January 29, 2009
Justin Rozzero

WCW Nitro 2/10/97
Jacksonville Coliseum
Jacksonville, FL

Hour 1
Announcers: Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko

- Well, we waste no time heading right inside the arena this week as Tony Schiavone welcomes us to pro wrestling’s number one program. Apparently fans from Florida and Georgia waited all day to grab up the final few tickets. And with that, we hit the ring to go right into our opener.

1) Dean Malenko defeats Eddie Guerrero by count out 4:56

Tony points out that Dean is without his Cruiserweight belt, as Syxx stole it and is walking around with it strapped to his waist. He had also done that to Dean’s opponent, but he was able to reclaim his US title. Malenko hits the ring and grabs the mike and tells Syxx that if he is in the building, he needs to pay attention. He now knows that Syxx took his belt last week and lays out an open invitation for a lesson in wrestling and respect. The US Champ, Eddie Guerrero heads out next and we are set for a champion vs. champion bout to kick off Nitro. Tony kicks up the Superbrawl hype right off the bat tonight, reminding us that Roddy Piper will take on Hollywood Hogan and tells us that Piper will be here tonight. Mark Curtis calls for the bell and we get some chain wrestling to start as the crowd hits an early “Eddie” chant. Tony runs down the rest of our card as Dean and Eddie break and square off again and head into a bit more chain wrestling. Dean grabs an armbar as we get some talk about Lex Luger, who is also in the house tonight. Both men reverse various holds but Eddie is able to land a back elbow and an armdrag, but Dean surprises him with a headscissors takeover. Eddie returns the favor and hits a chop. Dean shoots him to the buckle, but eats a boot on the charge. Eddie charges him now, but Dean takes him over with a powerslam for two. Eddie slips out of a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and hits one of his own and then goes to a reverse chinlock. Tony is putting over WCW and their talent depth and, watching this match, it is hard to disagree. Dean works his way out of a side headlock to take control. He shoots Eddie in and is able to take him down with a roll up for two. Dean goes for the legs, but Eddie takes him over with a body scissors. Dean is back up and shoots Eddie in, but he catches him in a wheelbarrow and then tosses him up straight, catches him and snaps him over with a release German suplex. We cut to the crowd to see Syxx hitting ringside. Eddie and Dean are trading pin attempts as Syxx attacks David Penzer and grabs the US title. Eddie hits the floor to get his belt, but Syxx avoids him and bolts through the fans. Eddie turns to slide back in the ring but gets counted out, giving the win to Dean. Dean isn’t too happy but it looks like Syxx must have dropped the belt as he escaped as Mark Curtis hands it to Eddie. Tony thinks we need security at ringside to watch after the belts during matches. Well, that was the first five minutes of what could have been a stellar match, but it was cut short to focus on the storyline. Still, it was a pretty entertaining five minutes, as you would expect from these two. Grade: 2.5

- As Tony recaps what just happened, we see Diamond Dallas Page walking down the ramp with a chair and mike in hand. Page climbs in the ring and has a seat dead center and starts to talk. He says t hat is pretty obvious he has a big bulls-eye in the middle of his forehead. He continues by saying he isn’t the smartest guy and that this is one of the stupidest things he has ever done. He is tired of running and if something is going to happen, it needs to happen right now. He says he know “they” are out there and as he says that, the camera pans to the stands and Sting and Randy Savage make their way through the crowd and into the ring. The crowd is popping big time for Sting and Savage as Tony thinks DDP was referencing Hall and Nash and not these two. Sting tosses the bat to Savage and they circle around the seated Page. Savage smacks the chair with the bat a couple of times and Page finally jumps to his feet. Savage tosses the bat back to Sting and Sting jabs it into Page’s chest, shoving him into the corner. Sting winds up and feigns hitting Page, which does not impress Larry. The crowd is just going nuts here. Sting hands DDP the bat and turns his back to him and Savage joins in. Page doesn’t move and Sting and Savage grab the bat and slowly take off. Tony wonders if that was some sort of initiation and Larry says it was a chess move and now it is Page’s turn. And with that we go to break. That was a hot opening segment as the crowd was into both the match and the Page segment, staying hot throughout. This Savage and Sting angle continues to be intriguing and they are drawing great reactions each week.

