Monday Nitro From 1996 with KB

Discussion in 'Old School PPV/TV Reviews' started by klunderbunker, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #37
    Date: May 27, 1996
    Location: Macon Coliseum, Macon, Georgia
    Attendance: 4,309
    Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff

    We’re FINALLY here as we reach probably the most important TV show in wrestling history. First and foremost, tonight Scott Hall is going to debut by jumping the guardrail, more or less shattering the idea that things are predictable on wrestling. That’s the huge deal so I’ll go into detail on how awesome and shocking it was later. Also this is the first two hour Nitro and there’s a new announce team. Let’s get to it.

    Theme song opens us up.

    Tony and Larry are the first hour commentators while Heenan and Bischoff will come in later. NO MORE MONGO!!!!! This is a great show so far!

    American Males vs. Arn Anderson/Ric Flair

    Gee I wonder what’s going to happen. Larry calls the Males the young and the useless. That might be the only funny line he has all year so enjoy it while it lasts. Liz looks awesome in blue. Flair vs. Riggs to get us started here. Larry seems like the heel commentator here which wouldn’t last that long. The Horsemen get him on the floor and work him over like the Horsemen are known to do.

    Yep Larry certainly is because he complains about how the football players that the Horsemen are facing at the next PPV are losers. Everything breaks down and the Males actually clean the ring for a bit. Flair runs over to his VIP table and grabs come champagne for a shot. Well that’s a new one. Things calm down again and it’s Arn vs. Bagwell at the moment.

    Arn accidently clotheslines the pole and we take a break. Back with Bagwell fighting out of the corner but he doesn’t tag. And never mind as he brings in Riggs for awhile as Flair chills in the corner. Tony and Larry have been given champagne by Flair. Shame Heenan isn’t there for this one. Flair works on the knee of Riggs as does Arn. Riggs manages to get an enziguri to send Anderson to the floor but as he goes for the tag, Flair and the referee get into a shoving match. Oh never mind as Bagwell gets the tag anyway.

    Missile dropkick takes down Flair for two and they do the small package bit where the partners keep rolling them over. I love that as the guys don’t kick out for like twenty seconds and just lay there. Fisherman’s suplex hits Flair but Anderson makes the save. Woman saves another pin attempt and Anderson kills Bagwell with a DDT and Flair gets the pin. Quick ending.

    Rating: C. This was kind of sloppy but for the most part it was fine. No one expected the Males to win here and that’s fine. They weren’t supposed to win anything here and they had a decent match out of it instead. This is what veterans are supposed to do: give the young guys experience and help bring them up slowly. For some reason that rarely happens in most companies and the young guys are seen as weaker when they come up. Either way, just an average match here but it was fine.

    Anderson isn’t afraid of football players. Flair says his women are attractive and he’ll get Debra. Liz is the Sugar Mama using Savage’s money apparently.

    Kevin Greene and Mongo are training for their match. This is a waste of time.

    Steve Doll vs. The Mauler

    And here it is. Why would this be on TV you ask? The same reason a guy named Steve Gatorwolf was on SNME once: to allow something else to happen. Mauler is Mike Enos and has Colonel Parker with him. Doll means nothing. Crowd is DEAD and the Mauler squashes him for awhile. They both go to the floor and Doll goes into the post. We take a break and come back and you can see him in the crowd.

    Scott Hall comes over the railing and wants a mic. He says the famous line of you know who I am but you don’t know why I’m here. He calls out some of the big WCW names and has a challenge for Bischoff, Turner, Savage and anyone else that is here in WCW. “You want a war? You gonna get one.” The match of course just ends.

    Ok so as you likely know, this completely changed wrestling forever for a lot of reasons.

    1. No one, I mean NO ONE, saw this coming. Hall had literally wrestled less than two weeks prior on a WWF show. Today the 90 day no compete clauses exist because of this moment. If three months had gone by, first of all people would have noticed Hall was missing and there would be a good chance the word could have gotten out that he had signed with WCW. It made things seem like anything could happen on Nitro at the drop of a hat and that made you want to see the show. This was dabbled in with Luger on the debut episode but this blows Luger away.

    2. Hall’s line about a war made people think that WWF was in on this which was unthinkable. People had jumped before but when they arrived there was fanfare to it and all that jazz. Hall came in through the crowd (by the way if I remember correctly he wouldn’t be named until Bash at the Beach) in street clothes, making it look totally unplanned. The idea of breaking the walls of kayfabe was also unthinkable coming up to this point, which shook everything up.

    3. This would be the main story for the next three years minimum with all kinds of twists and turns in there. Everything was about Hall and eventually Nash and Hogan, but at this time everything was blown away by what the potential of this could be and it definitely had huge potential to be one of the biggest storylines of all time and it definitely was. It also set up the WWF because they had to respond to it. Granted they didn’t do that for almost 18 months but the idea was there.

    4. I can’t emphasize this enough but this changed everything. The model before this had been to just go out there and do your thing week in and week out with the same structure every time. This made it look like the script had been thrown out the window and that there was this rogue guy and later this rogue group that didn’t care about the rules and were going to take things over whether you liked it or not. Having it look like the other company is involved in it is a brilliant idea as it looks like something is completely unprepared, which makes you want to see it at the same time. Brilliant.

    5. Finally, this more or less marks the end of the athletics being the focus of the show. Everything became about drama from this point on. The matches got worse, the young guys got pushed to the back, the storylines and a lot of the face/heel dynamics were abandoned and everything was focused on drama. It wouldn’t really kick in until late July, but from this point on you could see the line of demarcation and how everything would change afterwards. It certainly worked for awhile, but eventually people got tired of it which is what brought the company down, along with about a thousand other things but we’ll get to that later.

    Craig Pittman vs. Diamond Dallas Page

    Guy that won a major PPV competition vs. a guy that hasn’t been on Nitro in months. Gee what do you think is going to happen here? No mention of the Hall incident post break. Teddy Long manages Pittman here. Page makes fun of him to start and imitates a soldier. Pittman does one armed pushups and Page thinks for once and tries to jump him. Pittman moved but the idea was nice at least.

    There’s a slight reference to Hall but it’s not mentioned specifically at all. Page gets choked on the floor by a cord and then gets almost caught in the Code Red (Pittman’s cross armbreaker finisher). Teddy goes down and the distraction sets up the Diamond Cutter to end it. Barely even a match.

    Video on Randy Savage and how he’s insane now.

    Shark says he’s out of the Dungeon of Doom. Somehow he has a world title match tonight. They were a lot more liberal with those back then I guess.

    Video on Hogan and how he’s been chilling with “celebrities” from Hollywood recently. He’s done some charity work too, which is always cool. He’s also been on Baywatch. It’s really funny seeing how big a deal they’re trying to make a guest appearance on Baywatch seem when Rock is a legit big star now.

    Hour #2 starts. Bischoff says they’re not going to dignify the guy jumping the rail as he dignifies the guy jumping over the rail.

    WCW World Title: Shark vs. Giant

    That sounds like a bad Syfy channel movie. Shark is listed from Tsunami. No country or anything. He’s just from a tsunami apparently. Shark (Earthquake) hammers away on Giant. This is somehow fallout from Slamboree as Giant is replacing Shark or something. Shark keeps ramming into him and Giant eventually gets bored and clotheslines him down.

    Giant chokes with the boot but Shark actually comes off the middle rope with a double axe. The future Big Show is like dude, you’re old and slams him with ease. He held him up there too which looked awesome. They exchange some more big man stuff and I wouldn’t look for this to last much longer at all. Eric says the second hour will start weekly at 8:50 or so. This bothered me back in the day. How can you start the second hour when the first hour isn’t even a complete hour? Jimmy gets up on the apron and the distraction lets Giant hit the chokeslam to end this.

    Rating: C. Just a battle of the big men here so how much can you really complain? It’s not that bad but another win for Giant is never a bad thing. He needed all the ring time he could get and that’s what he did here. Shark would feud with the Dungeon briefly before just kind of leaving.

    Post match Big Bubba comes in to cut half of Shark’s hair. This led to a bad match at the Bash.

    Bischoff keeps talking about Hall without actually talking about him you know.

    TV Title: Maxx vs. Lex Luger

    Maxx used to be DDP’s bodyguard so he’s now #1 contender for the TV Title. Don’t you get the connection there? We talk about the Great American Bash where some guy named Rey Mysterio is going to debut. Maxx uses some very basic power stuff as we pad this out since there’s no point in even making fun of Maxx’s lack of a chance here. More babbling about Hall follows as he’s going to get a chance to talk at the end of the hour.

    Maxx hammers away as Luger stumbles around a lot. Side slam gets two. Make that four which only in wrestling doesn’t get enough for three. Elbow drop gets two. Falls count anywhere between Sullivan and Benoit is mentioned. Awesome match there. Luger hits a powerslam and there’s the Rack out of almost nowhere to end this.

    Rating: D+. Just kind of there for the most part as just like Giant did with Shark, Luger gets a workout here that doesn’t mean anything. Their title match went nowhere for the most part because the whole thing was about Bischoff getting jumped by the Outsiders. Anyway, nothing of note here but that was the point.

    Luger says he earned the title shot even though it was taken from DDP and given to Luger. We get a clip of Giant chokeslaming Luger through the table a few weeks back. Luger wants all the big men WCW has before the title match.

    Bobby Walker vs. Brad Armstrong

    Just….why? Walker is a no name guy called Hard Work. See what I mean here? Bischoff still won’t say Hall’s name “due to legal reasons” and still won’t dignify him as he mentions him for the fourth time tonight. Walker takes him down with the arm and Armstrong does the same to Walker. Walker botches a few moves before hitting a cross body off the top for two.

    We hit the mat for some more basic stuff. Headscissors goes on while they’re on the mat as this is pure filler. They didn’t have the whole two hour concept down yet I wouldn’t think. Walker gets a backslide for two. He goes up and slips again before hitting a top rope shoulder block for the pin.

    Rating: D. So in a four minute match he noticeably botched three moves. Walker would later be part of a racial discrimination lawsuit against WCW, saying that they held him back because he was black. Based on this, I think it was more due to a high level of suck. Armstrong was always around but never really did anything. We did hear about the Cruiserweight Title being in America now, which is definitely a good thing overall.

    Steven Regal vs. Alex Wright

    Time to talk about Hulk! Or the Nasty Boys! Or Dennis Rodman! I never got this. It’s not like they’re talking about something major. They’re talking about random stuff that is there to avoid talking about the matches. That makes no sense but they always did it. Wright speeds things up a bit and takes him to the floor. He dives over the top to take out Regal as we take a break.

    Back with Wright holding his arm as Regal takes over apparently. Headlock on the mat goes on which is a lot worse from Regal than most people. Belly to belly gets two for Wright. Bischoff actually calls Wright green. When do you ever hear that word being used? That’s another thing that started to be added around this time: random insider terms. European uppercut gives Wright some momentum and a rollup gets two. Pretty sweet pinfall reversal sequence ends with Wright hitting a nice dropkick to take over again. Monkey flip is countered and Regal gets a jackknife cover for the pin.

    Rating: C+. Pretty nice match here as both guys worked rather hard to give us a nice crisp match. Unfortunately neither guy would really mean anything because they couldn’t talk that well but at the same time they were good backdrops for the amount of talking about WCW vs. NWO. Not much here but a decent little TV match.

    Regal goes on a rant about Quasimodo and makes a semi-Hitler reference, calling Wright a mini-Adolf. Regal says WCW is nuts here and actually references Hall and says it’s time he has his say in what goes on in WCW. He challenges Sting who he would lose to at the Bash in a good match.

    Scott Steiner vs. Sting

    Odd main event here but whatever. They shake hands to start us off. Scott overpowers Sting to start as this is the always weird face vs. face match. Sting sends him to the floor with a dropkick and then dives over the top with a plancha. Back in and Scott gets a butterfly powerbomb for no cover. There’s the belly to belly for no cover again. Scott gets a double axe to the floor as he keeps control.

    That gets two back in the ring as we make fun of WWF again because that’s just how we roll around here right? Sting gets a big boot up to block a charge in the corner as momentum balances out a bit. Scott hits another belly to belly for two. STF goes on. I guess that makes four moves for him right? He just lets it go and hits a cross armbreaker. Sting starts a comeback but the splash misses.

    Scott gets a dragon suplex and here comes Luger as a second I guess. Rick comes out also and you might as well just paint a big sign that says DOUBLE DQ IS COMING in big letters on the screen. Samoan Drop from the middle rope gets no cover from Scott again. Sting avoids the Frankensteiner but can’t get the Scorpion. Scott tries a Tombstone which is reversed into one by Sting for two. Sting suplexes Scott to the floor and Luger interferes as does Rick and it’s a double DQ even though Luger hit first.

    Rating: B-. Pretty good match here and the ending was there to protect Scott I think. They always wanted to push him hard but they couldn’t do it for another four years. The tag match that you would expect would happen next week in a show I missed because I was in a garage hiding from a severe thunderstorm. Anyway, pretty good stuff here with a predictable ending.

    Hall comes up to the booth and says that “we” are tired of WCW’s big mouths. He tells Billionaire Ted to get three guys for a fight because they’re coming for a war. Hall wants to do it in the ring where it matters. Good line there.

    Overall Rating: C. Industry changing moment aside, this was a pretty weak show. The matches seemed rather inconsequential for the most part but it’s clear they’re setting up for the Bash. On the other hand you have the 800 pound gorilla in the room known as Scott Hall. The show other than him means nothing as he was just the first step in a huge story that was coming. Anyway, from a historical standpoint this is huge and that’s the only one that really matters.
     
    #26
    Hollywood Naitch likes this.
  2. FlairFan2003

    FlairFan2003 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I've long said that the Flair-Eddie Match was terrific and I'm pleased it's FINALLY on a DVD (the new Best Of Nitro Set). I was surprised when the chose a different Flair-Edie match from 1997 for the EG Retrospective DVD a few yrs ago (a good match, but this was fantastic).
     
    #27
  3. FlairFan2003

    FlairFan2003 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I forgot how much they emphasized Hogan, even though Flair and Savage were there. I do remember Hogan not getting good responses to his tag matches vs Flair & Friends and thinking it was repeptitve each week to see Hogan triumph over the same set of guys.

    Of course, Hogan probably thought he was being a "team player" letting Flair dominate the title during this time, but how much could Flair, or Savage or Sting for that matter, shine when everytime something big happens it's all about Hogan ?

    It's a testament to the popularity of those guys (and how bad WWE RAW sucked at this time) that these shows were basically neck and neck ratings wise during this time and WCW won plenty of quarter hours for their main events.
     
    #28
  4. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #38
    Date: June 3, 1996
    Location: Ashville Civic Center, Ashville, North Carolina
    Attendance: 4,500
    Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff

    We’re in week two of the invasion here and things really haven’t picked up all that much yet. Hall will probably be talked about tonight but the main event is fallout from last week: Steiners vs. Sting/Luger. Other than that we’re still pretty much in regular mode as we approach the Bash. Not much other than that going on. Not much other than the NWO in other words, which would be the case for years to come. Let’s get to it.

    Theme song opens us up as always.

    Tony and Larry tell us about the show.

    Shark says he’s no longer Shark but rather Big John Tenta. He still only has half of his hair at this point. We get the semi-famous “I am not a fish. I am a man” line here.

    John Tenta vs. Big Bubba

    No entrance for Bubba. Bubba has Tenta’s hair in his hand as we get going here. Tenta jumps him and hits a powerslam almost immediately. Apparently there was a USA Today ad for this show featuring ads for Johnny B. Badd and Vader. Badd was around about three months ago but Vader was like 9 months ago. Tenta gets the scissors and Bubba bails for a quick countout. Hang on let me check….yeah this was pointless.

    Faces of Fear vs. High Voltage

    High Voltage were face jobbers named Kenny Kaos and Robbie Rage. This is their debut apparently. Oh they’re Ruckus and Kaos at this point. Their names would change soon. Kaos and Barbarian start us off but High Voltage double teams to take the Tongan down. And never mind as Barbarian hits a big old powerbomb to put Ruckus down and brings in Meng. Pumphandle slam by Barbarian puts Ruckus down and a top rope belly to belly half kills him. Double top rope headbutt and a superkick (called a Mafia Kick) ends this slaughter. Just a squash here as Kaos was totally worthless.

    Sting and Luger say they they’ll win tonight. Luger says he’s not evil and implies that the Steiners started it. The Steiners come in and says Luger started it. Sting defends Luger and the Steiners say bring it on tonight. They get into a shoving contest and that’s about it.

    Craig Pittman vs. Disco Inferno

    Pittman goes straight for the arm and Disco is in trouble early on. He takes Disco down with ease and from the mat pulls him up into a gutwrench powerbomb for two. Disco actually hurts his hand punching Pittman in the head. Pittman sets for his Code Red, which is a cross armbreaker and Disco literally taps before the hold goes on but intentionally. He says to the camera that if he had gone into that hold he couldn’t dance anymore. Funny ending. Stupid, but funny.

    Jim Duggan vs. Steven Regal

    This is basically a warmup for Regal for his match at the Bash with Sting. He stalls a lot on the floor and then does the same in the ring. Equal opportunity staller I guess. After about 90 seconds of wasting time we get some contact in the form of some Duggan clotheslines, sending Regal back to the floor for more stalling. Duggan pounds away but Regal gets in a boot to take over. Duggan sets for his horrible finisher, the three point stance clothesline, but the Blue Bloods come out for the distraction, allowing Regal to get the rollup for the pin. Oh and they steal the 2x4, which is clearly irreplaceable.

    Rating: D. Yeah this was bad. I’m not sure what the point is in trying to make Regal look good if you’re just going to have him get beaten up and look like an idiot for the majority of the time. Duggan had a tendency to get way too much offense in against guys that were getting pushes as he would do this again in a few years to Berlyn.

    We get a clip of Regal slapping Sting on Saturday which got him fined. He says he’s awesome and is ready for Sting.

    Video on Benoit vs. Sullivan, which involves Arn possibly being in league with the Dungeon. This would turn out to be a huge test for Benoit and his official induction into the Horsemen which he was at least partially in on. Sullivan and Benoit were the focal points of this and we got a great match at the Bash out of it. We also got the same match for about 8 months and it never got better than the first one but who cares?

    Kevin Sullivan vs. Prince Iaukea

    This is Prince’s debut on Nitro. Total and complete squash we go to the floor a bit and then the Tree of Woe and Double Stomp end this in less than 90 seconds. Nothing else to say here.

    Sullivan says he’s not afraid of Benoit and actually references the Hall interruption. Oh and Hogan will come back so we need to take care of him. Sullivan, who is shorter than Gene, says he respects Flair and Anderson. We actually get a clip of the Pillman I Quit match.

    Rock N Roll Express vs. Ric Flair/Arn Anderson

    If this was 1986, this would be able to sell out every arena in the south. Flair and Anderson come out in football…….GOOD FREAKING GRIEF Liz looks good in red leather. Her hotness went WAY up around this time and this is no exception. The audio is messed up here so it sounds like the announcers are about a mile away. Flair teases throwing his jersey to the crowd and then hands it to Liz on the floor. Classic.

    Morton and Anderson start us off, despite no one caring about the Express here. WCW’s infinite brilliance continues as they have a countdown clock going in the corner to the second hour and then in the middle of the match pyro and fireworks go off because THE HOUR CHANGED!!! It makes Arn visibly jump. Good thing he was standing by himself and not like, piledriving someone right? For the life of me I never got why that was such a big deal.

    Flair vs. Morton now and Morton can’t throw convincing punches at all. Gibson vs. Anderson as I have a feeling we’re in for a long one here. Cross body gets two for Gibson and we’re off to Flair again, who is caught in the figure four rather quickly. Anderson gets caught in one by Morton in a spot we saw very often with these two over the years. Flair gets in the referee’s face and gets shoved to the floor by the striped shirt guy.

    After a break the audio is fixed and Morton hits an armdrag to Anderson. Bischoff shows off his ability to tell us what we’re seeing and it’s back to Flair again. Morton hammers away as we talk about the football thing to no end. We actually hear about a WCW charity show in Buffalo. That’s rather awesome. There’s the hammerlock slam by Anderson and it’s arm working time.

    Off to Flair and the Horsemen keep their awesome tag work going. Powerslam gets two. The idea here is that Heenan might be managing the Horsemen at the PPV but he won’t say it. Chinlock time which eats up a good while. Morton grabs a sleeper which gets him nowhere. Figure four is reversed for two and a sunset flip gets the same for Morton.

    Back to Anderson and Heenan strolls down to ringside to talk to Woman and Liz. And now, back to the match. Morton takes down Anderson with something we don’t see and it’s off to Flair and Gibson. Double dropkick to Flair as Heenan is apparently sitting at Flair’s VIP table. Woman pops up for the distraction and a rake of the eyes, allowing Arn to hit the DDT on Gibson to end this.

    Rating: C+. It’s the Rock N Roll Express using the Rock N Roll Express formula. Were you expecting anything different here? Not much to complain about here as it’s nearly 20 minutes of these four. These practice matches are working rather well and this was no exception. Fun stuff here but a bit long for modern wrestling.

    Anderson and Flair bash the football players a bit more. Heenan says he won’t manage them at the PPV and leaves. And here he is again with a briefcase and a trophy in it. He won’t manage again, but he’ll coach Arn and Ric at the PPV.

    Glacier is still coming.

    WCW World Title: Ice Train vs. The Giant

    Seriously, who picks these challengers? Literally one move in the entire match and it’s a chokeslam. Scott Norton, Train’s partner comes out and takes a pair of chokeslams too.

    Giant says he’ll dominate Luger.

    Scott Norton vs. Hugh Morrus

    Morrus is Bill DeMott and Norton is still dead from the chokeslams. Morrus, ever the psycho, puts a finger on Norton’s chest and pulls it off at two. He goes a bit crackers and drops elbows on Norton but won’t cover him. Eric of course declares that Norton is having a seizure. In one of the weirdest endings you’ll ever see, Morrus goes for the moonsault and Norton just stands up. Morrus tries a moonsault press instead and Norton just staggers a bit. He hits like three forearms to the face of Morrus as he’s down and gets the pin. The whole thing was less than two minutes and was just bizarre at the end.

    The football players train more. They have a dry erase board now. Savage is offered the job of their coach but there’s no answer yet.

    Tag Titles: Sting/Lex Luger vs. Steiner Brothers

    Superbrawl I rematch. Something tells me it won’t be nearly as good. Savage is apparently trying to call into the show. Sting and Scott start and Savage is on the phone so we go split screen to show Bischoff TALKING ON THE PHONE. Savage is talking here so there’s no commentary and you can barely see the match going on. Shame too because it looks pretty fast paced.

    Savage takes the job as this eats up like two minutes. Heenan begs Savage not to take the job and we go single screen again. This company astounds me at times, it truly does. We take a break, meaning we’ll go about five minutes with no focus on the match at all. My head hurts again.

    Back with Rick working on Lex’s arm. Rick beats on him for awhile and hits a sweet belly to back superplex. Sting comes in and casually hits the Splash and puts the Deathlock on Rick. Scott comes in and hammers on him, hitting a top rope Frankensteiner for two. Bobby keeps wanting Savage back on the phone. Sting hits what would become known as the Scorpion Death Drop and tags in Luger.

    Luger racks Scott but Rick breaks it up. Scott and Lex go to the floor and the brawl is on. I can’t imagine they’ll have an actual ending to this whole thing. Back in the ring and everything breaks down. Sting gets backdropped on the floor and here’s Giant for no apparent reason to chokeslam Rick. The match is thrown out and Luger tries to hammer on him. Sting, Scott and Luger triple team Giant and knock him to the floor.

    Rating: C+. Well what I saw was good but given that it only lasted like ten minutes and about half of that was a commercial and the rest was on the stupid split screen. These two teams are both awesome and it’s not like they have to do much to have a great match. I fail to see the point in the stuff pre-match because you could, you know, NOT HAVE HUGH MORRUS VS. NORTON! Good match, stupid programming.

    Heenan pleads to Savage some more and here’s Hall. He talks about a war again and says that “we’re gonna finish it.” Sting comes up and says this is the jungle baby. He wants to know why Hall wants three of the best when there’s only one of them. Sting wants to go RIGHT NOW and Hall says it’s on but on his time. Toothpick to the face and Sting slaps him. Cops arrive and Hall says he has a big surprise for Sting next week. I’m all tingly over this. That ends the show.

    Overall Rating: C+. They’re still getting the kinks ironed out but this worked pretty well. The first hour is pretty weak but the second is solid stuff as the Bash got built up well and the Hall thing at the end was a great ending. Things are just warming up with that and the good stuff is yet to come. Anyway, fun show for the most part but they would get the talent they needed to make this two hour thing work very soon.
     
    #29
  5. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #39
    Date: June 10, 1996
    Location: Wheeling Civic Center, Wheeling, West Virginia
    Attendance: 3,500
    Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko

    It’s the go home show for the Great American Bash and other than that there isn’t much. The PPV was focused on the football players vs. wrestlers match and the world title was on the side. However, last week the invader (Hall) had promised a BIG surprise for tonight which we’ll get to later. With Sting having confronted him, it was pretty clear that this was going to be a huge angle. Let’s get to it.

    On the theme song and opening video, there are six shots of people total. Three are Hogan.

    We get a clip of Hall and Sting last week and them almost going at it.

    Scott Steiner vs. Booker T

    This would be huge about four years later. Basic anything you can do I can do greater match to start as I think this is face vs. heel but I’m not sure. Both escape belly to back suplexes but Scott gets a double underhook suplex for no cover. Booker manages to get a boot up in the corner kind of like a superkick to put Scott down. Scissors kick gets two.

    Off to a front facelock and Booker controls. Spinning cross body off the top gets two. Larry Z giving wrestling advice to Booker is really weird for some reason. Scott gets something like a DDT to break the momentum though and here comes Steiner. We speed things up and Scott gets a belly to belly to put Booker down. Frankensteiner is avoided which gets two for Booker. A top rope splash misses and Scott hits another belly to belly to end it.

    Rating: B-. Not bad at all here with two guys that were still (kind of) young and motivated and could give you a good match at this point. Also nice to see some young guys out there having some time to show off. Booker wouldn’t mean much of anything for like two years though and Steiner would be about 18 months away, so call this a very early preview.

    Scott is talking about the match when Debra of all people interrupts him. She wants to talk about her husband and Scott leaves. Nice chick indeed. She talks about how this feud with the Horsemen is her fault. Gene says no it isn’t. She wants to call this off before Sunday and Gene says he’ll try to get something set up with Heenan. It’s not like this mattered because she and Mongo joined the Horsemen on Sunday.

    Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jim Powers

    This is for the Battlebowl ring. Naturally we talk about the football thing the entire time because that’s all that matters. To be fair this is going to be a squash so it’s not like it’s as bad as usual. This is Powers’ debut and he’s wearing something similar to leopard print. Page hits a gutwrench gutbuster and stands around a lot. Page’s gum is kicked out and Powers gets some jobber offense in. The crowd does not care in the slightest about him. Powerslam gets two. Not that it matters because there’s the Diamond Cutter and we’re done.

    Rating: D+. Just a long squash here and by long I mean four minutes. Bagwell faced Page for the ring on Sunday in a match I don’t remember in the slightest. Powers was just a jobber that didn’t mean anything as most jobbers tend to be. Nothing to see here as Page was far from meaning much at this point.

    Recap of Benoit vs. Sullivan which entails Anderson and paranoia. Anderson said everyone would know where everyone stood on Sunday. The match was great too.

    Video on Konnan who was pretty different back in the day and in a good way.

    Konnan, the US Champion at this point, says that he’ll keep the title when he fights El Gato on Sunday. He’s such a legend that no one has ever heard of him.

    Sting vs. Meng

    This is more or less just a tune up for Sting for his match with Regal on Sunday. Meng be clubberin to start us off but Sting gets a backdrop to break that up. Meng does his monster that you can’t hurt thing as Sting hits the ropes for a bunch of clotheslines. Face jam puts Meng down but he gets a small package of all things for two. Shoulder breaker puts Sting down so Meng goes up. Sting manages to crotch him and put on the Scorpion for the kind of surprising tap. Not enough to grade but it was exactly what you would expect.

    Heenan takes Flair to the Horsemen dressing room and shuts the door. Screaming is heard and here they come, beating up a guy named Joe Gomez who is supposed to team with Renegade to face them later.

    Jim Duggan vs. Dave Taylor

    Taylor is buddies with Regal. Renegade and Gomez have replacements apparently. The fans like Duggan of course. Oh and those replacements: the world tag team champions Luger and Sting and the titles are on the line. The match of course means little but at least it’s got a point. Taylor cost Duggan a match last week so here you are. After some basic stuff it’s more basic stuff in the form of kicking and punching. There’s the taped fist which is hanging from his hand as the referee counts the pin. Freaking blind idiot. Short and more or less nothing.

    Video on the Cruiserweight Title which is finally in America. Malenko defends against some guy that is debuting on Sunday. Mysterio I think his name is.

    We recap Tenta vs. Bubba which is something no one really wanted to see other than them but whatever. Hart says Tenta wasn’t pulling his weight. Bubba says he’ll win and that’s that.

    Here’s Scott Norton to talk for some reason that no one knows. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him speak. He didn’t like getting chokeslammed last week so he’s coming for revenge tonight.

    Scott Norton vs. The Giant

    We get the stupid countdown to the second hour as we wait on Giant’s entrance. Don’t think this is for the title. Norton goes right at him and gets powerslammed for his efforts. Norton comes back and hammers away but we go to the floor and he misses a splash into the post. Chokeslam out there and we’re done. Less than a minute and a half but Norton was impressive here as he took it to Giant. It didn’t work but points for trying at least.

    Luger comes out post match and Giant massacres him. Luger kicks him low to prevent a chokeslam through the table. A champagne bucket to the head just ticks Giant off and Luger heads to the announce table. He says throw the rules out on Sunday because he’s ready for the big man.

    Video of the Nasty Boys on some TV show with Dennis Rodman, who is made an official Nasty Boy.

    Kevin Greene was on the Tonight Show and talked about the match. He picked the name Shallow Grave apparently.

    Steven Regal vs. Billy Kidman

    Kidman is a total rookie here. I think this is his WCW debut. Regal kills him for a bit but Kidman gets some stuff in and busts out a 450 (kind of) which misses. Regal puts on the start of a Liontamer but steps on Kidman’s head instead for the tap in less than a minute.

    Sting comes out for the save post match.

    Public Enemy vs. Nasty Boys

    Please….be gentle. Public Enemy runs out during the Nasties’ entrance and the fight is on. There’s the WCW trademark for tag team brawls: split screens where all four guys can be seen on one screen. Knobbs and Grunge are in the ring so we’ll say they’re legal. Middle rope clothesline takes Grunge to the floor as the Nasties are the big faces here. Ok finally into a regular match.

    Grunge has a broken hand. Sags takes both of them down with a double clothesline and it breaks down into a brawl quickly again. Sags hits a Piledriver as we take a break. Back with Public Enemy in control. Knobbs takes down Grunge but can’t bring Sags back in. There’s Jerry who hits a World’s Strongest Slam on Rocco for two and it breaks down again.

    Rocco tries to leave as Grunge unbandages his bad hand/arm. Oh ok Rocco left to get a garbage can. Pumphandle slam by Sags looks to set up a middle rope splash from Knobbs but Rocco breaks it up. The trashcan is brought in and the Nasties get caught using it for the DQ. Kind of a stretch given what they had done before that but I can live with it.

    Rating: D+. Yeah it was bad but it could have been a lot worse. They know how to make brawls decent and they had the right idea here to not make them act like they could work a competent technical match. I wanted to hate this but I really couldn’t do it in good faith. The Public Enemy would actually be tag champions later in the year.

    Video on Hogan who punches a lot.

    We recap the coaches being added to the football player match. This is set to a bad country song.

    Tag Titles: Sting/Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair/Arn Anderson

    This should be good and there’s a lot of time left. Flair and Luger start us off as the bell rings twice. Luger beats him up and tosses him with ease and does the same to Anderson. Big old gorilla press puts Flair down again. Flair does the Flair Flip in the corner but runs into a right hand from Sting to put him down. Bischoff mentions the concept of Nitro Parties. I never got the appeal of those but they became a big deal.

    Sting comes in to beat up Anderson for a bit as the champions have dominated the entire time so far. Sting does his double nipup both times he’s pulled down by the hair. Anderson and Flair both get taken down so Flair runs off to grab a chair. The Horsemen chill in the aisle as we take a break.

    Back with Anderson being pinballed between the champions before Flair comes in to face Sting. Hard to screw this one up. Flair gets a slight advantage and then goes up top. If you don’t know what happens here, go somewhere else. Top rope clothesline gets two for Sting. There’s a superplex for two. Ric goes to the classic thumb to the eye and it’s off to the Enforcer.

    Spinebuster gets two. Arn does his jump into the air when the other guy is on the mat and Anderson jumps into the legs between his balls for a funny reaction spot. Off to Flair instead who can’t suplex Sting. Sting gets an O’Connor Roll for two and a weird small package for the same. Off to Anderson as we take another break.

    Back with Flair sending Sting into the guardrail. Back in Sting gets the backslide but Flair makes a blind tag to bring Anderson back in. Sting gets a knee to the nether regions and falls into the tag to Luger. Powerslam gets two on Luger. Luger hits a double clothesline to put both guys on the floor and here’s Giant for the DQ.

    Rating: B-. Eh it’s Sting/Luger vs. Flair/Anderson for about 18 minutes. This is one of those matches that is going to be good due to just sheer talent in the ring. They know what they’re doing and they’ve fought so many times over the years that they know each other perfectly, which often helps with matches. Flair and Anderson would win at the PPV and the Horsemen would be back.

    Giant gets beaten up by Sting, Luger and Scott Steiner but just gets mad because of it. Giant says Luger is dead to Gene.

    Heenan starts to rant about Savage and here’s Hall in black this week. For some reason the screen splits here into two identical images. Bischoff asks where the surprise is and turns around to run into Nash’s chest. He says they’re not here to play and wants WCW’s three guys. Nash blasts the old guys in the company and wants to know where Hogan and Savage are. Bischoff invites them to the Bash and says he’ll try to have their fight there. That would result in Bischoff being powerbombed off the stage.

    Overall Rating: C+. Well the Bash was a two match show and they built those up quite well. Anything else you get out of it was a bonus and you had a decent main event and a story running through the entire show so this wasn’t too bad really. The Bash wasn’t all that good but considering what happened a month later it’s not like it really mattered. Pretty decent show this week.

    Here’s the Bash if you’re interested. Please note that this is one of the first reviews I ever did and I really didn’t know what I was doing yet.

    http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?p=1188906#post1188906
     
    #30
  6. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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.
     
    #31
  7. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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.
     
    #32
  8. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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.

    http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?p=2074317#post2074317
     
    #33
  9. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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.
     
    #34
  10. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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.
     
    #35
  11. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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.
     
    #36
  12. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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.
     
    #37
  13. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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.
     
    #38
  14. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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/showthread.php?p=2112759#post2112759
     
    #39
  15. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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/showthread.php?p=2762677#post2762677
     
    #40
  16. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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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/showthread.php?p=2762677#post2762677
     
    #41
  17. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #49
    Date: August 19, 1996
    Location: Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama
    Attendance: 5,850
    Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Tony Schiavone

    We're a week away from #4 being revealed in the NWO. We're also closing in on Fall Brawl and the beginning of the biggest and most lucrative storyline that WCW ever came up with. The time getting there is a bit slow but it'll pick up in a hurry. The main event here is Giant vs. Savage which isn't for the title anymore. Other than that there isn't much here but it doesn't look bad. Let's get to it.

    Jim Duggan vs. VK Wallstreet

    This is a rematch from the Clash. Why we would want to see it again is beyond me but I doubt they've thought it that far through. Duggan tried for the tape but got rolled up for the upset (I guess) pin. They go to the floor almost immediately and Duggan takes over in the brawling environment. Back in for an atomic drop and now it's back over again. Time to talk about the NWO! Ok to be fair I'd rather talk about that than this match.

    Larry brings up the possibility that those guys might not be trustworthy and Tony says he thinks there's one person more trustworthy than anyone else. I'll leave the identity of this person a secret because he would join the NWO in two weeks. Off to a chinlock by Wallstreet as Tony talks about how intelligent Duggan is. Larry: “Are you ribbing me?” I'm with Larry Z here.

    More chinlockery ensues as we hear about Duggan's track record. That would include beating Steve Austin clean in 45 seconds for you non-history geeks. They collide and I'd bet on Duggan's comeback starting now. Yep his head becomes impossible to hurt now and Duggan pounds away. There's the tape and it's declared foreign. But Duggan would never use something foreign! The referee takes it away from him so Duggan pulls out some more and the referee says it's totally cool when it goes upside Wallstreet's head for the pin.

    Rating: D. I really am wondering why this match was taking place. I get that it's a rematch but why did the original one take place at all? I mean, was there some clamor for these two to have a two match feud? The match was garbage too with Wallstreet being about five years past being interesting in the ring. Also the Vince parody (VK. Get it?) was only funny if you were really inside things and most fans weren't, making it, say it with me, POINTLESS.

    Duggan goes serious and talks to “Terry”, saying he turned his back on everyone. Here comes Savage for some reason. He says he's going to beat up Hogan and now it's a Savage interview. We look at some video of Hogan beating Savage with a chair last week. As for Giant, he's got a problem with him which I think is they're fighting. Can't say Savage is looking ahead to Hogan entirely.

    We talk about Giant being unstoppable lately and get some clips of him mauling Benoit in like 8 seconds at the last Clash.

    Chris Benoit vs. Bobby Eaton

    Eaton is a hometown boy but he's in the Blue Blood period here. He's on his own though as the Blue Bloods are having issues. As Benoit is making his entrance, this old lady has the biggest grin on her face and gives him two thumbs down. That's awesome. This should be good as Eaton is a fine technical guy. Benoit beats him down and grabs a brief abdominal stretch.

    Eaton takes it to the mat and can keep up with Chris out there for a bit. Benoit isn't playing tonight though (when is he ever?) and sends Eaton into the post and hip tosses him on the floor. Back in and Eaton tags him with a right. We talk about WarGames which is a big deal every year. Benoit chokes away and Eaton does the same. I'm not used to him brawling like this. A swinging neckbreaker puts Benoit down but the Alabama Jam misses. Swan Dive and we're done.

    Rating: C+. Pretty good match here and Benoit gets to look dominant. This is what Eaton or guys like him are good at: making young guys look good. Jobbers to the stars are missing so badly anymore as they're so rapidly rotated and then new ones have to be pushed to give them some credibility and it takes forever to get one into that role.

    We get some clips from the triangle tag match last Thursday where the Outsiders interfered and we got a DQ in a triple threat thanks to Nick Patrick. We also see the main event where Hogan might have said he gave up but he took out the referee before it could be recorded and the match was thrown out.

    Sting/Luger talk about their match with Flair/Anderson later which wouldn't happen. They have a plan tonight and a possible surprise. Sting can't stand either of them and promises a surprise also but doesn't say what it is.

    Disco Inferno vs. Scott Norton

    Disco fires away and turns his back on Norton and I think you know where this goes. Disco tries to run but Norton, just like any villain, walks really slowly and manages to catch him. How does that work anyway? We've been at this for about two minutes now and Norton has barely done anything. Disco goes for the eyes which works for about a second. Shoulderbreaker and a Fujiwara Armbar end this.

    Rating: C. It's a squash so I'll call it right in the middle. Norton looked awesome but would be in the NWO before a few months passed. This was supposed to set up more Norton vs. Ice Train which was a feud that went on too long. I don't know if it ever got a rematch from Hog Wild and I really don't care to. Hog Wild's match wasn't horrible though.

    Teddy Long talks for Ice Train and accuses Patrick of costing Train the match. We get a clip of Norton beating up Ice Train. Oh my goodness Ice Train cannot talk. I mean he REALLY can't talk.

    Dean Malenko vs. Steven Regal

    This should be good. We go to the mat immediately which is usually good for Dean but here he's actually outmatched. We take a break and come back with the guys again exchanging nice moves with no one getting a solid advantage. Regal cartwheels away and takes Malenko down with a shot to the head for two. Off to a modified chinlock which only lasts for a few seconds.

    Malenko gets a hip toss for two. A hip toss? Really? European Uppercut gets two for Regal. Now we talk about Patrick being corrupt which Larry dismisses as paranoia. Regal grabs a full nelson as Larry offers some actual analysis. Why can't more veterans do that? Dean goes aerial and hits a springboard dropkick to the back of the head and the American hits a German to the Englishman and there's a second for two. Regal grabs a butterfly suplex for two. He can't pin Malenko and it's making him mad. After a very nice back and forth pinning reversal sequence Malenko grabs a rollup for the pin.

    Rating: B. If you want fast paced technical stuff, this was the match you should have gone after. Good stuff here from two masters on the mat with a great ending sequence. They only rested when they had gone a good pace before it so I can more than live with that. It's a rare instance where I wanted to see what happened during the break. Good match as expected with good talent in the ring.

    The Horsemen rant and rave about how awesome they are and how great the Horsemen life is.

    Hour #2 begins.

    Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy

    Eric talks about how there's a lawsuit from the WWF. A total of no one cares but hey, it's real so that means everyone wants to hear it in Bischoff's mind. The same old woman from the Benoit match boos the Public Enemy. It's a brawl to start and probably will be for most of the match. We go split screen quickly and Bobby points out this isn't really a tag match. Knobbs drops an elbow on Grunge for two. Grunge misses one of his own off the apron. There's nothing to talk about here as it's been a big brawl the entire time. A table is set up but Sags moves, putting both Enemies through it. The pin on Rock is academic.

    Rating: C+. As a match it was awful. As a total brawl, which was the point of this, it was pretty decent. The ending was a big spot for the time and it looked good at the same time. The tables then were a bit thicker so it sounded a lot better. The Public Enemy would get the tag titles for like two weeks later in the year.

    The Nasties are neutral in the NWO vs. WCW war and just want the tag titles.

    We get another clip from the Clash with Eddie beating DDP for the Battlebowl Ring but Page pulled him into a pair of Diamond Cutters. Chavo came out for the save on his uncle which failed, resulting in a middle rope Diamond Cutter on Eddie.

    Chavo Guerrero vs. Diamond Dallas Page

    Chavo is only known as Eddie's nephew here and doesn't have much of a resume of his own. He sends Page to the floor and hits a huge dive to open us up. Page is sent into the corner a few times but Chavo misses a charge, hitting the post shoulder first. He hit the buckle on the way in so the impact was slowed down. Page uses his size which is often forgotten about. He's 6'5 or 6'6 so it really is an advantage.

    We talk about Savage vs. Giant which is happening because Savage blames Giant for losing the title. WHEN DID HE SAY THAT??? This is the kind of thing we need to be told by Savage, not Bischoff. Page is dominating here and hits that sweet gutwrench powerbomb but lets it up at two. Spinning Rock Bottom gets two as Page lets him up again. Out of NOWHERE Chavo grabs a backslide for the quick pin.

    Rating: C+. Chavo was a lot better when he was young and he got to show off a bit here. Page was getting better every day at this point and looked good here. The push was coming soon and it was clear at this point that he was earning it. The Page vs. Guerreros feud would culminate at the end of the year but it was fun getting there.

    Page knocks Chavo loopy with a Diamond Cutter and steals Patrick's belt to whip Chavo. Patrick doesn't do anything until Randy Anderson comes out and takes it from Page. In the aisle Patrick blames Gene for the issues around him. Gene implies that Patrick bought a house he can't afford.

    We flash back a year ago with the American Males winning the tag titles in a shocker over Harlem Heat. Eric says this is the rematch. I guess the Males losing the belts back a few days later didn't count?

    Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. American Males

    The Males (the team, not the gender even though that could apply to either team) get jumped to start and the champs have the early advantage. Both of the Males (Bagwell and Riggs) are beaten down quickly as I'm not expecting much competition in this one. Ray hits a suplex on Riggs and it's off to Booker. Riggs fires off a dropkick to give himself a breather and down goes Booker.

    There's a double tag and Bagwell kicks Booker in the head as he jumps in. That looked good. He escapes a pumphandle slam into a cover but Booker saves. A rollup gets two and they go outside to brawl. Riggs hits a dropkick for two and Bagwell goes up. Booker shoves him off into a powerslam by Ray though and that's good for three.

    Rating: C+. Another fast paced match here with Eric losing his mind over this for some reason. I think it's probably a stretch for the eleven month rematch idea but they needed something I guess to keep the match from being a squash so this was a pretty good idea if they had to go with this match. Much better than I expected here.

    Arn Anderson/Ric Flair vs. Sting/Lex Luger

    Sting has a mic immediately and wants to have the other Horsemen come into the ring. Mongo and Benoit come out and we take a break. So is Sting just going to wait around for five minutes? Gene comes out sans jacket and Sting's surprise from earlier is he wants Anderson and Flair to join him and Luger against the NWO in WarGames. That takes a few minutes to ask. Arn warns Luger and Sting that this is something serious and that jiggling pecs have nothing to do with WarGames. Weren't they on the same WarGames team at one point?

    The match isn't happening as we're going to talk a little while longer. You can't argue that this is a big move though. Everyone talks to everyone and it really is getting close to an awesome moment. Flair says it's up to Mongo and Benoit. If they're cool with it, Flair is cool with it. Benoit says he'll stand behind Anderson and Flair's decision. Nice touch there for the young Horsemen to stand behind the veterans. Mongo (loudly booed) says he's willing to sacrifice but if Sting and Luger screw over the Horsemen, he'll be coming for them. The deal is made. This really was a cool moment.

    The NWO talk about being in “Italy” and film themselves filming each other. Nash: “Why is the Denver Post in Italy?” Funny stuff.

    The Giant vs. Randy Savage

    Savage jumps Giant in the aisle with a chair. Giant easily beats him down on the floor and Team WCW vs. Team NWO is official for Fall Brawl. After Giant throws him over the top rope the bell actually rings. Savage escapes the chokeslam and grabs the chair but has to fight off the invading Dungeon of Doom as this match is thrown out. Savage runs from the numbers but Giant jumps over the top to the floor. Giant is Big Show. Imagine Big Show jumping over the top rope to the floor.

    Overall Rating: A-. I can't believe what I'm saying but this was a very good and borderline excellent show. Everybody had energy, there was a point to almost everything, we got a big moment in the Horsemen teaming with Sting/Luger, the matches were good and there were some cool spots. THIS is what made Nitro look so much better than Raw: everything was fast paced and exciting and the wrestling got better and better, especially when they got some of their new faces in there like Jericho and Raven. Very good show and one of the best ever of the first 50.
     
    #42
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  18. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #50
    Date: August 26, 1996
    Location: Manatee Civic Center, Palmetto, Florida
    Attendance: 1,384
    Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Tony Schiavone

    We're up to a milestone here and we get something important to make it mean something: tonight is the unveiling of the fourth member of the NWO which Eric will screw up and sound like a moron but we'll get to that later. The main event here is Luger/Sting vs. the other Horsemen which defeats the purpose of what they said last week but whatever. I hope this is as good as what they had last week. Let's get to it.

    By the way, you might remember me talking in the last review about how WCW would be getting some of its better known names soon and two of them arrive tonight.

    Is there a reason why Hogan in the yellow and red is still in the opening sequence?

    Juventud Guerrera vs. Billy Kidman

    Here's new name #1 in the form of Guerrera. He's the lesser of the two names. Both are 22 here so this is going to be incredibly fast paced. Kidman only have a few WCW appearances before this so he's practically a newcomer as well. Yeah based on what I can find this is his third Nitro match so he's not exactly well known.

    They run the ropes very fast and a Kidman powerslam gets two. They both hit the floor and Larry corrects Tony's Spanish. They chop it out on the apron and Guerrera manages to get a sunset bomb onto the floor with a THUD. Juvy follows it up with a pescado (called by Tony) into a guillotine legdrop on the outside. Back in a springboard corkscrew splash with Tony calling every move by the proper name. Eric in his ear ruined him.

    Kidman catches Juvy coming off a springboard into a powerbomb for another two. It's weird to see Kidman being the power guy in a match. Slingshot legdrop gets two. Juvy has a Mexican Heavyweight Title match at Fall Brawl. Kidman loads up the Shooting Star but Juvy kicks out at two. I didn't expect that. Billy goes up again but Juvy goes up faster and hits a spinning hurricanrana (called by Tony complete with proper accents) for the pin.

    Rating: B+. You give two young Cruiserweights and you get a great match. This would be WCW's idea for the next four years or so and it worked very well for the most part. This was good stuff and the crowd was in awe of most of it. It's what happens when you give two guys a few minutes. This was like four minutes long and the whole thing worked. I'm more stunned by Tony though. The difference is unreal.

    Juvy speaks some Spanish and is booed. His English isn't much better. I speak some Spanish and I'm not sure what he's saying.

    Here's a clip from The Crow: City of Angels for some reason. Foreshadowing for Sting perhaps?

    Glacier is STILL coming.

    We get a clip from last week where Sting/Luger hooked up with the Horsemen for WarGames.

    Big Bubba/Kevin Sullivan vs. Jim Powers/Marcus Bagwell

    I guess Riggs was busy delivering pizza. He's there with them and injured. That must have been a nasty pepperoni. Sullivan jumps Powers and it's a brawl to start. Powers fires off a dropkick and the Dungeon is having some issues. The American Powers clear the ring and we slow things down. Off to Bagwell vs. Sullivan but Bubba comes in again. Ok so it's Bubba vs. Bagwell. Bubba gets him in powerbomb position but Bagwell punches his way out of it.

    The second attempt goes the other way though and we're into the expected result now. Tree of Woe hits Bagwell but he avoids a splash and brings in Powers. TIME FOR GENERIC OFFENSE!!! Powers hits a cross body for a very close two on Bubba but Patrick changes his mind and says it was two. The match is restarted and the Bubba Slam ends Powers. So that's why this match exists.

    Rating: C-. The match was kind of a weird choice until we got to the ending. I was shocked when the three went down and the replay shows that it was a clean pin. That's a nice touch as it shows how corrupt he is/might be. Powers was so generic it was pitiful though and he dragged things down. Not a good match but good storytelling.

    Bubba says he's not going to be overlooked anymore and calls out Glacier. WHEN IS HE COMING??? He would finally debut in two weeks. Sullivan is worried about Hogan and claims to have seen Gene with Hogan on a boat a week ago. Gene says it was Eric. Sullivan says he was bald. Now it's time to talk about the Horsemen. It must be the late 90s then.

    Sting and Luger say there are no guarantees about anything and it's weird that they're fighting the Horsemen tonight. They think Flair and Anderson want to test them and that's not nice.

    Chavo Guerrero vs. Mike Enos

    Hogan vs. Savage for Halloween Havoc, as in two months from now, is announced. That's if Savage lives through his match with Giant at Fall Brawl. Larry says we'd have a chance if Giant gets the shot instead. Chavo tries to speed things up but Enos catches him in a dive over the top and this a fallaway slam on the floor. Enos puts him in a powerslam position and carries him up the steps. That was impressive.

    Konnan is in the audience. Enos keeps destroying him as this has been one sided for the first two minutes or so. He throws Chavo in an over the shoulder backbreaker and then a powerslam for two. Chavo gets in a shot and puts on a weird looking figure four. Enos thumbs him in the eye and his partner Dick Slater comes in for some help. Slater tries a spinning toe hold but Chavo rolls him up and the referee wakes up to see Chavo pin the wrong man. It counts as the referee only saw legs in leather pants.

    Rating: D+. This was pretty weird. I don't get the point in not letting Chavo get a clean win over Enos. I mean....it's Mike Enos. Does he need to be protected all of a sudden? The point of this was to have Chavo get a win to build him up for Page and while this does that, it's kind of a weird way to get to that ending.

    Chavo yells about Page after the match and says he can't wait for his match with Page at Fall Brawl.

    There's an ad for Saturday Night and here's something I didn't know: Lex Luger is TV Champion. According to what I can find, Regal beat him on this Saturday for the title.

    Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Mr. JL

    Jerry Lynn. Rey is holding his chest after an arm drag that opens the match. Rey works on the arm and the chest might have just been selling. They're starting a lot slower here so maybe they're going to have some time to work with. Both guys get in some quick shots but nothing is substantial yet. Hulk Hogan is outside the arena and let's go look at them and the Outsiders. They go over to the Turner truck and spray paint NWO on the side of it.

    After a minute of that, back to our wrestling match. Tony insists there is no fourth man and let's watch more production truck painting. Rey has on a camel clutch which is a weird look for him. We take a break and come back with JL holding an abdominal stretch. Tony says that was vandalism. THEN WHY DON'T YOU HAVE THEM ARRESTED??? You have them on tape but the cops are never going to be called are they? This would get pushed to even dumber levels when the Steiners were almost murdered but we'll get to that later.

    Rey takes over with a flip dive and Malenko is here scouting for their title match at Fall Brawl. That match wouldn't happen for some reason, I'd bet on an injury. Tony gives the false line about the WCW Title dating back to 1905. JL fakes Rey out and takes over. A sitout powerbomb gets two on Rey. Another attempt is countered into a sunset flip for two by Rey.

    JL puts on a Boston Crab as Larry talks about how different sizes of necks are easier or harder to hurt. It's off to a half crab now. We begin the countdown for hour #2 as JL gets a two count on a belly to back suplex. Rey rolls through something to get two. LET THE FIREWORKS BE LAUNCHED!!! They seem to energize Rey as he sends JL to the floor but is sent into the post to give JL the advantage again. Rey hooks a headscissors to send him flying up the aisle. Back in Rey sends him in and hits what we would call the West Coast Pop for the pin.

    Rating: B-. Pretty good match here but it was like a car that kept trying to start but couldn't quite get the engine going. It's not bad but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting from these two. The ending came from absolutely out of nowhere. The idea was supposed to be Rey escaping with a win I think, but it didn't quite come off like that, partially due to the slower pace of this one.

    Mongo and Benoit talk about Sting and Luger. They've changed their minds about who should be in WarGames.

    We get a clip from two weeks ago with Hogan popping Savage in the back with the chair. This leads to the backstory of Savage vs. Giant. This leads to Savage saying he'll win the title at Halloween Havoc and he'll beat Giant at Fall Brawl.

    Jim Duggan vs. The Giant

    The bell is after a break. Duggan charges into him and that doesn't work. Hart grabs his leg and the chase is on. Duggan throws Jimmy's jacket at Giant and it actually works, letting him get in some shots. Heenan, ever the brilliant one, says that Hogan wants to get his hands on the Outsiders. Duggan keeps firing off shots and makes Giant slam into the post. The ring actually moved.

    The problem is that Giant is getting mad and clotheslines Duggan on the top rope. The announcers say there is no fourth or fifth man and Duggan is caught in a bearhug. After he gets bored of that he changes over to ram into Duggan in the corner like...well like he would do as Big Show. Someone is here and the crowd looks at him: it's Ted DiBiase. This would be the best thing that ever happened to the WWF which I'll explain in a minute. Giant misses an elbow and Duggan goes for the tape but it has no effect. A second shot knocks Giant back a bit. And there's a chokeslam and pin.

    Rating: C-. Duggan tried and that makes this match work. Giant sold the punches and the DiBiase factor helped make this exciting. It's not like it's a classic or anything but the little (as in Duggan) guy chopping away at the monster is a cool thing to see, even if the match wasn't a contest at all. Nothing great but it was what it was and the ring moving spot was very cool.

    As for DiBiase, the reason it was such a great thing for WWF is he had been managing Austin and when DiBiase was gone, there was nothing for Austin to do so they threw their hands up and said let Austin be himself, which is a Texas redneck. The rest is history.

    DiBiase holds up four fingers then says next week and holds up a fifth finger. Eric, ever the moron, thinks Ted is the fifth Horseman and is going to come out of retirement. Yeah because the Horsemen have been talking about bringing in a fifth guy so much right? It's not like there's another group with three guys that have been talking about adding a fourth and fifth right?

    Giant talks about getting the title shot against Hogan and beating Savage to get that shot.

    Ric Flair/Arn Anderson vs. Rock and Roll Express

    Bischoff still thinks DiBiase will be the fifth Horseman. Thankfully he figures out the NWO idea and Heenan dismisses it. The Express speed things up and hit the double dropkick on Flair which if this was ten years earlier would have blown the roof into orbit. Gibson gets caught in the Horsemen corner and Flair hammers away. It's weird seeing Gibson being the one being beaten down.

    Flair and Anderson double team as only the Horsemen can do. Heenan has gotten to the point where DiBiase will be in the cage match at WarGames. Hot tag to Morton minus the crowd heat and he cleans house. He and Flair mistime something as Morton is waiting on a move but Flair stays in the corner. Everything breaks down and Morton is PLANTED by the DDT and we're done.

    Rating: C. It's just a squash but seeing the Express as jobbers is always weird. They would pop in every few months, usually losing to this team. Also it was weird seeing Gibson being the one that was in there the majority of the match. There's only so much you can say about a squash though so we'll call this one fine.

    Anderson says the NWO's time is almost up. He knows we won't see the Outsiders again tonight because we know they're here now and we won't see them face anyone like men. Flair insists Hogan gave up at the Clash.

    Glacier is coming. That would be in two weeks.

    Alex Wright vs. Chris Jericho

    Here's your other debut. Jericho is a face here and they start off exchanging some speed moves with both attempting dropkicks at the same time. Jericho takes him down with an armbar and is already telling the referee to ASK HIM. Spinewheel kick (called an elbow by Eric) takes Wright down and the springboard dropkick (called an inverted dropkick by Eric) sends Jericho to the floor.

    Jericho plays to the crowd but takes too long and jumps into a dropkick for Wright to take over. A spinning cross body off the top gets two. Jericho gets launched over the top and might hit his feet on the steps. Wright dives over the top and goes face first into the guardrail. Wright can't get back in but Jericho says he doesn't want to get the win that way and asks for a no contest, which he is granted.

    Rating: C+. Interesting debut here for the Ayatollah as he is clearly a face and wouldn't take what likely would have been a countout win. He had a lot of his trademark moves down already like ASK HIM and the springboard dropkick so he had a lot of the tools already. He's more known for his heel stuff though so we're a little bit away from that. Still though, good stuff.

    Jericho says he's not accepting a win like that because that's not the best of his ability. Somebody might have taken that win and that's Hogan. The fans are booing this as Jericho says the two of them will fight for WCW.

    Steiner Brothers vs. Blue Bloods

    The bell rings immediately as we get back. It's Taylor/Eaton in this incarnation. They're arguing over who starts so Rick rams their heads together. Eaton winds up starting and gets suplexed by Rick. He cleans house and the Steiners do their pose. The Blue Bloods get in another argument and Scott is in there all of 5 seconds. Eric runs down the card for Fall Brawl which includes Benoit vs. Jericho. The Blue guys try a Doomsday Device but with a cross body instead. Rick lands right on his head in a SCARY bump. He's perfectly fine and rolls through for the pin. There might have been 90 seconds of contact here.

    Taylor beats up Eaton post match. Or does Eaton beat up Taylor? They fight either way.

    The Steiners say they'll win the titles at Fall Brawl. Rick gets his PPVs wrong.

    Steve McMichael/Chris Benoit vs. Sting/Lex Luger

    It's a brawl to start with Benoit going beast mode on Sting. Mongo gets taken down by Luger and they're officially starting. Off to Benoit with the Horsemen in control. Neckbreaker and legdrop get two. Back to Mongo who has improved to the point where he looks a lot more comfortable in the ring. He has the basics down now which he didn't have at all to start.

    Hot tag to Sting who pounds away on Benoit. I didn't realize he was that much bigger than Chris. He loads up the Scorpion but Mongo breaks it up. Luger is finally getting up but Mongo posts him to stop that. A top rope splash eats knees as does the swan dive. Hogan is here and Mongo gets him in his sight. Hogan has spray paint in his hand. The Outsiders jump Monogo and the match is thrown out.

    Rating: D+. The match was really just there as a means to get us to the post match stiff which is something that is going to become really common on Nitro. Benoit was really intense here and pounding away on Sting a lot. Mongo....he's improved a lot but that's not saying much considering how bad he was to start. He looks watchable out there now though which is a big step up. He'd never get much better though.

    Mongo gets beaten down and might be the first recipient of the paint job. Razor's Edge to Benoit and a Jackknife to Sting. Flair and Anderson run out for the save but the numbers and spray paint catch up to them. The crowd is way into this. Both guys take paint in the eyes and Flair has his hair painted. The NWO storms the broadcast booth and spray paint the WCW sign to end the show.

    Overall Rating: B-. Still a good show but not as good as last week's. Having the arrival of a lot of people and the further build to Fall Brawl was a good way to run the show tonight, especially with the addition of the fifth member next week. However around that point it starts to get out of control. Once Syxx arrives it goes downhill with the bodyguards and B-Team being brought in. Still though, this was a good show and it's cool to see this while it lasts.
     
    #43
  19. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #51
    Date: September 2, 1996
    Location: UTC Arena, Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Attendance: 5,893
    Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

    Tonight we get the fifth member of the NWO, meaning it's time for this thing to really take off. Also we only have two more weeks to go until Fall Brawl which is where the biggest WCW storyline ever comes up. Tonight the main event is an 8 man tag with the Horsemen vs. the Dungeon of Doom which sounds like it'll either be good or a trainwreck. Let's get to it.

    Oh and this is Labor Day 96, which is the day in 95 where the show started.

    We get clips from last week with the NWO spray painting the truck and DiBiase showing up.

    Diamond Dallas Page vs. Alex Wright

    These two had a good match on a Clash I recently reviewed so hopefully this is good. Page tries to take Wright down but walks into a spinewheel kick to send him to the floor. Wright dives to the floor and Page is in trouble early. A slingshot splash gets two. We talk about Page's feud with the Guerreros and Larry gets in a good line with “Page should have feuded with someone with a smaller family.”

    Sitout powerbomb gets two and Page sets for the Diamond Cutter. Wright counters and the German tries a German, only to reverse with some elbows. Wright hits a belly to belly for two...and then gets kicked in the ribs and the Diamond Cutter ends this. The fans popping for the Cutter is a tell tale sign of things to come.

    Rating: C+. Pretty good match here with Wright being his usual high flying self. The key thing to Page became that he was able to hit the Cutter from every possible angle and it made him incredibly popular in the same vein as Jake Roberts who had a hand in training Page, showing that psychology can be taught.

    Nick Patrick is accused of being slow on the count in this match. I didn't exactly see that but you don't argue with Gene Okerlund.

    Colonel Parker has a gift for Sherri and says that Harlem Heat is going to the ring on their own. Sherri's nickname is Twinkle Eyes. The present is a leather vest and leather chaps. I think sex is implied.

    Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Greg Valentine/Buddy Valentino

    Mark Curtis makes his debut as a referee. Valentino looks like a fatter Buddy Landell. Ted Dibiase is here. Again the wrestling idea of two random people who have never teamed before being #1 contenders comes up again here. Hammer pounds away on Booker in the beginning of a slow match. Off to Valentino who is fat and gets beaten up for his efforts. Side kick gets two. Harlem Hangover and we're done.

    Rating: D+. Boring squash and again I ask: why (from a kayfabe perspective) would a team like Valentine and Valentino get a title shot? It's one of those things that I never understand in wrestling. Anyway the match was bad but the Heat would drop the titles to Public Enemy for about two weeks soon before getting them back to lose them to the Outsiders at I think Halloween Havoc.

    Harlem Heat says they're ready for the Nasty Boys at Fall Brawl. The Nasties jump them during the interview. This goes on for awhile and Booker takes a spike piledriver.

    Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho

    Mike Tenay sits in on commentary. He goes into the history of the guys and we can see why he was called the Professor. Nick Patrick is referee here again and Jericho takes over with some spin kicks. There's an ECW chant. Dean fights back with a brainbuster for two. Off to a chinlock by Malenko and DiBiase gets up to leave. Dean, the heel here, hooks a headscissors on the mat but Jericho channels the powers of Canada to get up into an electric chair drop to escape.

    Dean cheats some more by holding the rope in an abdominal stretch. After Jericho escapes Dean goes up and spins in mid air to hit a bulldog. This is a lot more of a chess match than the usual match you would get. Both guys head to the floor but Jericho is able to get back in and hit a baseball slide and the springboard dive to take over. Missile dropkick gets two but Dean counters a tombstone into a tombstone (it's not like you can do much else out of that) for two.

    The Canadian hits a German on the American for two. Spinwheel kick by Jericho looks to set up something off the top but, and here's the real shock, Jericho gets too cocky and it allows Dean to get back up. The American tries a German on the Canadian but Jericho rolls through for the pin in a victory roll for an upset.

    Rating: B-. Good high flying stuff here with Jericho getting the upset win to make him into a bigger deal. When your big win is against JL on Saturday Night there's not much to talk about. This was rather fun though and both guys were moving out there. It helps that they had about 9 minutes to work with also and you got a good TV match out of it.

    Video on Mysterio and Super Calo who are fighting for the Cruiserweight Title at the PPV.

    The Giant vs. Brad Armstrong

    The good thing here is that we're told why Savage wants to fight Giant: Savage blames Giant for dropping the ball at Hog Wild. NOW WHY WAS THAT SO HARD TO EXPLAIN LAST WEEK??? Tony calls Giant the top heavyweight in the world right now. Wouldn't that be Hulk? The limo has arrived out back. Armstrong tries but he's no match for the Giant. This actually gets some time as Giant is supposed to be distracted. And there's the chokeslam so never mind.

    Hogan talks about being champion. Oh and the NWO win WarGames. That takes about three minutes to get through.

    It's hour #2 now.

    The announcers talk about last week and DiBiase's stuff. The NWO painting the truck and beating up the guys at the end of the show is also shown again.

    Randy Savage vs. Ron Studd

    They did this match with Benoit as he was about to face Giant. It's a good idea because it lets Savage get some experience against a much bigger guy. As is his custom in this time period, Savage gets beaten up and we cut to the NWO limo with someone getting out of it but Hogan and the Outsiders say get the camera out of here before we see who it is. They say a name which is a hint but I'll save it for later because it'll give it away. Savage takes it to the floor and rams his throat across the railing for the axe handle. A slam and the elbow end this quick. Just a workout for Savage.

    Savage talks about Hogan and Halloween Havoc rather than the Giant. He's going to be living in Vegas now or something like that.

    Steiner Brothers vs. Sting/Lex Luger

    I'm thinking this isn't going to be as good as SuperBrawl I was. Before the bell we cut to the back and see the Horsemen running out to the limo but it's empty. They're in the building. After a break we're back with the match. The fans barking is always confusing at first because it sounds like booing. Lex and Rick start us of....and there's a bell. Nick Patrick (do they have another referee?) disuqlifies Luger and Sting because Rick shoved Luger into him and Luger brushed against Patrick. This lasted all of 35 seconds and I had to rewind it to see what the DQ was for.

    Four Horsemen vs. Dungeon of Doom

    It's the Faces of Fear, Big Bubba and Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan vs. Mongo to get us going. I'm not sure that's the best combination but we'll get to the better stuff soon. Mongo takes a double stomp to the chest and instead of hurting him, it fires him up. A shoulder block brings Bubba in and they're on the floor already. Off to Benoit vs. Barbarian and Sullivan's interference doesn't work.

    The cops are in the back for some reason. Here's Flair to a huge pop. And let's get away from the guy the fans want to see as we need to watch Sting and Luger chase Nick Patrick. Patrick runs towards the limo but turns away from it instead. Ted DiBiase is getting into the limo so Sting throws a brick through it, because every major sports arena has a pile of readily available bricks next to it. The limo drives off so Sting and Luger steal a cop car and chase after it. This is never going to be prosecuted is it?

    Back to the ring and it's Flair vs. Meng. Flair hits him low and the referee is cool with that. Bischoff actually mentions that Sting and Luger will be going to jail. We cut to the back and see the police guard calling in the stolen cop car. Yeah because THIS was necessary to see instead of the match right? Barbarian slams Anderson and drops an elbow so he can load Anderson into the Tree of Woe.

    Anderson hammers on Bubba and counters a Meng piledriver. After a break Anderson falling into a tag to Benoit and things start to break down. We get to Sullivan vs. Benoit and I'd believe this is at least partially shoot. The Dungeon beats Benoit down and the Horsemen are busy thinking of ways to beat up Dusty Rhodes I guess because they don't bother making the save. Flair breaks up a pin off a spinebuster and everything breaks down again.

    They head to the floor and Flair grabs a chair as Bischoff plugs a Muhammad Ali documentary. Back inside and Bubba does the really stupid looking spot where you intentionally jump into the other guy's boot. Off to Sullivan and Benoit who get to chop each other a lot. The Faces of Fear beat up the Canadian a bit but Benoit hits a cross body out of nowhere but gets double teamed again.

    Things break down a little bit as Anderson plants Bubba with a spinebuster but Barbarian breaks up the tag. This has been going about 15 minutes already so it's getting a lot of time and that's including the time in the back. The Faces of Fear try a double top rope headbutt but Benoit rolls away and FINALLY gets the tag, bringing in Naitch. Everything breaks down for about the 5th time and Flair puts the Figure Four on Sullivan and Woman does....something to help Flair get the pin with the hold still on.

    Rating: C+. Long match here as it went nearly 20 minutes. It's a good example of how long doesn't make it good though as this match is really just ok. Benoit and Sullivan kept trying to have this big brutal feud but it just went on forever with the same brawls and it stopped being good after about the first two. Anyway, not bad here but nothing more than that.

    The NWO comes in immediately and beats down everyone. Here comes the Giant for the big save....and he chokeslams Meng to become the fifth member of the NWO. The hint earlier was Hogan told the big man to get out of the limo. Savage comes out with a chair and has better success than 8 guys did earlier before getting Hogan in a corner. Hogan goes Angle and takes Savage down by the legs and the numbers catch up with Savage so the beating can begin. Savage gets a yellow streak painted up the back.

    The NWO storms the announcers' booth and Giant says it's about money and power and all that jazz. Hogan says there are six members now but I'm not sure if he's foreshadowing or just can't count. The Horsemen and the Dungeon come back and the fight starts all over again. Giant comes back and destroys the announce table to end it.

    Overall Rating: B. Hard to argue with this show as you had some good wrestling and a big twist in the ending. This would look like nothing after what's coming next week though which my mother, a fan that grew up watching Jerry Lawler in Memphis, saw through instantly but we'll get to that in a minute. Anyway, good show here as they've got the drama stuff down pretty solidly now.
     
    #44
  20. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #52
    Date: September 9, 1996
    Location: Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, Georgia
    Attendance: 6,000
    Commentators: Mike Tenay, Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

    We've hit a full year worth of shows with this one and it's the go home show for Fall Brawl. With the Giant having joined the NWO and the group being stronger than ever, it's time to have another member join tonight to make them ultra strong before Fall Brawl right? Tonight is the beginning of something huge and it's going to be interesting to see how it goes from a modern perspective. Let's get to it.

    We recap the ending of last week's show.

    Pat Tanaka vs. Super Calo

    Tanaka, of Hulk Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling fame, comes out to what would become Goldberg's music. Tanaka is in stereotypical martial arts attire and fires off kicks because he's Asian and every Asian wrestler has to kick a lot. I didn't hear a bell but I guess that's implied. Calo speeds things up to start as we need to give him a reason to be #1 contender to Rey I guess. There's a big dive to the floor to take Tanaka down.

    We cut to the back (that's becoming really annoying) to see kids in NWO shirts bringing in a bunch of papers that look like newspapers. Tanaka takes Calo down with a powerbomb and in a really weird ending, he puts Calo on the top and tries what looks like a gutwrench superplex but falls backwards so Calo can fall on him and pin him. That was either a botch or really stupid.

    Rating: C-. If the idea here was to make us think that Calo was a threat to Rey, they didn't do a very good job. I mean dude, Pat Tanaka? That would be like bringing in Kid Kash today. You would have to be an idiot to think that would be a good idea. Anyway, this was nothing of note and Calo was forgettable at best.

    Rick Steiner says he could have beaten Luger last week but Nick Patrick screwed it up. Gene isn't sure about that and here's Luger for a rebuttal. They're facing each other later tonight. Rick sounds delusional.

    Buy the NWO t-shirt!

    After months and months of talking, Glacier debuted! But he did it on WCW Pro, which was a show that came on Sunday evenings. Yes, after all those months, this is what we get out of it. Are you freaking kidding me WCW?

    Nasty Boys vs. Amazing French Canadians

    They're the Quebecers. Jacques says he's going to sing and the Nasties jump them. We cut to the crowd with the kids from earlier passing out NWO leaflets and papers. In the brawl that starts the match, Jacques hits Sags with a Canadian flag to give the French dudes the advantage. Larry goes to get the leaflets and throws down the pile of it. The thing says “you haven't see bad but it's coming.” Preach it brothers.

    Now back to our bad match with old guys in progress. Jacques slams Sags and they try the Cannonball which connects for no cover because they need to try it again. This one hits as well but Knobbs makes the save. Things break down (imagine that in a Nasty Boys match) and Knobbs clocks Oullette in the head with a flag for the pin.

    Rating: C-. Not bad here and they beat each other up pretty well although I'd prefer it being with more than flags. The Canadians got annoying quickly and would soon get Colonel Parker as their manager to further their levels of annoying. Nothing too bad but it was only a decent brawl which was mainly due to how short it was.

    The Nasty Boys imply they want to join the NWO but say they're not sure either way. All they care about is being tag team champions.

    Scott Norton vs. Craig Pittman

    The hits just keep on coming. Pittman takes over to start but his Code Red doesn't work. Norton drops him down with a single arm DDT and we go to the floor. Pittman goes into the post and the dominance is on. Back in and there's a Fujiwara Armbar and Pittman slaps the mat but it doesn't mean anything yet. Teddy Long, Pittman's manager, isn't sure what to do but Ice Train comes out to throw in the towel and give Norton the win. They have another match Sunday. This match existed and that's about all there is to say about it.

    Team WCW minus Sting is in the back and Flair wants to know where Sting is. Luger says he's here but he doesn't know where. Flair wants Sting here and rants about the NWO a bit as only Flair can do. Mongo and Benoit come up and accuse Sting of betraying the team. Anderson says he has the hospital rooms reserved for the NWO.

    We recap DDP vs. the Guerreros which culminates in a match vs. Chavo on Sunday. Not that either of them is wrestling or talking next but WCW just wanted you to know about it.

    Joe Gomez vs. Juventud Guerrera

    Speedy match to start us off with Gomez being kicked to the floor. Gomez gets on the apron and Juvy tries a rana to bring him back in and it's botched badly to draw some boos out of the crowd. He aborts a rana off the top and botches a spinning springboard splash for the pin. This was BAD and Juvy is booed out of the building.

    Nick Patrick is asked about the Steiners/Luger/Sting last week. He says Luger hit him on purpose which makes no sense but Patrick stands by it. Patrick swears he's WCW and implies Gene is on the take. Patrick says he can prove his innocence.

    We cut to the parking lot and the Outsiders and Hogan are putting fliers on the cars. Giant is there too. DiBiase is talking to someone in the limo and it's raining.

    Lex Luger vs. Rick Steiner

    Tony suggest Patrick and Luger are in on something together. Patrick isn't refereeing here. Larry thinks that Luger can get the belt back from Hogan but Savage can't. Larry would be correct by that as it would eventually be Luger that ended this current Hogan reign. They shake hands pre match and after a break we're ready to go. Steiner takes him to the mat with ease and then does it a few more times.

    Hour #2 begins. I wonder if any fans ever had a heart attack off the totally random fireworks. Lex grabs a powerslam for two and takes over out of nowhere. They slug it out a bit and Rick snaps off a belly to belly for two. Steiner Line gets two. A double clothesline puts both guys down and there's another powerslam for no cover this time from Lex. He calls for the Rack but Nick Patrick runs out to get Lex's attention, saying something is going on out back. Lex runs to help and loses by countout.

    Rating: C. The match was just ok with Steiner being a lot more amateur based than usual. The supelxes were always worth seeing but the rest of it was just there to set up the ending. I'm not sure what the point was in having Steiner being all insane earlier in the night and swearing he could beat Luger after the quick ending last week but Rick never was known for being normal.

    We cut to the back with DiBiase talking to someone that sounds a lot like Sting and Sting is saying he's tired of this don't trust anything stuff. Luger comes out and Sting gets out to beat down Lex in the rain. That voice was really mic'd up too. Even DiBiase gets in some shots. And so it begins.

    Eric doesn't know what to do so we go to a video about the events of last week and Giant turning. This eats up a good while and I'm sure the live crowd loved sitting through all this dead time. This is like 10 minutes of stuff the audience can't see at all. We go back and see the beatdown AGAIN to fill in some time.

    After a break some WCW guys are still in the parking lot looking for cars to go after Sting.

    Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio

    Non-Title here I think. The announcers are all depressed because of what they saw in the parking lot and the fans are depressed because they just sat through 20 minutes of nothing. The announcers are really getting on my nerves with being all stoic and sounding like someone died or something. Rey is doing his usual fast paced offense but the crowd isn't all that into it because of waiting around for something to happen for so long.

    A rana puts Kidman on the floor but he blocks a springboard dropkick from Rey to put both guys down for a bit. A top rope splash gets two for Kidman. Out of absolutely nowhere, Rey hits a springboard front flip dive to land on Kidman in a seated senton position for the pin. And the announcers sound like they just watched their puppies be put to sleep. Too short to grade but the announcers were REALLY hurting things here.

    Faces of Fear vs. Public Enemy

    The announcers are still depressing. It's a brawl to start and after Eric apologizes for ignoring Rey earlier (Kidman can screw off I guess), he completely ignores this match to start it off. We get down to a regular tag match with Barbarian vs. Grunge and the Leprechaun runs around the ring. This is a full grown man (Sgt. Dwayne Bruce) so it's not as stupid as Hornswoggle right?

    Off to Meng vs. Grunge as Heenan points out the issues with the NWO: “if they want you they'll buy you but if they don't want you they'll eliminate you.” And now we get to something I didn't even think WCW would do: they go to a promo during a match. I don't mean an inset or something like that. I mean there's a full promo that we go to instead of watching the match.

    Now I know what you're thinking. The promo is Luger and the Horsemen talking about Sting. “It's a huge moment so this is trying to come off as real.” I get that. However, there's a simple way around this: don't have the match airing at the same time. You control when the matches air so it wouldn't be hard to cut the match down and have something else afterwards or put the interview after the match. I know it's a nothing match but things like this annoy me. It's disrespectful to the wrestlers if nothing else.

    Anyway, they're all distraught and Luger is holding his left arm. Anderson is in shock because Sting was the only constant in WCW over the last ten years. That's very true actually. At this point they do make things better by going split screen with the match. This isn't as bad. Luger says he's WCW and wants to be in WarGames even more now. He knows where Sting is going to be and is going to get him. Flair says the confusion is over and we're the Horsemen so we'll be ready at WarGames.

    This makes me feel like asking something: why in the world did the Horsemen never just go off on a member of the NWO old school style? They could do it back in the 80s and they had the manpower to do it here. I mean....THEY'RE THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Would anyone have questioned them picking off someone like Buff Bagwell and beating him within an inch of his life? The numbers would have been against them but are you telling me that the Four Horsemen armed with chairs couldn't pick off some of the NWO B-Team?

    This is one of the big reasons why WCW died: because the good guys were treated like idiots. Flair and Arn never joined the NWO and neither did Benoit or Malenko who later comprised the team. Instead we had faces running around like idiots while we waited for Sting to make the save after like a year. After that, no one ever banded together and just mauled some of the NWO. You have the NWO beating someone down when you have a locker room of what, 40 guys (in kayfabe) who are for WCW so why did the locker room never empty and have everyone just lay out Hall and Nash and Hogan?

    WCW had so many opportunities to make this takeover storyline interesting but instead we got stuff like Piper coming in to terrorize Hogan and celebrities trying to look like they know what they're doing and the same old guys beating up the other same old guys while the young guys were stuck in the same places over and over again. I'm getting off track here, but the point is that for some reason, the good guys in WCW were treated like idiots and eventually people got tired of cheering for them and it went downhill from there.

    Back in the match now and Meng is beating on Rock in the corner. A piledriver gets two and Meng goes off on Grunge with rights and lefts as the Samoans/Tongans/stereotypical savages dominate. This match has been going on like 6 minutes now which is longer than almost anyone wanted it to go. Now we have something new to talk about other than the match: should it have been the Horsemen the whole time?

    Eric talks about how Meng is awesome but gets bored of that so let's talk about WarGames. Things break down and Grunge is put on a table at ringside and Barbarian dives off the top but misses. Rock moonsaults Meng through another table and Patrick is cool with this. Meng gets up and puts the Death Grip on Grunge just as it's all thrown out.

    Rating: C-. Who would have predicted that I'd say this much during Public Enemy vs. Faces of Fear? This wasn't a bad brawl and the Barbarian dive through the table was great. These teams wouldn't mean much as the tag titles would go between the Outsiders and the Steiners for about a year and a half.

    Heenan calls Meng Haku during the post match highlight package.

    The Dungeon says they created the Giant so they'll take him out too. Bubba still wants Glacier.

    The NWO talks about Hogan being NWO Champion. Oh and if they win the WarGames match they want their own segment and an NWO Tag Tournament. Also the 4 life line is debuted here I believe.

    John Tenta vs. Randy Savage

    Tenta's music would become Jericho's in about two years. Savage hits the ring and is stomped down by Tenta quickly. Eric has to say that Meng works for WCW and not WWF as Haku to avoid legal issues. That's how messed up things were back then. Savage pops Tenta with a chair and that's cool too. There's the elbow and a second one as Teddy Long comes out, saying they're in the back. Savage runs off to huge booing and is counted out also. Too short to rate but it was in essence a Savage squash.

    Out to the parking lot and a limo leaves but a second is still there. They find some yellow paint in it but no people. They spraypaint the limo. I hope that was a rental.

    The Horsemen make one final sell of the PPV on the commentary table and they're fired up.

    Overall Rating: D+. Their streak of one good one and one bad one continues. You can see a lot of the standards coming here as we have the focus being off wrestling and trying to make stuff real. However, Sting being redeemed would take almost 15 months and would culminate at Starrcade 97 and the biggest blunder ever. You could notice a lot by the booing for Savage just leaving like that. The fans wanted to see a match, not a guy running off to do something that the fans couldn't see. It became an issue later, but WCW never looked past that week's show, and that's a big part of why they died.

    Here's Fall Brawl if you're interested:

    http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?p=2136635#post2136635
     
    #45
  21. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #53
    Date: September 16, 1996
    Location: Ashville Civic Center, Ashville, North Carolina
    Attendance: 5,000
    Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff

    It's been awhile since I've done one of these. We're done with Fall Brawl now and Sting is public enemy #1 in WCW, even though he showed up in WarGames and proved that he was innocent. The card is nothing special tonight but we do have a debut of a pretty big name which we'll get to later on tonight. Let's get to it.

    Is there a reason why Hogan, the NWO leader and top heel for over two months now is still in the red and yellow and the first three pictures you see in the intro to a WCW show?

    We open with some shots from last night with Larry and Tony talking about how it was all about Sting. At the end of the show, Liz came out to save the beaten down Savage and got her dress spraypainted.

    Tony apologizes to Sting because we were supposed to know he was in Japan. Larry says if Sting is so sensitive he should get another job.

    Apparently there were NWO guys at the entrance handing out papers with their logo on it.

    Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guerrera

    The announcers are talking about Sting as soon as the bell rings. Rey grabs a weird looking backbreaker hold and Juvy grabs a DDT. The NWO wants their own TV show now. Glacier debuts tonight. GLACIER DEBUTS TONIGHT! Well kind of as for absolutely no apparent reason his debut match was on some Sunday show instead of here. WCW never thought things through.

    We're 90 seconds in and there has been absolutely zero nothing said about this match or the guys in it. I mean that literally. They have talked about everything else. Not even saying that was almost it on a two count. At 95 seconds, we start talking about the match with Juvy whipping Rey in. They speed things up and Rey kicks his head off with a spinwheel kick.

    Scratch that momentum as Juvy takes over again and goes up for a springboard dive, only to see Rey dropkick him in the stomach to the floor. Rey hits a springboard rana as we take a break. During the break, we get an NWO t-shirt ad. Back with Juvy getting two off something we didn't see. A springboard spinwheel kick and a baseball slide send Rey to the floor and an Asai Moonsault puts him down again.

    Back in a springboard 450 gets two. Well he's no AJ Styles. Top rope rana gets two...and here's an NWO rally instead of the match. Back in the ring (that place with that wrestling stuff), Rey counters a top rope powerbomb into a mid-air rana (SWEET) for the pin to retain. We saw that move by about 4 seconds. I can't wait for them to mess up something like that which I'm sure they will for the sake of nothing of note at all.

    Rating: B. Oh come on were you expecting something other than a fast paced and fun match with these two at a combined age of 42? The lack of talking about it got annoying but that's to be expected. Either way, very fun match even if the crowd didn't care about Juvy. These two would have more classics.

    Mongo and Benoit say how they should have been in WarGames instead of Luger/Sting so tonight they'll take revenge on them. Now that sounds like something a Horseman would say.

    We get a video on Glacier who talks in this. His Georgia accent ruins the image. I get why I never heard him talk other than this. Well not for several years at least. He talks about going to Japan to train and being taken in by an old master who is his sensei. His mask is a tribute to gladiators or something. This goes on WAY too long, clocking in at almost two and a half minutes. The accent absolutely killed this.

    Diamond Dallas Page vs. Ice Train

    Train shoves him around a bit as I begin to think of a really bad tag team in the form of Ice Train and Glacier. They do a weird spot where it looks like they're supposed to collide but they stop like an inch ahead of each other to eliminate all of the momentum. Weird. Page hits a top rope clothesline to take over and there's a discus punch. Discus lariat follows it up but Page won't cover.

    The Cutter is countered and Ice gets a belly to belly to put both guys down. Train gets going with a spinebuster and powerslam for two as Teddy Long, Train's manager, gets on the apron. Now let's cut to the back for a shot of “fans” in NWO gear taking over the merchandise stand. While this is being shown, THE BELL RINGS AND WE HAVE A PIN.

    Yes, they actually missed the end of the match to show “fans” putting caution tape around the merchandise stuff. Who won? Not mentioned. What did he win with? Not mentioned. We didn't even cut back immediately and the stuff in the back kept going on even longer. Apparently Ice Train had a full nelson and Page grabbed Teddy Long's towel to throw it in for a forfeit on Train's part. We see that on a replay, but that's beside the point. We didn't see enough to rate it but it was fine.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the point where wrestling has officially stopped meaning anything. The match wasn't much, but the company decided that showing people in the back (not wrestlers mind you, just “fans”) were more important. This is what the Attitude Era would become defined on over the next few years and would become the foundation of what Sports Entertainment was. We aren't focusing on wrestling and competition anymore. We're focusing on drama.

    This kind of thing gets on my nerves. It's one thing if there's something of note to show, but this is saying to the wrestlers “Yeah, we know you've trained for years to do this and we know you're working hard out there, but we have something more important than you to put on screen.”

    If this was Hall and Nash beating people up or something, that's one thing but that isn't what's happening here. It's fans taking over a merchandise stand and it's the second match this has happened in. Is there ANY reason this couldn't have waited another two minutes? No, there isn't and everyone in WCW is cool with that, which is why people stopped watching (in part): it stopped being about wrestling. This will become huge later on when we eventually hit the late 90s.

    Anyway the fans take over the stand and put up NWO stuff.

    Sean Waltman, formerly known as the 1-2-3 Kid, is in the front row and his release from WWF is acknowledged.

    Konnan vs. Super Calo

    Konnan is sent to the floor so Calo hits a flip dive (mostly) to take him out. Tony invites Mike Tenay to sit on his lap. Ok then. Back in Konnan hooks a top rope butterfly superplex before hooking a backbreaker kind of hold for a bit. We go back to the floor and Calo tries another spinning dive but leaves it short again, more or less slapping Konnan instead of landing on him.

    Konnan takes over again and drops Calo with the Scorpion Death Drop. Here's something you don't see something every day: Calo hooks a headscissors/ankle rana off the top and Konnan lands on him. This is a really sloppy match. A missile dropkick to the floor mostly misses as does a regular one in the corner. Konnan drops him with what would later be called the 187 (fisherman's brainbuster) for two and a powerbomb into a victory roll gets the same. The Power Drop (Razor's Edge into a sitout powerbomb) gets the pin.

    Rating: F+. The plus is for the speed of the match, but there's no excuse for a match having this many misses and mistakes out there. Calo never got over at all for the most part despite being on TV pretty often. This was a horrible match from an execution perspective and I don't think they knew if it was a squash or not.

    The 1-2-3 Kid says he's here because Nitro is hot. He asks Tenay who won WarGames and Tenay isn't impressed. Waltman seems surprised the NWO won. Total “I'm in the NWO but I'm not saying I'm in the NWO” promo.

    Hugh Morrus vs. Brad Armstrong

    Nothing of note in the first minute. I have no idea why this match is happening. Armstrong takes over with a dropkick and we talk about Liz last night. Larry thinks Flair went through her alimony from Savage and dumped her. Tony: “How do you know how much she had?” Larry: “No matter how much she had, Flair could spend it.” Preach it brother! Morrus takes over and hits No Laughing Matter (moonsault) but makes a very casual cover, allowing Armstrong to quickly roll him up and steal a pin.

    Rating: D+. What in the world was this? I really don't get this: it's the most random wrestling match and ending I've ever seen. It looked like a squash but we get that ending? It didn't go anywhere or anything, so what was the point here? It wasn't bad or anything, but why did it happen? I don't understand this at all.

    Hour #2 begins.

    Here's Savage for an interview. We get some shots of last night where the NWO beat Savage down and left him laying. Savage says he's ready for Hogan and that's all he's got left.

    The NWO arrives, including the fake Sting. They're going to beat up someone tonight.

    Randy Savage vs. Scott Norton

    This starts in the aisle with Savage being all crazy again. A knee to the back puts Norton back on the floor and it's Crazy Macho again. There's the double axe off the top to the floor and we talk about the NWO wanting to beat him to death next week because there's going to be no WCW guys around as they'll be in Japan. Eric talks about how Sting was in Japan promoting the tour that he (Eric) set up but he didn't realize it was the impostor last week. That's either foreshadowing or really stupid.

    Norton takes over with power and it's the traditional Randy Savage beating. That's more or less one third of what he did around this time: get beaten up, get disqualified, or hit one move, a slam and the elbow to end it. Savage takes over and we go to the floor with Norton getting sent into the barricade a few times. Norton gets slammed on the floor but grabs a DDT for two back in the ring. There's the shoulderbreaker and Macho goes to the floor. He avoids being sent into the post and then WHACKS Norton with the chair for the DQ.

    Rating: C. Pretty fun brawl while it lasted and it accomplished the goal that it needed to get through: making Savage look like a crazy lunatic that could kill Hogan if given the chance. They managed to kill the heat on the match because we needed to have Hogan vs. Piper for some reason. Anyway though, this was more fun than I expected.

    Glacier vs. Big Bubba

    Let's get this over with. Glacier has his infamous overblown intro which cost thousands of dollars per time I believe. Bubba doesn't get an entrance and it's snowing in the arena. They have the blue lights ala Sin Cara/early Kane matches too. Glacier fights like a Power Ranger. Bubba finally gets in a punch and a big spinebuster but Glacier pops up and fires off a bunch of kicks because that's all he knows how to do. A big spin kick ends this. More or less just an exhibition by Glacier.

    Sting (the real one) is here and Eric says this wasn't expected. This is a very famous moment. He wants to explain last week. Last Monday, he was on a plane coming back from Los Angeles. Important note to this: his back is to the camera and he won't turn around. He talks about how Luger hasn't come to see him and he's tired of all the doubt. The fans are kind of booing him here.

    That brings us to Fall Brawl where he was going to tell Lex to his face. Luger didn't believe him there either. After everything he's done, how dare no one believe him after everything Lex has done over the last year. That's a really good point. He'll stand by all the wrestlers and fans that stood behind the Stinger, but as for everyone that doubted him, you all can stick it. From now on, he's a free agent. He's going to pop in when you least expect him. With that, he walks out of the ring and leaves. That's the last time he would speak on camera for about 16 months.

    Ric Flair/Arn Anderson vs. Chris Jericho/Marcus Bagwell

    Think this is going to get any attention from the announcers? Before the Horsemen come out we cut to the back where Liz is too scared to come to the ring with them. Before the match starts, Waltman stands up in his chair and holds up a box with a button on it. He presses a button and a ton of leaflets fall from the ceiling with NWO on it. Bischoff says Waltman is the 6th one (Hogan, Hall, Nash, DiBiase, Giant, Fake Sting makes six without him but I guess math is too hard for WCW).

    After a break the papers are still falling. We at least get a bell. Arn vs. Jericho gets us going. The Canadian takes over with a dropkick for two to start as we'll be lucky to hear 5 words about the match. Spinwheel kick puts Arn onto the floor as the papers keep following. Eric admits that he's the Executive Vice President of WCW and admits he agreed to give the NWO their own TV show if they won last night or they wouldn't fight. That would wind up being a segment on Saturday Night that was done for comedy.

    Flair comes in to chop away at Bagwell but Buff (not yet Buff but who cares) fires back and it's about what you would expect. The Horsemen double team a bit as there is zero heat on this match. Flair is crawling around on all fours outside and is mad about the papers. I'd be mad too if the fans kept throwing the papers at me. Anderson gets a spinebuster on Jericho for no cover. Tenay starts questioning Eric's decision and it's covered up well by Bischoff. It's interesting to look for the hints to the swerves that would come.

    Jericho gets beaten down by both guys and Heenan enjoys it way too much. As the Canadian gets his leg worked on Horsemen-style, we cut to the back where Giant is arriving and Waltman is with them with a small boom box. At least it's split screen so we can see the match, as boring as it is. And there goes the splitting. They play a tape of “Sting” running his mouth about not trusting anyone. After about a minute of that, back to your regularly scheduled match.

    Hot tag brings in Bagwell and he's still Marcus so no one cares. They tried forever to get people to care about him and it didn't work ever with him as a face. Woman interferes to allow Anderson to knock Bagwell out dead with a DDT. The Figure Four goes on and Bagwell gets beaten by the rare pin in the submission.

    Rating: D. Not an entertaining match at all. It was ok but with all of the distractions going on in it, there's only so much you can get out of it. The papers and then cutting away from it for about a minute took way too much out of it. To be fair to the bad ideas though, the match wasn't going to be interesting no matter what they tried with it.

    Buy this Horsemen t-shirt for $22! This is back in the days of $30 PPVs. That would be the equivalent of about a $35 t-shirt today.

    Chris Benoit/Steve McMichael vs. Lex Luger

    No Sting for Luger to tag with. Benoit start with Luger and I guess they're still going with the idea of the other Horsemen being upset about not being in WarGames. There's the snap suplex. You know for a guy that went through WarGames last night and passed out from the pain of a double submission, Luger looks pretty good. Mongo comes in for his usual boring stuff.

    A forearm/elbow gets two for Benoit. We're told that more or less EVERYONE ON THE ROSTER other than Savage is going to be in Japan next week. Heenan: “QUIT TELLING EVERYONE THAT!” Listen to Brain. He knows his stuff it seems. A double clothesline puts both Benoit and Luger down as we're waiting on the screwy finish. Luger makes his comeback and Racks Benoit but here are Flair and Anderson for the DQ.

    Rating: D+. Another weak match here but it was around to set up what the lack of Sting means for Luger and for just the big beatdown post match. Not a horrible match again, but at the same time they were really just wasting time here until the ending and everyone knew it, which is one of the most boring kind of matches you can have.

    During the beatdown, Eric gives us the word that Waltman is officially to be called Syxx.

    Outside the NWO is watching Nitro in a limo. They hear that no one will be here but Savage next week, so they'll beat him up. Thanks Eric.

    Overall Rating: C-. The wrestling was terribly boring here but they have like six weeks before Halloween Havoc so they have plenty of time left. Not the worst show ever but it was really more about transitioning things, including the start of the REALLY big part of the NWO angle, which is saying a lot. Sting's speech is huge and the rest is just there.
     
    #46
  22. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #54
    Date: September 23, 1996
    Location: CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio
    Attendance: 4,308
    Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff, Mike Tenay

    As mentioned on the previous show, this is the one where everyone not named Savage is in Japan. Eric, ever the lunkhead, mentioned this last week and the NWO knows about it. Expect a lot of unusual names on this show and a lot of matches that no one would ever want to see. Oh and a lot of the NWO as well I'm sure. Let's get to it.

    Tony holds up an ad that is allegedly in the USA Today, talking about Nitro being taken over by the NWO tonight. Larry talks about parasites.

    We get clips of fans tearing up NWO stuff.

    Konnan/Kevin Sullivan vs. Brad Armstrong/Juventud Guerrera

    The two Mexicans start us off and Konnan takes it to the mat. Juvy is like “screw that in Spanish” and fires off a plancha and slingshot leg to speed things up. And there's the 187 to stop that quickly. Sullivan won't tag in so Konnan has to keep fighting. Armstrong comes in and cleans house a bit but there's a powerbomb. Sullivan finally makes a tag and here are the NWO sign guys. Sullivan gets a pin. That's literally all he did in the entire match: walk in and get a pin. Pretty much a squash match.

    The Dungeon beats down Konnan for no apparent reason post match. And then they stop and help him up. It was an initiation according to Sullivan.

    We get some clips from the end of last week's show where the NWO said they were coming for Savage this week. Savage says he's a marked man and if that's what it takes to get at Hogan, that's cool with him. He's the last hope for WCW and says he volunteered to stay here tonight on his own. As for Liz, and I quote, “The only thing we have in common is that in a thousand lifetimes, we might be goldfish swimming in the same water.” Kids, don't do drugs.

    Mike Enos vs. Chris Jericho

    We're told that it's Harlem Heat vs. Outsiders for the titles at Havoc. They start fast and Jericho gets slapped, as does Enos. Enos channels his inner JYD and gets on all fours to headbutt Jericho. Pretty basic match so far as we talk about Savage and the NWO. Larry says there was something else Savage said that Larry didn't like. He doesn't bother saying what that is, but I guess that's an exercise left up to us.

    They go to the floor and it's all Enos. He loads up the steps and suplexes Jericho onto them, which isn't a DQ I guess. Three minutes after he initially brought it up, Larry says it was the last hope for WCW line that he didn't like. Off to a bearhug and then a powerslam for two. All Enos so far. Jericho gets put into a Boston Crab which isn't ironic yet. Over the shoulder backbreaker now but Jericho counters into a sunset flip for two.

    Missile dropkick puts Enos down and up to the corner we go. He sets for a super rana but Enos powerbombs him out of it (not as exciting as it sounds) for two. In a pretty cool ending that I don't think I've seen before, Jericho counters a powerslam into something like a powerslam of his own (better than it sounds) for the pin. That looked pretty sweet actually.

    Rating: B-. Much better match here than I was expecting. Enos was fine for what he was supposed to be here: a power guy acting as a foil for Jericho to look good against here. The ending was good too and it's always fun to see a guy like Jericho getting one of his first big breaks on national TV. Fun match that did things simply but well.

    Pat Tanaka vs. Glacier

    Tanaka comes out to what would become Goldberg's music. The guy that got the music became one of the biggest stars ever while Tanaka became the referee for Micro Championship Wrestling. It's snowing again and we hear about Larry being a black belt also. Think they'll be kicking a lot? Larry explains what the fist behind the hand for the bow means (wanting violence to be the second choice). They avoid kicks for awhile until Tanaka hooks a sitout powerbomb. Ignore that as a spin kick ends this in about 30 seconds. Glacier won in case you're really stupid.

    Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Public Enemy

    Arn vs. Lex is announced for Havoc as well. The champs jump them and double team Rock for a bit. Booker vs. Rock to start but it's off to Grunge quickly. We take a break and come back with Heat in control now. Booker crotches himself on a kick attempt though and it's a not hot tag to Grunge. Big clothesline puts Johnny down (it's Booker T/Stevie Ray vs. Johnny Grunge/Rocco Rock if you've been confused so far) and it's off to Ray.

    Time to talk about Savage again and we have a table from nowhere set up on the floor. Grunge is knocked to the floor and hit his back on it on the way down. Well that sucks. A Harlem Side Kick hits Grunge for two and we cut to the back to see the NWO arrive, now in two limos. At least it's a chinlock that we're missing which is an old school technique for getting around this kind of stuff. It was usually used when there was a fight in the crowd or something. Whenever you see fans looking elsewhere, you'll often see a veteran go into a rest hold to make sure the fans don't miss anything. That's how a good wrestler thinks.

    The hot tag brings in Rocco and he cleans house as well as a dirty man like he can. He fires off a bunch of right hands but runs into the Heat. The Hangover misses for the most part (Booker's back landed on him instead) and we get a near fall due to Grunge's foot being on the ropes. There's a small package on Booker and Rock reverses it for the pin and the shocking title change.

    Rating: D+. The match sucked but this was the kind of surprise that was designed to make you think anything could happen. They lost the titles like two weeks later so that Harlem Heat could defend against the Outsiders so it's not like this lasted a significant amount of time, but it was a good surprise and I was legit shocked when it happened.

    Second hour begins.

    Greg Valentine vs. Randy Savage

    Eric says there's a new NWO member tonight. I can't think of who that would be as the next member wasn't until October and it was nothing of note unless I'm totally overlooking someone. Valentine jumps him and that doesn't work all that well. They go to the floor with Valentine having his token control period. We hear that Super Calo has injured his elbow in a dark match so he's out for awhile. Savage clocks Valentine with a chair twice and that's a DQ. The whole point of this is coming down the aisle though.

    Here's the NWO and it's beatdown time. A Jackknife puts him down and Savage is in trouble. Giant grabs a mic and introduces Hogan. They beat him down even more and drop a leg on him. They even beat him with a Slim Jim. Hogan talks about Savage being bald and they spraypaint the top of his head.

    They storm the announcers' booth and Bobby runs with Tenay. Eric can't get away though and the announcers sit down with him. They debut their head of security: Vincent. That would be Virgil from WWF. To be fair, no one cared about him or had heard of him in years so it's not like this meant anything.

    Ok so the NWO will be running the commentary for the rest of the night. Eric keeps trying to leave but can't get away. They debut the NWO Nascar car which used to be the WCW car. Kyle Petty is the driver.

    Jim Powers vs. Michael Wallstreet

    Giant is the new announcer. Hall and Nash leave the booth and DiBiase sits down instead. The Outsiders are beating up Powers now so there's no match.

    Randy Anderson walks out so Nick Patrick says he'll do all the refereeing.

    Giant chokeslams Powers again and we cut to Hogan in the back, spraypainting something. He comes down the hall and runs into the Nasty Boys. Hogan gives them his hotel key and says tonight they won't be fighting the Outsiders because they can talk some business with Hogan later. A defection is implied.

    Jim Duggan vs. Syxx

    It's supposed to be Ron Studd but that doesn't happen as Hogan and Nash beat him down in the aisle. We hear what might be the debut of the NWO theme song. Hogan jumps in on commentary which is something that is very rare to hear. Duggan takes over to start and gets the USA chant going. You know, Syxx is from Minnesota. Wouldn't a USA chant help him as well? The three point clothesline hits but Giant pulls Duggan out and hits one of the worst chokeslams I've ever seen on the concrete so that Syxx can get the pin. He had no other offense.

    NWO Sting vs. Bo LaDue

    LaDue has never had another televised match as far as I know. Sting does the usual Sting stuff and no one buys it. Splash and Deathlock end this.

    Hogan talks about Savage a bit.

    High Voltage vs. Outsiders

    This is part of the NWO Tag Team Tournament. The French Canadians are supposed to be the opponents but the Outsiders come out next so the French dudes run. I have no idea what there is to say about this. Hall beats on one of them, Nash beats on one of them, we take a break, we come back with more beatings, we get a Brooke/Nick reference, Hall suplexes Rage off the top, a Jackknife pins Kaos. That match lasted about 11 minutes.

    Rating: F. Yeah it's a squash, yeah it's supposed to be dominant, yeah it was really boring.

    The NWO talks for a few minutes to end the show.

    Overall Rating: D+. This is one of the benchmarks where you can see that everything is about TV instead of being for the live audience. Can you imagine how bored they've been for the last two hours of this show? Nothing has happened at all. The whole thing was about the NWO and they have no idea that Vincent is the new man either. This was all for the TV show, which is fine but it takes the crowd out of stuff quickly. Not a good show, but a lot of that is due to everyone being in Japan.
     
    #47
  23. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #55
    Date: September 30, 1996
    Location: Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
    Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

    We're still getting closer to Halloween Havoc here. The card here looks pretty uninteresting other than a few matches sprinkled here and there. This show gets a little boring until we get to 1997 and the focus is totally on the build for Sting vs. Hogan, which I can't say I disagree with from a booking standpoint as it was the biggest match ever for WCW. Let's get to it.

    We talk about the NWO racecar and how shocking it would be if Kyle Petty was their driver. You know, for all the NASCAR fans that we had in 1996.

    We throw it to Eric who lies about the roots of the company going back to 1905. He talks about tradition and all that jazz which is almost all he knows how to write so there you are. Eric basically cuts a promo here and my head begins to hurt as we have to hear about how he's awesome and we see the focus shifting to him, which would happen a lot more over the next year. The massive NWO chant doesn't help things.

    Tag Titles: Juventud Guerrera/El Technico vs. Public Enemy

    Technico is Billy Kidman under a mask. Even though they won the titles last week I completely forgot about Public Enemy being champions. Rock vs. Juvy starts us off and this is a squash. The champs hit something like Demolition's old finisher for two. They turn Kidman's mask around and hit the old Quebecers' Cannonball to end this. Quick match here and a total squash.

    Kidman goes through the table.

    Benoit and Mongo say if the NWO wants a fight tonight, they'll be ready. For the life of me, how did they never just let the Horsemen go nuts and go to war with the NWO old school, picking off one of them at a time until there was just Flair vs. Hogan? Benoit says he's ready for Rick Steiner.

    The NWO is in a hotel and Hogan's son is there too.

    Alex Wright vs. Dean Malenko

    Dean has Rey's mask which he stole recently. Tony tells everyone that the NWO is at the Marriott in Cleveland. This comes after Syxx could be heard ordering room service and saying the room number in the previous segment, making WCW all the stupider. After some feeling out processes, Malenko takes over with a belly to back as we take a break.

    Back with Wright speeding things up and hitting a Japanese armdrag to take over. That doesn't last long as they head to the floor where Dean takes over again. Dean works on the leg but Wright starts his comeback. He and Dean both miss top rope shots but Wrights grabs a cradle for the upset pin.

    Rating: C. Decent match here and for TV, this was fine. Wright still never got the push that they always seemed on the brink of with him, although he'd win the TV Title sometime in 97. This wasn't much but Dean would become Cruiserweight Champion again before too long if my memory is right.

    We look at Saturday Night where Savage snapped as Liz was standing there watching and being all nervous. Savage beat up Nick Patrick too.

    Savage is supposed to come out for an interview but is nowhere to be found.

    Eddie Guerrero vs. Jim Powers

    Nick Patrick is referee here and has a neck brace on due to Savage's attack. Powers is of course a power guy and this turns into a fight as I think Powers is the almost kind of sort of a heel here. Overhead belly to belly puts Eddie down for a very delayed two. Now let's look at the NWO fans holding up signs. Back to the chinlock and this isn't going anywhere at all. Powers hits a superplex for two. Eddie reverses a powerslam into a German and gets the pin, but the idea is that Powers got a shoulder up in time (he did) but Patrick missed it.

    Rating: D. This also went nowhere. The Patrick storyline went on forever but this didn't mean anything without there being a clear heel to cheat for. Eddie didn't have much to work with here either as Powers was a jobber and not a very good one at that. At least Eddie would fight DDP for awhile after this which was a lot more interesting and entertaining.

    The NWO is still in the hotel room when the Nasty Boys come in. Everyone talks about Kyle Petty. For the love of chicken wings, NO ONE CARES.

    Arn Anderson berates Liz for what happened last week with Savage.

    Hugh Morrus vs. Brad Armstrong

    Power vs. speed here and about a minute in we start hour #2, which isn't going to distract the fans from the match or anything right? Time for the announcers to talk about Savage for the rest of the match. Oh and also about the Nasty Boys possibly defecting. Eric says he doesn't want to take anything away from this match. Take a guess what he does next. Just take a guess. All the talking about the match for the next minute or so: he counts a pin and says there's a clothesline. No Laughing Matter (two of them) ends this.

    Rating: C-. The match wasn't half bad, but the commentary gets really annoying really fast. If I hadn't been looking at the screen, I wouldn't have had any idea what was going on in this. That's WCW for you though: spend the matches talking about other stuff, because it's not like anyone is going to get sick of hearing about it right?

    Anderson and Woman yell at Liz about how it's business or something.

    Eric leaves out of fear, apparently wanting to go find the hotel the NWO is in....which Tony told us earlier.

    Arn Anderson vs. Chris Jericho

    Tony is in on commentary now. This match is the internet's dream match but here we're going to talk about the possibility of Eric joining the NWO. About two minutes in Tony gives us some token chat about the match. Jericho works the arm and Liz is watching in the back. Arn is sent to the floor where Jericho teases a dive but Arn gets out of the way. Chris is a step ahead of him though and puts on the brakes, hitting a shoulder block off the apron.

    Woman gets involved to let Arn take over and Jericho's inexperience starts becoming a problem. Arn takes over as Liz walks away from the monitor in the back. Anderson works on the arm but jumps into a dropkick to switch control again. A springboard clothesline sets up a top rope back elbow (love that move) for two. Lionsault misses and Arn grabs the DDT (BIG reaction for that) for the pin.

    Rating: C+. Did you expect anything else here other than a good match? Jericho had a lot of the tools he would use later on to become a superstar and Arn was just about to the end of his career here, as I don't think he was active much past January of 97. Still though, good stuff here and Jericho looked like a guy that got caught by a veteran, not someone that got crushed. That can make all the difference in the world sometimes.

    Buy the NWO shirt.

    Liz leaves.

    Lex Luger vs. Mr. Wallstreet

    Luger vs. Arn at Havoc. I've never been a fan of Luger in the black boots. It never worked for him. He takes over quickly on Wallstreet with power stuff and drops some elbows for two. Wallstreet grabs an abdominal stretch and we talk about Bischoff some more. Time for a chinlock as this isn't much of a match as far as being interesting. After that, more chinlock. Luger grabs a rollup after like two minutes for two. This is horribly boring. Wallstreet takes over AGAIN with a clothesline as this needed to end like 4 minutes ago. A suplex is finally countered into the Rack for the submission.

    Rating: F+. This got SEVEN AND A HALF MINUTES. There's no reason to have a match with these guys in it go that long at all. Boring match which was about half chinlock. Luger looked like a joke out here and it didn't work at all. Weak match and nothing interesting to see at all.

    We recap the entire Sting saga. As a peace offering, the WCW car is now the Sting car.

    Rock N Roll Express vs. Faces of Fear

    Meng vs. Morton to start with the power guy taking over to start. Morton tries like three sleepers, none of which work at all. Both teams switch off and there isn't much to see here so far. We take a break with it being a stalemate. Look at the car before we go though because you're southern and have to like car racing! Back with a sunset flip not working for Gibson. The second attempt gets two.

    Ricky Morton plays himself, taking a piledriver from Meng for two. Morton hammers Meng's head for no apparent reason so Barbarian kicks him in the face. That's the basic answer for most problems it seems. Powerbomb kills Morton dead but it only gets two. A backbreaker sets up a camel clutch. Do they have camels in Tonga? Morton fires off a cross body out of nowhere for about two.

    And never mind as Barbarian takes him right back down again. The announcers are talking about how they want to kill the NWO as the Faces of Fear hit a double headbutt for two. Gibson keeps making the save. I wonder if Morton is like DUDE, let them pin me already! Top rope headbutt misses for Morton and it's a not hot tag to Gibson. The Express tries double teaming and hits the double dropkick to Meng but Barbarian kicks Gibson's head off to pin him.

    Rating: D+. Not a terrible match but this went on too long. It was over ten minutes and then there was the time during the commercial that we didn't even get to see. The Express was just old at this point and the whole idea of their team was done about 8 years earlier. Nothing to see here, which is a running theme tonight.

    Public Enemy comes out to stop a beatdown and gets destroyed themselves, including an attack on the knee of Grunge.

    Back to the hotel room and this is still the same stuff from earlier. The car driver is here too now.

    Chris Benoit vs. Rick Steiner

    Patrick runs his mouth for some reason before the match. After a break we're ready to go. This turns into a slugout, which we ignore, but that's not the point I guess. The American hits a German on the Canadian to take over. Rick grabs a chinlock after throwing Chris around a bit. Big Steiner Line puts Benoit down as does a powerslam. Debra distracts the referee so Mongo can pop Steiner with the briefcase. Benoit falls on top for the pin. He got destroyed other than that.

    Rating: D+. I wasn't getting the idea here. I know they were pushing the idea that the Horsemen weren't going to be outnumbered again, but was there really a need to have Steiner look totally dominant over Benoit here? I really don't get that, as the Steiners were nothing but a tag team while the Horsemen were always tagging or in singles interchangeably. I don't get this but whatever.

    The NWO talks even more to end the show. Liz is there with them now. She's joining them so they'll spare Savage....I think. Vince brings in a package and Liz leaves. Savage storms up the hallway and screams at her as she drops a paper. He keeps yelling as we go off the air.

    Overall Rating
    : D-. This wasn't that the show was bad, but my goodness was it boring. There was WAY too much NWO on here with so much of the focus being on that freaking racecar driver. The matches almost all sucked other than Jericho's match and that one was just ok. The ending sets up a nice cliffhanger, but we need to get to 1997 fast, because not much else happens until we get there and to Page's face turn. Bad show and probably the weakest since the NWO arrived.
     
    #48
  24. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Nitro #56
    Date: October 7, 1996
    Location: Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, Georgia
    Attendance: 4,300
    Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

    Please let this be more interesting than last week. I don't think I can take another one of those shows. This is another build to the Halloween Havoc PPV show and hopefully we'll get some followup on the Liz in the NWO hotel room stuff from last week. The main event is Flair vs. Savage (it's been a few months so I don't mind as much) and another Benoit vs. Steiner match for some reason. Let's get to it.

    We open with a clip of the end of the show last week. I don't think we saw what was in the package that Vince brought in, which he seemed a bit nervous about.

    We get a clip of Harlem Heat winning the tag titles back from Public Enemy on WCW Saturday Night.

    Harlem Heat vs. Public Enemy

    Nice to see them get this out of the way quickly. And this is non-title......why exactly? The new champions don't even get an introduction. That's a very odd way to start a title reign isn't it? This is about respect or revenge or something like that. The Heat takes over pretty quickly but Patrick is knocked to the floor and is down as we take a break. Back with Liz trying to get in Savage's dressing room. She walks in but Randy is gone.

    Back to the match as Rock is in a camel clutch. Harlem Side Kick gets a very delayed two. Off to a chinlock after Sherri cheated a bit. This isn't the most interesting match in the world. Rock gets double teamed down in the corner again. The NWO is in the arena. I don't think I see Hogan in there though. The match of course stops and they have a microphone. The Outsiders threaten Harlem heat and make Slim Jim puns.

    During this whole things it's almost all chinlocks and rest holds. Larry wants to know how they got on WCW's frequency. That's a really good question actually. The NWO shuts up as Booker misses a middle rope elbow and both guys go down off a clothesline by Rock. Public Enemy takes over until Colonel Parker interferes and Rock falls off the top onto the table. The Heat goes after Grunge's bad knee with a chair and they drop a top rope knee onto the chair onto the bad knee for the pin.

    Rating: D. Boring match in the first place which is dragged even further down because of the Outsiders stuff. I'd still like to know why this wasn't non-title. I mean, the Heat wins and they look pretty dominant doing it, so why not add on something like a title stipulation to make it more interesting? Not much to see here but part of that is due to the match stopping cold because of the Outsiders.

    A limo arrives and Jeff Jarrett has jumped ship to WCW.

    We get a clip from Saturday Night of Nick Patrick fining Randy Savage one million dollars. No word on if it was ever paid or not, but I remember this moment as it aired.

    Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jim Powers

    After a basic power man opening by Powers, we get a quick promo from Page about Eddie. Nothing too special, but it's nice to hear them actually talk about their upcoming matches. Cross body gets two for Powers. He tries a full nelson but Page escapes and the Cutter ends this. Quick match.

    Page roughs up Teddy Long post match but just shoves him.

    Here's Macho Man to a big ovation. He brings out....oh for crying out loud he brings out a racecar driver. This is what you would expect from it to be. I still don't care. The NWO car wrecked so Savage declares victory for WCW. So uh....about that ex wife possibly joining the evil team stuff? Can we talk about that or anything like that? Nope, it's still racing chat.

    Savage takes like two minutes teasing how high he finished in the race. He finished 10th and this is supposed to be a big deal. Savage talks for four minutes and doesn't talk about Liz AT ALL. It's all racing crap and I'm tempted to fast forward. Oh and he'll beat Hogan. Liz FINALLY comes out and Savage won't talk to her. Well there was really a point to that.

    Faces of Fear vs. High Voltage

    High Voltage is Rage and Kaos. The Tongans jump them and it's Meng vs. Kaos to start. Jarrett will wrestle tonight. The Horsemen are in the aisle since they're against the Faces of Fear at Havoc. Total dominance here as Rage is beaten down. Powerbomb gets two. A slingshot into a big boot (nowhere near as cool as it sounds) ends this.

    Rating: D. Nothing match here but it was a decent enough squash. High Voltage was never worth anything but Kaos was Rick Steiner's pick to be one half of the tag champions at one point for no apparent reason. The Faces of Fear got a mini-push until the end of the year and got the title match at Starrcade. Just a squash here.

    Glacier vs. Mike Wenner

    What a great jobber name. It's pronounced Winner. Glacier has the weird lights like Sin Cara has at the moment. He takes Wenner down with the leg sweep and goes for the arm. The fans think this is boring and I'm not going to argue with them that much. Glacier hits an over the top rope dive and a spinning kick ends this. Total and complete domination. He wouldn't be on Nitro again until December.

    Glacier does martial arts until the second hour starts.

    Eric announces Jarrett as part of the NWO. Where did he get this information?

    Jeff Jarrett vs. Hugh Morrus

    Jarrett hadn't been on TV in the WWF for about 8 months so this wasn't exactly the biggest shocks ever. Eric keeps telling us that Jeff is in the NWO and I still don't get where he got that from. Heenan asks Eric where he went last week and Eric brushes it off. Morrus takes over after about a minute and Jeff misses an enziguri. The announcers are blasting him every chance they get. I think it's something about Jeff wanting a shot in WCW and Eric saying no, so it must be the NWO that brought him in.

    Jarrett takes over with a great dropkick for two. Powerslam gets two for Morrus. The announcers want to know where the NWO is because they usually have their members' backs. Maybe because no one ever said he was in the NWO? Morrus misses a top rope elbow and Jarrett wins it with the Figure Four.

    Rating: C-. Eh this was just ok. Jarrett would be around for about a year before he headed back to the WWF to be a really annoying country singer which he would be for another year before he got his hair cut and turned into a male chauvinist pig. This was just a basic introduction to Jarrett which was fine.

    Tony talks to Jeff and says he's part of the NWO because he got out of a black limo. I'm serious. That's their rationale for saying that Jarrett is in the NWO: the color of his car. Jarrett talks about Hogan bragging about how he made promoters like Verne Gagne and Jerry Jarrett (Jeff's dad, big time promoter in Memphis back in the territory days), and says that Hogan didn't make either of the Jarretts. He goes on an old guys are awesome rant and tells the NWO to stick it.

    Buy the NWO shirt.

    Renegade vs. Arn Anderson

    Renegade still had a job at this point??? He was an Ultimate Warrior rip-off (same mannerisms, look, style, Hogan talked about him being the Ultimate Surprise etc) and he squashed Anderson for the TV Title in 95. The problem was he made Warrior look like Shawn Michaels in the ring. Anderson controls to start and breaks up a sunset flip. Renegade is looking like the jobber that he should have been.

    The fans chant for the DDT as Eric sings WCW's praises, in this case that of Harlem Heat. Anderson works on the arm while Eric kind of bashes the other announcers for bailing on him. You know, like he did to them last week but we're not supposed to remember that I guess. Renegade gets a shot in and Tenay suggests that Jarrett might be the swinging point for WCW. Oh dear. Eric still doesn't trust him. Handspring elbow by Renegade but the second is broken up. DDT ends this.

    Rating: D+. Squash here and that's fine. I still don't get why Renegade has a job at this point but I guess there's a logic to paying him a bunch of money somewhere. Nothing to see here and the Ultimate Warrior doing a cartwheel elbow is pretty stupid when you think about it. Nothing match and nothing to see here.

    Anderson hammers on him post match until Luger makes the save.

    Lex Luger vs. Dave Taylor

    Why did Luger go to the back and come out again two minutes later? Luger says in an inset promo that he wants the TV Title back and that he'll be ready for Anderson. The match is just what you would expect: Taylor gets in a few shots and then the Rack ends it. Basically a workout for Luger.

    Anderson jumps Luger with a chair as Luger is leaving.

    Chris Benoit vs. Rick Steiner

    Scott is injured but is here with Rick anyway. Steiner goes right after him to start and pounds him down with ease. I still don't get why this mini-feud is even happening. Belly to belly gets two. Off to a chinlock and we talk about an Olympic silver medalist talking about joining WCW, which wouldn't happen. Another suplex has Benoit holding his neck and head, which makes me wince a bit given what we know now. After a two count we take a break.

    Back with Benoit in control with a chinlock but he goes to the corner and pounds away when the cameras are back on. Scott goes after Nick Patrick a bit and Patrick freaks. An NWO limo arrives with Hogan inside with Giant. The match isn't that important I guess. Hogan says watch this place because he has business to take care of. Benoit had Rick in a chinlock at the time so at least he was smart enough to think through it.

    Eric rants about Jarrett some more and Benoit hooks another chinlock. Rick wakes up and hits a huge Steiner Line but Benoit just gets mad because of it. He chops Rick so hard Rick's headgear falls off. FREAKING OW MAN! Swan Dive gets two. Benoit jumps into a suplex and then a DDT gets two for Rick. The top rope bulldog gets....two? Since we were having a decent match, here's Debra to make sure it gets screwy. Mongo goes for the briefcase but Rick steals it and waffles Mongo with it (great looking shot) and then hits Benoit for the pin.

    Rating: C+. Without the shenanigans and distractions, this would have been a pretty solid match. Rick certainly wasn't much in his later career, but when he was on he was on pretty well which was the case here. Benoit was so hungry at this point and you could tell how awesome he would be if they gave him the proper push, which unfortunately never really happened.

    US Title: Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair

    After Savage's entrance, the NWO is shown in the back and Hogan tells the Nastys to watch his back. He wants to talk to Savage on his own. DiBiase has the NWO contracts for the Nastys. We cut to the back and the NWO is standing over Flair who is out cold. Vincent takes the US Title belt with him. There was a sound resembling a lead pipe shot before we cut there. Liz is there and looks terrified. I think this was due to Flair needing legit shoulder surgery.

    Liz is stalked into the arena by Giant who has the title. Hogan jumps Savage and beats him down with a chair. This beating goes on for like 7 minutes as Heenan shouts a very good question: WHERE IS THE REST OF THE LOCKER ROOM??? Trash is thrown into the ring and they do his outline in spraypaint. Hogan declares Liz and Savage null and void because he owns her mind, body and soul. Something about a contract is mentioned. Hogan says he's going to destroy the broadcast booth and here's an NWO monster truck. WHAT AM I WATCHING???

    Overall Rating: C-. Better than last week for sure, but this show is crawling towards Halloween Havoc about as slowly as you possibly can. Most of the card is announced and they're building things up, but the problem is everything is pretty much set and there is n't much to have as far as matches on Nitro goes. Not a great show, but WAY better than last week's.
     
    #49
  25. ShinobiMusashi

    ShinobiMusashi Getting Noticed By Management

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    Pretty spot on analysis KB. I agree with most of what you have to say about WCW. I just want to emphasize that when this happened it was INSANE! I had friends calling me on the phone telling me that Razor Ramon had just shown up on Nitro, and the WWF was about to invade WCW. To be a 12 year old kid when this went down was absolutely mind blowing, and reading this really brought back that memory of thinking about all of the potential of where this could have went.

    I also got to add that everything you said here pretty much applies to the little pseudo Brian Pilman invasion in ECW when he debuted and threatened to pull his dick out and piss all over the ECW ring just a few months before this episode of Nitro(which Bischoff was in on). I really believe 95-96 ECW had a big influence on the style of the NWO angle. Would you agree?
     
    #50

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