On This Day: June 10, 1997 – Monday Nitro: Kevin Nash Needs An English Lesson
Date: June 10, 1996
Location: Wheeling Civic Center, Wheeling, West Virginia
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko
It’s the go home show for the Great American Bash and other than that there isn’t much. The PPV was focused on the football players vs. wrestlers match and the world title was on the side. However, last week the invader (Hall) had promised a BIG surprise for tonight which we’ll get to later. With Sting having confronted him, it was pretty clear that this was going to be a huge angle. Let’s get to it.
On the theme song and opening video, there are six shots of people total. Three are Hogan.
We get a clip of Hall and Sting last week and them almost going at it.
Scott Steiner vs. Booker T
This would be huge about four years later. Basic anything you can do I can do greater match to start as I think this is face vs. heel but I’m not sure. Both escape belly to back suplexes but Scott gets a double underhook suplex for no cover. Booker manages to get a boot up in the corner kind of like a superkick to put Scott down. Scissors kick gets two.
Off to a front facelock and Booker controls. Spinning cross body off the top gets two. Larry Z giving wrestling advice to Booker is really weird for some reason. Scott gets something like a DDT to break the momentum though and here comes Steiner. We speed things up and Scott gets a belly to belly to put Booker down. Frankensteiner is avoided which gets two for Booker. A top rope splash misses and Scott hits another belly to belly to end it.
Rating: B-. Not bad at all here with two guys that were still (kind of) young and motivated and could give you a good match at this point. Also nice to see some young guys out there having some time to show off. Booker wouldn’t mean much of anything for like two years though and Steiner would be about 18 months away, so call this a very early preview.
Scott is talking about the match when Debra of all people interrupts him. She wants to talk about her husband and Scott leaves. Nice chick indeed. She talks about how this feud with the Horsemen is her fault. Gene says no it isn’t. She wants to call this off before Sunday and Gene says he’ll try to get something set up with Heenan. It’s not like this mattered because she and Mongo joined the Horsemen on Sunday.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jim Powers
This is for the Battlebowl ring. Naturally we talk about the football thing the entire time because that’s all that matters. To be fair this is going to be a squash so it’s not like it’s as bad as usual. This is Powers’ debut and he’s wearing something similar to leopard print. Page hits a gutwrench gutbuster and stands around a lot. Page’s gum is kicked out and Powers gets some jobber offense in. The crowd does not care in the slightest about him. Powerslam gets two. Not that it matters because there’s the Diamond Cutter and we’re done.
Rating: D+. Just a long squash here and by long I mean four minutes. Bagwell faced Page for the ring on Sunday in a match I don’t remember in the slightest. Powers was just a jobber that didn’t mean anything as most jobbers tend to be. Nothing to see here as Page was far from meaning much at this point.
Recap of Benoit vs. Sullivan which entails Anderson and paranoia. Anderson said everyone would know where everyone stood on Sunday. The match was great too.
Video on Konnan who was pretty different back in the day and in a good way.
Konnan, the US Champion at this point, says that he’ll keep the title when he fights El Gato on Sunday. He’s such a legend that no one has ever heard of him.
Sting vs. Meng
This is more or less just a tune up for Sting for his match with Regal on Sunday. Meng be clubberin to start us off but Sting gets a backdrop to break that up. Meng does his monster that you can’t hurt thing as Sting hits the ropes for a bunch of clotheslines. Face jam puts Meng down but he gets a small package of all things for two. Shoulder breaker puts Sting down so Meng goes up. Sting manages to crotch him and put on the Scorpion for the kind of surprising tap. Not enough to grade but it was exactly what you would expect.
Heenan takes Flair to the Horsemen dressing room and shuts the door. Screaming is heard and here they come, beating up a guy named Joe Gomez who is supposed to team with Renegade to face them later.
Jim Duggan vs. Dave Taylor
Taylor is buddies with Regal. Renegade and Gomez have replacements apparently. The fans like Duggan of course. Oh and those replacements: the world tag team champions Luger and Sting and the titles are on the line. The match of course means little but at least it’s got a point. Taylor cost Duggan a match last week so here you are. After some basic stuff it’s more basic stuff in the form of kicking and punching. There’s the taped fist which is hanging from his hand as the referee counts the pin. Freaking blind idiot. Short and more or less nothing.
Video on the Cruiserweight Title which is finally in America. Malenko defends against some guy that is debuting on Sunday. Mysterio I think his name is.
We recap Tenta vs. Bubba which is something no one really wanted to see other than them but whatever. Hart says Tenta wasn’t pulling his weight. Bubba says he’ll win and that’s that.
Here’s Scott Norton to talk for some reason that no one knows. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him speak. He didn’t like getting chokeslammed last week so he’s coming for revenge tonight.
Scott Norton vs. The Giant
We get the stupid countdown to the second hour as we wait on Giant’s entrance. Don’t think this is for the title. Norton goes right at him and gets powerslammed for his efforts. Norton comes back and hammers away but we go to the floor and he misses a splash into the post. Chokeslam out there and we’re done. Less than a minute and a half but Norton was impressive here as he took it to Giant. It didn’t work but points for trying at least.
