T’is the season, and funnily enough it was this time 20 years ago too. However, one man who was not full of Christmas cheer in 1997 was Golden State Warrior’s shooting guard Latrell Sprewell. He started his week by attacking his own coach at a practice session and by Friday he found himself suspended from the NBA for a year and his $23.7 million contract terminated. Now that’s a crap week, but let’s see if anyone ‘down south’ could top it in this week’s ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’…
Scott Hall graced us with his presence, albeit slightly intoxicated by the looks of things. Prior to his match with Ray Traylor, he cut a promo on the commentators. Hall said that Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan usually tell the truth, Tony Schiavone is a WCW ‘yes man’ and that Dusty Rhodes gave him a start in wrestling and should be proud of him. Hall finished with Larry Zbyszko, stating that he was not that good on his best day, and that was 15 years ago. To the match, and after a sleeper hold and pin attempt, Traylor ‘Hulked up’. No kidding, he even shook the ropes à la the Ultimate Warrior. He then carried this momentum into a sidewalk slam and the clean win…. but not so fast. After Nick Patrick had counted three, Hall put his foot under the rope. However, when Patrick spotted it he assumed it was there the entire time and restarted the match. Cue Curt Hennig, whose failed interference was enough to distract Traylor so that Hall could hit The Outsiders Edge for the win.
- Last week saw Chris Benoit use a high angle Boston Crab to win a match on Nitro. Chris Jericho used that exact move this week on Saturday Night to defeat Brad Armstrong.
- Attention hotline fans; someone has returned to the ring somewhere in the world for some reason. Too vague? Then give Mean Gene a call, unless that’s so vague you don’t actually give a shit?!
- Where’s Sting? That was the big question from the commentators because we haven’t seen or heard from him since he was beaten up by the nWo a few weeks ago.
- Just as The Public Enemy set up for a table spot, with Los Villanos laying on a table, TBS took a commercial break and we never saw what happened.
- We saw a ‘paid for by the nWo’ promo where their beat down of Sting a few weeks ago was recreated using action figures. It was like a wrestling version of Sum 41’s video for The Hell Song.
- Scotty Riggs cut a Raven style, pre-recorded promo. He alluded to being betrayed in the past and finding a home next to Raven. This was some good continuity because it was around this time last year when his tag team partner (Buff Bagwell) betrayed him to join the New World Order. Unlike an actual Raven promo, Scotty was not alone. Saturn and Raven himself were by his side.
- The Steiner Brothers issued a challenge to The Outsiders to prove who the real Tag Team Champions are, even though it is Rick and Scott and nobody outside of the nWo would question that. Ted DiBiase then said that he understands Ray Traylor’s situation and offered his and The Steiner’s support should he want it. More solid continuity here by reminding us that Traylor is not the only person to have left the New World Order.
- Chavo Guerrero Jr. defeated Rick Fuller
- Chris Jericho defeated Brad Armstrong
- Yuji Nagata (w/ Sonny Onoo) defeated La Parka
- Disco Inferno defeated Scott D’Amore
- The Public Enemy defeated Los Villanos
- Juventud Guerrera defeated Lizmark Jr.
- The Steiner Brothers defeated Disorderly Conduct
- Chris Benoit defeated Bobby Blaze
- Scott Hall defeated Ray Traylor
The recurring theme on this week’s Nitro was poor electrics. The lights spontaneously went out several times during the show, on purpose of course. During the first match, the arena was plunged into darkness as Ray Traylor was facing Konnan. After a solid minute of blackness, the lights came back on to reveal K-Dogg out cold on the mat. A sheepish Traylor then covered the nWo member to claim the win. The lights also went out on Macho Man, just as he was about to deliver Elbow Drop number three to an already out cold Hugh Morrus. When the lights came back on Savage had joined Morrus and the referee in laying unconscious on the canvas, however Macho Man was mysteriously sporting a Sting mask. Lastly, after the nWo ran in to stop Diamond Dallas Page pinning Scott Hall we saw him get beat down. That’s hardly new, and neither was a mannequin dressed as Sting falling from the ceiling and crashing through the ring. Hollywood Hogan was also on hand to cut his usual promo on Sting being a coward. He then instructed his troops to drag the dummy out from the hole in the ring so he could beat on it. As Hogan approached the mannequin, which was slouched over the top rope, he removed its mask. At this point the dummy came to life, revealed itself to be a real boy and kicked the crap out of everyone apart from Hogan and Bischoff, who refused to go near The Stinger.
In Other News From Nitro –
- Macho Man’s match with Hugh Morrus was doubly eventful because prior to the bout he got in the face of Buffalo Bills quarterback, Jim Kelly. Kelly go some shots in with assistance from Morrus.
