This past summer, my parents stayed with me for a few days. I was working nights at that point, so I regularly slept until about noon or so.
I got up late one morning, and of course both my parents were already up. My father, who has gone every morning of his life that I can remember with a cup of coffee, was complaining about my “future coffee machine” giving him a hard time. Now, I have a Keurig, which of course is the easiest machine in the world to use. But here he was, carrying on that it took him over 20 minutes to put it all together and get a cup of coffee. I was nearly a point of hysteria when I finally asked what took him the longest to figure out, how to put the cup inside the machine, or how to push “brew”?
“No, it was getting that piece of foil off the coffee pouch!”
Suddenly it wasn’t so funny anymore. Lo and behold, there sat a K-Cup in my brewer, cap off, and coffee grounds everywhere. And as I sit here, drinking my coffee before work, prepping to write a Nitro-cap, I am STILL picking coffee grounds out of cup, some 3 months later.
What does this have to do with Nitro? The last couple of weeks have been rank with coffee grounds in my cup, and hopefully now is the time we see something a little closer to the wrestling that I love.
The ever familiar voice of TONY SCHIAVONE is screaming about the Big Boys playing, because we are LIVE SO VERY LIVE LIVE LIVE in Savannah, Georgia. Tony declares WCW “red hot!” LARRY ZBYSZKO would love to weigh in, but he’s too busy taking bows to the legions of fans who live in his head. Tony demands to know the word on Liz? Larryland declares her an obvious member of the “New World Odor”.
THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) (in a non-title Special Grudge match)
Well, I see WCW’s plan to refuse tag-team title shots in order to rest their champs before Havoc is working out. They also get the “Already In The Ring” routine usually reserved for jobbers. WCW!!! NICK PATRICK is your referee, and quite angry about being here. Tony figures the speed advantage goes to Harlem Heat. Christ almighty, Stevie Ray is winning the footrace in the wrestling ring of life. There’s no hope for the rest of us. The Heat double team Rock with no regard for the rules of fair play. So Rock says to hell with it, and rolls out making a play at attacking Sherri! Booker is having none of that, and is on her like a steaming pot of neckbones. That brings us to commercial.
Backstage, ELIZABETH is trying to get into the dressing room of Randy Savage. Eventually she tries the handle, which works, and he’s not there.
Back in the ring, Stevie is slowing things down, as usual. He tags in Booker, who destroys Rock with a Harlem sidekick. Stevie takes him to the floor, where Sherri gets in a free shot in exchange for the earlier attack. Back in, Rock manages to work his way back to the corner to tag in Grunge, but Stevie is distracting Patrick so it doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter though, because…
THE NWO has arrived at the top of the arena stairs. Hall has the stick, and calls Harlem Heat a couple of hillbillies. “You want some of the Outsiders chico? You gonna get it.” Nash vows to snap into the belts at Slim Jim’s Halloween Havoc. “I know why they wear those things on their noses, I can smell the fear from here.”
Back in the ring, Rock is put through the table, and Sherri issues a distraction to Patrick while the Heat destroys the leg of Grunge. The announcers figure they’re trying to end the career of TPE, and I’m cool with that. Heat get the easy win at 10:18. Long, extended squash, but at the expense of a team I can’t stand, so kudos. *1/2
Meanwhile, a limo arrives. Tony’s confused because the nWo is already here, but he reckons it’s Hogan. However, nope, it’s JEFF JARRETT, and he’s got something to say. We might find out what that is after a break. Larry: “Is he with the nWo?” Tony (sputtering): “…YES!”
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long)
It should come as no surprise to you that NICK PATRICK is here, to oversee his life partner and soul mate, DDP. Before the match, Page had some comments for Guerrero. He orders Burrito Boy to watch the ass-whoopin’ being handed out to Powers. I think that’s racist. Powers misses a dropkick, but hits a crossbody for 2. Diamond Cutter hits from nowhere for the win at 2:35. DUD Page kicks Teddy Long after the match, knocking him to the mat, and tells him to kiss his ass. Nick Patrick looks on, staring wistfully at the love of his life. If DDP isn’t in the nWo, I’ll high five a rabid pitbull. (Offer subject to change.)
