Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 3

Jamie Lithgow

It has been a busy week in the world of wrestling in 1997. Over in the WWF, Stone Cold Steve Austin claimed the first of his three Royal Rumble match victories. However, we’re not here to learn about happenings in ‘The Fed’. It’s time to get down to business with this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…

wcw-saturday-night-logo-shadow

  • Konnan fought Big Bubba in the same match they have wrestled together for the last month. The slight difference on this occasion was the use of a chain instead of a strap
  • In a pre-taped black and white promo, Eric Bischoff – who was accompanied by Miss Elizabeth – mocked Macho Man Randy Savage. That would be the same Randy Savage who, as far as us mere mortals are aware, is not currently under contract to WCW and has not been seen since Halloween Havoc
  • Rick Steiner said that he is going to “chew The Outsider’s bones” at Souled Out…
  • Marcus Alexander Bagwell may not be ‘Buff’ after all. In a promo for Souled Out he was referred to as the “Pretty Boy Redneck”
  • In a genuinely funny spot, The Disco Inferno tried to apply a new submission he has learned to Bobby Eaton. After getting confused he produced a “cheat sheet” from his boot, which featured a diagram to help him. The time Disco wasted doing this allowed Eaton to recover and score the win
  • Seven days away from their ladder match at Souled Out, Syxx and US Champion Eddie Guerrero were booked in a singles match. The bout did not actually start as the pair ended up brawling to the back. Eddie did momentarily get his hands on his US Title, but Nick Patrick was on hand to steal it back
  • We saw a trailer for Rowdy Roddy Piper’s new movie, which is the film that was made reference to during the build up to Starrcade 1996. Titled ‘Marked Man’, it follows Piper’s character, who was wrongly imprisoned, escape and kick the asses of the real baddies. It is, of course, a straight to video release
  • A slightly sexist Arn Anderson said that he won’t let women run the Four Horsemen. Double A was later saved from a two on one attack from the Faces of Fear by Jeff Jarrett. Chris Benoit then showed up to escort Arn to the back as Jeff got his ass kicked by Meng and The Barbarian

Full Results

  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. defeated Mr. JL
  • Big Bubba Rogers vs. Konnan ended in a Double Count Out in a Chain Match
  • Lord Steven Regal defeated Psychosis
  • Rick Steiner defeated Mike Enos
  • Jim Duggan defeated The Gambler
  • Bobby Eaton defeated Disco Inferno
  • Maxx Muscle defeated Mark Starr
  • The Barbarian defeated Arn Anderson by DQ
  • Lex Luger defeated Scott Norton

nitro-logo-shadow

Excuse me, you're sitting in my seat...

Excuse me, you’re sitting in my seat…

The surprise may have been somewhat spoiled by Eric Bischoff mentioning his name out of the blue on Saturday Night, but the big news from Nitro was the return of Macho Man Randy Savage. As the first match was about to get underway, Savage emerged from the crowd and jumped the guard rail into the ring. He claimed to have been “blackballed”, told Eric Bischoff to kiss his ass and demanded someone with “stroke” come out to meet him. Cue Chavo Guerrero Jr. No, Eddie’s nephew is not head of talent relations, but he was scheduled to wrestle until Macho Man staged his sit down protest. Chavo was quite patient in his attempts to get Savage to vacate the ring but ultimately found himself on the wrong end of Macho Man’s fist. Next out to ask Savage to move along was Max Muscle, who was Chavo’s scheduled opponent, but he too was given the boot. Also failing in their attempts to remove Savage were a referee, head of security Doug Dillinger and, for some reason, Alex Wright. The Amazing French Canadians, The Steiner Brothers and some random officials tried a different tactic; stand outside the ring and shout at Macho Man, but this was also unsuccessful. Finally Sting came to rescue by abseiling from the ceiling of the United Centre to the floor. Armed with a bat to combat Savage’s chair, The Stinger seemed to have more of an impact on Randy. Sting did his poking with the bat, handing it over and turning his back routine. When Savage did not swing for Sting’s head the pair seemed to share an acknowledgement and left together through the crowd.


