Written by: Kevin Kildenberger
WCW Monday Nitro 12/15/97
Schiavone hypes up Bret Hart coming.
Here comes the nWo and they look under the ring, twice. And EB says something to Chono who says something. Now it is Hennig’s turn and he declares this nWo country…it is Charlotte. He is taunting Flair and he will go in the ring with the finest athlete the nWo has ever produced. Now to Hogan who brags about beating up Sting and calls him a coward and that he will never come out here face to face. He continues and EB wants everyone to give it up for him and the music starts.
This is the three hour Nitro.
They show what Flair said about Hart last week.
Match 1: Vincent v. Ray Traylor
Right away Vincent is driven through the mat with a spinebuster and then crushed in the corner. Ray gets a nice response here after a big forearm. The Flock heads to ringside. Vincent fires back but is whipped into the corner front first and back suplexed off the rebound. Ray finishes him off.
He wants to know where the nWo is at but it is Vincent so they do not care.
A lot of recaps and video packages for Starrcade.
Match 2: Yuji Nagata v. Disco Inferno (c) for WCW TV Title
They circle around each other and lock up with Nagata raking the eyes and dropping him after a series of kicks. Disco fights back and pounds him in the corner. Yuji is whipped into the corner and drops down calling for a timeout but he knocks Disco to the floor where Sonny kicks him around a bit. Back in the ring he is dropped back on his head and Yuji gets two. He kicks him in the head, takes his time and Disco tries to fight back but gets popped in the throat and then choked out. He gets two after a forearm smash, Nagata comes off the ropes and is nailed with an inverted atomic drop and then dropped for two. He is pancaked for another two count. Disco hits him in the head but cannot whip him as the rope is hooked so he hits him and is able to whip him and he gets a nice pop after a swinging neckbreaker. He gets two but Sonny grabs him and gets his head bounced off the top rope and Nagata is done after the Chart Buster.
Damn Disco is getting a lot of TV time and some wins….whatever works I guess. Poor Ultimo Dragon though.
Match 2: Dean Malenko v. Fit Finlay
Eddie is back at the announce table. They exchange some holds but Fit gets the upperhand and snaps him over and then runs him over. Fit kicks him in the chest and applies a nerve hold. Dean is up and back suplexes his way out of it. He pounds him in the corner. Dean has him in a chinlock and steps on his calf. Fit counters out with a jawbreaker and vicious clothesline and he gets two. Fit stomps on his hand and pulls him up, rocks him with an uppercut and drives his head into the apron and drills him with an elbow. Dean reverses a whip and Fit crashes into the railing. Fit is rolled back into the ring, Dean pulls him up and wants a piledriver or powerbomb but Fit escapes somehow and hits him with his head. He has the arm, whips him into the corner and then drives his shoulder into him. Whips him into the other corner but runs into boot Dean walks into an eye rake but Fit misses a dropkick. Dean misses but back elbows free from the waistlock. Dean gets two and Eddie leaves the announce table and heads to the ring as Malenko gets another two count. Dean is distracted and hit and then finished off.
Good match and it sets up what should be a great Starrcade match.
Match 3: La Parka and Psychosis v. Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera
Juvie and Psychosis start off and go back and forth with Juvie scissoring him all over the place. Parka hits him though and this allows Psychosis to drop him. Psychosis trips him up and off the tag Parka kicks him and works him over in the ropes and Rey is upset and the distraction allows Juvie to be killed with guillotine legdrop for two. Juvie is whipped into the corner and the powerbombed for another near fall. The fans get into it as Parka makes the tag and Juvie kicks his own man with the missile dropkick but Parka makes the save off the pin….sorry Psychosis kicked his man as Juvie ducked. Juvie is getting worked over in the corner and Psychosis dropkicks him and then taunts Mysterio. Parka misses in the corner and Psychosis runs into the Juvie Driver and Rey gets the hot tag and unloads but is hit by Psychosis. Juvie springboards on both but is caught so Rey flips into all three and they go down. It has broken down as all four are going at it and flying around the ring. The heels are dropkicked to the floor and then nailed with somersault planchas. Psychosis is whipped into the corner and Juvie lands on him getting two. Parka runs all over and kicks his own guy out and Rey flips on to his feet….but he does leapfrog into a super hurracarana!! Damn! He gets two and Psychosis has Juvie up top but in midair it turns into a slam and he gets two. Parka made the save and dances around and is kicked out by Rey and he does it again and Rey nails him with a hurracarana off the apron and Juvie finishes off Psychosis a 450 splash.
