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WCW Nitro
December 08, 1997
Buffalo, New York

Hour 1Hour 2Hour 3Composite
4.433.924.124.13

Written by: John Petrie

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

- A clip of J.J. Dillon telling Eric Bischoff that he'll have to face Larry
Zbyszko at Starrcade gets the ball rolling this week. Larry is absent
from the announcing booth this week so that he won't be a target for the
NWO, according to Tony Schiavone. Massive crowd this week: over 19,000
according to Mike Tenay. Jim Kelly and a number of Buffalo Bills are
reportedly in attendance (more on that later).

- KONAN vs. RAY TRAYLOR
Man, how I wish Konan would pull his pants up.

The match starts off at about half speed, with both just kind of running
into each other and laying in some fat punches. They briefly go to the
floor, then back into the ring. The crowd is noisy, but really not that
much into the match. The move of the match comes when Traylor whips Konan
into the corner. Konan flips up and Traylor catches him. Konan then
slides out of the grab, falling behind Traylor and applying an inverted
DDT. Konan then starts whipping Traylor from corner to corner.

Suddenly the lights go out!

For very nearly a full minute (58 seconds by the counter on my VCR) the
lights are out. Flashbulbs pop in the crowd, occasionally revealing that
something is going on in the ring (which the crowd can see, but we at
home really can't). When the lights come back on Konan is laid out in the
center of the ring. Traylor looks around dumbly, then drops for the
cover. The ref makes the three count.

My assumption at this point was that the Steiner Brothers had lived up to
their promise to help Traylor when he needed it. Poor match to warm up
the crowd with, but the trickery with the lights did the job.

- BARBARIAN (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. STEVE "MONGO" MCMICHAEL
Raven's Flock, minus Raven, arrive during this match. The fans seem more
interested in this than the match itself.

Slower than the last match, as well as shorter (I think), but somewhat
more entertaining. The two are evenly matched, trading bodyslams and the
like. McMichael catches the Barbarian off the second turnbuckle with a
slap to the belly, then puts him away with a Tombstone Piledriver. Mongo
then faces Jimmy Hart, who had jumped up on the apron. After teasing it a
bit, Mongo knocks him to floor-except that Meng is now there to catch
him. Meng enters the ring and takes Mongo down with the Tongan Death
Grip.

- Mean Gene Okerlund brings out Disco Inferno for an interview. Disco
doesn't really seem to know why he's out there. Okerlund runs him down,
pointing out his loss to Jacquelyn, and that the other wrestlers don't
know which door he'll come out of when he goes to the bathroom. Disco
nearly snaps, saying he's tired of this nonsense. He points out how the
match with Jacquelyn was a "no win" situation. Disco says he's had
enough. So have we all, Disco baby, so have we all!

- Buff Bagwell, in comments given to Mean Gene, challenges Lex Luger to a
match (rematch, actually, from their match last week).

- DEAN MALENKO vs. PRINCE IAUKEA
Eddie Guerrero comes to the desk to deliver color commentary, doing a
much better job coming across as a "cool heel", instead of an "annoying
heel" or "jerk heel" ... or "boring heel, as he was the last time out.

Dean has little trouble getting Iaukea into position for the Texas
Cloverleaf and the win. Okay match, but again really short.

- Nitro Girls.

- NWO promo, this time running down the Giant. I'm beginning to think that
these things are setting up the fans for an increased NWO presence and
style on Nitro. That probably says a lot about the upcoming Zbyszko/
Bischoff match for Starrcade. If Larry wins, he gets a match with Scott
Hall next year. If Bischoff wins, the NWO gets Nitro.

- Pretaped Kevin Nash comments are played. He says he and Hall have taken
the Giant's chokeslam away (when they broke his hand), making him even
less than one dimensional. Nash challenges the Giant to a match at
Starrcade.

- Mean Gene brings out the Giant, who in essence accepts the challenge. He
says being one dimensional is all he needs, but that he'll bring the
chokeslam with him to Starrcade. Tony Schiavone wets himself over how big
Starrcade is shaping up to be.

- They play the Starrcade promo where Sting walks through a ruined gothic
cathedral, pulling his baseball bat out of a pile of NWO rubble.
"Paybacks Are Hell!" is the slogan. I could make a "WCW PPV's Are Hell!"
joke, but I won't.

- Nitro Girls.

- They replay the clip from last week of the Sting mannequin falling from
the roof through the ring.

- CHRIS BENOIT vs. RAVEN
Doesn't happen. For the third week in a row (sounds familiar) Raven
doesn't wrestle, even though he's scheduled to. This time he isn't even
in the building. His Flock member with the blonde hair heads to the ring.
Though he's been called "Skank" behind the scenes for almost a month, WCW
finally gives him a name: "Lodi" (pronounced "Low-dee").

