Back to 1997 we go and the Monday Night Wars have reignited as Nitro moves back to its regular 8pm timeslot. Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund won the UEFA Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Juventus and Snoop Dogg has been announced as a headliner for this year’s Lollapalooza music festival. Very good, but let’s see who headlined this week’s wrestling in ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- It was announced that Diamond Dallas Page will face Macho Man Randy Savage for the second time at this year’s Great American Bash. DDP revealed in a promo that there will be no disqualifications and no time limit for their bout. DDP also tried, and failed, to get the term “hot spots” over when mentioning the real-life aspects of their feud. For example, Page being married to Kimberly is a “hot spot” as is Savage kissing Hollywood Hogan’s ass… according to DDP that is. He closed by reminding us that he has beaten Macho Man before and that he can do it again.
- Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael vs. Kevin Greene was also announced for The Great American Bash. Mongo called Greene a coward for hitting him a briefcase last week, and ignored Lee Marshal pointing out that Mongo does exactly that in almost every match.
- Steve Regal – or Steven, I don’t think they’ve decided which way to go with that yet – explained why he has ditched the ‘Lord’ from his name. Apparently he no longer wishes to be associated with the British aristocracy as he feels they are an embarrassment. He specifically mentioned Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson. He also went on to put his newly won TV Title over by stating that politics prevents him from challenging for the World Title – which Lee Marshall appeared to agree with – while he has no interest in being champion of the United States. A fair point, he is British after all.
- A big superstar will debut at the Nitro in Las Vegas on June 30th…
- Alex Wright is now a heel
- Dean Malenko said that Jeff Jarrett had earned his respect following Slamboree, although did state that the difference between the two is focus. Malenko made reference to Debra’s presence at ringside to clarify his point. He then stated that he will defend his US Title against anybody and everybody.
- Alex Wright defeated Julio Sanchez
- Dean Malenko (c) defeated Yuji Nagata to retain the WCW United States Championship
- Buff Bagwell defeated Lenny Lane
- Steven Regal (c) defeated Sgt. Craig Pittman to retain the WCW Television Championship
- Chris Jericho defeated Pat Tanaka
- Scotty Riggs defeated Dave Taylor
- Meng defeated T. Rantula
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Rick Fuller
- The Steiner Brothers defeated The Amazing French Canadians
A moustacheless Hollywood Hogan returned to Nitro and called out Sting after Eric Bischoff felt the Scorpion Death Drop last week. Not learning a thing from last week, Bischoff gloated that Sting wasn’t present because he was scared while Hogan said he would slap anyone wearing Sting makeup. The duo returned to the ring at the end of the show to call out Sting again, Hogan even said he’d put the World Title – which he hasn’t defended since Superbrawl in February – on the line. This time they did get a response as we saw the canvas rip as an arm wielding a baseball bat emerged from under the ring to a huge pop. The crowd soon settled down because as soon as the man’s head emerged they realised it was not Sting, or even the bogus Sting, just a guy in a Sting mask. Annoyingly, it took Tony Schiavone an age to point this out while everybody else had clocked it long before. Hogan and Bischoff made the masked man worship the ground Hogan spat on before the real Sting descended from the ceiling. Bischoff tasted the Scorpion Death Drop again as Hogan escaped, leaving the poor imposter to take the bump. This prompted the rest of the nWo to come out to provide Hogan with back-up. As they surrounded the ring, Nitro went off the air at the exact moment they started to enter and Sting was hoisted, at great speed, back up to the rafters. This was one of the coolest endings to a wrestling show I’ve seen. Granted it took him a little too long to sort his harness out, the fact that Sting had a baseball bat somewhat excused the hesitance from the nWo’s eight members around the ring.
In Other News From Nitro –
- The Wolfpac (Syxx, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) came out to cut their now customary promo. Syxx made a valid point regarding their defeat to Ric Flair, Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene at Slamboree. Nick Patrick jumped in and counted the three after the original ref took a bump, but he wasn’t reinstated as a WCW referee by JJ Dillon until the following evening. The result of this match really should be null and void. Kevin Nash then offered to put his and Hall’s Tag Titles on the line in order to face Piper and Flair again. Nash also reminded us of the plot hole from a few months ago when Piper told his son that he would retire and spend more time at home, only to change his mind moments later. Thus, as Piper is not a man of his word Nash said he would retire him instead.
- The nWo has a new member; The Great Muta. Last week Sonny Onoo promised that Masahiro Chono would face his worst nightmare which turned out to be Muta, who elected a good pop from the crowd, but his green mist got an even bigger reaction. After lots of stalling Onoo enquired as to what the problem was. Muta then sprayed red mist into his face and joined Chono as a member of nWo Japan. The surprise of this was ruined almost entirely when the commentary team mentioned that Chono has been trying to recruit Muta for weeks, with Muta appearing to be more open to the idea than the likes of Sting and DDP.
