Written By: Justin Rozzero
WCW Nitro 6/2/97
Announcers: Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko
– We fade right into the arena where the NWO music is blaring and Scott Hall and Syxx are in the ring. They are there because fans have been calling and writing and saying they aren’t seeing enough of the NWO. They are the reason everyone is there tonight, everyone is watching TNT and the reason for all this going on. Last time they were in the ring together was at Slamboree when they punked Kevin Greene, exposed Roddy Piper and beat up Flair so bad he is recuperating in the La Brea tar pits with the other fossils. Syxx thought it would be a big deal actually wrestling Ric Flair but he has lost a step. Hall says Flair is a worn out recording of your favorite song. He asks where Flair is and calls him out so he can slap him around the ring. Well, we do get a visitor but it is JJ Dillon instead. Hall calls him a WCW stooge. Dillon asks Hall if he is looking for Flair and Hall says yes. Dillon says he just spoke with Flair and Hall asks how Charlotte is. Dillon says he doesn’t know because Flair was 30,000 feet in the air on his way to Dayton! Dillon makes the match official for tonight: Hall vs. Flair. He says four million people are watching and Hall talked himself into a verbal contract. Hall says his partner will be right around the corner and says that Dillon doesn’t tell him what to do. Dillon says if he doesn’t fight Flair tonight, he will strip the tag team titles from the Outsiders. Hall says it is no problem and tells Flair to put on his tackiest robe, fire up the disco music and bring his wrinkled up rear end down and try and take the tag titles. The Outsiders leave the ring and we head to the opening animation. Back inside the Hara Arena, Tony Schiavone welcomes us to America’s number one weekly wrestling program: Nitro! The crowd is raucous and we are live and heading to the ring.
1) Alex Wright vs. Glacier
Alex Wright slowly walks to the ring as Tony and Larry talk about the major match made for later tonight. Larry says that if Hall had enough courage he could actually be a coward. The snowstorm starts up and Glacier makes his way out for the first time since he was brutally beaten at Slamboree. Glacier looks focused here tonight. Wright attacks off the bell but Glacier fires back. Wright lands an uppercut and sends Glacier to the mat. He nails a spin wheel kick and then works Glacier over in the corner. Larry is impressed with Alex’s aggressiveness. Wright dances and even gives us a Rick Rude swivel. He goes back on the attack but Glacier fires back and takes Wright down with a legsweep. He lands some kicks but gets kicked in the head when he ducks after a whip. Wright plays to the crowd again but Glacier nails the Cryonic Kick out of nowhere for the quick win. The crowd was really into that and it seems like they are going to be red hot all night. Glacier d. Wright with the Cryonic Kick at 1:38; Grade: 1
– James Vandenberg comes down the aisle as Glacier celebrates. He walks to the ring with Glacier’s helmet in hand. Mortis hops out of the crowd as does Wrath but Glacier sees both of them. Wrath comes in first and Glacier wards him off but Mortis gets him from behind. They take turns pounding Glacier in the corner and Alex Wright tries to get in on the action and they allow him to help out as well. Wright holds Glacier but he ducks and Mortis ends up kicking Wright in the head. Glacier ducks a double clothesline and takes both men down with a double clothesline of his own. He sends Wrath to the floor and then takes Mortis out with a Cryonic Kick. Glacier bails as we go to break. It was nice to see him come out on top for once.
2) Joe Gomez vs. Buff Bagwell
We are back and Joe Gomez is heading to the ring for our next match. We get an inset promo with Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton. They talk about the NWO taking over Japan and the beating they put on Lex Luger over there. The B Team music fires up and Bagwell and Norton make their way out. Buff disrobes and then kicks Gomez to start. He hammers on Gomez in the corner and Larry says Gomez has a great chance to put a dent in the NWO armor. Buff shoots Gomez into the corner but eats a boot on a charge. Gomez hiptosses Buff and then he slugs away at him. Gomez misses a dropkick and Buff follows with a stiff clothesline. Buff stomps away and then poses for the camera. He lands a right hand but Gomez ducks a clothesline and lands a dropkick for two. Gomez shoots Buff into the corner and climbs the buckle and hammers away at Buff but Buff steps out and hot shots Gomez on the top rope. He rolls to the floor and Norton runs him into the post as Buff distracts Scott Dickinson. Norton tosses Gomez back inside and Buff scoop slams him to the mat. Buff heads up top and hits the Blockbuster for the win. Buff and Scott celebrate as we go to break. Buff looked good but Gomez was horrible and just had no athletic ability out there. Bagwell d. Gomez with the Blockbuster at 3:07; Grade: 1
– WCW Saturday Night starts at 7:00PM ET this weekend on TBS. Public Enemy, Harlem Heat, DDP and Hector Garza will be in the house, so check it out! Mike Tenay is in the crowd and he talks about on Ernest “The Cat” Miller, the man who saved Glacier at Slamboree. Miller has a karate and professional football background and we will have some footage of Miller in a sparring session next week.
