April 16, 2008
Mike Abitabile

Monday Nitro
The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
4/28/97

Nitro is on the air with…. footage from Starrcade 93 as Ric Flair beats Vader to save his career (for another 15 years) and win the WCW title. Tony’s voice over the footage says Ric Flair has beaten big men before and sent them packing with their tails between their legs so Kevin Nash better watch out at Slamboree. We go to the booth as Tony welcomes us to this special live one hour edition of Nitro (which, if you missed my 4-21-97 recap, is because of the NBA playoffs) and he is joined by Larry and Bobby. As he is talking, the bagpipes hit and Roddy Piper and Ric Flair make their way over to the announce table. Tony is happy and Bobby doesn’t want any trouble. Piper is tired of hearing about the nWo and how they are mad about the shape of the road the legends paved. Piper says the nWo is too lazy to fill in some potholes. He doesn’t want to wait until Slamboree, he wants to do it tonight! “Give it your best shot or don’t bother shooting at all!” Flair grabs the mic and says they are ready to go! The Nitro theme song and video cut them off.

The fireworks go off and Tony is excited about the challenge that was just laid out.

US Title Match: Dean Malenko (Champion) vs. Prince Iaukea

The announcers tell us to call everyone we know and tell them Ric Flair and Roddy Piper have called out the nWo. We go to pre-recorded comments from Jeff Jarrett who challenges Dean to a match at Slamboree and says he is going to beat him for the US title. He says he will earn Malenko’s respect, just like he earned the respect of the Horsemen and he will be the new US champion. Way to look past Iaukea here. Back live, Dean and the Prince lock up and Dean applies an armbar then wrenches away. Prince reverses and applies his own armbar. Dean puts a stop to this and reapplies his armbar then takes the Prince down and puts on a face lock. Prince is back up and sends Dean to the ropes and the two trade arm drags. Prince goes back to the arm and Malenko backs him into the corner then hits a forearm instead of breaking clean. Dean throws Prince to the opposite corner but misses a follow in clothesline. Prince hits some chops then throws Malenko to the corner, who reverses, then eats a Prince kick, which gets two. Prince throws Malenko to the ropes and hits a backdrop which gets an elusive one count. Malenko responds with a sick powerbomb. He goes for the pin with a forward roll for two, but Prince reverses it and gets two of his own. Malenko throws Prince to the corner and kicks away. He sends Iaukea to the ropes and hits a power slam. He then locks on the Texas Cloverleaf and Prince taps. I guess Jeff Jarrett was right to write off the Prince. Tony wonders if Dean will accept the challenge. We go to break.

WCW Cruiserweight Title Match: Syxx (Champion) vs. Juventud Guerrera

Tony brings up a good point and wonders if Flair can step into the ring tonight. He says that Flair may not be medically cleared after his surgery, saying that the doctor’s told him mid-May for a return. Don’t worry Tony, I’m sure that won’t be a problem. Syxx is by himself (that might be a first) and he gives us some crotch chops on his way to the ring. As they lock up and Juvy applies a headlock, we get some sound advice from Larry and Bobby in the booth. Larry: “Just remember this – nobody does nothing for nobody, for nothing.” Bobby: “And a friend in need is a pest.” Larry: “Indeed.” Bobby: “And relatives are like fish – after three days, they stink.” Syxx throws Juvy to the ropes to break the headlock then Juvy slides through Syxx’s legs on the return. Syxx goes for a side slam but Juvy reverses it into a flying headscissor that sends Syxx to the outside. He comes back in as Tony reminds us the nWo might appear if Syxx gets in any kind of trouble. Syxx hits a closed fist then sends Juvy to the ropes. He reverses again and hits a spinning side kick right to the mouth of Syxx. Juvy chops away at the champ in the corner then sends him to the opposite side. Juvy goes up top and Syxx sends him backwards so he flips out but then Syxx hits a spin kick of his own for two. Syxx puts Juvy in the corner and hits a double chop then his three kick combo. He follows it up with a bronco buster as the crowd boos. Juvy slowly to his feet and Syxx pounds away and hits a standing vertical suplex for two. He follows up with a running leg drop and taunts the crowd. He heads up top and hits a flying fist to the head then chokes Juvy with his knee. Syxx goes back up top but Juvy pushes Syxx, who crotches himself on the top turnbuckle. Juvy goes for a spinning hurricanrana off the top but botches it then hops back up to hit it, which gets him a two count. Juvy heads to the apron and calls for a summersault dropkick back in which hits the target perfectly and gets two. Juvy goes for a springboard moonsault off the ropes, but Syxx ducks then applies the Buzzkiller for the win to retain his title.

Next Monday, Nitro returns to Lakeland, Florida. Lee Marshall is already there, On the Road with 1-800-Collect. Lee says that this November, Lakeland will be the site of the National Native American Pow Wow. He found some information on Crazy Horse, but nothing about the Battle of Little Big Brain or Chief Waiting Weasel. He’ll keep looking though. The nWo music hits and the Outsiders and Syxx head out to the booth. Bobby bails and Tony is right behind him. Larry sticks around for a bit then says “I don’t need this” and takes off. Hall has the microphone. “Hey yo.” Hall says they heard the challenge from Flair and Piper from earlier tonight. He says “whatever” and that nobody cares what Flair and Piper have to say. Nash says that they will not appear at Slamboree unless they get 75% of the gate. He then says they miss Hollywood Hogan and the nWo is 4 life. It’s just too sweet. We go to break.

