Written by: Justin Rozzero
WCW Nitro 7/28/97
Civic Center Coliseum
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Larry Zbyszko
WWE 24/7 skipped the special Tuesday night 7/22/97 episode as it was not a head to head show. Here are the results: Konnan defeated Tsubasa, Ultimo Dragon defeated Steven Regal to win the World Television Title, the Giant defeated Great Muta by Disqualification, Eddy Guerrero pinned Hector Guerrero, Lex Luger defeated Scott Norton by Disqualification, Wrath and Mortis defeated La Parka and Psychosis, Buff Bagwell pinned Booker T, Curt Hennig pinned Michael Wallstreet, World Tag Team Champions, the Outsiders, defeated Ric Flair and Chris Benoit.
– We open with our usual animation before heading inside the Coliseum for profession wrestling top wrestling program. The Nitro Girls are on the ramp and they shimmy their way into the aisle for an opening dance number to kick off our show.
1) Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton vs. Ric Flair & Curt Hennig
We then head to the ring for our opening match. Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton and Vincent are walking to the ring and I love my weekly dose of NWO B-Team music. Tenay tells us that a major announcement concerning the World Heavyweight Championship will go down later tonight and there is a lot of backstage talk about it. Hollywood Hogan accepted Lex Luger’s challenge last week but we aren’t sure if the announcement concerns that. And now the crowd explodes as Ric Flair and Curt Hennig walk that aisle as Larry wonders if Flair is still recruiting Hennig for the Horsemen. Tony assumes he is in the Horsemen and Tenay says that Flair told him he won’t be embarrassed and if he asks Hennig in public again, he doesn’t want to be turned down. The bell sounds and Hennig and Norton will start things off. Norton shoves Hennig back into the corner off a lock up. Hennig comes back with a reverse waistlock but Norton sends him flying down with a back elbow. Norton tosses Hennig into the ropes and chops him out to the floor. Tenay believes this match at least proves that Hennig is not joining the NWO. Hennig comes back in but Norton just swings him around by his hair and then shoves him into the corner. Hennig tags in Flair, who comes in and goes to the eyes. He lands a boot but Norton press slams him off a whip reversal. Flair ducks a clothesline but Norton puts him down with a flying shoulderblock. Norton tags in Buff and sends him over with a back body drop. He follows with a dropkick and then poses, but Hennig comes in and clubs him down from behind to a big pop. Flair kicks Bagwell as he walks at him and then lands a chop. Flair hammers away and then stomps on Buff in the corner. Buff pushes Flair off and starts slugging away at him. He poses again but Flair catches him with some chops. Buff comes back with some right hands, but Flair takes him down and locks in the figure four. Norton comes in, but Hennig cuts him off. They trade blows as Flair relinquishes the hold. Hennig, Norton and Buff end up on the floor as we go to break. When we come back, Buff is choking Flair on the middle rope. Flair is able to toss Buff into the corner and lay in some chops. He puts Buff down with a shoulderblock but Buff catches him with a powerslam on a charge. Flair avoids an elbowdrop but Buff puts him down with a clothesline. He poses yet again and then tags in Norton as Tony talks about Sting. Norton hammers away and puts Flair down. Norton tags Buff back in but Flair chops and punches away at both of them before Buff is able to shove him down. Buff slams him and gets two off a posing cover. Flair chops Bagwell down but he staggers into the ropes and Norton walks over and slugs him down. Buff shoves Flair into their corner and tags in Norton. Tony tells us that Giant and Macho Man will wrestle at Road Wild. Norton puts Flair down with an axehandle and then hits a big splash in the corner. Larry talks about Flair and Hennig’s poor game plan. Norton misses another splash attempt and Buff tries to come in but Scott Dickinson pushes him out. Hennig comes in and dropkicks Norton but Scott no-sells it and keeps working over Flair. He lands a big clothesline but Flair comes back with a back elbow. He goes to the eyes and finally makes the tag. Norton tags in Buff and Hennig is all over him. He sends Buff over with a pair of back drops. Norton comes in but he eats a running kneelift. Syxx shows up and yanks Flair off the apron. Flair drills him with a right hand and a chop. Flair is able to trip up Norton and pull him outside while fending off Syxx. Back inside, Hennig gets Buff with the fisherman’s suplex and gets the win. That was a fun opener with a good pace. It was a bit disjointed in places, but kept the crowd in it. Hennig & Flair d. Bagwell & Norton when Hennig pins Bagwell with a fisherman’s suplex at 9:08; Grade: 2.5
– Flair hops back in the ring and celebrates with Hennig as the NWO regroups on the floor and we head to break.
