WCW Nitro 2/24/1997

Written By: Justin Rozzero

WCW Nitro 2/24/97
Arco Arena
Sacramento, CA

Hour 1
Announcers: Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko

– We skip our opening animation this week and head directly inside the Arco Arena where we are welcomed to America’s #1 professional wrestling program by Tony Schiavone. And we waste no time on this post Superbrawl Nitro as we hit the ring right away for our opening bout.

1) Public Enemy defeat Steve McMichael & Jeff Jarrett when Rocco Rock pins Jeff Jarrett after McMichael hit Jarrett with the Halliburton 4:34

Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge head down the aisle, table in tow, as Tony shows us stills of PE’s triangle match win over Harlem Heat and the Faces of Fear at last night’s show. Tony and Larry talk about Jarrett’s official induction to the Horsemen as he defeated Mongo at Superbrawl with some help from Debra. Tony doesn’t think Mongo is happy being tag partners or stablemates with Jarrett. Tony runs down tonight’s docket as Mickie Jay tries to establish some order to start this match. Mongo and Rock start things off with a lockup and a clean break. The crowd is riled up early on here tonight and seem pretty split in this one. They trade shoves as Tony talks about how Randy Savage officially joined the NWO last night when he helped Hollywood Hogan defeat Roddy Piper to retain the World title. Jarrett and Grunge are both tagged and Grunge hits a bodyslam and then follows with a right hand and swinging neckbreaker. Rock is tagged back in and he drops an axehandle on Jarrett’s arm. Tony brings up a good point on the dichotomy between these two teams, as Rock and Grunge have been long time teammates and trust each other and the Horsemen are the exact opposite. Rock lands a back elbow and tries to whip Jarrett to the buckles, but Jeff reverses it. Jarrett charges, Rock ducks out and eats a clothesline from Mongo. Tony says we will see lots of Superbrawl photos throughout the night as Jarrett tags in Mongo. Mongo drops a big legdrop and stomps away at Rocco and then shoots him into the corner. Jarrett is tagged back in and he chokes Rock on the middle rope and then drops down on his back. He tags Mongo back in and he hits a pair of three point stance tackles. Mongo works Rock over in the corner and tags Jarrett back in. Jeff misses an elbow, but is able to lift Rock off an Irish whip and powerbomb him. Man that was impressive strength out of Jeff. Grunge tries to come in, distracting Mickie Jay, and allowing Mongo to grab the Halliburton. Mongo hops in the ring, looks around, and pastes a bent over Jarrett right in the back with it to a huge pop. Rock rolls over and cradles Jarrett for the win. That was a fun little tag match and Jarrett and Mongo were working pretty well together until the breakdown at the end. The powerbomb was really cool and the pop for Mongo smacking Jarrett was great. Grade: 2

– As Public Enemy retreats, Arn Anderson and Ric Flair hit the ring alongside Mean Gene. Gene asks Mongo what he is trying to prove. He says that everyone saw what Jarrett did last night; he knows he lost and has to welcome Jarrett to the Horsemen. He says that when your brothers mess with you, you take them in the backyard and you get back what they took from you. Jarrett is livid, but Arn is holding him off. Mongo is still yelling, but Flair cuts him off. He tells both men that he told the wrestling world Saturday that if Jarrett got his hand raised, he was in. Flair says they need team players and over 11 years, they have earned the respect. The task at hand is showing everybody here why they are the symbol of excellence. Arn tells both men to listen: the NWO, the Dungeon and Luger & Giant are getting stronger while the Horsemen get weaker. Flair is hurt, Arn is hurt and Mongo & Jarrett are the only healthy Horsemen and he wants them to shake hands. Mongo says that he never said Jarrett wasn’t his brother and that, while he can hit Jarrett, he would go after anyone who messed with him. Mongo extends his hand and Flair tells Jarrett that he stood by him when nobody else wanted him in the group and tells him to shake hands, which he eventually does. Arn tells them to show the world that they are Horsemen, and they all hold the up the symbol of excellence before leaving the ring. We head up to the broadcast booth where Tony and Larry talk about the weakened state of the Horsemen. Larry doesn’t think Jarrett and Mongo will ever get along well enough to carry this group. Tony runs down some of our card again and we head to break.