2) Konnan defeats Bobby Eaton with a cradle DDT at 1:18

Tony and Larry talk a bit more about Piper and his match with Hogan at Superbrawl. Larry is surprised that Piper would take the match because of the responsibility of being champion. However, he understands why he would accept the challenge after all of the humiliation he experienced at the hands of the NWO. Scott Dickinson calls for the bell and Konnan attacks, landing a dropkick. He hits another one in the corner, but Eaton ducks a clothesline charge and slugs away. Konnan shoots Eaton into the ropes and hits a stiff clothesline. He mares Eaton over and hits a seated dropkick. Eaton battles back and hits the ropes, but Konnan catches him on a leapfrog attempt and polishes him off with the cradle DDT. Too short to mean anything, but they were a bit sloppy in there. It was a good squash win for Konnan, though. Grade: 1

- We are back from break and Tony takes us to the footage of the NWO standing over an unconscious Lex Luger from last week’s show.

3) Giant defeats Ron Powers with the chokeslam at 1:45

Luger is out and ready for his match, but his left hand is in a cast. As Lex is heading down the aisle, Eric Bischoff runs out to inquire about his status. Eric says he heard a rumor that Lex has a broken bone, and Luger says it is true, but he is going to gut it out and wrestle tonight because this is where the big boys play. Bischoff says he is the highest ranking executive in WCW and he has responsibilities to the fans and to Luger’s friends and family. Eric says that unless Lex has doctor’s release or a friend with an x-ray machine, he will be on the bench here tonight. Lex doesn’t like that idea and tells Eric that he can’t stop him. Of course, Eric says he can stop him and warns Lex that unless he has the release in his hand tonight before Eric catches his plane to leave the country, he won’t be permitted to wrestle at Superbrawl. Lex isn’t happy, but Bischoff says he can and if Lex wrestles without the note he will be fired. Eric says he has to protect these wrestlers from themselves. As he rambles on, the Giant stalks out behind him to a huge pop, which Eric of course thinks is for him. Bischoff quickly runs off and Giant walks to the ring to take Luger’s place. Tony thinks this is a great show of camaraderie between Luger and Giant. Giant smacks Powers around, but misses a charge and Ron slugs away in the corner. Giant shoves him off, catches a boot and sends him down with a clothesline. Tony thinks Bischoff should want to put out great matches because he is in charge of WCW and NWO, but he is more concerned with protecting the NWO instead. Giant scoops Powers up and slams him down to the mat. Giant calls for the chokeslam and nails it for the quick win. The crowd is digging Giant big time here which is good to see. Larry and Tony rail on about the politics in the front office needing to end. Grade: 1

- Mike Tenay hits the ring to talk to the Giant and goes over Bischoff’s ruling against Luger. He asks Giant how he can be expected to take on both Hall and Nash. Giant says he isn’t a normal man, he is a real life fire breathing giant and he is not concerned about a partner, because he has one: Lex Luger. He says that Luger opened the door for him when nobody else would. They were scared, intimidated and didn’t think they could trust him, but Luger has the heart and intensity. He says he has a question for Luger and Lex hits the ring to hear it. Giant asks him that after Hall and Nash have done, if Lex had a chance to go for the gold, would he let anything stop him. Lex says no. Giant says that if Lex was in his position, he wouldn’t stop either and that if Lex can’t go at Superbrawl he will take on Hall and Nash alone. And after he beats them, he will walk out with two gold belts and he will hand one to Luger. Tenay puts over the solidarity between the two and that was a cool moment to show that WCW is continuing to unite against the NWO.

- We are back from break and looking outside where the NWO is piling out of a stretch limousine. Syxx is there to greet them and Hall says they are the working man’s champions as they are decked out in their gear and ready to go. Big Bubba wants a shot at DDP at Superbrawl and is rambling on as the Outsiders kind of ignore him. Nash says to stock the limo with tonic for the way home as they head into the arena.

4) Steiner Brother defeat High Voltage when Rick Steiner hits a top rope bulldog on Rage at 4:28

