Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 8

Jamie Lithgow

20 years ago this week the updated version of The Empire Strikes Back hit cinema screens. Elsewhere, the Tennessee Volunteers’ young quarterback said he wants to play one more season of college football before heading to the NFL. Whatever happened to Peyton Manning anyway? Pop culture; done. Let’s take a look at an eventful few days in this week’s Meanwhile, in WCW’…

wcw-saturday-night-logo-shadow

  • Dean Malenko said that he doesn’t need help to beat Syxx at Superbrawl
  • Prince Iaukea successfully defended his newly won TV Title. His finisher appears to be a top rope cross-body. He’s not doing much to shake off his ‘jobber’ tag, is he?
  • Apparently Jacqueline gives Kevin Sullivan ‘comfort’, and apparently we needed to know that. She also helped to beat-up another jobber, to which Dusty Rhodes lost his shit. For some reason his use of the words “ass” and “hell” was censored
  • On Mean Gene’s hotline this week was the news that “somebody or something new is on the way to WCW”
  • Diamond Dallas Page sarcastically expressed his remorse for the injured Big Bubba, who he was scheduled to face at Superbrawl. Even Lee Marshal joined in the mockery of the nWo jobber
  • In reference to Chris Jericho’s ‘Lion Heart’ nickname, Eddie Guerrero said that he has tiger in his heart. A black tiger by any chance?
  • Harlem Heat hyped their triangle tag match at Superbrawl by saying it is insignificant to them and they’re focus is on winning the titles. Way to sell the match to us guys
  • In a random Ric Flair promo The Nature Boy put Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael over as a tough guy and Chris Benoit over as a “love machine”
  • Konnan wrestled that same match he always does. You know, that one where he is on the verge of losing until a member of The Dungeon of Doom interferes causing him to lose by disqualification anyway. This time his opponent was Jeff Jarrett, providing the interference was Kevin Sullivan and making the save for Jarrett was Chris Benoit, who was actually more interested in Sullivan than saving Double J

Full Results

  • Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Villano IV
  • Dean Malenko (c) defeated Mark Starr to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
  • Prince Iaukea (c) defeated Jerry Flynn to retain the WCW Television Championship
  • Kevin Sullivan (w/ Jacqueline) defeated Johnny Swinger
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Bunkhouse Buck
  • Eddie Guerrero (c) defeated Jim Powers to retain the WCW United States Championship
  • Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) defeated Doc Dean & Robbie Brookside
  • Chris Benoit defeated Rick Fuller
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Konnan by DQ

superbrawl-7-posterSuperbrawl was a very entertaining show, in context that is. For match quality it was merely okay, but for storyline development it was a very productive night. The big news came from the main event where Macho Man Randy Savage turned heel, helped Hollywood Hogan retain his WCW Title and appeared to join the New World Order. Mid-way through Hogan’s match with Rowdy Roddy Piper, Savage and Sting appeared in the aisle, only for The Stinger to turn back. Macho Man, on the other hand, chose to hang around. He did very little other than watch until what appeared to be the end of the match. Piper once again used his sleeper hold to send Hogan for a snooze. However, as the referee raised Piper’s hand we saw Macho Man appear to hand Hogan – whose lifeless body had have moved from the middle of the ring to under the bottom rope – a small object. It is assumed that the referee restarted the match due to being tricked into thinking that Hogan was in the ropes during Piper’s sleeper hold. As confusion reigned, a drowsy Hogan smacked Piper with a knuckle duster for the win. After the match, Savage revived Hogan and the pair attacked Piper. During the post-match brawl, Macho Man removed his jacket to reveal a black t-shirt with absolutely nothing printed on it. The commentators assumed he had joined the group though, even though it would appear to make no sense given how bitter his feud with Hogan was just a few months ago. Tony Schiavone did raise the point about Savage previously claiming to have been “blackballed” by WCW and that joining the nWo could be his only way in. I guess that’ll have to do.


