Written By: Justin Rozzero
WCW Nitro 6/23/97
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Larry Zbyszko
– We start this week’s show with a look back at the chaotic end of last week’s episode, featuring the huge brawl between the NWO and Lex Luger and the Giant. We then hit our opening animation before heading into the Macon Coliseum for another edition of pro wrestling’s hottest weekly program. Gene Okerlund welcomes us to Macon as he is standing in the aisle and being joined by Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly right out of the gate. Last week, Page set the stage for the big tag match at BATB and Gene asks Page for a clue on his mystery partner. Page says the reason he wasn’t clear last week is that he loves surprises. He loved Christmas and birthday surprises ever since he was a kid and come BATB, he has a surprise for Hall and Savage. Kim hates surprises and she wanted to know what Page was getting into, so she made a call to JJ Dillon to get a match between Page and Hall made for tonight. Page and Kim head off and we head to the ring for our opener.
1) Public Enemy vs. Damien & La Parka
Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge are out first as Tony and Mike talk about the Savage/Page saga and the end of last week’s show. Parka and Damien are already in the ring as Mike says that the Rodman fiasco last week was big time news all around the world, including CNN, ESPN and the Tonight Show. Grunge and Parka start things off as Tony runs down tonight’s up coming action. Parka lands a right hand and shoves Grunge to the corner but misses a charge and tags Damien in. They hit a double clothesline and follow with a double elbow drop. Rock comes in and helps out to give PE control. Grunge tags Rock in officially and he hammers away. Damien nails a clothesline and tags in Parka, who gets two. They follow with a double team springboard legdrop for a near fall before Grunge breaks it up. This match is all over the place as neither team is really even tagging and they are just sort of running in randomly or tagging as they come in. Parka slams Rock and tags Damien, who misses a moonsault. Both men tag out and Grunge hits clotheslines on both. He tosses Damien outside and then both PE members send Parka over with a back body drop. Tony talks about the bone crushing chair shot Parka gave Calo last week and he tells us it sent Calo to the hospital. Grunge heads out and lays Damien on a table. He crawls back in and gets on his hands and knees. Rock charges, springboards off Grunge and crashes through Damien with a moonsault. As the referee checks out Damien, Parka nails Grunge with a chair and picks up the upset win. That whole thing was just a sloppy mess as Grunge turned and looked at Parka and then turned back around so he could get hit by the chair. Rock recovers as we go to break. Parka & Damien d. Public Enemy when Parka pins Grunge with a chair shot at 2:56; Grade: 1
– WCW Saturday Night is the weekend’s top wrestling program and that continues this week with a one hour show featuring two title matches: Jeff Jarrett defending the US title against Scotty Riggs and Steven Regal puts the TV title up against Bobby Eaton. Tune into Superstation TBS for the Mothership! We now join Gene who is with Eddie Guerrero who was out of action with a torn pectoral at the hands of Dean Malenko. Gene implies that Eddie is milking the injury and says that he was scheduled for a match last week but sent his nephew Chavo out there instead. Eddie wants to straighten things out and says he would never do anything like that to his nephew. He says he hadn’t been cleared so Chavo stepped up and took the match. Eddie will prove that Chavo offered by having him come out right now. Gene says Eddie is being defensive tonight. Gene asks Chavo what is up and Chavo says that he didn’t exactly offer. Eddie cuts him off and says they need to let bygones be bygones and that he loves Chavo because he is family. Eddie wants to straighten things out and he is offering Chavo his Cruiserweight title match with Syxx tonight. Eddie says he has already cleared it with Dillon and asks Chavo if he wants the title shot. Chavo accepts it and Eddie says Chavo will be champ because he will watch his back the whole way. They head off and we head to the ring.
