WCW Monday Nitro – February 3rd, 1997
Nitro, February 3rd, 1997 – Episode 73
Hogan, Ted DiBiase, and Vince start us off. Hogan talks about Piper, and says since he’s suppose to be here tonight, he’s willing to put the belt up. Well, I’m a betting man, and I’m willing to bet that Hogan vs Piper does happen tonight, it’ll go 20-25 minutes long, and end in a clean finish with Piper winning the belt. I have no doubt that’s what will happen. Man, is it me or does Virgil, in his role of Vince, have the easiest job in wrestling history or what?
Ray Mendoza, JR vs Ultimo Dragon
Man alive, is this some kinda continuation from the last Nitro, where we keep debuting absolute nobodies? Who the hell is Ray Mendoza JR? I can tell you this, 10 seconds into the match and I don’t like him. Dragon put him in a wrist-lock, at which point Mendoza hit the ground, rolled backwards just so he could roll forwards to lay on his back again, does a kip up, only to lay down so he can kip-up again. I don’t know if it’s a style clash, or Mendoza just sucks, but these guys aren’t jelling very well together, with things looking rather clunky. It thankfully ends when Ultimo hits the Double-Chicken Wing Suplex.
Dragon gets the pin with the Chicken Wing Suplex at 3:04 | *
Kidman vs Glacier
I was watching an interview with Raven, and he said that Kidman didn’t like a lot of the things about the Flock, including a good portion of his gimmick. Really, Kidman? You were over with the Flock. You’d rather go back to this? Coming out looking like wrestling’s version of KD Lang in a dinner-servers jacket? Cripes, man. It still blows my mind they had things like Glacier during the same time as the nWo. Glacier uses his kicks, sweeps, and few wrestling moves he’s allowed to do, along with his dorky posing that earns him a ton of boos. It’s honestly not that bad of a match, as Glacier is finding a sweet spot and becoming better at this point. Match ends when Kidman leaps off the top rope, only for Glacier to kick him right under the chin.
Glacer gets the pin after he kicks Kidman in the face at 2:09 | *1/2
Ice Train w/ Teddy Long vs La Parka
This was an odd time for Teddy Long. He was considerably fatter, and constantly yelling “WESTSIDE!”. Ice Train, he’s confusing. First off, what’s an Ice Train? Why is he called Ice Train? What about him makes him an Ice Train? Why is his outfit red & white, not red & blue? Guys like these made you realize that WCW had a zero-tolerance in the steroid department, in that they gave zero-shits if you did them or not. OK, these guys aren’t stinking the place out, but honestly, why are Ice Train & La Parka getting over 5 minutes? I haven’t seen a match go this long on Nitro in a while. Ice Train ends up winning with a splash, after two rest spots, might I add. This was pretty slow, and not a very good blend of styles, as La Parka didn’t go out of his way to razzle-dazzle, and Ice Train isn’t really the type to be leading matches. He needs to rock things like his ol’ tag partner, Scott Norton.
Ice Train wins with a splash at 5:24 | *1/2
The Horsemen come out for an interview, and man, they were God-awful during this period. Benoit would give his insanely boring promo about Sullivan, then Deborah would run down other chicks, and Ric would dance.
Harlem Heat vs The Steiners
Last week during Steiners vs Faces of Fear, Harlem Heat was sitting in the crowd. This week, the Faces of Fear and Public Enemy are sitting in the crowd. I have zero idea what this is suppose to accomplish. Am I suppose to be impressed that the wrestlers are too dumb to sit and watch the monitors in the back? These guys have solid chemistry together, with Rick always playing a good baby-face-in-trouble. A lot of power-moves from the Steiners, and kicks from the Heat. I was getting pretty into it until the Faces of Fear and Public Enemy jump into the ring for no reason whatsoever. Worse yet, those two teams battle to the back, while Heat & Steiners stand in the ring like “WTF is that?” and the ref refuses to let them wrestle. I’d hope they’d use that to build to a rematch, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.
