Monday Nitro – October 7, 1996

Monday Nitro #56
Date: October 7, 1996
Location: Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, Georgia
Attendance: 4,300
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.

 

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – November 11, 1996

by Logan Scisco

-Vince McMahon and Jerry “the King” Lawler are in the booth and are wrapping up the Raw taping in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Opening WWF Tag Team Championship Contest:  The British Bulldog & Owen Hart (Champions w/Clarence Mason) defeat “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels & Sid (w/Jose Lothario) after the Bulldog pins Sid after Shawn Michaels accidentally Sweet Chin Music’s his partner at 10:14 shown:

Steve Austin appears in the split screen and says that he isn’t going to apologize for his actions on last week’s show.  They use the standard tag formula, with Sid and Michaels dominating the first few moments and Owen and the Bulldog pounding on Michaels after cheating.  The only thing that stands out is the ending, where Michaels goes to hit the Bulldog with Sweet Chin Music, but the Bulldog ducks and Sid eats the move for the finish.  You would’ve expected more here from three of the four participants, but they didn’t do a good job selling the idea that Sid and Michaels had a chance to walk out as the champions.  Today, Sid and Michaels probably would have won the titles heading into Survivor Series, but the WWF had a little more respect for the tag titles and was unwilling to hot shot them onto an awkward pairing just for the hell of it.  As another side note, this is another big victory for Owen and the Bulldog in a tag team match against Shawn Michaels this year, but they never could get the best of him in a singles match when the WWF title was on the line.  Rating:  **

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to find out who the mystery partner for Yokozuna’s team will be at the Survivor Series this weekend!  This was SUCH a letdown back in 1996.

-Kevin Kelly is backstage and he says that WWF officials have placed Sid and Shawn Michaels in separate locker rooms.

-Dok Hendrix gives the Survivor Series report.

Mankind (w/Paul Bearer & the Executioner) defeats Freddie Joe Floyd via submission with the Mandible Claw at 2:41:

Floyd continues to play the role of a jobber to the stars, as he jobs to Mankind in less than three minutes.  The WWF really wasted Tracy Smothers with this gimmick, but I’ve said that more times than I can count.

-After the match, the lights in the arena go out and a cage with a dummy of Paul Bearer hanging upside down is lowered.

-Kelly announces that Killer Kowalski and the Valiant Brothers will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

-Rocky Maivia video package.  Maivia was the WWF’s first third generation superstar.

-Kelly interviews Sid backstage.  Sid says that he’s tired of giving Shawn Michaels the benefit of the doubt and that he will end Michaels title reign at the Survivor Series.

-Steve Austin says that he’s going to give Bob Holly a quick wrestling lesson and tells Bret Hart that he’d better watch the match so that he’s ready for their match at the Survivor Series.

-The Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament sees Sable defeat Dok Hendrix in first round action.

-Shawn Michaels appearance on the Regis & Kathy Lee show is shown.

-Kelly interviews Shawn Michaels in his locker room.  Michaels tells Sid that tonight was a mistake, but even though it was a mistake it showed that he can knock Sid out with his finishing move.

-“Stone Cold” Steve Austin pins Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly with the Stone Cold Stunner at 6:01 shown:

Although Holly is also a jobber to the stars at this stage of his career like Freddie Joe Floyd, he was higher on the pecking order and he’s allowed to work in some significant offense against Austin, which includes his hurricanrana and dropkick.  Of course, the outcome of this match wasn’t in doubt, but you had two veterans that gave it a good effort considering the time constraints and their positions on the card.  Rating:  *¾

-Austin walks to Bret Hart’s locker room, but decides not to charge in.  Austin yells through the door that he’s going to make Bret suffer at the Survivor Series this Sunday.

-Tune in next week to see Steve Austin face off with Vader!

The Final Report Card:  A disappointing first match set the stage for the rest of the show, but this provided a good build for the Survivor Series pay-per-view.  It’s nice to look back at the beginnings of the Bret-Austin feud and see how their first encounter at the pay-per-view was a straight wrestling match and didn’t need any gimmicks to sell it.  Oh, the good old days.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.5 (vs. 3.7 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Down

Monday Nitro – September 30, 1996

Monday Nitro #55
Date: September 30, 1996
Location: Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re still getting closer to Halloween Havoc here. The card here looks pretty uninteresting other than a few matches sprinkled here and there. This show gets a little boring until we get to 1997 and the focus is totally on the build for Sting vs. Hogan, which I can’t say I disagree with from a booking standpoint as it was the biggest match ever for WCW. Let’s get to it.

We talk about the NWO racecar and how shocking it would be if Kyle Petty was their driver. You know, for all the NASCAR fans that we had in 1996.

We throw it to Eric who lies about the roots of the company going back to 1905. He talks about tradition and all that jazz which is almost all he knows how to write so there you are. Eric basically cuts a promo here and my head begins to hurt as we have to hear about how he’s awesome and we see the focus shifting to him, which would happen a lot more over the next year. The massive NWO chant doesn’t help things.

Tag Titles: Juventud Guerrera/El Technico vs. Public Enemy

Technico is Billy Kidman under a mask. Even though they won the titles last week I completely forgot about Public Enemy being champions. Rock vs. Juvy starts us off and this is a squash. The champs hit something like Demolition’s old finisher for two. They turn Kidman’s mask around and hit the old Quebecers’ Cannonball to end this. Quick match here and a total squash.

Kidman goes through the table.

Benoit and Mongo say if the NWO wants a fight tonight, they’ll be ready. For the life of me, how did they never just let the Horsemen go nuts and go to war with the NWO old school, picking off one of them at a time until there was just Flair vs. Hogan? Benoit says he’s ready for Rick Steiner.

The NWO is in a hotel and Hogan’s son is there too.

Alex Wright vs. Dean Malenko

Dean has Rey’s mask which he stole recently. Tony tells everyone that the NWO is at the Marriott in Cleveland. This comes after Syxx could be heard ordering room service and saying the room number in the previous segment, making WCW all the stupider. After some feeling out processes, Malenko takes over with a belly to back as we take a break.

Back with Wright speeding things up and hitting a Japanese armdrag to take over. That doesn’t last long as they head to the floor where Dean takes over again. Dean works on the leg but Wright starts his comeback. He and Dean both miss top rope shots but Wrights grabs a cradle for the upset pin.

Rating: C. Decent match here and for TV, this was fine. Wright still never got the push that they always seemed on the brink of with him, although he’d win the TV Title sometime in 97. This wasn’t much but Dean would become Cruiserweight Champion again before too long if my memory is right.

We look at Saturday Night where Savage snapped as Liz was standing there watching and being all nervous. Savage beat up Nick Patrick too.

Savage is supposed to come out for an interview but is nowhere to be found.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Jim Powers

Nick Patrick is referee here and has a neck brace on due to Savage’s attack. Powers is of course a power guy and this turns into a fight as I think Powers is the almost kind of sort of a heel here. Overhead belly to belly puts Eddie down for a very delayed two. Now let’s look at the NWO fans holding up signs. Back to the chinlock and this isn’t going anywhere at all. Powers hits a superplex for two. Eddie reverses a powerslam into a German and gets the pin, but the idea is that Powers got a shoulder up in time (he did) but Patrick missed it.

Rating: D. This also went nowhere. The Patrick storyline went on forever but this didn’t mean anything without there being a clear heel to cheat for. Eddie didn’t have much to work with here either as Powers was a jobber and not a very good one at that. At least Eddie would fight DDP for awhile after this which was a lot more interesting and entertaining.

The NWO is still in the hotel room when the Nasty Boys come in. Everyone talks about Kyle Petty. For the love of chicken wings, NO ONE CARES.

Arn Anderson berates Liz for what happened last week with Savage.

Hugh Morrus vs. Brad Armstrong

Power vs. speed here and about a minute in we start hour #2, which isn’t going to distract the fans from the match or anything right? Time for the announcers to talk about Savage for the rest of the match. Oh and also about the Nasty Boys possibly defecting. Eric says he doesn’t want to take anything away from this match. Take a guess what he does next. Just take a guess. All the talking about the match for the next minute or so: he counts a pin and says there’s a clothesline. No Laughing Matter (two of them) ends this.

