Monday Nitro #58
Date: October 21, 1996
Location: Mankato Civic Center, Mankato, Minnesota
Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommmy Hall
It’s FINALLY the last show before Halloween Havoc which took forever to get to. The main event tonight is Benoit vs. Savage which should be good, although it probably won’t be up to their capabilities due to the whole Liz thing from last week. This should be a better show than last week’s which was nothing all that interesting. Let’s get to it.
We open with talking about Savage and the Liz tape from last week. Larry reiterates that WCW needs a leader.
Chris Jericho vs. Bobby Eaton
Should be good. Tony says Sting is here and has a match scheduled with JL. Syxx and NWO Sting are here. After a break we’re ready to go. Patrick is referee and is still hurt. Jericho speeds things up to start and hits a dropkick and shoulder block to control early. Eaton comes back with a bad powerslam for no cover. Jericho hits the springboard dropkick to put Eaton outside. If Jericho wasn’t so pale I’d think he was the Cheetah Kid from last week.
Eaton works on the arm back in the ring. They slug it out and this match probably needs to end soon. They’re just not clicking out there. Jericho sends him into the post and they hit the floor. The Canadian’s elbow hits the post but Eaton misses a shot and stumbles up the aisle. Back in and Eaton hooks a swinging neckbreaker for no cover. A top rope kneedrop mostly hits for two. Jericho hits something like a jumping superkick and then a missile dropkick for the pin.
Rating: D+. Really surprising here as the match didn’t click at all for the most part. The ending was a lot better but other than that they looked totally out of sync. Jericho would get a lot better and I don’t think Eaton would be around much longer after this. Jericho would get Syxx on Sunday.
Jericho says that in six days he’ll get the first win over the NWO. He actually would, but it wouldn’t be until World War 3.
Video on Mysterio and how awesome he is.
Dean Malenko vs. Jimmy Graffiti
Graffiti is more commonly known as Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies. Graffiti takes over early and looks pretty stupid in his shirt with the word Graffiti on it and jean shorts. A Batista Bomb gets two for Graffiti as does a superkick. Malenko comes back and knocks him to the floor where he lands on the top of his head. Fake Sting is watching this and filming it. This prompts Tony and Larry to discuss if Rey has joined the NWO.
Dean hits a clothesline in the corner and a suplex but the Cloverleaf is broken up. Graffiti gets in his bit of jobber offense and they both go to the floor off a Malenko cross body. Back in and Graffiti tries something resembling a dropkick but gets caught in a powerbomb kind of move. The Cloverleaf ends this clean. It gets the Power Pin of the Week which is a sponsorship thing despite it not being a pin.
Rating: C-. Just a long squash here as Graffiti was never any threat to Deano Machino. I really don’t know why they brought in Del Ray of all people but he was fine for a jobber role I suppose. Dean would get the title back from Rey on Sunday before losing it to Ultimo Dragon at Starrcade.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Craig Pittman
We get a montage of Diamond Cutters before the match. Teddy is with Pittman here. He really didn’t have a good group of guys around this time. Teddy and Patrick get in an argument about 2 seconds after the bell rings. Page rams Pittman into Long to take over quickly. This has all the makings of a squash. Page pancakes him down for two. Pittman kicks out and shoves Page onto Patrick, injuring the referee’s back to a big pop. Out to the floor for a bit where Pittman works on the arm. Code Red (cross armbreaker) goes on but Teddy distracts the referee for no apparent reason. Diamond Cutter ends this.
After the too short to rate match, Teddy is accused of being NWO. He yells at Patrick and Patrick says it was Teddy’s fault, which is true.
Tony talks to Nick who says he didn’t hear Page give up. He’s accused of being the NWO referee again and he says it’s Randy Anderson again.
We look back at two weeks ago where Flair was attacked to write him off TV for his legit shoulder injury. We also see Jarrett challenging the Giant for Havoc.
Ron Studd vs. Jeff Jarrett
Flair comes out to watch this match. He gets in the ring before it starts and tells Jarrett to strut. The fans aren’t all that thrilled. Flair struts and gets cheered, so they do it again. Ric shakes Jarrett’s hand and that’s that. The match actually starts now and Studd is a giant. Jarrett manages a suplex and a bad figure four ends this.
Jarrett says it’s time for WCW to band together to take out the NWO. Also Giant won’t be able to chokeslam him. Flair comes up and says that he’ll be back to get his revenge for his injury.
Hour #2 begins. The announcers talk as usual.
Lex Luger vs. Roadblock
Roadblock weighs about 400lbs. He goes right after Luger and that doesn’t work all that well for him. A clothesline sends Roadblock to the floor and he’s rammed into various metal things. Back in Luger slams him but can’t hit the jumping elbow. In an inset interview, Anderson says that time is running out on Lex and he’ll make him quit Sunday. A kneedrop gets two for Roadblock. Luger starts Hulking Up and calls for the Rack but drops the big guy twice. The third time works and Roadblock insta-taps.
Rating: D+. Just a basic power match for a hero to show off like Luger did here. Roadblock was another huge guy that did practically nothing while the other guys would beat him up and it was supposed to be impressive. I think Luger would beat Anderson on Sunday in one of Anderson’s last big time matches.
Buy the NWO Shirt!
Lee Marshall is in Phoenix and Nitro is there next week. Why did they keep doing that? I still don’t get it.
Harlem Heat vs. American Males
Eric talks about the Braves beating New York tonight, which he says needs to become a tradition. It’s a jab at Vince so Heenan cracks up. Eric says this is non title but Patrick holds up the titles anyway. More WWF jabs as Riggs vs. Ray starts us off. Power vs. speed here with the power team taking over, hitting a World’s Strongest Slam to put Riggs down. Bagwell comes in and we talk about Savage a bit.
Marcus throws Stevie over the top but it’s momentum or whatever despite Bagwell THROWING HIM OVER THE ROPES. We take a break and come back with Booker getting worked over by Bagwell. Booker powerbombs him down and the Outsiders are here. The NWO wants Nitro apparently. Stevie pounds away and since that’s the extent of his offense it’s back to Booker. The Hangover misses and here’s Riggs again. Everything breaks down and Riggs goes after the Heat’s managers, allowing the Harlem Side Kick to end him.
Rating: D. This was really boring as the Heat seemed completely uninterested. The Males would be split up next month as Bagwell would turn heel for the first of about 8,000 times. This wasn’t much of a match and it wasn’t very good, primarily due to Booker having to do all of the work for his team.
Faces of Fear vs. Fantastics
The Fantastics? REALLY? They brought these guys out of mothballs? Don’t get me wrong: they were my favorite 80s NWA tag team so I’m not complaining, but this is late 1996. This falls under the category of Greg Valentine. This would be their only WCW match too. Fulton chops away at Meng and he’s like dude….no. The announcers talk about Savage some more and they’re not sure if he’s here, despite him being scheduled for the main event.
A double dropkick puts Meng on one knee and the announcers say that the Fantastics have no chance in this. Eric keeps telling us the Braves score because that’s required for some reason. Fulton tries to fight back and Eric laughs when he punches and kicks. A piledriver kills him dead but Fulton makes the save. The double headbutt hits and Eric is all happy because Sting might be here. Hot tag brings in Rogers and he gets in some offense but his cross body gets caught and a big boot from Meng ends this.
Rating: D-. I love the Fantastics, but I have NO idea what they were thinking bringing them in here. They looked old and pale and the Faces of Fear destroyed them. It was a total squash and Eric was burying them on commentary. It’s not like they were a regular team either. This was their only match in WCW and I think Rogers would go to ECW for awhile. I don’t get this one at all.
Remember that Liz video that Eric was afraid messed Savage up? Let’s watch it again, because that’ll get Randy’s head straight right? Liz still loves him is the point of this. Eric says he has more footage for later.
JL vs. Sting
And it’s the NWO Sting. The whole NWO comes out to watch. A few fans are fooled for a bit but it becomes clear what’s going on pretty quickly. The NWO comes out of the crowd sans Hogan. Total squash and the Deathlock looks to end it in like a minute, but the REAL Sting comes out. He’s in all black and has white facepaint. The match is thrown out.
Sting debuts the Death Drop and he destroys the Fake Sting. The NWO lets this happen so everyone thinks Sting is NWO. He hooks the Deathlock and the NWO comes in. DiBiase offers him a spot on the team and the whole team tries to tempt him. Eric is WAY too intense about this. I get that it’s supposed to be serious but he gets all melodramatic about it.
Hall asks a legit question: what does Sting have to show for carrying the WCW banner this whole time? Sting talks about the Fake Sting and says the real version may or may not be in their price range. The only thing for sure about him is that nothing’s for sure. He leaves and you can hear the money being printed from here.
Chris Benoit vs. Randy Savage
Eric has left to try to flag down Savage. Here’s Savage but he’s all in black and they’re “street clothes”. I’m not sure what street people walk down looking like that but I don’t think I want to be there. Eric apologizes and rolls some tape. It’s from the 3 Ninjas movie set with Hogan hosting things for lack of a better term. Hogan talks to the director and says he has a lot of things he needs to do and that it can’t go over budget.
The NWO takes over production of the film. Giant is the new director, Hogan is producing and Liz has a cameo. Hogan makes Liz say she loves Randy. Hogan is in a wig here and it’s really not working for him. This is really bad. Hogan sends Liz to his trailer with Giant escorting her. Hogan comes into the trailer and yells at her. He and Giant talk a bit more to end this.
Back in the arena Savage isn’t sure what to do. There’s no match of course. Savage says it just occurred to him how fragile friendships and relationships can be. Business and marriages can be fragile too. Life is also fragile and with that Savage leaves. Eric calls him back…and that’s it.
Overall Rating: D-. Really weak show here, which is the second in a row. Havoc sucked and the Savage vs. Hogan match was a big reason why. It wound up being a comedy match and Savage was just fine after the last two weeks of him being all mopey and depressed. This built up the PPV a bit but overall, there wasn’t much here. At least we don’t have to hear the words Slim Jim’s every 8 seconds now.
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