wrestling / Video Reviews

Raw History: Episode 192 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 69

July 17, 2017 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Monday Night War
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Raw History: Episode 192 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 69  

Raw History
Episode #192
January 6th, 1997 | Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York

WWF Champion: Sycho Sid (1) since 11/17/96
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (1) since 10/21/96
WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (1) since 9/22/96

1997 opens with Vader’s face on the screen. He promises to end Bret hart tonight. We get quick clips from the Shotgun Saturday Night premiere where Ahmed Johnson hit the Pearl River Plunge on a car and Marlena flashed the Sultan.

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary.

Mankind w/ Paul Bearer vs. Owen Hart w/ Clarence Mason
Right at the bell, Mankind charges into a belly to belly suplex. Owen quickly goes for the Sharpshooter but Mankind gets to the ropes. Owen tries working the arm, but Mankind counters and they struggle on the mat. The fight spills outside were Owen front suplexes Mankind onto the guardrail. Foley is always taking big bumps in random matches. Owen hits a spinning heel kick and has been in more control than expected. The fans are unsure how to react to this since it’s heel vs. heel. Owen bashes Mankind with the Slammy and his tag belt before a commercial. Owen counters the Mandible Claw with the death enziguri. He charges into the corner and misses, which allows Mankind to win with a piledriver at 7:08. I thought this was a fun brawl. Mankind was highly entertaining around this time and Owen almost always delivered. [***]

Backstage, Shawn Michaels is with Jose Lothario and Jose’s son. They promise revenge on Sycho Sid in the Alamodome.

SHOTGUN SATURDAY NIGHT ~ We see Ahmed Johnson getting hit with a chair only to shake it off and hit a Pearl River Plunge onto a Nation of Domination bodyguard on a car. Brother Love returned to manage Mother Smucker and Sister Angelica (who would go on to become the Headbangers).

Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon vs. Diesel and Razor Ramon II
Honky Tonk Man joins commentary. Furnas and Lafon hit some relatively fun offense before the Insiders get in control, which slows the pace. Furnas does hit a nice belly to belly but fake Diesel stops his momentum. This surprisingly goes through a commercial break and Furnas continues to take the heat. Lafon gets the mild tag and takes down “Diesel” with some kicks. He makes the mistake of leaping off into a big boot. Diesel makes his own mistake by tagging in shitty fake Razor. He ends up falling to a Doomsday Device at 9:17, keeping Furnas and Lafon unbeaten. This had to be the best match of the Insiders right? It wasn’t anything special but was a solidly worked tag match. I’m a Furnas and Lafon mark though. [**½]

LAST WEEK ~ We get a recap of the Goldust/HHH/Mero/Marlena/Sable/Lawler stuff from last week. A tag match goes down next week pitting Lawler and HHH against Mero and Goldust. Marlena’s Shotgun flash is also recapped.

Backstage, Bret Hart cuts a stumbling promo on Shawn Michaels. He’s interrupted by the music of Sycho Sid, which greatly irks the Hitman.

In the ring, WWF Champion Sid is interviewed by Jim Ross. It’s not one of my favorite Sid promos. He does have a good line of being born THE MAN, which is how he’ll walk in and out of the Royal Rumble. Shawn Michaels interrupts to dance on the announce table before his guest commentary spot in the main event. Sid has a strange reaction to Shawn’s over the top entrance but says he apologizes for what he will do to Shawn at the Royal Rumble.

Bret Hart vs. Vader
Two of my favorite guys in the company at this time. Vince says the WWF is all about “attitude.” Soon enough, Vince, soon enough. On Superstars, Undertaker Tombstoned Jim Cornette, which explains his absence. Vader peppers Bret with shots in the corner before they brawl outside a bit. Shawn makes several snide comments in the booth. Inside, Bret tries wearing down Vader but eventually runs into a big body block. Steve Austin watches from a monitor. Returning from a break, they show OG Bald Head Ahmed Johnson’s shitty car Pearl River Plunge again. Vader gets two on a splash. Bret gets his knees up on another attempt, which sets up the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! Bret’s cross body sends both men over the top. If this was WCW, that’d be a DQ right? While they brawl outside, Sid returns to yank a cameraman to the back. Steve Austin is also out and hits the Stone Cold Stunner on Bret. Vader drags Austin in and hits the Vader Bomb for the surprising pinfall win at 8:41. Was that the first time Bret had been pinned on Raw? This was solid but didn’t get enough time to develop into something better. They’d both kill it in a match the following month. [**¾]

In the back, we see why Sid got the cameraman. He’s beating up Jose Lothario’s song. Sid plants him with a powerbomb onto a table that doesn’t break. After a break, we see it again and it’s hilariously in slow motion. That’s how you end a show!

Reliving Nitro
Episode #69
January 6th, 1997 | Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, Louisiana

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan (2) 8/10/96
WCW United States Champion: Eddie Guerrero (1) since 12/29/96
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (1) since 10/27/96
WCW Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (3) since 8/20/96
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Ultimo Dragon (1) since 12/29/96
WCW Women’s Championship: Akira Hokuto (1) since 12/29/96

As has become the standard, Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko are on hand for hour number one commentary.

