Written By: Justin Rozzero
WCW Nitro 1/6/97
Monroe Civic Center
Announcers: Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko
1) Glacier defeats Bobby Eaton with the Cryonic Kick in 1:55
Glacier was still undefeated and being pushed somewhat seriously at this point. Glacier, of course, was born out of the long running and mysterious “Blood Runs Cold” vignettes that many people thought were about a soon to be retuning Kevin Nash. Glacier gets his usual laser and snow-filled entrance. Larry points out that Eaton struggles in singles competition, as he is a great tag partner and that sometimes makes you too reliant on your teammate. Glacier works in his usual “martial arts” offense to take the early control. Tony talks about Starrcade and gushes over Roddy Piper’s big win over Hollywood Hogan as Glacier tosses Eaton around. Eaton goes to the eye to try and take control but eats the Cryonic Kick for the quick win. Grade: .5
– Tony and Larry run down our program and still manage to work in Starrcade, Roddy Piper and 1996 as a whole. Tony ponders how great it would be for WCW if Piper officially joined and led them against Hogan and the NWO. Now we see clips of Big Bubba turning on the Dungeon of Doom and joining the NWO and highlights of Bubba choking out Konnan with a leather strap.
2) Konnan beats Big Bubba in a Mexican Strap Match in 5:51
Tony pimps next week’s Nitro at the Superdome, claiming the three biggest events of the New Year will take place there, the other two being the Sugar Bowl and Super Bowl. Larry claims the strap match is right up Konnan’s alley for some reason. I guess we will find out. Tony then mentions the debut of a new pay per view that is just weeks away: NWO Souled Out. He announces that the Main Event will be Hollywood Hogan defending against the Giant. The late Mark Curtis is the ref and he hooks up the two men to the strap. Bubba gets the upper hand early out the gate and uses the strap to beat on and choke out Konnan. Tony references Bubba’s cockiness to explain why the NWO wanted him. Jimmy Hart distracts Bubba which gives Konnan the advantage and he lights Bubba up with the strap, but Bubba quickly regains control. Bubba is the first to try and touch the posts, but gets interrupted after 3. Konnan wraps the strap around Bubba’s face and drags him around, but can’t get all 4 posts touched. We get more Piper and Starrcade talk as the two men just trade shots with the straps as they lose the crowd. Konnan finally wakes up and gets the crowd going with a bit of a comeback, but that ends quickly again. Konnan gets back up and tags 3 corners as Bubba is caught in the strap. Bubba yanks him down and then punches Konnan in the face, which sends him careening into the forth corner and the win. Apparently, when Bubba yanked Konnan down, that didn’t break the momentum, even though it obviously did. Bubba beats him down after the bell, landing the Sidewalk Slam at the end. Not a horrid match, but not really any good as it was mainly whipping, choking and punching. Grade: 1
– Mean Gene talks to Kevin Sullivan in the back about 1996 and Chris Benoit and Woman. Sullivan takes offense to Gene bringing up the feud. Gene then tells Sullivan that he and Benoit should get their acts together and join up against the NWO. Gene claims to have a tape to show Kevin of someone other than Woman and Sullivan acts spooked and walks away.
– We come back from break as Gene welcomes out the Four Horsemen sans Woman and Benoit. Gene wants to know Arn was absent last week and where Benoit is this week. Arn says he is confused about what is going on with Benoit and asks Flair if he knows what is up. Flair makes some double entendres about the couple which we let slide by for obvious reasons. Debra takes a chance to run down Woman while singing the praises of the rest of the Horsemen. Debra mentions Jeff Jarrett, and out he comes to join in the fun. He kisses up to Flair and makes his case to replace the “part time Horseman” Benoit, but Arn cuts him off and puts him in his place. Jarrett continues to explain why he deserves to be a Horseman and lands a nasty shot about Arn being the second fiddle which leads to Arn popping him in the face and an impromptu match.