2) Jim Duggan defeats Galaxy with a taped fist punch at 3:19

We are back from break as Hacksaw hit the ring for our next match. Tony is still trying to figure out what went down last night as Roddy Piper brought so much energy into the ring but was robbed in the end. Larry knows all about being a hired professional in the ring, but he says if the NWO can buy a guy like Randy Savage, then anybody can be bought. Tony says that Savage has always been a different breed and a rebel, but he is still trying to figure this all out. Duggan pounds away at Galaxy in the corner and then takes him over with a backdrop. Duggan lands a series of clotheslines while Tony thinks that Savage was forced to join the NWO in order to get back into the sport after he claimed to have been blackballed back in January. Galaxy bails out, but Duggan follows and just beats the crap out of him on the floor. He slams him hard on the ground and then shoots him back inside. Galaxy attacks Duggan as he comes back in, but Jim shakes off the blows and sends Galaxy back down to the mat. Duggan runs Galaxy to the corner and drapes him over the top and clubs away at his chest, sending him flopping out to the floor. Galaxy is back in and tries a moonsault, but Duggan just sidesteps him and he crashes to the mat. Hacksaw nails the three point stance as Larry says that Duggan is probably one of the only guys around here you can trust due to his mentality. Duggan tapes the fist, screams for Hogan and drills Galaxy in the head to get the win. That may have been the most energetic Jim Duggan squash I have seen in a long time. He was really fired up out there and was a ball of energy. Grade: 1.5

– Duggan heads up the aisle and meets up with Mean Gene. Gene talks about Superbrawl and Randy Savage and Duggan says he was shocked by what happened. First it was “Terry” and now Macho Man. He asks what is wrong with them. Did they forget about the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Special Olympics and all of their fans out here? They may have all the money and power, but their hearts are black. Duggan will stand and fight, he will not stop and he will not hide. He calls out Hogan and says he can beat him and then he calls Savage a little man and says he will trample over him as well. He tells Hogan not to send any jabronis after him in the back and says that it wasn’t him who took out Big Bubba, because Bubba looked too good for Duggan to have done it. He says when he attacks, it won’t be through the back door, but he will kick in the front door and take them out. That was a really good promo by Hacksaw and I think they should have pulled a quick trigger and had a Hogan/Duggan TV main event for the title. He was pretty over and was always preaching about how he would defend WCW and hated the NWO, so it seemed to make sense to do a big match between the two at some point.

– We are back from break and Tony tells us that for the first time in wrestling history, you can visit WCW.com and hear an audio simulcast of Nitro in Japanese or Spanish.

3) Hugh Morrus defeats Joe Gomez with the No Laughing Matter at 3:16

Tony runs down the Superbrawl Encore times as Gomez and Morrus hit the ring for their match. Larry puts over Morrus’ ability and the strength of the Dungeon as the bell sounds. We get a lockup and a clean break in the corner. On the second lockup attempt, Morrus attacks and he slugs away at Gomez’s chest. Gomez floats over a Morrus charge and gets a roll up for 1. Morrus regains control with a boot and continues the attack. Gomez gets another roll up for two and then grabs an armbar as Tony talks about experience in the ring being a key part of a wrestler’s confidence. Morrus fights up and is able to hit a sloppy clothesline on Gomez to put him down. Morrus rakes the eyes, but Gomez leapfrogs on an Irish whip and hits a dropkick. Gomez grabs another armbar, but Hugh fights up. He catches Gomez on a leapfrog attempt and just spikes him on the mat. Morrus heads up top and comes off with the No Laughing Matter for the win. That was a train wreck and Gomez was just ugly out there. Grade: .5

