WCW Monday Nitro #2 (12/08/1997)
Pre-Show: The Public Enemy Def. J.T. Smith & Mace Mendoza in 6:16. (D, 43)
Pre-Show: Ultimo Dragon Def. Devon Storm in 6:05. (C, 65)
WCW Monday Nitro #2
December 8th, 1997
Live from the UAB Alumni Arena in Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 5,000 (Sold-Out!)
Announce Team: Larry Zbyskzo, Mike Tenay & Tony Schiavone
WCW Monday Nitro kicks off with a camera shot at the announce table, as Zbyskzo, Tenay & Schiavone welcomes the audience to the show. They discuss some of the key events from last week's Nitro, as all three men wonder whether or not Sting will make an appearance tonight.
They then inform the viewers that they are in for an historical show tonight, as Bret “The Hitmen” Hart makes his highly anticipated debut on tonight's episode. They discuss among each other on whether Hart is team WCW or team nWo. They then mention that tonight's main event will feature the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair taking on the WCW United States Champion, Curt Hennig in a non-title match.
Eric Bischoff and the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, lead the rest of the nWo to the ring, as Bischoff displays a big smile on his face. Once inside the ring, Bischoff talks about how tonight is a historical night for the nWo, as they'll welcome their newest recruit, Bret "The Hitmen" Hart. Hogan then takes his turn on the microphone and says that any WCW fan holding out hope for Hart to join them instead, are just as pathetic as any fan holding out hope for Sting to leave Starcade as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Bischoff and Hogan begin to taunt Sting once again, like they did last week by calling him scared and afraid of the nWo.
Normal, Singles Match
Dean Malenko Vs. Yuji Nagata
WCW Cruiserweight Champion, Eddie Guerrero, joined the commentary team again this week, replacing Mike Tenay. Guerrero talked about how he's had his eye on Malenko, especially after his win this past Saturday Night against Psychosis. Malenko faced off against one of New Japan's top draws in Yuji Nagata. Nagata gave him one hell of a fight but in the end, "The Man of 1000 Holds" was able to seize the victory.
Winner: Dean Malenko Via Submission
Once the match was over, Malenko called for a microphone and issued a challenge to Eddie Guerrero for a WCW Cruiserweight Championship match at Starcade. Guerrero looked on from the top of the ramp and after a few seconds of thought, reluctantly accepted Malenko's challenge. Considering that the two have history among each other from earlier in the year, Guerrero would go on to say that at Starcade, he'll prove that he's the better men between them.
The "Nature Boy" Ric Flair makes his way down to the ring, as he does, a video clip is played of this past WCW Saturday Night, in which he appeared to be DDP's surprise tag team partner. Flair ended out the night by picking up the quick roll-up pinfall victory over WCW United States Champion, Curt Hennig. Once the clip had ended, Flair was inside the middle of the ring, ready to address the crowd, who supported him with tremendous amounts of cheers.
Before addressing his on-going rivalry with the United States Champion, Flair talks about the highly anticipated debut of Bret “The Hitmen” Hart. Flair says that he’s heard a lot about Hart’s arrival in the past week or two, in which he says, hasn’t bothered him one bit. Flair says that there is only one man that is the best in the world and that’s the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair!
After addressing the hottest topic of the night, Flair speaks about his on-going rivalry with the WCW United States Champion, Curt Hennig. Flair says that he’s seeking revenge for the minor ankle injury he suffered by the hands of Hennig, at World War 3, last month. Flair states that tonight, he’ll earn yet another victory over Hennig and that afterwards, he’ll be taking the WCW United States Championship at Starcade. Flair begins to talk about how at Starcade, he’ll further prove why there is only one man who can call themselves the best there is, the best there was and the best...
Ric Flair is soon interrupted by DDP’s music, as he makes his way to the ring. DDP says that he has nothing but respect for Flair, who has accomplished a lot in WCW. However, DDP says that he felt he needed to come out and remind Flair that he’s in line for the WCW United States Championship. DDP says that it isn’t personal between them but that Flair needs to take a backseat and accept that he lost to Hennig at World War 3. DDP then shows a clip from last week on Nitro, in which he was screwed out of his WCW United States Championship win due to Randy Savage getting involved. DDP adds that if anybody deserves a shot at Curt Hennig, it's D...D...P! DDP's words generates a nice reaction from the crowd.
Flair wasn’t satisfied with DDP’s comments and promised DDP that he’ll get the job done tonight, something DDP couldn’t do last week, no offense. Flair would leave the ring, as DDP looked on at him.
Normal, Singles Match
Prince Iaukea Vs. Juventud Guerrera
The audience were greeted to another cruiserweight match, this time between Prince Iaukea and Juventud Guerrera. The announce team talked about Iaukea’s recent run in New-Japan Pro Wrestling, as the match went on. Both men executed some great moves that kept the crowd invested throughout. In the end, Guerrera earned the pinfall victory after delivering a 450 Splash.
Winner: Juventud Guerrera Via Pinfall
Once the match between Prince Iaukea and Juventud Guerrera came to a conclusion, a video package was shown to the audience, hyping the WCW debut of Bret “The Hitmen” Hart.
As the show came back from commercial break, the audience were brought to a conversation between Eric Bischoff and Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Unaware that a cameraman was backstage, Hogan expressed how he feels Sting is following him around and brings up the note he found in his locker last week. Hogan said that he knows it wasn’t anyone other than Sting, who placed that message in his locker and he wants Bischoff to get to the bottom of this incident.
Bischoff said that Hogan has nothing to worry about, as he ensures Hogan that Sting isn’t in the building tonight and that he was sure Sting wasn’t here last week either. Bischoff reminds Hogan that Sting fears Hogan and that whoever placed the message, was trying to intimidate Hogan. Telling that Hogan was still unease about the situation, Bischoff told Hogan that next week, he’ll double down security to ensure they catch whoever is playing mind games with the champ. Hogan approved with Bischoff words and afterwards, discovered the cameraman, which Bischoff told him to get out.
Normal, Tag Team Match
Harlem Heat (/w Jacqueline) Vs. Faces of Fear (/w Jimmy Hart)
As entrances were being made for both teams, a clip from last week’s Monday Nitro, showcased the Faces of Fear brutally attacking Harlem Heat. The clip ended with Meng viciously locking in the Tongan Death Grip on Booker T. The commentators talked about how this match came about after what went down between both teams, this past Saturday Night.
The match featured a ton of aggressiveness, as both teams were determined to showcased who was the better team. The finish featured The Barbarian and Booker T fighting outside the ring, while legal men, Meng and Stevie Ray fought in the ring. Meng soon locked in his devastating submission hold, the Tongan Death Grip. Ray would soon reach the rope, in which the referee began his count to 5 for Meng to release the hold or face disqualification. Meng continued on despite the referee counting the count and declaring Harlem Heat the winners by disqualification.
Winners: Harlem Heat Via Disqualification
Once Booker T took care of The Barbarian from outside of the ring, he hurried into the ring to save his brother, Stevie Ray. Booker and Meng fought on, trading strikes back and forth. Eventually, The Barbarian was back on his feet and attacked Booker T from behind, leading to a 2 on 1 assault. Meng would then lock in his Tongan Death Grip on Booker T, while The Barbarian ensured that Stevie Ray wouldn’t be getting back up.
As the Faces of Fear continued their on-going dominance inside the ring, the WCW World Tag Team Champions, the Steiner Brothers, made their way to the ring. They attacked The Barbarian and Meng, sending them over the top rope. It had seemed as though the Steiner Brothers were repaying Harlem Heat for rescuing them this past Saturday Night from the attack they suffered too by the Faces of Fear. However, Booker T and Stevie Ray were not pleased by the Steiner Brothers rescuing them and began to get into the faces of the tag team champions. It had looked as though another brawl was about to erupt until Ted DiBiase managed to talk the Steiner Brothers into leaving the ring.
The audience returns from commercial break, as we enter the second half of WCW Monday Nitro. Bobby Heenan takes his seat at the announce table, as he replaces Larry Zbyskzo for the second half of Nitro. They continue to hype up the WCW debut of Bret “The Hitmen” Hart, in which they have been all throughout the night. They discuss whether or not Hart will announce his alliance and what exactly his intentions are, coming to WCW. Afterwards, they discuss the events that transpired last week on Nitro between The Giant and The Outsiders.
Upon entering the ring, The Outsiders addressed The Giant’s failed attack attempt on them last week. Kevin Nash starts off by calling The Giant “pathetic” and that he should know better than to attack the nWo, especially Scott Hall and himselfl. Hall calls the attack a “joke” and says that The Giant got what was coming to him last week and that he advises The Giant to stay away, if he knows what is good for him.
Normal, Singles Match
Scott Hall (/w Kevin Nash) Vs. Rick Martel
Similar to the match between Kevin Nash and Disco Inferno, this match was practically the same dominating match as last week. Martel did get a slight chance of offense on Hall but Hall would quickly recover and the turn the match back into his favor. He soon finished Martel off with a fallaway slam, which earned him the pinfall victory.
Winner: Scott Hall Via Pinfall
Match Time: 5:40
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall began to celebrate inside the ring, as they looked to add insult to injury towards Rick Martel.
