Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen! It’s been a long time since we last spoke, and we’re coming from TWO (count ‘em, TWO) homes now, both at our old stomping grounds of www.kickoutat2.com and our NEW home over at www.gimmicksinc.com!
We kick off episode 53 of WCW Monday Nitro from Asheville, NC, and we’re one night removed from Fall Brawl where the nWo claimed a victory in the War Games match. Tony Schiavone takes us to still images from the event while Larry Zbyszko tells us that WCW should have trusted Sting. Since it’s been a while, to recap this, the nWo brought in a fake Sting to make it seem as if the Stinger had jumped to the black and white side, but the real Stinger did come out and clean house, but left his WCW teammates high and dry, allowing the fake Sting to make Lex Luger submit to the Scorpion Deathlock. After the match, the nWo beat down everyone, including Randy Savage and Ms. Elizabeth.
Tony apologizes to Sting, trying to mend fences, but of course Larry does his best to widen the gap by saying that if Sting was sensitive and had his feelings hurt, then he needs to get a job with Mother Theresa instead of being in the wrestling business. We then go to a clip of people in nWo shirts handing out flyers to the people as they enter the ring.
Match #1: WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match: Juventud Guerrera VS Rey Mysterio, Jr. (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)
Juventud is able to enter the ring this time without tripping over the ring steps, so he’s doing way better than he did last night. He does keep with a bit of oddness, though, when referee Mark Curtis shows him the belt, Juvi kisses it.
Tony again apologizes to Sting, saying it’s from him and the entire broadcast team. I’m pretty sure Larry stated that he didn’t apologize, Tony…
Back and forth between the two cruiserweights, but Mysterio is taking the momentum with a quick spin kick to Juventud, but Juventud wins a chop battle that sends Rey to his knees. Rey monkey-flips Juventud to the ring apron, prompting Juventud to try a springboard move into the ring, but Rey catches him with a dropkick that sends him to the floor. As Tony pitches us to commercial break, Rey hits a big springboard dive from the ring to the floor. This did a great job of showing that WCW is so “can’t miss” that even going to commercial is a dangerous thing!
Back from the break and Juventud is in control, sending Rey to the floor and hitting him with a great baseball slide dropkick and then an Asai moonsault to the floor. Guerrera sends Rey into the ring and comes in with a springboard 450 that was quite impressive but didn’t result in the pinfall.
Tony pitches us to the outside area where it looks like a bunch of college guys are having an nWo tailgate party. We cut back to Juventud attempting a top rope powerbomb to Rey, but Rey reverses it into a top rope Frankensteiner for the win.
Winner: Rey Mysterio, Jr. (still WCW Cruiserweight Champion)
We go backstage with Steve McMichael, Debra, and Chris Benoit. Mongo says that he told Sting and Lex that if they let WCW down, they’d have to deal with the rest of the Horsemen. Debra says that Mongo made a 15 year living in the NFL beating up punks like Sting and Lex. Benoit cuts a terrible promo and Mongo wraps it up by oddly screaming into the air.
We get a promo piece on Glacier since Glacier will make his Nitro debut tonight against Big Bubba.
Match #2: Ice Train w/ Teddy Long VS Diamond Dallas Page
DDP gets the jobber entrance, which is indicative of WCW not catching the fact that DDP is the rising star between these two.
Larry insults Sting a few more times, just to make sure he gets the feeling across that WCW turned against him.
A couple of lock ups in the ring and Ice Train is overpowering DDP, eventually sending him to the floor. He sends him a second time, but DDP is able to catch Ice Train with a neck shot to the ropes. DDP then comes off of the top rope with a big shoulder block and takes over the match, putting the boots to Ice Train. Page follows with a nice swinging neck breaker, but only gets two when Ice Train shoves Page off of him. Ice Train catches a kick from Page and spins him away, but Page spins it into a lariat and takes Ice Train down. Page tries to pick Ice Train up with the Diamond Cutter but he’s shoved out of it and caught with a powerful belly-to-belly suplex. DDP kicks Ice Train a few times and fires him up, resulting in a Spinebuster to DDP that’s followed with a powerslam for two. Big splash from Ice Train for two, which brings Teddy Long up to the ring apron and the announcers talk about how much Teddy is getting involved in the match.
We cut to the WCW merchandise table where the nWo guys from earlier are barricading themselves around it with caution tape so that no one can get them a Fall Brawl t-shirt! While we’re watching this, though, the bell sounds. Um…seriously…did WCW just end a match with it not on TV?
