The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 05.19.97
Another one-hour show this week. Damn you, basketball!
Live from Asheville, NC, drawing 4300.
Your hosts are Tony, Bobby and Larry.
Ric Flair joins us to start, and last night at Slamboree was the biggest thrill of his wrestling career. Strong words from Ric there. Syxx interrupts and wants a match, TONIGHT. If Ric has the guts. Clearly he does, and it’s on. And then Syxx runs away like the weasel he is after the big talk.
WCW TV title: Steven Regal v. Prince Iaukea
Regal schools him in the corner but Iaukea comes back with a sunset flip for two. Rollup gets two. Crucifix gets two. He tries a headscissors and Regal just drops him on his face and punts him, then hits an inverted suplex and puts him away with the Regal Stretch at 2:23. Fun little squash, and clearly Iaukea’s push was DONE. I guess Iaukea was one of Sullivan’s pet projects, and this was a message to him. **
Meanwhile, at Slamboree, Mortis and Wrath are beating on Glacier, but Ernest Miller makes the save.
Masa Chono v. Dave Taylor
Tony continuing to put over the Cat’s credentials as a part of tournament karate is hilariously sad. You mean all the kids don’t already know who the current World champion of full contact karate tournaments is? Mike Tenay joins us on commentary and teases that a major star will debut at the June PPV, but we don’t know who it is. I hear it’s the PERF…oh, wait, I’m getting a text from Jerry McDevitt mid-sentence, hold on.
Sorry, WWE’s legal team has informed me that I can’t use that teaser. Taylor fires away on Chono, but Chono no-sells it and tosses him. Back in, Chono gets a neckbreaker and boots Taylor out of the corner, then finishes with an STF at 3:00. Great agenting there, having two matches in a row with the exact same finish. Just a squash. *
Sonny Onoo informs Chono that next week, there’s a surprise opponent for him.
JJ Dillon informs us that Nick Patrick has been reinstated on a probationary basis, although they play the clip twice for some reason.
Michael Wallstreet v. Scotty Riggs
So Wallstreet’s latest gimmick is that he hates WCW because they won’t let him join the nWo. Might as well just get the World title ready for him right now! Riggs slugs away and follows with a dropkick, but Wallstreet comes back with a backdrop suplex and goes to the chinlock. Riggs with a small package for two while the announcers all put over Nick Patrick now that he’s a babyface again. IT’S A REFEREE. WHO CARES? Wallstreet tosses Riggs and gets into argument with Patrick, then goes for a foreign object, which Patrick takes away from him, and Riggs finishes with a sunset flip, with a lot of help from Patrick, at 2:50. You know, if they put as much effort into getting wrestlers over as they did referees… ½*
Mean Gene, the consummate pitchman and huckster, comes out with a Valvoline car and NASCAR driver to talk about how “we all know what a big part of Nitro that Valvoline is” and announces that they’re giving away a car with the same tone of voice as a major wrestling angle. That’s why he was so great at his job.
Lee Marshall is ON THE ROAD in Nashville, not to be confused with Asheville, where we are this week.
Last night at Slamboree, DDP tells off Randy Savage yet again, which sets up their match at the Bash PPV next month. The nWo jumps him and they all attack his injured ribs, although I’m sure that injury will be healed up by the time we get to the show.
Steve McMichael & Jeff Jarrett v. The Steiner Brothers
Jarrett gets a neckbreaker on Scott to start as Larry has to put himself over, noting that he told Reggie White that he would lose, and that’s exactly what happened. Scott comes back with a top rope samoan drop for two, but Mongo saves. Over to Rick for the slugfest with Mongo, but Steve goes to the knee and then Rick ignores it and suplexes the crap out of him. Top rope bulldog gets two and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, but Debra takes the ref and Kevin Greene runs in, grabs the briefcase, and nails Mongo as final revenge for Bash 96 to give Rick the pin at 3:35. Nice little callback there, fun match all around. **
Meanwhile, Mongo finds Greene in the locker room and they get into a pull-apart brawl.
Syxx v. Ric Flair
Hey, I was asking in the Slamboree rant if they ever had a singles match, and here we are! Syxx attacks him to start and misses a blind charge, allowing Flair to kick his ass in the corner, and the nWo comes in for the DQ at 0:57. Well that was grossly disappointing. DUD
Eric Bischoff joins us to call out Sting again, even though we all KNOW he’s not here. By the way, rough plan at this point was to run Sting v. Hogan at the end of June in Los Angeles, but they kept bumping it, which explains all the teases for Sting around this time that never led to anything. Anyway, Sting is a coward, yada yada. And of course, Sting appears from behind Eric via trapdoor, and takes him out to end the show.
Fun show this week, and next week it returns to 2 hours again. Hopefully those nWo kids can get back on the show again, they’ve been woefully underutilized lately!