WCW Monday Nitro (May 5, 1997)

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Nitro’s only an hour again this week because of basketball playoffs or something which means this could be a fantastic show. Some of my favorite wrestling shows to watch are only an hour long. That being said, last week’s episode was pretty craptastic, so I don’t have high hopes for this one. Let’s get it on!

Previously on Nitro…

We start things off we a recap of the end of last week’s episode that finds the Outsiders and Syxx beating the fuck out of Ric Flair in the aisle as he screams for Piper to help him since he’s getting murdered. Piper, meanwhile, is in the ring, utterly dumbfounded by the nWo leaflets that are falling from the ceiling.

Meanwhile at the Announce Table…

Back in present day the show begins with Tony talking about getting answers from Piper about what happened last week when Flair, Piper, and Kevin Greene show up at the announce table.

Piper starts rambling but before he can say anything an “nWo Tradition Bites!” banner unfurls behind them. Piper screams to tear it down and as Flair and Greene do just that, another one unfurls in front of them and Piper freaks the fuck out and we go to the Street of Explosions for the Nitro opening sequence.

Meanwhile in the Ring…

We return from explosions to find the trio of Piper, Flair, and Kevin Greene in the ring. More nWo leaflets are falling from the ceiling. Piper says that he didn’t help Flair because it was only three on one and he’s Ric Flair so he clearly had things under control. Flair nods approvingly about this.

Piper then begins ranting and raving about the nWo’s demand for 75% of the gate in order to fight them at Samboree, only it’s now 75% of the purse rather than the gate. Piper, perhaps not realizing they’re talking about DA PAY WINDAH, says he doesn’t care about the purse because he doesn’t even carry a purse, he just wants to fight!

James J. Dillon shows up and gets in the ring and apparently had a different script than Piper because he’s like, “Piper, Bischoff got the nWo some really good deals so they’re going to get 75% of the purse, and there’s nothing I can do about it and if you don’t show up you’re going to be in breach of contract! Also you’ll let everyone down.”

I, at this point, am completely confused. First off Piper just said he gave zero fucks about the purse and that he’d be there to fight and secondly, when did Piper, in storyline, become a contracted WCW wrestler? I thought he was just a random guy who showed up on WCW TV and PPV because he hated Hulk Hogan.

Anyway JJ leaves and Flair gets on the mic and says some stuff about how he’ll be ready in Charlotte and then Kevin Greene gets on the mic, but before he can say anything Public Enemy’s music hits and the PE begin to make their way down to the ring. ONE HOUR NITRO BABY!

Match 1: Public Enemy vs. Konnan & Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Public Enemy come out with tables and walk by Ric Flair as they make their way down to the ring. They have some non-“La di da di da di we likes to party!” entrance music on the WWE Network and it’s fucking me up. Morrus and Konnan come out and have a table with them as well. They get to at least keep the Dungeon of Doom music.

Before the match even begins everyone is brawling on the floor. Jimmy Hart gets put on a table out on the floor. One of the PE boys is going to dive from the ring through the table, but Konnan cuts him off and Jimmy Hart lives to megaphone another day.

Not to be deterred the Public Enemy put Konnan on a table and then stack another table on top of it. Johnny Grunge goes up top and nails the extremely difficult Fall Off the Top Rope Through a Pair of Stacked Tables maneuver, but Konnan was pulled out at the last second leaving Grunge to crash and burn.

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The match I guess get underway in earnest at this point. I guess it’s a Texas Tornado No DQ match or something since both Dungeon of Doom guys are in the ring against Rocco Rock.

Rocco starts things off by taking both dudes down with a standing moonsault that earns him a two count. He does pretty well for awhile but he gets powerbombed by Konnan and who then gets a table.

Rocco makes a comeback and puts Konnan on the table in the center of the ring and then goes up for a move, but Morrus cuts him off and goes up top with him and then proceeds to superplex him through the table…the table that Konnan was laying on.

Morrus covers Rocco Rock who is covering Konnan. The ref counts a pin fall. “WHO WON?!” screams Schiavone. “The table!” replies Larry Zbyszko. The ref does not agree with Zbyszko and declares Konnan and Hugh Morrus the winners. I guess they’re going to face The Steiner Brothers since Schiavone says something to that effect.

Winners: Konnan & Hugh Morrus

I don’t even know. It was a short garbage match with a fuck finish, but ECW was big at the time and dudes went through tables so I guess the live crowd liked it. Twenty years after the fact it’s just a bunch of shit. [-**]

Match 2: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Syxx (w/ Scott Hall & Kevin Nash)

I guess this is for the Cruiserweight Championship or something maybe. Who the fuck knows. Mysterio crawls out dressed like Spider-Man and tries to throw some streamers or something but fucks it up.

