wrestling / Video Reviews

Raw History: Episode 193 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 70

July 24, 2017 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Monday Night War WWE WCW Raw Nitro
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Raw History: Episode 193 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 70  

Raw History
Episode #193
January 13h, 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

Sid’s attack on Jose Lohtario’s son is recapped. Ahead of the Royal Rumble this Sunday, Shawn Michaels will be live in San Antonio tonight with some words. They show him signing autographs out there and the person he’s signing for? Jesse James. Yes, Road Dogg is playing a fan even though he’s an on-screen character.

Vince McMahon and future Lucha Underground cameo star, Honky Tonk Man are on commentary.

Goldust and Marc Mero w/ Marlena and Sable vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Jerry Lawler
Goldust means business, walking ahead of Marlena and charging to the ring. He and Mero clean house from the opening bell. It calms down with Mero and Lawler starting off. Lawler gets overwhelmed and tags out. Hunter takes a licking too but scurries once Goldust is tagged. The faces best the heels at every turn, whether it’s physically or by outsmarting them. Finally, the heels take over and wear down Mero in their corner. It doesn’t last long and they get outsmarted again quickly. After a break, Mero gets beat up again. Goldust enters and gets his hands on Hunter. He ties him up in the ropes and shoves Lawler and the referee back, resulting in a lame DQ at 11:23. Too long, too boring and no structure. Just four dudes killing time. [*¼]

EARLIER TODAY ~ Sycho Sid was in the empty Alamodome. He cut a whispering promo where he quotes a German philosopher. Sid says he will be the monster he has to be to win on Sunday. Everyone will see that he’s the man.

PARK PLACE ~ Shawn Michaels responds, saying he can play dirty if that’s what Sid wants to do. Shawn says Sid can be the master and ruler of whatever he wants, but he won’t be the WWF Champion after January 19th. He also says he delivers like the US Postal Service (though the PPV is on a Sunday, when they don’t deliver).

Bret Hart comes out limping to do commentary. Yesterday on Superstars. Steve Austin PILLMANIZED Bret’s ankle.

British Bulldog w/ Clarence Mason vs. Rocky Maivia
Bret instantly puts Maivia over as the most promising wrestler in WWF history. For some reason, they cut to Marc Mero arguing with Sable on Shotgun Saturday Night. Oh, it looks like Rocky saved Sable from Honky Tonk Man bothering her and Mero misunderstood, so they brawled. Bulldog and Rocky would go on to have a bad match at No Mercy a bit over two years later, when Rock was a megastar and Bulldog was on the last legs of his career. They do a lot of uninteresting stuff until Owen Hart comes out. He and Bret bicker a bit at ringside as Owen just stares him down. Bulldog works a boring chinlock for a while. The crowd dies a slow death as their shoulder blocks cause both to fall. They brawl outside where Steve Austin shows up and clips Bulldog. He hits a Stunner too and Bret gets up from commentary. Owen tries stopping him because he had his back turned to the action. Bret and Owen chase Austin to the back, with Bret hobbling the entire way. Rocky beats the count back in at 9:12. Nothing match filled with nothing offense. It was all to set up the eventual angle at the end. [¾*]

We get words from the Nation of Domination backstage. They promise to be united in the Royal Rumble match.

Crush w/ The Nation of Domination vs. The Undertaker
Before this starts, they cut to San Antonio where Shawn Michaels is. It’s supposed to be live but not only does Rocky Maivia magically transport there, Vince literally says “Oh, hey, there’s Rocky.” Wow. Undertaker must’ve seen a few Crush matches and jumps him before the bell for all the shit work he’s done in his career. Crush turns things around before running into a boot. Vince says, “Crush takes a boot to the mush.” He must be so pleased with himself. Crush pummels Taker outside while creepy Vader watches from the entrance. After a break, the Undertaker rallies but Crush blocks a Tombstone and hits a belly to belly. Undertaker sits up and stops the heart punch with a chokeslam. The NOD run in to cause the DQ at 8:38. Like the rest of this show, another dull match with a non-finish. [*]

The NOD beat down on the Undertaker. Vader joins the fray and hits the Vader Bomb. PG13 hold Undertaker in place so Vader can hit a second until Ahmed Johnson comes in for the save with his 2×4. He fails too and gets beat up with his own weapon.

