Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 26

Jamie Lithgow

This weekend back in 1997 played host to one of the most bizarre incidents in boxing, and sporting, history. During their rematch for the WBA Heavyweight Championship, challenger Mike Tyson bit off part of champion Evander Holyfield’s ear. Tyson was disqualified, obviously. Anyway, let’s see if Eric Bischoff was still telling fans to “bite me” in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…

wcw-saturday-night-logo-shadow

  • Jeff Jarrett took the opportunity to toot his own horn. He took credit for reuniting The Horsemen – despite them not being disbanded – and tried to convince us that he has been in WCW over a year. One can only assume Jeff thought this would air sometime in October.
  • On the subject of old Double J; he is still member of The Horsemen, albeit one on probation following his recent actions.
  • Despite being heavily promoted for the big house show at The Great Western Forum in Los Angeles that night, Konnan was apparently able to defy physics and wrestle in Atlanta at the exact same time.
  • Mortis and Wrath tried to assault The Armstrongs after their match but Ernest Miller and Glacier made the save before anything happened.
  • Joey Maggs has been promoted from jobber to whatever the level just above jobber is. He was shown looking disappointed that Bobby Eaton lost to Steve Regal. Are Eaton and Maggs supposed to be friends? Did Maggs put a bet on Eaton to win? Does anyone care?
  • On the WCW Hotline this week was news of “a secret weapon” capable of making another promotion “crumble”, and news of someone retiring. This was likely news on Curt Hennig’s forthcoming WCW debut and odds are the retiring wrestler was Terry Funk, because he always retires.
  • A few matches were made official for Bash at The Beach: Ric Flair vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Mortis & Wrath vs. Glacier & Ernest Miller and Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan in a career match were all announced.

Full Results

  • Steven Regal (c) defeated Bobby Eaton to retain the WCW Television Championship
  • Konnan defeated Tim Cheeks
  • Mortis & Wrath defeated Scott Armstrong & Steve Armstrong
  • Jeff Jarrett (c) defeated Scotty Riggs to retain the WCW United States Championship

nitro-logo-shadow

Curt Hennig makes an impact in the most 90s suit ever

So, who was the “impact player”, the big debut hyped for the last few weeks? Having watched the show, I still don’t know. Or, rather, there were two big debuts but we’re not sure which one fits the rumours created by the announce team regarding joining Diamond Dallas Page or the nWo. Former ECW Champion, Raven, was seated at ringside for much of the show and jumped the guard rail right at the end of proceedings, just as Curt ‘Mr Perfect’ Hennig made his first appearance in WCW.

The context for all this was as you may expect, some babyfaces (DDP, The Giant and Lex Luger) were getting battered by the New World Order before Sting dropped from the ceiling to make the save. It was at this point when Hennig walked out, appearing to side with babyface squad. Raven did something similar by jumping the guard rail to stare down Scott Hall. This whole segment was very anti-climatic, borderline confusing and most certainly did not get either man over on their debuts.


In Other News From Nitro –

This was as bad as it looks

  • The other big angle from this show was one I’d rather forget. Long – and I do mean long – story short, Ric Flair explained why he turned on Roddy Piper by saying that Hot Rod had crossed a line when he told him how to wrestle a match. Flair made this point by medium of his usual long-winded promo, a couple of random girls from Las Vegas and half a mannequin dressed in a kilt, which fell off as soon as it was brought into the ring by the girls. The young ladies did their best but Mene Gene and Flair’s insistence on putting them on the spot when they were clearly just there to look good by The Nature Boy’s side made for some truly cringeworthy moments.
  • We have a new Cruiserweight Champion. Chris Jericho answered an open challenge at the big house show in LA and defeated Syxx for the belt over the weekend. Jericho successfully defended his title against Juventud on Nitro. Afterwards, Syxx came out still claiming to be the champion before cheap-shotting Jericho as the pair brawled throughout a commercial break.
  • When we returned, Alex Wright was at ringside as Jericho and Syxx were still being separated to be interviewed by Mean Gene. Wright claimed that he has been held back in WCW due to his nationality (German). Babyface announcer Larry Zbyszko then quipped that Wright “can’t talk anyway”. Tony Schiavone quite rightly jumped on this rather controversial comment to make sure Zbyszko didn’t make any other stupid comments. If babyface announcers freely make fun of his accent then maybe there’s some truth to what Wright was saying?
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. called out Kevin Nash. You read that correctly. Rey is sick of being victimised and said that he has a bigger heart than Nash. Big Sexy accepted and, save for an opening flurry, destroyed Rey. Nash also flattened the referee after the bout had finished in order to deliver more powerbombs to Rey. It appeared as if Konnan – who has a vague association with Rey – was coming out to make the save. However, after exchanging glances with Nash, K-Dogg slapped Rey in what looked like an ankle lock. Afterwards, as Rey was stretchered out, announcers theorised that his leg may be broken and that Konnan may have potentially joined the nWo. As mentioned in last weeks ‘Dirty Sheets’, Rey needs time off to heal his bum knee and this was likely a way of writing him off TV for a while.
  • During the clusterfuck that was the show-ending angle, a fake Sting appeared in the crowd before the real Sting descended from the ceiling. This was not nWo Sting, this fake Sting was even less convincing than that. Poor Tony Schiavone had to pretend that this guy in a cheap Sting mask and ill-fitting wig was the real deal, at least momentarily.
  • The announcers made a point of stating that Raven has not signed a contract with WCW, as far as they know. Mike Tenay tried to interview Raven himself about it, but he said nothing. Thus, one has to assume the ‘impact player’ is Curt Hennig, because presumably they know that he has signed, even though his appearance was a surprise?
  • Good news; Jeff Jarrett was officially booted out of The Horsemen, after Ric Flair had helped him defeat Konnan. Sadly Benoit and Mongo were not permitted to beat the crap out of Jarrett, rather Flair just told Jeff to beat it after Double J had kissed The Nature Boy’s ass in a post-match promo. On exiting the ring, Jarrett claimed that he will be the one to send Flair out to pasture.
  • Hollywood Hogan was present on this show, but his mid-show promo and contribution to the show-closing brawl were fairly unmemorable.
  • La Parka continued his campaign of violence against poor Super Calo by breaking another chair over his head. Juvi made the save.
  • Eddie Guerrero is now fully up to speed as a dastardly heel. Firstly, he jumped Dean Malenko during The Iceman’s entrance for their match. He then used Chavo – who was trying to distract Dean on the apron – by shoving Malenko into him to enable the roll up pin. Super heel Eddie managed to win the match while pissing off both his opponent and nephew.
  • Bear this in mind for a second, the root of The Steiner Brothers’ gimmick is that they attended university. So, why are they – Rick in particular – presented as the stupidest guys in WCW? The pair came out to remind The Outsiders that they were due a Tag Title shot. Surprisingly The Outsiders – and several other nWo members – came out and granted them said title shot pending the signing of a contract, which Scott Hall just so happened to have with him. Without so much as glancing at the paper work, Rick and Scott signed on the dotted the line. The announcers questioned it, Mean Gene questioned it, I questioned it and right enough there was a clause in the contract. Before getting a shot at Nash and Hall, The Steiners will first have to defeat Masahiro Chono and The Great Muto. No dates were given for either of these matches.
  • Masa Chono carried a samurai sword to the ring this week. There’s a foreign object I hope never gets used.
  • High Voltage defeated Mortis and Wrath, which was supposed to be an upset but in reality Rage and Chaos probably have a better win/loss record than Mortis, if not Wrath too. Of course, Glacier and Ernest Miller got involved to facilitate such an ‘upset’ when Glacier distracted Wrath as Miller kicked Mortis in the head.

Full Results

  • WCW Cruiserweight Title Match: Chris Jericho (c) defeated Juventud Guerrera
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated Dean Malenko
  • WCW Television Title Match: Steven Regal (c) defeated Hector Garza
  • Psychosis defeated Super Calo
  • Chris Benoit, Ric Flair & Steve McMichael defeated Buff Bagwell, Masahiro Chono & Scott Norton by disqualification
  • High Voltage defeated Mortis & Wrath
  • WCW United States Title Match: Jeff Jarrett (c) defeated Konnan
  • Kevin Nash defeated Rey Mysterio Jr.
  • Diamond Dallas Page, Lex Luger & The Giant vs. Kevin Nash, Randy Savage & Scott Hall (w / Elizabeth) – No Contest

quote-of-the-week

Mean Gene: “Is it true that he (Ric Flair) is the 60 minute man?”

Girl One: “What?”

Girl Two: “More like 30 seconds”

Mean Gene with two young ladies who were supposed to put Flair over as a party animal


  • Here are results from the big house show at The Great Western Forum in Los Angeles dubbed ‘Saturday Nitro’; Juventud Guerrera, Súper Caló and Damien defeated Konnan, La Parka and Villano IV. Último Dragón defeated Psychosis. Eddie Guerrero defeated Dean Malenko. The Steiner Brothers defeated Buff Bagwell and Masa Chono. WCW Cruiserweight Title Match; Syxx (c) defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. WCW Cruiserweight Title Match; Chris Jericho defeated Syxx (c). Roddy Piper defeated Ric Flair. Diamond Dallas Page defeated Randy Savage. WCW World Tag Team Titles Match; Lex Luger and The Giant defeated The Outsiders (c) by disqualification.
  • The fake, nWo Sting has provided inspiration for another, similar angle. Rumour has it that Nature Boy Buddy Landel will be brought in as the nWo’s very own Nature Boy. Seriously, this is a real rumour doing the rounds.
  • Apparently WCW were in talks to have Mike Tyson appear at the Vegas Nitro this week. Of course, this did not happen. Imagine if it did though, with the weekend that he had!
  • Granted he destroyed him, but it was Kevin Nash’s idea to work with Rey Mysterio Jr. before the luchador takes time off to rehab his knee. Hopefully Nash has also thought of a payoff once Rey returns too.
  • With Arn Anderson’s future in doubt following his neck surgery and Jeff Jarrett booted out of the group, rumour has it Dean Malenko and Madusa (as a manager/valet) will be added to the group.

This was a brilliant show to watch in hindsight. It was the go-home Raw before In Your House; Canadian Stampede and Paul Bearer finally spilled the beans on The Undertaker’s big secret.


ratings

Raw 2.5 – 3.3 Nitro


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

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5 thoughts on “Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 26

  1. Man imagine if Raven and his Flock were allowed to go at it with Hogan and NWO? Always thought they should’ve been the the third faction.

    Like

  2. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2017 week 27 | Ring the Damn Bell

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