Yes…yes they did.
Not only did they end a match while not showing the action, they did a screwy finish. Ice Train had DDP in the full nelson but apparently DDP had grabbed Teddy Long’s towel and pulled it into the ring, causing referee Nick Patrick to call the match for DDP via forfeit.
Winner: Diamond Dallas Page
We go back to the WCW nWo merchandise table to see that it’s now setup with nWo shirts and hats. When we come back from commercial, we see Sean Waltman, the 1-2-3 Kid, sitting at ringside wearing a Jim Morrison t-shirt. Tony speculates as to why he may be there, even calling him by his WWF name and mentioning the WWF, but Larry isn’t stupid and says he’s there for the nWo.
Match #3: Super Calo VS Konnan (Mexican Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart
Konnan still has the AAA belt and is calling himself the Mexican Heavyweight Champion, despite Kevin Sullivan telling us via his podcast that the belt had no real prestige at the time.
Super Calo nails a crazy dive from the ring to the floor, but isn’t able to follow it up as he’s brought back into the ring with a superplex and is immediately locked into a submission hold and drops him with a sitout powerbomb. Calo kicks out at 1, though, which is odd. Konnan fires up, sending Konnan to the floor and hitting a springboard plancha to the floor. Super Calo pins Konnan but he’s way too close to the ropes and it’s broken up. Konnan catches Super Calo with a reverse DDT that will be stolen by Sting in a few months, but again gets about a 1 ½ count as Calo kicks out WAY too early.
Rolling clothesline and Konnan locks on another arm submission before letting go and body-slamming Super Calo. Konnan goes up top but Calo gets him with a dropkick and a top rope headscissors that sees Super Calo land, then Konnan land completely on top of him! Calo then just goes nuts with a flip to Konnan ON THE FLOOR and then hits another dive that sends him crashing down on Konnan in a way that makes you wonder who took the brunt of it. Calo follows Konnan into the corner, but Konnan moves and Calo crashes hard. Konnan hits him with a cradle DDT and covers, then seemingly ends the pin himself at 2. Black Tiger Bomb for the win from Konnan.
Winner: Konnan (still Mexican Heavyweight Champion)
This match was both crazy due to the bumps that Calo was taking and sloppy due to the crappy pins and the way the two kept falling over each other, both with the top rope move and with the cradle DDT.
Mike Tenay goes to ringside to talk to Waltman, asking him why he’s there. Kid says he’s been in Japan, but he hears that Nitro is the hottest show going today, so he wanted to check it out. He says he wanted to come last night to see the match, but he was on the plane while that was happening. He asked who won the match. Tenay says everyone in the building knows who won the match, telling Kid that the nWo did. Kid says “oh they did? Darn it!” while snapping his fingers.
This did a really good job of making Waltman a condescending jerk who is CLEARLY on the side of the nWo. It also painted Tenay as a jerk. He is immediately on Waltman’s case and is really condescending to him. It’s no wonder Kid would want to jump to the nWo if this is how WCW’s C-level announcers treat him.
Match #4: Hugh Morrus VS Brad Armstrong
Match goes pretty much exactly how you would imagine it would. Morrus with the momentum through the entire match, then hits a beautiful moonsault to the center of the ring and goes for a nonchalant cover. Armstrong pulls him over with a crucifix pin for the win, however, making him pay for his nonchalance as Nitro goes to its second hour.
Winner: Brad Armstrong
Nitro’s second hour starts off with Macho Man coming to the ring, adorned in a WCW Monday Nitro t-shirt. Mike Tenay meets him at the bottom of the ring and has the same damn stink-face and calls last night the most embarrassing moment in Savage’s career. Apparently Tenay is here to piss off everyone in the building. Hey, Mike, I think you forgot to insult the old lady in row 23 A. Tenay tells us that Savage will get the chance to take the belt back from Hollywood Hogan at Halloween Havoc. Tenay keeps looking at the camera while Savage is talking and giving a weird look. Tenay is definitely the worst interviewer in the company at this point. Savage says he’s down to one marble and if he loses that, he’s not nothing left to lose.
Savage heads to the ring as we head outside to a black limo and the nWo hanging out with red solo cups, talking about how there’s no one left to beat up and that nWo Nitro has a good ring to it. The imposter Sting is also hanging out with them, still trying to pass himself off as the real deal.
