Kick Out at Nitro! – 9/30/1996 – “What’s your deal, Liz?”

Posted: August 1, 2018 by Kick Out At 2! in Kick Out At Nitro, Shane D

KoaNitro17Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to another installment of my personal journey through WCW history: Kick Out at Nitro.  Yes, it’s been a while since my last entry…ten months, to be exact, and I am definitely sorry about that! However, let’s try this again, picking up where we left off, and heading towards the future!

WCW Monday Nitro comes to us live tonight from Cleveland, OH.  I’ve been listening to a lot of Tony Schiavone’s What Happened When podcast recently, so it’s interesting hearing Tony in his full glory and not calling people a “slapdick.”  Tony and Larry Zbyszko open the show by going over the previous week’s takeover of Nitro by the nWo. Tony recaps the unveiling of the nWo race car and both men seem very incredulous about Kyle Petty driving the car.  Larry even says that Kyle has too much class to couple with the “New World Odor.” Still trying to get that line over, huh, Larry?

Tony kicks us over to Eric Bischoff, who goes over the history of WCW, saying it goes back to 1905 (it doesn’t), and that the nWo coming in and trying to stop WCW isn’t going to fly because WCW has done too much and come too far, and it’s going to stop.  Eric says that the single worst thing he’s ever done is bring Hulk Hogan into WCW. It’s a very heartfelt and to the point speech and it does a really good job at pushing the idea that last week was a fluke and WCW is really going to fight back. With that, we go to…

Match #1: El Technico & Juventud Guerrera VS  Public Enemy (WCW World Tag Team Campions)

El Technico?  Really? The Babyface?  Larry asks Tony if he knows what “El Technico” means and Tony tells us it means “technical wrestler” or “fan favorite.”  So, yes, literally “The Babyface.” He’s in a super generic red full body outfit and a half red, half green generic lucha mask.  I’m guaranteeing the guy under that hood isn’t of Latin descent. A quick look at the Wrestling Observer Newsletter from 10/5 shows that I would have won that bet as it’s actually Billy Kidman under the hood.  Why not just have him come out as Billy Kidman? He’s already debuted by this time.

Guerrera and Rocco Rock start the match off with Juvi getting some quick offense and a flying headscissors before getting sent to the floor and into the guardrail hard by Rock.  Quick whip into the corner and Juventud tags out to El Technico, who immediately gets double teamed and covered for a one-count. Johnny Grunge throws Guerrera out of the ring while Rocco Rock and Techinco simply stand there on the opposite side of the ring doing nothing.  Juventud gets sent out of the ring so that the Public Enemy can gang up on El Technico. They twist his mask so that he can’t see, clothesline him, then do an assisted Drive By flipping senton from the middle of the ropes for the win.

Winners: Public Enemy

The Champs put Kidman through a table with the same move we just saw and then escape through the crowd.

We get a quick promo from Dean Malenko where he says that he’s going to use Alex Wright as a stepping stone to what is rightfully his.  We then get a commercial for WCW wear with Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Back from commercial with Mike Tenay backstage with Horsemen Chris Benoit and Mongo McMichael and his wife Debra.  Tenay says that Mongo isn’t on the sheet for competition tonight, so he asks him why he’s here. Mongo says he saw what happened to Savage last week and that “one on sixty” isn’t cool with him.  He says tonight if you see one Horseman, you’ll see more. That’s kind of how it’s always been, Mongo…not really a new thing. Debra adds nothing to the previous statements as she says that they’re there to represent one of the Horsemen (um…which one, Debra?).  Benoit cuts a promo on Rick Steiner, who he’ll wrestle in hour number two, then closes it out by saying the Horsemen are elite, the Horsemen are perennial. After that, Tenay kicks us to a commercial…

…that was paid for by the New World Order by way of WCW, because they have to foot the bill now.  The nWo are hanging out in a hotel room. Hogan’s son Nick is there with them and Hollywood lets us know that Nick is allowed to watch the nWo every Monday from 8-10.  Nash calls “Sting” the best impersonator in wrestling. Nash asks why we never see Bill Marriott and Ross Perot in the same place, then says he saw Mongo on MTV and that he can tell Debra wants him.  Syxx orders room service as the commercial comes to an end. I really like how they’ve added a “not anymooore” to the end of the “paid for by the New World Order” thing since WCW, in kayfabe, has to pay for the ad time due to losing War Games.  It’s just a nice little jab from the nWo to WCW.

