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Old 06-26-2011, 04:29 AM
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Monday Nitro #40
Date: June 17, 1996
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Attendance: 5,638
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

Surprisingly enough we’re only three weeks from Bash at the Beach. I didn’t realize they had three week builds in 96. This is the night after the Great American Bash where the Horsemen reformed and Giant kept the title. More importantly though, Bischoff was powerbombed off the stage by Nash, marking the first real attack by the Outsiders. A lot more would follow. Let’s get to it.

Larry Z is suddenly face for the war effort.

Tonight we find out the three names that are going to take on the Outsiders at Bash at the Beach.

For some reason we recap the entire PPV which takes a few minutes. We see a clip of Bischoff being powerbombed which really was a shock at the time.

Rick Steiner vs. Stevie Ray

Big brawl to start and all Ray so far. Big old clothesline puts Steiner down and a slam gets two. Shoulder block puts Rick down but he walks into a belly to belly and here comes Rick. Top rope bulldog hits for only two which is kind of surprising. Ray hits a powerslam but a top rope splash misses, allowing a Steiner Line to end this. Quick and not horrible.

Booker comes out for the post match beatdown until Scott finally comes down for the save, only to get drilled as well.

Joe Gomez vs. Disco Inferno

Gomez was around for a bit and never meant anything at all for the most part. He’s The Desperado, so you know he isn’t much. Apparently Hogan has thrown his name in the hat for the three names that will be picked to face the Outsiders (not yet named). About thirty seconds in and it’s all Gomez doing basic stuff.

Disco is sent to the floor where he yells a lot so Gomez throws him back in. Disco hits some jobber offense but Gomez totally misses a dropkick to take over. Gomez misses a cross body to let Disco take over a bit. A comeback by Joe results in a neckbreaker. Disco stops to dance and Larry freaks out and it results in a small package to pin Disco.

Rating: D+. For a debut match, this wasn’t much at all for Gomez. Disco got in a good deal of offense here and it looked like Gomez stole a win. The problem there is that Gomez was supposed to look like the new star and that didn’t happen here for the most part. Pretty weak match but not long enough to be a huge problem.

Flair and the three women talk about how awesome they are. Debra says she did it for the money. Well at least she’s honest. Savage is back and gets Flair tonight.

Arn Anderson/Chris Benoit vs. American Males

This is the first match for the Horsemen after Benoit has officially been inducted onto the team. Anderson and Riggs start us off. Anderson jumps Bagwell to start and is about as popular as free beer. The Males actually take him down and Anderson regroups. Anderson speeds it up and the crowd pops for a freaking boot to the ribs. The Males work on Arn’s arm as we’re waiting for the Benoit domination.

Here he is with a big mark under his right eye from last night. Bagwell hits an enziguri as I’m not sure what the point is of having the Horsemen get beaten up this much. Hiptoss puts Benoit down but he avoids a splash to bring Arn back in. They mess their timing up on something as Benoit kind of stands around in the ring as Riggs is distracted. Weird moment there.

Back to Benoit who is all fired up now, remembering that he’s Chris Benoit and he’s fighting Marcus Bagwell. Benoit takes over with pure brutality and hits the Swan Dive. The Males take over AGAIN but Arn breaks it up to another huge reaction. The Horsemen have more or less turned face midway through this match. Arn pops Riggs and Benoit picks him up for a suplex but drops him onto the top rope for the quick pin.

Rating: C. This looks like just a TV tag match on paper but it’s one of the most interesting matches from a crowd reaction standpoint I’ve ever seen. The Horsemen are officially heel here but they’re so over in the Carolina/Virginia area that the fans cheer them to high heaven no matter what they do. Anderson and Benoit picked up on this and wrestled as faces (against the script but probably the right thing to do): playing to the crowd, not cheating, using a more fast paced style etc. The Males had no idea what to do so they wrestled as faces as well to nearly no reaction. Really interesting stuff here if you break it down and look at it.

The Horsemen say they’re awesome and that last night was shocking, which they said it would be. Benoit says that when Sullivan tried to nullify the Horsemen he made them stronger.

Big Bubba vs. John Tenta

We continue the feud that will not die. Tenta cut some of Bubba’s beard last night to make up for the haircut so this is the third match. They start on the floor with Tenta still having half a head of hair. He throws something resembling a dropkick (not bad all things considered). Bubba puts Tenta’s balls into the post to take over. Off to a chinlock for a little while. Tenta makes his comeback with a powerslam but Hart pops him with the Megaphone. That doesn’t work at all so Tenta hits him with another powerslam and puts him feet on the ropes for some reason for the pin.

Rating: D+. Pretty boring battle of Hogan’s friends here. Not sure what they point was of having these two around at this point but you can’t blame them for taking a big paycheck to do their usual stuff. Not the worst match ever but the appeal isn’t there at all for a match that should have happened six years ago.

Post match Bubba finds a sock full of coins and hammers Tenta with it a bunch of times which sounded sick.

Bubba says he’s going to be meaner from now on and BUY THE BASH REPLAY!

Savage says he’s back and he’s going to take his time with Flair. He recently was suspended due to being insane (read as needing time off for his arm to heal) and implies he didn’t get any serious treatment like he promised to do.

Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage

The pyro for hour #2 goes off during Savage’s intro which has pyro of its own. Savage chases Heenan towards the ring and Bobby does a pretty awesome dive over the top to escape. Flair says he’s awesome and the girls are hot. Savage curses a bit. They fight outside the ring and it’s on. Savage takes over to start and Woman screams as we go to a break.

Back with Flair in control, throwing Savage to the floor. Liz gets in a slap because she’s evil now. They go over to Flair’s VIP table and Savage pours champagne over him. Back to the ring and Savage pops off some left hands. Flair is sent to the apron and gets beaten down even more. Apparently everyone wants in on the war. If that’s the case why not hunt down the two guys and massacre them?

Flair sends Savage into the railing as we take our second break of the match. Back with Flair chopping away even more. The second or third doesn’t work but Savage’s comeback is stopped by an elbow for Flair. Flair goes up and actually gets the shot to come off but Savage charges at him which is a different way to counter something. Savage gets the double axe and Flair gets an object to pop Savage with for two.

There goes the referee and Savage hits Flair low. Elbow hits but there’s no referee so here come the girls. Savage jumps anyway for the second elbow but Benoit runs in. There’s a Piledriver for him so here’s Arn. He gets tossed until Mongo comes in with the briefcase to the back. Flair is put on top as Arn throws in the referee for the pin.

Rating: B-. It’s Flair vs. Savage. What more can you really ask for here? I was always curious to see where this feud was going to wind up but, as you’ll hear me say a lot for the next few months, the NWO changed everything. Nothing too bad here at all and the ending worked given how last night went. It shows that Mongo is a Horseman that can help the team, which he needed to prove badly. Not bad but with the commercials it’s not exactly their best work.

Sullivan, Hart and Giant say that the war is coming and that’s fine. Sullivan promises revenge against the Horsemen. Giant says Dungeon > Horsemen.

We talk about Bischoff being massacred last night. Also some stills of Mongo turning on Greene. Add in some of the great brawl with Benoit and Sullivan.

Rey Mysterio, who debuted last night, says he’s awesome and he’ll beat Malenko.

Cruiserweight Title: Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio

These two had a great match last night but Dean kind of cheated to retain. Don’t think this is for the title but I’m not sure. Ok so apparently it is. Rey speeds things up a bit of course and Dean takes him down as you would expect him to do. Tony calls Dean the Iceman, perhaps debuting that nickname. Dean works on the back so let’s talk about the Outsiders. Half crab Liontamer goes on a long time before Jericho debuts.

Rey is sent to the floor and Dean goes up. Back in Rey crotches him but can’t get a DDT off the top. Rey gets caught in an electric chair drop for two. Tony pitches the encore match for the sake of seeing how Dean won the match, despite telling us how he won every time. STF goes on and then Dean hits a HUGE powerbomb for two. That looked great. Camel clutch goes on.

Out to the floor and Rey is able to send Dean into the railing and hits a springboard rana to take over even more. Sunset bomb gets two back in the ring. Rey gets a spinning combination into a victory roll. This version of Rey is what Sin Cara is supposed to be. He tries more fast paced stuff like his sitout bulldog but Dean grabs him and cranks Rey down in a reverse DDT for the pin. That looked great.

Rating: B. Not as good as last night’s version but it’s a different kind of match. Rey speeding things up only for Dean to use his technical stuff and knowledge of various holds is a nice story being told and it worked very well. Good stuff here and Rey would get the title from Dean in three weeks in another good match. He was unbelievable at this point and got to showcase it.

WCW World Title: The Giant vs. Scott Steiner

Steiner jumped Giant last week for no apparent reason so here’s a match between them. Scott’s ribs are taped up due to the attack earlier in the night. Steiner, ever the genius, tries to slam him. He does manage to get him up but Giant falls on him for two. Giant is all fired up now and Heenan calls Steiner an idiot. Out to the floor and Giant sends him into the post as we take a break.

Back with them still on the floor and Giant stepping over Scott’s chest. Into the ring and Steiner is in trouble. Camel clutch goes on and Jimmy starts celebrating. Suplex hits and Giant is all ticked off. A big old clothesline sends Steiner to the floor and it’s time for a wooden chair. Giant takes too much time getting in though so Scott crotches him.

Time to go after the leg and Scott throws on a sleeper. Yeah that doesn’t work and Giant is even madder now. Scott gets his feet up in the corner and blocks a charging Giant before hitting a t-bone suplex. Place ERUPTS for that to such an extent that that it’s noticeable. It only gets two but Scott is now in control. Scott grabs the chair and breaks it over Giant’s back and the big man is like oh boy you have no idea what you just did and chokeslams him half to death for the academic pin.

Rating: C+. Giant didn’t have a ton of experience at this point (remember that he debuted in October of 95) so this was one of his longer matches (ran 10:00 counting commercial). It wasn’t too bad though and he looked pretty good in it. That suplex is rather impressive as Giant went sailing through the air and the pop for it was really good. Not a bad match here, especially considering what Giant had to work with. By that I mean Scott’s style, not his abilities.

Time for the drawing for the spots at Bash at the Beach. They’re officially the Outsiders now. The six possible guys have the best win/loss records plus a few other factors that aren’t listed. The six possibilities are Hogan (boo), Giant (boo), Flair (POP), Luger (moderate pop), Sting (moderate pop) and Luger (slightly bigger pop but nothing compared to Flair). The three names are Luger, Sting and Savage.

Overall Rating: B-. Pretty good show tonight as we’re heading into Bash at the Beach head on. I’m really not sure if they timed it right as literally the match happened a little over a month after Hall arrived, but it worked out pretty well for them I’d say. Anyway, pretty good stuff here as they had one big thing to get to in the end and the wrestling to get there was good also. Hard to ask for much more than that.
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  #32  
Old 07-05-2011, 09:03 AM
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Monday Nitro #41
Date: June 24, 1996
Location: Independence Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 6,000
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko

We continue the build up to Bash at the Beach with a few more Nitros. These are the last two before the PPV so this can really be looked at as changing from one era to another. The main event tonight is a triple threat tag match with Sting and Luger defending against Harlem Heat and the Steiners, which sounds pretty awesome. Let’s get to it.

Tony and Larry are in the booth instead of at ringside. No Eric again this week.

While Tony and Larry AGAIN show us Bischoff getting hurt at Great American Bash, a huge WE WANT FLAIR chant begins. Naturally despite us being in Charlotte, he’s not wrestling tonight.

We go to Sting, Luger and Savage in the back who all have facepaint on. They say they’re united and Savage has to go get ready for a match. We get a clip of Hall at the announce table and Sting getting in his face. They want to know who the third man is. Luger screws up and almost says WWF or WWC or WW something and then says they’re the best. The Steiners come up and say they’ll have Team WCW’s back, but tonight it’s about the titles. Harlem Heat comes up and says they’re coming for the belts also.

Bluebloods vs. Public Enemy

Kevin Greene will be here later apparently for Mongo. Public Enemy has a dog collar chain with them. That’s for the Nasty Boys apparently. Rocco vs. Regal to start us off. Rocco dances and Regal looks very confused by it. Regal uses his technical stuff but actually gets caught by a dropkick. That wasn’t half bad either. Off to Taylor and they mess up a rollup spot.

Another dropkick sends Taylor to the floor which “wasn’t intentional”. Well what was the point of it then? Rocco misses a Lionsault Press and Regal actually dances before he brings Taylor back in. Hall and Nash have arrived apparently. Rock finally brings in Grunge who hits a few clotheslines. Everything breaks down and Grunge can’t get up. He pops up for a second though and pops Taylor on the head with a cast for the pin.

Rating: D+. Just an opening tag match here. There were a ton of tag teams around this time but other than two or so of them, most were just ok. These would be two such teams as even with a young Regal and Taylor, they were just kind of there and heelish. Not a horrible match, but it came and went and that’s about all.

In something some people might find interesting, during the replay of the match the background messes up and we get to see the production information, such as what segment number this is, the title of it, the show’s production code and etc. Some of it is covered but it’s kind of interesting to see.

Kevin Sullivan vs. Kip Abee

Abee is a jobber. Sullivan drills him immediately and takes it straight into the crowd. They’re into the concourse. This is just a regular match mind you. They go towards the women’s room which is a Sullivan trademark. There’s a Subway stand and Sullivan leaves him laying so he can go back into the arena. It’s a DQ win for Abee if you care but this was a slaughter.

Jimmy Hart says they’re here for the Horsemen and will get them at the PPV. Jimmy does get in a funny line of “IF I HEAR HIM TALK ABOUT SPACE MOUNTAIN ONE MORE TIME I’M GOING TO STRANGLE MYSELF!”

Glacier is allegedly coming in July. No he wouldn’t.