MIKE TENAY welcomes RANDY SAVAGE, who actually appears this week, with new bestie JASON KELLER who drives the Slim Jim Halloween Havoc race car. Savage demands to know how the nWo car did at the race this weekend. Thankfully, WCW has highlights of the car hitting the wall, while Scott Hall and Ted DiBiase looked on. Savage celebrates because they not only finished in the top 25, the top 20, the top 15, and even the top 12, finishing yes, 10th. Then ELIZABETH shows up asking to talk, and Savage tells her no to forget it and storms off. THIS ALL MAKES ME WANT TO ORDER HALLOWEEN HAVOC.
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
I smell an ass-kicking! Meng’s all kinds of fired up on his walk to the ring, spouting Savage Islander speak, and flailing his arms around freely as if independent from the rest of his body. Then the bell rings, and he chops the crap out of Kaos and lectures him in his self-made language. Kaos charges with clotheslines and Meng ignores it by just screaming and pounding his chest. They try a double dropkick but even THAT doesn’t take my man down, as he bounces back into the ropes. In the aisle, CHRIS BENOIT, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL look on. Voltage is busy trying to slam Meng’s head into the buckle, which is going nowhere, so they use a missile dropkick and Rage gets 2. Meng pops up and gives him an atomic drop, bringing in a fresh Barbarian. Pumphandle slam is delivered with a little gusto, but he picks Rage up at 2 cuz he knows he’s winning and he wants to deliver a little more pain. Back to Meng who brings a powerbomb. Barbarian in again, and Rage hilariously tries to throw some punches into the stone 6-pack of Barbarian, who promptly powerbombs Rage and starts dancing in happiness. Holy crap I didn’t think I could love them any more! Kaos saves the pin, so Meng comes in and catapults Rage into the Kick of Fear, and Barbarian gets an easy win at 3:43. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a tag-team more than the late ’96 version of the Faces of Fear. Brutally entertaining squash. **1/2
MIKE WENNER vs. GLACIER (with 300 year old helmet passed down from Sensei to Sensei to this white guy)
What the hell is with Nitro and destroying people’s last names? To be fair, Mike Winner has never actually seen victory, so maybe this is apropos, but I get the feeling we’re dealing with some Buddy Valentino levels of chicanery here. Glacier’s entrance takes up most of the 1st and 2nd hours of Nitro. Once again, he’s allowed to wrestle in the blue hue, but above that, it’s still snowing. Honestly, this is a bigger threat to the company than the nWo. The nWo might be commanding all the attention and threatening to destroy WCW, but they’re doing it following the standard rules of professional wrestling. This guy? He’s allowed to completely modify the previously understood setting that has been used for 300 years, as old as the WCW title which was once held by Abe Lincoln, and this simply isn’t ok. Anyway, Glacier dropkicks Wenner to the floor, as the fans chant Boring. Going to the martial arts he learned in Japan, he hits a plancha. You know, he could have gone to Mexico and learned that from anyone under a hood. Cryonic Kick finishes at 2:26. I long for the days when Glacier was coming. DUD
Hour #2 starts during Glacier’s never-ending post-match display of Martial Arts. Honestly, they should go all the way with him if this is the direction they want to take. When he rolled Wenner back into the ring, he should have stood there staggering while Dave Penzer screamed “FINISH HIM!” Then he would have turned him into a block of ice and shattered him into a million pieces, kicking off the era of killing off characters a good 7 years before we lost Al Wilson (may he rest in peace).
Oh yes, and our hosts are ERIC BISCHOFF and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN. Bischoff declares the nWo most definitely in the house.