The following announcement has been paid for by the New World Order. Randy Savage says he is totally out of control. He says he and Page are on the road to disaster. He is Page’s master and DDP is in his world. Also, Kimberly has been dreaming about Randy. He is DDP’s worst nightmare. Page is a wannabe! The preceding announcement has been paid for by the New World Order. Tony says that is only going to make DDP madder.

Lex Luger and The Giant vs. The Amazing French Canadians

Before the match, for some reason, we are shown footage from Uncensored when Dennis Rodman spray painted Lex Luger. Tony reminds us to stay tuned for the Charlotte Hornets taking on the New York Knicks after Nitro concludes. Oh I get it, an NBA tie-in. Lex and Carl start out and lock up. Luger applies a headlock and Carl sends him to the ropes then goes for a hip toss, but Luger reverses and hits his own. Jacques comes running in and gets one for his troubles. Luger sends Carl to the ropes but it is reversed and the Canadians elevate Lex then drop him chest first across the top rope. That looked painful. Luger goes over the top and Colonel Parker lays some boots in. Carl then sends him to the guardrail and then back in. Jacques goes to work with kicks and tags in Carl. They double team Luger in the corner and Carl makes a quick tag back to Jacques who drops a knee off the second rope and tags Carl right back in. He goes for an elbow drop off the second rope but Lex moves and slowly crawls over to his corner. As this is happening, Bobby tells us to listen to him on the Mancow radio show this Friday morning. Brain says Mancow is hotter than Howard Stern. Giant tags in and the Canadians attempt to double team him, but he just swats them both off and hits a pair of big boots. He hits a chokeslam on Jacques as Luger racks Carl. Giant makes the cover on Jacques and gets the win. Bobby tells us Hogan better be watching and Tony reminds us Lex does have a title shot in his back pocket that he won at Spring Stampede. We go to break.

We return with Tony telling us the Bears vs. Packers feud comes to the squared circle at Slamboree and plugs Steve McMichael vs. Reggie White. We are shown footage from last week when Reggie jumped the railing and stole the briefcase from Mongo as he was about to interfere in the Jarrett/Riggs match. In the words of Tony, Reggie “stopped the forward motion” of Mongo “right at the goal line.” Cute, Tony.

Steve “Mongo” McMichael vs. The Barbarian

Of course, Debra is with Mongo. Barbarian jumps Mongo as he enters the ring and the two trade punches. Mongo sends Barbarian to the ropes, but it is reversed. Mongo ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. Barbarian goes for a piledriver but Mongo reverses it and hits a back drop. He sends Barbarian to the corner but stalls so Barbarian hits a huge boot on him out of the corner. Barbarian picks Mongo up and throws him outside the ring. He follows him out and sends Mongo to the guardrail then follows in with a splash. Mongo fights back with punches and Barbarian slams him into the ring post, back first. Barbarian throws Mongo back in and finally hits the piledriver for two. The announcers bicker over the upcoming football match as Larry and Bobby think Reggie shouldn’t be in the ring but Tony puts him over. Larry says in football, you play for 10 seconds then take a breather. It’s a different world in the ring. Bobby says Mongo told him Reggie is the type of player who wouldn’t tackle someone unless six other guys were holding him down. Larry says “See, Bobby knows this stuff” to which Brain deadpans “Football is my life.” Tony tells them to shut up. Barbarian hits a headbutt and Mongo tries to fight back with fists but Barbarian regains control. He pounds away on Mongo in the corner. The referee tries to pull Barbarian off Mongo but he gets shoved. This gives Debra a chance to hand Steve the briefcase (I guess he’s got more than one, since Reggie still had the one from last week). She then distracts the ref allowing Mongo to level Barbarian with it for the win!

We return from break with Piper and Flair on their way to the ring. Flair is in street clothes, and Bobby says that doesn’t matter. Flair’s got a mic and starts with “HOOOOOOOOOT ROD!” Piper says “It be time to fight.” Flair says you shouldn’t try to fix what is not yet broken and calls out the nWo. Flair specifically wants Syxx and he knows he can “whoop his ass” because he’s been the world champion more times than Syxx has “had pieces of ass, pal!” WOOOOOO! Flair drops the mic and waits for the nWo. The nWo music hits but no one comes out. All of a sudden, paper starts to fall from the ceiling. Hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper which say “Tradition Bites! nWo 4 Life” fall from the sky. Flair and Piper aren’t amused. Piper just stands there staring at the paper in his hand. The Outsiders and Syxx finally appear and seem to be proud of themselves. Hall and Nash are slowly making their way to the ring but Syxx pushes through them both and charges the ring to get at Flair! I guess he didn’t like that comment. He doesn’t have to go far as Flair meets him in the aisle and they are going at it! Hall and Nash come into the picture and Flair gives them low blows while Piper stands in the ring continuing to look at the paper in his hand. Flair puts the figure four on Syxx on the floor then Nash and Hall attack Flair as Piper continues to stand there as Flair gets triple teamed and screams, “PIPER!” Roddy finally makes his way to the action and makes the save as we are out of time!

According to the extremely thorough WCW archives at DDT Digest (here) Chris Benoit defeated Lord Steven Regal by DQ after Kevin Sullivan interfered. Apparently, Regal was busted open during the match, so the cameras went wide, as the WCW policy was to not show blood.

Next week, Nitro is again one hour long and maybe we will find out why Roddy Piper took forever to make the save for Ric Flair.

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