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WCW Nitro 12/22/1997

Written by: Kevin Kildenberger

WCW Monday Nitro 12/22/97

The go home show and the ratings dropped. It started strong with a 4.0 but kept declining to a 3.6 and then 3.0 and was beaten by RAW in the second hour when RAW got a 3.2; in fact the two head to head hours were really close. The show dropped due to trying to turn Nitro into nWo Nitro and spending twenty minutes doing it. The idea was to have them run Nitro while WCW ran Thunder, which is debuting next month. Well, thankfully the experiment failed and it will be interesting to see why and if there is any fall out.Jesus back to back three hour shows….

A Black and White nWo promo with Bischoff and how he is going to beat up Larry and kick him in the head. That was a long promo and EB has a surprise for him.

Match 1: Fit Finley v. Eddie Guerrero (c) for WCW Cruiserweight Title

Finley jaws at him and gets lowkicked in the knees and Eddie works it over. He postures for the crowd as he continues going after the knee. Eddie goes for a running kick and Fit moves and Eddie flies through the ropes. He gets back in and Fit pounds him and short clotheslines him. He has him draped over his shoulders and drops him on the top rope, drops the elbow and then kicks him. Fit catapults him into the top rope but holds onto the legs and then bends him back. Eddie turns it around after they get up, slugs away at him in the corner and then whips him into the other one and charges at him but is lifted and dropped onto the top turnbuckle. Fit gets a two count. Fit is taking it to him as Eddie hangs over the apron. He kicks Eddie flush in the face. Eddie hits the knee, but gets punched a few times and tries to slam him but Eddie stumbles and gets on his feet, hits the knee. Eddie goes up top and is superplexed off. Eddie pokes him in the eyes and then leaves the ring and walks away and is counted out.

Good opener and Eddie is a great heel and is clearly over with the crowd as he gets major heat.

Match 2: Meng v. Steve McMichael

Mongo is chopped down, pulled up and chopped some more. Mongo fires back and down goes Meng; he drops the elbow on him and then runs him over in the corner. He mauls him there, but is whipped into the other corner but he gets the knee up and then the boot but walks into a powerslam. Meng piledrives him and gets two. Meng chokes him out, now he kicks him around the ring but Mongo pops up and hits him right back before getting chopped back down. Meng goes up top and pulls him up at two after the big splash! He chops the shoulder blades, tosses him to the floor and heads out after him. Mongo tries to fight back but to no avail. Mongo is shoved into the post and Jimmy Hart has a chair and misses and tries to back away. Mongo gives chase but Meng cuts him off and now they are toe to toe going at it. Meng chops the throat, and Hart slides in a wooden chair and Meng cannot get it and Mongo hits him and Meng just flails about and so he gets the steel chair and a Tombstone and the ref counts it despite the wooden shards.

Really a fun match.

DDP comes out and talking about Christmas and presents and now he wants Hennig and the US belt. Oh and Curt will feel the Bang.

Match 3: Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera and Hector Garza v. La Parka and Silver King and Psychosis

Garza runs over king and and then uses the ropes to spring him over and follows up with a spinning backbreaker. King makes the tag as does Garza and Psychosis pounds Juvie. Juvie fights back and drops back into Psychosis and chops him in his corner. Juvie is whipped into the other corner and Psychosis eats the post and Parka and Rey are in and they fly around the ring. Parka does his dance after catching and dropping Rey but accidentally kicks King. Parka slams Rey but misses the elbow drop. Psychosis goes up and misses the senton as does Juvie and Garza. Rey sends King over the top and Juvie flies into Psychosis. Parka sets up a chair. And Garza corkscrews them all. Rey dodges King in the corner and both go up top and Rey reverse Frankensteins him and then hits his finisher! Holy shit! That was fucking awesome. I have a man crush on Rey…..may have to watch SmackDown again.

Not as good as last week’s but fun.

Match 4: Van Hammer v. Chris Benoit

Benoit calls this match unfair and tells the rest of the Flock to get in the ring to even the odds as he is going to need the help. He kicks Hammer in the knee and stomps away on it. He work him over in the corner. Hammer knocks him down but is shoved to the floor by Benoit. Benoit dives on top of him, he goes over to Saturn and hits him and this allows Hammer to hit him from behind. Back in the ring he is knocking Benoit around, places him up top and slams him off with authority; he rams his head into the canvas over and over. Benoit is knocked to the floor, Hammer goes after him and Benoit fightse back and whips him into the side of the ring. Lodi and Kidman gets decleated with vicious clotheslines but Saturn leaps on top of him and puts him in the Rings.

Good match….I like this feud.

Tenay is arguing with the nWo as they are shooed off. It is the “B” team with Rude. Buff asks if the cameraman is nWo and he nods and so Konnan gives him an nWo shirt. The rest of the crew is getting nWo shirts and being grilled about whether or not they are nWo or WCW. They are tearing down WCW signs and enter the production truck and take over. Now the main Nitro sign and the WCW at the rampway are being taken down as the welders come out. Now the nWo Nitro signs are up and some banners and music and the fans do not mind it and many are cheering while some are just standing there looking. Buff gets in the ring and Penzer backs off. Buff asks Penzer if he is nWo or not and Penzer responds in the negatory and so is tossed out. Buff orders Norton and Konnan to take down the other WCW signs. Or he orders workers to do it or get fired and they do it.