Back from commercial break and on to…

Match #2: “The Iceman” Dean Malenko VS “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright

Dean comes out holding Rey Mysterio, Jr’s mask that he stole from him on an episode of WCW Saturday Night.  Alex Wright comes out in the neon greenest trunks and pads known to man. Dude really did enjoy his bright colors!

Dean

Some great mat wrestling and hold trading between the two men.  It’s pretty even until Dean drops Wright with a back suplex and takes over as we go to commercial.  As we come back, Tony tells us that Malenko has been controlling the match during the break as well.  Malenko sends Wright to the floor and then into the guardrail for good measure. Wright looks beat up as he comes back into the ring with an attempted sunset flip that Dean simply punches his way out of.  While Alex was on the floor, Dean went over to Rey’s mask in the corner and touched it, just to remind him of his purpose in life according to Tony.

Tony says that all of WCW is here except for Sting.  He says that they’ve taken to calling him the “Lone Wolf” and that he’s not WCW, he’s not nWo…he’s an island unto himself.  Larry again calls this a temper tantrum from Sting and says it’s a terrible time for it. Um, are you a babyface or a heel here, Larry?

Malenko misses a crossbody block from the top rope, allowing Wright to roll him up for the three count.

Winner: Alex Wright

We go to a replay of WCW Saturday Night where Macho Man defeated Big Bubba and then went berserk, constantly elbowing Bubba and beating up referees Mark Curtis and Nick Patrick (which the crowd loved).  While this was happening, Ms. Elizabeth watched on from the entry way with her normal concerned/confused look. Back in real time, Mike Tenay is at the Nitro entrance and announces an interview with Savage.  Savage’s music plays but he never comes out. The announce team is concerned and confused…guess whatever Elizabeth has is catching…and we go to commercial.

Oddly enough, a commercial for Halloween Havoc featuring Macho Man.  Timing, guys…

 

Wolfman

Savage always seems like he’s having a blast in these commercials.  In this one, he’s trying on Frankenstein masks and then putting on a werewolf mask and saying he’s Macho Wolfman Randy Savage!  Savage shows off the number 57 Slim Jim racecar done in Halloween Havoc colors. I have both of the Racing Champions 1:64th scale versions of this and the nWo car featured on this episode.  I’ve had them since 1996 and they’re some of my favorite parts of my collection, so it’s cool to see the actual cars on the screen. Ric Flair shows up in the commercial saying he’s going to win the contest that Slim Jim is running for himself, which prompts some banter between the two.  Pretty funny commercial, actually.

Match #3: Jim Powers w/ Theodore Long VS Eddie Guerrero

Nick Patrick is the referee for this match and is sporting a neck brace from Savage’s beat down on Saturday Night.

Quick shot of Matt Ghaffari, the silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling from the ‘96 Olympics in Atlanta, sitting front row.

Powers starts us out with a side headlock and a shoulder tackle, but Eddie is able to fire up with a bodyslam and his senton into the ring from the apron.  Vertical suplex attempt by Eddie is blocked and Powers starts peppering Eddie’s head with closed fists, to the admonishment of Nick Patrick. Eddie tackles Powers and rains down fists of his own in a quick showing of offense, but it’s shut down with an overhead suplex out of the corner by Powers.  Clothesline for two…although they’re the slowest two counts I’ve ever seen. Dear Lord, I’ve said it numerous times, but Nick Patrick is the worst ref ever.

Shot of the crowd where fans are parading around with nWo signs.

Tony tells us that we’re going to get Eddie Guerrero VS Diamond Dallas Page for the Battle Bowl Ring again at Halloween Havoc.  Eddie’s never even got to wear the ring after winning it at the Clash of the Champions in August.

Powers controls the match for a good while, bring it to a crawl with a reverse chin lock while Teddy Long jaws with Patrick.  Man, T-Lo looks so different now! He’s probably lost close to 100 pounds from this period in 1996. Booking tag matches must be a hell of a diet, folks!

