December 18, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Monday Nitro
March 3, 1997
Atlanta, GA
The Omni

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: 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.

As a historic wrestling building, I think it’s important to mention that this marks the final WCW show ever held in the old Omni arena before it was demolished on July 26.

We start the program backstage where the new World order boys are getting out of a WCW Monday Nitro branded stretch hummer! Behind the stretch hummer is a stretch limo, and Dr. Harvey Schiller (Eric Bischoff’s boss from Turner Sports!) steps out. He’s walking with purpose and appears to have some serious business to take care of here tonight. Otherwise, why would this extremely successful businessman be showing up at a wrestling show? Then again, this is a Ted Turner funded organization, so I just answered my own question. And now to the ring!

Hugh Morrus & Konnan vs. Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael (w/Debra)
Regardless of the problems with Debra in the middle, they continue this forced tag-teaming between Jarrett and Mongo. HOT crowd, by the way. Too bad it doesn’t last throughout the whole show. Jarrett and Morrus start out and the crowd is behind Jarrett with every blow. Konnan pulls Morrus away from the Bossman straddle. Konnan comes in with the Rolling Lariat on Jarrett and gets up in Mongo’s face. They continue to badger Mongo while they keep Jarrett in trouble. Konnan holds Jarrett for a backwards flying bodypress (?), but Jarrett low blows and Konnan gets wiped out by Morrus. HOT TAG TO MONGO! Out comes Public Enemy to take the Haliburton briefcase away from Debra. Jarrett makes the save and gets in a tug of war over the briefcase with Rocco Rock, but rips the briefcase away right back into Mongo’s face. Konnan jumps on top of Mongo for the 1-2-3. (3:13) Butter fingers! Actually a fun match considering all the help from the crowd. *

Ric Flair (WOO!) and Arn Anderson head out to handle this situation. AA asks Jarrett for an explanation because this is happening way too often. Flair tells Jarrett that he’s making him look bad considering he’s been on Jeff’s side since day one. And the crowd responds with a WOO. I think Ric could tell everyone that the building was on fire and they were all going to die — they would still respond the same. Debra shows us her best mic work to date telling us that maybe the team of Jarrett and Mongo are just trying too hard. They need to get it together because they have to face Public Enemy coming up in two weeks at UnCeNSoReD and she will NOT be a part of a losing team. Simple, precise – and we know there’s a PPV match in their future!

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Rick Fuller
Boy, DDP is on his way. This is the first I’ve seen him without the signature cigar. Fuller spends the match fighting off Page’s advances towards the Diamond Cutter to HUGE ‘DDP’ chants. Fuller tries a slam, but Page slips away and BANGS Fuller with the DIAMOND CUTTER. Done. (2:08) Gene Okerlund meets DDP in the ring after the bell. Okerlund reminds him of the Hall-Nash-Savage ambush last week. If Randy is that much of a Savage, snap into the Diamond Cutter. In other words, don’t sing it. Bring it. ½*

Juventud Guerrera vs. Ray Mendoza Jr.
Mendoza seriously needs some tights that aren’t Villano IV tights. Mendoza tries throwing Juvi around, but Guerrera lands on his feet and Mendoza down with a jumping back kick. Satellite headscissors sends Mendoza to the floor. Guerrera levels him with a baseball slide and tries a springboard of sorts, but Mendoza grabs the feet and Juvi falls face down on the ring apron. Back in, Juvi counters a suplex into a swinging neckbreaker and delivers a springboard legdrop for 1-2-NO! Spinning Hurracanrana from Juventud gets another nearfall. Back to the floor, Juvi SHOOTS through the turnbuckles and wipes out Mendoza with a suicide dive. On the apron, Juvi headscissors Mendoza back in the ring. Both men head up top and take turns trying a superplex, but then Juvi crotches Mendoza and springboard wheel kicks him down. 450 SPLASH gets the win. (5:06) This was just Juventud Guerrera showing off. Unlike other times we’ve seen him in action, he was more on target than not. Good stuff. **½

Making their first appearance since Superbrawl, Kevin Sullivan and Jacqueline (along with Jimmy Hart) hijack the announce table to send a message to Chris Benoit and Woman. They’re back. Where are they? Sullivan says Benoit will never be the man he ever was or is today. Why? As Jackie mounts Kevin, she says it’s because he’s “too legit to quit”. The MC Hammer song title/catchphrase is pointed out as it’s shown on the back of Jimmy’s already tacky sports jacket.