Damn what a spotfest but one Hell of a fun one. Good stuff.
Gene is in the ring with the police chief and Doug Dillinger. Gene welcomes Arn Anderson. He gets quite the reception as he comes out. Gene tells him that everyone misses the Enforcer and the fans erupt. Arn pauses and proclaims the ring his home. Ninety days ago they were supposed to see Flair wrestle in this building but the fans were robbed of it and the day of reckoning is coming and he calls out Flair and the fans erupt again. Flair tells Gene that Arn is about to make him break down and cry. He is blessed to be chosen by WCW to honor the Charlotte police force. There is a memorial that was set up today for slain officers in Charlotte and he hands over a check for fifteen grand. The police chief thanks everyone and leaves. Now it is Flair time and he bellows and takes off his jacket. On behalf of the Enforcer and Charlotte he wants this great company to show a video of the greatest Nitro party ever and he is calling out Hennig in Charlotte tonight. Hennig and the whole nWo cannot beat him up in Charlotte.
JJ Dillon is with Gene and they are discussing the obstacles set up by EB. Bischoff comes out and declares that he has not tried to do everything to get out of the match and the fans chant Larry and so he tells the fans to bite him. He glares up at Larry who promises not to go com down there. EB states he is not a wrestler and has never been one. He is out weighted by sixty pounds and he is a former tag champion. He tells the crowd to shut up as they chant he sucks. When he is backed into the corner he will fight and he want punches and kicks legal. Dillon responds that he has no backbone and he will agree if submissions count and EB agrees and makes sure that knockouts count as do kicks to the head….when have they not?
Here comes Scott Hall still wearing the fake tag belt! The Steiners have been booked where you forget they are champs. The fans boo him with alacrity and he still goes on with the survey! The fans erupt for WCW and Hall places his hands over his ears and laughs. He asks if they want to jump on the Black and White express and a few nWo shout outs but he asks for redo as he laughs and states it is one more for the good guys….classic.
Match 4: Chris Jericho v. Scott Hall
Hall misses and is rolled up after a sunset flip form the top and he gets two. He kicks him and gets two after a the Lionsault. He leaps right into his arms and gets tossed backwards. He runs him into the corner and clotheslines him and Jericho reverses the whip and runs into an elbow. He does roll him up for two. He tries to fight back but is goozled and chokeslammed and Hall does his Giant impersonation. He calls for the Edge and they claim Jericho tries to hook him but he did not and it is over.
Jesus, Jericho got squashed like a bug.
Match 5: Steve McMichael v. Meng
Mongo has not come out yet. Goldberg is looming over Mongo and taunting him and if you mess with the bull you get the horns. JJ Dillon runs up distraught and tells him to wrestle Meng and Goldberg responds that if he wants another victim then so be it. The crowd gives him a nice pop as he comes out. Mongo runs up and hits him but Goldberg just turns around and they go at it and a slew of officials and security split them up. He screams at the ring or Mongo that he is next.
Match 6: Konnan and Scott Norton v. Steiner Brothers (c) for WCW Tag Titles
Vincent looks fine now. Steiners come out and clear the ring. The announcers are happy that Bret was not with the nWo at the beginning and that it raises questions. Konnan is in the ring with Scotty and he is dropped and then gorilla slammed. He squishes him with a belly to belly and Konnan retreats to the floor. Rick and Norton are now in and Norton whips him into the corner but runs into a boot only to run him over. Rick comes back with a toss and goes up top and gets two after a flying clothesline. Rick slowly goes up top and is caught and tossed off. Konnan back splashes him and makes the cover but he is not the legal man. Norton has him up and gets two after the shoulder breaker. Konnan gets the tag and works over Rick who ducks a clothesline and then drops Konnan back on his head. Scotty comes in to intercept Norton and the go to the floor and hammer each other. Scotty comes back and preps for their finisher but Vincent runs in and the match is tossed out. They assault the Steiners and Ray Traylor gets a pop running out ot clear the ring.
I am assuming these teams will meet at the PPV.