Rating: C-. The match wasn’t half bad, but the commentary gets really annoying really fast. If I hadn’t been looking at the screen, I wouldn’t have had any idea what was going on in this. That’s WCW for you though: spend the matches talking about other stuff, because it’s not like anyone is going to get sick of hearing about it right?

Anderson and Woman yell at Liz about how it’s business or something.

Eric leaves out of fear, apparently wanting to go find the hotel the NWO is in….which Tony told us earlier.

Arn Anderson vs. Chris Jericho

Tony is in on commentary now. This match is the internet’s dream match but here we’re going to talk about the possibility of Eric joining the NWO. About two minutes in Tony gives us some token chat about the match. Jericho works the arm and Liz is watching in the back. Arn is sent to the floor where Jericho teases a dive but Arn gets out of the way. Chris is a step ahead of him though and puts on the brakes, hitting a shoulder block off the apron.

Woman gets involved to let Arn take over and Jericho’s inexperience starts becoming a problem. Arn takes over as Liz walks away from the monitor in the back. Anderson works on the arm but jumps into a dropkick to switch control again. A springboard clothesline sets up a top rope back elbow (love that move) for two. Lionsault misses and Arn grabs the DDT (BIG reaction for that) for the pin.

Rating: C+. Did you expect anything else here other than a good match? Jericho had a lot of the tools he would use later on to become a superstar and Arn was just about to the end of his career here, as I don’t think he was active much past January of 97. Still though, good stuff here and Jericho looked like a guy that got caught by a veteran, not someone that got crushed. That can make all the difference in the world sometimes.

Buy the NWO shirt.

Liz leaves.

Lex Luger vs. Mr. Wallstreet

Luger vs. Arn at Havoc. I’ve never been a fan of Luger in the black boots. It never worked for him. He takes over quickly on Wallstreet with power stuff and drops some elbows for two. Wallstreet grabs an abdominal stretch and we talk about Bischoff some more. Time for a chinlock as this isn’t much of a match as far as being interesting. After that, more chinlock. Luger grabs a rollup after like two minutes for two. This is horribly boring. Wallstreet takes over AGAIN with a clothesline as this needed to end like 4 minutes ago. A suplex is finally countered into the Rack for the submission.

Rating: F+. This got SEVEN AND A HALF MINUTES. There’s no reason to have a match with these guys in it go that long at all. Boring match which was about half chinlock. Luger looked like a joke out here and it didn’t work at all. Weak match and nothing interesting to see at all.

We recap the entire Sting saga. As a peace offering, the WCW car is now the Sting car.

Rock N Roll Express vs. Faces of Fear

Meng vs. Morton to start with the power guy taking over to start. Morton tries like three sleepers, none of which work at all. Both teams switch off and there isn’t much to see here so far. We take a break with it being a stalemate. Look at the car before we go though because you’re southern and have to like car racing! Back with a sunset flip not working for Gibson. The second attempt gets two.

Ricky Morton plays himself, taking a piledriver from Meng for two. Morton hammers Meng’s head for no apparent reason so Barbarian kicks him in the face. That’s the basic answer for most problems it seems. Powerbomb kills Morton dead but it only gets two. A backbreaker sets up a camel clutch. Do they have camels in Tonga? Morton fires off a cross body out of nowhere for about two.

And never mind as Barbarian takes him right back down again. The announcers are talking about how they want to kill the NWO as the Faces of Fear hit a double headbutt for two. Gibson keeps making the save. I wonder if Morton is like DUDE, let them pin me already! Top rope headbutt misses for Morton and it’s a not hot tag to Gibson. The Express tries double teaming and hits the double dropkick to Meng but Barbarian kicks Gibson’s head off to pin him.

Rating: D+. Not a terrible match but this went on too long. It was over ten minutes and then there was the time during the commercial that we didn’t even get to see. The Express was just old at this point and the whole idea of their team was done about 8 years earlier. Nothing to see here, which is a running theme tonight.

Public Enemy comes out to stop a beatdown and gets destroyed themselves, including an attack on the knee of Grunge.

Back to the hotel room and this is still the same stuff from earlier. The car driver is here too now.

Chris Benoit vs. Rick Steiner

Patrick runs his mouth for some reason before the match. After a break we’re ready to go. This turns into a slugout, which we ignore, but that’s not the point I guess. The American hits a German on the Canadian to take over. Rick grabs a chinlock after throwing Chris around a bit. Big Steiner Line puts Benoit down as does a powerslam. Debra distracts the referee so Mongo can pop Steiner with the briefcase. Benoit falls on top for the pin. He got destroyed other than that.

Rating: D+. I wasn’t getting the idea here. I know they were pushing the idea that the Horsemen weren’t going to be outnumbered again, but was there really a need to have Steiner look totally dominant over Benoit here? I really don’t get that, as the Steiners were nothing but a tag team while the Horsemen were always tagging or in singles interchangeably. I don’t get this but whatever.

The NWO talks even more to end the show. Liz is there with them now. She’s joining them so they’ll spare Savage….I think. Vince brings in a package and Liz leaves. Savage storms up the hallway and screams at her as she drops a paper. He keeps yelling as we go off the air.

Overall Rating
: D-. This wasn’t that the show was bad, but my goodness was it boring. There was WAY too much NWO on here with so much of the focus being on that freaking racecar driver. The matches almost all sucked other than Jericho’s match and that one was just ok. The ending sets up a nice cliffhanger, but we need to get to 1997 fast, because not much else happens until we get there and to Page’s face turn. Bad show and probably the weakest since the NWO arrived.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Monday Night Raw – November 4, 1996

by Logan Scisco

-Vince McMahon and Jerry “the King” Lawler recap the Bret Hart-Steve Austin feud and tell us that Kevin Kelly will be live from Brian Pillman’s home in Walton, Kentucky, where Austin is expected to make an appearance this evening.

-Kelly gives us an overview of the situation at Pillman’s home:  Pillman is immobile after an attack by Austin on a recent edition of WWF Superstars and that his kids have been sent elsewhere because of Austin’s threats.  Wouldn’t you want to call the police too if someone threatened to break into your home?  It’s not like live television is going to save you.

-McMahon and Lawler are in the booth and they are still in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

-Opening Contest:  Goldust (w/Marlena) and The Stalker wrestle to a double-disqualification at 4:36 shown:

Mr. Perfect, Crush, and Hunter Hearst-Helmsley come down to ringside because they are going to team with Goldust at the Survivor Series.  In response, the Stalker brings Marc Mero, Rocky Maivia, and Mark Henry out with him.  Windham isn’t wearing the Stalker face paint, which I guess he figures is silly.  He’s also wearing a WWF t-shirt, which doesn’t match his camouflage ring pants.  These two had been having a feud on the house show circuit that was triggered by the Stalker merely watching some Goldust’s matches from afar and Goldust making some lewd comments about the Stalker.  Goldust has an interesting counter for the superplex, as he kisses his opponent to avoid the move.  The ending features one of the least intense brawls you have ever seen, as the two Survivor Series teams square off, and the crowd quietly applauds when the faces win.  This was just a paint by the numbers match and it didn’t do anything for either guy.  Rating:  *½

-Dok Hendrix does the Survivor Series report.

-Kelly interviews Pillman and his wife in their home.  Pillman says that Austin has made their feud personal.  McMahon hijacks the interview and asks Pillman if he feels like a hostage in his own home.  Pillman pulls out a gun in response and a friend tells him that Austin is here as we cut out for a commercial break.

-The Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament sees Sid beat Marlena.  Last week, Mr. Perfect beat Phineas Godwinn.

-Two of Pillman’s friends try to restrain Austin, but he beats them up in the drive way, using a red jeep and some kid’s toys as weapons.  Austin then tries to get into the house, but the doors are locked.

-The Sultan (w/Bob Backlund & the Iron Sheik) defeats Alex “the Pug” Porteau via submission to the camel clutch at 2:07 shown:

A simple squash for the Sultan here, but he’s still not over with the crowd.  They really gave up on the Porteau experiment early in his run.  I think he got a couple of victories on WWF Superstars and was jobbed out to all of big heel names after that.

