Posts Tagged ‘Steve McMichael’

KoaNitro copyWelcome, everyone, to another awesome episode of WCW Monday Nitro and another edition of the Web’s greatest Nitro chronicle, Kick Out at Nitro!  Tonight, we’re back yet again at Disney MGM Studios, ready to bring you some awesome WCW action!

We start off with Larry and Tony running down the card.  Larry drops his “new world odor” line that I’ll learn to hate but that Larry will not stop trying to get over.

Tony takes us to some video footage of the Outsiders in Cincinnati.  Luger and Sting are walking out of the arena when Luger is called away for a phone call.  As Luger is called away, the Outsiders jump Sting and beat the crap out of them.  It’s really grainy and shot on a handheld camera (we assume by Syxx…but we’ll get to that later on in the next few months), but it does a great job at getting the Outsiders over as thugs.  It’s also something we haven’t seen in wrestling since the Horsemen did this to Dusty back in the day.  I liked it.

Match #1: Mike Enos VS Hacksaw Jim Duggan

WCW Saturday Night is leaking out into Nitro, it seems.

“Oh, not Hacksaw!” – Larry Zbyszko

We’re told that our main event will be Benoit, Mongo, and Flair (who they make a big deal of mentioning WILL be here this week) versus Sting, Luger, and Savage.

Generic, boring match, honestly.  I hate not writing detailed rundowns of every match, but honestly, as we’ve gone to two hours, I’ve learned that these write-ups can hit the upper side of five and six thousand words, so some of these matches are going to get pretty basic write-ups…especially if the match itself isn’t very good.  Which, truthfully, this one wasn’t.  It wasn’t terrible…but just not evenful.

That being said, Hacksaw takes a weird bump off of an offensive shoulder block from the Irish whip…it was odd.  Hacksaw goes for a sunset flip that Enos stops, causing Hacksaw to reach up and pull the tights, showing us more of Mike Enos than we ever wanted to see.  Especially since it only resulted in a two count.  Enos follows with a Rude Awakening and goes for a splash, but Hacksaw moves.

Referee gets in Enos’s face, Hacksaw uses the opportunity to tape his fist and get the win with a sucker punch.

Winner: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

In an odd move, Tony decrys Hacksaw for using a foreign object and Larry acts like it’s cool.  Sure, Larry would defend heel behavior, but he’s doing so for the babyface, especially Hacksaw, who he’s not a fan of.

Mean Gene is in the ring with Hacksaw and Gene asks him about the New World Order.  I’m guessing Gene’s new deal is to just ask everyone in the roster what they think about the angle that they’re not involved in.  Hacksaw cuts a promo on Hogan letting down the kids, but then follows it up with this:

“Hulk Hogan…you’re a great technical wrestler.”

Not gonna lie, I think Hacksaw just lost what credibility he had with me…

Commerical break and promo for WCW Saturday Night where we’ll get Flair VS Chavo, Giant VS Knobbs, and Benoit VS Savage.

Match #2: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “The Crippler” Chris Benoit, & Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/ Woman, Debra, & Ms. Elizabet VS Sting, “Total Package” Lex Luger, & “Macho Man” Randy Savage

I thought this was the main event.

The babyfaces hit the ring hard, with Savage attacking people on the Floor, Luger following suit, and Sting going for the punches in the corner on Flair.  People aren’t even out of their entrance gear as we go to a commercial break and obligatory Glacier promo.

Back from the break and we’re finally calmed down.  Babyfaces are in one corner and Benoit is in the ring to start the match.  He’ll be facing off with Sting.  Benoit backs him into the corner and gets in some hard hits, but Sting fires back with a back bodydrop and a clothesline.  Benoit tags in Flair, who makes a beeline for Savage.  Sting backs Flair into the corner, punches, whips him opposite side where Flair does his flip over the turnbuckle.  Luger punches him off of the apron and Savage attacks on the floor, using Flair to destroy the Horsemen’s VIP section.  Flair runs to the ring to escape but is met with a gorilla press slam.  Sting tags out to Savage.

Savage points at Liz, prompting Flair to jump outside and kiss her on the mouth, further pissing off Savage.  They brawl for a bit before tagging out to Mongo and Luger.  These two bulls basically just lock up and roll around for a bit before Mongo tags out to Flair.  Flair chops Luger, Luger fires up, gorilla press slam, and Flair head to the floor but is caught with a vertical suplex on the apron for a two count.  Flair tags out to Benoit, who backs Luger into the corner and takes it to him with about fifteen stomps to the corner.  Savage jumps in to take out Benoit.  As the referee takes care of Savage, Flair gets a cheap shot in on Luger.  Benoit tags out to Flair, Luger tags to Sting, and Sting goes on the offensive.  Sting gets a superplex for two before it’s broken up by Benoit.

Sting gets a sunset flip over the ropes, but Flair tags out to Mongo, who drops an elbow and nails Sting with a massive clothesline in the corner, followed by a backbreaker and a tag to the Crippler.  Back clothesline for two and a back suplex as the crowd chants for the Stinger.  Two count off of the back suplex and Benoit yells at Sting and slaps him in the face for good measure before tagging back out to Flair.

Sting tries to win with a backslide but Benoit stops that.  The announcers sing Benoit’s praises, which is a theme since Great American Bash.  That event really was Benoit’s turning point as a performer in this company.  It’s like everyone knew he was good, but after that night, we’ve all agreed he’s on another level.  Flair puts on the Figure 4 but Sting is able to reverse it.  Flair tries it again but Sting rolls him into a small package for two.  Flair tags out to Benoit, who attacks the legs of Sting and then hits a beautiful snap suplex for two.  Benoit follows that up with a Liontamer that Luger breaks up.  It’s always interesting to see Benoit use the high angle Boston Crab long before Jericho made it his main move.

Nitro_7-29-96_5Jimmy Hart runs out and starts pleading with the camera man to follow him because the Outsiders are in the back.  A cameraman leaves with him as Jimmy Hart tries to get Lex Luger to stop kicking Flair’s ass and follow him.  He finally convinces the babyfaces and they start to exit the ring.  We cut to the back where Hall and Nash are taking out Marc Bagwell and Arn Anderson with baseball bats.

“They’ve got baseball, the coward jerks!” – Larry Zbyszko.

Out comes Scotty Riggs and he gets the business as well.  Rey Mysterio, Jr. tries to jump off of some railing on the trailer onto Nash, but Nash catches him and throws him like a lawn dart into the side of the trailer.  Hall and Nash get into a waiting limo and start to go, but Savage runs into frame, jumps on top of the limo, and is frantically punching the occupants through the sun roof as the limo leaves the arena.  Suddenly every WCW babyface is in the back as we hear the bell ring.

Winner: No Contest, double count out

Eddie Guerrero is checking on Rey Jr, the Horsemen are around Double A and Woman is crying her eyes out over it.  Trainers are seeing to the injured talent as a firetruck comes in with full sirens wailing.

This scene is awesome.  It’s chaos.  People are talking over everyone.  Babyfaces are checking on babyfaces.  Rey Jr is screaming that there were four men when there were only actually two, leaving us to wonder if he saw two more men before the camera got there or if Nash tossed him so hard that he’s seeing double.  Larry makes that comment the moment that I type it, showing that great minds think alike.

The story behind this is that the local Orlando fans thought this was a legit attack so they called the cops, which is why we have firetrucks showing up and cops on the scene.  They’re doing an amazing job of selling this, too, which is amazing.  The fact that this show is now in pure chaos and you have everyone back there is just a touch of realism that we really haven’t seen in a long time.  Rey keeps shouting that there were four men and Eddie keeps telling him that there are only three.  The EMTS are trying to take off Rey’s mask but he’s doing his damnedest to keep that from happening.  They finally get his mask off and Rey has his hands covering his face.  Benoit is watching them see to Arn and it looks like he’s legit about to cry.

