Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 36

Jamie Lithgow

20 years ago this week the world was still mourning the death of Princess Diana while listening to Elton John’s ‘Candle In The Wind’. The second most popular song this week was ‘Semi-Charmed Life’ by Third Eye Blind, remember them lads?! Anyway, let’s see who was popular and who was unpopular in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…

wcw-saturday-night-logo-shadow

  • We heard that Lex Luger, Diamond Dallas Page and Ric Flair are all scheduled to be on Team WCW in the WarGames match at Fall Brawl.
  • Attention hotline fans; WCW have signed somebody, a former champion no less…
  • The Public Enemy defeated High Voltage in a no disqualification match in the most recent instalment in this feud. The finish saw Rock and Grunge hit Rage with a table, while the muscle man had a bin on his head.
  • Raven aided Stevie Richards again this week by planting Jim Powers with a DDT as Dancin’ Stevie distracted the referee, by hugging him.
  • What’s more jobberish than wearing a generic WCW t-shirt to the ring because you don’t have your own merchandise to promote? Wearing a plain black t-shirt. It would be different if this was part of his wrestling attire, but Renegade wore a plain black shirt to the ring, only to remove it before the bell rang.
  • The Faces of Fear were responsible for Wrath and Mortis losing to Glacier and Ernest Miller after The Barbarian hit Wrath with a Mafia Kick.
  • The Dave Taylor mini-push, that I thought had stopped, is still a thing. That said, his little promo videos are getting shorter.
  • Buff Bagwell and Vincent interfered in Scott Norton’s match with Hugh Morrus in full view of the referee who for some reason did not call for a disqualification. To make matters worse, it wasn’t even Nick Patrick.
  • Vincent broke up Curt Hennig’s pin on Konnan to end the main event in a disqualification. Vince copped a Fisherman’s Suplex for his troubles, which prompted Syxx to show up and make it three on one against Hennig. Chris Benoit and Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael were on the scene pretty quickly to make the save for their Horseman comrade.

Full Results

  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Prince Iaukea
  • Syxx defeated Johnny Swinger
  • Alex Wright defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr.
  • Dave Taylor defeated Billy Kidman
  • Glacier & Ernest Miller defeated Wrath & Mortis
  • Stevie Richards defeated Jim Powers
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Renegade
  • Chris Jericho defeated Hector Guerrero
  • Scott Norton defeated Hugh Morrus
  • Public Enemy defeated High Voltage in a no disqualification match
  • Curt Hennig defeated Konnan by disqualification

nitro-logo-shadow

Too busy dressing up and drinking coffee to face The Horsemen

There was plenty going on this week so let’s start with the two big angles that bled into each other: The show opened with Eric Bischoff throwing his weight around and demanding the nWo’s parody of The Four Horsemen from last week be replayed. That it was, until the real Horsemen showed up at the announce desk which for some reason cued the video to stop. Eric Bischoff had also disappeared by this point too. Mongo called out the nWo before the group headed to the ring. The bad guys neglected to come out, so The Horsemen took turns cutting promos. Hennig mostly talked about dog poo on a stick, Mongo (a former Chicago Bear) got tons of heat from the Milwaukee crowd while Chris Benoit said they would out class the nWo. Ric Flair then took over to make an impassioned speech about his best friend, Arn Anderson and how he is embarrassed to be a wrestler following last week’s segment. He ended by demanding to face Nash, Syxx, Bagwell and Konnan. Nitro took a break and when we returned The Horsemen were still in the ring demanding a match against the nWo lads. Eventually security got them to leave quietly. A little later, the dirty rotters from the nWo showed up to take the piss a little more, Konnan was even still wearing Mongo’s jacket. Nash and Syxx claimed to be too busy for a match, but Bagwell and K-Dogg accepted the challenge. Later still and Rowdy Roddy Piper was announced as Acting Chairman of WCW, or words to that effect, to substitute for JJ Dillon who was attacked last week. Among other things, he opted to remove DDP and Luger from the WarGames match at Fall Brawl because “their heads aint right”. Instead, WarGames will be The Four Horsemen vs. The nWo. Oh, and Flair and Hennig defeated Bagwell and Konnan in a shit match due to fans wanting to see Nash and Syxx face The Horsemen instead.


