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WCW Nitro
July 28, 1997

Hour 1Hour 2Hour 3Composite
2.943.833.41

Written by: John Petrie

WCW Monday Nitro:
Live/Taped: Live.
Length: Two Hours+.
Location: Charleston, West Virginia.
HOUR ONE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko.

- I happened to actually pay attention to the opening this week, and
noticed for the first time that the Giant, Lex Luger and the Steiners are
the ones prominently featured in the building side projections. I wonder
how many weeks (months) it's been like that?

They start off with the Nitro Girls again. Their physical attractiveness
aside, is it unfair for me to maintain my opinion that they really bite?

- RIC FLAIR/CURT HENNIG vs. VICIOUS & DELICIOUS
Schiavone and Tenay make total jackasses of themselves by trying to sell
to us, the fans, that Hennig is truly a member of the Horsemen. Of course
Larry isn't sure, which provides us, the fans, that shadow of a doubt
needed to keep speculating as to whether or not he really is. Check back
next April to see if they've resolved this one yet.

This one was pretty dull, but that didn't stop the crowd from really
getting into it. Hennig gets his first loud pop in WCW when he slaps
Bagwell on the back of the head, after Bagwell had been celebrating a
successful drop-kick on Flair. Flair and Bagwell wrestle a very long
stretch together (through a commercial break even). Norton then tags in.
Flair sells a clothesline in the corner like the night they pulled his
carcass from that plane crash back in the 70's. Hennig comes in for a
drop-kick on Norton and not only doesn't he (Norton) sell it, the crowd
doesn't react much either. Hennig is finally tagged in, leaving Flair
available for the angle of which this whole match has been a time
killer for.

Syxx comes to ringside and yanks down Flair's shorts. For a moment white
flesh, as white as the underbelly of a shark or cave amphibian, glares
under the hot arena lights. Flair tussles with Syxx on the floor. Norton
comes over to help, leaving Bagwell all alone in the ring with Hennig to
fall prey to a Hennigplex. Hennig receives another loud pop, though a
great deal of it seems aimed at the misfortune of Bagwell, who was way
over as a hell with the crowd.

I'm not positive, but I believe WCW edited the butt-shot out of the
replay. I have the live show on tape, but my brother says they used a
different camera angle on the replay.

- The Nitro Girls welcome us back from the commercial break.

- Mean Gene Okerlund brings out Lex Luger. Luger announces that WCW has
been absolutely mental when it comes to "Hollywood" Hogan not defending
his belt. Luger's lawyers pointed out what peabrains WCW officials are by
reminding them that there is a clause in Hogan's contract stating that he
must defend his belt once every thirty days. (Okay, he never used the
terms "mental" and "peabrains", those were added by me). In short, WCW
FINALLY remembered what used to be known by all fans for the last thirty
years or so. Because of this, Hogan must defend the belt against Luger
next week on Nitro.

My first question is will they remember this after Road Wild and continue
to make Hogan (or whoever) defend the belt every thirty days?

My second question is how stupid is WCW to give away a three hour card
with a Luger/Hogan title match for free? More on this later.

- ULTIMO DRAGON vs. PRINCE IAUKEA
They replay clips of the Dragon beating Steven Regal for the TV Title.

The Prince gives the Dragon a hard time, turning a squash into a fairly
competitive match. I wish WCW would decide whether or not Iaukea is
supposed to suck or not. The Dragon wins with the Dragon Sleeper, which
isn't a sleeper at all.

- Ric Flair comes out to be interviewed by Mean Gene. Flair brings out
Hennig, who makes it clear that he's still a "free agent". The announcers
are all confused, and do everything but beg the fans to stay tuned to
this angle.

- CHRIS BENOIT/STEVE MCMICHAEL vs. THE TEXAS HANGMEN
The Hangmen used to stink up the AWA, and most recently smelled up the
joint in the AWF. Benoit gets the win with the Crippler Crossface, and
Tenay nearly has an orgasm pointing out that the Hangman "tapped out".
The highlight of the match itself was a hilariously shaky Tombstone
Piledriver delivered by Mongo. He nearly dropped the Hangman, and
staggered around the ring before getting his footing solid enough to do
the move.

During the match the Outsiders phone in, claiming to be in Michigan. The
SECOND this happened my dad said they were probably calling from the
back. When my dad, who's older than Terry Funk, can spot an angle coming,
you KNOW it's an obvious one. (I'm sure it's only a coincidence that Bret
Hart and the WWF did this same thing several weeks ago).

- More Nitro Girls.

- ALEX WRIGHT vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Wright beats Jericho with a German Suplex to win the Cruiserweight Title.
I refuse to say anything else about this crap, other than to officially
proclaim the cruiserweight division dead.

- Mean Gene interviews Jeff Jarrett, Debra McMichael and Dean Malenko. Dean
accepts Jarrett's offer to join his new stable, but conditional on the
fact that Jarrett stops showing interest in adding Eddy Guerrero to the
group. Jarrett tells him not to worry. Debra says they aren't interested
in adding just anybody.

HOUR TWO Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.

