December 19, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Monday Nitro
February 17, 1997
Tampa, FL
Florida State Fairgrounds

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Eddie Guerrero (12/29/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (8/20/1996)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (1/21/1997)
WCW Women’s Champion: Akira Hokuto (12/29/1996)

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko.

Things are already happening. In typical fashion, the nWo arrive in several limos. Everybody touch Wolfpac hand gestures! It’s the new high-five. Anyways, as they carouse inside the building, somebody goes DOWN like a sack of potatoes. In this case, somebody went down like Big Bubba after a few too many if you know what I mean. Finally when they all stop trying to get camera time, they realize one of their own has fallen, but the camera won’t reveal to us in fact who it is. Syxx gets rid of the cameraman as we go inside for a match. Tony assumes it was Big Bubba, but he’s only speculating. Remember, Big Bubba is the one who said he would take out DDP at Superbrawl. We’ve got a big “whodunit” going on in just the first minute of Nitro!

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Super Calo
For long time fans of WCW who might remember Roddy Piper being LIVE at Alcatraz and wondering when that came up, Tony tells us that will be going down on this program. Alright, a match. Good to see Rey facing a guy that makes sense. They take it easy to start until Rey springboards into a dropkick from Calo. Rey avoids a sunset flip powerbomb, but eats a springboard dropkick on the floor. Holy crap. Slingshot somersault senton to the floor knocks the wind out of Rey. Tony announces that the Steiners will not be competing at Superbrawl due to being involved in a horrible car accident after leaving WCW Saturday Night this past week. RUH ROH. He immediately suggests that Hall and Nash were somehow involved without evidence. In the back, Big Bubba (Tony knows for sure now) is being carted away in an ambulance. Michael Wallstreet makes sure to take care of his B-Team buddy. Back in the arena, Rey is showing off with a springboard corkscrew senton which wipes out Calo. Flying legdrop on Calo as he’s stuck in the ropes scores a nearfall. Mysterio gets caught up top for a headscissors for 1-2-NO! Rey comes back with a modified Gory Special and puts Calo away with the SPRINGBOARD HEADSCISSORS. (6:00) And Rey Mysterio moves onto Superbrawl to face the TV Champ Lord Steven Regal in a no-time-limit match. That’s going to happen for sure! Go ahead and bet all your money, the house, the car, and the kids on that match happening. It’s a done deal, folks. **½

Buy the Four Horsemen t-shirt for $22! It’s a sensible purchase!

Steve McMichael (w/Debra) vs. Hugh Morrus
All of a sudden, Mongo has the briefcase with him again. That couldn’t mean anything, could it? McMichael beats on Morrus like an ex-football player would with shoulder tackles and three-point stances. Once he tries a wrestling move (or a football move done in NFL BLITZ~!), in this case a leg drop, he misses and Morrus teaches him a lesson in basic psychology. He has to *sell* the leg. Morrus takes too long going up top for the NO LAUGHING MATTER and gets brought down with an electric chair drop. He tries again, but this time Debra slides Mongo the briefcase to block NO LAUGHING MATTER. Cover, 1-2-3. (4:21) So he sells the leg injury well, but lets Morrus moonsault a Haliburton briefcase into his chest, and he’s fine? WHAT. ¾*

Here’s a special heartwarming look at Roddy Piper and his son being victimized by Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff.

WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Robbie Brookside
Just like last week, Dean Malenko sends out another threat to Syxx. This week, he makes it much more personal by bringing up the fact that his dad Boris Malenko had trained Syxx. Fans in the UK will probably recognize Robbie Brookside. Here he is in one of his rare trips to the US. Some decent counter holds going on here. Rollup sequence fails and then Malenko gets the suplex he had wanted. A real ROUGH transition into what is called the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF but never actually was, gets the submission win. (2:54) Not a good WCW debut for Robbie Brookside. Afterwards, Syxx comes out and says he had respect and gratitude for Boris, but that died with him and he never liked Dean anyway. He confesses that the reason he stole the Cruiserweight belt was because he wanted a title shot and the champ wouldn’t stop ducking him since he had been in WCW. Well to be fair Mr. Syxx, he has been a little busy with Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon. So, yeah. ¾*

Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Syxx show up to confront Tony and Larry Z. Hall is tired of the accusations that he and Nash caused the Steiners to wreck their car. Nash leaves a tape with them to prove their innocence. If the accusations they made about them don’t fit, then you must acquit. HA! OJ Simpson jokes never get old. Hall says a picture is worth a couple of hundred words, tough guy. Hall then tosses his toothpick at Larry Z’s face and that gets him all RILED up. Awesome. The crowd even starts to chant his name. Larry Z thinks better of the moment and goes back to broadcasting. I believe the seeds are planted for the on-again, off-again year-long feud between Larry Z and Scott Hall.

