. In something I’ve never seen, at least not
from Jericho, he grabs Nagata in a half nelson and gives him a giant
swing. That gets two and Nagata knocks him to the apron and then
into the barricade. Out to the floor and Nagata goes into the post.
They head back in but Jericho has to beat up Sonny. As they actually
get back in, Sonny trips Jericho on the top and the Nagata Lock
(standing figure four) gets the submission.
Rating: C.
I get that Nagata is skilled and means a lot in Japan, but man alive
he is dull in America. He’s just a guy in trunks using wrestling
holds. Jericho at least plays to the crowd and has a ton of charisma
which can get him through a match. I know Nagata is talented and
such, but anything being different about him would be an improvement.
He’s just so dull it’s almost unreal.
Raven is in a nursery
next to a crib. He talks about how his earliest memories are of
feeling of abandonment and sadness. Raven says that our futures are
determined in these moments and we’re all creatures of this nature.
Bill Goldberg vs.
Scotty Riggs
Goldberg has his
signature music now. We get a shot of Saturn and Raven in the crowd
along with a third person. I don’t recognize him but there’s a
chance it’s Sick Boy. Richards is gone as well, I believe back to
ECW. Goldberg shrugs him off and Riggs gets in a few right hands.
The spear (more like a tackle here) takes Riggs down and Goldberg
pounds away.
Riggs gets up some
boots in the corner but gets slammed out of the corner a few seconds
later. Scotty comes back with some dropkicks including one that
sends Goldberg over the top. Apparently Judo Gene LeBell wants to
train Goldberg. Bill will have none of this selling stuff and
LAUNCHES Riggs into the barricade to take over again. Back in and
the Jackhammer ends this. This would be #4 as Goldberg won on
Saturday Night as well.
The Nitro Girls waste
some time.
Here are Hall and Syxx
for the Survey. The fans actually side with WCW on this one which is
a rarity around this time. Hall complains about having to face both
Luger and Zbyszko but it’s the only way WCW can have a chance.
Apparently Nash is out with an injury and the Steiners want a title
match tonight. That’s cool because Syxx will take Nash’s place. As
Hall is talking, a fan hits him in the face with a piece of trash.
It nailed him square in the jaw.
Tag Titles: Steiner
Brothers vs. Scott Hall/Syxx
For the sake of
clarity, only Scott Steiner will be referred to as Scott and Scott
Hall will only be referred to as Hall. Hall is quickly sent to the
floor and the Steiners stand tall. We start with Scott vs. Syxx and
there’s a wheelbarrow slam for Syxx to give the Steiners control.
Off to Rick vs. Hall with Steiner pounding away, only to get caught
by a clothesline to give the NWO control. Rick will have none of
that though and hits a middle rope clothesline. Steiner goes up
again but a cross body (huh?) is caught in a fallaway slam by Hall.
Rick won’t sell it
though and knocks Syxx off the apron, only to be decked by Hall
again. Hall pounds on him in the corner but Rick comes back with a
Steiner Line. Hot tag brings in Scott and house is cleaned. The
Steiner DDT off the top gets two on Syxx as Hall pulls the referee to
the floor. Larry Z comes down to scare Hall back to the ring and
there’s the Steiner Bulldog to Hall. The Steiners get a double cover
and Larry counts the pin for the titles. You know, because being a
guest referee in 13 days counts as being a referee here.
Rating: C-.
The match was short but the fans were very hot for it. This had been
built up for months upon months but then when they get to the payoff,
we don’t even get Hall and Nash to do the job. You know, because of
that “knee injury” Nash had. Isn’t it amazing how he’s hurt
every time that he has to do a job? I’m sure we’ll hear more about
the refereeing issue.
Tony says they have an
injury update on Savage: “Who cares?” The heartlessness is
pretty sad. And yes I know it’s a fake injury.
The Nitro Girls dance a
bit.
Dean Malenko vs. Rey
Mysterio Jr.
Apparently the decision
in the tag match stands because Larry is an assigned official.
Assigned at a PPV but what difference does that make? Also Eric
can’t reverse the decision. Rey gives his mask to a baby at ringside
but the baby gives it back to him. It’s fast paced stuff to start
with Dean taking it to the mat to slow Rey down. Back up and Rey
goes from a test of strength into a sunset flip for two. Dean
catapults him to the apron but Mysterio pops right back in.
Back in and Rey
counters a variety of holds by Dean by flying through the air, only
to be caught by a leg lariat for two. A quick victory roll gets two
for Rey but a headscissors is countered into a side slam for no
cover. Off to a figure four necklock by Dean for a few seconds
before he powerbombs Rey halfway back to Mexico for two. Rey comes
back and pounds away in the corner but Dean launches him into the
corner.
Mysterio lands on the
top rope and hits a flip attack to take Dean down again. A sunset
flip gets two on Malenko and the West Coast Pop looks to finish. At
two though Eddie runs in and rips Rey’s mask off, causing him to
break the hold. Malenko backflips up into the Texas Cloverleaf and
Rey taps immediately to hide his face.
Rating: B.
This was one of the better matches I’ve ever seen them have and one
of the best cruiserweight matches they’ve ever had on Nitro. They
barely ever stopped moving other than a quick rest hold by Dean.
Other than that it was five minutes of nonstop action with an ending
that advanced the story and kept Rey looking strong at the same time.
Great match here and actually worth checking out for how fast and
agile Rey was in his time.
DDP is at the Power
Plant and talks about how he hasn’t changed like Hogan and Savage
have. Oh and Piper is awesome too. This was just to hype up Savage
vs. Page.
