Written By: Justin Rozzero
WCW Nitro 5/12/97
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko & Bobby Heenan
– We are wasting no time this week as we open up inside the arena and right out of the gate Randy Savage and Elizabeth are making their way to the ring. Savage is sans crutches and he hopes inside the ring to kick off another one hour edition of Nitro. Savage says he is healed and talks about Page’s attack last week. It pumped up his adrenaline so he smacked him real hard and now Page has to use his crutches. He tells Page to hobble down so he can get smacked Hollywood style and then he leaves. Over at the booth, Tony runs down our program, specifically focusing on Eric Bischoff’s announcement that he will have an interview with Sting here tonight. Apparently, Sting went to Bischoff and asked if Eric would interview him. Bobby and Larry are a bit surprised and we shall see if Eric delivers. Larry talks a bit about Savage and then we head to the ring for our opening bout.
1) Ultimo Dragon defeats Juventud Guerrera to retain the WCW Television Championship with the Dragon sleeper at 5:10
As Dragon and Sonny Onoo head to the ring, we get an inset promo for Steven Regal talking about his ability to outwrestle anybody in the world. He is going away from his nobility for a while and heading back to his scoundrel ways, so watch out. Dragon hits a shoulderblock to start but Juvy comes back with a nice springboard body press for two. He follows up with a headscissors takeover to send Dragon careening to the floor. Dragon lands on his feet off a backdrop and then kicks Juvy to the mat. We get some more talk about Sting as Larry wonders why he would go to Bischoff, as Eric doesn’t have any power at this point. Dragon catches a charging Juvy and hoists him up into a reverse torture rack and then drops to his knees. Dragon mares him over and grabs a reverse chinlock. Juvy ducks a lariat and hits a spin wheel kick for two. Dragon goes for a floatover DDT but Juvy turns it into a cradle suplex for two. Juvy goes for a huracarrana, but Dragon blocks it and powerbombs him to the mat. Dragon goes for a moonsault but Juvy rolls away. Dragon is able to land on his feet and goes for a pin, but Juvy turns it into a sunset flip for two. Dragon hits a springboard moonsault for two and then grabs a full nelson, but Juvy rolls him forward for two. Dragon rolls back over for a near fall as well. Juvy chops away in the corner but eats a Dragon boot on a charge. Dragon heads to the middle rope, but Juvy catches him and climbs up top. Dragon stops him and hits a big top rope superplex and both men are down. They reverse a couple of waistlocks and then both men tumble to the floor. They hammer away at each other outside. Dragon slides in but Onoo hooks Juvy’s leg and snaps him face first onto the apron. Juvy grabs Onoo but Dragon hits a slingshot dropkick from inside the ring. He slides back in and Onoo lands a stiff side kick on Juvy and then shoots him back inside. Dragon sits him on the top rope and takes him over with a headscissors. Dragon walks over and hooks the Dragon sleeper for the win. That was a good match with a quick pace and a lot of near falls. Juvy got a lot of offense in and looked strong in there. Grade: 2
– We get a replay of the match and then we head back to the ring where Gene Okerlund brings out Ric Flair, Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene. Larry wonders if Flair and Piper can keep Greene focuses. Gene talks about Slamboree, which is just six days away, and asks Greene if he is ready. Greene says that he is undefeated in Charlotte and also says there are three cut and dry things in life: you need to pay taxes, you will die and that at Slamboree, he will break his foot off in your ass. Flair says that the Hot Rod, Nature Boy and KG will be live in Charlotte this Sunday. Piper references his past fights in Baltimore. He says that the Outsiders say they are lions, but this isn’t the Wizard of Oz and he isn’t Dorothy. He says that he is a dinosaur, he is a T-Rex and he will be starving come Sunday. We suddenly hear Hall and Nash talking and calling out Piper and then see that they are on the overhead screen. Hall says if Piper is hungry, there is an all you can eat buffet down here…down where? Down there…that is. Syxx is strutting in the back and calls out the Nature Boy. He says that Flair’s wife is leaving his hotel room while Flair is out on the town. Hall says there wasn’t enough cheese in Baltimore to go with all the wine in the ring. They don’t respect the dinosaurs and they will have plenty to whine about after Sunday. Nash tells Greene to request a trade since he won’t be able to show his face after the match. Nash says they make the rules and the match Sunday is now no DQ and no count out. Gene wraps it up and we go to break.