Buy the nWo denim jacket for $80!

Dean Malenko vs. Mike Enos
The rematch that no one wanted to see. Malenko gets all aggressive in this one like we’ve never seen before in the history of our sport! He’s all about the choking and trying to break Mike Enos’ leg. Probably so he doesn’t have to wrestle him anymore. Enos tries to fight back, but Malenko counters a slam into an inside cradle for the win. (4:28) While Enos limps to the locker room, Malenko gives a focused promo concerning a desire to kick Eddie Guerrero all around the ring in two weeks at UnCeNSoReD. *

After a commercial break, Gene Okerlund brings out WCW Executive VP Eric Bischoff to respond to Lex Luger’s challenge last week at the end of Nitro. While Luger has no authority to make matches, Bischoff decides to make this match with the nWo a done deal where the nWo puts up the WCW belts they have won up against the future of WCW. As Bischoff plays to the crowd, Dr. Harvey Schiller (President of Turner Sports) heads down the aisle to confront Mr. Bischoff. Schiller asks him a line of questions that negates everything Bischoff has done over the past few months to WCW – including firing referees and reversing title changes at will. Of course, Eric Bischoff believes he does have that authority. Well he doesn’t. Schiller suspends Bischoff of his duties and says he doesn’t want to even hear a rumor that he’s been seen at a restroom at a WCW event. Holy crap!

Tony and Larry Z consider this a huge bombshell in WCW’s favor, but they don’t even really know what it all means yet.

WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Oono)
Nice start with some mat wrestling. Leapfrogs and shoulderblocks lead to a headscissors by Ultimo. Eddie returns the favor, but gets dumped outside for some Sonny Oono kicks. Back inside, Dragon avoids a backdrop and delivers his signature Four Kick Combo. He tries a handspring into a crossbody, but Eddie rolls through and gets his feet on the ropes for the 1-2-3. (3:49) Eddie slides off the ropes to make it appear like his intent wasn’t to cheat to win, but he still did. *½

Gene Okerlund meets Eddie in the ring. Eddie says he knows that his fans know of his true intentions and that he’s tried apologizing to Malenko for costing him the Cruiserweight title, but he won’t accept his apology. That brings out Dean Malenko to call Eddie out on his own crap. This goes nowhere as we go to commercial.

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay. Naturally, they replay Bischoff getting suspended as the big moment of the past hour.

Michael Wallstreet vs. Scotty Riggs
Ahh, Scotty Riggs — the Tito Santana of Strike Force, except in that nobody knows exactly who he is. Riggs goes after the arm, but Wallstreet wisely throws him out to the floor. Back in, Wallstreet hits a lariat for two. Chinlock time! Jawbreaker saves the day for Riggs. He levels Wallstreet with a Missile Dropkick. Flying sunset flip gets 1-2-NO! FLYING FOREARM connects, but Buff Bagwell pounces on Riggs for the DQ. (4:27) Riggs ducks out before he can be made famous by the new World order. While Buff poses, Riggs comes back in and threatens Bagwell with a chair. This time Bagwell ducks out just before he gets whacked with the chair. ¾*

Don’t turn over to Raw, RODDY PIPER IS IN THE BUILDING!

It’s time to check in with Lee Marshall who is On the Road with 1-800-COLLECT. He’s in Panama City, Florida getting everyone ready for next week’s Monday Nitro and making up another awful weasel joke directed at Bobby Heenan. Does Marshall EVER actually get to be at a wrestling show?

Here comes Roddy Piper! He debuts the I.C.O.N. shirt for those who care. Piper says he has his own family that lives in Portland, his second family which are his fans, and tonight he will find his third family who will join him at UnCeNSoReD. Did he just add himself to the main event without any kind of approval from a WCW figurehead? Six guys will have to face him tonight one after the other. His second family will give each of them the thumbs up or the thumbs down to see who gets to be a part of Team Piper. He strips down to his wrestling gear and here comes the first guy.

He gets owned on the mat and pinned in no time. Thumbs down. Next.

This guy looks real familiar, but I can’t think of who he is. He pounds on Piper, but goes night-night to the Sleeper. Thumbs down.

Basically a more cut Raymond Rougeau clone gets wiped out before he even gets in the ring by someone who appears to be Eugene with boxing gloves.

Piper has gloves of his own. They box and scramble around a bit with the bearded fellow showing a lot of heart. Piper eventually shakes hands with him and asks for a thumbs up. The crowd boos accordingly. They go again without gloves and Piper owns him on the mat. Again, he asks for a thumbs up. The crowd boos much louder this time.

