WCW Nitro 10/20/1997
Written by: Kevin Kildenberger
WCW has been getting its stride back going into Havoc, which in turn leads into Starrcade. The build has been one of the better ones this year. They have all the uppercarders, minus Nash involved. They have shied away from silly storylines and some of the midcarders have had some good matches. Eddie has turned into a great heel and deserves more time. There are downsides, Benoit is absent, no more Horsemen but then again the way that they had been booked most of 1997 that it may be for the best that they have been disbanded. I will admit Mongo has improved in the ring but his angles have been awful; I thought Benoit who was over would have more to do since the Sullivan angle played out. We will see where this all leads as they head into their biggest PPV ever in December. Nitro tore up the ratings with a 4.6 first hour and a 4.5 second hour while RAW got a 2.9 and 3.0.
The nWo is laid out in the back and an Icon shirt is laying out as Hogan and company check on the downed persons.
EB and Hogan stalk to the ring and Savage comes down with the ball bat. Hogan is upset and states there will be no cage match at Havoc and wants him down tonight. Savage wants them down now. Bischoff calls out Piper and they scream that he is a coward.
Match 1: Chris Benoit v. Eddie Guerrero (c) for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Chris knocks him down with a shoulder block; he whips Eddie into the ropes and sends him flying. Chris chops him up in the corner but Eddie turns it around, Benoit turns the tide back into his favor and chops him around again. Eddie has him on the apron and Benoit is tossed back into the ring. Eddie pulls him up, chops him but is grabbed and front plexed onto the top rope and shoved off. Benoit suicide dives right into him, rolls him back into the ring and….
Benoit throws him, whips him into the ropes but is scissored over. Eddie kicks him in the corner, hits him but Eddie is whipped into the corner and Benoit goes up but is caught and Eddie hooks him but Benoit flips off and he leaps and misses and then is sent head first into the opposing corner. Eddie goes up and and wins with the Frog Splash.
They act like Benoit was knocked out and he did make his come back tonight but he is now a midcard jobber. But Eddie looked good in victory.
Match 2: Bill Goldberg v. Wrath
Wrath turns right into a spear and is Jackhammered and it is all over.
Jesus Wrath had been treated as a solid midcarder and was just basically ruined….oh well, it is clear they are not fucking around with Goldberg.
Mongo comes out and he and Goldberg have a staredown!
Match 3: Steve McMichael v. Mortis
Mongo clips him a couple of times and then hip tosses him. Vandenberg is on the apron and Mortis kicks Mongo and then face plants him. Mortis kicks him in the corner for a few times; he slams him down in a fireman’s carry and gets a two count. Mortis chokes him out but misses in the corner. Mortis spinkicks him in the face and slams him, now he drops some elbows. Mongo is tossed to the floor, and some fans chant for Mortis as he suplexes Mongo back into the ring getting a two count. He chokes him out with his knee but gets side slammed off the whip, Mongo clotheslines him a couple of times and he has him up but drops him as Vandenberg is back on the apron and Mongo decks him but Mortis clocks him but is grabbed and finished with the Tombstone.
Okay match….perhaps a feud between Mongo and Goldberg coming up.
Debra is with Gene and she does not like Mongo stealing her TV time and Mongo is all upset. Now Gene calls them exes. She is talking about who he is facing at Havoc and he kicks the steps in anger. It is going to be a big surprise at Havoc.
Raven is at a playground and he is giving his sob life story about his parents attempted reconciliation. He continues and tells us to quote the Raven.
Rey Mysterio is walking around a Barrio and telling us about it. Now they turn to highlights of his WCW career.
Match 4: Yuji Nagata v. Psychosis
Raven and his entourage go to sit down in the crowd….Psychosis and Nagata goes back and forth. Pyschosis springboard dropkicks him in the back, slams him but is slammed off the ropes and finishes him off with the Nagata Lock.
Short and nearly a squash.
Dragon runs after Sonny and Nagata leaps on him and now they starting beating him down.
