The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 06.09.97
Live from Boston, Mass, drawing an insane 18,000 people, WCW’s all-time record attendance and gate at that point. EVER. Which they barely didn’t even mention on TV outside of a couple of offhand remarks from Tony.
Your hosts are Tony, Larry and Mike.
DDP attacks Savage’s limo in the back, but Randy “runs away like a coward” according to the announcers. Dude is smashing up the car! I’d run away, too! Granted, I’m also a coward.
Juventud Guerrera, Ultimo Dragon & Super Calo v. Psicosis, La Parka & Silver King
It’s the debut of SILVER KING! Parka bumps all over for Calo and hits the floor, and Calo follows with a slingshot senton out there. Back in, Silver King superkicks Juvy in the corner and they a stalemate sequence while Larry completely buries everyone in the match. “What’s his name, Silver Fish?” And when Mike reminds Larry that he actually wrestled Dr. Wagner Sr., Larry follows up by noting that he probably beat Wagner and could beat Silver King as well. The faces triple-team Parka with some crazy fast stuff, but Parka hits Calo with a belly to belly and Psi comes in with a slingshot guillotine legdrop for two. Everyone is in as the match breaks down and Dragon trades suplex attempts with Psicosis for two. Psi with a sunset bomb for two. Superkick and he charges, but Dragon alley-oops him over the top rope and everyone piles up on the floor for the big dive sequence, leading to Parka using a chair to dive onto everyone. And then Juvy baseball slides the chair into Parka’s face and hits him with a dive of his own. Back in, Dragon with a top rope rana on Psicosis to set up the dragon sleeper to finish at 7:45. Crowd wasn’t buying it this week like they were a couple of weeks ago, but they just did crazy shit until the hostile fans bought into it. I can dig it. ***3/4
Lex Luger joins us and he’s getting ready for a tour of Germany, but he signed the contract for Bash at the Beach first. And since Hogan hasn’t defended his title since February, the WCW committee has decided it’s a title match TONIGHT. This Hogan guy is worse than Brock Lesnar! Anyway, keep that in mind: The WCW committee has declared that the match is for the WCW title.
Meanwhile, Roddy Piper & Ric Flair arrive for their match against the Outsiders tonight, and they’re closer than ever and not at all the dinosaurs as claimed by the nWo.
Alex Wright v. Chris Jericho
Larry of course uses this opportunity to put his fucking golf career. Mike notes that Jericho has just finished a successful tour of the Orient, which is like the highest praise possible from Tenay! They trade clotheslines to start and Jericho dropkicks him off the apron, but Wright necks him on the top rope and stomps away in the corner. However, he stops to do some disco dancing, and Jericho makes the comeback. Wright cuts him off and goes up for a flying knee, but that misses. Wright chokes him out anyway and goes up again with a pump splash for two. Jericho with a sunset flip for two, but Wright grabs a sleeper until Jericho escapes with a suplex. Another sleeper as they’ve really hit a wall here. Jericho is looking like he’s blown up and Wright gets a clothesline for two, but Jericho rolls him up for two and then Wright goes to a chinlock this time. Even Tenay is making excuses now, claiming Jericho is jetlagged from his trip to the Orient, and the fans start playing with a beach ball. This show was 20 years ahead of its time! Jericho with a butterfly bomb for two, but Wright rolls through a bodypress and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin at 8:44 to end this car crash. *1/2
Malia Hosaka v. Akira Hokuto
Hokuto tosses Hosaka around by the hair and chokes her out on the ropes, but Malia comes back with forearms and goes up with a flying bodypress for two. Sonny Onoo gets involved and Hokuto finishes with the northern lights bomb in 1:45. That looked a million times more deadly than Al Snow’s shitty version. She hits a second one, but Madusa makes the save and uses german suplexes to prevent any further damage. Oh also, Tony clarifies that the Luger v. Hogan match is NOT for the title (in reality because Luger screwed up and improvised the title match line). *1/2
The Steiner Brothers are sick of proving themselves in the tag team division, since they already beat the Outsiders and all. Harlem Heat interrupts and they got a BEEF, and the brawl is on. So they’re gonna wrestle at the Bash show to determine the #1 contender, and the winner of THAT gets the Outsiders at Hog Wild in August.
Steve McMichael v. Konnan
And Kevin Greene leaps out of NOWHERE during Mongo’s entrance and jumps him for an impressive attack, and then someone else jumps out of the audience and beats Konnan down with a broomstick, (off camera of course) so the entire match is thrown out. Too many brawling angles in a short span here, with the ladies and then the Steiners and the football players and now Konnan all getting into them. Less is more, WCW.
Hulk Hogan joins and he’s decided that he’s not going to face Luger after all, because Lex hasn’t worked out enough to earn a shot at the title. Instead, he will pose for the fans. This brings out Luger and Hogan tells him to get lost, but Lex attacks and we’re on.
Lex Luger v. Hulk Hogan
Lex immediately knocks Hulk out of the ring with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM and the nWo comes out for moral support. Hulk gets a clothesline in the ring and chokes away, and we take a break with Luger making the comeback. Back with Hogan hitting the corner clothesline as thankfully Bobby replaces Larry on the commentary team. Hulk with the backdrop suplex for two, but Lex makes the comeback and destroys all the nWo guys before finishing Hulk with the rack at 2:48. And the nWo beatdown follows, with Hogan delivering about a dozen legdrops until the refs have to haul Luger out of the ring. Still, pretty notable for Hulk doing a submission job in what has to be the first time in decades. Why they couldn’t have just put the title on Lex here, I have no idea. *
JJ Dillon is here and he’s got CONSEQUENCES for Randy Savage. The Bash match is now unsanctioned, no DQ, no countout, falls count anywhere, gluten free, no GMOs, made with real cane sugar, zero calories, and new cherry flavor. Randy comments from the crowd as usual, but DDP comes out and he wants the match RIGHT NOW. And it’s yet another pull-apart brawl tonight.
US title: Dean Malenko v. Jeff Jarrett
They trade hammerlocks to start and Jarrett stops to strut, but Dean is unmoved. Malenko with a small package for two and he blocks a sunset flip for two, but Jarrett runs away. WE take a break as Debra joins us at ringside and return with Jarrett in control via DDT for two. Malenko comes back and tosses Jarrett and the crowd just could not care less, and we get a leglock in the ring to really crank up the excitement. Jarrett fights out, so Malenko gets a dropkick for two as the crowd is really drifting off. Jarrett with a tombstone piledriver to set up the figure-four, which Dean reverses. They slug it out and Jarrett gets a lariat, but Dean powerbombs him into the Cloverleaf, which JJ reveres into a cradle for two. Dean with a backslide for two. Jarrett with a neckbreaker for two. They fight to the top and Jarrett gets the superplex, but now Eddie Guerrero comes out of the crowd while Debra takes the ref, and Eddie hits Dean with a frog splash for the apparent heel turn. Eddie Guerrero, a HEEL? Perish the thought. Jarrett gets the figure-four and wins the US title at 14:12. Filed under “Things no one asked to see, ever.” Good match, though. ***
Jimmy Hart and the Faces of Fear are here to introduce Chris Benoit’s final step: Kevin Sullivan, who is finally back from the closet that the Red Rooster locked him in a few weeks back when he took over as booker. So Sullivan calls out Benoit to finish things and it’s yet another pull-apart brawl and heel beatdown.
The Outsiders v. Roddy Piper & Ric Flair
Yes, it’s our second dubiously-advertised non-title match of the evening, as they kind of danced around the situation all night and then finally clarified here that this is non-title. Kevin Nash lets us know that he hasn’t washed his hair in two weeks while on the way to the ring. On a show filled with wrestlers telling huge whoppers, that’s the biggest one. Big brawl to start and the babyfaces get creamed in the fair fight, which is typical of the nWo. We take a break and return with Piper getting the heat, and you can see Piper passing a message to Mark Curtis that he wants to go home early. So he goes low on Nash and then on Hall, but Syxx distracts Flair and the ref calls for the DQ at 6:44 of a terrible match. The match was booked to go twice as long, so now they have to do an extended brawl (yes, another one) where basically everyone in the locker room just runs out and fights and they just ring the bell over and over. Suddenly we’ve got Glacier v. Mortis & Wrath, Steiners v. Harlem Heat, Sullivan v. Benoit, matter v. antimatter, Roe v. Wade, cats v. dogs, nature v. nurture, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Flair still somehow does the job.
Anyway, the brawl goes on FOREVER and leads to Page and Savage having their big showdown in the ring, but DDP gets overwhelmed by the nWo and finally Sting arrives to save him, hooks up Page, and escapes into the rafters to end the show. I was wondering why Page was wearing the giant jacket to the ring, actually. THAT RIGGING IS PRACTICALLY INVISIBLE! Well that was quite the finish.
Oh, and there was a fairly famous incident after the show, as Kevin Nash was PISSED with Roddy Piper and tried to fight him in the dressing room because of the shortened match and Piper basically ignoring all the stuff they were supposed to do. Hence the giant bench-clearing brawl to fill time at the end. WCW not organized? That’s unpossible! Anyway, Nash pie-faced him and there was some schoolyard bullshit, but nothing really came of it.
Even more disappointing, Shawn Michaels did not in fact get out of his WWF contract and show up at Boston like he was telling everyone he was going to do. Oh well, still a pretty good show outside of all the brawling and brawling and brawling. Next up: Great American Bash 1997, a show I haven’t watched since the original PPV airing!