December 19, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Monday Nitro
February 24, 1997
Sacramento, CA
ARCO Arena

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: Lex Luger & The Giant (2/23/1997)
WCW World Television Champion: Prince Iaukea (2/17/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Syxx (2/23/1997)
WCW Women’s Champion: Akira Hokuto (12/29/1996)

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

Public Enemy vs. Steve McMichael & Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra)
Stills are shown of the Jarrett/Mongo match and the PE win in the triangle match from last night. To show that Jarrett and Mongo MUST co-exist now that Jarrett is a member of the Horsemen, they immediately start us off with a tag match against the so-called #1 contenders to the tag team belts. Public Enemy bring a table with them to ringside. I love how Public Enemy is just used to put this new team over that can’t get along together. They show off some basic double-team ability. Debra hands Mongo the briefcase who ruins everything by bashing Jarrett over the back to add another win to Public Enemy’s chain of upset wins. (4:35) MONGO GETS THAT PAYBACK. *

Out comes Ric Flair and Arn Anderson (complete with ball cap!) to try and figure this thing out. McMichael admits to Gene Okerlund that Jeff Jarrett is family now, but you have to smack your family around sometimes when they are acting a fool. Very sound logic. Flair and AA admit that they can’t compete in the ring right now and with Chris Benoit in the hospital after what happened at Superbrawl with Kevin Sullivan, Mongo and JJ are the only members of the Horsemen who can “get it done.” With that said, Mongo shakes Jarrett’s hand. Situation handled, right? This might officially be the weakest point ever for the Four Horsemen. Even Hiro Matsuda is better than this.

Jim Duggan vs. Galaxy
Galaxy is in the house. Lucha fans know him better as Damien 666. Here he is in a dark Lazortron outfit. Considering Galaxy is not part of America, apparently he’s AGAINST the USA because he knocks Duggan’s flag from the corner down to the floor. Duggan proceeds to beat Galaxy in and out of the ring – including a slam on the concrete! Back in, Galaxy tries a moonsault press, which Duggan actually avoids. THREE-POINT STANCE followed by the ILLEGAL TAPED FIST PUNCH TO THE FACE scores the 1-2-3. (3:21) Hey, perfect timing. Note to self: never let Duggan’s flag touch the ground. Even by accident or otherwise. ¾*

After the match, Gene Okerlund meets Jim Duggan in the aisle. Since Randy Savage turned heel last night, it’s time for Duggan to make the same threats he made to Hulk Hogan six months ago that go completely ignored. HOOO!

For the first time ever, you can listen to the International Monday Nitro Simulcast (in Spanish or Japanese!) on the internet! What a great idea! I mean, who wouldn’t want to be on their computers on a Monday evening trying to eventually log onto the World Wide Web so they could listen to WCW commentary in Spanish or Japanese! And if you did manage to log onto WCW’s website, you could only hear about five seconds of audio before your Real Player connection started to buffer for ten minutes only for you to then find out that your internet connection has died on you! AHH! You kids today don’t know how good you have it.

Hugh Morrus vs. Joe Gomez
It’s not too long before you Morrus hits the NO LAUGHING MATTER. (3:16) Just so I wouldn’t have had to watch this match, I wish they could have repackaged Joe Gomez and stuck him in the Dungeon of Doom. Sick burn, I know. ½*

Ted DiBiase and Syxx tell us to buy the nWo denim jacket for only 80 bucks plus an extra ten for S&H. Gah, what kind of a tool would wear an nWo denim jacket. Not this tool. I know that much.

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern time! TBS! This week, the Faces of Fear battle High Voltage! Public Enemy takes on the Amazing French Canadians! Plus, Chris Jericho, Super Calo, and Scotty Riggs will all be there! Don’t miss out! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS, CLUBBERIN, AND PLUNDAH, BABY!

We check out some exciting still shots of the Benoit-Sullivan match from Superbrawl.