4) Ice Train defeats La Parka with the Train Wreck at 3:57

As Train hits the ring, we get some prerecorded comments from Teddy Long taking Miss Jacqueline to task. At Superbrawl, Jackie did too much, sacrificing herself for Kevin Sullivan. He tells Jackie to think of Kevin would have done the same for here and tells her to get out now. Train hits a powerslam as Tony wonders why Teddy cares about Jackie and her relationship with Sullivan. Parka hits an Enziguri as Larry says Train is Teddy’s best prospect. Parka hits a nice spinning heel kick off the top rope and gets a near fall. Train catches Parka on a charge and drops him with a powerslam. Train shoots Parka into the corner and charges with a splash. Parka hits a jawbreaker and a pair of spin heel kicks. Train rolls to the apron and gets a quick pep talk from Train, but as Train turns around, Parka comes flying outside with a corkscrew plancha. Both men are back inside and Train is able to crush Parka with a clothesline. Larry says that Teddy should worry about getting his own stable to be more aggressive before worrying about the Dungeon. Parka tries for a cross body off the middle rope, but Train catches him and slams him down with another powerslam. He then leaps up and drops a hug big splash onto Parka for the win. Train gets some good height on that leaping splash. I can’t believe it, but I am digging the weekly Train squashes. He has good power offense and is pretty athletic and his matches were good when he had guys who could bump around for him. Man, Teddy Long used to be so fat. Grade: 1.5

5) Faces of Fear defeat Eddie Guerrero & Chris Jericho when Barbarian pins Guerrero after a side kick to the face at 7:42

Tony sends a special message to Roddy Piper, saying that Piper should be the champion in his eyes. Hogan doesn’t deserve the title, but Piper does. Larry says that it is mind blowing that after all the training and preparation Piper went through was ruined by Randy Savage. We get some stills of the Guerrero/Jericho US Championship match from last night as Meng, Barbarian and Jimmy Hart hit the ring. Guerrero was able to hang on to the belt, but Tony says that Jericho has not seen his last title match. Barbarian and Jericho start things off and Barbarian grabs control early and tosses Jericho into the corner and works him over. Jericho ducks a kick and botches a spin wheel kick. Barbarian eats a boot on a charge and Jericho lands a dropkick and tags in Eddie. He floats over the top rope with a somersault senton and gets a near fall. Barbarian shoots Eddie into the ropes and hoists him high into the air and to the mat on the rebound. Barbarian tosses Eddie to the corner and tags in Meng, who lands some chops. Eddie tries to fight back, but Meng just headbutts him down. Meng picks Eddie up and plants him with a stiff powerbomb. He shoots Eddie in, but misses a clothesline and Eddie is able to hit a headscissors takedown and tag in Jericho. They hit a double back body drop for a two count. Jericho hits the ropes, but Barbarian knees him in the back and Meng crushes him with a nice back suplex and tags out. Barbarian scoops Jericho up and puts him on the top rope and then takes him off with a sweet release belly-to-belly suplex for two. Jericho is able to get a roll up for two, but Barbarian keeps control and tags in Meng, who comes in with a headbutt. He chops Jericho and shoots him across into the corner, but Jericho leaps to the second rope and comes off with a cross body. Meng pops back up and just pounds Jericho into the mat and chokes away. Meng tags in Barbarian and backdrops Jericho into his grasp for a powerbomb and a near fall. Meng is tagged back in and both men go to the middle ropes and come off with a double headbutt for another near fall, this time broken up by Eddie. Barbarian grabs a front chinlock, but Jericho tries to fire out of it. Barbarian scoops Chris up and slams him and then tags in Meng. Meng kicks away at Jericho, but Chris is able to hit a springboard moonsault. Meng pops back up again, but misses an elbowdrop and Chris is able to finally tag Eddie in. Eddie lands some uppercuts on Meng and follows with a clothesline and dropkick. Jericho comes off the top rope with a cross body and then they follow with a double dropkick. Meng falls into a tag and Barbarian comes in and puts Jericho down with a clothesline. Eddie hits him with a dropkick, Jericho sends Meng to the floor and they take Barbarian over with a double suplex. Jericho hits the ropes, but Meng hooks it and Chris tumbles to the floor. Eddie hops up top, but Dean Malenko comes down and shoves him off into a Barbarian side kick and the pin. Man that was a really fun tag match and Jericho and Eddie were an awesome tag team and they worked well with the Faces of Fear, as you would expect. I could have gone for a longer version of that matchup for sure as all four men just clicked. Grade: 3.5

Hour 2
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan & Mike Tenay

– We are back from break and into Hour 2 as we are joined by “Iron” Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan. Tony again runs down some our remaining action and then the trio talks a bit about Randy Savage and Superbrawl. Tenay says he was convinced that Savage was on Sting’s side until last night’s shocking turn. Bobby says that Hogan is lucky and should have lost the belt. He questions where Sting stands now that we know where Savage stands. Tony then shows us the footage of the Horsemen happenings from Hour 1.