Bobby Eaton vs. Glacier
WCW’s 1997 kicks off with the undefeated Glacier. Schiavone says Glacier’s become a complete wrestler. So within two minutes, we’ve got our first lie of the year. Eaton seems lost about what to do with Glacier. He eats several kicks while Glacier does weird martial arts poses. Glacier uses the Cryonic Kick to win at 1:56. Eaton looked like he wanted to kick out. [NR]

We get recaps of the shitty Konnan/Big Bubba stuff lately.

Mexican Strap Match: Big Bubba vs. Konnan w/ Jimmy Hart
What makes it Mexican exactly? Konnan? Who by the way, isn’t even Mexican. I gave their last match negative stars. Bubba whips Konnan with the strap, leading to Tony’s dynamite line of “That’s what it’s used for.” Commentary also compares hitting someone with the strap wrapped around your fist to being hit with a bowling ball. Bubba hits three corners but his overconfidence allows Konnan to stop hm. Bubba continues to wail on him until they lift a similar finish from last week. Konnan hits three corners and Bubba levels him into the fourth at 5:50. Well, that sucked but was slightly better than their previous outing. [DUD]

Post-match, Bubba plants him with the Bubba Slam.

Backstage, Kevin Sullivan is interviewed by Mean Gene. Gene has footage to show him but Sullivan doesn’t want to see more of Benoit and Woman. Sullivan doesn’t want to see. Gene asks the obvious question of why they can’t settle things and go after the nWo but gets no response. Gene then says the video isn’t of Woman and Benoit. Sullivan just leaves. INTRIGUE!

After the break, Mean BAH GAWD Gene brings out the Four Horsemen, minus Benoit and Woman. Ric Flair speaks and Debra itches to talk so badly that she tries to interrupt. Flair just keeps talking but he can’t stop the inevitable. Debra calls Woman ugly and says Ric and Arn are there for work, while Benoit and Woman aren’t. Jeff Jarrett intervenes, still looking for an answer on joining the Horsemen. Dude, it’s the FOUR Horsemen and you’re the fifth wheel. I know he’s trying to take Benoit’s spot but still. Arn tells him that he’s not a member and if he wants to be one, he should stop whining. Jarrett calls him a horse’s rear and they brawl to the ring.

Arn Anderson vs. Jeff Jarrett
They continue the brawl as the bell sounds. Ric Flair watches with a smile. Jarrett hits a neckbreaker from out of nowhere and puts his feet on the rope to steal it at 0:52. [NR]

Shit gets real now. Ric Flair is pissed but Debra steps in between him and Jarrett, protecting Jarrett Flair gets hype and off comes the jacket! He hits the ropes and is ready to fight. Debra stopping the real Horsemen and shouting “LEAVE HIM ALONE” is interesting. Ric grabs Debra’s arm, causing Mongo to intervene. Arn and Ric aren’t on this Jarrett stuff, Debra is with Jeff and Mongo is unsure. Arn takes the briefcase and wants to hit Mongo but decides against it. Flair takes Mongo’s advice and is okay with Jeff if he is. Arn wants none of this shit because he knows Mongo sucks and Debra is the worst, so he walks out. Ric and Jeff do stereo struts.


SATURDAY NIGHT ~ The Amazing French Canadians, Rey Mysterio Jr, Lord Steven Regal, DDP and more!

WCW Television Championship: Lord Steven Regal (c) vs. Jim Duggan
This is scheduled to be Regal vs. DDP but DDP never shows up. Jim Duggan is not an acceptable replacement by the way. He gets an OBSCENE amount of pyro. Kevin Nash and Syxx show up to take over commentary. Tony and Larry give it up easily. The nWo say DDP is at dinner with Scott Hall and has joined the group. Regal tries but Duggan is just so bad. At least the crowd is hot. Lots of stalling, which tells me they’re going a bit long. Duggan probably has zero idea what to do in a match that goes bad two minutes at this point. The nWo are searching for Ms. nWo and Syxx wants no fat chicks but Nash says he loves fat chicks. Regal hits an elbow after a while for a near fall. Duggan brings out the taped fists and whacks Regal. The bell rings causing a time limit draw at 8:27. THERE’S STILL 93 SECOND LEFT! HOW ARE YOU THAT BAD AT TELLING TIME WCW? Though I’m not complaining about less Duggan. This was shit. [DUD]

Like an idiot, Duggan waves a WCW flag like he won or beat an nWo guy.

Hugh Morris vs. Jim Powers w/ Teddy Long
Why? Tony and Larry are back on commentary. Powers flies around a bit before eating a powerslam. No Laughing Matter ends it at 1:41. Okay. The opening riffs of Morris’ theme sounds like the Seinfeld intro. [NR]

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay replace Larry Zbyszko.

Psychosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
These two had a phenomenal match at Bash at the Beach. They start with a quick sequences before Psychosis hip tosses Rey outside. He tries a moonsault but botches and wipes out. Things get better inside but Psychosis slips while climbing up top. He fixes it and dives out but Rey moves and he goes sternum first into the guardrail. Rey follows with a somersault to the outside. They don’t slow down inside, cramming in a lot of big spots for near falls. Psychosis uses his size advantage to wallop Mysterio. Rey snaps off the springboard rana to seal it at 6:44. Fun match but too sloppy to be as good as it possibly could’ve been. [**¾]

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Kevin Sullivan w/ Jimmy Hart
Sullivan jumps Chavo instantly, showing that he means business. He pounds away on Chavo with little to no offense from the young Guerrero. Sullivan has red trunks and purple boots, so he looks stupid. He hits the tree of woe attack and double stomp for the win at 2:18. Not much here. [NR]

LAST WEEK ~ The nWo attacking Roddy Piper is shown.

WCW United States Championship: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Alex Wright
This has match of the night potential. Footage airs of Eddie Guerrero getting attacked after winning the US Title. Syxx stole the title (like Giant did a few months ago) and it sets up a ladder match at Souled Out. Wright and Guerrero work some mat stuff early to a stalemate. They continue to work the mat with a few strikes thrown in between. Syxx shows up with a ladder and takes a seat atop to watch the match. Wright hits a Northern lights suplex for two. He looks for a superplex but Eddie sends him to the mat and follows with the Frog Splash for the win at 9:06. Tidy television match that started slow but picked up late. Wright brought it at times, but like the Psychosis/Rey match, it had some clunky moments. [**½]

The Amazing French Canadians w/ Col. Robert Parker vs. Harlem Heat w/ Sister Sherri
The Sherri/Parker angle is never going to end is it? The teams trade stuff with no real meaning until Sherri gets involved though the AFC scare her off. Booker takes some tandem offense as the heels cut the ring in half. Commentary plugs the Steiners getting a Tag Team Title shot at Souled Out. Stevie gets the tag after Jacques accidentally hits Pierre with the flag. A powerbomb finishes at 4:07. As with most of their matches, there wasn’t much to this. It was short and inoffensive at least. [*½]

SOULED OUT ~ A commercial runs to promote the first ever nWo PPV.

STARRCADE ~ Sting came in from the crowd and laid his bat in the ring. He whispered things to both Lex Luger and the Giant. Luger used the bat on the Giant, which is recapped as well.

Lex Luger vs. Meng
No Jimmy Hart or Barbarian with Meng. These two had a shitty match last year on Nitro and would have an even worse one (negative stars) on a PPV in 1999. Meng dominates the early goings with plenty of punches and kicks. He gets two on a shoulder breaker but it’s time for the Luger rally. SCREAMING CLOTHESLINE followed by some shots and the LOADED FOREARM OF DOOM! Meng survives a powerslam and gets put in the Torture Rack. We get a shitty ref bump and the Barbarian is out to help. He eats a powerslam for his troubles. Luger puts Barbarian in the rack and for some reason, the referee calls for the bell at 4:51. Okay. At least it was better than their past matches. Shit again. [½*]

Time for the nWo to do some main event time promo work. The nWo is huge already. Eric Bischoff interviews Hulk Hogan and they keep trying to say he beat Roddy Piper. Hogan also claims that he beat up the Giant on his own. Out comes to the Giant and he picks apart the nWo, pretty much one by one. The reaction for him press slamming Nick Patrick is great. The toss outside was dangerous though as only one person was there to catch Nick. Hogan and Bischoff are alone with the Giant. Giant catches a Hogan punch and twists his hand, sending him to the mat. Bischoff attacks but it has to impact. Hogan brings in a chair as Giant goes after Bischoff and now Giant is fucked. They hold him so Bischoff can get in cheap shots. Hogan wails on Giant with chair shots to the back. The nWo leave and take over commentary. They sing “We Are The Champions.” Sting walks out and the nWo say he’s “their man.” Sting tries waking the Giant up and then points his bat the nWo. They think it’s a point of approval. He leaves the bat in the ring and exits. Vincent gets in the ring to add his own licks. He gets cocky and the Giant gets up. Vincent is planted with a chokeslam. The nWo run back down but a giant man stands in the ring swinging a bat, so they can’t get in.

Raw Rating: 2.1
Nitro Rating: 3.0

The final score: review Average
The 411
Raw: 1997, one of my favorite years ever, is off to a strong start. The show had no filler and three solid matches. Furnas and Lafon looked good, Bret/Vader was a good main event that added to Austin/Hart and Mankind/Owen was a fun brawl. If Sid’s promo was better and they didn’t show the stupid Ahmed stuff so much, it would’ve been even better. 8.0

Nitro: A middle of the pack effort from WCW to start 1997. There were some good (but flawed) things like the close of the show, the Horsemen angle, Mysterio/Psychosis and Guerrero/Wright. Some things missed the mark completely like Duggan/Regal, Konnan/Bubba and Meng/Luger. A mixed bag for sure. That sounds like how a lot of WCW in 1997 is if I remember right. 5.0


article topics :

Monday Night War, Nitro, RAW, WCW, WWE, Kevin Pantoja