WCW Nitro: December 9, 1996

Are you ready for action? Excitement? A REALITY CHECK? Because tonight, WCW has promised us two solid hours of Roddy Piper here on WCW Monday Piper! Your hosts are TONY PIPER and LARRY PIPER. They can’t get so much as a coherent sentence strung together, because immediately the bagpipes fire up and out walks…
GLACIER! Oh, sorry, it’s RODDY PIPER. He’s wearing a Carolina Panthers t-shirt, because he’s a giant suck-up (since we are LIVE in Roddy, North Caropiper). Piper says he’s home, because he’s so bloody strung out he can’t tell North Carolina from Oregon. He hops around on one leg (the surgically repaired leg, for those playing at home) as a display to the nWo that he’s fine. His 7-year old son, whose name he can’t remember (his words, not mine) saw the nWo written on his leg, and told daddy dearest that Hogan’s younger than him and has two legs. He’s been told to stop because he’s a gimp. “It didn’t seem to stop Bo Jackson!” For god sakes Roddy, yes it did. Piper tells a story about a time he was asked to take a dive against Mr. T, which he refused, so “they” forced him to wear special gloves that curled his hands so he wouldn’t hurt Mr. T. It was the most shameful moment of his career, one he’ll never repeat, cuz he’s never taking a dive for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Point made; but nope, we’re still going. He talks about a recent nWo promo he saw where 6 guys dressed in leather were sitting around drinking Dom and not a woman in sight. You know, for a guy whose nickname is “Hot Rod” and wears a kilt, you’d figure he’d stay away from that nonsense. Piper demands Hogan tonight, and leaves to the bagpipes and a slew of utterly confused fans who are still cheering but don’t appear to be sure why.

MIKE ENOS vs. M. WALLSTREET
Thankfully, the announcers are about as interested in this match as I am, but that’s because Tony can’t stop talking about the number of kids Piper has. TED DIBIASE wanders down to ringside about 30 seconds into the match, and considering the history he has with one of the guys in the ring, it should be obvious where this is going. He has a contract, which Enos smiles and offers to sign – giving Wallstreet a chance to nail him with the Stock Market Crash at 1:36. DUD Wallstreet happily accepts the contract; presumably to join the nWo.
The insanely creepy Benoit/Woman video is replayed from Saturday Night. This is on the Network, in full.
HUGH MORRUS vs. THE RENEGADE (with Joe Gomez)
I’ve always appreciated WCW, and their roster of 1400 wrestlers, but cutting ties with Renegade sooner rather than later might not be the worst idea in the world. It’s unbelievable that in a year and a half since his debut, working in numerous high profile spots, that he has failed to improve in any way, shape, or form. Morrus, on the other hand, is coming into his own, showing some fantastic timing and unique characteristics that stand out. He admittedly doesn’t look great selling the horrible handspring back elbow from Renegade, but the No Laughing Matter is always a joy, and Morrus gets the win at 3:02. 1/2* He goes for a second one, but Gomez saves his close personal friend from disaster.
KEVIN SULLIVAN power walks right into the face of Tony Schiavone, freaking out about the video being played a second time. He says it’s just a stupid ratings ploy; and demands to know who the tape was mailed to. Tony admits it was sent to Sullivan himself. Kevin freaks, and asks why the hell Tony thought he could just up and play it? Tony backtracks saying he only does what he’s told, but Sullivan says he’s a pawn. His personal life is his business, and that video affected “somebody” really badly (no idea who that is, they don’t have kids), and demands that the next time he’s got a video, he gives it to Sullivan and doesn’t air it for their stupid ratings.
Upping the ridiculousness, a special video look at Sting is aired with “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler as the bed. Do they understand their audience is 13-35 year old men?
Things are spiralling downwards fast; because KEVIN GREENE is welcomed by “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Greene is still upset that Mongo sold him out a million years ago, and insists he’s gonna get his revenge after that pesky football season is over. In fact, he wants a piece of Hulk Hogan as well, and he’ll be renamed “Chokin” Hogan. Just leave.
JIMMY GRAFFITI vs. DEAN MALENNKO (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)
Is this show for real? Jimmy Graffiti’s getting title shots on their flagship program? I realize the WWF is utter garbage, and they probably don’t have a lot to worry about from the competition, but this Nitro has been straight up laziness. I suppose Graffiti could shock us all with the performance of a lifetime, but then I imagine Tony could stop talking about Roddy Piper, but that’s simply not going to happen. Graffiti works a hammerlock on the mat, slowing things down right away, exactly what I want from my Cruiserweight matches. Malenko belts him with a short arm clothesline, and we take a commercial break which causes every trained fan to immediately look to the entrance to see who’s coming to the ring.