Match 7: Booker T v. Randy Savage
Savage and Booker exchange arm holds and kicks along with headlocks. Savage pushes him off but gets run over not once but twice. After a two count Booker works over the arm. Savage is up and fights back but is knocked to the floor. Booker goes out after him, dumps him over the railing and tears off Savage’s shirt before pulling him back over. Back in the ring, Savage charges him but is dropped with a back elbow. Booker axe kicks him and then whips him into the railing. Booker misses the charge and gets walloped with a plastic chair. Savage breaks the count, grabs him and drops him on the railing throat first. Savage rolls him back in and gets two after a bodyslam. He kicks him and a fat fan runs up and Savage kicks him in the head before he is hauled off! Savage goes back after Booker but is nailed with a spinkick and now a dropkick and the ref had to scramble to make sure he gets knocked out. Booker gives him an atomic drop and it is axe kick. Booker goes up top but Liz slows him up and Savage knocks him to the floor and then wallops him with the chair and Liz wakes up the ref as Savage finishes him with the big elbow.
Good match. Booker was really over here as Savage was booed.
Buff and Hall are advertising a shirt….no Syxx anymore. He does have a neck injury but supposedly had been high quite a bit….there is a shocker!
Match 8: Chris Benoit v. Raven
It is not Raven out there and Riggs instead. They go at it but Riggs gets the upperhand with a clothesline in the corner. Benoit comes right back with some big chops and then a hole is stomped in him. Benoit spits at the Flock….Raven is not there. Benoit kicks him in the gut off the whip and front suplexes him onto the top rope. Benoit stomps on him. Riggs makes a comeback picks him up by his hair and drops him. He chokes him out, pulls him up by the hair but Benoit snaps him over and pounds him on the head. He takes his time and one chops sends him to the floor. He goes after him but gets his head bashed into the railing, Riggs rolls him back in and chokes him out. Benoit gets the knees up on the splash attempt. He goes for a suplex but just drops him on his stomach and then strikes with the diving headbutt. He taunts the Flock and walks into a jawbreaker but he is taken down and put in the Crossface and the fans erupt after Riggs taps.
Another good put over match for Benoit and I hope it goes somewhere.
He taunts Raven again by doing quote the Crippler. He mocks them for not being true non-conformists and then just decides to leap into the entire Flock and unload on him. He is overwhelmed and tossed into the ring and put in the Rings of Saturn.
JJ Dillon is with Gene and they are again discussing EB trying to get out of the match at Starrcade and out comes an angry Bischoff. He wants to know who the ref will be. JJ Dillon states it is Randy Anderson. EB wants a tall ref who can see everything and wants Nash. So JJ responds with another one and EB does not want a fat one as he moves quick. He asks for Syxx who has a bad neck and cannot harm anyone. JJ does agree to pick one of the nWo guys but he gets two pick. EB agrees and JJ makes sure that he agrees to it and out comes Bret Hart to some horrible music and he gets a pop. EB is giddy. Why is Bret reffing…..oh well. Gene welcomes him to Nitro and he responds that it took a long time to get here and it is great to be here and to be in Ric Flair country. He asks if they are looking for ref and he would be honored. EB yells out that he makes 7.5 million of Ted’s money and jumps around. He makes to leave but Bret stops him and tells him that he better win if he can but he is on his own as he knows what it is like to be screwed by refs. EB goes over to the mic and talks about the money again and Bret just turns away and looks to the crowd.
Not the greatest debut. I guess not sure what they could do with him. With the screwjob it makes sense for him to be a ref but why not have him attack the nWo or tease whether or not he is with them. He could ref the main event and avoid the shit that happened later….whatever.
Gene calls out Lex but Buff comes out instead. Buff declares himself the total package from the looks of things. Buff makes fun of Lex for not knowing what to do because he stole his interview time. He has not beat Buff and never will. The crowd roars and Buf thinks it is for him but Lex comes out. Gene distracts him as Lex enters the ring but Buff is not fazed. Buff reiterates that Lex cannot beat him. Lex calls him pathetic and that there is time for a match right now. Buff responds that he is not so easily defeated and make fun of Lex’s brain and that there needs to be a ref. Lex counters that he lined up a ref and now Buff looks worried. Nick Patrick is the ref. Buff states that you do not just crank up a Ferrari and take off as he is not warmed up. Lex thought of that and slaps Buff in the face. Gene mocks him and then leaves and the bell rings.
