Monday Nitro #93
Date: June 23, 1997
Location: Macon Coliseum, Macon, Georgia
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're getting closer to Bash at the Beach but more importantly we're getting closer to next week which is being hyped as a major Nitro, with the debut of a major name. There would be another major name there actually but not as big as the other one. Tonight we're likely going to build towards the PPV but I wouldn't expect Hogan or Rodman to be here. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap from the end of last week's show with Luger and Giant getting beaten down by the NWO.
By the way, before the show started, a local guy debuted (I believe) in a dark match. His name: Goldberg.
Here are Page and Kimberly (looking GOOD) to open the show. Page says he has a surprise partner for the PPV and tonight it's Page vs. Hall, as set up by Kimberly somehow.
Public Enemy vs. La Parka/Damien
Grunge and Parka start things off as Tony talks about the rest of the show because this isn't an important match. That's not sarcasm. This match is about as pure filler as you can ask for. La Parka takes him into the corner but Grunge takes him down. Off to Damien as all four are in the ring already. Off to Rock vs. Damien with the luchadors taking over for a bit. Not hot tag brings in Grunge and it's table time. Rock dives through Damien through the table which isn't a DQ somehow. La Parka blasts Grunge with a chair and steals the pin. Short and nothing of note, but it's nice to see a fresh team getting a win like this.
Here's Eddie Guerrero who asks for Chavo to come out to clear the air over an issue they're apparently having. Eddie claims Chavo offered to go to the ring last week to face Malenko. Chavo isn't sure if that's true but Eddie has talked to JJ and Chavo is getting Eddie's shot at Syxx tonight. Chavo isn't sure what's going on but he says ok.
Alex Wright vs. Chris Jericho
This is a rematch from two weeks ago. Wright jumps Jericho as he gets in the ring and things start fast. Jericho comes back with a spinwheel kick to send Wright to the floor. Alex starts to take a walk but comes back to kick Jericho in the ribs a few times. Chris takes him to the mat to take over and works on an armbar. A springboard shoulder block puts Wright on the floor but Jericho dives into a dropkick to shift momentum again. Wright stops to dance but Jericho hits a Lionsault Press for two. Jericho catches him coming out of the corner and the Liontamer (called a Boston Crab here) gets the submission.
Rating: C. Not bad here as Jericho continues to evolve into the modern day version of himself. Wright's heel turn has more flounder in it than a river in Minnesota and it just isn't working at all. Thankfully they made the right pick with who to push of these two as Jericho would become a legend and Wright would become a Nazi character.
The announcers talk about the PPV main event and the NWO interfering in the tag match at the previous PPV.
Steiner Brothers vs. Harlem Heat
ANOTHER #1 contender match because seventy four of them weren't enough. Vincent interfered at the PPV so the Heat's victory didn't count. Booker and Scot get things going and we stall to start. Eventually Scott gets double teamed and kicked in the face to give the Heat control. Then again Scott Steiner isn't one to sell so he gorilla presses Booker and launches him across the ring.
Off to Rick and the fans start barking. Stevie beats on him and kicks Rick in the head to take over. When all else fails, kick the guy in the head. Rick comes back with a belly to back and barks some more. Off to Scott vs. Booker again with the future Freakzilla taking over via a belly to belly. A double tag brings in Stevie and Rick with Stevie powerslamming Rick down for two.
Off to a chinlock for a bit followed by Booker missing an elbow but Spinarooning up. Rick powerslams him down and it's off to Scott who cleans house. Stevie breaks up the top rope bulldog and Sherri is knocked into Booker on the floor. A BAD looking top rope bulldog (Stevie's head hit Rick's leg) gets the pin for Rick.
Rating: D-. This was a MESS. They were all over the place and weren't even in the same library, let alone on the same page. The ending looked horrible and the whole thing just never clicked. It didn't help that the Outsiders wouldn't defend the belts again for months, making this match, say it with me, TOTALLY POINTLESS.
The NWO D team (Bagwell, Norton and Vincent) say the Steiners aren't the #1 contenders. Buff says he has the real arms instead of Scott Steiner. Buff and Norton are now named Vicious and Delicious. The Steiners get in their faces and chase them off. The Steiners want the Outsiders.
Video on Ernest Miller. The guy still wouldn't be interesting for about three years, and even then it was nothing special.
Hector Garza vs. Villano IV
Talk about your random matches. Villano takes over quickly with a Cutter that looks more like an RKO. He launches Garza to the floor and hits a suicide dive to take Garza down again. Garza comes back once they get inside and Tenay goes into one of his interesting stories about Garza's father being a regional star in Mexico. How did he go from this to hitting on women thirty five years his junior in TNA? Villano hits a shoulder breaker but misses a moonsault. They head to the floor with Garza hitting a backbreaker followed by his trademark corkscrew plancha. Back inside and a standing moonsault pins Villano.
Rating: C-. There were some good dives here but the match had zero heat. There's no reason to care about either of these guys and big flips and dives mean nothing when you can see Mysterio and Dragon do the same things. The match was a fine way to kill seven minutes, but the match didn't mean anything at all.
