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

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

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

Match #1: Booker T VS Scott Steiner

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

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

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

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

Winner: Scott Steiner

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

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

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

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

Match #2: Jim Powers VS Diamond Dallas Page

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

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

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

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

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

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

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

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

Match #3: Meng VS Sting

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

Winner: Sting

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: The Giant

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Lord Steven Regal

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

Match #7: The Nasty Boys VS Public Enemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Public Enemy (via DQ)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: No Contest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

-Shane

 

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.7

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.6

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

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

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

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

 

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

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: John Tenta via count out.

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

Off to commercial and back to our second match.

Match #2: High Voltage VS The Faces of Fear

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

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

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

Winners: The Faces of Fear

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Craig Pittman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Lord Steven Regal

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Kevin Sullivan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bischoff: We’ll be waiting with bated breath.

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

Heenan cracks me up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Ric Flair & Arn Anderson

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

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

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

glacier-is-coming-to-wcw

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

We get yet ANOTHER freaking Hulk Hogan promo!  Ugh!

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

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

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

Winner: The Giant (still WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Scott Norton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, fans!

-Shane

 

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.3

WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.0

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

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

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

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

 

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

 

WWF Raw results from this week

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

Mankind defeated Barry Horowitz with the Mandible Claw.

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Arn Anderson and Ric Flair

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

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

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

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

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

Commercial break.

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

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

Winner: No Contest

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Lex Luger (still WCW Television Champion)

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

Commercial break and we’re back with…

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

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

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

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

Brain: Yes, I know what film is.

Man, I love Heenan.

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

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

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

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

Winner: Bobby Walker

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

Back from commercial and heading into our next match.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Lord Steven Regal

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

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

Match #7: Scott Steiner VS Sting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heenan is so amazing.

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

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

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

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

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

First up, Phillip:

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

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

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

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

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

And now for Robbie:

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

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

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

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

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

Until tomorrow, wrestling fans.

-Shane

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.3

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.8

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

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

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

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

 

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

—–—

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 copyHello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Kick Out at Nitro!  Tonight’s episode comes to us from Monroe, Louisiana, and is the fall out show from Slamboree, 1996!  It is also the first episode of what will be considered Volume 3 of this project.  The show kicks off with Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan, sans Steve McMichael!  Finally…a Nitro with NO MONGO!  Bischoff explains that Mongo’s disappearance is due to him answering Ric Flair’s challenge last night and we’re taken to video from the altercation last night between Flair, Anderson, Mongo and his partner, Kevin Greene.

Match #1: Fire & Ice VS The Steiner Brothers

Oh man!  The last time this match happened, awesome things happened!

Bischoff tells us that since WCW officials know Ric Flair will be here tonight in a match against Eddie Guerrero, Randy Savage has been barred from the building tonight as a result from last night at Slamboree.

Scott Steiner starts the match off against Ice Train.  Scott and Ice Train start off very hard hitting and competitive, with some big slams and clotheslines, just like last time.  Scott finishes the volley off with a belly to belly suplex off of an Irish whip and both teams tag out, bringing in Rick Steiner and Scott Norton.  Norton gets Rick down and hits a big top rope splash, followed by a series of massive clotheslines.  Since clotheslines are normally a Steiner thing, Rick takes exception to them and nails Norton with a German suplex and a Steinerline of his own.  He tags out to Scott who gets a few kicks in and then a Tiger Suplex.  Scott sends him out of the ring and comes off of the top rope with a double axe handle from the top rope to the floor.  Steiner is hit by a Samoan drop off of an Irish hip and Norton tags out to Ice Train.  Steiner is able to get a back body drop on Ice Train and tags out to Rick.  Rick and Ice train take each other out with a double clothesline, Ice Train tags out to Norton and the two hit Rick Steiner with a tandem shoulder block.  At this point, all hell breaks loose as all four men end up brawling around the ring.  As Rick and Ice Train brawl, Norton lifts Scott Steiner into a shoulder breaker, but Scott answers with a German suplex to the floor.  Referee Nick Patrick calls for the bell as both teams continue to brawl.

Winners: Double Count Out

Quick commercial for the June issue of WCW Magazine, which will have coverage of UnCensored, showing that WCW Magazine is only three months behind in their coverage now, apparently.

