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WCW Nitro
November 03, 1997
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hour 1Hour 2Hour 3Composite
4.313.704.01

Written by: John Petrie

HOUR ONE Hosted By: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko.

- They replay clips of "Hollywood" Hogan beating on Diamond Dallas Page
last week, with Sting coming out to make the save. This would be Hogan's
and Sting's only appearance tonight. (Whoops! Didn't mean to give that
away).

- As if we aren't sick enough of "Assault on Devil's Island", they show
another clip of it. Apparently this monumental waste of time managed to
do well enough to become the fourth highest rated cable movie of all
time. Seriously, someone E-Mail me and say they liked this movie, and
exactly why. My response, just to let you know in advance, will be to
tell you to watch ANY OTHER action movie made in the last fifty years and
you'll see something better.

They then show the Hogan/Sting contract signing, which is a slap in the
face to anyone who was suckered into watching the movie just to see it.
For the record, I taped the show and watched it Sunday night. I don't
think it's in any way disingenuous or dishonest to say how terrible this
movie was. How much of that dialogue, especially during the "action
scenes", had to be dubbed over in the quiet confines of a sound stage?
The only thing faker than this dialogue is WCW wrestling. It was nice to
see that they only had to rip off about half of "Predator" to get the
characters down pat.

Unfortunately, this isn't the end of this movie. It airs again next
Monday between Nitro and the replay, and will no doubt be shown dozens of
more times over the next year. There's also the spin-off coming, which
I'll get to in a bit.

- REY MYSTERIO, JR./STEVEN REGAL vs. EDDIE GUERRERO/DEAN MALENKO
I've no idea why these guys are teamed up, other than the vague notion
that Malenko would "do anything" to tangle with Mysterio. Regal, on the
other hand, has absolutely no motivation whatsoever to wrestle with or
against any of these guys. Obviously Eddie wants another shot at Rey.

Very weak match, given the guys involved. I'm not saying it was bad, but
this match certainly should have lasted longer than the approximately 3
minutes and 45 seconds that it did. The highlight was an awesome move in
which Eddie tossed Rey up in the air over his head, with him landing on
Malenko's shoulders, then huracanrana'ing him over the top rope to the
floor. Moments later Rey takes a powerbomb from Eddie and sells it like
he's just been seriously injured, or has just gone fifteen minutes toe-
to-toe in a hard fought match. Eddie sets up for the Frog Splash, but
Malenko runs in and applies the Texas Cloverleaf. Rey immediately taps
out. Eddie and Dean swap dirty looks, with Eddie being pissed that he
didn't get to do his finisher (and thus possibly earn a future title shot
with the now pinned Cruiserweight Champion).

Add another five or ten minutes to this match and it would have been a
classic. As it was it meant little more than advancing some storyline or
other, which I'm sure we'll have a clearer picture of after next week.

Bill Apter is taking photos at ringside, which usually means something
big is going to happen.

- Nitro Girls.

- They show Piper getting beat again in the cage. You'll notice they
haven't yet shown him actually winning that match. I thought WCW was on
his side?

- FIT FINLEY vs. SQUIRE DAVID TAYLOR
Finley wins in a snoozer with a Tombstone Piledriver. The match consisted
almost solely of Irish Whips, clotheslines and restholds, and went less
than three minutes (which probably contradicts it being a "snoozer".
Perhaps "yawner"?) More attention was paid to the arrival of Raven and
his Flock Nest of Cult Misfits.

The Public Enemy deliver comments on the way to the commercial break. Oh,
that's right ... they're in Philly this week. Better use all the ex-ECW
stars.

- Eric Bischoff phones in and really makes an ass of himself. He plays the
typical heel by saying Sting is gutless for not accepting past challenges
on Hogan's part (because he wasn't in the building). He then confirms a
major piece of news about Roddy Piper confirming that he does indeed have
brain damage ... for even stepping in the ring in the first place. Sting
too has this same brain damage. Bischoff then makes himself look more
like God (not hard to do as head booker) by proclaiming what a major
victory it was that "AoDI" did so well. He trashes McMahon and the USA
Network. (According to WCW fans all shots at the opposition are now
"whining", so this is whining on Bischoff's part). Showing he knows
absolutely nothing about TV ratings, he calls the Survivor Series special
a "Miserable failure". Bischoff further lies by saying that the 4.0
"AoDI" earned gives them the option to make it a weekly series (which is
bullsh*t, as TNT announced months ago that the movie would serve as a
pilot for the weekly series, which had already been given the green
light-regardless of the ratings). It's called "Shadow Warriors", and
it'll be stinking up a TV set near you next year. He then goes on to say
the whole NWO will be on the show next week with a huge surprise. Kevin
Nash is expected to be back as well.