-Austin breaks into Pillman’s home and enters the living room, where Pillman points a gun at him.  Kelly and his wife scream as the camera feed cuts out.  Lawler is the most rational one during the entire segment by saying that someone should call the police.

-Ross hosts a face off segment between WWF Champion Shawn Michaels and Sid.  Michaels said that he forgave Sid for powerbombing him three times after WrestleMania XI, but Sid says that’s bull.  Ross tries to rile things up between the two and Michaels says Sid is not in his league and Sid says that’s true because he’s not in the “little” league.  Good comeback.  Both men destroy the podium and start shoving each other, but Jim Cornette comes down with Vader, Clarence Mason, Owen Hart, and the British Bulldog.  Sid and Michaels join forces to clear the ring, but after they do so they get into a staredown until they get separated by a sea of WWF officials.

-A summary of the Pillman-Austin segments is shown.

-The Fake Razor Ramon (w/The Fake Diesel) defeats Wildman” Marc Mero (w/Sable) with the Razor’s Edge at 7:47 shown:

The commentary isn’t concerned about the match as Ross takes jabs at McMahon for putting Pillman’s life in danger.  Mero runs through some of his normal moves, but his heart isn’t in this one and he’s lethargic out there.  It doesn’t help that he’s wrestling the Fake Razor, who moves as slow as molasses.  Perfect and Helmsley interfere and Razor goes over in a puzzling booking decision.  Sure, it’s not a clean victory, but the Fake Razor had hardly beaten anyone at this point and having Mero job to him in any fashion makes him appear weak and undeserving of the Intercontinental title.  Rating:  ½*

-We get another recap of the Pillman-Austin issue.

-The satellite feed is restored to the Pillman home and Pillman is being restrained by his friends.  Austin charges back into the living room and as he is restrained by Pillman’s buddies, Pillman comes after him with a gun and curses and points a gun at him.  All Kelly can do is scream “call the police” because grabbing Pillman or the gun isn’t too important.  That plays us out.

The Final Report Card:  The Pillman-Austin stuff was the focal point of this show and was very controversial for its time period.  After the angle aired, the WWF and Pillman had to apologize for the threatened use of the gun and the cursing that wasn’t edited out.  The WWF was also criticized because people flooded the northern Kentucky 911 lines to report Austin breaking into Pillman’s home.  Some of this still holds up in that it’s not as corny as when HHH invaded Randy Orton’s home a few years back, but they might’ve done better if they sent Jim Ross to do the interview instead of Kelly.  His shrieking like a school girl during the serious parts was very annoying and unmanly.  The wrestling on this show is bad, but if you are interested in the Pillman-Austin stuff you can YouTube it because several people have put the different segments together.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.3 (vs. 3.4 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Neutral

Monday Nitro – September 23, 1996

Monday Nitro #54
Date: September 23, 1996
Location: CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Attendance: 4,308
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff, Mike Tenay

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

As mentioned on the previous show, this is the one where everyone not named Savage is in Japan. Eric, ever the lunkhead, mentioned this last week and the NWO knows about it. Expect a lot of unusual names on this show and a lot of matches that no one would ever want to see. Oh and a lot of the NWO as well I’m sure. Let’s get to it.

Tony holds up an ad that is allegedly in the USA Today, talking about Nitro being taken over by the NWO tonight. Larry talks about parasites.

We get clips of fans tearing up NWO stuff.

Konnan/Kevin Sullivan vs. Brad Armstrong/Juventud Guerrera

The two Mexicans start us off and Konnan takes it to the mat. Juvy is like “screw that in Spanish” and fires off a plancha and slingshot leg to speed things up. And there’s the 187 to stop that quickly. Sullivan won’t tag in so Konnan has to keep fighting. Armstrong comes in and cleans house a bit but there’s a powerbomb. Sullivan finally makes a tag and here are the NWO sign guys. Sullivan gets a pin. That’s literally all he did in the entire match: walk in and get a pin. Pretty much a squash match.

The Dungeon beats down Konnan for no apparent reason post match. And then they stop and help him up. It was an initiation according to Sullivan.

We get some clips from the end of last week’s show where the NWO said they were coming for Savage this week. Savage says he’s a marked man and if that’s what it takes to get at Hogan, that’s cool with him. He’s the last hope for WCW and says he volunteered to stay here tonight on his own. As for Liz, and I quote, “The only thing we have in common is that in a thousand lifetimes, we might be goldfish swimming in the same water.” Kids, don’t do drugs.

Mike Enos vs. Chris Jericho

We’re told that it’s Harlem Heat vs. Outsiders for the titles at Havoc. They start fast and Jericho gets slapped, as does Enos. Enos channels his inner JYD and gets on all fours to headbutt Jericho. Pretty basic match so far as we talk about Savage and the NWO. Larry says there was something else Savage said that Larry didn’t like. He doesn’t bother saying what that is, but I guess that’s an exercise left up to us.

They go to the floor and it’s all Enos. He loads up the steps and suplexes Jericho onto them, which isn’t a DQ I guess. Three minutes after he initially brought it up, Larry says it was the last hope for WCW line that he didn’t like. Off to a bearhug and then a powerslam for two. All Enos so far. Jericho gets put into a Boston Crab which isn’t ironic yet. Over the shoulder backbreaker now but Jericho counters into a sunset flip for two.

Missile dropkick puts Enos down and up to the corner we go. He sets for a super rana but Enos powerbombs him out of it (not as exciting as it sounds) for two. In a pretty cool ending that I don’t think I’ve seen before, Jericho counters a powerslam into something like a powerslam of his own (better than it sounds) for the pin. That looked pretty sweet actually.

Rating: B-. Much better match here than I was expecting. Enos was fine for what he was supposed to be here: a power guy acting as a foil for Jericho to look good against here. The ending was good too and it’s always fun to see a guy like Jericho getting one of his first big breaks on national TV. Fun match that did things simply but well.

Pat Tanaka vs. Glacier

Tanaka comes out to what would become Goldberg’s music. The guy that got the music became one of the biggest stars ever while Tanaka became the referee for Micro Championship Wrestling. It’s snowing again and we hear about Larry being a black belt also. Think they’ll be kicking a lot? Larry explains what the fist behind the hand for the bow means (wanting violence to be the second choice). They avoid kicks for awhile until Tanaka hooks a sitout powerbomb. Ignore that as a spin kick ends this in about 30 seconds. Glacier won in case you’re really stupid.

Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Public Enemy

Arn vs. Lex is announced for Havoc as well. The champs jump them and double team Rock for a bit. Booker vs. Rock to start but it’s off to Grunge quickly. We take a break and come back with Heat in control now. Booker crotches himself on a kick attempt though and it’s a not hot tag to Grunge. Big clothesline puts Johnny down (it’s Booker T/Stevie Ray vs. Johnny Grunge/Rocco Rock if you’ve been confused so far) and it’s off to Ray.

Time to talk about Savage again and we have a table from nowhere set up on the floor. Grunge is knocked to the floor and hit his back on it on the way down. Well that sucks. A Harlem Side Kick hits Grunge for two and we cut to the back to see the NWO arrive, now in two limos. At least it’s a chinlock that we’re missing which is an old school technique for getting around this kind of stuff. It was usually used when there was a fight in the crowd or something. Whenever you see fans looking elsewhere, you’ll often see a veteran go into a rest hold to make sure the fans don’t miss anything. That’s how a good wrestler thinks.

The hot tag brings in Rocco and he cleans house as well as a dirty man like he can. He fires off a bunch of right hands but runs into the Heat. The Hangover misses for the most part (Booker’s back landed on him instead) and we get a near fall due to Grunge’s foot being on the ropes. There’s a small package on Booker and Rock reverses it for the pin and the shocking title change.

Rating: D+. The match sucked but this was the kind of surprise that was designed to make you think anything could happen. They lost the titles like two weeks later so that Harlem Heat could defend against the Outsiders so it’s not like this lasted a significant amount of time, but it was a good surprise and I was legit shocked when it happened.

Second hour begins.

Greg Valentine vs. Randy Savage

Eric says there’s a new NWO member tonight. I can’t think of who that would be as the next member wasn’t until October and it was nothing of note unless I’m totally overlooking someone. Valentine jumps him and that doesn’t work all that well. They go to the floor with Valentine having his token control period. We hear that Super Calo has injured his elbow in a dark match so he’s out for awhile. Savage clocks Valentine with a chair twice and that’s a DQ. The whole point of this is coming down the aisle though.

