WCW’s biggest weekly program is on, with WCW Nitro. But do not discount the secondary programs, oh no – because over the last week, we have established the following: Nick Patrick referees a lot of matches on a wide variety of shows. Don’t think I haven’t noticed, Nick.
Is tonight the night we finally reveal the Ultimate Dragon as the nWo’s 4th man? Will Glacier debut after 5 months of hype? Will Bobby Heenan pass on that 5th drink? All this will be answered and more because …
We are LIVE from Palmetto, Florida! TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO kick off the first hour of Nitro. And we do not have time to say hello, because we have wrestlers already in the ring.
BILLY KIDMAN vs. JUVENTUD GUERRERA
This is the debut of Da Juice, and I couldn’t be happier. These guys wound up lighting up the place just two years later, so I have some excitement for this. The two fight to the apron, where they trade chops while Larry tries to figure out if there’s any family relations between the Guerrera’s and the Guerrero’s. Juvi hits a powerbomb off the apron to the floor, and then follows with a pescado! Back in, Juvi hits a 360 springboard plancha, but it only gets 2. Juvi springboards for a rana, but Kidman just powerbombs him for 2. A slingshot guillotine gets 2. Kidman goes to the vertical suplex, follows with a slam and hits the Shooting Star Press for 2! That’s quite the ballsy kickout. Kidman goes to the well one more time, but Juvi blocks him and hits the super rana for the win at 3:44. They didn’t quite find a strong rhythm here, but it was criminally short and they were trying to get their moves in so I get it. **
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a moment with Juvi – who is replacing an injured Psychosis against Konnan for the Mexican title. Juvi tries to speak in English, but it fails so he turns to Spanish and gets booed out of the building. Back to English: “I am da bess wrasler in Mexican!” He keeps trying, and Gene has enough telling him “you’re gonna have to take this up with somebody else, I’m sorry I have a tough time”. A million stars for even trying this.
Are you interested in watching The Crow: City of Angels? No? Tony Schavione thinks you are. Here’s an ad!
Back to the live arena, Larry’s shirt causes my eyes to spontaneously combust.
MARCUS BAGWELL and JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long) vs. BIG BUBBER and KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart)
Bagwell and Powers share a tender moment on the way to the ring. Poor Scotty Riggs, suffers an injury, and Bagwell finds himself a new man immediately.
In Larry’s 20 glorious years, he’s never seen anyone as vicious as Kevin Sullivan. Eyes wide shut, I suppose. The American Fails throw dropkicks like they’re at the club and making it rain. NICK PATRICK is your referee, so start your speculators speculating. Bagwell flexes and that just enrages Bubba, who blindly charges and gets a boot to the mouth. That’s followed with a dick to the face, but Bubba opts to powerbomb him instead. Tree of woe brings in Kevin Sullivan of course, and he hits the running knee with way too much enthusiasm. Bubba misses a big splash, and through the power of Teddy Long, Bagwell wills a tag. Powers goes low on Bubba, cracks him with a knee lift, and slams Sullivan and the now interfering Hart’s heads to the buckle. A crossbody on Bubba gets the shocking win, and that’s two in a row for Powers! Wait though … Patrick, who counted 3, now says the shoulder was up, and re-starts the match. Of course, he fails to inform Powers, whose back is turned because he’s celebrating, and Bubba wins with the Bossman Slam at 4:26. Long is absolutely livid. Larry suggests Patrick use his vacation time, since he’s clearly too stressed to do his job properly anymore. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is on the scene to chat with the victors. Bubba figures he deserves pretty much all the title shots, and refuses to be overlooked anymore. And what of Glacier? “IF YOU’RE COMING, COME ON BABY!” Christ almighty, it’s only been 6 months, it’s about time somebody said something! Hart: “Blood runs cold? When you get here, the only thing that’s going to be running is you!” Sullivan, meanwhile, remains obsessed with Hogan. He reminds us all, had we listened to him a year and a half ago, we have no problems today. He also wants to ask Gene why he saw him running around Sarasota with Hogan a week ago? Gene denies it, saying it was Hogan. Sullivan insists it was Gene. Gene asks whether or not he had hair? Sullivan: “Yeah he had a bald head and he was you.” I’m dying here. Sullivan isn’t one tracked of course, he still has issues with Chris Benoit. He reminds the Horsemen they are not the last line of defense for WCW. Gene demands to know if Sullivan’s been greasing the palms of Nick Patrick. Sullivan’s reply? “Everyone’s entitled to a mistake, even you hanging around with Hogan.” The amazing part with this, I almost feel like this wasn’t scripted, but more Kevin Sullivan losing his mind on camera, because the Gene/Hogan thing could not have been part of the story at all.
