Monday Nitro – October 27, 1997: Starrcade Is Coming

Monday Nitro #111
Date: October 27, 1997
Location: Cox Arena, San Diego, California
Attendance: 6,281
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

We’re past Halloween Havoc now where Piper beat Hogan in one of the more confusing cage matches you’ll ever seen. At that point though I think they knew everyone was going to buy Starrcade so why bother putting in the effort at the other PPVs? Other than that, Hennig retained the US Title over Flair and Rey Mysterio won the Cruiserweight Title in arguably the best match WCW ever produced. I’m guessing nothing tonight is going to top it. Let’s get to it.

Apparently this show is three hours, which I believe is a forerunner to the three hour broadcasts which are coming soon.

Here are Hogan and Bischoff to open the show. Eric brags about how Hogan is still world champion and says that Hogan will be champion for as long as he wants. Hogan says that he’s tired of the word icon being thrown around so freely so let’s just call Hogan God. He challenges anyone in WCW or in the crowd to come fight him right now. That’s not a bright thing to say after a fan climbed into the cage last night.

Bischoff says this network will soon be named Hogan Network Television and plugs Assault on Devil’s Island tomorrow night. We get a clip from the movie which looks like a bad TV movie. I actually watched it once and it certainly lived up to what it looked like in the trailer. It says a lot that Hogan keeps getting these movie roles when he is such an abysmal actor.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Dean Malenko

Rey won the title last night. Dean immediately takes it to the mat as is his nature but Rey counters into a hammerlock. Back up and the champion hooks an armdrag to send Malenko right back down. Rey tries a test of strength for some reason and does as well as you would expect him to. Raven and the Flock are here as they are every week. A rollup gets two each but Dean charges into a boot in the corner to stagger him. Rey goes up, only to have Malenko catch him with his awesome top rope gutbuster for a very close two. A standing rana is countered into the Texas Cloverleaf but Rey rolls through into a cradle to retain.

Rating: C+. This was your usual solid match between these two and that gutbuster is awesome as usual. Rey getting another win after the excellent match last night was a good move and having it be over one of the best in the division like Malenko worked well. These two always had solid chemistry together.

Here’s more about lucha libre from Mike Tenay. This time we hear about the merchandise in Mexico before transitioning into wrestling families. El Hijo del Santo talks about how devastating his father’s death was. I wish would could get stuff like this today instead of the same gags and segments over and over again.

Glacier vs. La Parka

La Parka takes over to start and hits a few fast right hands but Glacier comes back with a few kicks of his own. The masked dude is knocked to the floor and Glacier hits a cross body to take him down again. Back in and La Parka hits a kick and a piledriver of all things, but instead of covering it’s DANCE TIME. Another kick sends Glacier to the floor and there’s a nice corkscrew plancha to take him out again. La Parka loads up a chair but takes too long going up, allowing Glacier to crotch him. Glacier launches him into the chair before heading back in for the Cryonic Kick for the pin. Nothing match but a nice dive by Parka.

Here’s DDP with something to say. Actually it’s Gene with something to say as he talks about all of the injuries that Page had coming into his loss to Savage last night. Page knows it was Hogan as Sting last night (shocker there) and says Savage knows that one on one, Page is the better man. If Hogan has an open challenge for tonight, DDP will take him up on it. Ok then.

After a break here’s Larry Z with something to say. He’s glad of what he did last night when he reversed the decision of Hall vs. Luger and has a piece of paper which apparently is a one way ticket to Larryland. After some more insults here are Hall and Syxx with Scott saying that Larry has shown he can’t do anything in the ring. Scott things Larry couldn’t even beat Bischoff and we get a clip of Eric beating up Larry from a few weeks ago. Hall still won’t agree to fight Zbyszko and that’s about it.

Lex Luger vs. Stevie Ray

Feeling out process to start with Luger grabbing a headlock to control. They trade shoulder blocks but neither guy moves. A clothesline puts Ray down but Stevie comes right back with a shoulder of his own to put Luger down. Lex comes back with a few slams but misses that big elbow of his. The move we would call the World’s Strongest Slam gets two for Ray and it’s off to a bearhug. Luger counters into a quickly broken bearhug of his own but the clotheslines he uses work a bit better. The Rack is blocked though and a bicycle kick puts Luger down. Lex comes back with a powerslam and the Rack for the win.

Rating: C. This was FAR better than I was expecting with Ray actually looking like a threat to Luger. For a guy who never did a single thing as a singles wrestler, that was pretty impressive. Luger was never in any significant danger but at least we were convinced that he was. Nice little match here.

Raven sits in a tree and talks about not liking the dark.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho

We get clips from Jericho’s match last night with Gedo where Jericho landed on his head in a botch off the top rope. Feeling out process to start but Eddie goes after Chris’ bad shoulder. Jericho comes back with a spinwheel kick and some chops in the corner, but Eddie gets in a shot to Jericho’s shoulder again to take him down. A dropkick to the back of Jericho’s head keeps him in trouble as does one to the shoulder.

Jericho ducks a right hand and hits a HUGE release German suplex for two. A butterfly powerbomb puts Eddie down but the Lionsault misses. Eddie’s Frog Splash is countered by a good old fashioned crotching and a superplex, but Jericho can barely stand up. Jericho escapes a powerbomb and suplexes Eddie to the floor. That destroys Jericho’s shoulder and he falls to the mat in pain, allowing Eddie (who landed on his feet on the floor) to come back in with the Frog Splash for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was your usual good match between these two guys with a fine story about Jericho’s shoulder. The ending was a creative one too as Jericho just couldn’t fight all the way through the pain he was in. Eddie getting another win is a good thing after the loss from last night against Mysterio.

Chris Benoit vs. Fit Finlay

These two know each other very well from other countries. Finlay runs him over to start but charges into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and some HARD chops. Finlay tries a headlock but Benoit suplexes him right back down. An enziguri puts Fit down and they head to the floor for a HARD forearm by Finlay. Benoit gets dropped face first onto the barricade and goes shoulder first into the post for good measure. They head back inside for some stiff kicks to Chris’ back.

Off to a chinlock by Fit before he slams Benoit down. Finlay steps on Benoit’s chest to get to the corner for a Vader Bomb for two. Back to the floor but one of those hard chops by Finlay hits the post instead of Benoit. Finlay comes back immediately by sending Benoit into the barricade before heading back inside. A charge in the corner misses Benoit though and the Canadian hits a German suplex to set up the Swan Dive for the pin.

Rating: C+. Another good match here in a complete different style from the previous few matches. That’s one of the things Nitro did best: they could show off a bunch of different styles in one show such as a squash, a lucha libre match and then a stiff brawl like this one. That’s the benefit of the huge roster WCW had at this point and the international flavor helped a lot as well.

Here’s Flair with something to say. He talks about how close he got to beating Hennig within an inch of his life last night and if he sees Hennig tonight, Hennig is a dead man. As for the rest of the show though, Flair gets Savage and then after that he’s getting Liz.

Raven vs. Scotty Riggs

Richards, Saturn, Kidman and Sick Boy all jump the railing with Raven. Tenay calls them the Flock, I believe for the first time. Richards says this has to be Raven’s Rules. Raven says there’s no point to them fighting tonight, because Riggs can join the Flock instead. Riggs wants to fight and is shoved into the corner almost immediately. Raven offers him a hand up but Riggs wisely doesn’t take it. A suplex puts Riggs down and we get an ECW chant. Saturn throws in a chair and Riggs gets caught in a drop toehold, sending him eye first into the chair. The match is stopped and Raven goes back to his seat in the crowd.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Hulk Hogan

Non-title of course and amazingly this isn’t the main event. Page of course has taped ribs as he always does. Hogan immediately shoves Page into the corner but Hogan takes him down with a hammerlock. Page is in jeans here. Hogan slugs him down as Tony plugs Assault on Devil’s Island some more. All Hollywood so far as he clotheslines Page down for two. A jumping knee to Page’s face puts him down again but DDP comes back with the driving shoulders.

Page tries for the Cutter but Hogan immediately bails to the floor. Back in and the discus lariat takes Hogan down and out to the floor again. Hogan gets back in and slams Page down before dropping some elbows and choking away. Page is sent to the floor and out into the barricade before suplexing Page down on the floor. Back in and Diamond grabs a quick neckbreaker for two but gets caught in an atomic drop for the same for Hogan.