Public Enemy vs. The Amazing French Canadians (w/Col. Robert Parker)
Much like in the weeks before, the other teams involved in the big, well, now three-way tag match at Superbrawl that the Steiners are out, are in the crowd watching on. It’s a brawl to start, but the AFC take control of the chaos to work over Grunge as they start delivering their VINTAGE DOUBLE-TEAM MANEUVERS~! Blind tag sets up Grunge for the QUEBECER CRASH, but they miss and Rocco gets the hot tag. Out comes the table. Pierre chokes Grunge back to get away, but Jacques nails Pierre with Colonel Parker’s riding crop by accident. OOPS! That knocks him onto the table in a total “exposing the business” way as Rocco hits him with the DRIVE BY to put Pierre through the table. Back in, Rocco covers Pierre for the 1-2-3. (4:46) What do Harlem Heat and the Faces of Fear have to say about that? Ehh, nothing really. ½*

Gene Okerlund quickly brings out DDP to question him about what happened to Big Bubba. Page says he just got here like ten minutes ago. I can tell he’s telling the truth because he’s still in his street clothes! DDP doesn’t seriously ever want to see another competitor being sent to the hospital in an ambulance. He’s here to see Pee Wee Herman versus Nick Patrick. Boy, is he going to be disappointed when he sees that its just that referee Randy Anderson and not Pee Wee Herman. Anyways, DDP had nothing to do with it.

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern time! TBS! This week, Jeff Jarrett meets Konnan! Rey Mysterio takes on Villano………IV! Ice Train versus Super Calo! WHAT. Really? Okay, then. Don’t miss out! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS, CLUBBERIN, AND PLUNDAH, BABY!

WCW World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal vs. Prince Iaukea
Gene grabs a word with Lord Steven Regal on his way to the ring. Is Regal going to make an example out of Rocky Mai-err, Prince Iaukea as he heads into Superbrawl as the TV champ? Sure. At Superbrawl, he plans to stretch Rey Mysterio so far, he’ll be able to apply for a job as the handrail at the Great Wall of China. Huh, I didn’t know there were any openings for that position. Regal takes up most of a minute yelling at the fans. Once they lock up, Iaukea is headlocks and shoulderblocks all over Regal. He thumbs the eye to stop that and gets rough with Iaukea. Regal sets Iaukea up top for the Butterfly Superplex and begs for Rey Mysterio to come out. Just like that, he does step out the tunnel. Regal roughs up Iaukea with an elbow drop, eases down back-first on Iaukea for a cover, but then Iaukea hooks the arms and rolls Regal back for the 1-2-3. (3:32) First, Renegade. Now, Prince Iaukea. Ladies and gentlemen, the TV title is dead. It would be pronounced dead for the next year until Booker T resuscitates it only for it to die again a few months after that. ¾*

So a blueblood snob loses the mid-card title to a Samoan on WWF TV on Thursday Raw Thursday, now a blueblood snob loses a semi mid-card title to a Samoan on WCW TV on Monday Nitro. Why is WCW copying the WWF? WCW IS ON TOP. Who knew that the world was dying for a Samoan wrestling revival in 1997? Teddy Long (the manager of jobbers everywhere!), Public Enemy (?), and Eddie Guerrero (!) all come out to celebrate with the Prince.

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay.

Randy Anderson vs. Nick Patrick
If Pee Wee wins, he gets his job back. Did Randy Anderson really just get ring entrance pyro? REALLY? The ref Jimmy Jett hands Randy Anderson an international object. CONSPIRACY~! While Patrick is being a TOTAL douche, Pee Wee takes his moment and whacks Patrick for the 1-2-3. (0:43) Immediately, Eric Bischoff storms to the ring and not only reverses the decision, but now ref Jimmy Jett is fired as well. Way to go, guys! ¼*

Get your Hollywood Hogan t-shirt for only 22 bucks! That’s a very reasonable price!

It’s time to check in with that crazy weasel-joke enthusiast Lee Marshall who is On the Road with 1-800-COLLECT. This week, he’s calling from San Francisco getting people psyched for Superbrawl VII even though it’s already sold out. According to Bobby, Tony Bennett should be throwing Lee off the Golden Gate bridge right about now. You don’t even have to know who Tony Bennett is to be able to enjoy Lee Marshall being thrown off the Golden Gate bridge.

