April 2, 2009
Mike Abitabile

Monday Nitro
Carolina Coliseum, Columbia, South Carolina
8/25/97

Nitro is on the air this week and airs unopposed; well, unopposed by any other wrestling show, as the USA Network was broadcasting the opening rounds of the US Open Tennis Championships. Remember the days when tennis took precedence over wrestling? Anyways, this episode will become the most watched wrestling program in cable history (up until this point) partially because of its lack of competition.

We go into the arena as Tony welcomes us to the show. As always, he is joined by Iron Mike and Larry. Tony tells us that Sting made it abundantly clear Thursday night at the Clash of the Champions that he wants Hollywood Hogan. If you’ve been following my recaps in recent weeks, you might be trying to figure out what Sting had to do to classify his proclamation as being made “abundantly” clear to JJ Dillon if his recent actions couldn’t be called “abundantly clear.” Well, Tony introduces the clips from the end of the Clash. The nWo is in the ring telling Ted Turner that Hogan needs bigger jets and bigger limos, but the lights start to flicker and Sting is shown in the rafters with a vulture. We hear a voice over the speakers telling us that a wrong must be righted. The voice recaps what Sting is all about and why he is what he is now. The lights go out then come back on and the bird is sitting on the top turnbuckle. The nWo back peddles. From a bird. Bischoff comes in for a closer look and goes face to face with the vulture. That’s it. That’s how Sting made it “abundantly clear” to JJ that he wants to wrestle Hogan. The fans chanting “HOGAN! HOGAN! HOGAN!” and holding up signs that said “Sting vs. Hogan” and “Sting Wants Hogan” didn’t do it for JJ, but a bird exchanging glances with Easy E is did? Deep breathes, Mike. All right, I’m okay.

Back live, Mean Gene is in the ring. He runs down what JJ has recently done to try and get Sting back in the ring. He then brings out Eric Bischoff who tells Gene to shut up. Bischoff is happy because he feels that Sting never told us who he wants (you think?) so therefore, due to JJ’s ultimatum, Sting is done. Not so fast as Gene brings Dillon on live via telephone from WCW Headquarters in Atlanta. He says Bischoff is jumping to conclusions. Yes, the Clash was the deadline, but the day after the Clash, the viewers called WCW and told them Sting wants Hogan. He pledged to deliver to Sting the match he wants and will get Sting Hollywood Hogan if it’s the last thing he does. Bisch goes nuts and says it’s not happening. The crowd explodes and it’s because Sting is coming down the aisle and stands right behind Bischoff. He doesn’t realize it until it’s too late. Sting grabs him from behind, puts a Hollywood Hogan shirt over Bischoff’s head and kicks him down. He then takes the shirt off and shoves it down Bischoff’s throat and it brings a smile to the face of Sting, which is the first release of emotion from him since Fall Brawl 1996.

Raven tells us we all commit sins of different degrees. The glowing light at the end of the tunnel may not be what you wanted it to be. Quote the Raven, nevermore.

Nitro Girls dancing!

Psychosis and La Parka vs. Glacier and Ernest Miller
Sonny Onoo is with Parka and Psychosis. Glacier and Parka start off. Glacier blocks some kicks but gets tripped up by Psychosis as he hits the ropes, but he is still able to power slam Parka as he comes running in. Miller tags in and the luchadores regroup. Psychosis runs in and takes Miller down. Now La Parka comes in and they go for a double team move but Miller ducks and they take each other out. Glacier comes in and goes for a cover after Miller hits his top rope kick. While the referee is distracted by Miller, La Parka takes Glacier out with a chair and Psychosis get the win! Now Ultimo Dragon comes out to complain about the cheating. Silver King, who will face Dragon tonight comes out and they triple team the Dragon. Sonny Onoo even gets some shots in and makes it four on one. Silver King hits a spinning power bomb and we go to break.

