The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 08.04.97
Live from Detroit, MI, and this is a big one. It’s Nitro #100!
Your hosts are Tony, Mike & Larry.
Hollywood Hogan joins us to start, and apparently there’s going to be 500,000 motorcycles in Sturgis there to cheer him on. Really? Half a million? Well, if you’re gonna lie, lie big. Hogan actually wraps it up remarkably quick and then promises that Scott Hall is getting the first shot at his title after he beats Lex Luger both tonight and at the PPV.
Mortis v. Curt Hennig
Hennig grabs a headlock to start and puts him down with a dropkick, then goes after James Vandenberg and that allows Mortis to take over. For about 5 seconds. Hennig puts him on the floor with a kneelift, but Mortis pounds away in the corner before missing an elbow. Hennig with the necksnap, but Mortis gets an atomic drop and leg lariat for two. Hennig goes after the leg and NOW YOU’RE GONNA SEE A FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX at 3:50. Hennig was looking a little better here thanks to Kanyon. **
And now, a special look at the past year for Sting and all his wacky shenanigans.
Hector Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero Jr. v. Dean Malenko & Jeff Jarrett
Dean works on Chavo’s arm to start, and Jarrett comes in for some stalling before Hector takes over with armdrags. Jarrett comes in and hits Hector with a cheapshot and the heels double-team the leg, but Hector gets a sunset flip on Jarrett for two. Backslide gets two. Jarrett goes back to the leg and tries the figure-four, but Chavo breaks it up and Hector cradles Dean for two. Hector tries a rana and Dean counters with an electric chair, and the Cloverleaf finishes at 4:42. This was decent. **1/4 Tony has now downgraded the upcoming Sturgis attendance to 250,000. Geez, it cut by HALF in the half hour since the show started!
Meanwhile, Stevie Richards has another contract for Raven to sign, but Raven turns it down again and decks Stevie, only for Stevie to block his second punch and declare that there’s no more abuse. HOT. FLAMING. DEATH.
The Giant v. Lenny Lane, Scott D’Amore & Joey Maggs
Yup, future TNA booker Scott D’Amore gets squashed by the Giant! Giant stacks all three geeks in the corner and splashes them, then hits them all with chokeslams and pins all three at 1:35. Randy Savage is out, BROTHER BROTHER BROTHER BROTHER BRUTTTTTTTHA to let us know that Giant don’t want none of him. Giant respectfully disagrees and decides to go get him some, but we never find out how it went and who got what from whom.
Dosage Voltage v. The Public Enemy
I wonder if you can get drugs in Detroit? These guys would know. Tony has to call High Testosterone Ratio “one of the great power teams of all time” with a straight face, which makes me choke on my Pepsi. So they lumber around and future WCW tag team champion Kenny Kaos manages to fuck up a kick to the gut on Rocco and then Rage comes in and stomps him down. Rage goes up and lands on Rock’s foot, and it’s hot tag Grunge, and he’s a house of fire! Sadly, his house is on fire because he got wasted on Soma and vodka and forgot to shut off the stove. Rock randomly puts himself through a table, because why not, and High Voltage do a ridiculously horrific series of double-teaming, completely forget their next spot, and then Grunge rolls up Rage for the pin at 5:25. This was laughably awful, like complete Botchamania stuff, but apparently a lot of it was deliberate because we’re supposed to think they need a manager to help them. DELIBERATELY BAD.
Well, mission accomplished and then some. -***
Alex Wright v. Scotty Riggs
Alex dances with the Nitro Girls on the way to the ring and then cuts a promo telling Americans how stupid they are. You tell ‘em, Alex. Wright attacks Riggs and dumps him right away, but Scotty sends him into the railing and back in for a double axehandle. Riggs slugs away in the corner and tries for a superplex, but Wright fights him off and gets the pin with a missile dropkick at 3:20. I don’t know if it was ever established if it was a title match or not, but it was perfectly cromulent wrestling even if the crowd didn’t care. **1/2
HOUR #2! THE HOUR THAT GOT SEATTLE AN NHL EXPANSION TEAM!
Lex Luger joins us to start the second hour, and he heard Hogan “spooing” his garbage but he guarantees to put Hulk in the rack and win the title TONIGHT.
Syxx v. Chris Benoit
They trade shots to start and Syxx loses that one handily, but he comes back with a spinkick, only to get dropkicked out of the ring and hit with a vicious dive by Benoit. He really ki…uh…never mind. Back in, Benoit goes up and gets brought down by Syxx, and he hits the lightning legdrops to take over. Michinoku Driver and he goes up , but misses a senton from the top and Benoit comes back with some chops and the snap suplex for two. Backdrop suplex gets two. Syxx charges and misses the broncobuster and Benoit tries a superplex, but JJ runs in for the DQ at 4:00. Mongo makes the save and we get a brawl to set up Jarrett & Malenko v. Benoit & Mongo at the PPV. They were having a HELL of a match before that terrible finish, just unloading on each other like crazy. ***
Vincent v. Booker T
I don’t like Vincent’s chances here. Booker quickly destroys him with an ax kick and flying forearm and Vincent decides to run away, but Stevie cuts him off and sends him back in for the Harlem Sidekick at 0:40. So with the nWo mascot disposed of, that sets up Heat v. Bagwell & Norton at the PPV. They’re doing a surprisingly good job of building Road Wild on this one.
Diamond Dallas Page joins us and he’s got a lot in common with Ric Flair, but Ric is trying to court Hennig and he hates Hennig, so they’re got a problem.
