March 22, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Monday Nitro
Corestates Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thanks to some help from a friend who wishes to remain anonymous, I present to you, the recap for the 4-14-97 Nitro, which was excluded from WWE 24/7. Enjoy!

Nitro begins with clips of the nWo airing their dirty laundry on national television during last week’s Nitro. Eventually, everyone makes nice, for now. We then see a clip of DDP calling out Randy Savage last week, but Hollywood decided to take care of Page for the Macho Man until Sting came down from the rafters to block the nWo from getting to the ring. He tossed DDP a bat and entered the ring with Page before producing another bat, which he pointed directly at Hollywood Hogan. We go to the theme song and video.

Tony welcomes us to Philadelphia and the sold out Corestates Spectrum. He introduces Larry and hypes tonight’s matches. Tony reminds us that Lex Luger won a title shot at Spring Stampede and he wants that match tonight. Larry wants it too, but he thinks Hollywood will have something to say about that. They are interrupted by the nWo music and Nash, Syxx, Buff, Norton, Fake Sting, Wallstreet, Dibiase and Bischoff (wearing an nWo Dennis Rodman shirt) make their way to the announce location. Tony bails quickly and Larry begrudgingly leaves. Nash tells everyone to listen up. Something clear to him tonight is that Philly is nWo country! Huge cheers and some boos. He says Luger is in the back and wants to throw down with Hollywood. Nash says Luger has to go through Nash tonight to get his shot. Everyone knows he and the nWo are just too sweet. The nWo heads to the back and Tony and Larry return and Tony already starts to plug Luger vs. Nash for later tonight.

The Barbarian vs. Chris Benoit

Well, since this is a VHS version of the original show, this Chris Benoit match is included. And because the Benoit matches have been removed from the 24/7 shows I have been recapping, some of you reading this may not know the storyline he was involved in at the time. To quickly summarize, Benoit was feuding with Kevin Sullivan and the rest of his Dungeon of Doom more often than not. This would fall in the “more often” category, as Barbarian is a member of the Dungeon. Jimmy Hart accompanies him to the ring. Woman is not with Benoit and Tony is quick to notice. Barbarian tries to attack from behind but he sidesteps him and goes to work in the corner with kicks to the big guy. Benoit turns around to play to the crowd and Barbarian uses the opening to hit Benoit from behind and go for a power bomb, but Chris rolls out of it and tries a sunset flip pinning combination. They land in the ropes however, so Chris releases it. Seeing as this is ECW country, I see Hat Guy and Faith No More Guy in the crowd facing the hard camera. Benoit goes for a German suplex but Barbarian tries to reverse. Chris ducks and lands a Northern Lights suplex instead. It gets two. Benoit gets tripped up by Jimmy Hart when he runs to the ropes and Benoit goes out after him and chases Jimmy Hart around the ring. Benoit catches him with a right but turns around into a big boot by the Barbarian. Barbarian tries to bench press Benoit back in but he hits the ropes instead of going through them. That looked nasty. Back in and Barbarian throws Benoit to the ropes, Chris ducks a clothesline and hits a release German suplex. He heads up top but Barbarian kicks him and throws Benoit across the entire ring with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex from the top rope! Barbarian goes for a top rope headbutt, but Chris moves and hits a swan dive headbutt/splash for the win. All of a sudden the rest of the Dungeon, including Kevin Sullivan, Miss Jacqueline, Hugh Morrus and Konnan run in and attack Benoit. Hugh ties Benoit to the Tree of Woe and Sullivan comes in hard with a knee to the midsection. Then Jacqueline follows up with her own knee while Benoit was still tied to the Tree of Woe! Jeff Jarrett and Mongo make the save and the Dungeon bails. Jacqueline wants to face Mongo and the Halliburton (which he is holding) but they hold her back. Mean Gene is in to talk to the Benoit. Gene thinks Benoit hasn’t heard the last of the Dungeon. Benoit says Sullivan wants retribution and talks about karma. He calls Kevin the plague. He says he will destroy Kevin because if he doesn’t, Sullivan will destroy him first. The end all is right here and the time is coming. The sun will set on Kevin Sullivan’s career very soon. We go to break.

