For today’s WCW RetroView, we’re going back to the prime time years of WCW during the Monday Night War with WCW Clash of Champions 1997. The show begins with a video highlighting the matches set to take place on this card.Tony Schiavone welcomes us into an overabundance of pyro as he talks about the ongoing war between WCW and the nWo. Joining Schiavone are the two other members of our favorite WCW announcing trio, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Dusty Rhodes.
The three announcers quickly talk about the ultimatum laid down by JJ Dillon for Sting to answer what he wants to get back in the ring. Of course, the obvious answer to everyone in the world but JJ Dillon is that Sting wants Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
WCW Clash of Champions 1997
Jeff Jarrett enters first with Mongo’s wife by his side, which is still weird. Mongo enters next, and it’s always great to hear the iconic Four Horsemen theme song. Then, both men take a turn holding up the championship, claiming it as their own. The crowd is fully behind Mongo in this one, who eats an early body slam from the smaller Jarrett.
WCW United States Championship Match
Jeff Jarrett © w/ Queen Debra vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Jarrett’s technical skills to get the early advantage, he even hits Mongo with a chop block, much to the chagrin of the former Chicago Bear. Mongo evens the score with a powerful clothesline before Jarrett makes a quick escape from the ring.
After our first commercial break (this was a live event on TBS), Jarrett throws Mongo into the steel steps twice. Debra quickly gets involved by pulling Mongo’s hair as he tries to recover on the ropes. Next, we get a classic sleeper hold sequence where Mongo avoids the third arm drop before applying a sleeper hold of his own.
Once again, Debra gets involved, distracting the referee then Eddie Guerrero enters the fray and accidentally hits Jarrett with the United States Championship. The crucial mistake leads to a three-count for Mongo as he wins his first WCW Championship.
After the match, Debra tries to reconcile with her husband, but her advance is quickly rebuffed.
Winner – Steve “Mongo” McMichael
We get our first Mean Gene Okerlund interview, and he is joined by Alex Wright. With his thick German accent, Wright tells the fans to shut up before berating them in German, which drives Okerlund up the wall.
Wright says he is going to defeat the Ultimo Dragon; something Mean Gene highly disagrees with. The next batch of commercials are for Tootsie Roll and Motel Six. After the commercials, Mean Gene has joined the hosts of “Dinner & Movie” on set, and they are making big jerk chicken.
WCW Clash of Champions 1997
Raven vs. Stevie Richards
Raven enters through the crowd, and even though Schiavone says he comes in with no music, there is music dubbed in. Way to go, Peacock…
Raven says the match will be on his terms, No Disqualification. This is a good old-fashioned squash match as Raven dominates Richards for a little over five minutes. The announcers do a good job vaguely referencing Raven’s past without mentioning ECW.
A small group of fans take care of that with a faint E-C-W chant. Raven gets the win after a drop toe hold and bulldog onto a steel chair followed by the Even Flow DDT.
Winner – Raven
We get a WCW Power Plant commercial. The number is no longer active. Mike Tenay gives us a lead-in for a video back story of the Ultimo Dragon. Highlighting this is video is him holding eight championships at one time. The video also lets us know that Ultimo Dragon means he’s the last descendant of Bruce Lee.
WCW Clash of Champions 1997
Wright dances his way out first, and surprisingly there are multiple fans with Alex Wright signs in the audience. Dragon comes out in his patented green and gold ensemble. Wright gets the advantage in the first two exchanges as his cockiness shines through.
WCW Television Championship Match
Ultimo Dragon © vs. Alex Wright
When Dragon takes control, he hits Wright with his feet of fury, which all three announcers love. These two, who wrestled each other quite a bit between 1996 and 1997, have great chemistry together, and this match is no different.
Wright has the size and aggressiveness, and Dragon has the speed and aerial moves, and it meshes well together. After a quick nWo advertisement for Syxx’s new t-shirt, we return to the action and Wright trying to wear down Dragon with a headlock.
Each time Wright delivers a big move or hold, he taunts the crowd, something that annoys Heenan on commentary. However, his lack of focus doesn’t cost him this time around as Wright becomes the new Television Champion by defeating Ultimo Dragon with a beautiful German suplex.
The clean victory shocks the announcers, especially Heenan.
Winner – Alex Wright
Before the next match, we get a WCW shopping network commercial with Public Enemy.
WCW Clash of the Champions 1997
The two legends of pro wrestling are in their prime in this one; sadly, they only get seven minutes of ring time. Eddie comes out first full of piss and vinegar, something the announcers comment about with his new attitude. Jericho comes out second full-on babyface mode.
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho © vs. Eddie Guerrero
Even though this is a short match, they go at a fast and furious pace. Only breaks come when Guerrero accuses Chris Jericho of cheating. Their moves are so crisp; you can tell these two had worked together many times before this.
Jericho hits a high-impact German suplex late in the match after the two countered each other multiple times. The two trade roll-up counters before Jericho gets the final say with a roll-up victory.
After the match, Jericho holds the championship up high, and Eddie nails him with a dropkick followed by a brainbuster. Guerrero’s final statement comes in the form of his frog splash, leaving Jericho lying in the ring.
Winner – Chris Jericho
Eight-Man Tag Match
Psychosis, Silver King, Villano IV, Villano V vs Juventud Guerrera, Super Calo,Hector Garza, Lismark Jr.
Mike Tenay joins the announcers for this lucha libre tag match. Sonny Onoo leads Psychosis and his crew out of the locker room for this contest. Super Calo and Villano IV begin the match and trade takedowns. Dusty sums up what this match turns out to be, saying it can turn into a real “ruckus.”
The highlight of the match comes when Psychosis and Juventud square off. You can tell that these two are head and shoulders above the other competitors in the match. However, it doesn’t take long for all eight men to begin flying around the ring.
The finish comes after Onoo assists Psychosis allowing him to hit a guillotine leg drop from the top turnbuckle on Super Calo.
Winners – Psychosis, Silver King, Villano IV, Villano V
Mean Gene is once again on the set of Dinner & Movie, and the two hosts turn heel. After naming all their dishes Macho this and Macho out, they reveal they are wearing nWo shirts. Gene calls both announcers clowns after the big reveal before Macho Man Randy Savage joins them on set.Savage proclaims it’s a big-time nWo birthday party before showing highlights from his appearance on Dinner & Movie. Gene leaves the set after the hosts bring out a nWo cake.
After hurling insults about Diamond Dallas Page, the hosts are chased off by WCW’s People’s Champion. Page leaves one of the hosts lying with a Diamond Cutter, much to the delight to our WCW announcing trio.
Ric Flair & Curt Hennig vs Konnan & Syxx
This is a classic Four Horsemen versus nWo match-up. Little did Flair know, a month later, Hennig would betray him in the most heinous of ways at Fall Brawl. Konnan and Syxx come out first, talking trash as only they can.
Flair and Hennig come out together, and boy, do they look good as a duo. Hennig and Konnan begin the match, and Konnan holds his own when it comes to technical prowess early on. When Flair and Syxx get tagged in, the roof blows off.
Flair hits Syxx with multiple knife-edge chops, and the crowd eats it up. The “Dirtiest Player in the Game” outwits Syxx at every turn before tagging Hennig back in. Eventually, Syxx and Konnan are able to cut Hennig off from Flairb before all four men begin brawling in the ring.
Hennig inadvertently throws Syxx into Flair’s knee and, amidst the chaos, pins Konnan with the fisherman suplex. After the match Mean Gene enters the ring and asks Hennig if he is a Horseman or not. Hennig gives no true answer before exiting the ring, leaving Flair and Mean Gene confused.
Winners – Ric Flair & Curt Hennig
WCW Clash of Champions 1997
Michael Buffer rings in the main event with his “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” call. Buffer added so much to the atmosphere of WCW main events when he did this. Savage and Hall, along with Kevin Nash, Konnan, Scott Norton, Vincent, Buff Bagwell, and Elizabeth, make their way to the ring.
Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall & Macho Man Randy Savage
Black and white balloons fall from the rafters as the nWo is ready to party. Nash announces that Savage will be joining Hall in defending the WCW Tag Team Titles, making this a championship match. Page and Luger come out in solidarity to a raucous ovation.
With the numbers stacked against them, the two WCW flag bearers take their time entering the ring. Surprisingly, Nash is the only nWo member to stay at ringside. Luger and Hall begin the match with Luger winning the early exchange with his power.
Hall quickly sends Luger to the outside, where Nash gets involved for the first time. Referee Nick Patrick is quick to send Nash back to the locker room. When Page gets tagged in, he hits the nWo cohorts with all he has, but it doesn’t last long as a trip by Hall swings the momentum back to the nWo.
Now it’s time for Page to cut off from his partner as Hall and Savage go to work. Savage takes the fight to ringside before Hall delivers more punishment inside the ring. Hall hits the fall-away slam two times before bringing Savage back in. Page plays the hero in peril so well, especially against the nWo.
Each time he attempts to fight back and is cut off, the crowd gets more anxious. A “DDP” chant rings through the arena as the crowd is desperate for a tag. When Page finally makes the tag, the crowd erupts. Luger explodes on the nWo’s finest, hitting Hall and Savage with a double clothesline.
The Total Package gets Hall in the Torture Rack, but Savage makes the save before Hall can submit. Savage then thumbs DDP right in the eyes; the brief loss of sight causes Page to accidentally hit Luger with a Diamond Cutter. Hall slowly crawls over and gets the 1-2-3 and the nWo victory.
Winners – Scott Hall & Macho Man Randy Savage
Now to the moment that makes this quick show memorable. With the balloons and confetti raining down on the ring, the entire nWo makes their way to the ring. The group’s birthday celebration is in full swing when they are interrupted.
As the lights begin flickering and a loud buzzing knows echoes through the arena.,As the camera pans up to the rafters, we see Sting holding a buzzard by his side. Soon after, ominous music begins, and a little boy speaks.
“When a man’s heart is full of deceit, it burns up, dies, and a dark shadow falls over his soul.
From the ashes of a once-great man has risen a curse.
A wrong that must be righted.
We look to the skies for a vindicator.
Someone to strike fear into the black hearts of the same men who created him.
The battle between good and evil has begun.
Against an army of shadows comes a dark warrior.
The purveyor of good with the voice of silence and a mission of justice.
This. Is. Sting.”
The music continues to build momentum as the war for WCW’s soul has intensified. After the lights go out, the nWo is in the ring, Sting is gone, but the buzzard sits on the top rope. The show fades to black as Bischoff timidly approaches the bird while the rest of the nWo looks on in fear.