WCW Nitro 7/22/1997
Written By: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling presents Nitro
From: Jacksonville, FL
Eric Bischoff and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan kick off the show for a interview. They put each other over for how great they are in their own minds. They also talk about how they think it is cool to have Konnan with the New World Order now. I should note that they are lying down in the ring throughout this interview. Anyway, Hogan proclaims that he has Lex Luger’s number and will beat Luger again at Sturgis (Road Wild).
Opening Contest: Konnan defeated Tsubasa: Konnan wins a very quick squash match following the 187. It makes sense for the quick win since he is new to the New World Order group.
Second Contest: Ultimo Dragon defeated WCW Television Champion Steven Regal to win the title: Dragon tries a double leg takedown but Regal prevents himself from falling down. Regal keeps control of Dragon with a wristlock and a backdrop. Dragon quickly comes back with a series of kicks to drop Regal! Regal grabs Dragon when he does a handstand in the corner and slams Dragon to the mat for a two count. Regal crotches Dragon on the top rope but Dragon is able to connect with a sunset flip power bomb! Regal uppercuts Dragon followed by a inverted suplex! Dragon battles back with several more kicks and locks in the dragon sleeper! Regal taps out! **
Mean Gene interviews Ric Flair. Flair credits Arn Anderson with making the decision to reunite the Four Horsemen. Flair is going to announce who the newest member of the Four Horsemen will be. Who will it be?! Well, Syxx makes his way down to the ring. Syxx claims that their isn’t going to be a new Horsemen and that the Horsemen are a thing of the past. Flair chimes in by saying that Syxx nearly got Flair fired from his job and that Flair has been censored because of Syxx. Flair acted like he was going to walk away from Syxx because Syxx was too tough for him, but instead delivered a back elbow. Chris Benoit got in front of Syxx when he got up. Syxx believes that they wouldn’t be doing that if Nash and Hall were around (that is true). So, Benoit wants to show that they would and challenges the Outsiders to a tag match later on!
Third Contest: The Giant defeated the Great Muta by disqualification: Giant tried to choke slam Muta about twenty seconds into the match but was greeted with mist. That’s about it.
After the match, Giant fought off Vincent and Savage. Lex Luger came down to the ring to make the save and was nearly choke slammed by a blinded Giant but was able to tell Giant it was him. All is right with the world.
Fourth Contest: Dean Malenko defeated Steve McMichael: Mongo shoulder blocks Malenko and taunts the fans. Mongo counters a hip toss attempt with a hip toss of his own. Malenko avoids a elbow drop and begins to stomp away on Mongo in the corner. Malenko is placed on the top turnbuckle and attempts a sunset flip but Mongo blocks it with a right hand. Mongo drives Malenko down to the mat with a running power slam for a two count. Malenko begins to punch Mongo in the corner until Mongo sends Malenko into the corner. Mongo pulls Malenko off the top rope and slams him down. Malenko gets out of a suplex with a German suplex! Mongo blocks a backdrop attempt with a big boot to the chest. Mongo connects with a tilt a whirl slam. Jeff Jarrett and Debra have made their way down to the ring. Mongo grabs Jarrett on the apron but is dropped throat first across the top rope. Malenko dropkicks Mongo and gets the win with a inside cradle! *1/4
After the match, Gene interviews Dean Malenko until Jarrett comes over. Mongo now comes over but is cut off by security. Jarrett knows that he needs someone to watch his back, just like Malenko needs someone to watch his back. Jarrett believes the Four Horsemen are jealous of him. Malenko seemingly accepts the idea of being in some kind of alliance with Jarrett.
Fifth Contest: Eddie Guerrero defeated Hector Guerrero: Eddie gets the win following a power bomb and then a top rope frog splash.
After the match, Dean Malenko came into the ring to power bomb Eddie. Malenko put the Cloverleaf on Eddie. Hector ended up wanting Malenko to break the hold and punched Malenko when he wouldn’t do it. So, Malenko attacks Hector while Eddie heads to the backstage area.
JJ Dillon comes out and announces that tonight will be the night where Raven will sign with WCW, finally. Stevie Richards dances down to Dillon announcing that he has also signed with WCW. Richards eventually brings Dillon over to Raven, who is sitting in the front row, to sign the contract. Raven puts Richards down, rips up the contract and punches Richards.
Sixth Contest: Lex Luger defeated Scott Norton by disqualification: A rather bad contest that ends fairly quickly when Vincent attacks Luger.
After the match, Luger puts Vincent in the Torture Rack. Hulk Hogan eventually comes out but is chased to the backstage area by Luger. By the way, Luger chased Hogan, Vincent, Norton and Bagwell to the backstage area. Luger is that intimidating.
Seventh Contest: Mortis/Wrath defeated La Parka/Psychosis: Mortis pins Psychosis following a power bomb/neck breaker combo.
After the match, Parka nails Mortis with a chair but is kicked in the face by Wrath.
