Archive for the ‘Robbie C’ Category

I’ve been quiet. Too quiet. The fact that I haven’t really written anything here for Kick Out at 2! in a very long time is well, depressing. Truth is when Shane and I started this site it was meant to be nothing but a running commentary of our thoughts of the current product of professional wrestling. We started it, we were full of ideas and we had content flowing on the site on a regular basis. Truth is over time, wrestling got stale for me. For two years people like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were going against the grain, forcing change and putting the “Entertainment” back in the company’s name. WWE was on fire, a hotter fire than it had been in a long time. Then it burned out… then I burned out.

While Shane had been keeping the site going with his journey into WCW, I felt like I honestly wasn’t pulling my weight. It was hard for me to write about anything but honestly my heart just wasn’t in wrestling anymore. I had simply become so disenchanted with wrestling and almost totally lost the passion and the love that I’ve always had for it. I knew that WWE didn’t give a damn what I thought or what millions of others fans thought. For the last 3 years, no matter how much we voiced our frustration, flat out told Vince and his powers that be that we didn’t want to eat what was being force feed to us, WWE has been consistently pushing bad ideas as their main roster down our throats.

I haven’t watched an entire episode of RAW in at least 2 years, following the product through PPV’s alone on The Network because it seemed like storylines simply didn’t matter, they were dropped with no explanation, no new characters were being made and WWE was simply refusing to grow as a product in the entertainment field.  It then got to a point where I wasn’t watching PPV’s. I eventually returned and watched The Royal Rumble with my friends on Xbox Party Chat. We loved the fact that AJ Styles made his debut and once we saw Triple H become World Heavyweight Champion we felt for a few weeks that maybe, just maybe WWE was reading the writing on the wall. With all the injuries they are having and Roman Reigns simply not getting over as the cookie cutter baby face Vince wanted him to be, I figured Vince was going to the right thing and force some changes by having Dean Ambrose challenge for the title at Wrestlemania.

Not only was I wrong again but Wrestlemania as a whole was quickly shaping up to be the worst Mania I have ever seen. Not only was it bad but it was worse than I could have possibly imagined. The story of this Wrestlemania wasn’t the Championship, it was The Authority. The fact that WWE made a story out of WWE’s ratings being in the toilet and built an entire angle out of Shane fighting for control to make a change seemed like a perfect setting to change it up. Having Undertaker beat Shane was a complete waste and an incredibly mis-booked storyline. Dean Ambrose not getting a win over the monster that is Brock Lesnar was another waste and in a world where Chris Jericho has been consistently putting over younger talent for two years, was there any reason for AJ Styles “Wrestling’s hottest free agent at the time of his signing” to not get the win and a Wrestlemania moment against the established veteran?

WWE claims that their attendance record was over 100,000 when in reality it was just slightly over 94,000 but regardless, when you have “100,000” people unanimously “booing” someone, you do not put the title on that person! 20 some years ago Vince had the idea that Lex Luger was going to be the superstar to replace Hulk Hogan, wanting to initially over look the likes of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Today he is wanting Roman Reigns to be the next John Cena, overlooking the likes of Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Bray Wyatt even Zack Ryder. The point here is, especially now with the possibility of calling any NXT talent up to the main roster, ANYONE but Roman Reigns deserves to be World Champion. Because of WWE’s inability to tell a compelling story with him, Roman has had the title sling shot back to him so many times that he is now a 3 Time World Champion, 1 away from tying Shawn Michaels’ career record. Shawn Michaels, the man who had the 30 some year wrestling career! Roman has been there 4 years… he hasn’t earned that and he surely does not deserve it.

Speaking of NXT. NXT Dallas Takeover was absolutely wonderful! This promotion is single handedly been the only thing that has kept my interest in wrestling from totally fading away. NXT Dallas hooked me back. Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe was incredible and people are going to really have to step it up if they want to take the “Match of the Year” title away from the Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura match. Triple H knows how to run a wrestling show and from what I’ve seen it seems like WWE will be in good hands once Vince does decide to hang it up, which honestly needs to be sooner rather than later.

I broke down and actually watched RAW this week, meaning that I watched the 90 Min version of it on HULU. Let’s face it, 3hrs is simply too long for a weekly wrestling show. Surprisingly enough I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. Seeing a lot of the NXT guy’s debut was nice and honestly gives me some hope that WWE could potentially get better. I had heard that Zack Ryder lost his Intercontinental Championship and was pretty pissed about that but honestly seeing the way it unfolded I kind of feel like Zack may be front and center for what could potentially be a good story for him. I really hope he wins it back as I feel he could be a very credible champion and he clearly deserves it. Cesaro returning was absolutely incredible and the Fatal Four way to determine the number one contender was really, really good. All four of those guys that were involved in the match deserve to be champion. I really hope that AJ makes an impact with the WWE audience and he isn’t simply served up to the “all powerful Samoan Overlord”

There are a lot reasons that wrestling fans such as myself have to be upset with the way that WWE is currently handling their own product and rightfully so. However with the amount of pure talent on the roster, the untapped potential and the seeds of improvement that I hope were sown Monday Night I can only hope for the best. I won’t say my relationship with WWE is over but it has clearly taken a beating and it’s going to take some time to make a full recovery, if it ever does…

I really hope it does.

Robbie C.

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KoaNitro copyLadies and gentlemen, welcome to a very special edition of Kick Out at Nitro!  Oddly enough, this one isn’t from WCW Monday Nitro…it’s from WCW Pro, WCW’s weekly syndicated show.  Now, why are we bringing you this random installment of Kick Out at Pro, you may ask?

Well…this is something that’s five months in the making!

This, WCW fans, is the debut of Glacier!

Yes, our blood is currently running cold, ladies and gentlemen!

Glacier promos started back in April of 1996 and ran all through the summer and into the tail end of it before the frozen martial arts master finally made his WCW in-ring debut.  Until this point, all we’ve seen of the man is him in vignettes running through his bevy of martial arts katas.  Originally he was supposed to debut pretty quickly after the vignettes started, but as WCW moved into the debut of the Outsiders and the formation of the New World Order, the cartoony character was left off to a later date.  That date…September 8, 1996.

I remember watching this one live.  It was a Sunday and, although I thought it was odd that this highly hyped character that had been speculated at for months was going to debut on WCW’s third tier show, there was no way I was going to miss it.  I’m sure my mother loved that as I usually didn’t watch Pro, so Sunday was one of the few days that wrestling was on that she wasn’t subjected to it…but I wasn’t going to be deterred.

So, what we’re going to do here, fans, is have a quick review by each member of Ko@2 that you’ve seen in the WCW write-ups.  They took five months to hype him so this write-up will take no less than 5 men to get it done!

With that, I take you to…

The Gambler VS Glacier

The Gambler looks to be about 120 years late to his own party.  Dude is dressed up like a wild west gambler but with short black trunks.

The arena goes black except for a blue light being shown over the ring.  It also starts snowing in the ring!  At the entry way, out comes Glacier, dressed in a metal warrior’s armor.  He does some martial arts moves, removes the armor, and enters the ring.  He removes his face covering, flips off into the center of the ring, and finishes off doing some kata that Larry Zbyszko calls “a mix of styles.”  We’re told his goal is to become the greatest martial artist in history.  We’re also told that his entire family, basically, are cops.

Glacier bows to the ref, bows to the Gambler, but is sucker punched by Gambler.

This blue light is going to shine over the ring the entire match, apparently.  Think early Sin Cara, folks.

We get some kicks, arm drags, and a hip toss from Glacier, showing us he’s the scourge of unknown enhancement talent everywhere.  Glacier leapfrogs Gambler, back kicks him in the gut, then powerbombs him for good measure.  He doesn’t cover him, though, which is silly.  He goes up top and comes off with a flying side kick to Gambler for the win.

Winner: Glacier

Glacier goes back to the center of the ring to his spotlight and goes through his kata again.  Larry gives us some information about how hard that side kick was.  Dusty Rhodes tells us that the entire universe just watched this debut, so Big Bubba, who recently called out Glacier, was sure to have seen it.  Chris Cruz tells us about Nitro coming up and kicks us off the air as this was the main event.

Man, I can’t wait for Bischoff to call this guy’s matches.  He’s going to be calling so many back leg round kicks!

glacier

Okay, there was the match.  Now, our thoughts.

First off, for me, Shane.  I think the fact that they debuted this guy on Pro is very telling.  They knew they had a dud on their hands, so why not debut it, after FIVE MONTHS of hype, on probably their least rated show outside of Main Event, which ran on Saturdays in syndication…so whenever my local NBC affiliate decided they had no informercial to run.  Seriously, that show couldn’t be tracked down with any regularity.  This, you would have imagined, would have been on Nitro, in front of the largest live audience they could get and the largest TV audience they could get.  But no…Sunday at 5 PM.

The match was a typical squash match but it showed us that Glacier really can’t work that well.  He’s trying to be too Mortal Kombat so we’re just getting kicks and throws, so basically except for that one powerbomb, everything was either a kick or an arm drag.  Not very exciting.  Grappling and submission can help someone create an MMA type of character, as we’ve seen with Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Taz, and even Goldberg to a degree…and with Brock Lesnar now…but straight martial arts with kicks and whatnot seems out of place.  There’s nowhere for the other guy to work as they have no basis with that type of offense.  It came off sloppy and hokey.  Seriously, dude’s entrance and exit were about as long as the match!

On paper, the idea of wrestling and video games should work together, but this Sub Zero clone just didn’t work here.  I’m way more interested in Wrath and Mortis showing up than I am watching this dude get many singles matches, honestly.

Robbie:

Was that real!? Did that really happen!? I was seriously under the impression that Shane had sent me the wrong link until I recognized Dusty Rhodes’ voice on commentary. I had only ever seen pictures of Glacier and had never watched anything with him in it until now. All I had ever been told was he was a wrestling version of Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat… yep that’s the truest statement ever! With his 90’s look and his 8-bit entrance music it looks like WCW was really trying to create the perfect mash-up of popularity from that time. I guess this isn’t the most outrageous thing from the 90’s but come on … The announcers talking him up were excited about him then as much as Sony is now about the new Ghostbusters reboot. Fans of what has come before simply know this shouldn’t be happening. Man, wrestling is really weird sometimes!

Derick:

12 year old Champ loved Glacier. It was the prefect mix: A character from Mortal Kombat (my love for video games) is now “invading” my other love, Personal Wrestling. There were awesome vignettes and a smoke of mystery surrounding this guy. Throw in the tagline “Blood runs cold” and Man, this was great.