2) Alex Wright vs. Chris Jericho
As Alex heads to the ring, Larry talks about the honor bestowed upon Chavo by Eddie. Tony discusses the recent WCW tour of Germany and the attitude change of Wright. Wright beat Jericho two weeks ago by putting his feet on the ropes and we get the return match tonight. Larry wants to see if Jericho learned a lesson from the first match as he heads to the ring. Wright jumps Jericho as he comes in and Larry takes Jericho to task for it. Jericho works out of a side headlock but gets put down with a shoulderblock. Jericho comes back with a spin wheel kick and then sends Wright to the floor. He teases a top rope move, but Wright is watching him and he backs off. Wright stalls in the aisle as Tenay breaks down Jericho’s international experience. Wright comes back in and goes to work on Jericho’s arm, but Jericho hits a fireman’s carry takeover and grabs a wristlock. Tony talks about the big Vegas Nitro that is just one week away now. The major impact player will debut next week as well and they talk about if it could be Page’s partner or somebody different. Wright works out of the hold, but ends up on the apron and Jericho nails him with a springboard shoulderblock. Jericho whips Wright into the rail and then tosses him back inside. He stalls a bit as he heads up top and Larry is all over him. Jericho leaps off, but Wright catches him with a dropkick. Wright nails some uppercuts and follows with a headscissors takeover and a leg lariat. Wright kicks away and hits a snap suplex. He heads up top and comes off with a stomp to the quad. Wright gyrates a bit and then goes back to work. Jericho ducks a clothesline and hits the Lionsault onto a standing Wright for two. Jericho slugs away and follows with some chops. Jericho snaps Wright down as he tries a float over on a Jericho charge. He maintains control of Wright’s legs and turns him over into the Liontamer for the win. That was a solid match that told a good story, mainly due to Larry’s commentary. Jericho d. Wright with the Liontamer at 4:40; Grade: 1.5
– Jericho celebrates amongst the fans as Larry talks about Jericho squeezing out a win and we head off to break.
– When we return, we head to the announce table as Tony is talking about the big Page/Hall match and Rodman’s antics. Larry says that Rodman is an insecure man that will be hiding behind Hogan and brandishing weapons. Mike talks about the NWO trying to pick their tag team opponents by using Vincent. We see a clip from the Bash when Vincent got the Steiners DQ’d and gave the top contenders slot to Harlem Heat. We then get a clip from last week when JJ Dillon announced that decision wouldn’t stand and the Steiners would get another chance here tonight. Heat took out their frustrations on Vincent and beat him down after the announcement. We then head back to the ring for the match.
3) Steiner Brothers vs. Harlem Heat to earn a Tag Team title shot
The Steiners are out first as Tony talks about how they were screwed out of the titles and many see them as uncrowned champion. Booker, Stevie and Sherri are out next and we head to break. When we return, the bell sounds and Scott and Booker start things off. They lockup and break clean in the corner as Larry says the Steiners need to ground the Heat. Booker hammers away at Scott in the corner but eats a boot on a charge. Booker recovers and hits a side kick as Rick and Steve get into it outside. Booker misses a charge and Scott press slams him down to the mat. Booker rolls outside and regroups before sliding back in. Scott works the arm and tags in Rick. Mike talks about the special Saturday Nitro that is happening live Saturday night at the Los Angeles Forum. Apparently Eric Bischoff is ensuring that no media or WCW cameras will be at the show for fear that something embarrassing could happen to the NWO. Fans can follow the action live on WCW.com though with audio play by play and instant results. Stevie slugs away at Rick but Rick reverses a whip to the corner and tosses Stevie over with a belly to back suplex. Rick grabs an armbar but Stevie regains control and tags in his brother. Booker goes for a suplex, but Rick blocks it and hits one of his own. Larry warns of trying to match suplexes with the Steiners. Rick takes Booker over with a powerslam and gets a near fall. Rick makes the tag and Scott runs Booker into the corner. He nails Booker with a belly to belly and gets two. Scott tags Rick back in but Booker lands a right hand. Rick goes for a back suplex out of a side headlock, but Booker flips out of it and shoves Rock into Stevie. As Rick rebounds, Booker nails him with an axe kick for two. Booker tags in Stevie, who hits a powerslam for two. Stevie locks in a reverse chinlock but Rick fights up and elbows free. Stevie drives him to the corner and tags in Booker, who nails a big side kick to the face. Booker misses an elbow drop but he Spinaroonis up and tries another side kick. Rick catches him, though, and plants him with a nasty cradle