Larry says that the Steiners are the tag team that should be carrying the belts and we get a quick inset promo by them talking about how they have been forced to start at the bottom and earn another title shot. Scott says they will go through everyone to get it done and Rick talks about the dog pound a bit. Scott and Rage start things off as Tony tells us that at Superbrawl, the Steiners, Faces of Fear, Harlem Heat and Public Enemy will square off for a title shot. Scott hip tosses Rage out of the corner as we take a look at Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri in the aisle scouting the competition. Rage clips Scott’s knee and heads up top. He jumps off and does nothing but land on his feet, which allows Scott to take him over with a belly to belly. Scott press slams Rage and we now see the Faces of Fear scouting as well. Rick and Kaos both tag in and Kenny is working Rick over in the corner. Public Enemy is also out and watching the match. Rick catches Kenny on a leapfrog attempt and hits a belly to belly. Tony now tells us that Dean Malenko will take on Syxx at Superbrawl as well. Scott is tagged back in and he traps Kaos in the Tree of Woe and chokes him a bit and then boots him to the mat. Scott whips Kaos in, but Kenny reverses it and Rage clubs Scott in the head as he hits the ropes. Rage tags in, but Scott rebounds and hits an inverted atomic drop and tags in Rick. He hits a clothesline on Rage for a near fall, but Kaos breaks up the pin. Rage heads to the apron and tries a somersault splash off the middle of the top rope, but Rick catches him and powerbombs him. Scott tosses Kenny out to the floor and puts Rage up on his shoulders. Rick heads up top and comes off with the bulldog for the win. Pretty fun little tag match there that never slowed down and had some solid impactful maneuvers by the Steiners. Grade: 2

- We are back from break and over to the table where Tony and Larry remind us that Roddy Piper will be in the house, but they are quickly interrupted by the theme music of the New World Order. Hall, Nash, Bischoff, Syxx and Nick Patrick make their way out and to the announce area as Larry rags on all of them, specifically for beating down Luger last week. Larry and Tony take off as they want no part of any confrontation and Larry says he will gladly go back to catering. Nash says he looks like Vince Neil, as his hair is tied up in a bandana. Bischoff gets a funny line in that he heard Nash say “Vince” and started to feel sick. Eric says they have business to take care of and has a memo that Randy Anderson wanted to speak with him. Eric calls out Anderson and Hall calls him an inbred redneck. Randy has his wife and kids in tow and Nash asks if this is Family Feud. Randy says he was fired on TV two weeks ago, but this week he brought out his family so Eric can see the pain he caused them and ask if Eric will reconsider and give him his job back. Hall says the family is pretty well dressed and Nash says for a bit more money, he could get the real ostrich boot. Eric sounds a bit sad and asks what the kids’ names are. He then asks the kids, Chase and Montana, to step up a bit closer to him. He asks the kids to do him a favor and asks the kids to tell their daddy that he is still fired. Hall and Nash laugh in the kids’ faces as they beg some more, but Eric shuts them down and tells them to tell their dad to get on with his life. Bischoff says that everyone has responsibilities and Randy has to learn how to deal with adversity. He asks them all if they want Randy to get his job back and Eric says he will give him a chance. Next week on Nitro, Randy has to get in the ring with Nick Patrick. Randy’s wife tells him it is crazy and Randy’s doctors have told him things would prevent this. Randy says he has no choice and he has wrestled cancer and will wrestle Patrick next week for a shot at his game. Eric says that Nick is undefeated and the Andersons walk off. Eric asks the Outsiders if they want to wrestle and they oblige, claiming to be the working man’s champions. And with that, Hall and Nash make their way to the ring as Eric says the Eastern seaboard champions from Stamford, CT are in the house and are a dangerous team: the Extreme.

5) The Outsiders defeat the Extreme in a non title match when Kevin Nash forces Devon Storm to submit to a reverse torture rack at 1:17

Syxx welcomes the Extreme in the aisle as they head down to face off with the champs. Eric calls Larry back to the booth to give him a chance to call the match. Hall and Nash jump the Extreme in the aisle and beat them down a bit before the bell. Larry says he is only doing this because he is a professional. Nash hiptosses Ace Darling up and over and the match is just chaos here. Hall hits the Fallaway Slam as Larry digs on the Extreme. Eric says they are from Stamford, and Larry gets a dig saying that they definitely aren’t worthy then. Hall and Nash both set up their finishers, but decide against it, instead opting to mock Luger and Giant by doing their finishers. Nash scoops up Devon Storm into a reverse Torture Rack and gets the tap out as Hall plants Darling with a chokeslam to polish him off as well. Syxx interviews the champs after “another four star match of the year” and asks them about the Extreme. Nash instead says he looked up Giant in the dictionary and it said goof, goon, dork, fool and in a sentence: “Oh my God, you’ve got a giant boil on your back”. He says Giant can be a giant, but the Outsiders will continue to be too sweet. Hall gives the big goof a lesson in genetics: Kevin Nash is also seven feet tall, but he stopped at the cool stage while Giant slid past into the dork-meter. He says that a couple of Clydesdales like Giant and Luger can’t run with the thoroughbreds. Nash apologizes for hurting Luger and tells him not to spend too much time in the back warming up next time around. Larry calls them the three stooges as Syxx tells Malenko to come get his belt back. As they head to break, Larry slips in that Eric could let Luger go without a release, but he blows it off. Grade: 1

Hour 2
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan & Mike Tenay

We are back for Hour 2 and Tony says that he, Mike and Bobby all know how important a man’s family is, but Eric Bischoff doesn’t. They run down hour 1 for us and Bobby calls Bischoff a liar regarding Lex Luger because he is just trying to protect the Outsiders.