Cruiserweight Title: Bobby Walker vs. Dean Malenko

Walker has Rocky knockoff music. Of course we’re talking about the Outsiders. One thing I don’t get: later on in late 97/early 98, Larry feuded with Hall because they had been in the AWA together in the mid to late 80s and Larry had beat him up a lot. Why didn’t Larry mention this for a year and a half? Actually let me change that. Why didn’t he mention that earlier? I know he didn’t have to but with all the talking the announcers did about the Outsiders, Larry never even mentioned Hall’s name until after Bash at the Beach. Always struck me as odd.

Anyway Dean goes straight after him to take over and we’re in a chinlock quickly. Out of that into a suplex and now to another arm hold. Dean shifts from that to a camel clutch. Powerbomb sets up the Cloverleaf but here’s Disco to show off his new gold CD. Walker starts his jobbing comeback as Disco says hit my music because it’s time to dance. He goes into the ring and indeed it’s time to dance. The match keeps going until Dean dropkicks Walker into Disco and hits a Northern Lights suplex to retain.

Rating: C. Well this was different. More or less it was a squash but the Disco element was a little change of pace. Fun stuff here as Disco was a funny character to me. He was so goofy that he made the whole thing work, which is saying a lot for how stupid his gimmick actually was. Nothing of note here from the match though.

Disco comes in to say he just saved the match from being boring.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Barbarian

Barbarian actually slaps some hands on the way to the ring. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do that before. Slow start as Eddie tries to use his speed to counteract the whole evil Samoan/Tongan/Savage dude. Cross body totally fails and Eddie gets rammed into the corner. Big old slam gets two because he only puts one hand on his chest.

Pumphandle slam puts Eddie down again for two. Eddie avoids a charge and messes up a rana so badly that the fans boo him. When do you hear a rana being booed? Eddie puts him down with a side salto but takes too long to get up top, allowing Barbarian to crotch him. Barbarian gets a sweet belly to belly superplex and Eddie rolls to the floor. Back in Barbarian tries another superplex but Eddie lands on top for the pin.

Rating: D+. With the botches and the total dominance by Barbarian, this was pretty boring. Not much going on in this one as Eddie was all over the place and had some really bad looking mistakes. How weird is it to see Barbarian doing the main load of work in a match? Not impressed and one of the worst Guerrero matches I’ve ever seen.

Eddie is in the ring and we get a clip from two months ago at Uncensored where Eddie got hit low in a match and lost the US Title shot because of it. He wants a rematch. Also he says he’ll fight the Outsiders if need be.

Arn Anderson/Chris Benoit vs. Rock N Roll Express

Mongo is with the Horsemen but there’s no Flair. The Express gets booed out of the building. Just after they have their entrance hour 2 starts. The bell rings and we take a break before we see anything. Back and it looks like they’re just starting. Benoit sends Morton down quickly as this is going really slowly. Tony says politicians have been talking to him about the Outsiders.

Off to Gibson who has some better luck. Apparently Mongo will be facing Joe Gomez at Bash at the Beach. That match was awful. Anderson comes in to a BIG pop. A sleeper gets cheered. Think about that for a bit. The heels (in name only to be sure) take over with some classic Horsemen stuff. After more of a beating everything breaks down and Mongo gets a briefcase shot to Gibson to end this.

Rating: C. Just a long squash here that went nowhere at all. Benoit and Anderson knew they were over like free beer and just destroyed the Express who no one cared about in the slightest. Anderson and Sullivan had a big match coming up at the PPV so we’ll call this just a practice round.

Joe Gomez comes out and gets cased as well. Kevin Greene and Savage make the save.

Flair and the girls say the Horsemen are awesome. The other Horsemen come up to brag a bit more.

Tony and Heenan argue about the Outsiders a bit.

Alex Wright vs. Diamond Dallas Page

For the ring again. Apparently Flair has a US Title match at the PPV. Wright grabs a quick rollup for two. Page takes over as there isn’t going to be much to say here. Naturally we’re talking about the main event at the PPV. Page misses a punt and Wright gets an atomic drop to take over. Harlem Side Kick takes Page down and he’s fired up. The crowd on the other hand isn’t at all. Double axe off the top gets two. Springboard missile dropkick gets no reaction at all. Dive over the top gets a bit of one but the fans just do not care. Slingshot splash gets knees though and the Cutter ends this clean.

Rating: C-. The match itself was ok but seriously, no one cared. Page just kind of floundered until the end of the year when he would turn down the NWO and be launched into the stratosphere like few have ever seen before. This match was nothing and other than Wright looking good in trunks, this was pure filler.

Page says the Diamond Cutter is awesome. He’s right in that regard. He’s not afraid of Duggan either. Oh he’s defending the ring against Duggan at the PPV if that clears anything up.

Here’s Kevin Greene and we get a clip of the Mongo heel turn. After the season he’s going on a Mongo hunt. Translation: this feud will hardly ever be mentioned again.

VK Wallstreet vs. Randy Savage

Kevin Greene is with Savage because two appearances by him tonight just isn’t enough. Savage jumps him almost immediately and sends Wallstreet to the floor. For some reason he shoves Greene while he’s out there and runs like a scared rabbit. Back in Wallstreet takes over and throws Savage over the top. Very basic match here as Wallstreet does his generic stuff until they’re told to wrap it up and Savage goes for the elbow. Wallstreet actually moves but Savage doesn’t crash. Greene rams him into the post and the elbow ends it.

Rating: D+. Really uninteresting stuff here as the entire show has felt that way. Everything has been about squashes and pushing the PPV forward which makes sense, but at the same time it makes for a very boring show. This wasn’t horrible but the ending was never in question, which is a bad thing for the majority of matches.

Tag Titles: Sting/Lex Luger vs. Steiner Brothers vs. Harlem Heat

Harlem Heat had this weird thing where they would be on the phone as they came to the ring. Didn’t go anywhere that I remember but these entrances are taking time so I need something to fill in the time. A coin toss determines who can’t start. I miss the formula WCW would use later on as they would have three guys in the ring at once, making it an actual triple threat tag team match.

Booker vs. Scott to start us off. Luger seems distracted by some guy in the audience yelling at him. Stevie gets a shot to the back of Scott to shift the momentum. Scott gets a double underhook powerbomb for two as Lex makes the save. Rick comes in and gets a German to put Stevie down. Back off to Scott as Booker gets yelled at by the same fan Luger did. Must be a plant.

Scott kind of stupidly tags in Sting to face Stevie for a bit. Booker misses a kick and gets crotched. They actually mention a town’s mayor that wrote in about the Outsiders. We’re pretty much just waiting on the Outsiders to appear here. Stevie takes Sting down and hits the nerve hold which he doesn’t even flex his arms on. We take a break and come back with Sting in another rest hold. I’m so glad we took such a changing break.

Heenan says he has a guest coming next week. Luger hasn’t been in the match at all yet other than breaking up a pin. Sting makes a brief comeback but gets caught by a spinwheel kick from Booker for two. Sting and Stevie collide and there’s the falling headbutt to the balls. Booker gets tagged but misses a top rope splash. Hot tag Luger and he cleans house.

And here they come! They have ball bats in their hands and security SPRINTS to the ring to stop them. There are cops with guns in their holsters also. During the insanity, a member of Harlem Heat rolls up Luger and steals the pin and the tag titles which is the best thing we’re going to get as far as direct build to the match at the PPV goes (and no, I’m not saying there was no heat. The personal stuff was just a bonus). The replays of Patrick counting Luger for the pin is kind of amusing as he’s like “oh well there are a bunch of cops and guys with ball bats out there. GOTTA COUNT A PIN!”

Rating: C+. Eh the match wasn’t bad but like I said it was really just there as a backdrop for the Outsiders to do their chaos thing. The titles needed to be taken off Luger and Sting and you can’t really have two of the three WCW guys lose before the PPV. This was probably the best possible solution and it worked pretty well.

Tony tries to be all WCW IS AWESOME as Heenan bails to end the show.

Overall Rating
: D+. This was BORING. The problem with having a show be about a total of one thing is that it makes for really dull TV until you get to that one thing. I’ve never been a fan of booking TV like that but it made WCW a bunch of money in the 90s. This wasn’t the worst Nitro ever as the ending certainly made people take notice. It’s a bit silly now but back then, this was awesome. Next week is the go home show so it’s really the final show of the pre-NWO days. Not great this week, but not horrible either.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:55 PM
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Monday Nitro #42
Date: July 1, 1996
Location: USAir Arena, Landover, Maryland
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff

It’s the go home show for Bash at the Beach so this is going to be the last of the old school Nitro style. Tonight it’s probably going to be all about the Outsiders and that’s ok because this was the biggest story of the decade probably. Anyway, the main event tonight is the Horsemen vs. four guys in an 8 man tag. Other than that, all PPV hype all the time. Let’s get to it.

Tony and Larry are on the floor again this week. DDP interrupts the intro and says his Lord of the Ring has been stolen. After he rants for a bit we recap the ending to last week’s show. The Outsiders are here again tonight apparently.

Tag Titles: Steiner Brothers vs. Harlem Heat

Larry claims that he invented “the human game of chess inside the ring”. That’s rather amusing. Scott vs. Booker to start us off. There’s the spinning belly to belly to take Booker down. Booker gets clotheslined to the floor and the challengers clear the ring. There are cops and security guards everywhere. The champs stall as we take a break. The Horsemen are at the VIP table as we get back.

The Steiners are in control and working over Stevie. It’s amazing how the Steiners seem to be doing all the moving and working while Stevie just kind of lays there. We talk about the PPV a bit and Larry says “there will be a New World Order make no mistake about it.” Well good grief dude. Either Hogan is a big fan of Larry’s commentary or he’s really bad at keeping secrets.

Colonel Parker comes out for no apparent reason and has his wallet out. Booker gets a spinwheel kick to take Rick down and adds a spinning crossbody for two. He goes up again but gets caught in a belly to belly off the top. Off to Scott who hits a double underhook powerbomb for two. Booker gets a super (called Mafia by Tony the idiot) kick and it’s off to Stevie.

Stevie likes to slam people apparently. John Tenta vs. Giant tonight….again. Booker hits a top rope splash but lands on Scott’s HEAD for two. Double clothesline and both guys are down. Hot tag to Rick who cleans house and powerslams Booker hard. Everything breaks down and Scott PLANTS Booker with the Frankensteiner. Steiner Bulldog hits but Scott wants the super bulldog. Parker crotches Rick and breaks a cane over his head, allowing Booker to steal the pin.

Rating: C+. Hard to screw up this match, namely because they faced each other a few dozen times in the mid 90s. The brother aspect helps with both teams and it did again here. The Heat would hold the titles more or less until October (Public Enemy got them for a few weeks in September) until losing them to the Outsiders at Halloween Havoc.

Gene talks to the Horsemen who are having a party at the VIP table, which is just a table next to the aisle with food and champagne. We get a clip from a few weeks ago when Renegade and Gomez got a Horsemen beatdown, as did the Rock N Roll Express. It’s an 8 man tag later. They all say they’re awesome.

Disco Inferno vs. Kurasawa

Kurasawa was brought in to feud with Road Warrior Hawk in late 95 and hasn’t been seen since December. This is his final WCW appearance. Kurasawa does a bunch of karate motions so Disco makes fun of him for it. Disco gets sent to the floor and is all mad. He kicks the steps and starts hopping around in pain. Back in Kurasawa hits a Samoan Drop and this is dominance. Modified Samoan Drop, his finisher, should end it but Disco’s music starts playing and another disco guy comes down the ramp. The disco ball lowers and Disco hits Kurasawa with it for the pin. Weird to say the least.

Rating: D. No idea what the point of this was. Kurasawa went from a midcard heel to a face here and jobbing to the Disco Inferno despite not being seen in about seven months. This was just kind of weird and made no sense, meaning it’s perfect for the time period in WCW.

Scott Riggs vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Page is checking everyone for the ring. In an inset interview, Duggan says he didn’t steal the ring either. I think it would be revealed that Page had it. No reason for him to do all the insanity but whatever. Riggs tries to speed things up but Page takes his head off to end that run. Page puts on an abdominal stretch and cheats because that’s what heels do.

Riggs escapes that but Page takes him down again because that’s what he does. He wants a ten but that’s like 4 months of gimmicks ago so not many people get the reference. Larry calls him Rick Diamond for some reason. Sunset flip gets two for Riggs and down he goes again. In a weird visual, Page sets for a pumphandle slam by holding Riggs’ arm between Riggs’ legs. However this time he does the spinning point so it’s kind of weird.

Riggs makes a comeback and dives over the top to the floor in a pretty nice dive. That and a headbutt gets two back in the ring. Not that it matters though because a slam is countered into the Diamond Cutter and we’re done. Dang he’s gotten awesome at hitting that move from anywhere.

Rating: C. Just a quick match here but Page was getting better by leaps and bounds every week with that Diamond Cutter staying awesome. He really could hit it from anywhere which was one of and probably the biggest keys to his rise up through the stars like he did. Better than you would expect here.

Page says everyone is jealous of him so they stole the ring since they can’t beat him for it. He checks Gene’s pockets against Gene’s will.

Greg Valentine vs. Randy Savage

For those of you that were begging for a Mania 4 rematch I guess. I seriously don’t get who thought we needed to bring Greg Valentine of all people in. He would actually stick around and appear infrequently for the rest of the year. Valentine isn’t bad or anything but someone said that he was a guy that we need to bring in. Just sounds odd. Anyway Savage beats on him and we head to the floor, only to get sent into the railing.

Savage finally wakes up and hammers away like the crazy man that he is, but a double axe off the top eats fist. Belly to back puts both guys down but Savage does something like a cross between a Taker sit up and nip up. The big elbow ends it just as the stupid pyro goes off for hour two. It’s a good thing he wasn’t ten seconds late and didn’t have the pyro scare him to death and have him fall off the ropes and break his neck or something. But hey, people would have known it was 9pm since no one watching WCW owned a clock apparently.

Rating: C. Just a wrestling match is the best description I can give this. Savage started hot, Valentine took over, Savage got some shots in and then hit the big elbow for the win. There’s nothing of note there other than that and it ran about five and a half minutes. I can’t think of anything to say other than average.

