Back in 1997 Manchester United have been crowned Premier League Champions without actually kicking a ball. Liverpool’s failure to defeat Wimbledon was enough to hand the title to The Red Devils with one match left to play. Elsewhere, a 50 year old Sylvester Stallone married his 28 year old girlfriend and Tiger Woods keeps winning golf tournaments. Fair enough, but let’s hear about a real sport in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- In a backstage promo segment – weirdly without an interviewer – Kevin Sullivan was hot at Jacqueline for calling Meng off Chris Benoit last week, and hot at Meng for listening to her. Later, after Benoit had defeated Big Al, Sullivan and then Meng attacked The Crippler. Meng applied the Tongan Death Grip again, which was referred to as a “Goozle”. Jacqueline tried to talk Meng down again, but Sullivan stopped her. A parade of jobbers tried to save Benoit with no success. Meng finally released the hold after it appeared that Woman, Benoit’s manager, talked him down.
- Going back to the earlier promo segment and Kevin Sullivan made reference to a “shoot in a bar” between himself and Benoit. Jackie said that Benoit did not deserve whatever happened to him while Jimmy Hart said that The Crippler did not deserve to be “terminated”. Very confusing because Benoit hasn’t been fired and his forthcoming match with Meng at Slamboree was talked about here. I, and I assume most viewers, have no idea what these guys were talking about here.
- Buff Bagwell and Ted DiBiase were shown attending a recent NASCAR event where the nWo car didn’t win and didn’t crash. It finished fourth, making this a thoroughly dull and pointless little promo.
- Meng squashed Roadblock by paintbtushing the big man, kicking him in the gut and applying his “Goozle” choke hold. He has been made to look like a killer recently so it’s all the more impressive when Benoit beats him at Slamboree next week.
- On Mean Gene’s hotline this week was the news of a big star potentially making a return to the ring. This is probably Mr Perfect. There was also news of a fight in a sushi bar in Osaka, Japan. I assume this is where Benoit and Sullivan’s fictional fight is said to have taken place, even though neither man was on the Japan tour.
- Chris Jericho defeated La Parka
- Rey Misterio Jr. defeated Billy Kidman
- Chris Benoit defeated Big Al
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Mark Starr
- Meng defeated Road Block
- Scotty Riggs defeated Sgt. Craig Pittman
Finally, we’re at the go-home episode before Slamboree on Sunday. Even though the last few Nitros have only lasted an hour, WCW are clearly out of material and cannot wait to get to the PPV. The main story this week was actually a new angle – or an old one depending on your point of view. It was announced early in the show that Sting had requested a face to face interview with Eric Bischoff. Despite acknowledging Bischoff as the source of this information, the commentary team did not seem to doubt it as much as they probably should have given Bisch’s reputation for lying. Fast forwarding to the end of the show and Bischoff introduced Sting, only it was the fake, nWo Sting. Bischoff compared Sting to Hogan, with the imposter nodding along in agreement with Bischoff’s assessment that he is not as good as Hollywood. This brought out the real Sting, who decked the fake Sting and hit him with his Scorpion Death Drop. Bischoff escaped through the crowd to close the show.
In Other News From Nitro –
- Michael Buffer, who did not announce anything else or appear again on the show, opened Nitro with his “let’s get ready to rumble” line. I can only imagine how much this cost WCW.
- Kevin Greene claimed to be undefeated in Charlotte, which is where Slamboree will be held. He then promised to break his foot off in The Wolfpac’s collective ass. Ric Flair gave us one sentence while Roddy Piper compared himself to a T-Rex. The three amigos were then interrupted by Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Syxx via satellite. Syxx did a Flair impression and claimed to be sleeping with his wife while Nash announced that the match on Sunday will be no disqualification. Oddly, the Wolfpac boys claimed to already be in Charlotte, six days early for the PPV. Anyway, this was stressed so that it came as surprise when we saw Syxx and Nash leave Piper’s dressing room later in the show. Piper was in a bad state, selling an injury to his surgically repaired hip.
- Macho Man, minus his crutches, said that he is healthy and called out Diamond Dallas Page. That’s all we heard from this feud this week because DDP wasn’t present.
- Lord Steven Regal cut an inset promo on The Ultimo Dragon wearing an out of character, but rather fetching, striped jumper.
- Green Bay Packer Reggie White got involved in Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael’s match with Dean Malenko after a ref bump. The footballer hit the former fottballer with a clothesline and splash and shoved Jeff Jarrett to allow Malenko to score the win. Post-match White cut a horrible promo on Mongo.
- Alex Wright walked out on Ice Train during a tag match against Hugh Morrus and Konnan
- James Vandenberg introduced us to the mysterious, unnamed warrior that has appeared over the last few weeks. His name is Wrath and Tony Schiavone drew comparisons between him and The Giant, despite nearly 6 inches of a height difference and Wrath’s Rock Bottom-esque finisher looking nothing like a Chokeslam. Glacier appeared after Wrath’s squash victory over Scotty Riggs looking like he would attack the newcomer before we went to a commercial break. When Nitro returned everyone had left and there was no fight to report.
- Larry Zbyszko highlighted the fact that the helmet Wrath was wearing was not that of Glacier, despite he and Mortis stealing it a couple of weeks ago. Be cooler if it was Glacier’s, but hey ho…
- WCW Television Title Match: Ultimo Dragon (c) defeated Juventud Guerrera
- WCW United States Title Match: Dean Malenko (c) defeated Steve McMichael
- Wrath defeated Scotty Riggs
- Hugh Morrus & Konnan defeated Alex Wright & Ice Train
“Leave the people of Wisconsin out of this”
Reggie White lets Mongo have it
- The references made by Kevin Sullivan and Scott Hall regarding a show in Osaka, Japan this week were in reference to NJPW’s ‘Strong Style Evolution’ show held at the Osaka Dome. Syxx and nWo Sting defeated Tadao Yasuda and Takashi Iizuka while Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton – who were both way more over in Japan than in the States – defeated Lex Luger and The Giant after interference from Hiro Saito and Hiroyoshi Tenzan. The main story was The Outsiders and Masahiro Chono defeating The Steiner Brothers and Keiji Muto in another match laden with interference. After the bout, Scott Norton – who is the nWo’s most popular American member with Japanese fans – announced Tenzan and Saito as the newest members of the group. That’s nWo Japan up to four members now. Chono, as we already knew, and Masa Saito, who quietly joined at some point a few weeks ago, are the other members.
- Apparently Madusa is the new WCW Women’s Champion after defeating Akira Hokuto in Japan. This is what was announced on both WCW Pro and Main Event recently, but there is no record of any such match ever occurring and Madusa herself was none the wiser backstage at Nitro.
For those interested in the history of the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels rivalry then this week’s episode of Raw was a significant one. The show ending segment was the infamous angle where Shawn Michaels superkicked The Hitman out of his wheelchair, only this did not air due to Bret talking for too long and not giving Michaels’ his cue in time.
Raw 3.2 – 0 Nitro
It was the season finale for lots of shows this week. The likes of Friends, Seinfeld, The X Files and 3rd Rock From The Sun scored some monster ratings in comparison to Raw’s 3.2. For the record, Nitro scored a 2.8 in it’s 7pm timeslot.
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here