Match #5: “Macho Man” Randy Savage VS Scott Norton
Norton comes running out but Savage meets him head on, taking the fight to him. He sends Norton to the floor and comes off the top rope with a big double axe handle. Norton slows Savage’s pace with a Samoan drop as Bischoff lets us know that most of the WCW roster will be in Japan next week. Bischoff tops his hand a bit and says “when I created the working relationship with New Japan…” I think this is the first time he’s made a mention about having any power outside of being an announcer. Bischoff does lament that this Japan trip is going to leave Randy alone next week, though.
Norton drops Savage with a hell of a powerbomb. Savage tries to fight back a bit but is nailed with a powerslam for two. Norton tries to follow Savage into the corner, but Savage moves and Norton eats the turnbuckles hard, allowing Savage to fight back a bit before Norton ends that momentum with an inverted atomic drop. Savage ducks a clothesline and follows back with a devastating one of his own before sending Norton to the floor and bouncing him off of the guardrails a bit. Randy brings him back into the ring only to send him out again and bodyslam him on the floor. Norton gets a DDT for two as the announce team again call last night the most embarrassing moment of Savage’s career.
Huge shoulder-breaker from Norton sends Macho Man rolling to the floor. Norton tries to ram Savage into the ring post but Savage reverses it, sending Norton hard into the steel. Savage shoves ring announcer David Penzer to the floor and grabs his chair. Macho Man waylays Norton with three unprotected headshots with the chair before shoving Nick Patrick to the ground and heading towards the back.
Winner: Scott Norton (via DQ)
As we go to commercial, we get a little promo from Big Bubba where he calls Glacier “karate man” and tells him that “wax on/wax off and the crane” won’t work in WCW.
Match #6: Glacier VS Big Bubba
We get Glacier’s blue lighted snowy intro again, just as we got during his debut (which was covered here at KickOutAt2 a while back). Bubba looks somewhat unimpressed.
Glacier bows to Bubba, who takes advantage with a kick but Glacier scouted that and trips him up. Glacier goes for a super kick but Bubba side steps it. Glacier gets some kicks and an arm takedown. Bubba catches a kick and potatoes Glacier with a pair of slaps to the face, but Glacier sends Bubba to the corner.
Bischoff is calling his favorite “back leg round kicks” tonight like they’re going out of style.
Bubba rolls to the floor and comes back in with a hard uppercut and a heavy Spinebuster. Glacier slides up from a split, gets Bubba with a sweep and then a combo of kicks, including Bischoff’s BLRK. Spinning super kick for the win.
Weird match, honestly, because it was mostly martial arts, which always melds oddly with pro wrestling. Glacier and Bubba really just didn’t gel. Plus the blue light over the ring the entire match was just strange. I can’t wait until they get rid of that. It never works. Didn’t work for Glacier, didn’t work for Kane, didn’t work for Sin Cara.
Commercial break and we’re back to the announcers as Sting walks out to the ring. Sting comes out and grabs a mic, turning his back to the hard camera. Sting says that last Monday, he was on a plane. He says that when he was watching the replay of Nitro, he thought it was a rerun. He watched WCW run their mouths about him, so he decided to wait and see what happened. He says at Fall Brawl, he told his friends that it wasn’t him, but he got disbelief. Sting says that he has been mediator, babysitter, and advocate for Lex Luger for the last year. He’s carried the WCW banner and given his blood, sweat, and tears for WCW. He says for all of the fans and wrestlers that never doubted the Stinger, he’ll stand by them if they stand by him. But for all of the people, wrestlers, commentators, and best friends who doubted him, they can stick it. From now on, he considers himself a free agent, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see him. He’s going to pop in from time to time when you least expect it. With that, he exits the ring, leaving the announce crew to wonder what that meant.
Bischoff makes a point that Sting turned his back on everyone. The announcers talk about whether or not Sting will even wrestle tonight.
Match #7: Chris Jericho and Marcus Bagwell VS “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Woman
The Horsemen’s music plays but no one comes out. We go backstage and see that Ric is trying to convince Elizabeth to come out with them, but after Fall Brawl and the way she was attacked, she’s not having any of it. They decide to leave her behind.
Woman looking AMAZING tonight.
Sean Waltman stands up at ringside and pushes a button on a box in his hand. Suddenly flyers start falling out of the ceiling. They’re all nWo flyers. The wrestlers in the ring all tear them up as they catch them and throw them out of the ring as we go to commercial. The nWo now has it’s sixth (Syxxth?) member!
