The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 06.10.96 Uh oh, content warning. Must be a Benoit episode. HOUR #1! Live from somewhere. But our main event tonight is the Horsemen v. Joe Gomez & Renegade, so that’s pretty exciting. Apparently it’s Wheeling, WV. Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko Booker T v. Scott Steiner A little less than five years later, and these two would be closing out the history of WCW as World and US champion. No wonder WCW died, they gave away the last ever World title match on a free Nitro five years beforehand! They fight over a backslide and counter each others’ suplexes, but Scott hits him with the butterfly powerbomb. They fight to the floor and HOLY COW who is the hot blonde sitting at the table with Tony and Larry? Back in, Booker with the ax kick for two and he goes up with a nice crossbody for two. Scott reverses a suplex into a Slop Drop and they slug it out, but Booker runs into a boot. Scott with the belly to belly , but Booker dodges the frankensteiner and puts him down with a sidekick for two. Booker goes up and misses a flying splash, and Scott hits him with an overhead suplex for the pin at 5:55. Anticlimactic finish, but a really good TV match, with all action! *** Not as good as Gomez & Renegade v. The Horsemen will be, but pretty good. Debra McMichael interrupts Scott Steiner’s post-match promo because she’s so upset about Steve. He might go crazy and hurt someone! As long as neither Joe Gomez nor Renegade get hurt before our main event tonight, I’m fine. Diamond Dallas Page v. Jim Powers It’s the Nitro debut of Powers, where clearly they have no steroid testing. He looks an overinflated parade balloon for pete’s sake. Powers gets a pair of rollups and Page takes him down by the hair and stomps away. Gutwrench powerbomb gets two and Page chokes away, but Powers makes the comeback with the dropkick for two. Page finishes this goof with the Diamond Cutter at 4:00. DDP is now fully slimmed down and sporting the look that would make him a star later in the year. Almost as big of a star as Joe Gomez. Meanwhile, Konnan is ready to face the “legendary” El Gato, who is well known all over South America. No part of the continent in particular, of course. Maybe it’s like these Nitro shows where they don’t announce the country that El Gato comes from unless it’s over a certain population? They really had no idea what to do with Konnan at this point, did they? You know who they did have clear plans for, at least? Joe Gomez and the Renegade. Sting v. Meng Meng fires away in the corner, but Sting comes back and then misses a dropkick. Meng continues beating him down, but Sting slugs back and bulldogs him. Meng sneaks in with a small package for two, but Sting rolls him up for two. Meng goes up and Sting brings him down and hooks the Scorpion Deathlock (sort of) for the submission at 3:00. This was pretty shitty. DUD Hopefully Joe Gomez and Renegade can save this show. Meanwhile, Debra tracks down Bobby Heenan, trying to stop the match before Sunday. Heenan slams the door on Okerlund, and Debra runs out of the dressing room screaming. Flair and Arn are apparently so fired up that they beat up Joe Gomez and Renegade right there in the hallway, thus robbing us of our advertised main event tonight! FUCK YOU, HORSEMEN! DAMN YOU TO HELL ON BEHALF OF JOE GOMEZ AND THE RENEGADE! Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. David Taylor Apparently our new main event will be Flair and Anderson now challenging for the tag titles against Sting and Luger. That’s still a pretty big step down from Joe Gomez and Renegade. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE GOMEZ’S NITRO DEBUT! Duggan hits the three-point stance for two while I’m mourning the loss of the main event, and finishes with the taped fist at 2:20. This gets one-half Joe Gomez out of five. Meanwhile, we get a video package for Dean Malenko’s upcoming title defense against some midget from Mexico. Ron Mysterian or something. This video apparently takes place two weeks ago on Nitro according to the random graphic overlay. Meanwhile, Big Bubba feels like John Tenta might actually be a fish…a BEACHED WHALE. Well, that’s a mammal, but I appreciate the effort. Scott Norton gets promo time. Just accept it. HOUR #2! Your hosts are Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan WCW World title: The Giant v. Scott Norton At least the booking of Norton last week makes a bit of sense now. Norton attacks Giant in the corner and gets nowhere, bumping to the floor off a shoulderblock. Giant follows him out, chokeslams him on the floor, and pins him to retain at 1:40. OK, that booking makes less sense again. DUD Lex Luger runs out to make the save and he gets his ass kicked as well, but comes back by using Flair’s VIP bucket as a weapon. This makes Giant very angry, but not angry enough to chase after Luger while he cuts a promo at the announce desk. Lord Steven Regal v. Billy Kidman And now we get Kidman’s debut as the babiest babyface who ever babyfaced. Regal destroys him after surviving a flurry of offense and a missed 450, quickly finishing with a Liontamer at 1:00 while STEPPING ON HIS HEAD. Sting makes the save with a vicious backhand in retribution for last week, and Regal’s besmirched reaction is the greatest thing ever. What a magnificent human being. The Nasty Boys v. The Public Enemy Same goofy brawl they always have. Except with no weapons and the announcers completely ignoring the match and talking about the Bash main event. We take a break and I scour the Observer for interesting stuff because there’s nothing in the match to talk about. Oh, here’s something from this week in history: “I think they are going to keep the identity of the third member of the Nash & Hall team a secret until the 7/7 show. There are things that lead me to believe it may not be Lex Luger after all, which is a mistake. Rumors are flying it’ll be Jeff Jarrett since Vince McMahon on the WWF hotline brought up Jarrett’s name with Diesel and Ramon as expecting him to join WCW. Jarrett gave notice to Titan and is working out his notice in USWA and he is WCW bound, however his WWF contract doesn’t expire until the fall so it probably won’t be him. The WCW team will be Sting & Savage and either Flair or Luger.” Holy god can you imagine a world where Jeff Jarrett was the mysterious third man? They would have been out of business by January! Anyway, we take a break and return with another Glacier promo and more stuff happening. We’re at, what, three months now for those Blood Runs Cold promos with nothing evident? All the split-screen cameras in the world can’t make this match not suck. Finally someone throws in a garbage can and the ref calls for the DQ at 11:00. I was literally paying no attention to this match, but DUD seems fair. Hulk Hogan still has the red white and blue running through his veins! Although Hogan’s legal team would like to stress that it’s only running through his veins for medical reasons, and it was legal in the states where it was running through his veins at the time, and was only obtained with a legal prescription for the red white and blue. WCW World tag titles: Sting & Lex Luger v. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson Bischoff apologizes for not delivering the debut of Joe Gomez here. Leave the memories alone, Eric. Just stop saying words! Flair throws chops on Luger and gets nowhere, as Luger clotheslines everyone. Flair bails and then gets dominated by Luger again. Flair getting repeatedly press-slammed and beat up is just great no matter when. Over to Arn and he fails to outsmart Sting and gets bulldogged. Sting joins the press-slam party on Flair, who retreats to his VIP table to regroup. And Giant already ate all the fancy cheeses! Flair asks for a timeout, so we take a break and return with Sting in control of AA again. Arn gets pinballed for two, but Sting misses the Stinger splash on Flair. Flair stupidly goes up and gets slammed, and Sting gets a flying clothesline for two. Superplex gets two. Arn comes back with a spinebuster for two to take over, and the Horsemen go to work. Flair can’t get a suplex because his back is injured, so Arn cheats on his behalf and keeps Sting in the corner. Flair’s figure-four is reversed for two and we take another break as Heenan desperately wants to go to ringside and manage. Back with Flair chopping the shit out of Sting, but he comes back with a sunset flip for two. They do the pinfall reversal sequence, but Flair tags out on the backslide and Arn puts Sting down again. Arn misses a pump splash and it’s HOT tag Luger, who just no-sells everything and goes to town. Powerslam on Flair gets two. He puts both Horsemen on the floor with a clothesline, but Giant heads into the ring for the DQ at 17:37. Great match, as you’d expect. ***1/2 The babyfaces go crazy and attack him with chairs, but Giant no-sells all of it and casually walks away. He promises Mean Gene that Luger goes out on a stretcher on Sunday. Eric Bischoff goes to wrap things up with a fired-up Heenan…but Scott Hall returns to cause more trouble. Bobby running off in terror is such a great reaction. Bischoff wants to know where the big surprise is hiding…and here’s Kevin Nash to remind us what the adjective in “Where the big boys play” is. LOOK AT THE ADJECTIVE. Nash wonders if they could actually get three of their fossils cleared long enough to work a match between Slim Jim commercials and crappy TV shoots. So this Sunday, if the Outsiders want to show up at the PPV, Bischoff will bring them their match. Oh man, this was AWESOME. And also the Bash PPV was one of the greatest of all time, so there’s that. The Pulse Yeah, I’m gonna redo the Great American Bash 96 this week, don’t worry. Definitely the best of the two-hour Nitros thus far, a really entertaining show aside from the bad spot with the Nasties and Public Enemy. I just hope Joe Gomez can weather this setback in his career and become the main eventer that we all know he can.