After months, literally months, of these vignettes, he made his debut. He comes out, and it all seemed worth it. The arena goes black, snow falls, and techno starts pumping the speakers. His outfit was flat stolen from the MK movie set. The ENTIRE time he comes to ring and performs his kata, all 3 announcers are pouring information and praises about this man. Apparently knowing 385 different types of martial arts and everyone in his family was/is a cop, Glacier was a force to be reckoned with now in WCW. Oh, and when he wrestles, the ring turns blue!!!!

…..Then the match started. Honestly, his entrance is longer than the match itself. Trust me, I timed it. Obviously his martial arts needs fine tuning, because all he knows how to do are kicks and arm drags. Oh, and the all important chop. He ends the match with his Cryonic Kick (by the way, that’s a kick too) and the match is quickly over. And thankfully too. Because, Damn.

All in all, little Champ loved everything about Glacier. Little Champ thought he was cool and presentation was everything. Adult Champ hates Shane a little for destroying another great part of my childhood. There was no wrestling at all. Lesson here kids, that cool stuff you love now is probably going to suck when you reminisce. Thanks a lot, Shane……

The now suddenly sad Champ has spoken

Phillip:

The fact that I find this absurd, is like absurd-ception. Let’s reflect on the fact that this was a time when the Dungeon of Doom was still a stable and Booty Man was just killed off. Just let that sink in. Wrestling was as much a Saturday morning cartoon come to life. Bright colors, easy to see hero/villian narratives. When a heel turn involved a man in brightly colored tights putting on a black gimmick with lightning, and growing dark stubble under his iconic mustache to let us know, he’s dark, he’s the bad guy.

Why wouldn’t Bischoff see that this product was selling and think, next level is video games come to life! It’s a sensible next step. With the benefit of hindsight, we all know the attitude era is coming in WWE, and the nWo era is really taking off in WCW. Gritty, real, antihero stories with more complex ideas around who the “good guy” is, but all of that was really more organic. This is a WCW, and even WWE creative was about larger than life. None of those guys could have predicted  or created Austin 3:16 or “Sweeeeeet!” they weren’t in touch with what was happening.

Just like all great, and game changing moments, you can’t craft them. They just…are. Without that organic explosion of real life taking over wrestling, WCW may have made a killing off of this gimmick. The problem is while Kevin Nash was leading the Wolf Pack, Glacier was a crow left of the murder.

Wrestling was swelling, begging for a revolution. Smarks will tell you that this vignette style of introduction is to keep someone on the DL for a while so they can clean off the image, erase their existence, so that they can be born anew. No one had these style of entrances, lasers, snow, low light. Glacier recalled this on a podcast, and made note that Double A told him “you’d have to walk on water to live up to that entrance”. He’s right, and let’s be honest, it could have worked, but why? Why in the name of all things holy didn’t they get a guy who could throw a kick? Or knew anything about any martial art, EVER! Bischoff was more convincing! I’ve defended (how?) the idea behind Glacier, but the execution, well… left a lot to be desired. I think it was really insulting to the audience, and if they tried that now, we’d burn Bischoff at the stake!

I mean imagine if we took some of the skills of a martial artist that did works later, even guys like Syxx at least looked like he could throw a kick. This looks like kicking someone was a foreign concept, like he didn’t have 5 months to do any research or train. It’s like they grabbed a Sub Zero halloween costume on his way out, and said “go kick people, and do karate stuff” and he was like “ummm….ok, I guess” and then they dropped the lights, cued the lasers and let the fake snow fall, bringing a winter of hate in our hearts!

After 5 months of Sub Zero trailers, I get a less athletic version of what I looked like pretending to be a ninja in my bedroom as an adolescent. Facing the incomparable competition of professional jobber The Gambler on WCW Saturdays… I appreciate this is a special event, but not even dimming the lights to Marvin Gaye levels, and tinting it blue can hide that what Glacier was supposed to be, is not what was delivered. Zbysko is really trying to convince me that this is special martial arts, and oh, it is special, like a little short blue bus on its way to the last stop at character station. It’s like MK3 and UFC1 were involved in a West Virginia romance, and and conceived a brand new chromosome damaged brand of WTF?! The vignettes looked good, the hype was there, but this was the beginning of the “real” era of wrestling. My final word on this dollar tree budget Sub Zero… Finish Him

Benny:

Ok so I’ve been given the task of reviewing the WCW Glacier debut,UGH. So we get like 6 months of video promos with the tagline “Blood Runs Cold” and this guy shows up dressed like sub-zero from Mortal Combat, with what seems like a 10 minute entrance. And his first match is against The Gamber, really they were ready to bury this gimmick from day 1.

Two things wrong with the Glacier character:

1. Too much hype. Glacier was destined to be a mid-card novelty act, and they built him up as the next big thing. It’s no surprise that he was a bust from day one. If you are expecting The Empire Strikes Back, and you get the Phanton Menace, of course you’re going to be disappointed.

2. He debuted a few years too late. First off, Mortal Kombat was big in 1992-1993. By 1997, people had moved on to other games. More importantly, the wrestling industry had moved on from those cheesy gimmicks from the early 90’s. The nWo had changed everything, and Glacier’s character was essentially a step backwards.

So that’s all I have to say about that guy.

 

KoaNitro copyLadies and gentlemen, WCW-ites, we are back after a bit of a hiatus with another week of WCW Monday Nitro!  This week we will see if the invading outsider will make good on his promise to have a “big surprise” for all of us!

Nitro comes to us this week from Wheeling, WV, and we’re joined by our Hour #1 announce team of “The Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko and Tony Schiavone.  This is the go-home show for Great American Bash.  Tony tells us that Ric Flair and Arn Anderson will warm up against Renegade and a debuting Joe Gomez as they head into the big match on Sunday against Mongo and Kevin Greene.  We also hear that Scott Norton will take on The Giant, apparently as retaliation against him beating down Ice Train last week.

Tony reminds us about our invader and shows us a replay of the confrontation with Hall and Sting.

Match #1: Booker T VS Scott Steiner

Very interesting to see two tag team wrestlers in singles competition.  Both of these men will carve out singles runs for themselves, and will actually wrestle for the World Championship on the final episode of Monday Nitro, but at this time, WCW really didn’t have tag wrestlers have singles matches very often, so this is a bit of a treat.

Booker does a really good job during the opening part of this match at blocking suplex attempts, which is roughly 85% of Steiner-based offense, so he’s doing well for himself.  He isn’t able to stop a kick to the gut and subsequent tiger bomb, though, which allows Scott to get the upper hand.  Booker derails that, though, with a back kick as Scott chases him into the corner after an Irish whip.  Booker is able to hit a scissor kick for two out of that.

Tony tells us that the Steiners have been having a bit of a feud with Fire and Ice on Saturday Night, leading to a match at the Great American Bash.

Booker hits a nice cross body from the top, but Scott is able to get the momentum again with a back body drop, four punches in the corner and a belly-to-belly suplex.  He calls for the Frankensteiner, but Booker holds on to the top rope off of the Irish whip and follows through with an a side kick.  He goes up for a splash from the top rope but Scott moves, Irish whip, overhead belly-to-belly suplex for the win.

Winner: Scott Steiner

Commercial break and we come back to Mean Gene with Scott Steiner on the entrance ramp.  Gene brings up the match at the Bash with Fire & Ice.  Scott says that they’ve always prided themselves on being the best team, that’s why they’re here in WCW.

Out of nowhere, Debra McMichael shows up and says she’s very sorry to interrupt, but she needs to talk to Mean Gene about her husband.  Scotty seems to understand, so he bounces.  Man, in a few years, Big Poppa Pump wouldn’t let a woman take his interview time.

Debra says that she’s worried that this Sunday, Mongo is going to freak out and hurt someone permanently.  She wants to ask Mean Gene if he’ll set up a meeting between them, Flair and Anderson and see if they can get this match shut down.  Gene says he’s going to talk to Bobby Heenan and see what he can do.  Gene makes sure to get him a shot in and tells Debra that she’s looking good tonight.  Damn, Gene, the woman is worried and scared…why are you trying to hit on her?

Zbyszko says this is just Mongo trying to weasel his way out of this match.

Match #2: Jim Powers VS Diamond Dallas Page

Tony calls Jim Powers a “great name in our sport.”  Um, what?

The early part of the match is DDP ducking away from Powers’ offense and getting caught in two school boy rollups for two counts.  Powers gets a nice cross body for two, goes for a backdrop off of an Irish whip but DDP grabs his head and slams it to the mat off of the rebound.  Page takes a few moments to put the boots to Powers before bringing him up in a gutwrench gutbuster, which gets a nice applause from the crowd.  I guess DDP’s getting the face reaction since no one knows who Powers is.

DDP rushes into the corner but Powers gets a boot up, then crashes Page’s head off of the top turnbuckle 9 times, then does it one more time to get the 10th and the crowd popping for him.  Powers gets a high knee and a dropkick for two since he didn’t hook the leg.  DDP stops an Irish whip with a back elbow and nails the Diamond Cutter for the win.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

Man, that Diamond Cutter is a wicked move.  I’ve always loved it, but you can see that DDP really seems to have gotten it down to a smooth science very early after adopting it.  It really does come out of nowhere.

We get a video recap of the issues with Benoit, Sullivan, and the Horsemen.  Benoit is played off like an undeserving Horseman who is questioning Anderson.   Sullivan is played off like a hero for getting rid of Pillman.  It looks like Double A has washed his hands of Benoit, siding with Sullivan and saying that the truth of everything will come out soon.  Benoit will face Sullivan in a Falls Count Anywhere match at the Great American Bash.

We come from that to a video recap package of Konnan, the WCW United States Champion.  I’m about ready for Konnan to turn heel.  This version of him does nothing for me.  After the package, Konnan is backstage with Mean Gene, who says that Konnan will wrestle El Gato, a South American legend, at the Bash.  Konnan puts El Gato over, but says he’ll have to come to the US to prove himself, just like he did.  Konnan cuts the rest of the promo in Spanish and Gene puts over the match at the PPV.

Larry asks who El Gato is a legend to, a bunch of boa constrictors?  He goes all xenophobic and says that he feels that all contenders to the US Championship should at least have a green card!

Match #3: Meng VS Sting

Meng starts off a house of fire, beating down Sting with clubbing fists for a good twenty to thirty seconds.  Sting gets a backdrop to temporarily stop it, but crashes hard off of a failed dropkick attempt when Meng grabs the top rope.  Meng takes over again and puts the boots to Sting for a while.  He sends him to the ropes, but Sting ducks a clothesline and comes off the opposite ropes with a hell of a cross body block.  He fires off some clotheslines but Meng gets a small package for two.  Sting sends him to the corner and goes for a school boy for two.  Meng lifts Sting like a feather and brings him down with a shoulder breaker.  Meng goes to the top but Sting cuts him off with a headbutt, bringing him down.  Sting locks on the Scorpion Deathlock while Meng is on his belly for the win.

