Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
With the two main wrestling juggernauts head-to-head again, what will Nitro do to offset Ki>RAW is WAR's momentum from last week? Let's find out!
The Nitro Girls, in workout gear, open the show by dancing in the aisle.
Match 1: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & Curt Hennig versus Vicious & Delicious (w/ Vincent)
How do you combat a Bret Hart interview on RAW is WAR? Put Flair in the opening match!
While Flair and Hennig made their entrance, Schiavone shilled Road Wild '97 LIVE on PPV on 8/9. Order NOW!
When Hennig chopped him, Norton no-sold it.
He then chopped Hennig who flew over the top rope to the floor.
As the tune of "We Want Flair" played among the Charleston faithful, their hero tagged in.
Norton then reversed an Irish whip and gorilla-press-slammed Flair.
After Norton hit a flying shoulder block, Bagwell tagged in, gave Flair a cross corner whip, and followed with a back drop.
He then dropkicked Flair, showboated, but paid for it when Hennig came in and paint-brushed him. The Charleston faithful ROARED while that transpired.
When Bagwell missed a second dropkick, Flair hooked the figure-four leg lock.
Norton came in, but Hennig intercepted him.
After a commercial break, Bagwell leap-frogged and powerslammed Flair for 2.
Although Bagwell missed one clothesline, he successfully hit a second one.
He then slammed Flair for another 2.
As Norton tagged in, he gave Flair a cross corner whip and SQUISHED him with an avalanche.
He then gave Flair a second cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
While Bagwell distracted referee Scott Dickinson, Hennig came in and dropkicked Norton.
Tags were exchanged on both sides as Hennig backdropped Bagwell.
When he delivered a backdrop to Norton, Hennig gave him a knee lift.
Syxx then came to the ring and pulled Flair's trunks down. Hey! If I wanted to see a full moon, I'd look skyward once a month.
After Flair tripped Norton, Hennig hooked a fisherman's suplex on Bagwell.
Flair and Hennig won.
Summary: From a heat perspective, this match SIZZLED; otherwise, it was just OK. At least, the Flair-Syxx drama at the end didn't affect the outcome.
TV Rating: 2.8
After the match, Flair makes both Syxx and Norton taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Laura at Sam's Uptown Café.
If you're missing a gold-glittered jacket, the Nitro Girls have six of them for you.
In the ring, "Mean" Gene Okerlund interviews the "Total Package" Lex Luger who's "peaking for Sturgis." Luger also mentions "mandatory title defenses every thirty days" with regards to the WCW World title. Next Monday, Luger will challenge for said title LIVE on Nitro. Woohoo!
Prior to the next match, we revisit Dragon's victory to win the TV title last week.
Match 2 for the WCW World TV title: Ultimo Dragon (champion) versus Prince Iaukea
After a leap frog, Iaukea dropkicked Dragon twice.
He then gave Dragon a cross corner whip which resulted in another head stand on the top turnbuckle. As if we didn't see that coming.
As Dragon unleashed a series of kicks, he dropkicked Iaukea.
In case you're unaware, this became the true definition of popcorn match as NUMEROUS seats opposite the hard camera became empty. Wow!
Dragon then gave Iaukea a cross corner whip but ate foot on his follow-through. After all, Iaukea wrestled barefoot.
When Iaukea mounted the second turnbuckle, Dragon caught and joined him.
Iaukea then delivered a superplex but couldn't capitalize.
To counter a side head lock, Dragon gave Iaukea a belly-to-back suplex.
He then slammed Iaukea, mounted the top turnbuckle, and landed on his feet. Impressive!
After Iaukea attempted a powerbomb, Dragon countered, but Iaukea countered with a sunset flip for 2.
Dragon then hooked a somersault roll-up for 2.
As Dragon missed a clothesline, Iaukea delivered dropkick #3.
He then superkicked Dragon for 2.
When Dragon escaped a back drop, he attempted the Dragon sleeper, but Iaukea blocked it.
Dragon then escaped a belly-to-back suplex attempt but WHIFFED on an enziguri. Methinks Iaukea was supposed to sell it.