Back from the break, SONNY ONOO has joined us to liven up the racism. He’s snapping pictures, because that’s what Asians do. Graffiti nearly steals a pinfall, but that’s not happening, so let’s move on. Malenko knocks Jimmy to the floor, but misses the baseball slide allowing Graffiti to clothesline him. Malenko is dropped across the guardrail, and rolled back in as Jimmy promptly crotches himself on the top rope. A superplex from Deano knocks both of them silly, and Graffiti recovers first with a superkick for 2. A powerbomb allows Graffiti to take half an hour to eventually go for a bridge, getting 2. Malenko comes right back with a series of pinfall attempts, but none of them succeed. Graffiti throws a hot shot and goes for a brainbuster, but Malenko hooks him and rolls forward for the pin at 7:06. This was perfectly acceptable, but I’m all kinds of sour right now. **
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND drops in to talk to Sonny Onoo. Sonny slips and speaks English, and Gene accuses him of being a scam from a sushi bar. Sonny says he speaks with the accent is because the US throws him free education, free housing, and even stay home and get free money with his act. He waves a miniature American flag to show his patriotism.
THE NASTY BOYS vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
I see a glimmer of hope in turning this show around; but that’s assuming the Nastys don’t drag the Fear down to their level of stink. Everyone starts clubbering, causing Tony to get knocked in the jaw by the ever present erection of one Dusty Rhodes. Of course, THE OUTSIDERS appear about 20 seconds into this match, posing with the tag-team titles to a roaring ovation. Sags easily slams Barbarian, but heads to the floor to chase Hart, so the Fear double team him, complete with smashing his face with a chair. Barbarian holds him hostage while Meng viciously beats him in the chest with such vigor you can hear each rapid blow clearly. He’s rolled back in, and Barbarian misses a top rope swandive. Knobbs tags in as the “fresh” man, but there ain’t nothing Fresh about Brian Knobbs. Knobbs hits a mid-rope placha on Barbarian, followed by a mid-rope splash, but the referee is busy trying to break up a fight on the floor to count to 3. Hart gets involved now, but accidentally smashes Barbarian in the face with his Megaphone. Knobbs rips the coat right off the back of Hart, and throws him right over the top, into the awaiting arms of Meng. Thankfully Barbarian puts an end to this sham with a Kick of Fear at 5:22. Too much selling from the Fear makes me an unhappy camper. *
The Shank of the Evening is upon us, because “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND welcomes RIC FLAIR to a rabid Charlotte crowd. Flair takes a moment to bow down to Kevin Greene, for leading the Panthers to the playoffs. With that in mind, he asks RODDY PIPER to join us. Flair endorses Piper, and admits he fumbled the ball two years ago when he had the chance to stop Hogan. Roddy admits it’s his last shot, and says he doesn’t want to come off as arrogant but he isn’t asking for anyone’s help. He won’t live with himself if he can’t do this alone. With that in mind, he has a big kiss for Flair, and they head to the back in each other’s arms to talk old times.
MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN join Tony for hour #2. Zbyszko disappears into in the purple haze of Larryland.
Piper’s first promo from hour 1 is replayed, in case you weren’t sure whether or not Roddy Piper was here.
BOBBY EATON vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Eaton clotheslines Jericho immediately, heads up, and choose not to hit the Alabama Jam. No, with Jericho laid out perfectly, that would only make sense, and we can’t have that. Instead, he drops a knee, which does little, and before long Jericho’s throwing spinning heel kicks while simultaneously blasting in with a promo against Nick Patrick, vowing he’s going to get him again. For what? Patrick’s not even around anymore. Lionsault gets 2. Eaton fires back with an electric chair, and NOW he decides, yes, it’s Alabama Jam time, but ONLY after he takes about 48 minutes to scale the ropes. Jericho moves, nails Sweet Chin Music, and finishes with the missile dropkick at 2:36. 1/2*
In light of last week’s bizarre behavior from Sting, we choose to let THE STEINER BROTHERS weigh in, with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND firing the hard-hitting questions. Scotty asks if you really wanted a fight with Rick Steiner, would you hand him a bat – because if so, you’re nuts. Scott says he saw something in Sting’s eyes at that moment, and he’s able to do the math. Together, the Steiners and Lex Luger are WCW forever. Rick starts doing pirouettes looking for Sting, and asking for a message that never comes.
SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN vs. ARN ANDERSON (with the McMichaels)
Only a night like tonight could breed the return of the Pitbull. I’m about ready to pull my TV out of the wall in the hope it explodes. We call for a commercial break after about a minute of absolutely nothing happening.
