Monday Nitro – September 1, 1997: The NWO Parodies The Horsemen, Among A LOT Of Other Stuff

Monday Nitro #103
Date: September 1, 1997
Location: Pensacola Civic Center, Pensacola, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schivaone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

We’re two weeks from Fall Brawl which has barely been touched on so far. The show wound up being pretty lame if I remember right but that goes without saying for a lot of these WCW PPVs. The main event tonight is a rematch from Clash of the Champions with Hall/Savage vs. Luger/Page. Let’s get to it.

This is the two year anniversary. Ok then.

We open with a video package on the career of Arn Anderson. That’s very cool and he still doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.

We also recap Hennig getting Arn’s spot on the team last week.

Eddie Guerrero/Jeff Jarrett vs. Steve McMichael/Chris Benoit

Like a true man from Memphis, Jarrett stalls on the floor before we get going. Benoit and Guerrero start things off and it’s a feeling out process. Considering how often they’ve fought, you wouldn’t think they would need to feel each other out. Eddie pounds him into the corner and does that spinning boot onto Benoit’s eyes move of his. Jarrett comes in and gets chopped down as we take a break.

Back with Guerrero doing pushups to annoy Benoit. So he’s Scott Steiner now? Jeff comes in again for a dropkick onto Chris before it’s back to Eddie. Chris gets a fast two off a rollup but gets caught by Jarrett in the running crotch attack while in 619 position. Benoit chops Jeff down and Mongo adds a clothesline to a BIG pop. Eddie comes back in with a clothesline to Benoit but Mongo breaks up the Frog Splash.

The Canadian hits a fast superplex to put both guys down and the hot tag brings in Mongo to clean house on both heels. Everything breaks down and Eddie trips Benoit up, allowing Jarrett to chop block McMichael. Jeff puts on the Figure Four and Eddie goes up for the Frog Splash, only to have Dean Malenko come in, shove Eddie off the top, and frog splash Jeff to break up the hold. Mongo gets the easy pin.

Rating: C+. Basic tag match here which went fine. I don’t know why it took so long for Dean to get involved with the Horsemen as he’s pretty close to a natural fit for them. Jarrett wasn’t long for WCW as he would have his last televised match in the company in the first week of October. Pretty decent opener here though and it advanced the story, even though I’m not sure they knew what that story was anymore.

Luger congratulates Arn on his career. I’d expect a lot of these testimonial kind of things tonight.

Here are Hall, Savage and Liz to the announce desk. Hall steals the mic from Larry and says Happy Labor Day. He talks about doing it for the little man and says the NWO is the real draw instead of WCW. Come on dude don’t rub it in that much. Hall brags about the NWO’s disrespect of authority to Larry who doesn’t have a great comeback. Savage challenges Page and Luger to a rematch that was already talked about earlier and that’s about it.

Silver King vs. Mortis

Mortis pounds away to start but King flips over him ala Daniel Bryan and kicks Mortis’ face off. Well his mask off but you get the idea. A mini springboard kick to Mortis’ gets another two as you may be noticing a pattern emerging here. Vandenberg finally realizes Mortis is losing to freaking Silver King and trips him up to let Mortis take over.

A guillotine legdrop gets two for the masked (Mortis if you’re not clear on that) dude before hooking an abdominal stretch for a few moments. King hits a quick backdrop and a paid of dropkicks to send Mortis outside for a plancha to take him down again. Back in they go and King’s run ends via a Russian legsweep. The Flatliner (middle rope Samoan Drop) gets the pin in an abrupt ending.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t bad but at the end of the day how interested can you get in Silver King vs. Mortis? That’s one of the things you did get on Nitro: matches between guys you would never think to put together that wound up being decent. They have these guys under contract, so why not throw them out there for five minutes and see what they can do?

Vandenberg wants the Faces of Fear to come out here, only to have his boys cleaned out by the monsters.

Time for some dancing chicks.

We recap Bischoff getting beaten up by Sting last week.