Ultimo Dragon vs. Silver King
We return from break with Dragon agreeing to start the match now and trying to get to his feet before referee Mark Curtis can count to ten. Sonny Onoo remains at ringside, but the four combatants from the tag match have been escorted to the back. Silver King runs in and attacks. He throws Dragon to the corner and follows in with a kick. He then tries to back drop Dragon, but he lands on his feet. However, Silver King then hits a huge side kick. He goes up and hits a missile dropkick then a top rope moonsault to get a two count. King applies a face lock then picks Dragon up and DDT’s him. This is an onslaught. Silver King goes back up top and goes for a senton bomb but Dragon moves and almost gets rolling before King drops him with a clothesline then applies an abdominal stretch. He releases the hold then chokes Dragon over the top rope. King body slams Dragon then goes back up top. He comes flying in but Dragon stops him with a dropkick as Larry gives us an anecdote concerning Silver King’s father, the legendary Dr. Wagner. Larry wrestled Wagner in Guatemala many years ago and after he flew out, an earthquake destroyed the town, including the hotel he stayed at. Dragon finally has the advantage and pounds away on Silver King in the corner. He follows up with the back spring elbow then a body scissor hurricanrana. Dragon then hits a regular hurricanrana for two and they trade reversals for some more near falls. King hits a back elbow then goes up top but Dragon stops him and hits the spinning hurricanrana and finally locks in the Dragon Sleeper to get the win!

The nWo music pipes up again and we are joined by Scott Hall, Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. They are the reason everyone is there tonight and watching at home, you know. Hall then welcomes the newest member of the nWo, the man who helped them out at the Clash, Diamond Dallas Page. This is all do to the fact that Page accidentally dropped Lex Luger with a Diamond Cutter at the Clash of the Champions. DDP doesn’t come out and Savage calls him camera shy. He then says he voted “no” for DDP, but then he realized the nWo needed a weak link anyways. Savage challenges Lex Luger for later tonight.

WCW Saturday Night will feature Glacier, the Steiners, Eddie Guerrero, Steve McMichael and the nWo. Don’tcha dare miss it!

Mean Gene now brings out DDP as we see footage of the accidental Diamond Cutter on Lex Luger. DDP was blinded by Savage and didn’t know who he was attacking. Gene asks point blank if the Cutter was intentional or not. Page says Gene is ridiculous for even asking that. Gene asks if DDP grabbed the wrong man, to which Page replies, “Duh.” Page says he hasn’t talked to Luger yet, but there are no problems between them because Luger is a standup guy. DDP asks Luger to come out if he is in the arena so they can talk this over. No Luger, so DDP assumes that means he’s still not in the building.

Nitro Girls dancing in work out attire. Gene announces a Nitro Party contest. Send in your tapes of your own Nitro Party and if your party is picked as the best, Gene, Wild Cat Willie and the Nitro Girls will come to your Nitro Party! You can also win a Nitro Party Pack. Gene and the Nitro Girls then dance around.

The Faces of Fear vs. Mortis and Wrath
Last week, all four men brawled after the Barbarian/Mortis match. Then, on Saturday Night, these two teams fought but their respective managers (Jimmy Hart and James Vandenberg) got involved and Wrath got the win for his team. This is a rematch. Barbarian and Wrath start out and lock up. Barbarian pounds away but misses a roundhouse punch. Wrath takes the opening and pounds away himself. Barbarian gets tripped up by Vandenberg then eats a foot from Wrath to the face. He then ducks a clothesline and Vandenberg goes for his foot again, but this time Barbarian chases him around the ring. He goes back in and gets hit by a top rope clothesline by Wrath, which gets two. Wrath goes for an elbow drop from the second rope but misses so Barbarian tags in Meng and the two men hit simultaneous head butts off the top. Meng then power bombs Mortis so he crawls out of the ring. Meng brings the offense against Wrath and then tags in Barbarian. Wrath hits a flying body block for two. Mortis is tagged in but he can’t take down Meng. He finally does with a spinwheel kick, which gets two. Meng tries the power bomb again but Wrath makes the save. Mortis dives off the top onto Meng, but he catches him with the Tongan Death Grip to get the win! They continue to bawl as hour number two officially begins with fireworks.

Brain joins Tony and Mike at the booth and Gene is back in the ring. He brings out the members of the Four Horsemen. Of course there are only three, as Ric Flair, Steve McMichael and Some Other Guy make their way to the ring. Flair gets right to the point and tells Curt Hennig to come out right now to tell us if he is a Horsemen or not, once and for all. Hennig comes out and tells Ric that he still isn’t ready to give him an answer yet. They don’t like that and Flair tells him that he figured he’d say that, so he was prepared for this. Flair brings out Arn Anderson to have a word with Curt Hennig.