- CHRIS BENOIT vs. LODI
Lodi displays no wrestling talent or ability whatsoever. He doesn't even
perform any moves. Benoit just tosses him into anything buckled down at
ringside, throws him in the ring, stomps on him, suplexes him off the
turnbuckles, hits him with a headbutt off the top, and applies the
Crippler Crossface for the submission. Total squash.

Raven's Flock consider running in, but instead just stand around looking
lost. Mike Tenay points out that the group has no direction without
Raven. Benoit grabs a house mic and challenges Raven to come out and take
a beating like a man. "You were abused as a child? Come see what 'abuse'
really is!" (Or words to that effect).

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

- Mean Gene brings out the "Nature Boy", Ric Flair. Flair says he's got a
few things on his mind about the whole NWO, as opposed to just Curt
Hennig. He says he thinks Sting will beat Hogan. Showing he's not too up
on the card he says Hall and Nash will lose to the Steiners. He admits
that he doesn't know what Savage will be doing that night. He then,
almost offhandedly, says he wants a cage match with Curt Hennig. Mean
Gene then, for no apparent reason, brings up Bret Hart. Flair says Hart
is wrong in calling himself the "best of all time". He says it's easy to
get a newspaper column printed in your own hometown. He says if Hart
comes to Charlotte, he'll see who really is "the Best There Is, the Best
There Was, and the Best There Ever Will Be!" He talks about Hart as if
he's joined the NWO, furthering the red herring WCW wants us to swallow
on that account. The fans are less than 100% in support of Flair's
anti-Hart comments.

In case you didn't know, Hart and Flair have traded low key barbs at each
other for the last few years. Hart has called Flair an "unoriginal"
wrestler who uses the same moves every match. He's even gone so far as to
not only insult Flair, but those fans who consider Flair the "greatest
ever". Flair, on the other hand, has apparently said Hart has one of the
biggest egos in the business: bigger even than Hulk Hogan's. I think it's
fairly telling that Flair and Hogan have, for the most part, coexisted
peacefully together in WCW for more than three years, while Flair and
Hart couldn't stand to be near each other for more than a few months in
the WWF.

- The NWO promo of Sting being beaten up is shown.

- HUGH MORRUS vs. RANDY SAVAGE
Very early in the match (before it really starts) Savage goes over to
the guard rail to badmouth Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith. Savage slaps
Kelly's hat off his head. Morrus grabs him from behind, with Kelly and
Smith laying in some laughably weak forearm and elbow shots (Smith
laughing so hard that he can barely connect). Kelly has this goofy,
determined look on his face (kind of like when Paul E. Dangerously gets
in a fight). Savage gets away, but Morrus catches him and throws him back
into the rail for more. (The crowd, as you'd guess, really eats this up).
Once in the ring the match settles down to the usual back-and-forth
affair. Savage hits an elbow off the top, but Morrus kicks out. He hits
another, but this time picks Morrus up instead of taking the easy pin. He
shoves aside the ref and climbs up for a third when ...

Again the lights go out!

More camera flashes and several figures can be barely made out in the
ring. A loud, fake sounding electrical buzz noise arises. This time the
lights are off for well over a minute. Once back up they reveal Savage,
Morrus and the ref all laid out in the ring. Savage has a Sting mask on,
which pretty much tells us who is doing all this. No finish to the match
... they just go to break showing the mess in the ring.

- "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Eric Bischoff come to the announcer's desk.
Rude grabs a mic and accuses Tony Schiavone of being in on everything
that goes on in WCW, since it's WCW who not only pays his salary, but
also the production crew and power bill. He calls Tony, Mike and Bobby
the "Three Monkeys", and says if anything else funny happens he'll come
out and take the three of them out. He then grabs Tenay's wrists and
forces his hands over his eyes ("See No Evil"), and puts Tony's hands
over his mouth ("Speak No Evil"). The Brain wisely covers his own ears
("Hear No Evil"). After they've left Bobby points out that he once
managed Rude, yet he's never seen him fired up like that. Bobby threatens
to walk. Schiavone announces a commercial break so that they can regroup.

Classic Rude, but an obvious attempt on WCW's part to come up with
something for him to do.

- DISCO INFERNO vs. SATURN
A terribly sloppy match, as the two blew several moves (such as a whip
into the ropes). Still, a somewhat entertaining match. Disco displays his
new "extreme" attitude, taking the match to the floor. Saturn whips him
into the rail, where the Flock waits, but Disco gets in the first shot.
Saturn charges and Disco backdrops him into the crowd. Disco nails one of
the Flock with a Stone Col-err, "Chartbuster" on the guard rail. Back in
the ring they go and after bumping into each other a bit more, plus some
suplexes by Saturn, Disco nails the Chartbuster out of nowhere and covers
for the upset pin. New WCW Television Champion! The Raven-less Flock (now
0 for 2 on the night) hit the ring, but Disco grabs the belt and heads
for safer ground.