Eric says the Outsiders will lose at the PPV and he’s not afraid of them. As he’s talking, here they come! They come down the steps and have popcorn and drinks with them since they have front row tickets. Hall offering Doug Dillinger (WCW’s head of security) popcorn is kind of funny, especially when some fan takes some.

WCW World Title: John Tenta vs. The Giant

Why does Tenta keep getting title matches??? There’s an empty seat between Hall and Nash so Eric and Bobby freak out of course. Tenta still has the weird half hair thing going. Battle of the big men here which is exactly what you would expect it to be. Giant gets to show off his skills here as he’s starting to get some more meat on him. He easily slams Tenta and even holds him there a bit.

They slug it out but of course we’re talking about nothing but the Outsiders. Screw this world title nonsense. That’s hardly important right? Actually I can’t criticize it that much as it’s John freaking Tenta challenging for it so this is just wasting time anyway. Giant beats him down like it’s nothing and this is moving slowly like you would expect it to.

We show Hall and Nash who are looking at their watches. They still have no names. Tenta gets a boot up in the corner and hits a bunch of clotheslines, including one from the middle rope. Finally a shockingly good (all things considered) dropkick puts Giant down but Sullivan comes out for the distraction. Giant manages to kick Tenta in the back of his head and a HUGE chokeslam ends this.

Rating: C+. Yeah it was slow and plodding, but the smaller guy weighs 500lbs and is 6’8. What kind of match are you really expecting here? That dropkick was pretty good though as he got one foot on the face and one in the chest. Giant getting to show off his power is always cool because when he got going he was scary good.

Post match Bubba shaves half of Tenta’s beard.

Jimmy Hart says Tenta will get more on Sunday. Bubba says the beating will be worse on Sunday. Giant says Tenta will get his and the Horsemen aren’t a real problem. He’s improving on the mic. Sullivan says what happened at the Bash will be nothing compared to….something as he walks off. Giant says Benoit doesn’t want any more of Sullivan. Kind of a weird ending here.

Ad for the Powerplant set to what would become La Parka’s music.

Video on Rey, which is more or less just his match from the Bash. It gets cut off in the middle as Hall and Nash have gone for a walk. They more or less shrug off security but Savage, Sting and Luger come out. Some other wrestlers are here too, including Giant. Diesel chant starts up. Nash chants Attica. This really was a big deal as faces and heels were uniting to fight off the Outsiders, which didn’t happen ever. Also, this is what two guys caused. Just two. That’s Blues Brothers level stuff.

Duggan has found the Lord of the Ring, apparently on the floor of the men’s room. Oh and he’ll win on Sunday. Page comes in and calls him a thief. Duggan gives him the ring back then knocks Page out with tape on his fist.

Rock N Roll Express/Joe Gomez/Renegade vs. Four Horsemen

Anderson vs. Morton to start after a break. Everything breaks down quickly and the Horsemen bail. Flair vs. Morton now. How often do you see all of the Horsemen in one match as a team? Morton gets a rana and there’s the double dropkick by the Express. Were this 1986, the crowd would be in a frenzy. Here it barely gets two. Flair vs. Gibson now and then off to AA.

Enziguri takes Anderson down as the Horsemen aren’t looking all that good here. Off to Benoit and Renegade who hasn’t meant anything in like a year. Benoit hammers away and it’s off to Flair again. No Mongo yet. The card for Bash at the Beach doesn’t sound half bad actually. Gomez beats on Flair and hits a backdrop but Flair cheats and brings in Benoit. Chris was in his element as a Horseman, he really was.

Benoit mauls him and the natural order of the universe is restored. Finally off to Mongo who gets a decent reaction actually. This is his in ring debut as a Horseman I believe. Mongo is in a word, really bad. He does some stuff that looks like a football player doing moves before thankfully bringing Flair back in. Gomez gets a sunset flip on Anderson for two.

There’s a spinebuster which is called a sidewalk slam here. Back off to Benoit who gets caught in a backslide for two. And that more or less ends Gomez’s career as Benoit is all fired up and the punches go flying. Off to Flair who does the same but Gomez manages to escape the Figure Four. Anderson and Flair work the knee and it’s off to Benoit who is all too comfortable with taking apart a body part.

Back to Mongo who is in desperate need of experience for the most part. Powerslam doesn’t look that bad. Neither does an elbow. That was FAR better than his first time in there. Off to Anderson but Gomez gets a shot in and the hot tag to Renegade. He cleans a few rooms and everything breaks down. Mongo totally botches the briefcase shot as he doesn’t actually hit Renegade (he tosses the case and the announcers make fun of him for it) but Renegade goes down anyway, into the Figure Four and we’re done.

Rating: C. Meh pretty basic match here but it was cool to see the Horsemen united like this. Mongo was indeed bad, but it was his second wrestling match ever. How mad can you really get at him for something like that? The powerslam wasn’t bad but he never really got any better at all. Points for trying though.

Mongo says he doesn’t care about the Bears anymore because this is his team. Benoit and Anderson say they’ll win on Sunday in their tag match. That wouldn’t happen but you can’t say they’re not confident. Flair says he’ll win the US Title (he would) and that the Horsemen will beat the Dungeon. Flair rants a bit of course because he’s Ric Flair.

Eric and Heenan talk about the Outsiders and make a final push for the PPV but apparently something is going on backstage. The Outsiders are being forced out (why weren’t they earlier?) and get into a sweet car that is just sitting there on its own, nowhere near any other car, and drive off to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. Not terrible here as they did their thing for the most part and the Outsiders angle was pushed to the moon. That’s the right move because this PPV was a lot like Mania 3: it’s all about one match and if you get something good (or best of all time in that case) then cool but no one is buying it for anything other than the main event. The show wound up being very good actually and one of WCW’s best that I can remember, so no complaints there. Anyway, pretty good go home show tonight, but it all changed next week.

Here’s Bash at the Beach if you’re interested.

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Monday Nitro #43
Date: July 8, 1996
Location: Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 600
Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff

Everything has changed now as Hulk was revealed to be the third man and the NWO is officially here. This is the start of a run of awesome that would run for the next few months, resulting in WWF being completely massacred in the ratings and WCW looking like the biggest geniuses ever formed in wrestling. Anyway, let’s get to it.

Also this next string of shows (I think) is outside and in front of fewer fans that in the Impact Zone. Kind of interesting that all this was happening in front of fewer people than went to my middle school.

Hogan in red and yellow is still prominently featured in the opening.

The crowd really is small. The 600 that is listed might be really high.

Tony and Larry rant a bit about Hogan.

They talk about the Cruiserweight matches last night, both of which were pretty good if I remember right.

Cruiserweight Title: Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio

I remember this match happening. Dean takes it to the mat early which is smart. Rey takes over and sends Malenko to the floor. Rey starts speeding things up here and gets two off some high flying stuff. Dean can’t get the powerbomb but does manage a backbreaker to take over. Northern lights suplex gets two. We take a break with Dean working over Rey’s back.

Back with Dean launching Rey into the air and dropping him down onto the mat. There’s a camel clutch despite Rey not being you know, a camel. Tony apologizes for the things he said last night which would be tame a few weeks from now. To the floor we go and Rey takes a suplex/brainbuster. Apparently a lot of people have been sending telegrams to WCW about Hogan. People still sent telegrams in 1996?

Rey reverses a slam into a splash for two. Out to the floor again and Rey TOTALLY misses an Asai Moonsault as Dean wasn't ready for it so Rey missed about 97% of Dean but it was somewhat sold anyway. Back in a top rope rana gets two for Rey as does a moonsault using the ropes. The super gutbuster off the top gets two for Dean because he pulls Rey up. Dean pulls him up again and Larry goes off on him for it. Out of nowhere Rey counters a powerbomb into a rana for the pin and his first title.

Rating: B-. These two know how to have a great match and this was no exception. Not a ton of time and they would have better matches, but at the same time this worked fine. Rey would of course get a lot better over the years while Dean would move up in the ranks a bit. I think Dean got the title back soon enough though. Not sure though.

The Steiners and the Nastys get into an argument. Scott says he doesn't like the Nastys but respects their wrestling abilities. WOW.

Big Bubba/Hugh Morrus vs. Blue Bloods

Heel vs. heel here. The USA chant starts up and Squire Dave isn't thrilled with it. He and Bubba start us off as the Dungeon of Doom is being cheered. I doubt you'll ever see that again but you're getting it here. Regal comes in and takes Bubba down, only to walk into a Boss Man Slam for two. Everything breaks down quickly and John Tenta is here. In the ring the Blue Bloods get a double belly to back suplex on Morrus for the pin. This was barely even a match.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Psicosis

Neither guy gets an intro and this is Psicosis' Nitro debut. Big Eddie chant starts up. Psicosis and Rey had a great opening match last night. I guess due to that, Rey pops up for an inset promo, talking about how he was disappointed as to who the third man was. He apologizes to the Mexican fans in Spanish. Eddie takes over and sends the masked dude to the floor.

Back inside and Eddie grabs a headlock. We talk about Hogan a lot which I can't complain about here. With the heel turn he had a completely fresh start so talking about him every five minutes is a good idea here. Psicosis sends him to the floor and hits a big dive to put both guys down for a bit. Back in again and Eddie might have hurt his shoulder on that dive. Either way Psicosis is working on it. It's even the right shoulder.

Cross armbreaker goes on and Eddie is in trouble. Hogan will be here in a week. So they have the biggest angle in probably the entire decade and we have to wait a week to get some follow up on it? Seriously? Dropkick to the arm puts Eddie down again but he manages a rana into a rollup for two. Psicosis comes off the top but jumps into an atomic drop. Eddie gets his arm rammed into the post though, allowing Psicosis to get a top rope rana for two. Sunset bomb out of the corner gets two on Eddie. Psicosis goes up again, only to get caught in a superplex and the Frog Splash to end it.

Rating: B. For a TV match, this was pretty solid stuff. Eddie looked good out there as he had someone that could more than keep up with him out there. The arm work was good too as it gave something to tie the match all together. I rather enjoyed this, even though it has nothing on the future stuff that was coming out of this division.

Jimmy Hart actually has no comment on Hogan. Kevin Sullivan says they lived for the potential demise of Hulkamania and now Hogan took that away from him too. He calls Benoit a madman and they imply Gene could lose his job because of the NWO. Giant says as long as he's champion then nothing in WCW can go wrong. Oh dear. Also the Dungeon is the new elite rather than the Horsemen.

Nasty Boys vs. Steiner Brothers

Winners get the title shot against Harlem Heat at Hog Wild. Jerry vs. Scott to start and THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY! Oh come on I have to do that line. After a minute or so of beating on Scott, he wakes up and suplexes Jerry. Rick comes in and they clear the ring with relative ease. There's an actual tag to Dog Face. The Nastys take over again and are tagging much better than the Steiners here.

A powerslam gets Rick out of trouble and some elbow drops get two. Off to Scott who suplexes Knobbs a bit. They go to the floor and Scotty gets WHACKED by a chair by Sags. That looked great. Hour number two begins and let's look at some fireworks because this stupid match isn't important right? Back to the action! Scott suplexes Knobbs again and it breaks down quickly. The changing announcers is kind of distracting actually. Sherri and Parker are watching this and bickering a bit. Sherri distracts the referee, allowing Parker to hit Jerry with the cane so Rick can steal the pin. I don't remember why that happened but I don't think it was anything major.

Rating: C-. Even with all the distractions, this wasn't anything great. The Nastys dominating for the majority of the match was a change of pace. The Steiners wouldn't get the titles at the PPV and the Outsiders would take them from Harlem Heat at I think Halloween Havoc, resulting in a VERY long feud between the Outsiders and the Steiners that ran for about a year.

The Nastys say wrestling is all about attitude. Apparently the cane shot plus a message from God says that a change is coming for the Nasty Boys. Ok then. They don't condone what Hogan did but there's nothing wrong with it. They tried to join the NWO soon after this but it resulted in a beatdown.

US Title: Jim Powers vs. Ric Flair

Let's see: Flair won the title last night and is defending against a jobber here. I wonder what's going to happen. Eric apologizes for not calling the main event last night due to a bunch of meetings or something like that. Feeling out process to start as they hit the mat for a bit. I'm not entirely sure what to say about this one. It's exactly what you would expect: Flair gets a bit of an advantage, Powers uses his speed and power advantages to take over so Flair chills on the floor for a bit. There are the first three minutes or so of this match.

Back in the ring and Flair gets a thumb to the eye. This is the Flair Formula in an abbreviated version but it's making for a pretty basic and not boring match. I mean, we know Powers has zero chance of winning here but at the same time there's a bad way to do a match like this. It could be terribly boring but there's some back and forth stuff to make it watchable. Flair of course wins with the Figure Four.

Rating: C. Like I said, not a horrible match or anything but it's just a jobber losing to Flair in a quick title defense. This was what you would always see back in the old days but with names not as big as Powers. Anyway, nothing great here but they used it the right way and it came out as something totally watchable.

The Horsemen all talk about the PPV last night and how they're still the force in this company, not the NWO. Oddly enough, Mongo had a solid promo here, talking about how the Apocalypse was on WCW, but they're bringing it because they're the Four Horsemen. Simple yet effective which is all you can ask for.

The announcers talk about the NWO a bit.

Craig Pittman vs. Chris Benoit

Pittman has Long with him here. He takes over early on which is kind of surprising. Benoit is still tired and sore last night from fighting Sullivan. After being tossed for a few seconds he wakes up and goes off on Pittman like only Benoit can. Bischoff says there is probably more Hogan merchandise being sold in garage sales at this moment than ever before. You know, for those garage sales going on at 9:15 PM. Crossface ends this rather quickly. Total squash for the most part, complete with Teddy throwing the towel in despite a lack of tapping.

Arn Anderson vs. Sting

Main event time here. The Outsiders are in the building. Eric: “We've got a problem here in Disney World.” Sting takes over to start as Heenan says he's been telling people about Hogan for years. Anderson has his hammerlock reversed and Sting works the arm a bit. Out to the floor and Sting backdrops him. Anderson chills on the floor as we take a break.

Back with Sting still in control. Ok apparently the limo that might have the Outsiders has just arrived. Then who were the “guests” that got there early? Anderson takes over and we hit the abdominal stretch. Heenan: “Nobody that cares about Hogan got a good night's sleep last night. Of course I slept like a baby.” That was my favorite part of the NWO: after 10 years of being told he was wrong, Heenan was proven right.

Off to a Boston Crab and Sting is in trouble. The announcers get bored and talk about the match a bit to waste some time. Now let's look at the limo out back because we've focused on the match long enough I guess. Middle rope double axe results in Sting punching him in the ribs and both guys are down. HERE THEY COME! There's no Hogan in sight though. Top rope clothesline gets two as the Outsiders are heading to the ring.

The Outsiders get to the ring and everything stops. Savage comes out to stare them down also and it's a big standstill. In the ring Anderson can't get the DDT so Sting throws on the Scorpion and we're done. Sting and Savage stare at the Outsiders even more post match and that's about it.

Rating: C+. Fine while it lasted but this was all about the ending which is fine for something like this. Anderson and Sting probably know each other as well as any combination due to Sting's wars with the Horsemen over the years. Not bad but the ending was rushed which isn't their fault in the slightest.

Sting talks about his match last night and how he's not surprised about what the Outsiders did. He is however surprised by Hogan. He should have known though because Hogan never wanted to travel with them and kept coming in for just a cameo. Hogan called Team WCW three little dogs waiting for a chance to face him. Savage is in the ring for this promo. Last night Hogan wiped out every kid and person that had looked up to Hogan. Sting is all fired up here. It's a good thing Hogan told people to believe in themselves, because they sure can't believe in Hogan. The people don't need to stick it, Hogan does. Solid stuff here from Sting as he sounds MAD.

Savage has a message for Hogan but he can't say it on TV. Think of the worst thing you can think of and multiply it by “infinity and beyond”. He doesn't say much but Sting's promo did more than enough for the both of them.

Gene is with the Outsiders and Nash says that they should have proven themselves already. I still can't believe Hogan isn't here tonight. I mean, this is kind of huge isn't it? He'd be in the same arena next week but he can't be here tonight? I don't get that at all. Hall says this portion is brought to you by the Outsiders and Hulk Hogan. Nash says Hogan is on the set of a movie tonight.

To end the show we look at some stills from last night with Hogan turning.

Overall Rating
: C-. So in other words, after the biggest turn in wrestling history, this is all we get? Literally, this might as well have been any other week leading up until the PPV. No idea why Hogan wasn't there and I don't get it at all. I mean, it's not like this was just any other episode of Nitro. This was the night after the third man was unveiled. That's kind of huge don't you think? Not a bad show but just really surprising overall and not in a very good way.
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Monday Nitro #44
Date: July 15, 1996
Location: Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 450
Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff

We're now 8 days after the formation of the NWO and Hogan is actually here! Gee isn't that nice of him? Anyway tonight he's going to be here to explain what he did to the TV audience because the big explanation at the PPV wasn't enough. Either way, this is an historic show and should be interesting so let's get to it.

The crowd is somehow smaller tonight than it was last week.

We get a clip from Bash at the Beach of Hogan revealing himself as the third man. Not sure why they're showing the video here and they only showed stills last week but not a big deal. This still works 15 years later.

Steiner Brothers vs. Fire and Ice

Scott Norton and Ice Train if you're not familiar. These two had a small on and off feud over the summer. Scott vs. Scott starts us off. For the sake of simplicity, Scott Steiner will be known as Scott and Scott Norton will be known as Norton. Scott gets beaten down by the stronger Norton. The crowd being so small is really weird as it looks like a high school basketball game. Tony hates Hogan so much that he plugs the cable debut of Mr. Nanny tomorrow night at 9pm on TBS.

Scott hammers away on Norton and sends him to the floor. Fire and Ice tag as we go to a break. There was no mention that we were going to a break or anything, but away we go after the music starting for half a second twice before it kicks on full. Back with Ice Train vs. Rick as Teddy Long is coming to the ring. Rick gets the belly to belly out of the corner for two. Make that one actually.

Slam and an elbow drop get two for Rick. Reverse DDT (Scorpion Death Drop) gets two as well. Well Sting's last match before doing nothing for a year was with Rick so maybe he stole it. Off to the Scotts again with Norton in control. Middle rope clothesline puts Scott down. Norton goes up again and tries one of the most awkward looking elbow drops you'll ever see. It eats boot and it's hot tag Rick. He takes Norton down with that leap frog/powerslam thing he does. Fire and Ice double teams Rick but a big splash misses, allowing Rick to pin the (illegal) Ice Train with a German suplex.

Rating: C. Just a tag match to open the show and it was fine. These two worked fairly well together despite all four having a very similar style. The Steiners were about to start their feud with the Outsiders in a few months so they needed stuff like this to keep them busy. Fire and Ice split up in a few weeks anyway.

The Dungeon says this is their year and the Horsemen have nothing on them. Bubba is ready for Luger tonight.

Fire and Ice aren't happy with the loss. They blame each other for it and Teddy comes up to say they're a great team and shouldn't break up. Norton shoves him away and Train isn't happy. The team officially splits here I think.

Billy Kidman vs. Dean Malenko

Kidman is a cruiserweight jobber at this point. Jimmy Hart of all people comes out with Dean and is recruiting apparently. Dean shoves him away and Jimmy leaves. Dean jumps him as we get going and hammers him to the floor. A powerbomb on the floor is blocked though and Kidman takes over. Missile dropkick gets two back in the ring. Malenko is like screw this not being on offense and throws on a leg bar. Tilt-a-whirl slam gets two.

Dean works on the knee some more and wraps it around the post. Off to a headscissors now which doesn't really fit the leg work but whatever. Dean gets an Alabama Slam and they go into a pinfall reversal sequence. Kidman gets a bulldog with him climbing up the corner for two. Kidman goes up and tries the Shooting Star to blow the crowd's minds but Dean moves. Dean goes OFF, hitting a brainbuster into the powerbomb into a butterfly powerbomb into the Cloverleaf for the tap. That ending sequence by Malenko was awesome.

Rating: C+. I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to. Dean snapped in the ending there and looked like a madman. Kidman was totally overwhelmed despite getting some good stuff in including the Shooting Star. I liked the match and Kidman would get a lot better. Dean would get the title back in like a month or so.

Kevin Greene is disappointed with Hogan. Why is he here again? He's looking for Mongo also.

Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Dick Slater/Mike Enos

Colonel Parker promotes both teams here but comes out with the not famous team. Enos and Slater are called Rough and Ready. How good do you think they'll actually be? Parker goes back to the entrance to come out with the Heat also. I've always kind of wondered how a team like Rough and Ready who has never been mentioned on this show before are the #1 contenders for the tag titles. One of wrestling's little quirks I guess.

Stevie and Slater start us off with Slater doing his thing, meaning he's rather boring. Off to Enos who goes nose to nose with Stevie. Test of strength goes to Stevie. Sting is in Japan tonight so the NWO doesn't have as much opposition. Sherri and the Colonel argue because that's just what they do. Off to Booker who gets a nice reaction. Booker misses a knee drop and it's off to Slater again.

Out to the floor and Enos slams Booker out on the concrete. Back in Slater hits a swinging neckbreaker so he can bring Enos back in. There's the axe kick from Booker and it's back to Stevie. Slater hits a piledriver as this match is starting to go on way too long. The fans are behind the Heat and chant fan louder than 450 people would be expected to do. Slater and Booker collide and everything breaks down. Sherri runs in and kisses Slater, allowing Booker to roll him up for the pin to retain.

Rating: D+. Not much here at all as Slater and Enos were nothing special at all and it made for a pretty dull match. Also this went on too long and it made the match drag far more than it should have. Either way, Rough and Ready wouldn't mean anything because....well because they were Mike Enos and Dick Slater.

Video on Rey, who debuted a month and a half ago and is called one of the best high fliers ever.

Kevin Greene is here again and wants Mongo now because he has to get back to training camp.

Madusa vs. Malia Hosaka

They would have these random matches in WCW at times with the women and this is one of them. Madusa would have a destroy the Harley match with Bull Nakano at Hog Wild. Malia uses a lot of kicks because she's Japanese I guess. Larry goes all sexist on the women, talking about how if you can find a woman that will keep quiet, marry her. Madusa gets taken over by her hair a bunch of times and we hit the chinlock. The American fires off some kicks to take over but gets caught in a Boston Crab. Some kind of backsplash misses but Madusa misses a dropkick also. And never mind as the American hits a German on the Japanese for the pin.

Rating: C-. Eh really just a way to advance the Madusa vs. Nakano match at the PPV which is fine. Madusa and the women never really got a proper push in WCW as they were brought in like twice a year and that's about it. There was even a Women's Cruiserweight Title for like a month. Either way this was nothing but wasn't that bad.

Time for the big celebration because it's 9pm.

The Outsiders take over some part of the big set and put up some sheets with NWO on them. No Hogan yet though.

Arn Anderson vs. Meng

Dungeon vs. Horsemen here. Heenan talks about how Hogan probably planned this since before he came to WCW. I never got why that was supposed to be this big elaborate plan that they had worked on for years. Why couldn't it have happened in like a month or so? Who says Hall and Nash didn't come to WCW and Hogan said “Hmm....this is interesting” and sent them a singing telegram? Eric rants about how the NWO banner is a slap in the face of WCW. The pops for the NWO would seem to disagree.

As for the actual match, this sounds kind of intriguing on paper. The fireworks keep going off and get really annoying really quickly. Anderson dodges some kicks and throws on a headlock. Meng fires off a leapfrog and takes over. Eric talks about Hog Wild and you can almost hear the drool coming out of his mouth. Arn takes him to the mat and wraps Meng's leg around the post. Barbarian comes out as Meng has a nerve hold on.

Meng kicks Anderson and gets two as we take a break. Back with Anderson hammering away a bit as the fans chant for Hogan. Eric wants the NWO in prison. The announcers going off on the NWO with these ridiculous proclamations of how evil they were were such an added bonus. Bischoff plugs Mr. Nanny again as the guys head to the floor. Meng rams Anderson's back into the apron a few times but Arn takes over back inside. Scratch that as Meng gets a suplex (exposing the freaky looking untanned upper thigh of Arn) but gets elbowed in the head. DDT is reversed and Barbarian pops up for some double teaming, allowing Meng to get the upset pin.

Rating: B-. Surprisingly good match here as they slugged it out and went back and forth, getting a good match as a result. Meng continues to be a steady hand and Arn does what he does best: stay tough and put people over. Solid TV match and I had fun with it which is the whole idea. Meng of course wouldn't go anywhere but he wasn't really the kind of character that was ever going to.

Mongo with Debra and the annoying dog says he's looking for Kevin Greene who has conveniently left. Mongo says sign a contract and he'll have a fight. Debra makes fun of the football team because that's a great insult right? She lists off his records and resume and this is a waste of time so let's move on.

Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero

Think this will be good? Benoit is a Horseman and Eddie is starting to get a pretty solid push which would result in a US Title reign by the end of the year. Even Heenan knows this is going to be a great match. This is one of those combinations that is going to be awesome due to them knowing each other so well. Those are always fun as they don't have to waste time figuring each other out.

Benoit jumps him to start and pounds Eddie down in the corner. Hard whip into the corner and Benoit goes into Wolverine mode. And let's talk about Hogan now. Eddie gets draped over the top as Benoit keeps the advantage. Off to the chinlock rather quickly and thankfully it ends quickly. Reverse suplex is countered by Eddie and he sends Benoit to the floor with an armdrag. Big dive off the top takes both guys down.

Back inside Eddie busts out the hilo but doesn't cover. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker puts Benoit down again. Eddie vs. Flair at the PPV is announced. Benoit gets a shot in and let's look at the NWO sign again because the Outsiders are gone. Benoit shows off those steroid muscles with a gorilla press. There's a camel clutch despite Eddie not really resembling a camel at all. They show the crowd again and this time I can live with it because we're in a hold. There's nothing to see here so it's not as stupid of a move here.

Eddie gets up and fires off a belly to back suplex to break Benoit's momentum. Benoit is like screw that and hits a hard chop and the snap suplex gets two. Eric loves talking about the fact that he's taking a motorcycle to Sturgis for the PPV. Liontamer goes on before Jericho had copyrighted it. BIG powerbomb plants Eddie but a delay in the cover lets Eddie get out of it. Benoit works on the back with a backbreaker and then holds Eddie over the knee for a bit to add in some more pain. The guy knew how to hurt people.

Back to the chinlock which I can understand now as they've been out there for a bit and probably need some air. Benoit puts him down again and goes up but Guerrero pops up and nails a superplex to put Chris down. Solid stuff so far. Benoit gets up first as both guys were down for a bit. Eddie fires away in the corner and they slug it out. Apparently every big name is in Japan tonight.

Benoit wins the chop fest but Eddie knocks him down in the corner. Eddie tries a rana which Benoit mostly blocks as he walks to the rope. The rana hits anyway and it takes both guys over the top to the floor. Malenko pops up for no apparent reason as does Jimmy Hart. Malenko sends Benoit's head into the post and Eddie just barely beats the count back in. This led to a thirty minute or so war between Malenko and Benoit at the PPV.

Rating: B. This was your typical great match between the two but I'm not huge on the ending. It did however set up a match at the PPV which is all you can ask for. Also you don't want Benoit losing clean nor do you want Eddie losing before they get to a PPV title match. The decision was really all that they could do and thankfully we got a very good match until that point.

The WCW letters are restored. THERE WILL BE PEACE NOW!

TV Title: Big Bubba vs. Lex Luger

Luger has some kind of facial injury or something like that. The match starts after a break and this is a title match. Ok then. Bubba takes him down quickly and goes up top for no apparent reason. The injury to Luger is to his eye. We make references to Luger being in the WWF a year ago at this time. They're trying to hint that he might be NWO but this is his way of proving his loyalty.