3) Hugh Morrus vs. Prince Iaukea
Morrus is a few steps down the aisle when he is jumped from behind by Konnan. Konnan drills him to the ground and then stomps him and then quickly bails to the back. Trainer Chuck Tache is trying to help Morrus and advises him not to go to the ring, but Morrus heads to the ring anyway. Morrus is shaken up and staggering a bit as he climbs inside. Tony wonders if he is concussed as the Prince makes his way out. Morrus pulls it together and attacks Prince off the bell. Tony talks more about the big Vegas Nitro and the rumors swirling of the debut of a new superstar. Morrus lands a big knee to the chest but Iaukea ducks a clothesline and lands a dropkick. Morrus is still slow and staggering and Prince is able to slide through his legs after a whip and then roll him up for the quick win. Iaukea d. Morrus with a roll up at :46; Grade: 0
– Konnan comes back out on the ramp and taunts Morrus as he groggily tries to recover in the ring. Gene Okerlund is in the aisle with JJ Dillon and they are talking about Flair vs. Hall. Dillon says Hall didn’t want to explain to Nash why the belts were on his desk, so he took the match. Also, there were favorable tail winds from Charlotte and Flair has just landed in Dayton, so the match is on! Gene also wants to talk about the tag team situation. Dillon says that whoever walks away as champions at the Bash, the executive committee must determine the top challengers for that team. Based on a review of recent records, they have determined that the top contenders are the Steiner Brothers. Well, that comment brings out Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri and they aren’t happy. Sherri says the Heat are the best the world has to offer. They want a title match and they should be the top contenders. Dillon says the decision is in no way meant to diminish Harlem Heat but if the Steiners win tonight, that will solidify their position as top contenders. Sherri says that action leads to reaction. Dillon leaves and Booker tells us that they are the top team in the world as we go to break.
– We are back and Tony talks about Savage/Page at the Bash. Just a couple of years ago, Page was out of the business, but now he is preparing for the battle of his life as a major superstar. This leads to a quick little video package about Page. We see him wrapping up a training session and he tells that he lost his first 79 matches, but he has taken Savage out before and he can do it again. With that, we head back to the ring.
4) Masahiro Chono & Great Muta vs. Steiner Brothers
The B Team music fires back up as Chono and Muta head to the ring for our next bout. The Steiners are out next and as we heard a few moments ago, this is a big match for them. As they hit the ring we go to break. When we return, the bell sounds and Scott and Muta are set to start things off. They lock up but quickly break and square off. Scott takes Muta over with an armdrag and Muta complains of a hair pull. Muta threatens to must Mark Curtis. We get another lockup and another Steiner hiptoss. Tony thinks it is time for tradition to beat the NWO with Flair and Piper taking home tag team gold at the Bash. Scott hits a shoulderblock, but Muta stays on his feet and hits a spin kick. Larry gets deep on us and says that the NWO is proof that “the human race has improved everything but the human race”. Scott catches Muta and takes him over with a double underhook powerbomb. He press slams Muta as Larry implores him to make the tag and utilize better teamwork. Muta bails to the floor to catch a breath and then slides back in. Scott tags Rick and Muta bails to the floor again as Rick runs around the ring. He climbs back in and Rick grabs the NWO shirt, throws it down and steps on. Muta tags Chono in and we get a test of strength. Rick is winning it so Chono kicks him, but Rick tosses him with a Northern Lights suplex and then sends him to the floor with a clothesline. Chono gets back in and starts slugging away but Rick blocks it and puts him down with a shoulderblock. Chono charges but Rick hits a belly to belly. Muta comes off the top but Rick catches him with a punch and Scott sends him outside with a clothesline. Tony says it is official: if the Steiners win here, they get a title shot against the Bash winners. Chono is back in and he catches Scott to gain control. He tags in Muta and they stomp away at him. Scott ducks a double team and takes them both out with a double clothesline before tagging Rick. Rick puts them both down with a pair of clotheslines. Scott comes back in and they hit stereo belly to belly suplexes. Chono hits Scott with the Mafia kick and Muta hits the handspring elbow on Rick and then sends him to the mat with a bulldog. Muta hooks Rick but he ducks and Chono hits Muta with the Mafia kick. Chono and Rick end up on the floor and Chono gets whipped into the guardrail. Back inside, Scott picks Muta up on his shoulders. Rick starts to climb up top, but Harlem Heat run out and Stevie yank him down. They fight on the floor as Chono comes in and kicks Scott in the gut. Booker nails Rick with a chair and then tosses him back inside. Muta grabs a leg lace submission and ends up pinning him with it as Rick is out cold. Harlem Heat and Sherri celebrate in the aisle. That was a fun little match that started slow but really got cooking as it wore on. Muta & Chono d. Steiner Brothers when Muta pins Rick with a leg lace submission at 8:57; Grade: 2.5
– JJ Dillon and Gene Okerlund come out and Harlem Heat says this makes them the top contenders. Dillon says the Steiner didn’t win but that was due to extenuating circumstances. He says this match is up for review and if the Heat wants to be in the running, they better win their match tonight. Sherri screams at Gene as we go to break.
