The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 06.02.97
Live from Dayton, OH, drawing a sellout 4951.
Your hosts are Tony, Larry & Bobby
Scott Hall & Syxx are here to start, because they did a survey and people just haven’t seen enough of the nWo yet. So unfortunately Flair isn’t here tonight, because he’s recovering “in the LA Brea tarpits with the rest of the fossils” after taking a beating from them. So JJ Dillon runs out and informs Hall that Flair is on the way and tonight’s main event will be a singles match between them. Nice to see Hall playing a slimy heel instead of his usual cool heel and it worked really well.
Glacier v. Alex Wright
This is gonna be a trainwreck, I bet. They slug it out to start and Wright puts him down with forearms and follows with a leg lariat, then pounds him down in the corner to show his NEW ATTITUDE. He stops to dance and thrust his crotch seductively, which allows Glacier to come with a legsweep and finish with the Cryonic Kick at 1:38. Man, poor Wright is just getting BURIED by the Rooster Regime so far. * Mortis and Wrath come in for the beatdown afterwards, and Alex Wright joins in before Mortis turns on him as well and punks him out with a superkick. This poor guy can’t catch a break. And then Glacier makes his own comeback and runs away.
Buff Bagwell v. Joe Gomez
Joe Gomez is BACK. Oh, man, the nWo is so fucked now! I’m more excited than Chris Fothergill-Brown finding a new “Best of Barbarian” VHS tape in the basement! Gomez slugs away and then misses a dropkick, BECAUSE HE FUCKING MEANT TO, but comes back with a stunning dropkick for two before slugging away in the corner. Each punch is a balled up expression of rage against his people, whatever they might be, we’re not really sure, but they’re awesome and have great hair. Of course, that racist bastard Scott Norton pulls him out and runs him into the post. COWARD. You knew that Gomez had Bagwell exactly where he wanted him and you just hate…whatever ethnicity Joe is supposed to be. Really, he represents all people and nations. And of course, after that nefarious rulebreaking, Buff finishes with the Blockbuster at 3:12 to screw over the Desperado yet again. Kevin Nash was probably jealous of his conditioning job and demanded that he pay the price. HIS HAIR IS TOO BEAUTIFUL FOR THIS WORLD ANYWAY. ½*
Hugh Morrus v. Prince Iaukea
Konnan blindsides Morrus in the aisle like it’s a WWE2K game, and Hugh is selling like he’s concussed. However, he decides to carry on with the match, against the advice of the WCW trainer. So Hugh attacks Iaukea while stumbling around the ring, and Iaukea rolls him up for the pin at 0:45. Tony notes that the Prince was doing the right thing: Capitalizing on the man who is clearly suffering from a brain injury and unable to compete. Solid advice, Tony.
Mean Gene advises us to TURN UP THE VOLUME on the TV because things are peaking. OK, but I’m watching on the computer through headphones. Anyway, JJ Dillon joins us and declares that the Steiner Brothers are the #1 contenders for the tag titles (which of course explains why Flair & Piper are the ones getting the tag title shot at the Bash). This brings out Harlem Heat, who are quite upset about getting passed over, since they’re the 7 time tag team champions and all.
Meanwhile, DDP reminisces about his career to this point as he prepares for Randy Savage at the Bash. Apparently he has to stop and think about his entire life before every show, much like Dewey Cox.
The Steiner Brothers v. Masa Chono & Great Muta
So JJ Dillon said that if the Steiners win this match, they cement their place as #1 contenders. You know, by beating this team who is together for the first time ever in WCW after just forming last week. While another makeshift team gets the tag title shot next. But yeah, totally #1 contenders. Muta gets an armdrag on Scott and complains about hairpulling while Tony handwaves away the explanation for Flair & Piper getting the tag title shot. More importantly, WHAT ABOUT JOE GOMEZ? Where’s his tag title shot? Muta puts Scott down with the spinkick, but Scott gets the butterfly bomb and follows with a press slam. Rick comes in and we get stalling and stalling and finally Chono comes in for more stalling before Rick suplexes him and chases him with a Steinerline. Chono comes back in and Rick catches him with a powerslam and the Steiners clear the ring again. BREAKING NEWS: If the Steiners win here, they’ll face the winners of the tag title match at the Bash. And yet that didn’t happen for a long time. The nWo Japan double-teams Scott for about 5 seconds and then he makes his own comeback and brings Rick back in for double suplexes. Finally Chono hits Scott with the mafia kick and Muta bulldogs Rick, but that’s all the offense for the nWo because Chono boots Muta by mistake to end that heat segment. And then Harlem Heat runs down and hits Rick with a chair, and Muta puts Rick into a half-assed leglock and gets the pin at 8:58. No one seemed particularly motivated here but the crowd was hot for it. **
Ric Flair joins us and he’s got nothing in particular to say. Woo, style and profile, you know the drill.
