Written by: Justin Rozzero
WCW Nitro 9/15/97
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Larry Zbyszko
– We open this week’s show with a silent, slow motion shot of Ric Flair on a stretcher in a hospital unconscious before heading inside the arena. We cut right to the announce table as Tony is very sullen and has something important to say. He got into the business because of Ric Flair. Flair went to bat for him with the promoters and got him a job. Tony is too choked up to continue and says he can’t do the show. Larry says it will be OK and then rips on Curt Hennig for turning on Flair last night. Tenay says last night was the end of an era as Tony walks off the set. Mike says that last night was the death of the Horsemen as we get clips of the NWO slamming the cage door on Flair’s head last night. Off that footage we head to the ring for our opening match.
1) Disco Inferno vs. Dean Malenko
Mike thinks this all plays into the NWO’s master plan as Disco jives his way to the ring. Malenko is out next as he limps down the aisle, his leg heavily taped. Dean looks quite focused here as Mike tells us he lost to Jeff Jarrett last night. Dean lands a big clothesline and stomps away as Mike and Larry talk about Hennig some more. Dean works over Disco in the corner and is as aggressive as we have seen him. He levels Disco with a leg lariat to a big pop as the crowd is red hot tonight. Dean goes for the Cloverleaf but Disco goes to the eyes to break it. Disco comes off the middle rope but Dean meets him with a right hand. Tenay tells us Flair suffered serious injuries last night as Dean lands a running clothesline in the corner and follows with a powerslam for two. Dean takes Disco over with a suplex for a near fall. Malenko is favoring the injured leg as he clubs on Disco’s back. He heads up top but Disco meets him with some right hands. Disco starts to work the injured knee, stomping away at it. Dean’s knee gives out as Disco tries to whip him to the corner. Disco dances a bit and tries a hiptoss but Dean blocks it and drops him with a double underhook powerbomb. Dean quickly hooks the Cloverleaf and Disco taps out. That was a feisty little opener that could have used some more time to really build some heat on Dean’s leg. Malenko d. Inferno with the Texas Cloverleaf at 4:10; Grade: 2
– We check out the replay before heading to break.
– Backstage, Mark Madden is chatting with Eddie Guerrero for WCW.com. Tenay tells us Eddie won the Cruiserweight championship last night. We then head back to the ring for our next match.
2) Faces of Fear vs. Harlem Heat
Meng and Barbarian are heading to the ring as Mike runs down the rest of tonight’s scheduled action. Larry rips on Hennig as Harlem Heat and Jacqueline make their way out. Apparently, Stevie Ray hurt his Achilles tendon in their match with the Steiners last night. Meng and Stevie start things off and Meng starts banging away at him with rights and lefts immediately. Stevie boots him to the corner. Barbarian comes in as well but Stevie battles them both off with kicks and punches. Barbarian retreats to the apron as Stevie tags in Booker to face Meng. Meng reverses a whip but Booker meets him with a flying forearm. Booker tags Stevie back in, but Meng turns things around and tags in Barbarian. They clubber him in the corner as the Faces take control of the match. Barbarian keeps the pressure on as Larry and Mike talk about Flair some more. We also see Raven sitting in the crowd. Meng lands an atomic drop and Barbarian kicks Stevie down for a near fall that is broken up by Booker. Meng tags back in and he chops away at Stevie before choking him violently. Stevie tries to fire his way back into it but Meng chops him down. Barbarian tags back into the match and picks up a near fall. He whips Stevie into the corner and follows with a splash. Barbarian lands a headbutt and tags in Meng, who assault Stevie with some forearms. Stevie blocks a suplex and hits one of his own. Both men are slow to get up but Meng is able to block the tag with a headbutt. Meng slams Stevie down and tags in Barbarian but they miss a double headbutt attempt and that allows Stevie to finally tag in Booker. Booker works over both men with fists, lariats and flying kicks. Stevie is back up and all four men are brawling. Stevie hoists Barbarian up into a bear hug and Booker nails him with a side kick to the face. Stevie covers but Barbarian is under the ropes and Nick Patrick won’t count. Booker gets up but turns right into the Tongan Death Grip from Meng. Booker flails backwards and is forced to tap out, giving the Faces a big win. That was another good stiff match as you would expect from these four. Faces of Fear d. Harlem Heat when Meng defeats Booker with the Tongan Death Grip at 6:29; Grade: 2
– The Faces take off as Stevie and Jackie check on Booker and then we head off to break.
– When we return, Gene Okerlund is with Kimberly and they welcome out Diamond Dallas Page. Page is welcomed with a huge pop as Gene tells us DDP and Luger beat Randy Savage and Scott Hall last night in the lone WCW bright spot last night. Page came out to talk about a disease he has that eats him up inside. But, what doesn’t kill him will make him stronger and the way he sees it, he gets stronger every day because the disease he is talking about is Randy Savage. And he believes he is the cure. It isn’t about winning and losing, because he has beaten him before. He just wants to prove that Savage is a lowlife coward. He wants Savage one-on-one in Las Vegas at Slim Jim’s Halloween Havoc. He tells Savage to leave his Slim Jims at home because he can snap into the bang! Page takes off and we head back to the ring for our next match.
3) Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Juvy and Rey make their way out as Tenay thanks Larry for getting involved in the aforementioned tag match at last night’s show. Larry says he couldn’t take it anymore. The bell sounds as Rey gives a mask to a fan. He and Juvy lock up and Rey grabs a side headlock to start. Tenay tells that Hogan and Piper will throw down in a cage at Havoc. Rey picks up a near fall and then sends Juvy flying with a headscissors takeover. Juvy catches Rey in the air and dumps him across the top rope. Juvy whiffs on a dropkick but makes up for it by sliding to the floor and powerbombing Rey to the floor off the apron. Rey is slow getting up but climbs back into the ring and Juvy takes him with a vertical suplex. Juvy heads to the apron and hits a slingshot legdrop for two. Rey is still looking woozy as Juvy chops away at him. He whips Rey in and then hoists him up and spikes him to the mat off the rebound. Juvy shoots Rey into the corner but Rey avoids a dropkick and Juvy crashes to the mat. Rey heads up top but Juvy pulls him off to try another powerbomb. Rey slugs away at his head and Juvy falls back to the mat but lands in the ropes to break the cover. Rey hits a forearm splash and a double leg powerbomb for two. Rey punches Juvy and sits him on the top rope. Rey follows him up and slugs away and then sends him flying with a Hurricanrana for two. Rey pulls Juvy up for a powerbomb but Juvy blocks it and chops away. He picks Rey up for a powerbomb but then just flips him up and over onto his face instead. Both men are slow getting up but Juvy meets Rey with a chop to the chest. Juvy misses a charge in the corner and slides right to the floor. Rey meets him with a somersault senton on the floor. Rey tosses Juvy onto the apron but Juvy flips him into the ring. He tries a springboard senton but Rey catches him and powerbombs him to the mat. Rey goes to the apron and nails a springboard Hurricanrana for the win. Damn, another really good match in a series of them so far tonight. Mysterio d. Guerrera with a springboard Hurricanrana at 7:01; Grade: 2.5
– Rey picks up another victory as his comeback continues. We get a replay as Mike says Rey will be looking revenge on Konnan and then we head off to break.
– We are back from break and ready for our first championship match of the night as Steve Regal is making his way out.
4) Steve Regal vs. Alex Wright for the WCW Television Championship
Regal struts to the ring as he is looking regain his Television title. The champion is out next as Tenay talks about his newfound attitude and aggressiveness in the ring. We get a close up of a “Raw is Taped” sign which is kind of funny. Wright hops in the ring and Mickey Jay calls from the bell as we get under way. They lock up and Wright quickly takes Regal over with an armdrag. The crowd starts getting on Wright as they reset and square off. Regal goes behind and then turns into an armbar. Wright works out of it and grabs one of his own. Regal retakes control as we get some talk about last night. Wright breaks free of a wristlock but Regal smacks him across the face and struts around arrogantly. Wright shakes it off and attacks Regal with a kick and some right hands. He lands an uppercut and grabs a wristlock. Regal flips out of it as a vocal group of fans roots Regal. Regal dropkicks Wright to the floor as he dances. Wright gets on the apron and buries a shoulder into Regal and then drops on him with a slingshot splash. Both men make their way up and slug away until Regal is able to take Wright down. He goes for the Regal stretch but Wright gets the ropes. Regal gets a near fall with a jackknife pin but Wright meets him with a dropkick when they get up. Wright flips Regal into the corner with a wristlock throw as Larry shocks himself by rooting for Regal. Regal stumbles up and Wright takes him over with a German suplex into a bridge for the win. Damn, that was quite good and could have been even better with a few more minutes, although Regal, who was beefier here, did look a bit gassed. Wright d. Regal with a German suplex at 4:33; Grade: 2
– Wright continues to impress and win as he celebrates with his title by dancing. Regal is slow to his feet as we head to break.
– When we return, Gene is in the aisle and is joined by Ray Traylor. Gene takes us back to last week when Traylor was assaulted and spray painted by the NWO. Traylor has a response for his former teammates right now. He said it takes a real man like them to gang up someone but he wants to know if they are man enough to face Traylor one on one in the ring. The fans know what he is about because he started out in Charlotte and it will be where he begins what he has now set out to do. He may be standing alone, but he will be kicking ass. Traylor heads off as we hit the ring for our next match.
5) Konnan vs. Giant
The wonderful NWO B-Theme music fills the arena as Konnan makes his way out. Tenay lets us know that Tony is still too upset to come out and join them on commentary. The lights dim down as the Giant stalks to the ring. Tenay says this is WCW’s first chance to get revenge for last night’s actions. Larry tears Konnan and the NWO apart as Giant gets in the ring, looking quite angry and focused. Konnan shoves Giant but Giant grabs him and throws him across the ring and to the floor. Konnan climbs back in and attacks with rights and lefts but Giant causally clubs him down. Giant kicks him to the floor and follows him outside. Giant headbutts him and tosses him back inside. Giant gets back in the ring and hammers Konnan to the mat with a big right hand. He stomps on Konnan’s head as we check on Raven at ringside. Konnan bails to the floor but Giant follows him. Konnan slides back in and catches Giant with some boots to the neck as he gets back in. Konnan heads up top and leaps off but Giant catches him in the air and plants him with a chokeslam for the win. Giant d. Konnan with the chokeslam at 3:02; Grade: .5
– Giant calmly walks to the back as we hit Hour Two before going to break.
Announcers: Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko & Bobby Heenan
– We are back from commercial and the Nitro Girls are getting down in the ring. Tenay runs down tonight’s remaining matches and then we head over to the table where they discuss some recent events regarding the NWO and the Horsemen. Tony is still in the back so Larry is staying for Hour Two to fill out the booth. Larry rants on Hennig as we hit the ring for our next match.
6) Stevie Richards vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Stevie jogs down to the ring as Tenay runs down upcoming ticket sales. He runs down Stevie’s success on the independent circuit and isn’t sure about his story with Raven at this point. DDP makes his way out to a good pop from the crowd as Mike and Larry talk about Page and Luger’s tag team win last night. The bell sounds as the crowd is chanting for Page. Stevie loads up the Steviekick and then does some random martial arts posturing, but Page answers with the Bang! They lock up and Stevie takes control of the arm. Page turns it around but Stevie forces the break. Stevie pulls the hair to break a hold and quickly runs into the ropes to avoid Page. Page catches him with a boot and grabs a side headlock and then puts Stevie down with a shoulderblock. Page hoists him up with a gutwrench and then drops him into a stomachbreaker. Stevie goes to the eyes as we check out Raven at ringside. Stevie takes Page over with a back suplex for two. He slugs away at Page and then buries a running elbow into his chest. Page comes out firing and hits an inverted atomic drop. He plants Stevie with a pancake and then calls for the Cutter. He puts Stevie on his shoulders and hits the Cutter from that position for the win. Stevie was game but it was basically an extended squash. Page d. Richards with the Diamond Cutter at 3:37; Grade: .5
– Page celebrates as Raven hops the rail and climbs into the ring. He stares at Page but walks over to Stevie and slaps him across the face. Page leaves as Raven kicks Stevie to the floor. Raven pushes Stevie into the rail with his boot and then leaves through the crowd. We check out a replay and head off to break.
– We are back from commercial and it is time to check in with Lee Marshall in Salt Lake City, the home of Nitro and the Winter Olympics. The talk around town is all about next week’s show. And when in town, you can check out Promontory Point, where the golden spike was driven or Weaseltory Quarry, known for its fool’s gold. Bobby says Lee is the only person he knows that can drown in Salt Lake. And with that, we head down to the ring for our next match.
7) Mortis & Wrath vs. Kevin Nash & Scott Hall for the WCW Tag Team Championship
Wrath, Mortis and James Vandenberg slowly head to the ring as a red light envelops the arena and Tenay tells us that Mortis & Wrath are coming off a win over the Faces of Fear on last night’s PPV. The lights come back on and the Outsiders are making their way out to defend their gold. Syxx is coming out with them as we get some more talk about Hennig’s betrayal. The bell sounds and it looks like Hall and Mortis are going to get us started. Hall and Nash do the old Bushwhacker motion and then Hall flicks his toothpick in Mortis’s face. Hall breaks down Mortis with an armbar and then takes him down while maintaining the hold. Larry is full of vim and vigor here as he rips on the Outsiders. Mortis and Hall trade right hands with Hall winning the battle. Hall puts his head down on a whip and Mortis plants him with a Rocker Dropper. Mortis spits on Hall and then kicks and punches away at him. Hall ducks a clothesline and then catches a leaping Mortis and tosses him down with a fallaway slam. Hall slugs Wrath off the apron but that gives Mortis an opening to land a spin wheel kick. Mortis tags in Wrath but Hall spits on him and tags in Nash. Nash gives the Suck It gesture and then kicks Wrath into the corner. He follows with right hands and some elbows but Wrath turns him around and drills him with a lariat. Wrath kicks away and follows with some chops but Nash fights his way out. Wrath shoots Nash in and drills him with a big boot for two. Wrath is a beast and you can feel the crowd starting to dig him. Mortis tags in and hits a side Russian legsweep. He heads to the middle rope and hits a legdrop for two. Mortis slugs away but Syxx distracts Nick Patrick, allowing Hall to club Mortis from behind. Nash crushes him with a boot to the face and sets up for the Jackknife. Wrath comes in but Nash boots him in the face too. Hall knocks Wrath to the floor and Nash hits a great Jackknife for the win. That was actually a fun little match and they could have made Mortis & Wrath into big stars with a win here as the crowd was feeling them and they looked great. Nash & Hall d. Mortis &Wrath when Nash pins Mortis with the Jackknife at 5:58; Grade: 2
– The NWO celebrates in the ring as we check out a replay and head to commercial.
– When we return, the NWO music is filling the arena again and Eric Bischoff is joining us. Eric wants to tell us how much he loves us all and he is honored to be him. Without any further delay, Eric brings out the party to celebrate and with that Hogan, Hall, Syxx, Norton, Vincent, Nash, Savage and Liz all strut to the ring. Bobby says Hogan has a bigger entourage than Tenay, which made me laugh for some reason. Hogan grabs a sign that reads “Hey McMahon, Bite Me” and poses with it on his way down the aisle. The troops climb into the ring and Hogan poses with the belt and does the usual routine. Hogan has clearly been practicing GTL, I can tell you that much. And Eric then brings out tonight’s guest of honor: Curt Hennig. Hennig comes out to Ric Flair’s theme music and is wearing his robe, which only further angers our announcers. The crowd is chanting for Flair but something tells me they aren’t getting their wish here tonight. Eric is privileged to have Hennig in the NWO and Hennig thanks him for the kind words. He wants us to know what a privilege it is to be in Charlotte, NC. Hennig gets drilled with some trash and Larry calls for more to be thrown. He says that Arn Anderson was smart enough and man enough to give up his spot but Ric Flair was just a jerk. When he saw Flair’s head lined up in the cage door and he slammed it shut, he heard the bone cracking and snapping and knew he did the right thing. The NWO gathering means a lot to him and he is a part of the greatest wrestling organization in history. Hennig officially presents Flair’s robe to Hogan out of respect. Hogan says this day has been “exactly perfect”. Bischoff wants to chat with Savage about Halloween Havoc and Savage accepts Page’s challenge for a match. Back to Hogan, Eric talks about Piper’s proclamations last week. Hogan says he was around when Piper was the so-called head of the WWF. The last time he saw the Rowdy One, he was telling his family he was done with wrestling and was coming home. We now know that Piper is a liar and that the last time we saw him, Hall left him laying for the 1-2-3. The steel cage match at Havoc will play out like what happened to Flair last night. Hogan says the NWO is in the business of public service and this service is putting old fossil wrestlers to rest. As far as Piper giving orders about wrestling eating broccoli, Hall knows a place he can eat…down there. Eric wants to know “down where” and we get a big Suck It from Hogan, Hall and Bischoff. Hogan knows the fans aren’t here to see WCW, but they are here to see the NWO. He will put Piper out to pasture in the cage and he hopes Sting will be watching because he will want no piece of Hollywood after he witnesses that. Hogan wraps things up and then desecrates Flair’s robe as we head to commercial.
– When we return, we head to the announce table and they talk about Halloween Havoc, which is a month away and will emanate from Las Vegas. Tenay then takes us to a video package recapping the history between Hogan and Piper. After that, we go back to the ring for our next bout.
8) Ultimo Dragon vs. Eddie Guerrero for the WCW Cruiserweight Champion
Dragon makes his way to the ring first and the new Cruiserweight Champion, Eddie Guerrero, follows him out. The bell sounds and Eddie goes behind Dragon and mares him over. Eddie works the arm but Dragon flips out and takes Eddie over. They reset but Eddie regains control off a test of strength. Eddie takes Dragon down and then dropkicks him in the ribs. Larry puts over Eddie’s aggressiveness as Eddie grabs a hammerlock and slams Dragon down onto it. Eddie goes to the apron and hits a springboard senton as Tenay tells us we will go into the third hour tonight. Eddie chokes Dragon across the ropes and then works Dragon over with some uppercuts and right hands. Eddie rakes the eyes with his boot and follows with some chops. Dragon fights off a float over and sends Eddie down with a shoulderblock. Dragon comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and some stiff kicks to the back. He chops away in the corner but Eddie turns it around and chops way as well. Dragon comes back with a series of kicks to put Eddie down. Dragon nails Eddie with a running powerbomb for two. He tosses Eddie around with a Giant Swing but he drops Eddie after two revolutions and grabs his shoulder in pain. Eddie tries for a powerbomb but Dragon lands on his feet and botches a headscissors takeover. Dragon misses a charge in the corner but floats out of a suplex attempt and goes for the Dragon sleeper but Eddie kicks free. Eddie catches Dragon on a springboard moonsault attempt and crushes him with a shoulderbreaker. Eddie goes up top and drops a stiff frog splash to pick up the win. That was a really nice defense for Eddie and a really good match. Guerrero d. Dragon with a frog splash at 6:06; Grade: 2.5
– We are back from commercial and the Nitro Girls are dancing while Tenay runs down upcoming events. After that, it is officially main event time as Curt Hennig is making his way down to the ring.
9) Curt Hennig vs. Steve McMichael for the WCW United States Championship
Hennig reaches the ring as we take another break. When we return, the Horsemen music is blaring and Mongo comes flying down the aisle. He slides in but Hennig catches him with some boots as the bell sounds. Hennig hammers on Mongo as Tenay tells us he is the last standing member of the Horsemen as the others are all injured. Mongo swats Hennig off and clubs on him but Hennig takes him down by the leg and nails a shinbreaker. Hennig wraps Mongo’s leg around the ring post and then keeps the assault on with a spinning toehold. The crowd is chanting for Mongo as Hennig drops all his weight down onto the leg. Hennig hooks an inverted figure four but Mongo goes to the eyes. Mongo picks Hennig up but his leg gives out and Hennig falls on top for two. Hennig goes back to the toehold and then stomps on the leg. Mongo pulls himself up but Hennig meets him with some chops. Mongo slugs back into it but he tries to kick and hurts his knee. Hennig clips Mongo and goes right back to work. Mongo tries to fight back again but Hennig keeps going to the leg to slow him down. Mongo tosses Hennig into the corner and hammers away. He whips him across the ring by his ears and Hennig slides into the post crotch first. Mongo lands an atomic drop and then crushes Hennig with a clothesline. He hits an inverted atomic drop and another clothesline. Mongo runs Hennig into the buckles and mat face first. Hennig slowly gets up but he avoids the three point stance and hooks the Hennigplex for the win and the title. I really liked the story here, but due to the timing and placement of the match, this really should have been a wild brawl as the crowd was ready to explode. Still, it was well worked and Mongo’s selling was really good. Hennig d. McMichael with the Hennigplex to win the US Championship at 6:28; Grade: 2
– Hennig holds the belt up high as the announcers bemoan the turn of events and we fade out. See you next week in Salt Lake City!