In Other News From Nitro –

  • Souled Out can’t come soon enough because WCW are out of ideas for promoting the main event. To close the show Hollywood Hogan cut the same promo he usually cuts on The Giant before the Big Man came out to be restrained by officials
  • The Steiners ran in during Carl Ouelette’s match with Jim Duggan in order to give him and his partner, Jacques Rougeau, a kicking. This was slightly random because both teams were on the same page earlier when trying to remove Macho Man from the ring. Ah well, fans really hate the Canadian duo so it went over well
  • On that subject, the Canadian lads are so hated that even Lord Steven Regal has to play babyface against them. He was fist-pumping like Ricky Morton in his match with Jacques
  • Although Scotty Riggs defeated nWo Sting via disqualification – after Buff Bagwell interfered – the nWo B-Team forced Dave Penzer to announce Sting as the winner instead
  • To a wrestling fan this makes sense, but to a non-wrestling fan I’m sure this is confusing; whenever Harlem Heat compete in singles matches Booker T is always booked as a face but Stevie Ray is always booked as a heel
  • In the absence of a towel, Debra threw in her sash when her husband, Mongo, and Arn Anderson had Jeff Jarrett locked in a double team submission. Arn was far from impressed because Debra was supposed to be in their corner
  • Post-match the entire Horseman gang was on-hand, for a change. Ric Flair lent his support to Arn Anderson’s view that women should not be calling the shots within the group. Chris Benoit actually agreed with this “HorseMEN first” sentiment. The Crippler was also relatively complimentary towards Mongo, who acted like a dick in response. Just as they were making progress…
  • Humorously, Flair, Anderson and even Chris Benoit got bigger pops from the Chicago crowd than former Chicago Bear McMichael. Mongo even went to the trouble of reminding fans that he won a Superbowl with The Bears, only for The Crippler to get twice the response when he took the microphone
  • Later in the night, Benoit and Kevin Sullivan knocked the shit out of each other. Their wild brawl spilled into the crowd and ultimately up to the toilets, as it usually does when these two fight. They did eventually make it back to the ring, with Sullivan stealing the win after nailing Benoit with the ring bell as The Crippler tried to land his flying head-butt. Oddly, the ring bell was slyly handed to The Taskmaster by Jimmy Hart and it was treated very much like cheating, despite the fact that most of this match consisted of brawling outside the ring and using foreign objects
  • A possible spoiler alert from Eric Bischoff; “(Masahiro) Chono, our newest member… or is that Savage?”

Full Results

  • Chris Jericho defeated Alex Wright
  • Scotty Riggs defeated nWo Sting via disqualification
  • Arn Anderson & Steve McMichael defeated Eddie Guerrero & Jeff Jarrett
  • The Ultimo Dragon (c) defeated Dean Malenko to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
  • Lord Steven Regal (c) defeated Jacques Rougeau via disqualification to retain the WCW Television Championship
  • Kevin Sullivan defeated Chris Benoit
  • Jim Duggan defeated Carl Ouelette
  • Masahiro Chono defeated Dave Taylor by submission
  • Scott Hall defeated Booker T
  • Lex Luger defeated Stevie Ray by submission

Wcwclashofthechampions

FIGHT!

FIGHT!

  • Dean Malenko won the Cruiserweight Title for the third time. He used the Texas Cloverlief to submit Ultimo Dragon in a very entertaining bout
  • Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael attracted huge heat. I assume this was a result of his football connections. The former Chicago Bear was probably the Green Bay crowd’s least favourite performer, until his wife took the microphone
  • Given the character the man portrayed, hindsight can be quite disturbing when viewing old Chris Benoit promos. Regarding his mindset ahead of his falls count anywhere match with Kevin Sullivan he said “I’ve got a very fragile mind”
  • On the subject of that match, it was as hard hitting as you might expect. Also, as expected, they fought all the way to the men’s toilets. Rather than by accident, Sullivan actually ushered Benoit in that direction. The Crippler was not slow in accepting. Despite the falls count anywhere stipulation the wrestlers, as they did the previous night, made their way back to the ring for the finish. Along the way, Benoit took a nasty looking fall down the stairs. Ultimately The Crippler gained a measure of revenge when Woman smacked The Taskmaster with a chair for the win. After the match Benoit gave Sullivan a thump with the wooden chair too
  • During the brawl Dusty Rhodes was very complimentary towards the cleanliness of the toilets. Meanwhile, Beautiful Bobby Eaton could be spotted providing security/crowd control for the wrestlers
  • Diamond Dallas Page (wearing a Green Bay Packers t-shirt) nailed Scott Norton with a Diamond Cutter as referee Nick Patrick argued with Eddie Guerrero. With Norton out cold, the nWo referee had no choice but to count the three
  • The Steiner Brothers have introduced another dangerous looking move to their repertoire. They defeated the Amazing French Canadians after Scott hit a top rope DDT on Jacques, who was perched on Rick’s shoulders
  • Lex Luger managed to hold his own against Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Syxx after the main event broke down into a brawl. The Steiner Brothers eventually lent a hand to ensure that Luger stood tall as the show went off the air