Commercial.

Buff has a Buff sign and nWo is spraypainted in the middle of the ring. Rude demands and receives pyro as the nWo music or voices blare. The nWo sign was officially put up.

They go to a spot where a sledgehammer takes down the WCW banner and the nWo one appears. It is now appearing on the TV instead of WCW.

EB rides in on his Harley. He calls out the coolest guys he knows. The nWO come down and Nash is actually there. Hogan comes out last. EB chants “who’s the champ” and now finally he gets started. He calls Hall and Nash the tag champs, the US champ is in the ring and so is the world champ and they own the show too. This is Hogan’s night, the nWo is going to take care of Luger for him. They and no one else would be here if it was not for Hogan and so they are dedicating the first show to Hogan and EB actually bows down (no conflict of interest there, I wonder if sex is involved). He has another gift and wants it brought out as Hulk acts surprised and it rains leaflets and EB sings “White Christmas” and they say “nWo Nitro and Merry Christmas Hollywood” and he is getting a Harley from EB and Hulk is stunned. It is not over yet, Jesus no wonder Hogan has a huge ego, I swear EB is going to give him a blowjob right there. Out comes another bike and a limo convertible with a hot tub and two Nitro Girls and some champagne and now EB asks HOgan if he want to go three hours and he does, so they will.

After the break JJ Dillon tells Rick Steiner and Ted DiBiase do not have to go out there. But they decide that they want too.

EB screams in the headset, wondering if they are on and yells “hello mom.”

Match 5: Rick Steiner v. Scott Norton

Rick attacks him right away, but is whipped into the corner and then squashed in the corner. Norton strikes with a flying shoulder block, dumps him to the floor and then runs him into the railing. He keeps after him, whips him into the railing again and chops him, runs him face first onto the apron, stomps on his hand and Rick slowly climbs back into the ring. Norton suplexes him but telegraphs the back body drop. He is kicked and it does not faze him but the belly to belly does, and he gets two after the elbow drop. Rick tries  a belly to belly from the top and they just fall down. Konnan runs down and attacks Rick and the ref calls for the bell. Scotty runs down and helps out Rick and Ray Traylor does too and they clear the ring.

Match 6: Disco Inferno (c) v. Curt Hennig (c) for WCW TV Title

They lock up and neither get the advantage but on the second attempt Disco is knocked down off the whip. He is tossed to the floor, then brought back into the ring where he is kicked in the ribs. Disco has had no offense as he gets chopped in the corner. Disco fights back but it does not last and Curt beats him some more. Disco gets two more blows in and then is hammered some more, slammed and Curt pulls up his head at two. Jesus this is really bad. Disco who was getting a brief push is just getting utterly manhandled like a child. Wait, he is fighting back but then rocked with a punch and a chop sends him down. Curt jumps on his back and twists the knee and Disco somehow rakes the eyes. Disco is nailed and finished off.

Maybe this was not for the title and the match fucking sucked and was a squash. Seriously, they bring in Saturn who can wrestle have him dismantle people then lose to Disco who then gets destroyed….fuck WCW who books this shit? I understand that they are not the same without Raven and that is the angle but it is still asinine.

Oh it is Nash, Rude and EB at the announce table. Heenan comes out and wants to talk business. He calls EB the Donald Trump of wrestling and the Spielberg too. EB is number one and Heenan has to be a part of that and wants to be considered for the job. EB tells him to shut up as he is getting a headache. Heenan calls Nash the true giant. Rude asks if Sting deserves to have his neck broken by Hogan and Heenan responds in the affirmative. Nash gives him his chair.

Match 7: Harlem Heat v. Lodi and Scotty Riggs

Heenan is kissing Rude’s ass and wants to buy him dinner. Tenay is called back in. The match finally starts and Booker runs over Riggs. Rude tells Tenay to call it like he sees it! EB is gone. Booker is working over the armand hiptosses Riggs. Riggs fights back but gets the Harlem Sidekick and Ray gets the tag and he boots him in the face, but misses the elbow drop. Lodi gets the tag but is immediately clotheslined. Lodi is up and given two backbreakers and then bodyslammed. Booker gets the tag and axe kicks him and a sidekick to the head as Riggs looks on and Booker taunts the Flock sans Raven. They double suplex Lodi well hold him up for a bit. Lodi continues to get his ass kicked and is dumped headfirst onto the railing. Riggs is back in the crowd as he gets dismantled and finished off.

Squash.

Match 8: Buff Bagwell v. Chris Jericho

Jericho takes the offensive with a series of kicks and chops. He knocks him to the floor, runs him into the railing and rolls him back into the ring. Buff stomps on him but is caught and kicked, Jericho bodyslams him and goes up top but is knocked off. Jericho shoves him back but gets shoved into the railing and then stomped on.