6) Rey Mysterio wrestles Lord Steven Regal to a time limit draw at 6:54; Regal retains the Television Title

Tony compares Randy Anderson’s situation to Roddy Piper as he discusses how both were pushed to the edge by the NWO. Mike thinks Piper will revert back to the old, vicious Roddy Piper and Bobby agrees. Tony says the NWO antagonized Piper into the match and wonders why as Tenay says it may be one of the biggest mistakes in Hogan’s career. Regal stalls to start, angering the crowd as the announcers continue to go on about Piper and Hogan. We finally get some contact as the two men trade wristlocks. Regal takes Rey down and holds on to the wristlock, but Rey fights up and turns out of it. Regal fights him off and plants him with a backbreaker to regain control. He goes back to a wristlock and works over the arm as Tony previews the rest of the night. Rey grabs a headscissors off the wristlock, but Regal rolls out and goes back to the wrist. Rey scoots out to the apron and comes in with a springboard dropkick, which Regal sells beautifully, staggering and crawling around the ring. Regal hits a palm thrust as Rey comes at him and then he lands an uppercut to send Rey down. He rakes the eyes with his boots and then buries some kneelifts in Rey’s face. He mares Mysterio over and kicks away at him. Tony talks about all the cities WCW is heading too as Regal clubs away at Rey and goes to a reverse chinlock. Rey is able to send him flying into the corner and then dropkicks him out to the floor. Regal hops back up and he snaps Rey’s neck over the top rope. He follows up with a stiff forearm shiver and then hooks in a Cobra Clutch. He releases, but misses a clothesline and Rey takes him over with a headscissors takedown for two. Regal retaliates with a roll up for two and then Rey gets a victory roll for a two so close, the bell rang. Regal shoots Rey in and he is able to slip down on a back drop attempt for a sunset flip. The ref counts two, but we get the bell again, this time to signify the time limit draw. Rey thinks he won the belt and Regal is pleading with Mark Curtis. David Penzer makes the official announcement for us, letting us know that Regal retains as the time limit did expire prior to a three count. That may have been the shortest time limit draw in wrestling history. The match had potential, but was just way too rushed. Grade: 1.5

- And we are back just in time for Lee Marshall to deliver the 1-800-COLLECT road report from a roadside establishment called Jessie’s in Tampa, FL. Lee plugs next week’s WCW Nitro party in Atlanta, inviting all of the fans to join him. He says he will be hanging with Atlanta’s best while Mike and Tony are stuck with Atlanta’s pest. He also tells us that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were named as such because the Tampa Bay Weasel already existed. Bobby tells Lee’s waitresses that the difference between Lee Marshall and a canoe is that a canoe tips. Zing!

7) Kevin Sullivan defeats Maverick Wild with the double stomp at 2:13

Sullivan is accompanied by Miss Jacqueline and Jimmy Hart and I will take a moment to inform the readers that I am reviewing these Nitros from WWE 24/7. As Sullivan headed down to the ring, the announcers went silent, so this seems to be the first post-Benoit tragedy Nitro from 24/7. I just wanted to give that heads up, as he won’t be popping up for quite a while from this point on and he had been on the last few shows I reviewed. From here on out, I will just review as if those segments are not part of the show, and I am well aware the shows may be shorter as his segments will be removed. Wow, Easy E imported every east coast Indy darling available for this week’s show, I see. Watching this episode and seeing Devon Storm, Ace Darling and Maverick Wild takes me back to reading e-newsletters back in 97. Wild slides in and Sullivan jumps him right off the bat as Tony says this will not be an ideal debut for the young man. Sullivan kicks Wild down and then tosses him out to the floor, where he is assaulted by Jackie. She tosses him into the barricade and crushes him with a clothesline as Tony, Bobby and Mike are flipping out over it. Wild gets tossed back in and Sullivan continues the assault as the announcers continue to marvel over Jackie’s beatdown. Kevin tosses Wild back out again and Jackie mares him over and slugs away and then slams him to the mat. The crowd is going wild here as this was kind of revolutionary for the time. She slides Wild back in and Sullivan ties him up in the Tree of Woe. Kevin gets a quick shoulder massage by Jackie and then he charges and buries a knee, knocking Wild out of the tree. He follows with the double stomp for the quick win. Jackie beats on Maverick a bit more after the match and celebrates with her man. Well, they made Jackie a star in less than two minutes there as she beat the piss out of Maverick. The crowd ate it all up and the announcers put over tremendously. Grade: 2

- We are back from break and John Jurkovic from the Jacksonville Jaguars is in the house. Tony then takes us to the footage of the showdown between Piper and the NWO from last week. They show the entire segment and then we are right back out to break.

