The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–09.23.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 09.23.96

For those wondering about the slowdown in getting these 96 shows out, it’s mostly because the Network’s archived content is getting so brutally slow to watch that it literally took me two hours to watch that September 23 episode of RAW with all the stuttering and buffering. Nitro is frequently even worse, and it’s getting to the point where this might be the last episode I do for a long while, because RAW at least works smoother most of the time. We’ll see how this one goes.

Live from somewhere, which turns out to be Birmingham, AL.

Your hosts are Tony & Larry

So of course while this episode was happening, the WWF was preparing to debut “Razor” and “Diesel”, which led to a very WCW reaction to the situation, as they immediately signed the real Hall and Nash to another $400,000 per year…each! Just to be on the safe side.

Konnan & Kevin Sullivan v. Juventud Guerrera & Brad Armstrong

This seems really random. Konnan works with Juvy on the mat for a bit, but he gets tossed and Juvy hits him with a dive and then springboards back in with a legdrop for two. Konnan puts him down with the 187, however, and follows with a fisherman’s buster, but Sullivan won’t tag in for some reason. Hot tag Brad and he runs relatively wild, but Konnan powerbombs him and Sullivan finishes with the double stomp at 2:30. And then the Dungeon turns on Konnan, but it turns out to be an initiation. Who the fuck would WANT to be initiated into that group of jobbers? *1/2 Apparently the initiation didn’t stick because he ended up joining the nWo anyway.

Meanwhile, Randy Savage isn’t terribly concerned about being targeted by the nWo. According to the WON, his contract was apparently expired and he was just working as a courtesy to Slim Jim until Halloween Havoc, but obviously they were able to get him signed again.

Chris Jericho v. Mike Enos

Jericho hits a spinkick and controls with armdrags, but Enos takes him down and chokes away. Jericho bails and Enos gives him a clothesline off the apron and pounds away on the floor, including a suplex onto the stairs. Back in with a bearhug and a powerslam for two as Enos continues gobbling Jericho up completely for some reason. Jericho reverses a body vice into a sunset flip for two, doing the plucky jobber comeback, and follows with a missile dropkick. Jericho tries a rana off the top, but Enos counters with a powerbomb for two. Enos tries another powerslam, but Jericho reverses into a sloppy cradle for the pin at 7:35. This was a total waste of Jericho, as having him doing matches with the heavyweights who wouldn’t sell for him was pointless at this phase of his career. *

Glacier v. Pat Tanaka

It’s like the UFC for fake martial artists! We get a posedown to start and Glacier legsweeps him, but gets caught in a powerbomb. Luckily, the blue light powers allow him to no-sell it, and he finishes with a spinkick at 1:10. Now, isn’t that blue light stuff supposed to be really bad for your eyes? No wonder Glacier needs those wacky contract lenses.

WCW World tag titles: Harlem Heat v. The Public Enemy

I was wondering when we were going to get to this one. PE double-teams Booker in the corner and Grunge cradles Stevie for two as we take a break. Back with Booker accidentally crotching himself on a sidekick attempt, but he puts Grunge down with a clothesline and the Heat take over. And that just goes on FOREVER and finally we cut away to the blessed mercy of the nWo limousine arriving because that’s at least moderately more interesting than Stevie Ray applying chinlocks to Johnny Grunge over and over. At this point I’d take watching video of the limo driver trying to find a parking spot. Rocco gets a hot tag and quickly gets beat up, but the Hangover misses and we get one of the ugliest spots ever, with Rocco supposedly falling back onto Booker, although he missed his cue and Stevie literally had to push him over himself. So that only gets two as they can’t even do THAT right, and finally Booker just picks Rock up and does a small package, which Rock reverses for the pin and the titles at 10:51. I have no idea why they decided putting the titles on these two, even for the week or so that it lasted, was any kind of a good idea. Especially since they had already announced the Heat v. Outsiders at Hallowen Havoc! DUD

HOUR #2!

Your hosts are Eric, Bobby and the Iron Professor.

Greg Valentine v. Randy Savage

I’m surprised they don’t book Savage to job here while they’re at it. Valentine quickly takes over with the elbowdrop and tosses Savage for some punishment on the floor, but Savage comes back with a chairshot to draw the DQ at 2:59. So they did job him to Valentine, then. ½* The nWo immediately runs in for the beatdown so that everyone can clearly see Hall and Nash on the show at the start of RAW. Nash beats on Savage with a Slim Jim in a funny bit, and then the Outsiders decide to take over the show by terrorizing Eric Bischoff at the desk. At this point we meet the newest member of the team, Dibiase’s security chief Vincent. Hopefully they have an Olive Garden in Birmingham.

Back from the break, and we meet the nWo racing team, as they’re apparently taking NASCAR over as well.

Jim Powers v. Michael Wallstreet

Giant is now acting as ring announcer and he’s hilarious doing it. Speaking of hilarious, Nash and Hall making steroid jokes about Powers immediately wins the internet. “All the guys in the gym think he’s looking good, ya know?” Then they leave the booth and go beat Powers up instead. Randy Anderson walks out of the match and so Nick Patrick takes over reffing duties. He’s here to UPHOLD THE RULES. Giant is all wacky and chokeslams Powers for the pin, so the ring announcer wins, I guess.

Meanwhile, Hogan finds the Nasty Boys backstage and wants to make peace with them. This was apparently something of a shoot, as the Nasties were bitching loudly backstage about the Outsiders treating them like crap in their house show matches, which ended up leading to bad places for them.

Jim Duggan v. Ron Studd

This also goes nowhere as Hogan and Nash beat up Studd. Luckily they have a replacement.

Jim Duggan v. Syxx

Duggan attacks and Syxx bumps around for him as the crowd is actually buying into Duggan’s chances here. Hogan on commentary: “After the Kid…uh, Syxx…the Sixth Kid on the Block…” Very smooth, Hulk. Hopefully he won’t get caught saying anything stupid where it might get him in legal trouble. Giant grabs Duggan and beats him up on the outside to give Syxx the win at 2:20.

“Sting” v. Bo Ladoux

Ironic that Fake Sting would be showcased on the night where Fake Razor debuted. Fake Sting finishes quickly with the Scorpion at 1:33.

The Outsiders v. High Voltage

This is supposed to be the Amazing French Canadians but yet another threat of attack changes the booking, as the Quebecers run away. Well, I mean, they are French. Funny start as Hall puts Kaos in an arm wringer and Patrick excitedly asks if he wants to give it up. That’s pretty much the high point of the match as it turns into a ridiculously long squash, complete with a commercial break and Hulk Hogan putting himself over for TEN MINUTES on commentary. Powerbomb finishes at 10:05. After making sure that Hall and Nash were front and center on Nitro in the main event, Bischoff saw the debut of “Razor and Diesel” on the monitor and nearly had an aneurism when he saw what was being presented and what he had wasted all that money to prevent.

The nWo wraps it up (“Hey Giant, I gotta know: Is Andre really your dad?”) as Nitro wins the war 3.5 to 2.0 that week. A whole hour of that was WAAAAAAAY too much, but the crowd was hot enough to keep it from being the total trainwreck that it could have turned into. However, apparently they didn’t learn that lesson when it came time to book Souled Out and thought that this could carry a whole three hour PPV.

RAW was at least a decent wrestling show, so I’ll give it the win even though it pretty much represented the low point of the promotion’s history. I’m funny that way.