The Best And Worst Of WCW Monday Nitro 6/9/97: High Horse

Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Konnan attacked Hugh Morrus with a broom, Lee Marshall took 6500 words to call Bobby Heenan a “weasel,” and Randy Savage beat up James J. Dillon. Also, that thing that ruined Chris Benoit’s brain forever happened, by the look of it.

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And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for June 9, 1997.

Best: Dizzy Bat As A Wrestling Match

Two weeks ago, Nitro opened with a super fun trios match that featured a Hector Garza corkscrew moonsault, Juventud Guerrera headscissoring Damian off the apron to the floor face-first, and God’s perfect hip-hop angel Super Calo tope-ing into the second row. It was so good the folks behind the scenes were like, “hey, we should do that again, but replace some of the iffier luchadores with our top guys.” So this week, Super Calo and Juventud Guerrerea team with Ultimo Dragon to take on La Parka, Silver King and Psicosis. Everyone almost dies. Barely an exaggeration.

It’s like everyone in the match did 10 shots before they got in the ring. That picture you see is of Ultimo Dragon trying to balance on his hands on the ropes, doing an awkward split and just kinda falling over backwards onto his own head. Everyone’s brutally off this week, and it is legitimately dangerous to be “off” and “near Super Calo” at the same time.

Pictured here is Calo monkey-flipping La Parka sideways upside down into the ropes to his doom. A few minutes later, Calo sidesteps a dropkick and Parka goes upside down in the ropes AGAIN, this time landing on his neck and somehow nothing else.

By the end of the match Psicosis is straight up ignoring tags, chairs are being used with no disqualifications called and everyone’s just like, “this match went to shit, time to break out THE CRAZIEST THING I’VE EVER DONE.” That includes Silver King backflipping over the top rope to the floor, La Parka pulling off Sabu’s triple jump plancha with a Meng-style wooden chair, and a double springboard from Juventud where he slips halfway through, ends up jumping sideways off the top rope and almost breaks his neck on the apron. Dragon wins with a Dragon Sleeper on Psicosis.

After the match, La Parka brings the chair back into the ring, beats Super Calo to death with it and shoot-kicking him in the sternum. At first you’re like, “ha, La Parka likes attacking people with chairs, that’s his thing,” and then you’re like, “oh no, La Parka did not appreciate those near-death experiences.”

Or, “can you find the two hogs in this picture?”

Worst: The Scariest Fan In Nitro History

This nightmare Saw pig man shows up in the background during Alex Wright vs. Chris Jericho. Wright gets his feet on the ropes to help with leverage on a chinlock, and Hoggish Greedly pops up behind him. The best part is that he just silently rises, then shrugs and waves off Wright’s cheating. THIS MASSACHUSETTS PIG MONSTER THOUGHT YOU WERE BETTER THAN THAT, ALEX.

Wright wins using the ropes, which doesn’t make any sense because (1) the announce team spent the entire match putting over how much momentum Jericho had since his latest Japan excursion, and (2) Wright had lost all his other matches since turning heel, so it’s not like he had any momentum. So let’s take a moment to really let that image of Murder House Piggy Man rising from asses to personify disappointment.

Worst: Time To Enact Mashall Law

Pretty weak effort from Lee Marshall this week, who struggles to find good “weasel” material when they go to big cities because he’s got too much to work with. If you’re going to Tupelo, Mississippi, Lee can dig into the Funk & Wagnalls and find a choice Tupelo fact with which to burn the Brain, but if you’re going to Boston or Chicago he’s like, OH NO, ALL THE FACTS, IT’S ALL WEASELS. Nitro’s going to Chicago next week, so Lee’s brain breaks, and he goes on a rant about how all of Chicago’s tabloid journalists have quit because they have integrity and heard Heenan’s coming to town.


“Chicago, they call the wind the ‘hawk,’ they call the hot air the ‘weasel!'”

Tony Schiavone follows up his “thanks, Lee” with like a solid minute and a half of non-stop Nitro recapping, not even stopping to take a breath because he’s multitasking and trying to keep Heenan from hanging himself.

Worst: The Most Hulk Hogan Thing Ever

At the top of the show, we learn that Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman will be teaming up in the main event of Bash at the Beach. Hogan’s not on the Great American Bash card at all, and he hasn’t defended the World Heavyweight Championship since February. That means he’s not going to actually defend the title until August, and (spoiler alert) he only loses it there so he can get it back five days later on a pay-per-view.

