Monday Nitro #91
Date: June 9, 1997
Location: Fleet Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the go home show for Great American Bash and Savage vs. Page II, which is a match that I actually want to see given the build that we've got. The other main match on Sunday is Hall/Nash defending against Flair/Piper. The main event of tonight's show: Hall/Nash vs. Flair/Piper, although this one is non title. Other than that we've got Malenko defending the US Title against Jarrett and that's about it. Let's get to it.
We open with a video about Rodman and Hogan for Bash at the Beach before heading into the opening sequence.
Tony confirms that Rodman and Hogan will in fact be wrestling at Bash at the Beach and we'll find out their opponents tonight.
We cut to the back where Savage and Liz are arriving but before Savage can get out of the car, DDP runs up and kicks the window in. Liz slams the door on Page's ribs and jumps in so they can speed away.
Super Calo/Juventud Guerrerea/Ultimo Dragon vs. La Parka/Psychosis/Silver King
Psychosis vs. Calo to get us going but all six get in the ring before anything happens. It winds up as Psychosis vs. Dragon to start and the headstand into the headscissors by Dragon out of the corner doesn't quite work. Going to the floor is just as good as a tag here so when those two hit the floor, it's off to Calo vs. Parka. A headscissors out of the corner sends La Parka flying and Calo knocks him to the floor, followed by a slingshot Swanton Bomb to the floor.
It's off to King vs. Juvy with Silver King superkicking Guerrera down. Back to Psychosis....who ignores being tagged for some reason. Guerrera hits a great hurricanrana and a HARD dropkick to the face. Tenay talks about Silver King's famous father Dr. Wagner who Larry apparently fought. Juvy is sent to the floor and King tags out, bringing in Dragon vs. Psychosis but it's quickly off to Juvy and La Parka again.
I can't even keep up with how fast this match is going which is the right idea for something like this. Psychosis takes over on Calo and the fans start loudly chanting something that sounds like boring. I can't believe that's what they're saying. Everything breaks down and Juvy hurricanranas King down.
We finally get down to Psychosis vs. Dragon with Dragon hitting a rana for two but Psychosis counters into a near fall of his own. Both guys get sent to the floor and it's La Parka vs. King now. We unleash the dives with everyone hitting at least one. Dragon throws Psychosis back in for a super rana and the Dragon Sleeper for the submission.
Rating: C+. When you need something good to start a show, throw six cruiserweights out there and let them go nuts. That's exactly what they did here and the fans (I hope) liked it quite a bit. This wasn't a cliché yet so the idea of it was still appealing and fresh, much like the rest of WCW at this point.
La Parka attacks his opponents post match.
Here's Luger for a chat. Luger and Giant (who apparently is in Germany tonight) have signed to face Rodman and Hogan at Bash at the Beach. They're waiting on Hogan and Rodman to sign but there's bigger news. Hogan hasn't defended the title since February, so tonight it's Luger vs. Hogan. Lex never says if the title is on the line or not.
Earlier today Piper and Flair arrived and they're fired up about the match tonight.
Alex Wright vs. Chris Jericho
Feeling out process to start with Wright being sent to the apron where Jericho hits his springboard dropkick to send Alex to the floor. Back in and Wright stomps away in the corner followed by a suplex for no cover. Alex goes up and misses a knee drop, but he catches Jericho's superkick in a dragon screw leg whip. A Vader Bomb gets two for Wright as does a sunset flip for Jericho.
Off to a chinlock by Wright but Jericho suplexes out of it. We head right back to the chinlock to kill some more time and Wright puts his feet on the ropes. Jericho fights up and hits a spin kick to the chest but Wright clotheslines him down for two. Off to a camel clutch which Jericho gets to the ropes to escape. The fans boo because a beach ball they have is taken away. My goodness you paid for tickets to a show and you have a freaking beach ball? I've never gotten the point of that. Jericho puts Wright in the Tree of Woe for a baseball slide followed by a cross body, but Wright rolls through and uses the ropes for the pin.