Regardless, Dragon clotheslined Iaukea and hooked the Dragon sleeper.
Iaukea submitted; thus, Dragon retained.
Summary: The match was decent despite the lack of crowd involvement and Iaukea's botch.
TV Rating: 3.1
On WCW Saturday Night, Public Enemy faces the Outsiders. Or do they? Check it out!
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Flair who affirms that Hennig is a Horseman. Hennig emerges but contradicts Flair's assertion while Benoit and Mongo join the party. Speaking of party, Flair's ready to go to Joey's Bar & Grill while having a female ring attendant under his arm. Hennig continues to declare that he's a free agent.
Match 3: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit & Steve “Mongo” McMichael versus the Texas Hangmen
For those unaware, the Texas Hangmen were Mike Moran and Tom Beninghaus.
#1 gave Benoit a sidewalk slam and a forearm smash for 2.
As #2 tagged in, the Hangmen double-guillotined Benoit with the top rope.
Mongo tagged in and gave #2 a tilt-a-whirl slam.
When #2 reversed a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
Mongo then powerslammed him and delivered a pair of three-point stance tackles.
Upon slamming #2, Mongo mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate boot.
Meanwhile, the Outsiders called the broadcast booth collect from "Detroit." Hmmm...
Shortly after, #2 tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and the Texas Hangmen gave Mongo a hangman's neckbreaker/double axe handle combo for 2. Nifty!
#2 then gave Mongo a cross corner whip but ate a back elbow.
Nash then joked that he was at Schiavone's house watching the show on a 13-inch black-and-white TV. HA!
When Mongo bulldogged #2, #1 came in before a count could be made.
Benoit tagged in, but the Hangmen double-teamed him.
That was until Mongo came in and delivered a double clothesline like he was picking up the 7-10 split.
As Mongo slammed each Hangman, he signaled for the tombstone.
He then hoisted #2 up for it and almost lost his balance. Yikes!
Fortunately for #2, Mongo successfully hit it.
After Benoit dispatched #1 outside the ring, he hooked the Crippler Crossface on #2.
To no one's surprise, #2 submitted.
Benoit and Mongo won.
Summary: Showcase match for Mongo and Benoit.
TV Rating: 3.3
Don't adjust your TV because the Nitro Girls are just testing the color palette in neon.
Match 4 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho (champion) versus “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright
After a leap frog, Jericho delivered a spinning heel kick.
He then dropkicked Wright who sought refuge outside the ring.
While the Charleston faithful questioned Wright's bedroom practices, Jericho hit a springboard shoulder block returning Wright to the floor.
Jericho then attempted a vertical suplex on the floor, but Wright blocked and delivered one of his own.
As Wright re-entered the ring via the top turnbuckle, he hit a flying knee drop.
He then gave Jericho a cross corner whip resulting in both a sternum-first bump and a back elbow.
Next, Wright delivered a belly-to-back suplex followed by a snap suplex.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but came up empty.
When Jericho gave Wright a cross corner whip, he followed with a corner clothesline.
He then repeated the same sequence twice causing Wright to collapse forward to the mat.
After Jericho hit the Lionsault, he hooked a sleeper to Wright who was on the apron.
Wright then countered with a guillotine on the top rope.
Upon Wright's return, Jericho hooked an inside cradle for 2.
Wright came back with a German suplex with a bridge.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: This was all Alex Wright as Jericho put him over strong.
TV Rating: 3.4
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Dean Malenko. While Malenko emerges, Jeff Jarrett and Debra join him. Wright walks by them with his new belt, and Debra shares a private conversation with him. Jarrett then vows to put the Horsemen "out to pasture" as Malenko joins forces with Jarrett.
Prior to the next match, we revisit last week's episode when DDP delivered the Diamond Cutter to Hennig.
Match 5: Diamond Dallas Page versus Syxx
While the Charleston faithful chanted his name, DDP gave Syxx a pumphandle backbreaker for 2. Innovative!
Syxx then blocked a hip toss but ate a swinging neckbreaker instead.
As DDP delivered an inverted atomic drop, his back elbow sent Syxx to the floor.
