Monday Nitro #78
Date: March 10, 1997
Location: Club La Vela, Panama City, Florida
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone
This is a theme show as we’re in a night club in Florida with pools everywhere. This would be the start of what was called Spring Breakout which was an annual event if I remember right. This is also the go home show for Uncensored 1997 so I’d assume we’ll get the real Team Piper introduced tonight as well as the rules for the main event. Let’s get to it.
We open with Hogan and Rodman fawning over Rodman’s new movie poster. It’s for Double Team which was awful.
The arena looks great as we have the ring kind of on a platform surrounded by a big pool.
Piper and his team, all in Scottish clothes, arrive.
High Voltage vs. Steve McMichael/Jeff Jarrett
Mongo vs. Kaos gets us going. Kaos tries to Control (five points to anyone that gets that) the arm but Mongo fires off his football tackles. Off to Jarrett who hits the running hip attack on the ropes but Rage interferes to take over. A modified Samoan Drop by Rage sets up a slingshot splash by Kaos for two. The fans want Flair but they get a suplex by Kaos to bring Rage back in. Jarrett moves from a flying dive and beats them both up with ease before tagging in Mongo. We go over some of the stipulations for Uncensored which I’ll get to later. Tombstone ends Rage.
Rating: D. This was an extended workout for the Horsemen. Jarrett was in trouble for about 30 seconds and then came back and easily beat up both guys. I guess this is them proving that they’re ok now and can work together, but it doesn’t make their story any more interesting. This was pretty much a squash.
Here’s Team Piper to talk about Uncensored. After a quick chat about sex and mattresses, Piper complains about Howard Stern not having him on his show. As for Rodman, Piper makes some almost gay jokes and runs down the WWF. They’ve been making fun of WCW for having one hipped wrestlers, but he beat up Goldust on PPV on one hip. Anyway, these guys are his family now….and here come the Horsemen.
Anderson says that this Sunday is a job for professionals, not amateurs. They have a common enemy in the NWO and maybe they can work together to pull this thing off. Piper says these guys that he’s known for a week are his family, so Flair tries to talk him out of it too. Flaiir says Piper is outmatched and needs some backup in the form of the Horsemen. Piper gyrates and puts on Flair’s coat after Ric throws it in the air. Piper says ok and the Family is never mentioned again.
TV Title: Dave Taylor vs. Prince Iaukea
After about 20 seconds of the match, here’s the NWO in their Hummer limo. They’re going in the back because Hall “knows the dishwasher.” Ok then. Since there are about 30 guys, someone (Wallstreet I think) is dropped down onto the ground. The A Team doesn’t bother checking on him. Back in the arena the wrestlers trade pinfall attempts for one. Iaukea hits a cross body for the pin. We saw about 45 seconds of this.
US Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Jim Powers
Dean is on commentary and says that Eddie is jealous of Dean. Eddie takes him down to the mat to start and works on the knee for a bit. Dean goes over the reasons why he’s better than Eddie which are pretty awesome. He suggests that Eddie cheats to win too much as Powers does his usual stuff. Eddie easily comes back and hits the slingshot hilo for two. Teddy gets up on the apron, only to have Powers rammed into him. Eddie gets the rollup to retain. This was nothing but Dean’s comments were pretty good.
Eddie says that he isn’t the one that’s been saying all these things. He isn’t punching and kicking and choking is he? Gene agrees but says Eddie has been changing. Eddie is tired of hearing about that and is also tired of Dean’s attitude.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman
Pittman shoves him around to start so Page grabs a headlock. A hip toss attempt is countered so Page hits a kind of X Factor. Pittman says screw this wrestling stuff and takes Page down, pounding him with right hands. A bad belly to belly gets two for Sarge. Page fires away with punches and hits the Diamond Cutter for the pin.
Rating: D. Not much here but it was another win for Page which is what he needed. Sometimes the right move is just to keep putting someone on TV and let him hit a popular move over and over again. It worked for Page and he would rise up the card to main event PPVs in just a few months.
Page talks about Savage….and the power goes out. Page keeps going because I don’t think he realizes the audio is out. The lights are out though so you would think he picked up on that. Post break Page gets to say it again and basically it’s I’m coming for you Savage.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Galaxy
Galaxy is better known as Damien. Larry talks about Page needing to keep the rats away from him, which Tony needs clarification on in an unintentionally funny bit. Rey escapes a full nelson to start and speeds things up. Galaxy gets flipped around a lot and is almost launched into the pool. Galaxy tries Old School but gets crotched for his efforts. He misses a moonsault and West Coast Pop ends this short match.
The announcers talk for a bit.
Gene brings out some guy named John Sencio from MTV. He brings out Miss Monday Nitro who is some blonde. Catch the NWO on MTV this week and that’s about it.
Amazing French Canadians/Greg Valentime/Roadblock vs. Lex Luger/The Giant/Steiner Brothers
We get the full rules of the main event here: if Team Piper wins, Piper gets a cage match with Hogan eventually. If the NWO wins, they get any title match they want, anywhere. What titles do they not own at the moment anyway? TV and US? This would later be changed to they basically had no rules on them and could do anything. If WCW wins, the NWO loses all their titles and all of their wrestlers are banned from competing for THREE YEARS. Luger and Valentine start and the match is as much of a squash as you would expect. Rick gets beaten on for a few seconds before Giant chokeslams Roadblock for the pin.
Team WCW says they’ll win.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Ultimo Dragon
Juvy immediately slides under Dragon to start and they both miss some shots. Dragon misses a running double ax in the corner but Juvy’s rana is countered. Dragon throws him to the floor and Sonny fires off some kicks. Back in Dragon channels his inner Sting and no sells chops. There are the rapid fire kicks and Juvy is in trouble.
Dragon hits his spinning rack breaker for two. Surfboard goes on followed by a chinlock. Juvy escapes pretty quickly and hits a flip dive on the floor, which is impressive given the small space between the ring and the water. Back in Juvy gets a rollup for two, followed by a good looking kick to the head. Dragon hits a Liger Bomb for two, followed by the super rana and Tiger Suplex for the pin.
Rating: C+. This wasn’t bad at all but it was pretty much a filler match. Dragon wasn’t your usual cruiserweight but he could fly fairly well when need be. Juvy on the other hand was a great flier, but he needed someone that could keep up with him like Rey of Kidman. Not a bad match but at under five minutes, what are you expecting here?
Chris Jericho vs. Scotty Riggs
Riggs’ suspenders never quite worked on him. He starts off in control with a dropkick and a slam for two. We’re in a jawbreaker less than a minute in but Jericho escapes with a quick jawbreaker. Overhead belly to belly puts Riggs onto the apron so Jericho can hit his springboard dropkick. A suplex back in gets two. Riggs comes back with dropkicks and no one cares. I mean at all. Jericho crotches him on the top but Scotty manages to hit a top rope clothesline for two. The Canadian hits a German on the American for two and here’s Buff Bagweel to attack Riggs with a strap for the DQ.
Rating: D. Nothing to see here as Riggs was one of the most uninteresting guys in years. The only thing he had was to feud with Bagwell and once everyone realized that no one cared about the American Males feuding, all they could do was put him in the Flock, which really just prolonged his career instead of improving it.
Madusa says the same thing as last week. She still wants the title and wants Luna too.
Lee Marshall does his thing.
Hardbody Harrison vs. Kevin Sullivan
Harrison is most famous for suing WCW for not getting pushed because he was black. His lack of talent probably had more to do with it but why let that get in the way of a lawsuit? Total domination and Jackie gets to beat up Harrison a bit. Harrison gets a pair of rollups for two and they go outside again. Tony gets the guy’s name wrong and they fight to a double countout. By fight I mean Harrison gets beaten up.
Sullivan beats him up on the beach. Back to ringside and Harrison gets thrown in the water to a big pop. Sullivan, Jackie and Hart say their usual stuff post beating.
Here’s the NWO to close the show. The main thing here is that we need to confirm that Dennis Rodman is part of the NWO. We get an extended version of the thing that opened the show with Rodman getting an NWO shirt. Sting gets handed his NWO shirt but never puts it on, which is ignored by Hogan and Bischoff. The Outsiders are ready for the Steiners, Giant and Luger. Savage doesn’t remember DDP’s name and Sting has nothing to say on the subject. The segment ends and Heenan asks a very good question: with Bischoff’s power suspended, how do they get promo time?
With literally two and a half minutes left in the show, here are Public Enemy for a promo. They run down the Horsemen for bailing out on their tag match and taking the main event spot. Harlem Heat jumps them and we’re done. What a strange ending.
Overall Rating: D+. This show is a good example of the absence of good. The show isn’t really bad or anything, but nothing in the two hours that it was on was what I would call good. Most of the stuff on it is watchable and none of it is what I would call horrible or even bad, but the show did a pretty bad job of building to the PPV. I know about two matches on the card and the main event was literally not explained at all. I have no idea what the match is going to be like based on this show. That’s certainly a strategy for building a PPV up, but it was also used on the Doomsday Cage match so take it for what it’s worth.
Here’s Uncensored if you’re interested:
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