WCW Saturday Night 5/24/1997

Written by: Bob Colling

World Championship Wrestling presents Saturday Night
Date: 5/24/1997
From: N/A

Matches:
1.) Alex Wright defeated Julio Sanchez
2.) WCW United States Champion Dean Malenko defeated Yuji Nagata to retain the title
3.) Marcus Bagwell defeated Lenny Lane
4.) WCW Television Champion Steve Regal defeated Sgt. Craig Pittman to retain the title
5.) Chris Jericho defeated Pat Tanaka
6.) Scotty Riggs defeated Dave Taylor
7.) Meng defeated T. Rantula
8.) Jeff Jarrett defeated Rick Fuller
9.) Steiner Brothers defeated Amazing French Canadians

Angle Developments/Notes:
1.) Alex Wright is getting some good heel heat from the crowd and his offense against Sanchez kept my interest for the enhancement match. Wright wins with a German suplex.

2.) This is Yuji Nagata’s debut in WCW. Malenko takes Nagata down to the mat and gets arm control delivering a knee drop to the left arm. Nagata reaches the ropes to break the hold. Nagata gets the advantage following a kick to Malenko’s upper back. Nagata takes Malenko down to lock in an arm bar. Malenko breaks free with a back suplex. Malenko clotheslines Nagata in the corner for a two count. Malenko dropkicks a seated Nagata from behind and puts a camel clutch on Nagata. Malenko drives Nagata down with a vertical suplex for a two count. Malenko tries to get a submission with an ankle lock, but Nagata reaches the ropes. Nagata delivers several kicks in the corner. Malenko nearly wins with a German suplex. Nagata nails Malenko with a leaping kick to the back of Dean’s head for a two count. Nagata tosses Malenko with an overhead suplex for a two count. Nagata misses a kick, but Malenko misses an elbow drop. Malenko counters a suplex with a rollup for a two count. Nagata takes Malenko over with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Malenko locks in the Texas Cloverleaf to win the match. (*3/4. The closing moments were solid, but for the most part it was a slow plodding match. I do feel as if others would enjoy this a little more than I did.)

3.) Lee Marshall interviews WCW United States Champion Dean Malenko backstage, which means Malenko is the fastest moving person ever, and he’s not sweating from the match. Do better placement for pre-tapes, WCW. Malenko has been a fighting champion and says that Jeff Jarrett has earned his respect. Malenko hopes that Jarrett has learned a lesson on focus. Malenko believes he is the champion because he remains focused on his job. Malenko says that anybody and everyone can come after the belt because he’s always a fighting champion.

4.) Bagwell has NWO Sting with him at ringside for his match with Lenny Lane. Lane rams Bagwell face first into the corner several times and poses for the crowd. Lane continues with a few dropkicks. Bagwell stops Lane with a powerbomb. NWO Sting slams Lane on the floor. Lane comes off the top but gets slammed in midair. Lane clotheslines Bagwell several times. Bagwell elbows Lane in the corner and hits a top rope Blockbuster for the win. (**. Honestly, Bagwell seems to do really well when being the heel who could possibly lose an embarrassing match. Lane had some good offense and this held my interest.)

5.) Regal and Pittman start off with a slow mat wrestling based offense, which should surprise nobody. Regal works over Pittman with strikes in the corner. Pittman nearly pins Regal with a rollup. Regal counters and pins Pittman with a rollup. (1/4*. Uh, I feel like the rollup was not supposed to end like that. Pittman shouldn’t be wrestling in any championship match.)

6.) Lee Marshall is with WCW Television Champion Steve Regal. Regal says when he says he’s going to do something he gets it done. Regal reveals that he got rid of the “Lord” name because he was ashamed of people actions from England. Regal brags about beating Pittman easily. Regal says nobody is in his league. Regal doesn’t want the United States Championship and he’ll never get a shot at the WCW World Championship because of politics. He’s going to retire the championship with this run.