Match #2: Eddie Guerrero VS “Nature Boy” Ric Flair w/ Woman & Ms. Elizabeth

Bischoff tells us that Mongo is training for the match with Flair and Anderson.  Bobby asks if their training involves sitting on wooden benches and waiting for the water boy.

Bischoff reminds us that last night Arn Anderson DDT’d his partner for Battle Bowl, Eddie Guerrero, then was covered by Ric Flair to eliminate him.

Damn, there are some rough looking people in the arena and they’re all being highlighted in this match.

The match starts off with a lock up and Eddie taking it to a headlock take over, then springing off of the ropes with another.  Flair attempts to roll Eddie into a cover for two, but Eddie rolls back out.  Flair is finally able to break the headlock and the two bounce off the ropes for a moment until Eddie hits him with a dropkick and takes him back over with another headlock take over.

They’ve put Eddie with Flair quite a few times over the last few months.  I wonder if Flair saw something in Eddie and requested to keep working with him or if it’s just coincidence.

Eddie and Flair get into a chop/punch fest in the corners that heats the match up.  Eddie gets about five good punches and some chops in before they volley back and forth a few more times.  Eddie is really looking good here.  They go back and forth a bit more and Eddie gets a quick succession of drop kicks that sends Flair out to the floor.  Flair makes a bee-line for his “VIP section” and grabs a chair, heading back to the ring but running afoul of Referee Randy Anderson, who is having none of Flair’s nonsense.

Bischoff says that Flair was bragging last night that all he wanted to accomplish was costing Savage a shot at the World Championship, which he did.

Flair comes back into the ring and Eddie gets a shoulder tackle and fires off a bunch of ground and pound punches before heading to the floor and strutting, mocking Flair.  Eddie’s chest is visibly red from Flair’s chops.  Eddie gets Flair down and begging off but is caught with a thumb to the eyes as Nitro goes on commercial break.  Back from break, Flair is in charge with a reverse headlock but Eddie is able to fight out of it and shoulder tackle Flair down and get him with a trio of quick clotheslines before going up to the top rope for a sunset flip.  Flair fights it off but Eddie pulls him down by his trunks but only for a two count.  Flair backs off and Eddie goes for a few mounted punches in the corner but Flair drops him with a reverse atomic drop, taking the lead again.

Flair is making Eddie look like a million bucks.  Take note guys…this is how you elevate mid-card talent up to main event status.  Flair is letting us see that Eddie is able to hang with him and it’s looking great.  Eddie gets a quick roll up but only for two.  Flair answers with some punches and a back suplex that puts both men on the mat for a while.

Heenan says that Mongo and Kevin Greene are going to have a hard time coming to WCW and pretending they can do what Flair and Double A do, but Flair and Anderson could put on the helmet and pads and lead the NHL in tackles and sacks.

Flair goes for the Figure 4 but Eddie gets out and puts Flair in his own Figure 4 until Flair gets to the ropes.  Flair heads to the floor and Eddie tries to come off the top to the floor, but Flair moves and Eddie hits the guard rail hard, coming down holding his knee.  Flair follows with a vertical suplex to the floor and heads back into the ring.

Bischoff mentions the Great American Bash in Baltimore, saying that Baltimore is also going to get an NFL team.  Wow, we’re in a world where the Ravens don’t exist yet.

Bischoff comments on Flair being a 13 time champion and Heenan says “well, 15 if you count those two in…” before being cut off by Bischoff saying “We don’t count THOSE two championships!”  So, this answers my questions from previous installments about Flair’s title reigns.  He’s currently at 15 of his 16 titles.

Eddie and Flair continue their back and forth with a big spot including Eddie dropkicking Flair to the floor.  Flair chops Eddie in the corner but Eddie gets a thumb to Flair’s eye and gets a tornado DDT out of the corner, following it with a head scissors that he walked the top rope to hit.  Eddie slams Flair and nails a big Frog Splash, but Eddie bounces off of Flair holding his knee.  Flair oddly flops around, but is able to stand up and pulls on Eddie’s injured knee before, of course, pulling him into the Figure 4 with Eddie’s back in the center of the ring.  Flair stretches back, getting leverage from Woman, while Eddie’s shoulders lay on the mat for a three count.

