The Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Ric Flair And Rowdy Roddy Piper Finally Come To Blows

Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Hollywood Hogan showed up for a few minutes to justify him being gone for another month and a half. Also, Dennis Rodman showed the world that he can deliver an elbow drop. Not a good one, mind you, but an elbow drop nonetheless.

Click here to watch this week’s episode on WWE Network. You can catch up with all the previous episodes of WCW Monday Nitro on the Best and Worst of Nitro tag page. Follow along with the competition here.

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And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for June 23, 1997.

Best: The Amazing Vanishing Damian

Up first this week is one of WCW Monday Nitro’s favorite matches, the throwaway Public Enemy tag where they lose because they’re more into putting people through tables than winning wrestling matches. They’re up against the subtly Satanic luchador team of La Parka and Damian, with the winners (I’m guessing) spending the next six weeks screaming at Mean Gene about how they’re the “number one contenders.”

As great as La Parka is, he is a musical violence skeleton, not a magician, so he can’t get much out of Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge. There is, however, an incredible moment late in the match where TPE tries to put Damian through a table and ends up transporting him through time and space. Watch this GIF, and keep your eye on Damian. Now you see him …

… now you don’t.

While Rock tries to figure out how his asshole could’ve created enough pressure to obliterate an entire man between it and some pressboard, La Parka uses his special move, “hit you with a chair,” to score the victory on Grunge. Somebody help me Kickstart a 1997 WCW game where you can hit a button combination late in a match to make the referee get on the ropes and stare outside while 1-5 people interfere with hijinx and weapons.

Best: Scumbag Eddie Guerrero

Despite being remembered as a lovable, charismatic man of the people, Eddie Guerrero’s best moments and characters always, always centered around him being a piece of shit. Even the “we lie, we cheat, we steal” WWE promos for Los Guerreros had him robbing a mom in the street and insulting her baby. And that’s when we were supposed to like him.

This week marks the first true Nitro appearance of Scumbag Eddie, as he lies about his nephew Chavo wanting to answer Dean Malenko’s challenge to “Guerrero” last week — Chavo responds with, “I wouldn’t exactly say I offered” — and reveals that he’s gone to J.J. Dillon and given Chavo his Cruiserweight Championship shot against Syxx tonight. The idea is that Eddie’s simultaneously acting like this is the first he’s heard of it, and has been weaseling Chavo into doing his grunt work all week. Great stuff, especially with Moral Arbitrator Mean Gene Okerlund appearing to figure out the grift in real-time.

Chavo ends up in the best Chavo Guerrero WCW match up until this point, getting absolutely sick elevation on a dive from the top to the floor (pictured) and losing about half of his face in the process.

Eddie once again shows up to watch, cross-armed on the stage, and does nothing when Syxx uses his special move, “make the referee look at me while I’m doing nothing outside the ring so Scott Hall or Kevin Nash can loudly destroy my opponent behind him.” This week it’s Hall, and Chavo eats 100% of a Razor’s Edge for the loss. Eddie makes disappointed faces and does nothing, because he is the worst, and it’s the best.

Do Not Look Directly Into This Image Of Alex Wright In A Liontamer

If you have to, poke a hole in a piece of paper and stare at the image through that. Man, that guy’s waist looks like a scene from Tremors.

Speaking Of Huge Dicks

Lee Marshall calls in from Las Vegas for the 1-800-COLLECT road report, because dude can’t even pay for his own calls.

“Bobby Heenan, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you … the good news, and you’re gonna like this, Bobby, Las Vegas is still considered the home of the Rat Pack. But the bad news is, I looked ALL OVER Vegas and I could not find a show called WEASELS ON ICE!”

Bobby’s response: “I’d like to push him off the Hoover Dam.”

Worst: WCW Babyface Fashion Sense

There’s a lot of ballyhoo (and pyro) about how weird Dennis Rodman is for wearing dresses and coloring his hair to make himself look like an unsanitary snow-cone, but he’s no weirder than “feather boas and drawn on beards and airbrushed lightning boots” Hollywood Hulk Hogan, and honestly no more fashion-backwards than the people we’re supposed to be cheering for. The Giant shows up in colossal jeans with a windswept half-pony and a tucked-in Lex Luger shirt to talk about how he’s going to “stick a big, giant hook in The Worm.” Phrasing.

Lex Luger is wearing a sleeveless, button-up table cloth that gets even more incredible when you realize what brand it’s repping:

Yes, that says Muscle Boyz. This is the episode that Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton officially christen themselves “Vicious and Delicious,” and I can’t believe Lex Luger’s blouse subtweeted them with a better team name.

Note: this shirt influenced every Dragon Gate faction for the next 15 years.

Worst: The 650th Number One Contender Tag Team Match Of The Year

For clarification purposes, that’s a screenshot of Rick Steiner hitting a flying bulldog on Booker T, if you consider Booker falling over sideways in a sitting position and smashing his face into Rick’s thigh a “bulldog.”

If you’ve been following along with these columns, you know the two defining characteristics of the WCW tag team division are:

  • the finishes are almost always ridiculous, and
  • they’re constantly having “number one contender” matches because the Tag Team Champions are Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, and Hall and Nash never want to wrestle. Plus, if they DO wrestle and happen to lose, Eric Bischoff reverses the decision the next night and whoever won has to give Hall and Nash the titles back. Which starts the number one contender process over again, which gives us 5-10 more Harlem Heat vs. Steiner Brothers matches

This one ends with the Thighdog after Rick whips Booker T into Sister Sherri on the ring apron, knocking her off into the crackerjack, yak-carrying arms of Stevie Ray. So once again the Steiners are number one contenders for the Tag Team Championship, and move on to Bash at the Beach to face … uh, Masahiro Chono and the Great Muta. For the number one contendership to the Tag Team Championship. I’m not kidding.

Spoiler alert: The Steiners finally get that match against Hall and Nash at Road Wild, which they win … by disqualification. Can you guess what happens at the next pay-per-view? You guessed it: the Steiner Brothers vs. Members of Harlem Heat at Fall Brawl to see who will get a shot at the tag titles.

Worst: Speaking Of Moves That Don’t Connect

Hector Garza’s plan was to ride the “corkscrew plancha” to the top of the wrestling world. It was a spectacular move — he spins his body vertically as he dives from the top rope to the floor — and he mastered the “spin vertically” part. But, uh, he forgot to master the “from the top to the floor.” Dude’s got the depth perception of Mr. Magoo when he dives, as seen in this screenshot of him landing chin-first on Villano IV’s knee. If you think this looks painful, wait until next week when he corkscrew planchas onto Lord Steven Regal’s foot and 99% of his body hits the floor.

Also, for a reason that definitely didn’t get him screamed at backstage, Villano IV busts this out as a transitional move:


To put this into proper context for modern wrestling fans, imagine if you were tuning into Payback and like an hour before Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman, Austin Aries decided to hit a Superman Punch and a spear on Neville. And then grab a chinlock. And then he lost.

Worst: As The Halliburton Turns

He’s here to do two things: kick ass, and make bacon. And he’s all out of ass!

Rowdy Roddy Piper shows up to once again discuss Ric Flair’s betrayal of him at length, not bringing up the fact that everybody watched him wander around in the ring while Flair got beaten up by three dudes in the aisle like two weeks before. Piper assures us that he and Flair are friends, then calls him “Pinocchio” and says he dates two women at once so they can have someone to talk to when he falls asleep. He’s a good friend!

Flair shows up and points the finger at Piper, saying he was fighting Hall, Nash and Syxx when Piper was “floatin’ around the Caribbean with Jenny McCarthy, pal.” I really do not need to know about that. He calls Piper “pal” about 14 more times until Mongo and Chris Benoit show up for unnecessary backup. This turns Flair into peacemaker for some reason, and the Horsemen figuratively and literally point fingers at Piper — so much pointing in this segment — until he starts punching them. Flair throws a great angry “jump up and down in place” fit before trying to throw hands as well, and getting punched out.

Old Man Piper is able to beat up three Horsemen by himself (because of course he can) until Flair distracts him, allowing Mongo to Halliburton him in the back. Thank goodness the Horsemen sprang for high quality luggage when they were paying off Mongo last year or they would’ve lost like 80% of their fights. Benoit grabs Piper in the Crossface and the Horsies put the boots to Piper. He is going to think of the meanest way to call them gay next week, watch.

Mongo also wins a match against Konnan thanks to a Hugh Morrus distraction, which is one “we’re all on fire” modifier away from describing hell on Earth.

Best: Cat Match Fever

Up next, Ernest Miller makes his Nitro in-ring debut, teaming with Glacier against High Voltage. Which is fortunate for Glacier, because ice types aren’t very effective against electric types.

The highlight of the match (because Scott Steiner isn’t around to drop Robbie Rage on his head again) is the debut of the FELINER, Miller’s jumping corkscrew roundhouse kick:

If Robbie Rage doesn’t have the inner monologue of a white noise machine these days, I’d be shocked. Cat and Glashe pick up the win, and go straight into a stand-off with Mortis and Wrath after the match. Their tag match at Bash at the Beach is coming up, and I have to warn you, I’m going to write about it in such a flowery way my ass is gonna be a botanical garden.

Worst: Here’s A Picture Of DDP Vs. Scott Hall

The main event of this week’s show is supposed to be Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Hall, with the story that Page and Kimberly went directly to James J. Dillon and arranged it around Nash and Hogan not being there so they could have a rare one-on-one match with an nWo member. As you might’ve guessed, this ends with the nWo running in and everyone throwing trash at them while they beat up Page.

I guess Page forgot that Macho Man Randy Savage, the guy he’s been fighting for months, is in the building and might want to beat him up. Sting shows up in the crowd to help out, but way too late, and Page eats another Macho elbow drop before they get run off.

And that’s the episode. The major story is that once again WCW can’t do anything right, Page cleverly walked into an obvious trap of his own laying, Sting isn’t really doing anything to help outside of elaborate transport, Luger and Giant stop watching the show when their segment is over and the good guys not only don’t win, they can’t.

Join us next week for the big Las Vegas Nitro, featuring the debut of DDP’s mystery partner, a familiar face in the crowd, news about title changes that happened on an audio-only Saturday show — seriously — and La Parka once again trying to end the life of Super Calo. All your favorites!