Today we continue where our The Way We Was series left off. Jamie is still stuck 20 years in the past and shall be following events from WCW through its most successful year – 1997. If you are wondering why he will not be covering events from the WWF (WWE) it’s because Craig has already done exactly that with his Raw Rewind series. So without further ado, let’s get stuck into week one of ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- The Giant will challenge Hollywood Hogan for the WCW/nWo Title at the nWo’s first ever pay per view; Souled Out. In a theme that will continue, not only did we see plenty of promos for the event – which makes sense in kayfabe because the nWo’s Eric Bischoff is also the boss in WCW – but the WCW commentators kept promoting what is supposed to be a show from another promotion
- We saw a pre-recorded nWo style promo – complete with nWo music overlay – from presumed former member The Giant. His target was Hollywood Hogan, obviously
- More inconsistency regarding the nWo; Nick Patrick – as he has done for several weeks – refereed his Saturday Night matches under a mask. This was despite being officially outed as a card carrying member of the group last week. To make matters worse, Tony Schiavone told us in no uncertain terms that the mystery ref was Patrick. The only mystery left is why Nasty Nick felt the need to disguise his identity
- Chris Jericho will face Masahiro Chono at Souled Out. Jericho took credit for issuing the nWo with it’s first defeat when he defeated Nick Patrick at November’s World War Three. This is technically true, although Patrick was not officially recognised as a member at the time. Jericho then promised to be the first to defeat Chono, despite beating him by disqualification last week
- According to Mean Gene, a big star may be set to join the nWo. We would have had to call his hotline to find out more though
- Arn Anderson called Woman the source of all the adversity within the Four Horsemen. Arn also made it clear that he is not a fan of Jeff Jarrett and still had a vote on his potential membership within the group. Regarding Ric Flair – who is a big supporter of Jarrett – Anderson said that while The Nature Boy is injured the active Horsemen have a bigger say regarding membership
- Chris Jericho defeated Jim Richland
- Arn Anderson defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr.
- Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Dean Malenko ended in a double count out in a WCW US Title match
- Masahiro Chono defeated Mark Starr
- Big Bubba Rogers defeated Mr. JL
- The Public Enemy defeated Scott & Steve Armstrong
- Lex Luger defeated Mike Enos
- Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Ice-Train ended in a time limit draw in a WCW TV Title match
Carrying on from Saturday Night, the story requiring most explanation from Nitro revolves around the Four Horsemen. Deep breath, here we go…
As per usual, at least one member was missing. Last week it was Arn Anderson, this week it was Chris Benoit and Woman. Anderson voiced his displeasure towards this and their relationship in general. In contrast, Ric Flair was delighted for the couple and suggested that “Woman oh Woman won’t you marry me now” had earned a night out after 10 years married to “the Devil himself”. Debra then took the microphone to nuclear heat – FYI, it’s not good heat, it’s very much ‘go home’ heat. To the surprise of everyone, this week the blonde bombshell actually had something vaguely interesting to say, although it took her a while to get there. She wants Jeff Jarrett to take Benoit’s spot in the group, calling The Crippler a part timer. Cue Jeff Jarrett himself, who made exactly this request to Ric Flair. Arn Anderson then interjected before Jarrett referred to him as “the horse’s rear”. At this point Double A issued Double J with a beat down, which sparked an impromptu match which Jarrett won – albeit with his feet on the ropes. Post match, Debra stepped in to protect Jarret from a further beat down from Anderson, her husband Mongo and Double J supporter Flair. In the stand-off Mongo seemed to be convinced that Jarrett was Horseman material, as was Flair. Anderson was not and stormed off.
So Ric Flair helped to attack a guy he actually likes while the usually overly protective Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael showed absolutely no signs of jealousy towards a man his wife inexplicably seems to really like?! For the record, the absent Chris Benoit and Woman – who Anderson is upset with – actually share Double A’s views on Jarrett.