Here’s the NWO and it’s beatdown time. A Jackknife puts him down and Savage is in trouble. Giant grabs a mic and introduces Hogan. They beat him down even more and drop a leg on him. They even beat him with a Slim Jim. Hogan talks about Savage being bald and they spraypaint the top of his head.

They storm the announcers’ booth and Bobby runs with Tenay. Eric can’t get away though and the announcers sit down with him. They debut their head of security: Vincent. That would be Virgil from WWF. To be fair, no one cared about him or had heard of him in years so it’s not like this meant anything.

Ok so the NWO will be running the commentary for the rest of the night. Eric keeps trying to leave but can’t get away. They debut the NWO Nascar car which used to be the WCW car. Kyle Petty is the driver.

Jim Powers vs. Michael Wallstreet

Giant is the new announcer. Hall and Nash leave the booth and DiBiase sits down instead. The Outsiders are beating up Powers now so there’s no match.

Randy Anderson walks out so Nick Patrick says he’ll do all the refereeing.

Giant chokeslams Powers again and we cut to Hogan in the back, spraypainting something. He comes down the hall and runs into the Nasty Boys. Hogan gives them his hotel key and says tonight they won’t be fighting the Outsiders because they can talk some business with Hogan later. A defection is implied.

Jim Duggan vs. Syxx

It’s supposed to be Ron Studd but that doesn’t happen as Hogan and Nash beat him down in the aisle. We hear what might be the debut of the NWO theme song. Hogan jumps in on commentary which is something that is very rare to hear. Duggan takes over to start and gets the USA chant going. You know, Syxx is from Minnesota. Wouldn’t a USA chant help him as well? The three point clothesline hits but Giant pulls Duggan out and hits one of the worst chokeslams I’ve ever seen on the concrete so that Syxx can get the pin. He had no other offense.

NWO Sting vs. Bo LaDue

LaDue has never had another televised match as far as I know. Sting does the usual Sting stuff and no one buys it. Splash and Deathlock end this.

Hogan talks about Savage a bit.

High Voltage vs. Outsiders

This is part of the NWO Tag Team Tournament. The French Canadians are supposed to be the opponents but the Outsiders come out next so the French dudes run. I have no idea what there is to say about this. Hall beats on one of them, Nash beats on one of them, we take a break, we come back with more beatings, we get a Brooke/Nick reference, Hall suplexes Rage off the top, a Jackknife pins Kaos. That match lasted about 11 minutes.

Rating: F. Yeah it’s a squash, yeah it’s supposed to be dominant, yeah it was really boring.

The NWO talks for a few minutes to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This is one of the benchmarks where you can see that everything is about TV instead of being for the live audience. Can you imagine how bored they’ve been for the last two hours of this show? Nothing has happened at all. The whole thing was about the NWO and they have no idea that Vincent is the new man either. This was all for the TV show, which is fine but it takes the crowd out of stuff quickly. Not a good show, but a lot of that is due to everyone being in Japan.

 

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – October 28, 1996

by Logan Scisco

Note:  Thanks to Bobby Daniels for sending me a copy of this show to review.

The announce crew discusses Steve Austin’s assault on Brian Pillman on WWF Superstars.

Opening Contest:  “The Real Double J” Jesse James pins Salvatore Sincere with a pump handle slam at 4:14:

McMahon accidentally calls James “Jeff Jarrett” and Lawler has to correct him early in the match.  Both of these guys are serviceable workers, but it’s tough to take them seriously with these gimmicks.  Both men do a great job getting the crowd involved, with Sincere taking a few big bumps to the floor to get a reaction.  James is the new guy on the block and needs a victory and he gets it here after blocking Sincerely Yours and immediately transitioning into his finish.  Rating:  **¼

Dok Hendrix tries to run down the Survivor Series card, but Steve Austin arrives and curses him for taking up TV time.  Austin complains that Bret Hart is in Canada and he flew up from Texas to be at the show to confront him.

Marc Mero calls into the show and hypes the Survivor Series match between his team and Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s team.

Crush (w/Clarence Mason) defeats “The Portuguese Man O’ War” Aldo Montoya with a heart punch at 2:42:

The only person that Montoya can beat at this stage of his WWF career is occasional talent like Jerry Lawler, so he stands zero chance here.  Crush pulls out one of my favorite spots by gorilla press slamming Montoya out of the ring and Jim Ross arrives to do commentary and cracks me up by complaining about this “preliminary match.”  Ross does point out that Mason is now Faarooq’s manager after Faarooq consulted him for legal advice regarding Ahmed Johnson.  That last piece of information is the only reason this match is notable, but it was fun to see Crush toss Montoya around like a ragdoll.

After the match, Crush gets mad at being called a jailbird by the fans at ringside, so he pulls a “security guard” over the railing and beats him up.

McMahon says that next week they will interview Brian Pillman from his home and Austin interrupts and says that he’s going to show up at Pillman’s house next week. 

-Kevin Kelly presents a segment that covers Austin’s attack on Pillman on Superstars.  Kelly also discusses Ahmed Johnson’s attack on Faarooq before the last In Your House pay-per-view and how WWF President Gorilla Monsoon has suspended Ahmed pending an investigation.

-Austin promises to show up at Pillman’s house next week and says that the WWF lets him say what he wants because he will bring in money to the company for his Survivor Series match with Bret Hart.

Sunny comes down to ringside to watch our next match.

Billy Gunn defeats Freddie Joe Floyd with a flying leg drop at 3:06:

The Gunns had officially broken up at this point, with Billy ditching part when they faced the New Rockers on WWF Superstars.  Bart interrupts the match and challenges Billy to a match, but WWF officials come out and make Bart go to the locker room.  This is a quick squash for Billy, which disguises his lack of singles offense.  Sunny is unimpressed with the win, though, but Billy doesn’t care.  Rating:  ½*

McMahon moderates a face off segment between Bret Hart, who is in Calgary, and Steve Austin, who is in the WWF studio.  Austin brings the intensity to this segment, while Bret is more reserved.  This is pretty tame based on where this feud will go, but it suffers from most face-off segments in that there can’t be any physical interaction between the participants so it gets awkward as both men run out of stuff to talk about a couple of minutes in.  The best part is the end, where Austin gets mad that the segment is cut off and he assaults a production assistant.

Non-Title Match:  “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (WWF Champion w/Jose Lothario) defeats The British Bulldog (w/Clarence Mason & Owen Hart) via disqualification after Owen Hart interferes at 7:55 shown:

An added treat is that Owen is on commentary.  At least Owen brings up the In Your House:  Beware of Dog pay-per-view, where the Bulldog was WWF champion for about a minute.  That’s probably a pay-per-view McMahon wants to forget.  Owen gets really indignant when Michaels busts out an enziguri, which Owen claims is his move.  The crowd dynamic is split, with the older, male fans in the crowd supporting the Bulldog and younger fans supporting Michaels.  Michaels and the Bulldog mesh together well, as per usual, but since there’s nothing on the line it detracts a little from the atmosphere.  The Bulldog’s relegation to tag ranks also makes him look like less of a singles threat and the only person that pushes him as a threat in this match is Owen.  Owen grabs Michaels leg when he tries Sweet Chin Music, drawing the disqualification, which is an unfortunate finish to what was an exciting contest.  Rating:  ***

Sid runs out to help Michaels when Owen and the Bulldog start to double team him, but Michaels doesn’t appreciate the gesture.  Owen gets on the mic and challenges them to a tag team title match at a later date and Sid and Michaels accept.

Austin is forced out of the studio by a police officer and appears to be headed for jail.  I guess you could consider this a practice run for some of his exploits during the Attitude Era.