2) Dean Malenko defeats Steve McMichael to retain the United States Championship when Reggie White hits a big splash at 3:16
We are back from break and Mongo, Jarrett and Debra are headed to the ring as Larry thinks the No DQ stipulation will actually favor Team WCW on Sunday. Mongo has some choice words for the fans in Green Bay in regard to Reggie White as he heads down the aisle. Malenko is out next and he has a title match with Jarrett at Slamboree on Sunday. We get a lockup to start and Mongo shoves Dean into the corner. Dean charges and runs Mongo to the opposite corner but Mongo shoves him off. Dean grabs a side headlock and then hits a dropkick. Mongo swats him down on a second dropkick attempt and stomps away at Dean. Mongo eats a boot on a charge and Dean dropkicks him in the knee. Dean grabs the leg but Mongo monkey flips him over and lands some elbows to the back. He chokes Dean on the bottom rope and grabs a standing rear chinlock. Dean backs Mongo to the corner and forces a break. Dean hits a leg lariat for two. Mongo whips Dean in and Jarrett hooks his leg. Dean turns to face Jarrett but that allows Mongo to chop block him from behind. Mongo scoops Dean up but his legs nail Mark Curtis in he face and send him out to the floor. Mongo plants Dean with a nice powerslam but there is no ref. Jarrett is trying to help Curtis outside but we cut to the aisle and see Reggie White charging to the ring. White hops up on the apron but Jarrett goes over and hooks his leg, allowing Mongo to nail him. He pulls Reggie inside, but Reggie reverses a whip and hits a clothesline. Reggie drops a big splash and then shoves Jarrett to the floor. Dean covers Mongo and Curtis slides in the ring to count the pin. That was a fun match with a lot of excitement mixed in. Grade: 2
– A huge Reggie White chant resonates throughout the building as Dean walks back and the Horsemen try and regroup in the ring. We now head over to Gene in the aisle and he is joined by Reggie White. Reggie says that Mongo can talk about him all he wants, but if you talk about his family, Packer fans or the good people of Green Bay, he takes it personally. He tells Mongo to leave the people of Wisconsin out of it. Gene says we know what the Horsemen are capable of and Reggie expects it. Green Bay and Chicago is the best rivalry in the game and this Sunday we will see that Green Bay will always be better than the Bears and we are out to break.
– We are back and visiting with Lee Marshall for the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. Lee is enjoying a Nitro party in Asheville, NC and informs the guys to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is the most scenic road in America. He implores them to visit the 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate as well but informs us they are very strict and have a “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Weasels” sign out front. Bobby gets a funny dig in and says that Lee also sits on 8,000 acres. Larry asks Bobby if he owes Lee money because he is always on his case.
3) Wrath defeats Scotty Riggs with a Urinage at 1:01
We are back and the American Male, Scotty Riggs is charging to the ring. We now get some words from James Vandenberg, who leads out Mortis and his ally. He tells us that tonight he reveals the big man’s name and that he is the most dangerous man in the history of wrestling. His name is Wrath. Larry informs us that wrath is one of the seven deadly sins. Wrath is decked out with a helmet and carries a staff as he marches to the ring. Bobby says that if Vandenberg signed him, he must be a very sick man. Mortis stands guard at ringside, facing the aisle as the match starts off. Wrath tosses Riggs to the corner and works him over. Riggs ducks a clothesline and hits a pair of dropkicks. Scotty charges but Wrath plants him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He lands a kick in the corner and then follows with a Urinage for the quick win. Grade: .5
– As Wrath gets to his feet, the lights go down and then the blue lights come up and the snow starts to fall as Glacier appears on the ramp, sans helmet. Glacier stares down Wrath and we head to break.
