The Best And Worst Of WCW Monday Nitro 12/8/97: Book No Evil

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Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Hollywood Hogan picked a fight with an old lady and executed one of the worst Diamond Cutters you’ll ever see. Also, Larry Zbyszko is now wagering Monday Nitro itself in a match against Eric Bischoff. That seems like a great idea!

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.

Remember, if you want us to keep writing 20-year-old WCW jokes, click the share buttons and spread the column around. If you don’t tell them how much you like these, nobody’s going to read them. We’re on the road to Starrcade ’97, which you’ll need to prepare for.

And now, the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for December 8, 1997.

The Most Important Thing You Need To Know Is That This Is The Nitro Where Macho Man Randy Savage Fights Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jim Kelly

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This week’s show twenty years ago comes to you live from Buffalo, New York, and nothing says both “Buffalo” and “twenty years ago” like Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. That’s also one of the greatest defensive ends to ever play the game, Bruce Smith, next to him, but I’m assuming he just showed up with Kelly unannounced and they didn’t have a name graphic ready for him.

If you haven’t seen any other celebrity guest appearance on Nitro, you’ll be surprised to learn that the wrestlers can’t stop talking about and playing to him.

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In the most “that aged badly” moment of the night, Ric Flair cuts a promo about how he’s heard Bret Hart has joined the nWo and calls himself “the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be,” but he’s not as good as Flair. Comparing Hart to Flair, Flair says, is like “comparing John Elway to Jim Kelly.” It’s even worse when you consider that Kelly was already out of the league in 1997, and the 97-98 season they’re in the middle of at the time of this promo ends with John Elway and the Broncos winning the Super Bowl.

Maybe something like “comparing Bret Hart to Ric Flair is like comparing PHIL SIMMS to Jim Kelly?” Even that doesn’t really work, because Simms won two Super Bowls. Maybe Mark Rypien? Wait, that’s way worse.

Things get even worse later in the show when the Macho Man Randy Savage shows up for a match with Hugh Morrus and announce he’s “got a bone to pick” with Kelly. Hubert G. Morrus attacks Savage from behind, causing Kelly and Bruce Smith to join in with the most “wrestling your little brother” strikes you’ve ever seen:

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Bruce Smith out here making Mongo McMichael look like Katsuyori Shibata with those bows.

Amazing, none of these segments lead to the main event of Starrcade being changed to Hollywood Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Sting and Jim Kelly, which in WCW there’s always a chance of. The WWF doesn’t know what to do with a celebrity, but WCW knows even less. They’re so thirsty for celebrity guests they probably had to pay someone to stand outside of the arena and keep them out. Jeanne Calment could’ve gone to a show in ’97 before she died and they would’ve put her over someone for the TV title.

But yeah, no, here’s the episode where Jim Kelly beats up the Macho Man. Join us next week, when Don Majkowski laughs in Goldberg’s face and shoves him down for not being better at real sports.

Best: Sting Is Back, And He’s Causing MYSTERY

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Sting hasn’t been on Nitro for several weeks due to Hollywood Hogan punching him once and knocking him out but he’s back with a vengeance this week, causing the lights to go out and members of the New World Order to be KNOCKED OUT BY DARKNESS.

The first incident happens in the show opener, Konnan vs. Ray Traylor. It’s a rare week off from being beaten up by 10 guys and having his greasy burnt sienna belly spray-painted for Traylor, as he wins the match when Sting (1) makes the lights go out and (2) leaves Konnan lying. Note: The screenshot isn’t Konnan knocked out, that’s just what he looks like when he tries to do three moves in a row.

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Savage vs. Humorous ends the same way, only this time the knocked out nWo type gets a Sting mask affixed to his unconscious body. Sting is sending a clear message about how you can’t see him, and how he’ll never give up. Word life.

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Later in the episode when there’s supposed to be a main event happening — Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Hall, if you were interested — Hollywood Hogan shows up and interferes a bunch with the help of 10 friends in matching clothes so he can cut a main event spot promo about how Sting is actually afraid of his biceps and triceps. A good extensor carpi radialis longus strikes fear into the heart of even the bravest man. Hey Hulkster, you’re sure looking good!

As they’re celebrating, another Sting dummy like the one a couple of weeks ago gets dropped from the ceiling through the mat. Hogan tells the nWo to pull the dummy out of the hole and prop it up against the ropes so he can beat it up, which is the pro wrestling equivalent of those old Saturday morning cartoons where Baby Miss Piggy or whoever is imagining herself at the grocery store, and there’s a whole shelf of tomatoes but one tomato is redder and has a thick black outline around it, so you know it’s the one she’s gonna grab.

Sure enough, Hogan grabs the red-ass tomato.

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It’s a Sting In A Sting Mask alert, call your friends!

