Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
How will Nitro counter a post-WrestleMania RAW?
As the program begins, we revisit last week’s show when Savage challenged DDP.
In the crowd, Larry “The Axe” Hennig was shown albeit subdued. Someone call Verne Gagne!
Match 1 for the WCW US title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Konnan
Malenko wore a bandage above his left eye.
After a slam by Malenko, Konnan leap-frogged him and put a knee into his midsection.
In split-screen, WCW Cruiserweight champion Syxx cut a promo on Malenko while Konnan applied a figure-four leg lock on Malenko.
Malenko escaped, gave Konnan a cross corner whip, and followed with a corner clothesline.
As Konnan came back with a somersault clothesline, he powerbombed Malenko for 2.
Malenko came back with a spinning heel kick, but Konnan responded with la magistral cradle for another 2.
After a slam, Konnan mounted the top turnbuckle but botched a missile dropkick TERRIBLY.
That allowed Malenko to hook the Texas Cloverleaf.
Konnan tapped out so Malenko retained.
Summary: Showcase match for Malenko.
After the match, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Malenko who believes Syxx and Eddie Guerrero are in cahoots. He then cuts a promo on Benoit whom he will face at Spring Stampede.
We then revisit Uncensored when Mortis and Wrath double-teamed Glacier.
Match 2: Mortis (w/ James Vandenberg) versus Jerry Flynn
After a hip toss, Flynn hit a savate kick for 2.
Mortis came back with a somersault mule kick, but Flynn delivered a spinning heel kick.
he gave Mortis a cross corner whip but ate a thrust kick on his follow-through.
Mortis then delivered an elbow drop followed by a knee drop.
After a spinning heel kick, Mortis gave Flynn a Rocker Dropper from the second turnbuckle for 2.
When Mortis distracted referee Scott Dickinson by picking up his scepter, Vandenberg gave Flynn the business. How dastardly!
Mortis then delivered an inverted piledriver for 2.
Upon mounting the second turnbuckle, Mortis received a powerbomb.
Flynn then hit a pair of clotheslines, but on the third try, Mortis used his trick knee. OUCH!
After a superkick, Mortis hit the Flatliner.
Summary: Showcase match for a very innovative Mortis.
Prior to the next match, Schiavone notes the lack of Scott Hall. According to Meltzer, Hall voluntarily entered a rehabilitation clinic. That changes the dynamic of the World tag team title match at Spring Stampede to say the least.
Match 3: Juventud Guerrera versus La Parka
As La Parka made his entrance, he wore a large sombrero.
La Parka floated Guerrera to the apron and strutted.
Meanwhile, Guerrera mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a cross body block.
La Parka then caught and placed Guerrera on the opposite top turnbuckle.
Next, Guerrera delivered a flying headscissors causing La Parka to seek refuge outside the ring.
Guerrera then hit a springboard tope and tossed La Parka back inside.
Following that, he delivered a springboard dropkick for 2.
He then gave La Parka a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
When La Parka delivered a clothesline, it resulted in a 360° sell by Guerrera. Woohoo!
La Parka then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a springboard moonsault for 2.
Upon ducking a clothesline, La Parka hooked a reverse backbreaker.
He then delivered a leg lariat causing Guerrera to seek refuge outside the ring.
Not to be outdone, La Parka hit a tope con hilo to Guerrera on the floor. Wow!
With Guerrera on the apron, they fought over a vertical suplex, but Guerrera hit a springboard senton.
He then placed La Parka atop the top turnbuckle, attempted a super huracanrana, but La Parka blocked it.
From the second turnbuckle, La Parka then delivered a powerbomb.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a corkscrew moonsault.
La Parka won.
Summary: Good lucha libre match with plenty of high-flying, and the Duluth faithful enjoyed it.
First, we revisit nWo Souled Out when the Steiners won the WCW World tag team titles against the Outsiders. Second, we revisit the following Nitro when Bischoff stripped them of the titles. Third, we revisit the Nitro I attended when Dr. Schiller suspended Bischoff. Fourth, the Outsiders provided evidence of the auto “accident.” Fifth, we revisit Uncensored when the Outsiders laid out Rick Steiner. Finally, we revisit last week’s episode when the Outsiders challenged the Steiners for Spring Stampede and beat them up later. That’s a lot of revisiting.
From the entrance, Okerlund interviews the Steiners.
On WCW Saturday Night, prepare for lots of enhancement matches.
Not THAT kind of enhancement!
Match 4: Public Enemy versus High Voltage
Of course, Public Enemy brought a table with them to the ring.
They reversed cross corner whips by High Voltage sending them into one another.
Following that, they gave Rage a double back drop and a double clothesline to Kaos which sent him over the top rope to the floor.
Kaos then distracted Rocco so that Rage could deliver a belly-to-back suplex.
Kaos tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Rocco.
He then gave Rocco a tilt-a-whirl slam for 2.
When High Voltage made an illegal switch, Rage slammed Rocco.
He then attempted a standing moonsault but missed.
Hot tag Grunge.
