Monday Nitro – February 17, 1997: Two Of The Most Bizarre Segments In Wrestling History

Monday Nitro #75
Date: February 17, 1997
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyzsko, Bobby Heenan

This is the go home show for SuperBrawl which came out of nowhere. This is probably the beginning of Piper on Alcatraz (don’t ask) and I’m sure more of the Horsemen being destroyed before our very eyes. Also I’m sure we’ll get Piper and Hogan talking a lot and expect to hear the words “biggest match EVER” quite a bit tonight. Let’s get to it.

The two NWO limos arrive to open the show. They walk in but realize that one of their members is down. They throw out the cameraman and we couldn’t tell who it was.

Rey Mysterio vs. Super Calo

Calo grabs the leg to take Rey down and puts on a chinlock. Rey comes back and speeds things up but springboards into a dropkick. Rey gets knocked to the apron and Calo tries a sunset bomb but Rey counters into a rana. Calo pops up onto the apron and hits a missile dropkick to the floor. We’re told that the Steiners are out of the fourway on Sunday because of a car wreck. Oh we’ll get to that in a minute.

We cut to the back and Bubba was the NWO member that was hurt and is being loaded into an ambulance. Back to the ring and Calo drapes the arm over the top rope. Rey comes back with something like a springboard Whisper in the Wind for two. Springboard guillotine legdrop gets two. Rey goes up but gets headscissored down. That goes nowhere as Rey knocks him down and the West Coast Pop gets the pin.

Rating: C+. This was a pretty good high flying match and that’s the right idea for an opener. Rey was in a different league than almost anyone else on the roster.  he was also almost as popular as anyone else on the roster, which is why it took him years to get away from the Cruiserweight division.  Makes sense right?

Hugh Morrus vs. Steve McMichael

McMichael runs him over a few times to start things off and the fans actually seem to like him. He yells something to Debra and gets run over for his efforts. Morrus grabs the ankle and works on the leg a bit. He keeps laughing at Debra which fits him pretty well I guess. He loads up the moonsault but Debra throws in the briefcase to Mongo. The moonsault hits the case and Morrus gets pinned as a result.

Rating: D-. Mongo just wasn’t that good. He was very slowly getting better but putting him in the Horsemen and then giving him the US Title just wasn’t a good idea. He would pretty much be the same guy for the rest of his career and I don’t think anyone really cared. Nothing to see here though as Debra was almost the focus of the match.

We get a video of a few weeks ago with Piper and his son getting humiliated by the NWO.

Dean Malenko vs. Robbie Brookside

Brookside is a somewhat famous British guy. Dean actually talks before the match, calling out Syxx on Sunday. The match starts and Tony explains to us about how Dean’s dad trained Syxx. My goodness an actual story! Dean takes him down and works on the arm. He tries some holds but Brookside keeps rolling out of them. Robbie hits a northern lights suplex for two. They go to the mat for a pinfall reversal sequence that results in a Dean suplex into a modified Cloverleaf for the quick tap out. Too short to rate but this was really fast paced.

Syxx comes out and says that the respect and gratitude he had for Dean’s dad died with Dean’s old man. He never liked Dean and Dean has been ducking him.

The NWO sneaks up on the announcers’ desk and talk about the car wreck the Steiners were in. You can’t pin that on them though and there’s a tape to prove it. Larry almost gets in a fight with them.

Public Enemy vs. Amazing French Canadians

Harlem Heat and the Faces of Fear are in the audience. We get a quick French national anthem and the brawl begins. The Canadians take over quickly and send Grunge to the floor where Parker stomps on him a bit. We officially start with Oullette vs. Grunge and the Canadians keep control early on. Off to a fast chinlock but Grunge gets up. He sends Oullette into Jacques but Oullette collides with Grunge. No tag to Rock but the Canadians miss the Cannonball. There’s the hot tag and Rock cleans house. Everything breaks down and Oullette is put through a table and pinned.

Rating: D. This didn’t work for me at all. The whole ending was horrible looking as the table spot looked like it was about as planned out as you could ask for. The rest of the match was nothing of note. For the life of me I don’t get the appeal of the Canadians as a serious tag team. They would get back to WWF within a year.

DDP has no idea what happened to Bubba and doesn’t like being accused of it.

TV Title: Steven Regal vs. Prince Iaukea

Before the match Regal says that Rey reminds him of Dopey of the Seven Dwarves. Regal yells at a lot of fans before we get going. The Prince shoulder blocks him down and Regal isn’t sure what to do. The champ comes back with a European Uppercut and a release suplex. A butterfly superplex puts Iaukea down and Rey comes out to watch. Regal poses at him and the Prince rolls him up for the pin and the title in probably the biggest upset in Nitro history. Public Enemy and Teddy Long come out to celebrate for some reason.

Rating: D. The match sucked because it was so short. See, four days before this Raw had a special Thursday episode where their islander/Samoan Rocky Maivia beat their blueblood HHH for the IC Title in a shocking upset. Think that’s a coincidence? I know it might be but to me, that’s too close to be a stroke of luck. Iaukea would SUCK as champion for almost two months.

Hour #2 begins so we hit the recap button.

Nick Patrick vs. Randy Anderson

If Anderson wins, he gets his job back. Patrick trained to be a wrestler but blew out his knee so he became a referee instead, meaning he actually has an idea of what he’s doing. Apparently Anderson has an amateur background. He even gets fire as he comes to the ring. The regular referee checks for weapons and hands Anderson a foreign object. On camera of course so you know it’s going to be called out later. Randy hits him and wins in about 30 seconds.