The Final Report Card:  While the card on paper doesn’t look like much, most of the superstar showcased brought the goods and it made for an exciting episode.  Michaels and the Bulldog always put together a solid match and anytime that you can have Owen on commentary it’s a bonus.  It’s a shame that he passed away because he could’ve been the Jesse Ventura/Bobby Heenan of his generation after his career ended.  Next week we get the crazy gun angle with Austin and Pillman, which also features a screaming Kevin Kelly.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.0 (vs. 3.6 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up

Monday Nitro – September 16, 1996

Monday Nitro #53
Date: September 16, 1996
Location: Ashville Civic Center, Ashville, North Carolina
Attendance: 5,000
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these. We’re done with Fall Brawl now and Sting is public enemy #1 in WCW, even though he showed up in WarGames and proved that he was innocent. The card is nothing special tonight but we do have a debut of a pretty big name which we’ll get to later on tonight. Let’s get to it.

Is there a reason why Hogan, the NWO leader and top heel for over two months now is still in the red and yellow and the first three pictures you see in the intro to a WCW show?

We open with some shots from last night with Larry and Tony talking about how it was all about Sting. At the end of the show, Liz came out to save the beaten down Savage and got her dress spraypainted.

Tony apologizes to Sting because we were supposed to know he was in Japan. Larry says if Sting is so sensitive he should get another job.

Apparently there were NWO guys at the entrance handing out papers with their logo on it.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guerrera

The announcers are talking about Sting as soon as the bell rings. Rey grabs a weird looking backbreaker hold and Juvy grabs a DDT. The NWO wants their own TV show now. Glacier debuts tonight. GLACIER DEBUTS TONIGHT! Well kind of as for absolutely no apparent reason his debut match was on some Sunday show instead of here. WCW never thought things through.

We’re 90 seconds in and there has been absolutely zero nothing said about this match or the guys in it. I mean that literally. They have talked about everything else. Not even saying that was almost it on a two count. At 95 seconds, we start talking about the match with Juvy whipping Rey in. They speed things up and Rey kicks his head off with a spinwheel kick.

Scratch that momentum as Juvy takes over again and goes up for a springboard dive, only to see Rey dropkick him in the stomach to the floor. Rey hits a springboard rana as we take a break. During the break, we get an NWO t-shirt ad. Back with Juvy getting two off something we didn’t see. A springboard spinwheel kick and a baseball slide send Rey to the floor and an Asai Moonsault puts him down again.

Back in a springboard 450 gets two. Well he’s no AJ Styles. Top rope rana gets two…and here’s an NWO rally instead of the match. Back in the ring (that place with that wrestling stuff), Rey counters a top rope powerbomb into a mid-air rana (SWEET) for the pin to retain. We saw that move by about 4 seconds. I can’t wait for them to mess up something like that which I’m sure they will for the sake of nothing of note at all.

Rating: B. Oh come on were you expecting something other than a fast paced and fun match with these two at a combined age of 42? The lack of talking about it got annoying but that’s to be expected. Either way, very fun match even if the crowd didn’t care about Juvy. These two would have more classics.

Mongo and Benoit say how they should have been in WarGames instead of Luger/Sting so tonight they’ll take revenge on them. Now that sounds like something a Horseman would say.

We get a video on Glacier who talks in this. His Georgia accent ruins the image. I get why I never heard him talk other than this. Well not for several years at least. He talks about going to Japan to train and being taken in by an old master who is his sensei. His mask is a tribute to gladiators or something. This goes on WAY too long, clocking in at almost two and a half minutes. The accent absolutely killed this.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Ice Train

Train shoves him around a bit as I begin to think of a really bad tag team in the form of Ice Train and Glacier. They do a weird spot where it looks like they’re supposed to collide but they stop like an inch ahead of each other to eliminate all of the momentum. Weird. Page hits a top rope clothesline to take over and there’s a discus punch. Discus lariat follows it up but Page won’t cover.

The Cutter is countered and Ice gets a belly to belly to put both guys down. Train gets going with a spinebuster and powerslam for two as Teddy Long, Train’s manager, gets on the apron. Now let’s cut to the back for a shot of “fans” in NWO gear taking over the merchandise stand. While this is being shown, THE BELL RINGS AND WE HAVE A PIN.

Yes, they actually missed the end of the match to show “fans” putting caution tape around the merchandise stuff. Who won? Not mentioned. What did he win with? Not mentioned. We didn’t even cut back immediately and the stuff in the back kept going on even longer. Apparently Ice Train had a full nelson and Page grabbed Teddy Long’s towel to throw it in for a forfeit on Train’s part. We see that on a replay, but that’s beside the point. We didn’t see enough to rate it but it was fine.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the point where wrestling has officially stopped meaning anything. The match wasn’t much, but the company decided that showing people in the back (not wrestlers mind you, just “fans”) were more important. This is what the Attitude Era would become defined on over the next few years and would become the foundation of what Sports Entertainment was. We aren’t focusing on wrestling and competition anymore. We’re focusing on drama.

This kind of thing gets on my nerves. It’s one thing if there’s something of note to show, but this is saying to the wrestlers “Yeah, we know you’ve trained for years to do this and we know you’re working hard out there, but we have something more important than you to put on screen.”

If this was Hall and Nash beating people up or something, that’s one thing but that isn’t what’s happening here. It’s fans taking over a merchandise stand and it’s the second match this has happened in. Is there ANY reason this couldn’t have waited another two minutes? No, there isn’t and everyone in WCW is cool with that, which is why people stopped watching (in part): it stopped being about wrestling. This will become huge later on when we eventually hit the late 90s.

Anyway the fans take over the stand and put up NWO stuff.

Sean Waltman, formerly known as the 1-2-3 Kid, is in the front row and his release from WWF is acknowledged.

Konnan vs. Super Calo

Konnan is sent to the floor so Calo hits a flip dive (mostly) to take him out. Tony invites Mike Tenay to sit on his lap. Ok then. Back in Konnan hooks a top rope butterfly superplex before hooking a backbreaker kind of hold for a bit. We go back to the floor and Calo tries another spinning dive but leaves it short again, more or less slapping Konnan instead of landing on him.

Konnan takes over again and drops Calo with the Scorpion Death Drop. Here’s something you don’t see something every day: Calo hooks a headscissors/ankle rana off the top and Konnan lands on him. This is a really sloppy match. A missile dropkick to the floor mostly misses as does a regular one in the corner. Konnan drops him with what would later be called the 187 (fisherman’s brainbuster) for two and a powerbomb into a victory roll gets the same. The Power Drop (Razor’s Edge into a sitout powerbomb) gets the pin.

Rating: F+. The plus is for the speed of the match, but there’s no excuse for a match having this many misses and mistakes out there. Calo never got over at all for the most part despite being on TV pretty often. This was a horrible match from an execution perspective and I don’t think they knew if it was a squash or not.

The 1-2-3 Kid says he’s here because Nitro is hot. He asks Tenay who won WarGames and Tenay isn’t impressed. Waltman seems surprised the NWO won. Total “I’m in the NWO but I’m not saying I’m in the NWO” promo.

Hugh Morrus vs. Brad Armstrong

Nothing of note in the first minute. I have no idea why this match is happening. Armstrong takes over with a dropkick and we talk about Liz last night. Larry thinks Flair went through her alimony from Savage and dumped her. Tony: “How do you know how much she had?” Larry: “No matter how much she had, Flair could spend it.” Preach it brother! Morrus takes over and hits No Laughing Matter (moonsault) but makes a very casual cover, allowing Armstrong to quickly roll him up and steal a pin.

Rating: D+. What in the world was this? I really don’t get this: it’s the most random wrestling match and ending I’ve ever seen. It looked like a squash but we get that ending? It didn’t go anywhere or anything, so what was the point here? It wasn’t bad or anything, but why did it happen? I don’t understand this at all.

Hour #2 begins.

Here’s Savage for an interview. We get some shots of last night where the NWO beat Savage down and left him laying. Savage says he’s ready for Hogan and that’s all he’s got left.

The NWO arrives, including the fake Sting. They’re going to beat up someone tonight.

Randy Savage vs. Scott Norton

This starts in the aisle with Savage being all crazy again. A knee to the back puts Norton back on the floor and it’s Crazy Macho again. There’s the double axe off the top to the floor and we talk about the NWO wanting to beat him to death next week because there’s going to be no WCW guys around as they’ll be in Japan. Eric talks about how Sting was in Japan promoting the tour that he (Eric) set up but he didn’t realize it was the impostor last week. That’s either foreshadowing or really stupid.