– We return to check out the Nitro Girls getting down in the aisle. Inside the ring, Gene Okerlund brings out Lex Luger to a nice ovation. Gene talks about the comments Hogan made last week and reminds us that the two men are set to fight at Road Wild. Gene references the World Title rumors and Lex says there have been new developments. Lex says that most of what Hogan says goes in one ear and out the other, but he took Hogan’s advice about working out and takes the opportunity to show off his body. Hogan is supposedly not here as he is out making movies and Luger mockingly calls him too big of a star to show up. Being just a plain, ordinary wrestler he had his plain, ordinary lawyers find a clause in Hogan’s contract. And that clause is that Hogan should be defending his title every 30 days. So, Luger’s lawyers went to the Championship Committee and they determined that Luger will face Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship…next week! Lex says life is sweet, as the NWO would say. He has racked the whole NWO, Dennis Rodman and Hogan himself. Lex tells him to bring his entourage as well as a masseuse and chiropractor because Hogan will get racked next week. Gene sends us up to the booth and they talk about this major announcement. Larry says that Luger has been training while Hogan is sitting on movie sets and that Hogan will get racked and quit for the third time next week. Tony sends us back to the ring for our next bout.
2) Ultimate Dragon vs. Prince Iaukea for the World Television Championship
As Iaukea heads to the ring, Tenay tells us that Dragon defeated Steven Regal for the TV title last week on Nitro. Tonight he battles a former TV champion who has also defeated Regal for the belt in the Prince. Dragon makes his way out and we get clips from last week’s title change. The bell sounds and both men circle each other before going into a test of strength. Dragon puts Prince down with a shoulderblock but Prince comes back with a pair of dropkicks. Dragon does a handstand on the top rope and then dropkicks Prince. He lands some more kicks and then mares Prince over and boots him in the spine. Dragon grabs a rear chinlock and then gets a one count. Dragon turns Iaukea over into a hammerlock and then changes to an armbar. Dragon lands a dropkick as we get more Sting talk. Dragon clamps on a reverse chinlock and then switches to a leg lock around Prince’s head. Prince gets out of the hold and catches a charging Dragon with a foot. Dragon comes back and sits Prince on the top rope. He follows him up, but Prince catches him with a punch and takes him over with a superplex. Both men get up slowly but Dragon is able to toss him with a back suplex. Dragon slams Iaukea down and heads up top. Iaukea rolls away on the moonsault attempt, but Dragon lands on his feet. Iaukea goes for a powerbomb but Dragon turns it into a huracarrana and the two men ended up trading pin attempts. Iaukea ducks a clothesline and lands a dropkick. He follows with a side kick for two. Dragon lands on his feet off a backdrop attempt and goes for the Dragon sleeper, but Prince wriggles free. They trade some reversals but Dragon hits Prince with a lariat and then locks in the Dragon sleep for the quick tap out and victory. That was a good little match and a solid defense for Dragon. Prince looked better here than he did during his reign. Dragon d. Iaukea with the Dragon sleeper at 4:45; Grade: 2
– WCW Saturday Night comes at you for one hour this weekend on TBS. Meng, Giant, the Steiners and Hall and Nash will all be in action, so check it out! We now join Gene in the aisle and he is bringing out the Nature Boy for his second appearance here tonight. This is Charleston, WV and they party all night long here. Gene turns the conversation to business and says it is apparent that Hennig is a Horseman. Flair said it isn’t just apparent; it is a fact of life. He brings out Hennig, who is now a member of the elite. Hennig comes out and denies his membership. Flair says it is because Curt doesn’t want his wife to be mad that he is running around with the Horsemen. Hennig appreciates the compliment but Steve McMichael, Chris Benoit and a random woman walk out now. Flair says they are going out and it will be five women deep, that is five with each Horseman, except for Gene, who gets ten. Hennig says he is still a free agent but Flair waves it off and says he is a Horseman. Hennig says that maybe he will be after tonight, but he is still a free agent as of now. The Horsemen and Hennig walk off as we go to break.
