This is the very first episode of Monday Nitro and the opening salvo of what would become the “Monday Night Wars.” We are at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota for some reason and our hosts for the evening are apparently Eric Bischoff and Steve “Mongo” McMichael.
This is Mongo’s first show with WCW and Bischoff tells him, “You made it to the big leagues, buddy,” which is a reference to Mongo’s brief stint in the WWF during the feud between Lawrence Taylor and Bam Bam Bigelow. I guess, then, that this is the first shot Bischoff would take at the WWF during an episode of Nitro.
They bring out Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in an effort to make the commentary team not completely awful. Heenan offers Mongo a handshake and then yells out in pain because Mongo has a joy buzzer or something.
With all that out of the way we head down to the ring (which appears to have been set up in the middle of the food court) for action!
With William “Steven” Regal recently announcing a WarGames match for the upcoming NXT pay per view special I decided to go back and watch some old WarGames matches to get me super excited. Since I’d also been randomly watching WCW from 1991 it made sense for me to watch the WarGames match from that year, so let’s go back to February 24, 1991 for WrestleWar ’91!
Ric Flair loves to fight with Big Boys That Love to Roughhouse! We get footage of him fighting and ultimately pinning Vader that apparently proves the point that Ric Flair is not afraid of Kevin Nash while also burying a dude who was no longer with WCW.
We go to the announce team for the evening: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Larry Zybyszko. They tell us that because of the NBA Playoffs, Nitro is only an hour long this week and then some bagpipes hit.
In 1997 the WCW had done gangbusters. Nitro was one of the highest rated shows on TV or maybe just on cable. They were so successful and making so much money that they decided to add a another show to their TV schedule in addition to Nitro and Saturday Night and Worldwide and Main Event and whatever else they already had. That show would air on Thursday nights and be known as Thunder. This is that show.
This is the premiere episode so we get a pretty stacked card with something like three different title matches signed plus the Larry Zbyszko vs. Eric Bischoff match from Starrcade ’97 in its entirety, which I sure the fans in the arena are going to love. So let’s take it away!
We’re in Sheffield, England tonight for this exciting card of seven bouts of grappling. Our hosts for the evening are genuine British person, Lord Alfred Hayes, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and recent WWF hire, Jim Ross. Let’s get down to the ring for action!
Vince McMahon is in the ring in a tuxedo. He’s growly as fuck as he welcomes us to WrestleMania X and then introduces the original wild man of rock n’ roll, Marc Mero Little Richard to sing “America the Beautiful,”
Little Richard appears and does the song all slow jammy before redoing it with a gospel choir. The crowd looks bored as fuck but someone in the crowd begins waving an American flag nonetheless. It’s WrestleMania X y’all!
Jerry Lawler is out with McMahon. He’s shirtless sporting a cape and a crown botching his lame dad boner jokes while heaping praise on Yokozuna.
I guess Sting and Luger are the heels in this match. There’s a stupid run-in at the end where DDP comes in to attack Flair and Hogan but for some reason Luger blindly puts DDP in the torture rack thinking it’s either Hogan or Flair or something, regardless of the fact that DDP was wearing long pants (which Luger’s hand would have touched when putting DDP up in the torture rack) while Flair and Hogan both had bare legs. WCW ’99!