Monday Nitro #61
Date: November 11, 1996
Location: Bayfront Arena, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko, Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
There isn’t much to talk about for this show. The NWO is dominating of course and Piper is in this somewhere. WCW is still looking for a leader which they never really would find. Other than that there isn’t much else to talk about here because that’s all that really mattered. The big stuff happens next week. Let’s get to it.
While the announcers talk to open the show, some guy has an envelope in the crowd and security gets rid of him. It’s not acknowledged but it’s almost impossible to miss.
We talk about Jarrett vs. the Horsemen as Jarrett had implied he was a Horseman but Benoit and Mongo didn’t like that. This feud would go on FOREVER and drive me crazy the while time. They air the whole segment from last week which is Jarrett making a rambling football analogy.
Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
An inset interview by Kevin Sullivan implies he had Woman before Benoit. Jarrett grabs an arm drag and struts. A drop toehold takes Benoit down and Jarrett walks over his back as we take a break. Back with Benoit pounding away on him and it’s a brawl. Jeff kind of botches a neckbreaker as he loses Benoit swinging through it. Jarrett keeps control but Benoit gets all violent to take over.
Back to the mat in a brawling style as this has been a lot less technical than you would expect from these guys. Jeff starts in on the leg but Benoit hammers away at him. He drapes Jarrett across the top rope and they slug it out over the apron. Jarrett suplexes Benoit to the floor….and here’s Sting to drop Jarrett with the Deathdrop for the DQ.
Rating: C-. Not bad here but they weren’t going for a technical masterpiece this time. The idea was that Benoit was mad about Jarrett talking about being a Horseman so it wasn’t meant to be a big display of amateur skill. The ending hopefully gets rid of Jarrett wanting to be the leader of WCW.
Benoit teases getting in to fight Sting but thinks better of it.
Tony and Larry starting talking about Dr. James Andrews and the envelope guy from earlier runs up to the table and hands Tony the envelope. It’s a tape with a note saying it was a hit in Europe in 92 and something about Piper wanting Hogan. When I mentioned it earlier, I didn’t know something else was coming later from it. That’s rather cool.
The point of Andrews was a video we get about Flair getting his shoulder worked on by him.
WCW Women’s Title Tournament First Round: Zero vs. Malia Hosaka
Zero is Sonny Onoo’s chick in this. She no sells everything and we’re in squash territory here. Razor’s Edge into a powerbomb ends this in about a minute and a half.
DDP is asked about the NWO interfering in his matches. Page says he has nothing to do with them and doesn’t need them. The Outsiders come out and offer him a spot on the team but Page says he’d be #8, so how valuable do they really think he is? Nash talks about politics and how Bischoff is Page’s neighbor. Page says that has nothing to do with the spot he has and that’s about it.
Ciclope vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Ciclope has what would be Jericho’s heel music in 1998. Ultimo Dragon is out at ringside with the J Crown Titles. Ciclope takes him to the mat but Rey makes it technical to escape. A springboard rana sends Ciclope to the floor and there’s a big dive on top of it. Another springboard winds up with with Ciclope clotheslining him down. A sunset bomb sends Rey to the floor as Ciclope is doing better than expected.
More dominance by the less famous one here as he hits a DDT off the top (think the Orton elevated DDT) as Dean is watching from the aisle. Psicosis is behind him but I don’t think Dean knows he’s there. Off to a chinlock by Ciclope which is actually a choke. There’s a group of fans in the front row in shirts that spell out NWO 4 Life. A standing Lionsault is caught in something like a tombstone by Ciclope. They go up and Rey ranas him to the floor. Back in the West Coast Pop ends it.
Rating: C+. Pretty nice match here with Rey making the comeback that he got pretty famous doing. Not exactly a classic as they only had about 5 minutes, but for a free TV match, this was pretty much fine. Rey would get back into the title hunt in the next year as it was Dragon who got Dean to end the year.
The NWO fans come out of the entrance ramp before the NWO itself comes out for the Cable Ace Awards. Hall calls TNT a show instead of a network. They take over the announce table (the one at ringside, not the booth) and say they’ll want the awards. Nash brings up winning WarGames and talks about how they want Nitro. That happens in 2-3 weeks apparently.
Hour #2 begins.
Lex Luger vs. Scott Norton
Anderson says that he’ll get Luger at a house show in Baltimore on the 23rd. Norton overpowers him to start but seemingly drops Lex on a backbreaker attempt. Sting is in the rafters/at the top of the crowd. Out to the floor where Luger clotheslines the post which quiets the crowd down a lot. Back in and a flying tackle puts Lex down and we take a break.
Back with Norton draping the arm across the top rope. Norton stomps away on Luger like he’s a bad virus. Lex tries to start a comeback but Norton no sells a lot of clotheslines. Eric talks about the tape that apparently we’re going to see later. Norton goes up but jumps into a clothesline. The Rack ends this clean.
