Monday Nitro #56
Date: October 7, 1996
Location: Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, Georgia
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Please let this be more interesting than last week. I don’t think I can take another one of those shows. This is another build to the Halloween Havoc PPV show and hopefully we’ll get some followup on the Liz in the NWO hotel room stuff from last week. The main event is Flair vs. Savage (it’s been a few months so I don’t mind as much) and another Benoit vs. Steiner match for some reason. Let’s get to it.
We open with a clip of the end of the show last week. I don’t think we saw what was in the package that Vince brought in, which he seemed a bit nervous about.
We get a clip of Harlem Heat winning the tag titles back from Public Enemy on WCW Saturday Night.
Harlem Heat vs. Public Enemy
Nice to see them get this out of the way quickly. And this is non-title……why exactly? The new champions don’t even get an introduction. That’s a very odd way to start a title reign isn’t it? This is about respect or revenge or something like that. The Heat takes over pretty quickly but Patrick is knocked to the floor and is down as we take a break. Back with Liz trying to get in Savage’s dressing room. She walks in but Randy is gone.
Back to the match as Rock is in a camel clutch. Harlem Side Kick gets a very delayed two. Off to a chinlock after Sherri cheated a bit. This isn’t the most interesting match in the world. Rock gets double teamed down in the corner again. The NWO is in the arena. I don’t think I see Hogan in there though. The match of course stops and they have a microphone. The Outsiders threaten Harlem heat and make Slim Jim puns.
During this whole things it’s almost all chinlocks and rest holds. Larry wants to know how they got on WCW’s frequency. That’s a really good question actually. The NWO shuts up as Booker misses a middle rope elbow and both guys go down off a clothesline by Rock. Public Enemy takes over until Colonel Parker interferes and Rock falls off the top onto the table. The Heat goes after Grunge’s bad knee with a chair and they drop a top rope knee onto the chair onto the bad knee for the pin.
Rating: D. Boring match in the first place which is dragged even further down because of the Outsiders stuff. I’d still like to know why this wasn’t non-title. I mean, the Heat wins and they look pretty dominant doing it, so why not add on something like a title stipulation to make it more interesting? Not much to see here but part of that is due to the match stopping cold because of the Outsiders.
A limo arrives and Jeff Jarrett has jumped ship to WCW.
We get a clip from Saturday Night of Nick Patrick fining Randy Savage one million dollars. No word on if it was ever paid or not, but I remember this moment as it aired.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jim Powers
After a basic power man opening by Powers, we get a quick promo from Page about Eddie. Nothing too special, but it’s nice to hear them actually talk about their upcoming matches. Cross body gets two for Powers. He tries a full nelson but Page escapes and the Cutter ends this. Quick match.
Page roughs up Teddy Long post match but just shoves him.
Here’s Macho Man to a big ovation. He brings out….oh for crying out loud he brings out a racecar driver. This is what you would expect from it to be. I still don’t care. The NWO car wrecked so Savage declares victory for WCW. So uh….about that ex wife possibly joining the evil team stuff? Can we talk about that or anything like that? Nope, it’s still racing chat.
Savage takes like two minutes teasing how high he finished in the race. He finished 10th and this is supposed to be a big deal. Savage talks for four minutes and doesn’t talk about Liz AT ALL. It’s all racing crap and I’m tempted to fast forward. Oh and he’ll beat Hogan. Liz FINALLY comes out and Savage won’t talk to her. Well there was really a point to that.
Faces of Fear vs. High Voltage
High Voltage is Rage and Kaos. The Tongans jump them and it’s Meng vs. Kaos to start. Jarrett will wrestle tonight. The Horsemen are in the aisle since they’re against the Faces of Fear at Havoc. Total dominance here as Rage is beaten down. Powerbomb gets two. A slingshot into a big boot (nowhere near as cool as it sounds) ends this.
Rating: D. Nothing match here but it was a decent enough squash. High Voltage was never worth anything but Kaos was Rick Steiner’s pick to be one half of the tag champions at one point for no apparent reason. The Faces of Fear got a mini-push until the end of the year and got the title match at Starrcade. Just a squash here.
Glacier vs. Mike Wenner
What a great jobber name. It’s pronounced Winner. Glacier has the weird lights like Sin Cara has at the moment. He takes Wenner down with the leg sweep and goes for the arm. The fans think this is boring and I’m not going to argue with them that much. Glacier hits an over the top rope dive and a spinning kick ends this. Total and complete domination. He wouldn’t be on Nitro again until December.
Glacier does martial arts until the second hour starts.
Eric announces Jarrett as part of the NWO. Where did he get this information?
Jeff Jarrett vs. Hugh Morrus
Jarrett hadn’t been on TV in the WWF for about 8 months so this wasn’t exactly the biggest shocks ever. Eric keeps telling us that Jeff is in the NWO and I still don’t get where he got that from. Heenan asks Eric where he went last week and Eric brushes it off. Morrus takes over after about a minute and Jeff misses an enziguri. The announcers are blasting him every chance they get. I think it’s something about Jeff wanting a shot in WCW and Eric saying no, so it must be the NWO that brought him in.
Jarrett takes over with a great dropkick for two. Powerslam gets two for Morrus. The announcers want to know where the NWO is because they usually have their members’ backs. Maybe because no one ever said he was in the NWO? Morrus misses a top rope elbow and Jarrett wins it with the Figure Four.
Rating: C-. Eh this was just ok. Jarrett would be around for about a year before he headed back to the WWF to be a really annoying country singer which he would be for another year before he got his hair cut and turned into a male chauvinist pig. This was just a basic introduction to Jarrett which was fine.
Tony talks to Jeff and says he’s part of the NWO because he got out of a black limo. I’m serious. That’s their rationale for saying that Jarrett is in the NWO: the color of his car. Jarrett talks about Hogan bragging about how he made promoters like Verne Gagne and Jerry Jarrett (Jeff’s dad, big time promoter in Memphis back in the territory days), and says that Hogan didn’t make either of the Jarretts. He goes on an old guys are awesome rant and tells the NWO to stick it.
Buy the NWO shirt.
Renegade vs. Arn Anderson
Renegade still had a job at this point??? He was an Ultimate Warrior rip-off (same mannerisms, look, style, Hogan talked about him being the Ultimate Surprise etc) and he squashed Anderson for the TV Title in 95. The problem was he made Warrior look like Shawn Michaels in the ring. Anderson controls to start and breaks up a sunset flip. Renegade is looking like the jobber that he should have been.
The fans chant for the DDT as Eric sings WCW’s praises, in this case that of Harlem Heat. Anderson works on the arm while Eric kind of bashes the other announcers for bailing on him. You know, like he did to them last week but we’re not supposed to remember that I guess. Renegade gets a shot in and Tenay suggests that Jarrett might be the swinging point for WCW. Oh dear. Eric still doesn’t trust him. Handspring elbow by Renegade but the second is broken up. DDT ends this.
Rating: D+. Squash here and that’s fine. I still don’t get why Renegade has a job at this point but I guess there’s a logic to paying him a bunch of money somewhere. Nothing to see here and the Ultimate Warrior doing a cartwheel elbow is pretty stupid when you think about it. Nothing match and nothing to see here.
Anderson hammers on him post match until Luger makes the save.
Lex Luger vs. Dave Taylor
Why did Luger go to the back and come out again two minutes later? Luger says in an inset promo that he wants the TV Title back and that he’ll be ready for Anderson. The match is just what you would expect: Taylor gets in a few shots and then the Rack ends it. Basically a workout for Luger.
Anderson jumps Luger with a chair as Luger is leaving.
Chris Benoit vs. Rick Steiner
Scott is injured but is here with Rick anyway. Steiner goes right after him to start and pounds him down with ease. I still don’t get why this mini-feud is even happening. Belly to belly gets two. Off to a chinlock and we talk about an Olympic silver medalist talking about joining WCW, which wouldn’t happen. Another suplex has Benoit holding his neck and head, which makes me wince a bit given what we know now. After a two count we take a break.
Back with Benoit in control with a chinlock but he goes to the corner and pounds away when the cameras are back on. Scott goes after Nick Patrick a bit and Patrick freaks. An NWO limo arrives with Hogan inside with Giant. The match isn’t that important I guess. Hogan says watch this place because he has business to take care of. Benoit had Rick in a chinlock at the time so at least he was smart enough to think through it.
Eric rants about Jarrett some more and Benoit hooks another chinlock. Rick wakes up and hits a huge Steiner Line but Benoit just gets mad because of it. He chops Rick so hard Rick’s headgear falls off. FREAKING OW MAN! Swan Dive gets two. Benoit jumps into a suplex and then a DDT gets two for Rick. The top rope bulldog gets….two? Since we were having a decent match, here’s Debra to make sure it gets screwy. Mongo goes for the briefcase but Rick steals it and waffles Mongo with it (great looking shot) and then hits Benoit for the pin.
Rating: C+. Without the shenanigans and distractions, this would have been a pretty solid match. Rick certainly wasn’t much in his later career, but when he was on he was on pretty well which was the case here. Benoit was so hungry at this point and you could tell how awesome he would be if they gave him the proper push, which unfortunately never really happened.
US Title: Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair
After Savage’s entrance, the NWO is shown in the back and Hogan tells the Nastys to watch his back. He wants to talk to Savage on his own. DiBiase has the NWO contracts for the Nastys. We cut to the back and the NWO is standing over Flair who is out cold. Vincent takes the US Title belt with him. There was a sound resembling a lead pipe shot before we cut there. Liz is there and looks terrified. I think this was due to Flair needing legit shoulder surgery.
Liz is stalked into the arena by Giant who has the title. Hogan jumps Savage and beats him down with a chair. This beating goes on for like 7 minutes as Heenan shouts a very good question: WHERE IS THE REST OF THE LOCKER ROOM??? Trash is thrown into the ring and they do his outline in spraypaint. Hogan declares Liz and Savage null and void because he owns her mind, body and soul. Something about a contract is mentioned. Hogan says he’s going to destroy the broadcast booth and here’s an NWO monster truck. WHAT AM I WATCHING???
Overall Rating: C-. Better than last week for sure, but this show is crawling towards Halloween Havoc about as slowly as you possibly can. Most of the card is announced and they’re building things up, but the problem is everything is pretty much set and there isn’t much to have as far as matches on Nitro goes. Not a great show, but WAY better than last week’s.
Remember to like me on Facebook at: