Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board

Smelly watches every Nitro-era Nitro, Thunder, Clash, and PPV while sitting and sometimes maybe standing


Recommended Posts

Show #29- 25th March 1996

"The one with a bunch of title matches"

  • Bisch welcomes us to a night full of title matches - World, U.S., and Tag. This is post-Uncensored, so that stupid cage match happened, along with what I remember as a poor show. Now we're getting into the pre-nWo endgame. 


  • Fit Finlay, AKA the Belfast Bruiser, is on his way to the ring. He had a stiff match with Regal at Uncensored that was overlong and meandering and not really as good as you'd guess it would be. He'll face Randy Savage, "the man who represents Slim Jim," according to Bisch. Well, yes, but also he's like a multi-time World Champ. I feel like that should be how he's known first and foremost. He and Hogan beat eighty-three guys in that interminably long, low-impact cage match on Sunday, so he's fresh and ready to fight!


  • Finlay controls most of the match. He jacked Regal legit with a European uppercut at Uncensored, so the desk sells them big-time when he hits them on Savage. Savage does some pretty fun weeble-wobble selling of them, too. Anyway, this is typical of a Savage TV match of this era. He takes a beating inside of the ring. He takes a beating outside of the ring. Finlay slips on a banana peel after all the domination and eats a flying elbowsmash for the L. Inoffensive. Finlay's offense was snug, but not really exciting or interesting enough to take advantage or show off. It's nice that Savage is going out there like, "Yo, I'll sell for you as much as you want until the finish, bust out your best offense" for the new guys, though. 


  • The champ is here! It's Ric Flair. Ric Flair's here. Not John Cena. Woman and Elizabeth are here, too. Elizabeth has Randy's money with her. Flair threatens The Giant, his opponent for tonight. He sings a lot. He hits a few catchphrases. He gets asked about Lex Luger, who knocked him out last night. Woman very distractingly flirts with Mean Gene, like he did a good job of generally keeping focus. Flair compares himself to Luger favorably. The ladies agree. Gene agrees with whatever the ladies agree with. 


  • Mr. J.L. comes to the ring for a shot at Konnan's U.S. Championship. The opening sequence feels really contrived and artificial. In other words, it feels very modern. They follow up with some decent-enough matwork before Konnan hits the first really nice move of the match, a sweet DDT. I'm just not into watching Konnan work at half-speed, though. Apparently, Savage is in the back trying to get his money back from Liz. Nah, that shit's gone, bruh. You should have had a secret bank account in the Caymans like I'm sure Hogan did. 


  • More half-speed, somewhat contrived-looking offense leads to the second nice move of the match, a forearm from J.L. J.L. gets a near-fall off a missile dropkick, but gets gutwrench powerbombed into the mat for a Konnan two-count. A few pin exchanges on the mat, again at somewhat slow speed, lead eventually to a NASTY middle-rope DDT that J.L. hits on Konnan and that gets 2.9 appropriately. Shit, that should be a finish. Konnan ends up flapjacking J.L. and bridging over for a pinfall a few seconds later, but I'd have rather Jerry Lynn won it because he's at least able to hit his shit at full speed. It wasn't good, but there were some real nice moves that would make for good GIFs.


  • Oh Lord, it's Disco. He pimps his shitty CD. He's apparently wearing DDP's rings, according to the Brain, which DDP apparently had to pawn. Disco scouring pawn shops across the country for cheap jewelry on each WCW stop seems absolutely in character for him. Boy, I'm glad to see Disco. This is going to be a fun little match, I bet.


  • Aw shit, it's Booty Man


  • Well, wait, this can be saved! Disco hates Booty's shitty dancing. It's absolutely shitty, yes, Disco, I agree. We all agree. If this turned into a dance-off followed by Disco cracking Booty over the head with his CD jewel case, that would be something. But no, Booty Man dominates with shitty offense, though at least a) Disco sells entertainingly, and b) Kimberly wanders out here, and I refuse to call her the B---- B---. Anyway, this is a squash and Disco gets no offense in, and while that's sort of what Disco is for, I still feel somehow like he was sacrificed to this jackass Booty Man. I hate it. Kimberly is dressed like an asshole and still looks absolutely amazing. She makes this Booty Man thing tolerable. 


  • AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES are here to do the near-impossible twice - they're facing Sting and Lex Luger for the WCW Tag Team Championships. Can they duplicate their upset title win over Harlem Heat from a few months back on Nitro? This fuckhead Luger, LOL, is high-fiving fans with the GOOFIEST look on his face when Sting is looking at him, and he immediately stops when Sting turns away. Holy shit, the dumb grin on Luger's face when he's high-fiving people. This fucking guy. 


  • Riggs and Luger cut a pace to start. Riggs gets the better of Luger, who throws a tantrum and then jumps a celebrating Riggs to take control. It doesn't last long, but a frustrated Luger clotheslines Riggs and then Bagwell out of anger, so Bagwell grabs Luger's ankle and drags him out of the ring so they can brawl. Sting has to come calm everyone down and get things back in the ring. 


  • Anyway, the story of this match is that Bagwell and Riggs use crisp teamwork to keep Luger off-balance. He only gets a breath by cheating or using his veteran experience to dodge a move that he sees coming. Bagwell whiffs on a splash and Luger just beats the shit out of him, giving him a ticket for that earlier brawl on the floor. Man, Luger is killing it with his character work right now. Sting is too - he looks disturbed at Luger's attitude from the corner. Eventually, stereo hot tags lead to Riggs giving a fresh Sting some trouble for a bit before Sting gets three on a crossbody. Sting raises Riggs's and Bagwell's hands in a show of sportsmanship. Luger celebrates with all the belts he can grab outside the ring like a dick. I can't reiterate enough how awesome Luger is right now. 


  • The main event sees the Giant wrestling to become WCW World Champion against Ric Flair. Liz throws Savage's money to the crowd as she walks down the aisle, LOL, and Woman wants to help. Savage runs down the aisle in a rage, and a bunch of wrestlers and Doug Dellinger's people have to hold him back. Woman takes the opportunity to slap the shit out of Savage while he's being restrained. A really loud fan yells SLUT! at Woman, which, uh, is that supposed to be a bad thing? I'm a guy, so I can't exactly re-claim that word, but I will say God bless all the sluts out there. You've made life more fun for so many of us, and I appreciate you all. Keep on living your lives.


  • Flair tries to go toe-to-toe with The Giant and play mind games. It doesn't work. He tries to shoulder block The Giant. It also doesn't work. He tries twice. I don't know why. He chops The Giant. There's a thread here. Anyway, one gorilla press slam to Flair later, and Giant is in control. Bisch points out that Flair gave Vader that work a couple years ago, so he's able to beat bigger guys. Also, he gets to shit on Vader again. 


  • Flair has had enough and tries to escape down the aisle. This is a better idea than all the other ideas Flair has had so far, but it doesn't work, either. He tries chops. Nope. He punches. Nope. He decides to beg. This doesn't work either. Meanwhile, the Giant has hit two gorilla press slams and a vertical suplex, and all of those moves have been high-impact and magnificent. Flair tries the top rope. Hey, that doesn't even work when you're not wrestling an athletic freak like The Giant. The thing, though, is that The Giant is a rookie with little experience, so he goes to the top rope and whiffs on a splash. I mean, it wasn't even close. He jumped like three-fourths of the way across the ring. He would have missed if Flair hadn't bothered to move. 


