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Old 11-30-2018, 11:31 AM   #1226
LKJ
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

By the way, the constant bashing of Nick Patrick is one of the places where TLF gets it wrong. I mean, I don't have a strong opinion either way of his usual officiating, but that heel run from those gifs alone is enough to have made his career worth it as a fan.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:00 PM   #1227
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Funnily enough, I accidentally found those gifs. I was actually in search of reposting The Giant dropkicking Benoit but only found him dropkicking Nash. But then I found two Nick Patrick's by accident and went in search of the Hog Wild one which is absolutely hilarious to me.

Jack as Nick talking with JP as Hogan in the Starrcade 97 episode is one of the best things ever. They eventually get to Vince calling Nick to "screw his babyface". Incredible.

I never noticed Nick enough as a kid to feel he's worthy of much thought. Just another ref. The heel stuff was fun though.

edit: speaking of TLF. JP mentioned things happening in 1992 on the WCCW project? We really gotta go through 10 more years?!??!!?!?!?!!?!

Last edited by .isolated; 11-30-2018 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:36 AM   #1228
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

How did noone get fed up with Norton's no sells and just go Nia Jax on his face?
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:21 AM   #1229
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I can imagine Norton being legit tougher than most of the roster. I would love seeing The DFG vs Norton in a legit shoot back then though
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:13 AM   #1230
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by metsandfinsfan View Post
This thread is one of the main reasons I'm back
Damn it LKJ. Look what you done
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:58 PM   #1231
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Dear Everyone,
I'll probably post a new recap this weekend.
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:49 PM   #1232
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Spoiler:
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:53 PM   #1233
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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Old 12-14-2018, 11:37 PM   #1234
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

July 14, 1997

Nitro

Orlando, FL

Cold open in the arena, and the first voice we hear is…Michael Buffer. "Are you ready? Are you ready for the world premiere of the Nitro Girls?" The Nitro Girls were a pretty pathetic response to WWF going edgy, but they eventually gave us Stacy Keibler. I'm willing to forgive a lot for that.

Kimberly Page comes out, mic in hand, and introduces the girls. None of them look familiar; I guess Stacy was not a pioneering member. Anyway, the girls get in the ring and do a dance routine. It's garbage. And it's not even gif-worthy; just trust me.

To the announce table, where our usual crew of Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Mike Tenay are posted up. They earnestly talk about how they thought Sting attacked Lex Luger last night until they studied it further on replay. Stupid. I can't imagine almost any of the audience thought this, and making the announcers this stupid serves no good purpose. In any case, we're headed to the ring for our opening match.

Alex Wright vs. Prince Iaukea: Prince Iaukea gets a full entrance. Just drop the charade and reduce him to jobber entrances. Or, preferably, reduce him to appearing exclusively on WCW Worldwide. After a mid-ring face-off, Iaukea drops his focus, and Wright slaps him across the face. Iaukea is pissed and tries to go on the attack, but Wright quickly neutralizes him, hammering in the corner with European uppercuts and a series of punches. He does his trolling dance in mid-ring to significant crowd heat. As he re-engages, the crowd suddenly rises to their feet in unison and looks up the aisle to see…The Giant? That's random.



Giant walks into the ring, chokeslams the referee, and asks for a mic. Iaukea objects, and Giant chokeslams him as well. Here's security to eat some more chokeslams. Wright has successfully bailed out of the ring. Obviously the match is over.

Result: No Contest

Crowd loves this series of chokeslams, lapping it up as a bunch of security is scattered throughout the ring. Giant finally has the floor uninterrupted.

"I've had it up to my throat with the nWo. All the way from Bagwell, Norton, Syxx, Hall, Macho, Hogan…and especially that 6'11" goof, big Nash. Sting told me long ago, 'how bad do I want it.' Well after last night I want it real bad. Sting, I know it wasn't you that hit me with the bat. I know good and well because Lex told me. Nash, it was you. You're on the top of my hit list." Doug Dillinger and some other old dudes try to interrupt. Giant demands that Nash come out there now. The Nitro music hits, and we go to commercial.

Before the next match, we see highlights of a match last week between the team of Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton and the Guerreros, when Eddie left Chavo behind to face the nWo in a 1-on-2 situation.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.: Eddie clearly playing heel now, his music feels like a mismatch. Not a heel Sami Zayn level of mismatch, but a mismatch all the same. Eddie and Chavo trade shoves and slaps. Chavo puts Eddie down with a running shoulderblock, goes for a tilt-a-whirl move, but Eddie manages an escape and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker of his own. Armdrag by Chavo, and another, and a big backdrop on top of it. Sloppy flying forearm by Chavo sends Eddie out of the ring. Big cross-body off the ropes to the floor by Chavo, and it looked like the two men hit heads on impact.

Chavo flings Eddie into the guardrail before returning him inside. The younger Guerrero scales the ropes, but Eddie gets up and hits the ropes, crotching Chavo successfully. Eddie follows his nephew up and hits a superplex, then dumps him to the floor. Eddie yells, "Hi, Ma!" into the camera as he slaps Chavo. Chavo gets back inside, the two trade punches, Eddie gets a brief advantage but then gets launched into the turnbuckle. Chavo with a Northern lights suplex on a stunned Eddie for two. Chavo with a German into a bridge for another two-count. Up to the top rope, and a frogsplash lands on Eddie's raised knees. Big powerbomb by Eddie to follow. Eddie hits his own frog splash, and this one is over.



Result: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall

After the match, Eddie climbs back up and hits another frogsplash. As he climbs the ropes yet again, Hector Guerrero runs in and stands over Chavo to block Eddie. Eddie shoves Hector to the mat and then leaves. Tony: "I think what we're seeing is Eddie completely divorcing himself from the family."

Tony sends it to Mean Gene Okerlund at the top of the aisle. He brings out Kimberly and Diamond Dallas Page. Alright, I can indulge a gif this time.



Gene talks about Curt Hennig leaving DDP high and dry last night. DDP says that six months ago, in Minneapolis, he ran into Hennig at the bar and got to talking with him. He says they found they had a lot in common. Says that Hennig told him how much respect he had for him. Fast-forwarding to last night, he says that if he could pick anyone to have his back, he would pick Sting…but he says that Sting has bailed him out so many times that he didn't want to go there. Then he says his next choice would have been either Lex Luger or The Giant, but they were already in another match. Without those options, he says he worked the phones and got in touch with Hennig, who said he would be there. "I thought he was a stand-up guy; I was wrong. But I ain't crying, and I'm not even mad…because I don't get mad; I get even. And know this, Hennig: it doesn't matter how many times I get knocked down. It matters how many times I get back up." As a DDP Yoga patron, let me just say: he overuses the **** out of that saying. He closes: "I'm full of surprises. And if you don't believe me, ask Savage about La Parka. BANG!"

After a commercial and another uninspiring Nitro Girls routine, Mean Gene has another interview lined up: the Harlem Heat. Gene says that the nWo has been ducking and swerving them and has been doing **** like sending Vincent out to get them disqualified intentionally. Booker T responds, "You know, Gene Okerlund: we ain't worried about Vincent, the nWo, nobody. You see, this ain't 1962 and we ain't Lee Harvey Oswald. Ain't no patsies in this group." (That was in 1963.) Stevie adds that tonight, they may not have a title shot, but they're going to turn their match against the nWo into a street fight. The interview ends there. Tony says that we're getting Harlem Heat vs. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash later.



Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton (w/ Vincent) vs. The Steiner Brothers: Although Scott Norton is the only truly bad worker in this match, and I can hardly conceive of anything less interesting that doesn't involve Jeff Jarrett and Mongo McMichael.

Buff and Scott Steiner to start. Buff hits an armdrag, does a bunch of his hammy posing, it briefly draws Rick Steiner in, and eventually we return to the action. Hip-toss by Scott Steiner. More ****ing posing by Buff. Seriously, Buff's heeling was so ham-fisted. Side headlock by Scotty wears Bagwell down. Releases and hits a shoulderblock, but continues running the ropes and eats a Bagwell dropkick after a leapfrog. More posing. Steiner hits a running shoulderblock and a clothesline, then does his own posing. ****ing stop it. Backdrop by Scotty, then a gorilla press slam. One clothesline staggers Buff, and the next clears him from the ring. We've gone an awful long time with no tags, but Rick finally tags in now.

We have a sudden cutaway, with Konnan emerging from a limousine. Next to emerge are Syxx, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash. Syxx, Hall, and Nash appear to be drunk as **** as the four men stagger into the arena. Back to the match, where Scott Norton has entered and is taking on Rick Steiner. Norton reverses a whip, misses with a clothesline, then just sort of no-sells and bodychecks Rick's cross-body on the way back. Norton hits Scott Steiner to bait him in, things break down as Buff enters. Nick Patrick tries to get things under control, Vincent enters pretty blatantly and kicks low at Rick's leg to stop him as he had set Norton up on the ropes. Norton hits a horrendous tornado DDT to capitalize on the Vincentference. He smashes Rick's face into the mat before tagging to Buff.

Bagwell controls for a few moves until he jumps lazily off the top into Rick, who catches him, cinches him up, and throws a belly-to-belly. Hot tag to Scott Steiner, who throws clotheslines at both opponents. Big belly-to-belly on Norton. Sort of a t-bone on Bagwell. Butterfly powerbomb to follow, but we get a run-in by Masahiro Chono and Great Muta to finish this horrible match with a horrible ending.



Result: The Steiner Brothers via DQ

The Steiners are overwhelmed by the numbers at first, but ultimately launch a big comeback and clear the ring.

After break, Mean Gene is at the top of the aisle. He brings up footage of Raven's recent appearance where Raven spoke cryptically at Bash at the Beach. Back live in the arena tonight, Gene goes to try to grab a new word from Raven, who is again flanked by Stevie Richards. Raven says, "The only announcement is that there is no announcement. Quoth the Raven, nevermore." Stevie says, "Hey! You said if I signed a contract with WCW…" Raven cuts him off, spitting on him and shoving him down to the floor. That's how the segment ends.



Before the next match, we get a PIP promo from Chris Benoit. "Sullivan, this was a lot more than a physical battle. This became a personal problem. I've taken care of my personal problem: your career is over. It's time to get back to being one of the elite…being a Horseman."

Chris Benoit vs. Mike Enos: Enos had gotten a jobber entrance apparently, so we go straight from Benoit's PIP to an offensive onslaught by the Crippler. He whips Enos off the ropes, hits a vicious clothesline, then starts laying in hard chops. Series of kicks to the gut leaves Enos helplessly lying in the corner, until finally the referee backs Benoit off and allows Enos to capitalize with an attack from behind. Enos with some punch/kick offense, a front slam, and now he sets Benoit up along the top and hits a big fallaway slam off the second rope. Running clothesline by Enos in the corner, and Larry Zbyszko offers the excuse for Benoit that he's giving up a lot of offense because he's not 100% after last night's war with Kevin Sullivan. On one hand, that's sensible psychology. On the other hand, it reminds me that in a shoot there's no ****ing way Benoit should be in the ring at all tonight.

Enos hits a sort-of piledriver that kind of resembles a pancake too. He slaps on a bearhug, but Benoit rakes the eyes to get free. You think he'll finally retake the offense here, but he runs the ropes and ends up promptly eating a scoop powerslam. Enos goes for a short clothesline, but Benoit counters into a Crippler Crossface, and despite giving up most of the offense in this match, he scores the win. A little weird to book this as basically a fluke win, especially after an opening promo of "time to get back to being one of the elite."



Result: Chris Benoit via submission

More Nitro Girls after commercials. They, uhh, put on sunglasses and sway a little bit. They don't even dance this time. I'll probably just stop acknowledging them the way I do with Lee Marshall's Nitro Party reports.

Bobby Heenan has stepped in for Larry Zbyszko on commentary, as Tony notes that we're about to start hour #2.

We get a clip of last week's DDP-as-La Parka stunt before the next match.

Super Calo vs. La Parka: As La Parka enters, he looks over at Kimberly Page at the top of the ramp (still around from the Nitro Girls appearance), and she flashes him the diamond sign, presumably just ****ing with everybody.

Calo with an armdrag. He climbs the ropes and flips behind La Parka, but promptly runs into a big clothesline by the larger lucha. Before we've gotten any further, a crazed Macho Man Randy Savage comes running in to attack La Parka. He attacks Calo while he's there, putting the beatdown on both guys.

Result: No Contest

DDP comes running in for the save, attacking Savage. "Has he outsmarted him again?!" "I believe he has!" Wait, what? Savage just randomly attacked La Parka during a regular match; I don't see how that's DDP outsmarting anyone.

Enter Curt Hennig, who has something wrapped around his fist. He clocks DDP and leaves him out cold, then departs.



Savage lands the flying elbow on the unconscious DDP, then leaves.

Mean Gene is here to confront Hennig. He says, "After last night, and especially tonight, where are you coming from?" Hennig: "Let's just cut through the crap! I heard Page out here earlier talking about how much he has in common with me. He's got NOTHING in common with me! Let me tell you about Page. Five years ago, Diamond Dallas Page used to come up to ringside and ask me, 'Curt Hennig, can I please have your autograph?' And everyone in the locker room, everyone in the world still knows, he's the biggest mark in the world anyway!" I think that comment was a shoot. Gene stands up for Page, saying he's got tremendous work ethic. Hennig says, "He's got no work ethic at all." He continues, "If he tries to challenge Curt Hennig, he won't last 30 seconds. And you know what the rumor is around the locker room? He can't even last 30 seconds with that hosebag he calls his old lady!"



Gene feigns shock, and that seems to be a mic-drop moment to end the segment, but as Hennig leaves, Ric Flair comes out to greet him. Flair is all happy and says that he and Hennig are going to party all night, but Hennig isn't having it, kind of shrugging Ric off and leaving separately.

After commercials, we hear the nWo music, and - minus Hogan - most of the faction comes out. Kevin Nash gets wheeled out in a wheelchair. Konnan is with the group again, so they seem to have just blended him into the faction without a really official induction. Eric Bischoff says, "As you can see, one of the most powerful men on the planet is injured. And that's not the worst thing! You know what the worst thing is? There are people accusing him of being a Sting imposter last night!" Bischoff asks Kev if it was him. Nash says, "Absolutely not. I would never stoop so low as to attack another combatant from behind." He sarcastically pretends to squeeze some crocodile tears.

