It’s Monday, which means it’s time to feel old as we head back to 1997 and see just how much we remember. The top films this week are ‘Jurassic Park II; The Lost World’ and ‘Con Air’ starring Nicholas Cage. In the pop charts, Hanson’s ‘MMMBop’ tops the UK charts while Puff Daddy and Faith Evans are number one in the states with their tribute to Notorious BIG; ‘I’ll Be Missing You’. Feel old yet? Well let’s see what else we can remember in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- Sonny Onoo accompanied Psychosis for his match against Jim Powers. Afterwards Onoo said that he has aligned himself with the luchador to teach his former client, Ultimo Dragon, a lesson. Yeah, that’ll show him!
- Meng, who is still being booked as a killer, refused to release Joe Gomez from the Tongan Death Grip after their match had ended. The Renegade then ran in to attack Gomez, thanking Meng along the way. The Tongan hard man then applied the hold to The Renegade too.
- Oh, apparently The Renegade and Joe Gomez are no longer tag team partners. Not that anyone cares.
- We got to see some first run material from a main eventer, which is unheard of on WCW Saturday Night in 1997. Macho Man’s pre-taped promo on Diamond Dallas Page was law themed. Savage said he would be judge, jury and executioner in their match at The Great American Bash.
- On the hotline this week; a contracted WCW performer has been made a lucrative offer by a rival promotion and a “major player” is on their way to WCW.
- In a likely related note, there is a question mark over whether the superstar debuting at the Nitro from Las Vegas on June 30th will do so as part of WCW or the nWo.
- Mortis and Wrath beat the crap out of poor Joey Maggs after Wrath had already beat him senseless.
- Jeff Jarrett seems to think he has another US Title match on the horizon. He asked Debra where she stands and she said not to worry.
- Meng defeated Joe Gomez
- Hugh Morrus defeated Johnny Swinger
- Psychosis defeated Jim Powers
- The Steiner Brothers defeated Ciclope & La Parka
- Wrath defeated Joey Maggs
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Alex Wright
Macho Man was a naughty boy on Nitro this week. In the show-closing segment, Savage dragged Mean Gene to the ring, presumably to conduct an impromptu interview. Macho Man threatened and intimidated Gene the entire time, with Okerlund sticking to his journalistic guns. After paraphrasing Bret Hart’s ‘best there is, best there was, best there ever will be’ catchphrase, Savage challenged Gene to a fight. This prompted JJ Dillon to intervene, allowing Mean Gene to escape. JJ then essentially gave Macho Man a telling off akin to a teacher and student. JJ said that Savage owed Gene, and everybody else, an apology and that he expected better from the Macho Man. The head of WCW’s Executive Committee then said that he misses the old Macho Man. Savage reacted with plenty of sarcasm, again, not unlike a stroppy school pupil. JJ finally struck a nerve when he suggested that Savage hides behind Liz. At this point Macho Man went ape shit and attacked Dillon. Realising the severity of the situation, Eric Bischoff bolted to the ring to drag Savage away as security did comparatively little to restrain the manic Macho Man. Unsurprisingly, Savage got free and got a few more shots at JJ. In a bid to cover Macho Man’s back, Bischoff then took the microphone and accused the injured Dillon of provoking Savage. Although technically true, I don’t think JJ deserved quite such a severe beating for his provocations. There were chants of “DDP” throughout this segment.
In Other News From Nitro –
- The main attraction in terms of a match was Ric Flair vs. Scott Hall, which was set up in a very roundabout way. Hall and Syxx kicked Nitro off by calling out Flair only to be interrupted by JJ Dillon, who granted them their wish. This did not sit well because Dillon booked Hall against Flair when apparently Syxx wanted the match – the Wolfpac members did not make this particularly clear during their promo. When Hall refused to accept Dillon’s decision, JJ threated to strip him and Kevin Nash of the Tag Titles. Hall then accepted the match, and seemed quite optimistic about his chances. The match itself was long and unsatisfying because Syxx interfered to cause the disqualification finish and beat Flair down in a two on one attack. Conspicuous by their absence were Flair’s Horseman team mates. Jeff Jarrett and Mongo did eventually show up, but by that point the damage had been done.