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Syxx comes out without the belt dressed in jeans and combat boots. Hall and Nash are with him. Methinks this will not be a fairly contested cruiserweight championship match.

While the ref is busy with Hall and Nash and Rey is distracted by the ref attempting to get Nash out of the ring, Syxx attacks and nails him with a spin kick that drops Rey in the corner. Syxx does some crotch chops and goes for the Bronco Buster but Rey gets his foot up and kicks Syxx in the cock.

Nash starts to come into the ring which distracts the ref and allows Hall to enter from the opposite side and hit Mysterio with the Outsiders’ Edge which Schiavone calls the “nWo Drop,” for some goddamn reason.

Syxx then applies the Buzz Killer to the unconscious Mysterio to get the win because apparently the ref had no idea a huge man had entered the ring while a second huge man attempted to also enter the ring. Syxx refuses to break the hold which causes JJ Dillon and Nick Patrick in an airbrushed WCW Monday Nitro t-shirt to come down to the ring.

JJ tells Syxx to break the hold or he’d reverse the referee’s decision. The nWo then come out as well and chuck Nick Patrick out of the ring. Bischoff gets in the ring and tells JJ that he has “no stroke,” which proves to be absolutely true since Dillon does absolutely nothing.

Syxx ultimately releases the hold when he decides to and then gets in JJ’s face and yells at him about stuff JJ did when he was “working for McMahon,” and Nash bellows about JJ not being able to “pull the same crap he did in New York,” and that’s it.

Winner: Syxx

Fuck this garbage. People who talk about how WCW started to fall off a cliff when Vince Russo showed up are apparently forgetting shit like this. I know I did too, but all this did was make WCW look like chumps and proved that the nWo didn’t have to fear anyone or anything.

The stuff with Syxx and Nash yelling at JJ Dillon for stuff he did while in the WWF was also stupid because probably 2% of the people watching knew that he’d worked in the WWF since it was a backstage position and he was never on TV. [-***]

Road Report With Lee Marshall…

Lee Marshall is in Baltimore, hometown of renowned creepy fuck, Edgar Allen Poe, which is why their football team is called the Ravens and not the Weasels. Jesus Christ, Lee Marshall that was awful! You should be ashamed of yourself.

I guess Lee thinks it’s bad too because he mentions a crab festival and gets all “wink wink, nudge nudge,” with Bobby Heenan about STDs. Wrestling everybody! Wrestling!

Meanwhile in the Ring…

Here come Hogan and Bischoff! The Hulkster hasn’t been on TV for awhile. Hogan says that it’s because he’s “been making money and buying land.” Okay. Hogan then calls out Sting but Sting doesn’t show up. Hogan plays air guitar with the belt and then leaves. This segment went longer than the longest match on the show.

Match 3: Lord Steven Regal vs. Meng

Last week when Kevin Sullivan interrupted Regal’s match against Benoit, Benoit got Tongan Death Gripped by Meng. Regal apparently attempted to make the save so now Meng wants a piece of Regal.

The match gets underway with clubbering from both men. They are just wailing on each other. Regal gets clubbered into the corner but then comes back with blows that stagger the Monster, Meng.

This is Kevin Sullivan’s cue to show up in jeans and no shirt. Regal sees him and proceeds to dive through the ropes and attack Sullivan. This, for some reason, leads to the match being thrown out or something.

Meng exits the ring and then proceeds to get Regal in the Tongan Death Grip. Jacqueline, Jimmy Hart, and eventually Kevin Sullivan attempt to get him to break the hold as we go to commercial.

Winner: No Contest I Guess

What was the point of any of this? Why did Sullivan, who had come out to interfere in the match, try to get Meng to break the Tongan Death Grip? Wasn’t his entire reason for running out to do harm to Lord Steven Regal? It was a stupid segment that interrupted a good mean guy match. [½*]

Video Package!

We get a video highlighting the feud between DDP and Randy Savage.

Meanwhile With Mean Gene…

DDP and Kimberly come out to talk with Mean Gene near the ring entrance. Kimberly nearly trips coming down the ramp, but manages not to fall on her ass. It must have been cold as shit in Lakeland, Florida because Kimberly’s nipples are bursting through her dress. Talk about Diamond Cutters! Damn!

Page talks about how he’s been in more bar fights up and down the Eastern Seaboard than he can count, but none could compare to the war he had with Macho Man at Spring Stampede. Kimberly tells Gene that Macho Man’s claims about her loving him are absolute fantasy from a man with a one track mind before adding, “and that track has very little traffic on it.”

Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth show up in a skybox out in the crowd. Macho Man tells Kim to stop calling him and tells DDP if he wasn’t on crutches he’d come down there and kick his ass

DDP has two words for him: “Diamond Cutter!” That’s pretty much it.

Match 4: Alex Wright vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra McMichael)

The match begins with Jarrett hitting Wright with an armdrag after which he proceeds to strut. They do some chain wrestling and then Jarrett hits a swinging neckbreak that puts Wright down.

Wright gets fired up and takes Jarrett down but Debra gets up on the ring apron, so Wright, instead of following up on his move with another move or a cover, stops and does his crotch thrusting dance in Debra’s general direction. Debra complains that Alex Wright is “gross.”

This allows Jarrett time to recover. He hits a chop block to Alex Wright’s knee and then gets him in the Figure Four Leglock. Wright taps out and the match is over.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett

How sad is it when a Jeff Jarrett/Alex Wright match that ended when Wright distracted himself by wiggling his giant German cock in Debra McMichael’s general direction is legit the best wrestling match on a show? [*]

Match 5: Lizmark Jr. vs. Glacier

So much blue and white going on. Glacier Irish whips Lizmark. Lizmark does a back flip out of the corner. Glacier kicks him in the face. Glacier covers. Glacier wins. A solid WCW debut from Lizmark Jr.

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After the match James Vandenberg (née Mitchell) runs out with Mortis. Vandenberg has Glacier’s sacred helmet or something still. Mortis hits the ring and proceeds to get the shit karated out of him by Glacier. The still unnamed Wrath appears while this is happening and gets in the ring unbeknownst to Glacier. Mortis makes a comeback and whips Glacier into the waiting Wrath who wrecks his shit.

The heels then beat down Glacier for a million hours. This beat down might literally be the longest thing on the entire show. It just goes on forever. People in the crowd are yelling for Wrath to do a powerbomb because everyone knows he used to be Adam Bomb.

Winner: Glacier

Another 10 second match with a post-match brawl. Add in a stupid Mortal Kombat rip-off angle and goddamn Adam Bomb and this is just awful. [-**]

Match 6: Harlem Heat (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Giant & DDP

This was supposed to be Giant and Luger going up against Harlem Heat, but Luger had apparently been injured in Japan over the weekend by the nWo. The announcers actually talked about this throughout the night wondering how severe the injuries were and whether or not he’d be able to compete.

Giant comes down to the ring by himself (to no music) and then gets on a mic. He explains that Luger had gotten hurt in Japan but he had a partner for the match in DDP!

Page’s music hits and he heads out. Kimberly wisely takes off her high heels before attempting to go down the ramp again, but before Page gets to the ring Savage shows up and gets in his face. Page takes one of Savage’s crutches and menaces him as Savage uses Miss Elizabeth as a shield. Hogan then attacks Page from behind with Savage’s other crutch. Page and Kimberly get beat down by Savage and Hogan.

“Where’s the Giant?!” screams Tony Schiavone.

Why, he’s down in the ring getting beat down with Harlem Heat by the rest of the nWo goofs. Piper, Flair, and Kevin Greene run in to I guess get beat down too. They get dispatched by guys like IRS and Scott Norton. Nash puts Piper in a neverending sleeper hold.

Back at the announce location Macho Man and Hogan run off Schiavone and company and then get on the mic to call this exciting action. They mock the team of Piper, Flair, and Kevin Greene before Savage starts talking about how Kimberly is all over him. Hogan, not willing to be shown up by Savage even in a storyline where the main thrust is Savage is a liar declares, “She kissed me too.”

Winners: We All Lost

A shitty ending to a shitty episode of Nitro. The nWo is invincible, why would I order Slamboree? You want to have Hogan and company wreck house on DDP, Giant and Harlem Heat? Fine. But when you send out the three guys who are fighting the nWo at the pay-per-view you have the nWo scatter to build up interest in seeing them actually fight. The nWo kicked their asses here and kicked their asses last week how will the PPV be any different? [-****]

Final Thoughts

When a one minute match between fucking Jeff Jarrett and Alex Wright is the best thing happening you know something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. The nWo is already stale and boring, because no one can stop them. They can’t be stopped via JJ Dillon and contractual wrangling. They can’t be stopped by Ric Flair, Piper, and Kevin Greene’s tradition. They can’t be stopped by the grizzled rookie DDP. It’s all just dumb and repetitive.

Beside that the show tried to cram too much shit into the hour. Instead of using the hour to focus on a couple of the bigger storylines and letting the other stuff play out on maybe WCW Saturday Night or something until basketball was done, they still tried to cram two hours of shit into a show that ran 45 minutes, and it did not work well.

Awful. Just awful.

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