Match ends when Faces of Fear and Public Enemy interfere at 5:26 | **
Mike Enos vs Dean Malenko
A decent back & forth match here that saw Malenko giving a lot more than I’d imagine he would. I dunno, if I’m Dean, I just couldn’t give any offense to a guy who wrestles in chaps. At one point Syxx shows up and steals the Crusierweight title. Enos attempts a suplex, but Dean rolls him into a small package for the pin. Honestly, this is probably the best match Enos will ever have, as Dean was like old school Flair with George South out there. A solid mid-card TV-filler match.
Dean wins with a small package at 6:38 | **½
Hell yeah, it’s On The Road with Lee Marshall. Man, I love that photo of Lee on the Batphone, just chilling in his blazer.
We have an interview with the Dungeon of Doom, at this point just Taskmaster, Jimmy Hart, and Konnan. I dunno, they talk about disliking the Horseman, and they all wear very loud clothing.
DDP vs The Renegade
It’s weird, because DDP is in the mode that made him a star, but he’s still dressing really tacky, with the neon colors, and pleather vest & pants with dorky sunglasses. Not much of a match here. DDP slaps him around, and soon hits him with a Diamond Cutter as Renegade sits on a the top rope. I remember when I discovered you could do that in WCW/nWo Revenge and lost my damn mind. Loved that.
DDP wins with the Diamond Cutter at 2:00 | *
Hall & Nash appear at the entrance ramp with steel pipes, which appears to worry DDP. Sting & Savage then appear up in the crowd, and DDP grabs a chair. The Outsiders then decide to get their revenge at a later date.
Super Calo vs Alex Wright
I didn’t expect much outta these two, as I thought it’d just be a couple minute squash, but they went out there and delivered a hell of a match. I don’t want to say it was a typical Crusierweight match, but in a way it was. A lot of great moves, high-flying, tight-chain wrestling, and near falls. This one ends after Alex Wright leaps off the top rope and hits Calo with what might be the highest drop kick I’ve ever seen. Like I said up top, this was a really solid match, and if it’s not on one of those Best of Nitro comps, it needs to be.
Alex wins with an off-the-top rope drop kick at 6:33 | ***
Konnan vs Chris Benoit
Despite the reasons you’re not suppose to like Benoit, I never did. I found the guy to be boring as fuck, and not a huge fan of his matches. I’m absolutely bored to death of Benoit in 1997 with the Horseman and the Dungeon of Doom. The best part of the match is when Konnan sits on Benoit’s neck and pulls his legs up, and Hart yells across to the other side of the ring to Woman “ah ha ha, look at him now!”. It’s great. The match stops all of a sudden when Jackie comes down to assault Woman. I have no idea why that stops the match, but OK. Nothing fantastic, but nothing terrible, either.
Match just abruptly ends when Jackie comes down to settle Woman’s hash at 3:30 | *
Jeff Jarrett vs Mongo
Hell yeah, Mongo, baby. I find it kinda odd they put this match on Nitro, as they’ve been building it for a while. Well, the match doesn’t go on for long at all, as once Mongo gets knocked outside, Debra tries to keep him from going back in, and he gets counted out. Short, sweet, and Mongo. Alright with me.
Jarrett wins via count-out at 1:30 | *
Piper comes out to talk about whether or not he’s gonna accept the title shot at Superbrawl. He comes out with his kid, Colt, [better than Tum Tum], and says while he appreciates the title shot, he wants to stay at home and be a father. This brings out Hulk, and it’s where the segment starts to shine, as Piper calls him Terry, and says please don’t do this, just let me leave. Hogan makes him say “Hollywood Hogan beat me like a drum”, and admit that Roddy’s family and friends think Hogan is the icon. Hulk is seriously being an insanely obnoxious asshole. It’s great. Piper tries to leave, but Hogan starts slapping him in the head, prompting Piper to finally turn around and start kicking his ass before getting on the mic and accepting the match. It was a damn good segment, unfortunately I don’t think the match at SuperBrawl lives up to it, or is as good as their Starrcade bout, we’ll see.
Summary: Decent Nitro here. It was bookended by Hogan & Piper, with the final segment being pretty damn tremendous. We also had a pretty good match between Wright & Calo, and a solid outing with Malenko & Enos. The rest is traditional filler, but nothing terrible. Good times.