WCW Nitro: September 23, 1996

Last week was a whirlwind
of activity, to say the least. The 1-2-3 Kid joined the nWo, leaving little
doubt from the minute he sat down which side he was on. Sting threw a tantrum
about the lack of faith WCW guys had in him, and walked out on the company. The
Horsemen have turned their attention on Lex Luger, leaving WCW’s frontline
completely decimated. Randy Savage is expected to be alone this week as most of
WCW is in Japan. And of course, we saw the debut of Glacier, who, and I say
this as respectfully as possible, was a big fat giant dud of a loser.
It’s time for a little
Nitro.
TONY SCHIAVONE is screaming at decibel levels usually reserved for high powered dog
whistles, because they are LIVE! LARRY
ZBYSZKO
is here in body, but not in spirit. Tony has a copy of USA Today,
showing an ad for Monday Nitro, where the nWo logo has been spray painted over
the WCW logo. The nWo has spray painted every individual newspaper in the
world! What attention to detail! Wait, no, it was printed that way, which Tony
figures DiBiase paid for.

EARLIER TODAY: The nWo lackeys handed out nWo propaganda to fans filing into the
arena.
KEVIN SULLIVAN and KONAN (with Jimmy Hart and Big
Bubber) vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG and JUVENTUD GUERRERA
Konan’s other “n” was
sent to Japan this week, along with Max’s second “x”. Dave Penzer introduces
Sullivan as “from the Iron Gates of Fate”, but it sounds like “Iron Gates of
Taint” on this old VHS dub, which in an ironic twist of fate would also be
where his stunt double was announced from in the WCW/nWo: A XXX Parody release.
I’d recommend skipping over the 8-man. A new tradition is born here on Nitro;
pairing random members of the Cruiserweight division and making them seem like
jobbers (because they secretly are). Konan hits a powerbomb, but Juvi comes
back with a rana and follows with a slingshot plancha to the floor. A
springboard 450 guillotine legdrop gets 2. Konan fires right back with a cradle
DDT that looks kinda vicious, and goes to tag out but Sullivan doesn’t want to
come in for some reason. So Konan happily hits a super cradle DDT, but again
Sullivan won’t tag, and a fresh Armstrong comes in. Armstrong attacks quickly,
but Konan goes low and powerbombs him. Konan forces a tag to Sullivan, who
double stomps Armstrong for the pin at 2:39.
* Post-match, the Dungeon turns on Konan. Hart calls it an initiation, and the
Dungeon explains himself. Konan stands up, and declares his loyalty to the
Dungeon of Doom. He is immediately given his “n” back.
MIKE TENAY is once again working tonight because Gene is still MIA. RANDY SAVAGE is pacing around, and
knows he’s a marked man tonight with most of WCW’s relevant players out of the
country. He promises to beat up the whole nWo tonight. Regarding Elizabeth: Not
in this lifetime, or the next.
“MEAN” MIKE ENOS vs. CHRIS JERICHO
It seems odd that of all
people to be left off the Japanese tour, they’d not bring Jericho with them
considering his long history over there. Enos offers the hand of friendship,
which is just a ploy for a bitchslap. Come on Chris, you should know better,
his NICKNAME is “MEAN” for god sakes. Enos throws a bunch of short headbutts,
but Jericho stops that with a simple armdrag. NWO LACKEYS start protesting WCW in the crowd, and amazingly the
announcers completely ignore them. Enos hits a running clothesline off the
apron to the floor, and then uses the TV cable to choke out Jericho. Because
he’s so mean, he also throws Jericho head first into the steps, and then
suplexes him back first on top of them. Larry assumes Jericho’s bones are
broken, which if true, would seem really irresponsible of WCW to allow Jericho
to keep wrestling. Back in, Enos locks him in a bear hug. Jericho claps loose,
but winds up getting powerslammed. Enos applies a Boston crab, but Larry
astutely points out he isn’t leaning back with full force so he’ll never get a
submission. Jericho is placed in a quasi-torture rack, but he escapes with a
sunset flip for 2. A butterfly suplex gives him time to go upstairs, and a
missile dropkick connects. Enos is placed up top, but he blocks a rana with a
superbomb. Enos poses, taking way too long to cover, and gets 2 as a result.
Enos goes for a powerslam, but Jericho reverses in mid-move and scores the
upset at 7:43. **1/2
GOLDBERG PAT TANAKA vs. GLACIER
Tony talks Glacier’s
backstory, of having chosen wrestling over going into Law Enforcement like his
father. Apparently he’s never heard of the State Patrol, because in WCW you’re
allowed to do both. Glacier’s entrance lasts about 4 hours, and the fans turn
on him right away. There’s no chance Tanaka was chosen by accident here, right?
There’s way too much of a Shang Tsung vibe going on for this to be a
coincidence. Once again, they wrestle in a blue arena which is ridiculous, and
Glacier wins with the Cryonic Kick at 1:11.
1/2* I can’t wait to see who gets to impersonate Goro at Starrcade.
THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista
Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) (for the WCW world tag-Team titles)
Tony announces The
Outsiders vs Harlem Heat for the tag-titles at Halloween Havoc IF they can get
through the threat of TPE. NICK PATRICK
referees here, so don’t bet against him disqualifying the audience on account
of the rules. Tony ALSO announces some of the big stars coming our way in Hour
#2, and I’ll spare you the embarrassment, because even WCW Prime is saying “really,
that’s the best you’ve got?” Why on earth did they send EVERYONE to Japan if
Nitro was going to air from NOT JAPAN? Little happens before we call for a
commercial break.
Apparently it was “all
Harlem Heat” during the break, but we come back just in time to see Booker
crotch himself off a missed Harlem sidekick. Grunge dances in front of Stevie
Ray, and Booker clotheslines his head off. Stevie enters with a competent leg
drop, and Booker pulls him out to choke a bitch. TPE recovers by hanging around
their table, but Nick Patrick tells them to get back in the ring. Grunge gets
locked in a headlock, which goes nowhere. Booker enters with a vicious Harlem
sidekick, but stalls too long and only gets 2. Who cares though, because …
In the back, THE NWO arrives in their limos. Hogan,
DiBiase, and “Sting” travel together, the rest in the other car. Nash announces
that they are definitely in the house.
Grunge finally gets a hot
tag, and he brings the “fists of fire” as per Tony. Those lead him right into a
double headbutt from the Heat. He manages to roll away from the Harlem
Hangover, but Stevie keeps him from leaving the ring. Somewhere in here, Booker
sneaks in a small package, both guys appear to have their shoulders down, and
the bell rings at 8:43. Patrick
announces it was Booker’s shoulder down, and gives the belts to TPE. Huge,
completely undeserved reaction for this. Barf. I don’t even REMEMBER this
happening. **
ERIC BISCHOFF, MIKE TENAY, and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN take over the
announce booth. Bischoff says there’s a new nWo member later tonight. Yeesh,
ANOTHER one? 7 isn’t enough? No, Eight is Enough.
GREG VALENTINE vs. RANDY SAVAGE
I kinda get a kick out of
the fact that the way, way, way over the hill Greg Valentine somehow has warranted
enough respect to wrestle exclusively on Nitro, while the in his prime Jushin
Liger wrestles on … well, Prime, I guess that’s appropriate. Hammer works over
Macho’s legs ever … so … slowly. Savage gets tossed to the floor, but he
angrily rolls back in just to get tossed again. Savage is dropped throat first
across the guardrail. Bischoff sends his best wishes to Super Calo who died
before Nitro
dislocated his shoulder before Nitro. Savage finally wakes up,
and slams Hammer with a chair in the face. The referee suggests maybe he not do
that, but allows it. Savage, sensing invincibility, dives off the top with a
chair to Valentine’s skull, and THAT draws a DQ at 2:59. DUD
KEVIN NASH, SCOTT HALL, NUMBER SIX, and TED DIBIASE
rush the ring, and attack Macho together. Savage swallows the Outsiders Edge,
while we spy ELIZABETH looking on
from the stage. THE GIANT comes on
down now, while Nash fires off a Jackknife. Giant gives high fives to everyone,
and offers one to Savage, but “oh he can’t get up.” Then he introduces the
greatest of all time, the largest arms in the world, and the financial backer
of the nWo, HOLLYWOOD HOGAN. Hogan
draws nuclear heat during his entrance. Hogan drops the leg, while Giant does
an amazing Ric Flair impression. Trash fills the ring as Hogan drops a second
leg. For kicks, Nash pulls a Slim Jim out of his tights and starts whipping
Savage. Hogan says the glare from Savage’s bald spot is making him blind, so he
spray paints his head, while Giant pops his mug in front of the camera and says
“yeah, snap into it!” and eats the Slim Jim.
The guys hit the announce
booth now, and everyone scatters except Bischoff. Nash and Hall order him to
stay put, and do his job. They join him on commentary, and introduce DiBiase’s
new head of security. “Bring out Vince!” And, so we are introduced to the
former Virgil, now VINCENT. He and
Hogan share a loving hug while the fans chant “Virgil”. Bischoff begs for the
producers to go to break, and tries to bolt, but they keep him from going
anywhere.
Upon return, they still
haven’t moved. Hall welcomes everyone to nWo Nitro. He says he could take over
anything he wants. Vincent keeps swatting Bischoff on the back of the head,
which seems to bother him because he keeps fixing his part.
An nWo car drives out to
the staging area, while Nash tells us that yes, the nWo has its own racing team.
Nash promises Kyle Petty next week.
Giant takes over the ring
announcer position.
JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long) vs. VK WALLSTREET
Nash calls Long “Peanut
Head”, which is probably racist, but still funny. The nWo runs down Wallstreet’s
credentials, and they seem to like him – so they decide to wander down to the
ring to get a closer look. DiBiase dons a headset to join Bischoff on
commentary, while Vincent keeps him from running. And we don’t get a match,
because the Outsiders just start teeing off on Powers for the hell of it. Why?
DiBiase explains it’s because they can. Referee RANDY ANDERSON takes off, because he doesn’t need this crap. NICK PATRICK steps up to the plate,
because he’s the man. Giant announces himself as Powers’ opponent now, and
skips around the ring like a ballerina. Chokeslam gives him the “win”.
Meanwhile, Hogan is
rushing around in the backstage area, spray painting the wall. He runs into the
NASTY BOYS, and it’s hugs all
around. He says when they called him, it was great, because they’ve always been
friends. He wants to talk business with them later tonight, and gives them the
keys to his room to hang out in the Hollywood suite.
Giant stays in the ring
to keep his role, while the rest of the nWo go back to the booth. Hogan joins
them wearing Savage’s green cowboy hat.
JIM DUGGAN vs. RON STUDD
Hogan meets Studd in the
aisle, and shakes his hand. They
know each other intimately
, after all. Still, that doesn’t stop Hogan and
Nash from immediately beating him up. Hall orders them to play “the theme from
your favorite adult movie”, and the nWo porno theme fires up. Duggan is offered
a new opponent instead.
JIM DUGGAN vs. NUMBER SIX
Duggan defends himself
with the 2×4, swinging wildly at both Syxx and Nick Patrick. They wind up
taking different sides of the ring, and Duggan turns his head to Patrick
allowing Syxx to attack from behind. Still, Duggan whoops him pillar to post,
giving Syxx very little offense at all. Duggan roars his war siren of “USA”,
which fuels him forward. 3 point stance looks to finish, but Giant pulls Duggan
out by the feet while Patrick watches Syxx intently, out of concern. Chokeslam!
Duggan is rolled back in for the easy win at 2:21.
Hogan encourages Bischoff
to join them instead of fighting against them.
NWO STING vs. BO LEDOUX
Nash can’t remember the
name of our portly jobber, until Bischoff reminds him that the nWo hired the
poor guy. Sting wins with the Scorpion Deathlock at 1:36, while the fans passionately chant “WE WANT STING!”
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS
Rage screams “WCW BAYBEE!
NO MORE NWO!” on his way to the ring. This is where the guys are bloody idiots.
Regardless of where the “top stars” are, I imagine at least 1500 members of WCW’s
inflated roster are still backstage. If they’re really as pumped and fired up
on behalf of their company, why aren’t they saying “hey, if we all grab
baseball bats and rush the ring, they’re screwed”? Do they really need “leadership”
to figure this out? Anyway … The Canadians sing the National Anthem in French,
which DiBiase grows tired of, so he sends the Outsiders down to take care of
things. The Canadians run away, leaving us with:
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE OUTSIDERS
Bischoff asks if DiBiase
bought the French Canadians loyalty to get them to run away? DiBiase: “No, they’re
just smart.” Outsiders play Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who starts, and Hall
gets the nod. Hall bitch slaps Kaos, and nails him with a running clothesline
in the corner. Hall puts him in the STF, and paintbrushes Kaos. That brings in
Nash, who works the kneelifts in the corner. Bischoff calls for a commercial
break, which Hogan shrugs off because TV or not, they’ll just be destroying “WCW
champions”.
Upon return, Hall has
Kaos locked in the abdominal stretch. Bischoff begs Hogan to make Vincent stop
hitting him, that he’s ready to do whatever he wants. Hogan ignores him,
continuing to explain why he created the nWo and generally stroking his own
ego. Rage gets the “hot tag” and walks into a fallaway slam from Hall. Bischoff
tells them to stop beating up these guys. Hogan asks where WCW’s hero is? He
suggests maybe Liz save the day. Nash connects with the big boot, and Hall
follows with a backdrop superplex. Kaos gets the tag, which makes him eligible
for the Jackknife. Hall pins him with one foot at 8:10. 1/2*
Back in the announce
booth, the entire nWo crew airs a replay of Macho’s beating from earlier in the
night. Hogan: “I’m gonna get my kids a Macho Man punching bag for Christmas
this year!” Bischoff tries to get in some plugs for Halloween Havoc, but Nash
ignores him, asking how he feels about the nWo taking over his entire company
instead? Before they sign off Hall has one more question for the Giant: “Hey,
is Andre really your dad?” Giant: “Man, why did you have to go there?” And that’s
it.
This is a very polarizing
edition of Nitro. They compensated for the lack of stars by making the second
hour then nWo show – but it came at the expense of the entire roster. The
masturbatory booking made sense for who the nWo is, and as a one-time affair,
this probably isn’t all that bad, because it was DEFINITELY leaps and bounds
edgier than anything going on in the WWF.
The problem, as we’ll discover,
is that this type of stuff simply isn’t gonna stop after tonight. But … we’ll
worry about that as we approach it.

No Prime this week, so we’ll
skip ahead to WCW Saturday Night next.