Written by: Justin Rozzero
WCW Nitro 8/18/97
Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Coliseum
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Larry Zbyszko
– We open the show with an extreme close up of Raven in an empty room. He discusses various emotions that we feel in our adolescence. An acne riddled skin can mean a lifetime of loneliness. Once acceptance by others is a barometer of popularity and if one is a different misfit, they are in for a lifetime of cruelty and suffering. Scars are souvenirs that never leave and the past is never far. It can’t be repressed because it will continue to grow stronger. Each of us manifests our pain in different manners, whether it’s crying in bed, destroying something beautiful or shutting off form society. He can feel the pain because his father did not give him what he needed. Quote the Raven…nevermore. And with that we fade out and into our animation before heading inside the arena. Tony welcomes us to the number one wrestling show on TV today, Monday Nitro! We get an anti Raw sign as the Nitro Girls get down in the ring and Tony runs down the card. Tenay tells us we will have details on this week’s Clash later tonight. We head to the ring for our opener.
1) Harlem Heat vs. Scott Norton & Buff Bagwell
Harlem Heat is led to the ring by Jacqueline as Tenay tells us they are red hot lately. The swank NWO B-Team music fires up and Scott Norton and Buff Bagwell are led out by Vincent. Tenay and Tony talk about the upcoming War Games as the NWO hits the ring. Stevie and Buff start things off with some histrionics. Buff’s posing routines at this point were pretty funny. Stevie tosses Buff across the ring and Buff is not pleased. Larry shrugs off Eric Bischoff’s threats against him from last week. Buff tosses Stevie over with a hiplock and then jaws into the camera. Buff hammers away but Stevie catches him on a charge and drops him with a big powerslam. Stevie tags in Booker and he slugs away. The crowd is digging the Heat here. Buff escapes and tags in Norton. Scott puts Booker down with a pair of big shoulderblocks. Scott eats a boot on a charge and Booker comes flying out with a side kick. Booker tags in Stevie but Buff hooks Stevie’s leg on a whip, allowing Norton to take him out. Norton tags in Buff and they hit a double elbow. Buff slams Stevie but misses an elbow off the middle rope. Stevie staggers over and tags in Booker. He takes out both Norton and Buff with some dropkicks and then slams both of them. He drops Buff with a Death Valley Driver but Norton breaks up the pin. All four men go at it and Vincent hops on the apron and drills Booker to draw a DQ. Damn, I was just getting into that one. Nitro always featured some fun as hell tag matches. Harlem Heat d. Norton & Bagwell by disqualification at 4:35; Grade: 1.5
– The brawl continues as Booker takes out Vincent and Buff with sidekicks. He knocks Norton to the floor and Harlem Heat is fired up, as are the fans. Booker yells at the camera as we take a break.
2) Barbarian vs. Mortis
We are back from break and Barbarian is making his way out. His partner Meng defeated Wrath last week and the masked man is out for some revenge for his running buddy. Mortis and James Vandenberg head out as Tony tells us that Chris Jericho defeated Alex Wright for the Cruiserweight Title on Saturday Night this past weekend. We get more Clash talk as the match gets underway. Mortis comes out with some kicks but barbarian whips him to the corner. He charges and Mortis ducks, causing Barbarian to crash into the post. Mortis heads up top and hits a rocker dropper off the top rope for two. Mortis lands a cross body for another near fall. Barbarian punches out of Mortis’ grip and drops him with a reverse Russian legsweep for two. Barbarian clubs Mortis in the corner but eats a big kick on a charge. Mortis heads up top but Barbarian catches him and takes him down with a powerslam for two. Barbarian crushes Mortis with a boot to the face and picks up the win. That was another match that was pretty fun while it lasted, but was too short to mean anything. Barbarian d. Mortis with a boot to the face at 2:21; Grade: 1
– Wrath sneaks in from behind and takes Barbarian down with the Death Penalty. Meng comes in now and locks Wrath in the Tongan death grip. Mortis hammers on Meng but Meng won’t release the hold. The Faces of Fear were too awesome for words. He finally releases and Vandenberg leads his men out. The fans give the FOF a big ovation. We head over to the announce table to talk about WCW banding together. Lex Luger and Diamond Dallas Page will team up at the Clash as well as tonight. Tony asks Larry if he can feel the momentum shifting towards NWO. Larry agrees but says Lex and Page can trust each other out there and that is a start. The NWO music hits and Eric Bischoff heads out, smirk planted on his face as always. Tony wonders if he will come and kick Larry like he promised last week. Larry is fairly certain it won’t happen. Eric has a mic and tells us he loves us, natch. He loves us so much, he is going to invite us all to his party this Thursday on TBS. It is called Clash of Champions and they are his champions: Hollywood Hogan, Hall and Nash will all be there. The party will honor them. First he has some business to take care of. He hears the fans calling for Larry and then tells us Larry can’t get within 50 feet of Eric, just like the Giant. Giant went to jail last week for violating the order and warns him not to do it again. He tells JJ Dillon that the NWO wants their own show and he wants the right to sit in the broadcast booth. They will not wait much longer. Eric heads off and we head to break.