After a slam by Grunge, Public Enemy gave Kaos a Grunge-assisted springboard senton from Rocco.
Grunge then placed Rage on the table at the behest of the vociferous Duluth faithful.
With assistance from Grunge, Rocco hit a somersault senton on Rage through the table.
Suddenly, Debra McMichael and Jeff Jarrett came to the ring.
Jarrett then WALLOPED Grunge in the back with the Haliburton while referee Scott Dickinson checked on Rocco and Rage.
After Jarrett put Kaos atop Grunge, High Voltage won.
UPSET CITY! Take the court!
Summary: More angle than match as the Horsemen/Public Enemy feud continues.
After the match, Mongo comes out to question Jarrett and Debra’s shenanigans.
From the entrance, Okerlund interviews Giant and the “Total Package” Lex Luger. They will compete in a four-corner match against Harlem Heat at Spring Stampede. The winner will face Hogan for the WCW title “at a later date.”
Match 5: Psicosis versus Super Calo
While Psicosis made his entrance, Sonny Onoo cut a promo on Mysterio on behalf of Ultimo Dragon who will face Mysterio at Spring Stampede. What does that have to do with THIS match?
Psicosis delivered a slam and crotched Calo on the top rope.
Next, he mounted the top turnbuckle and hit Calo with a spinning heel kick.
Calo came back with a crucifix for 2.
After Calo reversed an Irish whip, he dropkicked Psicosis out of the ring.
He then leaped from the apron and gave Psicosis a flying headscissors on the floor.
Upon slamming Psicosis on the floor, Calo returned to the ring and hit a springboard somersault senton. Wow!
He then tossed Psicosis back into the ring, mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a shot to the midsection on the way down.
After a slam, Psicosis mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, got GREAT hang time, and delivered a guillotine leg drop.
Summary: While not as good as La Parka/Guerrera, this lucha libre contest had its moments.
We then recap highlights from earlier.
Match 6: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/o Woman) versus Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Upon giving Benoit a gorilla press slam, Morrus gave Benoit a cross corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
Benoit came back with a dragon screw leg whip only to receive another cross corner whip.
However, when Morrus attempted another corner clothesline, he came up empty.
Benoit then delivered a release German suplex and mounted the top turnbuckle.
While Hart distracted referee Randy Anderson, Konnan came to the ring and shoved Benoit down to the mat.
Morrus then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the No Laughing Matter.
Summary: Upset victory for Morrus thanks to Dungeon of Doom interference.
After the match, Sullivan joins his charges and beats up Benoit. Malenko comes to Benoit’s aid as the Duluth faithful chants “Horse-men.” Suddenly, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair hits the ring and destroys the DoD by playing the “Nutcracker Suite” if you catch my drift. He then keeps Benoit and Malenko separated as the segment ends.
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.
Match 7: Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) versus Faces of Fear
This was a return match from WCW Saturday Night.
While the Duluth faithful chanted for their home state University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, Booker T attempted a cross body block, but Barbarian caught him.
Faces of Fear then guillotined him using the top rope.
After Barbarian placed him atop the top turnbuckle, Booker T came back with a cross body block for 2.
Stevie Ray tagged in, and Harlem Heat gave Barbarian a double back elbow.
After a slam, Stevie Ray delivered a leg drop.
Barbarian then reversed a cross corner whip as the “Let’s Go Gophers” chant got louder.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Minnesota Golden Gophers went to the 1997 Final Four and lost to Kentucky 78-69 in overtime on 3/29.
Meanwhile, Meng tagged in but received a clothesline from Stevie Ray.
He then gave Stevie Ray a belly-to-back suplex and tagged in Barbarian.
After Stevie Ray whipped Barbarian into a Booker T knee, he delivered the big boot.
Booker T tagged in and gave Barbarian a scissors kick.
As Booker T mistakenly crotched himself on the top rope, Meng clotheslined him from the apron.
Meng tagged in while Faces of Fear mounted opposite second turnbuckles and hit stereo diving head butts for 2.
Upon giving Booker T a backbreaker, Meng got another 2 thanks to a save by Stevie Ray.
Booker T then attempted a slam, but Meng fell on top and almost got 3.
When Barbarian tagged in, he delivered a sidewalk slam for yet another 2.
The Duluth faithful then chanted “Harlem Heat” as Meng hooked an abdominal stretch.
When Sherri got up on the apron to distract referee Mickey Jay, Stevie Ray interfered, switched with Booker T, and gave Meng a back elbow.
He then delivered a sidewalk slam and tagged in Booker T.
As Booker T mounted the top turnbuckle, Harlem Heat hit a Rocket Launcher for only 2 due to a save by Barbarian. All hail the Midnight Express!
Booker T then delivered a Harlem sidekick, but Barbarian disrupted the pin attempt.
To counter a back drop, Meng gave Booker T a sit-out powerbomb for 2 as Stevie Ray interfered.
Meng then reversed a cross corner whip and delivered a corner clothesline to Booker T.