  • The Giant isn't really hurt from that miss, but he whiffs on a corner move and bumps all the way out to the floor, which gives Flair time to get some wire and to use it for a choke while the ladies have Pee-Wee Anderson distracted. Flair's first two offensive moves that work at all are, in fact, that illegal choke, done twice. His third offensive move that works is two thumbs to the eye. See, this is good stuff, Flair. Cheating is your best game plan. Unfortunately for him, Flair thinks that he can go back to regular wrestling moves. The Giant shrugs off like thirty punches. Flair remembers who he is and who he's wrestling and rams his knee into The Giant's nutsack instead. That's more like it, Flair. Woman has the cord now, and she chokes the Giant as much as possible, being smart enough to duck behind the apron while she does it so the ref can't see. 


  • But again, Flair tries more wrestling moves. He gets launched from the top rope yet again like a dumbass. Then, like it's a monster movie or something, The Giant signals for the chokeslam and Flair is like NO NO NO OH SHIT OH WELL I GUESS I'M FUCKED. Chokeslam to Flair. Arn comes down and batters the Giant with a chair. Sullivan, trailing closely behind, rips the chair from Arn just in time for the Giant to turn around and see him holding it. Chokeslam to Sullivan. Then, chokeslam to Arn just because fuck it, why not. Anderson gives up on trying to herd all these cats and calls for a no contest.


  • LE GEANT~ rolls out looking like a KING while the ladies scream at the carnage left in the ring and Jimmy Hart tries to wake Sullivan up from night-night land. This match was fucking AWESOME for what its goals were and how it executed those goals. The Giant looks like he's basically unstoppable and Flair looks to be on borrowed time as champ if The Giant gets a rematch. I pretty much think this was a perfectly-worked match. Flair only had the advantage when cheating, which he is excellent at, but as soon as the match had to turn back into a legit wrestling match, he was utterly fucked. Fantastic bit of work from him, especially at the end when he saw the chokeslam coming and could only throw a tantrum as The Giant advanced because he was all out of tricks and knew the game was up. 


  • Those last two matches were great in their own ways. The rest of the show was whatever, but the Tag and World Championship matches absolutely killed it. Easy 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes. 



Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #30- 1st April 1996

"The one with nary a clean finish, in preparation for 1997  - 1999, I guess"

  • We're in media res again! The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) and Sting are in the ring about to fight it out. Apparently, they were going to tag up against Harlem Heat for some reason, but Jimmy Hart paid Harlem Heat off to take a walk so the would-be tag partners could tangle. It's pretty great. Sting has more energy than The Giant, and it throws Giant off initially, but that crossbody that worked so well for Sting last week is a whole lot more effective against Scotty Riggs than it is against LE GEANT~. Giant takes over with a big elbow and puts in work on the Stinger outside the ring. Sting escapes a chokeslam on the apron by kicking the Giant away, and before they can tangle again, Lex Luger runs out to back Sting up. The impromptu match is called off as suddenly as it began. The Giant yells at Sting into the camera. Like, yo, Sting is right there in the ring. Just yell at him directly. This made me want to see a full-on Sting/Giant match. I would pay money out of my pocket for a time machine to transport these two men straight from 1996 into a packed arena. 


  • We see Harlem Heat accept what appears to be a check from Jimmy Hart. Well, that's daring. Did they make sure it was a traveler's check, at least? Maybe a certified check? They need Sister Sherri to help them manage these situations. That thing probably bounced like it was unbound by the laws of gravity.


  • Now the Nastys, Steiners, and Road Warriors are in the ring for a triple tag match. Looks like it's two men at a time, anyone can tag anyone else. Not my favorite match type, TBH. I'd much prefer a tornado tag if it's going to be a triple tag. Rick tags out to Animal while Knobbs is still in the ring. Why would you tag yourself out of this match to not-your-partner? It gives you no chance to win unless someone else tags your partner in for some reason. I think you could maybe sell that logic if the man was deep in trouble, but this is why I don't like this match type. Logically, the two teams that start with members in the ring should just freeze out the third team entirely. Maybe you can partially solve this by having the frozen out teams make blind tags or interfere whenever possible to try and force a tag, but these teams don't do that. 


  • Anyway, there's lots of chaos and clubbering and stuff. This is fine for what it is, I guess, but this is a very limited match type. It needs to break down to really reach any sort of potential, and that happens after a good eight or ten minutes. Unfortunately, it only lasts for a few seconds before order is restored. My biases against this match type and how the teams have chosen to work it are probably just too strong to really enjoy this. It goes on with a long Nastys control segment before finally breaking down again. The Roadies have been locked out of the match and finally decide to take Saggs and fuck him up outside of the ring while Knobbs and Rick Steiner grapple in the ring. The match is still going into a commercial break. Bummer. Get to the finish already. Animal's in the ring with Rick Steiner when we come back, somehow. It sucks to have missed whatever that transition is. 


  • This thing is never-ending. Long control segment that ends with a dumb spot where the Road Warriors attack Rick Steiner as he's got Knobbs set up for a top-rope belly-to-belly. Why not let him hit it and then stomp the shit out of him? Anyway Rocco Rock runs out, pulls Knobbs out of the ring while everyone is distracted with fighting, and then Johnny Grunge, dressed as Brian Knobbs, rolls in and lays down for Scott Steiner. Even Scotty didn't notice the difference as he secured the pinfall. I guess it was PE who jumped the Nastys a few weeks back. Whatever. This had a couple of neat spots, but it was a total mess. It was also entirely too long. We could have cut this thing in half and squeezed in Alex Wright or Eddie Guerrero or even a dumb Disco sketch with that extra time. 


  • Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan and Arn Anderson (with Woman and Liz) are wrestling Hulk Hogan and The Booty Man (with the B---- B---, Kimberly) next. A young lady in the crowd boos the faces. Actually, as Hogan's music plays, the whole row that the camera pans down in close-up seems to be booing or flashing the four fingers. Anyway, look, I'm not going to spend a lot of time belaboring my typical negative talking points about the people involved. Here's stuff that I do enjoy about this match:
  1. The ladies are really wonderful to look at, yeah, I'm settled down. But I do want to point out that Kim pulls off her heel to feed into the finish and the camera focuses on it and she has fantastic calves and I enjoyed looking at her and at them. 
  2. After a dual big boot from Booty and Hogan, Heenan calls them two of the ugliest Rockettes that he's ever seen. 
  3. Heenan does a dumb obligatory April Fool's joke that would get him banned from this site by making an announcement that he's leaving wrestling before a big APRIL FOOL'S at the end of the show. 


  • Anyway, Hogan, with the assistance of Kimberly's high heel, defeats Sullivan, who unfortunately used Woman's high heel as his tag partner instead of Liz's high heel. Then Kim and Booty make out. Someone should give her back her heel because she's struggling to walk with only one heel on. Well, actually, this is neat: It was planned. Booty went back for the heel and got jumped by the losers lurking outside of the ring after their defeat. OK, that was a nice little thing. 


  • What's not nice is that the winners cut a promo with Mean Gene afterwards. Booty has a secret plan to get the last laugh over Arn and Sullivan. He declares this in front of everybody instead of, uh, keeping it secret. Aw geez, there's going to be another tag match with these two next week, huh? Bisch, please, no. 


  • Lex Luger strolls down with two belts. Hey, he actually gives high-fives this week without having to pretend much. That's progress, isn't it? He's wrestling Ric Flair. Flair's here with Woman and Liz. Flair strolls over to Debra McMichael, who is sitting in the stands, and considers hitting on her. A woman with chili on her t-shirt (Heenan's observation, not mine, re: the chili) yells at Flair while he does so. 


  • This is a World Championship title match, actually. Luger starts out hot, using his strength to press slam Flair. Heenan has me busting out by saying that Woman gives good advice to Flair on the floor like Hillary gives to Bill, and I quote: "Don't get too close to Newt...stay back." Quality commentary there. 


