WCW Nitro 4/28/97
Norfolk Scope Coliseum
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko & Bobby Heenan
– We kick this week off with a video package of Ric Flair beating up Vader from Starrcade 1993 and a voice over from Tony Schiavone talking about big men losing to Flair in the past and leaving WCW with their pride and dignity having been stripped by Flair. He ties it into Flair’s upcoming showdown with Kevin Nash and the rest of the NWO at Slamboree and then we head inside the arena where we join Tony, Bobby and Larry for a special one hour edition of Nitro! We waste no time getting started as the bagpipes fire up and Roddy Piper and Ric Flair appear on the entrance ramp. They march over to the announce table and Piper grabs the mic. We are starting to get close to the cuckoo’s nest. He is tired of hearing about the NWO and the big lions that are pissed at them for leaving potholes in the road. He asks if the NWO are too lazy to fill them in and if they are part of that generation that just wants to skateboard and collect a check. He has had it and he doesn’t need to wait until Charlotte and that they should do it right here tonight. Flair says they will dance all night and dance a little longer and he does a jig as we transition to our opening animation.
1) Dean Malenko defeats Prince Iaukea with the Texas Cloverleaf to retain the WCW United States Championship at 3:00
Tony talks about Flair a bit and implores us to call our friends and tell them to watch Nitro because Piper and Flair have issued the challenge here tonight. Larry thinks the NWO is shaking in their boots. We get an inset promo from Jeff Jarrett who says he will earn Dean Malenko’s respect at Slamboree when he takes the US title home. Dean grabs an armbar but Prince reverses it and grabs one of his own. Dean turns it back around and turns it into a reverse chinlock. Prince shoots him into the ropes and takes Dean over with an armdrag and then follows with a drop toehold. He locks in an armbar but Dean fights up and slugs his way free. Dean misses a clothesline in the corner and Prince follows with some chops. Dean eats a foot on a charge and then Prince puts him down with a savate kick for two. Dean recovers and he powerbombs Prince and then they trade pin attempts. Dean shoots Prince in and hits a nice powerslam and then he locks in the Texas Cloverleaf for the quick win. Grade: 1
2) Syxx defeats Juventud Guerrera with the Buzzkiller to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship at 4:38
We are back and ready for our second title match of the night as Tony runs down our card for tonight. Tony ponders if Flair is ready to fight tonight as he was supposed to not be cleared until May. Bobby and Larry say he is ready to go and he will be ready to play down and dirty. Syxx is surprisingly on his own tonight. The bell rings and we are underway. We get a lockup and Juvy grabs a headlock off it. He follows with a headscissors takeover to send Syxx to the floor. Syxx hops back in and lands a right hand. Juvy leapfrogs Syxx and hits a spin kick. He follows up with some chops in the corner but Syxx is able to shoot him across to the opposite corner. Juvy leaps on the ropes but slips while backflipping over a charging Syxx. Juvy gets back to his feet but Syxx nails him with a great spin kick for two. Syxx hits a chop of his own and then lands some kicks and another spin kick in the corner. Juvy crumples down and Syxx nails the Bronco Buster. He continues to land some shots in on Juvy and then takes him over with a textbook vertical suplex for two. He mares Juvy over and drops a snap legdrop. Syxx heads up top and comes off with a double axehandle. He chokes Juvy with his shin and then heads back up top. Juvy smacks his legs and crotches Syxx, who also smacks his knee on the ring post on the way down. Juvy hops up but slips off to the ring apron. Juvy climbs up and hits a headscissors takeover for a really close near fall. Juvy hits a beautiful springboard somersault dropkick for two. Syxx shoots Juvy in and Juvy tries a springboard moonsault, but Syxx ducks and he crashes to the mat. Syxx sneaks up from behind as Juvy gets up and he locks in the Buzzkiller for the win. That was a fun little match despite the sloppiness from Juvy. Grade: 2
– We are back from break and heading down to Lakeland, FL where Lee Marshall is in the house with our 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. He is at a Nitro party near Jerry’s and everyone is looking forward to Nitro next Monday. He has done some scouting and can tell us about Tiger Town, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and the Native American pow-wow that is coming soon. He hasn’t found anything on the Battle at Little Big Brain or Chief Running Weasel though and that is our report. Back in the arena, the NWO music has fired up and Hall, Nash and Syxx have made their way out. They head to the announce table and Tony, Bobby and Larry scatter. Hall says they were sitting in the back and heard the two dinosaurs talking about how much they want some of the Wolfpac. Well, to them, he just has to say whatever, nobody cares what they have to say because everyone in Norfolk is here for one reason: because it is the NWO. Nash grabs the mic and says there is a stipulation: in Charlotte, NC they have no problems getting in the ring and giving Flair and Piper a beating, but they will only do it for 75% of the gate because when you have the best in the business, it don’t come cheap. He tells Hollywood that they miss him and it is NWO 4 Life and we are off to break.
