20 years ago this week, Will Smith was recruited by Tommy Lee Jones to a top secret Government agency to defend the galaxy from the worst scum of the universe. That’s right, to make us all feel old, Men In Black is 20 years old. Also 20 years old is a memorable angle from Monday Nitro. Let’s find out more in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- Ric Flair was on hand to cut a promo on Rowdy Roddy Piper. The Nature Boy called Hot Rod a “transition player”, as opposed to an impact player. Flair then said that Piper’s run in WCW has been based on past glories and entirely with Flair’s blessing. Flair went on to say that Piper is not qualified to handle the judgement or wrestling skill of The Nature Boy. Flair didn’t pull any punches here and even dared Piper to show up on Nitro.
- Diamond Dallas Page also had some promo time with Lee Marshal. DDP provided no clues as to who his mystery partner next Sunday will be. Apparently it could be Sting, Curt Hennig, Raven or anyone else. He finished by stating that nobody knows Scott Hall like he knows Scott Hall. This was a reference to DDP’s past as Scott Hall’s manager back when Hall was The Diamond Studd in WCW circa 1991.
- Jerry Lynn made what appeared to be his debut by defeating Johnny Swinger. Well yes and no. Until this point Lynn has been wrestling under a mask as Mr JL. No reference was made to this gimmick, so he’s starting his unmasked existence with a clean slate.
- It was the 4th of July weekend, thus a flag waving Hacksaw Jim Duggan made an appearance and picked up his customary victory, because he never jobs. In a turn up for the books, Duggan didn’t cheat by taping his fist on this occasion. He defeated Mike Enos clean with a simple clothesline.
- Vincent pushed Booker T off the top rope to cause a disqualification in the main event. He was subsequently battered, again, by both Booker and Stevie Ray for his troubles.
- Sonny Onoo attempted to bribe the referee during Psychosis’ match with Steven Regal. The ref was having none of it.
- There was an entertaining finish to The Steiner Brothers vs Damien, Villano IV and La Parka handicap match. Fearing a beating from the Steiners, La Parka hid under the ring and let his partners get on with it. For the finish, Scott Steiner then hit Villano IV with a terrifying DDT from Rick’s shoulders – the reverse of their top rope bulldog spot – for the win. Hearing the three count, La Parka reappeared to celebrate what he thought was victory for his team. Surprisingly, the skeleton man escaped a beating from Rick and Scott.
- Ernest Miller & Glacier defeated Jerry Flynn & Mark Starr
- Jim Duggan defeated Mike Enos
- Jerry Lynn defeated Johnny Swinger
- Chris Benoit defeated Rick Fuller
- The Steiner Brothers defeated Damien, Villano IV & La Parka
- Steven Regal (c) defeated Psychosis to retain the WCW World Television Championship
- Ultimate Dragon defeated Lenny Lane
- Harlem Heat defeated Public Enemy
This week’s Nitro played host to one of the best and most memorable angles in WCW history. Earlier in the show, Macho Man, Scott Hall and Miss Elizabeth took over the announce desk in classic nWo fashion, only Larry Zbyszko refused to move – more on that later. Hall called Diamond Dallas Page a “mid-card jobroni” and guaranteed that he’s going down at Bash at The Beach on Sunday. Savage then openly confessed that he and Hall are taking the match very lightly before stating that he was going to give someone a wrestling lesson later in the show. Skipping forward to said lesson, and it was with WCW’s most charismatic luchador; La Parka. All was going well for Macho Man, who was accompanied by Hall and Liz, until he went for his trademark elbow drop. La Parka managed to get his feet up to block, he then got to his feet and nailed Savage from out of nowhere with a Diamond Cutter. Our suspicions were confirmed as the man in the mask revealed himself to be DDP before pinning Savage 1,2,3. The big reveal elected a massive pop, with DDP escaping Hall’s advances through the crowd.
In Other News From Nitro –
- So why did Scott Hall not get involved in this match sooner? Firstly, it happened fast! Secondly, Hall was arguing with Larry Zbyszko, who had hung around to see the match, despite it occurring in the second hour when Bobby Heenan usually takes over colour commentary. After refusing to move from the announce desk earlier in the show, Zbyszko and Hall had a heated exchange at the end of that segment to cause all the fuss.
- The DDP/Savage segment was clearly the big angle, but quite rightly did not close the show. That honour befell Hollywood Hogan, of course. He cut his same old promo on Lex Luger and The Giant – complete with garbage raining from the stands into the ring – before the babyfaces showed up to get in his face. On this occasion the good guys claimed the high ground as Luger put Eric Bischoff in the Torture Rack as The Giant fended off Vincent and Buff Bagwell with chokeslams. The cowardly Hogan was able to escape as a result of these distractions though.
- Harlem Heat fired Sister Sherri, who also quit, so we’ll call it a parting of ways by mutual consent. Sherri instructed Booker to chase Vincent away from ringside after the nWo member’s latest attempt to interfere, which left Stevie Ray alone in the ring with the Public Enemy. Sherri was then accused of causing Stevie’s defeat in a finish that was botched so badly it was hard to place the blame on any one person. The two sides had a falling out as Mean Gene tried to interview them with Sherri storming off.
- Ric Flair, more or less, repeated his horrible segment from last week, only with a full mannequin and a young lady who at east knew what was going on. Repeating his sentiments from his Saturday Night promo, Flair called Piper a punk, a second-rate movie maker, a stiff and accused him of not having any guts. Mid-way through this tirade, Piper answered Flair’s challenge from Saturday Night and showed up, only The Nature Boy was unaware of his presence and kept cutting his promo. Once Flair realised Hot Rod was standing over him, a brawl between the pair ensued with both men shedding items of clothing. For some reason Piper made a point of ripping off Flair’s trousers. Ultimately, Chris Benoit and Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael made the save for Flair, and the viewing public.
- We saw Raven at ringside again, with Mike Tenay again having no success trying to interview him regarding his status with WCW. Stevie Richards – also of ECW fame – then appeared, claiming to be Raven’s best friend and that he would conduct the interview. Stevie – who was Raven’s lackey in ECW – copped a slap from his ‘best friend’ for his troubles. As you may have guessed, Raven remained tight lipped throughout.
- Following his defeat to La Parka/DDP, Randy Savage was shown in a rage in the backstage area. It looked like he had just attacked Nick Patrick, who over-sold to the point of making me think Savage had cut one of his fingers off or something equally as barbaric.
- The Steiner Brothers vs. Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael ended in a traditional WCW clusterfuck. Jeff Jarrett ran in to attack Mongo before Jimmy Hart appeared and just sort of hung around until Kevin Sullivan ran in to break a wooden chair over Benoit’s head. In amongst the melee, Jaqueline performed a spectacular faceplant when, for some reason, she tried to stop Sullivan using the chair on Benoit.
- Is Konnan a member of the New World Order? That’s the rumour fabricated by the announce the team.
- Eddie Guerrero – who has greased-up his mullet to look like a proper heel – left his nephew, Chavo, high and dry during the pair’s tag match against Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton. Eddie watched from the ramp as the nWo duo took their time to dismantle Chavo. Eddie was heard saying “time to be a man”. Later in the show we saw the Guerreros brawling with each other in the back.
- We saw some really dull sit-down interviews with Lex Luger and The Giant discussing their feud with Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman.
- We saw that same angle with Mortis, Wrath, Glacier and Ernest Miller again. The difference this time was the addition of Psychosis and Silver King, who refused to take the sabotage of their match lying down. Quite right lads!
- Curt Hennig broke his silence stating that he has his reasons for being in WCW, but would not reveal what they are just yet. He then immediately contradicted himself by saying he is a “free agent”, thus remembering to keep his ‘is he/isn’t he’ angle with the nWo alive. Ric Flair then came out to metaphorically suck Hennig’s dick and offered him a spot in the Horsemen there and then. Hennig said we’d have to wait until Sunday to find out his answer because he intends to be an active participant and not just a spectator at Bash at The Beach…
- Public Enemy defeated Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri)
- Konnan defeated Joe Gomez via submission
- Juventud Guerrera & Hector Garza defeated Los Villanos
- Vicious & Delicious defeated Eddie & Chavo Guerrero Jr.
- Diamond Dallas Page as La Parka defeated Randy Savage
- Psychosis & Silver King fought Glacier & Ernest Miller to a no contest
- The Steiner Brothers defeated Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael
“Did you send Booker T to go after Virgil?”
Like most fans, as far as Mean Gene is concerned Vincent is still Virgil
- I’m sure this will please Bruce Prichard, but Dave Meltzer has been making some mistakes. A few weeks ago I mentioned that a wrestler called Horseshoe Head recently received a try-out and that his real name is Bill Goldberg. Turns out that is not the case, they are apparently two separate people.
- Moreover, the Wrestling Observer from this week in 1997 made mention of Nancy Sullivan leaving WCW and that she and Kevin Sullivan are splitting up. Okay, that much is accurate. However, according to the Wrestling Observer, this has nothing to do with the storyline they have been involved in with Chris Benoit. I think we all know this is a little wide of the mark…
- Now back to some verified facts from our trusty dirt sheet; as mentioned last week, Mike Tyson was supposed to appear on Nitro and was even present backstage in the afternoon. However, after his eventful weekend of ear biting, it was mutually decided that Tyson’s appearance be cancelled. Michael Moorer – another highly ranked heavyweight boxer – also attended the show as a fan but in order to avoid any and all boxing references was not shown on camera. Can you imagine Vince McMahon passing on having the most famous boxer in the world appear on his TV show just two days after he competed in one of the most infamous boxing matches of all time?! Only in WCW…
- As mentioned, Nancy Sullivan has either already left or will soon leave WCW. Rumoured to be joining her are Michael Wallstreet, Craig Pittman, The Nasty Boys, Jim Duggan, Joe Gomez and Ice Train. History has taught us that this list is not entirely accurate either.
- A rumour with some credence is that the original – and possibly still current – plan for Curt Hennig is for him to be DDP’s mystery partner at Bash at The Beach, but turn heel on him and join the nWo. This is not set in stone because fellow newcomer Raven has been mentioned as a potential new nWo member, as has Konnan. Some of this turned out to be true…
This week’s episode of Raw hailed from Canada and was broadcast the night after In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede. As such, it’s well worth a look purely for The Hart Foundation segments.
Raw 2.5 – 3.4 Nitro
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here