The hushed tones everyone’s speaking in coupled with the yells from the wrestlers is just such an awesome scene.

Rey won’t shut up about there being four men, though.

Larry mentions how much Benoit looks up to Double A, which is nice that they’ve pointed out Benoit’s emotions here.

Nitro_7-29-96_20Riggs is on a stretcher and wearing a neck brace.

Meng comes in and gets in Benoit’s face, while Jimmy Hart tries to keep storyline from happening during this.  It’s odd, honestly, and it’s the one thing that’s kind of broken up the seriousness of the issue that’s happening.

We cut back to Larry and Tony, who speculate on Rey’s phantom fourth man as we go to commercial break.

We come back and it’s now the second hour, so Tony and Larry are joined by Bobby and Bischoff.  Heenan apparently shops in the same place as Zbyszko.  Bobby says he’s not going to cut a wrestling promo, he’s going to speak to Eric man-to-man.  He says he has a history of neck issues.  He shows us a trembling in his right hand to highlight this.  He says this job isn’t worth it to him and if Bischoff can’t guarantee his safety, he’s not doing the broadcast.  Bischoff says he’s not going to argue with him right now and that Heenan can do what he needs to do.  Heenan throws down his headset and papers and bounces.

Our backstage area is now overrun with uniforms.

The crowd is now chanting “boring, boring” and apparently they do not have any monitors or any way to show the fans what is happening backstage.  That’s a bold move.  We’ve not spent about twenty minutes with no in-ring product to show these fans and now way to show them what’s happening to the wrestlers to cause this.  I honestly feel that it would have played off a lot better if the fans could be seeing this.

Nitro_7-29-96_13Fans start chanting “n-W-o, n-W-o!”

They load up Arn Anderson into an ambulance as Flair and Woman get in with him.  Bagwell is on a stretcher, surrounded by Sting, Luger, Doug Dillinger, and some of the EMTs.  There’s some confusion as it looks like the EMTs were trying to load up Bagwell into the ambulance that Double A is already in.

Bischoff says that he’s heard from the back that they do have standby matches ready to go.  They’ve now moved Double A to the side of the ambulance so that they can both now be loaded in.  Sting gets in the ambulance as well and the announcers sell the gravity of this as it has caused Flair and Sting to ride together.  Bischoff sends us to another commercial break.

Match #3: High Voltage VS The Steiner Brothers

The Steiners come out visibly distraught.  Rick looks like someone just killed his best friend and Scott almost seems like he’s wiping away tears.  We get another quick look backstage where Scotty Riggs is finally being put on the ambulance while Lex Luger looks on.

It’s Singlet City in the ring for this match.  So much bright colored spandex!  Match starts off with a Scott Steiner hip toss, arm lock, then into a fireman’s carry and a key lock on the arm.  The announcers mention that this is very unlike the Steiners that we’re used to seeing since they’re usually very high energy and really take it to them.  Rick isn’t even on the ring apron.  He’s pacing around the ring, refusing to get up on the apron.  Scott keeps taking it to Kaos and finally coaxes Rick into tagging in.  Kaos takes over and tags in Rage, allowing the two to hit a double dropkick before another quick tag out to Rage for a double suplex in the center of the ring.  High Voltage definitely have their head in the game whereas the Steiners clearly do not.  I wonder if it’s due to the fact that the ones hurt were more mid to upper carders and that’s where the Steiners hang out, where High Voltage are more used to the Saturday Night crowd.  Maybe if the Outsiders took out The Mauler and Bobby Eaton, High Voltage would be more shook up.

Rick tags out to Scott, who comes in kicking ass.  Clotheslines and a tiger driver and a tag out to Rick, who rushes Rage into the corner and hits a giant damn Steinerline.  Quick tag out to Scott, Steiner Screwdriver for the win!

Winners: The Steiner Brothers

Holy crap, the Steiner Screwdriver!  For those of you who have never seen it, it’s a vertical suplex that Scott drops into a seated tombstone piledriver.  It looked like it killed Robbie Rage.  Scott Steiner is one of my favorite wrestlers ever because of stuff like this.  Look up the innovative moves that dude has.  This, the Frankensteiner, the moonsault fallaway slam…freaking amazing stuff!

Commercial break, back to our new replacement match.

Match #4: Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart VS Eddie Guerrero

We get this match instead of what would have been an amazing Eddie VS Rey Jr. match…thanks, Outsiders, ya jerks!

Bubba slaps Eddie and sends him to the floor, then celebrates.  Eddie comes back in, pays him back, and almost dives out of the ring onto him on the floor but thinks better of it.  Bubba sends him high into the air and he falls back down hard, allowing Bubba time to slap Eddie around on the mat.

Eric tells us that the Giant is here and will wrestle, but he clearly won’t defend the title against Arn Anderson as he was scheduled to.  I wonder what Hogan thought, in kayfabe, about WCW giving title shots out when he has a match already scheduled for two weeks from now.  Would he want someone other than The Giant to be champ?  What if Double A won?  Double A kind of has Hogan’s number, as we saw at the beginning of the year when he got two wins in a row over Hogan.

Hold on…

Is that why this attack happened?!  I think I finally figured it out!  Hogan has beaten the Giant.  He knows he can do it.  However, Anderson has Hogan’s number, so he has Hall and Nash take out Anderson so that he doesn’t have to potentially face him at Hog Wild!  The logic is sound!

Sadly, Big Bubba takes control of this match, beating down Eddie and keeping him grounded.

Bischoff says that they have the national news calling to find out what’s going on backstage.  He says now that “a number” of people are now reporting four men.  Four men to take out one of the FOUR HORSEMEN!

Yes, I know it’s a stretch…but, don’t tell me the logic isn’t there, because I know it is.

I’m guessing the 4th man would be Syxx…despite him being the sixth man in the nWo.  We already saw that someone was filming the Outsiders when they beat down Sting and Luger, and we later see that Syxx is kind of their cameraman, so theoretically he’s already hanging out with them, he just isn’t public yet.

Eddie begins to go on offense and Jimmy Hart tries his best to shut that mess down.  He distracts the referee and throws Bubba his megaphone.  Eddie is able to get a sunset flip for the win, though.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero

Oh, I forgot to mention, Eddie was in the black singlet.

Commercial break:

“The following announcement has been paid for by the New World Order!”

Black and white, quick cuts, crazy promo from the nWo.  I love the idea that they had to pay for airtime.  It would be silly for WCW to allow them promo time during Nitro, but them paying for airtime on TNT…so it HAS to be shown…that’s brilliant.

Is this the debut of the nWo logo?  I love that logo.  So simple, but just so awesome.  I need to find my nWo shirt and start rocking that thing again.

The promo is full of quick cuts of promo, mostly Hall and Nash just joking around, asking Lex Luger how much he benches.  It’s so different from anything wrestling related we’ve seen before, and that’s brilliant.  Hogan says that he forgot that he’s wrestling the Giant on the 10th.  This is just so cool!

Nitro_7-29-96_23We come back from that to Tony and Larry, mentioning that Eric has left the broadcast booth due to the stuff that’s going on.  There’s a pretty long period where no one is in the ring, which, again, this has to be a really damn boring show for those in attendance.  We get a video recap of what’s happened earlier in the night, taking more time from the in-ring product.  This is a great show on TV, but it has to be awful live.

Match #5: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

Damn, Greg Valentine just stepped into a huge opportunity in kayfabe terms.  He’s just randomly handed a WCW World Championship opportunity due to the fact that the nWo killed everyone.  Imagine if he were to win the title tonight!