- Kevin Nash has decided that he does care about being wrestling’s one true giant after all. He conceded that while The Giant may be bigger, he is better. Nash challenged The Giant to a match at Starrcade before gloating that by breaking the big man’s hand he has removed The Chokeslam from his one-dimensional offence.
- Nash’s promo was pre-recorded, but shortly afterwards The Giant appeared for the live crowd to accept the challenge. He then confessed that he may be one dimensional, but that’s all he needs. He then promised a surprise at Starrcade……… the Chokelsam! So much for the surprise then.
- Rick Rude, accompanied by Eric Bischoff, accused the announce team of knowing who was behind turning the lights off during the show. Rude called Tenay, Schiavone and Heenan “see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil” and made them pose as such.
- Buff Bagwell cut a promo about being held down by WCW and called out Lex Luger. Later, Bagwell defeated Luger in their match. Don’t get too carried away, The Total Package got counted out after Vincent and Scott Norton distracted him. Bagwell then celebrated like he had just won the World Title.
- After being far too honest and likeable on commentary last week, Eddie Guerrero was back to full-on heel mode as he provided guest commentary for Dean Malenko’s match with Prince Iaukea.
- Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael cleanly defeated The Barbarian and even punched Jimmy Hart afterwards. Meng got to ringside just in time to catch The Mouth of The South as he fell off the apron. The hardest man on the planet then went after Mongo and applied his dreaded Tongan Death Grip.
- Mean Gene buried Disco Inferno by reminding us that he lost to a woman and that ‘the boys’ don’t know if he should be using the male or female changing rooms. Disco stuck up for himself by again stating that he was in a lose/lose situation with that match. He then challenged ‘the boys’ to say it to his face. This felt like a cue for a bigger boy to show up and call Disco’s bluff but that didn’t happen. In fact, later in the show, babyface Disco overcame The Flock to defeat Saturn and regain the TV Title.
- Speaking of The Flock, it was a bad night for the group. For the third week in a row Raven was scheduled to face Chris Benoit but another member took his place. This time it was the new guy, who was named as Lodi, and he lost. Afterwards, Benoit called out the absent Raven. Much was made of The Flock’s poor performance in the absence of their leader. Two defeats, a title lost and on both occasions the group failed to attack either Disco or Benoit. While Disco ran from trouble, Benoit just strolled back down the aisle while Kidman scratched his head.
- Ric Flair challenged Curt Hennig to a cage match at Starrcade and cut a promo on Bret Hart. The Nature Boy takes exception to The Hitman calling himself ‘the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be’.
- Ray Traylor defeated Konnan
- Steve McMichael defeated The Barbarian
- Dean Malenko defeated Prince Iaukea
- Chris Benoit defeated Lodi
- Hugh Morrus vs. Randy Savage ended in a No Contest
- Disco Inferno defeated Saturn (c) to win the WCW World Television Championship
- Buff Bagwell defeated Lex Luger by Count Out
- Diamond Dallas Page defeated Scott Hall via disqualification
“Well Mean Gene, I just can’t knock one out about Curt Hennig.”
Ric Flair clarifies his feelings for Curt Hennig
- The current plan is still to split WCW and the nWo into two separate entities. The nWo would get Nitro and WCW would get the new Thursday show, Thunder. They would even run separate house shows, although come together on larger events and PPVs. So, almost exactly like modern day WWE with Raw and Smackdown. The idea, and hope, behind this move would see the WWF relegated to the America’s third place wrestling promotion. Of course, hindsight tells us that this never happens, but plenty of sources have confirmed that was indeed the plan. Why did it never come to be then? Well it is now December, Thunder debuts the first week in January and there is said to have been precious little detail discussed regarding these plans other than the big picture stuff I just outlined within a few sentences. So to answer the question, the plans never came into being because this is WCW we’re talking about.
- Bret Hart’s WCW debut is currently slated for the first week in January, either on Nitro or Thunder.
- Apparently Hollywood Hogan has been trying to bring Yokozuna into WCW. Hogan’s motivation is said be that Yoko owes him a win, but by my reckoning they are 1-1 in previous meetings in the WWF, so nobody owes anybody anything. The snag, and it’s a big one, is that Yoko’s New York license has been revoked meaning that he can’t wrestle there or in around 20 other states.
- Referee Mark Curtis, who has been battling cancer, was backstage at a recent Nitro. There is talk of him coming back on the road in January.
- Souled Out in January is being promoted as a joint WCW and nWo show, thank God.
On Raw this week, Degeneration X play strip poker in the ring and we hear Owen Hart referred to as a “nugget” for the first time.
Raw 2.7 – 4.1 Nitro
You can read all previous ‘Meanwhile, in WCW’ posts here