WCW Tuesday Nitro 7-22-97
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Airdate: July 22, 1997
Attendance: 7,465 (6,264 paid)
Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Welcome to a Tuesday edition of Nitro! What surprises does WCW have in store for us? Will Hogan accept Luger's challenge for the PPV? Hennig makes his singles debut! Let's dig in to reveal the goods.
From the entrance, the Nitro Girls open the program in black.
Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff emerge through the entrance, enter the ring, and then lounge on the mat. As Hogan gloats about being the reason pro wrestling is as big as it is, he cuts a promo on Luger. He then accepts Luger's challenge at Road Wild '97.
Match 1: K-Dogg versus Tsubasa
Summary: Showcase match for the newest member of the nWo.
Match 2 for the WCW World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion) versus Ultimo Dragon
Summary: For the second time, Ultimo Dragon became TV champion.
Valvoline sponsors the replay.
At the entrance, "Mean" Gene Okerlund interviews "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. According to Flair, the newest Horseman is..
Wait a minute! Syxx emerges through the entrance to confront Flair. He then informs us that there is no fourth Horseman announcement tonight. Flair then states that he's been "censored" and almost lost his job because of Syxx. Before walking up the entrance ramp, Flair nails him. Benoit then seconds Flair as Syxx mentions that they "wouldn't be pulling this crap if Hall and Nash were here." I smell an upcoming tag match.
For the second time, the NItro Girls dance.
On WCW Saturday Night, Scott Norton & K-Dogg face Harlem Heat.
Match 3: Giant versus the Great Muta
Summary: Nothing to see here. Move along...
Afterward, Savage and Vincent hit the ring to triple-team the blinded Giant. When he rises to his feet, Giant sent all three nWo members scurrying. Luger then comes to the ring to aid Giant. Since Giant still couldn’t see, he almost chokeslams Luger. Fortunately, he recognized Luger's voice and put him down.
Match 4: Steve “Mongo” McMichael versus Dean Malenko
Summary: More angle than match as the Mongo/Jarrett feud continues.
After the match, Okerlund interviews Malenko, and Jarrett interrupts. While security keeps Mongo away from him, Jarrett cuts a promo on the Four Horsemen. Malenko then interjects with wanting to work alone but understands that "there's strength in numbers." As Debra insults Mongo ("too many cobwebs in that attic,") Malenko informs Jarrett that he'll give him an answer when he's ready.
Match 5: Eddie Guerrero versus Hector Guerrero
Summary: Hector was no match for his younger brother here.
After the match, Malenko comes to the ring and nails Eddie. He then powerbombs Eddie to a raucous ovation. Next, he hooks Eddie in the Texas Cloverleaf, and Hector nails Malenko. When Eddie shoves Hector, Malenko gives Hector a belly-to-back suplex. Rather than helping his brother like Hector, Eddie walks away like a scoundrel.
The Nitro Girls dance in the aisle under a red light.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews the chairman of the WCW Executive Committee James J. Dillon. As Dillon announces an official contract signing, Stevie Richards emerges through the entrance. Richards, wearing a Bullet Boys t-shirt, declares that he signed a contract with WCW. When Dillon confirms it, he asks Richards about Raven.
While Richards leads Dillon, Okerlund describes him as "soft as a grape." HA! Dillon then presents a contract to Raven with "everything he wanted." When Raven questions that stipulation, Richards claims that he negotiated the contract for him. He then rips up the contract and nails Richards.
Match 6: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Scott Norton (w/ Buff Bagwell & Vincent)
Summary: More angle than match.
Afterward, Luger puts Vincent in the Torture Rack, pressed Bagwell overhead, and tossed him at Norton. He then grabs the microphone, but Hogan emerges to interrupt him. When Hogan calls him a "Hollywood wannabe," Luger chases him backstage.
Backstage, Hall and Nash enter the building, and K-Dogg greets them. He wants to inform them about what happened earlier, but K-Dogg won't do it when the camera's around.
Lee Marshall then delivers the 1-800-COLLECT road report from “Charleston, WV." The closest he's gotten to Charleston was at the convenience store when he bought a Charleston Chew.
While the elongated entrances of the next match's competitors occurred, Tenay detailed the WCW tour schedule:
Before the bell, Hennig and Flair are shown backstage conversing.
Match 7: Mortis & Wrath (w/ James Vandenberg) versus Psicosis & La Parka (w/ Sonny Onoo)
Summary: Showcase match for Wrath and Mortis.
After the match, La Parka grabbed a balsa wood chair and SMASHED it against Mortis' back. Wrath then disposed of La Parka with a bicycle kick.
Match 8: “Buff” Bagwell (w/ Vincent & Scott Norton) versus Booker T (w/o Stevie Ray)
Summary: Despite the fact that these guys worked hard, the Jacksonville faithful wasn't interested and more than likely expected a schmozz finish rather than a heel finish.
After the match, the nWo triple-teams Booker T and disposes of Patrick.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Rey Mysterio, Jr. who stands on crutches. According to Okerlund, Mysterio has a torn ligament in his knee and will rehab it rather than have surgery. Suddenly, K-Dogg emerges and bullies Mysterio. Psicosis, Villano IV, and La Parka arrive to save Mysterio's bacon. When Mysterio questions K-Dogg's heritage, K-Dogg swears his allegance to the now instead of "la raza." Mysterio then vows revenge against K-Dogg.
Match 9: Curt Hennig versus Michael Wallstreet
Summary: Showcase match for Hennig.
After the match, DDP comes through the Jacksonville faithful, enters the ring, and brawls with Hennig. While the Jacksonville faithful gets behind DDP, Hennig delivers a knee lift. He then attempts a fisherman's suplex, but DDP counters with the Diamond Cutter to a raucous ovation. Officials then fill the ring to separate them.
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
Buy the shirt! Send it to Rock Star Gary. Make it an XL.
THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
The Nitro Girls dance in the aisle again.
Match 10 for the WCW World tag team titles: The Outsiders (champions w/ Syxx) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & the “Crippler” Chris Benoit
Summary: Methinks the Jacksonville faithful knew they wouldn’t see two title changes in a single night because they didn't truly back Benoit during the babyface comeback.
After the match, Syxx applies the Buzzkiller on Flair on the floor until Mongo makes the save. Abruptly, the Steiners emerge from the entrance to taunt the Outsiders. WE'RE OUTTA TIME!
Conclusion: By itself, this was a good episode with a title change and ten matches. Angles were advanced, and PPV match-ups got promoted, so it accomplished its purpose.
In comparison to RAW is WAR, this was a much better show albeit probably less memorable due to the flag match. What's going to happen when they go head-to-head next week?
TV Rating: 3.75
Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 7-28-97!
Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).