The Best And Worst Of WCW Monday Nitro 1/6/97: The Sinister Syxx

Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Starrcade ’96 and the Match of the Century happened, and the payoff was Hulk Hogan saying he won a match he didn’t win and the nWo putting Roddy Piper in the hospital for arguing about it. Meanwhile, the Four Horsemen argued to themselves about whether or not a 40-year old woman should be allowed to have sex. Things are really looking up for WCW!

Click here to watch this week’s episode on WWE Network, and here to watch the pay-per-view before it. You can catch up with all the previous episodes on the Best and Worst of Nitro tag page.

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And now, the vintage Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for January 6, 1997. It’s ’97, everything should be cool and exciting now!

Worst: Glacier vs. Beautiful Bobby

Okay, here’s the thing about Glacier.

I love Glacier. You know that. He’s a rural Georgia gym teacher pretending to be Sub-Zero, who eventually teams up with a karate cat to fight a apocalyptic Biblical horseman and a skeleton, accompanied by The Devil. He rules. At the same time, I’ve gotta be straight with you. The reason more people don’t like him is because he just had no f*cking idea how to wrestle. None whatsoever. It’s like they found a guy who could kick and were like, “do you want to be a wrestler,” and he was like, “sure, what do I do,” and they were jut like, “keep kicking, it’ll work itself out.”

Glacier vs. Beautiful Bobby is probably the first Glacier match where you’re like, “yeah, no.” Bobby tries to have the most basic match in the world and hell, I could have a passable match with Bobby, but Glacier can’t. His kicks either miss by a mile or hit way too hard, and sometimes Bobby’s just outright ignoring them. Watch when Bobby pushes him into the ropes, and Glacier’s doing these exaggerated palm strikes and Bobby has no idea. There’s a point where Glacier hits a kick and goes for a pin, but Bobby’s too close to the ropes and ALSO IS KICKING OUT but Glacier just stays there because he thinks that was the finish.

Woof. A room full of dogs saying woof. GET HERE SOON, MORTIS. GIVE THIS MAN HIS PROPER CONTEXT.

Worst: Doing That Strap Match Anyway!

Remember on last week’s show where Konnan was supposed to get revenge on Big Bubba for winning a match against him via over-the-top-rope DQ, and also for ditching the Dungeon of Doom and joining the nWo in a strap match? But Bubba no-showed and Konnan had to strap it up with M. Wallstreet?

This week, Bubba is forced to finally have the match. How many Nitro columns have you read, and how hard do you think the finish of a second-match-of-the-show Big Bubba/Konnan match is gonna sh*t the bed?

The idea of a strap match is that you’re tied to your opponent by a short leather strap. It keeps them from running, and gives you enough slack to whip their bare skin. You’re supposed to drag your opponent around the ring, touching all four corners of the ring in order without having your forward momentum halted. This match does literally none of that. The strap Konnan and Bubba are tied together with is long as hell, so in theory Bubba could’ve stood in the middle of the ring and Konnan could’ve just sprinted from corner to corner and won without incident. Also, they keep trying to strap each other but they’re both wearing shirts, so they’re basically just fwapping each other with these loose-ass ropes and rolling around like they’ve been stung by bees. Konnan ends up touching three corners and Bubba pulls him back toward the center of the ring, but Mark Curtis keeps the three fingers up. Bubba fights back, recovers, stands up and punches Konnan. Konnan THEN falls backwards into the fourth corner, and the referee gives him the win.

So here’s a long-ass, harmless strap match between two guys in shirts where the object is to eventually touch every corner, I guess, with three weeks of build for about 2 1/2 of action. Glacier and Bobby Eaton were Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura compared to this.

Worst: The Horsemen Are Losers, Have You Heard

No one will be seated during the Horsemen arguing with each other scene.

This week, College Professor Ric Flair shows up with Grandpa Biker Arn Anderson and 45-year old dad on his way back from the airport Steve McMichael and argues about the same things they always argue about: the whereabouts of Chris Benoit, why he should or shouldn’t be sticking it to the Taskmaster’s wife, and whether or not flustered debutante Jeff Jarrett belongs in the group.

