Meanwhile, in WCW: 1997 Week 47

Jamie Lithgow

Just like today, the race was on to secure the must-have toys in time for Christmas back in 1997 too. Were the masses flocking to the shops to get WCW’s new Nintendo 64 video game? What about the latest Alex Wright action figure? Nope and double nope because 20 years ago Tamagotchi’s were at the top of everybody’s list. Speaking of over priced, high maintenance nonsense, let’s see what the New World Order were up to in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…

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  • Scotty Riggs picked up a win over Disco Inferno, with a little help from Raven. Riggs, like the referee, was unaware of Raven’s DDT to Disco. Afterwards The Flock tried to attack Disco but he managed to keep Kidman, Sick Boy and even Saturn at bay with a series of Stone Cold Stunners…. sorry, I mean Chart Busters. The presence of Hammer eventually caused Disco to run for it.
  • Hacksaw Jim Duggan is back, oh joy. He defeated Rick Fuller with a knee drop. You read that correctly folks, a fucking knee drop.
  • We heard from Glacier and Earnest Miller. Their approach to hyping their match with The Faces of Fear at World War 3 was to put Meng and his Tongan Death Grip over. Glacier was robotic and wooden while Miller came across far too relaxed and uncaring. Charismatic they are not.
  • We also heard from James Vandenberg and Mortis, who have declared war on WCW’s masked luchadors. Vandenberg claims that Mortis is “WCW’s original masked sensation”. I’d suggest Mr. Vandenberg played it a little fast and loose with the term ‘sensation’ but that’s just one man’s opinion. The usually tight lipped Mortis even gave us a few words. On the World War 3 battle royal he said “expect total elimination”.
  • Attention hotline fans, Mean Gene has the scoops on what Rick Rude was making reference to in his promo last week i.e. Bret Hart decking Vince McMahon and Shawn being a bit of dickhead.
  • Ultimo Dragon made the save for Lizmark Jr. when Yuji Nagata refused to release his imaginatively titled Nagata Lock. Dragon also tried to get his hands on Sonny Onoo, but the sneaky little prick ran away.
  • Steven Regal provided the assist for Dave Taylor against Norman Smiley. Their was a post-match beat down of Smiley too.
  • The main event pitted The Giant against Meng, in a match stemming from their confrontation last week. The match ended when The Barbarian broke up a three count to cause a disqualification. Thereafter, the locker room emptied for a big rumble ahead of World War 3. The highlight of this brawl was Ric Flair making a b-line for Curt Hennig.
  • The most significant part of this match was The Giant no-selling his hand injury. Scott Hall spent much his time on Monday working over The Giant’s hand, even smashing it against the ring post. Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes even speculated about the injury here, only for the big man to use it as a weapon and deliver chops to Meng before landing a Chokeslam with not so much as a wince.

Full Results

  • Wrath defeated Hugh Morris
  • Yuji Nagata defeated Lizmark Jr.
  • Dave Taylor defeated Norman Smiley
  • Scotty Riggs defeated Disco Inferno
  • Hacksaw Jim Duggan defeated Rick Fuller
  • Harlem Heat defeated Disorderly Conduct
  • Fit Finley defeated Brad Armstrong
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Dean Malenko by disqualification
  • The Giant defeated Meng by disqualification

The Faces of Fear defeated Glacier and Ernest Miller

We’ve become used to WCW starting their PPVs with a bang, but not this time. This was dull, 1980s style stuff. Meng and The Barbarian worked over Glacier until he got the hot, or lukewarm, tag to Miller. The rookie ultimately fell afoul of a distraction from Jimmy Hart on the apron and walked straight into a Tongan Death Grip.

Perry Saturn defeated Disco Inferno to retain the WCW World Television Championship

Wooo!

This was better, but still not very good. Disco got tangled up with the rest of The Flock, who were sat at ringside. He even delivered a couple of Chart Busters to Kidman and Sick Boy on the guard rail. Back in the ring, however, and Saturn caught Disco in the Rings of Saturn for the win. Incidentally, a new member of Raven’s Flock was present too. He was not named, but hindsight tells us that this was Lodi’s debut.

Yuji Nagata (w/ Sonny Onoo) defeated Último Dragón

This was better again, but still pretty dull for the first half of the match. Nagata dominated with kicks and chin locks, which did nothing to ignite the sleepy crowd. It got better when Dragon got on the offense though, and he even made Nagata tap out, only for the referee to be distracted. Dragon kept the offence going with a top rope Frankensteiner, only for Onoo to put Nagata’s foot on the rope. Ultimately, the unlucky Dragon tasted defeat after a collision with Sonny Onoo on the ring apron resulted in Nagata landing on top of him for the win.

The Steiner Brothers defeated The Blue Bloods to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship

The match quality on this show was still on an upward climb in this match, albeit a gradual one. The Steiner’s suplexes and slams matched-up well against Regal and Taylor’s submissions and dirty tactics. Of course, Rick and Scott won, the titles were never in danger here.