US Championship Match: Champion Dean Malenko vs. Hector Guerrero

Before the match gets underway, Tony reminds us that Eric Bischoff tried to sue Turner Sports after being suspended by Dr. Harvey Schiller a few weeks ago. He then tells us that next week on this program there will be a big announcement concerning the amount of power Eric Bischoff actually has in WCW. Dean goes for the legs but Hector moves. They lock up and Hector goes behind. They trade reversals and arm locks. Hector nips up and they continue to trade reversals. Dean applies a headlock and Hector sends him to the ropes and takes down Dean with a shoulder block. Dean tosses Hector over but Dean finally slows down the pace with a drop-toe hold into a cross face. Dean then throws Hector to the corner and follows in with a clothesline. Dean tries to throw Hector to the opposite corner but Hector gets his feet up and Dean blocks it. Hector gets a dropkick on a second attempt though. Malenko tries a standing switch but Hector pivots and throws Dean out of the ring then hits a modified plancha on Dean. Back in and Hector slingshots himself off the apron in and tries a sunset flip. Dean drops down for two but Hector reverses it and Dean rolls through and gets another two count. Hector gets sent to the ropes but Dean goes for a backslide but Hector tries to reverse it. Dean hits a double underhook power bomb then locks on the Texas Cloverleaf for the win as Hector taps. Eddie makes his way to the ring with his arm in a sling and Dean and Eddie exchange words as Malenko heads to the back. Eddie warns Dean not to hurt his brother.

Tony introduces an exclusive clip from the 20th Century Fox movie release, “Volcano” which will be in theaters everywhere on April 25th. We head back to the arena and we see World Champion Green Bay Packer, the late, great Reggie White sitting ringside enjoying the action. Tony is happy to see him and mentions an Associated Press article released earlier today stating that Reggie White will be wrestling for WCW and has signed a contract to wrestle Steve “Mongo” McMichael but mentions that Mongo hasn’t signed the contract himself yet. Tony hopes the match happens.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Mysterio, Jr.

Larry accidentally calls Juvy “Guerrero” so Tony, thankfully, corrects him. They lock up and Juvy lands an arm drag and goes to work on Rey’s arm. Rey reverses and applies his own arm lock but Juvy spins out and lands a kick right to Rey’s face. He then sends Rey to the ropes but Mysterio ducks a kick and locks Juvy in a crucifix type maneuver. The Philly crowd shows they don’t forget easily and starts chanting “ECW! ECW!” Juvy goes for a suplex but Rey reverses and nails Juvy with a back elbow. Rey to the ropes and hits a head scissor to take Juvy, and himself, over the top! Rey tries to send Juvy into the rail, but it is reversed and Rey goes in to the steel hard. Rey gets up on the apron, but Juvy hops up and hits a sunset flip type power bomb on Rey, from the apron, to the floor. Back in and Juvy hits a springboard knee to the back of Rey’s head. He goes for a power bomb but Rey spins out and goes for a release German suplex but Juvy flips out and lands on his feet, then kicks Rey. He sends Rey to the ropes, goes for a roll up but Rey backflips out. Juvy springboards off the ropes and misses a body press (and Rey misses a dropkick on Juvy at the same time). Rey’s had enough and ends it with the West Coast Pop!

We go to the entranceway where Mean Gene introduces Luna Vachon. Luna says she is the number one contender for the WCW Women’s title. She says she will take the belt from Madusa, which is all well and good, except Madusa isn’t the champion.

TV Champion Ultimo Dragon vs. Lane Carlson

Sonny Onoo is with Dragon. Lane is making his debut tonight, but you might know him by the name he had more success with in future years – Lenny Lane. They lock up and Dragon applies a headlock. They trade arm bars until Dragon takes control with a shoulder block off the ropes. Dragon goes off with quick kicks on Lane after Lane tries a back drop but Dragon landed on his feet. Lane is sent to the ropes and gets his face smashed with a sick dropkick. Dragon applies a chin lock but Lane fights back and they trade hip toss reversals until Lane hits a rocker dropper. It gets two. Lane sends Dragon to the turnbuckle and hits a bulldog on Dragon as he came out, which gets two. Lane clotheslines Dragon over the top and heads up top. He decides to basically just fall on Dragon and that looked like it hurt Lane as well. Lane slowly climbs the apron and Dragon pulls him down and he goes face first across the apron. Dragon distracts the referee while Sonny Onoo gets some spin hook kicks in on Lane. Lane gets put on the top rope and Dragon hits his corkscrew hurricanrana and follows it up with a dragon suplex for the win!

