While the world remains stale in today’s WWE Universe; things were just starting to cook over in WCW. And if you don’t believe me, I need you to put your faith in TONY SCHIAVONE who’s giddy with anticipation of two solid hours of WCW Nitro! Joined as always with LARRY ZBYSZKO for hour #1, and Fat Tony will stay with us as Eric Bischoff remains on the shelf. Larry rambles about Alexander The Great going into the next Millennium, where the big boys play, something something snore. With the pay-per-view replays out of the way, we watch again as the WWF Outsiders put Bischoff through the table.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND stands with team WCW; LEX LUGER, STING, and RANDY SAVAGE, all painted in WCW colors to show their unity. Savage promises to divide and conquer. Sting says that a grown man isn’t going to come and make a physical statement to a commentator – and wants Razor Ramon to step in the ring with a wrestler. Luger trips over his words, stating “WW… WW … WCW stands tall!” Freudian slip of ominous 3rd man? THE STEINER BROTHERS interrupt, and tell Sting and Luger to stay focused on tonight, as they want the tag-team titles. That’s met by HARLEM HEAT complaining about being cold cocked by a roll of silver dollars months ago by Lex Luger, and they also want their title shot. That’ll be later tonight.
“LORD” STEVEN REGAL and “SQUIRE” DAVID TAYLOR (with Jeeves and Robert Eaton) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY (with Dog Collar)
Pre-recorded comments from TPE are aired; which contain no audio. THIS … is WCW! The upshot; TPE is facing the Nastys in a Texas Tornado dog-collar match at the next PPV, so this is a warm-up. If you’re like me, and I know that you are, you’re hoping for a Shocking Upset that features Dave Taylor finishing off Rocco Rock with 5 consecutive European Uppercuts. Regal waves his hands in the air to mock TPE – but they lead the crowd in a clap-a-long that confuses and disgusts the classy Brit. Regal nails a hiptoss, and does his version of the swim. Of course, he winds up turning his back to Rocco and getting dropkicked to the outside of the ring – causing him great distress. TPE marches around with their hands behind their backs like Regal, but all that gets Rocco is a pair of European Uppercuts from Taylor that are sure to loosen his teeth and probably change his life for the worse. Rocco nails another dropkick that sends Taylor to the top – and he doesn’t know what to do other than to grab on to Regal, and hug it out for dear life.
Call it what you want, but these are a pair of real men who are deeply in touch with their sensitive sides, with killer uppercuts. Regal comes in, and walks into a full nelson. He reverses, but Rocco butt butts out and promptly misses a Lionsault. Regal saunters around with great delight, before turning on the aggression and stomping a mudhole. Taylor comes in, and YESSSS European Uppercut! Powerslam, peace sign, perfect. Two more European Uppercuts are likely to leave Rocco in intensive care, so Regal forces himself in to prevent a homicide. Just kidding, he wants in and hits two European Uppercuts of his own. Grunge comes in for the first time and runs over Taylor with his loaded cast because he’s a cheat. That only gets 1, Regal saves immediately. Pier 6 breaks out, with TPE getting the upper hand. Eaton trips up Grunge, and Taylor sends Rocco to the outside. Grunge stands up, clocks Taylor with the cast, and scores the pin at 5:48. This was a clash of styles between terrible and amazing; but the terrible outweighed the great in this one I’m afraid. *1/2
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. CHIP AMEY
Sullivan tosses poor Chip into the front row, and drags him up the stairs and into the concession area. And don’t get me wrong; Benoit and Sullivan was an era defining brawl that was unlike anything we’d ever seen, but I have no desire to watch Sullivan do the exact same match with jobbers week in and week out. DOUG DILLENGER prevents Sullivan from tossing Amey into the women’s bathroom, so he throws him into a Subway sandwich stand instead. Sullivan is DQed at Some Point. No real match here.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND demands to know what Sullivan’s obsession with bathroom brawls are. See, this SHOULD have been leading to the first ever toilet match; in which winners are determined via swirly – but WCW never had the ingenuity needed to pull that one off. Sullivan has a message for Benoit; and promptly rambles on and on about Daytona Beach without delivering a point. The fans chant “WE WANT FLAIR” with some serious gusto – wassup Charlotte? Hart threatens to kill himself if he hears “Woman oh Woman won’t you marry me now” one more time, and I can’t help but think that might not be a bad thing.