Full Results

  • Dean Malenko defeated Ultimo Dragon (w/ Sonny Onoo) (c) to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
  • Scotty Riggs defeated Mike Enos
  • Chavo Guerrero Jr., Chris Jericho & Super Calo defeated Konnan, La Parka & Mr. JL
  • Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) defeated Joe Gomez & The Renegade
  • Masahiro Chono defeated Alex Wright
  • Eddie Guerrero (c) defeated Scott Norton to retain the WCW United States Championship
  • Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) defeated The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
  • The Steiner Brothers defeated The Amazing French Canadians
  • Lex Luger defeated Scott Hall (w/ Kevin Nash & Syxx) by DQ

quote-of-the-week

“The moral is; don’t turn your back on a woman”

Tony Schiavone


dirt-sheet-roundup

  • The reason Scott Hall missed a couple weeks of action has been revealed; Jerry Sags legit smashed his face in during a house show a few weeks ago. Apparently Hall lost a tooth, fractured some bones in his face and required minor surgery. Apparently Sags has been struggling with a neck injury and was waiting to finish his advertised dates working with The Outsiders and Faces of Fear before taking time off. As such, Brian Knobbs had been doing most of the work in their matches and everybody was supposed to know that Sags’ neck was off limits. Cue The Outsiders. At a show in Shreveport, Louisiana, Sags was struck on the neck from behind with a steel chair. Upon turning around he saw Scott Hall and decided to rearrange his facial features in the middle of the match. After the bout, Kevin Nash charged into the showers and threatened Sags with a baseball bat. An interesting story at that, but there’s more; The Outsiders are, for lack of a better term, bulletproof, so they escaped punishment. Sags also escaped punishment, despite Eric Bischoff’s plans to fire him. Rumour has it he refrained from pulling the trigger upon request from Hall and Nash themselves, who did not want a friend of Hulk Hogan to be fired because of them. Either way, one has to assume The Nasty Boys’ – Sags in particular – days as a featured tag team in WCW are over. Oh, and there’s yet more; there’s a rumour that the whole thing was just a work, which has been fuelled by the apparent miraculous recovery of Hall who took just a couple of weeks to fully recover with no scars or bruising. And the cherry on top of this complicated and political cake; apparently it was actually Kevin Nash who hit Sags with the chair…
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. has blown out his knee. Despite his usual high flying antics, Rey sustained the injury performing a routine, for him, summersault in a match with Chavo Guerrero Jr.

    Chris Kanyon (left) may soon be returning with a new gimmick

    Chris Kanyon (left) may soon be returning with a new gimmick

  • Promos have been shot which reveal Kimberly as Diamond Dallas Page’s benefactor – i.e the person who kept DDP’s career alive after he lost a loser must quit match last year. It’s annoying when wrestling storylines remain unresolved (GTV, anyone?) but literally everyone has forgotten about this and did not care to start with
  • The Public Enemy and Harlem Heat are currently working without contracts. There’s a rumour that the WWF are interested in Booker and Stevie, but in the current climate of guaranteed contracts it is doubtful the Fed would extend such an offer to a mid-card tag team.
  • Chris Kanyon, who was last spotted in the Men at Work tag team – has been working with Glacier at the WCW Powerplant training facility. He’s been experimenting with a martial arts gimmick to work against the Sub-Zero wannabe. Kanyon was actually billed as ‘Mortis’ on a recent tour of Germany, which could be a clue to his new gimmick.

You can check out what Craig made of the corresponding episode of Raw from January 2oth 1997 here. It’s worth a look because it was recorded 24 hours after Stone Steve Austin cheated to win the Royal Rumble and Shawn Michaels regained the WWF Championship from Sid.


ratings

Raw 2.2 – 3.7 Nitro


You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here

 

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One thought on “Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 3

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2017 week 4 | Ring the Damn Bell

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