The crowd is kind of dead for this one, but I think I would have been too if I had been watching an empty ring for 1/3 of this show and then got a title match with a guy that was never that big of a draw even in WWF.  At least they had the good sense to put the big stars all together earlier in the night so that everyone basically got to see the entirety of that match before they left.

Valentine rocks Giant with some clotheslines and tries to go up top.  Giant chokeslams him off of the top, then picks him up and chokeslams him again in the center of the ring for good measure.  That’s literally the match, folks.

Winner: The Giant (still WCW World Champion)

Giant looks in the camera and says “Listen really close, Hulk Hogan.  Listen really close.”

We end the show with Mean Gene in the ring with Jimmy and The Giant.  The Giant is posing, mocking Hulk Hogan.  Giant starts off with a Hogan promo, with “Lemme tell ya something Mean Gene, I’ve been to the top of the mountain, brother.  I’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death…”  Gene asks him what’s he on about and Giant says that it’s easy to fall into the con.  Hogan made everyone believe in him, but he never believed in himself.  Giant says while Hogan was making movies, Giant was beating the best talent in the world.  He tells WCW that if they don’t all hang together, they’ll hang separately.  He tells Hogan that he has a chokeslam noose that’ll fit just fine around Hogan’s neck.

For some damn reason, Gene asks Jimmy Hart his opinion, and Jimmy spends a ton of time running his mouth, but ends it nicely with “I promise you this, Hulk Hogan…we’ll take you out.”  With that, we get a slo-mo replay of Kevin Nash darting Rey Jr. into the side of the production truck and we go off the air.

 

This episode!  I’ve been waiting for this episode for a while.  I’ve lovingly referred to it as “the episode where the Outsiders kill everyone.”  In reality, they only got four people…but they upset the entire WCW lockerroom and basically killed the show.  In a world where they’re trying to take over WCW, they just ruined its flagship show.  That’s good booking!

The nWo promo is amazing and a great thing to change their look just enough to really sell that they’re a separate organization.  Really great touches there.

The main event was originally a letdown, but when it played out with Giant being pissed and just chokeslamming Valentine to hell, that made up for it.  Giant gets two offensive moves, and they’re both his finisher…so good.  The second one was just him driving the point home that he’s coming for Hogan in Sturgis.

That Pay Per View is in a little under two weeks in Nitro time, but I’m going to do my best to get it to you within one.  Look for it soon!

Until next time!

­-Shane

 

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.1

WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.1

(Raw – 17, Nitro – 24) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

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

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 7

WCW takes over the longest winning streak of the Monday Night War!

WWF Raw results from this week

Psycho Sid defeated Justin Bradshaw (w/ Uncle Zebakiah) via disqualification when Zebakiah hit Sid with a cowbell. (0:45)

Vader pinned Marc Mero (w/ Sable) with a powerslam as Mero came off the top rope.

Davey Boy Smith (w/ Owen Hart) pinned Henry Godwinn (w/ Hillbilly Jim) with the running powerslam after Henry became distracted by Owen at ringside.

Steve Austin defeated the Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) via count-out after Mankind came ringside and Taker stalked him backstage.

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GAB96It’s Pay Per View time once again, ladies and gentlemen out there in WCW world!  We’ve been building to it for a while and it’s finally here…the Great American Bash!  We open to a quick montage of promos for the big matches.  We get Heenan alone, looking a bit scared.  We get Mongo, Greene, and Savage.  We get Arn, Flair and the ladies.  We then finish off with Lex Luger saying he’s already got two titles, he’s coming after the third and then the rebuttal from The Giant.

From there, we go into the National Anthem and the presentation of the flag, which they’ve never done before in the PPVs that I’ve been watching.  I guess since it’s the Great AMERICAN Bash, that’s why.  Sgt. Craig Pittman is the man presenting the colors.  We go to our announce team of Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes.  We’re minus Bobby Heenan due to him being the “coach” of the Horsemen team tonight.  They open the show running down some of the issues we’ll see tonight, including telling us that we’ll find out if WCW will accept the challenge from Hall and Nash.  Of course, they’ve yet to be named, so they’re still just referred to in a roundabout way.

Tony tells us that Dick Murdock has died recently. Dusty says that he would have loved a night like tonight when you can smell a fight in the air.  Odd to see Dusty talking about his departed best friend just a month or so after his own death.

Match #1: Fire & Ice VS The Steiner Brothers – There Must Be a Winner

These two teams have apparently been having a lot of matches on Saturday Nights where there hasn’t been definitive winners, bringing us this match.  The only one I know of is the Monday Night match from a few weeks back, which makes me sad that I don’t have access to Saturday Night.

Scott and Ice Train start off, looking pretty even until Scott gets a quick burst off offense, bringing in Norton, who gets a hip toss.  This brings in Rick Steiner and the Steiners hit their classic pose while Fire & Ice regroup on the outside.  After regrouping, both teams tag out and we get Norton vs Rick.  Rick hits a massive Steinerline and follows with a belly-to-belly suplex before tagging out to Scott.  Norton sends Scott to the ropes and surprises him with a massive Samoan drop.  Damn, I love a Samoan drop.  This derails Steiner enough for Norton to tag back out to Ice Train, who takes over, getting a two count out of a side belly-to-belly suplex.

We get our first inclinations of heelishness out of one of our teams when Norton attacks a downed Scott Steiner while the referee is distracted.  Until this point, Fire & Ice had been presented as a babyface team, so it’s interesting to see a heel move there.  Of course, Norton does come across as the more heelish of the two, so it kind of works.

Scott comes back with an overhead suplex and a Steinerline to Ice Train.  He tags out to Norton and Steiner gets an ugly suplex and dumps Norton on his head.  Norton and Ice Train do come back and begin to control the match, though, with quick tags.  Norton picks Scott Steiner up and drops him hard with a shoulder breaker, but instead of going for a pin like normal, he goes for a submission.  Rick comes in and starts kicking Norton in the face to get him to break up the hold, but Norton refuses to release, even after five or six kicks.  Norton gets another shoulder breaker, but Rick was able to tag in.  He Steinerlines Norton hard, then dumps him with a German suplex.  He follows up with a Steinerline/suplex combo to Ice Train as well before going back to Norton.  Ice Train sends Scott to the floor and they hit a powerbomb/splash combo bit the pin is broken up by Scott.  They send Scott back outside and attempt a Doomsday Device but Scott Steiner is able to knock Ice Train off the top rope.  The Steiners get their top rope bulldog off of Scott’s shoulders, but Ice Train breaks it up at two.  Scott hits Norton with a bad looking Frankensteiner for the win.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers

Another good match between these two.  I just wish Scott could have hit that Frankensteiner better, though.  I love that move and I hate seeing it messed up.

We go to the back with Mean Gene, Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan.  Jimmy tells Sullivan that they don’t need to be messing with the Horsemen.  Sullivan says this isn’t about the Horsemen.  This is about showing Arn Anderson and Ric Flair that Benoit doesn’t deserve to be a Horseman.  He says he ran off the last guy who didn’t deserve to be a Horsemen and he’ll do the same to Benoit, and he’ll do it for Double A.

Match #2: WCW United States Championship: El Gato VS Konnan (WCW United States Champion)

El Gato looks like he’s wearing a pair of black dress slacks and a Tiger Mask mask.  This guy is a superstar?  Konnan comes out with the US title as well as the Mexican Championship.  He’s also wearing the Mexican flag as a poncho.

I can’t tell if El Gato is Mexican or Japanese.

We get a volley of armdrags followed each time by El Gato adjusting his mask and going into a martial arts pose.  Konnan connects with a nice flippy armdrag off of the ropes, then charges El Gato and they have an awkward exchange ending with Konnan sitting on the top rope.  El Gato goes to setup for a movie but Konnan pulls him down to the mat by his mullet.  Granted, El Gato is under a mask, so I don’t know for certain it’s a mullet…but this guy is so bad thus far that I’m going to go ahead and call it a mullet.

