Back in 1997 the NBA Playoffs have begun. As a result, both Nitro and Saturday Night will be cut down to one hour for the next few weeks. Elsewhere, the WWF’s Vader has been behaving badly on a recent tour of Kuwait. More on that later, but let’s head down south in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- In the only post-match interview on the show – usually Saturday Night is littered with them – Lex Luger said that he will go through the entire nWo if that’s what it takes to get to Hogan. There’s every chance that is exactly what you’ll have to do, Lex.
- The Public Enemy, who are babyfaces, put Villano IV through a table after defeating him and Mr JL. Seemed a little uncalled for in my opinion.
- In a pre-taped ‘paid for by the nWo promo’, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Syxx did impressions of Roddy Piper, Ric Flair and Kevin Greene. Hall’s Piper was pretty good, Syxx’s Kevin Greene sounded more like Stu Hart while Nash just said “woo” at random intervals.
- The Steiner Brothers are back to wearing matching gear again. Rick has finally followed Scott’s lead by changing his look, ever so slightly.
- We saw a promo video detailing the football careers of Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael and Reggie White. It was genuinely very good and reminiscent of a montage you might see on ‘America’s Game’ or any other NFL documentary. Something I did notice, and I don’t know if he has done work for WCW previously, but the ‘scary voice man’ that voiced WWE promos in the Attitude Era did the honours with this package.
- Public Enemy defeated Villano IV & JL
- WCW TV Champion the Ultimo Dragon defeated Juventud Guerrera
- The Steiner Brothers defeated Power Company
- Mortis defeated Mark Starr
- Lex Luger defeated Meng
The Nash, Hall & Syxx vs. Piper, Flair & Greene feud took centre stage on this hour long episode of Nitro. At the start of the show, Piper and Flair called out the nWo members. Shortly after, we saw a pre-taped promo from “The Wolfpac” in which Nash accepted the proposed match at Slamboree on one condition; 75% of the gate. I’m not sure either Flair or Piper has the stroke to make that happen, but whatever. At the end of the show, Piper and Flair headed to the ring to await a response to their earlier challenge. Instead, thousands of flyers featuring the phrase “tradition bites” papered the arena. The Wolfpac trio then emerged with Syxx making a b-line for Flair. The Nature Boy got a few shots in and even applied the Figure Four in the aisle before Nash and Hall stepped in. Weirdly, and this will likely form an angle in-itself in the coming weeks, Piper did not come to Flair’s aid. Hot Rod just stood in the ring and stared into space. He finally ran to help Flair just as Nitro went off the air.
In Other News From Nitro –
- We saw a rare ‘paid for by the nWo’ promo featuring Macho Man, who usually delivers his promos live. As is the way with these things, the content of Savage’s promo was just generic insults directed at his rival (Diamond Dallas Page), however the delivery and vibe of the promo is what caught my attention. We don’t usually see Macho Man ad-libbing and joking around. Even though he still is a ridiculous, over the top character, these added layers to Savage made him feel more believable as a real person and not just a character on TV.
- Nitro started with footage of Ric Flair beating Vader – current WWF employee, of course – to demonstrate that he is more than capable of beating bigger men.
- Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael defeated The Barbarian after nailing him with his loaded briefcase. What happened to Pacific islanders having hard heads?!
- Syxx used a Crossface Chicken Wing to win his match for the second week in a row.
- Nitro will be starting at 7pm and lasting just one hour for the next few weeks due to the NBA playoffs starting. WCW Saturday Night will also be affected.
- Jeff Jarrett issued a challenge to United States Champion, Dean Malenko, for Slamboree.
- Chris Benoit faced Lord Steven Regal and the same thing happened this time as it did last time these guys fought on Nitro; Regal accidentally got busted open and thus the director zoomed out to wide shots due to Nitro’s PG rating. Thankfully, this was a much shorter match because Kevin Sullivan ran-in to attack Benoit. The pair brawled down the aisle until Meng appeared to apply the Tongan Death Grip on Benoit. Heel Regal – who disappeared, presumably to get patched up – then reappeared with no blood on his face to help Benoit. Interesting, especially when you consider the rumour from a couple of weeks ago about Benoit potentially starting his own faction including Dean Malenko (who he has already expressed respect for), Chris Jericho and Regal. Are the seeds for a super stable being sewn?
- WCW United States Title Match: Dean Malenko (c) defeated Prince Iaukea
- WCW Cruiserweight Title Match: Syxx (c) defeated Juventud Guerrera
- Chris Benoit defeated Lord Steven Regal
- Lex Luger & The Giant defeated The Amazing French Canadians
- Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael defeated The Barbarian
“I’ve been World Champion more times than you’ve had pieces of ass!”
Ric Flair to Syxx
- I wonder if the WWF will be thanking WCW for using footage of Vader on Nitro this week? I say this because instead of shying away from a recent controversy involving ‘The Mastodon’, the WWF have been actively encouraging the reporting of the incident. Basically, a couple of weeks ago the WWF were on a tour of Kuwait when Vader and The Undertaker appeared on ‘Good Morning Kuwait’, which is apparently a very popular show with a well-known presenter. Well, Vader didn’t take kindly to Bassam Al Othman querying the legitimacy of professional wrestling. While The Undertaker was quite diplomatic with his response, Vader took it upon himself to give the poor presenter a good swearing and a good shaking before the director quickly cut to commercial as police were called. I guess this could be put down to wires being crossed because Al Othman had apparently asked the wrestlers to ham it up a little, and to be fair this is entirely within Vader’s character. For his troubles, Leon ‘Vader’ White was placed under house arrest and has only just returned to the States, about two weeks after his colleagues. Why the delay? Because the incident took place during Ramadan and the legal system in Kuwait was shut down while Vader awaited his fate.
- It’s good news bad news for Arn Anderson after his neck operation. The damage to his vertebrae is not as bad as first thought, but because surgeons had to approach the area at an angle they had to cut through a lot of muscle. Thus, while Arn is in a lot of pain there is at least a glimmer of hope that he may be able to wrestle again.
- This won’t sit well with the leader of the nWo, but Sports Illustrated labelled Hulk Hogan a “B list celebrity” as they ran down famous faces that can be found watching the NBA playoffs. Apparently Hogan is a regular at Orlando Magic games.
The unopposed Raw made good use of Nitro’s early time slot. The white-hot feud between Steve Austin and The Hart Foundation heated up even more with Bret, Owen and Davey Boy being joined by another Hart family member. A new Intercontinental Champion was also crowned, who also happens to be a member of The Hart Foundation.
Raw 3.4 – 0 Nitro
There was no mention on last week’s Nitro or Saturday Night of this week’s Nitro starting at 7pm. Thus, technically, this should count as a ratings victory for Raw. For comparison, WCW have gone out of their way to make it known that subsequent Nitros will start earlier. However, I’m not going to rewrite history so will concede that Nitro was probably broadcast at 7pm and thus it’s 2.7 rating against Raw’s 3.4 counts for nought.
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here