WCW Monday Nitro 11-17-97

Live from Cincinnati, OH

Airdate: November 17, 1997

Attendance: 13,877 (12,988 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Who will win the initial battle between Mysterio and Jericho? Can Malenko steal the Cruiserweight title from Eddie right before the PPV? Who makes a special appearance? Let’s find out!

At the onset, we revisit last week’s episode when the nWo punked out Sting. I smell a theme.

Opening montage.

Speaking of the nWo, they parade to the ring as the Outsiders sport new gold for absolutely no good reason. Hall performs his survey while the Cincinnati faithful chants “we want Sting.” As he calls out Zbyszko, Hall’s greeted by a strong “Lar-ry” chant. Nash then cuts a promo on the Steiners. Next, a Jimi Hendrix rip-off brings the World champion to the ring. During Hogan’s entrance, though, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, no longer sporting a full beard, emerges.

Wait a minute! Isn’t he in DeGeneration-X? What’s up with that?

Rude then declares “oh, what a difference a day makes.” While he discusses the “...wrongs (of) professional wrestling, Rude first mentions Shawn Michaels being World champion “when he never beat Bret Hart.” Afterward, he states another “wrong” being Vince McMahon’s order to Hebner to ring the bell to screw Bret out of the World title. He then says what’s right is for Bret to “abandon the Titanic (cute jeu de mots) and swim to the refuge of the nWo.” Yet another right is nWo's destruction of WCW. Also, he applauds the destruction of Sting and cuts a promo on him.

Hogan then gets his turn and uses his own jeu de mots about Sting. When the Cincinnati faithful LOUDLY chants “Hogan sucks,” their nemesis spews his delusional wisdom.

HOT TAKE: If you only thought Bret left WCW in November ‘97, you’d be wrong. Rude worked with the WWF on a verbal contract and fled to WCW when he saw the outcome behind the scenes of the Montreal Screwjob. More on this in my RAW is WAR reflection.

Nitro is sponsored by Valvoline.

Prior to the opening match, the Nitro Girls dance in the ring wearing silver.

At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Ray Traylor who calls the nWo cowards. Call their name and they shall appear! The nWo then destroys Traylor in the aisle until WCW Security rescues him.

Match 1: Glacier versus Meng (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: DUD

Summary: Considering Barbarian’s impending participation, I foresee a tag match at the PPV.

After the match, the Faces of Fear double-team Glacier until Ernest Miller arrives. Miller pitches Hart over the top rope to the floor, mounts the top turnbuckle, and kicks down Barbarian. Despite his best efforts, Miller succumbs to a Tongan death grip.

On WCW Saturday Night, Wrath faces Hugh Morrus. Also, Disco Inferno squares off against Scotty Riggs. In addition, Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio get a chance to entertain us.

Chester! We’ve missed you!

Match 2: Steve “Mongo” McMichael versus “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright (w/ Debra)


Rating: DUD

Summary: More angle than match as Mongo’s temper was the focus.

At the entrance, the Nitro Girls dance in black and white outfits while Schiavone shills the Nitro Party contest.

Match 3: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.


Rating: ***½

Summary: Incredible showing by both wrestlers with great psychology, high-flying, and workrate that got the Cincinnati faithful’s attention. Bravo, gentlemen!

Slim Jim sponsors the replay while Zbyszko continues to besmirch Hall.

Following a commercial break, Eric Bischoff invades the broadcast table by antagonizing Zbyszko. As he leads Zbyszko away from his broadcasting position, the nWo sneak-attacks him. Count Zbyszko as victim #2 tonight. While Dillinger disposes of an unruly fan, Bischoff lands a pair of spin kicks to Zbyszko’s midsection thanks to Konnan and Buff Bagwell. I guess Zbyszko shot off his mouth once too often.

Match 4: Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly) versus Villano IV (w/ Villano V)


Rating: **

Summary: Decent story as the Villanos tried to double their pleasure, but DDP ruined their fun.

After the match, DDP crotches V on the top turnbuckle and delivers a Diamond Cutter. Woohoo!

Closed captioning is sponsored by 1-800-YES-CREDIT.

Match 5 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Eddie Guerrero (champion) versus Dean Malenko


Rating: ***½

Summary: Give the match an ending and a hint of drama, and it’s a MOTY candidate.

Jamie Brandenberg of Georgetown College (KY) won the Nitro Party pack this week so we see his video.

Match 6 for the WCW World TV title: Saturn (champion) versus Scotty Riggs


Rating: **½

Summary: Solid workrate and eye-popping high-flying couldn’t earn the Cincinnati faithful’s love. Maybe next time....

Following a commercial break, the Nitro Girls shine in glitter in the ring.

The Steiners and Ted DiBiase emerge through the entrance, but the nWo sneak-attacks them. Count the Steiners and DiBiase as victims #3, 4, and 5 for the evening.

Nitro is sponsored by Parker Brothers’ RISK. You too can dominate the world like WCW.

Match 7 for the WCW US title: Curt Hennig (champion) versus the “Total Package” Lex Luger


Rating: **

Summary: The only worthwhile portion of the match was Hennig’s glorious selling.

After the match, Hennig shoves Patrick down and beats up Luger. Suddenly, Giant storms the ring to chase Hennig away.

Match 8: Giant versus Scott Hall


Rating: DUD

Summary: While the story made sense, nothing got accomplished except breaking Giant’s thumb.

To finish the program, the nWo adds Giant to their list as victim #6. Members of the WCW locker room then hit the ring, and a huge brawl erupts. Are you ready for World War III?

Conclusion: Mysterio and Jericho busted their asses on this episode. Same goes for Malenko and Eddie. While Riggs and Saturn lit up Cincinnati with their midcard madness, the nWo stole the show with their gang mentality. With the PPV on Sunday, can WCW unite the truly united nWo?

While some critics have panned this episode, I truly believe it’s solid if not spectacular. In addition to the great wrestling, WCW gave us an incoming Rude and storyline development in the Riggs-Flock saga. Check it out! What’s on RAW is WAR?

TV Rating: 4.1

Stay tuned for RAW Is WAR 11-17-97!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

Custom Search

web counter
web counter