Ice Train (w/Teddy Long) vs. La Parka
Why is Ice Train wearing RED tights? Doesn’t red mean FIRE? Does this mean Ice Train is melting? In a split screen promo, Teddy Long admonishes Jacqueline for getting too involved and that she needs to get out of wrestling before it’s too late. What? When Ice Train isn’t slamming him around, La Parka unloads with spin kicks and delivers a nice corkscrew plancha on the floor! Back inside, La Parka flies into a slam as Ice Train delivers the TRAIN WRECK (jumping frog splash) for the 1-2-3. (3:55) They REALLY need to find La Parka something better to do than lose to Ice Train every week. *

The Faces of Fear (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Chris Jericho & Eddie Guerrero
Finally, something FUN to watch. Still shots are shown of the Guerrero-Jericho US title match. Barbarian goes for the win early with the KICK OF FEAR, but Jericho ducks underneath and constantly hits Barbarian with dropkicks. Once Jericho gets him down, he tags Eddie in for a Hilo for 1-2-NO! And just like that, Barbarian reverses a whip and launches Eddie into the air as gravity kicks in and sends Guerrero crashing to the mat. Tag to Meng, he gives Eddie an AWESOME powerbomb. Surprisingly, Eddie comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and tags Jericho for a double backdrop. Running senton gets two. Meng reverses a whip and sends Jericho into a knee from Barbarian on the apron, which staggers Jericho into a back suplex. In comes Barbarian, he launches Jericho with the Belly to Belly Superplex! Jericho starts up with a few desperation moves, but Meng draws Eddie in so they can double-team Jericho. BACKDROP INTO THE POWERBOMB! I freaking love that move. Cover, 1-2-NO! Guerrero makes the save. Time for the STEREO FLYING HEADBUTTS! Eddie makes ANOTHER save. Jericho stops Meng with a Lionsault press and makes the HOT TAG TO EDDIE! He and Jericho wipe out Meng with the Double Dropkick, but then Barbarian runs Jericho down with a clothesline. It takes both of them to suplex Barbarian. Jericho goes for the LIONSAULT, but Meng interrupts and causes Jericho to fall through the ropes out to the floor with him. Meanwhile, Eddie is up top for the FROG SPLASH. Here comes Dean Malenko to shove him down into the KICK OF FEAR! Cover, 1-2-3! (7:41) And my man Barbarian just pinned the US champ! Of course, Tony and Larry Z don’t say a word about it. I loved the underdog situation that they were put in by just feeding them to the monsters. Plus, it advanced the Guerrero-Malenko angle as well. Some might disagree, but I liked it. Good stuff. ***

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

It’s ironic that Mike Tenay addresses the Randy Savage heel turn that involved a big old fashioned beatdown on Roddy Piper with a famous Piper quote: when WCW thinks they have the answers, the nWo changes the questions. Well, it’s not a word-for-word quote, but the idea is the same.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera
Tony is SHOCKED that Rey didn’t leave San Francisco with the TV belt. Onto the action, Juvi comes out of a standing surfboard with a DDT. Springboard dropkick and the two hit the mat in a standard lucha exchange. They trade chops and Guerrera delivers a moonsault press for 1-2-NO! Rey fires back with an amazing satellite headscissors to take Juventud to the floor followed by another baseball slide INTO a headscissors that sends Juvi into the guardrail! Back inside, Guerrera stops Rey up top and sunset flip powerbombs him onto his NECK for 1-2-NO! Now Juvi takes Rey to the floor, but while he takes a big risk with a suicide dive, it’s just not as cool as that headscissors move Rey did. Rey blocks the Springboard Hurracanrana (Rey’s own finisher) with a powerbomb, which knocks Juvi for enough of a loop for Rey to easily get the SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA for the win. (5:34) Nice spot fest, but nothing more. **½

It’s time to check in with Lee Marshall who is On the Road with 1-800-COLLECT. He’s in Atlanta, Georgia getting everyone ready for next week’s Monday Nitro. Does that guy EVER actually get to be at a wrestling show?

WCW World Television Champion Prince Iaukea vs. Pat Tanaka
So who utilizes the theme song better? Pat Tanaka or GOLDBERG? Yes, they have the same entrance theme. Stills are shown of the Iaukea-Mysterio match from last night. This starts out okay with a series of armdrags, but gets pretty awkward after that. Tanaka stops a headscissors with a powerbomb, but that’s all he gets here. Springboard Whoopie Cushion connects and then Iaukea puts Tanaka away with a flying bodypress. (2:54) I’m still scratching my head over this Prince Iaukea TV title run. Why WCW needed to mirror a failed character in Rocky Maivia with an even less interesting and relatable character is beyond me. ½*

