Back in 1997 there was only one story this week, especially here in the UK. Princess Diana was killed in a high speed car crash in Paris. There was also sad news, especially for Ric Flair, on Nitro as a Hall of Famer and legitimate wrestling legend announced his retirement. Let’s find out who gave up their ‘spot’ in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
- Eddie Guerrero says that he’s getting sick of people, particularly his family, pointing the finger at him and that he does what he does for their benefit. He then told Dean Malenko to be a man and “do something about it” in their match later in the show. The match in question was, as you’d expect, very good. Having said that, the pair barely went beyond third gear, which is the norm for everybody on Saturday Night. The finish, although clean, was somewhat inconclusive too. Guerrero, who dominated much of the match, grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory when Malenko rolled him up. Afterwards Jeff Jarrett ran in to aid Eddie in battering the Iceman. Poor Dean was subjected to a simultaneous Figure Four Leg Lock and Frog Splash.
- Brad Armstrong is getting a mini push. He turned heel during a promo with Mean Gene stating that he’s sick of doing all the babyface stuff for such little reward. I’ve often heard that super-worker Armstrong never really got over due to his lack ability on the microphone and inability to translate his backstage personality into more confidence on screen, but he was pretty good here. It’s just his luck that on Raw last week, Rocky Maivia shared these same sentiments during his first heel promo and we all know how that turned out for him. Anyway, back to WCW and back to Brad and he also picked up a win over Prince Iaukea to further the idea that the company may be about to do something with him.
- Harlem Heat claimed to be the number one team in WCW before defeating Konnan and Syxx after Vincent interfered. Booker and Stevie cleared the ring of the three baddies to end the show.
- Alex Wright was minus the TV Title he won at Clash of The Champions on Thursday, but did have it for his post-match interview with Mean Gene in the locker room. I love spotting the inconsistencies that come with pre-taped shows.
- On the WCW Hotline this week; What Sting really wants from JJ Dillon – erm, a match with Hogan?! – and there was something about Jacqueline’s past that I’m sure was completely unremarkable.
- The Faces of Fear vs. Wrath and Mortis and Public Enemy vs. High Voltage matches both continued after the bell with the teams brawling with each other.
- Alex Wright defeated Mark Starr
- Hugh Morris defeated Rick Fuller
- High Voltage defeated Public Enemy
- Brad Armstrong def. Prince Iaukea
- La Parka, Damien, and Psychosis defeated Super Calo, Ciclope, and Juventud Guerrera
- Dean Malenko defeated Eddie Guerrero
- Mortis and Wrath defeated Faces of Fear
- Chris Benoit defeated Hector Guerrero
- Renegade defeated Lenny Lane
- Harlem Heat defeated Syxx and Konnan by disqualification
There’s only one place to start as this week’s Nitro played host to one of the more memorable moments in the show’s history. Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina – i.e. deep in the heart of ‘Horseman Country’ – Ric Flair, Chris Benoit and Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael made their way to the ring. Flair demanded that Curt Hennig come out and finally give an answer, either way, about joining The Horsemen. Hennig came out and was – you guessed it – still not ready to make a decision. Predicting this response, Flair then introduced the missing member of The Horsemen; Arn Anderson, who has not been seen for months due to a serious neck injury. Rather than a massive pop, the crowd gave Double A a standing ovation. The Enforcer reflected on his career before recanting a story about being in the gym rehabbing from his surgery and realising that he would never be able to wrestle again. He then asked fans to remember him as he was, not as he is. Having relinquished his spot as a wrestler, Anderson then offered Hennig a spot within The Horsemen, but not just any spot, his spot. After weeks and weeks of indecisiveness, Hennig accepted within seconds saying it would be a privilege. This was a very classy segment and Double A’s promo was outstanding.
In Other News From Nitro –
- Eddie Guerrero was in the wrong place at the wrong time because he faced Mongo directly after this segment. McMichael won cleanly and convincingly to the delight of the Horsemen loving fans. It was absolutely the right decision to have a Horseman destroy someone here, but why did it have to be Eddie?!
- Thankfully Guerrero was allowed to redeem himself later when he and Jeff Jarrett repeated their spot from Saturday Night by attacking Dean Malenko. Alex Wright – Malenko’s opponent – also joined in.
- Eric Bischoff, who was stood in the ring, had a disagreement with JJ Dillon, who was on the phone. Bischoff was keen to point out that Sting missed his Thursday deadline for outlining his demands to Dillon. However, Dillon – and everyone with a brain – said that he now understands what Sting wants and that’s Hollywood Hogan in a match. JJ said that he will do all he can to make the match happen, while Bischoff said that it will absolutely not happen and that Hogan has title defences lined up all around the world as well as movies to make. As Bischoff protested, Sting made his way to the ring. Bischoff dropped to his knees to beg for mercy only for Sting to place a Hollywood Hogan t-shirt over his head and get pushed over. Sting then shoved the shirt into Bischoff’s mouth à la The Million Dollar man with a dollar bill. The Stinger almost cracked a smile at the end of this segment, almost.