Sting lays waste to the entire New World Order while still hooked up to the bungee cord, possibly because Hollywood Hogan’s outside the ring and can’t easily knock him out with a big lazy punch. My absolute favorite part of the fight is Buff Bagwell, who doesn’t know what to do with himself so he tries attacking Stinger with 1960s dance crazy “The Swim.” When that doesn’t work, he stands in place starting and stopping like a bad improv comedian who doesn’t know when to edit a scene. He is Buff. Yes, and he is The Stuff.

Best: Speaking Of Buff, He Gets This Week’s Best Line

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Nailed it.

Buff wins a rematch from last week’s barn temperature-stabilizer against Lex Luger, improving his “bring Vincent to the ring” plan by turning it into, “bring Vincent and SCOTT NORTON to the ring.” That difference is enough to get Lex out of the ring long enough for him to get counted out.

This is part of the very 2017 WWE booking plan to build to a Buff Bagwell vs. Lex Luger match at Starrcade by running Buff Bagwell vs. Lex Luger every week on Nitro with different finishes. If you’re wondering, Buff’s Starrcade plan evolves into, “bring Vincent and Scott Norton and Macho Man Randy Savage to the ring.” You weren’t wondering, sorry for making you read that sentence.

Worst: [Breathes Through Teeth]

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If Buff Bagwell’s corny promo closer is the best promo of the week, the worst is probably after the Chris Benoit vs. (the still unnamed) Lodi match. Raven’s not around this week, so Benoit cuts a promo on him saying he’s heard the promos about Raven having an abused and bullied childhood and that if Raven wants to find out what abuse and being a victim is truly about, he’ll step into the ring with The Crippler.

I swear, I try to disconnect all that horrible shit from these Nitro columns for the sake of, you know, jokes and context, but I swear, one of these weeks Benoit’s gonna cut a promo about how he’s got the dogs in the enclosed pool area on Spring Break Nitro.

Worst: Mean Gene’s Got The Scoops

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Oh word? In your estimation The Giant vs. Kevin Nash is gonna be WCW vs. nWo? Shit, I should call the hotline for more.

Also Happening This Week

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Dean Malenko ends the renewed winning streak of Prince Iaukea while Eddie Guerrero sits on commentary talking about how Malenko doesn’t have a personality. This would be done much, much better once Chris Jericho turns heel and realizes the perfect foil for Malenko isn’t a similar guy with more personality, it’s a buck wild cartoon character who calls him “Stinko” and employs a ninja for personality security.

I will credit Eddie for one of the most accidentally biting insults in the history of Nitro:

“Imagine going to the movies with this guy. ‘Hey, Dean, what movie would you like to see?’ ‘Uh, I dunno.'”

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Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael continues floating in the wind, having lost his Jeff Jarrett feud to a guy leaving the company and losing his Goldberg feud to a guy suddenly too popular to be feuding with Mongo McMichael. Here, he defeats The Barbarian, which probably shouldn’t happen.

It’s mostly an excuse to continue the monstrous rampage of THE MONSTER MENG, who incapacitates Mongo post-match with his dreaded Neck Fat Pinch. Nitro has apparently reached its budgeted limit for wooden chairs, as nobody runs out and smashes one over Meng’s leg or whatever.

I do want to share this GIF with you, however, because it’s a real emotional roller coaster:

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What: We Have A New Television Champion

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Disco Inferno won the Television Championship so Miss Jacqueline could have someone realistic to beat for it. When that title match got canceled, they put Jackie over Disco anyway, regardless of him being a champion. Perry Saturn then beat Disco for the title, and defended it successfully at World War 3. The night after World War 3, Disco was MANGLED by the Macho Man, got almost no offense in, got hit with four elbow drops and was pinned by Miss Elizabeth. The next week, Disco gets squashed by Scott Hall, and Hall and Nash celebrate the win like they won the Super Bowl (like John Elway!) because it was such a foregone conclusion that they’d win.

This week, Disco Inferno wins back the Television Championship.

It’s playing on the whole “The Flock is weak when Raven isn’t around” thing, but you’d think jobbing a title to Disco Inferno clean via a condescending “give the worst guy on our show the other show’s top star’s finisher” Stone Cold Stunner called “The Chartbuster” would be a bridge too far. Honestly surprised they didn’t send out Thurman Thomas to hit a Van Thurminator on Saturn to give Disco the win.

Not much of a Nitro this week, as Raw’s starting to compensate for the lack of Bret Hart and WCW’s still waiting for something to happen.

Next Week:

Disco Inferno defeats YUJI NAGATA in the Valvoline People Who Know The Future Use Valvoline™ of the week, the dickhead homie La Parka returns, and Goldberg’s winning streak ends again with a No Contest. Plus, a THIRD HOUR, for some reason!

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