Konnan comes off the Irish whip and attempts a Frankensteiner but El Gato does his first good move and drops him with a sitout powerbomb.  El Gato and Konnan trade crappy looking arm and leg holds before Konnan whips El Gato to the corner, does a reverse roll and a weird looking bulldog.  Konnan does his rolling clothesline, which I always like, but El Gato kicks out at one.  Konnan goes to the floor, El Gato tries to do a baseball slide dropkick but Konnan moves and El Gato simply slides out of the ring and hits the floor.  They go to move back into the ring and Konnan surprises El Gato with a sunset flip powerbomb to the floor.  Konnan whips El Gato to the corner, El Gato tries to jump backwards out of it but Konnan catches him and Alabama Slams him for the win.

Winner: Konnan (still WCW US Champion)

Wow…this was bad.  Konnan has yet to impress me during this run and El Gato looks like a guy that they just grabbed from backstage.  This was bad.

Backstage, Mean Gene is joined by Sting and they talk about Lord Steven Regal being prissy and a sissy, drinking his tea with a little pinky out.  Sting questions his masculinity through most of the promo, saying he’s a little “iffy,” and that he’s “not too sure about him.”  Damn, Stinger, just come out and call him gay already…we know that’s what you’re hinting at.

Match #3: Battle Bowl Ring on the line – Diamond Dallas Page (Lord of the Ring) VS Marcus Alexander Bagwell

DDP says that once the women in Baltimore get a load of him, they’ll forget all about “Carl” Ripken.  Ugh.  Man, it takes Page a while to really get running, doesn’t it?

Bagwell hits the ring running but Page takes the low road and comes from behind him while Bagwell has his back turned.  Bagwell is able to pull him to the floor and whips him into the crowd.  Page gets into the ring first and cuts Bagwell off when he enters.  Bagwell gets a two count off of a crossbody block and starts working the arm.  Tony gives us a bit of history of Page and his fall and subsequent rise back to the ranks of WCW.

Bagwell sends Page to the ropes, but Page grabs the ropes with his arms and legs, hanging between the top and second rope.  Bagwell dropkicks him in the gut through the ropes and follows with a dive over the top to the floor.  Marcus goes up top but Page is able to knock him off the top rope and take over.

Bagwell fires back while Page is jawjacking with the crowd. Page goes to punt Bagwell but Buff-to-be moves and Page eats the mat.  Bagwell hits an atomic drop and a revere atomic drop, then they do this thing where Page kicks, Buff grabs his leg, spins him, ducks under a clothesline, then clotheslines Page himself…when he could have just pulled Page’s leg and clotheslined him from there.  Really some odd wasted movement that could have been way better by just clotheslining him right off.  DDP gets his own clothesline and tries to get a pin twice with his legs on the ropes.  He tosses Bagwell to the ropes and goes for a tilt-a-whirl slam but Buff gets him in a headscissors.  Bagwell goes for a suplex, DDP grabs the ropes to stop it and then hits the Diamond Cutter for the win.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page (still possesses the Battle Bowl Ring)

We go backstage with Mean Gene, Jimmy Hart, and The Giant.  Mean Gene asks Jimmy about his alliance with both The Giant and Lex Luger.  Jimmy gives a non-answer, saying everyone’s worried about it, but Jimmy isn’t.  Jimmy irritates me.  He’s stuck in the 1980s and he really sticks out like a sore thumb in these interviews.  Giant cuts a promo talking about all the stuff he’s done to Luger and his buddies, puts down the Torture Rack and puts over the choke slam.  Gene says that Luger may use the choke slam and his memories of being choke slammed to fuel him in this match.  Giant says he should be scared and they leave it at that.

Match #4: WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Rey Mysterio, Jr. VS “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

Rey comes out to no fanfare, which is going to change very quickly.  It’s interesting to see Rey not get any real pop, since from the moment I saw him, he was very popular.  Of course, this is his first match in WCW, so he’s essentially an unknown (despite spending a little time in ECW before this).

Mike Tenay joins the commentary booth since we’re watching a huge international star.  Glad he came out here instead of for El Gato.

Match starts with a feeling out process, with some arm wrenches, reversals, etc.

I apologize if this match writeup is lacking because I have a feeling a lot of this is going to be hard to transcribe.

20130205_Playlist_JPGGreat volley of moves from Rey springing from the mat to Dean’s shoulders and then getting a quick sunset flip powerbomb that Dean rolls out of and then slingshots Rey to the outside.  Dean heads outside to get Rey but Rey slides quickly back into the ring.  Dean begins attacking the arm and slowing the pace down a bit.  Dean applies an armbar and holds it for a bit until Rey is able to escape by getting to the ropes.  Rey heads to the floor, but Dean wraps his arm in the guardrail and kicks it, further injuring it.

Back in the ring, Rey is in a knuckle lock but walks up the ropes and hits a dropkick.  He charges into the corner and trying to hit a hurracanrana, but Dean pushes him off and Rey flips to his feet to be met with a devastating clothesline from Dean,

Mike tells us that Eddie Guerrero defeated Jushin Liger to win the Super J Cup in NJPW this year.

Dean hits a beautiful hammerlock northern lights suplex, which is the first time I’ve ever seen a move like that.  Dean is soooo good.  It’s too bad he doesn’t have much of a personality, though, or he could have been a big star.  That being said, I am suddenly reminded of the Dean Malenko they tried out in WWF where he was a ladies man, and I’m a bit more okay with his Ice Man, no personality, character that I was at the beginning of this paragraph.

Dean has been controlling this match for a good while now, controlling the arm of Rey Jr.  Dean pulls Rey back into a Romero Special, then drops it and goes into a bridging pin for two.

Rey is able to reverse an Irish whip and send Malenko to the floor.  He hits a springboard somersault to the floor, jumping PAST the mats and taking Malenko down on the concrete and it gets a huge pop.  Back in the ring, Rey gets a springboard dropkick for two and the crowd is now firmly behind Mysterio.  Rey reverses two more moves into near falls, then goes out to the apron and gets a top rope Frankensteiner for two.  Now it’s easy to see why Rey Jr became such a big deal.  We haven’t seen wrestling like this before in WCW.  He goes up top, but Dean follows, and it seems like Dean is trying to do his top rope gutbuster, but Rey turns it into another top rope Frankensteiner.  Dean tries a tilt-a-whirl slam but Rey reverses it into a crossbody block for another two count.  Rey rushes Dean and tries another Frankensteiner, but Dean reverses into a powerbomb and a pin with his feet on the ropes for the win.

Winner: Dean Malenko (still WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

x240-UkZThis was a great match.  The finish worked well, too.  The story of the match was that Dean could barely control Rey, so when Rey got on a roll, Dean did what he needed to do to win the match.  The crowd loved Rey, so this will definitely be a rivalry for the summer if they keep following through with it.

We go to the backstage area with Mean Gene and Lex Luger.  Luger cuts a really subdued promo on The Giant.  He says his mind isn’t on the interview and he’s only there out of respect to WCW and Mean Gene.  He says he’s thinking about the match and that’s where his focus is.

Match #5: Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart VS John Tenta

Jimmy and Bubba come out with what we are to believe is John Tenta’s hair.  Why they still have this is beyond me.  It’s also kinda nasty, if you think about it.

Tenta comes out to no music and no crowd reaction.  Listening to Kevin Sullivan’s podcast, they were really trying to get Tenta over on his own but it’s not happening.

The two start brawling on the floor before the match.  Jimmy is running around holding scissors, and I can only assume that’s not safe at all.