Hollywood goes after the ribs and hits a BIG running clothesline in the corner. Hogan hits a suplex for three straight two counts before DDP comes with with a bunch of punches to send Hogan to the floor. That goes nowhere so it’s back inside for the big boot from Hogan to stop Page cold. The legdrop misses though but a fake Sting (might be Syxx) comes out and jumps into the Diamond Cutter as the bell rings for a DQ.

Rating: C-. Not the worst match in the world as Hogan actually went almost fifteen minutes for free on television. It was his usual heel stuff with really basic moves, but he had the crowd riled up which is what Hogan was a master at doing. Page hung in there and the run in finish was the only thing they could do here. Decent match though.

Post match here the NWO for the big beatdown (including Syxx so he wasn’t the fake Sting) until the real Sting makes the save and beats up everyone. A long point at Hogan has the champion terrified. Scott Hall stays in the ring and gets caught in the Death Drop, as does Hennig.

TV Title: Disco Inferno vs. Goldberg

No match as Alex Wright jumps Goldberg on the way to the ring. Goldie throws him into the ring for a Jackhammer before hitting both signature moves on Disco. Mongo comes out for a brawl to end this. The bell never rang.

Here are a ticked off Hogan and Bischoff to say that they’re tired of Sting and that Page isn’t in Hogan’s league. They plug the movie premiere tomorrow night and say that if Sting wants to come see him in Vegas, they can sign the contract there. That’s a big step.

The Steiners say it’s been a tough year but anyone that wants a title shot can come get it.

Tag Titles: Steiner Brothers vs. Public Enemy

Scotty and Rocco start things off with Rocco being press slammed very quickly. The challengers (Public Enemy if that’s not clear) bails until we get back to Grunge vs. Rick. A powerslam puts Grunge right back on the floor and starts the stalling process as we take a break. Back with Rocco knocking Scotty out to the floor for some cheating from Grunge. Johnny sends him into the steps for good measure as the referee continues to be clueless. The announcers are about the same as they spend the whole match talking about the Hogan/Sting contract signing.

Back in and the challengers elbow Scotty down so that Grunge can chinlock him for a bit. Scotty tries to fight up but charges into a knee as it’s back to Rocco. A swinging neckbreaker puts Steiner down again but Scott comes back with a clothesline to both Enemies. The hot tag brings in Rick and house is cleaned until it’s the Steiner Bulldog for the pin on Rock.

Rating: D+. Very basic tag match here which didn’t work all that well. This would set up a rematch in a street fight next week for no apparent reason. This was a clean win for the Steiners, so why should we need to see this match all over again? Nothing to see here at all and the match was dull.

US Title: Booker T vs. Curt Hennig

Main event time and Curt is of course defending. Booker starts fast with some clotheslines and a shoulder to knock Hennig down. Curt bails to the floor but comes back in with a rake to the eyes and some loud chops. A neckbreaker puts Booker down and we hit an early chinlock. Booker fights up and they head to the floor with the champion taking over, only to be rolled up for two back inside. Booker takes over as Liz comes out for a distraction. While she has the referee, Savage comes in to deck Booker, drawing in Flair for the DQ. Too short to rate but nothing of note.

Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage

This is joined in progress after a break with Flair pounding away in the crowd. The referee is knocked down as this is a brawl instead of a match. They fight against the barricade with Flair in complete control. A low blow keeps Savage down as they head back to ringside. Savage gets in a microphone shot to Flair’s throat but Flair chops him down. Savage tries to hide behind Liz so Flair kisses Savage’s shield. Smart man.

They finally head inside with Savage being taken down by an elbow so Flair can dance a bit. Liz rakes his eyes, allowing Savage to send Flair back to the floor. Ric is sent into the steps and choked down, allowing Macho to load up the top rope ax handle, only to crash into the railing. They head back inside but here’s Hennig for the DQ. Yeah after all that we get a DQ.

Rating: C. This was a wild brawl but that’s all you need sometimes. The idea of Flair being in such a rage that he couldn’t wrestle a match was a fine idea and Savage just happened to be the victim at this point. Surprisingly enough, this would be the last time that these two would fight on Nitro.

Flair is beaten down to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This show was about advancing stuff after last night. The contract signing would show where the end of the year was heading and that’s when things get awesome. If nothing else we don’t have to hear about Hogan’s movie anymore which is always a good thing. Good show tonight, but the three hour shows are going to be torture when they’re a regular thing.

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