Then Bischoff prompts him to make an announcement. Nash, still playing at being injured, asks for people to help him out of his chair. He's helped to his feet and says, "K-Dogg, in Las Vegas you not only showed the Wolfpack, the nWo, but you showed the world what you would do. United States and the world, this one is for La Raza." Konnan opens his flannel to reveal an nWo shirt. Okay, there was our official induction.



Hall and Nash douche it up for a moment longer, the music hits, and the promo part of the segment is over.

The scheduled match was Hall and Nash vs. Harlem Heat, but Nash begs out over his fake injury, and the team is going to be Hall and Syxx.

Scott Hall & Syxx vs. Harlem Heat: Syxx faces off with Booker T. Booker rains hammering blows down on Syxx's back, then chokes him violently as he pushes him against the ropes. Syxx ducks a clothesline and hits a spinning heel kick, then lands one of his snap-legdrops. Chop, snapmare, but a missed elbow. Booker misses an elbow too, but a spinaroonie and a side kick later, Syxx is holding his teeth in the corner. Tag to Hall. Booker tags Stevie too, so we can tune out for a few.

Hall baits Stevie with a toothpick to the face, causing Stevie to unleash his entire offensive arsenal (kicks and punches). Stevie runs into Hall's boot on a corner charge, and Hall's second-rope bulldog gets a two-count. Arm-wringer by Hall, but Stevie counters into a clothesline. Tag to Booker, who combines with his brother on an awful-looking double punch…or something. Hall reverses a whip, Booker ducks, but then gets caught on a cross-body and flung backwards in a fallaway slam. A failed pin attempt later, Hall slaps on a standing armbar and insultingly slaps the back of Booker's head. Booker rediscovers his feet and hits a back kick to regain the advantage. A bad jumping forearm knocks Hall to the floor.

After a recovery period, Hall re-enters to a double-team by the Heat, Stevie re-entering as the legal man. He bodyslams Hall, slowly covers and gets a near-fall with no justification. He works a rest hold for a bit, but Hall eventually works his way back up and hits a back suplex. Stevie tags Booker, who blocks a Hall tag by promptly knocking Syxx off the apron. Axe kick (called a scissor kick by Tony) gets a two-count. Booker returns Hall's insulting slaps to the back of the head from earlier, reminding me that for a match that was billed as a grudge match for the Heat, there's almost no passionate animosity on display from any of the competitors.

Tony starts calling out Booker for not tagging his brother at this point for some odd reason, I guess foreshadowing an ending that he's got spoilers on. Hall promptly breaks up Booker's momentum by reversing an Irish whip and hitting a big clothesline. Two-count. Booker with a crescent kick and a slow cover for two. Hall gouges the eyes to retake an advantage, and sets Booker up on the ropes, but Booker hits a back elbow when Hall tries to follow him up. Cross-body off the ropes by Booker, with Syxx breaking up the pin. Enter Stevie, and all four are briefly in the ring. As the referee attends to Stevie and Syxx, Nash pops up out of his wheelchair to hammer Booker from behind. Razor's Edge by Hall, and the 1-2-3.



Result: Scott Hall & Syxx via pinfall

After a commercial break and another worthless Nitro Girls segment, we're back to the ring.

Masahiro Chono & The Great Muta (w/ Vincent) vs. The Public Enemy: Sigh. I wish irritable bowel syndrome upon tonight's bookers.

Chono and Muta attack PE before PE ever enter the ring, and the bell rings to acknowledge that the match is under way. Chono hits a mafia kick to Rocco outside the ring and then mocks the lame arm-waving that PE always does. I actually remember PE as being non-terrible in ECW, but then they went to WCW and it was basically like watching DX become PG DX. Anyway, lots of brawling outside the ring, and then all four make their way inside; referee Mark Curtis is making no effort to enforce the usual tag-team rules. PE eventually clears the ring of the nWo.

Chono and Muta do some Goldust-level stalling outside before Chono finally returns inside to face off with Nasty Boy #3, Johnny Grunge. Chono takes the fight to Grunge, hammering away with chops in the corner. Grunge fights back with a swinging neckbreaker. Grunge gets up and goes full racist with a bow to mock his Japanese opponents. Tag to Rocco, who enters with an axhandle off the second rope. Chono tags Muta too. Muta reverses a whip on Rocco, but Rocco still comes back with a flying attack. Muta comes back with an arm-wringer, which he holds onto as he tags Chono. Chono misses with a mafia kick, and Rocco hits something of an asai moonsault on the way back. Both men tag.

Muta with a handspring back elbow in the corner. Facebuster. Crisp elbow drop by Muta, then a couple of kicks, but Rocco hits a cheap kick from the apron. Both legal men tag again. Four-way chaos, referee Mark Curtis feigns distraction, Muta spews the mist in Grunge's face, and Chono capitalizes with a mafia kick (Tony says it "literally knocked his head right off") to finish things.



Result: Masahiro Chono & The Great Muta via pinfall

An obnoxious black-and-white nWo t-shirt promo later, we're onto what's being passed off as our main event.

Ric Flair vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra McMichael): Mike Tenay says that he thinks that Debra was sick of being in Mongo's shadow. What a brilliant explanation for her heel turn.

Flair with a side headlock to open. Releases into a shoulderblock, but keeps running the ropes and gets backdropped. Jarrett taunts and gets chopped hard to the mat. And another chop. Jarrett fights back with a clothesline and a dropkick, knocking Flair to the floor. On the outside, Flair reverses a whip into the guardrail, but then falls victim to a backdrop on the floor. Jarrett returns Flair inside, cross-body off the top gets reversed into a Flair pinning combo, and Flair gets a near-fall.

The two men trade chops in the corner. Jarrett whips Flair into the corner, Flair flips over and runs the apron before climbing, but gets caught with a dropkick coming down from the top rope. Jarrett sets the Nature Boy up on the ropes and executes a big superplex. Jarrett plays at the figure-four and then drops the elbow. He tries again for the figure-four but gets small-packaged for a two-count. A furious Jarrett drops the straps, signals "bring it on," and Flair obliges, resuming the chops. More punches and chops in the corner as the crowd pops big for Flair. Randy Anderson looks away to create the appearance of Debra distracting him, but Debra is talking to the camera, echoing the "lived in Mongo's shadow" talking point, and Flair hits a blatant low blow while Anderson is pretending to be legitimately distracted. In a strange sequence, the commentators have laid out for a really long time while Debra prattles pointlessly. Finally Mongo arrives and confronts her at ringside, screaming about her stabbing him in the back.

As Flair applies the figure-four, Mongo just saunters in and attacks Jarrett.



Result: Jeff Jarrett via DQ

Benoit is out here as well. Flair doesn't seem to mind having been disqualified; the three triple-team Jarrett until Jarrett can finally escape up the aisle with Debra.

After commercial, Mean Gene is in the ring. He calls out…Lex Luger. Our TV main event is a promo by Luger with no apparent purpose? Luger says that there have been some great moments and bad moments in his career, but he believes the last night's win was one of the great moments of his career. Is Tony Schiavone moonlighting as a promo-writer now? Lex says that he loved racking Savage, he loved racking Hogan, but it was extra sweet to rack Dennis Rodman. Gene says that Road Wild would be a great date for Luger to take on Hulk Hogan for the WCW Title. Luger responds by agreeing and formally challenging Hogan for the title at that show. As he does, the nWo music hits, and again many non-Hogan faction members appear at the top of the aisle. As they make their way to the ring, Sting with a pronounced wig also comes out. It looks like the real thing. Upon entering the ring…yep, it is. Now that Sting is in the ring, the nWo shrinks, Tony screams "GOODNIGHT, FANS!" and the show goes off the air.



Overall: This is one of the most worthless episodes of Nitro I've ever seen. I hope everyone involved is living in financial ruin to this day.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:02 PM   #1235
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

You deserve danger pay for getting through that one.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:14 PM   #1236
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

It was certainly disheartening after all that downtime to come back to one of the most boring episodes of the thread to date. At least the Tower of Doom had the decency to fail spectacularly.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:54 PM   #1237
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Cool Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Chris Benoit vs. Mike Enos:
I chuckled upon reading this. From Souled Out 1999 on TLF a couple of months ago: "Chris Benoit vs. Mike Enos. Emphasis on the 'NO!'."

Good stuff, LKJ. Nice to see the MNW make a return!

Sorry for the 1999 spoiler!
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:04 PM   #1238
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I'll have a new writeup posted within a week.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:07 PM   #1239
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Praise Raptor Jesus!
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:19 PM   #1240
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Pretty impressive IMO that the July 14, 1997 Nitro was so bad that it shut down this thread for four months.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:21 PM   #1241
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

July 14, 1997

RAW

San Antonio, TX

We open on highlights of last week's episode emanating from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where the Harts were kings. Tonight the Harts are playing an away game deep in the heart of Texas.

After the credits roll and the usual opening pyro goes off in the arena, Jim Ross welcomes us to the show as the camera picks up a bunch of rabid fans with American symbolism.

The famous Bret Hart guitar squeals hit, and the Hart Foundation heads to the ring, Bret raising a huge Canadian flag along the way. Vince McMahon is in the ring to interview them. He notes that tonight's greeting is a bit different than what the Harts got last week in Canada.



Bret: "Alberta, where I come from, is once again rat-free, but you can't the same thing right here right now in San Antonio. It's filled with rats! And I'll tell you, most of the rats are back there and hiding, because they know that the Hart Foundation is a force that will be reckoned with. You know, it's in my contract…it's written in there all nice and pretty…Gorilla Monsoon has taken me at my word - and that's fine - that if I lose the World Wrestling Federation Title match with The Undertaker at the SummerSlam --" Vince cuts him off and points out, "You said if you don't WIN the title match at SummerSlam, you'll never again wrestle on American soil." Bret says that's fine with him, because Canadians always do their best and keep their promises, and he will be the five-time champion at SummerSlam.

Vince turns to Owen, saying that he has the unfortunate task of taking on the toughest SOB in the WWF, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Owen smirks and says, "I could really give a damn whether it's Steve Austin or anybody else, because the Bulldog and myself tonight will regain the WWF tag belts that we never should have lost." Owen says that as for Austin, "at SummerSlam, you better pucker up, son, and get your Blistex ready, because at SummerSlam, you're gonna kiss my ass!" Vince, who is obviously much too high-brow for declarations that someone will kiss someone else's ass, scolds Owen angrily with "hey, hey, hey!"



I absolutely detested the Austin/Owen stipulation, mostly because it felt like it made the IC Title match far too predictable. I assumed that never in a million years would WWF ever actually show someone kissing someone else's bare ass.

Vince moves on to the British Bulldog and addresses his SummerSlam match with Ken Shamrock. Bulldog says that if he loses his title, he'll eat a can of dog food immediately after the match. Next up is Brian Pillman, who is set to take on Goldust at the PPV. He fakes sobbing as he starts: "Dusty…I know you're watching. I love you." Then he switches to a manic demeanor and says, "Not really! I just like your style! Years and years of abuse and neglect of your little boy, Dustin, while you fed your massive ego, and your fat face on top of it. Turned your little son into the most celebrated drag queen of the century! Dusty, I know your daddy broke your heart. Come SummerSlam, I'm gonna rip it out of your chest! And if I don't…next night on Raw, I'll wrestle you wearing a dress…and it might as well be one of Marlena's. But I promise you, if I'm gonna do that, that won't be the only thing of hers that I'll be getting into."



Jim Neidhart adds that if any of the Harts lose at SummerSlam, he'll shave his goatee off the next night on Raw. I can't say I was terribly fond of any of these stipulations really, but none of them straight-up announced a result like the Owen/Austin stip. Bret closes the segment: "Canadian women are prettier. Our money is prettier. Our sports are tougher. And our men are tougher. Our beer tastes better. And whether you Americans like it or not, it's gonna be a Canadian summer!"

With that, the glass shatters, and Steve Austin emerges at the top of the ramp. He sheds his vest, and as he does, Ken Shamrock comes out alongside him with match plain black trunks. Then they're joined by…the Patriot, Del Wilkes. I guess this was his debut? Random. As Austin counts numbers on his fingers to three, there must be more coming. And there is…Sid. Okay, that feels pretty random too, though he had only been gone a little over a month at this point. Must be in the middle of the softball all-star break tonight. And the fifth to emerge is Shawn Michaels. You could say this is an eclectic group.



Stone Cold's music blares throughout the segment, and it concludes after Michaels appears. I don't actually know if they're signaling a 10-man tag for tonight or what; Owen already said they're chasing the tag titles tonight.

After break, we hear the regal sounds of The Great Gate of Kiev, and Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher head to the ring together. Apparently they're tagging tonight. We get highlights of the two of them double-teaming Scott Putski.

Jerry Lawler & Brian Christopher vs. Scott & Ivan Putski: Ivan Putski is 56 years old at this point. He looks older than that to me. He gets a mic upon arrival at the ring and sings awkwardly until the Lawlers jump him from behind and put us out of our misery. They attempt to double-team Scott, but Scott stops short of a double backdrop, kicks Lawler in the face, and powerbombs Christopher. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Scott. Lawler and Christopher attempt a double-team again, but it ends in Lawler accidentally dropkicking his son. Scott retains control, hitting a running clothesline and then beating on Brian in the corner.

Brian reverses a corner whip and lands a punch, but Scott fights right back, hitting a jumping clothesline. Lawler breaks up his momentum from the apron, interfering from there, and he causes enough of a distraction that Brian is able to take control. Facebuster by Christopher, who tags in Lawler, and the duo continues to isolate and work Scott Putski in a heat segment. Lawler hits a big piledriver, makes a cover, and then at the count of two Brian races in and says, "No no no no! Let me." Lawler assents and allows his boy to try to finish this off. Of course, Christopher's follow-up legdrop from the top rope misses. Scott Putski with a slam. Christopher reverses a whip, the two run the ropes and end up clotheslining each other for the double knockdown. Lawler enters and tries to help out by holding Scott up, but Christopher ends up accidentally kicking him, and it enables the hot tag to Ivan Putski. All four in the ring until Scott and Brian spill to the outside. Big right hand by Ivan, who sends Lawler off the ropes, hits him with the Polish Hammer, and scores the pinfall.



