WCW Monday Nitro: September 9, 1996

Get your excitement in
check because WCW Nitro is fired up and ready to go. For the first time since I
started these recaps, you can also watch with me if you’re
subscribed to the WWE Network (just $9.99 per month!). That link will take you
directly to the episode of Nitro I’m reviewing, but I have no idea if the
content will be exactly what I see, because I’ll be working off the old
VHS-transferred-to-digital-copy that I own. If you choose to check out the
Network, spot the differences for me would ya?
Live again from an
undisclosed location, TONY SCHIAVONE
and LARRY ZBYSZKO welcome us to the
show. I don’t mean to alarm you, but in less than one week, there’s a
pay-per-view. New World Odor belches its way out of Larry’s gut within minutes.

Calo has a Cruiserweight
title shot at Fall Brawl, which would pretty much be his peak in WCW over the
next 3 years. Whoops, there I go spoiling stuff again. MIKE TENAY comes bolting out of the dark corner he lurks in to join
the announce booth at the mere whiff of a luchador. Tanaka drops Calo with a
side kick, but Calo comes back with a pair of triple jump crossbody blocks. Tanaka
rolls to the floor, and tope con hilo is on point! Do you care? WCW doesn’t,
because …
In the back, some YOUNG FOLKS wearing nWo shirts are
mulling around. The announcers claim this is outside the arena, but I wouldn’t
bet against it being Any High School Anywhere.
In the ring Tanaka blocks
a rana with a harsh powerbomb, yikes! They fight on to the top rope, where they
sort of awkwardly fall forward together. Calo appears to be dropped on his
head, but for some reason this leads to Tanaka getting pinned at 2:27. 1/2*
, but no audio. Thankfully, it turns up, and so does LEX LUGER. Rick says he beat Luger last
week, and he can do it again. Luger says he’s on top of his game. Rick
continues to howl that he can beat Luger. Gene: “Rick Steiner doesn’t have it
all upstairs.” That’s an understatement.
First nWo t-shirt
commercial. Just $20 + $5.95 shipping. Nash: “All proceeds go to the Ric Flair
retirement fund.” HAH!
Here’s some footage from
WCW Pro, where the alleged Glacier finally debuted. But, quite frankly, I recap
lots of WCW shows, and if I never saw it, it never happened. And instead of
seeing any actual wrestling, we see him standing around in a blue snowy mist,
flexing a lot. He’s part of the Dungeon of Doom, right?
Oh dear god, we’re into
the French Canadians era of Nitro. Tony correctly notes this is their debut.
Jacques Rougeau grabs the stick, and insists that the fans show respect as he
sings the National Anthem. Just to twist it a little more, they do it in French
to some serious heat.
In the crowd, the YOUNG FOLKS are passing out nWo flyers.
Meanwhile, Rougeau nails
Saggs with a flagpole, and then he backdrops Ouellet over the top towards
Saggs, but before I get to see what happens …
Larry is accepting a
flyer to find out what’s written on it. It says “you haven’t seen bad … but it’s
In the ring, Rougeau
backdrops Ouellet as a mid-ring senton, but it only gets 2. Rougeau slams him onto
Saggs, but it’s not enough. They do a super assisted top rope senton, and hit a
second one, but the morons take their time going for a pin and Knobbs is able
to save. Knobbs steals the Quebec flag, hits Carl in the back of the head, and
Saggs steals the pin at 3:27. **
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND hits the ring to talk to the Nastys. Gene
hilariously refers to the Canadians the “Rougeau Brothers”. Knobbs announces
his allegiance to WCW, and wants the straps.
NICK PATRICK is your referee, which Sting and Luger are apparently okay with
because they’re not running around trying to kill him. Tony is VERY excited
because Pittman and Norton have the same finishing move, the armbar, so he
figures this will absolutely determine which is better. Norton has at least one
week’s experience with it, since he has that Very Important Submission Match
against Ice Train at Fall Brawl, so it should come as no surprise that he wins
with it at 3:02, after ICE TRAIN who has appeared at ringside
throws in the towel. Yes, Craig Pittman isn’t allowed to tap out because lord
knows he MUST be protected so he can continue to stink up the Saturday Night and
Worldwide status quo. DUD
and RIC FLAIR. Flair demands to know
where on earth Sting is, considering they have a match together on Sunday.
Luger says Sting’s there somewhere, because “Steiner” saw him earlier. Well, if
“Steiner” saw him, he MUST be there. MONGO
comes shouting onto the scene wondering where Sting is. CHRIS BENOIT questions Luger some more,
but he swears if we can count on ANYONE, it’s him.