  • It's a Flair paint-by-numbers. Flair loses tests of strength, Flair flops and wobbles and throws a tantrum when he's losing, Flair cheats, Flair goes to the top rope because he has issues with long-term memory re: wrestling strategy and what works for him and what doesn't. I do like that the desk gets over that Flair's tantrums are because every week, he wrestles another opponent who pushes him. He feels the walls closing in. 


  • Flair cuts off Luger after Luger runs the ladies off from ringside. Woman comes back as soon as Flair does to rake Luger's eyes. She does quality work at ringside each week as a shifty heel manager/valet. She's really excellent in this role. 


  • The match goes into the end game. Luger does an OOC sunset flip attempt so Flair can do his "ref kicks Flair's hands off the rope" spot. I don't know, I'm not against a wrestler getting their shit in, but make it at least make sense or feel organic. Luger has Flair in the Torture Rack, but Liz runs interference so Woman can throw hot coffee in Luger's eyes. Flair gets three with help from the ropes. Woman was smart enough to sideline her woefully ineffective high heel and try something different. I like her adaptability. Flair thrusts his junk at fans as he escapes back down the aisle with his gold. Well, that was pleasant. Is this because I totally male gazed at Kimberly? I know this was taped almost three decades ago, but I feel like it's cosmic retribution for going full Hollywood Cibernetico a few bullets back. 


  • In a sense, this show definitely kept up momentum. Roadies/Steiners and PE/Nastys got advanced, Booty/Hogan/Arn/Sullivan got advanced, Flair looking like he's going to get caught slipping soon advanced, Luger and what is going on in his head from day to day and what his ultimate angle will be advanced. It just wasn't very engaging from a ring-work perspective. Let me balance that all out like so: 3.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes. 


Edited by SirSmUgly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #31- 8th April 1996

"The one with the end (please) to this Hogan/Dungeon feud"

  • Hogan is on his way out. Great, let's get this over. Apparently, Booty's big plan is to put Hogan in a handicap match against Sullivan and Arn. GENIUS. Apparently, if Hogan wins, he gets five minutes alone with Woman or Liz or Jimmy Hart, but if he loses, Arn and Sullivan are going to give Woman and Liz five minutes to punk Kimberly oh God, I don't care, just end this already. Kimberly comes out to ringside in very short pink shorts, bless her soul. The ladies are the only reason to pay any attention to any of this feud at any point. Not just because of their looks, I might note! I mentioned last show that Woman also does really good work in her role. Liz is still growing into her bitchy MILF gimmick, but she'll get there. Kimberly is appropriately bubbly and goofy in her role. She's much more likable than Ed Leslie, so she pulls it off. I mean, she actually gets a small "Hogan" chant going at ringside during this match. That's damn near working miracles, TBH. 


  • Hogan annihilates Sullivan and Arn, pins Sullivan with a legdrop, and then harasses the women in an uncomfortable way. I mean, yeah, this is a bad look from here in 2022. It was a bad look in 1996, but you know, openly and clearly bad today. Luckily, he eventually beats up Jimmy Hart, which I guess is broadly acceptable even though Hart's a tiny little old guy? Jimmy Hart tries throwing powder in Hogan's eyes, but it doesn't work. Hart takes a few bumps while Bischoff does a huge fake Vince McMahon chuckle. Execrable television right now. Thankfully, The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) comes down and chokeslams Hogan. The crowd is into it! Hogan no-sells the chokeslam. FUUUUUUUUUUCK. He slams The Giant. Fuck off, dude. Gene Okerlund comes in for an interview at this extremely inopportune time and almost eats a bodyslam for his troubles. It's not BatB time yet, but this basically serves as Hogan's heel turn for me. I mean, this was a level of insecure, unbearable shittiness that is too, too much. 


  • The Nasty Boys jump Public Enemy in the aisle before their garbage match officially starts. We go to split-screen almost immediately so we can watch these two teams pair off in different parts of the arena and throw dumpster shit at one another. Knobbs dumps a full rubber trash can over Grunge's upper body, and Saggs hammers at it with a trash can lid while Knobbs punches it wildly. I mean, come on, that's cool shit. I don't care if garbage matches are passé to me at this point, I thoroughly enjoyed that dumb spot. Guys are just uncorking trash can spots every fifteen seconds. I like this stupidity. I freely admit it. I am sure that teenage me saw this on the replay in 1996 and was super-into it, too. If anything, it probably goes on a bit too long for a modern viewer, though not for this incredibly entertained West Virginian crowd in 1996, when this was fairly fresh. There are only so many times you can smack someone with plunder before the returns diminish and I start looking for the big final spot leading to the finish. 


  • Speaking of the finish: PE gets Knobbs set up on a table, but Grunge misses a sit-out splash from the top rope and is pinned shortly after crashing through the table. Rocco Rock continues brawling after the bell. Eventually, PE gets Saggs set up on a table outside the ring and PE does a double-team cannonball onto him and through the table. That was pretty good for what it was, man. 


  • Earl Robert Eaton strolls down the aisle, Geaves (yes, that's how they spell it) at his side, to show off his flashy offense as the opponent of Randy Savage. Anyway, same song as always. Savage is on top to start briefly before Eaton takes control. The twist is that Eaton puts Savage in the Figure Four and holds up a Four Horsemen t-shirt while he does it. Real big dick energy from Eaton there! Savage takes over from there, snatches Geaves's wig (literally), and drops the elbow for three. Mach, crazed, tosses Pee-Wee Anderson out of the way after the bell and hops over three guys who have come out to stop him to land another big elbow. He is then handcuffed and escorted out by Jim Duggan, Alex Wright, and Bobby Walker. That's a real low point. 


  • The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) and Ric Flair are tagging together. I'm not quite sure how they can stand each other at this point, and I'm not sure this partnership will last to the end of the match. Flair stops to hit on Debra McMichael at ringside again. Mongo doesn't feel threatened, though. Flair had better focus up since Sting and Luger are their opponents tonight. It's a WCW Tag Team Championship match, by the way. Sting's fired up. He presses Flair onto the Giant at ringside. The Giant tosses Flair back in the ring and tells him to get to it. Then it happens again. Flair runs out of the ring and chops the Giant, then immediately runs away. Well, that didn't take long. We go to break, where in-app, an attractive young woman with an unfortunate Australian accent talks about how to purchase quality leggings. I don't think these commercials are quite hitting the demographic that would watch old-ass Nitros. 


  • We come back to Luger dominating Flair, then getting dominated by The Giant to lead into the control segment. Flair needs all the help he can get. He dumps Luger outside and runs interference for Giant and Woman. He chokes Luger. The way that he's working feeds into the idea that he's desperate and starting to grasp at anything. The Giant, on the other hand, is almost casual about beating the shit out of Luger. I really just want to see The Giant work long matches with Sting, Luger, and even Flair at this point. Whenever he's not in the ring with Hogan, he's doing something entertaining. I can think of a lot of midcard guys I'd love to see him work at this point, for that matter. Rookie-year Giant is still a really exciting prospect even looking back 25+ years later. 


  • Woman is helping Flair gain leverage on a Figure Four when she gets caught. Her reaction, which is to widen her eyes in shock and then put her hands to her face in embarrassment, is pretty funny. She's awesome. I'm really enjoying this match overall, especially the parts where The Giant does cool shit like press slams and stepping on Luger's abdomen. Of course, Flair loses control of the match. Of course, he does it because he goes to the top rope and gets caught. Sting gets the hot tag and dominates Flair. He's got Flair in the Scorpion Deathlock, but Luger ducks a hot coffee toss from Woman that hits Sting and causes the DQ. Poor old ignored Giant uses this opportunity to destroy Luger and Sting both. Flair counts his own pinfall over Sting and celebrates like a lunatic. The desk asks if Luger let Sting get hit on purpose or not. I mean, this is harsh on Luger. Meanwhile, Bisch handcuffs Brain's wrists together at the desk. Rude. 