There’s actually a briefly great moment here where Jarrett shows up and asks Flair to just stop being an asshole and put him in the Horsemen, and Arn’s like, “hey buddy, talk to me, not Ric.” Jarrett tells Arn that he’s played second-fiddle his entire career, whether it was to Ole Anderson or Tully Blanchard or Ric, so he’d rather talk to the horse than the “horse’s rear.” Arn responds by punching him in the back of the head and beating him down the aisle.

The reason I’m not Besting that admittedly Best-kind of thing is because of everything around it. The fight turns into a match for some reason, which Jarrett WINS after hitting one swinging neckbreaker and getting his feet on the ropes. It’s not a flash pin, either, he just beats Arn with one move and cheats for no reason. Because leadership? That causes the Horsemen to try to corner him, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL stepping between them to protect him. Debra, whose only character development to date has been, “loves Mongo, hates all the other Horsemen.” They bicker and fuss at each other for what seems like ages, and Flair stops randomly to dance or bounce off the ropes because it gets a completely singular, detached reaction from the crowd.

Even I’m starting to want to see the nWo beat these guys down.


WCW’s really into time limit draws that don’t actually go the full time limit lately. Last week they did it with Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio Jr., and this week they’re doing it with Lord Steven Regal and … JIM DUGGAN? OH COME ON.

Jim Duggan hits a brutal lariat in the closing moments of the match, then heads to the top rope and hits a beautiful 630 splash. He goes for a desperation cover, but the time expires just as the referee’s hand is coming down for three. Just kidding. At like the 8-minute mark of a 10-minute match, cheating ass trifling ass Jim Duggan uses the roll of tape he keeps crammed up his butt to cheat and knock Regal out. The timekeeper calls for the bell with like 90 seconds left, because he absolutely can’t sit through another minute and a half of this.

After the match, Duggan grabs a giant WCW flag and waves it around in the ring. Sure, Macho Man’s nowhere to be found, Roddy Piper got taken away in an ambulance last week, the Giant’s getting beaten up by 20 guys at once and Sting and Luger are locked in this weekly clandestine mystery war of baseball bats and thrown trash, but everything’s fine, this mentally incompetent horse-man who can’t beat one of the Bluebloods without cheating is leading the charge. HOOOOOO!

Worst: And Now Jim Powers Is Wrestling?

It’s like an “old school Raw” episode, but for sh*t we thought we’d dropped in the middle of last year.

Jim Powers uses the power of Teddy Long’s expert managerial skills to lose to Hugh Morrus in about a minute. He’s so jacked out of his mind and pumped full of horse tranq that he’s sucking wind getting punched once and having to back into the corner. It’s like trying to forklift a 900-pound lady out of her hoarder house, but in the body of an American Gladiator.

Also, thank Christ Powers got that sweet Teddy Long endorsement. Without that kind of guidance he would’ve broken his leg trying to walk to the ring and they’d have had to shoot him.

Worst: More Taskmaster Tapes!

give me something here, guys

So early in the episode, Mean Gene interviews the Taskmaster backstage, and it’s basically this:

Gene: Kevin Sullivan, we’ve got another video tape to show
Gene: This tape isn’t of that!
Sullivan: then what’s it of
Gene: you know what it’s of
Sullivan: are you saying
Gene: yes, that’s absolutely what I’m saying
Sullivan: [leaves angrily]

Later, Sullivan squashes Chavo Guerrero while yelling BENWOOOOORE, BENWOOOOORE, and that’s it. I really hope the new mysterious video is of The Shark and The Zodiac on vacation in Germany, making sex eyes at each other and drinking wine to piss him off.

Best: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis


Getting a Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis match after that first hour of Nitro’s like being stuck in a car for hours and finally getting to pee.

It’s not the best match these two ever have, but like every match they ever have, it’s great. Psychosis’ desire to run at things, jump at them with his legs and then flip backwards onto his head is one of the most inexplicable, entertaining things in the history of lucha libre. The guy HATES necks. Also great: Mysterio’s hurricanrana through the legs never looks better than it does against Psychosis, because Psychosis is just tall enough for Rey to swing through with confidence without either dude having to worry about piledriving themselves. Not to say they both didn’t piledrive themselves from time to time, but I’d trust Psychosis to take that move properly before anybody else in the world. Malenko was one of the best wrestlers on the planet, but he also had legs like a Fallout turret.

