Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 18

Jamie Lithgow

Back in 1997 the big film of the week was ‘The Fifth Element’. Set in the 23rd century, Bruce Willis plays taxi driver who unwittingly finds himself in the middle of the fight between good and evil. Sounds nothing like Die Hard, but thankfully Bruce still essentially plays John McClane. Elsewhere, a car race on TBS lasted ages to deny us WCW Saturday Night while Nitro was trimmed to an hour due to the NBA Playoffs. That said, it was an action packed hour so let’s read all about it in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…

nitro-logo-shadow

Piper and Flair struggling against a nWo banner does not bode well for when they have to fight actual people

The Ric Flair, Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene vs. Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Syxx feud took centre stage again this week. The babyface trio gate-crashed the announce desk at the start of the show, only to be interrupted by more “Tradition Bites” banners and flyers. Re-positioning themselves in the ring, Piper explained his actions – or lack thereof – last week. He said that Flair was “doing fine” against Syxx, Hall and Nash, which is why he hesitated to help The Nature Boy as he fought all three in the aisle. Hot Rod then rendered JJ Dillon’s involvement in this segment redundant. Referencing Kevin Nash’s demand for 75% of the purse for the six man tag match at Slamboree, Piper said he doesn’t care about getting paid. JJ then appeared to confirm that, due to Eric Bischoff’s prior meddling, Nash’s demands would have to be met. JJ then pleaded with the babyface trio – who had just offered to work for free – to wrestle for just 25% of the purse. Following interference in the show’s main event – which I will cover shortly – all six men got involved in a show closing brawl. Naturally the nWo trio were supported by the rest of the stable and thus won the fight handily.


In Other News From Nitro –

Mean Gene struggles to maintain eye contact…

  • The show closing brawl was sparked when a very unenthusiastic Giant announced Diamond Dallas Page as his partner to face Harlem Heat. As DDP, with Kimberly, made his entrance he was jumped by Macho Man and Hollywood Hogan. The rest of the nWo also joined in by beating up The Giant and Harlem Heat. This prompted first Flair and Greene and then Piper to run in, but to limited success against the entire New World Order.
  • This brawl was set up after DDP and Macho Man engaged in the same segment as per usual i.e. DDP cuts a promo, Savage interrupts from the crowd to insult Page and harass Kimberly, Page calls him out and Savage declines. The only difference this week was Mean Gene being particularly unsubtle when checking out Kimberly’s breasts.
  • During the show closing brawl, nWo Sting absolutely battered Kevin Greene. It wasn’t a double team either. The fake Stinger clobbered the Carolina Panther in a square go. I don’t fancy his chances against Hall and Nash at Slamboree then…
  • Syxx allegedly defended his Cruiserweight Title against Rey Mysterio Jr. I say allegedly because Syxx was dressed in street clothes and did not actually have his title belt with him. Mysterio tried to take the fight to Syxx, Hall and Nash – who were in the Champ’s corner – but was soon overcome. Syxx then locked Rey in his Crossface Chicken Wing which prompted JJ Dillon and a reformed Nick Patrick to come down and break it up. They did not succeed and actually prompted Eric Bischoff and numerous other nWo members to show up. Syxx eventually released the hold in order to get in Dillon’s face about how he was treated when they both worked for “McMahon”. Nash also joined in by referencing their time together in the WWF.
  • Speaking of Syxx in street clothes, he Nash and Hall were dressed exactly the same. In fact, Syxx looked like a miniature version of Nash.

    There’s a fight right behind them, yet the commentary team still consult their monitors

  • Tony Schiavone called The Outsiders Edge the “nWo Drop”. Close enough.
  • Hollywood Hogan’s promo was interrupted by chants of “we want Sting” from the crowd. Hogan responded by calling The Stinger out. He was not present, making this a largely pointless segment.
  • During the opening segment, Ric Flair put Nash and Hall over by admitting that he doesn’t know if he can take them in a fight or not. He did say that he could take Syxx though. Greene was then cut off by The Public Enemy’s theme music. No, Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge were not spoiling for a fight against the trio. They were booked in the opening match, and just as every other promo Flair and Piper have delivered lately, this one went way too long. Given that Nitro was only an hour long, a line had to be drawn somewhere so Greene received no promo time.
  • Bizarrely, Public Enemy’s match ended when Hugh Morrus superlexed Rocco Rock onto Morrus’ own tag partner; Konnan and through a table. The original plan was most likely for Grunge to be lying on the table, but he went down earlier in the match with a legit injury. Thus, the guys went ahead with the planned spot, only with Konnan in Grunge’s place instead. Fair play for soldiering on, but it made zero sense.
  • Kevin Sullivan got involved in Steven Regal’s match with Meng after Regal came to Chris Benoit’s aid last week. A heel attacking a heel during his match with another heel after he had helped a tweener last week. Comprende?!
  • Michael Wallstreet was present with the nWo this week, despite JJ Dillon stating that his nWo contract is not valid and that he is still a WCW wrestler. Even in a kayfabe this is bullshit, but I guess we just have to go with it. Wallstreet was not wearing a nWo branded shirt though, so is this WCW’s way of saying he’s not a member?
  • Mortis and his unnamed friend – it’s Wrath – orchestrated another two on one attack on Glacier after the Sub-Zero wannabe squashed a debuting Lizmark Jr. Mortis began the attack somewhat unsuccessfully until Glacier turned around to see the big man. There was a slight miscommunication as Wrath and James Vandenberg were left to watch their mate get battered for an awkwardly long period of time as they waited for Glacier to turn around.
  • Thankfully Vandenberg did not say this over the microphone, but our quote of the week was still audible…

quote-of-the-week

“This is the final solution!”

James Vandenberg



Full Results

  • Hugh Morrus & Konnan defeated The Public Enemy
  • Syxx (c) vs. Rey Misterio Jr. to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
  • Lord Steven Regal vs. Meng ended in a No Contest
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Alex Wright
  • Glacier defeated Lizmark Jr.

  • Wolfpac rules; don’t dis Vince McMahon and always dress the same

    Rey Mysterio Jr. has realised that he cannot put off knee surgery for much longer. He plans to go under the knife in June and is expected to be out for several months thereafter.

  • Roddy Piper recently pitched the idea of a live debate between himself and Kevin Nash on Nitro. Given Piper’s tendency to run long, ramble and generally not follow a script, the idea was wisely shot down.
  • The next member of the nWo is rumoured to be The Great Muta. I guess Masahiro Chono needs some company as the only nWo member in Japan. Apparently an angle will go down at Slamboree to facilitate this.
  • Despite appearing to be a shoot – and no doubt some real feelings are being communicated – the promos between Piper, Flair, Hall, Nash and Syxx are said to all be agreed upon beforehand.
  • The Wolfpac trio were particularly careful not to bash Vince McMahon or the WWF during their tirade towards JJ Dillon. They are clearly trying to portray these promos as shoot remarks, thus they don’t want to burn a bridge they may wish to cross a some point down the line.

The unopposed Raw concentrated on the simmering feud between The Hart Foundation and Stone Cold Steve Austin, with Shawn Michaels also getting involved.


ratings

Raw 3.4 – 0 Nitro

The USA Network defeated TNT on a Monday night in 1997! However, due to the NBA playoffs Nitro was broadcast at 7pm and thus Raw actually defeated a basketball match. It would appear to have been The New York Knicks vs. The Orlando Magic and it scored a 3.1.


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

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One thought on “Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 18

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2017 week 19 | Ring the Damn Bell

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