Monday Nitro – August 11, 1997: The Loudest Hogan Chant In Years

Monday Nitro #100
Date: August 11, 1997
Location: Denver Coliseum, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 7,444
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

It’s the show after Road Wild and any momentum WCW has going for it is gone. The Outsiders kept the tag titles and Hogan got the world title back from Luger after five days. We’re coming up on Fall Brawl and ultimately the Sting vs. Hogan showdown. After Saturday, you can hear the NWO gloating from here. Let’s get to it.

We open with the Giant getting served with a summons. This can’t end well.

Here are the Outsiders and Syxx with the tag titles still, because why bother changing them after building it up perfectly for the Steiners to win them? Anyway, Syxx runs his mouth and the Outsiders point to their belts as proof that they’re still the best in the world. The fans are seemingly far more behind the NWO here than usual. The Steiners have no claim to being the best in the world because they don’t have titles of course.

Tag Titles: Outsiders vs. Bobby Starr/David Moore

Starr and Moore come out to the Steiners’ music to tease the fans a bit. Hall and Moore start things off and we get some hard chops in the corner. Off to Starr who is caught in the belly to back superplex. Nash comes in and jackknifes Starr for the pin. Short and to the point.

The Steiners come in through the crowd and clear the ring before posing with the belts.

Wrath vs. Meng

This is due to last week’s match with Wrath vs. Barbarian. The brawl starts on the floor with no one getting an advantage so we head back inside where Meng kicks his head off. We head right back to the floor where Meng is sent into the railing hit with a flip attack off the apron by Wrath. Back in and Wrath gets crotched and superplexed down for two as this is going at a very fast pace so far. A clothesline puts Meng down and a top rope cross body gets two for Wrath, but the Tongan Death Grip goes on almost immediately to end Wrath. Short but intense.

Both guys’ partners come out with Mortis and Wrath clearing the ring. Vandenberg has to run from the Faces of Fear.

Here are the Steiners and DiBiase for a chat. The brothers say they had the Outsiders beaten and they’ll get another shot. DiBiase complains about Nick Patrick’s questionable refereeing by compared to the refereeing of Randy Anderson in the main event. They’ll get the titles eventually apparently.

Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero

Jericho starts off with a gorilla press of all things but Eddie escapes a monkey flip. A modified hot shot puts Eddie down again and a spinwheel kick sends him to the outside. Back in and Eddie begs off but naturally he’s suckering Jericho in. After a poke to the Canadian’s eyes, Eddie hits a dropkick to the side of the head to take over even more.

Jericho comes back with three straight clotheslines but the Lionsault hits knees. A big release German suplex gets two on Eddie as does a tiger driver. Jericho loads up the Liontamer but settles for a giant swing instead. Eddie’s dizziness sends him to the floor where Jericho hits a plancha. Back in and Eddie guillotines him on the top rope and runs to the top for the Frog Splash for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was your usual decent match for these guys but with only about four and a half minutes to work with, there’s only so much they can do. The ending seemed like someone forgot how much time they had and said to go home immediately. Still though it was fast paced enough to work and these two are always worth checking out.

The Nitro Girls dance a bit.

Alex Wright insults the fans and doesn’t have much to say.

Dean Malenko vs. Jeff Jarrett

Weren’t these guys friends last week? Dean seems ticked off and keeps shoving the referee away to get to Jarrett, eventually suckering Jeff into the ring to pound away on the blonde dude. Malenko punches Jeff to the floor where he tries to walk away, only to get beaten up on the floor instead. Apparently Jarrett got himself pinned in the elimination tag on Saturday to make Malenko go it alone in a handicap match. The announcers didn’t tell me that or anything. I just happened to have a review of the PPV available and could check it for myself.

Back in and Dean fires off some leg lariats to send Jarrett right back to the floor. He tries to walk out again and sees McMichael waiting on him. We take a break and come back with Dean pounding away on Jeff even more. We head back into the ring for a belly to back suplex by Jeff as things slow down. Jeff starts to cannonball down onto the leg but the running crotch attack to Dean’s back hits rope. There’s a tiger bomb and the Cloverleaf from Dean but Eddie runs in for the DQ.

Rating: C. Jeff Jarrett continues to be very boring, but if this leads to Eddie vs. Dean I’m more than fine. The heel turn from Dean didn’t go anywhere at all and thankfully they got him away from Jeff as fast as they did. This wasn’t a bad match or anything but my lack of caring about anything Jeff Jarrett does drags it way down.

Post match Mongo runs in for the save but after they clear the ring, Dean beats McMichael up as well.

Here are Curt and Flair with something to say. Flair says that he loves Curt, but hates the fact that Hennig was seen talking to Bischoff. Hennig says he has business with Bischoff and it’s not a big deal. Flair offers Hennig a spot in the Horsemen again but Hennig has a main event tonight with Randy Savage to deal with. Flair says ok but after that, the Horsemen go to Nashville for the Clash of Champions. Hennig says he’ll be Flair’s partner in Flair’s tag match at the COTC, but it doesn’t mean he’s a Horseman.

Here’s Eric Bischoff on his Harley apparently with something to say. Apparently Luger is going to be punished for what he did last week when he beat Hogan. Some more NWO guys get in the ring and Eric congratulates Hogan and the Outsiders for their wins on Saturday. It’s Hogan’s birthday today but he’s on a movie set, so we get a Happy Birthday song from the NWO.

As for the Giant, he can’t come within however many feet of Bischoff due to the papers served earlier. Buff goes down the aisle and spraypaints a line that Giant can’t cross. Giant comes down anyway but JJ and Larry Z go to stop him. Giant says he’s willing to go to jail as cops surround him. Hall comes out and throws his toothpick at Larry to end a decent segment.

Hour #2 begins.

Chris Benoit/Steve McMichael vs. Steiner Brothers

Scott and Mongo start things off with Scott pounding him down with raw power. Make that Nitro power actually to avoid making people think of that other show. Mongo knocks him into the corner but walks into a belly to belly suplex for two. Off to Benoit vs. Rick and it gets intense in a hurry. They fight up against the ropes with Benoit chopping away before getting suplexed down.

Back to Scott for a gorilla press and an STF before Benoit fights away for a tag to Mongo. Rick immediately beats McMichael down but Steve comes back with a slam. He goes up for some reason and jumps into a release belly to belly suplex for a surprise pin. That didn’t look to go as planned as both Benoit and the referee looked confused. Maybe Mongo got hurt on the suplex.

Rating: C+. The intensity here was really good with both teams beating the tar out of each other when they were in there. The ending did seem to be rushed due to the suplex as Rick gave a look as if to say “we won?” at the end. Either way, the match was good while it lasted and the botch makes the Steiners look even stronger here, which is what they needed to do after Saturday.

Here’s Luger to apologize for losing the title on Saturday. Last week was the best moment of his life but he let us down after that. The title win was a moment where everyone came together to show solidarity (this would be roughly the 87th time that WCW has finally come together for those of you counting). Lex isn’t worried about the officiating because he won the title with the same referee. He’ll come for Hogan again.

Buff Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Buff hits a quick hiptoss to take over so Page sits down in the corner ala Jake Roberts, as in the guy who trained him. Page grabs the arm and does those driving shoulders of his into Buff’s arm. After a quick break to the floor by Bagwell, he comes back in and is shouldered right back down.

The discus lariat takes Buff down again but he immediately pops back up and chokes Page down. A neckbreaker gets two on DDP but Buff, ever the genius, argues with the referee over the count. Page punches him down and here’s Vincent on the apron. You should be able to see the ending coming here. Buff is shoved into Vincent and there’s the Diamond Cutter for the pin.

Rating: D+. Not much here but Page getting another win is nothing bad for him at all. Buff was doing his usual stuff here and looked decent in doing so, but when you have Vincent out there it’s pretty clear you’re not going to win. Why was he around now anyway since DiBiase had left the team?

Road Report from Lee Marshall.

TV Title: Ultimo Dragon vs. Mortis

Dragon is defending here. Feeling out process to start until Dragon fires off his rapid fire kicks to take over. Mortis elbows him down and chokes a bit but Dragon kicks him down and loads up the super rana. A Vandenberg distraction fails and Mortis is caught in a front superplex off the top. Mortis hits a Fameasser for two before loading up the Flatliner (Samoan Drop from the middle rope). Dragon counters into a powerbomb and the Dragon Sleeper retains the title.

Rating: C-. This was a fast paced match but they didn’t click for the most part out there. There wasn’t any kind of a flow to the match and it felt a lot more sloppy than it should have. Mortis would get a lot better once he became Kanyon and got to show off whatever freaky offense he had in mind that week.

Here’s JJ to offer Sting another contract. After talking about a bunch of legal stuff that doesn’t need to be explained, Sting lowers from the rafters. The contract is for a match with Syxx but Sting rips it up. He goes to leave but Gene stops him and asks Sting who he wants. The fans chant for Hogan and Sting points to the fans. More good stuff here as the ending was clear, but they had to have a reason to get there. The build for this really is getting good.

Buy NWO stuff!

Tape your Nitro parties!

Randy Savage vs. Curt Hennig

The announcers talk about Hennig being a free agent and Heenan sounds bombed. An elbow to the head of Hennig drops him dead and we go outside. Liz ducks away and Savage gets clotheslined as we take a break. Back with Hennig pounding on Randy in the aisle before heading back inside for the neck snap. Savage goes after the leg but gets leveraged to the floor. And here’s DDP to attack Hennig for the DQ. Not enough to rate but they didn’t do anything of note here.

Hall runs in to help Savage and Hennig bails. The beating goes on for a bit until Luger makes the save.

The announcers wrap things up to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t bad but it was mainly just fallout from the previous PPV. The Sting stuff is clearly going to be huge as the fans reacted to that about twice as loudly as anything else all night. Other than that, there wasn’t much here but Giant vs. the NWO is becoming interesting. We’re headed towards Fall Brawl now but that was only mentioned in passing, which is probably a good thing because it was another mostly B level show.

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