– We are back and the Nitro Girls are putting on a show. They dance off as we head to the ring for another championship match.
3) Chris Jericho vs. Alex Wright for the World Cruiserweight Championship
Tony puts out a call for Nitro party tapes and pictures for a chance to have WCW help throw a Nitro party for you. Alex Wright heads out and dances for us as well. Everyone is getting down tonight. Chris Jericho is out next as he is set to defend his Cruiserweight title against Das Wunderkind. For all those fans in Worcester, the NWO will be signing autographs at the Solomon Pond Mall this Friday to help kick off ticket sales for Nitro there in September, so check it out! Wright takes Jericho over with an armdrag and then talks some smack. Wright backs Jericho into the corner and playfully slaps Jericho before breaking. They lockup and Jericho gets an armdrag and smacks Wright. Wright bails to the floor as Tenay talks about Wright’s success since his attitude change. He slides back in and lands some boots to Jericho. He grabs a wristlock but Jericho flips free and grabs an armbar of his own. Wright flips out now and takes Jericho down by his hair. Wright grabs a side headlock as Tony tells Larry he takes the NWO too personally. Larry says he is just sick of them and Tony tells him as a broadcast journalist he needs to separate his feelings. Larry claims he is a legend and that Bobby Heenan is the journalist. Wright puts Jericho down with a shoulderblock but Jericho comes back with a spinning heel kick to send Wright to the floor. Wright climbs up on the apron and Jericho sends him back out with a springboard shoulderblock. Wright blocks a suplex outside and hits one of his own. He follows with an uppercut and then slides in to break the count. He comes back out and tosses Jericho inside. Wright heads up top and hits a big stomp to the chest. Wright shoots Jericho into the corner, follows with an elbow and then takes him over with a back suplex. He stomps away in the corner and does his little dance. Wright hits another suplex and then heads back up top. He tries another stomp, but Jericho rolls away. He hits a three charging clothesline in the corner. Wright staggers and collapses and Jericho hits an Asai moonsault but doesn’t cover. Wright rolls out to the apron, but catches Jericho when he comes over. Wright grabs Jericho’s head, but he blocks it and runs Wright into the post. He grabs a sleeperhold with Wright still on the apron, but Wright drops down and snaps Jericho’s neck across the top rope. He comes back in but Jericho gets an inside cradle for two. Wright comes back with a German suplex to pick up the win and the title! Whoa, that was a big upset and the crowd is bringing the heat. This was another solid match in a series of them tonight and a huge win for Wright, who looked strong throughout the match. Wright d. Jericho with a German suplex at 6:23; Grade: 2
– Wright celebrates his title win as we go back to Gene who is in the aisle and introducing Dean Malenko. Instead of Malenko though we get Jeff Jarrett and Debra…oh, there’s Dean. All three head out and Gene says that dean was propositioned by Debra and Jarrett last week. Dean has thought about it over the last week and Jarrett had validity in what he said about watching each other’s backs. Therefore, he is in, they have a deal. But, before it is official he wants to know what went down between JJ and Eddie Guerrero on Saturday night. As they talk, Wright stops and dances for Debra in a funny spot. JJ says that everyone loves to be around a winner, just like Flair, Benoit and Mongo used to want to be around him. Eddie is the least of Dean’s worries and JJ says he will pull the trigger and put the Horsemen out to pasture. Debra says that her phone has been ringing off the hook with prospective business partners. They are not interested in just anyone though, especially Eddie; they just want to join forces with Dean. JJ, Dean and Debra head off as we go to break.
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Bobby Heenan
– We are back and we are kicking off hour two. Tony talks about our remaining action here tonight as the NWO theme fills the arena. Syxx comes strutting out and it looks like we are ready for our next bout.