Yuji Nagata vs. Dean Malenko

Bah it’s Nagata. I never cared for this guy and he never was anything interesting in WCW. They fight for control to start until Dean takes him down to the mat and cranks on the arm a bit. Both guys try for the others’ leg with Yuji settling for the ankle. Dean is all like “oh you did not just try a mat hold on me” and puts on a freaky leg lock that only lasts a few seconds until Yuji gets a rope. Dean hits his leg lariat for one and we hit the chinlock.

Nagata fights up quickly and counters a whip into the corner with a boot to the face. We get the dragon screw leg whip which is getting more and more common in WCW at this point. They fight for the submissions on the mat again with Dean trying for a cross armbreaker that doesn’t last long due to those pesky ropes. Dean suplexes Nagata down for two and Nagata gets the same off a backdrop. Cue Jarrett for revenge from earlier (shouldn’t this be Eddie?). Debra distracts the referee, allowing Jeff to nail Malenko to give Nagata the win.

Rating: C+. This was one of the more entertaining matches I’ve ever seen from Nagata, although that may have been due to Malenko being able to do no wrong in 1997. The match was very technical, which shows another strength of Nitro: this is the third match of the night and we’ve had a tag match, a high flying match and a technical match. That gives a lot of fan bases something to care about and that’s a great idea.

The Girls dance some more.

La Parka vs. Ultimo Dragon

This is part of Sonny Onoo’s war with the Ultimo Dragon. La Parka pounds away to start and chops Dragon down. Ultimo is fine with that though, coming back with a nip up and an armdrag before sending Parka through the ropes and out to the floor. We head to the floor where Dragon’s handspring elbow misses La Parka but hits the barricade. Dragon tries to suplex Onoo on the floor but gets taken out by a nice suicide dive.

The fans chant for Dragon to mess with la Parka’s mind so he puts Ultimo in the Tree of Woe. A hard kick to Dragon’s chest keeps him down but he fires (see what I did there?) off a clothesline for one and it’s time for some martial arts. La Parka gets two off a powerslam but Dragon escapes a backdrop and fires off the kicks. A bridging fallaway slam (not a move you often see) gets two for Dragon so Sonny distracts the referee. Parka gets a chair but walks into kind of a Van Daminator from Dragon for the pin.

Rating: C. Not bad here although the ending was kind of stupid. The referee sees a chair laying next to the guys, La Parka is out cold, and presumably he would have heard the chair cracking off La Parka’s head, and he’s perfectly ok with that? Eh that’s one of the things you have to deal with in wrestling I guess. Dragon’s feud with Sonny would eventually move onto Nagata as Sonny’s enforcer I believe.

Sonny fires off a kick to Dragon and gets slammed as a result. Dragon puts him in the Dragon Sleeper but has to run from La Parka’s chair.

Buff Bagwell vs. Glacier

Now here’s an interesting match. I didn’t say good mind you but it’s definitely not a pairing I would have put together. Buff of course is obnoxious and makes fun of Glacier’s karate stuff. Ok to be fair it’s Glacier so it’s hard not to make fun of him. They trade armdrags and Buff pulls his eyes back like an Asian person. Ok then. Glacier can’t get in a shot as Buff is ducking around like a boxer. I don’t think a boxer often leapfrogs people but you get the idea.

Buff makes fun of Glacier some more and gets kicked in the head, ribs and chest for his efforts so far. After Bagwell chills (man I’m nailing these unfunny puns tonight) on the floor for a bit he comes back in to get kicked a few more times before Glacier hits a legsweep to take him down. A few shots by Buff slow Glacier down but Vincent actually doing something by tripping Glacier up puts him on the mat. Glacier, ever the schmuck, yells at Vincent instead of focusing on Buff and gets clotheslined in the back of the head for his troubles.