“HARDWORK” BOBBY WALKER vs. WCW DEAN MALENKO (for the WCW World Cruiserweight title)
Tony has a panic attack, because security has sent word that Razor Ramon and Diesel have been spotted in the building. I have actually received a hard copy of Security’s report that I’ll share with you here:
8:01pm: Disco Inferno trying to pick the lock on Kimberly’s dressing room.
8:12pm: Several masked Latino men arrive in a dilapidated van, primed to sign their new WCW contracts at $200 a night. The active roster is now 430 members deep.
8:15pm: Doug Dillenger eats the last of the cheese in catering.
8:17pm: A pantless Kevin Sullivan is overheard telling Benoit “if we do this right, it’ll be killah!”
8:20: Razor Ramon and Diesel are spotted.
8:23: “Mean” Gene Okerlund downs no fewer than 3 bottles of champagne that he snatched on his way by Flair’s VIP section. The props have been replaced with Allen’s apple juice.
Meanwhile, there IS a match going on, and DISCO INFERNO arrives at ringside with a Gold Record in hand. Shake Your Booty has sold over 1,000,000 copies, if Disco’s to be believed, and I have no reason to imagine he shouldn’t be. Disco demands his music be played because he wants to dance – and then he does so in the ring while the match continues. Walker is clearly shaken, but Malenko stays focused. That’s the difference, because while Walker protests Disco standing on the top rope dancing, Malenko dropkicks Walker who runs face first into Disco’s beans. Disco falls to the floor, and Malenko finishes with a Northern Lights and retains at 4:39. So to follow this here, we had a black man challenging the Jewish champion, and the spotlight was put on a white guy who isn’t even in the match. Far too much racism for one segment, hopefully Walker was taking notes. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND asks Malenko on his opinion of what happened? Disco steals the spotlight again, saying that this show’s all about ratings. His record is gold, everyone wants to see him dance – and Malenko was stinking up the joint. “Dean Malenko, you might be the man of a 1000 holds, but I just sold 1,000,000 CDs!” Malenko challenges Disco for Bash at the Beach.
#2 CONTENDER THE BARBARIAN vs. EDDIE GUERRERO
Eddie is fresh back from Japan, and Tony notes that Eddie was so disgusted with the WWF attacks that he’d fight all 3 men by himself – and he’s proving it by showing the guts and fortitude stepping into the ring with Barbarian tonight. WCW Logic! Eddie tries a sunset flip, but Barbarian laughs it off and drops a fist – only Guerrero’s too quick and slides away. Springboard crossbody is caught in mid-move, and Barbarian slams Eddie back first into the buckle. Violent powerbomb leaves Eddie for dead, and Barbarian gives the old one finger cover; Eddie kicks out at 2. That’s no big thing, because Barbarian’s got a pumphandle slam, and another 1 finger cover gets 2. Guerrero leaps on Barbarian’s back, but gets a crappy looking Oklahoma roll that goes nowhere and the fans start to boo. T-Bone suplex comes out of nowhere from the smaller Guerrero, and he heads up to finish – but Barbarian’s on his feet and crotches him. Barbarian goes up and launches Eddie with a belly to belly overhead superplex, with Guerrero flying across the ring and crashing to the floor. Fantastic stuff. Eddie beats the 10 count. Back up again, but this time Barbarian slips and Eddie falls on top for the pinfall at 5:38. This was less than Eddie’s finest day – but it didn’t matter because the freakin’ Barbarian carried him to a good match. ***
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND asks Eddie to comment on his match with Konan back at Uncensored; specifically the headbutt to the groin. Eddie says he has no excuses, but wants another shot. The fans boo him to high hell for being such a wiener, and honestly, tonight I’m with them.
ARN ANDERSON and CHRIS BENOIT (with Mongo McMichael and Haliburton) vs. THE ROCK n ROLL EXPRESS
This is a rematch from Saturday; and the Express are booed out of the building because this is Horsemen country, baybee. Hour 2 of Nitro kicks off during the entrances, so Larry is placed back in his coffin and replaced with BOBBY HEENAN. Benoit and Morton start in a battle of the bad mullets; Morton is of course the reigning and defending champion, with Benoit the young up and comer trying to take his spot. Expect experience to reign supreme here; though what Benoit lacks in length and general trailer park feel, he makes up for in grease. Of course, none of this matters to Arn Anderson, who’d simply kill a baby puppy in exchange for a thick, full head of hair. Benoit tries a powerbomb, but Morton slides through and armdrags Chris. Moonsault gets 2, and Gibson rushes in to follow with a high knee. Arn comes in to a standing ovation, and puts Gibson in a sleeper. Gibson breaks, and cracks Anderson in the jaw with a back elbow. Arn rolls out and lures Morton to follow – around the corner Anderson misses a telegraphed clothesline, but it was a decoy because Benoit is right behind with a double forearm smash. Back in, Morton is catapulted into the bottom rope, throat first by Anderson; which we assume was taught by Benoit who is the Horsemen asphyxiation champion. Allegedly. Gibson gives both guys the double noggin knocker – and all hell breaks loose. In the melee, Mongo smashes Gibson in the face with the Haliburton and Benoit gets the pin at 6:33. JOE GOMEZ rushes in for some reason, and Mongo beats him into a fine powder. That draws out KEVIN GREENE and RANDY SAVAGE – hey, wouldn’t this have been more effective if they’d joined Gomez as opposed to pawning him off? Horsemen bail to the locker room. **1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is already there, with RIC FLAIR, DEBRA MCMICHAEL, WOMAN, and ELIZABETH. Flair blows off Okerlund who asks why Mongo keeps hitting people with the Haliburton. The rest of the sweaty Horsemen join them, with Mongo screaming that nobody can beat them. Benoit threatens to cut off everyone’s heads – what a liar he turned out to be.
ALEX WRIGHT vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE
Tony’s selling point for Bash at the Beach: “If you only see one pay-per-view a year, this is the one to see!” Well, if that doesn’t cause the buy-rates to soar, nothing will. Page drops Wright with a DDT, and says “BANG” a whole lot. Gutbuster knocks the wind out of Wright, but misses a punt and slips on the banana peel. Wright atomic drops him, hits European Uppercuts that make real men like Dave Taylor laugh, and jumps on Page with the ground and pound. The fans boo him mercilessly because this crowd is awesome. Axehandle off the top gets 2. Page dumps Wright through the middle rope, but he comes back off the top with a missile dropkick and DDP hits the floor. Slingshot plancha drops Page, and a European uppercut launches Page back in. A slingshot back in sees Wright fall right onto DDP’s knees. Diamond Cutter finishes at 4:11. *1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND makes his way to the ring to talk to this guy:
Just kidding, nobody wants to talk to that guy. Page is facing Jim Duggan at Bash at the Beach in a taped fist match. “DALLAS – this is his specialty!” “Yeah right.” Page says when he hits the Diamond Cutter, Duggan will have the life expectancy of a house fly. He figures he’s been booked in someone else’s specialty match because there’s a conspiracy to keep DDP. “Tape your fists Duggan, tape your mouth, tape your whole body, because what’s mine is mine and I’m the lord of the ring brother!”
After a break, Gene’s now with KEVIN GREENE. Gene takes us back to Great American Bash, where Mongo turned his back on his friend. Greene’s disgusted, figuring Mongo had made more than enough money during his career. Greene says he’s gotta play for the Carolina Panthers this coming year, and “WE’RE GONNA SURPRISE SOME PEOPLE – WE’RE GONNA KICK SOME ASS!” He says once the season’s done, he’s going on a Mongo hunt. Despite this being his home crowd; he is of course dutifully booed.