  • Nitro is pre-empted next week. It's clearly in a weird little holding pattern at this point as few storylines really move toward resolution. I do appreciate the character development in lieu of storyline development, though. The only thing that really got advanced around the main event is that Hogan's mini-feud with Sullivan and Arn should be over now, mercifully. Speaking of, this show can't go above 3.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes just because of how awful that opening was. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #32- 22nd April 1996

"The one with some nice variety and Flair caught slipping."

  • Time to talk storylines that are actually planned rather than meta-storylines about a company's inner workings! Yay!


  • All titles on the line in a rematch from last week's main event. Bisch sells The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) possibly pinning his own partner to become WCW World Champion. That's, uh, quite Russo-esque, actually. Also, Macho wants his money back, but I'm sorry, Liz put up with a lotta bullshit and deserves it, Mach. You know I love you, but you have to chill about Liz and the money.


  • Bisch spoils that night's taped RAW. Goldust is called a RuPaul impersonator again. That is a compliment, I keep telling you! He beat Savio Vega in an IC title match that night that I remember being really good, actually. Mankind over the Portuguese Man 'o War and Vader over Fatu...uh, this is a good card. I feel like I should watch it after I'm done with this show.


  • AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES meet up with Public Enemy in the opener. PE jumps the Males. Bisch pimps a Cruiserweight Title tourney. I'm so ready. The Males turn it around. Riggs body-presses Rocco from over the top rope. The crowd is into this. Good, high-energy opening. Bisch wishes Pillman well after Pillman destroyed his ankle in that rollover. Good combo tag work from the Males, but Bagwell is late to leave the ring and allows Grunge to break up what was a visual three count. PE takes over by slowing the match down and brawling and choking. Nice middle-rope moonsault from Rocco on a prone, held-down Bagwell. They only lose control when they go top-rope, high-risk, and Rocco misses a senton splash. Riggs has a nice hot tag segment, but Bagwell comes back in and gets tossed by Rocco, and the ref gives up on keeping order and calls for the bell. PE hits a partner-assisted cannonball on Riggs, driving him through a table, just because why the heck not. Anyway, the American Males win by DQ after PE spends too long together in the ring illegally, but they don't look like winners. Nice little opener.


  • Gene Okerlund is with two ladies who are, I guess, drawing names for the Lethal Lottery. Gene says that Flair has nothing on him. No offense to these ladies, but Woman and Liz are elite talent in the valet game. Flair and Savage are somehow randomly drawn into a tag team in magical Battlebowl fashion. Some other teams are drawn together, including Eddie and Arn, which segues into...


  • ...Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero kicking off the cruiser tourney, I think? Or maybe not since they don't mention said tourney again during this match. In any case, these guys are going to get over with just their work and, in the process, leave this weird legacy behind where many fans (and even one modern booker) make the mistake of thinking that just anybody can get over like that or that work is all it takes to get over. I've been thinking about the legacy of WCW's Cruiserweight division and of pushing their smaller super-workers as a whole, and I think one of the negative aspects of this whole deal is the idea that you just put two guys that can go in a ring, and it's enough. I think a rare thing about modern pro-wrestling is that it doesn't have the variety of work that these WCW shows between about 1996 and 1998 do. NXT got there in 2014-ish and had this blend of comedy, fast-paced work, and beefy boi work that for whatever reason, modern companies don't get right very often anymore.


  • In the context of a 1996 WCW show, we're going to get a lot of very different stuff in-ring, so this stands out on the card. Lots of reversals, armdrags, and dives lead into Benoit getting three when he uses the ropes to sit down on Eddie's victory roll attempt. Nice match, the crowd enjoyed the action, and while it wasn't the best either guy will do, "an average night" is still quite good for both of them. 


  • Okerlund's back out on the ramp to talk about Randy Savage's crazy ass. He's with a shoot-VP of WCW programming, I think. Before said VP can say one word, Savage comes out. The VP issues threats. Savage issues threats back. The VP tells Savage to see a shrink. Savage is like NO U. Then he's like, I'MMA SLAP YOU SON. Then he stomps off to his room backstage. I think we get it, Randy Savage is CRAAAAAAAAZY. 


  • THA MONSTA Meng is wrestling Hacksaw Jim Duggan. I feel like this is a rematch from a few weeks back. Yep, from Show #7 - 16 October 1995. Is Duggan getting his win back? That match was good, so I have hopes for this one to be good. And it starts good as Duggan, knowing that Meng is deadly, straight jumps him at the bell and forces him to bail. Then Duggan does it again. Bisch again shits on Goldust as a concept because he's an idiot. Anyway, Meng gets control and punches and chokes and stuff. Duggan smashes Meng's head into the corner, but you can't do that to a stereotypically hard-headed Tongan, Fijian, or Samoan! Meng headbutts himself in the corner a few times to demonstrate this truism and then re-takes control. Duggan fires up...but no, Meng re-takes control. Eventually, Duggan escapes the corner, dodges a couple of Meng elbow/legdrop attempts, and then sets Meng up for the three-point stance. He whiffs head-first instead of ribs-first this time. Of course, Duggan is a doofus so he's still relatively unharmed. He grabs the 2x4, but gets kicked when the ref takes it away. Meng almost gets three, but Duggan gets his foot on the ropes, gets the tape, and knocks Meng out for three. Wow, that is some magic tape! What is it made of? Titanium? Anyway, I liked this well enough! It actually built on a match from six months ago if you were able to remember that match. 


  • More draws for Lethal Lottery. The Boogie Knights get drawn together years before they'll be the Boogie Knights. The ladies profess to be ready for a night on the town with Okerlund. Settle down, Okerlund-netico. Regal and Finlay are also magically somehow drawn together. Do you think they freeze and crease these envelopes, NBA-draft-in-1985 style? Well, maybe not all of the envelopes since they drew together the execrable team of Hacksaw Jim Duggan and VK Wallstreet. No one would pair them on purpose, right? Right?!


  • John Cena tries to sell me a Honda during this commercial break. I'm still tripped out by that. 


  • Ric Flair and The Giant walk out with a whole cadre of folks: Woman, Liz, Jimmy Hart. Ric Flair hits on Debra McMichael again. He kisses her hand. She wipes it off on her dress. Ew, Flair, ask for consent first. Savage runs out, chases Flair around, and gets cuffed. Flair stomps Savage while he's being handcuffed like the true scumbag he is. This dude is out here just violating societal niceties. Now he's out here flexing for Debra who, uh, found it sort of entertaining actually. She's hiding her face and trying not to shoot laugh, I think. And you can't Send For The Man if she's corpsing because he's just been handcuffed and led away!


  • Sting and Luger stroll down to the ring. We start with Sting and The Giant in the ring, and just give them twenty minutes straight up, please. The Giant's strength wins out over Sting's exuberance initially, but Sting and Luger double-up on him and clothesline him over the top rope. Flair comes in and gets press-slammed. This crowd is HOT man, yeah, I'm fired up too, honestly! Flair continues to get dominated by Sting and Luger and just flops, bumps, and sells to the hilt. He escapes a corner charge from Sting with an elbow, but instead of tagging in his monster partner in the corner, he goes to the top rope. I can kind of accept Flair going up to the top rope as part of his routine because I think the story over the past few weeks is that he just has way too much on his plate and he's starting to slip a bit. He's had so many control spots that end really quickly, he's become way more reliant on Woman and Liz to run interference, and The Giant and Luger have had him nearly dead to rights before he's been able to escape. He's also become slightly crazier in his promos; he's under pressure. 


