WCW Monday Nitro -January 27th, 1997
Nitro, January 28th, 1997, Des Moines, Iowa
The show opens with Bischoff and the Outsiders on commentary, calling this nWo Nitro, despite the show opening up with clips of Hogan in the yellow. They start off with a recap from Souled Out where Randy Anderson came in from the crowd and counted the pin for the Steiners, giving them the tag titles. They call Randy down, and Bischoff fires him while The Outsiders laugh, it’s SUCH a dick segment, I mean, they really made them look like assholes. It made it that much better for the pay off when they were beat by…..um….well.
The Steiners come out, and they gotta give up the straps, because the count wasn’t official last night. They’re reluctant, but they do it.
The Steiner Brothers vs Faces of Fear>/b>
This is a pretty hard hitting match, which is no surprise considering it’s 4 of the strongest, tougher guys in wrestling. FoF do a few sweet double-team moves, one is a back-drop into a powerbomb, and the other is when Barbarian suplexes Rick down, at which point Meng goes for a splash, but Rick sits up and Meng damn near lands on top of his fucking head. Brutal. Rick’s a bit sluggish after this, and I get the feeling he may have been knocked out a bit. Scott gets the tag and holds his own for a while, eventually hitting a belly-to-belly suplex and scoring the pin. Honestly, that was a pretty solid match. I wouldn’t have thought much seeing this on paper, but it was a damn good, no-nonsense, hard-hitting match. Had it gone longer, it would have earned higher marks.
Scott hits a belly-to-belly suplex for the pin at 5:54 | **3/4
They go to commercial, and when they come back, it’s Tony & Larry now. They talk about Souled Out, but say because it was an nWo PPV, they can’t show us live footage. Even though when they have a WCW PPV, they still don’t give us real footage. Instead, we get “photos” from a WCW photographer that was there. It’s fucking hilarious because it’s clearly just stills from the PPV, but they have a frame put around them that makes them look like Polaroid shots. So, apparently the WCW photographer goes and snaps pictures at live events with a Polaroid. Brilliant.
Roadblock vs The Giant
Roadblock attacks as soon as Giant steps in the ring, and tries twice to bodyslam him, but to no avail, and he does that “oh my back” type selling that I miss. Giant bodyslams him no problem, then drop-kicks Roadblock over the top rope, and through a freaking table. He pulls him back in, and chokeslams him for the pin. Now, a lot of people don’t rate matches that are three-minutes or less, but I gotta admit, that was a pretty sweet couple of minutes. Digging it.
Giant wins with a chokeslam at 1:45 | **
Giant gets on the mic, and says he wants ANOTHER shot at Hogan tonight. Please, PLEASE do not do this to us again WCW. PLEASE.
Jeff Jarrett vs Eddie Guerrero [C] – US Heavyweight Championship
I never understood the US title. The US title means you’re the champion of the United States. However, when you’re champion of the World, that includes the United States. So? The match is solid, as Jeff has always been underrated as a worker, with neither guy getting the best of the other for two long. Fast paced, botch-free, what more could you ask for? Had they been allowed to go longer, I think there could have been something real great here. Mongo shows up at Deborah’s behest, but instead of clobbering Eddie, he nails Jeff, drawing the DQ.
Jeff wins via DQ when Mongo smashes him with the briefcase at 4:40 | **
We now get the classic moment where they attempt to show Hogan losing to Piper at Starrcade, except Bischoff ran into the truck and yanked out the tape. Man, do you guys remember the days when PPVs were scarse like that? Bischoff destroys the tape, and honestly, back then, that was pretty much it. Most places didn’t rent out PPVs, and if they did, it was old ones, so unless you ordered, you didn’t see anything. There was no youtube to speak of, and video clips online were at it’s infancy, and I’m not even sure of their availability back then. Memories. Kids these days have it so damn good.
Billy Pearl vs Ultimo Dragon
Hell yeah, my boy, Sonny Onoo. The best. Billy Pearl, well, no joke, he looks like Ron Howard’s brother with like, 5lbs of muscle, but not Clint Howard, just a pale, red-headed dude that is literally the least intimidating wrestler of all time. He is able to keep up with Dragon though through a ton of switches, reversals, and running of the mat. He attempts to hit Dragon with a splash, but Dragon steps up and drop-kicks him mid-air. He then nails Pearl with a moonsault, and pins him with a double-arm chicken wing suplex. Pretty much a squash match, but Pearl was able to keep up at times.
Dragon gets the win with the Chicken Wing Suplex at 2:40 | *1/4
Ron Powers vs Lex Luger
Ron Powers looks like a shorter, very unimpressive looking version of 911, from ECW. He also has long, stringy hair. It’s a debut for him, and not much of one, because his one offensive move he botches, and then taps out to the Rack in under a minute 20.
Luger wins with the Rack at 1:15 | *
Hour 2 starts, and I pray I don’t have to hear Bobby tell everyone to “call your friends, call your family, tell them that Hogan is taking on The Giant!”, because I swear, every time they wrestle on TV, he says that.