powerbomb. Both men slowly crawl to their corners and make the tag. Scott comes in and takes both men out. He puts both down with clotheslines and then plants Booker with a butterfly powerbomb. Rick comes back and all four men are brawling. Rick knocks Stevie down and heads up top as Scott hoists Booker onto his shoulders. Stevie recovers and drills Scott and Booker lands and is able to catch Rick with a right hand as he comes off the top. Booker nails a superkick but Rick reverses an Irish whip and Booker collides with Sherri, who had climbed up on the apron. Booker stumbles back and Rick catches him with a top rope bulldog to pick up the win in a fun little power match. Steiner Brothers d. Harlem Heat when Rick pins Booker with a top rope bulldog at 8:12; Grade: 2.5
– We cut over to Gene, who is the aisle with Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton and Vincent. Buff wants to know how they can call the Steiners number one contenders when it looks like Scott’s arms are going through atrophy. Buff shows off his guns and says a new team is on the horizon: Vicious and Delicious. Norton says it is time for the Steiners to step out and their careers are set to crumble. They don’t care and they ain’t scared. But, they quickly walk off as the Steiners head back down the aisle. Rick says they are the top contenders and they want Hall and Nash next week in Las Vegas. He says they will come looking for them. Scott says there will be a confrontation next week because they are owed a title shot. The Steiners head off and we go to break.
– We are back and talking about this weekend’s Saturday Nitro and the WCW.com coverage. We then quickly cut to the ring for our next bout.
4) Hector Garza vs. Villano IV
Villano nails a spin kick off the bell and hammers away at Garza. Villano lands a clothesline as Tenay tells us that the WCW.com webmasters are recording video Saturday night and that a special webcast will air on Tuesday July 1. Villano buries a kick to the gut and follows with a Diamond Cutter! Villano tries a powerslam, but Garza slips out and takes Villano over with an armdrag. Garza charges and Villano ducks and dumps him to the floor. Villano follows out with a suicide dive. He tosses Garza back in and chops away. He shoots Garza into the corner and follows with a clothesline. Villano follows with a kneelift but Garza comes back with a flying clothesline. Villano clotheslines Garza outside again but he quickly climbs back to the apron. He somersaults in but eats a stiff clothesline. Garza reverses a whip to the corner and charges, but he is backflipped to the apron. He climbs up top and leaps over Villano as he comes at him. Garza sends Villano over with a back drop and follows with a headscissors takeover for two. Villano catches Garza with a powerbomb and follows up with a kick. Villano nails a powerslam for a near fall. He follows with a shoulderbreaker and heads up top. Villano misses a moonsault and Garza lands a dropkick. Villano slides to the floor and Garza hits a baseball slide dropkick. He nails a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on the floor and heads up top. Garza comes off with a corkscrew plancha that grazes Villano. Both men roll back inside and Garza takes Villano over with a snap suplex. Garza pops up and hits a standing moonsault for the win. That match was decent, but they seemed to be in slow motion and the crowd was flat the whole way through. Garza d. Villano with a standing moonsault at 4:48; Grade: 1
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Bobby Heenan
– When we return from break, Gene is in the ring and bringing out Lex Luger and the Giant to a good pop. Gene says they are inside three weeks from the Bash when Luger and Giant battle Hogan and Rodman. Luger says that every family member, friend and fellow WCW wrestler and official are sickened and disgusted by what happened last week. WCW officials have given Lex and Giant every assurance that security measures will be taken and he has spoken to all the guys in the back to make sure the BATB match is on equal footing between the four men. At every low point in your life, comes a bright sunny day and that is the fuel they use as incentive for revenge. Revenge will be sweet, because Lex has looked in Hogan’s eyes and seen that there is nothing there. Hogan has submitted to the Rack before and he is a quitter, but there is no quit in Luger or Giant’s hearts. Come BATB, they will have their day of reckoning. Gene says that Giant introduced Rodman to the chokeslam last week. Giant says everyone thinks he is lucky but he believes he is the luckiest guy of all because he gets to stick a big, giant hook in the worm. Giant says that he wants to play a game: see how many times he can slap Hogan and Rodman to see whose hair dye comes out first. Luger says the excitement goes coast to coast, but their talking will be done in the ring on July 13th. They leave the ring as hour two officially kicks off and we are ready for our next match.