Anyway, Lex Luger shows up and talks about how Hogan never defends the belt, so the WCW Executive Committee has decided that Hogan will have to face Luger right here tonight. Hogan’s response is to come to the ring, say, “I defend the belt where I want, when I want,” and then he DOESN’T HAVE TO DEFEND THE BELT. That’s it. The WCW Executive Committee has absolutely zero power over anyone better than, say, Jim Powers. In fact, Hogan even refuses to wrestle until the Wolfpac come down to ringside to back him up.

So after all of that, Hogan stalls for a little while, then proceeds to physically dominate Lex Luger. He just kicks his ass with back rakes and top-of-the-head punches. They say they have to go to a commercial, but they’re going to hold off on it to stay with the action. As soon as Lex gets in a little bit of offense, they go to commercial. When they come back, Hogan’s in control again. It’s insane, right?

Luger manages to avoid an elbow drop, which I guess constitutes enough offense to trigger the run-in. Lex fights off Hall, Nash and Syxx and grabs Hogan in the Torture Rack out of nowhere for the win. Wait, what?

Before Hogan even hits the ground, the Wolfpac is beating down Luger. They continue to beat him down for like, twice the length of the match. Hogan hits probably eight leg drops on Lex while everyone poses. The Giant’s in Germany, but Sting isn’t, and neither are the Steiner Brothers, and neither is Diamond Dallas Page, and neither are Ric Flair and Roddy Piper, the Wolfpac’s opponents later in the night. Neither is Doug Dellinger and WCW security, but the world is collectively like, “fuck Lex,” and leaves him out there to get the dog shit beaten out of him for five minutes.

Once that’s over, Hogan and Bischoff literally lie down in the middle of the ring with the belt across their laps and cut a promo about how they let “Rod the Bod” down, and how they won’t at Bash at the Beach. Which isn’t even the next pay-per-view.

So Hogan loses to Lex, but only after (1) completely dominating him and allowing Lex exactly one forearm and one Torture Rack, (2) causing a confusing run-in, (3) making it non-title, (4) assuring us before AND after the match that Lex is worthless, (5) no-selling the loss, and (6) getting his heat back ten times over during a post-match attack where no one can stand up to him. Unbelievable. Hope you like getting arm-dragged by basketball players, Lex.

Best/Worst: Whoops, We Have A Women’s Division

WCW Women’s Champion Akira Hokuto faces the WCW women’s division’s one jobber, Malia Hosaka, and finishes her off quickly with a Northern Lights Bomb. Remember a few months ago when WCW was launching a women’s cruiserweight division? Remember when Luna Vachon debuted by being a person backstage and then didn’t wrestle for months? Anyway, the story now is that Madusa is suddenly facing Akira Hokuto for the Women’s Championship in a career-threatening match, because what’s she putting on the line, really? A chance to show up on Nitro every two months and point at Mean Gene about how she wants to be Women’s Champion?

Madusa shows up after the match and hits Hokuto with three of those weird German suplexes she does where she holds the front and back of your waist instead of the sides. And what’s weirdest of all is that these are angry Germans to make a point, but she’s still like, bridging on all of them. Look at her, she’s using the ass cheek for leverage and going up on her tip-toes. That’ll show her! Use your fundamentals!

Worst: Everybody Fights, A Prelude, Part One

Last week, the Steiner Brothers and Members of Harlem Heat got into an argument about who deserved to be number one contenders for the Tag Team Championship belts they can’t even keep if they win them. They cost each other matches, so this week they get in each other’s faces and come to blows. They brawl around a while, and this is important because it sets up a Royal Rumble go-home-show-style EVERYBODY FIGHTS bit at the end. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

Worst: Everybody Fights, A Prelude, Part Two, Or
Best: Oh My God I Want That Shirt

A little later in the show, the Dungeon of Doom shows up, and they announce the “surprise return” of Kevin Sullivan. If you were wondering where Sullivan was, raise your hand. Nobody? Anyway, Sullivan cuts a pandering promo about being in Boston and being from Boston, which builds to the only thing Kevin Sullivan ever does: calling out Chris Benoit and punching him in the face. Maybe the backstage monitors were broken this week and nobody back there could see what was going on in the ring, which is why nobody shows up to help their friends?

The major point I want to make here is, oh my God, look at Kevin Sullivan’s shirt. I tried to find a place to buy it online, but aside from an expired eBay auction, I had no luck. I did find a better picture of it, though. If anyone in the world reading this owns that shirt in a large, I will buy it from you, no questions asked. This includes you, Kevin Sullivan, although I’m guessing I’d look like Stevie Richards if I tried on any of your shirts.