Winner: Sting

Coming out of the commercial break, Mean Gene is in the back with Debra McMichael and Bobby Heenan.  Heenan says that McMichael has been talking to Flair all week long and all night.  He says if you want to talk to Flair, follow him.  Heenan takes her into the locker room of the horsemen and slams the door with force.  We hear Debra screaming then she runs out, chased by Woman and Liz.  Renegade and Joe Gomez just happen to be walking past them, so Flair and Anderson jump them and beat them down.

Match #4: Squire Dave Taylor w/ Jeeves VS Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Hacksaw fires off a trifecta of clotheslines, sending Taylor to the floor.

Tony tells us that Sting and Luger have stepped up to take the place of Joe Gomez and Renegade and will wrestle Arn Anderson and Ric Flair for the WCW World Tag Team Championship tonight.  So, the Horsemen beat down their opponents and get rewarded with a tag title shot?  Interesting.

More clotheslines, three point stance clothesline, a couple punches and some elbows…damn, there’s not a single wrestling hold in this match.  Hacksaw grabs his tape from his trunks, tapes up the first, right hand punch for the win.

Winner: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

I use to love Hacksaw at this time…but these matches just aren’t good.  This match was seriously just punches and clotheslines.

After this match, we get a highlight video of Dean Malenko tearing it up in WCW and Rey Mysterio Jr tearing it up in Mexico.  I’m very excited about this match at the Bash.

We go backstage with Mean Gene, Big Bubba, and Jimmy Hart.  We get a replay of Big Bubba cutting Shark’s hair, then last week when Shark renounced the name and called himself by his real name, John Tenta.  Big Bubba says Tenta is a half a man and that the whole world has been laughing at him for years.  Bubba says he’ll leave him laying like a beached whale at the PPV.  Gene randomly ends the segment with “Big Bubba, nice beard!”

Match #5: Scott “Flash” Norton VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

Before Giant’s entrance, we get the countdown to Hour #2 and our new announce team of Eric Bischoff and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

Norton starts off strong, hammering Giant, but Giant gets a big power slam.  Norton fires off two body splashes in the corner, but gets a boot to the face on the third one.  Both men go to the floor.  Norton backs Giant up to the corner posts and fires off some forearms, but when he moves to try to do a splash, Giant moves and Norton eats the steel post.  Giant chokeslams Norton on the concrete floor, then rolls him in for the pin.

Winner: The Giant

That chokeslam was amazing!  I’d imagine it hurt like all hell, too, because even though it was on the padding, Norton took the crap out of it.

As Giant celebrates, Lex Luger hits the ring.  Giant attacks him, sending him to the floor, and attempts to chokeslam him through Flair’s VIP table.  Luger gets out of this and the Dungeon of Doom run Luger off.  Giant screams and runs off, chasing Luger, who oddly enough is at the announce booth.  He cuts a little promo on Giant and we go to commercial.

Match #6: Billy Kidman VS Lord Steven Regal w/ Jeeves

It’s weird to see Kidman without his Flock look or his jeans/wifebeater look.  I don’t like it.

Kidman starts off very strong in this match until he misses a 450 splash.  Regal does a little dance, suplexes Kidman on his head, then locks on a weird hold for the win.

Winner: Lord Steven Regal

Sting runs into the ring and bitch slaps Regal, paying him back for the one he got a few weeks ago.  Regal sells it like a champ as we go to commercial.

Match #7: The Nasty Boys VS Public Enemy

This is not going to be a match at all.  The brawl starts off the moment the teams hit the ring and we’re given this match in split screen as one duo brawls on the floor and the other in the ring or on the opposite side of the floor.  It kinda works, since at this point, they’re pretty much the same team.

Out of nowhere, a tag team match devolves out of the bedlam.  Johnny Grunge, apparently wrestling with a broken hand, is being double teamed in the corner.  He is able to get the tag to Grunge, they kick Saggs in the gut and attempt a double clothesline, but Saggs ducks and clotheslines both members of Public Enemy.

Heenan says that the moment that the door shut in the Flair/Anderson locker room, Debra attacked Woman and Liz.  Bischoff says that in all of Heenan’s years, he has never seen Mongo really really really mad.

We go to commercial, including one for Glacier…it’s the same commercial we saw last week, with the voice over.  Still no actual footage of Glacier, though.

Back from commercial, the brawl continues.  Johnny Grunge leaves the ringside area and the announcers act like he’s left the building.  He comes out with a garbage can but is kicked in the gut and drops it, reducing this spot and speculation to absolutely nothing.

Grunge goes up top but Saggs hits him with the garbage can, causing a DQ.

Winners: Public Enemy (via DQ)

The Nasty Boys celebrate this, because they’re dumb.

Bischoff introduces that damn Hulk Hogan video clip YET AGAIN!  This is three weeks in a row, damn it!  Sullivan mentioned on his podcast that they did this to have good ole’ Hogan in our minds so that the heel turn means more, which makes sense…I am just tired of seeing him.

We get a video after that of Mongo and Greene training and getting crazy advice from Randy Savage.  It’s scored with some weird generic country music, though, which is odd.

Match #8: WCW World Tag Team Championship Match – Sting & Lex Luger (WCW World Tag Team Champions) VS “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Woman and Ms. Elizabeth

Flair starts off by backing Luger into the corner and giving him a few chops.  Luger powers out, gorilla press slams Flair and nails him with a few clotheslines.  Anderson tries to break it up but Luger fends him off.  Flair and Anderson take to the floor to buy some time.  Flair looks like he’s heading over to the VIP section, but it’s empty due to The Giant trying to slam Luger through it earlier.

Back in the ring, Luger gorilla presses Flair again and then sends him to the corner.  Flair flips over it and runs down the apron, but Sting nails him.  Lex suplexes Flair back into the ring but comes up empty on an elbow drop when Flair moves.  Flair tags out to Double A and Luger takes an opening to tag out to Sting.

Bischoff says he has been hearing about Nitro Parties and next week he’ll give us an address so that people can send him pictures and videos.  Man, I remember Nitro Parties.  I never went to one, but I remember them being a big deal through this time.  I always wanted to have one, though.

Sting being in the ring has thrown Double A off of his game.  He brings Sting down twice by the hair, but Sting no-sells it.  He hits his bulldog facebuster on Arn, sending him out and then runs Flair back to the floor.

Heenan goes out of his way multiple times in this show to say that Dennis Rodman might show up at the Bash. There’s no reason for this, but he does it two or three times.

Back from a quick commercial break and Sting and Luger are controlling Anderson, who tags out to Flair.  Flair stares a hole through Sting and comes into the ring, backing Sting into the corner and firing off chops.  Flair has forgotten that this is Sting, apparently, so he no-sells it and sends Flair to the opposite corner.  Flair moves out of the way of the Stinger Splash, though, but Sting is able to throw Flair off of the top rope.  Sting takes Flair up top for a big superplex.  Heenan is doing a great job of feeling distraught at his team taking a beating like this only six days away from their big match at the Bash.

Sting almost gets a roll up victory but Double A stops it and Bobby starts freaking out that Anderson had a great opportunity to get a DDT.  He says he needs to go to ringside but Bischoff refuses to let him.

Sting rolls Flair up but the ref is too busy getting Lex out of the ring to notice it as we go to commercial break yet again.

Sting and Flair are brawling outside and Flair gives him a chop.  It’s funny how ONE chop will work, but anything after one will have no effect.  Sting and Flair have a battle of backslide attempts before Flair tags out to Double A.  Anderson tries to come off the ropes but Sting gets a knee to Arn’s gut and tags out to Luger.  Luger hits gorilla press slam number 3 to Flair!  The Horsemen try to double team Luger, but Luger sends them both over the top rope with a clothesline.

Out comes The Giant.  Luger immediately attacks Luger and the referee calls for the bell.

Winner: No Contest

Scott Steiner comes out with an old school wooden folding chair and starts beating The Giant with it.  Sting joins in and the three babyfaces beat down on Giant until he retreats.

Mean Gene meets Giant and Hart on the ramp.  Giant says that he wants the match with Luger to have no rules, just the way he likes it.  If Luger wants to bring a chair, he can.

Back to the announcers, Bischoff starts talking but Heenan goes ballistic!  He starts yelling at Macho Man, saying that he hasn’t taken money from Flair, he shouldn’t be touched!  Heenan goes white and throws his headset down and bolts.  Bischoff looks to his right and there’s Scott Hall.

Bischoff asks where is the “big surprise.”  Behind him is Kevin Nash.  Nash claps Bischoff on the shoulder and takes the microphone.  Now Bischoff looks like he’s a bit scared.

“You’ve been sitting here for six months running your mouth.  This is where the big boys play, huh?  Look at the adjective…play.  We’re not here to play. Now he said last week that he was going to bring somebody out here.  I’m here.  You  till don’t have your three people, and you know why?  Because nobody wants to face us.  This show is about as interesting as Marge Schott reading excerpts from Mein Kompf.”  Bischoff says he doesn’t want any trouble here tonight.  “Yeah, no trouble because you know I’ll kick your teeth down your throat. Where’s your three guys?  What, you couldn’t get a paleontologist to get a couple of these fossils cleared?  You ain’t got enough guys off of a dialysis machine to get a team?  Where’s Hogan?  Where’s Hogan?  Out doing another episode of Blunder in Paradise?  Where’s the Macho Man?  Out doing another Slim Jim commercial?  We’re here.”

Bischoff says that tomorrow at 9, he’ll be in the offices of WCW, and he’ll see if he can get them the fight.  Bischoff says they can show up at the Great American Bash and he’ll see if they can get their fight.  Nash says they love them in Baltimore and then finishes off with “The measuring stick just changed around here, buddy.  You’re looking at it.”

Bischoff, at a loss for words, calls for the show to end.

 

As a go-home show, this one wasn’t that great.  We got a nice build up to Luger/Giant and a lot from the Horsemen/Football match, but other than that, not a lot going on.  We are simply told about the Steiners/Fire & Ice match, as well as a DDP VS Marcus Bagwell match.  Maybe it’s having to fill the two hour slot now that makes it seem less compact, but it just feels like the go-home shows used to be a bit better.

Nash showing up is still cool after all this time.  I love Kevin Nash, so seeing him scare the crap out of Bischoff is cool.  I do think that him calling the show boring was a bit much.  So far, they’ve done nothing but make fun of the WCW talent for being old.  Well, if you win, you’ve done nothing but beat old men.  If you lose, you lost to a bunch of old men.  You can say that you’re better, but simply burying the company is a little silly in my opinion.  But, we’ll have months and months to talk about how the nWo reduces WCW to a very minimal fight.

