Kick Out at Nitro! 5/27/1996 – The Night Everything Changed

Posted: July 6, 2015 by Kick Out At 2! in Kick Out At Nitro, Phillip R, Robbie C, Shane D
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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!

 

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