Monday Nitro – November 10, 1997: That’s One For The NWO

Monday Nitro #113
Date: November 10, 1997
Location: Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

We’ve got two shows left before World War 3 which means we can get down to the really interesting stuff with the Starrcade build up. Tonight we’re following up on the end of last week’s show with Flair vs. Luger in the main event. Also the entire NWO is supposed to be here tonight for a big surprise, whatever that may be. Let’s get to it.

Here’s the NWO to open the show complete with Hogan, Bischoff, and a bunch of Canadian flags. Bischoff says that it’s tiem for the return of the real giant and here’s Kevin Nash back from injury. Granted he’s in a wheelchair with one of the new WCW Tag Title belts but he’s here. Nash pops out of the chair to get in the ring for a hug with Hall. He does the Lou Gehrig luckiest man line, complete with his own echos. Kevin says that he’ll fight Giant but not for free of course. If Giant wants a match, it’s on Nash’s terms, which means in World War 3.

Bischoff talks about getting to spend a billionaire’s money and mentions the name Bret Hart. He references Bret punching out Vince backstage at Survivor Series which means he passed the initiation. Liz leads the NWO in a chorus of O Canada as the announcers panic about Bret joining the villains.

Post break and the announcers are still panicking, with Tony slipping in a good line about Bret not being a quitter.

Gene thinks Bret might have joined the NWO and has a source saying Bret pummeled a promoter backstage.

Harlem Heat vs. Steven Regal/Dave Taylor

Regal goes after Booker’s arm to start, only to be backdropped and kicked down. Taylor tries to come in as well and gets a kick of his own for good measure. Dave comes in legally now as does Ray, with the Squire (Taylor in case you’re not up to date on your Blue Bloods history) getting in some solid shots, only to be run over by pure power.

Back to Booker vs. Regal but Regal gives us some villainous double teaming to take T down. Everything breaks down with Ray using his power to beat everyoe up. Booker misses the Harlem Hangover to Regal and rolls to the floor, allowing Taylor to hit a butterfly suplex on Ray for the upset pin. Short match but man was that a surprise win.

The Nitro Girls dance a bit.

Disco Inferno vs. Chris Jericho

It’s a brawl to start with Disco having his jacket pulled over his own head so Jericho can pound away. Disco comes back with some right hands including one to break up a sunset flip attempt. The Flock is here as Inferno blocks an O’Connor Roll and dances a bit. Jericho comes back with the butterfly backbreaker followed by the Liontamer for the quick submission. Disco gets a title rematch at World War 3.

As Disco leaves, Kidman throws a drink in his face, starting a brawl. Scotty Riggs comes out to try for a save but can’t bring himself to hit Raven. They stare each other down and Riggs backs away.

Glacier vs. Barbarian

Did they just throw darts at a roster list to come up with this one? A quick shoulder puts Glacier down but he nips back up and pounds away in the corner. Barbarian is put on the mat by a leg trip and Glacier fires off more kicks. Jimmy Hart, Memphis’ own of course, comes out to cheer on Barbarian as they head to the floor.

Barbie counters a whip into the steps to slow Glacier down a lot before we head back inside for an atomic drop. Glacier comes back with a semi-botched belly to belly, but after knocking Jimmy off the apron, he walks into a big shot from the monster. Barbarian goes up and jumps into the Cryonic Kick (superkick) for the pin.

Rating: D. Again, why in the world did this match warrant inclusion on Nitro? Glacier was long past a lost cause at this point and Barbarian is Barbarian, so why did this match happen? At times Nitro would just throw something like this out there and it never made a lot of sense. Maybe there was a guaranteed number of dates or something for these guys. Either way, nothing to see here as you would expect from this combination.

Post match Meng comes out and puts Glacier in the Tongan Death Grip until Jimmy breaks it up.

World War 3 ad.

Here are Raven and Saturn to interrupt the start of the next match. Raven apologizes to Riggs for the damage done to the eye. He goes on to whine about being abused as a child, but now all of the freaks and misfits have come forth to stand beside him. A large man with a nipple ring gets in behind Raven. That would be formerly awesome Heavy Metal Van Hammer.

Video on Goldberg vs. Mongo. Get to Starrcade already so we can drop this.

Yuji Nagata vs. Alex Wright

Feeling out process to start with the fans chanting gay slurs at Wright. Yuji sends him to the floor but walks into a clothesline and some chops for his efforts. Nagata’s back is rammed into the apron and we go back inside, only to have Wright take WAY too much time to go up top. Yuji crotches him down and hits a superplex, only to charge into a boot a few seconds later.

Alex goes up for a top rope knee to the ribs before it’s DANCE TIME! Nagata whips him into the corner but walks into a belly to back suplex for two. As this is going on, Sonny Onoo goes over to Debra with money and tries to kiss her, apparently thinking she’s a prostitute. That earns him a slap and the distraction lets Yuji hook the Nagata Lock for the tap out.

Rating: D+. This was one of Nagata’s better matches from WCW but there’s still no interest for it whatsoever. The Sonny/Debra stuff could be interesting, but at the end of the day there’s no reason to care about either of these guys. Wright and Debra never fit as a pairing and thankfully they would be split up soon after this.

Here are a ticked off Hogan and Bischoff with the latter carrying something in his hand. Eric says cut the music because someone has broken into his dressing room. The paper is a movie poster for an art house comedy featuring none other than Sting in no makeup. Bischoff goes on a rant about how Sting is invading Hollywood and Hogan challenges Sting to a fight right now. Since Sting doesn’t come out they leave, having completed their plug for the man they hate. Also, good to see Sting can leave the rafters to make a movie (let alone take a call from a producer) but can’t have a match for a year.

Hour #2 has started so Heenan gets his chance to worry about Bret joining the NWO.

TV Title: Saturn vs. Chris Benoit

Saturn jumps him in the aisle to start and throws him inside for a pumphandle suplex. Tenay talks about a Toughman division which would be no holds barred all the time. Benoit comes back with some chops and a belly to back suplex to take over. We get a very odd ending as Benoit tries a sunset flip in the corner but Saturn sits down on him and grabs the rope for the pin. I say odd because it takes like 10 seconds for Patrick to call for the bell, Benoit kept going like it was a two count, and the match was barely two minutes long. Tony sounds more confused than usual.

The Flock runs in and Benoit puts Saturn in the Crossface but here’s Fit Finlay to beat up Benoit with a tombstone.

Nitro Girls do their thing.

Here’s Flair to say that Luger is just a roadblock on his way to Hennig. Flair is going to snap Hennig’s neck and then go for the rest of the NWO. He’s also going to win the world title and party with the Nitro Girls.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero

Eddie is challenging here and dropkicks Rey as soon as he comes in. Tony of course ignores it because he needs to talk about the battle royal for the fourth match in a row. Guerrero stomps away and lands on his feet to avoid a monkey flip. A second attempt works for Mysterio and a dropkick sends Eddie to the floor. Rey follows it up with a headscissors to send Eddie into the barricade.

Back inside and the champion comes in off the top, only to be superplexed down for two. Rey comes back with a quick springboard version of West Coast Pop for two. The move which would become known as the Lionsault gets two and it’s off to a headscissors on the mat on Guerrero. A split legged moonsault hits knees and Eddie hits a dropkick in the back of the head for no cover. Eddie’s powerbomb is countered into a DDT by Mysterio and both guys are down. Rey loads up the West Coast Pop but Eddie drops back into a Stun Gun, setting up the Frog Splash to give Eddie the title back.

Rating: C+. Did you expect something bad here? It wasn’t even six minutes long so it wasn’t to hit the level of their previous match but it wasn’t bad for the most part. This is one of those matches which is going to be good no matter what they do though, so seeing it on here is an upgrade over most of what we’ve seen so far.