  • Flair, for whatever reason, isn't interested in tagging in The Giant. He basically ignores him for most of the match, relying on Woman to eye rake and load up a cup of hot coffee for later use. The Giant finally takes matters into his own hands and has to be assaulted for about three minutes to let go of a goozle on Luger. Flair, who is totally off his game, whiffs on the coffee toss and hits The Giant. Everyone bails the ring to avoid getting their asses beat as the ref calls for the bell. Flair eventually comes back to the ring to remonstrate with The Giant, but then he bails because, again, trying to avoid getting his ass beat. Okerlund comes in and The Giant cuts sort of a corny promo about the coffee burning his eyes, but lighting a fire in his soul. Oh well, Flair is going to save it by threatening The Giant from the desk. He wants an apology from The Giant or, and I quote, Flair is going to "kick [The Giant's] big ass." Then he runs like a punk bitch as The Giant chases him.


  • This was GREAT. I loved ALL OF IT. The Brain is hiding behind the desk in fear. Bisch announces that The Giant will get another shot at Flair's title next week. Brain adroitly points out that Flair has bitten off more than he can chew and that his life is going in the wrong direction. It's a great little bit of commentary because, considering their history, it's obvious that Heenan cares and probably almost feels like he needs to come back and manage Flair to keep him from fucking up. 


  • This show was fun as fuck, had a hot crowd, and included matches that offered something for everyone. Plus, no Hogan. I really enjoyed it immensely. Even the matches that were just okay were still good or built on something/developed a character. 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes for me. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #33- 29th April 1996

"The one with the start of the genesis of the beginning of the reign of The Giant"

  • Nitro must have been on early this week since Bisch notes that it's a special edition that will be followed by the NBA playoffs. I will note that on that night, the Sonics put in work on the Kings to take a 2-1 series lead. Yeah, back when the NBA was my jam (pun genuinely not intended). Now I only watch the playoffs sometimes. GIVE US OUR TEAM BACK, YOU TOTAL FUCKHEAD ADAM SILVER. I'M GLAD DAVID STERN IS IN THE GROUND.


  • *ahem* So the Ric Flair/LE GEANT~ (in English: The Giant) WCW Championship match happens tonight. I smell a title change in the air. Regal's going to rematch Finlay as well. First, however, Harlem Heat come down to the ring. I am ready to see someone get fucked up or, at the very least, ponderously clubbered. They're up against Sting and Lex Luger. The tag titles are on the line. Apparently, Jimmy Hart tossed a towel in the ring last week in all the hullabaloo, which I missed. I guess most viewers did since Brain and Mongo discuss what it was about. Was Jimmy Hart trying to get the tag belts off Sting and Luger, or was he trying to toss the towel in to save Luger from The Giant? Who knows? Well, I guess Jimmy Hart does, but good luck getting a straight answer out of him.


  • Sting and Booker start. The crowd is again fired up to open, which is nice and sets a real tone. Nice back and forth opening exchange before Luger tags in. Mongo says that Harlem Heat's been tearing stuff up together since momma was changing their diapers, which genuinely gets a chuckle out of Bisch and was pretty funny. Luger does a shitload of punches and kicks and fires the crowd up. Booker and then Stevie take a beating, but kick out at or before one to show how tough they are. The match relies on Booker and Sting cutting a pace with one another and keeping the crowd heated; these guys have pretty good chemistry, actually. 


  • There's a break, and when we come back, Booker's on top. He lights Sting up with a spin kick, but instead of covering, he hits a Spinneroonie and celebrates in the corner. The desk astutely sells it as a potential match-losing mistake. Of course, Sting gets a hot tag shortly after that, but Luger eventually gets combo powerbombed and elbow-dropped in a dope move. Jimmy Hart runs down to throw the towel in again, but Booker catches it before it can hit the ground, which I guess is what keeps it from being a legal, match-forfeiting towel-toss? Unfortunately, everyone is preoccupied with Jimmy Hart, and Sting is able to slip in and schoolboy Booker for three. That was fun, I enjoyed it, would watch again. I just want to see fifteen minutes of Booker and Sting at this point, honestly. Give me that. 


  • More tag action. Fire & Ice come down to the ring. Sure, I am into this team. The Steiners music hits. Hell yeah, gimme that beefy boi wrestling. Clubbers! Suplexes! Hopefully at full speed! Ice Train starts out with Rick Steiner. Train hits a sweet leapfrog/powerslam combo. Yeah, I'm ready for this. Rick Steiner hits a back suplex. Sure, keep it coming, gentlemen. This is, as everyone who has read any of these posts well knows, my exact type of spotfest. Scott Steiner hits Scott Norton with a pumphandle suplex and then a belly-to-belly suplex. Scott Norton catches Scott Steiner on a top-rope crossbody and press slams him. THIS IS GREAT. It's just clotheslines and suplexes and big dudes catching other big dudes and tossing them. Ice Train big boots the FUCK out of Scott Steiner before press slamming him. Eventually, all four guys go at it before Rick Steiner gets the win with a Steinerline on Ice Train behind Norton's back. It was five minutes of bombs, and it was great. 


  • Ric Flair, who may be losing his mind, walks down the aisle flanked by Woman and Liz to be interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund. Woman does the flirty thing with Gene while Flair insults everyone he can think of: the fans, The Giant, Savage, as many people as he can. He's sweating once he's done cutting his promo. 


  • Glacier promo. It makes my Blood Run Cold. 


  • We come back to Finlay throwing Regal into a car in the parking lot. Finlay puts a boot through a car window. This is fucking WILD. Finlay wants to beat Regal with concrete. Like, what the fuck, I didn't even realize this was a Parking Lot Brawl somehow. It's just two dudes smashing each other with shit. They absolutely destroy an old truck. Finlay uses the bumper to beat Regal. I am really, really into this. Regal has a laceration on his back and is bleeding through his shirt. This is just random violence, and I mean that as a compliment. They get in the back of another truck and dent the shit out of the roof. Regal sends Finlay into another window, shattering it. It looks and sounds great. The shot gets wider and wider with each minute, hahaha. Regal takes a dangerous back-body-drop on the roof of a tiny Japanese car. Finlay then takes a piledriver on that same hood and gets pinned. That was some dumb fucking bullshit. Finlay barely even sells the piledriver after getting pinned! That is the only tiny issue that I have with this match. Everything else about it was stupid trash of the highest order. 


  • The Giant lumbers to the ring, Jimmy Hart alongside him. Ric Flair comes back out along with his valets. He again harasses Debra at ringside. Mongo angrily says that you don't mess with a country boy's dog or wife. Was that list in order? Flair talks shit. The Giant simply stares at him with murder in his eyes. The bell rings, Flair stalls. Then he taunts. Then he goes for a shoulder block and a chop. Did The Giant even notice? It's questionable. Anyway, Flair is begging off inside of two minutes. He eats a press slam. Woman shrieks. Flair gets whipped to the floor. He runs and hides behind his valets. The story of this match is what sort of bullshit Flair's going to be able to conjure up to escape with his gold. Or, as Flair might say, Macho's gold that Flair has taken from him. So, what the story plays out as is that Flair doesn't seem to have any tricks left that The Giant hasn't seen. The Giant takes a thumb to the eye stoically. He misses a corner charge, but quickly shakes it off. 


  • The Giant has really sweet vertical suplexes that look and sound impactful. Anyway, after he hits one, he goes for the chokeslam and gets a nutshot for his troubles. The problem for Flair is that regular old fists and chops don't work. Then, he pulls out a new trick that The Giant hasn't seen yet: Flair loads his fist with knucks, hits The Giant, and stashes them back in his boot before Randy Anderson can catch him. Too bad for Flair that he chooses to go for the Figure Four instead of a quick pinfall. The Giant goozles Flair out of the Figure Four, hits a chokeslam, and gets a very academic three count. So, I like this! Flair might have found a way to escape, but he had to hide the evidence, dance a bit, and go for a Figure Four instead of keeping his composure and trying to get a quick three. As crazy and unfocused as he's made Savage over the past few weeks, maybe some of that crazy and lack of focus has rubbed off on him in a He Who Fights Monsters sort of way.