And now, for the third week, here’s Robbie’s thoughts on the formation of the New World Order.

This week Scott Hall is back to confront Eric at the commentator booth and Bobby quickly runs off. Eric says he dosen’t want any trouble but does ask where is the “big” surprise? A few seconds later Kevin Nash strolls up behind him. Kevin begins to speak to Eric telling him that for 6 months WCW is where the big boys play but they aren’t there to play. Like Hall the weeks before be begins running down members of the WCW roster. “Where’s the Macho Man? Doing some Slim Jim commercial? Where’s Hogan? Doing “Blunder in Paradise?” Eric says that he doesn’t have the authority to make a match until he is in the office in Atlanta but the groundwork is closer to being laid out for The Bash. Nash says the measuring stick in WCW has changed as they walk off. Clearly Hall and Nash were ready to play their part in turning WCW around and this was only just the beginning. 

 

We’ll see you back here next time for the Great American Bash!

-Shane

 

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.7

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.6

(Raw – 17, Nitro – 17) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 6

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 4

 

A one-tenth victory for Raw, tying us up at wins at a very important time in this history.  You see, for the next 84 weeks, Raw will not win.  So, it’s quite cool that it worked out to a 17/17 tie (with two ties) before Nitro takes off on it’s run.

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Yokozuna in a KOTR Qualifying Match

Marc Mero (w/ Sable) defeated Skip in a KOTR Qualifying Match

Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette, Owen Hart, & Diana Hart Smith) defeated the Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) via count-out

 

Davey VS Taker looks pretty good, but the rest of the card looks kinda “meh.”  WCW deserved this win.

KoaNitro copyOnce again, welcome back to another exciting edition of Kick Out at Nitro, the Internet’s only journey through the rise and fall of WCW Monday Nitro.  We’re one week removed from the bombshell appearance of Scott Hall, who interrupted a match and challenged WCW to a war.  Who is on his side?  Who does he represent?  Hopefully we’ll get more answers tonight.

We open with our Hour One announce team of “The Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko and Tony Schiavone.  Tony tells us that the main event will be for the World Tag Team Championship and will be the Steiners getting a shot against Sting and Lex Luger.  Nice to see this play off of last week, although it’s interesting that they didn’t wait two weeks for the Great American Bash.  We find out that Ric Flair and Arn Anderson will be taking on a returning Rock & Roll Express!  There’s also speculation that Bobby “The Brain” Heenan will be the manager of the Horsemen at the Bash.

We get a quick rundown of what happened last week when Big Bubba shaved half of Shark’s head.  Mean Gene is at the entrance ramp and calls out Shark, who walks out , facing to his left, so we don’t see the shaved side of his head.  Shark is not painted up with the Shark teeth paint, either.  Big Bubba and Jimmy Hart are in the ring with some of Shark’s hair, making fun of him.  Shark says that he hasn’t shaved the rest of his head because he wants to remember the embarrassment.  He says that he’s not a shark, he’s not an avalanche, he’s a man…John Tenta.  He’s going to take out Big Bubba and then he’s going to take out The Giant and shave his head.

Match #1: John Tenta VS Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart

Tenta starts off strong, taking it to Big Bubba and getting a big slam.  Tenta’s hair is all over the ring and they should probably get a broom.

Tenta grabs the pair of scissors that Big Bubba had and starts to chase Bubba around the ring.  Bubba bails and stays at ringside.

Winner: John Tenta via count out.

Big Bubba is wearing a Confederate Railroad tour shirt.  I like it.

Off to commercial and back to our second match.

Match #2: High Voltage VS The Faces of Fear

high-voltage-wcwHIGH VOLTAGE!  I absolute love High Voltage!  They’re one of my favorite obscure WCW teams.

Interesting that Jimmy Hart isn’t managing Meng & Barbarian.

Barbarian starts off with Kaos and is getting controlled until Kaos is able to tag out to Ruckus (I remember his name being Rage, but whatever…guess that changes later).  They hit a double shoulder tackle and seem to have the match under control until Barbarian hits Ruckus with a power bomb and is able to tag out to Meng.  Meng comes in and takes over, getting a drop kick and a big scoop slam before tagging back out to Barbarian.  Barbarian comes in with a pump-handle slam.  Barbarian walks Ruckus up to the top rope and nails a HUGE belly-to-belly suplex.  Barbarian tags in Meng, they go to opposite corners and come down with a tandem of top rope headbutts.  Kaos comes in to try to even things up, but he’s sent outside.  Ruckus is given a superkick, erroneously called a Mafia kick, from Meng for the win.

Winners: The Faces of Fear

Tony sends us to the locker room with Mean Gene and the WCW Tag Team Champions, Lex Luger and Sting.  It’s interesting that any time they’re in a locker room, there is always a WCW shirt hanging randomly over the top of an open locker door.  Always.  Gene asks what is going on with them and the Steiners, Luger says he came down to cheer on Sting, the Steiners double teamed him, and things went on from there.  Lex says he’s always being painted as the bad guy here.  Sting says that all the footage wasn’t shown, he points out Scott trying to suplex him to the floor, and Luger kicked Scott Steiner in the gut.  Luger says that they’re all friends, but do friends suplex friends on the floor.  In come the Steiners and Rick demands to know why Luger jumped Scott.  Luger asked if friends suplex friends on the floor.  Rick says Scott was trying to win.  Sting says that if someone was trying to suplex Lex on the floor, he’d have to kick someone in the gut too.  The two teams get into a shouting match and then a shoving match before it finally gets broken up.

Before commercial we get an odd commercial for Hulk Hogan.  What it’s selling or advertising, I couldn’t tell you.

Match #3: Disco Inferno VS Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman w/ Teddy Long

Pittman is coming to the ring with no less than five medals around his neck.  I’ve never seen him with these and I fully expect the announce team to neither acknowledge them nor give an explanation for what they are.

Disco goes for an early armdrag and it looks like Pittman just falls on him.  Disco gets a good right hand but Pittman follows up with a waistlock takedown and a crazy dead weight gutwrench powerbomb.  Disco runs to the corner and Teddy Long tussles his hair, pissing off Disco. Pittman quickly goes for the Code Red and Disco immediately gives up.

Winner: Craig Pittman

Disco says that if he had let Pittman get him in the Code Red, he wouldn’t be able to do any of his disco moves anymore.  The crowd generally craps all over this match, and I tend to agree.  As much as I love WCW at this time period, they’ve got a lot of guys on their roster that lend to matches like this, where no one cares.  This is a WCW Saturday Night match, now a Nitro match.

We go to a commercial break and we get a quick video replay of a meeting between Steven Regal and Sting, presumably based around Regal’s request for a match against Sting last week.  Regal mouths off, Sting starts to stand up and Regal backhands Sting with a pimpslap that would make Black Dynamite take notice.

Match #4: Lord Steven Regal w/ Jeeves VS Hacksaw Jim Duggan

It’s announced that Regal will get his wish and will face Sting at the Great American Bash.  It seems that the slam we saw before was from the contract signing on Main Event.

Zbyszko’s commentary is almost as rough as Mongo’s, but for completely different reasons.  He has to find ways to make common phrases into other stupider phrases, like saying that Kevin Greene lost the Stupid Bowl, or referring to Hacksaw as Jim DUUUHH-gan.

Hacksaw gets the momentum quickly with a few shoulder tackles, sending Regal out to the ringside area.  When he comes back in, Hacksaw nails him with a good volley of punches, sending him down again, but Regal cuts him off with a kick after Hacksaw ducks for a back body drop.  Hacksaw fires off three more punches but is cut off by a thumb to the eye.  Regal goes for some weird flipping senton but Duggan moves and starts in with more punches, a whip to the corner and a back body drop.

Squire David Taylor and Earl Robert Eaton make their way to ringside and distract the referee.  Hacksaw hits his 3 Point Stance clothesline and immediately goes for his 2×4, but David Taylor takes it away from him.  Hacksaw wraps up his fist and punches Eaton, Regal grabs a school boy rollup and the win.

Winner: Lord Steven Regal

Why was Hacksaw going for his 2×4?  Larry says that he was going to hurt a defensive Regal, and I’m inclined to agree with him.

In the ring, Mean Gene is with the Blue Bloods.  Regal says he was fined by WCW, but he paid double the fine so now he’s got credit, so time to listen to him.  Gene shows us the footage from earlier where Big Daddy Regal lays down some learnin’ on Sting, letting us know this is where the fine came from.  Regal says he did it to piss Sting off.  He wants him mean and angry.  With that, we go to commercial break.

Back from commercial, we get a video package explaining the history of the feud with Benoit and Sullivan.  Apparently it started back in April when Benoit asked about the relationship and Sullivan got in his face.  Back to the next week on Saturday night, Benoit is in Arn’s face again and out comes Sullivan yet again.  Apparently this entire feud has taken place on Saturday Night except for the tag match at Slamboree.  On June 1st, Sullivan said that he was going to take care of Benoit before he wants to turn on the Horsemen down the line and try to become the Enforcer.

Match #5: “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan w/ Jimmy Hart VS Prince Iaukea

Sullivan hits the ring with a vengeance and just starts demolishing the future Prince Nakamaki (thanks, Jericho!), sending him to the floor, crotching him on the guardrail, clotheslining him twice, bringing him back into the ring, tree of woe, double stomp, and the win.

Winner: Kevin Sullivan

Man, matches like this should come back.  Take a man, let him face a jobber, kick his ass and let us see why we should be worried about this guy.

We go to the ring with Mean Gene, Sullivan and Jimmy Hart.  Gene brings up the match at the Bash.  Jimmy Hart asks Sullivan why they keep dealing with Arn and Flair.  They have a lot of stuff going on and don’t need it.  Sullivan says there are two wars going on in WCW.  Let the Legal Department finish the first one (the Hall situation, I guess), but the second one…Hulkamania still isn’t dead.  UUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!  He says that Hogan will come back for everyone  and they need to be ready.  Sullivan says that he told Anderson about Pillman and he was right.  He says that Benoit is a serpent, and the best way to kill a serpent is to crush it in the egg.  He’s going to get rid of Benoit as an ally so that they’ll be ready for Hogan.

Quick commercial break and we’re back for our next match.

Match #6: Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) VS “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “Nature Boy” Ric Flair w/ Woman and Ms. Elizabeth

Flair and Double A come down in the jerseys of Greene and McMichael, mocking them as Flair runs out for passes and goes into three point stances.

The audio on the copy that I’m watching drops the announcers out.  I’m going to have to check on the Network and see if theirs does the same, since I’m still using my old DVD copies from years ago.

Woman and Liz have to almost rip the jersey off of Arn.  I wonder if it was just too tight or what.  It was weird.