Once again, NICK PATRICK is your referee. Juvi has
a title shot this Sunday against Konnan for the Mexican Heavyweight Vanity
Belt, so a warmup here against Gomez seems apropos because he’s also Mexican
and thus is like wrestling the same person. Juvi tries a 360 dropkick off the
springboard, but whiffs. Thankfully, Gomez is a pro and sells it anyway. Juvi
then blows a springboard rana that is supposed to drag Gomez over the top and
back in, so Gomez is forced to jump over the ropes to sell it, and the fans
have had just about enough of this and turn solidly against Juvi. He opts not
to hit a super Franksteiner, and finshes with a hiro con plancha that’s sloppy
as all hell at 2:20. I really love
me some Juice, but if he was nervous here, it was written all over his
ring-work. DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND grabs Nick Patrick on his way to the back, and
asks to talk about the DQ from last week’s show. Patrick shows that Luger clearly
struck him, and says it’s a disqualification by the book, anywhere in the
country. Patrick asks why Luger isn’t suspended for chasing him out of the
building last week, because anyone else would be for threatening to assault a
referee. Patrick reminds Gene that the only reason people suspect him for being
a traitor is because of him. He promises to keep enforcing the rules to the
letter of the law, and continue to do his job. Gene says he didn’t “get off the
turnip truck”, he knows that Patrick has a new $23,000 rolex. Patrick calls him
“Mr. Mercedes Benz” in return, and tells him if he doesn’t stop with the wild
accusations, he’ll take him to court. That actually works, as Gene nervously
ends the interview. Brilliant. Everything with Nick Patrick has been done to
perfection so far.
Meanwhile, in the very
rainy parking lot, THE NWO are
putting their flyers all over the cars for the fans in attendance. TED DIBIASE is talking to someone
inside a nearby limousine.
WCW has wisely assigned PEE WEE ANDERSON to this match, so
shenanigans should be kept to a minimum, in theory. Larry angrily asks where
the hell Sting is, when it’s clear that the nWo has leadership and WCW needs
someone to step up. Gosh these guys are paranoid! (Okay, perhaps rightly so.)
Tony mentions that nWo shirts are now on sale in the merchandise stands,
because they have strong financial backing that’s arranged it via DiBiase.
However, that’s all she wrote for Fat Tony, because it’s HOUR #2!
. Rick gives Luger a nasty hard powerslam, but only gets 2. An
overhead belly to belly gets a loud reaction, but Steiner can’t get the pin.
Both guys knock each other out, but Luger recovers faster and powerslams Rick.
He calls for the Rack, but for some reason NICK
hits ringside and calls Luger to the back, screaming “OUT BACK!”
Luger rushes back, and is counted out at 7:02.
From inside the limo,
Sting’s voice is screaming at TED
. Luger comes over, and gets in DiBiase’s face asking where his
buddy is. DiBiase plays innocent, but out from the limo pops STING, and he beats Luger right down!! The
rest of THE NWO rush over, and join
in. They scatter, and Luger recovers enough to beat up THE CHAFFEUR. Otherwise, he’s left standing in the parking lot, a
cold, wet mess, with a broken heart. Sting turning??? If you thought the Giant’s
turn made no sense, this one is a thousand times worse.
Except I’m totally cool
with it, with the benefit of spoilers and hindsight and all that jazz.
After a long recap of the
last few weeks, we head back into the rain, where Luger is tearing apart the
limos. BRIAN KNOBBS and RICK STEINER, dressed in their full
garb are walking around with umbrellas, are also looking for Sting which is
just amazing to see. THE AMAZING FRENCH
join the search. Tenay reminds us that the lack of leadership has been the
problem with WCW from the get-go, and with Sting’s defection, WCW’s in a lot of
world cruiserweight title)
Tenay figures that this
is far too soon for Kidman who’s only 21 years old, but given time, he will be
a critical piece of the Cruiserweight division. What’s up, Nostradamus? Rey
makes him look like a chump early, with a series of ranas both in and out of
the ring. However, Kidman blocks the West Coast Pop with a dropkick, and
follows with a top rope splash for 2. Rey quickly takes back control with a
ridiculous springboard senton for the pin at 1:42. Rey is ridiculously amazing at this point, and makes the
modern day Rey look like a slug. 1/2*
THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) vs. THE PUBLIC
TPE has been back in the
fold for nearly a year, and it has yet to be determined whether or not they are
heels or faces. I’m all for shades of grey and what-not, but Jesus guys, pick a
side! NICK PATRICK referees this
one, and he’d better get his working boots on because the Fear are all over
Public Enemy. Grunge takes Meng to the floor and awkwardly whips him into the
guardrail, which isn’t sold at all. Meng fires back with a headbutt, and sends
Grunge into the guardrail. Meanwhile, on the split screen, Rocco tries a
moonsault, but he’s given a Bossman slam by the Barbarian. In case there wasn’t
enough going on, RON THE LEPRECHAUN shows
up and starts chasing Hart around for awhile, before returning to the back. And
speaking of things in the back …
Gene says his emotions are running high, and he can feel it in the room too.
Arn isn’t disturbed that Luger lost a friend, and he couldn’t care about losing
a teammate, but he can’t believe that Sting, the constant in WCW for 10 years,
turned his back on the company. For the first time in his life, he’s speechless.
Gene demands to know if everyone’s selling out these days? Luger says his best
friend stabbed him in the back, and he vows to stalk Sting everywhere he goes.
He knows where he lives, where he works out, and he’ll be there. Flair promises
the confusion is over, they’re going to Wargames with or without Sting. Arn
promises to fight to the death.
Meanwhile, there’s a
match still happening, and Meng is giving the spike piledriver to Rocco. He
turns to Grunge for god knows what reason, and HE’S CLUBBERIN’ TONY! The Fear
double team Rocco with headbutts, but Patrick misses the pinfall opportunity
because he’s busy with Grunge. Meng works a headlock, before releasing and
kneeing Rock in the stomach. He misses an avalanche, but makes the tag out to
Barbarian quickly. Still, Rocco makes his corner, and Grunge starts the house o
fire routine. That doesn’t last, because it’s the Faces of Fear for god sakes. Rocco
hits a double bulldog, and matters break down fast between them as they pair
off. Barbarian slams Rock’s head into the ringpost, and puts him on the table.
Barbarian heads up while Jimmy holds Rocco’s legs, but he still manages to move
and Barbarian comes CRASHING through from the top rope right to the concrete!
Insane, I would have never imagined that from Barbarian. In the ring, Grunge
hits a swinging neckbreaker on Meng, and Grunge brings in a table to the middle
of the ring. Meng is placed on top, and Rocco hits the moonsault on Meng. Meng
doesn’t even sell THAT because he’s Meng and f--- you. Tongan Death Grip is
applied, and Rocco taps at 10:44.
The Fear have been amazing for months now, and it looks like a push might be on
the way. **1/2
come down to join the victors, and “MEAN”
is never far behind. Jimmy says he’s tired of being accused
of creating the mess with the Giant. Hart says the minute he jumped was the
beginning of the end of the Giant. Bubba turns his attention to Glacier, and
demands that he “come get a bit of this”. Konnan tries to be super street and
Latin, by praising Kevin Sullivan and hating on the nWo “Paid For” ads. He
challenges them to come to the ring right now and fight him. Errrr, I’m
thinking they’d probably be totally cool with that. Sullivan warns the Giant to
watch his back, and knows he can’t trust anyone anymore after Sting’s turn (while
eyeballing Okerlund accusingly).
Hogan introduced DiBiase
as the boss, because he’s got more money than Ted Turner. They’ve got the cash,
they’ve got the belt, and WCW is next. They brag that nobody saw #5 coming
(fair). They laugh about the face WCW doesn’t even know who they’re gonna face
in the cage at Wargames. DiBiase figures they need to start making demands.
They want their own segment on the show, and their shot at the tag-team titles.
Uh oh.
I’m not sure we’ve seen
Tenta since Bash at the Beach, but he’s got some serious follicle problems
because not a centimetre of hair has returned from the part Bubba shaved off. Savage
looks quite slim (Jim) and ripped here. Tenta attacks as soon as Savage slides
into the ring, but Savage doesn’t put up with that and goes for a slam. Of
course, Tenta is fat, so he falls on top and gets 2. Savage takes a dropkick
and Savage rolls to the floor, while Bischoff yammers on about the WWF, because
putting on a superior product isn’t enough for him. A chair drops Tenta, and
Savage follows with a pair of Elbows. TEDDY
rushes down begging Savage to join him in the back for some reason,
screaming “THEY’RE BACK”. He’s counted out presumably.
Savage is joined by THE FOUR HORSEMEN, RICK STEINER, and THE
. One limo immediately takes off, but a second one is nearby
and unattended. They check out the limo, but find nothing more than a can of
spray paint. Savage demands the boys spray WCW all over the limo. BOY YOU SURE
The announcers chat
things up. Heenan gives a spirited rant, insisting WCW stop worrying what the
nWo has – and start concentrating on their deep roster, and just work together.
ARN ANDERSON rushes the booth to
tell the world that nobody’s hotter than the Horsemen right now. The rest of
the FOUR HORSEMEN arrived, and
Heenan has to be Heenan by immediately taking the time to shake their hands, a
nice character touch. Anderson reminds Sting that by joining the nWo, he’s
trying to be a Faux Horsemen. Flair steals a headset and cuts off Bischoff,
asking if the nWo is ready to bleed, sweat, and pay the price. He vows Hogan
won’t leave Winston-Salem alive. Bischoff says WCW made a huge mistake bringing
Hogan to the company, and promises to put his faith in the Horsemen going
forward, as he signs off.

Is he being honest? We’ll
probably find out more on WCW Saturday Night. But before we get there, the bizarro
world of WCW Prime MUST be checked out, which we’ll do next. See you then.