WCW Monday Nitro (May 19, 1997)

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We start thing off with a replay of Team WCW standing tall after beating the nWo at Slamboree before we go out to the street for explosions and fires and wrestlers on buildings screaming. It’s time for WCW Monday Nitro!

To Mean By God Gene!

Gene’s here in Asheville, North Carolina to talk with Ric Flair. Flair comes out and talks about how last night was his finest moment and he erased all self-doubt he had. He talks about how he, Piper, and Kevin Greene emerged victorious and proved that tradition was better than the nWo or something.

This brings out Syxx who gets on the mic and claims that “the wrong man” was in the ring previous night and thus WCW really didn’t win at Slamboree during their no DQ, no count out match even though the finish was all three nWo guys getting pinned or submitted simultaneously. Syxx is pissed off that Flair had said he hadn’t been certain whether or not he could take on Hall or Nash but was 100% certain he could murder Syxx. Syxx says that after last night he’s certain that he can take Flair and wants a piece of him right now.

Flair rips off his jacket as Gene implores him not to engage in fisticuffs by saying, “Richard!” Flair threatens to kick Syxx’s “flyweight ass.” Flair agrees I guess and then he and Syxx start punching one another until Syxx flees to the back.

Match 1: Prince Iaukea vs. Lord Steven Regal

Regal’s TV Title is on the line here. Regal’s not a poncy lord any more, he’s just Steven Regal: British Guy Who Kicks Ass. The fans do not like this new and improved Regal very much.

Regal roughs Iaukea up, unloading on him with rights in the corner. Regal whips Iaukea into the opposite corner but Iaukea psyches Regal out by faking some sort of light heavyweight fuckery off the ropes only to connect with a crossbody and score a nearfall on the champ.

Regal in mean guy match mode thumbs Iaukea in the eye to escape but gets caught in a crucifix for another near fall. Regal mounts a comeback though and ruins Iaukea’s shit with kicks to the back and face before killing him with a reverse suplex. Regal gets him in the Regal Stretch and rubs his forearm into Iaukea’s face causing him to tap. He retains the title and celebrates by spitting on Iaukea’s back.

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Winner: Steven Regal

I love Lord William “Steven” Regal so much. This was great. He just clowned Iaukea for a couple minutes and then spit on him. What’s not to like? [***]

Highlights for Children!

We get highlights of Glacier getting murder by Wrath and Mortis at the PPV and the a “fan” hitting the ring to karate the fuck out of the Mortal Kombat guys. Back in the present, Tony let’s us know that that fan was actually two time Karate Man Champion, Ernest Miller. I don’t think he’s “The Cat” yet.

Match 2: Masahiro Chono vs. Dave Taylor

WCW had every single wrestler wrestling for them and would send random pairings of them out to have random wrestling matches on television. This is one such random pairing. I don’t know why either of these men are wrestling the other, but here we are.

Heenan and Zybysko discuss whether or not Regal’s abandonment of his lordship has impacted Dave Taylor’s squiredom or not as Taylor makes his way out to the ring.

Chono takes control early on and knocks Taylor around. Taylor fights back but get’s his junk wrecked with an inverted ATOMIC DROP before coming back with more punching. Lots of uppercuts going on.

Chono rakes Dave’s face and comes back with punches that send Taylor out to the floor. Taylor gets back in the ring only to get laid out with a swinging neckbreaker. More uppercuts from Tayor. He then whips Chono into the corner but runs into a big boot. Chono then finishes him off with an STF.

Winner: Masahiro Chono

This was a fine little punch battle between two mean guys with nothing really on the line here. [**]

To Mean By God Gene…

Mean Gene’s with Sonny Onoo. Onoo tells Gene that last night he proved that he can make or break a champion. He says that he was watching Chono closely because he (Onoo) is a businessman. He doesn’t care that Chono joined the nWo but Chono still has a debt to Onoo that he needs to pay and next week Onoo will bring Chono’s worst nightmare to face him.

Chono shows up at this point and yells some stuff in Japanese. Onoo translates and tells Gene that Chono wants to know who this mystery man is, but Onoo says he wants him to sweat. Chono yells some more stuff and Gene’s like, “I don’t know!”

To J.J. Dillon…

We get a pre-recorded thing from J.J. Dillon at the hotel concierge’s desk stating that the Championship Committee has looked over the actions of Nick Patrick and decided to reinstate him effective immediately though there will be a prohibition period of thirty days.