Reliving Nitro
Episode #70
January 13th, 1997 | Superdome in New Orleans, 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

The intro video gets cut off to show the Giant barging into the nWo locker room to get his hands on Hulk Hogan. He’s held back by security and calls Hogan a “four-legged feline.” WATCH YOUR MOUTH! Apparently, Hogan is backing out of the match with the Giant at Souled Out.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. JL
While these two go through quick exchanges, Schiavone hypes tonight’s card. For some reason, he plugs Jim Duggan vs. Super Calo, like that’s supposed to interest anyone. Future Gift of the Gods Champion Chavo hits a pescado to take out future ECW Champion Jerry Lynn. JL battles back with his own dive and later, hits a rough looking super rana. Chavo looked to knock himself silly as his head may have hit the mat. Apparently, he’s mostly fine and hits a moonsault press to take it at 4:16. Commentary didn’t care for it but the crowd was surprisingly hot. Fine little opener. [**]

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan is out, waving a giant WCW flag, for his surefire Dave Meltzer approved ***** match with Super Calo. Mean Gene interviews him in the aisle. Jim says WCW needs Sting to be a man and pick a side, namely WCW. Before Super Calo can come out, Sting appears and takes out Duggan with the Scorpion Death Drop. Sting will forever be my savior for sparing me this match. Dumbass Larry instantly concludes that Sting is nWo. Don’t they get that he’s only beating up people who talk trash about him. Commentary says they’re trying to get a standby match going. Duggan can’t look weak, so he stands and POSES to the crowd before leaving.

Chris Jericho vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman
Schiavone says New Orleans weird. He pronounces the “leans” part as two syllables. Anyway, Pittman does next to thing and then falls to a missile dropkick at 1:06. Nothing to rate. Jericho celebrates with a kid wearing an nWo shirt. Detective Zbyszko deduces nothing from that. [NR]

Harlem Heat w/ Sister Sherri vs. High Voltage
Larry’s still going on about Sting, saying though everyone hates Duggan, a WCW guy would’ve attacked him from the front. Sure, Larry. High Voltage works over Booker and Rage gets a pop for a slingshot leg drop. Backstage, the Giant bursts through the nWo door again, only to be held back by security. He continues with the insults, calling Hogan a “big monkey.” Back to the match and the former Tag Champions are in trouble. Kaos hits a butterfly suplex but the pin is broken up. Things break down and Harlem Heat win via Heat Seeker at 4:06. The hot crowd helped and what we saw wasn’t too bad. However, we missed a fair amount of action for the backstage stuff, which wasn’t even shown on a split screen. [NR]

SATURDAY NIGHT ~ Arn Anderson takes on the Barbarian, Lex Luger battles Scott Norton and Lord Steven Regal is in action.

The nWo theme plays so Eric Bischoff and Ted Dibiase can take over commentary. Vincent stands with them and does nothing more since he’s a loser. They send us to a weird video highlighting “their Sting.”

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Mark Starr
Bischoff and Dibiase are convinced DDP is with the nWo. DDP hits a DDT and Starr avoids the first Diamond Cutter. DDP comes off the ropes for a successful one right after at 0:53. [NR]

The Outsiders are here. Kevin Nash hugs DDP and Scott Hall tosses him an nWo shirt. DDP puts the shirt on to boos. He shakes Hall’s hand and pulls him into a Diamond Cutter. Nash turns and sees it but DDP pulls the ropes down on him, sending him over the top. DDP taunts and runs into the crowd to celebrate with the crowd, officially becoming a star and WCW’s “People’s Champion.” An awesome moment in front of a big, hot crowd. The first guy to truly get one over on the nWo.

THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER ~ The Outsiders cut a promo on the Steiner Brothers, their opponents for Souled Out. They plan to pick Scott apart thanks to his injuries. They also call Rick ugly and say they’re the hottest thing in wrestling.

Larry and Tony return to the booth. Apparently, the WCW committee has made a decision on Giant vs. Hogan.

Non-Title Match: Dean Malenko vs. WCW United States Champion Eddie Guerrero
These two had a good (***¼) match in 1995 on Nitro and a few great ones (namely the ****¼ 2 Out of 3 Falls match) in ECW. We get the expected mat work from these two at the start. Tony Schiavone has BREAKING NEWS! The WCW committee has decided that Hogan will defend his title against the Giant TONIGHT! Those WCW bastards announce it just as Raw is set to begin. Eddie quicken the pace with a hilo. It sounds like there are some “boring” chants as a figure four gets worked. Dean escapes outside for a breather. Back in, Eddie hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Dean comes back with the Mike Rotunda Special (rope assisted abdominal stretch) until Eddie fights out. Syxx arrives, wearing Eddie’s title, and sits atop a ladder to watch. The guys trade pin attempts and the pace is getting faster. Eddie hits a great rope walk rana and Dean responds with a brainbuster for two. Eddie hits one of his own but instead of going for the Frog Splash, he gets distracted by seeing Syxx. Dean catches him off guard with a powerbomb to steal it at 12:15. It had a few slow spots but they worked hard near the end to get the crowd invested. [***]

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan join Tony Schiavone.

Konnan w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Super Calo
It looks like they found an opponent for Super Calo after all. Konnan isn’t good but should be better than Duggan. Calo hits the first big move with a suicide dive. Back inside, Konnan hits the rolling clothesline. Calo tries to flip inside out for it and lands directly on his head. Konnan adds two powerbombs but Calo is like “NOPE” and gets right up for a rana. Calo flubs the next spot and Konnan is done with his shit, winning with the 187 at 2:56. That was a whole lot of fast paced stuff with zero meaning. [NR]

Kevin Sullivan cuts a promo in a dark room on Chris Benoit. He has a checker board with chess pieces on it. He isn’t playing next week because the time for that is over and he knocks it over. Something goes down between he and Benoit next week.