Luger takes him down as we're really just waiting on the NWO to show up. Bubba does his slide to the floor and punch the guy in the ropes spot. The Outsiders get out of their limo. Still no Hogan in sight. Bubba gets an enziguri for two. Off to a crossface chickenwing on Luger and we take a break.

Back with Bubba biting Luger's face to keep him down. This has been a rather boring match up to this point. Luger finally gets in a kick or two to wake the crowd up. There's the forearm smash and it's clothesline time. The fans wake up as Luger gets going and never mind as a double clothesline puts both guys down. The Outsiders come out and Jimmy Hart throws Luger something. He clocks Bubba and the Outsiders come in for the DQ.

Rating: D. Like I said this was all just to set up the NWO attack. That would be the case for many, many months after this. Not a good match or anything as Bubba was big and fat and slow at almost all points in time after about 1991. This was way too long and really boring though.

Anyway the Outsiders are here and Hogan comes out all in black. Luger gets thrown out and Hogan helps Bubba up. Then he signals to the Outsiders and the former Big Boss Man gets beaten down also. Gene gets in the ring and Hogan says that he wishes he'd done this two years ago. He says a lot of the same stuff he said at Bash at the Beach, including blaming the fans for booing him in the past year or so. Trash starts to fill in the ring.

Hogan talks about how great he is and how big of a star he is now. The booing is incredible here. Hogan implies that it could be more outsiders or guys that already work for WCW that join the NWO next. He challenges Giant for the title at Hog Wild, which he would win and hold for nearly a year until Luger took it from him for six days. The Steiners and the Dungeon of Doom plus some other guys come out but WE'RE OUT OF TIME! That would also be the ending for a very long time.

Overall Rating: B. Right here you have what would become the WCW formula for TV and PPVs for about a year and a half. The young and fast guys open the show with some awesome stuff and then the older guys come out at the end and have worse matches but far better drama. It worked for awhile, but ultimately it would fail. However when it was new, this was REALLY tough to beat. Good show and one of the better ones to this point.
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Monday Nitro #45
Date: July 22, 1996
Location: Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 450
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff

It's another show in the NWO era so I'll give you two guesses as to what the hot topic is here. Road Wild (or Hog Wild, whichever it is) is coming up in a few weeks but there's a lot of time before that. The card looks pretty basic here but the drama is the important point here so let's get to it.

We hear about Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Torch and see a clip of him getting a check for his foundation from WCW.

Now a clip of Shaq and Hogan from like two years ago. I guess they don't mind exploiting the evil Hogan if it gets them exposure.

Giant will answer Hogan's challenge tonight.

We get a clip from last week with the NWO covering up the WCW letters.

Dave Taylor vs. Scott Norton

Uh...sure. Norton's music is what would eventually be the Natural Born Thrillers' music or something incredibly similar to it. Ice Train vs. Norton is announced for Hog Wild, and amazingly enough that match didn't totally suck. Norton is popular here because of the anti-foreign traits of wrestling fans. He runs over Taylor and the British dude hits the floor. As Norton dominates a bit, he throws Taylor over the top to make sure his momentum is killed as fast as possibly. Maybe 90 seconds at most here.

The Horsemen minus Flair are at Flair's VIP table. Anderson says Flair will make an entrance later on. The Horsemen get Sting/Luger/Savage later. Benoit says bring it.

VK Wallstreet vs. Konnan

Konnan has what appears to be a pink skirt on. Ok then. Wallstreet, more famous as IRS, has nothing going at this point and needed to retire. Since he had a job in WCW though, he wouldn't for about three more years before going to Japan for another five or six years. After a quick bit on the floor Wallstreet keeps his advantage and works on the knee a bit.

Konnan grabs a rollup but can't do anything after that as Wallstreet takes him down again. K-Dawg misses a charge in the corner and Wallstreet works the arm some more. There's a loud Irwin chant. Wallstreet sets for the Wallstreet Crash (get it?) which is a Samoan drop. The move hits but Konnan rolls him into a crucifix for the pin.

Rating: D. Konnan looked really weak here and Wallstreet controlled about 98% of the match. The skirt wasn't helping him either. I have no idea why Mike Rotunda was pushed this late into his career but he certainly was. The idea was Konnan trying to get back on track after losing the title to Flair but this wasn't the way to go about it.

Luger/Sting/Savage say they're ready for the NWO. Luger however wants to know where the rest of the boys were when Savage and Sting were in Japan and Luger got beaten down. Oh and they're ready for the Horsemen too.

Glacier is STILL coming.

Video on a four man team of jobbers who are teaming up tonight. No words or anything. Just them on a beach taking their shirts off.

Jim Powers/Alex Wright/Joe Gomez/Renegade vs. Leprechaun/Hugh Morrus/Kevin Sullivan/Barbarian

Yes that's the jobber team. The Leprechaun is just that: a leprechaun who is more famous as Sargent Dwayne Bruce. Morrus vs. Renegade to start. Leprechaun is running around the ring like an idiot. And now let's have the camera go to the back because there's some disturbance. Wright beats up Barbarian and we go to the back again. The Outsiders are in the control truck.

We're not even watching the match at all. We haven't seen the ring in almost two minutes now. Hall says back on the movie stars and we get a quick flash of the ring and now back to the truck. We're looking at the crowd now and here's security to get the Outsiders out of the booth.

We finally go back to the ring after three minutes of Outsiders stuff. Tony says it's been a hard hitting match. Wouldn't it be nice to SEE THE MATCH? Anyway Powers is sent to the floor and Teddy Long is here for no apparent reason. That fires him up so he goes back in and hammers away on Morrus. Everything breaks down and here's Giant to chokeslam everything in sight that isn't in his stable and it's a DQ win. We might have seen 100 seconds of this match so no rating.

QUIT RINGING THE BELL ALREADY. Wright gets chokeslammed and so much for the team that had a video shot on them I guess. Gene goes in to talk to Giant who talks about defending the title against any and all comers. He'll fight Hogan at Hog Wild. Amazing how all these ultra loyal people in WCW colors would be in the NWO one day.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Prince Iaukea

Iaukea hits a dropkick but Page takes his head off with an elbow to the face. The Prince is sent to the floor but comes back in with a springboard cross body for one. And there's the Diamond Cutter and we're done. Pretty much a squash. He's also getting faster with that Cutter.

Video on Sullivan vs. Benoit at the awesome Great American Bash street fight.

Dean Malenko vs. Chavo Guerrero

They start fast but Dean gets a knee to the ribs to take over. Gutbsuter gets two. Chavo gets a dropkick that Dean was nice enough to stop so that it could hit. Dean gets a bunch of belly to back suplexes and now it's time to get REALLY FREAKING EXCITED BECAUSE IT'S NINE PM!!!!! We can barely hear Bobby who is rambling about something. Dean has a headscissors on Chavo. Some idiots are calling this boring because...well I have no idea why.

Off to a chinlock by Dean who has dominated the majority of this. Dean goes to the mat with an STF. This is taking a bit of time to get anywhere. Eric talks about the bikers in Sturgis and sounds downright orgasmic over it. Jimmy Hart is at ringside as he's still trying to recruit Benoit. Chavo gets his first offense in about 4 minutes in the form of a rollup. This is Chavo's comeback but when he goes up and dives off he gets caught in something like a spinebuster and the Cloverleaf ends it.

Rating: D+. This was more like an extended beatdown and decimation of Chavo. I'm not sure I get the point of that as they could have done this in about half the time. Still though it gave Dean some additional momentum going into his half an hour long match with Benoit at the PPV. Nothing to see here for the most part though.

Eric and Bobby bang their chests about WCW for awhile.

Ice Train vs. Meng

Eric talks about Meng being a cannibal for some reason. Power vs. power here and the monster version controls to start. Cross body takes Meng down for two though. Teddy Long is here again because he needs something to do. Eric again reminds us that he will indeed be riding his motorcycle to Sturgis. Meng controls and gets two with a legdrop.

Ice Train grabs a small package for the same result. We talk about Mongo a bit for no apparent reason as Meng puts on a camel clutch. Train tries to go up and comes off with a horrible looking attempt at a double axe but he jumps into a kick and we hit the floor. Scott Norton pops up and rams Meng's head into the post for the DQ. We waited 6 minutes to get to that?

Rating: D+. Pretty weak match but I like Meng a bit. Also that kick to the head near the end looked pretty good. The Ice Train vs. Norton feud would go on until the PPV and they had a half decent match to my great shock given the clash of styles. This was way too long though.

Norton says Ice Train is safe until the PPV.

We get a recap video of the NWO up to this point, which wasn't very long so far.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Psicosis

The announcers talk about Sturgis to start the match but get into the match rather quickly. Eddie takes it to the mat where Psicosis takes over and we take a break. Back with Psicosis chopping away in the corner which doesn't last long as Eddie sends him flying quickly. Eddie hits a dropkick but sends Psicosis to the floor and there's a big dive. Back in Eddie gets caught with an enziguri to shift the momentum.

Psicosis hits a pretty solid spinwheel kick off the top and Eddie is in trouble. Suicide dive to the floor lets Heenan say Psicosis gored Eddie with the horn. There's the guillotine legdrop as we talk about AAA a bit. The international stuff was really cool in WCW as it brought in so many different styles so you were almost always getting a variety. Eddie tries what looked to be a powerbomb but gets caught in a rana for two. Twisting moonsault gets a delayed sloppy cover for the masked dude. Eddie comes to life all of a sudden and hits a corner rana to set up the frog splash for the pin.

Rating: B. This was one of the better matches I can remember on Nitro in a very long time. Eddie looked good and gets a win for momentum before his title shot with Flair and Psicosis got a nice performance in here also. The announcers mainly stayed on topic so I didn't have anything to get mad about. Fun match and it got some time which helped a lot.

Sting/Lex Luger/Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair/Steve McMichael/Chris Benoit

No Anderson, not even as a second. Flair isn't here either but we were told earlier he would be making an entrance. After a break Arn is checking a white limo for whom I'd assume to be Flair. He can't find him though so Arn, who just happens to be in wrestling gear, is filling in. The announcers speculate about who the next guy in the NWO could be and Heenan says it's all about money. I guess you could call that foreshadowing.

Sting vs. Anderson to start us off. Mongo takes Sting down and the double beatdown is on. Back inside and here's Benoit. I'd love to see early 90s Sting vs. Benoit in a 20 minute match or so. Mongo gets a bad neckbreaker for two. A bad dropkick follows and we look at the white limo. Off to the Crippler again and an elbow gets two. Only Sting has been in so far.

Anderson takes a few punches but manages to stop the tag. Back to the football dude who hammers on him in the corner and it's very clear Mongo isn't ready to be in there yet. It's not his fault but he's just not experienced enough yet. Even a few months in a minor league would have done wonders for him. Lex finally gets the hot tag and cleans house. Everything breaks down and the girls try to slip in the briefcase. Savage manages to steal it back and clocks Benoit with it, allowing Luger to get the easy pin.

Rating: C+. This was fine. It was short but given Mongo, that's probably a good thing. He was trying but the experience and coordination just didn't click. He was a great football player but it's a different thing and I think he learned that quickly. Savage was never legally in the match I don't think.

Post match the faces have a little chat with Gene. Gene tells some chick not to throw underwear into the ring. Savage: “It's ok.” Sting has the briefcase now. He's looking forward to Hog Wild because they get their hands on the Outsiders. Luger goes on a rant about how he's losing it. Savage says he's going to beat up Hogan before Giant gets his hands on him.

Overall Rating: B+. This is one of the better Nitros I can remember in a very long time. Everything seemed to click for the most part (Meng vs. Ice Train being the exception I guess) and while the 8 man was pointless, that was the idea. You have a pointless match to use the NWO on, which while annoying was a really interesting idea because it had never been done before. This was a rather good show as things pick up fast in WCW.
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Monday Nitro #45
Date: July 22, 1996
Location: Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 450
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff

It's another show in the NWO era so I'll give you two guesses as to what the hot topic is here. Road Wild (or Hog Wild, whichever it is) is coming up in a few weeks but there's a lot of time before that. The card looks pretty basic here but the drama is the important point here so let's get to it.

We hear about Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Torch and see a clip of him getting a check for his foundation from WCW.

Now a clip of Shaq and Hogan from like two years ago. I guess they don't mind exploiting the evil Hogan if it gets them exposure.

Giant will answer Hogan's challenge tonight.

We get a clip from last week with the NWO covering up the WCW letters.

Dave Taylor vs. Scott Norton

Uh...sure. Norton's music is what would eventually be the Natural Born Thrillers' music or something incredibly similar to it. Ice Train vs. Norton is announced for Hog Wild, and amazingly enough that match didn't totally suck. Norton is popular here because of the anti-foreign traits of wrestling fans. He runs over Taylor and the British dude hits the floor. As Norton dominates a bit, he throws Taylor over the top to make sure his momentum is killed as fast as possibly. Maybe 90 seconds at most here.

The Horsemen minus Flair are at Flair's VIP table. Anderson says Flair will make an entrance later on. The Horsemen get Sting/Luger/Savage later. Benoit says bring it.

VK Wallstreet vs. Konnan

Konnan has what appears to be a pink skirt on. Ok then. Wallstreet, more famous as IRS, has nothing going at this point and needed to retire. Since he had a job in WCW though, he wouldn't for about three more years before going to Japan for another five or six years. After a quick bit on the floor Wallstreet keeps his advantage and works on the knee a bit.

Konnan grabs a rollup but can't do anything after that as Wallstreet takes him down again. K-Dawg misses a charge in the corner and Wallstreet works the arm some more. There's a loud Irwin chant. Wallstreet sets for the Wallstreet Crash (get it?) which is a Samoan drop. The move hits but Konnan rolls him into a crucifix for the pin.

Rating: D. Konnan looked really weak here and Wallstreet controlled about 98% of the match. The skirt wasn't helping him either. I have no idea why Mike Rotunda was pushed this late into his career but he certainly was. The idea was Konnan trying to get back on track after losing the title to Flair but this wasn't the way to go about it.

Luger/Sting/Savage say they're ready for the NWO. Luger however wants to know where the rest of the boys were when Savage and Sting were in Japan and Luger got beaten down. Oh and they're ready for the Horsemen too.

Glacier is STILL coming.

Video on a four man team of jobbers who are teaming up tonight. No words or anything. Just them on a beach taking their shirts off.

Jim Powers/Alex Wright/Joe Gomez/Renegade vs. Leprechaun/Hugh Morrus/Kevin Sullivan/Barbarian

Yes that's the jobber team. The Leprechaun is just that: a leprechaun who is more famous as Sargent Dwayne Bruce. Morrus vs. Renegade to start. Leprechaun is running around the ring like an idiot. And now let's have the camera go to the back because there's some disturbance. Wright beats up Barbarian and we go to the back again. The Outsiders are in the control truck.

We're not even watching the match at all. We haven't seen the ring in almost two minutes now. Hall says back on the movie stars and we get a quick flash of the ring and now back to the truck. We're looking at the crowd now and here's security to get the Outsiders out of the booth.

We finally go back to the ring after three minutes of Outsiders stuff. Tony says it's been a hard hitting match. Wouldn't it be nice to SEE THE MATCH? Anyway Powers is sent to the floor and Teddy Long is here for no apparent reason. That fires him up so he goes back in and hammers away on Morrus. Everything breaks down and here's Giant to chokeslam everything in sight that isn't in his stable and it's a DQ win. We might have seen 100 seconds of this match so no rating.

QUIT RINGING THE BELL ALREADY. Wright gets chokeslammed and so much for the team that had a video shot on them I guess. Gene goes in to talk to Giant who talks about defending the title against any and all comers. He'll fight Hogan at Hog Wild. Amazing how all these ultra loyal people in WCW colors would be in the NWO one day.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Prince Iaukea

Iaukea hits a dropkick but Page takes his head off with an elbow to the face. The Prince is sent to the floor but comes back in with a springboard cross body for one. And there's the Diamond Cutter and we're done. Pretty much a squash. He's also getting faster with that Cutter.

Video on Sullivan vs. Benoit at the awesome Great American Bash street fight.

Dean Malenko vs. Chavo Guerrero

They start fast but Dean gets a knee to the ribs to take over. Gutbsuter gets two. Chavo gets a dropkick that Dean was nice enough to stop so that it could hit. Dean gets a bunch of belly to back suplexes and now it's time to get REALLY FREAKING EXCITED BECAUSE IT'S NINE PM!!!!! We can barely hear Bobby who is rambling about something. Dean has a headscissors on Chavo. Some idiots are calling this boring because...well I have no idea why.

Off to a chinlock by Dean who has dominated the majority of this. Dean goes to the mat with an STF. This is taking a bit of time to get anywhere. Eric talks about the bikers in Sturgis and sounds downright orgasmic over it. Jimmy Hart is at ringside as he's still trying to recruit Benoit. Chavo gets his first offense in about 4 minutes in the form of a rollup. This is Chavo's comeback but when he goes up and dives off he gets caught in something like a spinebuster and the Cloverleaf ends it.

Rating: D+. This was more like an extended beatdown and decimation of Chavo. I'm not sure I get the point of that as they could have done this in about half the time. Still though it gave Dean some additional momentum going into his half an hour long match with Benoit at the PPV. Nothing to see here for the most part though.

Eric and Bobby bang their chests about WCW for awhile.

Ice Train vs. Meng

Eric talks about Meng being a cannibal for some reason. Power vs. power here and the monster version controls to start. Cross body takes Meng down for two though. Teddy Long is here again because he needs something to do. Eric again reminds us that he will indeed be riding his motorcycle to Sturgis. Meng controls and gets two with a legdrop.

Ice Train grabs a small package for the same result. We talk about Mongo a bit for no apparent reason as Meng puts on a camel clutch. Train tries to go up and comes off with a horrible looking attempt at a double axe but he jumps into a kick and we hit the floor. Scott Norton pops up and rams Meng's head into the post for the DQ. We waited 6 minutes to get to that?

Rating: D+. Pretty weak match but I like Meng a bit. Also that kick to the head near the end looked pretty good. The Ice Train vs. Norton feud would go on until the PPV and they had a half decent match to my great shock given the clash of styles. This was way too long though.

Norton says Ice Train is safe until the PPV.

We get a recap video of the NWO up to this point, which wasn't very long so far.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Psicosis

The announcers talk about Sturgis to start the match but get into the match rather quickly. Eddie takes it to the mat where Psicosis takes over and we take a break. Back with Psicosis chopping away in the corner which doesn't last long as Eddie sends him flying quickly. Eddie hits a dropkick but sends Psicosis to the floor and there's a big dive. Back in Eddie gets caught with an enziguri to shift the momentum.

Psicosis hits a pretty solid spinwheel kick off the top and Eddie is in trouble. Suicide dive to the floor lets Heenan say Psicosis gored Eddie with the horn. There's the guillotine legdrop as we talk about AAA a bit. The international stuff was really cool in WCW as it brought in so many different styles so you were almost always getting a variety. Eddie tries what looked to be a powerbomb but gets caught in a rana for two. Twisting moonsault gets a delayed sloppy cover for the masked dude. Eddie comes to life all of a sudden and hits a corner rana to set up the frog splash for the pin.

Rating: B. This was one of the better matches I can remember on Nitro in a very long time. Eddie looked good and gets a win for momentum before his title shot with Flair and Psicosis got a nice performance in here also. The announcers mainly stayed on topic so I didn't have anything to get mad about. Fun match and it got some time which helped a lot.

Sting/Lex Luger/Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair/Steve McMichael/Chris Benoit

No Anderson, not even as a second. Flair isn't here either but we were told earlier he would be making an entrance. After a break Arn is checking a white limo for whom I'd assume to be Flair. He can't find him though so Arn, who just happens to be in wrestling gear, is filling in. The announcers speculate about who the next guy in the NWO could be and Heenan says it's all about money. I guess you could call that foreshadowing.

Sting vs. Anderson to start us off. Mongo takes Sting down and the double beatdown is on. Back inside and here's Benoit. I'd love to see early 90s Sting vs. Benoit in a 20 minute match or so. Mongo gets a bad neckbreaker for two. A bad dropkick follows and we look at the white limo. Off to the Crippler again and an elbow gets two. Only Sting has been in so far.

Anderson takes a few punches but manages to stop the tag. Back to the football dude who hammers on him in the corner and it's very clear Mongo isn't ready to be in there yet. It's not his fault but he's just not experienced enough yet. Even a few months in a minor league would have done wonders for him. Lex finally gets the hot tag and cleans house. Everything breaks down and the girls try to slip in the briefcase. Savage manages to steal it back and clocks Benoit with it, allowing Luger to get the easy pin.

Rating: C+. This was fine. It was short but given Mongo, that's probably a good thing. He was trying but the experience and coordination just didn't click. He was a great football player but it's a different thing and I think he learned that quickly. Savage was never legally in the match I don't think.

Post match the faces have a little chat with Gene. Gene tells some chick not to throw underwear into the ring. Savage: “It's ok.” Sting has the briefcase now. He's looking forward to Hog Wild because they get their hands on the Outsiders. Luger goes on a rant about how he's losing it. Savage says he's going to beat up Hogan before Giant gets his hands on him.

Overall Rating: B+. This is one of the better Nitros I can remember in a very long time. Everything seemed to click for the most part (Meng vs. Ice Train being the exception I guess) and while the 8 man was pointless, that was the idea. You have a pointless match to use the NWO on, which while annoying was a really interesting idea because it had never been done before. This was a rather good show as things pick up fast in WCW.
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Monday Nitro #46
Date: July 29, 1996
Location: Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, Florida
Attendance:
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan

Another Nitro from Orlando as we still get ready for Hog Wild. We get a rematch from last week with Flair instead of Anderson which was the scheduled match on show 45. Also Greg Valentine gets a shot at the Giant. How exactly Greg Valentine became #1 contender and worthy of a world title shot is left up to the reader/viewer to decide I guess. Anyway let's get to it.

Tony lists off the card which includes a bunch of matches that I can't find.....OH IT'S THAT SHOW! Oh man this just got a lot more interesting from an historical standpoint. There's a big segment in the middle of this one that really established a lot for the NWO.

We get a clip from a show in Cincinnati where Luger and Sting are leaving the arena. The Outsiders and an unseen camera guy are watching. Luger is called away for a phone call and the evil ones jump Sting and beat the tar out of him.

Jim Duggan vs. Mike Enos

O.......k. Nitro has had some strange choices for openers lately. Duggan hits a clothesline to almost immediately send Enos to the floor. Enos tries to pound away and that fails. Larry gets the New World Odor line in for the third time in less than 8 minutes. Enos gets a shot in to take him to the floor. Back inside and Duggan throws a lot of punches that miss. Thankfully Enos didn't sell them so it didn't look awful.

Off to a chinlock. Why is it called a chinlock when it's supposed to work on the neck and throat? I've never seen anyone actually work on the chin. Duggan gets up and Hulks Up a bit but a double punch puts both guys down. Neckbreaker gets two for Enos. Top rope splash misses though as the announcers talk about four empty seats in the front row. Duggan makes his comeback and tapes up his hand for the knockout punch and the pin. Larry calls it a foreign object, but Duggan had it with him the whole time so how foreign was it?

Rating: D+. I have no idea why this was almost 8 minutes long. It's not horrible but dude, it's Mike Enos vs. Jim Duggan. The tape thing was a gimmick that Duggan used for years without it ever really changing. Either way, this wasn't horrible but I'm not sure what the point of it being here was.

Duggan wants to know what's up with Hulk. He calls Hogan a great technical wrestler (are we in Japan?) but he doesn't want to fight Hogan. He wants to beat him up.

Ad for Saturday Night which had Savage vs. Benoit. I'd like to see that methinks.

Ric Flair/Steve McMichael/Chris Benoit vs. Sting/Lex Luger/Randy Savage

Big brawl starts on the floor with Sting vs. Flair being the only two in the ring. Sting is on the floor now too and the Horsemen are in control. We take a break and come back with an ad for Glacier who was about two months from debuting still. Ok now the bell rings. Sting vs. Benoit starts us off officially. Off to Flair who gets a shot in on Savage who wasn't paying attention.

Savage gets him on the floor and they fight over to the VIP area. Flair takes some fruit to the head then is tossed in to Sting who catches a gorilla press and tags in Savage, making Flair scream. Randy points at Liz so Flair hits the floor and kisses her, making Savage snap even more. Flair tries to leave and Savage chases him, ramming him into the stands a bit.

Things calm down now and it's Mongo vs. Luger. The fans are behind Luger, probably due to his run in CWF in the mid 80s. Flair comes in and chops/punches away which works about as well as you would think it would. Luger runs him over a few times and suplexes him back into the ring for two. Benoit comes in again and has some better luck. After he beats down Luger for a bit Savage pops in and drills him, prompting a fight. I like that style. Why wait for a tag when you can come in and help your partner?

After a brief skirmish it's off to Sting vs. Flair again. Why mess with what works I guess. Top rope superplex gets two. If Flair's back wasn't broken 20 years before this, it has to be messed up due to all the suplexes and back drops he's taken. Blind tag brings in Mongo who they keep in small bursts which works a lot better for him. Little runs in the ring like that one are what he needs. Squashes would have helped him a lot also as he could have gotten down basic things like running the ropes and establishing a very basic move set.

Flair comes back in to break up a tag and there's the Figure Four. However he slaps Sting while the hold is on. You know for as smart as Flair was perceived to be, he did some DUMB things at times. Did he just never learn that a lot of stuff wasn't going to work? Benoit comes in to work on the knee a bit and it's off to Flair again.

Now we get to the important part of the show as Jimmy Hart runs out, begging for a cameraman to follow him because the Outsiders are in the back. Luger comes in and Jimmy gets on the ropes, begging for Team WCW or the Horsemen to come help him. Sting and Luger follow him and the Outsiders are standing over Anderson with bats in their hands. I'll get back to this in just a second. The match is thrown out or it's a double countout I guess.

Rating: B. I'd have liked an ending but the Outsiders thing is important and it shows some important aspects of the NWO vs. WCW war so I can let it slide here. Anyway I was digging this match as they had a solid back and forth match going where everyone was working hard and nothing looked bad at all. Any of the good guys vs. Flair is always worth a look and it's cool to see Benoit hanging in there with them. Good stuff here and a very fun match.

Anyway back to the important stuff. Marcus (not yet Buff) Bagwell is on the ground and his partner Scotty Riggs comes out. Nash blasts him in the face with something made of metal In the really famous spot of this sequence, Rey Mysterio dives off the deck of the trailer onto Nash who catches him and throws him head first into the trailer like a dart. The Outsiders get into a limo and drive off as Savage dives on top, trying to get into the sunroof.

The six guys minus Savage and some other wrestlers get to the back to check on them. Rey looks like his mask is off. Back from a break and everyone is still in a lot of pain and trouble. Arn is holding his left arm. According to Eric Bischoff, real cops were called by real people, thinking this was a gang riot. I don't believe anything Bischoff says, but I could understand this.

Ambulances come in and Alex Wright says there were four of them attacking. Hogan was never seen and neither was a fourth guy. Rey's mask is taken off completely and Tony is stunned. Eddie tries to get in an ambulances but Alex Wright tells him not to and to go to his match. Keep in mind that as far as I know, the fans in the arena can't see any of this. This isn't exactly good for them but it's great TV. The Dungeon and the Horsemen get in an argument in the back but nothing comes from it. Only Rey has been taken away so far.

We're back to Tony and Larry in the arena now and we take another break. Back and Eric and Heenan are on commentary now along with Tony. Keep in mind that assuming three and a half minutes per commercial, we're at almost 15 minutes on this. Heenan says this job isn't worth the risk of his health so he walks out. Eric points out that no one in the arena can see this. Arn is finally put on a stretcher.

We hear about the idea of standby matches and we get a boring chant. I guess the idea of telling the fans what happened is out of the question? Now there's an NWO chant. Anderson is finally in the ambulance. Bagwell is put into one as well as we're still hearing about standby matches. Isn't the idea of standby matches to have them on standby, as in ready almost immediately? Mayes they shouldn't have wasted Enos vs. Duggan earlier. After another break we finally have a match. By my math, this ate up over half an hour of the show.

High Voltage vs. Steiner Brothers

I think this is High Voltage's debut. High Voltage is comprises of Kenny Kaos and Robbie Rage. During the Steiners' entrance Riggs is taken away too. Scott vs. Kenny start us off. Rick is on the floor almost as a sentry. Scott keeps yelling at him but the Steiners seem all shaky. Rick is tagged in to face his future tag team champion partner in Kaos (don't ask). High Voltage takes over until a moderately warm tag to Scott (crowd is DEAD after that long segment) who cleans house. The Steiners wake up and a SICK Steiner Screwdriver ends Rage.

Rating: C-. Match was pretty dull but they had some weird circumstances to work through. I'm not going to blame them for the crowd being dead after 30 minutes of nothing. High Voltage were just a jobbing tag team. In a bit of trivia for you, they took their name from that of one High Voltage Matt Hardy, at least according to Hardy. This was just a step above a squash.

Eddie doesn't get his Cruiserweight Title shot tonight due to Rey being hurt. Instead he gets this.

Big Bubba vs. Eddie Guerrero

The bell rings after another break. Eddie sends him to the floor and sets for a dive and then just doesn't jump. Bubba takes over with some power moves and gets two on an elbow drop. Bubba hits something where he throws Eddie into the air like a backdrop or flapjack and just lets him drop. A few seconds later he tries it again and Eddie manages a dropkick.

A chinlock runs some clock out. A corner splash gets two. Off to a bearhug and then into a spinebuster. Eric says national news is calling. Why do I have issues believing that? Eddie can't get anything going here. It's confirmed that there were four guys. I won't spoil the fourth guy for you if you're not familiar with the stories but the identity will be revealed in a few weeks.

Off to a chinlock as this has been a really boring match so far. It's been a lot of resting and wear down holds. The psychology is there but that doesn't mean it's something worth seeing. Cross body by Eddie is countered into something like a World's Strongest Slam for no cover. Bubba puts him on the top rope because he's a midcard heel and therefore stupid, letting Eddie get a tornado DDT to break the momentum. Jimmy Hart, Bubba's manager, throws in the megaphone but Bubba can't get it, allowing Eddie to roll him up for the pin.

Rating: D+. This didn't work for me. I get that they needed to fill in some time but that doesn't mean it wasn't boring. The resting went on too long but on the other hand the win for Eddie was what he needed: a come from behind win where he looked like he had no way out. He was getting a push at this point but it would stall fairly soon.

Time for a very famous moment: the first ever paid announcement from the NWO. Basically it's about how awesome they are and how they're taking over. Oh and they talk about who #4 might be and imply it could be someone already in WCW. Hogan says he'll win the title from Giant in front of, and I quote, five hundred thousand bikers. Well based on the attendance approximations, he's about 1% right.

Eric has bailed on the announce table and we're told he's executive VP of the show. I don't think that's ever been referenced before. The remaining announcers talk about the attack earlier and we get some footage of it. Actually make that we see the entire thing up to the Outsiders leaving.

WCW World Title: The Giant vs. Greg Valentine

Honestly, Greg Valentine is the best replacement they could find? That doesn't make anyone else shake their head? I think you know the drill here. Valentine makes a go of it, almost making it to 90 seconds. Chokeslam ends it.

Giant imitates Hogan and says while Hogan is a con man, Giant is the big fish around here. WCW has to hang together or they'll hang separately. When you bring Ben Franklin into things, you know it's serious. Jimmy Hart says he knows he lies a lot, but the truth is Hogan will pay.

The lawn dart thing ends the show.

Overall Rating
: B-. Hard one to call here as the second half is totally different than the first. The first hour worked, mainly due to the six man. The long segment is exciting TV and makes you think you're watching something different, which you were, but it killed the crowd dead for the rest of the show. However their focus was TV, and that's perfectly fine.
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Monday Nitro #47
Date: August 5, 1996
Location: Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 450
Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone

We're a week removed from the big assault by the NWO in the parking lot on a bunch of guys. This is also the go home show for the good Hog Wild PPV in Sturgis on Saturday. I'd expect Eric to talk about riding out there a lot because Eric loves those motorcycles and he's a big boy because he can ride one. Anyway there's nothing special on the card so let's get to it.

Theme song hits. Get your reinforcements.

We talk about the beating last week. Is there a reason why the NWO were never, oh I don't know, PROSECUTED? The wrestlers are going to handle their own security tonight so some come out to kind of patrol the place. This is what I'm talking about when I say WWE needs to change things up a bit. This is something different and it makes you take notice. Also just having them stand there all night and not talking to them would be fine as it keeps you from thinking something might happen. In WWE if they were addressed, you would know something was happening then, which is why the product is suffering.

There are four empty chairs at ringside again.

Tag Titles: Rock N Roll Express vs. Harlem Heat

Time for another team being brought out of nowhere and being given a title shot. I've never understood how that works from a storyline perspective but it's one of those things you just have to go with. The fans are WAY into the Heat here which is kind of odd. Stevie and Morton get us going but Booker is tagged in before anything happens. Booker uses power instead of speed because he knows he can't keep up with the Express. See what I mean? Smart.

Gibson comes in and they do some double teaming to take over. We take a break and come back with the Express in control again as the wrestlers are around the ring which is a cool idea, especially with them just standing watch. The Heat do some double teaming of their own and Booker kicks Morton's head off with a superkick. Axe kick hits for two. Stevie is in for a few seconds until it's off to Booker again.

Harlem Heat has two managers here with Colonel Parker and Sister Sherri. They do their bickering couple thing and Booker yells at them, asking them to focus. Off to the chinlock and then it's off to Booker. He misses an elbow drop but spins up and kicks Morton's head off with the side kick. Morton manages a ninja roll to make the hot tag (Tony's exact words) to Gibson. The double dropkick hits Booker but Sherri interrupts the count. Parker gets in too but his distraction lets Ray kick Gibson's head off for the pin.

Rating: C+. The best thing this had going for it was the Express looked like they were supposed to: not that great because they were outmatched by the bigger, younger and stronger team in the Heat. When they managed to use their speed and teamwork, the managers got involved and they were outmatched. That's how you tell a story in a match and it worked.

The Nasty Boys are asked about joining the NWO and they say Hogan is their friend but is doing his own thing. Sting/Luger come out and want an answer but the Nasty Boys say stay out of our business. That's the main event and that took 45 seconds. They tried to join but the NWO beat them down instead.

Glacier is coming.

Here, buy this Hog Wild Jacket for only $100 after taxes!

Malia Hosaka vs. Madusa

This is a warm-up for Madusa as she's facing Bull Nakano on Sunday where the winner gets to destroy the loser's motorcycle. This is the first we've heard of the match on Nitro but I'd guess it was hyped on the other shows. Tony says it's 5-6 days before Hog Wild. I'm pretty sure Monday if always five days before Saturday there Tony. According to Tony Madusa is on a win streak. I don't remember the last time I saw her and it's not like WCW would ever invent something like that right?

Madusa hits a leg sweep and sunset flip to start. O'Connor roll doesn't work for Hosaka so, like any good Japanese wrestler, fires off some kicks. The always patriotic wrestling fans chant for Madusa. Hosaka puts on a spinning toe hold and off to a figure four. Hosaka works over the leg as she's trying to soften her up for Nakano, both of whom work for Sonny Onoo.

A limo has pulled up at the arena. Madusa hits something like a gutwrench suplex but it looked more like a piledriver that she fell backwards with instead. The WCW security guys (who have been here all night) are all tense now. Madusa goes up top for a superplex and then levels Sonny because that's what you do to heel managers. The ending looks bad because Madusa dropkicks him and when she hits the mat she lays there so she can get covered and Onoo pulls her leg so Hosaka can pin her.

Rating: C-. Not great here but it sets up the match on Sunday. Madusa probably should have overcome the odds here and the ending didn't help much. Also the fact that this is literally the first we've ever heard of the match makes it feel very rushed. It's not a good match or anything but for about four minutes this was fine.

We get a clip from a few weeks ago where Malenko cost Benoit a match to Eddie by ramming him into the post.

Alex Wright vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit chops away in the corner as is his custom but he gets reversed and Wright fires some of his own. They start talking about the potential fourth man, who would show up three weeks from tonight. We get some nice technical stuff as both guys are totally cool with wrestling whatever style is needed. Wright speeds things up a bit and grabs an armbar.

Wright misses a charge and hits the corner to give Benoit his first advantage. Back elbow gets two as does a belly to back. Tony begins his overhyping of things, talking about how there will be 250,000 bikers at Hog Wild. It was closer to about 5,000 by most estimates but since when has accuracy been an important point in wrestling?

The match is ignored again for talk of what's the deal with the limo. Benoit hooks an abdominal stretch which doesn't last long as we hit the mat for a variety of chinlocks. Benoit lets go of a camel clutch and stomps a bit. Here's Jimmy Hart to talk to Woman, saying she needs to come with him, pointing to his tie which has a picture of Kevin Sullivan on it. Back in the ring Wright totally messes up a guillotine legdrop, more or less hitting a flying stomp to the ribs. Malenko comes out to try to take Woman with him, causing Benoit to hit the floor and they brawl, somehow resulting in a countout instead of a DQ.

Rating: C+. Wright was someone who had some really good matches out there at times and this wasn't bad at all. The ending is kind of odd as I think Tony misspoke because they couldn't have been out there five seconds before the bell rang. Either way, this was a nice back and forth match, horrible legdrop aside.

Randy Savage vs. Steven Regal

Regal heads to the floor immediately and the fans are way behind Savage. These crowds have been awesome especially considering their size. Regal goes technical and is incredibly impressive in doing so. Savage turns it into a brawl which is smart for him. There's no Eric Bischoff or Heenan for hour #2 but since it's now 9pm, let's waste some money on fireworks!!!

Regal fires off some forearms in the corner...and here come Sting and Luger. Savage hammers away on Regal's head and we're not sure where Eric and Heenan are. Sting and Luger sit in two of the four seats in the front row and are here to watch Savage's back. Savage is actually working out there and it's weird to see him get in this much offense at this point. Out to the floor and Regal is knocked into the seat Sting was in. Back inside the big elbow ends this clean.

Rating: C+. Pretty nice hard hitting match here with both guys hammering away on each other. Savage was in a weird period here where he would get beaten down the entire match and then come back with like two moves and the elbow so it was nice to see him being competitive the entire match. Regal worked hard as usual and showed a lot of different styles in just a few minutes. Good stuff here.

Sting and Luger go after the limo and open the door....and there are flowers inside. It says condolences on the death of WCW. I wasn't huge on that book.

Savage is with Gene in the ring and he's getting the first shot at whoever wins on Saturday at some unannounced date. Savage is barred from the PPV in exchange for that though. He would get Hogan at Halloween Havoc but that was about two months away so I'm not sure if that's the match they're referring to. Sting and Luger come in with the flowers and Savage wants to fight right now. Sting mockingly says the NWO aren't bad guys since they sent flowers, but since WCW isn't dying this means nothing. The company would be dead in less than five years so healthy may not be the most accurate description. They beat up the flowers.

Larry thinks something is up with the announcers not being here.

We get a clip of Eddie saving Chavo from an attack on Flair and then getting jumped for it. Eddie says he's coming for the title Saturday. Rey popped in with a headache and said he'd fight the Outsiders.

Booty Man vs. Ric Flair

Who thought Booty Man was the best they could do? I mean, was ULTRA MAN unavailable or something? Arn Anderson, still with an injured arm, comes out to defend Flair here. This is a nice touch throughout the show and I'm digging it a lot. Flair takes it to the floor quickly and is in control. Benoit and Mongo are here too. Booty Man gets some right hands in and Heenan shows up for commentary.

He isn't sitting down though and is yelling about how he wasn't guaranteed security last week. He's feeling a bit better this week though with this army of WCW guys out here. He was waiting on Eric to come out though and wants some direction. It's pointed out that no one has seen Eric all day, which is some long distance foreshadowing. There's the Figure Four and Benoit/McMichael come in for a beatdown, resulting in an odd DQ. This was barely anything. Oh and Heenan is gone already.

The Horsemen beat him down, which is a message to Hogan. Booty Man would try to join the NWO Saturday but would be beaten down when they realized he was the freaking Booty Man. Gene comes into the ring and tells Anderson to stop the beating. Anderson talks about being beaten down last week and talks about the New World Order being mentioned in the Bible.

This is a weird interview as the Horsemen are still beating on Booty Man behind Anderson. Anderson gets in a classic Horseman line: “they send one of your's to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue.” Why the Horsemen never went to war with them full on is beyond me but I blame Bischoff. Flair goes on a huge rant about Hogan as only Flair can.

To fill in some time we see the entire beatdown from last week and a lot of the emergency personnel taking the victims off.

Larry talks about Hogan being the Anti-Christ with 666 on his head and how the lake of fire is waiting on him. Ok then.

The NWO announcement makes fun of Luger. Oh and Hogan will win Saturday. This goes on for awhile until Sting and Luger make them stop the tape. We're told this over the headset from the director and he won't shut up until we go to the control room where Sting and Luger aren't happy. They're going to chill there for the rest of the show to make sure nothing else NWO goes on the air. Ok so now they're leaving with Sting talking about, and this is a direct quote, “free pot pie and Mountain Dew in his trailer.”

WCW World Title: Craig Pittman vs. The Giant

I'm not sure if this is for the title but we'll say it is. That belt looks tiny on Giant. Oh ok it is for the title. This lasts a bit longer than most with Giant pounding away. Savage gets his title shot next Monday. Wow that's a pretty fast shot (of course the match didn't happen). Chokeslam and we're done after about 90 seconds.

Teddy Long, Pittman's manager, gets a chokeslam post match. Gene comes in and Giant/Hart say what you would expect them to say five days before a title match. As they're talking, here's the limo again. The main event of the PPV is no holds barred? Ok then. The fans chant for Hogan as Giant talks. No one gets out of the limo yet.

We get a clip of Savage having his briefcase full of money stolen back by Mongo on Saturday. Maybe he shouldn't keep a briefcase of money with him at all times.

Lex Luger/Sting vs. Nasty Boys

Main event time. The Steiners are out here now to give us about 10 guys guarding the ring. Luger gets beaten down by double teaming early in the match and Knobbs gets two. Off to Sting and the un-nasty team cleans house for a few seconds. Sags hits a running clothesline to put Sting down and Knobbs comes back in. Make that Sags in again. Bah the Nasties keep tagging too fast. Wow did I really just say that?

Knobbs puts a seated reverse chinlock on Sting and Luger has to make the save. Back to Sags and Barbarian is just kind of wandering around the ring. Knobbs goes up but the splash hits feet and there's your hot tag to Lex. He tries the Rack on Sags but Brian saves. We go to the floor and Sags accidently hits the Barbarian. Rick Steiner pops Jerry and back in, the Scorpion ends this.

Rating: D+. The match was pretty boring but the whole point of this was to set up the Sting/Luger team to look good heading into the PPV and the huge tag match. Not bad here but for about five minutes on TV with a pretty quick ending, there wasn't much that they were going to be able to do here.

After a break Sting and Luger bring some kids in the ring to pose for some reason. That goes nowhere but Sting and Lex go after the limo again. Sting opens the door really fast and pulls out a purse or something before the door is slammed again and we're out of time. Not sure what that was or was supposed to mean.

Overall Rating: B-. This show has A LOT going on in it and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not in this case. Almost everything is covered and it kind of makes me want to watch Hog Wild. They do focus on the main events which are the vast majority of the PPV hype if not all of it. Hog Wild was good so I can't complain there. Good show here for a go home show but not a great TV show if that makes sense.

Here's Hog Wild if you're interested:

http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showth...59#post2112759
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:40 AM
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Monday Nitro #48
Date: August 12, 1996
Location: Casper Events Center, Casper, Wyoming
Attendance: 6,408
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

It's officially the Hollywood Hogan and NWO Era here as Hogan beat the Giant for the world title on Saturday and would hold it for about 51 weeks before losing it to Luger for six days for some reason in 97. Tonight is supposed to be Savage vs. the winner of the title match, in this case Hogan, but that's being saved for Halloween Havoc. Anyway let's get to it.

First of all, who in the world goes to Wyoming? Have you EVER heard of a show taking place in Wyoming? It sounds so odd to hear that a show is coming from there.

First line: Larry: “Here we are Tony in the middle of nowhere!” At least they're in an arena tonight instead of outside. I think I like the Disney place better. Larry brings up a good point: where was WCW when the Outsiders ran in to cause the title change?

We get some stills from the PPV which didn't have 250,000 people there like Tony is saying. This was the beginning of the NWO referee Nick Patrick which was just getting started.

Flair vs. Savage for the US Title tonight which goes completely against what we were told last week.

Dungeon of Doom vs. High Voltage/Rough & Ready

The Dungeon is Morrus/Sullivan/Faces of Fear. The other team is comprised of four guys that aren't important enough to list off. Sullivan is in street clothes. Morrus starts vs. Kaos and High Voltage double teams him to take over. The Faces of Fear run over Rage (part of High Voltage) and this breaks down quickly. Very rarely in this are there only two people in the ring at once. Sullivan hits a running knee to Rage while he's in the Tree of Woe and it breaks down again. Meng kicks Rage's head off for the pin. This was just a squash.

Rough & Ready beats up High Voltage post match.

Sting and Luger pop up and want a rematch with Hall and Nash tonight. They get in the ring now and there are no Outsiders. Sting and Luger keep shouting as we go to a break.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Renegade

Renegade is just a jobber at this point, only having been seen twice since February. Also he's now just a guy in a leather jacket. What is with wrestlers and leather? There's a Clash of the Champions this week too with Flair vs. Hogan for the title. Is it bad that I knew the city that show was in before Tony said it? Page plays some cat and mouse with Renegade as he doesn't seem too wild about getting in there with him just yet.

The NWO will respond to Sting/Luger's challenge later tonight. Page gets a good shot in and plays to the crowd a bit. He steps on Renegade's hands and Renegade shakes his fingers in a way that isn't exactly what I picture when I think of someone named Renegade. Off to the chinlock and Page throws his feet on the ropes. That's such a basic heel move but it always works.

Renegade is just laying there during this hold and it's slowing things down. Page is moving around and trying to make the hold look more devastating than it is. In other words, Renegade is just laying there and Page is trying to do something. He starts his comeback and rolls Page up for two. Page counters something into the Diamond Cutter and we're done. That would be the ending to a lot of DDP matches for awhile.

Rating: C-. Soon after this Page would be put into a feud with Eddie Guerrero with the idea being Eddie would show DDP how to have a good match and for the most part it worked. This launched Page up to the midcard and then soon after that he got the rub of a lifetime when he turned down the NWO just after the beginning of the year and became one of the top faces in the company.

The NWO is sitting in the locker room in a rare interview. The Outsiders accept the challenge but Hogan isn't sure about this, although he's not upset about it. Hogan mentions a fourth and fifth guy. The fourth guy is sitting on the other side of the room but Nash says stay over there. Hogan wants to make a new belt. Hogan says the fans might leave WCW if the Outsiders beat up Sting/Luger tonight. This was what became the issue with the NWO: they were FAR more interesting when we rarely heard from or saw them. Starting around this time, we saw them every week and it lost the mystique.

Konnan vs. Jim Powers

Neither gets an entrance. Konnan is in regular tights now. Powers is surprisingly more popular and the fans are reacting to him a lot more. Konnan is acting a bit heelish here and is sent to the floor. Ah there's the “change of attitude” line so yeah Konnan is now a heel. Seated dropkick puts Powers down but Powers takes over again quickly. Sweet merciful goodness is he ever generic. Powers keeps up his offense and then runs into a boot in the corner plus Konnan putting his feet on the ropes for the cheap pin.

Rating: F. Oh this was bad. Powers is so generic it's almost painful to watch and Konnan as just an evil Mexican dude is almost as boring. Also Konnan isn't a guy that can wear pink (boots) and still look tough. I get that they're trying to get him over as a heel but he needed a character very badly so K-Dawg might have been the best thing that could have happened to him.

Konnan tells Gene to shut up and talks about the NWO. He's WCW but just a heel in WCW. Ok then.

Chris Benoit vs. Ron Studd

He's John's son (not really) but he's more famous as Reese in the Flock. Benoit has his more famous music now which I don't think he's had until here. Benoit slaps him in the face and is beaten down quickly. Chris is smart though and gets a dropkick to the tall one's knee and stomps away. The knee is wrapped around the post. Studd makes a quick comeback and goes up, only to get crotched and superplexed and we're done. That was a cool finish.

Rating: C+. Just a squash here but Benoit was thinking out there and going for the knee was a good idea. Also the ending was cool too as that was a pretty sweet suplex, especially since Studd is about as tall as Big Show if not taller. He's skinny as a rail but it was still impressive. Just a squash but a fun one.

Woman hits on Gene which was always weird. Benoit talks about having an agenda along with the Horsemen but doesn't say what it is. Oh and he'll beat Giant on Thursday (no he won't.)

We get some clips of the tag title match from Saturday where Harlem Heat cheated to beat the Steiners and keep the titles.

Now let's stand around and talk to fill in time before the second hour. Someone please explain to me why it was such a big deal to get to the second hour. I'll never get that.

Eric and Bobby are actually here this week. Eric will only say he was taking care of some business last week and won't elaborate past that.

Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Steiner Brothers

Here's PPV rematch #1. PPV rematch #2 is on Thursday at the Clash. The Steiners clear the ring quickly and then it's Scott vs. Booker with Scott hitting a powerslam. The Heat are the champions here. Scott hits a belly to belly and the champs go to the floor again. Off to Rick vs. Stevie now and Stevie pounds him down with ease. Rick grabs a suplex and brings in Scott for the chinlock as we take a break.

Back with the same chinlock on still so that break must have been really boring. They head to the floor and Rick gets kicked in the head by Booker and Stevie slams him to really take over. Rick again responds with a huge suplex/slam. Scott comes in and beats up various people from Harlem as the ring is cleared again. Everything breaks down and Scott tries a suplex. Sherri trips him and holds the foot down for a cover, but Colonel Parker comes in and that's good for a DQ win for the Steiners.

Rating: D+. Rick's suplexes were good but the rest of the match was really dull stuff. It does however begin or maybe continue a running bad idea in WCW of having a PPV match on free TV less than a week later, which makes the fans that bought the PPV feel really stupid for paying money to see a match they could have seen for free a few days later. Buy hey, Raw didn't get a higher TV rating and that's all that counts right?

The announcers recap the PPV, including the women's match in a lot of detail. Why can we see video from that and not the rest of the matches?

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon

Here's another PPV rematch. Dragon goes insane with kicks and Rey is in trouble. Eric couldn't be happier naming off a bunch of kick names and Dragon gets a spinning backbreaker into something like Abyss' Shock Treatment. BIG running Liger Bomb hits and Rey is dead. Rey gets going by blocking a splash off the top and there's a springboard rana and we go outside.

Rey is badly shaken up from the beatdown earlier on. That's one of his major character aspects though so it fits well. Rey tries a spinning move out of the corner but Dragon hits a dropkick to the ribs to stop that cold. Dragon hits a big dive to the floor and Rey is down. Back in the ring a tiger suplex gets two for Dragon. Muta style moonsault gets two. Dragon sets for something but Sonny Onoo wants to give him advice. The break gives Rey the chance to roll Dragon up to retain.

Rating: B. This was a pretty awesome spotfest with Dragon beating the tar out of Rey who was in trouble until the end. The underdog aspect is part of his character too so I can't complain much here. Rey would hold the title until Halloween Havoc so this is going to last for a good while, and to be fair this is the old school Rey so he's still awesome.

We get some shots from Hog Wild of Flair retaining over Eddie.

US Title: Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage

Savage charges the ring and the fight is on. Flair is trying to survive the early part of the match as Savage pounds him about the head and face. Flair takes over as we take a break. Back with Flair in control and Liz getting in a shot because she's not a nice person at this point. Savage starts his comeback with his usual stuff including the top rope double axehandle.

Flair goes for the knee and sends Savage out to the floor. A knee crusher hits and it's Figure Four time. After some uninspired fighting to get out of it Savage is able to roll him over. That doesn't last long either as Flair escapes and grabs a belly to back suplex for no cover. Savage starts his comeback and slams Flair off the top and we get a Flair Flip in the corner.

There goes the ref and Flair is knocked to the floor. Savage hits a double axe off the top to the floor and rolls back the mats. Hogan spoils his fun though by popping Savage in the back with a chair which Flair doesn't see. Savage gets rolled back in and Flair climbs in and gets the pin with his feet on the ropes. Eric calls shenanigans.

Rating: C-. Flair vs. Savage is always worth a look but this is about the sixth or seventh time these guys have fought on Nitro in less than a year that the show has been on. It's played at this point and we've seen it so many times that there isn't much they can do, especially with the really lackluster and lack of drama in the Figure Four. I'm not sure why but it was totally boring. Still though these two are almost always worth seeing.

We get some stills of the world title match which Giant was in control of for the most part. Giant laying around for about 10 minutes after being hit with the belt was pretty solid acting.

We get a short clip from Hog Wild where Hogan and the NWO beat down Booty Man when he tried to join.

Here's Hogan to no music to talk to Gene. This war is about WCW, not the people in it if that makes sense. Hogan didn't hit Flair so there would be no excuses when he beats him Thursday. He talks about giving everyone new names. Flair is officially the stupid little man. Hulk Hogan: English Major.

We look at the parking lot attack footage for some reason AGAIN.

We can't find the Outsiders so Heenan freaks a bit. Oh there they are.

Sting/Lex Luger vs. Outsiders

Here's your next PPV rematch. Luger comes out sans Sting. This is officially a match even though Luger is on his own. Sting comes through the crowd and the WCW guys rule the ring. Arn Anderson vs. Giant is still scheduled. Hall vs. Luger and Sting vs. Nash are paired off. Luger is down somewhere but comes back quickly. There's no semblance of tagging or a match going on. Sting is sent over the top and Luger gets double teamed for a bit.

Nick Patrick is referee and Eric wants to know why that wasn't a DQ. Sting is back now and it's still a brawl. Nash takes a splash but Hall avoids one. Here come the Horsemen and the whole thing is thrown out. This ran almost four minutes but it was never anything resembling a match so I'm not going to give it a rating. It was entertaining enough though.

Sting and Luger aren't sure if they can trust the Horsemen due to past issues.

We look at the replay and clearly see Nick Patrick pull Hall out of the way of the Stinger Splash.

Gene talks to the Horsemen who say they don't like Luger and Sting but they don't like the NWO more. Classic method of doing things so no complaints there. Flair says Mongo can take down Nash and Anderson is the perfect match for Hall. Whoever the fourth man is, Benoit is ready for them. As far as wrestlers go, that's some nice storytelling as Benoit would be facing the fourth NWO guy (as in guys that actually wrestled) very soon.

Overall Rating: B. This show was about WCW uniting to fight the NWO and how no one is sure as to who they can trust. They really cranked up the drama tonight and it's got me wanting to see more, especially with the idea of there being more people in the NWO. This was incredibly good week to week storytelling with great mysteries every week. Once it gets to September 16 and Sting telling us to stick it, as a good friend of mine would say, it's all gravy baby. Good show this week as Nitro is hitting its stride in a hurry.

Here's the Clash if you're interested:

http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showth...77#post2762677
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in fact
Quote:
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