Big Bubba goes down and pulls something out of his pants, nails Tenta with it with an uppercut, then throws it to Jimmy Hart.  Bubba covers and gets two.  Bubba kicks Tenta, who grabs his foot and then is hit with a surprising enziguri from Big Bubba.  Bubba goes for a cover with his feet on the ropes but referee Nick Patrick realizes it at two.  Tenta goes for a scoop slam and then falls down so Bubba can cover him for two again.  Bubba then starts trying to get his hands in Tenta’s mouth, apparently.  I have no idea what was happening there, but it looked like Bubba was trying to force Tenta’s mouth open.

Dusty keeps calling Bubba “Bubber” and it’s annoying.  I wish Heenan was there, as I feel he would make a “Bubber” VS “Blubber” joke.

Bubba controls the match some more and then gets a big belly-to-back suplex.  Bubba goes to the top rope and dives off, but Tenta catches him and powerslams him for the win while Jimmy Hart is dancing on the apron.

Winner: John Tenta

Tenta grabs the scissors from Hart and goes to cut Jimmy’s hair, but Bubba charges them, Tenta moves, and Bubba hits Hart.  Tenta cuts a bit of hair from the goatee of Big Bubba as the heels retreat.  This match was terrible, and Big Bubba controlled every bit of it, which is dumb booking if they’re trying to get Tenta over.

Backstage, Mean Gene has Mongo, Kevin Greene, and their wives.  They cut a quick promo and in comes Macho Man, in ring gear for some reason.  Of course, every time we see Savage, he’s in ring gear…even coming into the arena.  I’m going with the idea that Savage is just ALWAYS in gear.  He cuts a promo, fires everyone up and they all head out to the ring.

Match #6: Falls Count Anywhere: “The Crippler” Chris Benoit VS “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan

During the entrances, Tony brings up the point that this feud is interesting because of how Arn Anderson seems to be siding more with Kevin Sullivan than he is fellow Horseman, Benoit.

Sullivan makes a beeline for the ring, walking with a purpose, but Benoit meets him halfway with a clothesline.  They starts brawling immediately, slamming each other into the guardrail, then the ring apron, the steel steps…

Benoit chops Sullivan three times, but Sullivan no-sells all three and the two of them brawl into the crowd.  They punch and slap each other as they brawl up the steps and head out into the concession area.  They brawl into the men’s room, Sullivan slamming Benoit into the stall doors, then slamming the door on Benoit’s head a few times.  You see the crowd start to spill into the bathroom on the opposite sides with just Randy Anderson and Doug Dillinger to try to stop them.  Sullivan slams Benoit’s head in the door another time for good measure, then double stomps him on the bathroom floor.  Benoit starts teeing off on Sullivan’s head with big right hands, but Sullivan is able to break it off, attempting to put Benoit’s head in the urinal.  Benoit fights that off, slams Sullivan’s head in the door, then they slam each other into the wall.

Dusty goes nuts when a woman appears in the men’s room.

Sullivan slams Benoit’s head into the metal door of the utility closet, then slams Benoit with a plastic bag full of toilet paper.  Benoit tries to suffocate Sullivan with the plastic bag, then they start brawling out into the hallway again, with tons of people lining the way and making it hard for security to keep the crowd from the wrestlers.

Sullivan pushes Benoit down the steps and Benoit takes a spill for about ten steps or so before Sullivan picks him up and tosses him down a few more.  Sullivan stomps Benoit in the crotch for good measure.  Benoit gets back to his feet and starts firing off rights again as they hit the arena floor.  They begin to trade blows at the guardrail, then Sullivan picks Benoit up and crotches him on the steel guardrail and clotheslines him off.  Sullivan grabs a chair and throws it at Benoit’s head.  Benoit returns the previous favor and crotches Sullivan on the guardrail, then goes under the ring for a table.  Benoit seems to have some trouble getting the table from under the ring, so he whips Sullivan into the guardrail and then tosses him into the crowd.

Benoit is able to get the table, finally, and tosses it into Sullivan to buy some more time.  Benoit gets the table into the ring and sets it up in the corner.  Sullivan whips Benoit into the table, tries to jump into Benoit, but Benoit moves and Sullivan hits the table.  Benoit bridges the table over the top ropes in the corner.  Sullivan backdrops Benoit onto the table, then follows him up.  Benoit stands, pulls Sullivan to the top and hits a superplex off of the table for the win.

Winner: Chris Benoit

“He didn’t win, he survived!” – Tony Schiavone

Benoit slaps Sullivan around for a bit more, and out comes Arn Anderson.  Anderson pulls Benoit off of Sullivan forcefully and Benoit gets in his face.  Anderson motions for him to hold on a moment, then Anderson punts Sullivan and the crowd erupts as Benoit and Anderson double team Sullivan.  Out comes the Dungeon of Doom, but the Horsemen retreat, arms in the air, 4 fingers held high!

Good match, brutal and violent, and put the Horsemen back together with Benoit firmly cemented.  This is basically Benoit’s real “introduction” into the Horsemen, since we haven’t really seen him be too involved since he became one.  I like it.

We go back to Mean Gene, who is in the locker room alone with Woman and Liz.  I’m going to set a timer to see how long it takes Gene to make an inappropriate or sexually suggestive comment.

In comes Double A and Ric Flair.  Arn brings in Benoit.  Arn says there have been wannabes who have wanted to be Horsemen, but they’re out of here.  He says Benoit proved himself as a Horseman.  Arn says Benoit severed the head of the snake and earned his stripes.  He says that the Horsemen and the DoD are now officially at war.  Benoit says he warned Sullivan not to mess with the Horsemen.

“Football players…you want a visual aid?  You just got it!” – Arn Anderson

Flair puts over everyone, ending with Bobby Heenan.  Heenan says that Gene has been insinuating that Heenan is terrified about Macho Man, Heenan says he’s not scared.

“There’s a lot of things that Macho Man would like to do that he can’t do anymore.  Right, Liz?  Wooooo!” – Ric Flair

They finish their promo and head out.  Damn, I loved this!  Benoit legitimized as a Horseman, Flair’s final line…damn, I loved this!

Match #7: Lord Steven Regal w/ Jeeves VS Sting

Sting starts off strong with a right hand and then more chops and punches in the corner before sending Regal to the floor.  He sends him to the guardrail and then back body drops him as Regal makes a rush at him.  Back in ring, Regal nails a quick succession of European uppercuts, rocking Sting and sending him to the mat.  Sting comes back with a Japanese armdrag off of an Irish whip and Regal heads to the floor to jaw with the crowd in the front row.

Coming back into the ring, Regal apologizes for the slap and offers his hand to Sting.  Sting shakes his pelvis at Regal and then acts like he’s about to charge, freaking Regal out for a few moments.  It was a very weird exchange, honestly.

x240-l4nRegal takes over with a full nelson until Sting breaks out and is able to get a sunset flip.  Regal overacts fighting to stay standing during this way too much.  I really like Regal, but this match he’s looking like a bit of a buffoon when WCW should be using this to make him an uppercarder.  Regal ties Sting up in a side headlock and fires off a European uppercut and some punches again, then does this weird dance around to celebrate.  I’ve never seen Regal act this weird.

Tony reminds us of the two matches Regal had with the Belfast Brawler at Uncensored and the next night on Nitro, and I am immediately wishing for THAT Regal to show up in this match.  That Regal, against Sting, would be amazing.

Regal has been controlling this match basically since right after Sting’s opening attack.  It really is interesting that Regal never really made it out of the midcard.  He’s super charismatic. He’s a great wrestler.  He could have been the total package, honestly.  Maybe it’s due to the silliness in this match that he never got taken seriously.  Yeah, that’s what I’m going to go with.  It’s the ONLY explanation I can offer as to why he shouldn’t be a megastar and former World Champion.