Cruiserweight Title Match: Champion Syxx vs. Prince Iaukea

Surprisingly enough, Syxx is by himself. Tony tells us we haven’t seen Nick Patrick since Spring Stampede after Kevin Nash hit the Jackknife on him. Tony has been informed that Nick has petitioned to be re-assigned as a full-time WCW referee. Larry doesn’t trust Nick Patrick just yet. They lock up and Syxx applies a headlock. Prince fights out and sends Syxx to the ropes. Prince gets a head scissor takeover on Syxx and sends him outside with a dropkick. Syxx heads back in, complaining all the while. Tony reminds us Prince Iaukea lost the TV Title last week after being injured by Lord Steven Regal. They lock back up and Syxx backs Prince up across the top rope and chops away. He sends Prince to the ropes and telegraphs a backdrop so Prince kicks him and yanks him down by the hair. Syxx responds with a spinning heel kick then dances around giving the Wolfpac sign. Syxx with a snap mare take over and a few short leg drops. Reggie White looks on and doesn’t look happy. Tony reminds us we haven’t seen Scott Hall in a while. Syxx applies a chin lock but Prince fights out and goes up top. He goes for a body block but Syxx moves out of the way. Syxx puts Prince in the corner and chops away. He follows up with kicks to the mid-section and a spin kick to the face. Syxx then nails the bronco-buster and a suplex. Syxx goes up top and misses a senton bomb. Both men get to their feet and Prince lands some fists and a back drop to take control. Prince hits a slingshot clothesline from the apron and gets two and three quarters! Prince goes up top. Syxx hits his feet and the Prince gets crotched on the top rope. Syxx heads up top but the Prince head butts him off the top then screws up a top rope sunset flip and doesn’t have the shoulders down. Syxx locks on his new finisher, the chicken wing crossface, which he calls the Buzzkiller, and the Prince has to submit. Syxx will not release the hold, but he eventually does.

Tony throws it to Mean Gene in the ring and he says he is about to bring the house down and then introduces Ric Flair and Kevin Greene! The crowd explodes. On his way to the ring, Kevin Greene shakes the hand of Reggie White and they hug. Gene now introduces the Icon, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper! It’s so loud, Larry can’t hear himself think. Gene announces that Flair, Piper and Kevin Greene will face “the nWo” at Slamboree in Charlotte, North Carolina. Piper says it’s funny that every time he is here, the big bald guy happens to stay at home, referring to the fact that Hollywood Hogan isn’t here tonight. Gene doesn’t think it is a coincidence then asks Piper is he has anything against bald guys. Piper laughs and says “no, most of them are nice” and puts his arm around Gene! Classic. Piper runs down the nWo and says they have no brains. Piper says they’ll take on the entire nWo at Slamboree because he is tired of them. He mocks Bischoff and says the nWo is in spandex jumping out of the closet. Piper says he and Flair paved the road and started Starrcade and Wrestlemania and if it wasn’t for them, the nWo wouldn’t be so cool. He then puts over Kevin Greene. Kevin says he’ll keep it short. He did what Hogan said – he worked out, he took his vitamins and he said his prayers, and it worked. But Hogan stabbed everyone in the back. He calls the rest of the nWo cocky rookies and non-productive. He says Flair and Piper made wrestling while the rookies were still sucking mother’s milk. Kevin Greene respects Flair and Piper. Flair says he is the elder statesmen and wants to be historical for a moment. In 1973, after quitting a wrestling camp twice because it was too tough, he looked Verne Gagne in the eye and thanked him for allowing him to get in the greatest sport in the world. In 1983, he walked into a sold out St. Louis Arena at the age of 35 to wrestle a 56 year old man named Dick the Bruiser. He thanked god for making it to the big time. In 1993, after being written off, he walked into the Hoosier Dome against Randy Savage (it was 92, but who’s counting?) The moral of the story – Flair’s just gonna keep going. Wooo!

Hour number two is on the air! As always, Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan join Tony.