7.) Tanaka complains of a hair pull after Jericho arm drags Tanaka to the mat. They trade a few standing kicks until Tanaka leg sweeps Jericho. Jericho leg sweeps Tanaka followed by a vertical suplex. Jericho connects with a spinning heel kick to send Tanaka to the apron. Jericho nails Tanaka with a springboard dropkick to send Tanaka to the floor. Jericho misses a slingshot crossbody to the floor and Tanaka delivers a few more strikes. Tanaka sends Jericho into the ring and beats on Jericho. Jericho nails Tanaka with a superkick. Jericho comes out of the corner with a clothesline. Jericho comes off the middle rope with a moonsault. Jericho hits a missile dropkick for the win. (*1/2. This went the way I expected it to go, honestly. For an enhancement match, I think it was a good showing for Jericho.)

8.) Taylor attacks Riggs before the bell and delivers strikes against the ropes. Riggs hip tosses Taylor followed by a standing dropkick to send Taylor over the top to the floor. Taylor uppercuts Riggs several times. Taylor uppercuts Riggs over the top to the floor. Taylor decks Riggs from behind in the ring and keeps control on the mat. Taylor can’t get a submission with a chin lock. Riggs slams Taylor to finally get out of the hold. Taylor takes Riggs down to the mat for a near fall. Riggs comes off the ropes to hit a flying forearm to win. (1/2*. Riggs wins the match but felt like a jobber getting the upset win to me here. For the most part, the only move he hit was his finisher. I wasn’t a fan of the story told here for Riggs.)

9.) Lee Marshall interviews Steve McMichael regarding his match with Kevin Greene at Great American Bash. McMichael says you can’t pass on a chance to join the Four Horsemen. McMichael tells Greene to bring it on if he wants to get another butt kicking.

10.) Scott and Pierre kickoff the main event with Scott hitting an arm drag. Scott hip tosses Pierre out of the corner. Pierre gets control with several overhand strikes but Scott hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Pierre bails to the floor to regroup. Jacques and Rick tag into the match with Jacques begging off quickly. Jacques does a kip up for some reason. Rick delivers a kick to the midsection and hits a powerslam on a leapfrog attempt. Scott clotheslines Pierre to the floor and they do their trademark pose in the middle of the ring. Rick gets double teamed for a second before hitting a double clothesline and Scott does the same. Rick and Scott pummel them in opposite corners. Steiner’s both hit clotheslines and the Canadians go to the floor. Rick gets double teamed again and this time they keep control longer than a second. Rick is dropped throat first over the top rope and Jacques delivers a few stomps. Rick is sent into the guard railing by Pierre. Jacques slams Pierre onto Rick for a near fall.

Pierre misses a clothesline and Rick decks Pierre with one of his own. Jacques punches Scott off the apron. Pierre accidentally hits Jacques and Scott gets tagged in. Scott slams both Jacques and Pierre. Scott backdrops Pierre and rams both Canadians into each other. Jacques is on Rick’s shoulders, but Col. Robert Parker hits Scott with a flag to stop the finish. Rick gets sent to the floor and Jacques plants Scott with a piledriver. Parker misses a swing on Rick. Rick decks Parker and the Canadians try for the Tower of London, but Rick hits a powerbomb on Pierre allowing Scott to get the three count. (**1/2. I was honestly scared that this match was going to be a job match for the Steiner’s to easily beat the Canadians. Don’t get me wrong, the Canadians didn’t get a lot of offense in, but they were at least competitive towards the end. I enjoyed their matches in the WWF and I enjoyed this one too despite my early fears.)

11.) Diamond Dallas Page close the show with a promo. Page notes that Randy Savage has exposed Kimberly as being his real wife, and a Playboy model, which is fine. However, spray painting her body and hair was not cool and grabbing her by the hair is something that will never happen again. DDP says he owes Hulk Hogan a diamond cutter for hitting him with a crutch. DDP brags about beating Randy Savage at Spring Stampede. He’s done it once and he’ll do it again, at the Great American Bash.

Final Thoughts:
A rather strong episode of Saturday Night with several matches involving known names and a few key interviews taking place. I’ll give this one a thumbs up.

Thanks for reading.

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