Eighth Contest: Buff Bagwell defeated Booker T: Bagwell arm drags Booker to kick off the contest. Bagwell decides it’s a good idea to pose for the fans instead of following up on his offense. Booker shoulder blocks Bagwell but Bagwell hip tosses Booker. Bagwell taunts the fans only to be met with a leaping sidekick! Booker counters a hip toss by tossing Bagwell over the top rope to the floor. Booker clotheslines Bagwell on the floor! Bagwell scoop slams Booker but fails on a big splash as Booker gets his knees up. Booker back elbows Bagwell to the apron where Bagwell drops Booker throat first across the top rope. Booker runs into a big boot in the corner and is met with a running clothesline from Bagwell for a two count. Bagwell is shoved by the referee and Booker gets a near fall with a rollup. The referee will not be treated poorly by Bagwell. The referee is Nick Patrick, by the way. Booker nails Bagwell with a leaping forearm smash. Booker continues with a few atomic drops and a scissors kick! Booker gets a two count following a leaping sidekick. Booker backdrops Bagwell and accidentally elbows Patrick. Norton gets on the apron to clothesline Booker while the referee was distracted. Bagwell leaps off the middle rope to hit Booker with the Blockbuster to win the bout. *1/2
After the match, Booker is beaten down by the New World Order.
Mean Gene interviews Rey Mistero Jr. Mistero is on crutches because he has a “broken leg.” Konnan comes out and attacks Mistero’s injured leg until several cruiserweights come out to protect Mistero.
Ninth Contest: Curt Hennig defeated Mr. Wallstreet: Hennig quickly wins the bout with a fisherman suplex.
After the match, Diamond Dallas Page storms the ring and soon plants Hennig with the Diamond Cutter!
Main Event: the Outsiders defeated Ric Flair/Chris Benoit: Hall and Flair start off the match with Flair working Hall with several right hands. Flair knocks Nash off the apron before going back to work on Hall sending him to the floor following a back elbow shot. Benoit tags into the bout but Hall gets the upper hand with a boot to the gut and several right hands. Benoit blocks a boot with a dragon screw leg whip and a northern lights suplex for a two count. Hall stumbles to his corner to tag in Nash. Flair tags back into the contest. Flair chops Nash but is stopped by a one hand shove. Nash knee lifts Flair followed by elbow strikes in the corner. Flair battles his way out of the corner with a few stomps and right hands. Nash shoves Flair away in the corner and Flair is whacked by Syxx from the floor with a right hand. Nash side slams Flair for a two count. Hall takes Flair over with a fall away slam for a two count. Hall stomps away on Flair in the corner and has Nash choke Flair behind the referees back. Nash maintains the upper hand with several strikes and by choking flair over the middle rope. Nash jumps onto Flair’s back as well. Hall boots Flair in the corner behind the referees back. Hall clotheslines Flair in the corner and punches Benoit on the apron. Nash returns to the ring by nailing Flair with a right hand. Nash snake eyes Flair in the corner and Hall delivers a right hand from the apron. Hall enters the ring but is soon put in a sleeper hold by Flair! Hall gets out of it and gets a sleeper on Flair! Flair battles out of the hold with a back suplex. Benoit tags into the bout and takes Hall over with a snap suplex. Benoit hammers away on Nash with right hands and sends the Outsiders into each other! Benoit clotheslines both Hall and Nash before heading to the top rope. Flair knocks Syxx off the apron as Benoit hits the diving head butt on Hall for a two count as Nash broke up the pin! Benoit battles out of a power bomb attempt with right hands. Benoit punches Hall several times but turns into a big boot from Nash who gets the three count as a result. **
After the match, Syxx puts Flair in a chicken wing submission on the floor until Steve McMichael comes over and tosses Syxx away. The Steiner Brothers show up at the top of the aisle way and slowly make their way to the ring to close out the show!
End of show
My Take: Dragon/Regal was actually a fun four minute match. A lot of people, at the time, were thinking that Regal was perhaps on his way out of the company due to the loss and the way he lost. I didn’t think it was that out of the normal. It’s not like Regal didn’t get any offense or anything like that. The fans were very happy to see Dragon win the title back from Regal, which I found to be interesting. I think that has to do a lot with how great a heel Regal was opposed to how good a babyface Dragon was.
I must say, I am interested in a Flair/Syxx contest. I just really want to see Syxx get his legs broken. The guy is really obnoxious to me, which since he is a heel is a good thing.
Malenko/Mongo was a decent match but nothing all that special. I’m not really liking the idea of Jarrett and Malenko forming an alliance. They are better off being enemies and putting on quality matches. Plus, they are completely different personality wise and the fans seemingly want to cheer for Malenko.
Bagwell/Booker was a fine match but again it wasn’t anything standout. Booker is a quality singles wrestler and is getting a singles push in the coming months, obviously. Bagwell winning is whatever, it seems more of a way to be a way to hype up a tag match at Road Wild between Harlem Heat and the team of Bagwell and Norton.
Konnan is a jerk. Having him kick Rey was such a great heel thing to do. I just really liked that.
The main event was a good match, I thought. It seems that every time Benoit gets the crowd behind him, he loses. The fans were going nuts for his offense against the Outsiders but ends up losing to a big boot? That came across as being really weak to me. I liked Syxx attacking Flair as well.
Overall, I thought this week’s Nitro was really enjoyable. The in-ring wrestling wasn’t all that bad and several angles were advanced. A quality show by WCW!
Thanks for reading.