Just as you knew would happen, Eric comes out and says no way. Anderson is still fired. I think the regular referee is done too.

Lee Marshall is in San Francisco.

Chris Benoit vs. Roadblock

Roadblock looks like Rhyno if he was about 9 inches taller and 200 pounds heavier. George Steinbrenner is here. Benoit goes right at him but Roadblock uses his size to take over. Woman slaps him and Roadie goes to the floor after her, allowing Benoit to hit a GREAT baseball slide. Benoit goes off on him and throws him back in. A boot to the face puts Roadblock down and the Swan Dive gets the pin. Basically a Benoit squash.

Now we get one of the dumbest moments in the history of professional wrestling. It’s the video that the Outsiders gave to Tony earlier. It’s from inside a car with Syxx manning the camera, Hall riding shotgun and Nash driving. They’re in a small town and see the Steiners at a gas station. They follow the Steiners’ car and bump into the back of it a few times before ramming into the side of it, causing it to FLIP OVER and crash. And remember, the NWO gave this tape to WCW to air ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.

Even Tony Schiavone realizes that this is evidence of a criminal act.

Jimmy Hart, Jackie and Sullivan stop for a chat before their squash. Jimmy talks about how Jackie and Woman will be tired together on Sunday. Jackie has no issue hitting Woman. Sullivan thinks it’s perfect timing to have Jackie return right before this match. That’s a funny comment when you think about it. He makes more vague statements about leaving the neighborhood and says on Sunday, we’ll see who has more fire. Jackie says something and no one cares.

Kevin Sullivan vs. Doc Dean

Sullivan immediately runs Dean over and I don’t like Doc’s odds. He sends Dean to the floor so Jackie can beat him up. Dean grabs a small package out of nowhere for two. Jackie beats Dean up some more. There’s the Tree of Woe and the double stomp ends the massacre.

US Title: Konnan vs. Eddie Guerrero

Power vs. speed to start and Konnan is sent to the floor. Konnan sends him into the barricade and takes over with a chinlock and low dropkick for two. Eddie comes back with a rana but gets launched over Konnan’s head, sending him face first into the buckle in a sick bump. Back to the chinlock, followed by a sitout powerbomb for two. There’s chinlock #4 and Eddie is in trouble. Now Konnan hooks a right armbar. Eddie comes back and hits a brainbuster and goes up for the Frog Splash. He shoves Konnan down and hits the Splash but the Faces of Fear run in for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Pretty boring match here with neither guy seeming to care much at all. The hot shot into the buckle looked GREAT but other than that there was nothing at all of note. When you have four chinlocks in a six minute match, you know things aren’t going well. Konnan could get lazy with the best of them.

Jericho, Eddie’s opponent on Sunday, makes the save.

Here are the Horsemen for a chat. Flair calls Benoit a love machine. Anderson talks about how Bischoff is the boss but they’re still the Horsemen. If Randy Anderson needs $100,000, he’s welcome to it. Mongo continues to be confused about whether or not he’s a face or heel by making fun of the Buccaneers. Debra thinks Jackie can’t walk in pumps. Benoit is ready for Sullivan on Sunday. Somehow this took seven minutes.

The Giant vs. Johnny Swinger/Top Gun

What in the world are you expecting here? Both guys are chokeslammed and pinned in less than a minute.

Giant spraypaints the words Hall and Nash on the jobbers’ bodies. Luger comes out and has a doctor’s note but Bischoff comes out to say he’s a week late. Luger protests but that gets him nowhere.

We go to another insane moment in wrestling history. Roddy Piper has locked himself in a cell on Alcatraz (In the words of Road Dogg on Are You Serious: “Which apparently you can just do”) and is staying there for a week before the match. He says that he’s been dead inside for years because of Hogan (who he calls Mr. Spandex in a visual I really didn’t need). He talks about how Hogan needs the spotlight and how he (Piper) doesn’t weak a kilt in airports. Piper is going to stay in his cell for seven days to train for Hogan. To this day, I don’t think ANYONE knows what the point of this was.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Chris Jericho

Debra comes out to watch of course. This is a technical match which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Jericho uses his mat stuff but gets caught by a top rope cross body for two. Jericho goes up and Debra begs him not to hurt Jeff. The distraction makes him miss coming off the top so Jeff hooks the Figure Four. Mongo hits him with the case and Jericho gets the pin. Seriously, did ANYONE care about Debra?

Here’s the NWO to close things out. Hogan is here and Bischoff does the talking. Hogan brags some but Sting and Savage appear on the stage. Bischoff sucks up to Hogan some more and Hulk brags about how he put Tampa on the map. Sting and Savage come to the ring and then turn around and leave. Hogan says he was going to beat up Piper tonight but Piper locked himself in a cell so that didn’t work. He poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This show was almost too stupid to be good. Between the Alcatraz thing and the televised attempted vehicular homicide, this show can only be so good. On top of that the wrestling was pretty subpar tonight. I guess we have something interesting in the Bubba attack which I actually don’t remember the reveal of, so that’s kind of fun for a change. Pretty weak show here but things would pick up soon.

Here’s SuperBrawl if you’re interested:

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2 Responses

  1. Greg says:

    “He talks about how Hogan needs the spotlight and how he (Piper) doesn’t weak a kilt in airports.”

    I assume you meant wear instead of weak.

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