In Other News From Nitro –

He’s back… again

  • Yeah, so Roddy Piper now calls the shots in WCW. He was even cheeky enough to reference his previous experience in such a role, because he was once acting president of the WWF. This elected boos from the crowd, and a chuckle from Hot Rod and Mean Gene. Roddy’s other two announcements were to promise Hollywood Hogan vs. Sting by the end of the year and book himself against Hogan in a cage match at Halloween Havoc. No mention on if the title will be on the line for this one though.
  • Pointless angle alert. Jeff Jarrett challenged Dean Malenko to a match, just six days before they face each other at Fall Brawl. Malenko accepted and invited Double J to the ring. Jarrett then said he wanted it in writing before running away. The match never materialised, so what was the point in that?
  • Eddie Guerrero and a returning Rey Mysterio Jr. contested the best match on Nitro in months, or possibly ever. Eddie dominated, but Rey won clean using a picture perfect Springboard Hurricanrana.
  • DDP and Lex Luger agreed that, despite respecting each other, they are struggling to sort out their recent miscommunications via words alone. The pair agreed to face each other in the show’s main event to sort things out the old fashioned way.
  • Said main event ended in a no contest when the likes of Macho Man, Scott Hall, Scott Norton and Vincent attacked Luger. Page didn’t notice the first assault but jumped to Lex’s aid when he saw what was going on. Just as the numbers got too much for the WCW boys, The Giant came out to lend a hand. Nitro went off the air with the good guys claiming the high ground while Scott Hall and Macho Man wore cheese heads.
  • Eddie Guerrero unsuccessfully tried to persuade Brad Armstrong to let him face Chris Jericho for the Cruiserweight Title. The impatient Eddie already has a title shot lined up at Fall Brawl in six days, hence why Brad told him to beat it.
  • Hollywood Hogan cut the same promo as last week i.e. calling out Sting knowing that he wasn’t present. We of course got a fake Sting instead, and not even a living one. In a tasteless angle when viewed in hindsight, a mannequin dressed as Sting was lowered from the rafters only for the harness to fail and it to crash to the ground. Hogan, Bischoff and even the announcers tried to act like it really was Sting and that a terrible accident had just happened, despite the laughter from the fans in the front row. From what I could tell, the plan was for the harness to fail. Ultimately Hogan wasted even more air time by cutting a promo on, and beating up, the mannequin.
  • Hogan actually appeared in another segment too, and one that wasn’t entirely about him believe it or not. After Scott Hall had defeated Super Calo – what a weird match up that was – Ray Traylor got in Hall’s face. The pair exchanged right hands, with Traylor getting the best of it until Hogan and the cavalry arrived. Ultimately poor Ray copped a beat down and got his back spray painted.
  • Mortis, Wrath and Harlem Heat ran in during The Steiner’s match with The Faces of Fear to cause a massive brawl.
  • He’s been back two weeks and already he’s chalked up two funny segments. Disco Inferno’s new friend, Alex Wright, slid his TV Title into the ring just as Hugh Morrus was going for his No Laughing Matter moonsault. Wright distracted the ref to allow Disco to whollop Morrus, but the idiot held the belt the wrong way so when Morrus landed his move the belt smacked Disco instead. Wright and Disco had a disagreement afterwards.

Full Results

  • Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Eddie Guerrero
  • Hugh Morrus defeated Disco Inferno
  • Chris Jericho (c) defeated Brad Armstrong by DQ to retain the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship
  • Chris Jericho (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero to retain the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship
  • The Faces of Fear (Meng & The Barbarian) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner) ended in a No Contest
  • Scott Hall defeated Super Calo
  • Dean Malenko defeated Psychosis
  • Curt Hennig and Ric Flair defeated Buff Bagwell & Konnan
  • Diamond Dallas Page vs. Lex Luger ended in a No Contest

quote-of-the-week

“I know I’m supposed to be unbiased, but this is a mess. Who won this thing, and by this point who cares?!”

Dusty Rhodes on the Public Enemy vs. High Voltage match from Saturday Night


Funniest sign of the week…

Most artistic sign of the week


  • While there was fallout from the nWo’s mockery of The Horsemen on screen this week, there was probably even more backstage. Apparently, the plans were changed right at the last minute from what was originally supposed to happen. The original idea was for the angle to go down exactly as it did, but for The Horsemen to run down and smash the nWo lads while Arn Anderson watched from the ramp. This part of the plan was nixed by Eric Bischoff just before Nitro started, allegedly at the behest of Kevin Nash. Instead of this, Ric Flair was then supposed to cut a promo lambasting the segment later in the show but this did not happen either. Apparently, The Nature Boy felt that there was nothing he could say or do to recover the situation for The Horsemen after the parody so he refused to even bother. There were, of course, plenty of backstage arguments involving all concerned, plus the likes of bookers Kevin Sullivan and Terry Taylor too.
  • With a new show debuting on Thursday nights from January, the current idea is for the nWo to take over Nitro while WCW takes control of the new show.
  • The famous Dr James Andrews took a look Rey Mysterio’s bum knee and diagnosed it as being not that bad after all. Rey will be wearing a knee brace but is otherwise good to go.
  • Apparently, Ice Train will be returning soon. I hadn’t even noticed he had left in the first place if I’m honest.

At the time, the most noteworthy moment from this week’s Raw was the introduction of Sgt. Slaughter as the WWF’s new commissioner. In hindsight, however, the announcement that Shawn Michaels will face The Undertaker in a brand new match type is probably more interesting. I am of course referring to the ‘Hell in a Cell’ match, which was announced for In Your House 18: Badd Blood next month.


ratings

Raw 2.2 – 4.3 Nitro

Raw has returned from its two-week hiatus with a whimper. That said, both it and Nitro had to compete with a cracking Monday Night Football. The Chiefs’ narrow 28-27 victory at the Oakland Raiders did a massive 21.64.


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


 

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