Written By: Justin Rozzero
WCW Nitro 3/3/97
Announcers: Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko
– We head right into the arena where we are welcomed to the Omni by Tony Schiavone. We cut backstage to see the entire NWO pouring out of a stretch hummer limo. Another limousine pulls up right behind them and Dr. Harvey Schiller, President of Turner Sports emerges from that one. Larry says he is ranked much higher than Eric Bischoff.
1) Konnan & Hugh Morrus defeat Steve McMichael & Jeff Jarrett after Jarrett accidentally hits McMichael with the Halliburton at 3:12
As we come back inside the arena, Konnan and Hugh Morrus are heading down the aisle for our opener. The war between the Dungeon and Horsemen is reignited here tonight as Jarrett and Mongo make their way out, accompanied by Debra. Tony tells that the WCW Executive committee has met over the weekend to mull over Lex Luger’s challenge from last week. Morrus and Jarrett start things off here tonight and Hugh grabs a quick side headlock, but JJ lands a series of right hands to stagger him. JJ hits him with an inverted atomic drop and then chokes him on the middle rope. JJ charges, but Morrus slides of the way and he crotches himself on the middle rope. Hugh charges and puts Jarrett down with a stiff clothesline. Tony and Larry talk about Mongo’s proclamation last week that he could do what he wanted to Jarrett, but he had his back if anyone came after him. Morrus mocks Jarrett’s strut and then tags in Konnan. Konnan slugs away and then hits a clothesline and taunts Mongo a bit. Konnan makes the tag and Morrus continues to pound on Jarrett while baiting Mongo into the ring, which allows the Dungeon to hit a double clothesline. Konnan hooks JJ from behind and Morrus climbs to the top rope, but Jarrett is able to wriggle free and Morrus nails Konnan with a moonsault. JJ tags in Mongo and the crowd is on fire. He takes out both men with scoop slams and then nails Morrus with the Three Point Stance and takes Konnan down with one as well. Public Enemy rushes out and grabs the Halliburton from Debra. JJ heads outside to fight them off and as he yanks the briefcase away, it swings back and crushes Mongo, who was leaning through the ropes. He collapses back and Konnan covers for the win. I wish that match went longer as it was actually a lot of fun. Mongo really was suited for the hot tag role and I wish they gave this team more of a chance. Grade: 2.5
– As Mongo recovers, Mean Gene, Arn Anderson and Ric Flair hit the ring to sort things out. Arn grabs hold of the mike and told JJ that they left this garbage on the West Coast last week. He says Jarrett isn’t that clumsy. JJ tells Arn not to instigate and that he proved he was a horseman last week. He only went outside to protect Debra and says it was an accident. Flair says that Jarrett is making him look back for supporting him. He tells him to quit falling off the chair they gave him to sit in. Mongo yells at Jarrett but Jeff swears it was an accident. Debra said she wanted JJ in the Horsemen and she knows what happened tonight was a mistake. They are trying too hard and need to pull together. Jarrett and Mongo have to face Public Enemy at Uncensored and Debra doesn’t want to be on a losing team. Gene wraps things up and we go to break.
2) Diamond Dallas Page defeats Rick Fuller with the Diamond Cutter at 2:04
We return from commercial and DDP is making his way out. Tony is shocked that Page is returning just one week after being stretchered out at the hands of Randy Savage and the NWO. Page is slowly getting more popular and his reactions continue to grow. Page and Fuller lock up and break clean. Page grabs an armbar, but Fuller pushes him into the corner and lands a pair of chops. He misses a charge and Page takes him over with a nice back suplex. Page pulls him up, but Fuller drops him with a jawbreaker and then stomps away. Fuller slams Page and then drops a big leg for two. Page recovers and sends Fuller down with a clothesline. Fuller gets up and goes for a scoop slam, but Page floats over and hits him with the Diamond Cutter for the win. That was quick and to the point as DDP continues to roll on. Grade: 1
– Mean Gene hits the ring and we take a look at the footage from the NWO beating last week. Gene says he can sense that the people are getting behind him. Page says that they know who the real deal is. Savage has snapped and Page tells him to snap into the…Bang! Gene warns Savage that he will have to pay for his sins sooner or later and we go to break.