Norton takes over with power and it’s the traditional Randy Savage beating. That’s more or less one third of what he did around this time: get beaten up, get disqualified, or hit one move, a slam and the elbow to end it. Savage takes over and we go to the floor with Norton getting sent into the barricade a few times. Norton gets slammed on the floor but grabs a DDT for two back in the ring. There’s the shoulderbreaker and Macho goes to the floor. He avoids being sent into the post and then WHACKS Norton with the chair for the DQ.

Rating: C. Pretty fun brawl while it lasted and it accomplished the goal that it needed to get through: making Savage look like a crazy lunatic that could kill Hogan if given the chance. They managed to kill the heat on the match because we needed to have Hogan vs. Piper for some reason. Anyway though, this was more fun than I expected.

Glacier vs. Big Bubba

Let’s get this over with. Glacier has his infamous overblown intro which cost thousands of dollars per time I believe. Bubba doesn’t get an entrance and it’s snowing in the arena. They have the blue lights ala Sin Cara/early Kane matches too. Glacier fights like a Power Ranger. Bubba finally gets in a punch and a big spinebuster but Glacier pops up and fires off a bunch of kicks because that’s all he knows how to do. A big spin kick ends this. More or less just an exhibition by Glacier.

Sting (the real one) is here and Eric says this wasn’t expected. This is a very famous moment. He wants to explain last week. Last Monday, he was on a plane coming back from Los Angeles. Important note to this: his back is to the camera and he won’t turn around. He talks about how Luger hasn’t come to see him and he’s tired of all the doubt. The fans are kind of booing him here.

That brings us to Fall Brawl where he was going to tell Lex to his face. Luger didn’t believe him there either. After everything he’s done, how dare no one believe him after everything Lex has done over the last year. That’s a really good point. He’ll stand by all the wrestlers and fans that stood behind the Stinger, but as for everyone that doubted him, you all can stick it. From now on, he’s a free agent. He’s going to pop in when you least expect him. With that, he walks out of the ring and leaves. That’s the last time he would speak on camera for about 16 months.

Ric Flair/Arn Anderson vs. Chris Jericho/Marcus Bagwell

Think this is going to get any attention from the announcers? Before the Horsemen come out we cut to the back where Liz is too scared to come to the ring with them. Before the match starts, Waltman stands up in his chair and holds up a box with a button on it. He presses a button and a ton of leaflets fall from the ceiling with NWO on it. Bischoff says Waltman is the 6th one (Hogan, Hall, Nash, DiBiase, Giant, Fake Sting makes six without him but I guess math is too hard for WCW).

After a break the papers are still falling. We at least get a bell. Arn vs. Jericho gets us going. The Canadian takes over with a dropkick for two to start as we’ll be lucky to hear 5 words about the match. Spinwheel kick puts Arn onto the floor as the papers keep following. Eric admits that he’s the Executive Vice President of WCW and admits he agreed to give the NWO their own TV show if they won last night or they wouldn’t fight. That would wind up being a segment on Saturday Night that was done for comedy.

Flair comes in to chop away at Bagwell but Buff (not yet Buff but who cares) fires back and it’s about what you would expect. The Horsemen double team a bit as there is zero heat on this match. Flair is crawling around on all fours outside and is mad about the papers. I’d be mad too if the fans kept throwing the papers at me. Anderson gets a spinebuster on Jericho for no cover. Tenay starts questioning Eric’s decision and it’s covered up well by Bischoff. It’s interesting to look for the hints to the swerves that would come.

Jericho gets beaten down by both guys and Heenan enjoys it way too much. As the Canadian gets his leg worked on Horsemen-style, we cut to the back where Giant is arriving and Waltman is with them with a small boom box. At least it’s split screen so we can see the match, as boring as it is. And there goes the splitting. They play a tape of “Sting” running his mouth about not trusting anyone. After about a minute of that, back to your regularly scheduled match.

Hot tag brings in Bagwell and he’s still Marcus so no one cares. They tried forever to get people to care about him and it didn’t work ever with him as a face. Woman interferes to allow Anderson to knock Bagwell out dead with a DDT. The Figure Four goes on and Bagwell gets beaten by the rare pin in the submission.

Rating: D. Not an entertaining match at all. It was ok but with all of the distractions going on in it, there’s only so much you can get out of it. The papers and then cutting away from it for about a minute took way too much out of it. To be fair to the bad ideas though, the match wasn’t going to be interesting no matter what they tried with it.

Buy this Horsemen t-shirt for $22! This is back in the days of $30 PPVs. That would be the equivalent of about a $35 t-shirt today.

Chris Benoit/Steve McMichael vs. Lex Luger

No Sting for Luger to tag with. Benoit start with Luger and I guess they’re still going with the idea of the other Horsemen being upset about not being in WarGames. There’s the snap suplex. You know for a guy that went through WarGames last night and passed out from the pain of a double submission, Luger looks pretty good. Mongo comes in for his usual boring stuff.

A forearm/elbow gets two for Benoit. We’re told that more or less EVERYONE ON THE ROSTER other than Savage is going to be in Japan next week. Heenan: “QUIT TELLING EVERYONE THAT!” Listen to Brain. He knows his stuff it seems. A double clothesline puts both Benoit and Luger down as we’re waiting on the screwy finish. Luger makes his comeback and Racks Benoit but here are Flair and Anderson for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Another weak match here but it was around to set up what the lack of Sting means for Luger and for just the big beatdown post match. Not a horrible match again, but at the same time they were really just wasting time here until the ending and everyone knew it, which is one of the most boring kind of matches you can have.

During the beatdown, Eric gives us the word that Waltman is officially to be called Syxx.

Outside the NWO is watching Nitro in a limo. They hear that no one will be here but Savage next week, so they’ll beat him up. Thanks Eric.

Overall Rating: C-. The wrestling was terribly boring here but they have like six weeks before Halloween Havoc so they have plenty of time left. Not the worst show ever but it was really more about transitioning things, including the start of the REALLY big part of the NWO angle, which is saying a lot. Sting’s speech is huge and the rest is just there.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – October 21, 1996

by Logan Scisco

-Vince McMahon narrates a video package concerning Bret Hart’s absence from the World Wrestling Federation.  Jerry “the King” Lawler discusses the in-ring return of Mr. Perfect tonight, as he is scheduled to face Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

-McMahon and Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear why Sid will be the next WWF champion!

-Opening Contest:  Sid beats Owen Hart (w/Clarence Mason) via disqualification after the British Bulldog interferes at 6:40 shown:

They work a small guy vs. big guy formula for this one and Owen spends most of the match working the leg.  However, Sid eventually stops selling it when he makes the comeback.  Sid gets ready to win the match with a powerbomb, but the British Bulldog runs in and assists his partner to draw the disqualification.  The tag team champions try to do damage to Sid, but Shawn Michaels hits the ring and drives them off.  Owen employed a good strategy against a larger opponent, but the long work on the leg went nowhere.  Rating:  *½

-McMahon and Lawler narrate pictures from last night’s buried alive match between the Undertaker and Mankind are shown.  O Fortuna is played in the background for effect.

-The Godwinns (w/Hillbilly Jim) defeat The Smoking Gunns when Henry pins Bart after a Slop Drop at 4:12 shown:

Talk about feuds that never die.  This is meeting #275 or so between these teams this year.  Jim Ross joins the announce team and McMahon tries to get him to reveal what Bret Hart is going to say tonight.  The problem is that if Ross is supposed to be the point man for this segment later in the show, who is going to believe him after that Razor Ramon debacle a few weeks ago?  Ross says that the winner of this match may get a match with Owen Hart and the British Bulldog for the tag team titles.  Haven’t the Gunns had enough shots by now?  They don’t give this one a lot of time, not that I am complaining, and shortly after we return from a commercial break the Godwinns whip Bart into Billy, who is on the apron, and Henry finishes Bart off.  After the match, Billy and Bart argue about the loss.  This was the end of the Gunns-Godwinns feud and is the only time the Godwinns got a clean win over them on television.  Rating:  *

-Kevin Kelly announces that Pat Patterson, Jimmy Snuka, and Vince McMahon Sr. will be inducted into this year’s WWF Hall of Fame.

-Mr. Perfect is shown warming up backstage.  Hunter Hearst Helmsley appears and rams an equipment cart into his knee.