4) Syxx vs. Diamond Dallas Page
We get some more talk about the huge Luger/Hogan announcement. Tenay says that Road Wild will be a home court advantage for Hogan while next week’s match is in Luger’s hometown of Detroit, so he should have the advantage. DDP heads out to a good reaction and the announcers put over the Diamond Cutter. Page came out last week and hit the Cutter on Hennig after his match. DDP will battle Hennig at Road Wild. Page lands a kick to start and grabs a hammerlock. Syxx gets to the ropes to force the break and the crowd is digging DDP here. Page grabs an armbar but Syxx slips free. Page grabs a pumphandle and turns it into a stiff backbreaker for two. Syxx recovers and grabs a hammerlock, but Page shoulderblocks him down. He lands a knee and follows with a swinging neckbreaker. Page hits an inverted atomic drop and sends Syxx to the floor with a back elbow. Page walks over to grab Syxx, but Syxx snaps Page’s neck across the top rope. Syxx heads back in and lands a chop. He nails some kicks and puts Page down with a spinning back kick. He follows with the bronco ride in the corner but Page starts firing back. Page hits a big clothesline and then drops Syxx with the flapjack. Page sets up for the Cutter but Vincent hops up on the apron. Page knocks him off, but that allows Syxx to come up and try to hook on the Buzzkiller. Page rams him back into the corner and then drops him with the Cutter to a huge pop. Randy Anderson is tied up with Vincent, which allows Curt Hennig to sneak in and punch Page in the back of the head with brass knucks. He puts Syxx on top and Anderson turns around to count three. Tenay says that was Hennig’s payback for last week. The match was pretty much a Page squash until the finish but the crowd was into it. Syxx d. Page after Curt Hennig interferes at 3:46; Grade: 1.5
– Hennig scampers off as Vincent comes inside and helps Syxx up. The announcers now assume that Hennig is a member of the NWO. Tony says the clue is that he rolled Syxx on top after hitting Page. Tenay says he is looking for the biggest money offer out there. We check out the replay and then head to break.
5) Hector Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
We are back and Hector Guerrero hits the ring. Dean is out next and we go back to Nitro on June 9 when Jeff Jarrett beat Malenko for the US title. Tony wonders why Dean would now form an alliance with Jarrett and Mike mentions that rumors have also connected Malenko to the Horsemen. The bell sounds as Dean takes Hector down. Tony thinks JJ is starting a group to counter the Horsemen. Hector and Dean trade holds as Mike talks about the upcoming tickets going on sale. Hector hits a flying forearm, but Dean spikes him back down. He follows with a dropkick and gets two. Dan clamps on a rear chinlock and then he drops a knee for two. Dean slugs away at Hector, but Hector fires back with some uppercuts. Dean comes back with a knee and a back suplex for a near fall. Dean mares Hector and locks in a headscissors. Hector slips free and hooks a modified STF. Hector sends Dean over with a back body drop and follows with a splash for two. Dean floats over a charge in the corner and gets a roll up for two. Hector sends him into the top buckle and gets a roll up of his own for two. They trade near falls as the announcers discuss the Steiner Brothers’ loyalty to WCW. Dean misses a charge in the corner and gets taken over with a flying headscissors as we see Jarrett and Debra heading down the aisle. Hector sees them and turns his attention, allowing Dean to dropkick his knee. He locks in the cloverleaf and picks up the win as JJ stands on the middle buckle. These two didn’t mesh well and Hector telegraphed everything, but there a few nice spots. Malenko d. Guerrero with the Texas cloverleaf at 4:34; Grade: 1
– Chavo heads out to check on his uncle, but JJ gets in his face. Dean slugs Chavo from behind and they work both Chavo and Hector over. Both Guerreros are tossed to the floor as Malenko and Jarrett celebrate in the ring. We turn to the entrance ramp where Konnan and Gene Okerlund have emerged. Konnan makes some old jokes at Gene’s expense and then speaks to Rey Mysterio in Spanish. He says that Rey is a puppet used to fill affirmative action. All of the Luchadors in WCW are only there because of Konnan and he will eliminate all of them one at a time. He says that he will take Rey again in September and we are off to break.
– We are back and checking in with Stagger Lee Marshall in Detroit, MI. They have a traveling Nitro party going on up and down Greek town. Detroit is pumped for the big Luger/Hogan match next week. Detroit is known for their cars, and we find out that Henry Ford actually tried to use weasels on a treadmill for the first car but all they did was whimper, complain and sniff each other. Bobby says that they should tear Lee down like they did Tiger Stadium.
6) Giant vs. Great Muta
The Giant emerges through the darkness to a huge pop as we are ready for our next big match. This is a rematch from last week’s show, where Giant won by DQ. The NWO music fires up, but we then hear Randy Savage’s voice instead. He is up in the crowd and says that he will take care of family business when he takes care of Giant at Road Wild. He will also take care of Scott Steiner tonight. He isn’t just a rider, he is a true rider. Giant tells him to stay up there and wait for his turn at Sturgis. He wants Savage to watch this match closely because it will be icing on the cake for what is in store for Savage. Savage says he will Giant and Steiner pay. Savage takes off as the melodious tones of the NWO B Team theme starts up. Muta heads out and the Giant’s eyes are locked on him. Before the match can start, the NWO music starts up again as we are now joined by Eric Bischoff. He struts over to the announce table and tosses Heenan and Tenay out, telling Schiavone to stay put. Eric says that they haven’t worked together in a long time. Muta grabs an armbar, but Giant just tosses him off. Eric says Luger will not be receiving that title match with Hogan. Muta lands a kick and buries some shoulders to the midsection. Giant turns him around and lands a huge chop that sends Muta out to the apron. Eric disparages the Giant and says Savage will have his way with him at Road Wild. Muta comes back in, but Giant catches him with a kick and a forearm. He lands another chop as Tony says he can’t believe what Bischoff has become. Eric brags about building up Nitro, WCW and the NWO. Eric tells Tony to tell Zbyszko that he is the reason Larry still gets a paycheck. Muta goes to the eyes but runs into a huge boot to the face. Muta rolls to the floor and he scampers under the ring. He comes out the other side and dropkicks Giant from behind. He tries another dropkick, but Giant shakes it off. Muta dropkicks his knee to take him down. He keeps working the knee and then he drops an elbow for two. Muta heads up top and comes down with a chop to the head. He heads up again and lands a missile dropkick. He goes up top a third time, but Giant catches him by the throat. Muta tries the mist but Giant blocks it with his arm and then plants Muta with the chokeslam for the win. Giant d. Muta with a chokeslam at 5:57; Grade: .5
– Bischoff says that the win was a fluke and then tells Tony to leave. Giant calls out the NWO but we cut over to the announce table where Larry Zbyszko has come out. He tells Bischoff he is sick of the NWO and that Eric has no authority and throws him off the set. He shoves Eric and then hops down to the floor and tells him to come down. Eric hops down too, but Larry grabs a front facelock and drags Eric all the way to the ring. He tosses him inside and Giant kills him with a chokeslam to a mammoth pop. That was a great segment.
– We are back and the Nitro Girls are dancing as the announce table has been restored to order. The dancing wraps up and the B Team theme is playing again for our next match.
7) Konnan vs. La Parka
As Konnan heads out, we go back to last week when he was threatening Rey with his own crutch. The rest of the Luchadors all came out to back Rey up leading to Konnan’s threat from earlier tonight. Konnan calling Rey’s backup a bunch of refugees was pretty funny. Parka starts with a shove, but Konnan comes back with a chop, some right hands and a somersault clothesline. He mares Parka over and nails him with a low dropkick for two. He slams Parka and heads up top, but Parka catches him with a dropkick on the way down. Parka slams him and heads up. He comes off with a springboard corkscrew dive for two. Parka grabs his chair, which has Konnan’s name on it. Sonny Onoo distracts Mark Curtis as Parka swings the chair. Konnan ducks it and dropkicks the chair back in Parka’s face. Konnan whips Parka in and drops him the Cradle DDT. He snaps in the tequila sunrise and picks up the win. Konnan d. Parka with the tequila sunrise at 1:45; Grade: .5
– Bobby says that Konnan may be the most dangerous man in the NWO. Psychosis comes in to check on his partner but Konnan walks off before anything else happens. We get another look at the Giant chokeslamming Bischoff as we go to break.