Arn starts off with Ricky Morton and suddenly it’s 1985.  A countdown appears, counting us down to Hour number 2 of Monday Nitro.  Fireworks go off during the match.  Flair runs out to the VIP section and checks on the champagne before heading back into the ring.

Switched to the Network…apparently their copy has the actual announcing on it.  Chalk one up for modern technology, I guess.  Now I’m wondering what the original broadcast was, haha.

Double A tags in Flair.  Flair dances around a bit and Morton gets him with a quick jab.  Flair backs him into the corner and the two let loose with a volley of chops and punches.  Morton tags out to Gibson, but Flair drags him into their corner, letting Arn get a few punches in before Flair can escape.  Flair heads to the floor, slowing down the pace.  We get a quick cut to the ladies, sharing champagne at the VIP table before heading back to ringside.  Flair comes back up, tags in Arn, who controls the match for the most part until tagging back out to Flair.  Morton takes down Flair and puts on the Figure 4!  Double A runs in but is caught by Gibson, who puts Arn in the Figure 4 as well!  Flair is able to get out and shoves the referee, who shoves back.  Flair bumps hard.  He gets up, does it again, gets shoved again and bumps hard one more time, heading to the floor.  On the floor, he shoves the ref again, rinse, repeat, bumping hard on the concrete!  With that, we go to commercial.

A little before that exchange, Bischoff mentioned that Heenan had a silver briefcase with him and asks him if he’s going to manage the Horsemen.  Heenan says he’ll says when he feels the time is opportune.

Bischoff: We’ll be waiting with bated breath.

Heenan: If you didn’t eat minnows, that wouldn’t happen.

Heenan cracks me up.

Back from commercial and we get another great Heenan quip.  Bischoff mentions that Greene is in minicamp for the Carolina Panthers right now, so he’s double training.  Heenan then explains minicamp.

“You have to understand something.  He may be in minicamp, but you know what minicamp for the Carolina Pussycats is like?  It’s grueling.  For the first six weeks they just show them what a ball is and which side the seams are.  That’s all they do.  They’ll have it easy!”

Most times, I feel that Heenan’s genius is wasted on the WCW announce team.

Arn goes to work on Morton’s arm, locking it behind him and slamming him, then dropping a knee on it a few times.  He locks down an armbar and uses Flair for momentum, but the referee starts getting wise.  Arn and Flair pretend to tag, Flair comes in and goes to work on Morton’s arm himself.  Morton gets free, but can’t make it to the corner before Arn comes in and goes to work again.  Morton fires off, backing Arn into the corner and going for some more offense before Arn catches him in a Spinebuster.  Flair comes in and picks Morton up for a delayed vertical suplex for a two count.

Bischoff says that Randy Savage was told that he couldn’t wrestle on WCW TV or PPV.  If he can get booked by a promoter, though, then have at it.  Man, too bad there was bad blood (for whatever reason) between Savage and WWF, or that would be a great time to suddenly have Randy Savage show up on WWF TV.  I wonder if playing those words from WCW’s Vice President would have held up in court.

Flair tries to get the Figure 4 on Morton but is rolled into a small package.  In comes Arn, holding Morton off from the hot tag.  Morton gets him near his own corner, but Arn turns around and nails Gibson, preventing the tag.  At that time, Heenan leaves the announce booth, leaving Bischoff to yell for him.  Heenan makes his way to the ring and whispers in the ear of Woman and Liz, then heads back to the announce booth.  Arn goes for a tag, Morton gets the hot tag to Gibson, who comes in and cleans house, slamming the heads of the Horsemen together, getting a pair of body slams, then an enziguiri to Arn.  Flair breaks up the pin but the R&R Express get a tandem of double dropkicks to both men.  We’re told that Heenan is sitting at the VIP section.  Woman and Liz come in, distract the ref, Arn hits Gibson with a DDT and Flair covers for the win.

Winners: Ric Flair & Arn Anderson

bobby-heenan-all-madden-trophyMean Gene is at the VIP table.  He asks Arn the meaning of the Steve McMichael jersey.  Arn says apparently he’s too big and thick to play football, because he could barely fit in it.  Not only are they tougher, better athletes, they’re apparently way too big.  Gene asks where Flair got a Kevin Greene jersey, apparently never having heard of NFL shop.  Flair says he got it as a gift from Debra because “Debbie loves the Nature Boy…not Dallas.”  Gene calls over Heenan, says he called over Woman and then there were shenanigans, so he’s to blame.  Heenan says that he merely told Woman where she can get her diamonds cleaned.  Gene asks Heenan about managing.  Heenan says he promised himself he’d never manage again.  He apologizes and leaves.  Flair seems upset, as one could imagine he would be.

Heenan comes back, though, with the silver Haliburton.  He opens it up and pulls out a trophy.  He says that in 1988 he was on the All Madden Team.  He says that he said he would never manage again…but in Baltimore…he will COACH!  The Horsemen hand him a glass of champagne.  Heenan hands off his champagne to Gene and the Horsemen head off.

We get a quick commercial break with The Giant talking, then Hulk Hogan running his mouth about Nitro, and then a new Glacier promo, this time with audio!  It’s the first time they’re revealed his name as well.  Pretty cool.

glacier-is-coming-to-wcw

At the announce booth, Heenan says that he’s doing this to show the two football players who have had 18 coaches telling them exactly what to do their entire lives that this is a different game.  It’s his life and his profession and he’s not going to just take it.  I like this.  Heenan’s acting legit upset at non-wrestlers coming into his sport and he’s going to do something about it.

We get yet ANOTHER freaking Hulk Hogan promo!  Ugh!

Match #7: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: Ice Train VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

What the living hell is Ice Train doing with a title shot?  See, this is why I don’t like this type of title run coupled with WCW’s new idea of having to have a title match on every Nitro.  You eventually get to weird matches like this.  You also get the WCW World Championship lower on the card than the Tag Team Championships, which is what is going to happen tonight since our main event is Sting & Luger VS the Steiners.  It’s silly.

Ice Train starts off shaking with rage.  He backs up into the ropes and Jimmy Hart grabs his legs.  With the distraction, Giant grabs Ice Train with the chokeslam and covers, posing his biceps as he does.

Winner: The Giant (still WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

After the match, in comes Scott Norton to complain about the match.  Giant chokeslams him twice for his trouble.

Mean Gene meets up with Giant at ringside to ask the question that I’ve been asking for weeks.  “Why are you running video packages about Hulk Hogan?!”  Preach, Giant!  “I’m the man who defeated Hulk Hogan.  I don’t want to see any more of Hulk Hogan.”  I think Giant just turned babyface to me!  He tells Luger to watch out come next Sunday and heads to the back as we go to commercial.

Coming back from commercial, Scott Norton is still flat on his back in the ring.  There’s a trainer and Nick Patrick there with him.  Hugh Morrus’s music starts as he heads down for his match against Norton.

Match #8: Hugh Morrus VS Scott “Flash” Norton

Morrus comes in, hits the ropes, and drops a big leg on Norton. He covers him with one finger for a count of 1 then pulls back.    He runs over to him and asks if he’s okay.  He drops three more elbows on Norton and starts yelling at him.  Morrus gets up and drops yet another elbow.  “Now it’s time to say goodbye,” he says into the camera.  He goes up top for his moonsault, but Norton gets to his feet.  He tries to catch Morrus, and the announcers say that he does, but he doesn’t.  He has absolutely no control over Morrus.  He drops two quick forearms and gets the win.

Winner: Scott Norton

Norton botching the finish there ruined this match.  He had the opportunity to become a badass and really seem cool, but dropping Morrus killed all of that.  Now, I understand that it’s gotta be really damn hard to catch a 300 pound man in midair, but still, don’t attempt it then.  Morrus should have just covered him and got the win.

We get a quick video of Mongo and Kevin Greene training.  Apparently the weight training has been going well, but apparently the wrestling part hasn’t been going so well.  We see Kevin and Steve trying to put together a gameplan, where Mongo clearly understands wrestling but Kevin Greene keeps thinking everything is football.  Mongo realizes that they’re at odds, and Kevin says maybe they need a coach.  Greene is eating a Slim Jim, so they decide to call Macho Man!

Match #9: WCW World Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers VS Sting & Lex Luger (WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Man, the entrance songs for the Steiners and Sting is REALLY similar.  I didn’t realize they had even switched songs until I saw Sting coming out.

Bischoff says we have a phone call from Randy Savage and we’re going to hear.  Savage says he has a piece of paper saying that he can’t wrestle on TV, PPV, or have any title matches.  He says it doesn’t say anything about not coaching.  He says of Mongo & Greene need a nut that knows the game, then he’ll be head cashew.  Bischoff hands the phone over to Heenan.  Heenan says that he has no issues with Savage.  Savage’s issue is with Flair and Liz and what they’ve done to him shouldn’t be done to any human being, so he asks Savage to not come to the ring with them and just let him do his thing.  Savage says that’s the weakest thing he’s ever heard and he’ll be there, much to Bobby’s dismay.

In the ring, we start off with Sting and Scott.  Steiner starts strong with a knee to the gut and a side suplex.  He follows with an Irish whip and a tilt-a-whirl slam.  Sting whips Steiner to the ropes and picks him up with a hot shot, then getting a couple of his facebusters in before tagging out to Luger, who immediately puts the boots to a downed Scott Steiner.  Luger whips Steiner, goes down for a back body drop but is met with a Scott Steiner tigerbomb as we head out to commercial.

This episode of Nitro is brought to us by Sony Playstation, and I am officially old.

Back form commercial, Rick Steiner is controlling Lex Luger in an arm wrench before sending him to the ropes and taking him down with a Steinerline.  Steiner takes Luger to the top rope and comes off with a big suplex, then goes up top for his top rope bulldog.  He gets a two count before Sting breaks it up.  Sting comes in and hits a Stinger Splash and then locks on the Scorpion Deathlock but it’s broken apart by a bit Scotty Steiner clothesline.  The Steiners tag and Scott sends Sting across the ring with a suplex, then takes him to the top for a top rope Frankensteiner!  He gets two before Lex breaks it up.  Luger takes Sting up for a vertical suplex (or maybe the Steiner Screwdriver) but Sting slips away and brings Steiner down with a reverse DDT.  Man, I love seeing Sting use that move now, knowing that he’ll really start using it a lot more in a few months.

Heenan is now freaking out about managing…ahem…COACHING…across the ring from Randy Savage.

Lex Luger gets Scott Steiner into the Torture Rack but it’s broken up by a kick to the gut from Rick.  They roll to the floor and Lex decides he’s going to try to vertical suplex Scott on the floor.  Rick breaks it up, much like Lex did last week, and the two teams start brawling in the ring after Rick hits a big Steinerline on Lex.  Sting and Rick brawl to the floor where Sting attempts to piledrive Rick on the floor!  This is a pretty big departure for Sting!  Steiner backdrops him but out comes The Giant, who chokeslams Steiner on the concrete floor.  Giant gets in the ring and attacks Luger, who fights him off, then in come Sting and Steiner, and all three men join forces against The Giant.  Steiner and Sting whip Lex into the Giant, who clotheslines him out of the ring.  The Giant hightails it after this.

We go to the broadcast booth and Heenan shows his All Madden award.  He says this means the world to him but Savage can have it if he just doesn’t show up.

Off to the side of the booth comes Scott Hall.  Heenan drops the headset and bolts.  Bischoff tries to stand up to Hall but Hall sits him back down forcefully.  Hall says he had such a good time last week that he came back for more.  Bischoff tries to stand again, is sat down again.  Hall is interrupted by Sting.  Bischoff gets up and tells Sting “not here, not now…don’t even dignify it, man.”  Sting says “you came here last week and said some real horrible things about WCW…about the Hulkster, about Macho Man, about the Stinger.  Somewhere along the way, you got lost.  You have any idea where you are?  You’re in the jungle, baby!  You’re in WCW!”  Sting says that Hall keeps asking for three of the best, but Sting doesn’t see two other men with Hall.  All he sees is Hall and Sting, so why not do it now.  Hall says no one tells him what to do or where to do it.  He says next week, he has a BIG surprise for Sting before flicking his toothpick at Sting.  Sting slowly moves Bischoff out of the way and slaps the taste out of Hall’s mouth.  Those few moments are some of my favorite moments in the whole invasion story line, actually.  Hall bucks up but security comes between the two of them, breaking it up as we go off the air.

 

Wow, this two hour stuff is going to make these posts super long.  I’m at almost 4400 words right now!  Volume 3 of the book is going to be a damn coffee table book, apparently!

The Steiners/Sting/Luger stuff was pretty cool.  I like babyface VS babyface matches where the start escalating the violence.  Seeing Sting almost piledrive his friend on the concrete…damn!  Looks like Lex is rubbing off on him.

I remember wondering what the “big surprise” thing was going to be after this episode aired.  This one, though, my whole family was pretty certain it would be Big Daddy Cool.  He had lost to Shawn Michaels at the April ‘In Your House’ and hadn’t been seen since.  Plus, if one WWF guy shows up, you’re pretty sure a “BIG” WWF guy is gonna be Diesel.

The stage is being set pretty nicely for Great American Bash.  You’ve got the Horsemen VS Mongo & Greene, Lex VS Giant, Sting VS Regal, Malenko VS Mysterio, Steiners VS Fire & Ice…some good stuff coming.  This might be the most I’ve anticipated a WCW PPV since I started this thing!

To finish us off, here’s Robbie with his thoughts on this week’s nWo implications:

“This week Scott Hall returns to confront Bischoff telling him he had a good time and came back for more. Hall repeats a bit of what he said last week about starting a war. Shortly, Sting confronts Scott over his comments about WCW, Hogan, Macho Man and himself. Sting comments about Hall being part of the three but only sees him there at the moment so he challenges him to a one on one match. “You want a fight you got one, only nobody tells me what to do or when to….” Another Hall segment ending with a signature toothpick to the face, this time to Sting. Sting answers with a slap to the side of the face. As Hall looks at Sting he promises a “big” surprise before walking off set.

Unlike last week this time Scott Hall interacted with an actual wrestler and storyline wise it seems like they had legit beef with each other. Again I’m sure during this time when the lines were still blurred fans were not 100% sure what they were seeing taking shape before them. They probably had no idea what this build would eventually lead to or the huge amount of success that WCW would garner from the beginning of the nWo era but one thing is for sure, people were taking notice.”

Until next time, fans!

-Shane

 

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.3

WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.0

(Raw – 16, Nitro – 17) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 6

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 4

 

Here we go!  Getting some Nitro victory up in this piece!  Say goodbye to your wins, WWF…gonna be a long time before you see them again.

 

WWF Raw results from this week

KOTR Qualifying Match: Steve Austin defeated Bob Holly via submission with the Million $ Dream.

Mankind defeated Barry Horowitz with the Mandible Claw.

Henry Godwinn & Phinneas Godwinn (w/ Hillbilly Jim) defeated Techno Team 2000 after Henry hit the Slop Drop.

KOTR Qualifying Match: Jake Roberts defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley with the DDT.

 

Raw definitely doesn’t sound too good this week, that’s for sure.  Jake Roberts and HHH sounds pretty good, but that’s about it.

 

KoaNitro copyLadies and gentlemen, we’re here.  When I started this crazy journey through all of these episodes of Monday Nitro, I knew there were a few major dates that I couldn’t wait to get to.  The first major event that I was looking down the line towards…May 27th, 1996.  The Monday Night War had been pretty back and forth until that night, but, in my 14 year old mind, this was the night that wrestling kicked it into high gear.  This was the night that started the big conversations the next day at lunch that really began to push me into analyzing wrestling.  I was no longer just a spectator along for the ride, I was now finding myself trying to figure out what was going to happen next and finding ways to make my plots work out in the minds of my friends.  This was the night wrestling changed, for me, and for the world around it.  For better or worse, May 27th, 1996, changed professional wrestling.  Not just WCW and WWF, but wrestling in general.  It kicked off the largest insurgence of new fans and old fans returning.  It drove ratings higher and higher, making professional wrestling MUST SEE television.

And so, here we are.  Monday, May 27, 1996.  Memorial Day.  The first two hour Monday Nitro.

The first hour of Nitro kicks off with its very own set of announcers.  Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko will be our announcers until 9 PM when Heenan and Bischoff take over.  I like that each hour has its own feel.  Tony and Larry run down a few of the matches we’re going to get tonight, including Sting VS Scott Steiner.

Match #1: American Males VS “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Woman & Ms. Elizabeth

FINALLY!  They’re doing the overhand clap!  It’s about damn time.  There’s not much I remember about The American Males, but them clapping in tandem is one of those things.

Double A is always such an interesting counterpart to Flair.  Flair’s flamboyant and colorful, Arn is almost always in black and more subdued.

Tony and Larry run down the feud and upcoming match between the Horsemen and the team of Mongo and Kevin Greene.  Larry says that the football players shouldn’t get too far over their heads as they’re getting into the ring with two of the best.  Zbyszko says Greene lost the Super Bowl for the Steelers, was kicked off the team and sent to Carolina.

For the most part, Arn and Ric controlled the beginning of the match until the match went to ringside.  Bagwell was able to stop an attack on Riggs and then it got turned toward the side of the Males.  A group of high impact moves and dropkicks send the heels to the floor and send Flair to the VIP table to grab a bottle of champagne.  They calm down and attempt to go on the offensive again, but Arn tries to clothesline Bagwell, who is leaning against the ring post, but Bagwell moves and Arn clotheslines the steel post hard as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Bagwell is fighting out of the Horsemen corner, back body dropping Flair and tagging out to Scotty Riggs.

Tony lets us know that tonight, The Giant will wrestle The Shark.  I’m certain that match will be bad.  Plus, how the hell did Shark get a shot at the title?  Shark randomly gets one but DDP can’t get his title shot that he earned?

Riggs doesn’t fare as well as Bagwell did and the Horsemen take over.  The ladies send over champagne to our announce crew, showing what a class act the Horsemen are.   They’ll beat someone’s ass in front of you and make sure that you’re well hydrated as they do.

Larry keeps referring to Mongo as Dumbo and it cracks me up.

The Horsemen keep the pressure on Riggs as Flair gets a knee breaker and tags to Arn, who ties Riggs’ knee up in the ropes and begins attacking it.  He is caught by an enzuigiri, though, which sends him to the floor.  Flair jumps into the ring and is being held back by the referee, who straight up gets into Flair’s face and starts shoving him.  Riggs is able to get the hot tag to Bagwell, though, who comes in and cleans house with clotheslines and backdrops.  Bagwell gets a missile dropkick to Flair, but Anderson is there to make the save.  Bagwell wraps Flair up in a small package but Anderson rolls the cover over to Flair.  Riggs rolls it back over to Bagwell but the pin is broken up.  As the referee is seeing to Riggs, Bagwell hits a fisherman’s suplex on Flair but Anderson makes the save yet again.  Liz distracts the referee and Arn hits Bagwell with a DDT.  Flair makes the cover and gets the win.

Winners: Arn Anderson and Ric Flair

The ladies make sure Flair gets a glass of champagne, which he promptly dumps on his head before the entourage makes their way over to Mean Gene at the VIP table.  Gene reiterates that Arn and Flair will have a match at Great American Bash.  Arn says he never met a football player that he couldn’t step over to get to a better fight and he never saw a woman that Flair couldn’t have.  It just happens to be Debra McMichael this time.  He says they don’t respect anyone who has to wear protective gear.  Flair says they’ve been in the Keys all weekend.  While Mongo has been playing football, Flair’s been making up for lost time in Austin with his wife.  Gene asks Liz if that sounds like two-timing but she says that Flair can have whatever he wants.  Flair ends it by saying that everyone thought that Flair was Liz’s sugar daddy, but with Randy Savage’s bankroll, she’s their sugar mama!

We go to commercial and come back to a montage of Mongo and Kevin Greene working out.  The music is bad, the video seems to be shot at like 12 frames per second…it’s not really inspiring fear.  Maybe if we saw them wrestling or beating up people…but they’re just lifting weights.  Zbyszko agrees with me as he mentions as much after the video.

Match #2: Steve Doll VS The Mauler w/ Col. Robert Parker

Tony lets us know that Savage has been banned from all WCW events because of what Flair has done to him.

Apparently Parker has been building up The Mauler for a while now.  Mauler starts off strong, taking the fight to Steve Doll.  He takes him up top and hits a fall away slam from the second rope, tossing Doll allt he way across the ring.  Mauler pulls him up and slaps him in the face then headbutts him back down.  Running shoulder tackle follows up.  Doll jumps up and Mauler grabs him and they both fly over the top rope, to which Tony makes sure to tell us that this isn’t a DQ since they both went over.  I had Robbie watch this match so I can get his comments later and that confused him, resulting in me having to explain the top rope DQ.

Commercial break.

The moment we come back from commercial, we can see a man making his way down the aisle to the right.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment.

The man jumps the guard rail and immediately the camera comes in tight.  It’s Scott Hall, ladies and gentlemen…at this time, better known as WWF’s Razor Ramon.  Hall grabs a mic, enters the ring, and instead of doing what wrestlers usually do when an unknown person enters the ring (beat their ass), they just bounce, leaving Hall to do his business.

