Vintage Vault Repost: WCW Monday Nitro 8/4/97

On the 17th anniversary of the 100th episode of Nitro, enjoy this trip down memory lane. On this memorable evening, Lex Luger challenged Hollywood Hogan for the WCW Heavyweight Title. Below is a review of the show by Justin Rozzero as well as a PTB Vintage Vault review of the full episode.


Hour One
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Larry Zbyszko

– We open the show inside the arena as it is the 100th episode of Nitro and we are going three hours tonight. The Nitro Girls are dancing and the house is buzzing for this big time event. The techno beat quickly turns into the familiar strains of the NWO theme as Hollywood Hogan is playing the air guitar and strutting to the ring. Eric Bischoff is flanking him, natch, and Larry thinks this will be a bad day for the New World Order. Tenay says that the buzz in the locker room is that the Steiner Brothers have a bombshell for the NWO here tonight. Tony also reminds us that JJ Dillon is in the house to make an offer to Sting and rumor has it that Sting is here as well. Eric has the mic and he says that Lex Luger is as dumb as a brick. Hogan says that when you mess with him, you mess with the whole NWO and you better be ready to pay dues for the rest of your life. He has everyone ready to watch Road Wild and Luger was the lamb he was going to slaughter in Sturgis. But, WCW finagled the paperwork and went behind Eric Bischoff’s back to deliver a World title match tonight. He doesn’t like it but Luger is going to pay for this mistake in front of all the people here tonight. Hogan will drag him through the mud and prove that he is the god that made wrestling. Hogan tells us this is for life and says that after he wipes the mat with Luger, the NWO title will stay in the family as Scott Hall will take the title match at Sturgis in place of Luger now. Hogan hits the poses and we head to the announce table. Tony tells us that Hogan and his attorneys tried to cancel this match but couldn’t get it done. Mike reminds us that Luger racked and beat Hogan in a non title match a few weeks back. Larry is ready for Sting to speak and make his stand. Tony sends us to the ring for our opening bout.

1) Mortis vs. Curt Hennig

Mortis and James Vandenberg head out and they are followed by Curt Hennig. Tony and Larry discuss the rumors surrounding the Steiners and they claim that, if true, it would rock the foundation of the NWO. We get a lock up and clean break as Tony and Mike talk about Road Wild and its unique atmosphere. Hennig grabs a waistlock and shoves Mortis off into the ropes. Hennig grabs a side headlock and puts Mortis down with a shoulderblock. He follows with a dropkick but Mortis lands a kick after a Vandenberg distraction. Hennig reverses a whip and lands a shot to the gut. He sends Mortis out over the top with a running kneelift. Hennig follows him out and drills Vandenberg, but that allows Mortis to sneak a shot in. He tosses Hennig back in and runs him into the buckle. Mortis works Hennig over in the corner and then slams him to the mat. Mortis misses an elbow drop and Hennig comes back with a chop and snap mare. He comes over with the neck snap and then pulls Mortis up. Mortis catches Hennig on a charge and lands an inverted atomic drop. He follows with a spin heel kick for two as the announcers talk about Sting. Hennig takes Mortis down and crushes him with a shinbreaker. He pulls Mortis up and takes him over with the Hennigplex for the win. Hennig d. Mortis with the Hennigplex at 3:44; Grade: *

– We get some replays and then head to break.

– When we return we get a video retrospective of the last year of Sting’s life set to Man Called Sting. After that we head back to the ring for our next match.

2) Jeff Jarrett & Dean Malenko vs. Hector Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero, Jr.

Jarrett, Malenko and Debra head to the ring as Tony tells us that JJ and Dean will battle Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael at Road Wild. The Guerreros are already in the ring and JJ struts as we are set for some tag action. Dean and Chavo start things off and Chavo lands a kick, but Dean comes back with a knee. He tosses Chavo over as Tony discusses the bad blood between Dean and the Guerreros. Dean grabs a wristlock and goes to work. Dean goes for a tilt-a-whirl but Chavo hits a headscissors takeover and a dropkick. Both men tag out and we reset. JJ is drawing some crazy heat here. JJ grabs a side headlock, but Hector works free. He misses an elbow drop and JJ starts slugging away. Hector takes him over with a hiptoss and a dropkick. He drills JJ into the corner with an uppercut. Hector turns his back to jaw with Dean, allowing JJ to club him from behind. JJ takes him over with a snap suplex and stomps away at him. JJ tags in Dean and he slams Hector down. He gets a near fall and then tags JJ back in. JJ jumps on Hector’s back as he is draped over the middle rope. He runs Hector into the corner and then he goes to the eyes. JJ slams Hector and tags in Dean. Dean nails a beautiful dropkick for two. He mares Hector over and tags in JJ. Hector sneaks in a sunset flip for two and follows with a backslide for another near fall. JJ grabs Hector and drops him with a shinbreaker. He sets up for the figure four but Chavo comes in and breaks it up with a dropkick. JJ tags in Dean. Dean goes for a slam, but Hector rolls through for two. Hector lands a back elbow as Larry chastises him for not tagging out. Dean catches Hector on his shoulders off a charge and takes him down with an electric chair. He turns him into the cloverleaf and JJ takes out Chavo as Hector taps out. Jarrett & Malenko d. The Guerreros when Malenko makes Hector tap out with the Texas Cloverleaf at 4:52; Grade: *1/2

– Jarrett struts and celebrates and Dean just stares at him as we go to break.

– When we return, Gene is at ringside and is going to try to speak with Raven. Stevie Richards sneaks up behind Gene with a piece of paper. Stevie says that last week, he came out with a WCW contract for Raven but they ran into a snag. He was at the CNN Center for the last fourteen days working on the contract with JJ Dillon and Ted Turner. He has renegotiated and he has made sure that Raven has followed the trail that Stevie has blazed into WCW. Two weeks ago, Raven made him look bad but he is the King of Swing. He hands Raven the contract and a pen and he leafs through it. Raven gets up and spits in Stevie’s face and then shoves him down. He tosses the contract to the floor as the crowd chants for him. Stevie blocks a right hand and tells Raven that he won’t abuse him anymore. Raven turns and leaves and we head back to the ring.

3) Giant vs. Lenny Lane, Scott D’Amore & Joey Maggs

Giant heads out as Tony reminds us that the big man will take on Randy Savage in Sturgis on Saturday night. All three men charge Giant off the bell but he swats them all off. He headbutts Maggs and then shoves D’Amore to the mat. He slams Maggs and puts Scott down with a knee. He drills Lane with a right hand and then shoves him into the corner. He whips D’Amore and Maggs into him and then runs and splashes all of them. He drops Maggs with a chokeslam and then drops D’Amore and Lane with one a piece as well. He covers all three men and picks up the easy win. Giant d. Lane, D’Amore & Maggs with the chokeslam at 1:33; Grade: 1/2*

– As Giant has his hand raised, Savage and Liz appear in the entrance way. He says the Giant is out of control and that is cool for him. At Sturgis, the Madness will be in control and he tells Giant to stay put because he doesn’t want any of Savage. Giant comes after him but Savage takes off as we go to break.

– Join us this weekend for WCW Saturday Night as this week’s episode serves as the two hour Road Wild pre-game show. Curt Hennig, Dallas Page, Alex Wright and Ric Flair will all be checking in as the countdown is on. We then check out a Lex Luger music video, highlighting his recent racking of Hogan, amongst others.

4) High Voltage vs. Public Enemy

We head back to the ring for our next match as High Voltage head out. Tony, Larry and Mike talk about Hogan and Luger’s match tonight and rematch on Saturday, focusing on the championship advantage. Larry reminds us that Hogan has submitted to the rack twice already, so it could happen tonight. Public Enemy head out next as Mike tells us that these teams have some history with each other. High Voltage defeated PE twice on Nitro earlier in the year, but PE got their revenge in a Philly street fight back in April. Larry wants to see if High Voltage learned anything from those previous bouts and believes they are a good manager away from being a top team. We get some more talk about the Steiners’ major announcement as the bell sounds. Kaos and Grunge start things off and Grunge strikes first with a swinging neckbreaker. He follows with a clothesline as Mike and Tony thank Larry for standing up to the NWO last week. Grunge tags in Rock, but Kaos drills him with a right hand after ducking a clothesline. Kaos lands a boot and an uppercut and then Rage comes off the top with a bulldog. Larry doesn’t care for their time wasting between moves. Kaos tags Rage in and he hammers and stomps away at Rock. He quickly tags Kaos back in as Tony warns us that Road Wild is an adult themed PPV that has some “eye popping” scenery. After some more clubbering, Kaos tags in Rage, who slams Rock to the mat. He heads up top but eats a Rock boot as he comes off. He misses an elbowdrop as well, allowing Rock to tag in Grunge. He fights off both Rage and Kaos and the Rock comes back in to help with a double bulldog on Rage. PE calls for a table and the crowd is feeling that one. Grunge sets Rage on a table, but Kaos comes over and fights him off and then yanks Rage off the table just in time as Rock comes flying through it with a somersault senton. Kaos and Grunge end up back inside and Kaos plants him with a backbreaker. Rage comes over the top rope with a guillotine legdrop, but waste some more time, upsetting Larry. Kaos holds Grunge but he ducks and Rage clotheslines his partner to the floor by accident. Grunge rolls up Rage and picks up the win. Well, that was a big sloppy mess. Public Enemy d. High Voltage when Grunge pins Rage with a roll up at 5:10; Grade: 1/2*

