The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 07.14.97
Back to the Monday Night Wars!
Live from Orlando, FL, drawing 10,000, complete with Michael Buffer doing the introduction of the show.
Your hosts are Tony, Larry & Iron Mike.
And it’s a historic first to kick things off, as we meet THE NITRO GIRLS for the first time, complete with generic music overdubbing Kimberly’s introductions of them. Well that kind of ruins the impact. So they do a routine with chairs in the ring and Kimberly is completely out of sync with everyone else. Great start to that concept!
The announcers, brain surgeons that they are, finally examine the video of the fake Sting from the PPV and conclude that, HOLY SHIT, that’s not really Sting! It might even be Kevin Nash!
Alex Wright v. Prince Iaukea
Iaukea attacks in the corner to start but gets beaten down by Wright, and then Giant quickly comes out and chokeslams the ref and Iaukea and a bunch of security geeks. Anyway, he’s had ENOUGH of the nWo, especially that goof Kevin Nash.
Eddie Guerrero v. Chavo Guerrero
Chavo is all fired up after Eddie walked out on him last week and he attacks to start, and reverses a bunch of Eddie’s armdrags before putting him on the floor with a forearm. Chavo follows with a dive to the floor and they slug it out before Chavo sends him into the railing. Back in, Chavo goes up and Eddie crotches him and brings him in with a superplex. He slugs away while yelling “SAY HELLO TO GRANDMA!” in some quality trash talk and runs Chavo into the corner, but Chavo alley oops him into the top turnbuckle and follows with a northern lights suplex for two. German suplex gets two. Chavo goes up and the frog splash attempt hits knees, and Eddie hits him with the MURDERDEATHKILL powerbomb and finishes with the frog splash at 4:12. Hell of a fast-paced TV match here, and Eddie was really starting to get the heel mannerisms. ***1/2 Eddie continues frog-splashing his nephew, so Hector Guerrero makes the save, which should set up another pretty awesome match.
DDP joins us, talking about being betrayed by Curt Hennig despite their shared graduation from the school of hard knocks. Page admits that Hennig wasn’t exactly his first choice of partner, but Sting wasn’t around and Luger & Giant were already in the main event. And he wondered why Hennig turned on him?!? So he’s not gonna get mad, he’s gonna get even. I actually don’t think he did get even, but that’s normal for DDP.
Harlem Heat joins us, and some say they’re without leadership now that Sherri is gone, but they’re gonna turn things into a street fight. What those things are is never clarified. After the promo, Tony has to finish making their point by announcing that they’re facing the Outsiders later tonight and it’s a non-title match. Normally Gene is really good about filling in the blanks when guys go off the rails like that.
Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton v. The Steiner Brothers
We get a posedown to start, which offends Buff, and we get some stalling as a result before Scott grabs a headlock to start. Buff dropkicks him out of the ring and stops to cut a promo about how great he is, but Scott hits him with a clothesline and a backdrop. Press slam and Buff is bumping all over the place and tripping over himself and then we suddenly to TO THE BACK where Konnan shows up with nWo’s limo, apparently having turned off-camera. Back with everyone slugging it out in the ring and SURPRISE SURPRISE Norton no-sells a bunch of stuff and allows the heels to take over. Rick is face in peril as Bagwell drops an elbow for two and goes up with a double axehandle, but Rick catches him with an overhead suplex. Hot tag Scott and he suplexes everyone until, say it with me, the nWo runs in for the DQ at 6:50. This was OK. **
Raven gives another goofy interview with Gene and Stevie gets beat up again. This Raven stuff was so terrible that they almost had to literally reboot the character after the Clash and do the Flock instead.
Chris Benoit v. Mike Enos
Benoit does a drop-in promo declaring it’s time to get back to the business and proceeds to beat the shit out of Enos in the corner to prove his point. Enos drops him on the top rope and hits a blockbuster slam off the middle rope before following with a corner clothesline and a neckbreaker for two. Piledriver gets two as Benoit is giving this guy WAY too much. Enos goes to a bearhug and powerslams him for two. Benoit suddenly takes him down with the crossface, however, and Enos taps at 3:44. It was a good little match but they really needed to start rebuilding Benoit and the Horsemen at this point. **1/2
La Parka v. Super Calo
So now everyone is paranoid about La Parka’s identity after the DDP thing, and Savage runs in for the DQ at 0:45 and beats up Parka, but the real DDP jumps Savage and then Hennig comes in and knocks out DDP with brass knuckles.