Moving along … Gene returns backstage, to find STING and LEX LUGER. Tonight they face Benoit and McMichael. Luger just wants them to bring it. Thanks for coming out, Lex. Sting doesn’t know why Benoit and Mongo have issues, since last week they said they were cool with Luger and Sting. He understands the Horsemen are trying it as a gutcheck, but he feels they’re making a mistake not trusting them. On topic of nWo – Luger doesn’t care, he’s focused on the Horsemen this week. THIS IS THE BLOODY PROBLEM, YOU MORON!
MIKE ENOS vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.
I feel like Mike Enos has appeared on every show I’ve recapped for the last year. I’m finished with Rough and Ready, we can stop this lazy quasi-push going on anytime. Chavo tries a slingshot plancha, but Enos catches him on the floor and throws him about 8 feet backwards on the floor. DICK SLATER shows up, as Enos hits a backbreaker, and holds it in a sort of Tebow’d Torture Rack. KONNAN watches on from the audience, wearing the bowler hat and flannel we’d come to identify him with in a slightly distant future. A Perfectplex gets 2, and Enos declares this to be the end. And he appears to be something of a prophet, as his leg blows out during a powerbomb, and Chavo applies a Figure Four. The referee gets hit in here somewhere, which draws Slater into the ring and he attacks Chavo. Then he wraps his towel around Enos’ head, hits a swinging neckbreaker, but Chavo schoolboys him for the pin at 4:35. The wrestlers argue Chavo pinned the wrong man, but this is as likely to get upheld as a protest in baseball. *1/2
Chavo calls out DDP, with the help of one “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. He wasn’t humiliated when he was whipped by DDP’s belt, in fact all it did was light his fire.
MR. JL vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)
JL is the #1 contender on the strength of his zero wins since the end of the Cruiserweight tournament. Rey is so focused on this match, that he tells Super Calo (who he will face at the PPV – just so you know!) that if he wants the belt, to come and get it. Rey works a hammerlock, but he’s too small to get anything done with it, so he turns back to what he knows with the dropkicks. Who cares about this though? Because …
Out back, THE NWO is headed to the production truck. Hogan spray-paints nWo 4 Life all over the side of the truck, the first time they’d used that tag-line.
Meanwhile, some match that’s irrelevant is taking place. Rey has JL locked in a camel clutch, but don’t you DARE get invested because now we’re gonna take a commercial break.
Are you having bariatric surgery and want to see some WCW? Well good news, they’re coming to Utica, New York!
Returning from break, JL is getting caught cheating with the ropes while applying an abdominal stretch, and Mark Curtis kicks him in the arm. Rey knocks him out of the ring, and hits a slingshot dick to the face. DEAN MALENKO now wanders down in case this entire segment didn’t already have enough going on. Tony talks about Hulk Hogan, because all this stuff couldn’t have been compacted into the far more important Blake Beverly match 15 minutes ago. JL hits a series of backbreakers, and I’m shocked that hasn’t drawn out another wrestler, or perhaps an air horn being blown by Larry Zbyszko because his new storyline is that he hates Cruiserweights. (Spoiler: Probably true. 20 Glorious Years weren’t built on the plancha.) JL applies a Boston Crab, then moves to the Canadian Maple Leaf – proving international techniques are a staple of the JL diet. We’ve gone about 2 minutes without any kind of distraction, here’s a stupid clock counting us down to hour #2. Tony has moved on from Hogan, to focus on more critical things, such as Sting’s match next hour. The fireworks explode as the camera pans the (empty) entrance-way, and we welcome ERIC BISCHOFF and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN. Rey hits a rana that sends JL to the floor, but he misses a pretty hard baseball slide and he heads right to the guardrail. Still, he recovers to springboard off the steps, and nail a rana that sends JL half-way down the aisle. Back in the ring, Rey botches a West Coast Pop for the pin at 11:38. With no disrespect intended to the wrestlers, -***** for the booking.
Back in the locker room, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is with MONGO MCMICHAEL, CHRIS BENOIT,WOMAN, ELIZABETH, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL. Gene asks about the rumors Mongo has been offered a contract to return to the NFL? Mongo says he’s not here to sell WCW Hotline scoops to line Gene’s pockets (hah!). Woman is even more clingy to Gene than usual, laying on his shoulder like a needy cat – and Gene insists she is going to get him into trouble. That only drives her closer. Benoit is given the microphone, and he delivers lines that are stiffer than Peter North, so I can’t take him seriously.
Back-to-back for Gene Mean, as he has found RANDY SAVAGE. He’s already been signed to face Hollywood Hogan for the WCW title at Halloween Havoc, which is some serious pre-planning. Savage says he’s only got 1 marble left in his head, so it’ll be the scariest match in history. “I’M IN THE ZONE BUDDY!” Before then, he vows to plow through the Giant at Fall Brawl. Gene: “Do you have a chair?” Savage: “I HAVE 72 EXTRA CHAIRS!” I’m seriously considering renaming one of my fantasy football teams to “72 Extra Chairs”.
“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN vs. THE GIANT (with Jimmy Hart)
We’ve played this game a few times before, back in the spring when Giant was champ. Your referee is NICK PATRICK. Duggan stomps around like he’s Bradshaw in Germany, but Hart hooks his leg drawing Duggan’s ire. He rushes like a caveman, demanding the camera man get out of the way. Giant lumbers behind, but Duggan sees him and throws some meat hooks. Duggan goes back in to celebrate, but Giant pulls him back to the floor. Duggan’s ready though, and blocks Giant’s punches, and dodges a blind charge where Giant crashes into the ringpost shoulder first. Back in, Duggan’s advantage is quickly wasted away, and he finds himself trapped in a bear hug. It’s eventually released, and Duggan tries a slam which fails. Forget that though – holy shit – TED DIBIASE is walking down the steps from the crowd! Before we find out what’s happening, Duggan tapes his fist right in front of Patrick, and draws no DQ. Two shots don’t drop the Giant, and now Hart distracts him long enough for Giant to hit a Chokeslam for the win at 4:37. DiBiase flashes the #4, and says next week, we’ll see #5. Bischoff thinks this means he’s the 5th Horseman because he might be legally retarded. 1/2*
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND interviews The Giant, who is furious that he’s been overlooked by WCW in the war against the nWo. He promises he’s going to get the belt back from Hogan, after he beats Savage at Fall Brawl.
ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS vs. RIC FLAIR and ARN ANDERSON (with Woman and Elizabeth)
You know, between the last match and this one, I’m starting to think we’re just re-using a card from May. Or possibly 1988. DiBiase continues to look on, from the front row. Morton nearly scores a quick pin on Anderson, and the R&R clear the ring. After a quick jaw session with the fans, Flair heads back in and works over Gibson with knife edges. Robert fights off both Horsemen in the corner, but Anderson punches him in the pooter to give the Horsemen the edge back. Gibson rolls to the floor, where Woman digs her nails into his eyes. Back in, Anderson drops a knee, and keeps him in the heel corner. Flair and Gibson trade blows, but Robert’s able to tag out, and Morton gets the hot tag, which the fans don’t respond to because Morton NEVER gets the hot tag. Things break down, as all 4 men tee off on each other, but Arn gets in a DDT on Morton in the melee, and Flair gets the easy win at 4:28. **
You know “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is going to talk to Flair. Woman is all over Gene like a moth to a light, and Gene finally tells her “WOMAN, LEAVE ME …” but can’t finish his sentence because he appears to be on the cusp of an orgasm. Anderson cuts a stellar promo about the history of war games – promising he was in the first, and he’ll still be standing after the last. Gene asks Flair if Hogan gave up at the Clash, and Flair’s all fired up. “WITH GOD AS MY WITNESS, HOLLYWOOD HOGAN LOOKED IN MY EYES, OH GREAT NATURE BOY, I QUIT, I GIVE UP, YOU ARE TOO MUCH MAN TODAY! HALL, NASH, BOYS IN THE NWO, GET READY FOR WARGAMES!”
Well, we aren’t getting an answer to Big Bubba tonight – because Glacier is still COMING!
