WCW World War III ‘97

Live from Auburn Hills, MI

Airdate: November 23, 1997

Attendance: 17,128 (sold out)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, “Iron” Mike Tenay, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Who will win the 60-man battle royal for a shot at the World title? Can Flair get revenge against Hennig and steal the US title? Will Eddie and Rey duplicate their efforts from the previous PPV? Let’s find out!

Match 1: Faces of Fear (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Glacier & the “Cat” Ernest Miller


Rating: ***½

Summary: Excellent opener that was better than it had any right to be. Great job, gentlemen!

Backstage, Mark Madden interviews DDP for wcwwrestling.com. Let’s hope for his sake that Mark didn’t ask about Kimberly.

Match 2 for the WCW World TV title: Saturn (champion w/ Raven) versus Disco Inferno


Rating: ***

Summary: Solid match with good back-and-forth action as Saturn’s victory solidifies his reign.

Back in the locker room, “Mean” Gene Okerlund shills the hotline then interviews Giant. Okerlund rightfully points out Giant’s broken thumb thanks to his match last week on Nitro against Hall. Giant then states that he may not be able to chokeslam anyone but can certainly toss them over the top rope to the floor. Are we sure he didn’t suffer the injury while hitchhiking?

Match 3: Ultimo Dragon versus Yuji Nagata (w/ Sonny Onoo)


Rating: ***

Summary: Another solid match but with too many rest holds in the middle. On the other hand, Onoo performed his job perfectly and cost Dragon the match.

Match 4 for the WCW World tag team titles: Steiners (champion w/ Ted DiBiase) versus Lord Steven Regal & “Squire” Dave Taylor


Rating: ***

Summary: While Taylor and Regal put up a good fight, the Steiners achieved victory in their hometown. Take that, WWF! As you’d expect, solid technical wrestling from both sides told a good story here.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews WCW Executive Chairman JJ Dillon. According to Dillon, Raven has 24 hours to sign a contract with WCW or hit the bricks.

During Raven’s entrance, Kidman grabs the microphone and informs Riggs that “it’s no DQ, or no fight.” Riggs responds with a plancha onto Raven, Saturn, and Kidman.

Match 5 (no-DQ): Raven (w/ the Flock) versus Scotty Riggs


Rating: ½*

Summary: More storyline than match as you will see.

After the match, Jay requests medical attention for Riggs, and the entire Flock enters the ring. Rather than the EMTs removing Riggs from the ring, Hammer carries him over his shoulder through the crowd. Methinks Riggs may get brainwashed to become a Flock member.

Match 6: Bill Goldberg “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright (w/ Debra) versus Steve “Mongo” McMichael


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Mongo as he completely destroyed Wright. While I can forgive wrestling being Mongo’s second career, move repetition, especially on PPV, shows a lack of technical skills.

At the internet table backstage, Madden interviews the victorious Saturn who dismisses Disco. Although we probably wish it were true, Saturn didn’t deliver total elimination to Madden.

Match 7 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Eddie Guerrero (champion) versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.


Rating: ****

Summary: While it doesn’t compare to last month’s spectacular act, they once again gave it their all and wowed the Auburn Hills faithful with a fantastic match. Kudos, gentlemen!

Promo airs for Starrcade’ 97 only on PPV on 12/28. Order NOW!

Match 8 for the WCW US title (no-DQ): Curt Hennig (champion) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Like a pair of pros, Flair and Hennig told a great story while trying to beat each other up. The double axe handle from the top turnbuckle by Flair altered the pace of the match, but it was still exciting and worthwhile.

Match 8 (World War III):


“Gentleman” Chris Adams, Booker T, Brad Armstrong, Buff Bagwell, Barbarian, Chris Benoit, Bobby Blaze, Ciclope, Damian, Barry Darsow, Disco Inferno, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, El Dandy, Fit Finlay, Hector Garza, Giant, Glacier, Juventud Guerrera, Chavo Guerrero, Jr., Eddie Guerrero, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, Prince Iaukea, “Lionheart” Chris Jericho, Lizmark, Jr., the “Total Package” Lex Luger, Dean Malenko, Steve “Mongo” McMichael, Meng, the “Cat” Ernest Miller, Rey Mysterio, Jr., Hugh Morrus, Mortis, Yuji Nagata, John Nord, Diamond Dallas Page, La Parka, Public Enemy, Stevie Ray, Lord Steven Regal, the Renegade, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Silver King, Norman Smiley, Louie Spicolli, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Super Calo, Dave Taylor, Ray Traylor, Ultimo Dragon, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Villano IV y V, Vincent, Kendall Windham, Wrath, “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright


Rating: NONE

Summary: Who is this mysterious masked man? Nevertheless, I liked the unpredictable ending.

After the match, “Sting” hammers Giant’s injured hand with his baseball bat and returns to the ring. While pantomiming the real Sting, “Sting” raises his mask to reveal himself as Nash. Hogan then hits DDP with his own Diamond Cutter on the floor to celebrate the nWo victory. Next, Rude, Norton, Konnan, and Bischoff join their brethren while Hogan and Hall drag DDP’s lifeless body into the ring. Another Diamond Cutter from Hogan to DDP ends the show.

Conclusion: For the second year in a row, a member of the nWo wins the battle royal. Let’s hope WCW gives them their comeuppance at Starrcade. Regardless, this show is a hidden gem with Eddie/Rey II, Hennig/Flair, the opening tag match, and others. Gather your friends and cue up this PPV. Just be sure not to hit the eject button during it.

Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 11-24-97!

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

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