Back in the arena, Arn is slowly dragging Pittman’s leg to the corner, and whips it around the ringpost. Mongo looks Pittman in the eyes, and screams “DID IT HURT?” with a shit eating grin, which makes me crack a smile. Arn heads up, but Pittman slams him off the top and locks Arn in Code Red. Anderson scurries to the ropes for the break, and heads out to the safety of the floor. Debra gets into it with the referee, allowing Mongo to smack Pittman with the Haliburton, and one DDT later gives us a winner at 2:52. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND needs a word with the Horsemen (sans Flair, Benoit, and Woman), and everyone’s asking where Woman is? Benoit’s apparently in Germany, and is supposed to be alone. Debra shrieks that “Nancy” is a tramp, and she wears her beauty pageant gear to remind everyone that she’s legit and true to her roots. Arn urges Benoit to come home, because he’s got a bone to pick with Woman. I bet Benoit’s got a bone with Woman too.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. JEFF JARRETT (in a United States heavyweight title tournament semi-finals match)
Oh come on, what the shit is this? DDP should be on the fast-track to the finals since Luger and Arn annihilated each other in round one; but since neither of THEM could decide a winner, apparently Jeff Jarrett gets a free pass into the final 4 in a tournament he was never a part of. Further blowing my mind is the realization that these two would one day main event a pay-per-view together. (Albeit, not a good one.) Jarrett sweeps out Page’s legs, and dances on his back. I’m not impressed until I see a moonwalk, or at minimum, the Charleston. Jarrett and Page get into a shoving match, and a commercial break gets in the way.
Specifically, a Roddy Piper ad for Starrcade.
Back from the break, Page hits a backdrop, and follows with a tilt-a-whirl slam for 2. Jarrett retaliates with a jawbreaker, and follows with an enzuigiri – and now we strut. A swinging neckbreaker takes Page down, and Jarrett points to his head because he’s Double J: Super Genius. After a brief flurry of offense, Page hits a quick sunset flip for 2, but Jarrett pops up quickly with a clothesline to keep him down. A slingshot suplex sets up a second rope fistdrop, and a bridge pin gets 2. Jarrett goes for a suplex, but Page packages him for 2. Jarrett’s right back to it with a faceplant for 2. Jarrett tries a sleeper next, and Page waves viciously until he passes out. After a brief siesta, he’s awake and wiggles loose. Jarrett blocks a kick, but can’t block the discus punch, and they’re both out. DDP slowly makes his way to the top, and hits a clothesline for 2. Page feels the momentum now, and charges Jarrett, but the ropes are pulled down and he crashes to the floor. Out cold, THE OUTSIDERS race down to ringside but both Jarrett and the referee see Nash. They completely miss Scott Hall, who hits the Outsiders Edge on Jarrett as he was standing on the top rope watching Nash. Page rolls in, having no idea what just happened, and gets the win at 9:49. We have a highlight tonight! ***
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND storms the ring next, and wants to know why Hall and Nash keep coming to Page’s aid. He reminds us that he doesn’t need those guys, he has the hottest finisher on the planet. For the last time, he is willing to do his own thing without them. He wants to know where they were 3 years ago when he was busting his ass? When he won the most improved wrestler in PWI last year? He says this situation reminds him of dealing with a girl he might have picked up in a night club once, and the next thing he knows, she wants a “membership” to his “gym”. For the last time: Leave DDP alone.
RICK STEINER vs.
RODDY PIPER storms down to the ring as Rick’s music is playing. I can’t decide if I’d rather see this, or the planned Rick Steiner/Scott Norton main event. He calls out Hogan, and wants to do some fighting NOW. He’s got a chair, because he’s willing to wait. Instead, we’re greeted with ERIC BISCHOFF, now with a new evil goatee, ducking debris and getting soaked with beer all the way to the ring. He’s here to inform Piper that the nWo has left the building, and remind him that he’s Piper’s friend. He’s doing everything he can to protect Piper from the violence of Hulk Hogan. But if he insists, “we’ll see you on the 29th, gimp.” Piper stands and smacks Eric in the back of the head, and before he smacks him with the chair, THE OUTSIDERS and TED DIBIASE rush down to ringside. He threatens everyone in sight with the chair, and nobody’s willing to pounce, as the fans go completely insane. KEVIN GREENE rolls into the ring to stand with Piper, and help him fend everyone off. The crowd is going absolutely insane here, and JUST as the Outsiders make their move, WE’RE OUTTA TIME.
I’m getting Piper overkill, but that last segment was red hot. And, bonus points for NOT turning Kevin Greene on the side of the nWo, because you KNOW 1997 Eric Bischoff wouldn’t have been able to resist that “clever” move.

To better days, and better shows.