Announcers: Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan
– We are back for hour two and we head to the announce table where Tony and Bobby talk about the happenings of hour one, including a look at some clips. We then head back to Gene who brings out the Man…Ric Flair! Natch comes out to a generous pop from the Dayton crowd and he dances and struts his way over to Gene. Gene knows they pulled Flair away from some R&R tonight, but he couldn’t resist the challenge of taking on Scott Hall. Flair wants to know why the NWO doesn’t leave well enough alone. He doesn’t know if he can’t beat Hall, but he wants to find out tonight. He says Nash isn’t here, so it is just Hall and Syxx and that is a mistake because in Dayton, tonight, he is going to stomp a pothole in Hall’s toothpick chewing, white honky ass. Flair stomps off and we head to the ring for our next bout.
5) Dean Malenko vs. Mr. Wallstreet for the WCW United States Championship
The Iceman is out and still wearing his US gold as he is set for some action. Wallstreet is already in the ring and Tony reminds us that he is in limbo as he was frozen out of the NWO by Dillon’s decree. He is still rocking his shirt that has WCW with a line through it. Malenko takes him over with an armdrag but Wallstreet comes back with a leg takedown. Dean kicks him off and they reset. Dean grabs a side headlock and eventually gets a rollup for two. Nick Patrick is the ref and he gets in Wallstreet’s face. Tony and Bobby talk about Patrick still being on probation. Dean mares Wallstreet over and grabs a reverse chinlock as Tony talks about upcoming Nitro locations. Patrick keeps getting in Wallstreet’s face. Wallstreet grabs an armbar and turns it into a hammerlock before shoving Dean to the floor. Patrick gets in his face again as Dean climbs up the stairs and back into the ring. Dean grabs a waistlock and turns it into a hammerlock of his own. Wallstreet climbs through the ropes and then jabs Dean in the eye before the break. He puts Dean down and drops an elbow for two. Wallstreet grabs a rear chinlock but Dean fights up and tries to elbow free. Wallstreet puts him back down with a knee and then grabs an abdominal stretch. Patrick catches Wallstreet using the ropes and breaks the hold. Wallstreet drills Dean with a backbreaker but misses an elbow drop. Dean lands a leg lariat off a whip and gets a near fall. Dean takes him over with a vertical suplex and gets a two. He shoots Wallstreet into the corner and then pulls him out by the legs and goes for the Cloverleaf. Wallstreet blocks it, whips Dean in and hits a clothesline. Wallstreet charges but Dean ducks and he goes careening to the floor. Wallstreet climbs on the apron and Dean hoists him up to suplex him back in. However, Jeff Jarrett runs out and hooks Dean’s leg so Wallstreet falls on top. Patrick counts three but Dean kicks out after and Patrick says the match continues, calling it a two count. Dean recovers and locks in the Cloverleaf. Wallstreet tries to reach for the ropes but Patrick is standing between him and the ropes, essentially blocking him. Wallstreet slaps his hand on the mat, trying to reach out and Patrick says he tapped and calls for the bell. Meanwhile, Jarrett is jawing with Patrick the whole time. I have no idea if the botched three count after the Jarrett interference was part of the Patrick storyline or if he screwed up the count by accident. Either way, Wallstreet got some nice offense in but the Patrick stuff marred what could have been a good match. Malenko d. Wallstreet with the Texas Cloverleaf to retain the WCW US Championship at 6:20; Grade: 2
– Gene is with Jarrett and Debra in the ring. Jarrett says that he has been trying to get a rematch since Slamboree because it took two people to beat him for the belt. He calls Malenko and “non-charismatic boring block of ice” and he demands a rematch next week on Nitro. Malenko comes back to the ring and accepts Jarrett’s challenge for next week in Boston. He will prove to everyone that Slamboree was not a fluke. He will finally be able to bring some class back to the title. As Dean leaves, Mongo hops in the ring and tells Jarrett to let him know next time he is coming out because he wants to know. Jarrett says that Mongo has already done enough to his career and now he is looking out for himself. Jarrett leaves and tells Debra to come but Mongo tells her to stay right there with her husband and she complies. Mongo says he will deal with JJ later but wants to talk about Kevin Greene now. He says Greene was a has-been but Mongo “remotivated” his career and he went out and had the best year of his life. Greene owes him half his salary and he shouldn’t be coming out and stabbing Mongo in the back like a coward two weeks ago. That was the last log on the fire that will burn Greene down at the Bash. We see clips of the Mongo/Greene brawl from last week before going to break.