US title: Dean Malenko v. Michael Wallstreet
So the storyline here continues with Nick Patrick giving anti-WCW stalwart Wallstreet a rough time, because he LOVES WCW, you see. Wallstreet works a wristlock but Patrick freaks out because he’s supposedly pulling hair. So I have to say, I don’t really understand what Rotundo’s gimmick is supposed to be at this point. He still goes by Michael Wallstreet, but he dresses like he should be the hanging out with the Gallaghers on Shameless or something. Wallstreet with the chinlock and his dreaded abdominal stretch as Tony notes that yeah, Patrick is only two weeks into his probation, but he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Man, did THAT one backfire on them. Malenko comes back and tries the Cloverleaf, but Wallstreet pokes the eyes to break and Patrick gives him shit about THAT. Malenko dumps him and tries a suplex back in, but Jeff Jarrett comes out and hooks the leg and Wallstreet gets the apparent pin. But then Patrick changes his mind and continues the match, and Malenko finishes with the Cloverleaf at 6:30 while Patrick blocks Wallstreet from reaching the ropes. *1/2
Jeff Jarrett challenges Malenko to a rematch for the US title next week on Nitro, calling him an “uncharismatic block of ice.”
Harlem Heat v. Ciclope & Damian
Stevie stomps Ciclope down and Booker comes in with the sidekick, but misses a charge and the luchadors double-team him. Damian puts him on the floor and follows with a tope suicida, but Booker cuts him off in the ring again. They beat on Damian outside, but now the Steiners run out and Rick levels Booker with a chair on the floor, allowing Damian to score the upset pin at 3:32 with a flying splash. Well, there goes the Heat’s claim for being the #1 contenders. Fun little match. **1/4
Lee Marshall is in Boston, getting ready for next week’s show
The Barbarian v. Chris Benoit
Benoit is just beating the hell out of the Barbarian in the corner to start and follows with a northern lights suplex, but he runs after Jimmy Hart and gets caught by Barbarian as a result. Barbarian drops him on the top rope with a suplex and follows with a piledriver for two. They head up and Barbarian hurls him across the ring with a superplex, putting Benoit onto the floor as a result. Back in, Barbarian tries another superplex, but Benoit blocks him and hits the diving headbutt, then finishes with the crossface at 3:50. This was quite the violent TV match. ***
Chris Benoit demands that Jimmy Hart produce Kevin Sullivan now, but Jimmy demands that Benoit face Meng in a DEATH MATCH at the Bash first. Well, that’s his specialty!
MEGA MAIN EVENT PPV CALIBER SPECTACULAR: Scott Hall v. Ric Flair
Flair comes out slugging and chops Hall down, then clips the knee and punches Syxx off the apron for good measure. Hall comes back and slugs on him in the corner, but Flair throws chops like crazy and then does a Flair Flip onto Syxx outside. Hall nails him from behind and stomps him down in the corner to take over. Syxx runs in for a broncobuster behind the ref’s back, and Hall gets the fallaway slam for two. Backdrop suplex gets two. Hall with an abdominal stretch and more help from Syxx. Flair fights out with a hiptoss, but Hall slugs him down again, so Flair fights back with more chops. Hall with a sleeper, but Flair counters with a kneecrusher and Hall puts him down with a lariat that gets two. Flair comes back with an atomic drop and takes out Syxx yet again, crotching him on the top rope and going low on Hall before following with a suplex. Flair looks like he’s going to die from oxygen deprivation and finally Syxx runs in for the DQ at 7:37. And indeed, this was booked to run 20:00 but Flair blew up early and had to call for the finish because he couldn’t go any longer. Match was really good while it lasted, despite the usual crap finish. *** Jeff and Mongo save him from an nWo beating and hopefully bring an oxygen tank with them for later.
Randy Savage joins us and improvises a whole bit with Mean Gene where he forces him to the ring to fill time after the short main event. You don’t have to ask Savage twice to fill 10 minutes. So they do a whole thing where Savage threatens Gene for a while, and this brings out JJ Dillon to save and they do a whole bit where Dillon berates him for abusing Gene. So finally Savage decks him, and that brings out Bischoff to try and talk Savage off the ledge and hold him back to end the show. Lots of nothing happening in this thanks to the Flair match going so short and the show needing to kill time.
Another enjoyable show this week. Next week is a big one in Boston, and I hear Shawn Michaels wants to be there if he can get out of his contract. Will he show up? TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT.