April 23, 2009
Mike Abitabile

Monday Nitro
Independence Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
9/15/97

Nitro opens with a still shot of Ric Flair laying in the emergency room with his head heavily stitched up. We go into the arena where Tony, Iron Mike and Larry are looking very upset. Tony has to tell us something that he never said before. Ric Flair got him into this business 13 years ago by going to bat for him. Tony canít finish his thought though and tells Mike and Larry he canít do the show tonight. He drops his headset and takes off. Larry says what happened to Flair last night was an abomination. Mike introduces the video footage of Curt Hennig, slamming the cage door on Ric Flairís head after Mongo had already conceded the match. Tony is gone, so itís just Mike and Larry in the booth.

Dean Malenko vs. Disco Inferno
Mike says that Tony leaving the set plays into the hands of the nWo. Yeah, Iím sure thatís the whole reason they hurt Flair. Malenkoís left leg is wrapped up and he is limping to the ring. That injury occurred last night in his loss to Jeff Jarrett. They tie up and Disco hits an arm drag, but Dean is right back up with a hard clothesline. He works over Disco in the corner with punches and kicks as Mike confirms that Curt Hennig turned his back on WCW and joined the nWo last night. Malenko hits a leg lariat on Disco then goes for the Cloverleaf but Disco rakes the eyes and tries a double axe handle off the second rope. Dean reverses it and again kicks away on Disco. Malenko then sends him to the corner and follows in with another clothesline and tries it again but eats a back elbow. Inferno tries to follow up and charges but is caught with a power slam, which gets a two count. Dean hits a textbook vertical suplex to get another two count. As Malenko again pounds away on Disco, itís obvious he is favoring his left leg. Dean goes up top, but Disco is able to stop him before he can hit anything. Disco then works over the injured leg of Dean. Huge ďDisco SucksĒ chants. Deanís knee goes out on him as Inferno sends him to the ropes. When Disco tries to capitalize, Malenko is able to reverse it into a double underhook power bomb then apply the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission win.

Eddie Guerrero is show in the back talking to Mark Madden on WCWWrestling.com. Am I the only one who realizes that stands for WorldChampionshipWrestlingWrestling.com? Tenay tells us Eddie won the Cruiserweight title last night and will defend it later in the show against the Ultimo Dragon.

Harlem Heat vs. The Faces of Fear
Jacqueline is with the Heat. Tenay tells us Stevie Ray suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon in the loss to the Steiners last night. Despite that, Stevie starts out with Meng. Meng pounds away on him and goes for a kick but itís reversed and Stevie gets his own kick in. Barbarian enters the ring but Stevie is able to take him down as well. Meng regroups then comes back in. Stevie tags in Booker, who hits a flying forearm on Meng and gets a two count. Quick tag back into Stevie. He pounds away on Meng but Meng ducks and tags in Barbarian. They double team Stevie with fists. Barbarian continues to pound away and hits a knee to the face of Stevie Ray. Raven is shown sitting in the front row watching the show as the Barbarian continues to work over Stevie. He then kicks Stevie in the face and gets a two count. Meng tags back in and thrusts Stevie in the throat and continues the onslaught. Barbarian makes a tag back in as Jacqueline is shown trying to get Stevie Ray back into this. Barbarian sends Stevie into the corner and follows in with a splash. He then tags Meng back in. He tries a suplex but Stevie reverses it but is too beat up to capitalize on the opportunity. Tag back to Barbarian and they go for a double head butt but Stevie moves and finally makes the tag to his brother. Book comes in a house of fire and hits a spinkick to Barbarian and a dropkick to Meng! Book holds Barbarian up for an elevated Harlem Side Kick and goes for the cover but referee Nick Patrick wonít make the count because Barbarian wasnít legal (even though he really was). Meng (who really isnít legal) comes up from behind and applies the Tongan Death Grip on Booker T to get the win!

Mean Gene is in the aisle with Kimberly. He then brings out DDP, to a huge ovation. Gene gives the Diamond Cutter sign! That made my day. Gene says one bright spot last night was the victory DDP and Lex Luger had over Scott Hall and Randy Savage. And on top of the victory, the two men are back on the same page. DDP doesnít want to talk about that match though. He says he has a disease - Randy Savage. Savage is the disease and DDP is the cure. DDP wants Savage at Slim Jimís Halloween Havoc. He tells Savage not to bring the Slim Jimís because heíll bring something for Randy to snap in to.

Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera
Larry says he is proud of Page and Iron Mike says he is proud of Larry for his involvement in the Hall/Savage vs. DDP/Luger tag match. Apparently, Larry made the three count to give DDP and Luger the win when the referee had been knocked out. Before the match starts, Rey unmasks and Iron Mike about has a heart attack. Turns out he has another mask on underneath and gives the first one to a fan at ringside. Lockup and Rey applies a headlock. Juvy flips out and they trade reversals. Juvy applies his own headlock and Rey sends him to the ropes and hits a shoulder block. Rey hits the ropes and takes Juvy down with a flying head scissor. He tries it again but Juvy reverses it and drops Rey stomach first over the top rope. Juvy misfires on a dropkick then gets up and punches Rey instead. Juvy then jumps over the top, lands on the apron and power bombs Rey down to the arena floor! Guerrera gets back in and letís referee Mark Curtis start a ten count. Reyís up however so Juvy brings him back in with a brainbuster then hits a springboard leg drop for a two count. Guerrera sends Rey to the corner and tries a running dropkick but Rey moves and Juvy goes into the turnbuckle hard. Rey then drops Juvy with a splash for two followed by a double leg takedown into a power bomb for another two. Both men are on their feet and Rey sets Juvy up on the top rope. He pounds away then hits a hurricanrana! Rey wastes too much time though and when he finally makes the pin, it only gets two. Juvy reverses a power bomb into one of his own, but then tosses Rey over his own head instead of dropping him down. Mysterio is back up and kicks Juvy out of the ring then hits a summersault over the ring post and steel steps to the floor on Juvy! Both men get up on the apron. Rey tries to hurricanrana back into the ring but itís reversed. Juvy comes flying in with a hurricanrana attempt but Rey power bombs him then calls for his springboard hurricanrana. He hits it perfectly and gets the win! After the match, Rey tells K-Dawg that heís coming after him.

TV Title Match: Champion Alex Wright vs. Lord Steven Regal
During Alex Wrightís entrance, a camera pans in on a sign in the crowd that says ďRaw is Taped!Ē Mike then tells us how weird it is to be in Charlotte without Ric Flair. Alex hits an arm drag out of a lockup then celebrates. The crowd responds by telling him he sucks. Regal goes behind out of another lockup and works over the arm of Wright. Itís reversed though and Alex goes to work on Regalís arm. Regal is able to take him down though and continues to work on Wrightís arm. Regal then slaps the taste out of Alexís mouth. Alex responds with kicks the mid-section and European uppercuts. Now the crowd hates Alex so much that they start cheering for Regal. He hits a monkey flip on Wright but canít capitalize. Wright starts to dance and Regal responds with a dropkick to his back. Wright and Regal hit heads and both men are down. Back up and they trade European uppercuts until Regal trips Wright and goes for the Regal Stretch but Alex was too close to the ropes. They then trade pinfall attempts until Regal gets sent into the corner upside down then caught in a German suplex by Alex Wright to get him the win and retain his title.

Gene is in the aisle and Ray Traylor comes out carrying a can of spray paint. We see footage from last week when Hollywood Hogan and Scott Hall attacked him. Traylor hates the nWo and wants to fight them one on one, if they are man enough to face him that way.

The Giant vs. K-Dawg
Iron Mike says a stagehand went to the back to check on Tony, and heís still really upset, and canít come back out yet. Giant is pissed off. K-Dawg tries to shove Giant, which shockingly doesnít work. Giant just throws him to the side and out of the ring. K-Dawgís back in and tries to pound away at the mid-section, but again, nothing. Giant responds with huge clubbing blows as K-Dawg cowers in the corner. He bails again but this time Giant follows him. Giant finally catches him then head butts him and tosses him back into the ring. Larry is loving this. K-Dawg canít even stand. Giant stands on his neck then slams him when he gets back up. K-Dawg again goes outside once again and Giant again follows. This time, K-Dawg gets back in the ring and tries to attack Giant on his way back in but that doesnít work either. K-Dawg goes up top and jumps but Giant catches him in midair and hits the chokeslam to get the win!

The pyro goes off and itís time for hour number two! Since Tony isnít there, Larry says heíll stick around when Brain joins the booth for hour number two.

Nitro Girls do what they do best Ė dance.

