The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 05.13.96 Desperation time, as I’m trying the PS3 to find SOMETHING that will play the Network properly. Aside from stuttering at the beginning and two “Cannot play this video” errors before it would load, it appears to be functional tonight. NJPW World 1, WWE Network 0 thus far, though. Live from Nashville, TN. Lex Luger is CAMPED OUT in the building so that he doesn’t miss his title shot tonight! Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo. The Steiner Brothers v. The Public Enemy The Steiners quickly clean house and chase TPE out of the ring. Back in, Rick beats on Grunge with a powerslam and elbowdrop for two, and Scott tosses him with an overhead suplex for two. They fight on the floor and Rock accidentally hits Grunge, but finally gets it together and takes over on Rick. Scott comes in and the Enemy double-teams him as well, with Rock hitting a flying headbutt for two. They team up with the Rougeau senton for two, but Rock misses a flying senton and it’s hot tag Rick. Belly to belly puts Rock on the floor as Bischoff announces that Nitro will go to TWO HOURS starting May 27. Man, they better have one hell of an angle planned to kick that off. Frankensteiner finishes Rock at 6:55. This was decent. ** Chris Benoit v. Dave Taylor Bischoff hypes up DDP’s return due to a mysterious benefactor, who was obviously supposed to be Ted Dibiase before they came up with the nWo role for him instead. Taylor tries to grab a toehold, and Benoit drops him with an enzuigiri. Taylor comes back with forearms and boots Benoit down, but Benoit catapults him into the turnbuckles. Taylor gets a fallaway slam for two, but misses a crossbody while Mongo leaves the broadcast position to find Macho Man. Benoit finishes with a dragon suplex at 4:16. This was a bit of a style clash to say the least, with Taylor trying to do some kind of a strong style stiff match and Benoit doing a mat-based wrestling match. * Meanwhile, Savage is barred from the building and unable to penetrate Doug Dellinger’s wall of security. Mongo butts in and lets Savage know that he’ll deal with the situation himself. BLOOD RUNS COLD. Dave’s running theory at the time was that it would be the Outsiders, but this week in the Observer he amends it to a “team of ninjas” which will feature Bryan Clark. Getting closer. Ric Flair v. VK Wallstreet This is a weird combination. Wallstreet controls on the mat and they exchange chops in the corner, which results in Flair bailing to the floor. Back in, Wallstreet works the leg as we take a break. Really, you expect people to stay tuned through two minutes of commercials for MIKE ROTUNDO? As a babyface? Back with Wallstreet slugging away on the floor and seeming to be shockingly motivated here for some reason. Back in, he backdrops Flair into the samoan drop for two. I was kind of hoping he’d bust out the old airplane spin there. Flair would be all over that. Wallstreet with a sunset flip for two. Backslide for two. He clotheslines Flair to the floor, but charges and accidentally knees the post instead of Flair. You know, if he was wearing kneepads, he’d be fine. But he’s not and he looks weird without them, so fuck him. Figure-four finishes at 7:51. Well, Rotunda was sure game for a fight this week. **3/4 Meanwhile, Flair gives his victory speech from his table (which apparently follows him from show to show now) and he’s sick of hearing about Mongo and his wife. He’s the REAL quarterback! WCW World title: The Giant v. Lex Luger Aaaaaaaaaand now the Network starts acting up again. Just let me finish this damn show! Luger tries to overpower him, but walks into a clothesline and gets shoved to the floor. Back in, Giant pounds away in the corner, but Luger comes back with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF…oh, never mind, Giant no-sells it. Back to the floor and Giant tosses him back in again like the proverbial sack of garbage while Flair enjoys his expensive dinner with Savage’s money. Luger keeps slugging away and finally knocks Giant to the floor, but Giant is so annoyed by this that he chokeslams Lex through Flair’s table for the DQ at 4:13. So I guess that’s another babyface turn for Lex? I gotta say, the storylines for this show have been going off the rails in the past couple of months, to say the least. DUD The Pulse Nice chokeslam to finish the show and the Flair-Rotundo match was surprisingly decent, but there’s not much else here this week.