As he gave Booker T another cross corner whip, Sherri got up on the apron again to shove Booker T out of the corner. She then took a big bump from Meng on his follow-through. Attagirl, Sherri!
Booker T then hit a leg lariat and rolled up Meng.
Harlem Heat won.
Summary: Good tag match that showcased Harlem Heat well.
From the entrance, Okerlund interviews Flair and Benoit. After Benoit cuts a promo on Sullivan, he turns his attention to Malenko. Flair then cuts a promo on Piper to an appreciative Duluth faithful.
Match 8: Madusa versus Malia Hosaka
After Madusa shoved her twice, Hosaka responded with a mule kick.
She then delivered a dropkick and hooked a Boston crab as the Duluth faithful loudly chanted “U-S-A.”
When Madusa powered out, a pinfall reversal sequence commenced.
According to Tenay, Madusa will face Akira Hokuto for the WCW Women’s title at Spring Stampede.
After Madusa gave her some hair mares, Hosaka hooked a sunset flip and earned a 1-count.
She then hooked another sunset flip for 2.
When Hosaka missed a haymaker, Madusa hooked a German suplex with a bridge.
Summary: Showcase match for Madusa.
Lee Marshall then delivers the 1-800-COLLECT road report from “Roanoke, VA.” Hopefully, he’ll get stuck in the pinball museum and TILT.
Match 9: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan versus Renegade
While Duggan encouraged the Duluth faithful to chant “U-S-A,” he shook hands with Renegade and tossed his athletic tape into the crowd.
Duggan turned his back so Renegade nailed him from behind. A heel turn, perhaps?
As Renegade guillotined Duggan using the top rope, Duggan came back with a hip toss.
He then gave Renegade the ten-punch count-along to the delight of the Duluth faithful.
When Renegade reversed a cross corner whip, Duggan took a sternum-first bump in the corner.
Renegade then delivered a handspring elbow to Duggan’s back.
After Duggan fished another roll of tape from his trunks, he nailed Renegade who had shoved referee Scott Dickinson aside.
Summary: Showcase match for Duggan. In the meantime, Renegade’s heel turn is as flat as a pancake.
A video featuring Sting aired.
Promo airs for Spring Stampede LIVE on PPV on 4/6 featuring the Horsemen.
Match 10: Steiners versus the Amazing French Canadians (w/ Colonel Parker)
According to Schiavone, Nitro comes to Boston, MA on 6/9. Hmmm…didn’t their competition announce a date in Boston last night?
Scott then gave Ouellet a butterfly bomb and gorilla-press-slammed Rougeau.
After Ouellet caught Rougeau, Rick came in and gave them a double Steinerline.
Outside the ring, Ouellet rammed Scott back-first into the steel railing.
Rougeau tagged in and slammed Ouellet atop Scott.
As Ouellet tagged in, the Canadians gave Scott a double stungun.
Ouellet then slammed Scott and mounted the second turnbuckle.
When he leaped, he ate boot on the way down.
Rick tagged in and cleaned house.
Not like THAT!
With all four wrestlers in the ring, Scott gave Ouellet the ten-punch count-along.
Rougeau then gave Rick a piledriver while Scott ducked a flag pole shot from Parker outside the ring.
After Scott nailed Parker, the Canadians hit the Quebec Crash on Rick.
Since Scott distracted referee Randy Anderson, Ouellet only earned a false pin.
Rougeau then took Parker’s boot, tried to nail Rick with it, but hit Ouellet instead.
The Steiners won.
Summary: Comedy and showcase match for the Steiners.
Match 11 for the WCW World TV title: Prince Iaukea (champion) versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ the nWo)
Believe it or not, this is the sole live appearance of the nWo tonight.
Since Shawn Michaels subtly acknowledged the nWo last night, Nash flashed the Wolfpack hand gesture and stated “Right back atcha, HBK!”
Because the nWo can challenge for any title at any time, Ted DiBiase requested a shot at the TV title for Savage tonight.
After a shoulder block, Iaukea got 2.
He then hit a springboard cross body block for another 2.
Upon slamming Savage, Iaukea only got a 1-count.
He then chopped Savage, mounted the top turnbuckle, but missed a cross body block.
As Savage guillotined him using the top rope, he slammed Iaukea.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the big elbow for only 2 because Savage picked him up.
Suddenly, DDP, wearing a Minnesota t-shirt, came through the Duluth faithful and LEVELED Vincent when he came to the ring.
As the rest of the nWo ganged up on DDP, Curtis called for the bell.
Summary: Not a real match as the DDP/Savage feud stood as the focus.
Afterward, Nash gives DDP the jackknife powerbomb as the Duluth faithful chants “We Want Sting.” Savage then mounts the top turnbuckle and hits the big elbow on DDP. As Nash delivers a jackknife powerbomb to Iaukea, he and Savage hold DDP so Bischoff can deliver a thrust kick. Savage then spray-paints both DDP and Iaukea.
Conclusion: The push for Spring Stampede is on as Nitro hyped matches and advanced a few angles for it. Unfortunately, the wrestling took a back seat to it. What’s on RAW is WAR?