To J.J. Dillon…

We get a pre-recorded thing from J.J. Dillon at the hotel concierge’s desk stating that the Championship Committee has looked over the actions of Nick Patrick and decided to reinstate him effective immediately though there will be a prohibition period of thirty days.

Yes, they played the exact same video twice.

Match 3: M. Wallstreet vs. Scotty Riggs

Wallstreet comes out with t-shirt with an interdictory circle over the WCW logo. I guess at some point WCW made him and Big Bubba leave the nWo because of contracts or something, I don’t know. Wallstreet’s protesting this by wearing cargo pants and his anti-WCW t-shirt.

Riggs is still an American Male. He gets a better reaction than he did last week. I guess people like Adam Bomb more than IRS. Nick Patrick is the ref for this match which I guess is why we got those double “PATRICK’S BACK ALRIGHT!” videos from J.J. a couple minutes ago.

The match gets underway with Riggs taking Wallstreet over. Wallstreet manages to get free but Riggs takes him down again. Riggs then nails him with a dropkick and sends him into the corner but gets shoved off by Wallstreet who then takes control of the match.

Wallstreet kicks Riggs and hits a back suplex. He gets Riggs in a rear chinlock and starts jawing with Nick Patrick. Riggs manages to get a cradle that’s good for a two count before Wallstreet kicks out and puts the boots to Riggs.

He sends Riggs into the ropes and elbows him and then goes back to the rear chinlock. Riggs ends up dumped out to the floor and Wallstreet goes for an International Object in one of his cargo pants pockets but Nick Patrick sees him and they get into a scuffle over the Object allowing Riggs a chance to recover.

Riggs comes off the top rope with a sunset flip but can’t get Wallstreet over. Wallstreet grabs the ropes which I would assume would result in Riggs having to release his hold on Wallstreet’s thighs, but instead Nick Patrick’s like, “Fuck you, nope!” and kicks Wallstreet’s hands allowing Riggs to get him over and cover him for three.

Winner: Scotty Riggs

This was a pretty mediocre match that had a fuck finish that looked botched as fuck. The entire match was just to set up Nick Patrick as a guy who kind of cheats to help WCW guys win instead of a guy who cheated to help nWo guys win so it can get fucked for all I care.

The single greatest thing to come out of this match was Larry Zybysko dropping the most amazing description of wrestling I’ve ever heard in my life when he declared, “Wrestling combines the two worst features of American life; physical brutality punctuated by committee meetings.” Schiavone of course no sells this and moves on to talk about whatever bullshit it is he was talking about.

The second greatest thing to come out of this match was Bobby Heenan doing the Valvoline Oily Slam of the Night or whatever during which the clip of Riggs jumping of the top rope for the sunset flip got play backwards so Riggs appeared to fly backwards off the mat onto the top rope and the Brain just lost it, “Riggs just went backwards!” [*]

To Mean By God Gene…

Gene is standing next to a race car. An elfin man named Mark Martin comes out with Ric Flair. I guess Mark Martin drives a race car. He seems like a very pleasant man and talks about how Valvoline wants to give this particular race car away and all you have to do is go to any store that sells Valvoline and register to enter.

Flair then is like, “I’m going to put Syxx through a wall tonight! WOOOO!” Mark Martin shakes hands with everyone and the segment ends.

Road Report With Lee Marshall!

Lee Marshall’s in Nashville or maybe Nasheville since he declares, “Just add an N to where you are in Asheville and that’s where I am!” early on in his 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. He says some stuff about visiting Sun Studio and finding lyrics to an early version of “Heartbreak Hotel,” that goes a little something like this, “Well since my baby left me, I’ve found a new place to dwell … the service reeks, the toilet leaks it’s … The Weasel Hotel!” He bids adieu by saying “Stagger Lee has left the building,” and Bobby Heenan deadpans, “The wrong guy is in the ground.” Holy fuck was that brutal.

Highlights for Children!

We get highlights from Slamboree of Savage coming out and talking shit about DDP. DDP then appears from the crowd wielding Savage’s crutch. Savage bails when DDP gets in the ring and then DDP gets on the mic and is like, “I know you’re not fucking my wife, you’re probably not even fucking Liz.”

A bunch of nWo practice team guys come out and they charge the ring with Savage, but DDP lays waste to them with the crutch. He drops Savage, Buff Bagwell, and Vincent before breaking the crutch in half. Scott “Flash” Norton then Nortons the fuck out of DDP and the nWo practice team regroups for a beatdown.

Eventual the Giant hits the ring and cleans house on the nWo and he and Page stand triumphant in the ring.