– When we return, we head to the announce table to talk about the Luger/Hogan match next week in Auburn Hills. Tony says it has been signed, despite what Bischoff said. Bobby and Mike pump up Luger and say he will be the World Champion once again. Tony brings on JJ Dillon, who is live via phone from the CNN Center in Atlanta. JJ has an offer out there to Sting, who we haven’t seen in a year. JJ says the title match is locked in for next week and he will be in the house. With the rise to power of the NWO, many people have questioned Sting’s loyalty. They have received mixed signals in the past, but his recent actions show that he is definitely part of WCW. JJ says they are working hard to get Sting back in the ring by September. JJ has heard that Sting will be in Auburn Hills next week and he will be there to try to confront him with this offer. We head back to the ring for our main event.
8) Randy Savage vs. Scott Steiner
Savage and Elizabeth head down to the ring as the announcers ponder what would happen to the NWO if Hogan loses the belt. The Steiners head down to the ring to a nice reaction from the crowd. The bell sounds and both men square off. They lock up to a stalemate and a clean break in the corner. Scott goes behind, but Savage turns around and we get another break. Savage shoves Randy Anderson into Steiner and then punches Steiner in the face. He chokes away at Scott, but Scott comes back with a club to the back. He press slams Savage to the mat and Randy rolls to the floor. Savage gets up and decks Rick before scampering to the other side of the ring. Savage grabs a chair, but then he drops it. He goes and gets another chair, which he tosses into the ring. Savage paces around the ring as we take a break. When we return, Savage is slugging away at Steiner in the corner. Savage eats a boot on a charge and gets drilled with a belly-to-belly suplex. Savage rolls to the floor but uses Liz as a shield. Scott picks Liz up and moves her, but that allows Savage to deck him. He whips Steiner into the stairs head first and then tosses him over the guardrail into the crowd. Savage follows him over and hammers away at him. They end up back at ringside as Savage maintains control. He drops a chair on Steiner and keeps the assault on. He runs Scott into the post and then kicks him in the head. Savage tosses Steiner in and Tony wonders if Scott will be OK for the tag title match at Road Wild. Savage heads up top, but Scott pops up, catches him and tosses him over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Liz gets on the apron, but Rick hops up and yells at her. Scott back drops Savage over the top rope to the floor as Randy Anderson was caught up with Rick and Liz. Scott runs Savage into the guardrail and tosses him into the crowd. Steiner follows and runs Savage into the railing again before tossing him back to ringside. Savage goes to the eyes and runs Steiner into the post. They trade shots on the floor before Steiner finally tosses Savage back inside. Savage goes low and then attempts a suplex, but Steiner blocks and rolls him up for two. Steiner shoves Savage down with a clothesline and then drops him with a double underhook powerbomb. He pulls Savage up and sets him on the top rope. Scott heads up as well and takes him over with a super Frankensteiner. Liz hops on the apron, but Rick grabs her leg. That brings out Hall and Nash and they assault Rick. Scott comes down to help and he catches a beatdown to draw the bell. That was a fn little brawl, I must say. Steiner d. Savage by disqualification at 8:49; Grade: 2.5
– Savage drops the big elbow on Scott as the trash starts flying into the ring. They work over the Steiners as Savage drops another elbow on Rick. The Giant comes charging out as well and the NWO quickly bails. Giant grabs the mic and tells Savage he will see him at Sturgis. He tells Nash to come down and do this one for free. Nash says he isn’t fighting for the fans. Doug Dellinger eggs them on and they step aside to allow the NWO to head back to the ring. Nash pulls off his belt and wraps it around his fist. Both sides stare each other down but we are out of time! Good night from Charleston! We see the Giant chokeslam one last time as we fade out.
Final Grade: B
Runner Up: Alex Wright
Non MVP: Eric Bischoff
Runner Up: Chris Jericho