Dean Malenko vs. Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Oono)
Stills are shown of the Malenko-Syxx title change. If given enough time, this should be ‘match of the night’. Nice exchange on the mat leads to a stalemate. Malenko asks for a handshake and when Dragon obliges, Malenko pulls him in for a short-arm clothesline. He’s not taking anybody’s CRAP anymore. Dragon answers back with his signature kick combo. Enough of this, Malenko tosses out Dragon and sends him hard into the guardrail. Back in, a stalling brainbuster gets 1-2-NO! Dragon escapes a chinlock and applies a surfboard, then changes over to the Muta Lock. Malenko avoids the RUNNING LIGERBOMB and delivers the Butterfly Powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Now Dragon gets away from an ab stretch and sends Malenko to the floor. After a springboard dropkick, he kicks Malenko through the ropes and keeps up the VIOLENCE with a big dive off the top. Back inside, Dragon gets off a pretty hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! As Malenko kicks out, he rolls up Dragon for 1-2-NO! La Magistral cradle from Dragon gets 1-2-NO! He continues with a handspring in the corner, but Malenko catches him in mid-air and levels Dragon with a release German suplex! Malenko goes in for the cover. Wait a minute, now he’s just double-handed CHOKING Ultimo Dragon! MALENKO HAS SNAPPED! Sonny Oono tries to stop him, but gets knocked away. The crowd is cheering all of this by the way. He goes back to choking the life out of Ultimo Dragon until the ref counts to five and DQ’s Malenko. (8:56) Somebody needs to tell Dean that he has until the count of five. I really enjoyed the story of Malenko gradually showing us his aggressive side. ***¼

Gene Okerlund grabs Dean Malenko for a word. First of all, he’s going to get back the Cruiserweight title from Syxx and he’s FED UP of the lack of respect that he’s received in the past few months. He thinks Eddie Guerrero tried to steal his belt last night for some reason. And because of that, he just doesn’t care anymore.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Squire Dave Taylor
Before you know it, the Outsiders head out to taunt DDP. Nevertheless, Taylor gets BANGED. No pinfall though. This match turns into a no contest at around 2:00. While Hall and Nash have DDP’s back turned, the newest member of the new World order – Randy Savage – comes up from behind and pegs DDP in the head with a spray paint can. While Hall, Nash, and Savage are trying to celebrate, some idiot fan (wearing what appears to be a jump suit) hops in the ring and gets dumped out by all three of them. Page gets sprayed and killed dead with the MACHO ELBOW.

After a commercial break, we return to find that they are all still in the ring. Scott Hall brings out Hollywood Hogan who says the nWo are really on a roll, BRAH. Hogan says he’s got a present for Savage. Out comes Elizabeth and for the first time in months, she’s got a big smile on her face. Eric Bischoff and Ted DiBiase head out with her. Scott Hall is back on the mic. When you’re nWo, you’re nWo…4-LIFE. He declares “Sac Town” as nWo territory as we take another break. What happened to DDP’s body?

WCW World Tag Team Champions Lex Luger & The Giant vs. Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri)
So Harlem Heat loses last night and STILL gets the first tag titles shot? No match. Eric Bischoff comes out and brings his whole crew back out with him. He reminds everyone that Lex Luger was not medically cleared to wrestle by the point in time he asked, so the title change has been rendered invalid. If they don’t give the belts back to the Outsiders, then Bischoff will FIRE them. Luger says he’ll give the tag belts back only if Bischoff will make a match at UnCeNSoReD where all the belts IN EXISTENCE are on the line. WCW vs. nWo! Wait, why is Luger allowed to make an ultimatum? Can’t Bischoff just say ‘no’ and fire him? Even so, Bischoff agrees to what Lex’s demand and gets back the tag belts. Hall says the nWo are easy to find because they’re the ones with all the gold. I think Eddie Guerrero, Prince Iaukea, and Akir-ahh, screw it.

NOW HERE COMES STING! He stands in between the nWo and Lex Luger, the Giant, Harlem Heat, and Sherri. Completely expressionless, he stands and stares directly at Hogan. Just like in any bad relationship, Hogan tries to make the first move by *embracing* Sting. However, Sting does not hug Hogan back. After the hug, Sting turns around and stands in the midst of the now as he looks back at the WCW boys. Now everyone thinks Sting is officially part of the nWo.

Whoa cliffhanger endings! Until next time, is Sting really in the nWo? Will we ever hear from Roddy Piper again? Did DDP take the MACHO ELBOW so hard, his body actually disintegrated? Find out next week!

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