Syxx then guillotined him with the top rope and unleashed a series of kicks in the corner.
When Schiavone hyped Syxx's upcoming match against Flair at the PPV, Syxx gave DDP a Bronco buster.
Not THAT kind of Bronco!
DDP came back with a discus clothesline followed by a pancake.
Suddenly, Vincent got up on the apron only for DDP to nail him.
Syxx then attempted the Buzzkiller, but DDP blocked it.
Out of nowhere, he hit the Diamond Cutter, but Vincent distracted referee Randy Anderson.
Abruptly, Hennig snuck into the ring and WALLOPED DDP in the back of the head with a foreign object. How dastardly!
Summary: More angle than match as the Hennig-DDP feud continues.
TV Rating: 3.3
Prior to the next match, we revisit Nitro from 6/9 when Eddie Guerrero frog-splashed Malenko allowing Jarrett to win the US title.
Match 6: Dean Malenko versus Hector Guerrero
After a leap frog by Malenko, Hector delivered a flying forearm.
Malenko then gave Hector a leg lariat for 2.
As he hit a belly-to-back suplex, Malenko got another 2.
Hector then backdropped and splashed Malenko for 2.
When Hector gave him a cross corner whip, Malenko floated over and rolled him up for 2.
Hector's kick-out sent Malenko into the top turnbuckle, so Hector rolled him up for 2.
After Malenko reversed an Irish whip, Hector hooked a sunset flip for another 2.
Malenko then gave Hector a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
Suddenly, Jarrett and Debra came to the ring.
Hector then delivered a flying headscissors but got distracted by Jarrett.
That allowed Malenko to dropkick Hector's knee.
Upon hooking the Texas Cloverleaf, Malenko caused Hector to submit.
Summary: Showcase match for Malenko.
TV Rating: 3.3
After the match, Chavo Guerrero checks on his uncle, but Jarrett distracts him. Malenko then nails Chavo from behind, and he and Jarrett double-team him.
Without warning, K-Dogg drags Okerlund through the entrance and cuts a promo on Rey Mysterio, Jr. He then promises to take down La Parka tonight.
Lee Marshall then delivers the 1-800-COLLECT road report from “Detroit, MI." Since he's probably hanging out with the Outsiders, they'll probably leave him up on blocks.
Prior to the next match, Savage and Elizabeth stand among the Charleston faithful, and Savage cuts a promo on Giant. Not to be outdone, Giant rebuts from the ring. They'll face one another at the PPV.
Match 7: Giant versus the Great Muta
As the match began, Eric Bischoff emerged through the entrance and joined the broadcast table.
Heenan and Tenay then exited, but Bischoff insisted that Schiavone remained.
When Giant chopped him in the corner, Muta crumbled down to the mat and then to the floor.
He then came off the ropes only to eat a big boot.
After Muta crawled under the ring, he emerged on the other side and dropkicked Giant twice.
Giant then reversed an Irish whip, but Muta dropkicked his knee.
As another dropkick kept Giant down on the mat, the Charleston faithful LOUDLY chanted "U-S-A."
Muta then mounted the top turnbuckle and chopped Giant.
When he mounted the opposite top turnbuckle, Muta hit a missile dropkick.
He then mounted the same top turnbuckle, leaped, but Giant caught him.
While Muta attempted to blind him again with green mist, Giant put his left arm up to protect himself. Clever!
Giant then chokeslammed Muta.
Summary: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Giant learned his lesson and made Muta pay for it.
TV Rating: 3.4
After the match, Giant grabs the microphone while Zbyszko returns to the broadcast table to confront Bischoff. When Bischoff challenges him, Zbyszko hooks a front face lock and takes him to the ring. As Zbyszko tosses Bischoff into the ring, Giant grabs and chokeslams him. Wow! The Charleston faithful ERUPTED!
Prior to the next match, we revisit last week's episode when K-Dogg bullied a one-legged Mysterio until other luchadores came to Mysterio's rescue.
Match 8: K-Dogg versus La Parka (w/ Sonny Onoo)
K-Dogg gave La Parka a somersault clothesline followed by a seated dropkick for 2.