Dean comes out and stares down Eddie but doesn’t do anything more.

Video of a Nitro Party with some college aged guys.

Randy Savage vs. Ray Traylor

Traylor chases him to the floor to start and sends Savage into the barricade. Savage tries to leave up the aisle but gets sent into the steps and back into the ring. Scratch that actually as Savage bails back to the floor, only to be cracked in the back by a chair. They go inside again and a big boot puts Savage down but he comes back with a rake to the eyes. A spinebuster puts Randy right back down as does a big right hand. Another uppercut looks to set up a top rope splash but Liz crotches him down to give Savage a breather. Savage slams him down and hits the elbow (his only two moves of the match) for the pin.

Rating: C. This was surprisingly entertaining as Traylor was moving very well out there. This was another part of him going after the NWO, only to lose again. At least it’s to someone who matters like Savage as opposed to Norton or someone like that. This was like back in 1995 with him only hitting a move or two to win.

Savage drops two more elbows for good measure which apparently changes the decision.

More Nitro Girls.

US Title: Curt Hennig vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Page wins a quick lockup to start but Hennig hiptosses him down onto the bad ribs. Off to a headlock by DDP followed by a swinging neckbreaker. The Diamond Cutter is escaped though as Hennig bails to the floor. Back in and he suckers Page into a slingshot into the middle buckle to shift momentum.

A few hard shots to Page’s ribs have him in trouble, as does a headbutt to the very lower abdomen. There’s an abdominal stretch but Hennig gets caught cheating, forcing the break. Hennig misses a kick to the ribs and Page pounds away for his comeback. After the Pancake, Curt has to block the Diamond Cutter with a jawbreaker. A belt shot to Page’s ribs draws the DQ.

Rating: D+. Really uninspired stuff here as it was about seven minutes of punching and kicking for the most part. Page was still incredibly over though and the Cutter attempts got some of the loudest reactions of the night. It wasn’t much of a match though which is the problem with a lot of the action tonight.

Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger

Flair is immediately tossed around and charges into a shoulder to put him right back down again. There’s the gorilla press from Luger and a clothesline to put Flair on the floor. It’s 1988 all over again. Flair’s chops are no sold both in and out of the ring so Ric goes to the eyes like a good villain and clips the knee for good measure. After some hard kicks to the leg it’s an early Figure Four but Luger turns it over almost immediately and grabs a rope.

After a quick argument with Randy Anderson, Flair goes right back to the knee and tries to suplex Luger to the floor. That goes as well as you would expect with Flair crashing down onto the mat from Luger’s countered suplex. Another chop is completely no sold and Luger gorilla presses him down again before showing off the muscles. We get the Flair Flip in the corner and as always, Flair runs down the apron and goes up, only to get caught coming down. A superplex and powerslam look to set up the Rack but Hennig runs in for the DQ.

Rating: C+. Oh come on it’s Flair vs. Luger. They can have a good match based on muscle memory alone given how many times they did this same match back in the 80s. That being said, the formula still works and they didn’t need to switch anything up here. This was of course the condensed eight minute version instead of the thirty five minute one they were capable of, but that’s what TV does for you.

Post match Hennig and Flair brawl up the aisle.

Here are Hogan and Bischoff to close the show in their third appearance of the night. They talk trash about Sting and here he comes. Hogan of course panics but stands there for the staredown. Sting, ever the idiot, throws down the bat. Savage comes in for a distraction and after a year of tormenting the NWO, ONE SHOT from Hogan drops Sting to start the big beatdown. Hogan drops some legs to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. Well you knew Hogan’s ego wasn’t going to let him get scared off forever. It’s not a big problem but the one shot was kind of stupid. What was a big problem though was how lame most of the show was. The matches weren’t great and the ones that were decent were only ok at best. They’re clearly on cruise control because they know Hogan vs. Sting will make a fortune. Not their best episode but the big drama stuff is coming, with Bret Hart being a big point.

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