3) Juventud Guerrera defeats Rey Mendoza, Jr. with the 450 Splash at 5:03
We are back from break and our combatants are already in the ring and set to go as we have a Cruiserweight tussle up next. Juvy grabs a side headlock but Mendoza is able to go behind and take him down. He tries a release German suplex, but Juvy lands on his feet and hits a spin kick for two. Mendoza puts him down with a clothesline and then chops away at Juvy, but Juvy takes him down with a headscissors takeover off a whip. A dropkick sends Mendoza to the floor and Juvy follows with a baseball slide. Juvy goes for a springboard dive, but Mendoza trips him up and snaps him hard to the floor face first. He takes him over with a suplex and tosses him back inside. Mendoza lands a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Juvy blocks a suplex and turns it into a neckbreaker. He heads outside and hits a springboard legdrop for two. Juvy mares him over and grabs a reverse chinlock. Mendoza is out and Juvy lands some forearm shivers and follows with a headscissors takeover into a pin for two. Mendoza charges, but Juvy backdrops him over the top and to the floor. Juvy runs the apron and hits a suicide dive through the middle ropes and spears Mendoza. Both men trade rights on the ring apron, but Juvy takes Mendoza over the top and into the ring with a headscissors. Juvy misses a charge and Mendoza goes up top, but Juvy meets him up there and they fight over a superplex before Juvy is able to just crotch him on the top rope. Juvy sends Mendoza down with a springboard spinning heel kick and then up top and hits the 450 Splash for the win. Well, that was a fun little spotfest and a nice win for Juvy. Grade: 2
– We return from break and check out Hank Aaron in the crowd and then head to the ring for our next match.
4) Dean Malenko defeats Mike Enos with a small package at 4:27
Enos has some epic theme music. I thought Julius Caesar was making his way to the ring here. Malenko is out next and he does not look very happy or impressed. Larry says he is obsessed with Eddie Guerrero, but he needs to focus on Enos as Mike jumps him as he hits the ring. Dean takes Enos down and just pounds on his head. Tony says this is a new, more aggressive Dean Malenko. Dean kicks away in the corner and then chokes Enos until the ref forces a break. He chokes again, but Enos shoves him off. He charges and Dean dropkicks his knees to take him down. Dean viciously stomps the knee in the corner and then snaps the leg over the bottom rope. Enos rolls outside, but Dean heads out as well and kicks Enos’ knee into the steel railing. Enos is hobbled as Dean just continues to kick the knee. Back inside, Enos lands a boot and takes Dean over with a nice belly-to-belly suplex. Enos can’t recover and Dean drops a knee onto his knee and then goes into a leg submission. Enos reaches the rope to break the hold but Dean keeps on the assault. Enos shoots Dean to the corner but catches a boot to the face on a charge. Dean heads up top and comes off with a cross body, but Enos rolls through for two. Enos pops up and takes Dean down with a clothesline. Enos is hobbling and misses a falling headbutt. Dean kicks away some more, but Enos is able to leverage him into the top buckle. Enos goes for a scoop slam, but Dean hooks the head and grabs a small package for the win. That a nifty little TV match and Dean is great at telling a story in the ring. Enos also looked really good and sold the knee wonderfully while making his quick comebacks. Grade: 2.5
– Dean grabs a microphone and tells Eddie Guerrero to pay attention because this is what the new and improved Dean Malenko is all about. He is a great wrestler, but he will excel at beating Eddie and anybody else who steps in his way. Last week, Eddie had a little taste that two can play the same game and he is waiting, ready and able to kick Eddie around the ring. Dean walks off and we go to break.