Chris Benoit (w/Woman) vs. Roadblock
Chris Benoit knows how to handle big men. We saw him handle Big Ron Studd (no relation to John) pretty easily a few months ago. Roadblock does alright against Benoit until he starts mouthing off at Woman. Bad idea. He dropkicks Roadblock through the ropes and before you know it, he’s giving Roadblock the FLYING HEADBUTT for the 1-2-3. (2:30) Told you he could handle the big dudes. ¾

Alright, time to check out the Steiner brothers accident video from the view of the nWo Wolfpac. Nash is driving, Hall has got shotgun, and Syxx is in the backseat with the camera. They are just driving along and making fun of this small town they’re driving through until they bump into the Steiners putting gas in their 1992-looking Ford Taurus. Hey, you wouldn’t want to put a lot of mileage on a NICE car, would ya? The Steiners have no clue the Outsiders are following them until Nash gives them a little tap on the rear bumper. Well, the steroids kick in with Scott Steiner behind the wheel. Rick is of course mad as well. They drive up beside each other playing bumper cars yelling at each other until the Steiners drive off the road and do a stunt flip with their car. Syxx asks if they should stop, but Hall and Nash decides it would be wise to just hightail it out of there instead. Why would the Outsiders willingly give up the tape to WCW when it’s clearly evident that they are responsible for the wreck? Makes no sense.

RANT TIME!

This got some flack at the time for crossing the line of what should or shouldn’t be done on a televised wrestling show and I tend to agree that things like this shouldn’t be done. However, this wasn’t the first time wrestling had crossed that line where an individual should be arrested for something done in a “wrestling angle” that we are supposed to be taking seriously. There was the time the Four Horsemen assaulted Dusty Rhodes in the WTBS studios parking lot in 1986 where the Horsemen should have been hauled off in handcuffs. While I do think *this* was worse than that particular instance, both parties should have realistically served jail time IF we are supposed to be taking everything realistically. In short, no one’s very existence should ever be in jeopardy in order to advance a storyline. Since then, we’ve seen examples of this where the situations become too personal like when Steve Austin brings a gun to Brian Pillman’s house or most recently Triple H breaking and entering to physically assault Randy Orton – in his own house! It doesn’t make sense to me if someone runs you off the road and nearly kills you and the way you get your revenge isn’t with more violence, but with a SUPLEX! Do you understand what I’m trying to say here?

Back to the show. Gene Okerlund grabs Kevin Sullivan, Jacqueline, and Jimmy Hart for a word. Kevin says that first it was Chris vs. Kevin, then Nancy vs. Kevin, now it’s Benoit & Woman vs. Sullivan & Jacqueline. Yes, that is true. Besides the fact that Jacqueline says she wants to whip with the leather strap they will be tied to at Superbrawl, she also says that Nancy has a big fat butt. UH OH!

Kevin Sullivan (w/Jacqueline & Jimmy Hart) vs. Doc Dean
Longtime UK wrestling fans might recognize Doc Dean as well. It’s another week where Jacqueline shows off how she can beat up the men. This week, she shows off a suplex! Tree of Woe followed by the DOUBLE STOMP ends things for Doc Dean. (3:20) Jacqueline isn’t done! She gives Dean a bunch of elbow drops after the match as well. ½*

WCW U.S. Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Konnan
THE UNCENSORED 96 REMATCH I’VE WANTED TO SEE! YES! This time, the belt is on the other Mexican. Konnan delivers a press slam, but Eddie gets on the move with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. A lucha armdrag sends Konnan to the floor. Konnan grabs the pescado and whips Eddie into the guardrail. Back inside, Konnan delivers the Rolling Lariat. Eddie fights out of a chinlock and dropkicks Konnan on his way down from the top rope. From there, Konnan bounces out of the corner off a whip, but catches Eddie and launches him onto the top turnbuckle for 1-2-NO! Sitout powerbomb by Konnan gets 1-2-NO! Konnan keeps Eddie grounded, but he eventually fights back and gets that LATIN TEMPER flaring. Guerrero hits a Brainbuster and heads up top. Konnan tries to stop him, but Eddie shoves him down and delivers the FROG SPLASH! Cover, 1-2-NO! Barbarian is in for the DQ to save his fellow Dungeon of Doom member. (6:04) Meng joins Barbarian to triple-team the US champ, but here comes a fired up Chris Jericho to make the save. Once the house has been cleaned, they bump back first into each other in clichéd fashion. Eddie defends the US strap against Jericho at Superbrawl, you know! Decent match even for Konnan. I’ll be looking forward to this FOF vs. Eddie/Jericho tag match next week. **