3) Jeff Jarrett beats Arn Anderson with a Neckbreaker in 1:04
Arn beats on Jarrett as the crowd heats up and chants “DDT” while Mongo cheers Double A on from outside. Arn works stiffly but gets caught with a neckbreaker coming back into the ring and JJ picks up the win with his feet on the ropes for leverage. After the match, everyone gets in each others faces as Debra defends Jarrett as Flair gets in his face. This leads to Mongo defending her even though he doesn’t like Jarrett and the five way fight carries on until Flair finally calms things down and shakes hands with Jarrett. Arn then gets pissed off at Flair and storms off as Flair chases behind him. Tony blames women on breaking apart the Horsemen after all these years. Grade: 0
4) Lord Steven Regal wrestles Jim Duggan to a Time Limit Draw at 8:25; Regal retains the WCW Television Title
Diamond Dallas Page’s music plays as Tony congratulates Kevin Greene and the Carolina Panthers on advancing to the NFC Championship Game. Larry claims it is because Kevin had been wrestling the year before. DDP doesn’t come out, so TV Champ Steven Regal’s music fires up and he makes his way to the ring. Now Jim Duggan’s music starts and apparently he will be replacing DDP in this match. The announcers have no idea where Page is and I am very confused. Duggan chases Regal to the floor with the 2X4 as the bell rings. We cut to the aisle to see Kevin Nash, Syxx and Eric Bischoff coming over the broadcast booth. Larry and Tony quickly vacate the area as the NWO members take over the headsets. Bischoff thanks his third grade teacher for instilling all the qualities that made him the man he is. Duggan controls the match early as Bischoff speculates on Page’s whereabouts and then claims that he has officially joined up with the NWO and is out with Scott Hall making if official right now. Nash mentions that they are partying at the Barbary Coast, which is an inside rib at Bischoff, who used to stay at the lesser known Vegas Hotel so he wouldn’t be surrounded by wrestling fans who would find out where the wrestlers were staying and wait around the lobbies. Bisch drops another inside line as he claims that Page can come over on the weekends for a beer now that he has gone NWO. This is of course in reference to the fact that he and Page were neighbors. Nash gets a funny line about really wanting someone to hit Duggan in the face before talking about Souled Out as Bischoff mocks Vince McMahon and says the PPV will be “unbelievable” and that “anything can happen”. The three talk about the upcoming Miss NWO contest and give out the address for applicants as Syxx shows his class and yells out “No fat chicks”. Duggan is still dominating as Nash cracks jokes about Louisiana. Regal takes over and we get more Starrcade talk as the crowd starts up a “USA” chant. Bischoff officially announces that NWO membership is locked to WCW wrestlers, teases that he has signed a man who is tailor made for the NWO and takes a few shots at Randy Savage. The match rolls on and has gotten sloppier as it has dragged along. Duggan pulls out the tape and wraps his fist and crushes Regal as the time limit expires to end this mess. Nash assumes it’s a DQ, but Bischoff quickly clarifies the ending. Someone in the crowd apparently carries around a giant WCW flag and hands it to Duggan who waves it around in the ring. Grade: 1
5) Hugh Morrus defeats Jim Powers with the No Laughing Matter at 1:40
Tony and Larry are back in the booth as Tony speaks highly of Duggan waving the WCW colors. Powers has a bloated Teddy Long in his corner as he starts off hot, but is quickly taken down by the bigger Morrus. We get more Piper talk as Tony continues to wish he would join up and lead the troops. The crowd is dead as Powers lands some offense, including a nice dropkick. Morrus battles back and lands the No Laughing Matter for the quick win. We get the Pep Boys Power Pin of the Week as some weird porn music plays us out of Hour 1. Grade: .5
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan & Mike Tenay
– Tony welcomes in Bobby and Mike as he talks about problems within the Four Horsemen. Tenay says the issue is with Benoit being a part time Horseman as Tony pushes his theory about women destroying them, which Bobby backs up. Heenan lands a couple of funny jabs about Tony’s wife that even cracks him up.