Eddie goes up top but Powers follows him up and brings Eddie crashing down with a superplex for two.  Larry keeps saying that Powers isn’t cradling Eddie correctly, which is why the pins aren’t sticking, but it’s probably because Nick Patrick is the slowest ref ever and any other ref would have counted the three.  Eddie hits a German Suplex and counts to three when Powers clearly kicks out at 2.9. Patrick calls for the bell and says it’s over.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero

Teddy hits the ring and gives Patrick a piece of his mind while Powers looks on.  Eddie looks lost, so he just leaves. Teddy asks if Patrick needs to go back to referee school and Nick says that if Teddy wants to criticize his calls, he can go to the back and get the blue ref shirt and do it himself.  Um…Nick…Teddy started out as a referee in this company…

Anyway, Teddy raises Jim Powers’s hand and we go to another nWo commercial.

The nWo are watching Nitro and start cheering when they see themselves on the screen.  The Nasty Boys come into the hotel room to fanfair from the only guy that actually enjoys being around them…Hollywood Hogan.  Syxx opens the door for the room service and then everyone starts talking over each other. Jerry Saggs says that this is more than WCW ever did for them while Knobbs keeps yelling “It’s time to party!”  Saggs tells us that he has something they all need to see. He jumps up on the table and says he’s going to do an Eric Bischoff impersonation…but he just bends over and grabs his buttcheeks and says “oh no, the nWo is gonna get me!”  Damn…Ace Ventura was two years ago, Jerry…and NO ONE wanted to see that. Thankfully we fade out to the nWo bumper and a commercial break.

Rundown for this week’s WCW Saturday Night where we’ll see the Rock & Roll Express vs Mongo and Benoit, among other matches.  Tony kicks us back stage with Mike Tenay, Arn Anderson, Woman, and Ms. Elizabeth. Arn says that they all sat down after Fall Brawl and talked about Liz having a weakness, but that they all had a job to do and had to pull together.  They get back from Japan and Liz is playing spectator. They all need to pull together and win as a cohesive unit. Woman asks what Liz was even doing, saying she wasn’t using her head. Liz says it’s complicated. Arn tells her that if she’s in, she’s all the way in…there’s no middle ground.

During that entire thing, Mike Tenay had the dumbest look on his face.  He would just stare at the camera while Arn was talking and try to look serious, but it was just a weird look for him.

Mike

Match #4: Hugh Morrus VS Brad Armstrong

Tony and Larry speculate whether the nWo commercial means that the Nasty Boys are full fledged members of the nWo.  Sadly, Larry now has Tony using the “New World Odor” tagline and my eyes can’t roll hard enough.

Yet again the Hour #2 fireworks go off during a match.  Commentary teams switch over to Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay.  Bischoff says that he’s going to disagree with Tony and Larry and says that that the Nasty Boys are simply being conned and that if they believe they’re in the nWo, then they’re idiots.

Brad Armstrong may be really good in the ring, but he’s basically WCW Create A Wrestler #35.  He goes for a side Russian leg sweep but Morrus grabs the rope, causing Armstrong to crash to the mat.  Two moonsaults later and Morrus is the winner.

Winner: Hugh Morrus

We cut quickly to Gorilla Position where Double A and Woman are still giving Liz the business about Savage as we go to commercial.  Back from commercial, Eric says he wants to figure out this Savage stuff and wants to figure out which hotel the nWo are holed up in, so he stands up and leaves the broadcast booth, telling Tenay and Heenan  to figure it out and tells Tony Schiavone if he’s still around, he’s welcome to take his place.

Match #5: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho VS “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Woman

Looks like Liz made her choice as she does not come to the ring with Double A and Woman.

Fireman’s carry from Arn gets quickly reveresed into a head scissors, but both men get back to a standing base long enough for Jericho to get a drop toehold to Arn.  It’s interesting to see Jericho leading the match but it being at a more methodical pace that closer fits Anderson. Both men trade top wristlocks and Jericho’s meanstreak shows a bit as he hammers Double A with two kicks to the chest, driving him to the mat.  Arn nails Jericho with a pair of shoulder blocks in the ropes to get out of the hold as we cut backstage to see Liz watching the match on a monitor. Jericho dives off of the ring apron with a flying shoulderblock to Double A, but the momentum is stopped when Woman gets in Jericho’s way long enough for Arn to blindside him.

Backstage, Liz’s face shows how upset she is, and she gets up from her place at the monitor and leaves.  If you ask me, this whole thing with Liz is showing how little she fits in with the Horsemen. She’s stuck out like a sore thumb ever since she joined and I’m really glad to start seeing this look like it’s going to end.  Jericho gains the momentum back as Bobby says that you can tell that Arn has something on his mind because he hasn’t dominated the match like he normally does. Jericho goes for the Lionsault but Arn moves. Jericho is doubled over from the landing, which allows Arn to nail a snap DDT for the win.