As he slammed La Parka, Konnan mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a dropkick.
La Parka then slammed him, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a corkscrew moonsault for 2.
When Onoo distracted referee Mark Curtis, La Parka grabbed a steel chair earmarked for K-Dogg.
However, K-Dogg dropkicked it in his face.
He then hit the 187 and hooked the Tequila Sunrise.
As you'd expect, K-Dogg won by submission.
Summary: Showcase match for K-Dogg.
TV Rating: 3.7
After the match, Psicosis hits the ring, but K-Dogg exits the ring to avoid him.
We then revisit the chokeslam of Bischoff.
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.
Via telephone, chairman of the WCW Executive Committee James J. Dillon states the committee is trying to get Sting to return to the ring by September.
Match 8: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) versus Scott Steiner (w/ Rick Steiner)
Scott military-pressed Savage overhead and dropped him like a bad habit.
When Savage fell at Rick's feet, he nailed the dog-faced gremlin but quickly realized he's outnumbered.
He then took a steel chair and launched it into the ring.
After a commercial break, Savage gave Scott a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Scott then delivered a belly-to-belly suplex, and Savage again sought refuge outside the ring.
As Savage used Elizabeth as a shield, Scott removed her from the equation only to get nailed.
Savage then rammed Scott face-first into the cameraman stand and the steps.
When he tossed Scott over the steel railing into the front row, Savage ambushed him from behind.
He then made Scott taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Jacked-Up BLT at Quaker Steak & Lube.
Next, he made Scott HIT THE POLE.
Back in the ring, Savage slammed Scott, mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but got caught.
Scott then delivered an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, and Elizabeth got up on the apron.
While Rick vehemently yelled for her to return to the floor and distracted referee Randy Anderson, Scott backdropped Savage over the top rope to the floor. SNEAKY!
Scott then sent Savage reeling into the steel railing, tossed him into the front row, and made him taste the steel railing. Waiter, could you give the wrestler in the MADNESS gear a Feel Like Bacon Love Burger please?
As Savage came back by making Scott HIT THE POLE again, Scott gave him another helping of the steel railing. Um, waiter, one more thing...some top gear tenders for the "Macho Man"?
Savage rebounded with a shot down near Bolt.
When Savage attempted a suplex, Scott countered with an inside cradle for 2.
He then delivered a Steinerline followed by a double underhook powerbomb.
Upon placing Savage atop the top turnbuckle, Scott gave him a super Frankensteiner. Wow!
Elizabeth then returned to the apron to prevent the pin.
Suddenly, the Outsiders stormed the ring and ambushed Rick from behind. Hey! They lied to us. Dammit!
Scott then leaped from the apron and gave Hall a double axe handle.
As the Outsiders pummeled the Steiners, Anderson called for the bell.
Scott won by DQ.
Summary: Decent brawl that also incorporated Scott's wrestling style very well. Savage did a great job keeping Scott at his level.
TV Rating: 3.8
After the match, Savage hits the big elbow from the top turnbuckle to Scott. When he gives Scott a second big elbow, Giant hits the ring to scatter the nWo. He then grabs the microphone and calls out Nash. As Nash mentions that he's "not fighting through (security)," WCW Security director Doug Dellinger steps aside. As you might expect, no contact is made before the show leaves the air.
To punctuate the highlight of the night, the chokeslam of Bischoff is shown again.
Conclusion: So...what happened? First, Hennig acts as Flair's colleague but not Horseman. Second, he still has a vendetta against DDP. Third, Alex Wright wins the Cruiserweight title from Jericho. Fourth, Malenko aligns himself with Jarrett and Debra. Fifth, Giant learns his lesson against Muta. Sixth, he PLANTS Bischoff with a chokeslam that sent tremors throughout West Virginia. Seventh, the Outsiders play "we're not here-yes, we are" with the Steiners. Eighth and most importantly, Luger will face Hogan for the title next week.
All in all, it was a good episode with a lot of excitement. I certainly cannot wait for next week's show. What’s on RAW is WAR?