4) Konnan & Hugh Morrus defeat Alex Wright & Ice Train when Konnan makes Train submit with the Tequila Sunrise at 3:19
Konnan, Morrus and Jimmy Hart are making their way out as we see Ray Lewis, Michael Jackson and some other Ravens at ringside. Wright, Train and Teddy Long are out next and it is good to see Train again as he was gaining some momentum last we saw him a month or so ago. Konnan and Morrus jump Train to start as Wright seemingly bailed. Train hits a clothesline on Konnan and a powerslam on Morrus. Wright wants a tag and Train obliges. Wright is aggressive, landing some boots. He shoves Morrus to the corner and works him over before showboating a bit. Train wants a tag but Wright ignores him. Morrus gains the advantage and Wright scurries over and tags in Train, who wasn’t looking, so Morrus beals him into the ring. Morrus slams Train and follows with a clothesline. Morrus shoves Wright to the floor but Wright lands on his feet and dances a bit while Teddy chastises him. Hugh misses a charge in the corner and Train drills him with a running body block in the opposite corner. Train goes to tag but Wright drops to the floor and Konnan chop blocks him from behind. Teddy gets in Wright’s face in the floor so Alex shoves him and walks off. Morrus hits a spinning neckbreaker and then heads up top. He sets up the No Laughing Matter, but changes his mind, hops down and drops an elbow instead. Konnan locks on the Tequila Sunrise and Train taps. I don’t even know if Konnan was legal as that match was just a train wreck. Morrus and Konnan usually work well together but this match was all about the Alex Wright heel turn and the rest was just sloppy. Grade: .5
– Wright is still dancing in the aisle and talks about his body a bit. Bobby says that Wright grew up as we go to break.
– When we return we head to the announce table and they chat about DDP’s injury that the NWO caused last week. We get some footage of the beating but we are cut off as something is going on backstage. We cut there and see Syxx and Nash bolting out of a room and then see Piper writhing on the ground holding his surgically repaired hip. I guess they weren’t in Charlotte after all. The officials try and calm Piper as we go to break.
– We are back and the NWO music is filling the arena as Eric Bischoff is making his way out. Tony reminds us that Eric is set to interview Sting, who requested to speak with Eric here tonight. Eric says the love in the air makes him want to cry. He is a man of his word and he will talk to Sting tonight. He looks to the sky and then introduces Sting. “Man Called Sting” fires up and the bogus Sting walks out, bat in hand. Larry and Tony peg it right away, to their credit. Larry calls him Stink and the fans are on to the ruse as well. Eric tells him he didn’t need to bring the bat because it is just an interview and he is an announcer. The crowd is calling for Sting and Eric says they want to hear what Sting has to say. Eric wants to know the truth: is it true that throughout his career, he has been compared to Hollywood Hogan, even by family members. NWO Sting just glares at him as Eric says those people also believe Sting will never accomplish what Hogan has in this industry. He also asks if it is true that way down deep inside, Sting also knows that he will never measure up to Hogan. The crowd starts buzzing as the real Sting marches down the aisle. NWO Sting is ready to swing as Eric stands behind him. Sting pulls a bat out of his coat and lays into NWO Sting, dropping him with the Scorpion Death Drop. He turns to Eric, but Eric scampers off through the crowd. Sting stands tall in the ring and we are out…we will see you at Slamboree!
Well, after a really good build up, the NBA Playoffs wreaked havoc with the go home show as the episode as a whole was sort of weak. The main focus was on the six man tag and that was developed pretty well once again, which was good to see. The dueling promo added some good heat to the PPV and the backstage attack on Piper added some drama to the match as well. The action was light again this week but the first two matches were solid enough while the last two were sort of a mess. The Horsemen saga continues on and we finally saw Reggie White land a jab in on Mongo, costing him his match. We finally got a name for Wrath and he had an impressive debut as he dominated Riggs and then had a good showdown with Glacier. The Alex Wright heel turn was good for what it was and we will see if anything comes from it. The closing segment was a bit weak but the fans are always geeked to see Sting. I just don’t get why they closed the show with that as Sting really has no role at the PPV and it just seemed to be tacked on. All in all, this wasn’t the best Nitro but it put some solid hype on the big match coming up Sunday. The NBA playoffs will alter our next show as well, but we will see how they handle the fallout from Slamboree. Final Grade: C-
MVP: Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & Syxx
Runner Up: Wrath
Non MVP: Scotty Riggs
Runner Up: Ice Train
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.