6) Rey Mysterio, Jr. defeats Juventud Guerrera with a springboard huracarrana at 5:34

Juvy heads down to the ring for our next match as we see a portly Mexican fan mugging for the camera. Tenay starts reeling off the history between these two men as Rey makes his way out. Both men star each other down and gently bump heads to start things off. We then get a lockup, which Juvy wins by pushing Rey to the corner and landing a couple of knees. Tony tells us that Stephen Regal helped Prince Iaukea retain his title against Rey last night and the announcers discuss why Regal would have done that. Rey hooks Juvy in a modified Gory special, but Juvy slips out and takes Rey down with a DDT. Juvy hits a nice springboard dropkick and then starts to work Rey’s knee. Rey battles out and the two trade some mat reversals and near falls ending with Juvy hitting a spin kick and a chop. Juvy slugs Rey down off an Irish whip and gets a near fall. Rey shoves Juvy into the corner and floats over to the apron. He moonsaults back in and Juvy ducks and Rey lands on his feet. Juvy hops up and hits a moonsault of his own for two and then grabs a reverse chinlock. Juvy shoots Rey in, but Rey ducks a clothesline and takes Juvy over with a headscissors. Juvy bails and Rey comes at him with a baseball slide, but Juvy catches his legs so Rey turns it into a headscissors takeover on the floor. Rey tosses Juvy back inside and heads up top, but Juvy leaps up and meets him and powerbombs him to the mat for two. Juvy baseball slides and kicks Rey to the floor and the follows with a suicide dive, driving Rey into the safety rail. Juvy tosses Rey back in and leaps on the top rope. He comes off with a somersault senton, but Rey powerbombs him from mid air. Rey hits the apron and comes in with a springboard huracarrana for the win. This was the usual good match between these. It started off a bit slow but once it got rolling, it was good stuff. Grade: 2.5

– We are back from break and it is time for the 1-800-COLLECT road report where Stagger Lee Marshall is at the CNN Center in Atlanta. Next week’s show will emanate from the Omni and Lee says he is reminded of the great movie “Gone with the Weasel”. He says the classic line from that movie is “Scarlet, weasels can’t build a dam!” Bobby says that before he knows it, Lee will held up against a wall as people go through his pockets like what usually happens to Lee.

7) Prince Iaukea defeats Pat Tanaka to retain the World Television Title with a cross body block off the top rope at 2:53

Tanaka is already in the ring and the Prince comes running out, TV title still in tow after defeating Rey Mysterio, Jr. last night. And we get some stills of that match before our bout begins. Tanaka comes right at Prince and the two trade arm wringers. Iaukea works out of it and takes Tanaka over with an armdrag. Pat goes to the eyes and grabs a side headlock and then puts Prince down with a shoulderblock. Iaukea leapfrogs Tanaka and sends him down with a double thrust. Tanaka grabs the leg on a kick attempt and takes Prince down with a corkscrew leg whip. Tanaka hits some chops, but Iaukea is able to take him down with a clothesline. Prince grabs a side headlock and then whips Tanaka into the ropes. Iaukea tries to leapfrog, but Tanaka catches him and powerbombs him for a near fall. Prince shoots Tanaka into the ropes and takes him down with a Samoan drop and then hits a springboard senton backsplash. He heads up top and comes off with a cross body block for the win. The match was basic but was just slow and out of synch for most of it. Grade: 1.5

8) Ultimo Dragon defeats Dean Malenko by disqualification when Malenko would not break a choke hold at 8:55