Rey gets the win, which he desperately needed after getting trucked by Jushin Liger at Starrcade and phantom timed-out on last week’s Nitro.

Brother Syxx … I knew you’d come.

Best: Eddie Guerrero vs. Alex Wright

I haven’t mentioned it yet because I don’t want my face to melt like a Nazi’s near the Ark of the Covenant, but the next pay-per-view is the legendary first installment of nWo Souled Out. I might have to devote a week’s entire column to it. But yeah, one of the stories leading into that is that Eddie Guerrero won the United States Championship at Starrcade, but the nWo interfered a bunch and stole it. Because “the nWo steals the U.S. title instead of winning it” is a recurring plot for some reason.

This week, Guerrero has a match with Das Wunderpackage Alex Wright, who hasn’t totally figured out how to be an exciting cruiserweight. The match gets pretty good, though, when Wright remembers that he’s like 6-foot-11 and can suplex Guerrero like a child. Alex Wright at his best turns into rookie Jun Akiyama. He’s got some good strikes and some good suplexes, but unless he’s wrestling somebody you actually like, you don’t really care.

During the match, Syxx shows up with the U.S. title and a ladder, and stands on it making Hardy Boyz gestures several years before that’s a thing. He’s on a ladder, of course, because they’re going to have a ladder match. Sometimes wrestling props during builds to gimmick matches are a real “chicken or the egg” scenario.

Anyway, please enjoy the last few weeks of 1997 before Souled Out existed.

Best: A Surprisingly Competent Horrible Harlem Heat Finish

Harlem Heat wrestles the Amazing French-Canadians, because Public Enemy’s 69 muumuus were at the dry cleaner. I walked into this expecting to have to write up another frustrating, convoluted finish, and I do, but at least this one’s timed well and makes sense.

Stevie Ray breaks up a pin, so Sherri gets on the apron and starts … well, I’m not sure what she’s trying to do other than distract the referee. The referee gets distracted, so the AFCs decide to put a match they’re already winning in jeopardy by hitting Booker with their big Canadian flag that says “CANADA” on it in block letters. Booker ducks, of course, and the French-Canadians become l’ennemi public and hit each other. That leaves Harlem Heat open to win the match and for the referee to be none the wiser, despite him having to physically remove a random Canadian flag from the middle of the ring.

Worst: LOL What

And now, for the worst finish of the week.

Lex Luger defeats Meng by making The Barbarian submit in the Torture Rack. You see, the referee got knocked down by an errant Meng leg, and when he came to he was like, eh, close enough, ring the bell. Then Harlem Heat runs out all breathless like, “can we help?”

Best, But It Goes On Forever: The Giant Turns Face, Parts 3-5

This week’s main event is Hulk Hogan Talking. He’s interrupted by Giant, who wants another shot at picking off the New World Order like they’re movie ninjas — one at a time — and choking Hogan to death. He does pretty well, fighting off everyone and getting to Hogan before Bischoff decides to throw some double axe-handles. Giant’s like, “???” and that lets the nWo regroup and beat him up. They leave him lying in the middle of the ring and leave to take over the announce booth, and you think that’s gonna be the end of the show.

Instead, Sting shows up. He gives another whispered pep-talk to the unconscious Giant, and the nWo goes from celebrating him for being on the team to making fun of him for “trying to resuscitate” Giant. Sting leaves his bat in the ring and bails, and the nWo sends Vincent to investigate. There should’ve been entire season of sub-plots about the nWo making Vincent investigate strange phenomena. Anyway, Vincent picks up the bat and starts poking at Giant to see if he’s alive, but he’s unconscious. Finally, Vince goes into a victory stance and waves everyone else down … and THAT’S when the Giant revives, chokeslams Vincent and starts fending everyone off with Sting’s super powerful, super sharp bat.

I really hope Sting’s mysterious pep talk has just been, “hit them with a bat, stupid.”