-Ross interviews Bret “the Hitman” Hart about his future.  He says that a rival organization offered him a lot of money and treated him with respect.  McMahon plays the role of an anxious boss sitting at the announce table waiting for an answer until Bret says that he’s going to return to the WWF.  He said that Shawn Michaels beat him fair and square at WrestleMania XII, but says that Michaels gets under his skin.  During this interview, it’s pretty funny to see the guys cheering for Bret and the girls cheering for Shawn.  He says that he will accept the challenge of Steve Austin, who he considers the best wrestler in the company, for the Survivor Series.  The camera cuts to the backstage area, where Brian Pillman is ecstatic about the news, but Austin quickly looks through him and Pillman settles down.  He talks about his nephew who recently passed away and how he promised him that he would make a comeback.  Bret’s promos were always good when he was just himself and wasn’t trying too hard.  This promo also begins to set the stage for Bret’s feud with Shawn that would last until he left the company at the end of 1997.

-Todd Pettengill and Lawler host the Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament segment.  The matchups for this year’s tournament are:  Bob Backlund-Sunny, Dok Hendrix-Sable, Sid-Marlena, and Mr. Perfect-Phineas Godwinn.

-Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mr. Perfect:

Perfect comes to the ring with Intercontinental Champion “Wildman” Marc Mero, Sable, and WWF President Gorilla Monsoon.  Ross asks Perfect what is going on and Perfect reveals that Monsoon will not allow him to wrestle tonight because of the knee injury he suffered earlier in the show.  Perfect says that Mero has volunteered to take his place, but Helmsley says that the only way that he’ll wrestle Mero is if he puts the Intercontinental title on the line.  Mero says that Perfect helped him win the Intercontinental title so he’ll put the title on the line.  Monsoon makes sure that’s cool and proceeds to sanction the match.

-Intercontinental Championship Match:  Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeats “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/Sable) after a Pedigree to win the title at 6:36 shown:

There probably wasn’t a mark at home heading into this contest that gave Helmsley a chance and I wonder how many smarks turned their TV sets to Nitro when they found out Perfect wasn’t wrestling.  Since there isn’t a lot of time left in the show, both guys go through a quick series of near-falls and rehash some sequences from their previous battles on pay-per-view.  Mero goes through most of his signature spots (slingshot leg drop from the apron and Merosault), but Helmsley inexplicably keeps kicking out and that should’ve been a signal to the crowd that this was not the old Helmsley.  Mr. Perfect gets a hold of a chair after a ref bump, but clocks Mero and Helmsley takes advantage to win his first title in the company.  After the match, Helmsley and Perfect embrace as McMahon calls this the “Perfect hoax.”  The crowd is completely shocked and devastated at the result and Helmsley is now officially out of the doghouse and is resuming his push to the top of the midcard.  Rating:  **½

The Final Report Card:  This was a very important edition of Monday Night Raw as Bret Hart returned to the company and Hunter Hearst Helmsley scored an upset Intercontinental title victory over Mero.  I was always surprised at how quickly they took the title off of Mero and was even more surprised that they had him drop the title to Helmsley, who had won only a handful of televised matches against top talent in recent months.  Perfect and Helmsley were supposed to be partners for a while, but Perfect bolted to WCW shortly after this and they had to change the storyline.  Nevertheless, this was a great ending to the longstanding feud between Perfect and Helmsley.  As a side note, the return of Bret and Perfect was a definite ratings draw for this show, as it came within .6 points of beating Nitro, the closest margin the WWF had produced since August 19th.  The WWF would not manage to pull this close again until February 3, 1997.  Our next review will take up to November 4th (featuring the Austin-Pillman gun angle) since my copy of October 28th will not play.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.6 (vs. 3.2 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up

Monday Nitro – September 9, 1996

Monday Nitro #52
Date: September 9, 1996
Location: Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, Georgia
Attendance: 6,000
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’ve hit a full year worth of shows with this one and it’s the go home show for Fall Brawl. With the Giant having joined the NWO and the group being stronger than ever, it’s time to have another member join tonight to make them ultra strong before Fall Brawl right? Tonight is the beginning of something huge and it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes from a modern perspective. Let’s get to it.

We recap the ending of last week’s show.

Pat Tanaka vs. Super Calo

Tanaka, of Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling fame, comes out to what would become Goldberg’s music. Tanaka is in stereotypical martial arts attire and fires off kicks because he’s Asian and every Asian wrestler has to kick a lot. I didn’t hear a bell but I guess that’s implied. Calo speeds things up to start as we need to give him a reason to be #1 contender to Rey I guess. There’s a big dive to the floor to take Tanaka down.

We cut to the back (that’s becoming really annoying) to see kids in NWO shirts bringing in a bunch of papers that look like newspapers. Tanaka takes Calo down with a powerbomb and in a really weird ending, he puts Calo on the top and tries what looks like a gutwrench superplex but falls backwards so Calo can fall on him and pin him. That was either a botch or really stupid.

Rating: C-. If the idea here was to make us think that Calo was a threat to Rey, they didn’t do a very good job. I mean dude, Pat Tanaka? That would be like bringing in Kid Kash today. You would have to be an idiot to think that would be a good idea. Anyway, this was nothing of note and Calo was forgettable at best.

Rick Steiner says he could have beaten Luger last week but Nick Patrick screwed it up. Gene isn’t sure about that and here’s Luger for a rebuttal. They’re facing each other later tonight. Rick sounds delusional.

Buy the NWO t-shirt!

After months and months of talking, Glacier debuted! But he did it on WCW Pro, which was a show that came on Sunday evenings. Yes, after all those months, this is what we get out of it. Are you freaking kidding me WCW?

Nasty Boys vs. Amazing French Canadians

They’re the Quebecers. Jacques says he’s going to sing and the Nasties jump them. We cut to the crowd with the kids from earlier passing out NWO leaflets and papers. In the brawl that starts the match, Jacques hits Sags with a Canadian flag to give the French dudes the advantage. Larry goes to get the leaflets and throws down the pile of it. The thing says “you haven’t see bad but it’s coming.” Preach it brothers.

Now back to our bad match with old guys in progress. Jacques slams Sags and they try the Cannonball which connects for no cover because they need to try it again. This one hits as well but Knobbs makes the save. Things break down (imagine that in a Nasty Boys match) and Knobbs clocks Oullette in the head with a flag for the pin.

Rating: C-. Not bad here and they beat each other up pretty well although I’d prefer it being with more than flags. The Canadians got annoying quickly and would soon get Colonel Parker as their manager to further their levels of annoying. Nothing too bad but it was only a decent brawl which was mainly due to how short it was.

The Nasty Boys imply they want to join the NWO but say they’re not sure either way. All they care about is being tag team champions.

Scott Norton vs. Craig Pittman

The hits just keep on coming. Pittman takes over to start but his Code Red doesn’t work. Norton drops him down with a single arm DDT and we go to the floor. Pittman goes into the post and the dominance is on. Back in and there’s a Fujiwara Armbar and Pittman slaps the mat but it doesn’t mean anything yet. Teddy Long, Pittman’s manager, isn’t sure what to do but Ice Train comes out to throw in the towel and give Norton the win. They have another match Sunday. This match existed and that’s about all there is to say about it.

Team WCW minus Sting is in the back and Flair wants to know where Sting is. Luger says he’s here but he doesn’t know where. Flair wants Sting here and rants about the NWO a bit as only Flair can do. Mongo and Benoit come up and accuse Sting of betraying the team. Anderson says he has the hospital rooms reserved for the NWO.

We recap DDP vs. the Guerreros which culminates in a match vs. Chavo on Sunday. Not that either of them is wrestling or talking next but WCW just wanted you to know about it.

Joe Gomez vs. Juventud Guerrera

Speedy match to start us off with Gomez being kicked to the floor. Gomez gets on the apron and Juvy tries a rana to bring him back in and it’s botched badly to draw some boos out of the crowd. He aborts a rana off the top and botches a spinning springboard splash for the pin. This was BAD and Juvy is booed out of the building.

Nick Patrick is asked about the Steiners/Luger/Sting last week. He says Luger hit him on purpose which makes no sense but Patrick stands by it. Patrick swears he’s WCW and implies Gene is on the take. Patrick says he can prove his innocence.