We are back from break and Ultimo Dragon and Sony Onoo are heading out to take on their rival, Dean Malenko, who we saw cost Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho a match earlier. Tenay says we can consider this a number one contender matchup to determine who will battle Syxx for the Cruiserweight title. Syxx defeated Malenko last night with some inadvertent help from Eddie Guerrero. The two lock up to start, but we get a clean break in the corner. Dragon takes Dean down with a leg trip, but Dean works out and grabs a hammerlock. The two men trade holds on the mat and both men break and regroup. Dragon grabs an armbar but Dean gets back up and whips Dragon into the ropes. Dragon lands on his feet of a back drop attempt and leg sweeps Dean down to the mat. We get a handshake, but Dean yanks him in and slugs Dragon down off of it. Dean kicks Dragon in the back and drops an elbow for one. Dean gets kicked in the face off an Irish whip and Dragon lands a few more stiff shots. Dragon hits a nice dropkick for two. Dean takes Dragon down and punches him in the head and then tosses him to the floor. Tony says Dean is acting uncharacteristically. Bobby says Dean is sending a message that he needs no help. Dean whips Dragon to the stele guard rail and then tosses him back inside. He scoops Dragon up and drops him with a Brainbuster for two and then grabs a reverse chinlock. Dean locks in a camel clutch, but Dragon slips out and gets a modified surfboard chinlock on Dean. Dragon releases, grabs the leg and then locks in a death lock into a bridge chinlock on Dean. Dragon stomps away, but Dean is able to get a sunset flip for two of an Irish whip. Dragon goes for a powerbomb, but Dean blocks it and takes Dragon over with a back drop. Dean pulls Dragon up and hits a double underhook powerbomb for two. He pulls Dragon up and shoots him into the ropes, but Dean is eventually tossed to the floor as he attempted to grab an abdominal stretch. Dean fights back to the apron, but Dragon dropkicks him back to the floor. Dragon slips through the middle ropes and hits a stuff double kick to the face of Dean and then skins the cat back in. Dragon goes up top and comes off with a cross body block to the floor. Both men roll back inside and get back to their feet. Dragon comes off the ropes and Dean goes for a powerbomb, but Dragon turns it into a huracarrana into a cradle for two. Dean hooks the arms and gets a sunset flip for two. Dragon eats a boot on a charge, but takes Dean down with a drop toehold and then gets a La Magistral for two. Dragon tries for the handspring elbow, but Dean catches him and takes him over with a release German suplex. Dean starts choking Dragon and just ramming his head into the mat and the announcers are shocked by Dean’s actions. Sony Onoo hops on the apron, but Dean smacks him down. Malenko turns around and starts to choke Dragon again and Mark Curtis finally calls for the bell. Dean continues to choke Dragon as Tony says that Malenko has snapped for the first time in his career. That was a really good match that saw a lock of back and forth action instead of one long heat segment, which is always nice for a change. I also like the story within the match with Dean straying from his normal style and finally snapping at the end. The intention of the ending was to establish Dean’s frustration, so it didn’t hurt the match too much. Grade: 3

– Gene Okerlund catches up with Dean in the aisle and he wants to talk about Superbrawl. He says that Eddie tried to help Dean, but Malenko is blaming him what has gone wrong. Dean is sick and tired of what has been happening and the lack of respect that he has gotten over the past few weeks. Dean says that Syxx has what he wants and he will get it back. The last person he ever thought would steal the belt from him would be Eddie Guerrero. He says he doesn’t care anymore and stalks off as we go to break.

9) Diamond Dallas Page wrestles David Taylor to a no contest when the Outsiders interfere at 1:16

Tony informs us that our next PPV, Uncensored, is three weeks away and we will get information on the card this weekend on TBS. As DDP hits the ring, we get stills from last night where DDP defeated Buff Bagwell by DQ. Squire Taylor is out next and we are set for our next match of the night. Taylor attacks off the bell and slugs away at Page. He hits a nice uppercut as Tony puts over the Diamond Cutter. Taylor hits a textbook suplex for a near fall, but Page is able to recover and hit an inverted atomic drop. We cut to the aisle where we see Hall and Nash making their way out. DDP hoists Taylor up into a fireman’s carry and then nails the Diamond Cutter out of that. Before he can pin Taylor, he notices Hall and Nash sauntering down. They circle the ring and distract DDP, which allows Randy Savage to slip in from behind and clobber Page with a spray can. All of a sudden a fan hits the ring and all three NWO members just pound the crap out of him. Savage breaks out the paint and sprays Page’s back with it. I have no idea what he wrote as it looks more like black stripes than anything. Nash hands Savage and NWO shirt and he puts it on and then heads up top and hits his patented big elbow. The beating continues as Tony tells us we have to go to break. Grade: .5