Result: Scott & Ivan Putski via pinfall

We see footage from last week of Mankind running down to try to aid Steve Austin, taking a chair shot to the head from HHH for his efforts, but distracting HHH enough in the process to allow Austin to hit a Stunner and score a pinfall. This is followed by Austin offering a handshake to be his tag team partner, then another Stunner to Mankind when Mankind allows himself to be suckered in. The footage continues with Austin barking at Mankind that he would never be allowed to join his team, then Mankind getting on the mic and screaming that he was going to take new measures and show Austin that he would be never be the same again and the WWF would never be the same again.

Back in the live arena, Vince throws it Mankind sitting in the dark backstage, and he asks him to explain what he meant about things never being the same again. Mankind just sits silently until Vince throws it to commercial.

After the break, Vince talks to Paul Bearer, who is standing backstage. "Undertaker, the hell you claimed to be living in for the past 20 years is nothing compared to the life of your brother. You started that fire. You killed your parents. You turned your brother Kane into a disfigured revengeful creature. You stole the innocence from that child! And now, Undertaker, Kane is no longer a child, and he eagerly awaits to confront you. Oh yes, he's alive! And next week, I'm gonna prove it."



Tajiri Yoshihiro vs. TAKA Michinoku: This Tajiri Yoshihiro is the same one that we would see later under a different look, though I think that this particular stint is short-lived. TAKA and Tajiri lock up, trade arm-wringers, jostle for position, and ultimately trade armdrags before resetting. They re-engage in a knucklelock, Tajiri, bridges backward, leaps to his feet and tries a hurracanrana, but TAKA rolls through it and continues the sequence, which ultimately concludes with a standing dropkick that sends Tajiri from the ring. TAKA gets a running start and hits his trademark springboard plancha ff the top ropes to the floor.

Tajiri goes to re-enter, TAKA tries to suplex him into the ring, Tajiri falls behind him, attempts a back suplex, TAKA instead flips through and lands on his feet, then throws a belly-to-belly off an Irish whip that gets a two-count on the ensuing pin attempt. Tajiri hits a stiff clothesline, followed by a sitout powerbomb. As the referee gets toward a count of two, Tajiri seems to transition into something of an Oklahoma roll, ultimately keeping enough control to continue a pin attempt elsewhere in the ring that still draws a kickout.



Tajiri with a spinning wheel kick that sends TAKA sprawling to the outside. Tajiri to the apron, and he hits an asai moonsault to the floor from there. He re-enters and awaits TAKA's entrance. TAKA comes back in from the top rope, Tajiri meets him with a dropkick, but the impact is awkward and the spot is pretty much a botch. Tajiri stands and hits measured standing kicks that culminate in him catching a kneeling TAKA square in the head. TAKA stands back up, the two trade chops, and Tajiri ends up hitting a spinning heel kick. They go back to chopping, and the sequence ends in a double knockdown. Dragon suplex by Tajiri gets a two-count.

TAKA hits a jumping knee in the corner, quickly follows with a springboard dropkick to a staggered Tajiri's back, and the Michinoku Driver polishes this one off. Good little match.



Result: TAKA Michinoku

Vince throws it to Ken Shamrock backstage, asking him if he'll be Stone Cold Steve Austin's partner tonight. Shamrock flatly says no, he won't be, explaining that he was just out earlier in support against the Hart Foundation. He says he has his own match against Jim Neidhart later tonight, and that when he steps into the ring with him, "it will be knuckle-up time." Such a genius of the mic, that Shamrock.

We see a clip of Los Boricuas collectively rolling into the arena earlier tonight. Vince says that they (presumably two of them) will be taking on the Headbangers. After commercial, it appears that match is next.

The Headbangers vs. Miguel & Jose from Los Boricuas: Thrasher and Jose lock up. Side headlock by Jose, Thrasher sends him into the ropes, Jose blocks a hiptoss but Thrasher transitions into a back suplex. He tags to Mosh, the Bangers double-team with kicks and a double face-first suplex. Mosh continues on offense with a whip and a jumping reverse splash into the corner. Miguel has finally had enough of the domination, and he runs up the apron and blatantly interferes before coming in as the legal man, all allowed by referee Tim White without so much as the bat of an eye.

Snapmare by Miguel, kick to the back of Mosh, then he picks him back up, whips him into the ropes, and dropkicks him. Boricuas now in control, as Jose tags in and hits a dropkick for a two-count. Miguel tags back in and hammers away. Mosh counters with a sunset flip that gets a two-count, but as Miguel kicks out he resumes the offense unimpeded. He tags Jose, who hits a Charmin-soft dropkick in the corner. Mosh finally buys himself some space when he counters a corner charge with a headscissor takeover that carries Jose face-first into the bottom turnbuckle. Hot tag to Thrasher.

Thrasher throws fists at Miguel, Jose and Mosh both come back in and join the fray, and all four are in the fight. Mosh tries to double-team with Thrasher, but Thrasher is caught unaware, and Jose takes advantage of the confusion to backdrop Mosh out of the ring. The Boricuas try to double-team Thrasher, but Miguel accidentally backdrops Jose, who ends up outside the ring. Thrasher goes for a powerbomb, Miguel escapes and lands on his feet, then transitions into a pinning combo like the victory roll…that's our three-count.



Result: Los Boricuas via pinfall

Mosh, who was late on the save, goes to attack Miguel anyway, but obviously the Headbangers are not going to win the numbers game here. The Boricuas attack the Headbangers 4-on-2 and beat them down, only eventually interrupted by the obnoxious motorcycle sounds of DOA. The DOA drive down and surround the ring, they enter, and we get a big brawl that concludes with the Headbangers and DOA holding the ring.



Vince throws it backstage to The Patriot and asks him if he's going to be Steve Austin's partner tonight. Patriot says he would be honored to stand by Stone Cold Steve Austin, but that it's not why he's here. He says he's here to defend his country against the Hart Foundation and others making bad comments about the United States of America.

They pan over next to Shawn Michaels pacing around backstage, and Vince wonders aloud if Shawn Michaels might be the one who teams with Steve Austin tonight. Again, the whole conceit of this match is that Austin needs a partner because Michaels is injured and can't go, so this is some weird **** where they're just wondering if Michaels will be the mystery partner who replaces himself.

After the break, Vince is in the ring, and he calls Shawn Michaels out for an interview. Michaels dances annoyingly around the ring for a while until his music finally cuts. Vince cuts to the chase and asks Shawn if he's going to be Austin's partner tonight. Michaels says it's no secret that he is not 100%, but the last time that he and Austin tagged up and became champions, neither of them was 100%...he concludes, "So believe me, I'm good enough to go right now." So…shouldn't that settle things? He's still a tag team champion then, right? He just said he doesn't need an injury replacement. Shawn adds, "But that is up to Stone Cold Steve Austin." …okay. Shawn says that while he's been recovering at home, he has noticed that Bret Hart has been telling everybody that if he doesn't win the WWF Title at SummerSlam, he will never wrestle on US soil again. Shawn says he's been waiting a long time to see Bret Hart get his sorry ass out of the United States of America. He continues, "I currently right now [sic] am not scheduled to be at SummerSlam. That's not my decision. That's someone else's around here." He shoots Vince a goofy look, and Vince smiles along.



Michaels says, "If I could appeal to you, boss man…" He drops to his knees. "If I get down on my knees in front of my hometown people, to please allow me - the dirty rotten employee that I am - please allow me to just be a part of SummerSlam. I'll set up the ring. I'll sell souvenirs at the souvenir stand. I'll sell tickets at the front door. Heck, Vin man, I'll shine your shoes, if you'll just grant me one ticket to SummerSlam, because it's my guess that The Undertaker is going to bury Bret 'the Hitman' Hart and run him out of this country. And, alongside every single person in San Antonio, Shawn Michaels wants to see Bret Hart get the hell out of here." Vince just enthusiastically yells, "SHAWN MICHAELS!" as the music hits and Shawn dances and poses like an ass, culminating in an awkward sequence where Vince tries to physically constrain Shawn from stripping



We get the second-hour pyro as we've passed the halfway mark in the show. After the cameras pan the crowd, Savio Vega comes charging out with a microphone and yelling that there's been an accident in the back. He pleads with a camera to come back with him.

They go back to the table, where Vince says that if they get pictures of something significant from the back, they'll bring it to us right away. They return to talking about who Stone Cold's tag team partner tonight might be. JR speculates on it being Sid. Vince wonders aloud if it's going to be someone brand new.

Now we join Savio live in the back, as he pulls the camera toward the "terrible accident." One of the Boricuas is trashing a DOA motorcycle. Then the DOA shows up to brawl more. Someone from the Boricuas hooks the beaten-down bike to a car and drags it off. Some of DOA drive after him with the remaining bikes. I resent all involved so terribly. This stuff is the worst.

Jim Neidhart vs. Ken Shamrock: Neidhart shoves Shamrock. Shamrock reacts appropriately with a leg-kick that rattles the Anvil. The two lock up in a knucklelock, Shamrock transitions into a takedown, and then into an armbar. Shift into a waistlock, Anvil grabs for a rope break, and we reset. Lockup follows, Anvil hits a few forearms, but Shamrock blocks a hiptoss and throws Anvil down a couple of times, second takedown being a hiptoss into another armbar. Shamrock respects a second rope break, and this time Neidhart takes advantage with a cheap shot that floors the MMA fighter.

Neidhart chokes Ken along the top rope, then rains hammering forearm blows down. Snapmare into a reverse chinlock. Shamrock starts to escape, but Anvil rakes the eyes. He bites at Shamrock's face and then continues with his punch-kick offense. He snapmares Shamrock, then picks him up by the hair and slams him down before cinching in that chinlock. He attempts a jump off the ropes, but Shamrock catches him in the gut and resumes the offense himself. He connects on a hurracanrana, then locks in a sleeper. Suddenly referee Mike Chioda calls it a submission. I had to rewind to find what seems to have been an actual standing tapout. Weird ending.



Result: Ken Shamrock via submission

Shamrock doesn't get to enjoy the win for long, as Davey Boy Smith stages a run-in and attacks Shamrock. The Bulldog and Anvil execute a double-team that features a spike piledriver. The Patriot runs in for the save to almost no pop whatsoever, but he clears the ring no matter how many people don't care. He and Shamrock hold the ring.



After commercial, Vince again tries to get word from Mankind. Mankind continues rocking back and forth silently. They again play the earlier replay from last week, when Mankind helped Austin and then took a Stunner for his efforts.

The New Blackjacks head to the ring for the next match. Their apparent opponents are The Legion of Doom. The LOD uncharacteristically shed their spiky shoulder pads at the top the aisle, blatantly forecasting that we're going to have a weird start here. Sure enough, en route to the ring, The Godwinns turn up and clobber them from behind with steel chairs. Henry hits a Slop Drop on Hawk on the steel walkway, and Hawk gets busted up hardway from the spot. Say what you will, but that still beats being poor Henry Godwinn having Hawk shoot break his ****ing neck on a move. This match never gets off the ground.



Flash Funk vs. Vader (w/ Paul Bearer): Vader starts right in with body blows, beating Funk into the corner. Whips him to the opposite corner and avalanches him there. He continues to maul with punches, dominating Flash so far. He does miss on a clothesline, and Funk throws a couple of dropkicks to knock the big man from the ring. He also blocks a re-enter with a dropkick through the ropes, then hits an over-the-top dive to the floor. He whips Vader into the steps, and Vader takes that exaggerated bump where he clearly propels himself further into the steps than his momentum warranted.

Funk awaits Vader's entry inside and keeps the advantage for the moment when he attacks Vader on the way in. It doesn't last though, as Vader puts him down with a body attack. Vader now back on offense with a short clothesline, and a follow-up splash gets a very close near-fall. Vader tries for a powerbomb as JR accidentally refers to Funk as 2 Cold Scorpio before quickly backpedaling, Flash escapes in mid-air, then hits a jumping kick. Moonsault off the top rope gets a two-count. Funk's rally is again stifled with a body attack, and this time Vader successfully hits the powerbomb for the three-count. They booked Funk very respectably here, and this was a fun match despite it obviously being an enhancement match for Vader.



Result: Vader via pinfall

Vader throws in a Vaderbomb after the match for good measure before exiting up the aisle.

Vince dials up Steve Austin backstage and asks the question of who his partner is going to be. Austin again says that he doesn't care. He says that he understands Shawn Michaels saying he's not 100%, because he hasn't been 100% for a damn year. Says there's no way in hell he'll leave tonight without the tag belts. Nothing much here.

After break, we hear "Rule Britannia," so the tag match they've hyped all night is upon us. Owen and Davey enter and await their fate. The glass breaks, and here's Steve Austin. He charges straight into the ring and attacks, so our match is underway without finding out who the mystery partner is.

WWF Tag Team Titles - Steve Austin & ??? (c) vs. Owen Hart & The British Bulldog: Austin gets the better of both challengers at first, and as he beats on Owen in the corner, Bulldog politely retires to the apron to wait his turn. Austin whips Owen off the ropes, but gets caught in the mush by an Owen spinning wheel kick on the way back. Owen hammers down some blows, then counters a backdrop attempt with a kick to the face. He misses with an enziguri, Austin clotheslines him, and then he makes as if to lock on the Sharpshooter. Davey runs in to cut that **** off before it gets a foothold. The brothers-in-law double-team Austin momentarily until the always-sober Davey Boy Smith again retires to the corner, except he takes the opposite of the one that he was just in. He tags in quickly anyway, and I guess he has officially claimed that corner for the challengers, as that's where Owen ends up.

Austin beats on Davey for a moment, but Davey reverses the momentum and flings Austin out over the top rope. As he distracts the referee, Owen puts a beating on Austin, ramming him into the guardrail and then the steps. As Bulldog waves the Canadian flag, Vince says, "We're told…we're told that Austin's partner has arrived." The camera pans to the back and starts at a pair of boots. The boots walk toward the ring as the show goes to break.