– Back from commercial and Tony tells us all about this weekend’s edition of Saturday Night featuring DDP, Lex Luger, Prince Iaukea, Jim Duggan and many others at 6:05 on TBS. Back in the aisle way, Mean Gene brings out Eric Bischoff for an interview. Gene asks Bischoff about what is going in WCW right now. Eric thanks Luger for suggesting the Uncensored match last week and he accepts the challenge on behalf of the NWO. He says that everybody around the country knows that if it wasn’t for he and the NWO, nobody would be here. Eric plays to the crowd a bit more as Dr. Harvey Schiller sidles up behind him. He tells Eric that they need to talk. The crowd goes wild when Gene lets everyone know that Schiller is Eric’s boss. Harvey says that just because Bischoff has a contract that doesn’t mean he can do anything he wants whenever he wants, including firing referees, breaking rules and stripping wrestlers of championships. Eric says he believes he can do these things based on his contract. Harvey says that he may have a contract, but he is now suspended. He can longer sign any contracts either. Eric tries to talk his way out of it, but Schiller wants no part. He says he doesn’t want Bischoff answering a phone or even hear a rumor about Bischoff using a WCW men’s room. Eric wants to talk, but Harvey is done and he walks off with Eric frantically running behind. Larry and Tony are quite excited as we go to break.
5) Eddie Guerrero defeats Ultimo Dragon to retain the United States Championship after reversing a cross body at 2:47
Larry and Tony are still gushing over the big suspension as Ultimo Dragon and Sonny Onoo make their way to the ring. Tony takes this as a sign that things are turning around for WCW after this announcement. Eddie and his US Title are out next and we are set for our next bout. Tony ponders the ramifications of this announcement, wondering if Randy Anderson and Jimmy Jett will get their jobs back and if the Steiners or Luger & Giant will get their belts back. Eddie goes behind to start and the two trade front facelocks, with Eddie grabbing a reverse chinlock. Dragon works out and the two men regroup. Eddie gain control during a test of strength and grabs a side headlock. He puts Dragon down with a shoulderblock, but Dragon takes him over with a Huracarrana. Eddie takes Dragon over with a headscissors takedown, but is able to yank him to the floor as Eddie comes at him. Onoo comes over and lands a couple of kicks, but Eddie shrugs him off and gets back in the ring. Eddie lands a back elbow to the head, but Dragon fires back with a series of kicks and he puts him down with a spin kick. Eddie flips over a back drop attempt, but Dragon both men get tangled in the ropes as Eddie picks up a cheap win. That was pretty disappointing and the whole thing seemed quite rushed. Grade: 1
– Gene gets in the ring and asks Eddie about Dean Malenko. Eddie says his intentions were good, but the situation turned sour. He tried to apologize, but that apology has not been accepted. We cut to the aisle to see Malenko stalking down. Eddie is sick and tired of being blamed for Dean’s problems. Gene tells us that Dean and Eddie will square of at Uncensored for the US Title. Dean says he will not stand back as Eddie gives the fans a snow job about how great he is. Dean knows what Eddie is all about, but he has lost Dean’s respect. They get in each other’s face and yell some more as we go to break.
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Bobby Heenan
– We are back and Hour 2 is under way as Tony is joined by Mike and Bobby. At the table, Tony recaps the suspension of Eric Bischoff and we get Mike and Bobby’s takes. Mike says it is a proud night to be associated with WCW. Bobby says Eric will be in the unemployment line tomorrow morning. We take a quick look at the suspension footage again as well before heading to the ring.