5) Syxx vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
Chavo is out first and he is then followed by Syxx and Scott Hall, who get their usual split reaction from the fans. Tony talks about the focus of Lex Luger as the bell sounds. Syxx grabs a side headlock and works it and then puts Chavo down with a shoulderblock. Chavo comes back with a headscissors takeover and sends Syxx to the floor. Syxx hops back in and lands a kick to take control. Chavo ducks a clothesline and nails a flying forearm. He runs Syxx into the corner but misses a blind cross body from the middle rope. Syxx knocks his head off with a spinning heel kick and then chops away at Chavo in the corner. Syxx chokes Chavo in the corner and then nails the Bronco Buster, thanks to an assist from Hall, who held Chavo in place. Syxx mares Chavo over and works a reverse chinlock as Tony and Mike run down the rest of tonight’s docket. Syxx nails a Michinoku Driver and then hits a pair of snap legdrops. He pulls Chavo up but misses a charge in the corner and crotches himself on the middle buckle. Chavo slugs away and gets a victory roll for two. We see Eddie standing in the entrance way watching as Chavo hammers away at Syxx and puts him down with a clothesline for two. Chavo dropkicks Syxx to the floor and then he heads up top. Chavo nails a cross body block and then rolls back inside. As Scott Dickinson is counting Syxx out, Hall sneaks in the ring and drills Chavo. He drops him with the Outsider Edge and quickly exits as we see Eddie standing with his arms crossed, just watching Hall attack his nephew. Syxx rolls back and locks in the Buzzkiller and it is academic from there. That was actually a fun match that kept a good pace. The announcers really played the underdog angle up well. Syxx d. Guerrero with the Buzzkiller at 6:02; Grade: 2.5
– Syxx keeps the Buzzkiller locked in as Eddie continues to stand idly by. He releases the hold and celebrates with Hall as Chavo rolls out of the ring. Eddie shakes his head in disgust as we go to break.
6) Konnan vs. Steve McMichael
We are back and Konnan is making his way to the ring for our next bout. Tony and Mike discuss the simmering Hugh Morrus/Konnan rivalry as Mongo and Debra make their way out. Two weeks ago, Konnan was taken out in the ring as the camera was focused on the Mongo/Kevin Greene fight in the aisle. We still don’t know who took Konnan out, but they speculate that it was Morrus. Mike tells us that Mongo will challenge Jeff Jarrett for the US Championship at BATB. Bobby picks Mongo here because he has been on a roll. Tony points out that Mongo did lose to Kevin Greene at the Bash, due to interference from Jeff Jarrett. He then tells us that Jarrett is on “Horsemen probation” due to his actions on that night. The bell sounds and Mongo shoves Konnan down as he gets in his face. Konnan wants have a three point stance showdown, and Mongo wins that one easily. Mongo hits two more charges and a clothesline to send Konnan to the floor. He stalks after Debra a bit before rolling back in the ring. Tony says that Debra has chosen to stand behind her husband in his feud with Jarrett. Konnan takes control and nails some chops. He follows with some kicks and then works Mongo’s leg a bit in the corner. He mares Mongo over and grabs a neck vise. Konnan lands his somersault clothesline as we see Hugh Morrus charging to the ring with a broom handle. Security stops Morrus, but the distraction allows Mongo to grab Konnan and drill him with a Tombstone for the win. Mongo has been looking pretty good these last few weeks as he is protected in tags or short singles bouts. He definitely has a good energy level out there. McMichael d. Konnan with a Tombstone at 3:13; Grade: 1.5
– Mongo and Debra celebrate as Morrus laughs in the aisle and we go to break.