In Other News From Superbrawl –

The best actual wrestling match at Superbrawl was poorly received by the San Francisco crowd who preferred storylines and gimmicks

The best actual wrestling match at Superbrawl was poorly received by the San Francisco crowd who preferred storylines and gimmicks

  • We have new tag team champions. The Giant held his own against The Outsiders until Kevin Nash did the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen him do; execute a perfect Jacknife Powerbomb on The Giant. At this point The Giant’s partner, Lex Luger – who was in street clothes having been barred from wrestling due to injury – ran in to receive the hot tag. The Total Package put Nash in the Torture Rack for the submission win
  • Chris Benoit and Kevin Sullivan’s most recent encounter was another wild one. As they brawled all over the arena, Jacqueline and Woman tore strips off each other in the ring. Benoit may have won, but that’s not the big story. With Sullivan lying prone on a table, The Crippler went for a big splash on The Taskmaster. At the last second Jackie jumped on Sullivan to take the hit. However, the table didn’t break. Given that they did a ‘serious injury’ angle with Sullivan, Jacqueline and Benoit it actually worked in their favour that the table didn’t break as it made the presence of EMTs and ambulances more credible. Bobby Heenan covered nicely on commentary by saying “it would have been better for them had the table broke”
  • Rocco Rock showed off his newly shaven head while Meng appears to have acquired braids from somewhere…
  • Syxx still has the Cruiserweight Title belt, only now he actually is the champion. Upon trying to use the belt as a weapon, Eddie Guerrero showed up to wrestle it away from Syxx. Eddie must have lost his grip because the belt swung back and smacked Malenko in the face to gift Syxx an easy win
  • Speaking of Eddie, he retained his US Title in a hard fought win over Chris Jericho. Lion Heart debuted a high angle Boston crab during one exchange, wonder if he’ll develop that further? Post-match Eddie put the belt on Jericho’s shoulder as a mark of respect
  • Jeff Jarrett is now the fifth member of The Four Horsemen – I know, I know. He defeated Mongo after Debra refused to give Steve his briefcase and instead threw it into the ring, coincidentally (or not) into the arms of Double J who used it as a weapon. By virtue of his victory, Jarrett and Mongo are now stable mates
  • Buff Bagwell took Big Bubba’s place against DDP and channeled his inner Konnan by snatching a DQ loss from the jaws of a pinfall loss. Buff’s nWo friends ran-in after Page hit the Diamond Cutter, causing DDP to exit via the crowd and the match to be thrown out. During the match, Buff pushed referee Scott Dickenson, who shoved him back. Given Eric Bischoff’s recent habit of firing referees I feel like this may prove more significant than it originally appeared
  • Prince Iaukea unwittingly benefited from interference by Lord Steven Regal in his TV Title defence against Rey Mysterio. After discovering that Regal had interfered to cause Rey to lose, Iaukea didn’t just apologise, he handed Rey the belt! Mysterio clearly didn’t want it because he handed it back. An appropriate gesture from Iaukea would have been to ask for the match to be restarted, don’t you think?

Full Results

  • Syxx defeated Dean Malenko to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
  • Konnan, La Parka and Villaño IV defeated Juventud Guerrera, Super Calo and Ciclope
  • Prince Iaukea defeated Rey Mysterio, Jr. to retain the WCW Television Championship
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Buff Bagwell by disqualification
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WCW United States Championship
  • The Public Enemy defeated Harlem Heat and The Faces of Fear in a Triple Threat match
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Steve McMichael (w/ Debra McMichael)
  • Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) defeated Kevin Sullivan (w/ Miss Jacquelyn) in a San Francisco Death match
  • The Giant and Lex Luger defeated The Outsiders (c) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship
  • Hollywood Hogan defeated Roddy Piper to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

nitro-logo-shadow

What's that burning smell? Lex has an idea...

What’s that burning smell? Lex has an idea…

An eventful Superbrawl was contrasted with a Nitro that offered slim pickings. The big news came as no surprise when Eric Bischoff stripped The Giant and Lex Luger of the Tag Titles just as the duo were set to defend against Harlem Heat. Luger agreed to hand over the belts on one condition; that the nWo put all their titles on the line at Uncensored in a WCW vs. nWo pay per view. Bischoff duly accepted because he is probably aware that the faction did exactly that the previous evening at Superbrawl anyway – with Hogan’s World Title and The Outsider’s tag belts. Right at the end of this segment, and thus the show, Sting showed up. He stood between the nWo and WCW crews, but slightly more towards the bad guys so Hogan took this as a sign that he has finally joined the group and gave him a hug. Although he didn’t reciprocate, Sting did not put a halt to this public display of affection either.