6) Harlem Heat vs. Damien & Ciclope
We are back and Harlem Heat and Sherri are in the ring and jawing at the camera about being the best. The bell sounds and Stevie attacks Ciclope and proceeds to stomp away at him. Bobby talks about the importance of being the top contenders and Stevie slugs away at Ciclope. He catches Ciclope coming off the ropes and slams him hard to the mat. He tags in Booker, who hits a big crescent kick. He whips Ciclope into the corner but misses a charge. Ciclope tags in Damien, who springboards off a kneeling Ciclope’s back and hits a cross body. Booker falls to the floor and Damien comes out after with a suicide dive. Damien tosses Booker back in but Booker nails him with a stuff knee to the gut. He tags Stevie back in and they both work over Damien with boots. Stevie hits a big clothesline and tags in Booker. He tosses Damien to the floor and then runs him into the guardrail. He stomps away at Damien while Stevie works over Ciclope, who somehow got his leg caught inside the ring apron. As the brawl continues, the Steiners charge out and Rick nails Booker with a chair. He tosses Booker back inside the ring and Damien comes off with a splash for the win to a huge pop. Damien actually looked pretty good out there, showing great energy. Tony thinks you may have to include Damien & Ciclope in the title talk now. The Castrol GTX replay shows the finish and then we head to break. Damien & Ciclope d. Harlem Heat when Damien pins Booker with a splash off the top rope at 3:13; Grade: 2.5
7) Scott Hall vs. Ric Flair
We are back and it is Main Event time as Scott Hall and Syxx are heading out to the ring to a chorus of boos. Syxx and Hall climb inside but then we head to another break. When we come back, the Nature Boy is on his way down that aisle and receives another great pop. Flair disrobes and Randy Anderson calls for the bell and we are underway. Hall tosses his toothpick at Flair and Flair fires back with some fists. He follows with some chops and then tosses a pelvic thrust at Syxx. He kicks Hall in the knee a few times and the crowd is off the hook. Syxx climbs up on the apron and knees Flair on a whip but Flair is unfazed, turns and slugs Syxx to the floor. He nails Hall with another chop but Hall turns the tide and shoves him into the corner. He hammers away but Flair turns him around and lands some more chops. Hall turns it around and whips Flair into the corner. He hits the Flair Flip but runs the apron and dives onto Syxx on the floor. He hammers away at Syxx, but Hall comes out and nails him from behind. Hall runs him into the ring apron and then tosses him back inside. Hall follows back in and kicks away at Flair. The crowd is chanting for Flair but Hall keeps on the assault. Tony recaps the growth of the NWO as Hall distracts the referee, allowing Syxx to hop in the ring and hit the Bronco Buster. Hall tosses Flair with the fallaway slam and picks up a near fall. The crowd is chanting for Sting now as Hall pulls Flair up. He whips Flair to the corner and follows with a clothesline. He drops Flair with a back suplex and gets two. He yanks Flair to his feet and grabs an abdominal stretch. Syxx aids with some leverage as Flair writhes in pain. Anderson finally catches the double team and Flair is able to hip toss his way out of the hold. He is too weak to capitalize and Hall slugs him down with a right hand. He follows with two more but Flair comes back with some chops. They trade punches and chops but Hall is able to grab a sleeper off a whip. Flair hits a shinbreaker to break the hold but hall drills him with a clothesline and both men are out on the mat. Hall rolls over and gets a two count. Flair blocks a right and lands one of his own. He sends Hall to the mat and then nails him with another chop when he gets back up. Flair hits an inverted atomic drop and then knocks Syxx off the apron as he was climbing up. He nails Hall with another chop. Syxx climbs up top and Flair trips him up. He hits a mule kick on Hall as he comes up from behind and then runs him into Syxx, sending Syxx crashing to the floor from the top. Flair suplexes Hall and then struts a bit. He grabs Hall’s legs, but Syxx slides inside. Flair fights off both men for a few seconds before Hall finally nails him with his tag belt to draw the DQ. Man that was basic as it gets but it had the feeling of an epic war. Hall really busted his ass, as did Syxx on the floor, and Flair worked his formula to a tee. Add in a hot crowd and that Nitro’s best big time main event in a while. Flair d. Hall by disqualification at 7:48; Grade: 3