However, The Giant made his return yet again on tonight’s episode of Nitro and hurried down the ramp, as The Outsiders stuck with the old gameplan last week, by exiting the ring and attacking The Giant head on. Unfortunately for them, luck was nowhere to be found for Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The Giant steamed his way to the ring with rage. Once meeting Nash and Hall at ringside, The Giant delivered an instant big boot to Hall. Nash and The Giant began to trade fist, trying to showcase who the real big men is. The Giant picked up more momentum, as he began to lead the offense his way, as The Giant grabbed Nash by the throat, getting ready to deliver the chokeslam. Fans in attendance were ready but the hype died down quick, once Scott Hall began to deliver punches to the back of The Giant.
The Outsiders teamed up once more, attempting to send The Giant into the steel steps like last week. Nash and Hall tried hard, but The Giant managed to pull them instead and deliver a clothline to both of them. The Giant then soon delivered a big boot to Nash, who was hurrying up. Hall then found himself recovering in the grip of The Giant, as he was held by the throat. The Giant delivered the vicious chokeslam. Nash was now back on his feet as he tried dishing out fist to The Giant but he too, soon became a victim of the chokeslam. The fans in attendance gave The Giant a big positive reaction, as The Giant stood above The Outsiders.
After a recap video was displayed, showcasing the attack Chris Benoit sustained by the hands of Raven’s Flock, Benoit made his entrance to the ring. Benoit called Raven out, who was seated in the section known as “Raven’s Flock” in the crowd. Benoit claimed that Raven has his men do his bidding because Raven himself cannot get the job done. Benoit says that he’s tired of Raven’s cowardness and demands that Raven meets him face to face, inside this very ring.
Raven stays seated in the crowd but claims that his contract allows him to fight when he wants and whoever he wants. Raven adds that he isn’t afraid of Benoit and that Benoit hasn’t proven himself worthy of a match against him. Raven then says that since Benoit isn’t willing to peacefully join his group, that he’ll have to force him to join them. Raven tells Kidman to get inside the ring and teach Benoit a thing or two about who they really are. Benoit doesn’t seem pleased that he isn’t fighting Raven, but doesn’t back down from the fight.
Normal, Singles Match
Chris Benoit Vs. Kidman
Despite not getting his match against Raven, Chris Benoit stayed aggressive against fellow member of Raven’s Flock, Kidman. Kidman put up quite a good fight against Benoit, but Benoit showcased why he’s one of the best uprising stars in WCW. Benoit finished Kidman off once he delivered the Diving Headbutt, to earn himself a pinfall victory.
Winner: Chris Benoit Via Pinfall
Match Time: 8:55
Chris Benoit proved yet again why he deserves a shot to face Raven and Raven knew it too, as he wasn’t too pleased with Kidman being defeated. Benoit didn’t take any time to celebrate, as he quickly focused his eyes on Raven’s Flock, who were beginning to circle the ring.
They kept their sights on Benoit, until they were given the signal to go on and attack him. Benoit put up yet another fight against Raven’s Flock but yet again, the numbers were too overwhelming for him to overcome. Raven instructed Hammer and Riggs to hold Benoit up, who was no longer able to defend himself.
Raven told Benoit that he would become a great assist to his Flock and that it’s a real shame he has to put Benoit through this type of punishment. Raven then told Benoit that he’s been impressed by Benoit’s wins over Sick Boy, Riggs and Kidman but that he wasn’t granting him a match against himself just yet. Raven added that if Benoit can defeat his WCW World Television Champion, Saturn next week, then he’ll consider giving Benoit a match against him at Starcade. Afterwards, Raven executed a DDT on Benoit, sending him a message that this rivalry has only just begun.
At the top of the ramp, Gene Okerlund welcomed the audience to his guest tonight, a man who has been making a name for himself upon his debut, Goldberg. Okerlund questions Goldberg on his thoughts about Steve McMichael confessing about striking Goldberg with a steel pipe at World War 3, to avoid a match against him that night. Goldberg says that McMichael is intimidated by him and that this isn’t just about McMichael’s Super Bowl ring. Goldberg adds that he’s here to be the men and that McMichael is just standing in his way, waiting to get speared.
Suddenly, from behind, Steve McMichael lashes out on Goldberg with yet another steel pipe attack. However, only this time he goes public with the attack. McMichael attacks Goldberg until he’s sure that he won’t be getting back up. After which, McMichael claims to be better than Goldberg, which is why he has a Super Bowl ring, unlike Goldberg. McMichael says that unlike Goldberg’s NFL career, his actually went a whole lot better. McMichael says that he’s willing to prove that he’s the better men by issuing a challenge to Goldberg for a match at Starcade. McMichael then tells Goldberg, who is still laid out on the ground, that he expects to hear an answer by this Saturday.
Normal, Non-Title, Singles Match
Ric Flair Vs. Curt Hennig /w Rick Rude
The main event was finally upon us, as Ric Flair looked to seize the moment and earn himself an opportunity to become the WCW United States Champion at Starcade. Not only was this match pivotal for Flair to have a shot at being on Starcade, but it also proved to be pivotal for Flair to get some revenge on Curt Hennig after what transpired at World War 3. Hennig on the other hand, came into this match looking confident and having the nWo on his side was a boost.