Rating: C-. This was a fairly long match for Nitro and it never got going. Wright was ok but when he lost the first match after his heel turn his whole new persona was broken. Also the announcers spent the first part of the match talking about how big a roll Jericho has been on due to some success in Japan, so they have him lose here? I'm not sure I get this.
Akira Hokuto vs. Malia Hosaka
Akira is Women's Champion and has a title vs. career match vs. Madusa on Sunday. She's a heel here because she has Sonny Onoo with her. Hokuto is receiving oxygen on the way to the ring. Akira jumps Hosaka to start and kicks at the ribs over and over. She bites Malia's fingers for good measure which fires Hosaka up enough for an ax handle to the chest. A top rope cross body gets two on Akira but Hokuto comes back with a brainbuster out of nowhere for the fast pin. Basically a squash.
Hokuto gives her another brainbuster for good measure but Madusa comes out for the save with a few German supelxes.
Luger vs. Hogan is officially non-title. So what was the significance of pointing out that he hadn't defended the title since February?
Here are the Steiners for a chat. Rick says they beat the NWO and now they have to prove themselves all over again. Scott says they'll beat whoever they have to beat to get another title shot. This brings out Harlem Heat who says they should get a title shot. They're fighting on Sunday but a brawl breaks out here.
Konnan vs. Steve McMichael
Kevin Greene jumps Mongo on the way to the ring but Mongo drops him throat first onto the barricade and walks away. Greene jumps Mongo again and the brawl is finally broken up. We cut back to the ring to see Konnan out cold with a broom broken next to him. That would imply Hugh Morrus who Konnan attacked with a broom last week. No match.
Here are Bischoff and Hogan with the latter in a sweet white NWO shirt. Bischoff tells JJ and WCW to bite him because Hogan isn't getting in the ring until he's ready. Hogan says he won't wrestle tonight but he'll pose a bit for the fans. Cue Luger who gets in the ring before Bischoff and Hogan can see him. Hogan gets in Luger's face and says get out of here. Luger decks him and we have a referee and a bell.
Lex Luger vs. Hulk Hogan
Non-title. Luger forearms him to the floor and the NWO comes out for support. Hogan clotheslines Luger down and drops some elbows. The fans are on fire already which is something you can't take away from Hogan: he got reactions that no one else in WCW could get. Luger forearms him down and we take a break.
Back with Hogan scratching Luger's back as we start hour #2. Hogan clotheslines him down again and Luger is in trouble. A belly to back suplex puts Lex down for two but Hulk misses an elbow. Luger stops to beat up the Wolfpack and the Rack gets the submission on Hogan out of nowhere. This ran less than six minutes in total and we saw about two minutes of it.
The Wolfpack runs in immediately and crushes Luger. Hogan hits the legdrop....and the pyro goes off to start hour #2. They couldn't do this thirty seconds earlier when Hogan was pinned in a shocking moment? Instead we wait for the guy that beat Hogan to get destroyed? It was THAT important? The beating goes on for awhile to make sure Hogan gets every single bit of his heat back. Hogan lays on the mat and brags to Rodman about being awesome.
Here's JJ in the ring to say that Savage is fined fifty grand for what he did last week. There's no suspension though, but Savage vs. Page II is now non-sanctioned and under what would be called hardcore rules. Savage pops up in the crowd with Liz and says he's not paying the fine. Cue DDP who says let's do it right now. Savage comes to the ring and they brawl for about ten seconds. Somehow all that took five and a half minutes.
Road Report wastes some time.
US Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Dean Malenko
Dean is defending and there's no Debra with Jeff. Jeff's outfit is now gold and white instead of just the white. Dean takes it to the mat to start and they trade hammerlocks. Jeff takes Dean down and struts a bit. A rollup gets two for the champion as does a small package. More back and forth technical stuff with Dean getting a small advantage. Here's Debra because what would Nitro be like without her right?