– Rage beats down Grunge after the bell as Kaos brings a shard of the table into the ring. Kaos holds it up and Rage runs Grunge into it and then they slam it down on Grunge’s back. High Voltage stands tall as we go to break.

– We are back and the Nitro Girls are getting down on the ramp. In a funny spot, Alex Wright comes out and dances as well. Gene heads over to get a word with the Cruiserweight champ. He wants to know what Alex thinks about Saturday’s match with Chris Jericho. Alex starts speaking German, but Gene cuts that off right away, telling him to cut out the “wienerschnitzel” and speak English! This is Detroit, dammit! Alex says he speaks to the people that matter to him first and then he speaks to those he doesn’t care about. He tells Jericho to watch tonight to see how he will be embarrassed again this Saturday. That is enough about Chris Jericho, that “kitty cat”. He is the greatest wrestler and is the Cruiserweight champion. He is Alex Wright and is from Germany. He speaks German again, I think, and then calls everyone stupid. And that wraps up that enlightening multicultural interview as we head to the ring.

5) Alex Wright vs. Scotty Riggs for the Cruiserweight title

Wright continues on to the ring and then we are joined by Scotty Riggs as he gets a crack at the gold tonight. Wright jumps Riggs as he comes in. He lands some uppercuts and a leg lariat as Tony talks about Alex’s newfound aggressiveness. Wright tosses Riggs to the floor and Larry says he is aggressive and confident. Wright heads out and slugs away at Riggs but Scotty fires back at him before Wright lands an uppercut. Wright suplexes Riggs on the floor, but Scotty comes back and sends Wright into the guardrail. He tosses Wright back inside and comes off the top with a double axehandle. Riggs lands a back elbow and slams Wright to the mat. He heads up again, but Wright knocks him off the top and he falls to the mat. Wright slams him, heads up top and comes off with a big kneedrop. Wright dances for us and gets some nice heat. Riggs ducks two clotheslines and both men attempt cross body blocks at the same time and they crash and burn, but Riggs actually lands on top for a near fall. Riggs comes back with an atomic drop and Enziguri. He sends Wright over with a back drop and nails a dropkick for two. Riggs seats Wright on the top rope and follows him up. Wright blocks a superplex and shoves Riggs to the mat with a headbutt. Wright comes off with a nice beautiful missile dropkick for the win. I am actually digging Wright lately. He is drawing good heat and his aggressive offense is really good. Wright d. Riggs with a missile dropkick at 3:46; Grade: *

Hour Two
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Bobby Heenan

– We are back for Hour Two, which is the “hour that chased the competition away”. Tony mocks Bobby’s tie but Bobby tells Tony that least he owns his. We head down to Gene, who is down in the aisle and introducing Lex Luger. Lex comes out to a warm reception and Gene says everyone is tuning in because Lex has a shot at Hollywood Hogan and his title. Luger was focused on Sturgis but opportunity knocks when you lease expect it and this is the night. It will be the defining moment of his life and career and a defining moment for WCW and NWO. He heard Hogan spewing his garbage earlier, but in a short while, they will get in the ring. He gives Hogan his due, saying he made wrestling what it is today, but he will make history tonight as he guarantees that he will rack Hogan and become the WCW Champion tonight. That was a great promo that really built up the main event as epic. Lex heads off as we go to break.

– When we return, the Nitro Girls are dancing again before we head to the ring for more action.

6) Vincent vs. Booker T.

The fantastic NWO B-Team music cues up and Vincent heads to the ring alone, which is an odd sight. Harlem Heat is out next as Tony tells us they will face Bagwell & Norton on Saturday night at Road Wild. Vincent attacks off the bell and we are underway. Booker comes back with a knee to the gut and an axe kick. He follows with a forearm and Vincent bails to the floor. Stevie knocks him down with a clothesline and sends him back inside. Booker drills him with the Harlem sidekick for the easy win. Booker d. Vincent with the Harlem sidekick at :48; Grade: DUD

– Stevie and Booker work Vincent over a bit more as we head down to Gene in the aisle. He brings out DDP for our next interview. Gene tells us that Page will take on Ric Flair here tonight. Page says that people have thought he was conceited for most of his life. However, they eventually realize that he isn’t conceited, just convinced. He knew where he wanted to go and what he needed to do to get there. He has gotten here by busting his chops every night and giving 120% in the ring. The crowd chants for him as Page talks about Flair. He respects Flair as a wrestler, but the bottom line is they have never had a personal issue because they think alike. They both hate Hogan and Savage, but recently he has been courting Curt Hennig, who Page also hates. As far as he is concerned, Hennig is a Horseman but Hennig is wrong if he thinks feeding Flair to Page will stop him from getting to Sturgis. Flair has Page’s respect but Page has Flair’s number…bang! Page takes off and we go to break.

7) Barbarian vs. Wrath

Barbarian is out first as Tenay runs down some upcoming WCW live events. Wrath and Vandenberg march out for our next bout. Barbarian chops Wrath off the bell and clubs him in the corner. He misses a charge and Wrath puts him down with a clothesline. He drops and elbow and gets a near fall. Wrath lands some chops and kicks in the corner and follows with a big clothesline. He follows with a back drop and heads up top. He comes off with a big flying clothesline as Tony waxes nostalgic about Sting. Barbarian fights Wrath off and hits a suplex. Both men role out to the floor and Barbarian sends him into the steps. Barbarian runs Wrath into the ring post and then slides back in. Wrath heads back in as well and Barbarian keeps the assault on in the corner. Wrath ducks a big boot but Barbarian takes him over with a powerslam. Barbarian heads op top and leaps off but Wrath catches him and plants him with the Death Penalty for the win. That was a fun little power brawl that could have used a few more minutes as it was getting cooking at the end. Wrath d. Barbarian with the Death Penalty at 2:55; Grade: *

– Wrath stands over Barbarian as Meng powerwalks to the ring. Vandenberg backs Wrath away and they take off as Meng protects his partner. We take a look at the replay and then head to Gene in the ring. Gene brings out the hometown boys, the Steiners, to a huge pop. It is time for their major announcement it seems. The Steiners stop and look to the entrance and out walks Ted DiBiase. They all head to the ring together as Gene wants some answers. Ted has been gone for two and a half months and Gene asks what he is doing here. Ted says he has been inside the NWO looking out and now he is on the outside looking in. Sometimes, you have to back up and take a deep breath and take a look at what is really important. His father died in the ring and he vowed that he would make a name for himself in wrestling and become a star. A while back he got caught up and lost track of what was important. He used to live by the cliché “every man has his price” but that means that every man pays the price for his choices. He has made bad choices, but that ends now. He has seen the error of his ways and knows he has to prove himself to the Steiners and everybody else. They will start in Sturgis on Saturday as he helps take apart what he helped to build. They will take the heart out of the NWO by taking back the WCW tag team titles. The Steiners know about pride and tradition and they will take the titles on Saturday. We are joined by Hall and Nash now. Hall has had enough of DiBiase’s sob story. Just like everyone here in Michigan, they know that the Steiners are really good, but Hall and Nash are better and the gold belts prove it. Nash says that NWO 4 Life meant it, but DiBiase clearly didn’t understand. If he joins the Steiners, he is a dead man. DiBiase says he knows more about the Outsiders than everybody else and the Steiners will know that information on Saturday. Nash says the Steiners only got Ted so they would have someone to read the menus on the road. Hall chuckles as the Outsiders take off and Ted vows we will have new tag champs as we go to break.

– We are back from commercial and the Nitro girls are earning their salaries tonight. As they dance off we head to Lee Marshall with the 1-800-COLLECT road report. Lee is at a Nitro party in Denver, where Nitro emanates from next week. Denver is home to the Rockies, Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche and the mint. One of the biggest attractions in is a museum dedicated to Buffalo Bill. There used to be one dedicated to Wimpy Weasel but nobody ever went there. And that is your report for this week. Bobby tells Lee to climb Pike’s Peak and jump off.

8) Psychosis vs. Konnan

We head back to the ring as Psychosis and Sonny Onoo head out. Tony talks about Sting some more as the B-Team music fires up again and Konnan heads out. Tony also discusses how DiBiase was the first unforced defection from the NWO and Mike wonders if it is the beginning of the end. Konnan nails his somersault clothesline off the bell. He hammers away and mares Psychosis over before drilling him with a low dropkick. Mike talks about Konnan’s ties to the other Luchadors. Psychosis fights Konnan off and nails him with a spinning heel kick from the top rope. Konnan will take on Rey this Saturday and Tony wonders how healthy Rey is. Psychosis nails a slingshot splash for two. He charges Konnan, but Konnan catches him and plants him with the cradle DDT. Konnan clamps on the tequila sunrise and picks up the easy win. Konnan d. Psychosis with the tequila sunrise at 1:47; Grade: DUD

– Rey hobbles down to the ring on his crutches and gets in Konnan’s face. Konnan kicks the crutches away and then steps on it. As he goes to pick it up, Rey takes his other crutch and bases Konnan over the back with it. Rey shows that his knee is all better by hopping around and then helping Psychosis to his feet. Mike claims that the NWO is crumbling as we go to break.

9) Glacier & Ernest Miller vs. Silver King & Damien

Glacier and Miller head to the ring as we get more Sting chatter. Tony talks about how much stronger WCW is now than it was a year ago, saying the timing for a Sting return seems perfect. Glacier and King start things off with a lockup. Glacier grabs a wristlock, but King flips out of it and clubs away. King nails a spinning heel kick but Glacier comes back with some kicks of his own for a near fall. Glacier puts King down with a shoulderblock. Damien hooks Glacier’s leg, tripping him, but King misses a splash. Glacier shoves Damien to the floor and works King over in the corner. He plants King with a powerslam for two. Glacier tags in Miller, but he gets nailed from behind by Damien. They double team Miller with an assisted dropkick. Miller avoids a Damien boot and kicks both men down. He hip tosses Damien and grabs an armbar. Miller tags in Glacier, who sends Damien over with a back drop for two. King breaks up the pin but Glacier takes out both men with a clothesline. He tags in Miller, who takes out both men with some more kicks. Miller slams King as he continues to fight off both men. Miller heads up top as Glacier distracts Damien. He comes off with a kick to the face and picks up the win. Miller & Glacier d. King & Damien when Miller pins Damien with a kick off the top rope at 3:23; Grade: 1/2*

– Glacier and Miller stand tall as we check out the Valvoline replay. The NWO music fires up and we are joined by Eric Bischoff. He has some business to take care of but first he lets us know that he loves us all. There are three people that he has no love for. He knows we saw the totally battery and disregard for law and order demonstrated by the Giant and Larry Zbyszko last week. So, he is going to address it right now by bringing out JJ “I Need to Find a New Diet” Dillon. Dillon obliges and briskly walks to the ring. Eric wants to make some things clear. The reality is that the big idiot Giant came out and chokeslammed Eric. And according to his attorneys, if Giant lays another finger on Eric, he will sue him for everything he, his children and his grandchildren will ever own. As far as Larry goes, he wants JJ to tell him that he won’t sue him but if he ever lays a finger on Eric he will take his left foot and kick him right between his eyes. JJ doesn’t think he has to deliver that message because he is sure Larry heard him loud and clear. JJ takes off as Eric reiterates his threat. Tony and Bobby tells us that both Eric and Larry are trained martial artists. As JJ smugly walks off we head to break.

Hour Three
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Bobby Heenan

– We are back and Tony welcomes us to the unprecedented hour three! The Nitro Girls are dancing around the announce table much to the delight of Tony, Mike and Bobby. We then head to the ring for our next bout.

10) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Ric Flair

As DDP and Kimberly head out, Bobby reminds us that Page has no beef with Flair other than him trying to recruit Curt Hennig to the Horsemen. Page will take on Hennig this Saturday at Road Wild. Flair walks the aisle next and he is riding solo tonight. The bell sounds and the crowd is jacked for this one. Page puts Flair down with a shoulderblock and a stiff right hand. Both men back off as Tony wonders if Sting will show up tonight. Flair pushes Page into the corner and chops away but Page slugs his way out and puts Flair down. Page sends Flair over with a back body drop but Flair rolls to the corner and slows things down. Flair shoots Page in but puts his head down and Page kills him with a sit-out powerbomb! We cut to the aisle as Curt Hennig comes charging down the aisle, but we must go to break! When we return, Flair is working over Page in the corner as Hennig looks on from ringside, applauding. Flair lands some chops and right hands in the corner but Page fires his way out again. Page eats a back elbow on a charge and then heads up top. Page catches him and slams him off the top. Flair and Page trade right hands before Page is able to hit a sloppy swinging neckbreaker. Page turns his attention to Hennig and Flair chop blocks him from behind. Flair drops Page with a chop and then drops a knee on his head. He struts a bit as Tony reminds us that Natch will take on Syxx on Saturday. Flair catches Page’s boot on a kick attempt, but Page spins out of it and puts Ric down with a clothesline. Flair pops up and chops Page down. He locks in the figure four but Page immediately grabs the ropes to force the break. Flair struts again before drilling Page with some short jabs to the face. Flair steps to the apron to attempt to suplex Page to the floor. Page blocks it and suplexes Flair into the ring and then locks a figure four of his own. Flair pokes Mark Curtis in the eye, which allows Hennig to come in, but Page cradles him as he charges over. Hennig breaks loose and rolls to the floor as Curtis recovers. Flair gets the ropes and Page breaks the hold. Page hammers on Flair in the corner and then shoots him across to the opposite corner. Flair flips over and runs across the apron and up to the top but Page nails him with a clothesline as he comes off. Page drops Flair with a pancake and calls for the Cutter. Hennig hops in the ring to draw the DQ but Page meets him with a stiff right hand. Page d. Flair by disqualification when Hennig interferes at 7:24; Grade **

– Page had ripped the brass knucks off Hennig’s hand and he tosses them to Curtis. Flair and Hennig pounce and Page briefly fights them off before they overtake him. Page comes back with a double clothesline and Flair and Hennig bail towards the back. Page celebrates as we go to break.

11) Los Villanos vs. Lizmark, Jr. & Hector Garza

When we return, our next match is already underway. Garza and Villano IV lock up and IV puts Hector down with a big clothesline. He chops away in the corner but Garza comes back with a clothesline of his own. He takes IV down with a headscissors and follows with a faceplant. He tags in Lizmark who hits a beautiful dropkick. IV tags in V and he ducks a second dropkick attempt and takes over. Lizmark leapfrogs on a charge and sends V over with a monkey flip and some armdrags. He drills V with a stiff backbreaker but IV breaks up the pin. That allows V to tag out but he is able to hot shot Lizmark before leaving the ring. Garza breaks up a pin and that allows Lizmark to crawl over and tag him in. Garza tries a flying leap into the corner but IV avoids it and tags in V. They hit a double stomachbreaker and double team Garza in their corner. Garza ends up on the floor and one of the Villanos hits a baseball slide dropkick, sending Hector into the guardrail. They toss Hector back in but he avoids a charge and clotheslines both Villanos down. Lizmark comes in and leaps around the ring, avoiding V. Garza comes off the top with an armdrag and follows with a dropkick. V bails to the floor and Lizmark comes flying on top of him with a cross body. Back inside, Garza back drops a charging IV to the floor. He heads up top and hits the corkscrew plancha onto all three men on the floor. Back inside, Lizmark hits a pair of dropkicks and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Mark Curtis is distracted with Garza so he doesn’t see Lizmark’s pin attempt. Lizmark goes to get him, but the Villanos pull the old switch-a-roo behind his back. When Lizmark comes back over IV takes him over with an inside cradle for the win. Villanos d. Lizmark & Garza when IV pins Lizmark with a small package at 5:01; Grade: *1/2

– Everyone clears the ring as Gene Okerlund and JJ Dillon hop inside. Gene asks JJ about the Sting rumors that are circulating all around the world. JJ tells us it has been almost a year since anyone in WCW has talked to Sting. A lot of people in management questioned Sting’s loyalties and trust is a powerful commodity. He understands better than anybody how Sting must have felt. Maybe Sting dealt with the situation better than management, because his actions prove he is behind his friends and peers in WCW. However, the lines of communication are still down but WCW desperately needs Sting in the ring. He has tried every means possible to communicate with him. He has been here all day and has not seen Sting at all. He heard from reliable sources that Sting would be here and he wishes Sting would come look at him eye to eye in the ring and talk things over. He has an opponent for Sting and has brought a valid contract that has been signed by a free agent looking for a match. He wants Sting to come down and sign it. The crowd starts to erupt and JJ and Gene look up as Sting rappels down from the rafters. Sting hops in the ring and JJ has a big grin on his face as Gene congratulates him. JJ says they are past the point of apologies and he can’t undo what happened before he was put in place. JJ pledges to rebuild the trust between Sting and WCW. He offers Sting the contract to take on Curt Hennig. This is Sting’s chance to get back in the ring. Sting grabs the contract and tears it up. He goes to leave, but JJ grabs his arm. Sting shrugs him off and leaves the ring. He takes off and heads to the back, ignoring Gene’s pleas. JJ says he will not give up on this because they need Sting. He will make every attempt he can to rectify things. Tony points out that Sting never even read the contract. He wonders where we go from here as we head to break.

– When we return, the Nitro Girls are dancing the aisles as we are gearing up for our huge main event to cap off the 100th episode of Nitro. Tony sends us to the ring as it is time.

12) Lex Luger vs. Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

Lex heads out to the ring to a warm reception from his hometown fans. We take a quick break and when we come back, the World Champion is heading down the aisle all by himself. Bobby calls him the most hated man on Earth. Hogan gets in the ring and goes face to face with Lex and Tenay puts over Hogan’s record in big time matches. Tony says that we know all of the NWO members are in the house and they will do anything to keep that belt on Hogan. He then breaks down Luger’s strategy as the bell sounds and we are underway. I will say this, WCW knew how to create a big match feel. They circle around as the crowd starts to buzz. They lock up and Hogan turns it into a hammerlock. Lex reverses it but Hogan gets to the ropes to force the break. They lock up again and Lex sends him flying to the mat and into the corner. They lock up again as Bobby talks about Hogan’s confidence and ego. Hogan shoves Luger off and they square off again. Hogan lands a right to the gut and starts to club away on Lex. He stomps Lex down into the corner and then chokes him with his boot. Hogan works over Lex’s throat with some elbows and then hits a big clothesline. He drops a pair of elbows and then rakes Lex’s eyes with his boot. Hogan pulls him up and kicks him in the gut. He shoots Lex into the corner and follows with a running clothesline. Hogan slams Lex and then drops down and chokes away at him. Hogan runs Lex into the buckle but Lex blocks a third attempt and runs Hogan into the buckle a series of times. Luger fires away with a flurry of kicks but Randy Anderson steps in between them which allows Hogan to stick a thumb in Luger’s eye. Hogan poses for the fans as we take a quick break. When we return, Hogan has Lex trapped in a bear hug. He releases the hold and shoves Lex down. Hogan suplexes Luger and covers but only gets two. Hogan pulls Lex up and drops him with a back suplex for a near fall. Hogan slugs away Lex while talking some smack. Hogan lays in some chops and boots and then chokes Lex in the corner. He spits on Lex before putting him down with the big boot for two. Bobby thinks Hogan is getting frustrated as he can’t put Lex away. Hogan slams Lex and drops the leg…but only gets two. Hogan tries a second one, but Lex rolls out of the way. He fights to his feet and knocks Hogan down with a running forearm. Scott Hall hits the ring but Lex meets him with a clothesline. Nash climbs in as well but Lex whips Hall into him and they both tumble to the floor. Randy Savage heads up top, but Lex meets him with a fist as he comes off. Luger nails Hogan with another forearm and then tosses Savage to the floor. Hogan staggers up and Lex racks him. The crowd is revving up as Hogan submits. Randy Anderson screams for the bell with a look of elation pasted on his face and the crowd explodes. The match was nothing much but the hype, atmosphere and finish carried it a long way. Luger d. Hogan with the torture rack at 9:00; Grade: **

– Luger drops Hogan and Anderson gives him the belt. Lex is all over the place as Tony is going crazy. The WCW locker room empties and joins Lex in the ring. Lex holds the belt up high as all his comrades surround him. Bobby says this puts a big dent into the NWO. Lex heads to the back as the announcers recap the night for us. Mike says this is the most memorable moment in Nitro history. Tony sends us backstage to the celebration where the champagne is flowing and the party is raging. Giant scrubs the spray paint off the belt as we cut over to Hogan flipping out in another room. He says he will get the belt back in Sturgis and that this wasn’t supposed to happen. Savage calls it a fluke. Hogan flips over a table and we abruptly cut back to the announcers. They congratulate Lex once again and a slow motion replay of the finish closes out the 100th episode of Nitro.