4/10/12

Parts Unknown #102: Nitro


See, I told you that Parts Unknown would return. Incidentally, WWE has slightly improved since I stopped reviewing Raw and Smackdown, but Vince will have to promulgate a trifle of consistency before I go crawling back to that abusive relationship. Until then, the Internet is profuse with archived episodes of any wrestling show that my disheveled heart desires. Do you hear that? It's Nitro calling my name through the cream. This episode aired on January 27, 1997. WCW's stranglehold on the "Monday night wars" was in full swing, but that doesn't guarantee quality programming, now does it?

PROS

~ The opening segment finds Bischoff (flanked by The Outsiders) firing a referee for doing his job and designating The Steiner Brothers as the new tag champs. Apparently, the PPV match in question involved a ref bump, so this poor sap ran down to the ring to officiate the pinfall. Say what you will about Bischoff (and I have), but he's a great heel. I love the fulsome, heartless way he terminates a guy with four children. Awesome. The NWO was badass when the booking was actually coherent.

~ The Giant dropkicking Roadblock over the ropes and onto a table. Goddamn! Bear in mind, Roadblock was only two inches shorter and fifty pounds lighter than The Giant. I dug his selling.

~ The US Championship bout between Jeff Jarrett and Eddie Guerrero was solid, but I'm deducting points for interference. And it's not just any interference; it's Mongo interference. Egads.

~ Ultimo Dragon in action. That's an automatic pro.

~ It's a shame that they were forced to make Mongo look good, but if it's any consolation, The Amazing French Canadians (a.k.a. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers a.k.a. The Quebecers) were allowed to demolish Arn Anderson. Fun match. Fuckin' Mongo. Why did the fans love him so much?

~ So...many...tag...teams.

~ Hugh Morrus grapples with Chris Benoit. Decent, if not creepy. Decent because of the competent wrestling. Creepy because Woman is the valet, and I think that her subhuman stare might have blackened my soul. It would be funny if Chris randomly grabbed the mic and said, "Mean Gene, I'm gonna kill my family in ten years."

CONS

~ Faces of Fear and The Steiner Brothers rule, but man, their match was an abridged edition of Botchamania. Terrible.

~ In WCW, the jobbers were granted televised entrances, but at the end of the day, a squash is a squash. This particular Nitro featured an excess of squashes, the most pointless being The Taskmaster's one-minute shellacking of Joe Gomez.

~ Speaking of The Taskmaster, what the fuckety-fuck? We get an interview segment where a debuting Jacqueline professes her love for Sullivan. Seriously, this promo is beyond laughable. Afterwards, the commentators (heel and face) agree that women complicate things, and that there are too many of them in WCW. Wow.

~ The so-called "main event" between The Giant and Hollywood Hogan. It didn't take long to break down into a convoluted mess. For whatever reason, Roddy Piper receives a title shot at Superbrawl despite the fact that Hogan has been feuding with The Giant.

Time for a nap.

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