The Amazing French Canadians vs Arn Anderson & Mongo
The Canadians double-team the hell out of Anderson for the first three minutes or so until he’s finally able to tag in Mongo, who then cleans house. No joke, he cleans house in one of the burliest instances I’ve ever seen. I mean, he was handing out double-clotheslines, tackles, over-head press slams, just making Mongo look like a destroyer. He soon clubs the Mountie in the head with the briefcase and gets the pin, making Arn look like an absolute punk, as he’s still selling the ass-kicking.
Mongo scores the pin after clocking the Mountie with the briefcase at 4:27 | **
The Outsiders [C] vs The Extreme – Tag Team Championship
This is a night for weird debuts. The Extreme are a couple of dorks in matching baggy outfits that look like a mesh version of the Rockers with sunglasses . Their names are Ace Darling and Devon Storm. The match is absolutely nothing, as both guys are absolutely crushed. I mean, it was like Hall & Nash were facing air. Storm eats the Outsiders Edge and Hall pins him with one foot. As it would turn out, Storm would go on to become Crowbar.
Hall wins with The Edge at 1:14 | *
Joe Gomez vs The Taskmaster
Sullivan is seriously one of the lamest, most least-threatening “heels” I’ve ever seen. At least when he’s in Taskmaster form. I’d be so fucking bummed if I had to lose to him, especially when his finish is that ridiculous “stomp on your chest”. Which is exactly how this one ends. Sullivan rushes him, attacks, throws a chair, hits him with the stomp, end of story. Fine with me.
Sullivan wins with one of the lamest finishes of all time, The Stomp, at .42 seconds | *
Hogan comes out for an interview with Bischoff, and it’s actually a lot different than what he became known for. Bischoff puts him over in grandiose style, they lie about accomplishments, and Hogan flexes. Truly a rare occurrence from Hollywood Hulk Hogan. This interview turns slightly homoerotic as Hulk promises to come out and pose for everyone, so they can lay awake at night and think about how beautiful Hollywood is, at which point Bischoff loses it and says “You’re really gonna do that for us?!”. It’s really fucking weird. On a sad note, we’re getting ANOTHER Hogan vs Giant match, that I bet anything I’ve ever owned or will own that it ends in anything but a clean pinfall.
Jerry Flynn vs Dean Malenko
Flynn is one of those anomalies in the world of WCW. He was always around, and I could never, ever, for the life of me, understand why. He looked like a total dork, he had a martial arts gimmick but without the over-the-top entertaining aspect like Glacier or Mortis, and he wasn’t a good wrestler. Flynn goes for a kick which Dean catches, Jer tries for the inzaguri counter, Dean ducks it, slaps on the Cloverleaf, and there we go. Short and sweet.
Malenko wins with the Cloverleaf at 2:34 | *1/2
Schivone gets a telegram, yes, a telegram, that says due to Hollywood’s recent actions he must defend his title at Superbrawl, against Roddy Piper. Well, at least this time they’re being very, very clear that it’s a title match. They keep talking about how Piper said his last match was Starrcade, and they’re not sure if he’s gonna accept this one. Wow, that was suppose to be his final match, ay? Might not have been a bad idea, because then we wouldn’t have had to see him training in Alcatraz.
Hugh Morrus vs Chris Benoit w/ Women
Benoit absolutely tears into Hugh in the corner, hitting him with over 20 slaps & kicks in about a 5 second time frame. Hugh attempts the No Laughing Matter, which Tony calls The Last Laugh, Miss Jackie makes her WCW debut, which the announcers say is a fan. While the ref is distracted, Sullivan runs in and hits Benoit with a chair, allowing Hugh to hit the NLM moonsault again and get the pin. Jackie soon gives a promo and says Woman looks like a fugitive from a fat farm, and Deborah McMichaels has chicken legs. Okie dokie.
Hugh wins with the moonsault at 3:04 | *
We get a commercial for the Power Plant. A place where a guy who was too short to be a real wrestler treated people like a dick and pushed them harder than he needed too so he could act like he was tougher than them. It’s also the place that trained guys like Giant & Goldberg, so, clearly they’re a skill warehouse.
Hulk Hogan vs The Giant
Before the match starts, Hogan is standing in the ring with Ted DiBiase, Vince, and Bischoff. Hogan touches on the announcement of Superbrawl, and says that “No one tells the nWo what to do! They don’t tell Hollywood what to do, they don’t tell Trillionaire Ted what to do, and they don’t tell Bischoff what to do!”. Poor Vince, I guess they tell him what to do. The match is the same exact one they always have. Giant dominates, Hogan screams, there’s chops, punches, and of course, interference. Giant battles the nWo as Luger shows up and we fade to black.
Giant wins via DQ at 2:51 | *
Summary: The show started off really, really well. It soon petered off into a typical Nitro, except this had too many debuts of worthless characters, with matches & angles that pretty much went no where. It’s middle of the road, but check out the first 20-30 minutes, because it’s some great wrestling programming.