Both men squared off inside the ring, with neither one getting the advantage throughout. The ending saw a controversial finish, as Flair locked in the Figure Four Leglock, in hopes of getting Hennig to tap out. Rude got involved by distracting the referee, to which led to Flair releasing the hold and getting into Rude’s face.
Randy Savage was then shown entering from the crowd, as he quickly attacked Flair from behind and hurried out of the ring. Rude’s distraction lasted long enough for the referee to not see the hit and run attack but Flair wasn’t out of it just yet, as he broke out of a 2 count. Diamond Dallas Page soon got involved in the mix, as he hurried to even the battlefield. He made Rude flee the arena and then stood on the outside apron of the ring, as he argued with Hennig. DDP then threw a strike at Hennig, but Hennig ducked the strike and it instead connected to Flair, who was attempting to take advantage of DDP’s distraction. Hennig followed the strike up with a Hennig-Plex and soon earned himself the pinfall victory.
Winner: Curt Hennig Via Pinfall.
A scene between DDP and Ric Flair is briefly shown arguing, as Flair blames DDP for his loss, while DDP claims he was trying to even the odds. The scene shifts it's focus from the ring to the announce team. Tony Schiavone informs the audience that they can expect developing news on the situation on this upcoming WCW Saturday Night. After which, they inform us that coming up next is the highly anticipated WCW debut of Bret “The Hitmen” Hart. They say that this will be a moment fans around the world will not want to miss, as we approach the final commercial break of the show.
The highly anticipated moment is upon us, as Bret “The Hitmen” Hart makes his way down to the WCW ring for the first time ever. Hart receives a huge pop from the crowd here in Buffalo, New York, as they await to see what exactly Hart may say. Upon entering the ring, Hart waits a minute or two and digests the crowd reaction he receives, before speaking into the microphone.
Hart thanks the fans for the huge ovation and then goes on to thank all of his fans, who have stayed loyal to him. Afterwards, Hart claims that not everyone has been loyal to him and that everyone knows exactly what he means. Hart adds that he still hasn’t forgotten the company that screwed him over after he gave them his blood, sweat and tears. Regarding whether or not he’s apart of either the nWo or WCW, Hart says that he’s not here to pick sides and that loyalty is out of the question for him.
Afterwards, Hart says that he isn’t here to make alliance with anyone, after he’s been screwed over. In fact, Hart says he’s here to prove that he is the true world champion, claiming he never once lost the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. Hart adds that he isn’t going to rest until the WCW World Heavyweight Champion is in his hands. Hart says that it doesn’t matter whether he has to face Hollywood Hulk Hogan or Sting, he will receive his title shot soon enough. Closing out the final segment of the night, Hart reminds everyone that he is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.
TV Rating: 15.84^ (11,885,610 Viewers)
Overall Show Grade:
This show increased WCW’s popularity in 29 regions.
• Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock, both members of The Public Enemy, showed up during their pre-show match intoxicated.
• Diamond Dallas Page invented a new catchphrase during his segment with Ric Flair, early in the show.
• Diamond Dallas Page is also showing that he needs a new gimmick, as he hasn’t quite been suited to the “??” gimmick given.
• Scott Hall looked great throughout both his match and featured segments throughout the night.
• Kevin Nash is improving in performance.
• Chris Benoit showcased just how great his in-ring ability is in his match against Kidman, as he carried the match in great fashion.
• It seems weight training and a solid diet have paid off for Chris Jericho as he has stepped up a weight class to Middleweight. Critics are already speculating the effect this will have on Jericho’s wrestling style.
• The highly anticipated WCW debut of Bret Hart lived up to expectations, with many even going as far to say it exceeded expectations. Hart’s promo delivery was by far his best one in his entire career, as his work on the microphone displayed real emotion and added realism along with it.
Monday Night War Report:
Nitro: 15.84^ (11,885,610 Viewers) - ME: Curt Hennig Def. Ric Flair (B, 80)
Raw is War: 13.41^ (10,059,130 Viewers) - ME: D-Generation X Def. Mankind & Vader (A, 89)
Hey everyone, I want to apologize for the lack of update with it being 10 days. I meant to post same day, last week, but got caught up with a lot of life throughout the week. Which unfortunately happened at a wrong time, considering the dynasty has just started.
To everyone who commented, thanks for the feedback and predictions. Also, the Misterio Vs. Psychosis didn't happen because I completely forgot that I sent Rey to NJPW for Yuji Nagata. More on that once I release The Wrestling Observer update. Last but not least, thanks to everyone for reading and checking this out!