Barbarian v. Wrath
Barbarian starts throwing hands in the corner to start, but Wrath trips him up and gets two. Corner clothesline follows and Wrath goes up with a flying clothesline, but Barbarian blocks the uranage and gets an ugly suplex as they both tumble to the floor. Barbarian runs him into the post, but Wrath tries a headbutt back in the ring and that goes poorly for him, and Barbarian gets a powerslam. Barbarian goes up, but lands in the uranage at 3:00. This brings out Meng to avenge his partner and he manages to stare Wrath down and chase him away with sheer intimidation. I think there’s probably a certain segment of the viewership who enjoyed this, but it was pretty bad. DUD
The Steiner Brothers are here for the bombshell they’ve been promising all show: They’re now managed by Ted Dibiase, who has seen the error of his ways and promises to live up to the legacy of his father. He nearly says “World Wrestling Federation tag titles” before Mean Gene deftly cuts him off and corrects him like a total pro. The Outsiders interrupt and let Ted know that he’s a dead man for leaving the nWo, and the Steiners only hired him because they need someone to read the menus on the road.
Konnan v. Psicosis
Konnan’s quest to destroy the luchadors continues, and he stomps Psi down to start and backdrops him onto the apron, but Psi comes back in with a leg lariat off the top and follows with a moonsault for two. Konnan quickly lays him out and finishes with the Tequila Sunrise at 1:50. Nothing much to this one. *1/2 This brings out Rey on crutches to confront K-Dog, but Konnan kicks away one of them to be a jerk, at which point Rey reveals that he’s fine and lays Konnan out with the other crutch.
Silver King & Damien v. Glacier & Ernest Miller
Glacier takes Silver King down and dumps Damien, but the Cat comes in and gets double-teamed by the Mexicans and looks like he’s got no clue where to be out there. Glacier comes back in and hits them with a double clothesline, and Miller does his ka-ra-tay and then finishes Damien with a kick at 3:23. This was a complete trainwreck that sometimes happen when you get the wacky mix-and-match of styles on Nitro. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s Ernest Miller stumbling around the ring like he’s never seen the sport before. ½*
Eric Bischoff joins us and he’s upset about his treatment at the hands of the Giant last week, so he brings out JJ Dillon and threatens to sue anyone who ever lays another finger on him. And if Larry tries anything again, he’ll get kicked in the face.
HOUR #3! THE HOUR THAT WRITES THESE JOKES FOR ME!
Diamond Dallas Page v. Ric Flair
Flair throws the chops to start, but Page slugs back and follows with a backdrop and powerbomb. And Curt Hennig runs out as we take a break. Back with Flair in control, but Page gets a neckbreaker and then gets distracted by Hennig, which allows Flair to clip the knee. Page fights back with the lariat while the announcers stress how “adult oriented” the PPV is going to be. What, is Hogan gonna make racial slurs live on the air? Flair clips the knee again and gets the figure-four, but DDP immediately makes the ropes. Flair tries a suplex off the apron, but Page suplexes him back into the ring and gets his own figure-four. Flair pokes the ref in the eyes and Hennig runs in, but Page gives him the Dusty cradle to stop him. Page pounds away in the corner and we get a Flair Flip, but Page catches him with a lariat on the way down and follows with the pancake piledriver. And then Hennig comes in for the DQ at 10:30 as this unfortunately never went anywhere. Page was game but they really didn’t mesh very well. **1/4
Villano IV & V v. Hector Garza & Lizmark Jr.
This is gonna die like a Nia Jax match in the main event of a house show. They’re trying to make Hector Garza a thing but it’s never gonna happen. The technicos get some high-flying double-teams to start but Garza misses a splash in the corner and the Villanos take over. They beat on Garza outside the ring but the faces come back and flip around the ring again to no reaction, setting up Garza’s corkscrew plancha. Back in, the Villanos do the Bella Twin Magic switch and Lizmark gets pinned at 4:50. This match had RAW Hour #3 Syndrome as I’m tired of this show and ready for it to wrap up now. **
JJ Dillon returns and he’s got a contract for Sting, to face…CURT HENNIG! Sting comes out and tears up the contract, because gosh darnit JJ just can’t figure out what Sting wants because the answer is so mysterious. In the Observer at the time, Dave was pretty sure they could only stretch this gag out to Halloween Havoc, but AU CONTRAIRE.
WCW World title: Hollywood Hogan v. Lex Luger
Luger gets a hammerlock and Hogan immediately hides in the ropes and then pounds on Luger after a cheapshot. Hulk with the elbows and he chokes Luger out, but Lex fires back in the corner until Hulk pokes him in the eyes and we take a break. Back with Hulk holding a bearhug, and he follows with a suplex for two. Backdrop suplex gets two. Hulk slugs away and gets two and then follows with more choking in the corner, and the big boot gets two. Legdrop gets two. Another one misses and Luger makes the comeback and here comes the nWo. Lex fights them off and hits the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM on Hogan, and the Torture Rack wins the title at 10:45 while Randy Anderson frantically calls for the bell. Match kind of sucked but it was nice to see someone finally give Hogan what he had coming. And all the babyfaces (and Scott Dickinson) run out to celebrate, which made it seem like all the bigger moment.
And we finish with the Giant trying to use turpentine to wash the nWo off the belt, but some stains don’t come out with paint thinner.
A very notable show, but HOLY BALLS was it long. Good thing we’ve learned our lesson these days about three hour shows.
Next up: Road Wild 97!