- SYXX vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE
Syxx doesn't do all that much but take punishment in this one. Page looks
to be on track to an easy win when Vincent of the NWO appears on the
apron. Page knocks him to the floor, meaning the referee must now spend
the next several moments occupying himself with him. Syxx tries to slap
on the Buzzkiller, but Page turns it into a Diamond Cutter. Vincent has
made his way back onto the apron and has tied up the ref. Suddenly Curt
Hennig appears and he rabbit punches Page with a pair of knuckle dusters,
paying him back for Page's sneak attack from last week. He rolls Syxx's
near lifeless form onto him then leaves. The ref, having missed all this,
turns around and makes the three count. Syxx gets the upset, (with
"upset" being defined as "any finish which would upset the fans").

Schiavone and Tenay are now convinced that Hennig ISN'T a Horseman, since
he helped the NWO win a match.

- DEAN MALENKO vs. HECTOR GUERRERO
Dean has no problem putting Hector away with the Texas Cloverleaf.
Jarrett celebrates for Malenko after the match. Both stomp on Guerrero.

Hector, by the way, is really ugly. To be more precise, Hector's shorts
are really ugly.

- Mean Gene interviews Konan. K-Doggy says he's going to beat up all the
other Mexican wrestlers.

- THE GIANT vs. THE GREAT MUTA
Randy Savage taunts the Giant from the crowd, just as he did with DDP for
the last several months. Eric Bischoff then comes to the announcer's desk
and tells Tenay and Heenan to take off. Eric says there's no way Luger
will get a title shot against Hogan next week. He and Tony verbally spar
as Muta stalls in and around the ring. The two finally lock up, with Muta
taking control by focusing on the Giant's legs. Muta gets in a few
minutes of offense until the Giant starts to come back. As one might
expect, the Giant latches on the chokeslam. He then covers for the pin,
which was something of a shocker.

Bischoff sputters as Schiavone leaves. Then Larry Zbyszko comes out and
tells Bischoff to get off his set. He grabs Eric by the head and tows him
to the ring. Bischoff slugs him like a little girl, all in a vain effort
to get away. Zbyszko hands him over to the Giant, who signals his thanks,
then chokeslams Bischoff to the mat. The Giant gives the "NWO 4-Life"
sign and exits the ring.

Now this was cool. This I marked out for.

- Nitro Girls.

- KONAN vs. LA PARKA (w/ Sonny Onoo)
La Parka comes to the ring with a chair bearing Konan's name. Konan puts
him away fairly quickly with the Tequila Sunrise submission hold.
Psychosis comes out to make sure Konan doesn't do any extracurricular
damage to La Parka.

On the way to the commercial they show Bischoff being chokeslammed again.

- Tony contacts James J. Dillon via telephone regarding the next big
announcement for the show. Dillon quickly confirms that Luger will indeed
face Hogan next week, then announces that they will make an effort to get
Sting back in the ring by September. He says there is a rumor that Sting
will appear next week, and if he does, Dillon will be there to make him
an offer.

- RANDY "MACHO MAN" SAVAGE (w/ Liz) vs. SCOTT STEINER (w/ Rick Steiner)
This must have been a "no DQ" or "no countout", since both men spend
a few minutes outside the ring and the ref doesn't even make a count.
The match just drags on and on, going all over the place but never
looking all that good no matter what they do (brawl, wrestle, etc.).
Finally Hall and Nash come out and interfere, causing the DQ (wait a
minute). The Giant comes to the ring and calls Kevin Nash in. Nash says
he isn't going to fight for free. Nash teases entering the ring just as
the show ends.

Actually, they end with one last look at Bischoff being chokeslammed.

- Next week: Hogan vs. Luger.

Comments: I only watched about five minutes of this during the live
broadcast, and little more than that during the replay. I only watched the
whole show on tape as I wrote this Recap. With the exception of Zbyszko
beating up on Bischoff, I was bored and unimpressed with the bulk of the
show.

They didn't even have any decent cruiserweights going at it (and no, I don't
count the Wright/Jericho match as remotely decent). Wright still looks
awkward stringing together even the most basic of moves, and has no business
wearing a title belt of any kind. Jericho was given a month to prove he
could draw and apparently failed miserably. With Malenko and Guerrero tied
in with the Jarrett angle, the Ultimo Dragon owning the TV Title, and all
the Mexicans feuding with Konan, WCW has completely decimated the cruiser-
weight division.

The tag team division is in even worse shape, as there seems to be no more
teams competing, and a pair of champions who wouldn't defend the belts
against them anyway. Of course WCW is too busy building up the Outsiders vs.
the Steiners. I'll say it again: if the Steiners don't win the belts, tag
team wrestling in WCW has completely outlived it's usefulness. The only tag
matches this week were blow-off matches involving the Horsemen and NWO.

I still don't get the TV Title situation either. They don't even seem to be
establishing a contender for that belt. The Dragon's win over Regal seems to
have killed the angle they had building upon for him for months (the way he
would continually challenge the likes of Hogan, Flair, Savage and Page to
face him). Regal should be mixing it up with that level of talent. Instead
he keeps fighting with cruiserweights over the TV Title. Go figure. I'm not
even sure why I'm mentioning Regal, since he didn't wrestle (and rarely
does) on Nitro.

I wasn't all that impressed with RAW either this week, but Nitro just plain
sucked. I told my brother that Nitro was the winner this week ... until I
actually watched it all.


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