– We are back and it is time to visit with Lee Marshall in Las Vegas with the aid of 1-800-COLLECT. Lee is at the Triple Play for his Nitro party, but the real action comes next week when Nitro arrives at the MGM Grand. It is only fitting that Nitro emanates from Vegas, as only the best of the best appear there. It is the home of some of the biggest names in show business. Lee has good news and bad news for Bobby as he says that Vegas is the home of the Rat Pack, but there is no show called “Weasels on Ice”. Bobby says that he wants to push Marshall off the Hoover Dam. We head over to Gene in the ring and calls out Roddy Piper. Gene wants to go back a couple of weeks and asks if something is askew between Piper and Ric Flair. Piper says he is here to do what he does best: making bacon! He says he is closer to Mr. Freeze than he is Batman. He has been a little bit too goody two shoes for his own liking. He has been running on unleaded, but from now on he will run on pure Nitro. When he is good he is good, but when he is bad, he is better and he likes himself when he is bad. Where Piper goes, hell will follow. He has come here to clean up rumors. Last Slamboree, Flair left him alone and decided to catch Con Air home. He asked Flair if he betrayed him and Flair said no. He has no reason to believe that Flair would ever betray him, so he wants to put that to rest. However, Flair has his quirks. Flair dates two girls at the same time so that when he falls asleep, they have someone to talk to. And that is enough to bring Natch out to a chorus of “Woos!” Gene says Flair can address the subject directly for us. Flair wants to reiterate last week’s comments: Piper is his friend, he will stand by his side and his Slamboree decision was in everyone’s best interest. Piper says he was left to the wolves, but he is not dissing Flair as he believes him even though millions of people don’t. Flair asks Piper what the millions of fans think of Flair fighting Hall, Nash and Syxx while Piper was floating around the Caribbean with Jenny McCarthy. Piper’s shirt says ICON but Flair’s shirt says Ric Flair. He is here tonight to help Piper avoid a disaster and not make the mistake of questioning Flair. Now Mongo, Debra and Chris Benoit come charging out and Flair tells Piper that this was what he was trying to help him avoid. Piper wants to know what is up with the entourage because this is between Flair and Piper. Gene asks Debra where Jarrett is and she says he lost his scholarship. Flair says this is over and tells Piper they should head out. Mongo says that just because Rodman isn’t here tonight, that doesn’t mean Piper needed to wear a skirt. Piper says he didn’t come here for this tonight and he doesn’t need Flair’s cronies insulting him. Flair tells Mongo that Piper is a good guy and is going home. Piper tells Flair to get control and says he won’t be pushed out of the ring. Flair says they need to go and tells Mongo that he will stand by Piper’s side. Mongo says that when Piper is patting Flair on the back, he is looking for a place to stick the knife in. Piper finally snaps and knocks down Mongo and Benoit. Flair is upset, but Piper drills him too. Flair begs off but that allows Mongo to drill Piper with the Halliburton. Benoit locks in the Crossface as Flair kicks Piper in the head. Tenay says this is old school Horsemen style. They smack Piper around as security comes in to help and we go to break. That was a fun segment with a lot of tension.