- Some unintentional trolling from Mike Tenay on this show. Firstly, he put over Hector Garza as having the most spectacular finisher (corkscrew moonsault) in wrestling, only for Garza to go over in the six-man tag, but using a relatively low-key standing moonsault instead. Tenay then alluded to Wrath’s Death Penalty finisher having roots in Siberian Judo and if that could provide a clue to his background. It does not.
- Madusa, who is the number one contender for the WCW Women’s Title, let slip that she’d do anything to get a shot at Akira Hokuto’s title. Sonny Onoo seized this opportunity and granted her a match with the champ at The Great American Bash, so long as she puts her career on the line. Many a plot hole here due to the fiasco surrounding just who is the champion, but my main issue is with the fact that Madusa is the number one contender, which was mentioned in this segment. She is guaranteed a title match, why does she need to ask for one and then put her career on the line? Mean Gene’s choice of words after Madusa accepted Onoo’s challenge left a little to be desired too; “She may be walking the streets looking for a job”.
- Onoo mentioned some sort of deal to Psychosis to kick this segment off, which the luchador appeared to be interested in before walking away…
- We saw footage of Ernest Miller doing karate stuff. Apparently him and Glacier go way back to when Diet Sub-Zero was just an ice cube. Word on the street is that Miller was Glacier’s guest at Slamboree.
- La Parka wore his skeleton gear this week. Clearly the bosses at WCW have lost enough interest in The Mortis character to allow two unrelated skeletons to appear on the show.
- Alex Wright furthered his heel turn by complaining to the referee after he was defeated fair and square.
- Super Calo wiped out a young fan in the front row when he over-shot a plancha to the outside and landed in the crowd
- Kevin Greene joined the commentary desk during Mongo’s match. It took old Steve ages to realise his nemesis was in the arena but when he did he ran over for a fight, leaving Jeff Jarrett to get double teamed by Harlem Heat.
- Mean Gene confirmed Kevin Sullivan’s leave of absence, prompting Konnan to say that The Taskmaster has no leadership skills and that he has no respect for him stemming from the Benoit feud, he even called Sullivan his “biatch”. Of Hugh Morrus, K-Dogg suggested a match between the two would result in a “187”, which is a police call sign for a homicide. There was also plenty of casual racism from Konnan most notably when he called Mean Gene “white boy”. On commentary Tony Schiavone alluded to K-Dogg leaving the Dungeon of Doom because he wanted to be the leader, and Sullivan would not step aside.
- Later, Chris Benoit confronted Jimmy Hart demanding that Sullivan return. Hart said that to get to The Taskmaster he must first go through The Barbarian in a match next week. The never-ending feud continues…
- Apparently Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman have signed an open contract for a match at Bash at The Beach in July. Lex Luger and The Giant want to be the men to face them.
- Hector Guerrero, Juventud Guerrera & Super Calo defeated Ciclope, Damien & La Parka
- Psychosis defeated Alex Wright
- Wrath defeated Mark Starr
- Konnan defeated Villano IV
- Masahiro Chono vs. The Great Muta – No Contest
- The Barbarian defeated Jim Powers
- The Giant defeated Jerry Flynn, Johnny Swinger & Rick Fuller
- Harlem Heat defeated Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael
“These three wrestlers jumped The Giant. They figured that’s the best way to do it; hit him with nine arms as many times as you can.”
Bobby Heenan; maths genius
- With head booker Kevin Sullivan taking time off, Terry Taylor and JJ Dillon have stepped into the breach. There is also a rumour that Kevin Nash, who is one of Sullivan’s biggest critics, is having more of an input into creative matters. Despite this, word is that Sullivan fully expects to retake the reigns as head booker when he returns.
- Eric Bischoff may have played a trump card in the Thursday Night TBS show saga. To catch you up, TBS would like to capitalise on the success of Nitro on it’s sister station TNT by having a second prime time show on Thursday nights, but on TBS itself. Eric Bischoff, along with everyone else in WCW, is against the idea due to the added demands on a crew and roster that is already stretched. Cleverly, Bischoff has told his bosses at TBS that he’d be open to the idea if they could guarantee that the show would never be pre-empted for any other sporting event, like what happened to Nitro over the last month due to the NBA playoffs. Why is that a good idea? Because TBS show baseball games during the summer, so they can’t make the guarantee Bischoff wants.
- The big debut hyped for the Nitro in Las Vegas at the end of June will likely be ‘Mr Perfect’ Curt Hennig.
Over on Raw the WWF crowned new Tag Team Champions, and it’s quite an unlikely tandem that is often forgotten given how busy each man was in 1997…
Raw 2.7 – 3.2 Nitro
Nitro’s back and it’s business as usual.
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here