In Other News From Nitro –

  • Macho Man is officially a member of the New World Order. The Outsiders presented him with his colours after a three on one beat down of Diamond Dallas Page. Savage was then presented with a ‘gift’; Liz. As bad as it was to see her being treated like a piece of property, it was the first time she has smiled in months
  • An overzealous fan ran into the ring during the angle with DDP, and copped a punch in the face from Scott Hall. Comically the fan escaped, security were noticeably slow off the mark with this incident
  • Prior to getting battered by the nWo, DDP debuted a new version of his Diamond Cutter. It was the move that will come to be known as the TKO by Marc Mero in the WWF
  • Hacksaw Jim Duggan cut a scathing promo on Savage and Hogan, and even called out the champ. I can’t see that ending well for old Hacksaw…
  • Dean Malenko evened the score with Eddie Guerrero by costing him a tag match against The Faces of Fear. Later The Iceman got himself disqualified against Ultimo Dragon for not releasing a chokehold. An angry Malenko then said that he has felt a lack of respect recently and that he doesn’t care anymore. He seemed to fall short of a full heel turn by aiming some angry words at Syxx too
  • Mongo got his own back on Jeff Jarrett by smacking him with his briefcase in the pair’s tag match against The Public Enemy. This prompted Arn Anderson and Ric Flair to hit the ring and reiterate that Jarrett is now officially a Horseman and that everyone should learn to get along. For his part, Mongo said something about them being brothers and that while he can “mess” with Jarrett he will make sure nobody else does
  • Before the WWE Network we had the WCW Monday Nitro International Simulcast!

Full Results

  • Public Enemy defeated Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael
  • Jim Duggan defeated Galaxy
  • Hugh Morrus defeated Joe Gomez
  • Ice Train defeated La Parka
  • Faces of Fear defeated Eddie Guerrero & Chris Jericho
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Juventud Guerrera
  • Prince Iaukea (c) defeated Pat Tanaka to retain the WCW Television Championship
  • The Ultimo Dragon defeated Dean Malenko via disqualification
  • Diamond Dallas Page vs. Dave Taylor ended in a No Contest
  • Harlem Heat vs. Lex Luger & The Giant ended in a No Contest

quote-of-the-week

“Look at this mess”

Dusty Rhodes on the Lucha rules six man tag at Superbrawl


  • Apparently TBS (Turner Broadcasting System) are interested in broadcasting another prime time WCW show. They already own TNT, the channel that Nitro is broadcast on, and have held talks with Eric Bischoff about adding another show, most likely on Thursday nights. Thus, don’t be surprised if WCW start to expand there already stacked roster to accommodate this extra air time
  • Speaking of TBS, Ted Turner is rumoured to be appearing on Nitro next week in an angle where he will supposedly fire Eric Bischoff
  • Juventud’s visa troubles are behind him, obviously. Ditto Psychosis and Yugi Nagata, who will debut shortly
  • Sting wants to get back in the ring, but officials are said to be happy with how his angle is going and have no plans to insert back into matches any time soon
  • Shawn Michaels – who has suffered some sort of knee injury, the severity of which appears to be a secret – has apparently reached out to Scott Hall regarding the possibility of a spot for him in WCW. Michaels is under contract to the WWF for four more years, so his efforts to join his friends down south will likely be in vain

Last week Jerry Lawler invited ECW wrestlers to show up at Raw, and guess what? They did. Hailing from the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan and featuring almost as many ECW guys as WWF guys, this week’s Raw is well worth reading about. Also, we got a bonus Quote of the Week from Paul Heyman, who joined commentary for a couple matches –

“Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, I don’t care. If Marlena is part of the package I’d go home with him too”

Paul Heyman on Goldust


ratings

Raw 2.5 – 3.0 Nitro

Raw was a miles better show than Nitro this week, but the fallout from an eventful Superbrawl just proved too enticing for viewers


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

 

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2 thoughts on “Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 8

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2017 week 9 | Ring the Damn Bell

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