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!
Time for another action packed episode of WCW Monday Nitro from 1997. Once again it’s being preempted by hoops so we’ve got an hour long episode. If the past couple weeks are anything to go by this week will attempt to jam 2+ hours of bullshit into 45 minutes of airtime.
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.
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.
Recorded on December 19, 1985 at the Sun Dome in Tampa, the fourth installment of Saturday Night’s Main Event aired on January 4 of the following year. As is the case with all of these shows we start with some random promos before the actual event gets underway.
It’s time for another installment of Saturday Night’s Main Event. This one took place a couple days after Halloween so the opening montage of promos features a bunch of dudes in costumes while the music from the Halloween movie franchise plays in the background.
We’ve got Mean Gene dressed up as a pumpkin with Bobby Heenan dressed up as Davy Crockett getting ready for some sort of Halloween festivities. Gene asks if Heenan’s hat is a weasel, he insists that it’s a raccoon. Heenan is practicing for the pumpkin dunk later this evening.
What’s a pumpkin dunk you ask? It’s like bobbing for apples, but instead of apples there are pumpkins, and instead of water the tub is filled with chocolate for some reason. Maybe because they’re in Hersey, PA for this installment.
We head next to Hulk Hogan screaming about his upcoming match with Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy. You can tell he’s serious because he’s got his droopy ass headband on again. The last time he had that on he prevented a nuclear holocaust.
Andre shows up and chops him in the chest and is like, “Yo chillax Hogan, let’s go get ready for our match.”
Roddy Piper is dressed as Superman and is chilling with Jesse Ventura who is wearing a costume that’s probably more conservative than his normal attire. Ventura talks about how happy he is that Piper fucked up the Hillbilly wedding during the last Saturday Night’s Main Event.
Mean Gene is standing by with newcomers Terry Funk and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. Funk says that he’ll house train the JYD in their match tonight. Mean Gene criticizes Funk for having a mouth full of chaw, so Terry Funk spits it into the camera and we go to the Saturday Night’s Main Event intro.
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!
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.