CHRIS JERICHO vs. ALEX WRIGHT
This is Jericho’s debut, who Bischoff hypes as a great international star. Heenan: “So I hear. Did you see the look in Arn Anderson’s eyes?” For the love of god, I am in a foul mood tonight. Bischoff continues to gush over Jericho, which Heenan replies with “did you sign a mortgage with him or something? I’d be more concerned with DiBiase right now.” It’s a bad day when Bischoff’s the most refreshing voice on the stick tonight. Jericho hits a hammerlock suplex which gets 2, but Jericho bars the arm in place (move #946). Wright counters with the same sequence, but Jericho comes back with a spinning heel kick. Springboard dropkick sends Wright to the floor. Jericho brings him back from the apron with a standing vertical suplex, and goes to finish with a missile dropkick, but Wright counters with a dropkick to Jericho’s midsection mid-move. Springboard crossbody gets 2. Wright turns to the European uppercuts because he’s so European, but Jericho fires back with the chops. He misses a charge in the corner, and sends himself face first into the ring post and to the floor. Wright tries a plancha, but Jericho dodges the move and Wright hits the guard rail forehead first! Concussion city tonight. The ref goes to count out Wright, but Jericho refuses to win this way, and it’s declared a no-contest at4:55. What a wiener move! *
As Jericho checks on Jericho, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND comes in as the fans boo. Gene calls his actions a breath of fresh air. Jericho says he’s here to fight with the best of his ability, and winning that way isn’t his best ability. He used to admire Hulk Hogan, but he’d probably take a win that way. Jericho vows to support Alex Wright going forward, against the nWo. I’m amazed he wasn’t applying lip gloss as he said that.
THE BLUE BLOODS vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS
No entrances for either team. Eaton and Taylor argue about who’s starting the match, so Rick Steiner just coconuts them out of frustration. NICK PATRICK is your referee, which I’m sure the Steiners love. Rick clotheslines anything that smells of Earl Grey Tea. Taylor demand Eaton get in the ring and fight like a real man. He refuses, sending in real man Dave Taylor, not to be confused with stable-mate and Man’s Man, Steven Regal. Taylor puts Rick in the electric chair, but Eaton comes off the top with a crossbody and Rick turns it into a powerslam midair for the win at 3:29. 1/2* Taylor and Eaton break down in fisticuffs post-match, and brawl all the way to the backstage area. This leaves the Steiners alone with …
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND who encourages the Bloods to keep fighting. The Steiners promise to get radical at Fall Brawl. Ok then!
CHRIS BENOIT and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Woman, Elizabeth, and Debra McMichael) vs. STING and LEX LUGER
All four guys break out into a brawl right away. Benoit and Sting take their fight to the floor, while Luger works over Mongo with clotheslines. Mongo fires back with a back elbow, and hotshots Luger, pleasing Debra. Benoit heads in with a short-arm clothesline, and pounds Luger into sawdust. Benoit hits a neckbreaker, and follows with a legdrop for 2. Mongo hits a backbreaker, and turns things back to Benoit. Chris is unable to stop Luger from making the tag to Sting, and he takes a quick bulldog. Deathlock is applied, but Mongo breaks things up. Sting sends him out with a dropkick, and press slams Benoit. Mongo throws Luger shoulder first to the ringpost on the floor, and Benoit blocks a splash from Sting with his knees. Chris goes up, and gets some killer air on the headbutt – but it misses. Now HOLLYWOOD HOGAN has come down to ringside, but Mongo spies him and threatens to kick his ass. THE OUTSIDERS emerge from the crowd, and clothesline Mongo. Heenan gets out of dodge, as a DQ is called for at 5:42. *1/2
In the ring, the carnage continues. Benoit takes an Outsiders Edge, Sting takes a Jackknife, and Hogan starts spray painting nWo on everyone. That draws in ARN ANDERSON and RIC FLAIR, but Hogan sprays them in the eyes with the spray paint. Hogan sprays a black stripe down the back of Flair’s hair – and trash now starts littering the ring with some vengeance. These fans are HOT. Nash is hit with at least a half dozen drinks, as all 3 guys pose to insane amounts of heel heat. Hogan sees the camera man, and threatens to get him too, spraying the camera lens with paint. Then they head to the announce booth, where Bischoff bails. Hogan sprays the nWo logo over the WCW brand. The camera pans the ring one more time, where we see the carnage of all the guys trying to walk off the injuries, covered in spray paint head to toe.
Amazing segment to end the show – horrible booking for the first 90 minutes. Hopefully the ship is righted by next week’s show. In the meantime, Prime is up next.