Rating: D+. Just a power match here but nothing of interest at all. Norton was as generic of a power guy as you could ask for but he did a decent job in that role and was around for a lot of years in WCW as a result. Sometimes just being a power monster is good enough for a job and he was here.
Heenan picks Dean Malenko for World War 3.
We see the attack on Jarrett by Sting earlier in the show.
Luger says that he still hasn’t heard from Sting.
Lee Marshall talks about Nitro next week as usual.
Amazing French Canadians vs. Harlem Heat
Colonel Parker is with the Canadians now. This is a rematch from Saturday Night. The Canadians take over to start but the Heat ram them together to take over. Booker hits the axe kick and we cut to the back to see the Nasty Boys trying to get in. Doug Dillinger won’t let them in. They finally go split screen as Sherri gets into the ring. The Nasties leave but see someone we can’t quite see. Sherri and Parker get into a fight for the no contest. I’m not rating it due to how much we didn’t see and how the split screen was mostly her standing around. I’m curious as to who that was the Nasties were talking to.
Upon further review (as in I looked it up on the internet) it was Ed Leslie, or Brutus Beefcake.
Konnan vs. Chris Jericho
Konnan has a belt which I’d assume is a AAA title. We actually get a shot of a hockey card with Jericho’s pappy on it. Jericho gets sent to the floor and Konnan hits the rolling clothesline. Then he hits another inside. Well at least he’s keeping the symmetry. Nick Patrick is referee here so expect something screwy. Konnan hits him in the knee and a powerbomb gets two. Now he works on the arm. The Canadian hits a German on the Cuban and a victory roll gets two. Another bridging move gets two. They hit the ropes and Konnan dropkicks Jericho who brushes into Patrick’s arm which Patrick calls a DQ.
Rating: D. This was a pretty dull match which was there so they could continue Jericho vs. Patrick. I’m not sure when they’re going to finally have Patrick admit he’s NWO but if I remember right it was before the PPV. He definitely was NWO at Souled Out but I thought it was before then.
Miguel Perez Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera
This starts immediately after we get back from a break. Perez was one of Los Boricuas in WWF and other than this, he had one match on a major WCW show which was back in 1992. Oh my goodness he’s a hairy man. I’m not exactly sure what you want me to say here as this is your standard cruiserweight style match with both guys moving around well but mostly just to pop the crowd. Standing moonsault gets two for Perez. They go to the floor and Perez flattens him with a powerbomb on the floor. Back in a tornado DDT is countered by Juvy but the 450 misses. A rolling victory roll gets the pin for Perez.
Rating: C-. Like I said, this was just like any given match that had two Hispanic cruiserweights in it. I don’t really know what else there is to say about it as it came and went. It wasn’t bad but Perez wasn’t all that impressive. I’d assume this was a tryout match for him so I’m not that shocked that he wasn’t around anymore.
DiBiase thanks Sting for taking Jarrett out. He and Vincent hold up an NWO shirt for Sting whenever he wants it.
Faces of Fear vs. American Males
This is the official main event if you go by what the last match is. We get word that the video is a music video which is going to be enough to explain Piper’s feelings about Hogan. Eric says that he still has had issues with Piper’s management and that he had a good time with Piper and his family in Oregon. Remember that, as it becomes important later. The Faces of Fear pound the Males down before the Males can even get their jackets off. We’re told that Piper vs. Hogan will be as big as Tyson vs. Holyfield. Not hot tag brings in Riggs but Bagwell pulls Barbarian’s feet at the wrong time. Meng kills Riggs with a kick to end it.
Rating: D. This was here to reenforce the idea that the Males aren’t on the same page. You would get a lot more of these short matches that were just around to advance the idea of a single angle back then rather than now. The Males thing would be settled next week, as would a lot of other stuff. Yeah in case you didn’t get it, next week is where a lot of stuff changes, making this week pretty much just a filler before then.
Jimmy Hart wants to know why the Nasty Boys are getting a title shot and not the Faces of Fear. He wants a triangle match. Jimmy would actually get his request.
Here’s the video, which is Piper boxing…and singing? The song appears to be called I’m Your Man. It’s a music video which has Piper training, on the beach, and that’s about it. There’s a still from the music video with Hogan looking up at a marquee at the Hollywood Bowl with Hogan vs. Piper listed as The Ultimate Bout. Really? That’s it?
Here’s the NWO and Hogan in particular. Liz is in a Santa mask. He brags about Santa With Muscles and tells Piper to bring it on. Hulk poses to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. This one really missed for me. Like I said it’s really more of a filler show than anything else, with that music video being something very strange. It’s not a particularly bad song or anything, but it’s just so out of nowhere and strange to see Piper singing. Anyway, nothing of note to see here tonight and that made it one of the weaker shows from Nitro in awhile.
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