Chris Benoit w/ Woman vs. Jeff Jarrett
Commentary now announces that Hogan/Giant will be non-title because the champion has to be given 48 hours to prepare for a defense. SINCE WHEN? Classic WCW bait and switch. These two go through basic stuff while the crowd focuses on something else. It’s the arrival of the Four Horsemen. Mongo and Debra lead the way, which is awful. They trade clotheslines before Jarrett hits a hotshot and the swinging neckbreaker. He wants the Figure Four but Arn gets on the apron. Benoit sends Jarrett into what was supposed to be a Mongo briefcase shot. Instead, Debra takes it from him since she loves Jarrett. Mongo wrestles it away and accidentally nails Benoit, allowing Jarrett to win at 3:33. Not much here as it was meant to further the Horsemen angle and nothing more. [*]

Debra smiles and plays innocent while Arn and Mongo argue. Mean Gene meets with everyone for an interview. Benoit takes the microphone from him and wants a resolution. He puts over what being a Horsemen means and tells Mongo to quit fumbling the ball. He says he was handpicked by Arn, while Mongo got here due to an unfortunate circumstance (Pillman getting fired). Benoit doesn’t care if Debra badmouths him and she shouldn’t badmouth Woman. He says Woman is natural with no plastic or silicone. Debra smiles like an idiot while Mongo apologize for making a mistake. Ric Flair isn’t here because he wants no part of this. Mongo and Benoit nearly come to blows but Arn stops them. He’s frustrated like a dad angered with his bickering children.

Billy Kidman vs. Scotty Riggs
Poor Scotty Riggs is still using the American Males theme. They couldn’t find him one of WCW’s generic themes? Schiavone says the Sugar Bowl, Super Bowl and Hogan/Giant are three major events in one building in one month. As they work some basic stuff, Bagwell comes out to watch. He says that Riggs is fat and he’s buff. Kidman misses a 450 splash and Riggs wins with Bagwell’s fisherman suplex finisher at 2:16. Nothing more than a squash so Riggs can have a win before the PPV. Between the finisher and the theme, Riggs is like someone who can’t get over an ex. [NR]

Aaron Neville is shown in the crowd. It just reminds me of Turk’s impression of him on Scrubs.

Lex Luger vs. Rick Fuller
Fuller goes toe to toe with Luger on shoulder blocks but takes a hip toss. Fuller tries working the arm but Luger is tired of selling. SCREAMING CLOTHESLINES and a Torture Rack finishes this quickly at 2:58. [NR]

The Giant comes out and has a staredown with Lex Luger before heading to the ring. Mean Gene interviews the Giant in the ring. Giant says he wants Hogan and the title badly. He says he won’t be a bookend anymore and promises to end Hulkamania tonight.

Arn Anderson vs. Rick Steiner w/ Scott Steiner
Scott is a few days away from returning from injury. Rick gets the early advantage so Arn signals for the Horsemen. They don’t show up though. DISSENSION! Schiavone claims that after Nitro, The New Adventures of Robin Hood premieres on TNT but if Giant/Hogan still goes on, they’ll cut to it during commercial breaks. Yea, like Hogan and Giant will go for more than five minutes. Arn, tired of waiting for his squad, leaves to the back to find out more. He gets counted out at 2:56. [NR]

Mean Gene is back to interview the Steiners. Scott stumbles through saying he’s not hurt anymore. It’s an early look at “Big Poppa Pump.”

Non-Title Match: The Giant vs. WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan w/ nWo
Time is running low and Hogan’s entrance is lengthy. Apparently, viewers had to stick around for the commercials of that new show to see some of this. I wouldn’t since nothing is on the line. Hogan says he doesn’t have to defend the title and claims he used the Giant. Giant brings him in the hard way and beats on him. This surprises me by going on through TWO commercials of the new show. Nothing of note has happened. As soon as Hogan tries the Chokeslam, the nWo jump in for the DQ around 4:05. Nothing match with a non-finish to preserve things for the PPV match, which does end up happening. Spoiler: It also sucks. I won’t rate this because we missed big chunks. [NR]

The Giant fights off the nWo as the show officially ends.

Raw Rating: 2.3
Nitro Rating: 3.4

The final score: review Poor
The 411
Raw: One of the worst Raws I can recall. Three matches that all sucked and had no finishes or anything memorable happen in them. Sid and Shawn’s promos felt like they were just filling time until the PPV. The only thing I enjoyed was the Bret/Austin stuff. Go figure. 2.0

Nitro: Most of the matches having legitimate finishes puts it ahead of Raw for the most part. What makes this episode much better is that it had the best match of the week (Guerrero/Malenko) and the memorable DDP angle. That segment alone, along with the atmosphere of the hot dome crowd, makes this an episode worth checking out. Also, any matches that lack are over quickly. These Nitros also had the added benefit of feeling like anything could happen. 6.0


article topics :

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