Winner: Ric Flair

After the replay of the match, we go to the VIP table with Flair, Woman, Liz, and Mean Gene.  Gene says he’s heard that Savage is in the arena.  Flair says Savage is in jail for trying to break up an evening with Flair and the ladies.  Flair says he’s teaching Savage’s wife a new way of life.  Flair says Mongo’s wife follows him around like he owes her money.  He says the reason Mongo isn’t here is because Arn Anderson ran him off.  He says Kevin Greene made two mistakes…coming into North Carolina without his permission and thinking he can cross-train football and wrestling like he cross-trains the girls.  At Baltimore, there will be TWO former NFL stars because Greene isn’t going to make minicamp this year.  He grabs a bottle of champagne and heads off.

After a commercial break, we come back to the announce booth where Flair is sitting there with candles, two plates of food, and champagne.  Flair is lighting the candles for Flair and making sure everything is going okay.  Flair says Ted Turner saw him at the both twice and wants him there more often.  He says Jane (Foster) loves Naitch, just ask around Atlanta.

Match #3: WCW Tag Team Championship Match: The Faces of Fear (Meng & The Barbarian) VS Sting & Lex Luger (WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Luger starts off with Meng and is quickly taken down by Meng with a quick drop toehold.

Bischoff asks if Flair has ever been in the ring with an NFL great like Steve McMichael.  Flair says he’s the man who tamed Wahoo McDaniel and retired the “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd.  They go to commercial as Flair sings “Debbie does the Nature Boy.”

We come back from commercial break to Sting powering out of being double teamed, but he’s quickly taken back down and getting beaten down by Meng, who tags out to Barbarian to take over.  Barbarian quick tags back to Meng after a few stomps and a choke.  Meng gets a few chops and tags back out to Barbarian, for a double-team of an Atomic Drop and a mafia kick.  Barbarian covers but Luger is able to make the save.  Sting is slammed down hard off of the top rope by Barbarian, who tags out to Meng and both men go up top and come off with flying headbutts to Sting.  Meng makes the cover, but Luger takes his time getting out of the ring, allowing the ref to make the count late and Sting to kick out.

Flair and Heenan are constantly bothering Bischoff at the announce booth, eating and passing around champagne.  Bischoff asks how they can sit here and eat and drink during a match and Flair asks how he can sit here anyway when there are parties to get to just around every corner.

Barbarian goes for another Splash, but Sting moves and is able to get the tag to Luger, who comes in and cleans house.  Sting covers Barbarian for two but it’s broken up.  Barbarian takes Sting up to the top rope while Meng and Luger battle on the floor.  Luger grabs Barbarian’s legs and allows Sting to punch him off the top rope and follow him with a top rope splash.  Luger rolls in and gets the three count.

Winners: Sting & Lex Luger (Still WCW World Tag Team Champions)

Bischoff tells Flair that Savage is here and we’re going to hear from him next.  Flair says he’s already checked with security and he’s not allowed in.  Bischoff kicks us back to Mean Gene, Randy Savage and some security.

Savage is kicking the doors and saying he wants in.  He’s also in wrestling gear.  I love the idea that Randy Savage shows up to the arena in his gear.  Gene says there are high level meetings in the WCW Championship Committee about the future of Randy Savage.  Savage says to tell them to be real careful about what decisions they make about his future.  They need to make the right decision.  He says he could go through the door and take Flair apart.  Gene says he can’t get through the door and Savage asks if that’s a challenge.  Savage attempts to get through the security but is turned away as we go to break again.

Match #4: Brad Armstrong VS Diamond Dallas Page

This is the first episode I’ve watched in a while that wasn’t on WWE Network, but on an old DVD that I burned years ago.  That means I get to hear DDP’s “Self High Five” music again.  I like it.  I’ve always loved that song.

DDP will apparently get his title shot in June.  I wonder if that will be at Great American Bash or on an episode of Nitro or Saturday Night.  Guess we’ll find out.

Bischoff reminds us that next week, we’ll start going to two hours for every Nitro!  Looks like my work load has doubled, folks!  I wonder how much longer Volume 3 will be as opposed to Volumes 1 and 2.

