Monday Nitro – January 27, 1997: Time For Old People!

Monday Nitro #72
Date: January 27, 1997
Location: Veterans’ Auditorium, Des Moines, Iowa
Attendance: 3,970
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Mike Tenay

We’re past Souled Out now and that means it’s time to get back to Piper. Enough of those young and talented guys like Giant. WE WANT OLD MEN THAT CAN’T MOVE!!! There are four Nitros to go before the next PPV and this is the first one. The main event at the PPV was Giant vs. Hogan so tonight’s main event? Giant vs. Hogan, for the second time on Nitro (third overall) in two weeks. Let’s get to it.

The NWO is on commentary and Eric already gets the day of the PPV wrong, saying it was last night. The Outsiders are with them.

We see a clip of the Steiners winning the titles at Souled Out due to Randy Anderson coming down when Nick Patrick is down to count the pin. He was in street clothes because Patrick was refereeing every match at the show. Eric calls Anderson up to the announcers’ desk as Hall complains about nepotism. That’s great. Eric asks Anderson why he was in the building. Anderson says that he was given the ticket as a gift by the promoter. Eric says that’s against company policy (this must be thrilling for the live crowd) and Anderson says he didn’t know. Anderson says he had cancer this year (legit) and gets fired by Eric.

Bischoff demands that the Steiners come out now. Here are the new champions and Eric says leave the belts with the champs, the Outsiders. Either do it or be in breach of contract. Rick throws his down so that costs them six weeks of pay. The Outsiders are champions again.

Faces of Fear vs. Steiner Brothers

They be clubberin to start and there’s going to be a tag title match tonight too. Gee, think that’s going to be a squash? The Steiners clear the ring and it’s Barbarian vs. Scott to start. Barbie powers him down but walks into a spinning belly to belly suplex. Off to Rick vs. Meng with the Faces of Fear doing their backdrop into a powerbomb move. Harlem Heat is in the crowd.

Another powerbomb gets two. Powerslam gets two. Some of you may be beginning to notice a pattern emerging. Stereo flying headbutts get two on Rick. Barbarian tries a belly to belly superplex but Rick falls forward for almost a top rope spinebuster. There’s the hot tag to Scott who cleans house. Meng runs Scott over but when he tries a kick, Scott grabs a belly to belly overhead for the pin.

Rating: C. This was an ok power match, but what was the point of having the Steiners get beaten up like that for such a long time? The Faces of Fear were in control for the majority of this match and it didn’t do much to make the Steiners look strong. Maybe that’s what they were going for, but I don’t know if I get why.

Ok now the regular announcers are back.

We get some stills from the PPV where Eddie got his US belt back.

The Giant vs. Roadblock

Roadblock, a big fat guy, jumps him during the entrance and that goes about as well as you would expect. Roadblock can’t slam him but Giant easily slams him. A dropkick puts Roadblock over the top and through a conveniently placed table. Back in the ring the chokeslam ends this.

Giant grabs a mic and wants Hogan tonight.

US Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Eddie Guerrero

Jarrett armdraags him down and things speed way up. He takes Eddie to the mat and hits a swinging neckbreaker to slow things down. Sunset flip doesn’t work for Eddie but a small package gets two. Jarrett takes over again but Eddie manages to speed things up well enough to collide. Headscissors puts Jarrett down as does a European uppercut. Brainbuster sets up the splash but Jeff comes back with a superplex. Here’s the Figure Four but here are Mongo and Debra as well. No Figure Four but Mongo hits Jeff with the briefcase for the DQ.

Rating: C. This was getting good until the ending where they further the stupid Horsemen split angle. This is a pairing that could do some really good stuff with about ten minutes and a story. The idea here is that Debra wanted Mongo to hit Eddie but he hit Jeff instead because he’s not a nice guy.

We get part of a clip from Starrcade where Piper beat Hogan with the sleeper. It gets cut off though because Bischoff pulled it out apparently. Bischoff comes out and yells at Tony and Larry.

Billy Pearl vs. Ultimo Dragon

No idea who Pearl is. He takes over with a test of strength and tries to break Dragon’s bridge but can’t. Dragon seems to be having some issues with Pearl, who looks like Bob Backlund. Dragon goes off with the kicks but the handspring elbow misses. Pearl goes up but gets dropkicked out of the air. A moonsault sets up the tiger suplex for the quick pin. Short and basically a squash.

Gene brings out the Horsemen and Flair is all fired up. He talks about how the Horsemen are reunited and is very happy. Anderson is proud of what Benoit did last week. Mongo says nothing of note and Benoit says he beat Sullivan at Sullivan’s own game and says to let go of what he’s lost, obviously implying Woman.

Lex Luger vs. Ron Powers

No idea who Powers is but this isn’t going to last long. Luger runs him over to start but the referee gets in his way to allow Powers to get some offense. And never mind as it’s clothesline, forearm, Rack.

Post match Luger talks about how Giant has been leading the charge for WCW lately as well. It turns into the usual “WCW needs to stand up” speech.

It’s the second hour so we get the traditional recap of the opening.

Arn Anderson/Steve McMichael vs. Amazing French Canadians

Arn and Jacques get things going. The Canadians double team him immediately and send Arn outside. Back inside and they keep at it wit Jacques slamming Oulett onto Anderson. A double hot shot keeps Arn down but after an atomic drop he bounces out of the corner to collide with Oulett. There’s the tag to Mongo and he cleans house, taking out the knees of both guys. We get a double noggin knocker and Parker throws in the flag. Mongo uses the distraction to hit Jacques with the briefcase for the pin. And that’s Anderson’s last match on Nitro.

Rating: D. I don’t know what Arn did to deserve this but he looked like horrible here. He was getting knocked around by the French Canadians of all people, not even hitting a single offensive move and needing a mistake to be able to get out of there. He didn’t know he was retiring at this point so what was the point here?

Lee Marshall talks about Memphis.

Tag Titles: Outsiders vs. The Extreme

The Extreme would be Devon Storm and Ace Darling. Storm is more famous as Crowbar. Darling popped up on some indy shows that I can find but that’s about it. Hall jumps Ace to start and the pain begins. Storm comes in and gets to face Kevin Nash. Side slam puts him down and it’s off to Hall who hits the Edge for a big pop. That’s good for the pin.

Kevin Sullivan vs. Joe Gomez

Sullivan charges right at him and they go to the floor. He throws a chair at Gomez’s back and back inside the double stomp ends this in maybe 40 seconds.

Here’s the NWO with Bischoff praising Hogan and talking about all of the scientific moves that Hogan used. Hogan praises himself and talks about how he wants to make a new movie and take some time off but tonight, he’ll face Giant. Sting and Savage are in the crowd and Bischoff says call him. Hogan says he’s going to go get ready for the match later tonight but poses and talks some trash first.

Jerry Flynn vs. Dean Malenko

Dean works on the arm to start but Flynn gets behind him. Malenko is fine with that and works on the knee instead, ramming it into the apron. Flynn pops up to fire off some punches in the corner and a big kick to the head takes Malenko down. Powerslam gets two. Dean picks off a kick though and the Cloverleaf ends this.

The announcers talk for a bit and here’s a cop with a note. Tony glances at it and goes onto a mic that the whole arena can hear. Piper vs. Hogan II at SuperBrawl.

Hugh Morrus vs. Chris Benoit

Morrus misses a charge to start and here comes Benoit. He stomps Morrus down in the corner but Hugh comes back with a clothesline. Moonsault misses…and Jacqueline debuts by jumping the railing. The distraction lets Sullivan come in with a chair shot and the moonsault get the pin. Too short to rate, but I absolutely can’t stand Jacqueline so the match is bad automatically.

Sullivan won’t answer anything about Jackie. Hart thinks it’ll be trouble. Jackie says she couldn’t stay away. She’d never treat Sullivan like Woman. She yells at Jimmy, saying never to compare her to Woman or Debra. Woman looks like she escapes from a fat farm and Debra has chicken legs. Ok then.

The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan

I think this is non-title. Hogan rants about the Piper match before Giant comes out. Vince helps Hulk with the beatdown but Giant shrugs them off. Giant knocks him around and chokes in the corner as he’s dominating. Hogan goes to the eyes but it doesn’t last long. Side slam puts Hogan down and Vince runs in. That doesn’t last long but Eric runs in and the Outsiders run in for the beatdown. This was about two minutes long.

Giant shrugs the NWO off and here’s Luger to even things up. They stare each other down and we go off the air with a plea to Piper to come back.

Overall Rating: C-. This was still entertaining for the most part, but it basically makes Souled Out the most worthless PPV in recorded history. The main event happens two days later, the tag titles are returned, and it’s on to Piper vs. Hogan again after Giant gets cheated. This wasn’t a great show, but they got the ball rolling towards SuperBrawl, so at least there’s that.

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