After the break, Austin is still fighting one-on-two. He eats that beautiful Owen belly-to-belly, then faces a double-team attempt after Davey tags in. He ducks a double clothesline and then clotheslines both champions himself. As he tries to follow up on Davey though, Owen clips Austin's knee from behind, causing him to crumple painfully. Bulldog keeps working that newly injured leg with targeted kicks. Tag to Owen. Austin whips him into the corner, but Owen gets his boots up on a corner charge. Hart with a neckbreaker and a two-count. Scoop slam. Austin catches Owen jumping off the ropes at him, hammering him in the gut. He stomps a mudhole in the corner, but when he goes for a Stunner, Bulldog distracts him. Austin is undeterred however, and ends up both knocking Bulldog to the floor and dispatching of Owen as well.

As Austin holds the ring, we hear some music start up. Mick Foley, in Dude Love garb, appears on the Titantron. "I don't blame you for not teaming up with that mutilated freak, Mankind. But you never said anything about teaming up with the hippest cat in the land. Steve-o! It's me, Dude Love! And I'm coming to save the day. Owww, have mercy!" The music hits full stride and Dude Love appears at the top of the aisle.



Dude joins a confounded Steve Austin in the ring. Austin just stares through him with a repulsed look until Owen attacks him from behind. Austin shakes him off and goes ahead and tags out to Dude. Dude Love hits a running knee to Owen's head in the corner. Dude tries to tag back out, but Austin won't reach out for him. Owen tags to Davey, and the challengers are in control for the moment. Bulldog tries to get Dude up for the running powerslam, Dude counters into the mandible claw, Owen jumps in with a dropkick to Dude's back, but amidst the confusion Austin slips into the ring and hits a Stunner out of the blue on Davey Boy. Dude rolls over, makes the cover, and scores the pin, apparently cementing Austin and Dude Love as the new Tag Team Champions.



Result: Steve Austin & Dude Love via pinfall

The referee hands the tag belts to each partner. Dude goes over and offers his belt to Austin, who rips it away. As some hot young groupies flock to Dude Love though, Austin reluctantly saunters over and drops the extra belt at Dude's feet, then offers him an unenthusiastic handshake before peacing out.



Dude stays in the ring and dances as Raw goes off the air.

Overall: Not amazing, but I'll take it. Couple of entertaining matches, a coherent story arc for the episode (aside from the Shawn Michaels weirdness)…not bad. Very rarely enjoyed the Dude Love character myself, so the ending probably worked better for others than it did for me.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:23 PM   #1242
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Ratings for 7/14/97: Nitro 3.5, Raw 2.6
Ratings Running Score: Nitro 71-17-2

Better Show: Raw by a lot. It was at least decent and Nitro was trash.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 58-32

Match of the Night: TAKA Michinoku vs. Tajiri Yoshihiro
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:50 PM   #1243
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Exclamation Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I never get tired of professional wrestlers referring to events as "The Summerslam" and the like.

lolz Ivan Putski. Somehow I actually feel I remember this because of how absurd it seemed.

Tajiri rocking the Yuji Nagata NJPW tights. Taka was pretty revolutionary in his own right in the states in ECW/WWF. Loved seeing the powerbomb that'd make JP proud.

HBK looked high af in those pics with Vince and the dbag look with the first HBK pic was great. HBK being the replacement for HBK's something I'd expect to happen nowadays, not in 97

2 Cold vs Vader in 93 WCW would've been a lot of fun.


wow

/random thoughts
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:53 PM   #1244
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I was a big fan of that Shawn/Vince look too, but I've still got this as the champion.

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Originally Posted by LKJ View Post
Now we get our Tony and Larry intro, talking about the upcoming War Games match that was set up last week, with Sting and Lex Luger joining forces with the two lead dogs from the Four Horsemen. Larry starts off on some weird biblical tangent about how King Nebuchadnezzar foresaw an empire yet to come, and says that if Team WCW isn't ready at War Games, that empire could be the nWo. Tony Schiavone is very impressed by this analysis.

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Old 04-27-2019, 02:22 PM   #1245
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

July 21, 1997

RAW

San Antonio, TX

Cold open on a video package of Bret Hart. Jim Ross does the voiceover. "How can a man be so despised in one country, and so revered, idolized, even worshiped in another? Is it blind patriotism? Is it blatant prejudice? Aren't they both one and the same?" We get clips from the last few months. We're back in Canada - Halifax, NS to be exact - so the Harts are back to being babyfaces for the night.

After the opening credits, Vince roars at us to welcome us to Raw. He's flanked as always by Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. Vince says we're going to see Blackjacks vs. Godwinns vs. Headbangers tonight, so right away I'm wondering when I'm allowed to tune out. JR says that Shawn Michaels has flown all day to get here and has a blockbuster announcement tonight. Lawler adds that we're going to see Bret, Owen, and Davey take on three mystery Americans in a flag match. Fingers crossed that at least one of them is a non-American who they just pretend is American. Anyway, to the ring we go.

Vader (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Ken Shamrock: Before this gets started, we see highlights of Shamrock's debut against Vader back in Cold Day in Hell. They didn't include footage of Vader limping off in a shoot. We also get a pre-recorded promo from Ken Shamrock, who is so unspeakably bad on the mic that I wish we could have gotten a Miss Elizabeth promo instead.

Shamrock lunges for a single-leg, but can't get a good grip, and Vader plays for the rope break. Vader finds himself at the disadvantage in the exchange following, and again escapes to the ropes. On the third start, the two go into a test of strength as each tries to get the advantage out of a collar-and-elbow tie-up; Vader eventually takes a shortcut and gains the advantage when he lets go and pokes the eye. Body blows by Vader, attempted hip-toss, but Shamrock counters it into a rolling takedown. Vader back up quickly, and he connects with punches and then a violent short clothesline. He drops an elbow on Shamrock's leg. Twice. Vader measures him for a splash, connects, but only gets a two-count. As Vader complains of the count and distracts the referee, Paul Bearer takes advantage by whacking Shamrock upside the head with his shoe.

Vader lazily dumps Shamrock to the floor, follows him out, then sends him hard into the steel steps. He rolls the former MMA fighter into the ring and continues the assault inside, landing rabbit punches and a body attack. He goes for the big powerbomb, but Shamrock escapes in mid-air and starts laying in his own punches. Shamrock all but dead-lifts the big man with a belly-to-belly, then locks in a single-leg submission.



As Vader looks to be in danger of defeat, Bearer again runs interference, reaching in and grabbing Shamrock. Shamrock slides outside and hammers Bearer to the ground. Upon re-entry though, Vader seizes the opening to drop an elbow while Ken rolls in, and he goes back on offense. Big splash off the second rope gets only a two-count, and barely a two at that. That's a pretty ridiculous move burial. Vader is undeterred, heads back up for an attempted Vaderbomb, but he ends up landing on Shamrock's raised knees.

Babyface comeback by Shamrock, hitting punches and kicks. He goes for an ill-advised hurracanrana, but Vader blocks it and ends up dumping him out over the top rope. As Vader distracts the referee, British Bulldog runs down to attack Shamrock. He hits his big running powerslam on the metal grating, and that puts Shamrock out for the count. Vader wins by countout, and Vince notes that this was Shamrock's first WWF loss. While a countout is an unsatisfying ending, the match itself was pretty enjoyable.



Result: Vader via countout

They do some man-on-the-street interviews with some Canadians. One of them says, "Canadians are stronger and always will be…Canadians are stronger in football, Canadians are stronger in wrestling." Bold move to lead with football when asserting Canadian superiority.

Here's a vignette for Braccus. I don't even know if that's how you spell it. One of the biggest busts to ever get the vignette treatment.

After the break, Vince McMahon is in the ring, and he calls down the Hart Foundation. This week they obviously get a thunderous ovation. Bret says, "It's nice to be in God's country. … You know, last week I had this horrible nightmare that I was in San Antonio, Texas, where they like to spit on you and throw stuff at you for the simple reason that you tell the truth. You ever notice that the United States of America is shaped like one big giant toilet bowl? Because most Americans are just plain full of crap!" Vince begins to take umbrage as the crowd breaks into a "US sucks" chant. Bret says that he laid down a challenge last week, and nobody has taken him up on it. He calls out Undertaker, saying that they don't need to wait until SummerSlam. The mic goes over to Davey Boy, who crows about what he just did to Ken Shamrock. Like Bret, he tells Shamrock they don't need to wait until SummerSlam. Owen follows suit and calls out Steve Austin, after calling him a pervert for wanting to kiss his ass.



The glass breaks, and Austin arrives at the top of the aisle to a loud chorus of boos. "You come out here, and you say this is God's country…this ain't nothing but a living hell. You want the truth? The truth is that I'll come down there and shove all your toes straight up your asses!" Austin says he'll be part of the six-man flag match tonight, then exits the stage.

After commercial, they chat at the announce table, where Vince reveals that he has graciously spared us the indignity of watching DOA or Los Boricuas tonight, as both factions have been suspended for a week due to their actions last week. They do force us to watch replays of last week's stuff, but I can safely just close my eyes and wait for the replays to end. Cliffs: they brawled and the Boricuas dragged one of DOA's motorcycles away.

Brian Christopher vs. Bryan Walsh: Walsh is essentially a local jobber, having previously served in that role on a recurring basis for WWF earlier in the 90s. He does wave some Canadian mini-flags to pander during his jobber intro. During the intros, they show clips from Shotgun Saturday Night of Christopher and Lawler running in and laying a beatdown on Scott Putski after Putski's match.

Christopher beats on Walsh, slamming him to the mat and then actually picking up the Canadian mini-flag and sticking it in his mouth. Walsh executes a monkey-flip, whips Christopher off the ropes, they have a botched spot, Walsh goes for an abdominal stretch and Christopher counters it into a full nelson facebuster (skull crushing finale). German suplex by Christopher. Standing suplex gets a two-count. Christopher misses on a fistdrop and Walsh attempts another comeback by dropping an elbow, but Christopher kicks out on two. Christopher with a running bulldog. He goes for a second one, but Walsh counters it and sends Christopher flying into the turnbuckle. Corner mount and a 10-punch by Walsh, then a standing dropkick. He sends Christopher off the ropes, but a rope-running sequence ends in a Christopher scoop powerslam. Christopher wrestles Walsh over to the corner, climbs to the second rope, and falls back into a reverse DDT from there. Lawler's kid climbs to the top, hits the big legdrop, and that will do it. Boring. Clearly meant as an enhancement match, so I'm surprised Walsh got as much offense as he did.



Result: Brian Christopher via pinfall

Here's a vignette for the Truth Commission, apparently to debut next week. This was the year of the company's creative peak, and they're hyping Braccus and the Truth Commission. Nostalgia does have a way of filtering this type of nonsense out 20 years later.

After commercial, they for some reason show us a flashback to Todd Pettengill and Stephanie Wiand giving away a house at the first In Your House two years ago. Oh, it's as a lead-in to the fact that they were hyping a million-dollar giveaway now. Sable is on hand to hype the contest with a fistful of cash, and Marc Mero stands alongside looking perturbed.



Back to the announce table. Jim Ross says that when he talked to Mick Foley, he was one of the most compelling, multi-dimensional people he's met in the wrestling industry. They queue up a montage that includes material from the JR/Mankind sit-down interview series. It transitions into showing some of his work as jobber Jack Foley early on, as he was taking squash moves from the British Bulldogs. Vince refers to his jobber period as "a miserable failure." Vince goes on to say that, as Cactus Jack, Foley had some modest success, but the price of that success was disfigurement. He proceeds to narrate Foley's quest to convince Steve Austin to take him on as a tag partner, which culminated in Foley debuting his Dude Love character in the WWF last week while joining Austin in the middle of a tag title match that they went on to win. This was an awful long time to spend on a recap.

They throw it to a pre-recorded Austin promo. "Basically I couldn't believe what I saw last week. I've called him a piece of trash, hit him with the Stone Cold Stunner, yet he still wants to be my tag team partner. I don't know whether he's crazy, or if he does indeed have a lot of guts. But what he did prove is that he does have what it takes to get the job done, and that's the bottom line. I will go on record as saying, though, that I still don't want no tag team partner, and that's just the way it is."



Before the next match, they show a clip from last week of The Godwinns jumping the Legion of Doom from behind and smacking them down with steel chairs. The beatdown culminated in Henry Godwinn hitting the Slop Drop on Hawk on the steel ramp, busting Hawk's head open hard way. Then they go to a furious promo from last week that didn't make air, where the LOD thunder away at The Godwinns, culminating in Hawk saying, "We broke your neck by accident the first time. The second time it won't be."

The Godwinns vs. The New Blackjacks vs. The Headbangers: Each team is allowed one legal man at a time, and a wrestler can only tag his own partner. One fall to a finish. Mosh and Phineas double-team Windham, but then Phineas blindsides Mosh while Mosh was celebrating the move. Windham regains his feet and attacks Phineas. Windham tags Bradshaw. Phineas and Mosh also tag out shortly thereafter. A lot of this is just a mess, as the wrestlers are just taking terms punching each other and there's little in the way of double-teaming or having a wrestler outside so that a one-on-one can take shape.

Transitional moves --> pin break-ups --> tag-outs --> rinse and repeat. Jim Ross calls this "perpetual motion" and says "never a dull moment." The former is technically correct and the latter is completely incorrect. The crowd is quite dead for this also. Windham has a visual pin on Henry Godwinn while Mike Chioda is tied up in taking care of another situation in the corner. The Headbangers go for the Stage Dive on Bradshaw, but Bradshaw backdrops Mosh to thwart it, and Thrasher cluelessly comes off the top anyway and hits his partner. Amidst the chaos, Phineas clocks Windham from the outside with a slop bucket, and Henry capitalizes to score the win for the Godwinns. This wins them a Tag Team Title match next week on Raw.



Result: The Godwinns via pinfall

Jim Ross plugs the WWF Hotline by posing the question of whether Sid has wrestled his last match in the WWF.

After the War Zone intro for the second hour, Jim Ross is in the ring, and he calls Shawn Michaels down for the "blockbuster announcement" that was teased earlier. Obviously the Canadian crowd properly boos the **** out of him. While he's on his way to the ring, the producer zooms in on some fancy artwork in the crowd, which I always remembered from this summer of '97.



Shawn jumps around and trolls for a while, then does a subdued crotch chop. We're definitely seeing the beginnings of his character evolution here, though those lines are always a bit blurry given that he really was this jackass.



JR asks Shawn what the blockbuster announcement is. Shawn starts by saying how unappreciative the Canadian fans are of the US. In reference to some news item of the time where an Alaskan ferry had been blockaded by fishing boats in an incident that turned into a bit of a standoff, Michaels says that the Canadian fans are ungrateful that "we freed your ferries, because that's just the kind of country we are." (From what I can tell, it was the Canadians who stood down here and "freed" the ferry, but I'm guessing Michaels wasn't one for reading newspapers.) He goes on from "we'll free your ferries, we'll free your heterosexuals, we'll free your transvestites, we're good with everything!" Lovely. Vince even gives that nonsense the hyuk-hyuk treatment from the announce table.

Shawn continues his obnoxious trolling for a bit. This draws a homophobic chant from the crowd. He goes on to say that he's joining the flag match tonight. JR treats that like it's the blockbuster announcement, but Shawn says that isn't it. As the crowd tries to drown Shawn out with a "we want Bret" chant, the camera pans through the crowd and catches this sign:



Shawn finally gets to his announcement. He says, "It seems our Earl Hebner, the top WWF referee, is a little out of it, so the Heartbreak Kid is going to be a special referee at SummerSlam." JR asks the obvious follow-up of which match he's officiating. Shawn says, "I only work one match: and that's the main event." He's the guest referee for the Bret vs. Undertaker match. Ross questions whether Bret might think that decision is prejudicial. Shawn says that he doesn't care about Bret's feelings, but that WWF officials have made it clear to Shawn that if he doesn't call the match down the middle, he will also lose the privilege of wrestling in the United States. Shawn trollishly closes the promo by addressing Bret and saying, "If you can't trust Shawn Michaels, who can you trust?"

Before the next match, they grab a word from The Patriot backstage. JR asks him how he thinks he'll fare in front of this partisan pro-Canadian crowd tonight. The Patriot says he appreciates patriotism no matter what the country, but that the Canadians could have a lot better representatives than the Hart Foundation.

Hunter Hearst-Helmsley (w/ Chyna) vs. The Patriot: This is essentially a heel vs. heel matchup given the venue. This does not seem like an ideal place to have The Patriot make his in-ring Raw debut, but what do I know. The crowd, who booed the **** out of HHH during his entrance, suddenly takes his side now that they see that he's up against The Patriot (never mind that HHH is American too). Helmsley takes it to Del Wilkes in the corner, landing hard chops. Wilkes no-sells the chops and fights back, throwing lefts. HHH maintains some control, whipping him into the corner, but he runs into the Patriot's raised boot. Patriot throws such a shockingly soft shoulderblock that I could actually picture 20-year-old John Cena somewhere watching approvingly and taking notes.

Patriots follows with a less embarrassing shoulderblock, and remains on offense with an Irish whip and a powerslam. The crowd suddenly up and pops, as Bret Hart, Owen Hart, and the British Bulldog come walking down to the ring. Rather than going for the ring, Bret leads the charge straight to the announce table, where Bret gets in Vince McMahon's face, screaming about the decision to allow Shawn Michaels to officiate the SummerSlam main event. "That's a swerve! You swerved me!" Oh Bret. 1997 has so much in store. Bulldog and Owen try to calm Bret down and lead him away, but Bret doubles back and slaps the headset off of Vince, who now glares furiously at him. Bulldog physically holds Bret back as Vince flails toward Bret now that he has a safe distance.



Bret again makes as if he's going to leave, but again doubles back, and now he and Vince physically engage, Vince actually pulling Bret's t-shirt over his head like a hockey jersey. The Patriot goes to break this up, and the Harts jump him.



Jim Ross yells, "Ring the bell! Ring the damn bell!" So much prescience. After a delay, the bell rings. The fracas continues out of control for a while until a gaggle of officials finally really does get the Harts to leave.

Result: No Contest or HHH via DQ, whatever

After commercial, Jim Ross says they've tried to get some order and decorum restored here. Vince is putting his headset back on and is remaining silent, but is seething over the incident from just now. JR says he isn't sure where they're supposed to go from here, but he ends up calling on Paul Bearer to speak from backstage. Ross asks him how Bearer is going to prove that Kane is alive, and implies that Bearer is lying. Bearer acts indignant about being called a liar. He says you could tell from Undertaker's reaction that he knew. Bearer says that he has proof right there with him tonight. He says that the two not only had a bond as brothers, but that they forged a statue together as kids, cut it in half, and each vowed that they would keep their half of that statue. Bearer says he has Kane's part of that statue. He reveals it to the camera. Are they really devoting a segment to this? JR pushes Bearer on when we'll get to see Kane himself. Bearer warns that you don't want to see him. He closes by screaming, "Don't make me do it, Ross! Because I will! I will!"



Before the next match, we get pre-recorded comments from Goldust and Marlena about Brian Pillman, and about the stipulation where Pillman will have to wear a dress if he loses to Goldust at SummerSlam Marlena says, "Not only can you not fill out a dress like I can, but from what I can tell, you can't even fill out your own tights."

Faarooq (w/ Kama Mustafa) vs. Goldust (w/ Marlena): Goldust attacks from behind to open the match, and hits a facebuster. Vince finally breaks his silence and speaks in the really somber voice to repeat what Shawn Michaels already said earlier, that if he officiates in an unfair way then it's his wrestling privileges that will be revoked. Vince says he doesn't think that Bret must have heard what Shawn actually said. Suddenly Vince wearily says, "Oh no…" and you hear his headset drop. Lawler asks where Vince is going, but Vince just silently walks off.

Lawler and JR ask the people in the back to tell them whatever they just told Vince. After a pause, JR says that they're being told that Bret Hart was seen coming out of Shawn Michaels's locker room just moments ago, and that Shawn Michaels apparently has been injured. You know, I was thinking to myself earlier that I really didn't remember seeing Bret and Shawn tangle in the ring in the flag match that we're apparently going to see tonight, so it's no shock to me that the advertising of Shawn for that match is turning into a bait-and-switch.

Announcers have been totally ignoring the match, but JR finally calls a bulldog that Goldust hits on Faarooq. While referee Jimmy Korderas is tied up with Marlena, Kama attacks Goldust on the outside. Marlena screams at Korderas to turn around. Hilariously, Korderas does, and then he goes back to being distracted with Marlena, as obviously the booking didn't call for him to have seen blatant DQ-worthy actions. Jim Ross calls it out and can't understand WTF Korderas is doing. Kama beats on Goldust at ridiculous length before finally returning him inside. Faarooq hits the Dominator and gets on top for the pin…Korderas turns around and, instead of counting, does call for the DQ. Weird. I guess the booking did call for that.



Result: Goldust via DQ

After commercial, Shawn Michaels is regaining his feet and has officials Jerry Brisco and Tony Garea trying to help. Vince is back here too. Michaels refuses to get medical attention regardless of the urging of Brisco and Garea.

It's time for the main event, where the win condition is to be the first team to capture their own team's flag. Since the Harts are facing mystery opponents, they're out first (in the form of Bret, Owen, and Davey). Bret arrives at the ring and demands that they cut his music and play "O Canada" instead. The audience all sings along to the Canadian national anthem. Davey actually now has the earlier-pictured artwork of the Harts pissing on the American flag, and he holds it up while the anthem plays.

The glass breaks, and the one known opponent, Steve Austin, strolls to the ring. His music cuts, and we next hear Dude Love's music. By the way, are we all in agreement that the Dude Love theme was easily Foley's worst WWF theme? I always thought it sucked. Anyway, as Dude joins Austin, they don't wait for a third person; they simply sprint into the ring.

Flag Match: The Hart Foundation vs. Steve Austin, Dude Love, and ???: Bret beats on Austin in one corner while Owen and Davey double-team Dude Love. They dump Dude out and then set to triple-teaming Austin. Bret clotheslines Austin over the top. Suddenly we have team members retiring to the apron for no apparent reason, so this is another one of those dumb matches where there's no DQ but team members still respect the etiquette of not all being in the ring at the same time. Oh, but as Owen beats on Dude Love, Austin starts climbing the pole toward the flag despite not being "legal," so…I don't know. Still, Bret and Davey just stand in a corner and patiently await a tag.

Owen hits an enziguri on Dude. He quickly tries to scale the pole toward his flag, but Austin catches up from behind and knocks him out over the corner and to the floor. As they start to head toward commercial, the Undertaker's gong hits.

Back from break, Undertaker is just standing in the corner and reaching for a tag alongside Austin. This is all very dumb. Owen hits punches and headbutts on Dude. Dude fights back, smashing Owen repeatedly into the turnbuckle pad. He staggers over and tags The Undertaker. So Foley and Taker are now cool without explanation, after a blood feud that lasted over a year? That's nice. Taker beats on both Owen and Davey. He picks Owen up in a two-hand choke and then slams him down. Now a regular one-hand chokeslam. He goes for the cross-arms cover, forgetting that this isn't a pinfall match. Bret jumps in and interrupts the non-existent count. Undertaker tags Austin, and then goes outside to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Mick Foley.

Austin with a standing suplex on Owen. Snapmare and an elbow-drop. Austin cinches in a reverse chinlock. Taker starts walking up the apron as if to go get the flag, but Tim White warns him that he is not to do that (despite the fact that he has no authority to prevent it). Taker politely backs down from the toothless threat. #sportsmanship



Owen works his way out of the hold, but Austin drops him again with a knee to the gut. Tag to Dude Love. Owen baseball-slides through Dude Love's legs and tries scampering up the pole toward the flag, but Dude hits a low blow and then heels a bit to the Canadian crowd. He goes for a swinging neckbreaker, but Owen counters into a DDT. He's looking for the hot tag to Bret, but Austin runs in to pick him off and disrupt that effort; the heat segment continues. Dude tags Austin, who comes in to a lot of heat and sets Owen on the top turnbuckle. He follows him up for an attempted superplex, but Owen blocks it and gives Austin a face-first suplex to the mat from there. Austin still stops Owen's tag attempt, and then tags in Taker himself, as the show goes to another commercial break.

After break, Owen is still getting worked over, again by Dude Love, and he's fading in a sleeper. Tim White is raising his arm once, then twice, then…Tim, WTF are you going to do if it drops a third time? You knew enough not to count Undertaker's pin attempt earlier. It doesn't drop for a third time obviously, as Owen keeps his arm up and then counters Foley's hold into a back suplex. Spinning heel kick by Owen, but again the hot tag is prevented by Dude. Austin tags in, misses with an elbow, Owen misses with an enziguri, Austin goes for a Sharpshooter but Owen kicks him off and hits a clothesline, and then he dives over and finally makes that tag to Bret, as the crowd comes unglued. Bret botches a takedown of Austin, then tries to do the corner figure-four, but Dude runs interference and breaks that attempt up.

Austin tags Taker. Bret tags Bulldog. Taker chokeslams Bulldog, then goes for a Tombstone, but Bret runs back in to break that up. He and Taker trade fists in a preview of the SummerSlam main event. They run the ropes and clothesline each other for a double knockdown. Taker does the no-sell sit-up and makes for the pole, but Owen stops him. Taker knocks Owen down and resumes the climb. Bret climbs on the opposite side of the ring. Now Brian Pillman shows up out of nowhere to help interfere with Taker's climb, and Bret continues up unimpeded and grabs the flag. Harts win a match featuring terrible psychology and very little entertainment value even if you don't care about psychology.



Result: Hart Foundation via flag capture

Bret greets Pillman at ringside. The Harts climb over the guardrail and leave through the adoring crowd. As Jim Ross screams, "Austin is pissed!" the show signs off.



Overall: The Bret/Vince scuffle was fun. The crowd heat was good all night. The opening Vader/Shamrock match was enjoyable. The overall show still felt meh.
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Old 04-27-2019, 03:15 PM   #1246
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Here's a vignette for Braccus. I don't even know if that's how you spell it. One of the biggest busts to ever get the vignette treatment.
This guy was presented as a huge threat to Taz in ECW around September of 97. For no reason at all, after a month or two of build up, the entire match was: bell ring, Brackus kick to gut > powerbomb > Taz gets up immediately > fires punches on him > slip behind > choke out > tap. Match was literally < 2 minutes.

Bret/Vince stuff looked fun. I vividly remember watching that main event when I was younger and loathing that match because I expected something great and it was anything but.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:37 PM   #1247
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

July 22, 1997

Nitro

Jacksonville, FL

Note: this was a Tuesday night show, so Raw and Nitro did not go head-to-head this week.

It's weird, but I've gotten so used to Nitro beginning with a cold open that the opening just being the opening credits immediately made the show feel like less of a big deal. And then, like…they follow the credits with the Nitro Girls, so I immediately start assuming that I'm watching a filler episode.

Anyway, instant negativity aside, we're at the announce table with Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Mike Tenay. Tony says that Ric Flair will announce the newest member of the Four Horsemen tonight, and Curt Hennig will make his Nitro in-ring debut tonight as well. I actually have no idea what this Horseman announcement is about. Mike Tenay speculates about whether we might find out tonight if Hulk Hogan will defend the WCW Title against Lex Luger, but his speculation is interrupted by the nWo music.

Enter Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. After an extensive Hogan posing routine, Bischoff invites Hogan to sit down in the ring with him. Hogan having recently submitted to Luger's torture rack at Bash at the Beach and having been challenged by Luger since, Bischoff trots out the same tired bit where he pretends that Hogan beat Luger handily already. Hogan calls Luger just another man who can't lace Hogan's boots. He says, "Flexy Lexy, when you get in the ring with me, not only will you realize that I'm the better wrestler - that's why I'm the champ - I'm smarter than you, brother. I want you in the ring legal, face to face, and not hiding behind some fake tag when you rack me. And when you do rack me - if you do - I will break your rack and then break you in half. Oh, and by the way, Flexy, as a matter of formalities: yes, I do accept the challenge." They're going to have a title match at Road Wild.



Konnan vs. Tsubasa: Zero idea who Tsubasa was. I tried to find him on Google and only found minor details. Guessing this was a one-and-done. Konnan jumps him early, knocking him down and stomping on him. Irish whip, fisherman buster, transition into the Tequila Sunrise, and Konnan scores a submission squash in less than a minute. Tsubasa's entrance was longer than the match.



Result: Konnan via submission

After commercial, we're straight into another match.

TV Title Match - Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Ultimo Dragon: Collar-and-elbow tie-up. Regal gets hold of an armbar, Dragon tries to flip out, but Regal keeps his vertical base and re-establishes the armbar. He forces Dragon to both knees before getting him back up and sending him off the ropes. After a rope-running sequence, Regal hits a backdrop, but Ultimo is quickly back up with his signature series of kicks. The crowd is hot for Dragon here as he plants more kicks into Regal's back. Ultimo continues on offense as he slams Regal into the corner, lands a hard chop, then executes a corner whip. Regal reverses, Dragon does a handstand on the ropes, but Regal brings him down and tries to cinch him into a pin attempt for two.

Regal with a European uppercut a knee-lift. He sets Ultimo on the top rope, lands some punches, then follows him up, purportedly for a superplex. Dragon counters into a sunset flip powerbomb off the top, though he's drained enough that he can't quickly follow. Regal actually gets his feet first, but Dragon does catch the champion with more kicks to stun him. Still, Regal is able to stun Dragon and hit an exploder. He goes for a leg submission, but Dragon kicks him off. Both back up to a vertical base, they trade stiff blows, then out of absolutely nowhere Dragon aggressively goes for the Dragon Sleeper, gets it locked in, and Regal taps pretty quickly. New TV Champion. This was a brief match, but damn it was fun. Both guys working hard and making the most of the short time they were given.



Result: Ultimo Dragon via submission, new TV Champion

Mean Gene is at the top of the aisle. He brings out Ric Flair. Flair is rocking a beige suit with an ugly patterned shirt (I think paisley, but it's tough to tell). Flair says that tonight is the night that the wrestling world has awaited. Flair says that the Horsemen have made a selection. "Without further adieu…wrestling fans worldwide…the latest fourth Horseman --" The Horseman music hits, Flair points to the top of the aisle, and…Syxx emerges. WTF. I have zero memory of this segment. The announcers are gobsmacked and wonder if Flair actually did pick Syxx as a Horseman, but when the camera pans to Flair, he's shedding his jacket in preparation for a fight. Obviously this is not the right guy.

Syxx asks Flair what the big idea is, promising the Jacksonville crowd a fourth Horseman. Syxx says that the Horsemen are no longer. Flair pretends he's going to walk away from Syxx because he's "too tough," then sucker-punches him. Syxx suffers on the floor from Flair's punch as Chris Benoit emerges to stand alongside Flair. Syxx gets up and screams that they wouldn't be pulling this stuff if Hall and Nash were here. Benoit gets on the mic and says, "Why don't we just find out?" Nothing further is settled, and the show goes to break.



This segment was ****ing weird, in light of the fact that I'm confident in the knowledge that there was no new Horseman anytime soon. They had Flair announce an incoming member and they might just never resolve who was allegedly about to walk out to join him?

More Nitro Girls after the commercial. Look, I'm all about Kimberly Page dancing on a TV in front of me, but there's just something so desperate about WCW deploying the Nitro Girls. It smells like so much fear while the WWF is heating up in an edgier direction.

The Great Muta vs. The Giant: The Giant is apparently borrowing Lex Luger's theme these days. Muta dropkicks the Giant twice, but to no effect. Giant goes for a chokeslam, but Muta spits green mist in Giant's eyes, and that's an immediate disqualification.



Result: The Giant via DQ

The beatdown is on now, as Randy Savage and Vincent run in. Savage puts the boots to The Giant as Vincent and Muta hold the big man back. Giant still powers his way out of the grip of both Muta and Vincent, and the nWo runs for the hills. Lex Luger comes running out, purportedly for the save when it's too late, and the blinded Giant actually grabs him and lifts him for a chokeslam before Lex is able to convince him into putting him down.



Dean Malenko vs. Mongo McMichael: Seeing Dean Malenko enter for a match is exciting. Seeing Mongo then emerge as his opponent is the exact opposite. The two men tie up, Mongo locks on a side headlock and releases to run off the ropes and hit a shoulderblock. Back into the side headlock. Malenko frees himself, but ends up getting thrown over in a hip-toss. Mongo misses with an elbow-drop, allowing Dean his first advantage. He whips Mongo into the corner, attempts a monkey-flip, but Mongo stops him and turns him around in the corner. Malenko counters with an attempted sunset flip off the ropes, but Mongo holds up and stomps Malenko in the face. McMichael follows with a powerslam for a near-fall.

Malenko surprises Mongo with a kick to start an attempted comeback, but Mongo catches him climbing the ropes and plants him with a powerslam. Without any further context because I try not to listen to him, Larry Z says, "Women are like elephants. Interesting to look at, but you don't want to own one." Okay. Mongo goes for another powerslam, but Malenko escapes, counters, and hits a big back suplex. He sends Mongo off the ropes, but drops his head too early on a backdrop attempt; Mongo kicks him in the face and resumes the advantage. He sends Malenko off the ropes and hits yet another powerslam, this one sloppy even by Mongo standards.

Suddenly Jeff Jarrett emerges from the back, Debra trailing close behind. This draws Mongo into a chase (while Debra distracts the referee), where Mongo eventually gets hold of Jeff's hair while Jeff is on the apron. Jarrett begs off for a moment and then reaches back and hangs Mongo along the top rope. As Mongo staggers back from that, Malenko hits him with a dropkick from behind to put him down, executes a small package, and scores the pinfall.



Please, for the love of God, keep Dean Malenko quarantined from this Mongo/Jarrett stuff from now on.

Result: Dean Malenko via pinfall

Oh FFS, this is the opposite of a quarantine. Mean Gene comes out to grab a word with Malenko and asks him why he would associate himself with the likes of Jeff Jarrett when he's always been able to handle his own business. Jarrett doubles back to join the conversation. Now here's Mongo to interrupt, but security leads him away. Jarrett tells Dean, "You need somebody to watch your back. I need somebody to watch my back. The Four Horsemen, they're jealous of me." Malenko says, "Gene, I said from the beginning, the first day I stepped into WCW, Dean Malenko needs nobody, a man stands by himself. But…" Oh, ****ing hell." "But I'm not stupid. I'm also smart enough to know there's strength in numbers." Debra adds to the sales pitch and invites Dean to join them. Dean says, "Jarrett: you'll get my answer when I'm good and ready." This is so disheartening.



Hector Guerrero vs. Eddie Guerrero: On last week's Nitro, Eddie was in the middle of a full-on beatdown of Chavo when Hector came in to the rescue, so this is the follow-up to that. Hector and Eddie duck and dodge each other on a series of move attempts, Hector the first to succeed on a move with a flying headscissor takeover. Hits a variation of another next, but Eddie springs back up and kicks Hector down. Hector armdrags him out of the ring and then follows him out and stalks him outside. Eddie leads the chase around the ring and then in, then stomps Hector on the way back in. Eddie goes for an abdominal stretch, Hector counters into an Oklahoma Roll that eventually culminates in a pin attempt; Eddie actually escapes the pinning combo by biting Hector on the forearm.

Eddie slams Hector into the turnbuckle and then goes back to biting viciously, this time Hector's shoulder. Eddie misses on a corner charge, allowing Hector to land a couple of European uppercuts. Hector sets him up on the ropes and then hits a superplex. Cover gets two. Weird-looking splash gets another two. Eddie gouges the eyes to stop Hector's momentum, goes for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Hector counters into another headscissor takeover that pulls Eddie out of the ring. Hector steps to the apron and launches out toward Eddie, but takes nearly as much damage on the landing as Eddie does. Hector up first, he rolls Eddie back in, and again he's the sucker who suffers an attack on the way back in, Eddie kicking the bottom rope underneath Hector and crotching him with it. Big powerbomb by Eddie to capitalize on Hector's weakened state, frog splash off the top, and this one is over.



Result: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall

As Eddie stands up victorious, we see Dean Malenko marching back to the ring. He sneaks up behind Eddie, lies in wait, and then unloads on him with a big right hand. He powerbombs the **** out of Eddie and then cinches in the Texas Cloverleaf. Hector Guerrero, despite his burgeoning feud with brother Eddie, gets up and tries to convince Dean to release the hold.



When Dean tells him to **** off, Hector punches him to break the hold. As Eddie gets up, he shoves Hector, and the shove sends him straight back into Malenko; Malenko dutifully back-suplexes Hector, and Eddie walks off. We go to break, thankfully without another Jeff Jarrett appearance.

After commercial, we're onto hour two. Mean Gene is joined by JJ Dillon. Gene asks Dillon about Raven. Dillon says that he's been working on some major talent acquisitions, and is just about to announce something when he's interrupted by Stevie Richards. He says that there is not only one major announcement on tonight's Nitro; there is two. Richards, referring to himself by the moniker of Dancin' Stevie Richards, says he has signed with WCW. Gene asks him Stevie about Raven. Stevie says that Raven is sitting in the front row at ringside.

They all walk over to meet Raven at his seat. Dillon says that he understands that Raven is willing to sign on, and he's got a contract with him right there. Stevie interjects again, "I negotiated the whole deal for you. … You're making almost as much money as I am, and they even gave you a full-size rental car with a cassette deck for those long trips." Gene tries to press for them to get this over with. In lieu of signing, Raven says, "The entire purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of being. We are a nation of hollow, stuffed people. Leading together, heads filled with straw. Like wind in an empty street, or rats' feet over broken glass in the dark and forgotten cellar. So it is written, so it shall never pass…" With that cryptic nonsense, Raven tears up the contract and then punches Stevie down.



Angles about a company trying to sign a guy who is already appearing on-screen are very dumb.

Lex Luger vs. Scott Norton (w/ Buff Bagwell & Vincent): I feel like I could just write up this match without ever watching it: punch, kick, no-sell, no-sell, no-sell, Luger about to win by submission, Bagwell and Vincent jump in to cause a DQ before Luger can actually score the submission. Right? Alright, let's actually watch it I guess.

The two tie up and jostle for position. Referee Mark Curtis calls for a rope break, but Norton lands a sucker-punch. Luger executes a hip-toss, but Bagwell distracts Luger and allows Norton to attack from behind. Backbreaker by Norton. Corner whip, and he misses on a corner charge. Luger lands two clotheslines, Norton sells neither, but Luger does put him down with a third jumping clothesline. Enter Vincent and Buff, Mark Curtis calls for the bell, and there's the DQ. Yeah, I figured.



Result: Lex Luger via DQ

Luger clears the nWo guys out on his own and holds the ring, then asks for a mic. He starts to call out Hulk Hogan, seemingly to do the "let's just do it tonight" call-out, but Hogan actually shows up and interrupts him in mid-sentence before he says it. Hogan says Luger will get his chance at Road Wild, calls him "nothing but a Hollywood wannabe." He says that Luger is in big trouble, then backs away, flanked by Norton, Bagwell, and Vincent.



Konnan is huddling with the Outsiders backstage, but Scott Hall spots the camera and says "tell us later." They leave.

Before the next match, Tony Schiavone gets word that the Outsiders have accepted a challenge from Ric Flair and Chris Benoit, and that match will take place later.

Just as the next match is about to start, the cameras pan backstage and catch Ric Flair chatting with Curt Hennig. They pick up enough chatter that it makes it sound like Curt Hennig was supposed to walk out for the big reveal earlier when Syxx showed up instead. Alright, now the earlier Horseman reveal stuff is illuminating a bit for me.

Wrath & Mortis (w/ James Vandenberg) vs. Psicosis & La Parka (w/ Sonny Onoo): Wrath and La Parka to kick this thing off. Wrath lands a body blow and then follows with a strong kick to the gut. He leapfrogs La Parka, but La Parka turns around quickly with his own set of kicks, felling the big man and then allowing La Parka some stomps. La Parka scales the ropes slowly, falls predictably on Wrath's raised boots, and then gets turned inside out by a back elbow. La Parka flails over and tags Psicosis.

Wrath quickly controls Psicosis as well, wrestling him into the Wrath/Mortis corner. Tag to Mortis, who comes in with some punch-kick offense. He whips Psicosis into the ropes, Psicosis tries to hop up to the top turnbuckle, botches badly, and falls all the way to the floor.



Mortis goes out and rolls Psicosis back in. He continues with the punches. Psicosis reverses a corner whip and then follows it with a dropkick in the corner, which sends Mortis outside. Psicosis hits a big over-the-top suicide dive. As Wrath goes over to attend to his fallen partner, La Parka comes flying in with his own over-the-top spinning body attack.



La Parka holds Wrath up outside the ring and invites Psicosis to participate in what very obviously turns out to be an ill-fated double team move, as Psicosis tries a through-the-ropes dropkick that hits La Parka instead. Wrath chops La Parka hard against the guardrail. Psicosis tries to redeem himself with a pescado, but Wrath catches him and slams him down. He places Psicosis back on the apron, and Mortis suplexes him into the ring with a bit of extra height as he uses the bottom rope for his base on the move. Two-count. Scoop slam, and Mortis climbs to the top. Backsplash misses from there. Sonny Onoo and James Vandenberg look like they're going to have a go outside, but Vandenberg backs down.

All four in the ring, Psicosis scores a visual pin on Mortis with a hurracanrana pinning combo while the referee is tied up elsewhere, but Wrath dispatches of La Parka and then breaks up Psicosis's pin. He catches Psicosis in a powerbomb position, holds him up, Mortis comes over and makes it a double-team, and it ends up being a sit-out powerbomb/neckbreaker combo. Wrath and Mortis ship the win.



Result: Wrath & Mortis via pinfall

La Parka is back in immediately after the bell with a wooden chair, which he breaks over Mortis's back. Wrath punishes him with a jumping mafia kick, and he and Mortis ultimately hold the ring as Nitro goes to break.

Buff Bagwell (w/ Scott Norton & Vincent) vs. Booker T: As much as I dreaded hearing the nWo B-team music again, this matchup doesn't look too bad on paper. When the Harlem Heat music hit, I held my breath in hopes that I wasn't about to be stuck watching a ****ing Stevie Ray singles match. Thankfully Booker emerged through the entrance at long last. Mike Tenay comments that, since losing their manager, Harlem Heat seems like they've been less effective. Heenan says that it's a big deal to lose your manager because the manager does everything, from handling reservations to handling money to negotiating contracts, and it's a drain on a wrestler who suddenly has to start doing those things themselves. Tony: "Well Brain, you were a manager. You actually did all that work for your wrestlers?" Bobby: "Well no, I hired a staff."

Armdrag by Buff, followed by the requisite posing. Side headlock by Booker, Buff pushes his way out of it, but Booker connects on a stiff shoulderblock. Forearms by Booker, drop-down, leapfrog, and Buff ultimately counters a hip-toss into one of his own. Booker back up quickly though, and he connects on a big Harlem side kick. Bagwell gets up and insultingly slaps Booker, which inflames him. Booker ends up hip-tossing Bagwell over the top to the floor. He follows him and clotheslines him out there before returning him inside. Buff stops the rally by attacking Booker as he rolls back in. Booker gets his knees up to thwart a splash attempt, then connects on a back elbow. From the apron though, Buff again puts on Booker's brakes by hanging him across the top rope.

Bagwell chokes Booker along the middle rope and then paintbrushes him with a couple more slaps. Corner whip, punch, punch…Booker reverses a corner whip, but then runs into a raised boot, and Buff turns him inside out with a running clothesline. Two-count. Buff is pissed about a slow count, and he shoves referee Nick Patrick from his knees. Patrick shoves him back, and Booker quickly pins, but Bagwell kicks out. Bagwell and Patrick go back to jawing, with Patrick aggressively pointing a finger in Bagwell's face. Bagwell returns to the action, but he misses on a clothesline attempt and then eats a big jumping clothesline from Booker. Both slow to get back up, but Booker is able to hit an atomic drop once they both find their feet. And another one. Axe kick, side kick, two-count. Backdrop by Booker. As he lays in punches, he accidentally elbows Nick Patrick down, and Scott Norton gets up to the apron and lands a clothesline while Patrick is recovering. Buff hits the Blockbuster, and that ends it.



Result: Buff Bagwell via pinfall

Bagwell dumps Nick Patrick to the floor, then the nWo triple-teams Booker for a bit. Tony wonders where Stevie Ray is. I don't.

Mean Gene grabs an interview with Rey Mysterio Jr., who is on crutches. Gene says that Rey has declined surgery despite a torn ligament, and is trying to heal without surgery. Rey says that he knows wrestling comes with a risk of injury, but he doesn't fear injuries and he doesn't fear Konnan. As he's talking, Konnan enters the picture. Konnan kicks one of Rey's crutches out and talks some ****, then kicks the other one out while Rey limps around. La Parka, Psicosis, Villanos IV and V show up as reinforcements to stand by Rey. Konnan says that the Wolfpack has his back, so these "refugees" had better have a gameplan. I can't claim to understand the point of this segment.



M. Wallstreet vs. Curt Hennig: Wallstreet executes a fireman's carry takeover. The crowd breaks into a loud "DDP" chant. Tony says that this past weekend, Hennig vs. DDP was signed for Road Wild. Wallstreet with a shoulderblock, Hennig with a hip-toss, Wallstreet counters the follow-up, then lands a kick to the gut. Suplex attempt by Wallstreet is blocked, Hennig responds instead with a Perfectplex, but as he does DDP runs through the crowd. The three-count is registered all the same.



Result: Curt Hennig via pinfall

DDP runs in and attacks. The two trade punches until Hennig pulls DDP hard into the turnbuckle. The "DDP" chant continues loudly. The two have a back-and-forth that takes longer than Hennig's actual match did, but ultimately DDP comes out on top with the Diamond Cutter.



Tag Team Titles - The Outsiders (w/ Syxx) (c) vs. Ric Flair & Chris Benoit: Flair and Hall start. Flair blocks a punch and fires back with punches and chops, then goes over and knocks Nash off the apron. A back elbow puts Hall down again, and Hall goes out to take a breather. Upon his return, he's facing the newly tagged-in Chris Benoit. Hall rains some hammering rights down on Benoit, but Benoit leg-whips him and then hits a northern lights suplex for a two-count. Hall, mostly getting his ass kicked so far, tags to big Kev. Flair wants in, and Benoit obliges with a tag.

Flair lands a chop, but to little effect, and Nash shoves Flair down violently with one hand. He hits his signature knee lunges in the corner until referee Randy Anderson finally backs him down. Flair sets to work at chopping the big man down, as he kicks low at Nash's knees. He has a head of steam going when Syxx inserts himself with an undetected cheap shot from the outside. Big side slam from Nash gets a near-fall. Tag to Hall, who executes the fallaway slam. Hall and Nash double Flair in the corner, now having the match under control. Not a lot of exciting offense here, as the Outsiders are mostly doing a lot of punching and kicking and choking. Nash with snake-eyes. Hall tags in, and, after a brief sleeper by Flair, puts his own sleeper on Flair. Flair starts to fade, but manages to counter with a back suplex. Hot tag to Benoit.

Benoit takes it to both Outsiders, heads to the top to set up the flying headbutt on Hall, Flair picks off Syxx when Syxx attempts to interfere, and it's a very nice tease of a false finish when Benoit connects on the move unimpeded. Unfortunately Nash is able to bail out Hall with a pin breakup. Nash goes for the powerbomb, but Benoit punches his way loose. Benoit knocks Hall from the apron, but turns around into a big boot from Nash that absolutely takes his head off. That's our three-count. This match, while dull in the middle stages, had a really strong finishing sequence.



Result: The Outsiders via pinfall

The fight continues after the bell, as Syxx puts the Buzzkill on Flair and the nWo holds the ring as the Steiners emerge at the top of the aisle to stare down their Road Wild opponents. It's on that note that this Nitro signs off.



Overall: Nothing special, but certainly not a bad show all in all. None of the story stuff had any value, but the in-ring action was solid.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:38 PM   #1248
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Ratings for 7/21/97: Raw 4.1, Nitro N/A (it appears that Tuesday Nitro got lower than Raw's 4.1 - looks to be about a 3.8 for Nitro - but this doesn't get counted as a head-to-head ratings win for Raw, and I'll notch it as a draw for purposes of the running standings)
Ratings Running Score: Nitro 71-17-3

Better Show: Relatively close, but I'll give the slightest nod to Nitro for the superior in-ring action.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 59-32

Match of the Night: Ultimo Dragon vs. Lord Steven Regal
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:34 PM   #1249
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Thanks for these write-ups; keep 'em coming.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:32 AM   #1250
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

July 28, 1997

Nitro

Charleston, WV

Opening credits. Nitro Girls. And then…the nWo B-team music. This is not a way to raise my hopes for the show to come.

Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton (w/ Vincent) vs. Ric Flair & Curt Hennig: So yeah, Flair and Hennig just emerge and walk the aisle to Flair's music with no advance announcement. The announcers are left to wonder if this means Hennig is a Horseman, and they come to the conclusion that he is.

Hennig and Norton start, as Norton violently flings Hennig into the corner. After a reset, Hennig goes behind with a waistlock, but Norton elbows his way out, Hennig selling the bump hard. Hennig wrestles Norton into the corner and lands a chop, which of course Norton does not sell for even a microsecond, and he aggressively pushes Hennig out and chops him over the top to the floor. Hennig is selling generously for Norton. If it were anyone but Norton, that would be laudable. Given Norton's absolute selfishness as a no-selling jobber, Hennig should keep these sell jobs in reserve for every other match. Upon Curt's return, Norton grabs him by the hair and swings him around the ring. Hennig tries to land a kick, and Norton 100% ignores it and shoves him back into the corner. Tag to Flair.



Seriously, I don't know Norton didn't infuriate the **** out of everyone (if I'm right in assuming that he didn't). Getting no-sold by Hulk Hogan or The Undertaker is one thing. Despite being nobody and nothing, Scott ****ing Norton was just randomly claiming privileges that belong to the industry's actual monsters.

Flair gouges the eyes, which Norton does at least briefly sell, but Norton his a press slam within seconds anyway. Flying shoulderblock by Norton, and now he finally tags Buff Bagwell in. It's a sad team when Buff is the best worker by miles and miles. Dropkick by Buff. He poses, and Hennig comes in and blindsides him with a shot upside the head. That allows Flair to get going on offense, as he chops the **** out of Buff and then lands a series of punches. Buff fights back with his own punches, but celebrates prematurely and allows Flair an easy opening to attack back. The two trade punches, Buff gets the better of the exchange, but Flair backdrops him off the ropes and then slaps on the figure-four. Norton runs in, but Hennig picks him off. Bagwell escapes the hold somehow, but the cameras don't catch it, and we're off to commercial.

After break, Buff is choking Ric on the middle rope. He hits a series of rights, the last one flooring Flair. Flair turns things back around with his own punches, hits a shoulderblock, runs through a leapfrog, but Buff hits a scoop powerslam and gets a two-count. Running clothesline by Buff. Tag to Norton. He puts Flair down and then tears away at his face. Flair fights back, throwing chops at both Norton and Buff, but Buff ends up hammering him from behind to stop the rally. He tries pinning Flair with one foot, which gets a two-count. Mike Tenay expresses his shock that such a lax cover would get a two-count. Nobody gave Mike the memo that 97% of pin attempts get a two-count just on the basis that wrestlers never kick out before then. Which is really ****ing stupid, but it was baked in even back then.

Flair gets doubled in the corner, and Hennig steps in to break things up. Settled back into one-on-one, Flair dodges a corner charge by Norton and tries to launch a comeback, but Norton puts him back down quickly. Flair comes back with a couple more punches that get semi-sells from Norton, Flair smartly realizes that this is much as Norton is going to sell anything for the rest of his career, and she dives over for the hot tag. Hennig takes on both opponents, but as he's doing so, Syxx comes down and pulls Flair off the apron, exposing Flair's ass in the process. Those two trade blows on the floor, and the nWo has begun to double-team Hennig. Flair has the wherewithal to trip Norton from the floor, Hennig hits the Perfectplex on Bagwell, and that's our three-count.



After commercials and more Nitro Girls, we go to Mean Gene in the ring, who is rocking an ugly pinstripe shirt with a loud yellow tie and a beige suit. No real reason to exist if that's the outfit you're going to pick. Anyway, he brings out Lex Luger. He asks Luger about the fact that there have been rumors that Luger has an announcement regarding his upcoming title match with Hulk Hogan. Luger says there have been new developments. First, Luger rips his shirt off and brags about his physique. Then he moves on to say that he has a surprise: that his "simple-minded attorneys" (no idea, but he says that twice) have reviewed the fine print in Hogan's contract, and due to the clause that requires Hogan to defend every 30 days, he has to defend the WCW Title against Luger on next Monday's Nitro. He vows to rack Hogan, and he walks off.



In light of Lex's announcement, the announcers talk up next week's Nitro a bit before sending it to the ring. Tony mentions that they're sending it to a Prince Iaukea match, which will inevitably be even worse than just listening to Larry Z freestyle on gender politics or some such thing.

TV Title - Ultimo Dragon (c) vs. Prince Iaukea: Okay, if we have to watch Iaukea then Ultimo is near the top of the range of what we could get for an opponent. Test of strength to start, Iaukea with a temporary advantage before Dragon regains his feet, releases, and hits a shoulderblock. Iaukea with a couple of dropkicks, then a corner whip, and Ultimo does his signature headstand into a launching kick on his way back down to the mat. He hits his series of stiff kicks on the mat, leaving the challenger groaning in agony. Reverse chinlock by the Dragon. Snapmare into a one-count. Iaukea reverses into a front facelock, but Dragon quickly escapes and locks in an armbar. He releases, both back to their feet, and Dragon puts Prince back down with a dropkick. Another one-count. It's like they hard me snarking about the ridiculousness of automatic two-counts with every pin attempt.

Headscissor by the Dragon. He gets tied up in the ropes, lets it go, gets up and lands a chop, then ends up catching Iaukea sitting on the top rope and follows him up…only to get elbowed and superplexed by Iaukea. Both men down, and the referee applies a standing 10-count. They beat the count, and Dragon hits a back suplex. Scoop slam and an apparent follow-up moonsault off the top rope, but Dragon notices that Iaukea moves, and he lands on his feet. Iaukea still lands kicks upon the landing, goes for a powerbomb, Dragon counters into a hurracanrana, Prince rolls through into his own pinning combo for two, Dragon counters into his own pin for two, and they attempt to reset. Dropkick by Iaukea, then a crescent kick for two. Dragon lands on his feet off a backdrop attempt, goes for the Dragon Sleeper, but Iaukea counters it with an elbow that stops the Dragon in his tracks. Dragon regains his feet, mostly whiffs on a spinning heel kick, sort of tackles Prince, and this time successfully gets the Dragon Sleeper on. It's over. That ending sequence was clearly botched. All the same, by Iaukea match standards that was pretty solid.



Result: Ultimo Dragon via submission

Mean Gene, still rocking pinstripes/loud yellow/beige, brings Ric Flair back out for an interview. Gene says, "It's apparent to me that Curt Hennig is a new member of the Four Horsemen." Flair responds, "It's more than apparent. It's a fact of life that Curt Hennig is one of the most elite of all time, a Horseman." As he completes this sentence, Hennig emerges from the back. He says that he never said he was a Horseman. Flair says, "He doesn't want his wife getting mad. He doesn't want her knowing he's out partying all night." Hennig says that he appreciates the compliment, and as he talks, Chris Benoit and Mongo McMichael come in behind him. Hennig repeats that he's still a free agent. The segment ends on a non-answer.



Benoit and Mongo continue on to the ring to tag up for the next match.