Back from break and we see Brad Armstrong get a two count off of a back slide, but he’s met with a DDP clothesline afterwards.  Page whips Armstrong to the corner and charges in but Armstrong moves, letting Page take the turnbuckle shoulder first before getting a reverse atomic drop (wow, lots of that move tonight) and getting his face pounded off of the turnbuckle pads.  Page reverses a move into an elbow and nails a Diamond Cutter out of nowhere.  They say the RKO comes from nowhere, but Randy has DDP to thank for that.  The best part of DDP’s gimmick around this point was just how many different ways he could find to pull off the Diamond Cutter.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

DDP is joined in the center of the ring by Mean Gene.  Page says last night he shocked the world by winning Lethal Lottery.  He names off all of the people in the tournament, saying that at the end of the night, there could only be one and that was DDP.  He says that he has one person to thank…himself!  He gives himself a self high five and calls out The Giant.  Gene says he just got off the phone with the Championship Committee and they’ve viewed the video footage from last night.  We see that DDP had gotten his foot on the floor early in the match.  Gene says that they won’t reverse the decision, he’ll stay Lord of the Ring, but he will not get the title match at Great American Bash.  Instead, that will go to Lex Luger.

Wow, that was quick.  Why give it to Page if they’re not going to go with him?  Luger was in the damn tournament…why not just have him win it?  Hell, it would have made more sense in the title match if Luger had won the tournament and was going to get the shot.  That would have made some interesting situations with Luger “costing” Sting the match in his tug-of-war with Jimmy Hart.

Match #5: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan VS The Giant w/ Jimmy Hart

What the hell?  I was pretty sure Giant was still in the Dungeon of Doom, despite his little fall out with Loch Ness…so why is Sullivan out there with Anderson?

Jimmy goes up to Sullivan and asks “what the hell?”  Sullivan says Anderson has never failed him so he’s just out to make sure Anderson gets a fair shot.

Flair says tonight Arn takes the title and next month he and Arn will take over the NFL.

Arn locks up with a waist lock on The Giant, who simply shrugs him off.  Arn backs Giant into the corner and shoulder blocks him and punches him, but Giant just shoves him off.  Giant scoop slams Anderson.  He sends Anderson into the turnbuckle hard twice before back body dropping him off of an Irish whip, sending him to the floor.  Giant follows him out, but Double A gets back into the ring first.  As Giant is getting back into the ring, Anderson jerks the rope and crotches Giant with it.  He comes off the turnbuckle with a couple of double axe handles, then goes for the DDT.  Giant stands him up and choke slams him down for the win.

Winner: The Giant (still WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Giant says he is the champion and will always be the champion.  Jimmy pins the belt back on him and Giant stares down Sullivan before leaving the ring.  Sullivan goes over to check on Anderson as we go back to our announcers, now sans Flair.  They wrap up the ending of the match and Bobby storms off, saying he’s going to the party.  He grabs the candelabra and champagne and heads off as Bischoff pitches us to next week’s Nitro and the NBA Conference Finals.

 

I’ve said it before, but damn, this is a much better show without Hulk Hogan.

We get a little bit of fallout from Slamboree, mostly involving Ric Flair, which is cool.  I’m actually looking forward to the Flair/Anderson VS Greene/Mongo match at the Great American Bash.  Flair has done a great job of selling that match.

Well, next episode is the big moment.  I’m planning to have not only my thoughts, but the thoughts of some of my colleagues here at the site as well.  I want the birth of the nWo to be a more inclusive thing here at Ko@2, so that way you get to hear a bit more than just my voice…although I know you all love it so much!

Until next time, fans!

-Shane

 

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.3

WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.1

(Raw – 16, Nitro – 15) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

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

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

 

WCW fighting back up from that six week losing streak.  Hope you liked it, Vince…that’s the longest streak you’re going to get for a good, long time!

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

Steve Austin (w/ Ted Dibiase) defeated Marc Mero (w/ Sable) via disqualification

Savio Vega defeated the 1-2-3 Kid (w/ Ted Dibiase)

Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette, Clarence Mason, & Diana Hart Smith) fought Jake Roberts to a no contest

This Raw actually doesn’t sound too bad.  Austin and Mero could be a pretty good match.  Same with Savio and Waltman.  Davey Boy together with the entourage, though, doesn’t do anything for me.  I remember that Raw is going into the HBK vs Cornette summer that ends with HBK and Vader, so we’re going to be seeing a lot of Davey Boy, Owen and Vader in our future.