Monday Nitro – December 16, 1996

Monday Nitro #66
Date: December 16, 1996
Location: Pensacola Civic Center, Pensacola, Florida
Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Ted DiBiase

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re in Florida this week and we’re just about to Starrcade with
only one show after this before the big one. Also tonight is the last
televised Sting match for over a year. That’s assuming he wrestles of
course. We’ll also get more of the Piper vs. Hogan buildup which should
be somewhat entertaining. Let’s get to it.

Here’s the NWO to start and they storm the announcers’ desk. Eric
wants to do commentary and Larry says he’s not leaving. DiBiase and
Virgil aren’t enough to make him leave. Tony leaves and Larry finally
goes also.

We get a clip from the ending of last week’s show. Hogan is here tonight.

TV Title: Psicosis vs. Steven Regal

I don’t think this is a title match. Oh so it is. Eric says they’ll
be taking over New Japan next. They fight over a wristlock to start and
hit the mat where Regal takes over. Regal works on the arm and Bischoff
implies that Regal will join the NWO soon. We take a break to NWO music
and Bischoff promising something special. Back with Regal firing off
European uppercuts in the corner.

Rolling cradle gets two. Psicosis speeds things up to send him to the
floor. The fans are getting into this too. Psicosis hits a big dive to
the floor and a top rope sunset flip for two. A top rope rana gets the
same and the fans are really into this. The guillotine legdrop gets the
same but I don’t think that was Psicosis’ finisher yet. Regal comes back
with a suplex but his neck is hurting him.

Regal hooks the crossface part of the Regal Stretch and Psicosis taps
but it doesn’t count yet. Now it’s a half nelson as Regal works on the
neck. Butterfly suplex for two. Regal tries a top rope butterfly suplex
but Psicosis knocks him down and hits a kind of frog splash for two.
Psicosis superkicks him down (good one too) and tries a victory roll but
Regal slams him onto his face and the Regal Stretch gets the
submission.

Rating: B. I would ask where this came from, but as I
say over and over on here: giving talented people time usually means
you’re going to get a good match. Psicosis really had the fans into this
and I think had them believing that the title was in danger. The idea
of someone that was viewed as having only a tiny chance would be used
again in February.

We recap the Sting vs. Rick Steiner stuff.

Big Bubba vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Bubba knocks him into the corner to start but Chavo manages to speed
things up to take over. He gets Bubba tied up in the ropes and dropkicks
him to the floor. Bubba slams him out there though and Chavo is in
trouble. Back inside a splash misses and Chavo hits some dropkicks. He
fights out of a powerbomb position with right hands but jumps into a
Bossman Slam for the pin.

Here are Sonny Onoo and Masa Chono. Sonny is his agent and is
negotiating with New Japan for his contract. Sonny opens his jacket to
reveal a New Japan show. Chono opens his jacket to reveal an NWO shirt.
Chono yells at Sonny and Gene wants to know what he says. Sonny says
something in Japanese. Gene: “IN ENGLISH YOU IDIOT!!!”

Chris Jericho vs. Masa Chono

Chono sends him to the floor and Jericho has no idea what to do with
this guy. Chono knocks him down and yells at the referee. Sunset flip
gets two for Jericho. Jericho tries to fight back but Chono is too much
for him. Masa goes up but Jericho manages to get a superplex followed by
a spinwheel kick for two. A top rope version of the kick misses but
Jericho lands on Chono’s back. I think Chono was supposed to duck but
didn’t get completely out of the way. Jericho gets knocked into the
ropes and his foot gets tied into them. Chono chokes him until it’s a
DQ.

Rating: C-. Not a bad match but Jericho wasn’t ready
to hang in there with Chono yet. Also this was designed to be almost
total domination for the new NWO guy which was par for the course at
this point. I don’t remember when WCW’s first major win was but it would
be awhile coming unless I’m overlooking something.

We recap last week’s Piper stuff as well as his segment with Flair.

Here are Flair and the Horsemen minus Benoit. Anderson says he’ll
take out Sullivan tonight. Flair tells Benoit to get home. Debra doesn’t
like Woman. Mongo says be ready Arn. Flair loses his voice and says
Piper will kill Hogan.

Dave Sammartino vs. Dean Malenko

Did they lose a bet or something? The last national match I can find
for Sammartino before this is at Wrestlemania I. That’s over 11 years
ago! Did they owe Bruno a favor or something? They fight over the arm to
start and Dean takes him to the mat like he’s fighting a no talent hack
that is in the ring because his dad is famous. Small package gets two. A
tiger suplex ends this. Not even enough to call it a squash. It was
more like a workout with a punching bag for Dean.