Match 5: Giant v. Jobbers
I think it is Damien and the Villanos. Giant has the mic and starts with Nash who is sitting at home with a bum knee. Giant calls him out for not being hurt and in fact he is scared. There is only one giant in wrestling and it is him. Damien interrupts him and pokes out him so he is knocked out. The Villanos eat boots and one is chokeslammed. He tells Nash this is how it is down and he powerbombs the other!
I did not see a pin but he clearly did not need to do so.
Match 6: Disco Inferno (c) v. Rey Mysterio Jr. for WCW TV Title
Rey knocks him back but when he leaps up he is caught and he strikes with a few blows only to be powerbombed. Rey is tossed to the floor and he hammers Disco as Disco gets back into the ring. They go back and forth and Rey strikes with a springboard back crossbody. Eddie sneaks down and pulls him off the ropes as he preps for his finisher. he hammers him and goes for the mask. Jackie runs into the ring and pulls a celebrating Disco off the ropes and he glares at her and turns to leave and she leaps on him and hits him a few times and now he takes off. She leaps on him from behind again and pounds him.
EB, Hogan and Savage come out again. EB is still upset and Hogan laid it out in the back that no one is living the building until Hulk and Savage get revenge. According to Hogan no one is leaving and he will beat them all up in the back and wants DDP, Sting and Piper and he is going to kick their rear end. Savage says no bats, Diamond Cutters or Sleepers. Hogan states that they can lower the cage down right now. EB claims no one wants any part of them and calls them cowards again and dares them to come out. Hogan screams that no one has guts and starts screaming for Piper. They finally leave the ring….EB still shows the Devil Island poster!
Match 7: Dean Malenko v. Curt Hennig (c) for WCW US Title
Malenko snaps him over and Hennig gets back up. They lock up and go back and forth but Curt is taken down and retreats to the floor. He slowly gets back into the ring as the fans chant that they want Flair. Dean works him over in the corner, strikes with a dropkick and gets two. Hennig hits him in the throat, kicks him and chops him.
Both go for suplexes and Hennig wins out. Both men are down and they slowly get to their feet and pound each other. Hennig gets pounded in the corner, snapped over and put in a rear chinlock. Hennig is up and fights free but is back suplexed. Dean rolls him up, gets two, and knocks him down with a shoulder tackle. He gets tossed off after a crossbody but still is in command and he goes up and nearly gets the win after a flying cross body from the top. Curt hits him in the back as he argues with the ref; he goes for the Plex but it is countered and Dean goes for the Cloverleaf but Curt gets to the ropes. Dean clips the knee and waits for him to get up and dives for it but Curt leaps. However, Dean drags him out to the floor and runs him into the post. He rolls him back into the ring, Curt goes for a kick but is taking down with a leg whip. Dean turns him over for the Cloverleaf but Curt grabs the ropes. Dean runs into a back elbow off a whip or something but Dean went down and after one move to the knee he finishes him with the Perfect Plex.
Good match with an odd finish. Fans were into it and thought Dean had a shot.
Match 8: Ray Traylor v. Scott Norton
They go at it but Ray is taken down with a shoulder tackle. Ray is whipped into the ropes, ducks and gives him a spinebuster and gets two after a splash. Ray shows some nimbleness with an enzuguri but the cover takes too long and only gets two. Norton picks him up and drops him throat first onto the top rope. After a whip into the corner; Traylor gets the boot up and drops him and now he chokes him out on the ropes and jumps on the back of his head. He goes up top and nails him but Vincent distracts him and sprays him in the eyes and Norton pins him.
The nWo attacks him; he flails wildly but gets overwhelmed.
