The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 11.11.96
Yay, back to the normal length again after two super-sized episodes the past two weeks. And with a viewer advisory!
Live from Leningrad, FL.
Your hosts are Tony & Larry
Chris Benoit v. Jeff Jarrett
They fight over the wristlock to start and Benoit chops him IN THE FACE by accident, and we take a break. Back with the slugfest on the mat and Benoit obviously wins that one, but Jarrett comes back with a sloppy neckbreaker. Benoit keeps coming with chops and they keep slugging it out on the mat, giving it a “real fight” feel. Benoit suplexes him on the top rope, but Jarrett suplexes him to the floor in a typical crazy Benoit bump. This brings out Sting, who hits Jarrett with the Scorpion Deathdrop for the DQ at 9:11. And that was a storyline that never actually got resolved. Match was pretty fun leading up to the abrupt finish. **1/2
Meanwhile, some guy jumps the rail and gives Tony a tape for the truck to play.
Meanwhile, we get a video package about Flair’s recent surgery with Dr. Jim “Tape it up and work around it” Andrews.
Malia Hosaka v. Zero (Chigusa Nagayo)
This is another match in a vague women’s title tournament, and Zero was being built up as the big threat to Madusa before they abruptly changed their minds and dropped that completely. Zero blocks a sunset flip for two, and she won’t sell anything from Hosaka. Dressing butch doesn’t make her Vader. Powerbomb finishes at 1:40. DUD
Mean Gene returns from “extended vacation”, in reality some nasty contract negotiations, and he accuses DDP of being recruited by the nWo. Page acknowledges that he managed Hall and teamed with Nash, but that doesn’t give them the right to get all up in his business. The Outsiders come out to make the formal offer, and Page responds “So you’ve got 7 guys now, and I’m #8?” Nash brings up Page’s friendship with Bischoff, and they agree to disagree for now. This is actually a really interesting character bit from Page, because his objections aren’t “WCW tradition 1904 derp derp derp” like everyone else, it’s “You waited until 8 guys in to ask me and then insult me by insinuating that I got a job because of Bischoff? Fuck you.” That’s a unique and relatable character turn, and it’s no wonder it got over.
Rey Mysterio v. Ciclope
Ultimo Dragon and his newly won J-Crown are sitting at ringside, and Rey quickly puts Ciclope on the floor and hits him with a tope suicida. Back in, Ciclope blocks a springboard rana with a lariat and gets two. I’m thinking that Rey’s fatal error was yelling “FRANKENSTEINER!” before trying the move, but then he was still calling spots more quiet than Ken Shamrock. Ciclope hits his own dive and follows with a missile dropkick for two. To the top and Ciclope brings him down with a draping DDT for two. So now we get Dean Malenko coming out to watch, and then Psychosis comes out to watch HIM. Ciclope slows it down with a chinlock for a bit, but Rey fires back with a leg lariat and quebrada, which Ciclope reverses into a tombstone. Ciclope goes up and Rey takes him to the floor with a crazy headscissor takedown. Back in, West Coast Pop finishes at 5:52. I’d say Ciclope earned himself a job with this one. ***1/4
The Outsiders come out to hype up the Cable Ace Awards, and Hall starts some shit with Larry that doesn’t pay off for another year. Nash promises that in two weeks, it becomes nWo Monday Nitro.
Your hosts are Eric, Bobby and Mike Tenay
Scott Norton v. Lex Luger
Tenay notes that Scott Norton just won the annual New Japan tag tournament, which is majorly glossing over a lot of bullshit. Basically New Japan decided that they wanted to recreate the Road Warriors with Hawk and Kensuke Sasaki, including having them no-sell and destroy all the other teams in the promotion because worked a decade earlier in the US. And in fact it worked so well that there were no other viable teams to challenge them, so they had to create THE JURASSIC POWERS of Hercules Hernandez and Scott Norton, and to say this was nearing a low point for the tag team scene there would be a massive understatement. Thankfully the nWo Japan thing turned it around for them a bit. So they trade power stuff and this goes nowhere, while Sting watches from the rafters. Luger clotheslines Norton to the floor in the most awkward manner possible and they fight on the floor, where Luger accidentally clotheslines the post. Back in, Norton takes over as we take a break. Back with Norton working the arm as Bischoff declares him “non-stop”. That’s blatant false advertising, Eric. Norton misses a blind charge and Luger comes back with a backdrop suplex and STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM for two. Torture Rack finishes at 9:30. This was not so good. ½*
The Amazing French Canadians v. Harlem Heat
The Heat finally fired Col. Parker on WCW Saturday Night, and he makes his debut with the Canadians here. The French attack to start and get nowhere with that, and we cut to the back where the Nasty Boys are unable to get into the building. Well, the first problem is that they’re showing up 90 minutes late. So they get kicked out and meet the Booty Man in the parking lot on the way out, setting up another idea that went absolutely nowhere. Meanwhile, the match is totally ignored and finishes in a double DQ of some sort at 3:00.
Konnan v. Chris Jericho
Bischoff pitches the idea for the Piper-Hogan match he’s trying to sign: Another War To Settle The Score That Never Got Settled Before. Well, I guess it rhymes. Jericho with a clothesline for two and he puts Konnan on the floor for a dive, but it misses and Konnan takes over. Back in and Konnan works the neck and then dropkicks the knee, at which point Jericho crumples and grabs his knee for a bit to totally stop the match. Konnan powerbombs him for two and now switches to the arm, but Jericho comes back with a german suplex and a rollup for two. A bridging rollup falls apart, and Jericho accidentally grazes Nick Patrick for the DQ at 5:17. What a mess this was. DUD
Juventud Guerrera v. Miguel Perez
Future Boriqua Miguel Perez debuts here, dominating with a corner clothesline, but Juvy gets a missile dropkick. Perez gets a springboard senton into a standing moonsault for two, but Juvy tosses him and follows with a dive. He tries a rana off the railing, but Perez powerbombs him on the floor with a sick thump. And then he follows with a Space Flying Tiger Drop, which the camera mostly misses. Back in, Juvy comes back with a springboard dropkick, but misses the 450 and Perez rolls him up for the pin at 3:55. Why didn’t they do anything with this guy?! ***1/2
The Faces of Fear v. The American Males
Bagwell quickly gets beaten up in the corner and powerbombed by Barbarian while the announcers completely ignore the match and talk about Piper and Hogan instead. Riggs gets a hot tag and cleans house with dropkicks, but he walks into Meng’s thrust kick and gets pinned at 3:40. This was a total disaster. DUD Afterwards, Jimmy Hart demands to know how the Nasty Boys can get a title shot at the PPV instead of the Faces of Fear. Good question, especially since no one has mentioned anything about the Nasty Boys getting a title shot before this. In fact, they weren’t even allowed into the BUILDING just before this!
And now the moment that completes your meaningless lives, Roddy Piper in “I’m Your Man”. Yes, Piper tries to sing and I’m assuming this was handily inducted into the Wrestlecrap Hall of Fame. The announcers take this video to mean that Piper wants that match with Hogan after all. I take it to mean that he did a LOT of cocaine in 1992 and someone at the record company had pictures of him doing it.
We finish with another rambling Hogan interview, and now he’s got Elizabeth dressed up in a Santa suit. That’s about it.
This was a WEIRD show.