Here’s Piper with more
to say. The tag title change stands because Larry was officially
made a referee last week so the pin counted. HAIL THE STEINERS!
This brings out Savage and Bischoff with Eric talking about Savage’s
injury. He wants to know if this is how Piper is going to run things
and wants Hogan’s title back. Piper says come in and get it (the
title is nowhere in sight) but here’s the NWO. Sting comes out as
well and holds off the NWO before blasting Piper. At least they
didn’t show a closeup of him to show it was clearly a fake. It’s
Hogan and Piper gets beaten up.
Video on Hennig vs.
Flair.
Scott Norton vs. Ray
Traylor
Please be quick.
Norton has Vincent and Bagwell with him here because that’s what NWO
members do. Traylor starts with uppercuts and hits a quick backdrop
but stops to go after Bagwell. Back in and Norton pounds away on
Traylor with clubbing forearms to the back. A slam puts Norton down
and we cut to the crowd. Kidman, now with eye shadow, sits in the
crowd next to Raven and Saturn.
Back to the match and
Buff chokes away a bit while Norton argues with the referee. Norton
pounds away very, very slowly. Traylor comes back with an uppercut
and puts Norton in 619 position for a sliding uppercut. Vincent gets
decked too but during the distraction Buff throws Norton the
spraypaint can and Traylor is knocked out for the pin.
Rating: F+.
After Rey vs. Dean, this was hard to sit through. Then again Norton
vs. Traylor would be hard to sit through after watching a dancing
bear act. Traylor going to war against the NWO was a nice idea but
having him job to Scott Norton doesn’t help anyone. Norton is just a
power goon and having him lose would do nothing but help Traylor.
But that might mean WCW fans have something else to cheer for and we
can’t have that.
TV Title: Disco
Inferno vs. Alex Wright
Wright jumps him to
start and both guys still have their jackets on. Disco is defending
in case you haven’t read anything from around this time. Wright
pounds him down against the ropes and hits a good dropkick to send
the champion down. Another dropkick puts Disco down and Alex finally
takes his own jacket off. Alex whips Inferno with said jacket for
good measure but gets punched in the face for his efforts. The
offense is short lived though as Wright comes back and stomps away
even more. Mostly just kicking and punching so far.
We stop for a quick
dance break and Disco gets draped over the apron and pounded even
more. Almost all Alex so far. Out on the floor and Wright stomps on
his hand for good measure. Wouldn’t the leg be better as it would
get rid of the dancing abilities? Back in and Disco tries a fast
backslide but gets taken down by a clothesline. A small package gets
two more for the champion and here’s Jackie. Disco yells at her and
gets rolled up, only to reverse into one of own for the pin to
retain.
Rating: D+.
Nothing to see here but it’s definitely better than Disco vs. Jackie
would wind up being. I’m still not entirely sure what the story is
with those two but I’m guessing it’s more of Jackie’s “I’m a woman
but I can wrestle men. Yeah I suck but I’M LOUD AND THAT MEANS I AM
AN INTERESTING PERSON!” Match was nothing.
US Title: Diamond
Dallas Page vs. Curt Hennig
Page fires off his
shoulder blocks into Hennig’s shoulder to send Curt (the champion)
out to the floor. Back in and DDP grabs a headlock but Curt runs
away from a Diamond Cutter attempt. The champ gets on the apron and
Page spits in his face to send him back to the floor. Back in and
it’s back to the headlock as Hennig can’t get anything to work early
on. Hennig tries to run the ropes but gets caught in a Russian
legsweep for two. The champ finally gets something going by getting
in a shot to Page’s likely injured ribs.
A dropkick puts Page
down and we hit the chinlock. Hennig puts his feet on the ropes like
any good heel would do. Page fights up but gets caught in a sleeper,
only to come out with a jawbreaker. There’s the Pancake to Hennig
but Curt comes back with a jawbreaker of his own. Cue Flair but
security holds him back. Page rolls up Hennig for three as Flair
runs in. The three count goes down but I’m guessing Flair was late
as the referee says no pin. I’m guessing Hennig wins by DQ but the
ending was botched.
Rating: C.
The match was ok but the ending was a big blow to it. The problem
here was that the three count clearly hit before Flair touched either
guy so there’s no real reason for a DQ, especially after Hall pulled
a referee from the ring earlier and it wasn’t even a DQ. These two
should work well together and did most of the time, but it never hit
the level that it could have.
Post match Piper makes
the referee give Page the belt. Anderson (referee) isn’t sure and
here’s Hogan to try to get at Piper. The NWO runs in and it’s 7-2.
Even more guys come in and the good guys are in trouble. Savage,
with a neck injury, is able to drop the big elbow on Page. There’s a
legdrop and another elbow as Page is in trouble. Piper gets an elbow
as well but here’s Sting at the top of a row of stands.
But wait here he comes
from another side of the arena. No wait he’s over there. Wait he’s
in the ring and coming through the crowd. We’re on our fifth Sting
but most of them are getting beaten up. Here comes another one
through the crowd and a seventh one joins him. The sixth one gets in
and is stomped down.
Now they’re coming
through the entrance. Now three more come out. I’ve lost count at
this point. All of them are getting beaten down….until Bagwell
hits one for no effect. The Death Drop lays Bagwell out and the NWO
runs. Piper has the world title belt from somewhere and swings it
over his head to end the show.
Overall Rating: B.
This is the third great show in a row with an AWESOME ending segment.
How often do you see a show with four title matches in two hours?
There are a lot of PPVs that don’t do that and we got it for free
here tonight. Sting was coming for Hogan and they might as well have
been printing the money in their basement. I would say there was no
way to screw this up, but you know the rest I’m sure. Another very
good show here.
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