Boy, Bischoff sure is great, isn't he? Not only has he made the most
successful wrestling show in cable history, but he's produced a
successful cable movie, engineered the highest PPV buyrate in history
(more on this later) and knocked out several guys with his karate kick.
Eric Bischoff has put himself over more in the last six months than Vince
McMahon has done in his entire life. Cornette is right, he is a mark for
his own face.

- YUJI NAGATA (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. PSYCHOSIS
Nagata squashes Psychosis, winning with a submission hold. This match
went longer than the first two combined, but only featured two high
spots.

- Raven talks about being dumped by a girl in grade school, or something.
This was on ten seconds before I realized it was a Nitro skit. If I
understand the angle correctly, years of abuse and torture led to him
showing up late and sitting at ringside for wrestling cards. "Look out,
he's buying a hot dog! Man, is he messed up (and extreme)!"

- DISCO INFERNO vs. PERRY SATURN
Saturn, sporting a heavy knee brace under his pants, beats Disco for the
WCW Television Title. He uses three suplexes and a number of armbars.
Disco offers very little offense (or defense). The Philly crowd pops for
Saturn's win. I guess he sorta looked like Taz ... if Taz was half
crippled and wrestled at less than half his capacity. Raven comes in and
knocks Stevie Richards out of the ring. Billy Kidman and Sick Boy stand
around looking stupid.

BTW, Saturn's ring music is a civil defense horn, and he calls his
finisher the "Rings of Saturn".

I think it's time to drop Disco Inferno from the ranks of everyone with a
shred of credibility. First he loses to a woman, then loses to a man with
only one good leg. Hey, I'm not being harsh, this is clearly the message
WCW is sending us. He stinks ... gotcha, Tony!

- Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair. Flair lets us know how much he
hates Curt Hennig. I'm glad they have interviews like this, because the
Halloween Havoc match between the two showed little fire.

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

- Nitro Girls.

- SCOTT HALL vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Hall is wearing a WCW World Tag Team Title belt on the way to the ring,
which mystifies the announcing crew. They apparently have forgotten that
WCW made up the new belts several months ago, and that Hall and Nash
wore them every time they appeared in the ring. When Hall and Syxx
(subbing for Nash's ego) lost the belts to the Steiners, they were
wearing the old WCW Tag Team belts. You may recall that I pointed this
out after being tipped off by a regular Recap reader several weeks ago.
Tony speculates that perhaps the Wolfpack won the belts back in a match
they didn't hear about, then surmises he must have just had the belt made
for him. Ahh ... I see ... we fans are supposed to be stupid, not notice
anything, and forget that which we do notice, in order to follow the
angles in WCW? Explains a lot, when you think about it. The Philadelphia
crowd, which booed Hall coming out, all chant along with him as he says
"Too Sweet!" (I'm sure these are all free thinking individuals, and that
none of this was "sheep-like" activity). He does another "down there"
joke (what a degenerate!) He wraps up by ripping into Larry Zbyszko. They
show the Bischoff kick to the head again: this time in NWO black-and-
white. Hall has the audacity to suggest that Larry is trying to "put
himself over".

A quick crowd shot shows that some of the ECW Arena regulars are in the
crowd.

Hall and Jericho actually work well together, and the match looked like
it might not be all that bad. Then suddenly (about two minutes in)
Jericho escapes from an Outsider's Edge and small packages Hall for the
upset pin. Hall beats the crap out of him in retaliation. Larry Zbyszko
then goes to the ring with his open contract, which sends Hall scurrying
(declaring he's too sweaty to sign, or something). Larry rags on Hall
over the house mic.

- The final "Lucha Libre" segment. Nice while they lasted. This one gives
us the name of some of the moves, and shows a cavalcade of high spot
clips. Arguably the most impressive collection of spots ever shown at one
time on a wrestling show (here in the U.S.) This alone slightly boosted
my overall impression of the show this week.

- Bobby Heenan finally joins the announcing crew.

- LUCHA LIBRE BATTLE ROYAL
Lizmark Jr., Damien, Villano IV, some guy making his debut (El something-
or-other), Ciclope, Silver King, Juventud Guerrera, and Villano V
comprise the competitors. Wow ... a seven man battle royal.

The usual battle royal type stuff goes on for about two minutes until the
Giant comes out and beats up everyone. (I'm sure the hardcore Philly fans
just loved seeing an angle kill what could have been an incredible
match.) The Giant gets on the mic and reiterates that he, not Nash, is
the real Giant in WCW.

- Nitro Girls.

- ALEX WRIGHT (w/ Debra McMichael) vs. RIC FLAIR
Okay ... this whole Debra situation now, officially, makes no sense. Be
fair now, WCW fans ... isn't she a slut? You bet. I can't believe a
wrestling promotion would have the gall to have a married person leave
their spouse for someone else. Right? Think hard, now. Make sure you have
your story straight.