  • Mean Gene comes into interview The Giant and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy Hart accidentally(???) insinuates that he will have sexual relations with The Giant later that night. The Giant spits right into Gene's eye while talking. Gene reacts hilariously. The Giant threatens that punk ass Hulk Hogan as well as Sting and Luger. The desk notes that Sting gets a shot at The Giant's title at Slamboree. Yeah, I'm stopping to watch that. 


  • This show really did it for me. It was a hell of an hour of wrestling. The best thing about it is The Giant finally getting that dominant win he needed, but it was also some car-crash TV that started hot and ended hot, and the crowd was as into it as I was all the way through. 5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes. 
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #34- 6th May 1996

"The one with the lead-in to another eventual Bulls NBA Three-peat"

  • Bisch again points out that they're the lead for the NBA Playoffs. This is unfortunately the last year that my Sonics made the NBA Finals, where they fell to Jordan's Bulls in six. I would take the Sonics eating a 4-2 loss in the Finals right now. Celtics fans are lucky from my perspective.


  • Pepe is dressed as a sailor because he wants to see if he can get lucky in Daytona Beach, where the show is tonight. Mongo's words, not mine. Luger will face The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) for the WCW World Championship in the main.


  • Hugh "Laughing Man" Morrus wanders to the ring so slowly that Randy Savage's music hits before he even gets to ringside. Let's see if Morrus can look better as he takes 85% of the offense this time around; he squandered that opportunity on Nitro a few weeks back. He's a big guy who can hit moonsaults. Even with that dumb gimmick, he should be more over. 


  • Morrus jumps Savage at ringside. He pummels the shit out of Mach. It's fine. Savage rolls back inside. Morrus puts on Savage's jacket, hat, and glasses and pretends that he is Savage. I would too if I were a bum like Bill DeMott. Savage is real mad at the mockery. Long eye rake. Savage is CRAAAAAAZY. He chokes Morrus with his jacket. Jacket-assisted hangman over the ropes. Savage gets DQ'd when he doesn't break said hangman. The bell rings incessantly, but that's not stopping Savage from hitting a flying elbowsmash. The ref pushes Savage away when he goes for his own one-footed pinfall, so Savage slaps him, slams him, and elbowsmashes him. Hahahahahaaaaaaaa, that's what you get, ref. There was no need to provoke violence with that shove.


  • Doug Dellinger's worthless ass, flanked by bunch of refs and troopers, comes down to the ring. He remonstrates with Savage, who is reluctant to leave. The crowd eggs him on. You buncha enablers! Savage eventually leaves, high-fiving the cheering crowd on his way. I mean, yeah, that was cool. That right there is why everyone thinks Savage is dope. He can cut a bunch of corny forty-something white guy promos in a row, and it doesn't hurt him because then he does something like that. That was an angle, not a match, but it was just fantastic watching Savage do some wild shit, as it always is. 


  • IN MEMORIAM: Ray Stevens. Donations to Cauliflower Alley, please. I'm sure they'd still take them. 


  • "The Iceman" Dean Malenko is all business as he marches to the ring. He's up against Jushin "Thunder" Liger. Hell yeah, I'm into it. Inaugural WCW Cruiserweight Champion Shinjiro Ohtani will be defending the gold at Slamboree. I always forget that he was the first champ. Bobby Heenan enthusiastically compares Sonny Onoo, Liger's second for this match and kayfabe New Japan representative, to Donald Trump. A-haaaaaaaaaa HA! No wonder New Japan got consistently washed by WCW at this time. 


  • Early exchange. We go to split screen so we can see Ric Flair, Woman, and Elizabeth walk out. OK, great, thanks. In the ring, Liger hits a brainbuster three minutes in. No one in the crowd appears to notice. I can't wait to see how the cruisers age for me. I've really come back toward a less-is-more philosophy as I've gotten older as pertains to ringwork. Unless beefy guys are doing suplexes. In that case, more is more. 


  • We come back from a break to look at Flair, Woman, and Liz at a banquet table paid for with Savage's money. The break and the cuts to Flair/pic-in-pic of Flair have harmed this match. I don't get a sense of the flow of action. It's not a bad match, but it's one that has been destroyed by the production choices that other people made while the workers were trying to get something going in ring. The crowd isn't helping; they sit on their hands for big spots. Liger hits a splash to Malenko on the floor, and the crowd is just like, "eh, don't care." If they don't care about that, they're not going to get up for victory roll reversals for 2.9s. They halfway wake up for that super-gutbuster that Malenko hits (because it is an AWESOME fucking move), though. Otherwise, lots of counter-wrestling leads to a Malenko win off a double-underhook powerbomb. I feel bad for those guys that the production did that to their match. I do appreciate that Malenko refuses to slap a fan's hand on the way back to the locker room. Her look of personal offense was great. 


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Flair and the ladies. He's rich, he's cool, etc. etc. He talks about his plans for Slamboree. Woman delivers a double entendre. Flair hits on Debra McMichael. He sends her a martini. She pours it out. Not a fan of vodka, I presume? Flair still wants to hit though. I guess it's champagne according to Liz. In a martini glass? Classy!


  • BLOOD RUNS COLD. BRRRR. FLAWLESS VICTORY. Also, please enjoy a Slim Jim, sez Savage. Is Liz getting a cut of the Slim Jim money?


  • Steven Regal, his busted eyebrow, and Geeves all come to the ring. Sting, sans busted eyebrow, also comes to the ring. He's wearing a hell of a ring jacket, though. That's a baller-ass '80s babyface jacket. Regal's thigh is also taped. He's stalling, yapping at irate Daytona Beach xenophobes, but Sting eventually gets his hands on Regal and almost locks in the Scorpion Deathlock early. Regal bails, and we take a break at a more opportune mid-match time this time around.


  • Regal's still begging off when he get back. He stalls some more before getting his first offensive move, a wristlock, on Sting. That lasts five seconds before it's reversed. Sting then signals that Regal is gay for, um, having an accent, I guess? Liking tea? Enjoying a good book? Is that something specific to the LGBT+ community? Is categorizing it as one community too simplistic? I think so. Anyway, Daytona Beach is really, really into casual homophobia, as too many of us were in the mid-'90s. Regal works a hold. It lasts slightly longer than the last one. The in-ring stuff has been kinda boring, a real comedown after the last couple of shows. I'm just waiting for Sting to explode here, which he does and it's a good babyface fire offensive segment. Regal dodges a Stinger Splash, but is easily overpowered when trying a butterfly suplex and gets reversed into a pinning combination that gets three. The unspoken (well, at least at the desk) thread in this match is that Regal was so hurt from last week's parking lot brawl against Finlay that he really didn't have much of a chance against Sting. He uncharacteristically couldn't control the match very well or for very long at all. It wasn't good in practice, but it was logical in theory!


  • Sting's music is still playing, even as Luger is announced. Then Luger's music plays for a second. Then Duggan's music plays after that and, aw, it's Duggan. He's apparently here in place of Luger, who never showed up. Penzer and Pee-Wee look more annoyed than confused that Duggan's here instead of Luger. Luger's got like a flat tire or maybe FOUR FLAT TIRES so he couldn't make it. The Giant, our champion (long may he reign) comes down with Jimmy Hart, looking oddly intense for a guy who just got a much easier matchup for the night. 