– We are back from break and the NWO music is playing as Hall, Nash and Savage stand tall in the ring. Hall welcomes us to another edition of NWO Monday Nitro. He asks for a big Sac-town welcome for the newest member of the NWO, Randy Savage. Heenan and Schiavone are still in shock over the turn. Hall says they don’t stop there. They deliver more than one icon and they hook us up with another one, the undisputed, undefeated NWO World Heavyweight Champion: Hollywood Hulk Hogan. That was a great introduction by Hall and felt big time with the crowd booing and the music blaring. Hall says that everybody knows it was another outstanding NWO outing last night and asks Hogan about his feelings. He says the NWO is on a roll and that California loves to party like them. He says that one icon is looking at another and that Savage should be rewarded, and the Outsiders have a present for him. And with that, Eric Bischoff and Ted DiBiase escort out a smiling Miss Elizabeth. The announcers note that she is smiling for the first time in months as she walks out. Savage says that is sweet and Hall says all is well in the NWO because when you are NWO, you are NWO for life. He says that everybody knows Sacramento is NWO territory, but the fans don’t seem to agree. The troops play to the crowd and we hit our final break of the night.

– We are back from break and ready for our main event. Tony tells us one last time that Roddy Piper should be World champion and that he put Hogan to sleep last night. Harlem Heat and Sister Sherri are out first and ready for their shot at the tag titles. The new tag team champions are out next and Luger is still sporting his hard cast on the left arm. Booker and Lex start off, but Eric Bischoff comes running out before we get any action. He grabs a mike and Tony is already predicting that Eric will strip the champions of the belts. Eric says he has some help from his friends, and the NWO follows him out. He says they have a problem here, but it is a simple one to fix. Luger is out of order and the belts belong to Hall and Nash. He says that Luger did not have a doctor’s release, was not authorized to wrestle and used the cast in the match and he asks for the belts. Lex says he will need to be carried out on a stretcher before he hands the belts over. Luger says he is sick of all the politics and offers Eric an offer. He is willing to hand the belts back to the Outsiders if Eric will put up all of the titles at Uncensored. Eric accepts the offer and Lex and Giant hand the belts over. Luger tells Eric to put his best team together for Uncensored. Hall says they are easy to find because they are packing all of the gold. We cut to the entrance way and see Sting slowly walking down to the ring. He walks up the steps and stands in the middle of everybody. He turns towards Hogan and stares at him as all of the NWO members hold up the Wolfpac sign. Hogan leans in and hugs Sting and Sting takes a step back and into line with the rest of the NWO. Bischoff crows about Sting joining them as Sting stands solemnly with a distant look on his face and we fade out.

Final Analysis

Well, we got an interesting post PPV show this week. For the first time in a while, the crowd was pro WCW and completely against the NWO, so that added a cool dynamic to the last pair of segments. They gave us a lot of in ring action this week and delivered three really good matches and no real dogs at all. The Horsemen angle was furthered a bit more and it seems like the group is now cohesive with Mongo and Jarrett left to actively represent the group. Jim Duggan was surprisingly energetic and actually came off like a main eventer tonight and we will have to see if that momentum carries over to the next few weeks. Jericho and Guerrero were an awesome tag team and looked great in their match against the Faces of Fear. The Mysterio/Guerrera and Malenko/Dragon matches were really good as well. They mixed some squashes in to keep guys like Hugh Morrus and DDP rolling along as well. We got a lot of Superbrawl talk, but not so much that it became overbearing. I didn’t care too much for Bischoff stripping Luger & Giant of the belts like he did the Steiners last month, but his case was actually pretty solid. Luger gave in pretty easily, but the stage is set for the next PPV. Savage is officially NWO and looked right at home from the get-go and now it seems Sting has tuned as well. All in all, this was a fun show that focused heavily on the action, mixed in some good NWO/WCW intrigue, ended with a good cliffhanger and never slowed down. Final Grade: B+

MVP: Chris Jericho & Eddie Guerrero
Runner Up: Dean Malenko
Non MVP: Lex Luger & Giant
Runner Up: Jeff Jarrett

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