Commercial.

Jericho gets two after a flying crossbody but Bagwell is up and clotheslines him. Buff chokes him out with his boot and smacks him upside the head. He chokes him out on the ropes and the fans start to chant Jericho whose head is bashed into the corner. Jericho hits him but off the whip runs into a boot. Buff uses the ropes to try and get the pin but the ref catches it. Jericho is snapped over and put in a rear chinlock. Jericho is up and escapes, and he strikes with two dropkicks. Jericho hits him and then knees him in the corner, suplexes him and gets a two count. The fans are clearly behind Jericho as he gets poked in the eye and chokes him out on the rope. Buff bodyslams him but Jericho makes a comeback and leaps on him, slamming him down, and he strikes with a double underhook backbreaker and he gets a two count. Jericho has him in the corner, places him up top but Buff fights back and knocks off Jericho and Jericho rams him but is shoved off again and then finished with the Blockbuster.

Surprisingly good. It was obvious Buff had to go over with the Luger match coming up. Buff has gotten a lot of TV time today. Jericho gave a good accounting of himself and this was the bright spot of the show.

Buff knocks out the ref….

The entire nWo comes out again. Slowly. Hogan has a sign that says Vince fears Hogan and EB agrees and states Vince fears everyone. This is more of a suckfest towards Hogan who just says gimme over and over. They decided to make him a very special ring. It is the WCW title in ring form. The fans do not fucking care. This is not QVC. Fuck, EB is practically proposing to him and then just yells that he is the champion. It is still not over and he has more such as calling him the greatest athlete in the world. He has also graced the cover of Sports Illustrated the only wrestler to ever grace the cover and he unfurls a banner. Fuck not done yet….Does he not understand that the fans hate this and probably the boys despise it too. Now a Rocky III banner and the fans chant for Rocky. He wishes him Merry Christmas….and Hall celebrates with him as Hogan shows off the ring.

Match 9: Randy Savage v. Lex Luger

Savage heads to the announce table and tells Rude that it is beautiful and that he is going to beat up Luger for Hogan.

Savage misses as Luger leaps into the ring and Luger hammers him, runs him from pillar to post. Savage is clotheslined, pulled up and shoved face first into the corner and then kicked over and over. The ref tries to pull him off as he chokes out Savage with the boot. Luger suplexes him but Savage fights back and Luger runs into a boot after the whip. Savage chokes him out on the ropes and then drops him on them throat first. Savage sits his knee on Luger’s throat and steps on his head after some stomps. Savage punches him in the head, whips him into the corner and then dumps him to the floor. Savage goes after him and bashes him face first onto the steel steps. Luger blocks his head going into the railing and Luger tosses him over and beats on him in the crowd and then pulls him back over. It is clothesline and bionic elbow time and the ref is hit with it. Luger checks him and then gorilla press slams Savage. Savage heads to the floor and uses Liz for protection and Buff hits Luger from behind. Nash comes down and powerbombs Luger. Savage launches the elbow and the ref is woke up and he counts the pin.

Nothing great here.

EB and Hogan are in the ring. I wonder if he is joking or is in on it when he literally gets on his knees and sucks off Hogan. I mean he has to know. After they profess their love for one another, Hogan tells everyone that Sting will be Stung and he has beaten so many people. Now a man is holding a gift and Hogan is so thankful and tells EB he should not have and EB tries to explain that he did not. Bret Hart comes out in the nWo limo and Hogan is all happy and when he opens the gift it is a replica of his own head and he screams in some really bad acting. Bret just stands and stares with a grin on his face. Sting is on the nWo sign and slowly ziplines towards the ring and the show fades.

Who the fuck came up with this idea. I mean seriously this is one of the most poorly conceived concepts in wrestling. Who wants to see the nWo win every time and have screwy finishes every time? The fans were not too happy. How could an intelligent man like EB misread what fans like. The fans love to hate the nWo and they need a strong WCW to remain popular. That is why the fans chant and cheer for Sting and Luger and others. This was a go home show? They did not build the PPV at all. Hogan got blown like four times so perhaps that was a build. For some reason DDP is taking the place of Flair at Starrcade. Nash shows up for the first time in some weeks and there was no Giant. No Goldberg etc. Eddie did have a good match and the Jericho match was pretty good too but that was it. The takeover started fine but it was the aftermath that basically ruined it. Squash matches and just sheer narcissism. No wonder WCW has political issues. They blew off the biggest go home show for a legit experiment in turning Nitro into an nWo show. They could not wait for that or try it a month earlier. Instead it basically telegraphs that the nWo is here to stay and I understand as it is a cash cow but EB will not see the light of day and realize it needs strong competition. The ratings fell not just because of the takeover but because what happened after and RAW did have a fairly strong show. Man, the cracks have appeared but they are small right and still easily fixed but what a shitty show easily the worst Nitro in recent memory and I hope Bischoff used protection….

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