Philadelphia Street Fight: Public Enemy vs. High Voltage

This match came about last week because High Voltage has two wins over the Public Enemy. The PE are wearing Philadelphia Flyers jerseys for this match. Prediction: this isn’t going to be pretty. PE has two tables tonight. Rocco and Rage brawl and Johnny and Kaos do the same. We go to a split screen as another “ECW! ECW!” chant breaks out. Rage and Kaos take the fight right back to the PE and beat them up with garbage cans. But Rocco fights back with a pair of trash can lids to the head of High Voltage. Rocco smashes Kaos over the head with a cookie sheet and a “Let’s Go Flyers!” chant breaks out. They are facing the Penguins in the opening round of the NHL Playoffs this week, you know. Johnny piledrives Rage on a trash can while Rocco puts a toilet seat lid around the neck of Kaos. Johnny throws Kaos outside to the floor and repeatedly smashes two trash can lids over the head Kaos. In the ring, Rocco hits Rage with a trash can. Kaos fights back with the trash can lid on Johnny and High Voltage double teams Rocco in the ring. Kaos puts Rocco on his shoulders and Johnny tosses a lid to him while he’s up there. When Rage catapults in, Rocco takes him out with the lid and then victory rolls Kaos, but doesn’t stay on top of him long enough for a pin. Short clothesline on Kaos by Rock. Johnny is outside rearranging furniture while Rocco piledrives Kaos on a trash can in the ring. Rock goes out to help Johnny stack up the tables! They put Rage on top of the second table and the PE hit the Drive By on Rage through two stacked tables for the win! Wow. Tony says the fans are cheering for PE and Bobby points out how rare that is because the fans in Philly would boo the Easter Bunny.

The Giant vs. Big Al

Tenay explains that at Spring Stampede, Giant was repaying a favor to Lex Luger by allowing him to win the match and get a title shot because Lex was the first person in WCW to welcome him back into the fold when Giant left the nWo. Big Al is 911 from ECW fame. Perfect place to bury him I guess. Al slugs Giant right a right hand, so Giant just pushes Big Al back then hits a big boot on him. Giant slams Big Al then hits an elbow. The strap is down and Giant calls for the chokeslam. Giant gets him up and gets the win just like that!

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Konnan

Kimberly accompanies Page to the ring. No Jimmy Hart with Konnan, however. Page’s back is still bandaged up from Spring Stampede. Huge DDP chants. Konnan thrusts his crotch at Kim then throws her a kiss. They lock up and Konnan slaps DDP, who responds with a slap of his own. Page goes to work on Konnan’s arm but releases the hold when Konnan gets to the ropes. Konnan spits at Page and they lock up again. Konnan takes Page over and mocks him. They lock up again and Konnan gets the advantage then kicks away at Page in the corner. He throws Page to the opposite corner but Page fights out and hits a side suplex. Page calls for the Cutter, but Konnan fights him off. Page to the ropes then slips over the back of Konnan and BANG! Diamond Cutter out of nowhere for the win. Uh oh, Randy Savage is in the stands with a mic. He says he has a problem with DDP. He wants Page to tell Kim to stop fantasizing about him and to tell her to stop calling him. Page takes off through the crowd to get at Savage, but the Macho Man has bailed!

We return from break to see the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Ray Rhodes, is also in attendance enjoying a pretzel and WCW Nitro. We then go to Lee Marshall who is On the Road with 1-800-Collect in Saginaw, Michigan, where Nitro will be next week. He wants Bobby to know he went to go see the Cadillac division representatives and tried to get them to put out a Cadillac called the Eldor-weasel but they wouldn’t budge. Heenan says if they did, he’d buy it, stick Lee in the truck then drive right into the Detroit River.

Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Jeff Jarrett vs. Harlem Heat

Debra and the Halliburton are with the Horsemen and Sister Sherri is with the Heat. This is a return match from last week. Tony again mentions that we will have an announcement next week concerning Eric Bischoff and his ongoing legal battle against Turner Sports. Tenay speculates that a lot of the contracts Bisch signed could be voided. Tony says the day after Easy E was suspended, his files were all confiscated and they’ve been going through them for over a month now. Next week, we will have some answers. Booker T will start out with Jeff Jarrett. They lock up and Book hits some knees to the midsection. He sends Jeff to the ropes but it is reversed and Book hits a shoulder block. Back to the ropes and Jeff hits a nice dropkick. He sends Book to the ropes again and Jarrett gets a shoulder block this time followed by another nice dropkick. Jarrett with an arm ringer then tags in Mongo. The teamwork looks like it is there again this week after Mongo didn’t come out for his match with Jarrett last week. Tenay says if he was Mongo, he’d be questioning Ric Flair’s involvement with Kevin Greene because Mongo and Greene had a break up at the Great American Bash last year (while fighting Flair and Arn Anderson). Brain attempts to cover up this logic flaw by saying you should think in the present. Booker T tags in Stevie Ray who goes toe-to-toe with Mongo. They shove each other and Stevie goes to work on Mongo with some fists. He sends Mongo to the ropes but it is reversed and Stevie gets clotheslined. Mongo then slams him and Book then tags in Jarrett as we go to break seeing Reggie look on.