- Gangster wannabe Konnan attacked Hugh Morrus with, of all things, a broom as The Laughing Man made his entrance. Prince Iaukea then picked up the easier than expected victory over the dazed and confused Morrus.
- JJ Dillon announced The Steiner Brothers as number one contenders to the Tag Titles, and that a victory against The Great Muta and Masahiro Chono would cement their spot. Harlem Heat voiced their anger at this decision before attacking Rick Steiner with a chair during this match. The interference occurred behind the referee’s back and thus enabled Muta and Chono to pick up the win. Harlem Heat were then given the opportunity to stake their claim, but fell short against Ciclope and Damien after The Steiners got their revenge by attacking Booker T with a chair behind the ref’s back. Back to square one then.
- After their latest attack on him, Glacier managed to fight off Mortis and Wrath, who were aided by Alex Wright. Granted, Mortis accidentally nailed Wright with a kick to hand Glacier the advantage, this did not look good for James Vandenberg’s men.
- Scott Norton and Buff Bagwell appear to be a tag team now. The nWo tandem cut an inset promo together before Norton helped Bagwell defeat Joe Gomez. Did he really need the help?
- Former nWo referee Nick Patrick continues to not take any shit from former nWo member Michael Wallstreet, or does he just have it in for him? Jeff Jarrett appeared at ringside and tripped Dean Malenko allowing Wallstreet to cover the US Champion. Patrick only counted two, when it really did look like a three. There was also debate over whether Patrick blocked Wallstreet’s access to the ropes after Malenko had applied the Texas Cloverleaf. Replays show that yes he had, but did move out of the way once Wallstreet motioned towards the ropes. Malenko won the match, of course.
- Further to his claims on Saturday Night, Jeff Jarrett is due a rematch for the US Title. I’m not sure why because he was the challenger and champion Malenko beat him fair and square at Slamboree. Fighting champion Malenko has granted Double J another shot next week.
- Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael appeared during this promo and was hot at Jarrett. The pair argued over Debra with Mongo playing his ‘husband card’ again. Mongo went on to cut a promo on Kevin Greene.
- Chris Benoit defeated The Barbarian and as per his agreement with Jimmy Hart should get his hands on Kevin Sullivan next week. Well, not quite. According to Hart, this was merely step one, with step two being a rematch with Meng at The Great American Bash. Hart will reveal what step three will entail next week, if he doesn’t change his mind again that is.
- Glacier defeated Alex Wright
- Buff Bagwell defeated Joe Gomez
- Prince Iaukea defeated Hugh Morrus
- Masahiro Chono & The Great Muta defeated The Steiner Brothers
- WCW United States Title Match: Dean Malenko (C) defeated Michael Wallstreet
- Ciclope & Damien defeated Harlem Heat
- Chris Benoit defeated The Barbarian
- Ric Flair defeated Scott Hall via disqualification
“I’m going to stomp a pot hole in your toothpick chewing, white, honky ass! Tonight! Tonight! Tonight! Woooooo!””
Ric Flair to Scott Hall
- Last week’s fake Sting, not the real Fake Sting, but the one who appeared from under ring was nonother than Buff Bagwell in a wig and a Sting mask.
- WCW have begun the traditional WWF practice of confiscating certain signs at TV tapings. Nothing like that good old freedom of expression.
- Word is, like Spring Stampede, Slamboree’s buyrate is down. The common factor, like it or not, is the lack of Hollywood Hogan. For reference, Spring Stampede did a 0.58 buyrate while Slamboree did a 0.6 which, is similar to the WWF’s recent In Your House events. The last PPV Hogan appeared on was Uncensored, which drew a 0.89. Before that Superbrawl did a 0.75.
- The rumours of Raw moving to 9pm from August persist to the point of almost being accepted fact. Will this force WCW to take action? Time will tell, but as we live in the future we don’t have to wait. Nitro moved to three hours in 1998 to combat this switch from the WWF.
This week’s Raw was the go-home episode before King of The Ring on Sunday. There was also a surprise return from someone last seen at Wrestlemania.
Raw 2.5 – 3.3 Nitro
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here