A back elbow to the face gets two for Buff and it’s time to pose. To be fair, Buff is really only good for a Blockbuster and posing so you can’t fault him for going to one of his pair of moves. I don’t think he had the Blockbuster yet anyway. Bagwell charges into a boot in the corner before Glacier unleashes the PALM STRIKES.

A hard kick to Bagwell face drops him but Glacier goes up and misses what I think was supposed to be a splash. Vincent gets kicked in the face as does Bagwell, but Glacier takes him to the top for no apparent reason. Vincent finally does his job again and holds Buff’s foot, sending Glacier to the mat. Blockbuster hits and we’re done.

Rating: D+. Not the best pairing in the world here but they gave me some decent joke material so I’ll forgive it. Either way, Glacier was clearly outliving his limited usefulness at this point while Buff continues to be at the top of the NWO C list. The fact that such a thing exists says a lot about where the team has gone in 13 months.

Larry Z thanks Arn for his career. They were world tag team champions back in the early 90s.

Piper is back at Halloween Havoc.

Lizmark Jr. vs. Villano IV

I’m sure their dads fought at some point. They pound on each other to start but Lizmark dropkicks him to the floor and hits a big over the top dive. Tenay talks about Lizmark and his dad being cliff divers from Acapulco. I don’t know if all this stuff he says is true or not, but man alive does it make matches more interesting. Back in and Villano takes him down with a clothesline and hits a backsplash as Raven is in the audience.

A DDT puts Lizmark down and Villano drops a knee only to get taken down by a spinwheel kick for two. A standing rana gets two more for Lizmark and the seem to mess something up in the corner as Lizmark tries a running dropkick but Villano puts his feet up. Lizmark sends him to the outside and hits a big dive to the floor, only to see Villano IV change with Villano V. Not that it matters as Lizmark hits a standing Lionsault for the pin out of almos nowhere.

Rating: C+. Is this Cruiserweight night or something? This is the third match with a luchador in it out of six matches we’ve had so far. This was entertaining stuff though as Lizmark is a pretty good diver (from Acapulco. Thanks Mike!). The Villanos were fine for a lower card heel gimmick and the match worked pretty well despite how short it was.

Luger says he and Page can get along and asks Page to come out and bury the hatchet. Page is nowhere to be seen so Luger shrugs.

Remember earlier when the Nitro Girls danced? They do that again here, until Disco Inferno comes out to join them. Alex Wright comes out for his match and a dance off breaks out with Inferno.

TV Title: Hugh Morrus vs. Alex Wright

Wright tries to use some speed stuff to avoid Morrus before punching his way out of the corner like a jerk. Hugh charges right back at him and pounds the champion (Wright in case that was missing) in the corner. Wright bails to the floor for a bit before coming back to run a bit more. He gets Morrus to chase him and when your name is Hugh Morrus, it’s pretty clear you’re not that bright. Alex gets in some shots to take Hugh down and works on the knee, wrapping it around the post in the process.

Morrus goes to the floor and hits a clothesline from one leg but gets taken right back down inside. Wright stays on the leg but goes up and gets slammed down. Hugh’s leg is suddenly fine enough to run back and forth to splash Wright in the corners, although he does limp a bit after each one. Disco is at ringside again as Hugh slams Wright down. Disco is pulled in and beaten up but walks into a spinwheel kick for the pin (with feet on the ropes) to retain the title.

Rating: C-. This was going well until Wright got slammed off the top. I get that Morrus is a power guy, but the lack of selling was stupid. Selling does not mean doing all of your moves and then limping a bit. Selling means you CAN’T DO THE MOVES PROPERLY because of your injury. The match didn’t work at that point, and it didn’t do either guy any favors.

Raven is still here.

Heenan spends most of the ten seconds he has to thank Arn for his career complaining that he only has ten seconds.

Video on Sting.

Damien vs. Stevie Richards

As Damien comes to the ring, Raven grabs him for a DDT on the concrete. He throws Damien in to Stevie who didn’t notice what Raven did. Stevie of course performs CPR until Raven smacks him upside the head, making Richards cover him for the pin.

Here’s Gene for an interview with Big Bubba of all people. Bubba says he’s tired of wearing different costumes and his name is Ray Traylor. He got beaten up when he was in the NWO but they never came to check on him. Bischoff sent him a letter throwing him out of the group and that’s it. Now, he wants to take the NWO out. Makes as much sense as any other reason.

Prince Iaukea vs. Ray Traylor

Traylor pounds on him to start (GOOD MAN!) and sends him to the outside after no selling a dropkick. Ray sits on a sunset flip attempt and hits a big boot to send the Prince’s head back to whatever island he’s a prince of. Prince manages to block a powerbomb but walks into the Boss Man Slam to end the squash.

JJ thanks Arn for being awesome.

Gene calls out the Horsemen but instead he gets the NWO. It’s time for a parody! Syxx is Flair and Konnan is Mongo. Syxx has a big fake nose and a bad blonde wig while saying WOO a lot. He calls Flair down to the ring as Tony thinks he’ll be sick. I think the same thing every time you call a show Schiavone. Bagwell is playing Hennig here. Flair talks to Hennig about joining the Horsemen (WOO!). Bagwell keeps chewing the gum and says spot a lot. Flair brings out Anderson (as played by Kevin Nash) who has a bald wig, a neck brace and a cooler. Oh and he’s fat.

Anderson makes fun of himself for being fat and says he feels like he’s in labor here on Labor Day. He talks about how he has average size, speed, quickness, looks, intelligence and carpentry skills but he parlayed that into a wrestling career. Then he hurt his neck and lost the strength in his beer opening hand. A few weeks later he went to a bar and a fat broad slapped him on the back and it woke him up. He looked at the longneck he was drinking from and it was like sand going through an hourglass…..and so are the days of our lives.

Anderson makes fun of himself for being a drunk who would give as much as he could every night he was in the ring. Now he wants the fans to remember him as he is now, not as he was. This brings him to Hennig. All he has left to offer Curt is a spot. Not a liver spot or a dog named Spot, but his spot. Hennig agrees and that’s that. Tony acts like we just saw the Kennedy assassination or something.

This segment apparently was controversial and offended the Horsemen badly. At the end of the day….the NWO are heels. What do you expect them to do? Write Anderson a card and get him a plaque? Yeah the Horsemen probably should have been allowed to run in or something, but this really isn’t as big of a deal as I’ve heard it made out to be.

Given how ridiculous some of Flair’s promos were back in the day and how ridiculous Flair would get, I find it hard to feel bad about this. You can’t be a group on top for so long and not expect to be made fun of once in awhile. If you don’t like it I can totally understand that, but to nearly quit over it as I’ve heard Flair and Anderson wanted to do is a bit much.

Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Chris Jericho

Eddie comes out before the match to yell at Chavo (who is challenging). He says he’s failed to make Chavo a man, causing Chavo to yell a bit. This draws out Scotty Riggs, Damien, Prince Iaukea and Kidman for no apparent reason. A brawl breaks out and here comes the Villanos. Dragon and Wright are out now. They all get in the ring and throw each other out like a battle royal until only Jericho is left. Eddie blasts him with the belt and hits a frog splash and that’s it.

Giant thanks Anderson.

Here are Hogan and Bischoff to respond to Sting. We still have the main event to go even though this show has felt like it’s been on for nine hours or so now. Eric says that Hogan has driven Sting to the rafters and Hulk suggests Sting get into dry cleaning because he won’t be in the ring anytime soon. Hogan says he wants Sting and calls him down to the ring (and calls him a jabroni in the process). Instead Hulk calls out JJ Dillon and demands that JJ produce Sting. Since there’s no Sting, Hogan beats up JJ instead. Tony walks off set, instantly making this segment better. Dillon gets the spraypaint. Tony is already back.

Randy Savage/Scott Hall vs. Lex Luger/Diamond Dallas Page

Tony of course whines about how hard is job is and dear goodness are we supposed to care? JJ has been treated like a goon since he got here so why are we supposed to be all depressed about this? Luger and Page are in different corners due to not trusting each other until it’s Page vs. Hall to start. They slug it out in the corner with DDP taking over. Off to Savage and you know Page is cool with that.

We take our second break in about five minutes (first was during the NWO’s entrance) and come back to see Hall holding Page in an armbar. Apparently Page hasn’t even tried to tag in Luger yet. Savage takes Page down before it’s back to Scott for the fallaway slam. We hit the chinlock from Savage followed by a double ax from the top for two.

The announcers are sounding like they all just saw their puppies drowned. Page finally hits a discus lariat to drop Hall but Savage distracts the referee from seeing the hot tag. Luger comes in anyway to beat on the NWO with atomic drops all around. Lex accidentally decks Page with the forearm but Racks Savage anyway. There was no tag though so Hall makes the legal pin on Page.

Rating: C-. Just angle advancement for WarGames here but DANG was that commentary annoying. “WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER!” Yes Tony, we know this because you’ve been saying it FOR THIRTEEN FREAKING MONTHS ALREADY! LEARN A NEW TRICK YOU STUPID PARROT HEADED MAN! The match told a decent story but at this point it’s really hard to care as I just want this show to end.

Luger is frustrated with Page to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. I’m glad I’m laying down as I watch this or I would have collapsed a few times during the show. SWEET GOODNESS did this feel long. It’s one of those episodes that juts keeps going with almost nothing being done at all. This show had ten matches and two LONG talking segments, which is too much for a two hour program. The announcers are reaching the levels of annoying that they’re famous for, as it’s constantly “we’re doomed!” and “please pull together WCW!” Yes, we get it: the NWO is dominating right now. TELL US SOMETHING NEW! Really bad show this week.

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  1. Heyo says:

    Supposedly, the Horsemen WOULD HAVE gotten revenge on the NWO after the skit, but Nash himself shot it down. That’s what annoys me more than anything.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    That’s one of the most maddening things about this era. The Horsemen of the old days would have just kidnapped some low level NWO guy (Vincent or Bagwell) and beat the tar out of him while cutting an over the top promo. Or Anderson would have broken someone’s leg with a tire iron. Instead they just keep getting beaten down over and over with no one ever getting one up on the NWO. It’s so boring.

    Heyo Reply:

    It’s what you said in your Starrcade 1998 review: The hero almost never got his day in WCW.

  2. ted says:

    This segment apparently was controversial and offended the Horsemen badly. At the end of the day….the NWO are heels. What do you expect them to do? Write Anderson a card and get him a plaque? Yeah the Horsemen probably should have been allowed to run in or something, but this really isn’t as big of a deal as I’ve heard it made out to be.

    I don’t know it just seemed spiteful. Since there was no run in it just seemed to bury an inactive wrestler in Anderson. Plus Nash is a dick and I get the feeling he gets off on this sort of thing.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’ve never had a problem with the segment itself. Back on Flair’s interview show Flair for the Gold, Anderson was always standing next to the bar. It’s not like this wasn’t something mentioned before.

    Heyo Reply:

    Like I said earlier, it’s not so much the fact that they aired something like that, but how the Horsemen were supposed to get revenge on the same show and Nash killed that part off because of ego issues.

    Think about it. If what I read was true, the Horsemen would beat the crap out of the NWO, and Anderson would watch this from the entrance, smiling that the NWO got their comeuppance.

    That’s the part Nash killed off. That’s why I’m so ticked off about it. The fact that, time and time again(just look at Starrcade 97 for God’s sake), the storylines were written perfectly for the hero to win it all, to finally end the heel’s time at top. But it never happened, because Hogan and the NWO just HAD to still look dominant because…um…we’ll get back to you later on that.

    Maybe it’s the fact that they did this, while Austin vs. McMahon actually allowed Vince to lose and get the crap beaten out of him, that frustrates me the most.

    ted Reply: