The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – October 6 1997
(Originally written during the 24/7 era, so sometime around 2009. This was during the period when Benoit was purged from all his appearances on the shows so if there’s anything missing where he would have featured, that’s why.)
Live from Minneapolis, MN
Your hosts are Tony & Larry & Iron Mike.
And huzzah, we start with Uncle Eric and Hulk Hogan. Sting’s too chicken to show up and face him, “Assault on Devil’s Island” will make him the biggest star in the world, and he’s just too sweet.
Jeff Jarrett v. Booker T
End of the line for Jeff Jarrett here. Baby steps for Booker as a singles act, although we’re getting close to pulling the trigger on him. Jackie is managing him at this point, which is a combination that just never worked for either of them. Jarrett armdrags him and struts around, but Booker hammers on him in the corner and adds his own hiptoss. Jarrett misses a dropkick and Booker puts him on the floor with one of his own and the crowd responds well to all of it. Back in, Jarrett catches him with a cheapshot and chokes him out on the ropes, but Booker gets the sunset flip out of the corner for two. Jarrett elbows him down again, but Booker pops up with the Spinarooni and puts him on the floor again with a sidekick. And we take a break as they brawl on the floor. Back with Jarrett necksnapping him and Tony actually has the temerity to call it “Katie bar the door”, which I thought only imaginary announcer stereotypes from the 50s said. Jeff takes over with a dropkick, but Booker gets an energetic rollup for two. Jarrett slugs him down again and puts him down with a short clothesline (“or lariat, if you will”, adds Tony. Uh, no, Tony.) but Booker slugs back and puts him down with a spinkick. Axe kick gets two, but Jarrett is in the ropes. Booker clotheslines him onto the floor, and Mongo heads down to get his shots in, allowing Booker to roll him up for the pin at 6:36. This was such an effective debut and such a good crowd reaction for Booker that I’m frankly shocked they didn’t fuck it up. **3/4 Booker showed HUGE fire here, way more energy than I ever saw him put forth in WWE.
Billy Kidman v. Alex Wright
Wright pounds Kidman down to start and lays him out with a forearm, then sends him out to the floor where the Flock watches. They brawl on the floor while we cut to the back for an important argument between the Mongo family, while Jarrett tries to mediate. Back to the match as Wright slams him and goes up, dropping a knee from the top and stopping to dance. Corner elbow follows and Wright gets a snap suplex for two. Kidman tries a crucifix and turns it into a sunset flip for two, but Wright clotheslines him down again and stomps away while the crowd is transfixed by a fight or something. Kidman blocks the german suplex and comes back with a missile dropkick and the rebound clothesline. Springboard bulldog gets two. Kidman goes up and misses a 450 splash, and Wright finishes with the german suplex at 6:04. Messy and dull. *1/2
Mortis v. Ernest Miller
Oh boy, the Cat debuts as a single. Miller gets a hiptoss and a high kick for two, but goes up and gets crotched by Jim Vandenberg. Mortis brings him down with an awful looking top rope fameasser for two, as Miller looked really unsure how to bump. Mortis slugs away in the corner and a death valley driver gets two. He tosses Miller and suplexes him back in for two, but Ernest sweeps the leg to block a high kick. Mortis hits the Downward Spiral for two as this thing has exceeded its welcome by about 2 minutes. Miller tries a sunset flip and Mortis counters for two. He goes up and misses a flying splash and Miller comes back with his stunning array of kicks. Springboard kick finishes at 5:30. Mortis tried hard to carry it, but it wasn’t to be. *
Scott Hall and Syxx join us to discuss Hall’s rib injury, as apparently Scott and Big Kev were at home watching old tapes of Larry Zbyszko and laughed so hard that they fell out of their chairs and hurt themselves. Luger’s going down at Halloween Havoc (crotch chop). Classy.
Scott Hall v. Hector Garza
This is a rematch of an upset win for Garza a couple of weeks before, where Hall treated him like a total jobber and then did a cheap banana peel job to him. He beats on Garza despite the “rib injury” and hits the blockbuster slam, stopping to push the ref around and allowing Syxx to come in and abuse Garza with the broncobuster. Outsider Edge ends it at 1:47. No upset win this week. DUD They absolutely beat the hell out of referee Billy Silverman and as usual no one bothers to help him.
World TV title: Disco Inferno v. DDP
Disco gets cocky and DDP almost gets the Diamond Cutter, but Disco bails to escape. Back in, Disco gets a hiptoss, but Page slams him and takes him down with a neckbreaker. Disco bails again and Page follows with a baseball slide and a pescado. Back in, Disco hits a clothesline to the back for two, but Page gets a backslide for two. Disco with a neckbreaker for two. They slug it out and Page pancakes him, setting up the fireman’s carry into Diamond Cutter (aka the TKO / F5), but Randy Savage runs in for the DQ at 4:00. So there you go — Mero and Page both did it on the same week first. So it’s a tie. Macho is about piledrive him on the concrete, but Roddy Piper, acting as figurehead, prevents it, and Page gives Savage the Cutter on the floor instead. **
Roddy Piper joins us for our weekly dose of senile. Next week, Hall & Nash defend the tag titles or else they’re stripped of them. And of course that didn’t happen. And DDP v. Savage at Havoc is a Texas death match. Hogan comes out to continue the ridiculous argument about who the bigger “icon” is and it leads to one of their laughable “brawls”.
Cruiserweight title: Eddie Guerrero v. Ultimo Dragon
Eddie takes Dragon down with a wristlock to start, but Dragon bridges up and they do an acrobatic sequence before Eddie elbows him down. Backdrop suplex sets up the slingshot splash, but it misses and Dragon gets a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and goes to the chinlock. Eddie comes back with a snap suplex for two, and goes to the abdominal stretch. Dragon reverses a powerbomb attempt into a rollup for two, but Eddie boots him down again and pounds him with forearms. These guys just aren’t meshing at ALL here, and the announcers totally ignoring the match doesn’t help. Dragon kicks him down and then tosses him and follows with a tope suicida. Back in, Dragon gets a release german suplex for two and tries the running powerbomb, but Eddie reverses out. Dragon reverses that to the dragon sleeper, but Eddie is in the ropes. Eddie comes back with the tornado DDT and finishes with the frog splash at 6:04. Crazy distance on that one. They couldn’t really get it together and both seemed frustrated by it. **
And we suddenly cut to Ric Flair running in and attacking the nWo (apparently omitting the Benoit v. Hennig main event, although you see You Know Who in the ring during the beating). Flair heads back to the ring once it’s clear and cuts a promo against Curt Hennig and the nWo, a program which they somehow managed to screw up despite the potential for making some money.
Easy win for RAW this week.