VK WALLSTREET vs. RANDY SAVAGE (with Kevin Greene)
Over/under is set to 90 seconds. Savage attacks right off the bell, slamming Wallstreet’s head into the buckle over and over until he’s rightfully concussed and vomiting all over the place. The fans chant “WE WANT FLAIR” – I get the feeling they’re trying to tell us something. Wallstreet and Greene get into a shoving match, so Savage rolls him up for 2. Wallstreet tries a different tactic, and takes Savage to the floor, slamming him into the guard rail. Back in, Wallstreet uses some rudimentary offense, but that gets nothing going for him. Heenan and Tony discuss Bash at the Beach – and Heenan immediately caves to the WWF threat, saying he’s going to fall back on his investments and leave. Tony flips out, insisting he fight, because he knows if Vince takes over, he’s out of a job. How true THAT would ring 5 years later. Savage finishes with the elbow at 4:39, or about 3 minutes longer than it had any business being. *
HARLEM HEAT (on cell phone) vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS vs. LEX LUGER and STING (for the WCW World Tag-Team titles)
The first cracks of destroying the realism of the WWF Invasion; Tony starts announcing the House Show tour and then throws in “and those two outsiders who are running amuck JUST MIGHT BE THERE!” Sting is dressed as Sgt. Pepper tonight, while Luger’s wearing Sting’s facepaint. Scott Steiner displays what can only be described as Race Horse Drug Fuelled Rage, by screaming at everything that walks. It’s neat looking back here and realizing just how long, and how closely Booker T and Scott Steiner’s career arcs paralleled themselves. Tag-team wrestlers forever, eventually re-inventing themselves as singles superstars, competing for the mid-card belts, before eventually becoming the face of the company as the entire world was collapsing around them and David Arquette. Booker gives Scott Steiner a superkick and gets 2. Harlem Sidekick misses the mark, and Scott gives Booker a tigerbomb for 2; saved by Luger. Rick and Stevie Ray pair off and ultimately nobody wins. Sting heads on in after Rick gives up the Steiner control; and he’s worked over in the corner by some pretty pathetic Stevie Ray punches. Booker comes in and misses a massive Harlem Sidekick, crotching himself. Sting makes him ride the cables rocking horse style, and them plums be hurtin’. Atomic drop (or powerbomb, if you’re Tony) gets 2. Vaderbomb is blocked by Booker’s knees, and Stevie Ray re-enters to stink up the joint. He goes for the least intense nerve hold you’ll ever see, so Tony calls for a break because even he can’t stand to watch this anymore.
Upon return, Booker T is just in the process of turning the match back over to Stevie Ray, because heaven forbid we watch the far more talented brother. Sting fights loose of the binds that are Stevie Ray’s black hole of awful, but Booker finally hits the Harlem Sidekick for 2. A flying splash off the top misses – and Sting gets the hot tag to Luger. Clothesline to anyone not white! Powerslam is hit, but RAZOR RAMON and DIESEL are heading in through the crowd with baseball bats in hand. SECURITY rushes the ring to protect the wrestlers – but in the midst of the melee with about 800 people on hand, somehow Booker sneaks in a pin on someone at 9:19 to claim the World Tag-Team titles??? Over to you, ekedolphin.
The Heat celebrate to the back, walking RIGHT PAST Razor and Diesel who are holding aluminum bats. They fail to attack – are Harlem Heat in on this outsider conspiracy? Security cocks their guns to make it clear they aren’t joking around right now. Scott Steiner gives them a staredown; and the Outsiders decide it probably best to retreat. Replays show that while Diesel was headed into the ring with a baseball bat, Stevie rolled up Luger, with Booker’s help – and the referee kept his eye close enough on it to declare it. You’d think this would result in an easy overturning of the decision, but then, this is wrestling. Very unfortunate ending to what was an epic tag-team title run.
The announcers are very uneasy with the scene – and Heenan keeps threatening to leave. Tony starts to carry on about the great history of their sport; and while he’s scared to death right now, there will be no hostile takeover. Heenan: “You’re on your own!”
Originally posted by HokienauticAnyone else anxiously waiting for the Rey Mysterio human dart episode?
Yes, not only because that was awesome, but because I belive Greg Valentine main events against The Giant. They also rehash the dart throw about 500 times and now I am starting to wonder if Pittman main evented that Nitro.
I am not looking forward to the Nitro with the hour long set change/take over.
One of the greatest things about the nWo angle in its early days is that absolutely anyone could've been part of the group, and judging their allegiance based on their reactions to what The Outsiders were doing wasn't necessarily a good idea. Stevie Ray wouldn't join the nWo for a couple years (and Booker T never joined until its WWE days, and only then because he was forced to). Yet Harlem Heat looks awfully suspect here.
Of the six men in tonight's main event, Scott Steiner's nWo turn was the most shocking. (Rick never joined; Lex & Sting started with the face Wolfpac). The war between The Outsiders and The Steiners was the biggest angle for both teams in 1997. Referees were (kayfabe) fired over it. ("Kids, can you tell Daddy that he's still fired?") For Scott to turn on Rick in the middle of a tag-team title defense was rather the shocking swerve in early '98.
"I'm sorry, I'm not much of a hugger." "Not yet you're not." --Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, SmackDown 1/18/13
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Co-Winner of Time's Person of the Year Award, 2006
Well the issue of crowd reaction is usually one of geography. Where were they last night? New England? Because outside of Boston and New York, the New England crowds are usually non responsive to all but the biggest names.