Arn: “Well, Gene, all I can tell ya, to get a response like this makes what I got to say tonight mean that much more. Ya see, I'm a realist. As everybody knows, I've got average size and speed and average ability. But I've parlayed that into what I would call a very successful career. And I did that on sheer will alone. But another reality is four months ago they took four vertebrae out of my neck. Consequently, I'm left with a hand, my left hand, too weak to hold a glass, too weak to button a button. But I thought in my mind, I knew in my mind I could overcome that too through sheer will. And I was doing just like that. I think I've come back a long way, but the other day I had something happen in the gym that was like a cold slap in the face of reality. A guy about your size Gene came up and he slapped me on the back and he said, 'Double A, where ya been? We haven’t seen you on TV.' And just that slap sent a jolt through me and I dropped the water I was drinkin' and just for a second my system shut down. And it became crystal clear as I watched the few little drops of water draining out of that bottle the symbolism that was involved. It was like someone had turned an hourglass over and the sand was running out on the career of Arn Anderson.

Now, the fact of the matter is not only do I put myself in a suicide situation by trying to wrestle again, I endanger these two men's careers (as he points to Mongo and Benoit) and I respect them too much for that. And rather than being anything other than the Enforcer in my best friend's eyes, I'd rather walk away. And for all of you people out there that have ever bought a ticket to see Arn Anderson wrestle, whether ya loved me or you hated me, you know that when that bell rang you got all I had that night. Whether I won, whether I lost, I gave you everything I had. And you knew that. And when you did this to me (gives the four finger Horsemen hand gesture) that was your acknowledgement. Well, the fact is I got nothing left to give. And I want you to remember me as I was, not as I am. But being the man that I am, my last act formally as a Horseman, I got one last challenge. And that is to you, Curt Hennig. And don't misunderstand me. It's not for a fight. You got something special. I've seen you in this ring - your skills, your maturity, your commitment to excellence make you something special. And what my challenge is to you, Curt, is stand beside my best friend, Ric Flair, and lead these two men (again to Mongo and Benoit) back to the glory and the prominence that the Four Horsemen once had. And I'm going to tell you what your prize is. It's not a spot in the Horsemen. This is worth a lot more than that to me. I'm going to give you the only thing I got left. Not a spot. I'll give you my spot.”

At this point, with Flair basically in tears, Hennig tells everyone it would be a privilege to take Arn’s spot. He shakes hands with everyone and finally joins the Four Horsemen. Tony is speechless.

US Title Match: Champion Steve McMichael vs. Eddie Guerrero
The Horsemen exit ringside, leaving Mongo to take care of this on his own. Eddie attacks before the bell and goes right after Mongo. He takes Mongo down with a drop toe hold and then dropkicks him in the head. Eddie pounds away on him but Mongo tries to Hulk up, to no avail though. Eddie continues to work over Mongo and tears away at his face in the corner. Mongo eats a back elbow then Eddie hits a tornado DDT off the second rope to get a two count. Eddie then walks the top rope and hits a hurricanrana to get another two. Mongo reverses an Irish whip then hits Eddie with a stun gun and a pair of clotheslines. He follows up with a tilt-a-whirl slam and takes control. Mongo goes for a three point stance but Eddie sneaks out of the way and goes up top. He tries a flip but Mongo catches him in the perfect position for the Tombstone piledriver, hits it and gets the three count!

Gene is back in the aisle and brings out Rey Mysterio. Rey says he tried to avoid surgery but he has no choice at this point. He’s going to have the surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews tomorrow. This brings out K-Dawg to mock Rey. K-Dawg threatens more bodily harm to Rey, who can’t really defend himself, so Giant comes out to make the save. K-Dawg thinks better of the situation and bails. Giant and Rey embrace, which is actually a really funny visual.

Eric Bischoff returns and goes over to the booth. Bobby is standing up and is ready to bail, but Bisch kicks Tenay off the set instead. Brain decides to leave as well, so we’ve got Tony and Eric to call the rest of the show. Tony, mockingly: “Watch out, there’s Sting behind you!”

Cruiserweight Title Match: Champion Chris Jericho vs. Yuji Nagata
Easy E keeps reminding us he will gladly have Larry arrested if he comes within fifty feet of him. Nagata goes behind then goes to work on Jericho. Bischoff says Sting will never fight Hogan. He hasn’t wrestled in over a year, says Bischoff, so what right does he have? Nagata and Jericho have a shoving match then Nagata applies a neck vice. Jericho reverses it into a suplex then hits a back elbow. Jericho slams Nagata and catapults him into the ring with a body block for two. He then applies a chin lock then ties Yuji to the tree of woe and comes in with a dropkick to the face. We go to break.