– Back from break and we get a special NWO paid announcement featuring Randy Savage and Elizabeth. He is the Madness but now this situation has escalated and the Madness is out of control. I can’t keep up with the manic editing but Savage calls out Page and says they are on the road to disaster and that he is Page’s master. Page is in his world and he knows his name now. Kimberly will see that her husband can’t handle Savage. Kimberly has been dreaming about Savage and that shows she has “class with a capital K”. Savage is Page’s worst nightmare and he better understand that he is a wannabe and that the NWO is 4 Life.
3) Lex Luger & Giant defeat the Amazing French Canadians when Giant pins Jacques Rougeau with a Chokeslam at 2:57
Larry thinks Page will end Savage’s career but Bobby says you can’t ever count Savage out. We got some footage from Uncensored featuring Dennis Rodman spray painting Lex Luger but Tony reminds us that we haven’t seen Rodman since and that Hogan has been MIA shooting his movie the last few weeks as well. The Hornets and Knicks will be facing off on TNT after this abbreviated Nitro. Luger and Carl start off and Lex takes him over with a hiptoss. Jacques comes in and catches a shot as well. Luger charges, but the Canadians catch him and hot shot him on the top rope, sending him to the floor where Col. Parker lays the boots in. Carl shoots Lex back in and Jacques works him over with some boots. He tags Carl back in and they double team Lex in the corner. Carl clubs away at Luger and makes the quick tag back to Jacques. Carl hits a backbreaker and Jacques comes off the middle rope with a kneedrop. He tags Carl back in but he misses an elbow drop from the middle rope. Lex crawls to his corner and makes the tag as Carl tags in Jacques. The Canadians double team Giant but he tosses them both off and he beats them down with clotheslines and boots. Giant chokeslams Jacques and covers him for the win while Luger racks Carl. Luger and Giant continue to roll on and dominate as a tag team. Grade: 1.5
4) Steve McMichael defeats Barbarian after hitting him with the Halliburton at 3:03
We are back and the biggest rivalry in football comes to the ring at Slamboree as Reggie White and Steve McMichael will go at it in the ring. Mongo and Debra are making their way out as we see clips from last week’s show when Reggie hopped the rail and got in Mongo’s face and snagged the Halliburton. Barbarian attacks off the bell and chops away but Mongo fires back with right hands. Mongo hits a big clothesline but Barbarian comes back with a boot. Mongo back drops him and continues to slug away. He shoots Barbarian into the corner but Barbarian comes out with a big boot to the face. He tosses Mongo to the floor and then whips him into the guard rail. They trade blows on the floor but Barbarian scoops him up and runs him into the ring post. He shoots Mongo back in and drops him with a nice piledriver for two. Larry and Bobby continue to rip on Reggie White and his lack of experience. Mongo fights his way back up but Barbarian catches him with a headbutt and lays in some shots in the corner. Barbarian is distracted with the ref and then by Debra which allows Mongo to crack him with the Halliburton for the win. That was a good little power match albeit a bit sloppy, but still watchable. Mongo picks up another win and is gaining momentum for his match with Reggie White. Grade: 1.5
– We return from commercial and Roddy Piper and Ric Flair are heading out to the ring. Flair is in street clothes and Tony is talking like the match is going down here. Next week Nitro will air at 7:00 once again as the Playoffs continue on. Flair has the mic and says there is no need to try to fix what is not yet broken. Norfolk, VA, we are live and the Hot Rod and the Nature Boy want the NWO out there right now. He doesn’t know about Nash and Hall but he wants to find out, however he knows he can whip Syxx’s ass because he has been the World champion more times than Syxx has had pieces of ass. And with that, the NWO music hits but nobody comes out and it stops playing. Piper and Flair look up as a whole ton of fliers come down from the ceiling. The papers say “Tradition Bites! NWO 4 Life!” Flair asks if that is all the NWO has and tells them to come down and face them. The NWO music fires up again and now Nash, Hall and Syxx appear through the paper rain. Syxx doesn’t look happy and he runs past Hall and Nash and Flair meets him in the aisle. The Outsiders join in and Flair is able to ward them off with low blows. He locks the figure four on Syxx but Hall and Nash pound away at him. The announcers are calling for Piper, but he isn’t coming to help. All three men continue to beat on Flair as he is begging for Piper to help, but Roddy is standing in the ring. Finally, Piper comes to his aid and starts whipping Hall with his belt as we fade out.
Well, due to the NBA Playoffs, we got an abbreviated show tonight but there was still a lot going on. The focus was heavily on the Slamboree main event and it looks like Syxx and Flair are beginning to get personal. Malenko and Syxx both had solid title defenses while Luger & Giant picked up another win and continue to look strong. Mongo also got a win and the story within his match against Reggie White will be ring experience. I actually liked Larry and Bobby together in the booth as they both agreed on a lot of points and Tony was good in responding to them. The finish was good, even though I am not sure where they are going with Piper not helping Flair right away. The fight in the aisle was good stuff though and a hot way to end the show. That is about it for this week, but the hour flew by and the main stories were pushed along nicely. Final Grade: B
MVP: Ric Flair & Roddy Piper
Runner Up: Syxx & Dean Malenko
Non MVP: Prince Iaukea
Runner Up: Amazing French Canadians