Monday Nitro – May 19, 1997: Flair Is Back

Monday Nitro #88
Date: May 19, 1997
Location: Ashville Civic Center, Ashville, North Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

We’re FINALLY past Slamboree and we have four weeks before the Great American Bash where the world title still won’t be on the line. At least that show will have a big time grudge match in the main event but we’ll get to that later on. Anyway tonight is likely going to establish the PPV main event and deal with the fallout from last night. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the ending of the show last night with the old guys winning and Tony declaring it the BIGGEST MOMENT EVER in WCW.

Here’s Flair to open the show. Flair says that last night he erased everything the NWO has done with the help of Piper and Greene. This draws out Syxx who says that the wrong guy got pinned last night and that he doesn’t like the idea of Flair saying he can beat Syxx. Syxx says he can beat Flair and challenges Flair to a match tonight. Flair says he doesn’t know if he can beat Hall and Nash but he knows he can beat Syxx so it’s on.

TV Title: Prince Iaukea vs. Steven Regal

Regal pounds the punk kid down to start and hammers him in the corner. A sunset flip gets two for Iaukea and the fans are on fire tonight. Iaukea crucifixes him down for another two but Regal counters a headscissors by slamming him down face first onto the mat. Regal kicks him in the head and suplexes him before the Regal Stretch ends this. Seeing Prince Iaukea get beaten up makes me smile.

We get some clips from last night with Mortis and Wrath beating up Glacier until Ernest Miller debuted made the save.

Masahiro Chono vs. Dave Taylor

Chono is NWO. Tenay talks about a major name debuting on June 30 on Nitro. I won’t say who but if what I can find is correct, two major names would debut that night. Taylor controls early with some European uppercuts but walks into an atomic drop. Chono knocks him to the floor but back in the ring a piledriver is broken up by Taylor. Not that it matters as Taylor charges into a boot and the STF ends this quick. The STF is Chono’s signature hold if you’re not familiar with him.

Sonny Onoo says Chono has a debt to pay with New Japan and Onoo has someone coming in next week but won’t say who.

JJ Dillon reinstates Nick Patrick.

Scotty Riggs vs. Michael Wallstreet

Wallstreet isn’t allowed to be in the NWO but he’s anti-WCW. Riggs speeds things up to start and hits his decent dropkick, only to have Wallstreet take him down soon thereafter. Wallstreet hooks a chinlock as the fans look at something in the crowd. A small package gets two for Riggs and Wallstreet tries to pull something out of his pocket. Nick Patrick stops him and Riggs gets a sunset flip for the pin. Another short match, but did we REALLY need to see Scotty Riggs vs. Michael Wallstreet when we had an hour for the show? I get that it’s for Nick Patrick, but do we need to focus on him either? Really?

Speaking of wasting time, here’s NASCAR driver Mark Martin to talk about a sweepstakes to win a racecar. The car being brought in is probably what the fans were looking at in the Riggs match. Flair comes out with Martin to try to make this look like it’s important.

Time for the road report to waste some more time. This includes Lee Marshall singing some Elvis.

We get a video from last night with Page holding off Savage and the NWO with a crutch.The Giant eventually made the save when Page got in trouble.

Jeff Jarrett/Steve McMichael vs. Steiner Brothers

Jarrett and Scott start things off with Jeff being sent into the corner quickly. Jeff comes back with a neckbreaker to take over but a suplex is no sold. Scott gorilla presses Jeff down and hits a kind of Angle Slam off the top for two. Off to Rick vs. Mongo and it’s a slugfest of course. Mongo takes out Rick’s knee but gets caught by a suplex and what was supposed to be the middle rope bulldog but wound up being like a cravate-dog if that makes sense. Everything breaks down and Kevin Greene runs in with a briefcase shot to Mongo’s back, giving Rick the easy pin.

Rating: C-. Apparently they thought last night’s match with White vs. Mongo was so great that we MUST do another battle of the football players. I mean, having Mongo as a ring general is a can’t miss idea right? The match was barely long enough to rate but it’s the longest match of the night so far. The problem with these tag matches is there’s nothing to fight for because the Outsiders weren’t going to defend the titles, so why bother having the other teams fight?

We get a video from during the break where Mongo and Greene got in a fight backstage.

Ric Flair vs. Syxx

Syxx jumps Flair as he comes in but a charge into the corner misses. Flair fires away with punches and chops and here are the Outsiders for the DQ. The match wasn’t even a minute long.

Flair gets destroyed because the Horsemen were escorted from the building due to the Mongo vs. Greene fight. Nash says it’s about putting the old guys out of business. Syxx has flowers for some reason.

Here’s Bischoff for the closing segment. He says that last week he wanted to talk to Sting but he was nowhere to be found. The NWO called him and looked for him and even sent a private detective agency after him. Sting isn’t in the rafters or the locker room tonight because he’s a coward. Sting will never get a match with Hogan because it would mean bad things for the Scorpion enthusiast. Bischoff says if Sting were here, he’d slap the paint off his face. Sting pops up through the ring and lays out Bischoff to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This definitely wasn’t a good show but it was miles better than the previous week’s. I know they only have an hour at this point, but does WCW know that? At times I’m really not sure given some of the stuff they put out there. This show felt like it had some energy to it this week which has been lacking for awhile. Maybe it’s because they’re coming off a PPV or maybe it’s because the build to Slamboree was incredibly long, but this felt much fresher and it made the show go by a lot faster. They’re back to the full two hours next week.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

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1 Response

  1. Mike says:

    Jarrett was in WCW in 97? How many times did he bounce around between the two companies?

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