6) Scotty Riggs defeats VK Wallstreet by disqualification when Buff Bagwell interferes at 4:22
Tony wonders again what will happen with the tag team titles and talks about tonight’s main event as Riggs heads down the aisle. Tony says the Steiners have recovered from the car crash a few weeks back. Wallstreet grabs a headlock and takes Riggs over with a hiptoss. Riggs recovers with a dropkick and grabs an armbar. Mike says that Scotty is trying to establish his own identity after the split of the American Males. He lands an axehandle for two, but Wallstreet tosses him to the floor on a charge. Mike talks about the NWO feud against New Japan that is the hot topic in the Japanese media right now. Scotty is back in, but Wallstreet hits a nice flying clothesline and then follows with an elbowdrop for two. Tony gets word from the back that Dr. Schiller and the Executive Committee are currently reviewing documents that Eric had recently signed. He says that they are allowing the Uncensored match to take place, but they are inviting Roddy Piper to also enter a team into the mix as he has been most affected by the NWO’s shenanigans. Wallstreet has a reverse chinlock on as the announcers discuss Piper and the big news. Riggs fights to his feet and hits a jawbreaker but misses an elbowdrop. Wallstreet kicks him in the head and yanks him up and runs him into the top turnbuckle. Riggs kick Wallstreet in the face on a charge and then heads up top and lands a missile dropkick. He goes back up and comes off with a sunset flip for two. Scotty hits a flying forearm, but Buff Bagwell hits the ring and attacks his former partner. Bagwell and Wallstreet go for a double clothesline, but Riggs is able to hook the rope and bail to the floor. He grabs a chair and comes back inside. Wallstreet bails and Buff is able to dodge the chairshot and head outside. Tony has just received word that Roddy Piper just arrived at the Omni as we go to break. The match was nothing and was just a backdrop for the big Piper announcement. Grade: 1
– Back from break and Lee Marshall is in Panama City, FL with our 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. Next week Nitro and Spring Break will be going down on the same night. Apparently, a petition has been passed to prevent Bobby Heenan from wearing a thong on next week’s show. Bobby says that Marshall works part time at Club Big Mouth. And with that, the bagpipes sound and Roddy Piper is in the house and out to a big time pop from the fans. Roddy soaks it all in and then says that there is one problem Hulk Hogan does not have: insomnia. They met two times, and Hogan slept two times. He will admit that Savage interfering was a bit of a surprise. He then says that they have cloned two monkeys: one named Hall and one named Nash. Piper has one family that lives on a mountain in Portland, OR. He has another family: the fans. When he was going to the hospital a few weeks back, he was yelling in Gaelic and translates now what he said then: “We’re not home until the battle is over”. He says that Hogan’s hair was rapidly falling out as he walked around the building, because the war is about to begin. He is going to make a third party, not a contrived one. There are six guys backstage and Roddy will take them on one at a time and let the fans decide who will be his third family for Uncensored. The crowd can give thumbs up or thumbs down to decide. He says that I.C.O.N stands for “I Cower Over Nothing”. He says he is an idiot for taking on six guys and takes his coat, shirt and kilt off and then calls for the guys to come down.
First up we have a jacked up guy with long hair who is in jeans. Piper takes him right down and stays on top of him, smacking him in the back of the head to a pop. Piper won’t relent and is able to roll the guy over into a chickenwing until the wrestler taps out. The fans give the thumbs down for contestant #1. Our next guy is out and it is an unnamed Luther Reigns, who also went by the moniker Horshu around this time, in some tiny jean shorts. He smacks Piper right off the bat and lands some stiff knees to the gut. He follows with some right hands, but Piper won’t go down. Piper is able to lock on the sleeper and Horshu gets the thumbs down from the fans. Our third contestant is another jacked up guy, this one with short hair and jeans. As he walks down, a crazy looking dude with an afro and boxing gloves slugs him from behind and hops in the ring. Piper puts boxing gloves on now as well and the two men spar a bit. Piper comes with a flurry and knocks the guy down, but he recovers