With both shows switching to two hours, I will split my reflections going forward.
WCW Monday Nitro 02-03-97
Live from Memphis, TN
Airdate: February 3, 1997
Attendance: 8,173 (6,946 paid)
Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Will Piper accept his SuperBrawl VII challenge? How will Nitro compete against a two-hour RAW?
As the program begins, Hogan, DiBiase, and Vincent go to the ring. While claiming to be on a “mission from God,” Hogan wants to confront Piper TONIGHT for the title and spews lies about beating him previously. Let’s hope his plan doesn’t fall apart.
Match 1: Ultimo Dragon (w/ Sonny Onoo) versus Ray Mendoza, Jr.
You may recognize Mendoza better as Villano IV.
After a leap frog, a butt butt by Dragon sent Mendoza between the ropes to the floor.
He then hit a tope suicida sending Mendoza into the steel railing. Woohoo!
Back in the ring, Dragon delivered a leg drop for 2.
After an elbow drop, Dragon gave Mendoza a senton splash for 2.
Meanwhile, Schiavone provided translation for Piper’s “Gaelic” from his last appearance on Nitro. Oh, brother.
Regardless, Mendoza clotheslined Dragon and delivered a back elbow.
Next, Dragon almost crotched him on a leap frog attempt, but Mendoza earned a 2-count out of it.
Dragon came back with a huracanrana, placed Mendoza on the top turnbuckle, and delivered a superhuracanrana.
He then gave Mendoza a tiger suplex and pinned him.
Summary: Showcase match for Dragon.
Match 2: Glacier versus Billy Kidman
Schiavone mentioned that Luger and Giant will face the Outsiders for the WCW World tag team titles at SuperBrawl VII.
He then lied about Glacier being “popular” and “multi-talented.”
After a leap frog by Glacier, Kidman delivered a dropkick.
Glacier then nipped up, executed a double leg sweep, and made a tally mark in the air.
Despite that, Kidman rolled him up for a 1-count.
Glacier then reversed an Irish whip and gave Kidman a tilt-a-whirl pancake.
After a lariat by Glacier, Kidman gave us a 360° sell. Woohoo!
Next, a back elbow by Glacier sent Kidman under the bottom rope to the floor.
With Kidman on the apron, he leaped over the top rope and gave Glacier a flying headscissors.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle but ate a Cryonic kick.
Summary: Showcase match for Goober.
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.
On WCW Saturday Night, Jarrett faces Hugh Morrus while Eddie Guerrero defends the US title against Dean Malenko
Match 3: Ice Train (w/ Teddy Long) versus La Parka
This is match #3 with low midcarders facing one another. Where’s the star power?
After a leap frog, Ice Train gave La Parka a pair of hip tosses followed by a clothesline.
Ice Train then delivered a running body block.
While Schiavone gave a shout-out to fired referee Randy “Pee Wee” Anderson, La Parka gave Ice Train a dropkick.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a corkscrew leg lariat.
When Ice Train sought refuge outside the ring, La Parka gave him a corkscrew plancha. Woohoo!
Back in the ring, La Parka gave Ice Train a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Ice Train then delivered a lariat that resulted in a 360° sell by La Parka. Double woohoo!
After Ice Train gave La Parka a cross-corner whip, La Parka walked up the turnbuckles, hit a cross body block, but Ice Train caught and powerslammed him.
As Ice Train delivered a vertical suplex, the Outsiders laid out Luger in the back with metal pipes. How dastardly!
In the ring, Ice Train hooked a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
Upon powerslamming La Parka again, Ice Train hit a splash.
Ice Train won.
Summary: Showcase match for Ice Train, but that plancha took most of the starch out of La Parka.
At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the Four Horsemen. As Benoit details the hardships and triumphs of the Horsemen, Woman cuts a promo on Jacqueline by calling Taskmaster “leftovers.” OUCH! Meanwhile, Mongo requests to take Luger’s place against Jarrett tonight. Next, Debra believes Jacqueline is “out of her league” and makes fun of her face. Finally, Flair subtly notes that Arn’s at home with his wife Erin and refers to Taskmaster as “Shorty.”
We then revisit last week’s show when Bischoff returned the World tag team titles to the Outsiders.