Gene Okerlund brings out the Four Horsemen so they can speak their mind. We’ve got the whole group here this week. Ric Flair gives us a sound bite, but he doesn’t seem to have any clue or a connection to anything that is happening right now. Arn Anderson gives his views on things he’s not even involved in (the nWo having Big Bubba carted off to the hospital and Randy Anderson getting screwed again by Eric Bischoff) and still cuts the best promo of the night. Mongo makes the comment about enjoying beating up on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in his football days and sends out a threat to Jeff Jarrett for Superbrawl, but then turns things over to Debra, who continues to be a complete waste of airtime. Definitely the Vickie Guerrero of 1997.

The Giant vs. Top Gun & Johnny Swinger
Top Gun is a masked jobber while Johnny Swinger is an unmasked jobber. Giant CHOKESLAMS these two side by side for the 1-2-3 at :40. Afterwards, Giant spray paints the jobbers by tagging them Hall and Nash.

Out comes Lex Luger who is the Giant’s tag partner for Superbrawl. He’s got a medical release form signed and ready to give to Eric Bischoff. Oh, but Eric said he wanted it LAST week. Too bad, so sad. Bischoff says that Lex will not be allowed to wrestle at Superbrawl, but Lex promises he will be at the show. If Lex is threatening Eric, he can fire him pretty easily if he wants to. That causes Giant and Lex to go after him. They chase Bischoff to the back as we go to commercial. PIPER LIVE FROM ALCATRAZ! DON’T MISS IT!

It’s time for RODDY PIPER: LIVE FROM ALCATRAZ! He’s literally locked in a cell cutting a crazy promo insulting Hulk Hogan by calling him a fake and a phony for all these many years. It’s not all that bad, but it was rather silly to hype a promo LIVE from an old storied prison the WHOLE show. Then again, this is WCW we are talking about.

Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Jarrett
Funny how main events really look like main events ten years later, but you’re thinking, “huh?” when it’s happening. This is one of those situations. Jericho levels Jarrett with a spinning heel kick, but gets stunned with a hotshot. Out comes Debra down to ringside. Bossman straddle is followed by a slingshot suplex. Sleeper is countered with a back suplex. La Magistral cradle by Jericho gets 1-2-NO! Backslide by Jarrett scores a nearfall. Jarrett flies off the top with a flying body press, but Jericho rolls through for 1-2-NO! Steve McMichael with the Haliburton in-hand comes down to watch over his wife. She tells him not to hurt Jarrett. While Debra chats with the ref about who knows what, Mongo stops the FIGURE-FOUR with a Haliburton briefcase shot to the back of Jeff Jarrett. Oh Mongo, that’s the OPPOSITE of what she wanted. Jericho, who several months ago wouldn’t have wanted to win this way, covers Jarrett for the 1-2-3. (2:30) So Jericho looks good and Jarrett looks bad going into the PPV, which translates to Jericho loses to Eddie and Jarrett beats Mongo. Hey, I would have called it even then. *

We’re going past the 10PM hour, but Hollywood Hogan needs some airtime right before the show ends to respond to Piper’s craziness. Among the usual Bischoff-DiBiase-Vincentourage, he brings Elizabeth out with him this week. It’s the first time we’ve seen her now in six weeks. He has a good laugh about Roddy as Sting and Randy Savage show up on the entrance ramp. Hollywood mentions about how he put WCW on the map which brings Sting down, but Randy Savage stops him before he can reach Hogan. HOLLYWOOD RULES, BROTHER. And we’re out.

Here’s the updated card for Superbrawl VII on February 23!

MAIN EVENT: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
WCW World Tag Team Champions Scott Hall & Kevin Nash vs. Lex Luger & The Giant
Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan – “San Francisco Death Match”
Steve McMichael vs. Jeff Jarrett – If Jarrett wins, he becomes a member of the Four Horsemen
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho
WCW World Television Champion Prince Iaukea vs. Lord Steven Regal OR Rey Mysterio Jr.
Harlem Heat vs. Public Enemy vs. The Faces of Fear
Diamond Dallas Page vs. ???
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Syxx

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