and sends Piper to the mat. They trade more blows and Piper gets another knock down, but his opponent trips him up and smacks him around on the mat. Piper drills him with a right, but the guy won’t stay down. Piper finally calls for a truce and then restarts the match. Afroman beats Piper down in the corner but Piper drills him with a big right hook to put him down. But he pops back up again and Piper calls time out. Roddy extends his hand and asks the crowd for their approval, but they boo. Piper gives the thumbs up though, and it looks like he has earned a spot on the team. He grabs a mike and says the fans are being too harsh, as this guy has some big gonads. They drop the gloves and fight some more and this thing is dying a slow death here. Piper calls a truce again and the fans still boo the guy despite Piper’s pleas. Afroman finally leaves and now we get our next contestant, and this guy looks like the lovechild of Mick Foley and Steve Williams. He takes his track jacket off and is ready to go. This dude is apparently a martial artist as he lands some kicks to Piper’s face. Piper takes him down but the Karate Kid turns him over and chokes him a bit. He misses a couple of big kicks, and Piper hits a few of his own. He scoops Piper up and lays him across the top buckle and kicks him in the gut a few times. Tony thinks we will get some new superstars for Nitro out of this deal. I beg to differ. Piper goes to the eyes and hits some right hands, but Karate Kid will not go down. He puts Piper down with a kick and the crowd has finally completely turned on this. He tries to hoist Piper up over his head to toss him outside, but he is too blown up to get him up completely. Piper calls a truce and accepts Karate Kid on to the team and then calls for the next contestant. And the crowd finally cheers because they recognize our next challenger: John Tenta. Tenta actually looks pretty slimmed down here and he hoists Piper up high with a choke. Afroman and Karate Kid hop in the ring to protect Piper, but Tenta swats them both off. Now all three men fight each other as Piper likes what he sees out of these three and breaks them all up. He grabs a mike and says that he has found the family for Uncensored. He slaps all three guys in the face and tells Hogan that if he wants war, he has got a war. He says NWO will stand for No Way Out. Tony tells us that Piper’s team consists of a boxer, a kickboxer and a former Sumo champion. Well, that was really long and totally killed a red hot crowd. But, Piper has his team for the big Uncensored showdown.
7) Rey Mysterio, Jr. defeats J.L. with a springboard huracarrana at 4:06
And we waste no time getting to our next match as both men are in the ring when we return. J.L. takes immediate control with a fireman’s carry takeover and an armbar. Rey works out and grabs a wristlock, but J.L. is out of that. We get some comments from Prince Iaukea in an inset promo as he offers Rey a TV title match at Uncensored. Rey hits a springboard senton for one. Rey hits the ropes, but J.L. grabs him and tosses him up into the air and then guides him hard to the mat for a near fall. J.L. gets a roll up for two and then plants him with a clothesline after he gets back to his feet. J.L. goes up top but misses a dive as Rey rolls out of the way. The crowd is totally gone after that last segment. Rey gets tossed outside and J.L. hits him with a baseball slide and follows with a somersault senton to the floor. He tosses Rey back in and heads to the top rope, but Rey catches him with a right hand and takes him off with a Huracarrana for two. J.L. catches Rey off a whip and crushes him with an inverted atomic drop. Rey ends up on the apron and comes in with a springboard huracarrana for the win. The match was decent, but they just didn’t seem to be on the same page at all here tonight. Grade: 1.5
– Mean Gene is in the aisle and he is with Madusa, who is the number one contender to the Women’s Championship. Gene asks her where she has been. She says she has been in WCW for more than a year. She tossed a world class championship in a garbage can to come here and expand women’s wrestling, but nothing has happened. And that is because Eric Bischoff only cares about the NWO and not women’s wrestling. Madusa says he should have been fired, not just suspended. She is the top contender and she will beat Akita Hokotu for the belt. Madusa mentions seeing Luna Vachon backstage claiming to be the number one contender, and with that, Luna makes her WCW debut and beats down Madusa in the aisle and then we go to break.