As The Haliburton Turns

Speaking of the Horsemen, there are two big storyline developments this week. Okay, one, and one about football guys again.

1. Mongo is supposed to wrestle Konnan, which might be the worst match you could put on paper in 1997. Before he can get to the ring, Kevin Greene shows up and realizes his destiny as Mojo Rawley’s real father by attacking Mongo from behind with a jumping dick to the skull. They brawl to the back, and the match gets called off. When we go back to the ring, Konnan has been knocked out by a mysterious assailant, and the announce team is like WOW WHO COULD HAVE DONE THIS, WHAT HAPPENED, like they didn’t see a chuckling fat dude get domed with a broomstick last week.

2. Jeff Jarrett gets the United States Championship match against Dean Malenko he earned by, uh, trying to help M. Wallstreet win the United States Championship last week. He walks out without Debra, and everyone’s like, “hey, where’s Debra?” Tony Schiavone should’ve been like, THERE ARE FOUR SHADOWS ON THE GROUND IN FRONT OF US, WHAT COULD THESE FOUR SHADOWS MEAN

So yeah, Debra shows up late in the match and gets up on the apron to, I don’t know, tell the referee about her day. With the ref distracted everyone’s like, “here comes Mongo,” but instead of Mongo we get the POLAR OPPOSITE OF MONGO, Eddie Guerrero. Eddie hops out of the crowd with a sling on his arm, but reveals it’s a PROP SLING by hitting a ****3/4 Frog Splash on Dean-o and costing him the match.

Now the Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko feud is back on, and now Jeff Jarrett and Steve McMichael have something to fight over besides which one gets to have sex and which one has to hold the camera.

Best, Then Worst, Then Really Worst, Then Best Again, Then Kind of Worst Again, Then LOL: The Ballad Of Diamond Dallas Page


Okay, Nitro opens with a limo arriving to the arena. Before we can wonder WHO IS DRIVING THE LIMO, we find out it’s Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. As they’re stepping out, Diamond Dallas Page in a LEATHER DUSTER and tries to attack Savage, but Savage ruthless — he’s got 30s and hundred rounds too — and Page gets his entire upper body slammed in the car door.

Later in the night, James J. Dillon announces that Savage will be fined $500,000 for beating him up last week, and that Savage vs. Page at the Great American Bash will now be non-sanctioned. That means anything goes, and falls count anywhere. Savage shows up in the crowd again to threaten J.J., but Diamond Trenchcoat Page storms down to the ring and gets between them. In a highlight of not only the night but an entire career, Page adds an exclamation point to his “snap into this” taunt by putting the microphone between his legs so it looks like his dick.

DDP rocking a black dildo, everybody:

Alex Wright is backstage like, “eh, I’ve seen better.”

“What’s on Raw” is the best possible sign for the night’s main event, which is Ric Flair teaming with Roddy “Nice Of Me To Show Up” Piper against the Outsiders. These two teams are fighting for the Tag Team Championship at the Bash, so WCW was like, “just have them go out and do the match early, it’s fine, nobody cares.” Most of it’s built around Roddy Piper slowly turning into a Bloater and Ric Flair being too busy with Syxx to pay attention. After a few minutes, Syxx gets into the ring and the match gets thrown out. Because of course it does!

Here’s where it gets hard to follow. Flair and Piper are in the ring fighting the Wolfpac, which brings out the rest of the nWo and the Four Horsemen for a big brawl. Kevin Greene shows up to help the Horsemen, because dude absolutely cannot decide how he feels about them. As this is happening, that earlier brawl between the Steiners and Harlem Heat spills out onto the stage. Then the Dungeon of Doom shows up to beat up Benoit some more. Then LUCHADORES are out and randomly fighting. Then Glacier, Mortis and Wrath are here for some reason, because I guess they’ve been fighting over that abducted helmet across several states for a week. Savage runs out near the end, which brings out Page. And now EVERYONE IS FIGHTING EVERYWHERE.

Hogan finally shows up, and Sting follows closely behind. I guess Sting couldn’t find him when he was spending 15 minutes murdering Sting’s best friend with the armpit of his knee. Page is in peril, so Sting hooks his bungee-jumping harness to him and RIDES HIM INTO THE HEAVENS LIKE A HORSEY.

One of the most ridiculous images I’ve ever seen. Also, LOL at Page wearing that trench the entire episode so it wouldn’t look weird when Sting was able to hook him and fly him to the ceiling. An absolutely bizarre, nearly inexplicable show leading into the Great American Bash. But hey, look on the bright side … next cycle we get to build to Flair vs. Piper AND a Dennis Rodman match!