– Tune into TBS this Saturday for the Mothership. The Faces of Fear will battle Mortis & Wrath and Eddie Guerrero will take on Dean Malenko this week. I am sold! We now head to Mean Gene who is in the aisle and awaiting the arrival of the Nature Boy and Curt Hennig. They walk the aisle and meet up with Gene. Gene asks about the big tag match at the Clash. Hennig and Flair will battle Konnan and Syxx on Thursday. Flair puts over Hennig but the crowd doesn’t agree. Gene wants to know where Hennig stands but Flair ignores it and says Hennig is the best thing going today. He will soon be a Horseman. Hennig says he told Flair he would be his partner on Thursday but that doesn’t make him a Horseman. He has had run-ins with WCW and NWO but he wants some competition. Later on tonight, he will defeat the Giant. Flair will ride Konnan hard tonight and put him away whipped. Um, whatever you say Nature Boy. Flair and Hennig head off and we head to the ring.
3) Stevie Richards vs. Scotty Riggs
Stevie sprints to the ring for his Nitro debut. He will battle Raven this Thursday night at the Clash. Right now, however, he has to get by Scotty Riggs here tonight. Stevie taunts Riggs off the bell and then plays to the crowd a bit. Riggs grabs an armbar and playfully slaps Stevie’s chest. They lock up and Stevie smacks Riggs on the break. He works Scotty over in the corner as Tenay runs down the upcoming shows. Riggs regains control and takes Stevie over with a monkey flip. He mares Stevie over but Stevie begs off in the corner. Scotty lands a nice dropkick and Stevie bails to the floor. Scotty grabs Stevie but Stevie turns things around and whips Riggs into the post. Stevie tosses him back inside and drops an elbow. Stevie plants Riggs with a sit out powerbomb and gets two. Stevie rallies the crowd but Riggs cracks him in the face. Riggs misses a dropkick and Stevie gets two. He chops away at Riggs but Scotty snaps Stevie to the mat when he puts his head down on a whip. Riggs slugs away and knocks Stevie down. Stevie keeps getting up but Scotty keeps knocking him back down. He takes Stevie over with a suplex and then rips his shirt off. Scotty plants him with a sidewalk slam but Stevie kicks up. Tony and Larry criticize the arrogant cover by Riggs. Scotty pulls Stevie up but Stevie drills him with a Steviekick for the win. Richards d. Riggs with a Steviekick at 5:12; Grade: 1
– Raven hops the guardrail and climbs in the ring. He plants Stevie with a DDT and then slithers into the corner and pulls himself up. He leaves the ring and heads out through the crowd. We check out a replay and then head to break.
– We are back and joining Gene in the aisle. He welcomes Jeff Jarrett, Eddie Guerrero and Debra down the aisle for a chat. Gene talks about the Clash and tells us Jarrett defends his US title against Mongo and Eddie will challenge Jericho for the Cruiserweight title. Now Alex Wright comes out to chat with Debra. He asked Debra last Saturday night to recruit him and she shouldn’t miss her chance and be a loser. He wants an answer. Debra says Alex is good looking, he is from Germany and can dance. But she would rather be covered in honey and stuck in an ant bed than be associated with him because he doesn’t have a title. Alex is a true champion. He will go get a belt and then see if he wants to talk to her. Debar says if Alex can win the TV belt, she will consider it. Well, that was an odd interview. As we head to break, we get an NWO announcement. The NWO is all standing around with party hats and other favors, singing happy birthday to themselves. Savage caps it with “same time next year” and Nash wants fifty more candles so it looks like Flair’s cake. That was a pretty funny segment.
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Bobby Heenan
– We are back and hour two is underway. Bobby Heenan is in the house and we still have a couple of big matches to come. Tony takes us back to last week when JJ Dillon had his in ring meeting with Sting. He offered Sting a match with Syxx but Sting tore up the contract. Back live, the Outsiders are making their way out. They will battle Page and Luger in the main event tonight. Hall and Nash saunter to the ring and Hall grabs the mic. Once again, it’s another sellout and people at home are glued to the TV to see the NWO. Nash takes the mic and proclaims Birmingham to be NWO country, but the fans seem to have a different opinion. Later tonight, WCW will send out to jabronis to battle the Outsiders and we will find out why Hall and Nash are the best there have ever been and why they are too sweet. And that is it as we take another break. Well, that was a rather pointless promo.
– Back from commercial, the Nitro Girls are getting down in the aisle. Tony tells us that Dillon will be out tonight to again call Sting out. We then head back to the ring for our next match.
4) Syxx vs. Ric Flair
Syxx makes his way out and he is in for a big challenge here in this Road Wild rematch. The Nature Boy walks the aisle next as he looks to pick up another victory over Syxx. Syxx sends a crotch chop at Flair as the bell sounds. Flair responds with a strut and a headlock. He puts Syxx down with a shoulderblock but Syxx recovers and sends Flair up and over with a back drop. They lock up and this time Syxx puts Flair down with a shoulderblock but Flair comes back with a hiptoss. Flair takes Syxx down with a headlock but Syxx turns it into a headscissors. Flair escapes and goes back to the headlock and then hammers Syxx in the head. He chops Syxx down and gets a two count. Flair catches a Syxx kick, but Syxx drills him with an Enziguri. He works Flair over in the corner as Tony talks about War Games a bit. Syxx drops the bronco buster on Flair and then caps it with a big knee to the face. Syxx slugs away and then follows with a snap legdrop. He mounts Flair and hammers at him before grabbing a near fall. Syxx keeps the pressure on and back drops Flair up and over the buckles and to the floor. Flair dodges a baseball slide dropkick but Syxx regains control as Flair comes back in. Syxx looks pretty good here and the announcers are actually putting him over. Flair dodges a bronco buster and they trade blows. They hit a double shoulderblock and both men are out. Flair is up first and whips Syxx into the corner. He takes him over with a back drop and follows with a kneedrop to the head. Flair struts a bit and then drills Syxx with a shinbreaker. Flair goes for the figure four but Vincent hops in the ring to draw the DQ. That was a pretty good little match and Syxx was definitely the workhorse of the NWO at this point. Flair d. Syxx by disqualification at 5:41; Grade: 2
– Norton and Bagwell are in to and they work Flair over until Hennig charges out and runs them off. The NWO regroups on the floor as Flair is announced the winner and Hennig checks on him as we fade to break.
– When we return, Gene is with JJ Dillon and Nick Patrick in the aisle. Gene wants to talk about Patrick’s Road Wild tag team match decision. JJ wants to clarify what has taken place. Patrick if off probation and the executive committee determined that Patrick acted appropriately and the case is closed. Gene asks Patrick if he regrets the decision and Nick says that he does not. Patrick things the committee wasted a week reviewing his actions. He proved himself through the probation period. He doesn’t think Randy Anderson has done his job and he believes he cost Luger the title. Anderson is reffing tonight’s main event. Randy comes out and gets in Nick’s face about the accusations. JJ says WCW has enough problems to deal with and doesn’t need this and he ends the interview. So, we head back to the ring.