Brain is very upset about what happened to Ric Flair last night. Iron Mike wonders if the Horsemen really are dead, just as Kevin Nash proclaimed after the match. Brain feels that as long as Ric Flair has one ounce of breath in him, heíll have a plan. Larry says itís obvious now that Curt Hennig has been with the nWo from the beginning and it was all a plan. Brain says it was all timed to do this in Ricís backyard.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Stevie Richards
Kimberly brings DDP out then heads to the back. Tenay says that Stevie has had a lot of success on the ďindependent circuit.Ē Larry points out that, despite the fact that his interference during Fall Brawl may not have resulted in a legal pin, the acting chairman, Roddy Piper, didnít have any issues with any of it. Stevie works on the arm out of a lockup but Page reverses, causing Richards to go to the ropes to get a break. Another lockup results in Page going to the arm. Stevie breaks free then tries to hide in the ropes, but Page goes in and kicks him. Shoulder block takedown by Page then a gut wrench takeover into a gut buster! Stevie is able to drop Page throat first over the top rope while Raven watches on. Stevie follows up with a side suplex for two. He puts Page in the corner and rushes in with a jumping elbow. DDP is able to fight back with fists and an inverted atomic drop. He hits a pancake pildriver then calls for the Diamond Cutter. He puts Stevie up on his shoulder and hits it out of a firemanís carry to get the win! After the match, Raven jumps the rail and enters the ring. DDP takes off as Raven attacks Stevie and kicks him out of the ring. Raven then leaves through the crowd.

Tag Team Title Match: Champions The Outsiders vs. Mortis and Wrath
James Vandenberg brings out his human oddities and Syxx is with the Outsiders. Larry says heís staying right where he is tonight and wonít let Hall get to him. Before the match starts, Nash looks into the camera and proclaims he has a question for Wrath. He asks, ďWhat my son, in the riddle of steel?Ē while Hall looks on with a blank look on his face. Tenay wonders what that was all about, as do I. Hall starts out with Mortis. Hall toothpicks Mortis then they lock up. Hall works over the arm while Larry calls him an overrated wrestler. Is everyone going to work on the arm out of the initial collar and elbow tie-up tonight or something? Geez. Hall takes Mortis over then applies an arm bar and paintbrushes him. Mortis punches his way out and a slugfest ensues, to which Hall takes control. He goes for a back drop but Mortis hits the fame-asser and spits on Hall! He then kicks away at the mid-section of Hall in the corner then sends him to the ropes. Hall reverses it though and catches Mortis in midair and hits his fall-away slam. Wrath tags in and Hall slaps him then sits on him. Hall then chickens out and tags in Nash. Nash pounds away and drives knees into Wrathís mid-section in the corner. He sends Wrath to the opposite corner but itís reversed and Wrath comes in with a clothesline then works over Nash. Wrath hits a jumping scissor kick on Nash when he sent him to the rope for a long two count! Mortis tags in and hits a side Russian leg sweep on Nash. He then hits a leg drop off the second rope for another long two count. Syxx distracts the referee while Hall kicks Mortis in the back allowing Nash to hit a sick release Jack Knife power bomb for the win. Wrath tried to come in to stop it but Hall dumped him. Nash pinned Mortis with one foot.

Eric Bischoff makes his way down to the ring smiling from ear to ear. Bischoff gets on the mic and tells us itís an honor to be him. He then introduces Hollywood Hogan who comes out with the nWo. I see Hall, Nash, Syxx, Savage, Liz, Norton and Vincent. On his way to the ring, Hogan pulls a sign from the crowd that says ďHey Vince, Bite Me!Ē and holds it up to the camera. Syxx sits on the top rope and Hogan puts the belt over his shoulder. Thatís about as close as heíll ever get to a World title. Bischoff then introduces the newest member of the New World Order. Ric Flairís music plays and Curt Hennig makes his way out wearing Ric Flairís red ring robe. This is ballsy in Charlotte. If a riot broke out, I wouldnít have been surprised.