We take a break and come back with Dean stomping away in the corner. Jarrett hooks a sleeper but Dean quickly rams him into the corner to escape. Off to a sleeper from Dean which is reversed into a suplex to put both guys down. A DDT puts Dean down for two but Malenko comes back with a clothesline to slow Jeff down. Dean slams him down and puts on a half crab with an arm trap to make it something like a surfboard.
Off to a spinning leg lock instead by Dean as he keeps the focus on the leg. A leg lariat gets two for Dean but Jeff comes back with a tombstone of all things for no cover. There's the Figure Four and Dean is in trouble. It's not big trouble though as he turns Jeff over in about five seconds to escape. Dean hits a butterfly powerbomb to set up the Cloverleaf but Jarrett small packages him for two. Backslide gets two for the champion as does a neckbreaker for the challenger.
Jeff misses a charge in the corner but blocks a shot off the top from Dean. A superplex puts Malenko down and here's Eddie Guerrero out of the crowd. Debra distracts the referee and Eddie hits a Frog Splash on Dean. The sling his arm is in is fake apparently, so he leaves it on Dean's chest. The referee finds nothing wrong with this and Jeff puts on the Figure Four and gets the tap out for the title.
Rating: B-. I was digging this but I could have done without the Eddie interference. It's also hard to believe that the referee isn't going to notice a freaking sling on Dean's chest and be perfectly fine with it. Also it's not like Dean's leg was hurt that bad but he taps out that fast? It wasn't that bad but it's kind of a stretch for an ending. Still though, good match.
Gene is with Jimmy Hart and the Faces of Fear. Jimmy brings out Kevin Sullivan who says you can go home again, and he's done that here tonight in Boston. He wants Benoit, Benoit comes out, the Dungeon beats him down.
BUY NWO STUFF!
Outsiders vs. Ric Flair/Roddy Piper
Non-title again. It's a brawl to start of course with the old guys taking over. Scratch that as the old guys get taken down and we take another break. Back with Hall vs. Piper but it's quickly off to Nash. Flair tries to come in which only allows more beating on Piper. Roddy hits both Outsiders low but Flair is on the floor fighting Syxx. Syxx comes into the ring and gets decked by Piper and it's thrown out quick. Nothing to see here.
The NWO and the Horsemen come out for the big brawl, although we've got a good deal of time left. The Horsemen get beaten down but here's Green for a failed save. The annoying timekeeper rings the bell through all of this. Didn't the first hundred rings or so tell you that it wasn't going to work? Harlem Heat and the Steiners are fighting in the aisle. We get a pretty cool looking wide shot of the arena.
Glacier, Wrath and Mortis are fighting in the aisle now too. The announcers get run off but come back a second later. The fans chant for Sting but we get luchadores fighting instead. Harlem Heat and the Steiners head to the announce booth again and we've lost Tony. The Dungeon of Doom gets in on this too and Heenan bails. The fans still want Sting but Savage and Page run in instead.
Tony is back on commentary now and Bobby joins him a bit later. Hogan is out now and takes out Flair with the belt. Page is out on the floor and here's Sting from the ceiling. He holds off the NWO with the bat, even getting in a few shots in on them before attaching Page to the wire he's on and flying into the air while holding Page. AWESOME ending to the show as the brawl ran like ten minutes.
Overall Rating: B-. This is a strange show but it worked for the most part. It was an entertaining show on its own, but it didn't exactly make me want to see the PPV. Hogan and Luger weren't there on Sunday, and the match they had tonight is never mentioned again as far as I know. The main event meant nothing but that's par for the course in WCW. The ending sequence was incredible though and it would have had me begging my parents to get me the PPV. Other than that the show was entertaining enough and it went by very quickly, which is a good thing. As usual, when Hogan is around it's a better show.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com