Hour #2 begins and it’s Tony, Bobby and Tenay back on commentary.

We look at Chono joining the NWO again.

Ice Train vs. Jerry Flynn

Train destroys the martial arts guy to start but walks into a
clothesline. Tony plugs the NWO PPV even though he doesn’t want to.
Train takes him down again and this is a really boring match. He wins
with an ankle lock of all things.



Rating: F. This is one of those times where you have
to wonder what WCW was thinking. I mean…why does this match exist? Who
thought this show needed Ice Train vs. Jerry Flynn? Ice Train would have
four more matches on Nitro through May and then wouldn’t be on this
show for over three years. Flynn would be about the same. I don’t get
it.

Post match Syxx brings out the Outsiders. The Outsiders talk for a bit and the gist is Faces of Fear vs. Outsiders tonight.

Video on Sting abandoning WCW.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Bobby Eaton

Eaton goes for the knee quickly and works on the arm. Mysterio vs.
Liger is announced for Starrcade. Rey sends him to the floor and hits a
dive to take over. They head back in and things slow down. Rey works on
the arm which isn’t something I ever recall him doing. Eaton takes over
again and the top rope knee drop gets two. Eaton goes up again but Rey
crotches him and hits a top rope rana for the pin.

Rating: D+. This was a big surprise for me. With the
talent you have in there, this was a big disappointment. I think the
problem at the end of the day is that Eaton isn’t used to being the much
bigger guy and that messed him up. The match isn’t terrible but they
weren’t clicking at all.

Benoit and Woman are still in Germany and have another video, basically saying Benoit has taken Woman from Sullivan.

Arn Anderson vs. Kevin Sullivan

Sullivan blames Schiavone for showing the videos on the way to the
ring. The brawl stats in the aisle and Sullivan throws a chair at his
head. Anderson misses a swing with the chair and hits the post by
mistake. They go into the ring for what must have been a good 4 seconds
before heading into the crowd.

They go into the ring for the first time that you can actually keep
track of and the referee gets a DDT. Sullivan double stomps him and ties
Anderson into the Tree of Woe but Anderson manages to kick him low.
Here’s Hugh Morrus who gets a DDT. Konnan gets a left hand and Sullivan
manages to hit Anderson with a wooden chair for the pin.

Rating: N/A. I can’t really grade this as a match
because it was a brawl instead of an actual match. It was entertaining
which is really all you can ask for here. Benoit would get back soon
enough, namely due to being in the US Title tournament. This was a fun
brawl but there isn’t much of a reason to watch it from a storyline
perspective as the heat was on Benoit.

Rick Steiner vs. Sting

Sting comes from the rafters and through the crowd. That doesn’t look
like Sting at all. A second one comes out and that one looks more like
him. The second one is the real one. The fake one has a ball bat. And so
does the real one. The fake one throws his bat to Scott and the real
one throws his to Rick. They turn around and offer a free shot to the
Steiners, but the real Sting hits a Death Drop on the fake one, who
we’re told is the NWO Sting. The real one walks out. No match.

Here’s the NWO in full force. Well at least the big names as Giant
and Hogan are here with Vincent and DiBaise. Liz is there too. DiBiase
demands a spotlight for Hulk. Hulk calls out Piper when we know Piper
isn’t here. Hogan talks about starting here like Piper started in
Charlotte last week. He says he was beating up Andre the Giant when he
stated. Vincent is sent to the back to find Piper. Hulk says he could
beat up Flair and Piper at the same time. Vincent comes back and tells
Hogan that Piper ran out the back door. Hogan poses and dances to end
this.

Faces of Fear vs. Outsiders

Brawl to start and Hall loads up the Edge on Meng. Barbarian breaks
it up and Big Bubba comes in and joins the NWO, beating up Meng.
Sullivan comes out and is knocked backwards. The Dungeon comes in but
they’re outnumbered. The whole NWO comes out and some WCW guys join in
as well. Scott Norton drops Ice Train on the floor and is NWO as well.

Sting comes in and the brawl stops. The fight stops and Anderson
swings at Sting. Sting ducks and hits Anderson. Mongo gets in some shots
so Sting hits him too. Rey jumps on him and is slammed down. Sting
walks out to end the show. He only hit people that attacked him.

Overall Rating: B-. This is a hard one to grade.
It’s a very entertaining show and I can’t take that away from it.
However there’s something very important to note. With the three new
additions to the NWO, counting non-wrestlers, there are now SIXTEEN
members. The common problem people have with the NWO is that there were
too many members. Within the last two weeks, they’ve added 4 new
members, most of whom mean nothing. You could argue that Bubba is the
biggest name as most American fans didn’t know who Chono was. You can
see the problems that will plague the group starting here.

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