7) Ernest Miller & Glacier vs. High Voltage
We are back and Tony, Mike and Bobby are still in shock over our last segment. Tenay says it seems like the rest of the Horsemen actually agitated the fight. Glacier and Ernest Miller are out for Miller’s in ring debut. They strike some karate poses for us but High Voltage jump them at the bell as the lights come up. Glacier nails Kaos with a spin kick, sending him to the floor, and Miller kicks Rage outside as well. Kaos comes back in grabs a headlock. Glacier pushes him into the ropes, but Kaos makes a blind tag. Glacier shoots Kaos across and ducks down. Kaos attempts a sunset flip, but Glacier stands tall. This allows Rage to hop onto the top rope and take him out with a bulldog in a neat spot. They double team Glacier as Miller is tying up Mark Curtis. Rage tags Kaos back in but Glacier turns the tide and runs Kaos into the top rope. Kaos misses a charge but Rage drills him with a back elbow from the apron. We see Mortis, Wrath and Vandenberg looking on from the entrance way. Kaos tags in Rage but he misses a top rope somersault senton. Glacier tags in Miller who takes both Rage and Kaos out with a series of kicks. He gets a near fall, but Kaos breaks it up. Glacier comes in and sends Kaos to the floor with the Cryonic Kick. He leg sweeps Rage and Miller comes off the top rope with a jumping kick as Rage stumbles to his feet. Miller covers and picks up his first win. Glacier & Miller d. High Voltage when Miller pins Rage with a kick from the top rope at 2:20; Grade: 1
– Vandenberg, Wrath and Mortis charge towards the ring but stay outside when Glacier and Miller turn to face them. They all stare each other down as we go to a video package about Hogan and Rodman. It is just various clips set to the NWO theme.
8) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Hall
When we return, DDP is making his way out to the ring. Mike runs down this weekend’s upcoming ticket sales as Kim and Page hop in the ring to a big pop. We take another break and upon our return, Scott Hall, Randy Savage and Elizabeth are heading out. Tony and Bobby talk about Page’s mystery partner and the possible correlation to next week’s impact debut. Bobby thinks the NWO is setting up to take Page out prior to the BATB. Kimberly heads to the back to avoid any danger as the bell sounds and the crowd starts calling for Sting. Hall taunts DDP and Page responds with a slap to the face. Tenay talks about the history between Page and Hall as Hall takes control with some shoulderblocks. He takes Page over with a fireman’s carry and hooks an armbar. Page fights up and works out, landing a few shoulderblocks of his own. Hall lands a knee to the taped ribs and stomps away. Hall keeps attacking the ribs but Page turns him around and hammers away with some left hands. Page lands an inverted atomic drop and then puts Hall down with a huge punch. Hall backdrops Page over the top rope and to the floor. Savage comes over and rams Page into the guardrail. Hall rolls out and chops Page and then kicks the ribs again. He runs Page into the steps and then tosses him back inside. Hall gets a rope assisted near fall and then goes right back to the ribs. Page fires back but Hall catches him with his head down and spikes him to the mat. Hall chokes Page in the ropes and tries for a suplex, but Page blocks it and takes Hall down with an armbreaker. Hall recovers and he kicks away some more. He rips Page’s tape off, but Page drills him with a clothesline. Page gets to his feet first and sets up for the Diamond Cutter, but Savage blindsides him to draw the DQ. Well, that was a fun slugfest until the cheap ending, but it makes sense in the storyline context. Page d. Hall by disqualification when Savage interferes at 5:31; Grade: 2
– Savage and Hall keep the assault on Page. Hall sits Page on the top rope and takes him down with a back superplex. Savage heads up top but we cit to the crowd and see Sting pointing the bat at the ring. Savage freezes and stares at Sting, as does hall. Both men are standing frozen, eyes locked on Sting. Savage finally breaks the trance and drops the elbow. Sting comes charging down through the crowd as Tony wonders if Sting is the mystery partner. Sting hops inside and Hall and Savage bail as trash flies into the ring. Sting tends to Page and then he stands tall over him as the NWO confers on the floor. Savage heads to the top as Hall comes in the ring from the other side. Savage leaps, but Sting drills him in the gut with his bat. Hall charges and he eats the bat too as we are out of time!
MVP: Steiner Brothers
Runner Up: Syxx
Non MVP: Harlem Heat
Runner Up: Roddy Piper
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.