– And when we return, we are joined by the entire New World Order, including Eric Bischoff. Bobby wonders if Eric is suspended from his job or from television as well. Tony wants to know where Sting is after we saw him hug Hogan last week…and then they spot him in the back of the crew. And yes, it is the real Sting walking to the ring with the rest of the troops. Eric has the mike and says that things need to be cleared up. Number 1: Dr. Schiller can’t fire him because he and Hogan are friends with Ted. Hogan says that not only does Eric have a personal relationship with Ted Turner, but they are now in NWO negotiations. Hogan tells Schiller to take a hike and Bischoff says he has attorneys to prevent Schiller from trying to control the NWO. Hogan says that Schiller is out of his league and then turns his attention to Piper. He said we just watched Piper suck wind battling some wrestling fans and asks whose team would the fans bet on: Piper’s team or Hogan’s team? Savage takes the mike and says that Bischoff has protection. He tells Piper that he needs a psychiatrist because he wears a shirt that says ICON after getting punked by Hogan twice. When you compare Piper and Savage’s careers, Piper’s is way in the back. Savage says he couldn’t even beat Elizabeth. Hogan says he is going to turn the NWO loose at Uncensored as they have the Madness, the Stinger, the Outsiders, Trillionaire Ted and Syxx and when you go NWO, you go NWO for life. Nash steps up now and Eric asks him his thoughts. Nash only has two things to say: this squad is just Too Sweet! Eric tells Hollywood to give the guns, the music hits and Hogan poses for our enjoyment as we go to break.
8) Lex Luger & Giant wrestle the Steiner Brothers to a no contest when the NWO interferes at 3:20
We are back and it is main event time as the Steiners are back for the first time since being run off the road by the Outsiders a few weeks ago. Bobby wonders if the Steiners’ backs can handle a chokeslam or torture rack as Luger & Giant make their way out. Tenay runs down the resumes as Rick and Lex start things off. We get a clean break off a lockup, but Rick shoves Lex off a second break. He slugs away at Lex but eats a boot on a charge and Luger plants him with a clothesline. Lex hits some rights but Rick takes him over with a powerslam off a charge. He tags in Scott and he takes Lex over with a big belly-to-belly suplex. He hoists Lex up and plants him with a double underhook suplex. Luger fights up and takes Scott over with a powerslam and tags in the Giant. The crowd has finally woken up. He puts Scott down with a boot and drops a huge elbow for two. Rick gets a blind tag and catches Giant with a double axehandle from the top. He and Scott pick up Giant and take him over with a huge double suplex. That was impressive stuff. All four men square off in the ring as we pan to the crowd to see the entire NWO filing through the crowd. They all surround the ring and Sting walks down the aisle and joins them. Tony thinks Luger, Giant and the Steiners would make a good WCW team for Uncensored. Now Piper’s Family comes through the crowd and join forces with Team WCW in the ring as the NWO stalks around ringside. The crowd is waiting to explode here and they are chanting loudly for Sting. The NWO slowly climbs up on the apron and the huge brawl erupts but we are out of time! That match was getting quite good before the non finish as there was some impressive power moves mixed in there. Giant and Luger are over big time right now, I must say. Grade: 2.5
Well, we got quite the mixed bag this week. The show was really humming along until the Piper segment slowed things way down and killed off a red hot crowd. The couple of matches you would expect to be good were disappointing, but others were surprisingly good. The Uncensored card is coming together, with the majority of the focus being placed on the main event. The Horsemen continue to argue and it looks like Flair and Anderson have finally lost patience with Jeff Jarrett. DDP continues to roll on and gain momentum as do Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, Jr. The Dean/Eddie feud is progressing nicely and I like Dean’s new attitude. The Schiller announcement was a huge one and really got the crowd pumped up as Bischoff finally got put in his place, but I think having him out there at the end kind of took some steam out of that. He shouldn’t have been present in the big promo segment. The Piper tryout segment was a disaster and just dragged on way too long. The energy was there for Piper, but the crowd just wasn’t buying the tryout or the participants. Luger and Giant are over like rover and the main event woke up the crowd and they exploded for the closing of the show. The angle progression was good here, but some of the execution was lacking and we didn’t have any really good matches, just a series of solid ones. Uncensored is two weeks away and the excitement is there and this show did a lot to get everyone pumped up for the big main event. Final Grade: B
MVP: Lex Luger & Giant
Runner Up: Harvey Schiller
Non MVP: Roddy Piper
Runner Up: Eric Bischoff