Back from commercial and we still have flyers falling from the sky. Bischoff has a few of them that say “We beat you, now you pay all the bills” and “We’ll do TV our way.”
Double A and Chris Jericho start off the match. Double A takes the low road with a kick to the gut and some shoulders in the corner. Jericho blocks a whip to the corner and comes off the top rope with a big drop kick for a two count. He follows that up with a spinning wheel kick that sends Arn to the floor in frustration.
Bischoff runs down the things he had to give the nWo for them to get into the ring the night before. He admits that he’s the Executive VP for WCW and goes into the fact that WCW must not only give the nWo their own segment on TV, but their own show.
Bagwell has Flair in the corner and nails him with a barrage of punches, ending with a back body drop and a dropkick before Flair pulls one over on him and sends him to the floor. On the floor, Double A takes over and lays a beating on Bagwell. Anderson rolls him back into the ring, but Bagwell goes back on the offensive, getting two quick rollups for two counts. Flair gets sent to the floor and the nWo flyers drive him into a rage. The balled-up flyers laying around the laying around the floor really add something to this match, honestly. That’s why I really liked WCW…it just felt different when compared to WWF at the time. Stuff like this is why.
Tag out to Jericho and the Horsemen take over again.
Bischoff says that the production truck is saying to go to the back. We see a black limo where the nWo all get out, now including Waltman and the imposter Sting. The Giant has a boom box where he plays a recording of what we heard Sting yelling from the limo last week. They’re laughing and having a good time while the announcers are disgusted by it.
Back into the match and Bagwell is back up and running. He’s clotheslining both Double A and Flair, and hits Double A with a fisherman’s suplex but the pin is broken up by Flair before referee Nick Patrick even gets into position. Bagwell rolls Flair up but Woman rakes his eyes and then distracts Patrick. Anderson spikes Bagwell with a DDT. Flair locks on the Figure 4 for the win.
Winners: Ric Flair and Arn Anderson
Back from commercial and into our Main Event.
“The Canadian Crippler” Chris Benoit & Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/ Debra VS “The Total Package” Lex Luger and Sting
Luger comes out to the ring alone. He’s also wearing black boots when I’m more used to him wearing white. The only reason that sticks out to me is because the new Mattel action figure box set from the Bash at the Beach 96 match (which you can read about right here) has him in black boots when it should have been white boots.
We go to quick commercial and come back to Bischoff telling us that it’s official, Sting isn’t in the building so he’s not coming out for this match.
Benoit starts the match kicking the crap out of Luger and totally taking control. He tags out to Mongo, who goes for a piledriver but Lex is able to stop it and come back with some clotheslines. Mongo tags back to Benoit, who comes in with a barrage of kicks to the guts of Luger. He gets hit from behind by Mongo and nailed with a snap suplex from Benoit. Benoit tags out to Mongo, who gets some ground & pound in on Luger.
Luger is just taking a beating in this match. The crowd starts to look around the arena and Bobby Heenan freaks out and starts to leave the broadcast area until Bischoff calms him down. Luger gets some fire power slams Benoit and grabs him in the Torture Rack. Flair and Anderson hit the ring, and now it’s Luger against the Horsemen. Press slam to Flair, but a shoulder block from Mongo takes Luger out and the Horsemen dissect him. Double A nails him with a DDT and the rest of the Horsemen put the boots to the Package.
Bischoff says that he has been told that the newest member of the nWo is to be referred to as “Syxx.”
We go back to the limo where the nWo is watching Nitro in the limo. Hogan says it’s a good thing that they’ve been watching the show because now they know that everyone but Savage is going to be in Japan. Syxx says that Savage is his favorite and asks Hogan if he can get him tickets. Hogan says since he’s in good with “Billionaire Ted,” he can get everyone tickets and maybe even backstage passes.
We cut back to the ring where Luger is laying in a broken heap. The show goes off the air with Bischoff apologizing, saying “I’m sorry, Lex. We doubted Sting too.”
Overall, great show following the PPV. Sting coming out and telling off WCW but saying he was loyal to his fans was awesome, especially with him turning his back to hard camera as an FU to WCW. It shows that he’s jaded and upset at what they did to him. The main event was great even if it was a beat down because it shows just how much WCW needs Sting. Without him, it’s open season on everyone. This is the beginning of a year and a half build that I still, to this day, think is the best build to a match in pro wrestling history. I’m so excited to be on this ride now!
Until next time, fans!