Sting sends Regal into the corner, Regal jumps out and eats an awesome Sting dropkick and then two running clotheslines!  Sting goes up top but Regal follows him with a dangerous looking top rope butterfly suplex for two.  Regal follows with the Regal Stretch right in the center of the WCW crosshairs.  For some reason, Regal just lets go and stands up because Sting hasn’t given up in ten seconds.  Damn, Regal, just stay in the thing until he does!

Regal backs Sting into the corner and fires off chops and punches, which shows Regal hasn’t watched too many Sting matches.  Sting gets pissed off and starts firing off punches.  By this point, Sting’s facepaint is completely gone, which is actually pretty cool.  I almost would have liked to see Sting start wrestling without the facepaint as it’s an interesting look, truthfully.  Sting goes for a Stinger Splash but Regal gets his knees up.  Sting is able to take Regal down with a backdrop as Regal comes out of the corner.  He locks on the Scorpion Deathlock for the win.

Winner: Sting

Tony sends us to a promo for Bash at the Beach, coming up in three weeks (AKA whenever I am able to actually get to the thing).

Match #8: Grudge Match: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Bobby “the Brain” Heenan, Woman & Ms. Elizabeth VS Kevin Greene & Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/ “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Debra McMichael, Tara Greene & Pepe

During the entrances, Flair and Anderson keep turning around and looking to the entrance for Heenan, but he is finally introduced on his own at the very end of the Horsemen entrance.

Mongo & Greene apparently get their own WCW entrance music.  I couldn’t tell exactly what it was saying, but I did make out something about “WCW tag team” and “Mongo and Kevin Greene.”

Tony tells us that due to requests from the fans of WCW, tomorrow we will see Macho Man reinstated into WCW.

Greene & Mongo start off doing dropdown drills before we start off the match with Mongo and Double A.  Tony calls Mongo & Greene the “athletes of the 90s.” Tony lays down some foreshadowing here when he talks about asking why Mongo finished his career with the Green Bay Packers when they’re the rivals of the Chicago Bears, which is the team Mongo is most associated with.  Mongo’s answer?  Money.  Remember that, folks.

Mongo’s first offensive move is a clothesline from a three point stance.  This is preceded and followed by a lot of standing around and posing.  Mongo and Double A both go down into three point stances again, but when Mongo charges, Arn drops him with a drop toehold and an elbow to the back of the head.  Mongo does surprise Double A with a fling shoulder block from the second rope, though.  Arn and Greene stomp Arn until he’s able to escape the ring, but he’s then punched by Macho Man.  Bobby hits the apron to complain but is chased off by Savage.

After some more gaga, Mongo tags out to Kevin Greene.  Greene does some drop down drills in the middle of the ring for no damn reason, but it fires up the crowd.  Double A tags out to Flair, who comes in stylin’ and profilin’.  Flair wants to get down in three point stance, Greene goes down and Flair stomps him in the top of the head.  He backs Greene into the corner and hits some chops, but Greene shoves him off and shoulder blocks Flair out of his boots.  Arn comes in and gets some of the same. Flair hits the ground and heads to the back as Kevin Greene starts strutting in the ring.  Macho Man nails Flair from behind and sends him back into the ring into the waiting arms of Kevin Greene.  Greene whips him into the far ropes, body drops him, then hits a pair of flying clotheslines before tagging out to Mongo.  Flair runs to Double A, but Mongo rushes Arn and cuts off the tag.  Flair begs off, then finds his confidence, wooo’s, and tries a shoulder block and eats canvas twice as a result.  Flair lures Mongo into the corner and kicks him in the gut.  He follows with a chop and Mongo channels the Stinger, no-sells them, asks for more, fires up and chases Flair into the opposite corner for a trifecta of chops and a hiptoss.

Flair is finally able to cut Mongo off with a thumb to the eyes, then, as usual, forgets he’s Ric Flair and goes up top.  Mongo sends him crashing off the top and then applies the Figure 4 to Ric Flair.  Arn rushes in, Kevin Greene meets him with a shoulder block and applies his own Figure 4 to Arn!  Woman rakes the eyes of Mongo, breaking up that hold, and all four of the women get in each other’s faces as Woman and Liz back Debra & Tara towards the entrance.

Flair breaks Double A out of the Figure 4 he’s in and then Arn and Mongo get into it, despite the fact that Arn never got tagged in.  Nice heel tactics to use the confusion to their advantage.  Arn tags Flair in and he kicks Mongo in the gut and then chops him, punches him in the gut and sends him to the floor to the waiting boots of Arn Anderson.  Macho Man chases Arn off, but like Dusty says, it’s too late, the damage has been done.  Flair sends Mongo to the floor and, as he casually walks by, Heenan gets a kick in on Mongo.  Savage chases him off and rolls Mongo back into the ring.  Mongo is throttling Flair but the referee’s back is turned and Flair gets in a low blow, followed by a knee drop before tagging out to Arn.  Arn comes in with a kick to the lower abdomen and a choke on the second rope to Mongo.

Arn and Flair double suplex Mongo and both go to choke him, but Greene comes in to knock Arn off of the pile. Flair sends Mongo to the corner but Mongo comes out with a nice hook clothesline.  Flair tags out to Arn, who comes in with a stomp to Mongo.  Arn goes for a clothesline, Mongo ducks, atomic drops Arn and sends him into an incoming Flair, and is finally able to get a very weak hot tag to Greene.  Greene comes in with two low tackles to Arn, a powerslam and a backdrop to Flair, but he doesn’t follow up any of his moves with a cover.  Greene sends Flair to the corner, Flair flips over it, runs down the apron into an awaiting big boot from Mongo.  Greene suplexes Flair back into the ring but again doesn’t capitalize with a cover, so Arn comes in with a chop block and takes out Greene.  Flair and Arn double team him, cutting off the tag, and Flair goes for a Figure 4 but is rolled up by Greene for two.  Greene applies a side headlock but Arn drops him with a knee breaker and then finally locks in the Figure 4 well into the Horsemen territory.  Arn is helping Flair add leverage to the Figure 4, but is attacked by Macho Man.  This brings out Benoit and Savage is double teamed by Arn and Benoit.

We cut to the entry way and out comes Debra McMichael, dressed in a beautiful pink dress, flanked by Woman and Liz.  She’s holding a silver briefcase and approaches her husband, opening the briefcase to reveal a Horseman shirt and a lot of cash.  Greene reaches out for the tag, Mongo shuts the briefcase and nails Greene with it.  Flair covers for the win.

Winners: Ric Flair and Arn Anderson

After the match, Mongo gets in Savage’s face and Savage is attacked from behind by Flair.  The Horsemen, a true foursome now, attack the downed Savage.  Mongo puts on the Horsemen shirt, shakes hands with Flair and Arn, and the Horsemen celebrate in the ring with the ladies and Heenan.

Tony reiterates the story about why Mongo jumped ship to the Packers for money, making sure we know that Mongo is a sellout.

I’ve given Mongo a lot of shit in the past about being a bad Horseman, but after this match, I’m honestly not against it.  I like it.  I’m interested to see Mongo’s wrestling career in this new light.

Tony sends us to Eric Bischoff at the entry way and says we’re going to hear about the attacks on WCW.  Bischoff mentions the “interruptions” starting on 5/27, and says that he mentioned last week that WCW would give them an answer.  He doesn’t call them by name, saying “I know who they are” and calls them out.  Out comes Hall and Nash to the stage.

The two flank Bischoff.  Bischoff says he’s got some questions that need to be resolved.  He says he was in the WCW offices, says if they want a war in the ring, they’re going to get it.  Hall says “they fell into the trap, big man!”  Bischoff says it’ll be at Bash at the Beach, in July, in Daytona.  Hall says he’s free.

Bischoff asks if they work for the WWF.  Both men say no.  Hall says to forget about the past.  They’re here now.  He wants to know who the three men are.  Is it the Macho Man?  The “Huckster?”  Hall says the “big man” and the “medium size man,” and their surprise buddy will carve WCW up.  Hall asks for the three men, Bischoff says he’ll tell them tomorrow on Nitro.  Hall says you don’t jack them around, punches Bischoff in the gut, and turns him to Kevin Nash who jackknife powerbombs him off of the stage.  Hall grabs the mic and says “the real big boys…they just left the building.”

bischoff-and-the-outsiders-o

This is probably the biggest image of the invasion (before Bash at the Beach) outside of Hall arriving the first night.  Bischoff had only been an announcer at this point.  We didn’t even know he ran WCW right now unless you read the dirtsheets, but now these outsiders have attacked an announcer.  They’ve set this up so nicely thus far.  I can’t wait for the Bash!

We go back to Tony and Dusty, and Tony looks concerned and goes off camera, leaving Dusty alone.  Dusty cuts a promo on the Outsiders, saying that WCW will be ready.  He mentions McMichaels and the Horsemen again, then sends it off to Michael Buffer, after mistakenly sending it to David Penzer.

Match #9: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: “The Total Package” Lex Luger (WCW Television and Tag Team Champion) VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

Luger stops during his entrance and checks on Bischoff.  This is actually a bit more of a babyface move than Luger has been pulling off recently, which is interesting.

There is also no ring announcing during the entrances.  Buffer waits until they’re in the ring.  I was starting to wonder if they had forgot.

Luger starts the match off running towards Giant, but eats a big boot and some stomps for his trouble.  Luger fires back, clotheslining Giant and sending him out of the ring.  Giant pulls Lex out of the ring, press slams him and sends him back between the second and top rope.  Luger tees off on the Giant as he tries to get into the ring, kicking and punching him.  Luger has Giant staggered, then dives off of the second rope into what I can assume will be a sleeper, but he doesn’t get it, then has to jump back up and apply the sleeper.  Giant backs Lex into the corner where Jimmy Hart is poised to strike with the megaphone.  As Hart draws back, out comes Sting.  He grabs the megaphone and chases Jimmy to the back.

Giant is able to get Luger off of him, tying him in the tree of woe and kicking him in the gut, eliciting the loudest grunts from Luger imaginable.  Luger is a lot like Foley in that he yells and grunts with each move, offensive and defensive.  Giant chokes him with his boot in the corner and yells at Nick Patrick for trying to break it up.  Giant sends Luger to the corner and drops him with a backbreaker and then pushes down on Luger across his knee.  Giant keeps on Luger’s back with a surfboard.  Luger tries a bodyslam but Giant is too much and Luger crashes to the mat.

There is an interesting spot where Luger is on the apron, Giant rushes trying to knock him off, and Luger ducks, pulling down the top rope.  This would normally result in Giant tumbling to the floor, but Giant takes the ropes gut first and bounces back.  I don’t’ know if Giant didn’t know what he was supposed to do, or if he just called an audible.  Lex jumps into the ring with a dropkick and then staggers Giant, sending him down to one knee at one point, then in the corner.  Giant goes to splash Luger in the corner, but Luger moves and Giant ends up laying on the top ropes in the corner.  Luger kicks him a few times, turning him from his stomach to his back, and then Luger picks up The Giant in the Torture Rack.  Giant’s weight seems to finally be too much and Luger crashes down, Giant dropping on top of him.  It was actually really convincing looking.  Giant picks Luger up, chokeslam, and the win.

Winner: The Giant (still WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Tony tells us that we’ll have the information about the Bash at the Beach as well as the information about Eric Bischoff on Nitro tomorrow and then sends us off the air.

 

Honestly, pretty humdrum PPV until the last half.  Mysterio made a nice debut and had a great match with Malenko, one I know for a fact we’ll see in three weeks at the Bash at the Beach.  Benoit and Sullivan ignited their war and a war between factions and cemented himself as a true Horseman.  Mongo was added to the Horsemen in what was actually a really good match and a really cool ending.  Sure, they had to have Savage and Heenan and the ladies out there to cover for the shortcomings of the two football players, but I liked the way it played out, especially bookended by Tony talking about Mongo leaving to Green Bay for money.  It gave us a reason for him joining the Horsemen out of nowhere and made him an instant heel.

The Outsiders taking out Bischoff is one of those moments that will be burned into my memory.  I didn’t get to see it live…this is actually the first time I’ve watched this PPV, but I remember seeing it on Nitro and actually being shocked by it.  I wasn’t used to wrestlers beating up announcers.  It just wasn’t done.  I can’t wait until they get into the stuff over the next few weeks, including jumping everyone backstage and ruining Nitro in a few weeks.

The Main Event was whatever and if it hadn’t featured the Championship, I would have argued that the football match should have gone on last.

We’ll be back soon with a recap of Nitro on the following night as we march towards Bash at the Beach as well as towards finally catching up.  You’re going to be hearing from Derick and Phillip over the next few weeks, so get ready for that!

Until next time, WCW fans!

Shane

 

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.

—–—

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!

 

KoaNitro copyIt’s time, once again, for another WCW Monday Nitro recap from your friends here at Kick Out at 2! This episode comes from Nashville, TN, and is the go home show to Slamboree.

Eric Bischoff starts the night off telling us that Luger will get a THIRD title shot tonight.  He missed last week and apparently missed one on Saturday Night the week before.  We go to footage showing that Lex camped out last night in Nashville so that he wouldn’t miss the match tonight.

Pepe is in a cape, sunglasses and Elvis wig.

Match #1: Public Enemy VS The Steiner Brothers

Public Enemy gets the jobber entrance with no music during the opening of the show.  You can see them walking past the announcers during the opening.

The Steiners are almost in matching gear tonight, something that usually doesn’t happen.  Scott is wearing a two-tone single that is half patterned, half solid, or they would be matching.

Bischoff says that Savage has been fined $50,000 for slapping and elbow dropping the referee last week and has also been barred from the building.  Heenan reminds us that in six days, we’ll see the Steiners go against each other at Lethal Lottery.  Tonight, though, they’re in tandem, as Scott starts off with Rocco Rock, gorilla pressing him into Grunge and setting them both up for a giant double Steinerline from Rick.  Public Enemy regroup outside and Scott tags out to Rick.  Grunge gets a few punches in but Rick catches him on an Irish whip and carries him over with a suplex.  I love that Rick Steiner catch suplex.  Scott tags in, Irish whip, belly to belly suplex!

All four men go to the floor.  Public Enemy bring Rick back in, trying to set him up for a double team, but Rick moves and Rocco nailes Grunge.  Rocco goes up top but Rick hits the rope, crotches him on the top and suplexes him off before tagging out to Scott.  Scott hits a tilt-a-whirl slam and takes Rocco Rock up top.  Grunge slams Steiner down and Rocco hits a dive off of the top before tagging out to Grunge.

Bischoff says that Mongo had a run-in with Ric Flair backstage last week.  Mongo starts to talk about it but just plays it off, saying there’s something in the works.

Grunge goes for a flipping senton to Scott Steiner, but Scotty moves and Grunge eats canvas.  Scott tags out to Rick, who gets the hot tag with two clotheslines to both members of PE and then two belly to belly suplexes.

Bischoff tells us that on May 27th, Nitro will start at 8 PM and go for TWO hours!  My work load doubles in just a few days it seems.

Back in the ring, Scott Steiner sends Rocco Rock to the ropes, FRANKENSTEINER!

Winners: The Steiner Brothers

Commercial break and back for our next match.