Match 4: Rick & Scott Steiner versus Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri)
As the Steiners made their entrance, both Faces of Fear and Public Enemy were shown in the front row.
After Booker T gave Scott a Harlem sidekick, Scott gave him a gorilla press slam.
When Stevie Ray came in, Rick also came in and delivered a Steinerline.
Stevie Ray and Rick tagged in, and Stevie Ray nailed Rick so hard that his head gear fell off.
Next, Rick gave Stevie Ray a powerslam for 2.
Scott tagged in and gave us a preview of the Steiner Recliner, but no submission occurred.
As Rick tagged in, Stevie Ray whipped him into a kick by Booker T. He then followed with an inverted atomic drop and a bicycle kick.
Booker T tagged in, gave Rick a leg lariat, and got 2.
When Booker T attempted a leap frog, Rick caught and powerslammed him.
Scott tagged in and clotheslined Stevie Ray over the top rope to the floor.
Afterward, Scott gave Booker T a butterfly powerbomb for another 2.
Suddenly, Faces of Fear ran in and attacked both teams.
Immediately, Public Enemy also hit the ring, and an eight-man brawl broke out.
Summary: Just filler to prove how deep the WCW tag team division is.
After the match, Meng makes Rocco Rock taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the BBQ Bologna sandwich at the Rum Boogie Café.
We then revisit the Hogan as well as the Outsiders segments from earlier.
Match 5 (non-title): WCW Cruiserweight champion Dean Malenko versus “Mean” Mike Enos
Holy AWA tag team champions, Batman! Oh, wait, that’s 1990 Enos not 1997 Enos.
After a leap frog, Malenko attempted a cross body block, but Enos caught and slammed him.
Shortly after, Malenko gave Enos a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
When Enos gave Malenko a cross-corner whip, Malenko floated over the turnbuckle making Enos come up empty on his follow-through.
Suddenly, Syxx came through the crowd, jumped the steel railing, and stole the Cruiserweight belt.
In the ring, Enos delivered a powerslam and almost got 3.
As Enos yelled at Malenko, he hit powerslam #2.
Next, Malenko attempted a vertical suplex, but Enos blocked it.
When Enos attempted one, Malenko countered with an inside cradle.
Summary: More angle than match as Syxx enters the Cruiserweight picture.
After the match, Malenko discovers that his belt has been stolen.
Lee Marshall then delivers the 1-800-COLLECT road report from “Jacksonville, FL.” Perhaps he’ll fall into the St. Johns River and never re-emerge.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Taskmaster with Hart, Konnan, and Jacqueline. In case you’re unaware who Jacqueline is, I referred to her as “Miss Texas” last week. While Taskmaster rambles, Hart thinks women in wrestling are “trouble.” Konnan wants to take care of Benoit later tonight. Finally, Jacqueline and her headlights cut a promo on Debra and “Nancy.” Talk about your bright high beams.
Match 6: Diamond Dallas Page versus the Renegade
Renegade reversed a cross-corner whip and hit a corner-clothesline.
After a second cross-corner whip, he delivered a handspring elbow.
As Renegade mounted the top turnbuckle, DDP shook the top rope causing Renegade to lose his balance.
DDP then hit a Diamond Death Cutter.
Summary: Showcase match for DDP.
After the match, the Outsiders stand at the entrance with their pipes. Also, Sting stands amongst the Memphis faithful. In another section of the Memphis faithful, Savage lurks. DDP then gets a chair for a weapon as we reach a stalemate.
Match 7: “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright versus Super Calo
After a pair of leap frogs, Wright gave Calo a dropkick.
He then delivered a belly-to-back suplex followed by a cross-corner whip.
Calo tried to walk up the turnbuckles but botched it.
Shortly after, Calo delivered his own belly-to-back suplex.
When Wright reversed a cross-corner whip, Calo successfully walked up the turnbuckles and hit a cross body block.
After a spinning heel kick, Wright delivered a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
Calo came back with a dropkick that sent Wright to the floor.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and gave Wright a tope. Woohoo!
Back in the ring, Calo mounted the top turnbuckle again, leaped, but ate a dropkick to the midsection.
As Wright gave Calo a cross-corner whip, he followed with a back elbow.
Calo then reversed a cross-corner whip, but Wright walked up the turnbuckles, and back-flipped out of Calo’s way.
After a pair of flying headscissors, Wright delivered a dropkick sending Calo between the ropes to the floor. When Calo bumped a fan in the front row, the fan flopped like an NBA All-Star.
As Calo tried to climb onto the apron, Wright dropkicked him again, and Calo bumped the fan again sending him to the floor. HA!
Wright then hit Calo with a plancha and tossed Calo back into the ring.
When Wright mounted the top turnbuckle, Calo caught and gave him a top rope superplex for 2. Wow!
Calo then placed Wright on the opposite top turnbuckle, joined, and gave Wright a superhuracanrana.
Again, he mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a somersault senton.
Wright then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a missile dropkick, and pinned Calo.
Summary: Best match of the night so far. That says a lot about this show.
Match 8: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) versus Konnan (w/ Jimmy Hart)
After Konnan attacked him at the bell, he gave Benoit a somersault clothesline.
He then delivered a seated dropkick followed by a dropkick to Benoit in the corner.
Next, he tied Benoit up like a pretzel. Pass the mustard!
Benoit came back and muscled Konnan to the top turnbuckle.
As he joined Konnan, he delivered a top rope superplex.
Konnan came back with the Outsider Edge and got 2. Um…
When he tried again, Benoit escaped and delivered a release German suplex.
Suddenly, Jacqueline came to the ring with a leather belt.
As Hart got up on the apron, Benoit tossed Konnan over the top rope.
Referee Mark Curtis called for the bell disqualifying Benoit.
Summary: More angle than match as you will see.
After the match, Jacqueline stalks Woman, but Benoit stops her and steals the belt. She then seeks something under the ring, finds a bottle of spring water, and slams it down. Next, she continues to look for something under the ring but cannot locate it. Konnan then restrains her and takes her backstage. That HAD to be a rib. According to Meltzer, the chair she sought was taken by DDP earlier in the show. Gotta love live TV!
Match 9: Jeff Jarrett versus the “Total Package” Lex Luger
Luger’s injured so there’s a replacement.
REAL Match 9: Jeff Jarrett versus Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/ Debra McMichael)
Mongo delivered a clothesline followed by a back elbow.
As Jarrett attempted a cross body block, Mongo countered with a powerslam for 2.
After a slam, Mongo missed an elbow drop.
Jarrett then gave Mongo an inverted atomic drop followed by a clothesline.
When he mounted the top turnbuckle, he hit a cross body block and got another 2.
Jarrett then delivered a dropkick that sent Mongo over the top rope to the floor.
As Mongo tried to return to the ring, Debra prevented him from doing so.
Jarrett won by countout.
Summary: Debra’s revenge for costing Jarrett the match last week.
Promotional ad for SuperBrawl VII aired. It will be live on PPV on 2/23.
After a commercial break, Okerlund interviews “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in the ring. Piper comes out with his son, Colt. Well, in 1997, Colt was a young boy. Nevertheless, as the Memphis faithful chants “Rod-dy,” Piper acknowledges his title shot and introduces Colt. Rather than fighting Hogan, Piper wants to go home to be a father to his six children.
Abruptly, Hogan, Bischoff, DiBiase, and Vincent come to the ring. When Hogan comes into the ring, Piper calls him by his real name. In a condescending tone, Hogan won’t let him walk away. As Bischoff tells a different version of the Piper-Hogan saga from Starrcade, Piper acquiesces. While Hogan mentions the term ICON, Piper reluctantly says that Hogan is the ICON.
Hogan then runs down Piper and yells at him to leave. As Piper tries to exit the ring, Hogan bullies him further. After Piper assists his son out of the ring, he removes his jacket, grabs both Hogan and Bischoff, and rams them together to a raucous ovation from the Memphis faithful. As Piper beats up Hogan, Bischoff stands on the apron with a chair but hesitates. When Piper grabs the belt, both Hogan and Bischoff hightail it.
As the show goes off the air, Piper accepts the challenge by saying “San Francisco, watch my fists go.”
Conclusion: Are you kidding me? THIS is how Nitro tries to compete against RAW? The wrestling on this show was terrible for the most part. Very few highlights were scattered during the show making it completely skippable. What’s on RAW?