Match 9: Booker T v. Lex Luger
They lock up and neither gets the advantage. Luger puts him in a side headlock and is pushed into the ropes but he knocks down Booker. Off another whip this time Booker drops him with a flying forearm. They lock up again, and Booker gets the upperhand but is picked up and slammed. Luger sledges him in the back and gives him a big vertical suplex. Luger misses the elbow drop, but so does Booker but he spins up and sidekicks him in the head and gets two after the axe kick. Luger is snapped over and put in a rear chinlock. Luger fights to his feet, is whipped into the corner but Booker runs into a boot. Booker takes him down and gets two. Back to a the chinlock. Luger fights to his and Booker hangs himself on the ropes after missing the heelkick. Luger decleats him with a clothesline and another one. Luger takes him down with a forearm. Booker escapes and Luger runs into a spinkick in the head and he slams him. Booker goes up top, but misses the somersault leg drop now Luger hits the Rack and it is over.
Nice match and they gave Booker a lot of offense.
Gene is with Luger. And he reminds us that Larry is the ref and then Lex puts over Booker T. Lex discusses the match at Havoc and Larry comes down. He wants to make sure everyone knows that he is going to call the match down the middle. He will count the winner and admits that Hall is not an easy man to beat. He admits that he does not like Hall but will call it down the middle. That is what Lex wanted…
Here comes Scott Hall. Hey Yo and it is survey time. WCW gets a huge pop this time! The nWo get roundly booed and Hall calls it for them anyway. No one can get behind cowards. Nash is getting ready for the big goof that is the Giant. Another goof is Luger and he remindsgettting ready for the big goof that is the Giant. Another goof is Luger and he reminds us again they are facing off. He now reminds us that Larry is going to call it down the line and if he does not he has to answer to Hall. The fans chant something and his mic is cut off.
Match 10: Scott Steiner v. Scott Hall
Hall throws his toothpick and Scotty flips him off! Hall goes after the arm, but is put in a headlock and taken down. Hall kicks him in the gut and flips him over and has the arm again. He paintbrushes him but Scotty decks him and then drops him on his head. Hall falls to the floor and DiBiase decks him too.
Scotty puts him in a full nelson. Hall starts to power out and is still struggling. Hall drives him back into the corner but he is driven into the other one. Hall floats behind and nails him with the fall away. Hall gets two after a clothesline but the ref catches him using the ropes. They block hip toss attempts but Hall is able to chokeslam him and he mimics and mocks the Giant. Hall kicks him in the head and he gets a two count. Now to the ab stretch. Hall uses the ropes for leverage and the ref is suspicious. It is still on and the rope game continues and this time he is caught. He kicks Scotty and glares at the ref. Scotty grabs him and gives Hall a pump handle slam. Hall hits him but is caught in an exploder suplex. Steiner clotheslines him but the ref goes down. Hall is kicked and powerbombed and for some reason he pins him but there is no ref. Scotty is yelling at Ted to get the ref up. Scotty turns into one kick and nnow the Edge which is odd. He holds him up and slams him down and a masked ref comes down to count the win.
Not a bad match. Both men looked strong. But the finish was odd and as he could not get him up at first….and one kick.
Hogan and Savage and EB are back in the ring and they advertise Devils Island agaiin….Hogan apologizes for overreacting as he sometimes forgets he is a God. They will get their revenge at the PPV. It is all about patience and those three are cowards. A Sting is walking down the ramp and two more enter the ring and attack Savage and Hulk from behind. It is DDP and Piper and they go to town on them. The Sting on the ramp is run down by the nWo and the cage lowers down. The real Sting rappels down and nails EB and others as Hogan and Savage and then EB escape.
At least this time they actually followed through. Though the cage was a tease. They did a good build into the show. There was plenty of wrestling and some nice long matches and most looked strong heading in. This was the best build all year to a PPV. However, no Flair tonight was baffling and makes me wonder if he is to job on Sunday which would be asinine unless they set up a blow off match but WCW rarely does that or at least does it right. Though DDP gets his as does Piper. There was nothing really wrong with the show but having Benoit job his last two matches when he just main evented and looked good during a PPV is odd if not down right stupid. Oh well, you cannot have everything and Goldberg continues to impress and I wonder when he will hit up his first PPV….