Hennig enters the ring laughing it up with everyone. Larry: ďIím sorry I stayed.Ē Bisch says itís a privilege to have him as the newest member of the nWo. Curt says itís a privilege to be in the nWo as he gets nailed in the face with a cup of soda. Larry wants someone else to hit him again. Hennig takes a shot at Arn Anderson then calls Flair a jerk. He says it felt great to hear the bones cracking in Flairís head last night when he slammed the cage door on it. He takes the robe off to reveal an nWo shirt and then presents the robe to Hollywood Hogan. Hogan says this day has been perfect. Bischoff wants to know if Savage accepts Pageís challenge for Halloween Havoc. Savage: ďIt would be an honor!Ē Now back to Hogan. Bischoff wants to know about Piper. Hogan says he was around when Piper was President of the WWF and he never told Hogan what to do. What? Wasnít that in 1996? And then, as if for perfect irony, Hogan calls Piper a liar. He says heíll destroy Piper in a cage at Halloween Havoc. He says heíll put an old fossil like Piper to rest. More irony. Hogan finally proclaims that when Sting sees what he does to Piper, he wonít want any part of Hollywood. ďPipes, Whatícha gonna do when the whole nWo runs wild on you?Ē He then wipes his rear end with Flairís ring robe. Wow.

At the booth, Iron Mike, Larry and Brain are disgusted. Brain canít wait for Piper to get his hands on Hogan. Larry says Piper has history on his side, since he beat Hogan twice already. Iron Mike introduces a video package chronicling all that has gone down between the two men so far in WCW.

Cruiserweight Title Match: Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon
Eddie goes behind and gets a quick takedown but both men get back to the neutral position. They go back and forth for a little while and try for a test of strength. It never happens as Eddie kicks Dragon then dropkicks him in the head. He works over the arm then slams Dragon on it. Eddie then wraps the arm around the middle ring rope. Dragon is back to his feet, but goes back down after a European uppercut. Then a second by Eddie and then some stiff knife edge chops. Dragon takes Eddie down with a shoulder then catches Guerrero with a tilt-a-while backbreaker. They trade chops in the corner until Eddie Irish whips Dragon into the opposite side. It is reversed however and Dragon does a handstand on the top turnbuckle then kicks Eddie down. Dragon hits a running Liger Bomb for two! Ultimo goes for a giant swing, but his shoulder gives out and Eddie tries a power bomb. Dragon lands on his feet then takes Eddie over with a head scissor for two. Dragon misses a charge in the corner but locks in a sleeper and turns it into the Dragon Sleeper! Eddie is able to kick Dragon in the head though to break it and reverses an attempted moonsault by Dragon into a shoulder breaker then he hits the Frog Splash to retain his newly won Cruiserweight title belt.

Nitro Girls dancing.

US Title Match: Champion Steve ďMongoĒ McMichael vs. Curt Henning
Before the match, Brain gives a passionate speech directed towards Mongo imploring him to get revenge for everything the nWo has done to Ric Flair and more specifically, against Curt Hennig for his betrayal. In a nice heel touch, Hennig tosses his towel to the ground on his way to the ring, as if to say he doesnít even care enough to show us he can toss it behind his back and catch it. Mongo charges the ring and it is on! Hennig caught him running in though and stomps Mongo. McMichael gets up though and tosses Hennig to huge cheers. Curt takes out the knee though and wraps Mongoís leg around the steel post. Iron Mike says Mongo is the last remaining Horsemen and mentions Benoit by name, saying he sustained a concussion last night so there really isnít anyone left. Hennig continues to work over the leg and knee of Mongo in the ring. The crowd is solidly behind Mongo here but itís going to be an uphill battle. Mongo battles back and tries to slam Hennig, but his knee gives out on him so Hennig goes right back to working it over. Tenay mentions Mongo has had nine surgeries on that knee over the years. Hennig takes a break from working over the knee to kick Mongo in the head. Hennig chops away as Mongo gets to his feet. Mongo tries to fight back but Hennig again goes to the knee and takes McMichael down again. Mongo again tries to take control and gives Hennig a boot to the head. And once again, Curt goes to the leg to drop Mongo. McMichael goes to the eyes then tosses Curt into the corner. He yells at Hennig then tosses him by his ears across the ring and Hennig goes crotch first into the steel post. Mongo goes outside and pulls the legs to make it worse. Back in, Mongo hits an atomic drop then clotheslines Curt. He then hits an inverted atomic drop and another clothesline. Heís favoring the leg big time at this point and slams Hennigís head into the top, middle and bottom turnbuckles before finally slamming it on the mat! Hennig moves out of the way of the three point stance and applies the Hennig-Plex to get the win and take the US title belt! And weíreÖ.. out of time!

Next week, we continue on the road to Halloween Havoc and weíll see if Tony is able to compose himself enough to call the show.

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