Match 4: Steve McMichael & Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra McMichael) vs. Steiner Brothers

NEVER MIND THAT SHIT, HERE COMES MONGO!! Scott and Double J start off. Scott’s fucking huge but isn’t Big Poppa Pump yet so he’s fucking around with lucha armdrags and shit. He and Jarrett lock up again and Jarrett manages to hiptoss Scott. He then hits a snap suplex that just annoys Steiner.

Scott proceeds to press slam him. He then gets Double J up on his shoulders and drops back to the mat to wreck Jarrett’s shit. He covers but Mongo comes in and makes the save. Jarrett gets back to his corner and tags Mongo in.

Rick gets tagged in as well and he and Mongo proceed to trade blows. Mongo clips Rick and then hits him again, but Rick hurks him up and back suplexes him and then goes up top and hits one of the ugliest bulldogs in the history of bulldogs.

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Jarrett comes in to make the save while Debra distracts the ref. All four men go at it. Jarrett knocks Scott out to the floor and then gets the Halliburton but Mean Kevin Greene slowly jogs out to stop him from using it on Rick. Scott pulls Jarrett out of the ring and then Greene wails Mongo with the Halliburton allowing the Steiners to pick up the win.

Winners: The Steiner Bros.

I don’t understand why Kevin Greene decided to get his revenge on Mongo a year after the fact. Greene’s been teaming with Mongo’s fellow Horseman, Ric Flair, for like a month now and decides randomly to get his revenge at this exact moment. It’s kind of dumb. As for the match, that was kind of dumb too. It was short and Mongo was involved. The parts when Mongo wasn’t in the ring were okay TV match wrestling, but when Mongo was involved, god was it bad. [*]

Meanwhile Backstage…

We return from commercials to find Mongo attacking Kevin Greene in the locker room. Schiavone says that everyone’s been escorted from the building. Zybysko says that Kevin Greene was dumb to stick around after nailing Mongo with a case. He should have jumped in a cab and fled right away.

Match 5: Syxx vs. Ric Flair

Syxx kicks Flair a few times and whips Flair into the corner but misses the charge which allows Flair to take over. Flair unloads on him with rights and lefts that send the 1-2-3 Kid to the mat. Flair whips him but Syxx reverses it and hits Flair with a spin kick and then proceeds to stomp on him.

Hall and Nash come out and then start to beat on Flair. Hall hits the Razor’s Edge and Nash powerbombs him as fans chuck garbage into the ring. Syxx has a giant bouquet of flowers that I’m assuming someone chucked from the audience. Who brought a bouquet of flowers to a WCW show?

Nash gets on the mic and mocks Flair for saying that last night was his finest moment. He says that he’s going to put him and Piper out of wrestling forever. Hall calls them dinosaurs. “When ya nWo ya nWo for life, too sweet, etc.”

Winner: Ric Flair

The loss these three had at Slamboree was utterly demoralizing. They were so distraught after getting bested the previous night that they took out everyone again and stood tall in the center of the ring while the WCW looked liked chumps. This was bad storytelling with a predictable fuck finish and bad in ring action. [-****]

Here Comes Bischoff…

We return from commercials to waste time watching Eric Bischoff saunter down to the ring. He talks about how much he loves the crowd and how great that Outsider beatdown we just saw was before he gets down to business. The business he wants to get down to is Sting.

He talks about how last week he wanted to talk to Sting and how he’d called Sting’s house and the gym he used to work out at. Bischoff said he’d even hired a private investigator to find Sting but no one knew where he was. He looks up to the rafters a couple times and is like “We checked there too. He’s not here tonight.”

He says that Sting’s a gutless coward and will never set foot in the ring with Hollywood Hogan because he’s not worthy. He says that Sting should worship the ground that Hogan spits on and then says that he’s sorry that Sting isn’t here tonight because if he were he’d slap the paint off his face.

Sting then proceeds to bust up through the ring unbeknownst to Bischoff, sneak up on him and wreck his shit with the Scorpion Deathdrop to close out the show.

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Final Thoughts

This was kind of a mixed bag this week. Nothing particularly important happened here, but I liked a couple of the wrestling matches. I also thought a couple were stupid. I liked the set up to the match between Flair and Syxx but thought the match itself and post-match stuff was horrible. I enjoyed Sting popping out from under the ring and murdering Bischoff but thought they wasted too much time with Bischoff sauntering down to the ring.

Of all the one hour Nitros since basketball began, this episode probably had the best pacing. Beside the match between Syxx and Flair, nothing here felt that rushed, but next week they’re back to two hours so we’ll see what happens then.

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