JJ Dillon was interviewed by Mean Gene. He said that he has lost patience with Raven and gave him 24 hours to sign a WCW contract.

Raven defeated Scotty Riggs in a No Disqualification match

The gradual improvement in match quality came to a screeching halt here, because this was rubbish. It got slightly better when a steel chair was introduced, but fans just didn’t care for the brawling and weapons based offence. Riggs scored a drop toe hold onto the chair, with Raven screaming in pain afterwards. This was the same move that resulted in Riggs’ eye injury, so that was a bit of poetic justice. Raven then took charge and cut a promo while repeatedly hitting Scotty with his DDT. Raven screamed “why didn’t you listen to me?” and “I feel your pain” over the microphone. Riggs was unable to answer a ten count, giving Raven the win. Afterwards, Hammer carried Riggs away as Raven and his Flock left the arena.

Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael defeated Alex Wright

This was supposed to be Mongo vs Goldberg, but instead we got rematch number two from Halloween Havoc (Nagata vs Dragon being the first). The kayfabe reason for this was because Mongo attacked Goldberg backstage with a lead pipe, which we did not see but we did see Goldberg KO’d on the floor and McMichael stood in the ring with a large pipe. Mongo then issued an open challenge, which Alex Wright (along with Debra) answered, and lost. The real reason for the last minute change was because Goldberg has a groin strain.

Eddie Guerrero defeated Rey Mysterio, Jr. to retain the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship

Let the stretchings begin. Wait, wrong match…

Another Halloween Havoc rematch, only this one was good. This wasn’t as good as their classic last month, it just didn’t feel quite as smooth and ended rather abruptly. Still, the bout was building rather nicely until it ended about five minutes earlier than expected. I feel like the guys were trying to be too clever here because Mysterio’s near fall off a Frankensteiner roll-up was so well done that fans initially thought he had won the title, only to assume that the referee had botched the finish when they realised that wasn’t actually the end of the match. Neither was the case, Eddie got has hand on the ropes, which most fans in the arena would not have spotted. Immediately after, Eddie countered what I assume was going to be a top rope Frankensteiner with a Hotshot off the top turnbuckle. On first viewing this looked very messy, as it would have to the crowd. It was actually quite smooth in the replay, when you see what the guys where actually trying to do. Eddie then hit his Frog Splash for the win.

Curt Hennig defeated Ric Flair to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship

Rematch number four. Seriously, is this just Halloween Havoc all over again?! Like last month, I did not particularly care for this encounter. They brawled in the crowd, choked each other with a cable and targeted each other’s legs, so I guess it was a no disqualification match. Ultimately, Hennig won after nailing Flair with a chair while The Nature Boy had his Figure Four locked in. Hennig crawled over the unconscious Flair to make the cover.

Scott Hall won the Three Ring, 60 man battle royal

Hall wins, but it’s all about Hogan

This thing lasted half an hour and it sucked, for the most part. The 60 men (or 59 to be more accurate) were whittled down to Scott Hall and Macho Man of the nWo and DDP and The Giant from WCW. When Savage was eliminated, Hall called for back-up, which most assumed would be Kevin Nash as he was advertised for the match and hadn’t appeared yet. Turns out the 60th man was Hollywood Hogan – which makes zero sense considering he is the champion – but it evened the sides all the same. A 7ft tall Sting then descended from the ceiling to attack The Giant with a bat, specifically his hand which was sporting a bandage to indicate an injury. The Giant got eliminated, Hogan eliminated himself and DDP got dunked out in all this confusion to leave Scott Hall as last man standing. Post-match, Kevin Nash revealed himself to be the Sting and there was an nWo celebration/beat down of DDP. As a result of his victory, Scott Hall will get a WCW Title shot at Superbrawl in February. Bearing in mind, fellow nWo member Hogan currently holds that title…


nitro-logo-shadow

Well, he had an itch anyway

After Scott Hall’s big victory at World War 3, the spotlight was re-focused towards Hollywood Hogan on Nitro. The show started with Hogan issuing an open challenge for his WCW Title, which was designed to entice Sting. That did not work, so The Giant answered the call. JJ Dillon was initially reluctant to let The Giant wrestle due to the massive cast on his arm as a result of Nash’s attack the previous night. However, he agreed to let Giant go for it if the big man waved liability for any injuries incurred. The match main evented the show, and was their usual encounter only with Hogan targeting Giant’s injured hand. As this was going on, Eric Bischoff and Rick Rude took over the commentary, and they sucked. After The Giant managed to land a Chokeslam he was unable to make the cover, which prompted a giant Sting to attack him and his hand with a baseball bat. A Sting mannequin was then lowered from the ceiling, but crashed through the gimmicked ring. Hogan and co. then took shots at the Sting dummy to close the show. Not only is this pretty uncomfortable viewing in hindsight, it is also an angle WCW have done before. Struggling for ideas much?!


