The Rock At Academy Awards Tonight, Nitro Axed, nWo

Ryan Clark

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will be at the 80th Academy Awards tonight in Hollywood, CA., as the self-proclaimed most electrifying man in sports entertainment will be on hand to present an Oscar. Johnson considered the invitation to be part of the show as the biggest honor of his acting career. His latest movie, ‘The Game Plan’, has made a total of $90,636,983 in domestic box office receipts, his second best following ‘The Scorpion King’. (thanks to Colin Vassallo)

The June 9, 1997 edition of WCW Monday Nitro was scheduled to air on WWE 24/7 this week, but when introducing the Monday Night Raw from the same date, host Michael Cole explains that there were “recording errors during the Nitro broadcast so we can’t bring it to you here.” Cole then says there were two huge main events on the show; Hollywood Hogan vs. Lex Luger and Ric Flair & Roddy Piper vs. Hall & Nash. Two brief clips of the encounters are spliced in while Cole mentions the main events.

The Flair & Piper vs. Hall & Nash match was heavily hyped throughout the show. The match ends in a DQ and a huge brawl involving a number of WCW wrestlers erupts afterwards. Chris Benoit is one of the wrestlers involved in the brawl. WWE 24/7 has cut out all footage involving Benoit since the double murder and suicide incident last June, so it would appear that this latest edit is simply following the trend. Benoit was generally involved in mid-card programs and noly mentioned during other portions of Nitro at the time, so it’s easy for WWE to cut him out without messing up the shows too much. With him being involved in a heavily hyped main event, it would be very noticeable if WWE skipped this particular match.

However, it is now coming out that the “recording errors” explanation is actually legit, and not a cover-up for Chris Benoit. According to the Wrestling Observer, the master tape WCW gave WWE when the video library was purchased has some major audio issues during the second hour which would make the episode unfit for broadcast. WWE actually tried to get a DVD of the show from someone on the Internet, but believed that the audio quality wouldn’t be of broadcast standard. WWE then made the decision to skip that week’s episode of Nitro altogether.

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