HUGH MORRUS vs. JEFF JARRETT
Soooo … we got that segment in the back with Jarrett’s limo, and the announcers sat around all night questioning what was up, and it turned out Bischoff had simply signed him and given him a match. Bischoff really needs to start sending out company-wide memos to alert them of stuff like this. However, now he’s all paranoid he inadvertently just brought in a new nWo guy, and thinks Jarrett’s going to make him a fool. Oh, Jarrett would make WCW a fool, but it would take another 5 years. Jarrett takes down Morrus with a drop toe hold, walks over his back, and struts. Morrus pops up and clotheslines him to a MASSIVE pop. Bischoff’s given up any objectivity at this point, declaring Jarrett the newest nWo member. Jarrett misses an enzuigiri, but comes back with the “back leg round kick”. Swinging neckbreaker nearly turns into a DDT, and it gets 2. A dropkick gets 2. Morrus comes back with a powerslam, and heads upstairs. He flies, and misses a legdrop. That smarts. Figure four gets a submission at 4:07. One match, and I’ve already had enough of Jeff Jarrett. *
TONY SCHIAVONE welcomes Jarrett to the company, but wants to know if he’s another nWo vandal. Jarrett says he heard Hogan declare himself bigger than the wrestling industry, and without him, there is no wrestling. He says Hogan didn’t put food on his table when he was a kid, and reminds Hogan he started in Tennessee working for his father. He figures history might not mean anything to Hogan, but it means something to him. He tells the nWo to stick it. The fans boo mercilessly.
THE RENEGADE vs. ARN ANDERSON (with Woman)
Tenay mulls over the fact that Sting didn’t accept WCW’s peace offering last week of painting a race car in his colors, because he’s not here. He wonders what else WCW needs to do. They really were that stupid, weren’t they? Renegade holds a big win over Arn Anderson, taking the TV title from him about 18 months earlier. Tenay actually brings this up, figuring Arn’s learned since then that Renegade’s game is bursts of offense, and all he needs to do is slow him down. Arn stomps him down to the mat, and drops a knee. Renegade tries a sunset flip, but Arn chops him in the face and gets 2. Fans start chanting for the DDT, cuz we’re a full heel group tonight. Arn works a hammerlock for awhile, before releasing and stomping Renegade in the face. Scoop slam sets up a Vaderbomb, but Renegade blocks it with his knees. Handspring back elbow drops Anderson, and Renegade calls for the finish. He goes for another handspring back elbow, and Anderson punches him in the back of the head, finishing with the DDT at 7:07 to a loud reaction! LEX LUGER hits the ring after the match, and chases Arn to the back. *1/2
DAVE TAYLOR (with Jeeves) vs. LEX LUGER
Taylor knocks Jeeves out with a European Uppercut on the way to the ring, calling him a stupid little person. Tenay reminds us that Steven Regal is the TV champion, taking it from Luger over a month ago, and that we haven’t really seen him. He’s been overseas defending it all over the world, in accordance with the name “WORLD’S Television Title”. I’m good with that. Luger apparently wants the belt back, which seems odd, the World Title would seem to be a more appropriate goal for a guy at his level. Anyway, Taylor hits a couple of European uppercuts because he’s going straight for the jugular tonight! Luger manages to live, and comes back with a backslide for 2. The loaded forearm gives Luger the advantage, but Taylor kicks him in the face and goes up! The elbowdrop misses, and damn it all, Luger racks Taylor at 2:37. Not cool WCW, not cool. *
On his way back up the ramp, ARN ANDERSON attacks Luger with a chair in hand, giving him the business until the referees break it up.
CHRIS BENOIT (with Mongo and Debra McMichael) vs. RICK STEINER (with Scott Steiner)
NICK PATRICK referees. Rick hits a nasty looking powerslam to start, and he pounds Benoit into the mat. The two start trading nasty punches to the head, which Steiner wins. A belly to belly gets 2. Now Steiner hits a release German suplex that drops Chris right on his head, and gets 2 as we head to a commercial break.
Upon return, Chris is delivering the chops, setting up a snap suplex for 2. Scott Steiner gets up on the apron and rubs Patrick’s neck a little, which Patrick sells like death because he’s still in the brace.
Meanwhile, an nWo limo backs up into the building, and HOLLYWOOD HOGAN and THE GIANT emerge. Hogan tells the Giant to watch his back because he has business to do.
Back in the ring, Steiner is pounding on the back of Benoit’s head, but Chris comes back with a scoop slam. Backdrop suplex gets 2. Benoit nails a flying forearm, and slaps on a headlock. They stand up, and Benoit hits a chop that echos into the rafters, and he goes up. The Swandive connects, but it’s only 2. A second attempt finds Chris in the arms of Steiner, and being thrown across the ring with an overhead belly to belly. DDT gets a close 2. Rick hits the bulldog, driving Benoit face first into the canvas, but it gets 2! Scott starts screaming that he counts too slow, and Patrick orders him to shut up and stay on the floor. Double clothesline spot knocks both guys down, and Debra hits the apron to talk to Patrick. Mongo tries the Haliburton spot, but Scotty distracts him long enough for Rick to steal it and waffle Benoit to get the pin at 12:59. ** Bischoff can’t figure out why Patrick made a normal count. Let me spell it out for you, Eric: He’s in bed with the nWo, not the Horsemen!
RANDY SAVAGE vs. RIC FLAIR
Flair never shows up, because HOLLYWOOD HOGAN, THE NASTY BOYS, and TED DIBIASE are in the back. He asks the Nastys to watch his back, and offers them “paperwork” with the “deal they talked about”.
Elsewhere, THE OUTSIDERS, THE GIANT, NUMBER SIX, VINCENT and NWO STING are working over Flair. ELIZABETH hovers nearby, looking concerned. Giant sees her, and backs Liz out to the live arena, where she hides behind Savage for safety, who’s now wielding a chair. Hogan rushes Savage from behind with a clothesline, and chokes him on the floor with a chair. Liz tries to pull Hogan off, but Hogan reminds her “I own you!” Giant carries the limp carcass of Savage to the ring, but trips on the ring steps and damn near kills Randy who falls with the small of his back on the edge of the steps. Goddamn! He throws Savage in anyway, and picks him up for the Chokeslam – but Hogan tells him not to, because he wants Liz to watch himself beat on Savage. Giant holds Liz hostage, and does the world’s slowest ground and pound. Hogan starts dropping one Atomic legdrop after another, and spray paints an outline of Savage’s dead body, as Elizabeth cries and cries. The fans litter the ring with trash, while Hogan trolls them further by getting on the stick and telling Liz she belongs to him forever because it’s been etched in stone. Really? Does the nWo have their own etch-maker, armed with a rock hammer and stone tablet? Can I see it? Are they forced to carry this through airports to ensure the agreement is legal from state to state? Who does the grunt work? If it’s Vincent, I feel like that’s racist.
Syxx drives a huge nWo Monster Truck out on the staging area, making a bee line for the announcers table, and WE ARE OUT OF TIME!
Really? We couldn’t stay 10 seconds more to watch Bischoff get run-over?
Prime is next, and if you can’t wait to find out what happens next … don’t read that recap, because you’ll be sorely let down when you find out it’s littered with far too many members of the Dungeon of Doom, and Leroy Howard.
If Regal has been all over the world defending the title, why haven't the matches been on television in accordance with the Television portion of the title? They used to replay PPV matches after the fact because of that rule.
Bleh, already to the Jarrett debut that nobody gave a cheap about. The guy didn't get interesting until his second run in WWE after cutting his hair and ditching one of the weirdest wrestling outfits that weren't supposed to be weird. I can't remember one relevant moment in his first run with WCW. I was thinking slamming Flair's head in a cage door, but that was someone else.