– Hall and Syxx continue to assault Flair after the bell, finally knocking him to the floor. They follow him outside and continue to work him over as Tony and Bobby tell us Piper isn’t here. Mongo finally comes out and drills Hall with the Halliburton. The NWO bails and Mongo stands tall in the ring. He goes outside to help Flair and now Jarrett comes out to check on Flair as well. Tony wonders how much more Flair can take as we head towards the Bash and the big tag title match. Flair walks off with Jarrett and Mongo and we head back to the announce table. Tony and Bobby talk about the Bash a bit and talk about how Piper is in Hollywood while Flair is getting beaten down each week. It seems as if we aren’t done yet as the NWO music blares back up and Randy Savage is dragging Gene Okerlund down the aisle. He is protesting but Savage forces him to come out. Elizabeth is out there as well. Savage says he has something to say and he wants to do it in the ring. Gene threatens to get his attorney involved and says he is humiliated. Savage yells at him the whole way down and Gene starts mouthing off back at him. Savage asks if he wants to do it right or wrong and tells him not to make a mistake. Gene calls Savage a loose cannon and says that Savage has misjudged people lately, including Diamond Dallas Page. Gene says that Savage has belittled Page and it hasn’t worked. Savage says he is the greatest wrestler to have ever lived but Gene says he has been reading too many of his own clippings and that somebody needs to bring him down to earth. Savage asks Gene if he wants to give him a warm up match. Savage threatens to slap Gene and JJ Dillon finally comes out. Gene bails as Dillon grabs the mic. Dillon tells Savage to never put his hands on a WCW announcer ever again. He tells Savage to apologize to Gene and he says that Savage doesn’t carry himself in a professional manner. Savage tells him to straighten him out right now. Dillon says he used to have a lot of respect for Savage but Savage doesn’t seem to care. Dillon says NWO won some concessions back at War Games and pushed the envelope pretty far but he expected better from Savage. Savage asks if he busted Dillon’s bubble. Dillon says he expected better from Savage. As an example, he has that Savage used to walk out like a man and addressed any problems he would have with someone. Savage is no longer the same Macho Man he had all the respect for. As he watches Nitro every week, he sees Savage standing up in the crowd, hiding behind Elizabeth. Savage snaps and slugs Dillon down. He hops down and hammers away at him. Eric Bischoff comes out and pulls Savage off. Doug Dellinger and the rest of the security force comes out and Savage keeps fighting them off, even hitting Bischoff. Eric screams at him to stop and Savage is finally kept under control. Eric tells him to think about the money and Savage starts freaking out as the crowd chants for DDP. He escapes and lands a boot in on Dillon before being tackled by security. Savage escapes and stands on the turnbuckles and Bischoff grabs the mic. He says Dillon started it and provoked Savage. Eric tells Dillon and Page to snap into Savage. Dillon is helped from the ring as Savage stalks around in the ring and we fade out.
I really enjoyed this week’s show as it arced nicely and built towards the Bash well too. The opening promo with Hall, Syxx and Dillon was good stuff and kicked off the show long angle while setting up the main event. Glacier finally got to come out on the winning end of a brawl as he stood tall against Vandenberg’s army. We saw the furthering of the Konnan/Morrus split as Morrus was seemingly given a concussion by his former partner. We also saw a lot of focus on the tag division as the Steiners and Harlem Heat was involved in a couple of big contests, with each team costing the other a major win. Dean Malenko picked up a hard fought win and also accepted Jarrett’s challenge, giving us a title match for next week. The main event match was fantastic and the crowd was amped u pall night long. I would have been happy for the show to end off that match but we were also treated to the super hot closing segment with Savage. He finally snapped and the crowd was hanging on every moment here as well. Savage was just at the top of his game here and Dillon played his role nicely too. I liked Bischoff getting involved, which helped show the severity of what Savage was doing. Overall this was a hot show that had some great storyline development, solid matches and two awesome segments to close the show. The Bash is coming and the build has been solid and we will see if they can keep it up as the show draws near. Final Grade: A-
MVP: Ric Flair, Scott Hall & Syxx
Runner Up: Randy Savage, Gene Okerlund & JJ Dillon
Non MVP: Joe Gomez
Runner Up: Alex Wright