In Other News From Nitro –

The Flock is beginning to rival the nWo for strength in numbers

  • After an upset loss to Prince Iaukea, Alex Wright fired Debra. This seemed justified as she spent a large chunk of the match on the apron distracting her man. She later tried to reconcile with her husband, Steve McMichael, but Mongo also told her to piss off.
  • Ray Traylor almost defeated Curt Hennig for the US Title, but instead he was beaten up in his now weekly nWo gang attack.
  • Macho Man must have been bored because he decided it would take two elbow drops to defeat Disco Inferno, and another two after the bell to finish the job. In between, he allowed Liz to ‘pin’ Disco too.
  • Booker T scored a win over Meng after reversing a powerbomb attempt. An upset Meng then put Booker in the Tongan Death Grip until his brother, Stevie Ray, made the save by breaking a wooden chair over Meng’s back. The Barbarian then came in to even the sides before Stevie also got put in the Death Grip.
  • Raven has signed a WCW contract as per JJ Dillon’s request. However, he has added a few caveats to the deal, that I guess JJ has signed off on. Raven wants to wrestle who he wants, when he wants, where he wants, under his rules and for however much money he wants. So, Hollywood Hogan’s deal then…
  • Speaking of The Flock, that name appears to have stuck and a presumably brain-washed Scotty Riggs has officially joined them too. The other new guy (Lodi) was holding up signs all night, so is a direct replacement for Stevie Richards then. The gang attacked Chris Benoit after his match with Sick Boy. It was actually supposed to be Raven in the match, but he sent Sick Boy in for his in-ring debut instead.
  • Larry Zbyszko called out Scott Hall again, only for photocopied images of Eric Bischoff standing over The Living Legend to fall from the ceiling. Bischoff then appeared and told Larry to forget about Hall and that he couldn’t even beat him. Thus, Larry issued a challenge to Bischoff who actually accepted. Zbyszko was ready to go there and then, but Bisch hid behind the security guys.

Full Results

  • WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers (w / Ted DiBiase) (c) defeated Disorderly Conduct
  • Booker T (w / Jacqueline) defeated Meng (w / Jimmy Hart)
  • Chris Benoit defeated Sick Boy
  • Prince Iaukea defeated Alex Wright (w / Queen Debra)
  • Randy Savage (w / Miss Elizabeth) defeated Disco Inferno
  • Dean Malenko defeated Brad Armstrong
  • Buff Bagwell defeated Chris Jericho
  • WCW United States Heavyweight Title Match: Ray Traylor defeated Curt Hennig (c) by DQ
  • WCW World Heavyweight Title Match: The Giant defeated Hollywood Hogan (c) by DQ

quote-of-the-week

“That is indeed impressive, the man does have a big cast.”

Eric Bischoff as The Giant signals for the Chokeslam



  • Much of the Wrestling Observer from this week was still dominated by the Bret Hart/Montreal stuff, which 20 years after the fact I’ve heard just about enough of. However, some hot off the press news from my other source concerns my boy; Alex Wright. Apparently he suffered a brain aneurysm after his match with Prince Iaukea on Nitro. He reportedly lost sight in both of his eyes for a time and spent a few days in hospital. He is, understandably, expected to miss quite a bit of ring time as a result.
  • Kevin Nash and Scott Hall had the bogus WCW Tag Title belts they have been carrying recently made themselves. I can’t decide if that shows initiative or if it should be considered going into business for themselves.
  • ‘Thunder’, and not ‘Thursday Thunder’, will be the name of WCW’s new Thursday night show. The ‘Thursday’ part has been dropped because the show will likely get moved around once the baseball session kicks in.
  • Terrible news for Joey Maggs. As we saw last week on Saturday Night, he has been replaced by Bobby Walker in his angle with Bobby Eaton. Maggs had been scouting Eaton for months on the company’s B and C shows with no payoff. The angle was so vague that we were left to just assume that he wanted to be Eaton’s partner because nothing was ever made clear. Well, poor Joey hesitated for too long because Teddy Long and Walker have swooped in and formed a partnership with Beautiful Bobby instead. You snooze you lose Joey, you should have told him how you feel!
  • Syxx has undergone neck surgery. He is expected to be out for several months.
  • Referee Mark Curtis is undergoing treatment for cancer.
  • Stevie Richards, who recently opted to leave WCW, has apparently decided to retire from wrestling. Yeah right…
  • Rumours are abound that the New World Order will soon split into two factions, with The Wolfpack (Nash, Hall, Syxx etc.) branching off on their own. This rumour also feeds into the immanent premiere of a second prime time show (Thunder). The rough plan at the moment is said to have Nitro become a nWo show, with the proposed split facilitating the heel vs babyface dynamic needed for a wrestling show. Thunder would then be left as a WCW show featuring the likes of Sting, Flair, Luger etc.

Over on Raw, The relatively new tandem of The New Age Outlaws captured their first Tag Team Titles. Elsewhere, Shawn Michaels promised that Bret Hart would show up during the broadcast to clear the air. He was lying, and so were the WWF to their viewers. After advertising a Bret Hart appearance, HBK eventually brought out a little person dressed like The Hitman instead.


ratings

Raw 3.1 – 3.88 Nitro


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


 

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