  • Duggan jumps The Giant at the bell with a multitude of punches. It doesn't really work. Duggan tries again. Nope, still doesn't work. Giant with a boot choke in the corner. Duggan, being an idiot, tries more punches. Just go straight for the tape and the 2x4, Duggan. Did you not even watch last week's main event? Duggan slam attempt, get this, doesn't work. Duggan gets choked and punched and falls outside. Giant comes out, tosses him back in, and Duggan tries to jump him yet again as he does. Well, you won't believe this, but it fails. He goes for the tape too late, as LE GEANT~ is like "fuck this dude, he sucks" and chokeslams him for three. He does it again after the bell just for emphasis. Cobra comes out. Chokeslam. Cuban Assassin (IDK which one) comes out. Chokeslam. Alex Wright comes out. Chokeslam. Ric Flair comes out. He brings a chair from the banquet table because he's got a few brains. The chair is only barely effective, but good idea. The Giant goozles Flair, but Sting comes out, dives on The Giant, clips the leg, and throws punches that actually work (and also an eye poke that works). He knocks down our champion, but can he turn him on the Sharpshooter Scorpion Deathlock attempt? Shades of the Bret Hart/Razor Ramon psychology from early 1993!


  • Jimmy Hart breaks up the hold, but Luger comes down before things pop off even more. He's got a briefcase with him, which is either full of money or has a lot of billowy white dress shirts in it. Sting is disapproving of Luger's missing his match. This is why you have a bedtime, Luger, so you don't miss these things! Luger's hurt, but we cut to the outro as Luger responds. 


  • Savage going off and the post-match jibber jabber after The Giant won was great. Everything else was just there. Ah well, they can't be big winners every week. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes for me. 




Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #35- 13th May 1996

"The one that slowly starts the prep for the next big angle"

  • Lex Luger stayed outside the arena in Nashville the night before Nitro to make sure he didn't miss his title shot this time around. Dude was out here under a blanket on a lawn chair reading a newspaper like he was waiting outside of Target to try and get a PS5. They're only being sold online, Luger! Not at physical Target locations! You goof!


  • The Steiner Brothers wander out. They look peeved tonight. Is someone gonna get shoot fucked up? Well, they're wrestling a no-entrance Public Enemy, so probably, yes. We'll see what this ends match up being on a scale of one to Acolytes. Scotty Steiner is absolutely jacked. Dude looks like Bane. He press slams Rocco Rock onto Johnny Grunge while talking mad shit. Didn't even need to take a breath. 


  • This match seems regular levels of Steiner stiffness, actually. PE's modus operandi is basically to cheat their way into control, successfully clubber a bit, and then lose control as soon as they try some high-risk shit. Rinse, repeat. Scott Steiner does as many suplexes as possible in between. Rick Steiner gets the hot tag as Eric Bischoff announces Nitro's expansion to two hours every Monday in two weeks. I don't know, I really like the way these hour-long shows move. I think somewhere in the range of sixty to ninety minutes an episode is perfect for TV wrestling. As I ponder this, the match breaks down and Scott hits a Frankensteiner on Rocco for three. This was decent. We got some suplexes, a Frankensteiner, a few dives. Standard, generally enjoyable stuff. 


  • Squire Dave Taylor (with Jeeves at his side, yes, they keep spelling his name differently on the chyron) is facing off with Chris Benoit. We're transitioning into that fateful and unfortunate Benoit/Sullivan feud per the desk's yapping, which makes sense now that Pillman's out of the company. Anyway, early exchanges lead to Benoit dropping down while running the ropes and Taylor just stopping dead and punting Benoit in the face. That was a nice spot. The crowd is into Benoit's chops. They brawl outside a bit. This match isn't really flowing much, but there is the occasional nice move. Taylor hits a sweet fallaway slam and floats over for two. Benoit gets a win on a dragon suplex and bridge. Meanwhile, Mongo's run off to find Randy Savage, ostensibly because they're both equally heated about Ric Flair being a dick. Anyway, this match was also fine. 


  • Speaking of Savage, he's not allowed in the building. Gene Okerlund is with a bunch of guards at a back entrance. Mongo shows up and cuts a Mongo-esque promo. It wasn't good, but, like, it wasn't bad. Mongo is entertaining even when he's being shitty. Anyway, he jets and now Savage refuses to talk to Okerlund and tells him so with a long monologue. He continues to talk, too. He really does want to open up. Savage doesn't care about the money and Okerlund doesn't know where Savage is going because he doesn't know where Savage has been. Solid line, Savage. 


  • I'm interested to see how long these Glacier promos run. We're in May of 1996. Let's check back in when Glacier actually shows up for a wrestling match!


  • Aw, shit, it's V.K. Wallstreet. If Nitro were around now, Bisch'd be calling Wallstreet's clothesline finisher the NDA. I think I'm glad Bisch isn't showrunning Nitro in 2022, come to think of it. Ric Flair shows up, Woman and Liz at his side as usual. Flair's about as unfocused and out-of-control as Savage at this point. There's some early matwork that's pretty nice, and I don't care that it'll probably end up being totally pointless. I enjoyed it on an aesthetic level. Wallstreet shows some fire and is the defacto face, I guess? Flair takes a walk after a flurry of Wallstreet offense. 


  • A commercial break allows us to skip a bunch of Wallstreet's offense, though in fairness, he's not moving like a slug and using a terrible abdominal stretch for twenty minutes tonight. He goes outside, dominates Flair, comes back inside, dominates Flair some more. Wallstreet hits a Samoan drop, but Flair (with a tiny assist from Woman) gets his boot on the ropes at two. A series of pinning combinations from Wallstreet get two counts as well. However, Wallstreet remembers that he's in a Ric Flair match and goes for a high knee on Flair outside the ring. Flair dodges, Wallstreet cracks his knee, and a minute or so later, Flair gets a submission win with the Figure Four. I mean, it wasn't the worst! That's something! 


  • There's another banquet table set up this week. Okerlund interviews him in front of it post-match. Mean Gene says that Nashville doesn't like Flair while everyone in the camera shot holds up four fingers and then cheers when Flair says that he gave Dolly Parton a ride on Space Mountain. Gene, always on the ball, asks about Debra. Flair puts Mongo over as a legit athlete while also putting over his own ability to fuck the ladies. He puts his arms around Woman and Liz and declares Look at my wide receivers to end the promo. Should have gone with Look at my tight ends instead.


  • The Giant and Lex Luger are in the ring already, no entrances. We must be running long. Luger starts the match by bouncing off The Giant a few times and then getting clotheslined. Maybe the power game isn't the game for you tonight, Lex? Welp, he tries a body slam and fails. Let's see if he adapts! He does, actually. He tries a move from the second rope, but he gets caught and Oklahoma Stampeded. Luger's throwing clotheslines and forearms, and it's not really working. Bisch notes that said forearm, which bounces off The Giant, knocked out Yokozuna a couple years back. I mean, not a bad pull, especially because in this match, Luger finally knocks the Giant around a bit...but to the outside of the ring. Luger's ring awareness in a title match fails him again! Anyway, The Giant is so unfazed by Luger's attack that he walks over and uses Flair's banquet table as a place through which to deposit Luger with a chokeslam. Flair and the ladies flee and Sting comes out to check on his friend as Jimmy Hart desperately tries to lead The Giant away. Bisch hits the SOMBER TONES and all that. Gene Okerlund comes over for an interview, and Sting's like WHAT THE FUCK MAN, COME ON, THIS IS NOT THE TIME. 


  • The desk hypes Slamboree coming up on the next Sunday, which I am stopping to watch. It's the last PPV before the nWo angle kicks off. That first two-hour Nitro marks the debut of Scott Hall, as a matter of fact. This show continued to establish The Giant as dominant (unless Hulk Hogan is standing across from him) and sort of capped the Luger/Sting "is Luger legit or not?" stuff that will get flipped in a few months when Luger questions Sting about his legititude. It also sort of explains why Savage would go nWo eventually; he's been taking Ls ever since he lost the WCW World Championship, and he's going to continue doing so for the next few months. Why not be on the winning team? But that's for later. For now? 3.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #36 - 20th May 1996

"The one where Ric Flair just goes off, man, what a multi-tool performance from him"

  • Slamboree was weird. Not bad weird. Just weird. I got something out of watching it, though. 