Winner: No Contest

“You people…you know who I am.  But you don’t know why I’m here.  Where is Billionaire Ted?  Where is The Nacho Man?  That punk can’t even get in the building.  Me, I go wherever I want, whenever I want.  And where, oh where, is Scheme Gene, cause I got a scoop for you.  When that Ken doll lookalike…when that weatherman wanna be…comes out here later tonight, I got a challenge for him, for Billionaire Ted, for the Nacho Man…and for anybody else in, uh, dubya see dubya…you wanna go to war, you want a war…you’re gonna get one.”

Referee Randy Anderson tells Hall to get out of the ring, which he does, poses, then heads to the back, flipping his toothpick at the camera as they go to commercial.

Match #3: Sgt. Craig Pittman w/ Teddy Long VS Diamond Dallas Page

DDP starts off the match jawjacking at Pittman.  Pittman gets down and starts doing one-armed pushups for no damn reason.  DDP goes to kick him but Pittman moves and DDP does his best Charlie Brown impression as he flies to his back off of the missed kick.  They brawl a little bit and Pittman headbutts Page, sending him to the floor.  For the second night in a row, Page grabs the camera cable and ties himself up in it for some reason.  Page is getting way better, but he’s still just trying too much at this point.

The announcers speculate about DDP’s mysterious benefactor and Larry says he thinks it’s Kimberly, since women will move from one man to another.  Pittman locks Page in the Code Red, but Page breaks it up by getting to the ropes and grabbing Teddy Long.  Pittman lets go to save his manager and is met with a Diamond Cutter and a three count.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

Schiavone once again tell us that Randy Savage has been suspended from all WCW televised events and we get a video recap of Randy wreaking havoc all over WCW over the last few weeks.

Up Next, apparently, we’re going to see Hulk Hogan on Baywatch.  Do we have to?!

We come back from commercial and Mean Gene is in the locker room with The Shark.  Gene says that Shark isn’t sharing the locker room with the Dungeon of Doom.  Sullivan says that The Giant cost him a match at Slamboree and Sullivan kicked him out of the Dungeon of Doom.  Um…when did that happen?  Shark says he’s going to take the title and end The Giant.

Gene gives us the Poochie The Dog rundown on Hogan and says we’re going to see a video of him hanging out with stars in Hollywood.

Hogan hangs out with George Foreman, Shaq, Dennis Rodman, Kevin Greene, Sugar Ray Leonard.  He’s also on Thunder in Paradise, Baywatch, Mr. Nanny and Suburban Commando, both of which happened while he was in WWF.  This whole segment was just a large stroke off session for Hogan, who hasn’t even been on TV in almost two months.

The end of the video kicks off hour number 2 and we’re sent to our announcers Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan.  Not only are there two announce teams, they are in two different places.  Bischoff and Heenan are at the usual announce booth near the entrance, but Tony and Larry were at a table at ringside.

Eric mentions the training session with Mongo and Greene and Heenan says they’re not training, they’re huddled in a hotel room with the dresser in front of the door worried about the Horsemen.  Bischoff says they’re not even going to dignify the interruption by Hall earlier.  Of course, he’s yet to be named “Scott Hall,” or “Razor Ramon,” or anything.  That’s the beauty of this…all he had to say was “you people know who I am” because, yes, we KNOW who he is!  He’s Razor…a guy who was just in the WWF a few weeks ago. It really does come across as more of an invasion type of thing than just a new guy arriving in WCW.

Match #4: WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Shark VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

How in the living hell did Shark get a title match?!  How do they decide this stuff in WCW?  I feel like the WCW Championship Committee just has a giant dart board with the WCW roster on it and they just toss it randomly.  They mention that DDP’s title match is now being given to Lex Luger…again, what has Luger done?  Get chokeslammed through a table?

Giant and Shark start off with Shark hitting the ropes and running into a big Giant clothesline.  Giant then stands on Shark’s chest before lifting him up and giving him the boots to the gut in the corner and following with a foot choke.  Shark comes off of the second rope with a double axe handle, but it doesn’t faze the giant.  Shark tries a scoop slam but is denied.  Giant handily picks up the 500+ pound Shark and slams him, however.

Bischoff makes sure to mention “the great Hulk Hogan” and the fact that he would be watching The Giant closely.  Ugh.

Giant whips Shark into the corner and follows him in and is met with a foot to the fact.  Shark comes off of the top with a clothesline, but Shark gets in Jimmy Hart’s face instead of covering.  Giant catches him in a choke slam for the win.

shark-bubba-haircut-wcw-nitroWinner: The Giant (Still WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

After the match, Big Bubba hits the ring and starts shaving half of The Shark’s head with a set of clippers.  Bischoff says this is “the most disgraceful thing a wrestler can do to another.”

We go to commercial with Maxx taking on Luger for the WCW TV Championship.  Who is Maxx?  Is this Maxx Muscle?  The guy DDP used to run around with?

Back from break, Bischoff went all of ten minutes before “dignifying” Hall’s challenge.  He says that tonight we’ll find out what kind of a challenge Hall has for WCW.  Wonder what happened to not mentioning it.

Match #5: WCW Television Championship Match: Maxx VS “Total Package” Lex Luger (WCW Television Champion)

Bischoff says that a lot of people have questioned whether Luger is what he appears to be, but apparently now Bischoff has bought in and says Luger is Sting’s BFF, so of course all is well.

I have no idea who Maxx is.  I don’t think he’s Maxx Muscle, but still, no damn clue.  He’s a guy with a Mohawk and some black tights, boots, and pads.  He shoves Luger into the corner, though, so apparently he’s got a little bit of force behind him.  He follows up with a side headlock.  Luger powers out, sending Maxx to the ropes, and Maxx shoulder tackles him down.

Luger fires up, getting a tandem of clotheslines before Maxx powerslams him for a two count.  Maxx kicks him a few times, probably out of frustration for Luger kicking out and ruining his evening and then chokes Luger with the ropes.

We hear Bischoff yelling at someone off camera “get him out of here…he can talk at the end of the hour.”  We can only guess he’s talking about Hall.  So we’ve went from not dignifying him, to dignifying him, to giving him time at the end of the show.  Way to hold strong there, Bisch.

Bischoff tells us that at the Great American Bash, we’ll see Chris Benoit VS The Taskmaster in a Falls Count Anywhere match.  You know, as much of a Benoit fan as I was, I’ve never seen that match.  It’ll be interesting to watch it in context now.

Luger hits Maxx with the bionic elbow and Bischoff again mentions that it put down Yokozuna.  Luger follows with a power slam and a torture rack for the win.

Winner: Lex Luger (still WCW Television Champion)

Mean Gene joins Luger in the ring and mentions that Luger will be wrestling The Giant for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Great American Bash.  Gene mentions “the way you got [the shot],” prompting Luger to ask “what do you mean how I got it?”  Gene mentions that DDP had the shot but now Luger does.  Luger says he doesn’t make the matches, he just shows up.  They roll footage of Giant chokeslamming Luger through the table two weeks ago.  Luger says that we just saw him put a big man in the rack, and before he gets The Giant, he wants every big man in WCW to be in the rack.  Gene ends by saying that Luger racking The Giant is impossible.

Commercial break and we’re back with…

Match #6: “Hardwork” Bobby Walker VS Brad Armstrong

Bobby Walker is a product of the Power Plant, WCW’s training facility.  I remember being a young’en and wanting to become a wrestler, and the WCW Power Plant was the way that I thought you needed to go.  I also remember seeing videos of tough guys not being able to get through Day 1.

Walker and Armstrong start off with some mat wrestling.  Man, this is what the WCW Cruiserweight division is right now…it’s crazy to look at the proto-division and hold it against what it will eventually be.

Bischoff: He studies film like he’s studying for a thesis.  Do you know what that is?

Brain: Yes, I know what film is.

Man, I love Heenan.

They’re spending a ton of time putting over Walker and his work ethic at the Power Plant, but we see him botch a monkey flip and THEN a move on the top rope, almost falling off.

We find out that at the Great American Bash, we’ll see Rey Mysterio, Jr. take on Dean Malenko for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship!  Now that’s the Cruiserweight Division I’ve been waiting on!

Man, there’s really nothing about this match that says Cruiserweight except for their actual weights.

Walker tries to do some fancy footwork on the top rope, slips, then hits a nasty looking Blockbuster for an odd-looking 3 count.

Winner: Bobby Walker

The “prodigy from the Power Plant” needs to go back to Atlanta and spend some time working on his balance.  He looked bad in this match.

Back from commercial and heading into our next match.

Match #7: Lord Steven Regal w/ Jeeves VS “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright

Looking back over my list of results, this is only the 6th time we’ve seen Alex Wright this year.  I guess he’s been spending a lot of time on WCW Saturday Night.

Hogan mention, yet again, for no reason.  Also, why is he now “the great Hulk Hogan?”

This match starts off way better than the last match.  Wright gets in some quick arm wrenches and gets out of Regal’s wristlock with some cool flips.  Regal falls prey to two of Wright’s head scissors and is sent to the floor where he gets hit with a baseball slide dropkick and a diving vault from the ring to the floor as they go to commercial.

Commerical slams us back with an Alex Wright vertical suplex but Regal gets some momentum going his way with a thumb to the eyes and some European uppercuts.  Wright fires back a few of his own but Regal gets him in a leg takedown and starts palm striking the side of Alex’s face.  They stand and Alex gets Regal with a belly-to-belly suplex.  Regal comes back into the ring and takes over, punishing Wright with a barrage of elbows, knees and uppercuts.  Wright gets some momentum with a bug European uppercut, then almost botches a backflip into a sloppy schoolboy pin, but Regal takes him down again and locks on a top wristlock.

“So now people from other bloody wrestling companies want to come here and take things away from people like me so deserve it?  No bloody chance.” – Steven Regal

Regal yelling about Scott Hall into the camera…the announcers don’t mention it at all.  I wonder if that was in character or a shoot about Hall coming in and taking big money and key spots.  This is back when Regal was surly and would do things like not sell for Goldberg, so who knows.

Wright gets back on the offensive, getting a two count from a spinning wheel kick.  Regal cuts it off, though, by rolling up a potential monkey flip from the corner for the win.

Winner: Lord Steven Regal

lord-steven-regal-alex-wright-wcw1The match replay is brought to us by Playstation.  Wow…now I feel old.