We return with Nagata in control with a headlock. Jericho breaks it then hits a dropkick to Nagata while he was on the apron, sending him to the floor. Jericho then hits a plancha over the top rope onto Yuji. He throws Nagata back in and follows but gets belly to belly suplexed in the process. Yuji hits a spin kick then slams Jericho and goes for a cartwheel kick that misses. Jericho takes control with clotheslines in the corner then hits the Lionsault! He then hits two power bombs and applies the Liontamer to get the submission win and retain the title.

Lee Marshall is On the Road with 1-800-Collect. He is in Pensacola, Florida where Nitro will emanate from next week. No truth to the rumor that Pensacola was founded by Ponce de Le-Bischoff looking for the fountain of arrogance.

Mean Gene is in the aisle and brings out Harlem Heat and Jacqueline. Booker T tells us Jackie is the newest member of Harlem Heat and she will watch their backs. Book is mad that the Steiners are the number one contenders to the tag titles. He gives them their just due, but he and Stevie are the 7-time champs. He wants the Steiners to step aside so they can take on Hall and Nash. Stevie says the Heat never had to go up North to get a reputation. This brings out the Steiners and Ted Dibiase. Scott calls the Heat idiots. Rick says the Heat had their chance and failed. And now Vicious and Delicious come out with Vincent. Buff says they are all idiots. Bischoff agrees on commentary. The Steiners and the Heat attack Buff and Norton while Vincent tries to leave with Jackie.

More Nitro Girls dancing!

TV Title Match: Champion Alex Wright vs. Dean Malenko
Alex was able to win the TV title from Ultimo Dragon at the Clash last Thursday night. They lock up and Dean goes to work on the arm. Alex goes to the ropes to get the hold broken. They trade reversals until Dean hits a drop toe hold and Alex bails. He comes back in and hits some European uppercuts on Malenko then drops an elbow on Dean’s back. Alex dances to boos. Wright hits a backbreaker on Dean then follows up by trying a power bomb. Dean reverses it into a back drop then sends Wright into the corner. Dean sets him up on the top rope but Alex reverses and tries a move from the top but Dean gets his foot up and a two count. He hits a dropkick to get another two count. Dean grabs the legs but Alex fights out of it before the cloverleaf could be applied. Wright suplexes Malenko and gets another two. Malenko again tries for the cloverleaf but Eddie Guerrero and Jeff Jarrett run in and cause the DQ. Jarrett applies the figure four on Dean while Alex hits a top rope knee then Eddie hits the frog splash. Debra celebrates while Jarrett struts.

Nitro Girls!

“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger
Liz is with Savage. Bischoff is in all his glory. Luger comes out after a commercial break and Bischoff mocks him for losing to Hogan recently. He then calls the Hall/Savage win at the Clash “tremendous.” They lock up and Luger backs Savage into the ropes but refuses to break. Savage sneaks in a right hand as the ref tries to physically break the hold. Macho then hits a short running lariat and works over Luger in the corner and follows up with a back elbow. Liz gets up on the apron to distract Nick Patrick, so Savage dumps Luger over the top then comes over and tells Patrick to count. Savage abandons that plan then goes outside to slam Luger into the ring steps then into the guard rail and finally into the ring post. Luger tries to get back in the ring but Savage continually kicks him back out to the floor. Macho continues to work on Luger on the outside, again slamming him into the guard rail and steel post. Savage refuses to let Luger back into the ring. As Bischoff tells us Hogan was filming a movie until 5:30am this morning and still told Easy E he’d come to Nitro if he wanted him to (Bisch says he told him to take the night off), Savage hits a double axe handle off the top rope to the floor on Lex. Macho chokes Lex over the top rope and again throws him to the floor. Savage finally throws Lex into the ring and goes up top. He hits another double axe handle to Luger and gets a two count. Savage locks on a sleeper as Bisch ignores Tony’s questions and comments about Hogan ducking Sting. Luger hits a side suplex to break the hold. Lex is too hurt to capitalize though and Savage crawls over for a two count. Both men are back on their feet and a slugfest ensues. Luger wins that and has his second wind. He hits three inverted atomic drops then the bionic forearm! He calls for the rack but Hall comes down but Luger throws Savage into him, knocking Hall down. Now DDP is out and gets in the ring. He walks up behind Luger, so Luger applies the Torture Rack to DDP because he couldn’t see who was standing behind him! Tony wonders if that’s accidental or payback and we’re…… out of time!

Next week, the nWo gets personal concerning the Four Horsemen and Arn Anderson’s retirement.

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