Here are Luger and Giant for a chat. They don't like Hogan and Rodman all that much apparently. They won't quit and they'll win at the PPV. This takes five minutes to get through.
Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Syxx
Hall is with the champ here. Chavo puts Syxx on the floor but misses a cross body off the top to give the champ control. The Bronco Buster hits and it's off to a chinlock. Syxx hits a Michinoku Driver and some of those fast legdrops of his. A charge into the corner misses Chavo though and both guys are down. Chavo wins a quick slugout and gets a rollup for two. Eddie comes out to watch as Syxx is knocked to the floor. A BIG top rope dive takes Syxx out but Hall decks Chavo behind the referee's back. The Outsider's Edge sets up the Buzz Kill for the submission. Eddie has his arms folded on the stage.
Rating: C+. When you give Waltman a small guy like Chavo to fight, you get a much better match out of him. This wasn't a masterpiece or anything but it was entertaining stuff. Syxx would actually lose the title before the next episode of Nitro at a house show (called Saturday Nitro) to a certain Lionheart.
Konnan vs. Steve McMichael
Jarrett is on official Horsemen probation apparently. Mongo shoves Konnan down to start so Konnan wants to get in a three point stance. One of these guys would wind up in the College Football Hall of Fame so guess how well this goes for Konnan. Back in after Mongo shoves him to the floor, Konnan pounds away in the corner. We hit a neck crank but Hugh Morrus comes out to distract Konnan, allowing Mongo to hit the Tombstone for the quick pin. Nothing to see here.
We get a video on Benoit's path to get another match with Sullivan, because somehow Sullivan, who I don't think beat Benoit once in their feud, has the pull to be able to not have a match he doesn't want. Benoit had to beat both Faces of Fear and did just that, then he had to beat Meng again in the same kind of match. Now he gets a career match against Sullivan at the Bash which will FINALLY end this feud.
Here's Piper for a chat. He rants about Batman and Mr. Freeze for some reason before saying he thinks Flair might have abandoned him last week. He talks about Flair dating two women so when he falls asleep they can talk to each other. Here's Flair to try to say something that makes sense. When Ric Flair is the one who makes sense, you know you're in trouble. Flair comes out and tells Piper to calm down and Piper references Dante's Peak, a volcano movie. Mongo and Benoit come out with Debra, who runs her mouth and is immediately booed.
Mongo makes fun of the kilt and is the only person that makes any sense here. He says lay off Flair but Piper wants to fight. Benoit tells Piper he's been around way too long and accuses him of having osteoporosis. Piper beats up the Horsemen. Mongo hits him with the briefcase and Benoit puts on the Crossface. We get a Horsemen stomp until security breaks it up. I have no idea who I'm supposed to cheer for or why they're fighting in the first place.
Glacier/Ernest Miller vs. High Voltage
This is Miller's debut. Rage and Kaos jump the karate guys from behind and are immediately kicked to the floor. Glacier and Kaos start things off but Rage comes in with a springboard bulldog. High Voltage hits a double gorilla press but Glacier comes back with strikes. Mortis, Wrath and Vandenberg are watching from the stage. Miller comes in and kicks a lot before hitting something like Trouble in Paradise from the top rope for the pin. Standard debut match.
Wrath and Mortis stare some more.
Hogan and Rodman talk some trash and it's an NWO commercial.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Hall
Savage and Liz come out just after Hall. We actually hear about Page managing Hall back in the day. They don't mention it being in WCW but they do at least mention it. Hall takes him down to start and works on the arm but Page comes back with his shoulders to the shoulder. Hall goes to Page's bad ribs to take over again. Page hits an atomic drop but gets backdropped to the floor, which isn't a DQ because of whatever reason they're going with this week.
Savage sends Page into the barricade and Hall chops away. DDP gets sent into the steps as it's all Hall at the moment. Page hits some right hands but gets slammed down into the mat to stop the comeback. Page's discus lariat takes Hall down but DDP can't follow up. He calls for the Cutter but here's Savage for the DQ.
Rating: C-. Standard Nitro main event here as the match was mostly kicking and punching before they were setting up a finish and the DQ ending. The important thing here is that Page looked comfortable in there against a big name, instead of looking like he was in over his head. The Savage feud did an excellent job of elevating him to this level which you hardly ever see anymore.
Savage and Hall beat down Page. Savage goes up for the elbow but Sting is in the crowd with the bat. He stares down Savage who is on the top rope, but thankfully Savage drops the elbow on Page anyway. It took a minute for him to do it but thankfully the NWO didn't make Savage that stupid. Sting chases Hall and Savage off to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. The problem with WCW at this point is really becoming clear now: other than the main event and one or two other things, there aren't any stories going on here. The main feud is a tag match which we don't know the fourth participant of until we got to the PPV. The second biggest feud I guess is Piper vs. Flair which makes no sense at all. After that.....the tag title #1 contender feud which is going on and on and would result in another #1 contenders match at the PPV with another team replacing the Heat?
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com