6) Rey Mysterio, Jr. defeats Psychosis with a Springboard Huracarrana at 6:43
Tony sings the praises of Psychosis as Tenay talks about the history between the two men, referencing their Mexican rivalry. Psychosis starts off on offense and tosses Rey to the floor with a nice looking hiptoss but botches a springboard Moonsault. Mike updates us about a show at the Tokyo Dome in which Ultimo Dragon lost the 8 Unified Titles to Jushin Liger, but lets us know the WCW Cruiserweight Title was not on the line, so Dragon is still the champ. The two battle back and forth until Rey ends up on the floor. Psychosis comes off the ropes with a dive but Rey moves and he smacks the guard rail with his head, which was pretty nasty. Rey retaliates with a somersault Plancha to the floor. Tony mentions the upcoming Clash of the Champions for the first time and announces an Ultimo Dragon/Jushin Liger title match for the show. Psychosis nails a perfect Guillotine Legdrop and follows up with a Powerbomb, but Rey manages to barely kick out of both moves. Tony announces Hall and Nash against the Steiners for Souled Out as Rey gets a near fall with a roll up. Rey is tossed into the ropes, but handsprings to the outside and comes back in off the top with a springboard Huracarrana for the pin. Grade: 2.5
7) Kevin Sullivan defeats Chavo Guerrero, Jr. with the Double Stomp at 2:17
My Lord, this is before Chavo got on the happy juice, as he is rail thin and looks like Kendall Windham after three weeks of fasting. Sullivan jumps him to start as we get footage of the Taskmaster costing Benoit his match with Jarrett at Starrcade. Tony announces Sullivan vs. Benoit in a Falls Count Anywhere match at the Clash and Mike references the famous Great American Bash brawl. Sullivan locks Chavo in the Tree of Woe, but sadly we don’t have Dusty present to scream madly about it. Sullivan hits a running double stomp on Chavo’s stomach for the win. Grade: 1
– We come from break and take a look at the end of last week’s Nitro as the NWO decimated Roddy Piper, who was stretchered out while screaming in tongues as the show went off the air. Tony fills us in that what he was yelling has been the subject of debate since that show. Tony says he thinks it was more than just random gibberish, but that he was actually speaking in another language. We get exclusive footage of Piper being loaded into the ambulance while he was still screaming. Tony updates us on Piper’s condition and tells us he is recovering.
8) Eddie Guerrero defeats Alex Wright with the Frog Splash at 9:05
As Eddie is coming to the ring, we look at clips from when the NWO assaulted Guerrero. Syxx then stole Eddie’s newly won US Championship belt and still possess it. Tony releases another Souled Out match: Guerrero vs. Syxx in a Ladder Match for the Title. The two start off on the mat exchanging holds as the announcers discuss the ladder match and Syxx stealing the belt. They also reference DDP stealing back the Battlebowl ring that Eddie won from him to harp on his bad luck lately. Tony talks about how all the WCW guys will be against the odds at the PPV with the Nick Patrick reffing all the matches as Wright works a couple of submission holds. Souled Out talk continues as Eddie works the arm, with Schiavone bringing the big time history by talking about how Giant originally came to WCW to take out Hogan in 1995. Wright takes over and works the arm and movies into a sleeper as the guys talk about how Giant was deceived by Hogan back when he joined the NWO. The crowd finally wakes up as Syxx comes out and sets up a ladder in the aisle. He climbs it and taunts Eddie with the US belt as Wright keeps control and picks up a near fall with a nasty backbreaker. Wright is dominating the majority of the match and gets another near fall with a Northern Lights suplex as Syxx continues to look on. Eddie finally catches Wright on the top rope and lands a superplex and follows that up with the Frog Splash for the victory. Eddie bolts out of the ring, but Syxx takes off before he gets there. Grade: 2.5
– We get the 1-800-Collect road report with Lee Marshall out of the break. Lee is in New Orleans getting ready for Nitro at the Superdome and makes a weak “blackened weasel” joke.
9) Harlem Heat defeat the Amazing French Canadians with the Heat Bomb at 4:06
Jacques, Carl and Col. Parker make their way out and Jacques demands the crowd stand for the singing of the Canadian National Anthem. The terrible signing is cut off with the entrance of Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri. The match starts as Tony and Mike talk about the history between Sherri and Parker, going from the altar to hated enemies. Heat start off quick with a double team suplex and continue on offense with Stevie tossing Jacques around. Tony talks about the greatness of Harlem Heat, but Bobby says not to overlook Col. Parker at ringside. And he is proven right, as Parker distracts Booker after a Harlem Sidekick to allow the Amazing ones to take over. We get more Souled Out talk as Jacques works over Booker, eventually landing a good looking Piledriver. Schiavone announces that Hollywood Hogan has arrived as Oulette nails a top rope Legdrop to Booker as he was in a Boston Crab. Miscommunication leads to a Heat comeback and a quick pin after the Heat Bomb, as Tony called it. Parker flips out as the Heat celebrate and we get the replay. Grade: 1.5
– Back from break, we hit up some Starrcade highlights of Sting coming into the ring during the Luger vs. Giant match. Sting knocks down Nick Patrick and then whispered in the ear of Luger and the Giant before leaving his baseball bat in the ring and taking off. Luger grabbed the bat, pasted Giant and pick up the win.
10) Lex Luger defeats Meng with the Torture Rack at 4:51
Tenay gives Luger the edge because Meng has been focusing on tag matches for a while now. Hey, it was true earlier for Bobby Eaton, so he may have a point. Mike also tabs Luger as WCW’s savior and Tony talks about how Luger is at the top of his game in and out of the ring. Meng starts on offense with some basic strikes, but Luger grabs control when Meng puts his head down on an Irish whip. Bobby says that he told Jimmy Hart not to feed the Faces of Fear unless they win, and I guess he would know, as he managed them for a while. Meng dominates as the announcers discuss Souled Out and the Clash, focusing on the tag title match again. Tony talks about how this will be Scott Steiner’s first match back from an injury. Meng crushes Luger with a fantastic Piledriver and gets a really close two count. Luger is whipped in and ducks a clothesline and is able to regain control with the loaded forearm, which Bobby references. Luger hits another clothesline, followed by a Powerslam and a close 2. Meng misses a charge into the corner and walks into the Torture Rack, but Meng’s leg catches the referee and knocks him down. This draws out the Barbarian, but Luger catches him with a Powerslam and racks him. Mark Curtis comes to, sees a Face of Fear in the Rack and calls for the bell. Well, that was a screwy finish to a fun and stiff match. Grade: 2
– We come back for our final segment, as the NWO is flanking the entrance ramp as Nash, Bischoff, Elizabeth and Hogan make their way out. The troops line up behind Hollywood and the whole group makes their way to the ring as Tony takes a minute to let the NWO know they would be nothing without WCW, and seemingly takes a shot at ECW as he says a lot of companies found out recently that it isn’t easy to get a PPV setup. Bischoff starts things off by praising Hogan for taking Piper out at Starrcade and Nitro. Hogan rambles a bit about hanging out with the Outsiders in Venice Beach before finally getting his point about how great he is for taking out Piper and Giant last week. Bischoff rags on the Giant some more, which draws the big man out to confront the NWO. Hogan stands in the back as the troops attack Ninja style and Giant lays them all out one by one. Nick Patrick gets press slammed to the floor, leaving Giant, Bischoff and Hogan along in the ring, as Heenan calls Hogan “Thunderlips” in a funny moment. Hogan attempts to punch Giant, but he catches his hand and wrenches him to the mat. Bischoff attacks from behind, allowing Hogan to drill Giant with a chair from behind, and all the thugs swarm, putting the big man down. Hogan lands more chair shots as Giant is held down. Tony claims Giant has no friends to save him, as he turned his back on his friends in the NWO. Bischoff lands a karate kick to Giant’s head as Hogan eggs him on and puts the belt on his shoulder. Giant is left lying face down in the ring as the NWO heads down the aisle and to the commentary booth, sending Schiavone, Tenay and Heenan scrambling. Nash, Hogan and Bischoff provide wiseass commentary as Sting heads to the ring and whispers in Giant’s ear again. Sting shakes Giant around and then turns around and points his bat at the NWO, which they play up as a sign of approval. Sting leaves the bat in the ring and Nash sends Vincent to grab the bat and beat down Giant. Vincent kicks Giant a bit and then picks up the bat and pokes him with it playfully. Of course, Giant wakes up and grabs the bat and Vincent eats a running Chokeslam. The rest of the NWO rushes the ring, but stay outside as Giant swings the bat inside the ring. The crowd chants loudly for Sting, who we see in a split shot opposite Giant and we are out.
We get a pretty good show this week with a few good matches sprinkled in, which was rare for Nitro around this time. Tons of Starrcade, Souled Out and Clash talk, but it is hard to the blame them as the point of TV is to pump your pay events. Still, after a while it gets a little old to hear about the same stuff over and over at the expense of a few good matches. The DDP stuff was interesting and I am looking forward to next week to see the explanation as to where he was. Nitro was still rolling at this point and had a lot going on, so that is a plus too, as the show definitely wasn’t boring in any way. The Horsemen stuff was intriguing, especially the rift between Flair and Anderson. Overall, a fun show that kept me entertained the whole way through. Final Grade: B
MVP: Psychosis/Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Runner Up: Lex Luger
Non MVP: Arn Anderson
Runner Up: Chris Benoit