Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WCW Monday Nitro- 02/13/1997

1) Ultimo Dragon v. Ray Mendoza jr.- 4
2) Glacier v. Billy Kidman- 3
3) Ice Train v. La Parka- 3
4) Harlem Heat v. Steiner Brothers- 4
5) Mike Enos v. Dean Malenko- 5
6) DDP v. The Renegade- 2
7) Alex Wright v. Super Calo- 3
8) Konan v. Chris Benoit- 3
9) Jeff Jarrett v. Steve McMichael- 3

This edition of Nitro was held in the infamous Mid-South Coliseum. Excuse me, Ultimate Dragon came out in a dazzling pink number that I'd never seen. Mendoza, I think, was Villano IV, same build, same red/gold boots, and his black singlet had a IV on it, wonder if it was him. Well, match was well done for a squash; they pulled off some really cool armdrag exchanges, and Mendoza ate a suicide dive hard into the guard rail. Sick Dragon suplex to finish as well. Glacier was taking some liberties on young, bowl cut Kidman here who probably would have done anything to be noticed, not just by the wrestling fans but by most women. You could see Glacier's side kick on Kidman, who was jumping from the top rope, a mile away, but it was still devastating. Big Ice Train,he looked like such a goof and I was reminded of his limo driver character years later; this match was odd; Train did nigh any selling here, just taking Parka's cool offensive kicks and such and falling backwards flat, like a good trainee. Pace was all off and Train seemed lost at most points on offense; but what he did was devastating, including catching La Parka from a top rope crossbody, nearly dropping him to the mat then hoisting him back up for a powerslam. Showed some sick strength. Finishing normal splash was too Warrior-esque in it's delivery for my liking.

I think the Harlem Heat was the first team since Doc & Gordy to challenge the Steiners in physicality; that's all this was, just 4 big brutes blasting each other as hard as they could. Side kicks, powerslams, powerbombs, crazy impact on almost all the moves. Unfortunately, this turned into a messy brawl with Public Enemy & Faces of Fear. I edged this match ahead of everything else simply because I was starved for some of Malenko's awesome in-ring skills. He showed off his mastery here against a sub-par Enos who got in a good bit of offense also, Dean just controlling him like a puppet throughout the match. He worked over the arms but used a really cool cradle for the win. Syxx came to ringside and stole his Cruiserweight Title during the match, but didn't detract too much from it. Page made quick work of poor Rick Wilson (who we immortalized back in '99 with a tribute backyard show in his honor) with a pretty cool Diamond Cutter from the top rope.

Das Wunderkind & Calo were a complete mis-match of styles; they went together as well as Fritos & Turtle Car Wax as an appetizer. This was the longest match of the show, but not for the better. I noticed Wright was trying to get his stuff off even though it completely broke up the context of the match, like trying to use that flying headscissors after he had just taken a devastating superplex and gotten right back up. Calo was just off too; normally has cool offense and can work with anyone but he was not with it in this match. Konan beat Benoit's ass right off the bat like he took the last Churro at family supper, but Benoit's comeback was as aggressive as I remember him, brutally chopping Konan's wife-beatered chest red after attempting to get him on the top rope after 3 tries. Sick superplex from Benoit right before Sullivan interefered and ened this prematurely. Main was nothing to write home about but Jarrett kept Mongo on his toes, hitting a pinpoint accurate dropkick on the big dumb animal and later, clotheslining Mongo over the top rope. That spot was a riot because being such a rookie, Mongo went full out over the top and lost control and toppled down neck first, letting out a jibberish yell that made Heenan mark out big time; Me as well. But again, more intereference ended a main that I wasn't too entirely pysched about, but it was supposed to be Luger v. Jarrett, so pick your poison.

Other Angles:
- Hollywood Hogan in ring promo, accompanied by Ted Dibiase & Vincent
- Lex Luger jumped in backstage by the Outsiders with pipes
- Mean Gene interviews the Horsemen
- Mean Gener interviews the Dungeon of Doom
- After DDP's match, he is surrounded in the arena at various places by the Outsiders, Sting, & Randy Savage
- Roddy Piper shows up to accept Hogan's challenge and beats him & Eric Bischoff up

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