- Bischoff also chucked Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan off the commentary desk during the second hour. Despite claiming the last 45 minutes of the show, Bischoff’s presence next to Tony Schiavone appeared to be to remind us that he still has a 50 foot restraining order on Larry Zbyszko and make innuendos about gay prison sex.
- Following Diamond Dallas Pages and Lex Luger’s mishap at Clash of The Champions when a blinded Page accidentally nailed Luger with a Diamond Cutter, Scott Hall sarcastically announced DDP as the newest member of the New World Order. Page, obviously, did not come out. Macho Man then called out Luger for a match.
- DDP did get some interview time with Mean Gene a little later and had to deny joining the nWo. Jeez Gene, it was a joke! Page also said that he has been trying to get hold of Luger to apologise with no success, but will do so as soon as The Total Package gets to the building. This did not happen, on camera at least, because the next time we saw DDP he was running in to neutralise Scott Hall’s interference in Luger’s match with Macho Man. However, a clash of heads led to Luger being temporarily blinded and racking DDP by accident.
- Harlem Heat showed up to reiterate their sentiments from Saturday Night about being WCW’s top team. The cheeky fuckers even tried to pull rank on The Steiner Brothers, who are the number one contenders. Seven time champs, Booker and Stevie, think two time champs, Scott and Rick, should step aside. The Steiners disagreed, before Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton came out to give the two WCW teams something to punch.
- The War Games match at Fall Brawl will be a WCW vs. nWo affair. No word on participants yet.
- Raven cut a pre-taped promo in his distinctive style. I, like Tony Schiavone, had no idea what he was on about.
- Ultimo Dragon showed up after La Parka and Psychosis’ victory over Ernest Miller and Glacier for no reason other than to get beaten up. Dragon split from his former manager, Sonny Onoo, months ago. Onoo now manages La Parka and Psychosis, and maybe some other heel luchadors but it’s hard to tell with all the 6 and 8 man tags they have. Thus, Dragon getting in the faces (or masks) of Psychosis and La Parka made sense a few months ago, but it’s just happening now for some reason. Anyway, a weakened Dragon managed to sneak a win over Silver King – who may or may not be managed by Onoo too – directly after his very unwise decision to pick a fight with two, larger men.
- Rey Mysterio Jr. announced that he’s taking his bum knee to see Dr James Andrews, the famous surgeon from Birmingham, Alabama who would go on to operate on the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H. Konnan decided this was hilarious, until The Giant showed up to scare the bully away. According to Rey, Giant is “’raza”.
- La Parka & Psychosis defeated Ernest Miller & Glacier
- Ultimo Dragon defeated Silver King
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Chris Benoit
- The Faces of Fear (Meng & Barbarian) defeated Mortis & Wrath
- WCW United States Title Match: Steve McMichael © vs. Eddie Guerrero
- WCW Cruiserweight Title Match: Chris Jericho © vs. Yuji Nagata
- WCW Television Title Match: Dean Malenko defeated Alex Wright © by DQ
- Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage – No Contest
“Were you blinded at all? Mistaken Identity? Did you grab the wrong man?”
Mean Gene to DDP, who accidentally hit his own partner with a Diamond Cutter last week
DDP in response
- It’s happening. Still not official, but a detailed report about WCW running a second weekly prime time show on Thursday nights from January is in this week’s Wrestling Observer. There has been a long-standing resistance to the idea, even from Eric Bischoff, but the higher ups at Turner want TBS to receive the same kind of ratings boost that TNT has had with Nitro. The idea right now, and subtle hints have been made on TV to potentially set this up, is to have one of the two shows be WCW branded while the other would a nWo branded show, hosted by Bischoff. Yeah, because Souled Out was such a good idea…
- Last week I mentioned that The Outsiders complained about dropping their Tag Titles to The Steiners at Road Wild due to the high frequency of title changes on TV. Thus, the title change was scrapped and Steiners went over by DQ instead. Well, two new champions were crowned at Thursday’s Clash of The Champions and now Dave Metlzer wonders if Nash and Hall had any protestations about Mongo or Alex Wright’s title wins? According to Meltzer, this has not escaped the attention of ‘the boys’.
- The title changes are unlikely to stop any time soon either. Eddie Guerrero is said to be in line for the Cruiserweight Title, which Chris Jericho only just regained the other week. It’s likely that the switch will occur at Fall Brawl.
There was no Raw this week due to coverage of the US Open tennis. Instead we got a Friday edition of The Main Event. You can find out what happened here.
Raw 0 – 5.0 Nitro
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here