We return with Jarrett fighting out of the Heat corner but gets jumped from behind by Book. The Heat then hit a double elbow off the ropes after Stevie tags in legally. He hits a running clothesline on Jarrett and gets two from it. Quick tag back to Book who hits a flying fist to the head of Jarrett for a two count. He then hits a scissor kick on Jeff but doesn’t follow-up right away. Stevie tags back in and the Heat hit a double suplex on Jarrett and again get two. Stevie applies a chin lock to slow down the pace. While in it, Jarrett is just out of the reach of tagging his partner. Jarrett fights to his feet and breaks the hold, ducks a clothesline, comes back off the other end and hits a sunset flip, but Book breaks it up. Book sends Jarrett to the ropes and hits a huge Harlem Sidekick. It gets two as Mongo makes the save. Jarrett is sent back to the ropes but he reverses a backdrop with another sunset flip then goes for the figure four instead of making the tag. Stevie Ray comes in to stop it and all four men are in. Jarrett and Book get dumped and the ref follows them out. Mongo hits a big boot to Stevie in the corner then Debra hands Mongo the briefcase. He tries to hit Stevie, but Sherri stops it from happening then grabs the Halliburton and tries to hit Mongo with it. Debra is in to combat Sherri and the two of them are in the corner pulling at each other. Sherri’s got Debra while the four men brawl! Mark Curtis calls for the bell as he’s throwing this match out. Sherri grabs the briefcase and tries to hit Debra with it, but she ducks and Sherri misses. Mean Gene is in the ring to discuss.

Jarrett says the match is signed and wants Mongo to tell them about Slamboree. Gene says it just came over the AP wire – Mongo has agreed to the match with Reggie White at Slamboree. Mongo puts over Reggie as a 13 time All Pro and Super Bowl champion last year. But he also says that Reggie sold out the Eagles and went to Green Bay for the money! Reggie has had enough and jumps the rail and heads into the ring. Mongo doesn’t flinch and security is in. Mongo spits in Reggie’s face! Reggie breaks through security and takes down Mongo with a leg tackle! The fans are chanting for Reggie and all hell is breaking loose!

Lex Luger vs. World Tag Team Champion Kevin Nash

Tony says this match came about as a show of unity from the nWo but Tenay says you can’t tell him there isn’t any friction in the nWo. Nash is accompanied by Syxx, Scott Norton, Wallstreet, Vincent (wielding a steel pipe), Buff, Fake Sting and Ted Dibiase. Nash rips off his nWo shirt, just like Hollywood Hogan. The nWo surrounds the ring, almost like it’s a lumberjack match or something. Luger realizes he can’t leave the ring during this match or he is going to get jumped. They go to lock up and Nash hits a knee. He puts Luger in the corner and pounds away. Nash sends Luger to the opposite corner and runs in but Lex moves and Nash hits the turnbuckles. Luger pounds away on the head of Nash but Buff is up on the apron so Luger takes him down. Same thing happens with Syxx. However, this distraction allows Nash to hit Luger with a big boot when he turns back around. Nash gives the Wolfpac sign and picks Lex up. He hits a side slam and gets two out of it. Nash with an elbow to the back of Lex’s head as the fans start to chant “We Want Sting!” In response, Nash looks up motions for Sting to come down if he is in the rafters. Nash with the Snake Eyes on Lex in the corner. Dibiase looks up for Sting now. Nash with a short arm clothesline then chokes Luger over the second rope and jumps on Lex to choke him some more. Nash with an elbow, which gets two. Nash chokes Luger with his foot in the corner. Nash sends Luger to the ropes but he ducks a clothesline hits the flying forearm and Nash is down! This prompts the nWo to come in and cause a DQ. Luger takes out Fake Sting and Norton but the numbers game catches up to Lex and the nWo beats him down. DDP tries to make the save and gets a few guys down, but they get to him and beat him down, too. The Giant is on his way to the ring and Nash grabs the steel pipe that Vincent came out with. Giant stops to assess the situation and backs down when he sees the lead pipe. The crowd explodes when Sting comes …. out of the entranceway. Sting throws a bat to Lex, throws a bat to DDP and hands one to the Giant. Then he enters the ring and pulls his own bat out of his jacket. Sting is in the ring with all the nWo members and Nash still has the pipe. Nash takes a swing at Sting, but Sting ducks and nails Nash with the bat! The WCW reinforcements run in and the entire nWo bails as we are out of time!

Next week, Nitro heads to Michigan and we’ll get a major announcement concerning Easy E and where the power lies in WCW.

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