In Other News From Nitro –
- The other big news from Nitro was the show closing angle involving The Giant and the nWo. Hogan cut a promo on “the big, stinky Giant” at which point the big guy marched to the ring and destroyed the entire stable (including high ranking members Kevin Nash and Syxx) en route to cornering Hogan while Eric Bischoff meekly attacked him. The Giant treated Bisch’s offense as more of an annoyance than an assault. This annoyance was just effective enough to distract The Giant and allow Hogan to grab a chair and turn the tables. The big man then copped an nWo beat down. After the gang attack had finished, Sting entered the ring (with his baseball bat) to provide what looked like words of encouragement to the unconscious big man. After Sting had left, Vincent re-entered the ring to show-off to his friends by prodding the lifeless body of The Giant while Hogan and co. watched from the announce position. As you may have guessed, it was at this point the seven foot monster woke up and battered Vincent before fending off the rest of the nWo using the baseball bat Sting just happened to leave behind
- During their now weekly hijack of the announce desk, Kevin Nash and Eric Bischoff were claimed that Diamond Dallas Page has performed a u-turn and joined the nWo. According to them, DDP was not at Nitro because we was having dinner with Scott Hall, who was also absent from the show
- More details have been revealed for Souled Out on January 25th; Eddie Guerrero will defend his US Title against Syxx, who has stolen the physical title belt. There will also be a ‘Miss nWo Contest’…
- Prior to Souled Out, there will be a Clash of The Champions on January 21st. The grudge match between Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan has been booked for that show
- On the subject of the Benoit/Sullivan feud, Mean Gene is in possession of a video tape featuring none of the main protagonists in this storyline but is somehow significant enough to worry The Taskmaster. Yes, this angle is now that vague…
- In keeping with other Dungeon of Doom members gaining some individuality, Hugh Morrus now has his own music. It closely resembles a stereotypical soundtrack from a 1970s porno…
- Interesting plot hole revealed by Eric Bischoff regarding a potential return of Macho Man Randy Savage; if WCW were to recruit any new wrestlers he – as highest ranking executive in the company – would have to sign off on it. One has to assume that WCW will not be signing any new wrestlers for quite some time then…
- Glacier pinned Beautiful Bobby
- Konnan (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Big Bubba in a Mexican strap match
- Lord Steven Regal (c) fought Jim Duggan to a time-limit draw in WCW TV Title match
- Hugh Morrus pinned Jim Powers (w/ Teddy Long)
- Rey Mysterio Jr. pinned Psychosis
- The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) pinned Chavo Guerrero
- WCW United States Champion Eddie Guerrero pinned Alex Wright
- Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) defeated The Amazing French Canadians (w/ Col. Rob Parker)
- Lex Luger defeated Meng
“He’s kind of an illusive chap, but he’s a heck of a young man”
Kevin Nash on Sting
- Staying with the potential return of Macho Man; he and WCW are said to be no closer regarding a new contract but the fact that the two sides are talking has lead most to believe that Savage’s return is a case of when rather than if
- The big gossip in the world of wrestling actually concerns ECW. To cut a very, very, long story short they had agreed a deal in principle to produce their first ever pay per view. However, someone put a tape of the infamous ‘Mass Transit’ incident in the hands of the potential PPV provider. The somewhat naive organisation pulled the plug as they thought ECW – the E stands for Extreme remember – was just like the WWF and WCW in terms of family friendly entertainment. This was the case before Christmas and remained as such due to the holidays. However, it is now being said that this situation is more of a hiccup in ECW’s negotiations than a complete deal breaker. Still, it did not stop Tony Schiavone taking a sly pop at ECW when talking about the nWo being able to produce a pay per view when certain other organisations cannot
- Interesting note from a WWF house show over the holiday period; in an extremely rare occurrence, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels teamed together in a tag match. The pair, who cannot stand each other, took on Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vader. Oh, and yes, they did end up brawling with each other after the match
- When Roddy Piper was stretchered out of Nitro last week he was pictured rambling and incoherent. Apparently the Canadian Scotsman from Carolina – and somehow Oregon too – was actually speaking Gaelic, which will apparently play into his eventual return angle. I’m not sure if we were supposed to identify the language as Gaelic because, quite frankly, as a Scotsman I can confirm that very few people speak it
- The on-screen heat between Debra and Woman is said be just as noticeable off camera too
- Kimberly may be on her way back to WCW. I hadn’t noticed her absence, but shall very much welcome her return!
- Bam Bam Bigelow was in negotiations to join WCW, but talks broke down after he learned that he was set to join the nWo. Given that a major contributing factor to Bam Bam leaving the WWF was The Kliq, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why he may have been reluctant to join a stable created by Kevin Nash and Scott Hall and also containing Sean ‘1-2-3 Kid/Syxx’ Waltman
To hear about the most recent barbs exchanged between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart and how The Hitman faired against Vader, you can check out what Craig made of the corresponding episode of Raw from January 6th 1997 here.
Raw 2.1 – 3.4 Nitro
Another crushing win for Nitro. We’ll introduce a 1997 ratings graph once we have enough results to make it meaningful.