Flair may be one of the most over men ever to wrestle in Philadelphia.
Every single chop by him (and there were a lot) elicited a "whoo!" from
the crowd. This one was fun to watch just because of the crowd response.
You could tell they were a WCW crowd, though, as the noise level dropped
way off as the match stretched past the three minute mark. Flair takes
his time softening him up for the Figure Four and the win. After the big
pop for the finish, the crowd was completely dead thirty seconds later.

Why can't Flair throw a punch that looks real?

- RAY TRAYLOR vs. STEVE MCMICHAEL
The horror ... the horror.

Traylor sweats his way to a win with a clothesline. Bill Goldberg comes
out wearing Mongo's Super Bowl ring, which distracts him long enough for
Bubba to catch him with the devastating forearm.

- Mean Gene interviews Diamond Dallas Page in the ring. DDP announces that
Halloween Havoc had the largest wrestling PPV viewing audience in
history. Far be it from me to doubt him. I guess that means it got a,
what, 1.5 buyrate? I'm sure WCW wouldn't lie to us. I'm also sure WCW
doesn't care a bit that the "most watched PPV ever" was also one of the
worst.

- Nitro Girls.

- PUBLIC ENEMY vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS (w/ Ted DiBiase)
A "Philadelphia Street Fight". The P.E. come out with two tables, both of
which are pre-cut in the middle. No, this is not speculation on my part.
The camera shows where the two tables have obviously been cut partway
through and are being held together with black electrical tape on the
bottom. They stack one table on top of the other.

This actually wasn't a bad match, though certainly not because it was a
"street fight". The best action took place in the ring as the two teams
managed to put a few moves together convincingly. Rocco Rock and Scott
Steiner head into the crowd for about ten seconds, as Scott pretends to
hit Rocco with a chair. (I'm serious). They do some of the match split-
screen, which makes it very hard to watch (and gives one just a taste of
just how awful it is to try to watch the three ring, 60 man battle royal
at World War 3, which uses a screen split into three parts). Scott and
Rocco head to the announcer's area, where Scott throws him into the desk.
Rocco climbs a few feet up the light structure, then comes off with a
forearm shot (probably the best "move" of the "match"). Steiner again
pretends to hit him with a chair after slamming him into a piece of the
set. Rocco jumps from the top of the ramp onto Scott. Scott, who's
supposed to catch him, accidentally drops him on his head. Johnny Grunge
is choking Rick Steiner with a camera cable during most of this. The
match ends when Rick Steiner is placed half on the bottom table. (Halfway
because putting him completely on would have broken the table
prematurely). Johnny Grunge comes off the top turnbuckle, but Rick moves
out of the way. Johnny goes through the top table and smashes the second
one flat (buckling the legs instead of it breaking cleanly). Scott
covers Grunge for the pin on the floor. Rick Steiner can be seen bleeding
from a cut to the left side of his head or neck.

I'm not sure how to judge this. I actually get ECW every week, so this
was pretty tame by comparison. By WCW standards it was "extreme", but
also completely proved WCW as liars in their supposed attempts to "tone
down" their violence.

- They show clips from last year's 60 man battle royal at World War 3. I
actually like the match, but it's next to impossible to watch until they
get down to the last ten men or so.

- CURT HENNIG vs. LEX LUGER
Michael Buffer does the ring introductions.

Hennig somehow manages to carry Luger to something resembling a watchable
match. That being said, it goes for about ten or twelve minutes, with
Luger getting the definite upper hand. Luger has Hennig set up for the
Torture Rack, but Hennig somehow ends up down on the floor. Enter Ric
Flair, who pummels on Hennig enough to draw the DQ. Flair chases Hennig
out of the ring area, then comes back for a staredown and some words with
Lex on the top of the ramp as the show ends.

- Next week: Nothing announced.

Comments:

I'll be honest ... I didn't watch any of this once RAW came on. I didn't
watch any of the replay either. I first watched the whole thing while
writing this Recap. What I saw was, at moments, mildly entertaining, but I
don't regret for a second waiting a whole day to watch it. The show, at
times, liked a lot like your average installment of WCW Saturday Night.

No Tod Gordon this week. Why am I not surprised?

In case you hadn't heard, the big news this week is that Bret Hart has
apparently given the WWF his notice, and will quit the company later this
year. Supposedly his 20 year contract with the WWF had an "escape clause"
after one year, which he exercised this past weekend. It's apparently a done
deal that Hart has agreed to sign with WCW, and could show up their as soon
as January 8th. (This may be the surprise Bischoff referred to). More on
this in the "Bottom Line".



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