Winner: Arn Anderson

Commercial for the nWo t-shirt.  Still the best design in wrestling history.

Backstage, Liz is leaving the arena with her bags and a rolled up piece of paper that Tony speculates is a contract or something like that.  Heenan simply sais “or directions.” I like how that works because it’s a funny quip, but also casts speculation on her needing directions to the nWo hotel room.  Heenan is so good at little stuff like that.

Match #6: M. Wallstreet VS “The Total Package” Lex Luger

Wallstreet comes to the ring in a full suit, reminiscent of the Million Dollar Man.  That’s got to be aggravating to have to take off before wrestling. Lex comes out with a little less fire than he normally does, but, then again, it’s an M. Wallstreet match…

The announcers speculate about Sting during the beginning of this match.  According to Tony, Lex has said that he feels that Sting just “needs some time” right now.  I like the fact that this group is speculating and talking up the angle without adding in the drama like Larry does.  The whole “temper tantrum” thing that Larry adds to the comments about Sting just upset me for some reason.

The announcers bring up Luger losing the Television Championship to Lord Steven Regal on Saturday Night back in August due to nWo interference.

The match is a pretty normal, paint by the numbers match.  Wallstreet dominates the majority of the match at a pretty slow pace until the final stretch where Luger fires up, nailing the flying forearm for a two count.  The announcers mention that the Horsemen all blame Luger for the loss at Fall Brawl, so he’ll be wrestling Arn Anderson at Halloween Havoc. Luger gets the Torture Rack on Wallstreet for the victory.

Winner: Lex Luger

    We come back from commercial break where Tony says it takes a big man to admit a mistake and it takes a big company to do the same.  He says that Eric said his biggest mistake was hiring Hulk Hogan. Tony says that WCW’s biggest mistake was not trusting Sting. They want to make Sting a peace offering…so they unveil Elliott Sadler’s new WCW race car in a Sting paint scheme.  I LOVED this paint scheme. This is another one that I have the Racing Champions version of and have since it came out. I actually really want to add the 1:24 versions to the collection, too.

Sting Car

Match #7: The Faces of Fear w/ Jimmy Hart VS The Rock & Roll Express

It’s still really odd seeing the R&R Express in 1996.  They’ve been getting some steady play over the last few months, too!  It’s also interesting watching Meng again as I’ve been watching his sons in the G1 Climax from NJPW for the last few weeks.

Morton starts off quick, ducking punches from Meng and slipping in and out of his holds.  Morton applies a sleeper to Meng and Bobby quips “Meng hasn’t been to sleep since ‘62!” Meng shrugs Morton off, but Morton won’t be denied and tries it again.  Heenan says that someone needs to tell Morton that “Meng is not a ride, he’s a wrestler!” Tag out to Barbarian, who catches Morton’s crossbody attempt, but in comes Gibson to dropkick that into a pin.  Barbarian tosses him off, but Morton and Gibson take turns quickly going for the pin. This is a good way to tire the man out, but why Mark Curtis is counting the pins for the illegal man is beyond me.

Commercial break and we come back to a sunset flip to Barbarian from Morton for a two count.  Quick roll up, also for a two count. Tag out to Meng who drives Morton’s head a foot into the mat with a beautiful jumping piledriver!  Double-team combo of a reverse atomic drop and a boot to the face as Barbarian is tagged in. Barbarian drops Morton with a massive powerbomb that, somehow, only gets two.  Barbarian follows it up with a hell of a backbreaker that bounces Morton off of his knee, but again for two.

Tony lets us know that Benoit and McMichael will be wrestling the Faces of Fear at Halloween Havoc.  That’s the match that I became a fan of Benoit in, so I’m excited to see it again!

Bobby:    “You know what you call Hulk Hogan buried up to his neck in sand?

Tony: “What?”

Bobby: “Not enough sand.”

Double diving headbutts from the Faces of Fear only gets a two count due to Gibson breaking it up.  Morton gets the hot tag to Gibson, who comes in a house of fire with a knee lift, dropkick, and then pummeling Barbarian in the corner with punches.  Double dropkick from the Express on Meng, but Gibson messes up by going after Jimmy Hart. Barbarian nails Gibson in the back of the head with the Maifa Kick for the win.

Winners: The Faces of Fear

After the match, the Faces of Fear start pummeling the Rock & Roll Express, which brings out Public Enemy for some reason.  The Faces of Fear take down Johnny Grunge and splash his knee, taking him out as we go to commercial break.

nWo commercial break featuring Kyle Petty.  Petty runs down the WCW race car as Hollywood cuts a promo on Halloween Havoc and Randy Savage.  THIS is how I remember the Kyle Petty reveal, so I guess I wasn’t paying much attention the week before back in 1996.

Fun fact:  Kyle Petty came in 34th in the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 race the Saturday after this.  Jason Keller in the Slim Jim/Halloween Havoc car from earlier came in 10th. Elliott Sadler in the new Sting car…didn’t qualify.  No wonder Sting didn’t return their damn calls if THIS is how they apologize to him!

Match #8: “The Crippler” Chris Benoit w/ Steve & Debra McMichael VS Rick Steiner

The match starts with Nick Patrick talking into the camera, pointing at his neck brace, saying that he comes to work hurt when no one else does.  He’s there after Savage hurt him, but Savage hasn’t heard the last of this because Patrick’s the law in WCW.

We go to commercial break at the beginning of the match.  C’mon, WCW! Get this stuff figured out! Quick commercial for Halloween Havoc and we’re back to the bell ringing and Benoit and Steiner starting off strong.  Steiner ducks a clothesline and LEVELS Benoit with a huge release German suplex. Benoit heads to the floor to shake the cobwebs loose. Steiner follows but Benoit is able to get the jump on him by getting into the ring first.  Good sequence where Benoit snaps off a suplex to Steiner, but Steiner comes back with a big Steinerline and that catching powerslam he does that always looks so nasty.

Debra distracts Patrick while Rick takes Benoit up top for a top rope belly-to-belly suplex, which allows Mongo to nail Steiner from behind with the Haliburton breifcase.  Benoit falls on top of Steiner and Patrick counts the three as the Horsemen mug for the camera to send us off the air.

Winner: Chris Benoit

The show ends back in the hotel room…with Liz sitting between Hogan and the Giant!  Giant is saying that he has NO acting experience but he’s already done two movies…including one with Arnold Schwarzenegger.    You can tell they’re trying to bring Liz into the nWo. Hogan says he’s got a three movie deal for her if she’s ready to join. Liz says that Hogan doesn’t understand, that stuff has changed since the deal was made.  A big present shows up and Liz takes that opportunity to leave the hotel room. The camera follows her out into the hallway where a fired up Randy Savage runs into the shot, yelling at Liz, asking her if she’s “ribbing” and trying to set him up.  He runs back and forth to her and the hotel room, yelling “son of a bitch” and asking Liz if that deal is what he thinks it is. With that, we go off the air!

Savage

That last part was pretty damn intense!  I was hoping Savage would storm the room before it was over, or that the nWo would come out and jump him because he’s not exactly making his presence a secret with his yelling, but no, just some weird yelling at Liz and we’re off the air.  It really did help setup Savage as a madman, though, but it kind of raises more questions…

Was Savage at the hotel this whole time?  Did he find out about Liz being there and THEN go?  If he WAS backstage, why did he leave Mike Tenay at the alter?  So many questions.

Overall not a bad show.  It was pretty enjoyable, especially with the antics of the nWo running through it.  It was nice not getting them in the main show, but their presence still being something you felt through the entire show due to the announcers talking it up and Bischoff storming off.  They did a really good job of setting up some stuff at Halloween Havoc, which is cool because that Main Event has been in the works since January at the Clash of Champions. I like how it went from just being a normal Hogan VS Savage match when it was setup to now being this blood feud with the nWo stuff involved.  So good.

Well, that’s it for this week, ladies and gentlemen.  Join us back here at KickOutat2.com and GimmicksInc.com for more next week!

-Shane

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings –2.3
WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.3
(Raw – 17, Nitro – 31) (Tie Weeks – 2)
(Unopposed weeks – 7)
WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 6
WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 14

—–—
WWF Raw results from this week

Steve Austin defeated Jake Roberts (10:00)
The Godwinns (Henry O. Godwinn & Phineas I. Godwinn) (w/ Hillbilly Jim) defeated The Grimm Twins (Jared Grimm & Jason Grimm) (4:24)
Savio Vega defeated Razor Ramon by DQ (9:30)
Jim Cornette & Vader defeated Jose Lothario & Shawn Michaels (9:30)

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