Luger comes out post match and Giant massacres him. Luger kicks him low to prevent a chokeslam through the table. A champagne bucket to the head just ticks Giant off and Luger heads to the announce table. He says throw the rules out on Sunday because he’s ready for the big man.
Video of the Nasty Boys on some TV show with Dennis Rodman, who is made an official Nasty Boy.
Kevin Greene was on the Tonight Show and talked about the match. He picked the name Shallow Grave apparently.
Steven Regal vs. Billy Kidman
Kidman is a total rookie here. I think this is his WCW debut. Regal kills him for a bit but Kidman gets some stuff in and busts out a 450 (kind of) which misses. Regal puts on the start of a Liontamer but steps on Kidman’s head instead for the tap in less than a minute.
Sting comes out for the save post match.
Public Enemy vs. Nasty Boys
Please….be gentle. Public Enemy runs out during the Nasties’ entrance and the fight is on. There’s the WCW trademark for tag team brawls: split screens where all four guys can be seen on one screen. Knobbs and Grunge are in the ring so we’ll say they’re legal. Middle rope clothesline takes Grunge to the floor as the Nasties are the big faces here. Ok finally into a regular match.
Grunge has a broken hand. Sags takes both of them down with a double clothesline and it breaks down into a brawl quickly again. Sags hits a Piledriver as we take a break. Back with Public Enemy in control. Knobbs takes down Grunge but can’t bring Sags back in. There’s Jerry who hits a World’s Strongest Slam on Rocco for two and it breaks down again.
Rocco tries to leave as Grunge unbandages his bad hand/arm. Oh ok Rocco left to get a garbage can. Pumphandle slam by Sags looks to set up a middle rope splash from Knobbs but Rocco breaks it up. The trashcan is brought in and the Nasties get caught using it for the DQ. Kind of a stretch given what they had done before that but I can live with it.
Rating: D+. Yeah it was bad but it could have been a lot worse. They know how to make brawls decent and they had the right idea here to not make them act like they could work a competent technical match. I wanted to hate this but I really couldn’t do it in good faith. The Public Enemy would actually be tag champions later in the year.
Video on Hogan who punches a lot.
We recap the coaches being added to the football player match. This is set to a bad country song.
Tag Titles: Sting/Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair/Arn Anderson
This should be good and there’s a lot of time left. Flair and Luger start us off as the bell rings twice. Luger beats him up and tosses him with ease and does the same to Anderson. Big old gorilla press puts Flair down again. Flair does the Flair Flip in the corner but runs into a right hand from Sting to put him down. Bischoff mentions the concept of Nitro Parties. I never got the appeal of those but they became a big deal.
Sting comes in to beat up Anderson for a bit as the champions have dominated the entire time so far. Sting does his double nipup both times he’s pulled down by the hair. Anderson and Flair both get taken down so Flair runs off to grab a chair. The Horsemen chill in the aisle as we take a break.
Back with Anderson being pinballed between the champions before Flair comes in to face Sting. Hard to screw this one up. Flair gets a slight advantage and then goes up top. If you don’t know what happens here, go somewhere else. Top rope clothesline gets two for Sting. There’s a superplex for two. Ric goes to the classic thumb to the eye and it’s off to the Enforcer.
Spinebuster gets two. Arn does his jump into the air when the other guy is on the mat and Anderson jumps into the legs between his balls for a funny reaction spot. Off to Flair instead who can’t suplex Sting. Sting gets an O’Connor Roll for two and a weird small package for the same. Off to Anderson as we take another break.
Back with Flair sending Sting into the guardrail. Back in Sting gets the backslide but Flair makes a blind tag to bring Anderson back in. Sting gets a knee to the nether regions and falls into the tag to Luger. Powerslam gets two on Luger. Luger hits a double clothesline to put both guys on the floor and here’s Giant for the DQ.
Rating: B-. Eh it’s Sting/Luger vs. Flair/Anderson for about 18 minutes. This is one of those matches that is going to be good due to just sheer talent in the ring. They know what they’re doing and they’ve fought so many times over the years that they know each other perfectly, which often helps with matches. Flair and Anderson would win at the PPV and the Horsemen would be back.
Giant gets beaten up by Sting, Luger and Scott Steiner but just gets mad because of it. Giant says Luger is dead to Gene.
Heenan starts to rant about Savage and here’s Hall in black this week. For some reason the screen splits here into two identical images. Bischoff asks where the surprise is and turns around to run into Nash’s chest. He says they’re not here to play (“Look at the adjective: play. We ain’t here to play.” Play is a verb, Kev.) and wants WCW’s three guys. Nash blasts the old guys in the company and wants to know where Hogan and Savage are. Bischoff invites them to the Bash and says he’ll try to have their fight there. That would result in Bischoff being powerbombed off the stage.
Overall Rating: C+. Well the Bash was a two match show and they built those up quite well. Anything else you get out of it was a bonus and you had a decent main event and a story running through the entire show so this wasn’t too bad really. The Bash wasn’t all that good but considering what happened a month later it’s not like it really mattered. Pretty decent show this week.
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I don’t think this happened in 1997. I think it was 1996.
Your title is a year too late.