Match #2: Squire David Talyor w/ Jeeves VS “The Canadian Crippler” Chris Benoit

Bischoff mentions that on Saturday Night, we saw the return of Diamond Dallas Page.  They mention that now he has a “benefactor.”  He got an attorney, a limo, a new outfit, and thanks to a loophole, he’s back!  This is the DDP angle I remember, finally!

Benoit and Taylor start off locked up and going all the way around the ring.  Taylor goes for the leg but Benoit rolls out.  Heenan tells us that Benoit is a bit pissed at Arn Anderson now and he’s really angry at Kevin Sullivan, who he blames for the breakup of the Horsemen.  Heenan says that Benoit got in the faces of both Anderson and Kevin Sullivan and even Anderson took a step back.

Bischoff pulls a Poochie the Dog and says hello to Hulk Hogan.

In the ring, Benoit has turned the match towards his pace, taking over, slamming Taylor into the turnbuckle and hitting a hard chop.  Whip to the corner and Benoit charges in, but Taylor moves and meets Benoit with a European uppercut, sending Benoit to the floor.  Taylor follows and beats down Benoit on the floor a bit.

Bischoff lets us know that “Hard Work” Bobby Walker was injured and now DDP is in the Lethal Lottery.

Benoit goes up top but Taylor catches him, dropping him to the mat and then following up with a fall-away slam for two.

We hear that Randy Savage is outside.  Mongo says he wants to talk to him and bolts.

Benoit hooks a full nelson…Dragon Suplex for the win.

Winner: Chris Benoit

Back from commercial, we’re outside with Mean Gene, Doug Dillinger, Mongo, and Macho Man.  Macho is angry that he can’t get into the arena, but Mongo runs out and says that Flair has another enemy.  He tells Savage to chill out because he’s got a plan.

Gene tells Savage that he’s lost his mind.  Savage says he’s going to take WCW and turn it upside down.  Savage says he doesn’t care about the money.

“Don’t tell me where I’m going because you don’t know where I’ve been!  YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE I’VE BEEN!”

Gene tells Savage that he’s got to partner with Flair at Slamboree.  Savage says he has no problem dragging a dead tag team partner to the ring and winning the Lethal Lottery by himself.  Gene says that WCW has advised Savage to seek professional help.

Commerical break.  “Our world is about to change.  Blood Runs Cold!”

Match #3: VK Wallstreet VS “Nature Boy” Ric Flair w/ Woman & Ms. Elizabeth

Bischoff says that he’s heard a lot of talk about Mongo and Kevin Green, formally of the Green Bay Packers, now of the Carolina Panthers.  Mongo says that there’s a plan, but he’s not going to tell us about it where Flair can hear about it.

Flair and Wallstreet start off pretty evenly matched.  Wallstreet pretty much takes over the match, though, although through means that aren’t super impressive.  This isn’t a bad match in any way, but it’s one of WCW’s weird heel VS heel matches that no one can really get into.  If anything, Flair’s probably more over since it’s in Nashville.  Wallstreet just has no damn charisma as this character.

Wallstreet hits the Samoan drop he uses as a finish but only gets two when Woman puts Flair’s foot on the ropes.  Wallstreet is wrestling like a babyface, honestly.  Clean, scientific, and only on the losing end due to the ladies in Flair’s corner.

Wallstreet goes for a kneelift outside while Flair is leaning on the post, but Flair moves and Wallstreet takes the post knee first.  Flair wraps Wallstreet’s knee around the ring post a few times and then locks on the Figure 4, with Woman giving him leverage.

Winner: Ric Flair

Gene meets up with Flair and the ladies over at the VIP section.  Gene says Flair isn’t doing much to endear himself to Nashville.  Flair says Nashville hasn’t seen him since he made Dolly Parton ride Space Mountain.  Flair says he heard Savage say he would drag a dead man to the ring.  He started kissing Liz up and down her arms, making her visibly uncomfortable.  Woman plays this role SO much better than Liz.  Liz just looks like a deer in the headlights during these segments.  Gene brings up Debra McMichael.  Flair says he stayed up all night, throwing touchdown passes, then grabs the ladies and says “look at my wide receivers!”  I love the constant idea that Ric Flair is banging these women nightly.

Off to commercial and back to our Main Event.

Match #4: WCW World Heavyweight Championship – “Total Package” Lex Luger VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

Both men get the jobber entrance as we start with referee Nick Patrick raising the title and starting the match.  Giant starts off clotheslining the crap out of Luger.  Luger ducks a third clothesline and attempts to bodyslam The Giant, but Giant shoves him off and sends him out to the floor.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Lex hang out on the floor for most of the match, hasn’t it?  Guess we’re getting ready to turn him full babyface soon so we gotta stop that.

Lex comes off the top but Giant catches him and slams him into the corners a few times.  Giant sends him into the corner and chokes him with his boot.  Lex ducks a couple of clotheslines and fires him back with the bionic forearm to no avail.  Bischoff says that was the forearm that took out Yokozuna and left him laying for ten minutes.  Interesting to hear Bischoff talk about a WWF guy by name and it not involve ruining Raw results.

Quick cut to the VIP section, which is a table setup off of the ring, where Flair and the ladies are eating and drinking.  Lex tries the forearm again to no avail again.  Giant takes Lex over to the VIP section, clears the table, and choke slams Lex through the table while Flair goes ballistic.  He and the ladies hightail it, though.  Nick Patrick calls for the bell to end the match while Jimmy Hart tries desperately to reign in The Giant.  Sting runs out to help Luger as The Giant finally heads to the back.

Winner: Double Count Out

Gene tries to go over to where Luger is and Sting yells at him and tells him “not now!”  The end of the match is replayed to absolute silence.

“Well, I’ll talk if no one else is!” – Bobby Heenan

Heenan asks when the last time we saw Lex Luger manhandled like this.  Bischoff says that if Sting needed motivation for the title match at Slamboree, he has it now.  Heenan says that Sting can’t go into the match thinking about Luger.  He needs to go in thinking about his own body.  Bischoff sends us off the air selling Slamboree.

 

Another really good episode.  Slamboree, and more importantly the Lethal Lottery, is a hard sell since none of the teams are normal partners.  The only match they can really sell is Giant VS Sting, so they spend the Luger match building up to that.  They’re pushing certain story lines through the Lethal Lottery, like DDP, Benoit and Sullivan, Flair and Savage, and the Steiners wrestling each other for the first time, but they didn’t spend a lot of time really building up to the Lethal Lottery itself.  I would have liked to see some more interactions between these makeshift teams.  Or, if you’re not going to let them wrestle before Lethal Lottery, just toss out a throwaway line mentioning that the WCW Championship Committee has ruled that none of the teams can partner up BEFORE the Pay Per View.  There, taken care of.

I’m interested in Slamboree because of the Lethal Lottery concept, but that’s about it.  I’m certain Sting VS Giant will be an okay match.  I am interested to see the Cruiserweight title match to see who is getting the shot.  All in all I’m intrigued, but in all honesty, I’m mostly intrigued for what is coming in two short weeks (in 1996 time) on 5/27.  I’m gearing everyone up for that so I’m getting excited to see what my fellow Ko@2 members have to say about that show.

Join me back here soon (within the next day or so) for Slamboree!  Until next time!

Shane

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 3.5

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.3

(Raw – 16, Nitro – 14) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

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

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

 

Nitro up a little, Raw down a little, but still a full point+ victory for Vince. 

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

Ahmed Johnson defeated Zip (w/ Sunny & Skip)

Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Duke Droese

Justin Bradshaw (w/ Uncle Zebakiah) defeated Aldo Montoya

Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley (20:00)

HBK and HHH looks like it could be a really good match, especially going 20 minutes.  Interesting to see HHH getting the main event on a Raw after the Curtain Call at the Garden, though.  Of course, he loses to the champ, but that’s to be expected, de-push or no.