8) Hugh Morrus defeats Alex Wright with the No Laughing Matter at 2:18

The announcers talk some more about Piper and Hogan as Morrus and Wright make their way out for our next contest. We get a lockup to start, but Morrus gains control and clubs away at Wright in the corner. Alex dodges a charge and gets a roll up for two, but Morrus rebounds with a clothesline to put Alex down. He slugs away some more, but Wright is able to hit a spin wheel kick of a couple of whip reversals. Morrus bails to floor and Alex follows with a nice cross body dive off the top rope, but the announcers totally miss it while discussing the Dungeon. Alex shoots Hugh back in and lands an uppercut, but misses a dropkick. Morrus misses a charge in the corner and Alex goes for a springboard dropkick, but he slips off the top and crashes to the mat. Hugh scoops him up and drills him with a powerbomb and then goes up and polishes him off with the No Laughing Matter. Another match that got sloppy because of the tight time constraints, but luckily the botched move played right into the finish. Grade: 1.5

- And our return from break also welcomes Roddy Piper out to the ring. The crowd pops nicely for the Hot Rod as he grabs the mike and is set to break it down for us. Tony says that Hogan is with us via satellite from the NWO studios in Hollywood. We go to a split screen as Piper begins to talk. He talks about Bischoff’s treatment of Randy Anderson and says that is too much for him. He didn’t come here to talk to Hogan via satellite while he hides in Hollywood. He came because Hogan said he wanted to fight and that the family stuff is too much for him. He made a promise to his son Colton that he was quitting and giving it all up. He had to give up his responsibility because the “bald headed geek” had to come out and make him break his promise to his son. Bobby seemed shocked by Piper calling Hogan bald, as he knows that was a big no-no back in the day. Piper seems broken up a bit as he continues on. He asks Hogan if he and Bischoff are married and says that he apologized to his son, but Colton told him to go get Hogan. Hogan has had enough tells Piper to tell somebody who cares. Piper said he now has a License to Kill and Hogan is the target. Hogan says Piper is pathetic and that he should have told his son he already tried to get Hogan and couldn’t get the job done. Hogan asks Piper what lie he told his son after he attacked the champion and highest ranking WCW official from behind. He says he doesn’t have time to break his schedule because he has movie contracts and a line of people waiting to challenge him. Hogan tells Piper that in two weeks from now, he signed the contract, and in the Cow Palace, Piper won’t be able to take his six kids to the ring to hide behind. He says that the contract doesn’t allow cowards to hide behind their children. Piper tells him to shut up and says he is the Icon and then references the OJ Simpson trial and says in San Francisco, Piper is guilty and Hogan is finished. Hogan says Piper is nuts and what he said is illegal. Piper finishes by telling Hogan the only difference between he and Dennis Rodman in San Francisco is that Hogan can’t jump. Piper reaches the entrance way, raises his arms and we are out.

Final Analysis

Well, the Superbrawl hype continues and the focus was squarely on Hogan/Piper and the Outsiders/Luger & Giant. They did squeeze in the announcement of a few other matches and developed the angle between Syxx and Malenko a bit, but the focus was definitely on the two biggest matches of the PPV. We didn’t get a killer match this week, but most of the action was stiff and fast paced, which is the hallmark of Nitro. I will say that all of the pairings had promise, but just didn’t get the time to deliver. The announcers pushed the question of why Hogan would possibly goad Piper into a match, so it will be interesting to see if that answer becomes clear as Superbrawl draws near. Bischoff and the NWO continued to draw nice heat by punking out Randy Anderson and his family and then putting a quick beatdown on the Extreme. The show moved quickly and the announcing was solid and crowd was red hot throughout, so that added to the overall quality as well. I enjoyed the show once again, but the focus this week was clearly to hype the PPV and the in-ring product suffered from it. Final Grade: B

MVP: Kevin Sullivan & Miss Jacqueline
Runner Up: Roddy Piper
Non MVP: Randy Anderson
Runner Up: Rey Mysterio & William Regal

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