Luger takes it to him and back body drops him, Buff gets up and is clotheslined twice. Buf begs off but is pulled up and run into the corner and whipped into the other one where he is clotheslined. Lex stomps a hole in him. Buff is whipped into the other corner and Buff moves and now it is Luger’s turn to get a hole stomped in him. Luger gets the boot up and clotheslines him and then powerslams him. He calls for the Rack and Norton and Vincent run down and get knocked off the apron and Buff is clotheslined over the top.
Jesus they did an over the top DQ. I guess it just perpetuates the feud….not much of one but Buff is getting more air time and has potential.
Match 10: Curt Hennig (c) v. Ric Flair
Curt has the mic and says Ric Flair Country and Charlotte NC. Hennig is truly too good to be true. He is the best. There is no one in this crowd better and he will take on the challenge and dares Flair. He spits after saying Flair is a thirteen time champ. Curt is answering his call and ready to dance all night as he is bigger, better and a whole lot cooler and the fans tell him he sucks so he stops. He points out his belt and that it represents that he is the US champ. There will never be another Curt Hennig in the industry and this is the proof that he is the best.
Finally Flair comes out. Not sure if this is a title match. Yup it seems to be. Hennig goes to hit him but Flair blocks it and unloads on him. Hits him with a lowblow and now some punches and he tosses him. Hall comes out and gets nutted and taken down. Savage and Buff are pasted too. The rest of the nWo enter the ring and Flair is able to nut Norton. But he is overwhelmed and Curt works over the leg and DDP runs down as Curt puts him in the Figure Four or Flair did not really sure and he DDP cleans house and the Steiners lend a hand. Hennig is hauled back into the ring by DDP and beaten some more. Flair was in the Figure Four I was baffled as DDP danced around the two when fighting. Flair is selling an injured knee as Hennig is on the floor yelling at him and that he wants his belt. Flair is carried off. Luger is down there too. DDP starts to talk but the ref stops him for a moment. DDP is feeling pretty good right now and asks Hennig how he feels. He has a spot for Curt now and wants him to come out and feel the Bang. Jesus some more fans charge the ring! Randy Anderson beats the Hell out of some skinny dude as Page looks on just in case!! Awesome. Hennig does not come out but EB and Hogan comes out in the lead with the rest behind him. DDP exits through the crowd as the nWo enters the ring and the fans litter it with trash. Jesus is Curt high. He held up his belt and just stumbled and fell down. He is grinning oddly and can barely get to his feet. EB has to help him and asks him questions and then talks to Hall and others. Now Hennig is fine. Okay, Hogan was just rambling about Sting and getting a piece of him and calling him a coward. The lights go out and Sting is up in the rafters and they come back on and Hogan is pissed and tells him to come down and face him. The lights go out again but Hogan still talks and tells them to turn on the lights and that it is not fun anymore and they pan to Sting standing on top of the WCW sign! Hogan wants to know where he is and then finally notices him and tells him to get in the ring and face him. Someone yells that this is fucked up….and Hogan continues to taunt him and that he does not want any of this and Sting slowly heads to the ring as it fades…
Much better show and the best in over a month. The three hours allowed for more wrestling….though it is going to take me forever to finish my journey with that extra hour and Thunder and later SD. Oh well. I have a few years left on my ticker. Anyway, they did a fine job in setting up the PPV. There were some decent matches and I like the Benoit bit, as Raven is finally given stuff to do. The Lucha match was great but still not Nash just random promos here and there. Goldberg got a spot. Not sure what was going on with Flair and why he got beat down again but he did give a good accounting of himself. Curt stumbling was funny but also worrisome. I wonder if that is why there was no match or if it was a random thing but EB did not look too happy. The ending was classic with Sting on the WCW sign. I am not a fan of Hart’s entrance but then again what else could they do? They are two weeks from the biggest show they have ever done. You could hotshot a quick feud but that does not make sense. The ref thing is not the greatest and having him do the EB and Larry match is not the worst thing. It would have been better to tease it out and have him ref the Sting/Hogan match. But we will see, they are playing off the Screwjob so that works. I am looking forward to the PPV now that they have done a great job in building it. I am not too keen on another Buff and Luger match but the rest of the card is shaping up and at least the Steiners came out in the end and got some air time. At least WCW stood tall but the you can tell by the set up that the nWo is not going anywhere no matter the outcome of the PPV.