5) Ultimo Dragon vs. La Parka for the WCW Television Championship
Dragon heads to the ring as Tony talks about nobody in WCW trusting each other due to the NWO’s recent dominance. Dragon will take on Alex Wright at the Clash, but he must defend against La Parka first. Sonny Onoo is in Parka’s corner tonight, still looking for revenge on Dragon. Mark Curtis calls for the bell and we are under way. Dragon leapfrogs Parka and sends him over with a monkey flip. Dragon dodges Parka some more and eventually hits a handstand dropkick off the top turnbuckle. He kicks away at Parka and knocks him to the mat. Dragon dropkicks Parka to the floor. He heads up top and comes off with a high cross body to the floor. Parka is up and back in first and that allows Onoo to pepper Dragon with some kicks. Parka comes back out and drops Dragon onto the steps. He tosses Dragon back inside and drops him with a powerbomb for two. Parka traps Dragon in the Tree of Woe and then nails him with a spin kick for two. Parka chops away at Dragon but misses a splash in the corner. Dragon hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and seats Parka on the top rope. Dragon head up and takes Parka off with a Frankensteiner. Dragon goes for the Dragon sleeper, but Onoo hops on the apron to distract him. Parka recovers and dropkicks Dragon. Dragon reverses a whip and Onoo drills Parka by accident. Dragon clamps on the sleeper and that is all she wrote. Dragon moves on to face Wright on Thursday. Dragon d. Parka with the Dragon sleeper at 4:07; Grade: 1
– We check out a replay and Dragon celebrates as we head to break.
– We are back from break and Curt Hennig is heading out to the ring for our next bout.
6) Curt Hennig vs. Giant
Hennig hits the ring and he is followed by the Giant, who slowly stalks to the ring. The crowd is buzzing as Hennig slaps Giant in the face. Giant shoves Hennig in the corner, but Curt comes firing out with chops. Giant blocks a whip attempt and headbutts Curt down. Giant beals him across the ring and Hennig begs off. Giant hammers on Hennig and then tosses him into the corner and levels him with a chop. He clubs Hennig to the mat but Curt fires right back again. He goes for a kneelift but Giant dodges it and he flies to the mat. Giant backs Hennig into the corner and squashes him with his backside. Giant grabs Hennig and takes him over with a big suplex. Giant calls for the chokeslam and the crowd is going crazy. We cut to the aisle and Eric Bischoff comes powerwalking out, paper in hand. He brings out Doug Dellinger and an army of cops, saying Giant violated his restraining order. Dellinger tells Bischoff that the restraining order wasn’t broken. They argue a bit but Doug doesn’t back down. Eric isn’t happy as Doug tells him he is the one breaking the order. Giant hops out of the ring and Eric backs up a bit. He turns around and Larry Z is walking down the aisle. The bell rings as Eric hops into the crowd to try to escape. Giant grabs Eric and tosses him to the ground. Eric rolls away and tries to evade the Giant as we go to break. I have no idea what the result of the match was, but we will go no contest. I was really digging that match until the screwy finish. The crowd was too, it seemed. Giant and Hennig wrestle to a no contest at 3:50; Grade: 1.5
– When we return from break, we check in with Lee Marshall, who is calling via 1-800-COLLECT. Lee is in Columbia, SC and he wants to remind us to drop by the box office and get our tickets. We need to go to the Riverbank Zoo to see the butterfly collection called “Jewels of the Sky”. They tried to do a “Weasels of Dixie” exhibit but nobody cared. Bobby doesn’t get a chance to retort as we head right to Gene and JJ in the ring. Gene reminds us that Sting has not responded well to JJ’s previous offers. JJ has been embarrassed with the lack of dialogue as Sting has ripped up the contracts and walked off. After the last two weeks, JJ is having doubts if Sting is really behind WCW. He doesn’t have a contract offer tonight and his patience is wearing thin. Sting needs to bridge the gap and take the initiative. He needs to tell WCW what he wants or they may have to go their separate ways. Sting has until the Clash to come forward and talk to JJ to let him know what he wants. The crowd starts to rumble as Sting emerges in the sea of fans and walks down to the ring. Sting climbs into the ring and the crowd is pretty fired up. He gets in JJ’s face and grabs him by the collar. He points out to signs in the crowd that reference Hogan. JJ looks around and it seems like he may finally be getting it. Gene wants answers but Tony says the answers have been given. Sting grabs a sign from a fan and walks back into the ring. The sign says “Hulk vs. Sting” and he holds it up to the crowd. The fans are chanting “Hogan” as we fade to break.
– We get another NWO Announcement talking about the birthday celebration at the Clash. They play a funny game where a guy spins around and then spray-paint a caricature of JJ. Hall invites us to the party as we cut back to the arena for our main event.
7) Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall & Kevin Nash for the WCW Tag Team Championship
DDP and Kimberly are out as Tony makes it clear what Sting wants and is kind of confused that JJ and Gene didn’t catch on to this. JJ wants to hear it directly from Sting, though, and that is the hold up. We take another break. When we come back, the Outsiders are heading out to defend their belts. Tony talks about how Sting has not spoken in a year now. The bell sounds and all four men stare each other down. Lex and Hall start things off with a lengthy feeling out period. Hall tosses the toothpick at Lex and Lex smacks him across the face. They finally lock up and battle over that for nearly a minute. Each man backs the other into the corner but they refuse to break, despite Randy Anderson getting in between. They finally break clean. That was a cool little battle. Hall slugs Lex into the corner and he and Nash hammers away at him. Lex absorbs the blows and then fires back at both men, knocking Nash to the floor. Nash gets back on the apron and tags in. He calls for Page and Lex obliges. Nash meets Page with a big knee to the gut. He drills Page with some forearms, hammering Page to the mat. Page comes back with big right hands and knocks Nash to a knee. Page takes Nash over with a big spinning neckbreaker and gets two. Nash puts Page down with a clothesline but Page recovers and takes Nash down with a Russian legsweep for two. Both men are back up and Nash crushes Page with a big boot to the face. He tags in Hall, who comes in and stomps away at Page. Hall tosses Page with a fallaway slam and gets two as the crowd chants “DDP”. Hall tags Nash back in and he prevents a tag to Lex. Lex comes in and ends up distracting Anderson, allowing a non tag for Hall to come in. Hall clamps on an abdominal stretch using Nash for leverage behind Randy’s back. Page tries to hang on as the crowd is rallying him. Anderson finally catches the Outsiders cheating and Page is able to slip free and drop Hall with a backbreaker. Hall tags in Nash and he drops an elbow before Page can tag out. This is a rock solid heat segment. Nash pulls Page up and drills him with an elbow to the head. Nash chokes Page with his boot in the corner. And a ref distraction allows Hall to switch in again and stomp away at Hall. This is classic heel tag work by two of the best. Hall tags Nash back in and he drops Page with Snake Eyes. Lex distracts Anderson again and Hall nails Page with a clothesline from the apron. Hall tags back in and he slugs Page down with a right hand for two. Hall locks on a sleeper and the crowd is behind Page here. Page keeps his arm up on the third try and then fights up to his feet. He takes Hall over with a backdrop and the crowd is begging for a tag here. Hall tags Nash and he just cuts Page off before the tag. Man what a great heat segment. Nash puts Page down with another clothesline but DDP reverse a sidewalk slam with a headscissor takeover. Page and Nash are both down as Lex is screaming for the tag. Page claws his way to the corner and makes the tag. Hall is in too and Lex takes them both out with clotheslines. He keeps hammering away but the NWO hits the ring and draws the DQ. That was a hell of a tag match and could have been even better with a good finish, but it just wasn’t the way at that time. Page & Luger d. Nash & Hall by disqualification at 13:38; Grade: 3
– The whole group, sans Hogan and Bischoff, is out there and beating down Lex and Page. Tenay wants WCW to come back up their men. Giant finally comes running out and the crowd is going insane as he clashes with Nash. Lex and Page get a second wind and the big brawl rages on as we fade out. See you next week!
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.