Good ol' fashioned southern booking ... I guess.

- The latest Nitro Party Video is another candidate for the worst yet. Once
again a frat house full of slobs (this time in Illinois) make fools of
themselves just to get on TV. This one includes a really embarrassing clip
of one pinning another on their beer stained carpet. The air is thick
with bong smoke as a pair of them mouth several NWO slogans. The rest
stand around in the background looking pretty well baked. There's been a
lot of talk lately by people "embarrassed" to be wrestling fans. It's
stuff like this that embarrasses me.

- Nitro Girls.

- BUFF BAGWELL (w/ Vincent) vs. LEX LUGER
Luger is just barely more over than Bagwell this time out. Of those fans
even bothering to make noise, Luger leads something like 51% to 49%.
Speaking of "annoying heels", Bagwell fits that mold nicely.

Once again Luger lets himself get beat up for almost the whole match,
then comes back with a series of clotheslines and the Bionic Forearm.
Bagwell rolls to the floor. Luger follows and is met by Vincent and Scott
Norton, who keep him occupied long enough for referee Nick Patrick (yeah
... THAT guy) to make the countout. Bagwell celebrates like he's just
won a title match.

Meanwhile the rumors of Nick Patrick turning NWO again continue. I'm
going against the stream on this one, betting that WCW has you all
suckered.

- Another NWO promo: this time "Rowdy" Roddy Piper gets the black-and-white
treatment. Coming back from the break they show a collection of Sting
clips in black-and-white, set to moody, spooky music.

- DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. SCOTT HALL
Hall conducts his weekly poll, designed to do no more than kill time and
stay on the air against RAW. The Buffalo sheep chant "NWO" along with
him, even though they'd just cheered loudly when he asked them if they
were there to see WCW. You know what this reminds me of? WrestleMania XI,
when they showed Bret Hart's kid singing along with Shawn Michaels' theme
music. Some people just don't seem to realize how stupid they can come
across. "The NWO sucks ... (pause) ... NWO rules!" Well, which is it?!
Anyone who wears an NWO t-shirt, boos them when they come out, then yells
"Too Sweet!" along with them should just be shot, you know?

WCW then actually has the nerve to take a commercial break before Page
comes out.

A fan near ringside holds up a six foot tall cardboard cutout of the
Undertaker. It's that kinda night. I have no idea what that means.

Another in a string of not-bad-not-good-just-blah Nitro main events. Lots
of rest holds. Page, wrestling with his ribs taped, nails Hall with a
Pedigree (of sorts).

In comes Curt Hennig, drawing the mandatory Nitro main event NWO run-in
DQ. The rest of the NWO follows and Page soon resembles a speed bump on
an off-ramp.

Sting drops from the ceiling, again dropping through the ring. Yes, it's
another dummy. The wiggling, twisting rope going into the hole
immediately gives away what is happening under the ring.

"Hollywood" Hogan takes the mic and says since Sting is so afraid to face
him that the fans should just wait until he wrestles Scott Hall in
February to see a real match. Hogan then says he wants to wrestle the
Sting dummy and sends Hennig to pull it out of the hole. Hogan runs
down Sting's track record as a non-main eventer as it takes three guys to
pull the not-quite-as-limp-as-it-just-was-dummy out of the hole. The
"dummy" is stood up against the ropes. Hogan says he's going to wipe the
smile off the dummy's face. He walks over and tales a swipe at the mask
and wig on the dummy, which fall away to reveal the real Sting. Several
NWO members are sent packing by him as Hogan cowers in fear on the
arena floor.

- Next week: Nothing announced.

Comments:

C'mon! Do they really expect us to believe that Hennig, Norton and Bagwell
pulled that "dummy" out of the hole and didn't realize it was really a
person? They could have at least had whoever controls the rope rigging to
tow the rope back up, bringing the "dummy" back out of the hole in the
canvas. Then as they went over to it his head would snap up, the fans would
have been fooled, etc. This is now the third time that they've dropped a
Sting mannequin from the ceiling, and the second time that he's popped up
from under the ring. Combining the two is only barely a new variation on the
theme.

The finish aside, this was an okay installment of Nitro. A lot happened,
though not as much in the ring as usual. The lack of a strong cruiserweight
match was very noticeable. Hell, if I didn't know better, I'd think I was
watching RAW! All it was missing was a lot of cussing and bare asses!


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