Chris Benoit & Mongo McMichael vs. The Texas Hangmen: I had no clue who the Texas Hangmen were. Couple of masked dudes. Google tells me they were nobodies. Okay. Benoit starts against one of the masked men. He hits a shoulderblock off the ropes, but gets stopped by the apron interference of the other Hangman. The legal Hangman tags his partner in, and they double-team Benoit and hang him along the top rope. Benoit comes back with a clothesline, then tags in to Mongo. Powerslam by him. Hangman reverses a corner whip, but Mongo ducks the subsequent corner charge and hits another powerslam. He hits a couple of chop blocks.

Suddenly Tony Schiavone accepts an incoming phone call, and it's Scott Hall and Kevin Nash on the other end. Hall: "Schiavone, you accept a collect call from The Outsiders?" Tony: "Well if it's 1-800-COLLECT, I guess I do." Hall: "Oh, you get your plugs in wherever you can." Hall goes on to say that they're in Michigan and can't find any fans of the Steiner Brothers. Hall jaws a bit with Larry Z, saying that if he doesn't stop running his mouth he'll force him to bring his wrinkled butt out of retirement. Nash adds some comments before the call ends. Back to the match, all four are in the ring, Mongo hits a tombstone on one of the Hangmen, Benoit dumps the other, and Benoit comes and slaps on the Crippler Crossface. The Hangman is clearly under the bottom rope from the beginning of the hold, but Nick Patrick dutifully ignores that fact, and this is our finish.



Result: Benoit & McMichael via submission

Cruiserweight Title - Chris Jericho (c) vs. Alex Wright: Wright scores the first point with an armdrag. A stalemate into a rope break later, Jericho executes his own armdrag and then slaps Wright upside the head. Wright takes a moment to regroup before reengaging. He offers a test of strength and takes a cheap kick to the gut. Attempts a wristlock, but Jericho counters quickly and rolls through into his own armbar. The two continue to jostle back and forth and trade limb holds. Side headlock by Wright. Jericho shoves him off, but Wright hits a shoulderblock. He continues running the ropes and runs squarely into a spinning heel kick on the way back. Superkick by Jericho sends Wright off to take another respite.

As Wright attempts to reenter, Jericho attacks him on the apron with a springboard shoulderblock, knocking the challenger to the floor. He tries to follow with a suplex on the floor, but Wright blocks and hits his own suplex. Couple of European uppercuts by Wright, who then returns the champ to the ring. He comes off the top and barely connects with…a knee-drop? I couldn't really tell. Always impressive when you hit and I literally don't know what you even did. Corner whip by Wright, who follows by driving an elbow into Jericho's back and then connecting on a back suplex. He mudhole-stomps Jericho in the corner, takes the time to dance a bit, but surprisingly doesn't pay for it; he returns to offense and has no issue hitting another suplex. He's back to the top rope, and this move misses.

Jericho on the comeback with multiple corner whips and follow-up clotheslines. Quebrada by Jericho, and he stomps away at Wright until Wright reaches up and gouges the eyes. Jericho regains control quickly, attempting a sleeper, but Wright counters again, hanging Jericho throat-first along the top rope. Wright pursues, Jericho surprises with an inside cradle that gets a near-fall. Wright is quickly back up, hits a German suplex, bridges, and…holy ****, that's the three-count? Wright just won clean as a whistle after getting most of the match's offense. That was really unexpected.



Result: Alex Wright via pinfall, new Cruiserweight Champion

Mean Gene is back at the top of the aisle. He introduces "pound for pound, one of the greatest to come down the pike," Dean Malenko. And then we see this emerge through the entryway:



There are not enough facepalms in the world. Malenko says that he's done a lot of soul-searching. "Jarrett, you had a lot of validity in what you said last week about how people have to watch each other's backs around here. … My answer is, I'm in." But then he asks what went down this past Saturday night with Jarrett and Eddie Guerrero. No idea what's being referenced here. Jarrett says everyone loves to be around a winner, and assures Dean that Eddie Guerrero is the least of his worries. That certainly didn't clarify what Gene was even asking about. Debra says that they're not interested in working with Eddie. The promo just sort of peters out to an end from there.

We're onto the second hour of Nitro. Bobby Heenan is in the booth now. And we get the nWo music.

Syxx vs. Diamond Dallas Page: Kimberly joins DDP at the entrance, but doesn't come with him to the ring. Syxx slaps DDP, and DDP responds by hauling off with right hands. Chicken wing by DDP, and Syxx goes scrambling for the ropes. Loud "DDP" chants; Page clearly getting the biggest pop of the night so far. He holds onto an armbar, but Syxx stops him momentarily by grabbing the hair and whipping him down by it. DDP is right back on the attack though, executing a pumphandle into a backbreaker. Two-count. Elbow and a shoulderblock by DDP. Syxx blocks a hip-toss, and DDP transitions into a swinging neckbreaker. Inverted atomic drop, another elbow strike, and Syxx tumbles from the ring. As DDP continues the aggression, Syxx capitalizes by reaching up and hanging him across the top rope.

Syxx with a series of kicks, as he puts Page down in the corner. Bronco buster, which Mike Tenay refers to as "the bronco ride." Page slugs his way back up with shots to the gut, and then a big short clothesline that puts Syxx down hard. Pancake by DDP. He signals for the Diamond Cutter, but Vincent runs up to the apron to distract him out of it. Syxx tries to capitalize with the Buzzkill, but DDP fights it off and hits the Diamond Cutter anyway. Vincent is continuing to run distraction though, and Curt Hennig runs in and clobbers Page in the back of the head with a foreign object. He rolls an unconscious Syxx on top for the three-count.



An apoplectic Tony declares that Hennig obviously is not a Horseman, and that it looks like he's nWo.

Result: Syxx via pinfall

Hector Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko: Armdrag by Dean to open. Hector with a waistlock takeover, the wrestlers trade reversals, and we reset. Hector releases out of a side headlock and ends up hitting a clothesline, but misses on a follow-up, and Malenko hits sort of a spinning heel kick and gets an early two-count. Snapmare and a quick cover get another two. Hector lands a right hand to slow Malenko down. He throws some European uppercuts in the corner until Malenko fights his way back out and hits a back suplex. Two-count once again. Malenko slaps on a headscissor, but Hector escapes and slaps on an STF. Both back to a vertical base. Hector hits a backdrop and then a weird, bad-looking splash. Malenko rolls Hector up for a two-count, Hector boots Dean out and knocks him into the corner, and nearly scores a surprise pin himself as Dean staggers out.

As Malenko executes a corner whip, the crowd stands up and boos, and here's the charisma vacuum himself, Jeff Jarrett, with Debra alongside. Their presence at ringside distracts Hector during a corner mount for long enough to allow Malenko to hit a low dropkick. Texas Cloverleaf is on, Jarrett and Debra are up on the apron before the match is even over, and Hector does ultimately submit. Does it really count as a win when you're forced to keep company with Jeff Jarrett?



Result: Dean Malenko via submission

Chavo Guerrero hits the ring to take up for Hector, and Malenko ends up attacking him from behind. He and Jarrett lay a beatdown on the Malenkos and they hold the ring. Normally this would result in booing, but since it's Jeff Jarrett it's just resulting in no crowd reaction whatsoever.

Cut to the top of the ramp, where Konnan is sort of dragging Gene out with him to force his own interview segment. Konnan takes a couple of swipes at Gene for being an old man, then turns his attention to Rey Mysterio Jr., calling him "an establishment puppet" who is filling an affirmative action spot. He says he brought Rey and others into this company, and now he plans to take them down. He says all of this in the most obnoxious way possible. Konnan is insufferable. Gene agrees.



We've been advertised The Giant vs. Great Muta tonight, which I haven't ever bothered to jot down because nobody could possibly care about that match. Anyway, Giant comes to the ring, purportedly to face Muta, and suddenly we hear Macho Man's "OHHHH YEAH" ringing through the arena. Savage and Elizabeth are up in the crowd, Savage on the mic. Savage says he's taking care of family business, that he's going to take care of Giant at Road Wild, and he's going to take care of Scott Steiner tonight. Giant says something generic back about how it will in fact be him taking Savage down at Road Wild. And…that's it. Completely pointless. I guess we're getting Giant vs. Muta after all. Well that's a relief.

No, wait, after Muta enters, the nWo music restarts. Here's Eric Bischoff. He beelines for the announce table, Heenan and Tenay clear out, but Eric demands that Tony sit down and stay. Alright, the match is still going ahead, but it's just going to feature the incredibly annoying soundtrack of heel commentator Eric Bischoff.

The Giant vs. The Great Muta: Giant misses on a charge, Muta attempts an armbar, but Giant flings him off like a rag doll. Muta lands some kicks and chops, and Giant does sell for a moment, but ends up turning Muta around in the corner and sending him sprawling from the ring with one big chop. After a regroup, Muta returns, and Giant beats on him in the corner, landing some hard chops and causing Muta to take another breather. So, we watch Muta traipse around ringside some more while listening to Bischoff troll for cheap heat. So, this is fun.

Muta attempts another rally, Giant puts him down with a single boot, and again Muta heads out of the ring. He crawls under the ring this time, crawls through to the other side, and it allows him to attack Giant from behind. Giant misses with a clothesline, Muta hits a targeted dropkick to the knee, and then continues to work that limb to try to chop the Giant down. Finally getting the big man down, he drops an elbow, but the ensuing pin attempt is no good. Giant regains his feet, but Muta hits a tomahawk chop off the top rope and then a missile dropkick to follow. Giant no-sells, keeping his feet. On Muta's third jumping attempting, he lands into Giant's choke. He unleashes his green mist, but Giant covers up his face and remains unaffected. He completes the chokeslam and records the pinfall.



Result: The Giant via pinfall

Bischoff is pissed about the result, and he tells Tony to go away. Giant gets on the mic and starts to cut a promo, but at the same time Larry Zbyszko shows up at the announce table and gets in Bischoff's face. He screams at Bischoff, "You have no authority. Get off my set." He grabs Bischoff into a front facelock and drags him up the aisle. He dumps him into the ring and feeds him to The Giant, who chokeslams him. Okay, well that was entertaining at least.



La Parka (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Konnan: Konnan and La Parka trade shoves, then Konnan puts La Parka down with punches and a clothesline. Snapmare and a seated dropkick by Konnan, who then slams La Parka and scales the ropes; La Parka hits him with a dropkick on his way down. Slam by La Parka, and a twisting body attack off the top connects, albeit not fully, for a two-count. La Parka picks up a steel chair that literally has Konnan's name on it. He swings and misses, and Konnan dropkicks the chair into La Parka's face. He clears the chair out, hits a fisherman buster, and slaps on the Tequila Sunrise to score the submission.



Result: Konnan via submission

Psicosis runs out to aid his ally La Parka, but Konnan backs him down and then walks off unscathed.

After commercials, Tony dials up a phone call with JJ Dillon. He asks Dillon if the rumor is true that Dillon has an offer to make Sting. Dillon rambles for a while about the saga of everyone trying to figure out where Sting's loyalties lie, but says he is now convinced that Sting is WCW, and he says that the committee is working on getting Sting back in the ring by September. Dillon also teases that he has heard that Sting will be at next week's Nitro.

It's time for our main event.

Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Scott Steiner (w/ Rick Steiner): It should be said that the move to these red leather outfits, which basically made the Steiners look like WCW's answer to the Pitbulls, was always a terrible one and I'm pretty sure it had a significant part in making me like the Steiners less. Anyway, Scott and Randy jostle around the ring, neither gaining an advantage in either of the first two sequences. Finally Savage gets aggressive by blatantly shoving referee Randy Anderson into Steiner, then going on the attack. Even this advantage is fleeting, as Steiner hits a hammering blow to Savage's back and then executes a press slam.

Savage rolls out after the press slam and actually goes over and slugs Rick Steiner, but Rick doesn't fight back. Savage goes and gets a chair, flinging it into the ring even though it's clearly just going to be cleared out by the referee. While he's still stalking around outside, we go to break.

After commercials, Savage is on the attack in the corner. He whips Steiner into one corner, but runs into a raised boot, and Steiner hits a belly-to-belly that causes Savage to roll outside. As Steiner pursues, Savage uses Liz as a shield, hiding behind her. Steiner picks her up and sets her aside, but the distraction is enough to allow Savage to attack from behind and regain the advantage. He slams Steiner hard into the steel steps, then dumps him over the guardrail, the fight now spilling out into the crowd. They return back over the guardrail into the ringside area, Savage still pressing an advantage as he posts Steiner. He finally rolls him back inside. Scoop slam by the Macho Man, but Rick Steiner runs interference to keep him from quickly scaling the ropes. Savage eventually makes it up, but Scott Steiner has recovered enough to catch Savage into a belly-to-belly.

Rick and Elizabeth are jawing on the apron as Scott dumps Savage back to the floor. And again we go over the guardrail and into the crowd, briefly, until Scott launches Savage back over and into the ringside area. More brawling out here until Scott rolls Macho inside. Macho turns the tables with a low blow. Steiner blocks a suplex attempt, counters into a small package, and gets a near-fall. Clothesline by Steiner, a butterfly powerbomb, and now he sets Savage on the top turnbuckle. Super frankensteiner connects. He has the visual pin, but Elizabeth runs distraction on the referee. As Rick tries to pull Liz off the apron, the Outsiders run down and attack. Scott comes to his brother's aid, and we have a no contest or a disqualification, whichever.



Result: No Contest/Disqualification

The Outsiders and Savage get the better of the Steiners, beating them down as trash rains into the ring. The Giant eventually runs down to the ring, and the nWo bails. Giant picks up a mic and challenges Kevin Nash to come down right then and give this match out for free. Nash yells that he would come down there, but he's not going to fight through all these officials in the way. Doug Dillinger clears a path, giving Nash no excuse. Nash starts to head into the ring, but we get the Tony "WE'RE OUTTA TIME, FANS!" ending. They cue up a slow-motion replay of the earlier Giant chokeslam on Bischoff to close things out.



Overall: This was...on the low side of okay. Some of the matches were decent, but it just didn't feel like an engaging episode. Again, seriously, get poor Dean Malenko away from Jeff Jarrett.
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