We cut to the parking lot and the Outsiders and Hogan are putting fliers on the cars. Giant is there too. DiBiase is talking to someone in the limo and it’s raining.

Lex Luger vs. Rick Steiner

Tony suggest Patrick and Luger are in on something together. Patrick isn’t refereeing here. Larry thinks that Luger can get the belt back from Hogan but Savage can’t. Larry would be correct by that as it would eventually be Luger that ended this current Hogan reign. They shake hands pre match and after a break we’re ready to go. Steiner takes him to the mat with ease and then does it a few more times.

Hour #2 begins. I wonder if any fans ever had a heart attack off the totally random fireworks. Lex grabs a powerslam for two and takes over out of nowhere. They slug it out a bit and Rick snaps off a belly to belly for two. Steiner Line gets two. A double clothesline puts both guys down and there’s another powerslam for no cover this time from Lex. He calls for the Rack but Nick Patrick runs out to get Lex’s attention, saying something is going on out back. Lex runs to help and loses by countout.

Rating: C. The match was just ok with Steiner being a lot more amateur based than usual. The supelxes were always worth seeing but the rest of it was just there to set up the ending. I’m not sure what the point was in having Steiner being all insane earlier in the night and swearing he could beat Luger after the quick ending last week but Rick never was known for being normal.

We cut to the back with DiBiase talking to someone that sounds a lot like Sting and Sting is saying he’s tired of this don’t trust anything stuff. Luger comes out and Sting gets out to beat down Lex in the rain. That voice was really mic’d up too. Even DiBiase gets in some shots. And so it begins.

Eric doesn’t know what to do so we go to a video about the events of last week and Giant turning. This eats up a good while and I’m sure the live crowd loved sitting through all this dead time. This is like 10 minutes of stuff the audience can’t see at all. We go back and see the beatdown AGAIN to fill in some time.

After a break some WCW guys are still in the parking lot looking for cars to go after Sting.

Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio

Non-Title here I think. The announcers are all depressed because of what they saw in the parking lot and the fans are depressed because they just sat through 20 minutes of nothing. The announcers are really getting on my nerves with being all stoic and sounding like someone died or something. Rey is doing his usual fast paced offense but the crowd isn’t all that into it because of waiting around for something to happen for so long.

A rana puts Kidman on the floor but he blocks a springboard dropkick from Rey to put both guys down for a bit. A top rope splash gets two for Kidman. Out of absolutely nowhere, Rey hits a springboard front flip dive to land on Kidman in a seated senton position for the pin. And the announcers sound like they just watched their puppies be put to sleep. Too short to grade but the announcers were REALLY hurting things here.

Faces of Fear vs. Public Enemy

The announcers are still depressing. It’s a brawl to start and after Eric apologizes for ignoring Rey earlier (Kidman can screw off I guess), he completely ignores this match to start it off. We get down to a regular tag match with Barbarian vs. Grunge and the Leprechaun runs around the ring. This is a full grown man (Sgt. Dwayne Bruce) so it’s not as stupid as Hornswoggle right?

Off to Meng vs. Grunge as Heenan points out the issues with the NWO: “if they want you they’ll buy you but if they don’t want you they’ll eliminate you.” And now we get to something I didn’t even think WCW would do: they go to a promo during a match. I don’t mean an inset or something like that. I mean there’s a full promo that we go to instead of watching the match.

Now I know what you’re thinking. The promo is Luger and the Horsemen talking about Sting. “It’s a huge moment so this is trying to come off as real.” I get that. However, there’s a simple way around this: don’t have the match airing at the same time. You control when the matches air so it wouldn’t be hard to cut the match down and have something else afterwards or put the interview after the match. I know it’s a nothing match but things like this annoy me. It’s disrespectful to the wrestlers if nothing else.

Anyway, they’re all distraught and Luger is holding his left arm. Anderson is in shock because Sting was the only constant in WCW over the last ten years. That’s very true actually. At this point they do make things better by going split screen with the match. This isn’t as bad. Luger says he’s WCW and wants to be in WarGames even more now. He knows where Sting is going to be and is going to get him. Flair says the confusion is over and we’re the Horsemen so we’ll be ready at WarGames.

This makes me feel like asking something: why in the world did the Horsemen never just go off on a member of the NWO old school style? They could do it back in the 80s and they had the manpower to do it here. I mean….THEY’RE THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Would anyone have questioned them picking off someone like Buff Bagwell and beating him within an inch of his life? The numbers would have been against them but are you telling me that the Four Horsemen armed with chairs couldn’t pick off some of the NWO B-Team?

This is one of the big reasons why WCW died: because the good guys were treated like idiots. Flair and Arn never joined the NWO and neither did Benoit or Malenko who later comprised the team. Instead we had faces running around like idiots while we waited for Sting to make the save after like a year. After that, no one ever banded together and just mauled some of the NWO. You have the NWO beating someone down when you have a locker room of what, 40 guys (in kayfabe) who are for WCW so why did the locker room never empty and have everyone just lay out Hall and Nash and Hogan?

WCW had so many opportunities to make this takeover storyline interesting but instead we got stuff like Piper coming in to terrorize Hogan and celebrities trying to look like they know what they’re doing and the same old guys beating up the other same old guys while the young guys were stuck in the same places over and over again. I’m getting off track here, but the point is that for some reason, the good guys in WCW were treated like idiots and eventually people got tired of cheering for them and it went downhill from there.

Back in the match now and Meng is beating on Rock in the corner. A piledriver gets two and Meng goes off on Grunge with rights and lefts as the Samoans/Tongans/stereotypical savages dominate. This match has been going on like 6 minutes now which is longer than almost anyone wanted it to go. Now we have something new to talk about other than the match: should it have been the Horsemen the whole time?

Eric talks about how Meng is awesome but gets bored of that so let’s talk about WarGames. Things break down and Grunge is put on a table at ringside and Barbarian dives off the top but misses. Rock moonsaults Meng through another table and Patrick is cool with this. Meng gets up and puts the Death Grip on Grunge just as it’s all thrown out.

Rating: C-. Who would have predicted that I’d say this much during Public Enemy vs. Faces of Fear? This wasn’t a bad brawl and the Barbarian dive through the table was great. These teams wouldn’t mean much as the tag titles would go between the Outsiders and the Steiners for about a year and a half.

Heenan calls Meng Haku during the post match highlight package.

The Dungeon says they created the Giant so they’ll take him out too. Bubba still wants Glacier.

The NWO talks about Hogan being NWO Champion. Oh and if they win the WarGames match they want their own segment and an NWO Tag Tournament. Also the 4 life line is debuted here I believe.

John Tenta vs. Randy Savage

Tenta’s music would become Jericho’s in about two years. Savage hits the ring and is stomped down by Tenta quickly. Eric has to say that Meng works for WCW and not WWF as Haku to avoid legal issues. That’s how messed up things were back then. Savage pops Tenta with a chair and that’s cool too. There’s the elbow and a second one as Teddy Long comes out, saying they’re in the back. Savage runs off to huge booing and is counted out also. Too short to rate but it was in essence a Savage squash.

Out to the parking lot and a limo leaves but a second is still there. They find some yellow paint in it but no people. They spraypaint the limo. I hope that was a rental.

The Horsemen make one final sell of the PPV on the commentary table and they’re fired up.

Overall Rating: D+. Their streak of one good one and one bad one continues. You can see a lot of the standards coming here as we have the focus being off wrestling and trying to make stuff real. However, Sting being redeemed would take almost 15 months and would culminate at Starrcade 97 and the biggest blunder ever. You could notice a lot by the booing for Savage just leaving like that. The fans wanted to see a match, not a guy running off to do something that the fans couldn’t see. It became an issue later, but WCW never looked past that week’s show, and that’s a big part of why they died.

 

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The thread of that which is the opposite of Monday Night Cooked

If anyone is interested in going the Bill Yanney route and trying out for a spot doing RAW reports here on rspwfaq.com, drop me a line with a sample recap for tonight’s show. You’ve gotta be fast, though, as I’d like something I can have up around an hour after the end of the show.

And now, please feel free to discuss the first RAW on the new blog!