Curt Hennig does an interview where he calls DDP “the biggest mark in the business” and he can’t even last 30 seconds with “his hosebag of an old lady”, let alone with Hennig. Dave was really triggered by the inside lingo in the Observer. Ric Flair comes out and he’s still trying to suck up to Hennig.
HOUR #2! The hour that single-handedly fought off the D-X tank and then planted the love letters from Stephanie in HHH’s bag!
Lee Marshall is on the road from Jacksonville with a weasel joke that’s lame even by his standards.
Kevin Nash and the nWo join us, and Nash is now wheelchair-bound in addition to limping out of the limo earlier. The announcers think it’s clearly a fake injury, but, I mean, is it REALLY that ludicrous to assume that Nash might have torn his quad getting out of the car? Makes you think. Anyway, Bischoff is offended by the notion of Nash being a Sting imposter and Konnan unveils his nWo shirt before Nash collapses back into the wheelchair in pain. This was the debut of the “K-Dog” name, by the way. Even though he looks like Larry Flynt, he’s still too sweet! Nash just being funny is typically great, although apparently “guy in a wheelchair cutting promos with an exaggerated knee injury” was a specific rejoinder to another injury, har har.
Harlem Heat v. The Outsiders
Hall and Syxx are representing the team under Lucha House Party Rules. Syxx takes a spinkick from Booker T and Stevie slugs away on Hall in the corner, but Hall hits a bulldog for two. Hall works on the arm but gets clotheslined by Stevie and Booker comes in with a lame double punch for two. Hall with the fallaway slam on Booker for two and goes to an armbar, but Booker kicks him down again. Hall bails to escape while the announcers tell us that we should order the replay of Bash at the Beach because Rodman armdragged Lex Luger. Back in the ring, Stevie with a slam on Hall for two and he goes to a chinlock as this match is just dying. Booker comes in with an ax kick on Hall for two and a superkick for two, and a crossbody gets two as Stevie chases Syxx out of the ring, but Nash miraculously pops out of his wheelchair and nails Booker, setting up the Razor’s Edge to finish at 9:00. Hot finish but the match was complete shit, with Hall doing all the work and looking terrible the whole time. ½*
Masa Chono & Great Muta v. The Public Enemy
Oh god, this is gonna be horrible. Chono hits Rock with a mafia kick on the floor, but PE regroups and slugs away in the corner to send the nWo running. Vincent appears to have found another niche as “generic nWo manager” and he offers some advice while they stall. That advice? “The future of wrestling merchandise is autograph signings!” Well that one’s gonna go south on him. Back in, Grunge gets a neckbreaker and offers a bow, and Rock goes to work on Muta’s arm and gets a sloppy moonsault on Chono. Muta with the handspring elbow on Grunge into the bulldog, but Grunge gets the hot tag to Rock. This gets even worse with Chono selling a right hand before it even happens, and they go after Vincent, but Muta unleashes the GREEN SPEW OF DEATH and Chono finishes Grunge with the mafia kick at 6:49. Good lord this was bad. -*
US title: Jeff Jarrett v. Ric Flair
Jeff gets a backdrop to start and Flair immediately chops him down until they fight to the floor. Jarrett backdrops him on the floor and comes back in with a cross body, but Flair rolls through for two. They trade chops in the corner and we get a Flair Flip, but Jarrett counters the bodypress with a dropkick and showboats while Bobby rightly points out that he should be going for the pin instead of posing. They head up and Jarrett gets a superplex, but Flair fights out of a figure-four attempt and cradles for two. More chops and now Jarrett pulls down the straps and asks for more, so Flair gives him more and beats him down with chops and then goes low while Debra obliviously cuts a promo to the cameraman. Jarrett comes back with a sleeper and Flair escapes with a jawbreaker, but Mongo heads out and yells at her before coming in and beating down Jarrett (who was locked in Flair’s figure four!) for the DQ at 5:30. Jarrett runs away from the Horsemen beatdown, luckily for him. Flair was looking really fired up here but having the Horsemen run in for the DQ when Flair was in control with a figure-four and on the verge of winning was questionable. ***
Lex Luger is out for the main event interview, here in the shanks of the evening, and he hopes that Rodman sticks to basketball from here on. Also, he’s issuing a challenge to Hogan for
Hog Road Wild. The nWo comes out to answer, but then Sting comes out to help, wearing the fake Kevin Nash mask from the PPV over his real Sting paint, and we’re out.
Pretty entertaining show this week, with a great Eddie-Chavo match and a good US title match.