Mean Gene is in the ring with Regal.  Gene mentions that Regal has some adverse feelings about Americans, so he asks about it.  Regal says it’s Memorial Day, and his father will be so pleased that he beat Junior Adolf!  Wow!  He says that the World Champion is a Barnum & Baileys reject, Savage is trying to act like a madman…and we saw him just a few weeks ago put the toughest man in wrestling out of the game.  He says that now we have people from another wrestling organization coming to start a war.  Regal says he is going to challenge Sting, and maybe when he wins, he’ll finally get the recognition he needs to get a shot at The Giant.  Damn, I like surly Regal!  Junior Adolf?  Wow!  Plus, I Regal straight up calling out Hall for coming from the WWF…even the announcers haven’t done that yet.

Match #7: Scott Steiner VS Sting

Scott Steiner is not in a singlet.  This confuses me.  He’s just in what looks like biker shorts…or, what at one time was called MMA shorts, before they went to board shorts.

Sting comes out and eats a few bites off of Flair’s VIP table before going to the ring.

Steiner is now in a singlet!  Guess he just had the straps tucked in.  Tricksy Steiner.

Sting starts off with a big hip toss, sending him almost fully across the ring.

Heenan: And don’t forget, Scott Steiner is one half of the Steiner Brothers.  So that means he’s only got half a mind.  So they’re both half-wits.  So they’re really not thinking 100% at any given time without each other there.

Bischoff: You know, Rick’s going to be out here in just a little bit.

Heenan: My buddy Rick Steiner, one of the greatest athletes I’ve ever seen in my life.

Heenan is so amazing.

Sting gets a big dropkick, hits a flying back elbow and a clothesline that sends Steiner to the floor.  He follows him down with a dive over the top rope onto Steiner, then rolls him back into the ring.  Sting ducks for a back bodydrop off of an Irish whip, but Steiner stops him and nails that big Tiger Bomb, following with a belly-to-belly suplex.  Scott hits that belly-to-belly in a way that no one else does, with that little 180 hop BEFORE hitting the suplex.  It’s one of those things that’s markedly a Steiner move.  Scott goes to the floor with a double axe handle, sending Sting back into the ring where he keeps the offensive until following Sting into the corner and getting feet to the face.  Steiner follows with another belly-to-belly, though, for two.  Steiner drags Sting to the center of the ring and locks on the STF.  Steiner holds it for a while, releases it, drops an elbow to the back of the head, then applies a Fujiwara armbar.

Steiner releases and tries a pin with a half-nelson, but can only get one counts.  If this was amateur wrestling, Steiner would be our winner off of that.  Steiner hits a big scoop slam but doesn’t cover.  He goes for a vertical suplex, but Sting reverses and hits a reverse DDT.  Interesting to see Sting hit that BEFORE his dark persona.  Steiner backs into the corner, stands, and is met with a Stinger Splash.  He tries another, but Steiner moves and then hits a Tiger Suplex.

Out comes Lex Luger.  In response, out comes Rick Steiner.  Scott takes Sting to the top and hits a Samoan drop then calls for the Frankensteiner.  Scott sends Sting to the ropes, but Sting holds on and Scott takes a bump on his back.  Sting grabs the Scorpion Deathlock, but turns Steiner too close to the ropes so he gets out.  Steiner attempts a tombstone piledriver, but Sting reverses into his own for a two count.  Sting then tries a very high leaping splash, but Steiner gets the knees up into Sting’s gut.  Sting rolls to the apron and Steiner tries to suplex him into the ring twice.  Sting reverses, tries to suplex Scott to the floor, but he slips out, pulls Sting out, and goes to vertical suplex Sting on the floor.  Luger breaks it up and rolls Steiner into the ring, which draws the ire of Rick Steiner, who attacks Luger.  In the ring, the Steiners go after Luger, bringing in Sting, and the two teams brawl.  The referee throws out the match as the two teams brawl, being separated by the WCW lower mid-card, including the likes of Craig Pittman and Bobby Walker.

scott-hall-you-wanna-warWe go back to the announcers who are talking about how these two teams were all really good friends, but now this is what we get.  Hall arrives and calls Bischoff a Ken Doll again.  He says Bischoff has a big mouth and “we” are sick of it.  Bischoff asks who “we” are, and Hall says “you know.”  Hall says for Bischoff to go get Billionaire Ted and tell him to get three of his best men…maybe Savage and Stinger…he says if they want to go war, let’s do it in the ring, not on microphones or in dirt sheets.  Hall says “we” are coming down here and, like it or not, “we” are taking over.  He flips his toothpick at Bischoff and the show ends with Bischoff and Heenan staring at each other silently.

Before I get into my final thoughts on the episode, I opened this up to the other members of Ko@2 and wanted to know what they thought.  Phillip and Robbie both gave me reactions.  Phillip, like me, is rewatching these segments after having seen them originally when they aired.  Robbie, though…Robbie, we’re bringing into the WCW fold anew, so these will be the thoughts of someone watching this for the first time.

First up, Phillip:

So… This week in Nitro Scott Hall made his first appearance. There was some great tension, and a sell that there was a “Takeover”. Anyone who watched wrestling at this point was speculating, a WWF takeover, and it made our pants shiver. Would we see Shawn Michaels super kick Sting, would we see Diesel Jackknife Luger? What did this mean?

Based on the first appearance, you can call him Scott Hall, but he showed up, full blown Razor Ramon. This guy shows up all “Hey, Chico” and Scarface. It was interesting to see, and also this is the birth of what anyone in my generation remembers. From Wolf Pack t-shirts in Middle school, to defending “fake wrestling”, to being a kid, with a testosterone filled soap opera. Tuesdays being about what happened on Monday Nitro, and one Monday a month being about finding the one friend who got the PPV on VHS.

This was the “Attitude Era” in WWE, and the New World Order on Nitro. The “we’re not here to take part, we’re here to take over” mentality. The death of cartoons, and the birth of gritty, black and white. But that’s just a subjective nostalgia.

The actual episode of Nitro. It’s interesting that Bischoff sells this so hard, he seemed shaken and unsure, which made me buy it. It broke down some walls, and the Kayfabe was living and breathing, which is definitely lacking in the product today. This seemed less like the Dungeons and Dragons, gold trunk mentality, and more a gritty and very real, visceral storyline. It helped tremendously as a young kid, to take my suspension of disbelief to new heights. This was the first Nitro I’ve watched for this entry where I got really pumped.

This had implications on both sides of the rating wars, the infamous Curtain call, which led to Vince shutting down the clique temporarily and pushing Stone Cold. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but this wasn’t a big moment in professional wrestling, it was an impossibly huge one.

And now for Robbie:

Steve Doll vs The Mauler. First example of why Shane is my WCW “go to guy” because I have never heard of these two before. Commercial break before the end of the match and the crowd turns their attention to the arena aisles. There he is, Razor Ramon himself making a B-line towards the ring via the crowd. An image that has lived on in the history of wrestling and I’m sure was a huge shock back in the day. “Hey…(guess he couldn’t add the yo’) you people know who I am but you don’t know why I’m here. Where is Billionaire, Ted? Where is the Nacho Man?” Back in the day I’m sure this had to be really exciting, especially for those not familiar with kayfabe. I mean you have a guy from another company barging to the ring and instantly calling out the owner and one of their top talents. Hearing Scott Hall calling out members of WCW and declaring a war literally was the first shot fired in The Monday Night War. I’m sure everyone was 100% behind this at the time and looking back on it it’s still a great moment. Ironically the gun that fired that shot may have very well been the same one that shot them in the foot a few years later… but we’ll  get to that at a later date.

At the close of the show as Bobby Hennan and Eric Bischoff are discussing the fallout of the main event Scott Hall approaches them. Although most of what he says is somewhat of a repeat, his does lay out the challenge of a three on three match “in the ring, where it matters”. The segment ends with the traditional toothpick to the eye from everyone’s favorite bad guy and we are one step closer to one of the most memorable events in not only WCW history but wrestling history overall.

As for my own thoughts, this was easily the biggest “feeling” Nitro to this point.  I remember watching this and getting a huge sensation that something was happening here that had never happened in wrestling before.  I knew that was Razor Ramon.  He acted like Razor.  He talked like Razor.  And now he’s here, in my WCW, talking about a war?  I knew in my heart that before the summer was over, I was going to see WCW VS WWF and that it was going to be amazing!

Of course, things didn’t go that way, but the next few weeks into months changed wrestling for me…as well as for the industry.  Kevin Nash will say that it changed because he and Hall got the boys guaranteed contracts, but that’s not what this is about.  This made wrestling a crazy environment for the fans where anything can and will happen.  Big names and world champions from other organizations can suddenly just show up on another company’s television product and try to take over.  Names will jump from ship to ship and we’ll get to see dream matches that we never thought possible.  Alliances will change.  Characters will change.  EVERYTHING will change.  It was amazing, exciting, and exhilarating being a wrestling fan at this time, and to me, that all started right here, May 27th, 1996.

I’m officially in catch up mode now, ladies and gentlemen.  My day job is done until the middle of August and I return to my quiet air conditioned Miami apartment in just a few days, so we’re going to be doing Nitros pretty regularly through the summer.  My hope is to catch up to current and then go back to the “day of” releases.  Thank you for sticking with us!

Until tomorrow, wrestling fans.

-Shane

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.3

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.8

(Raw – 16, Nitro – 16) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 6

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 4

 

Kind of odd to think that there was only a 2.8 rating on one of the biggest nights in Nitro history.  I’d definitely put it in the top 5, if not at the #2 spot, all things considered.  If I remember correctly, though, this week’s episode was a different time slot due to NBA Playoffs.  It seemed like it ran from 7-9, but I may be wrong on that.  It’s also the first time that Nitro went two hours, so coupled with a longer run and a different time slot, I can see the lower rating.  If I’m right about the time, though, that means Raw ran unopposed and still didn’t pull off the ratings that Nitro did.  However, that’s not an accurate reflection because there would have been a basketball game on at the time Raw was on, so that would have drawn away viewers.

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WWF Raw results from this week

KOTR Qualifying Match: The Ultimate Warrior fought WWF IC Champion Goldust (w/ Marlena) to a double count-out in a non-title match when Goldust tried to leave ringside and was attacked in the aisle by the Warrior.

WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns (w/ Sunny) defeated Skip & Zip in a non-title match when the momentum of a flying bodypress by Skip put Bart Gunn on top for the win.

KOTR Qualifying Match: Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) pinned Ahmed Johnson after Owen Hart, who did guest commentary for the bout, came off the top with a double axe handle, using his arm cast, as Ahmed covered Vader following a spinebuster. (11:20)

Man, old school King of the Ring!  I remember thinking Ahmed was the shoe-in winner for this and then it just not happening.  If it wasn’t for injury, Ahmed could have been something.  Yeah, he couldn’t talk worth a damn, but still…dude just had a physical presence that you can’t match.  In a world where Sid could be a star, Ahmed should have been the man!