Another man enters who is big and has a bit of *crazy* in his eyes. He’s like a massive Charles Manson who apparently can kick box! He starts pressing Piper all over, so Piper calls for the timeout and asks for a thumbs up from the audience. Once again, they responds with boos.

It’s John Tenta! He’s not a fish, he’s a man! With Piper winded, there’s no way he’s any match for Tenta. Eventually, the three remaining teammates end up fighting one another while Piper stands back and gives them all thumbs up.

So there you have it. Quite the “all-star” team, wouldn’t you say? What a main event this will be!

Rey Mysterio vs. Mr. JL
Rey’s still chasing the TV title as he’ll get another shot at UnCeNSoReD. Where is Lord Steven Regal in all this? After some wristlocks, Rey delivers a springboard corkscrew senton for two. From there, JL launches Mysterio into the air and catches him on the way down into a DDT for two. Flying splash from JL misses, but we go to the floor where JL takes out Rey with a somersault dive off the apron. Back in, JL gets caught up top as Rey brings him down with a Frankensteiner. Cover, 1-2-NO! Nasty inverted atomic drop brings JL back into the match, but Rey flips over the ropes to the apron and knocks JL back for the SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA for the 1-2-3. (4:06) Hmm, some nice spots. BELIEVE IN REY! **

Over to Gene Okerlund, he’s standing by with Madusa! We haven’t seen her since Starrcade when she lost in the WCW Womens title tournament to Akira Hokuto. She’s still the number one contender because she’s the only woman wrestler in WCW. She babbles on about how Eric Bischoff is more concerned with the new World order than doing anything with the women’s division. She thinks he ought to have been fired instead of suspended. Anyways, apparently Luna Vachon is backstage talking about how she should be the number one contender. Just as soon as she gets those words out of her mouth, LUNA VACHON debuts and attacks Madusa in the aisleway. And we cut away from that to look at a long print out sheet that says ‘Watch Robin Hood Next on TNT’. REALLY?

There’s only twenty minutes left in the show. Bring out the new World order! Wait a minute, the real Sting comes out to the ring with them! Bischoff says Dr. Harvey Schiller can’t fire him because Hollywood Hogan knows Ted Turner. Hollywood tells Schiller to take a hike, jack. HE THINKS HE CAN CONTROL THE NWO? Bischoff thinks Schiller has stepped over a line that he wished he hadn’t crossed. Now back to Hogan, he makes fun of Roddy Piper for getting winded wrestling a bunch of wrestling fans. I admit, that was pretty stupid. Who would you bet on? The scrubs and Roddy Piper you saw earlier, or Hollywood Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Randy Savage? I mean, come on. Randy Savage gets on the mic and tells Piper that he needs a psychiatrist (pot calling the kettle black?) for calling himself the ICON after Hollywood Hogan punked him twice. We see Sting watching on from the corner and taking it all in. Back to Hogan again, he mentions how Sting is part of the team, brah. Nash gets on the mic and says ‘too sweet’ before they all prance and dance around the ring. Commercials!

Lex Luger & The Giant vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
TEAM WCW EXPLODES! This is the Steiners first match back since their “car accident”. By the way, they are still billing Luger and the Giant as the tag team champs on their entrance graphic as they did last week. How silly. Rick and Luger start the match. Luger catches Rick with a clothesline, but then Luger leapfrogs into a powerslam. Scott delivers a twisting belly to belly suplex out of the corner and then tries to anger the Giant. Butterfly suplex connects, but then Scott runs into a powerslam. Tag to the Giant. A big boot and an elbow drop gets two. Scott distracts the Giant as Rick comes off the top with a double sledge. That stuns the Giant long enough for a great double suplex from the Steiners!

And then everything just stops as the new World order comes through the crowd and over the railing. Everyone except Sting that is, who comes down the aisle with a baseball bat in hand. He stands alongside the new World order. Team WCW is BEGGING the new World order to get in the ring with them right now. Next thing you know, Team Piper appears in the ring challenging the nWo as well. In classic Nitro style, everything breaks down just as we’ve ran out of time.

WCW presents UnCeNSoReD live on PPV on Sunday March 16!
Here is the card as it looks on this date:
- Team WCW vs. Team nWo vs. Team Piper
- WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
- WCW World Television Champion Prince Iaukea vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
- Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael vs. Public Enemy
- Buff Bagwell vs. Scotty Riggs

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