  • This is a ninety-minute show a week before we go to a full two-hour show. 


  • Mongo's not at the desk since he and that nutbar CTE case Kevin Greene are in training for a match against Ric Flair and Arn Anderson


  • Fire & Ice are here to toss some dudes around, hopefully. It looks like a return match against the Steiners is on deck, actually. Absolutely, let's just run this match-up back a few times. Beefy boy shoulderblocks and hip tosses between Train and Scott Steiner to start. Then we get to suplexin' on both sides. Norton hits a series of moves on Rick, but doesn't cover. The desk rightly points out the error, which is compounded by Rick tossing Norton damn near up into the lights on a belly-to-back release suplex. Suplexes are the most aesthetically pleasing wrestling move, in my opinion. I used to make CAW wrestlers on No Mercy that had different suplexes in every grapple spot, and they were so satisfying to play as. 


  • It pops off after Ice Train and Scott Norton mistime a double shoulderblock that still spills Rick outside. All four guys just end up fighting one another at ringside to a double DQ. Scott Steiner doesn't care and flips Norton on another belly-to-belly on the mats. Weak finish, and worked a bit slower than last week's match, but still fun TV. Their match last week was definitely better, though.


  • Eddy Guerrero's out to wrestle Ric Flair's crazy ass. Woman and Liz are with him, of course. They have beef after their Battlebowl tag match the night before, in which Eddy's Battlebowl dreams were sacrificed just to fuck with Randy Savage a little bit more. Nice early exchange leads to Guerrero getting the advantage with a dropkick. Flair recognizes that Eddy has a significant speed advantage, but can't counter that by bullying him with power early on. They end up heatedly chopping and punching one another. It feels legit heated, man, and I enjoyed the prolonged exchange. Flair's got to figure out another strategy, but his strategist's mind is long gone at this point. Instead, he just tries to just chop and punch harder, and it's not working. Flair loses another round of fisticuffs and gets deposited to the ringside floor. Flair's so irate at this point that he gives up any pretense of strategy and grabs a chair from the banquet table he's got set up. Pee-Wee Anderson stops him and they do one of HHH's favorite ref spots. 


  • This is really excellent, by the way. It's not a classic match or anything, but it is achieving every goal that it's setting out. Eddy's getting chants at this point because Flair is giving him so much and making him look like a potential world-beater. Guerrero figures out that Flair is losing it and taunts him with a Fargo strut. So we've got this great story here where Flair feels legit in danger because he's lost his self-control after months of trying to match crazy-for-crazy with Savage. Flair gets control with an eye poke going into break. When we come back, Flair's enjoying his first prolonged control segment because he finally figured out that he should cheat instead of trying to out-punch Eddy. However, Eddy fires up and gets a 2.9 off a sunset flip. The desk has been putting over Eddy's prowess all match. 


  • An atomic drop to the balls upper thigh gives Flair control once again. He's visibly trying to calm himself down in a nice little touch. He's just too far gone, though, and continues to make the mistake of getting into punch-outs and chop-outs and losing them. Eddie gets 2.9s off a couple of counters into pinning predicaments. I think maybe this match is just a bit too unfocused in this segment. The crowd was pretty heated, but they've cooled off somewhat. They're now waiting for the finish, and they get hyped when it looms into view after Eddy avoids a Figure Four with a small package before applying a Figure Four of his own to Flair. 


  • Flair escapes and the match goes outside, where Eddy's knee slams into the guardrail. Flair did not work the knee at all to set up for the Figure Four, and from the perspective that he's completely on the wrong wavelength mentally, it made sense that he'd only remember to do so once Eddy went crashing knee-first into the guardrail. Eddy does get into a couple of pinning positions, but can't hold Flair down specifically because of a lack of leverage due to the knee. However, he does deposit Flair back outside with a dropkick off a burst of energy. Another sunset flip attempt gets stuffed - Flair's catching on to Eddy's attempts to catch a quick one on him. However, Eddy comes back and buries Flair with a Tornado DDT. Eddy does a contrived hurricanrana that involves an unnecessary rope run. That's sort of immersion breaking. It's also immersion breaking that he forgets which knee to sell after slamming it into the mat while hitting Flair with a frog splash. The knee is so hurt that he can't make the cover, and Flair takes advantage to finally get Eddy in the Figure Four. Even then, Eddy tries to block it and then turn it over, but Woman gives Flair the leverage to force Eddie back, and Eddie's shoulders stay down for three. 


  • Ric Flair clearly was interested in getting Eddy over, and I have to give my hat off to him because he worked nearly a perfect match to do so. This was a staggeringly good performance in multiple ways: 1) he wrestled like a guy who was off his game because of the Savage feud, 2) he worked his typical shtick into the match in a logical way that fit what he was trying to do, and 3) he really gave Eddy as much as he possibly could. I give Flair a lot of shit as a worker, and I think it's generally warranted, but I gotta give him his metaphorical flowers for that match. Eddy was great too, but Flair really killed it with his performance. It was a wonderful match that is worth seeking out. Flair stops by the banquet table to grab champagne, a few glasses, and a bit of interview time with Gene Okerlund. He talks shit about Savage, McMichael, and Greene.


  • We find out that Flair isn't going far; he sets up some food and candles in Mongo's old spot at the desk. Apparently, he's going to do a bit of commentary. Heenan pours himself a drink and Flair asks about how his hair looks on camera while the Faces of Fear come down to the ring. Flair cuts in on a discussion about Sting to ask where their waiter is. He's in fine form tonight. Sting and Luger come to the ring as FoF's opponents in what is a tag title match. Flair makes a Debbie Does Dallas reference as a double-entendre about Debra McMichael and then puts over Sting in the same breath. I mean, this dude is really putting in work all across this show. He also notes that Liz finds Luger to be cute, and says it doesn't bother him when Bischoff asks about it. Surreptitiously dish that backstage newz, Flair!


  • Flair is killing it on commentary, and I can't keep up with all of it. Anyway, FoF dominate Luger early, and Sting tags in as we go to break. When we come back, Sting is also getting worked, though he powers out of a FoF attack and tries to turn the tide before missing a dropkick. Flair references the Four Horseman hand signal to talk about vaginas. Bisch seems genuinely somewhat nervous about what Flair might say or do. Barbarian dominates Sting while Flair puts them both over. Barb hits a top-rope belly-to-belly on Sting, like straight launches that dude, but it's only worth a two-count. FoF hit a double-top-rope headbutt on Sting, but Luger distracts the ref, and FoF only get a visual pinfall. 


  • Sting fires up and tries to get a tag, but can't get past Meng the first time around. He does get a hot tag after a missed headbutt, though. Luger comes in, calls a few clotheslines and forearms, and AUGHs his way out of the ring when Meng breaks up a pinfall attempt and kicks him to ringside. However, Luger frees himself from Meng in time to help Sting avoid another top-rope belly-to-belly. Barb hits the ring, Sting follows up with a top rope splash, and Luger covers for three. This whole thing was an experience. It was quality TV. Speaking of, Flair is in a conniption because Randy Savage is outside the arena.


  • We cut to Savage outside with Gene Okerlund. Okerlund tells Savage that WCW officials are meeting to discuss how craaaaaaazy Savage is and what to do about it. Savage is super paranoid about the meeting and about Gene himself ("Are you settin' me up?"). Savage can't get in the building. A previously nervous Flair is much less nervous once he sees that Savage can't get in, so much less nervous in fact that he's cackling joyously. 


  • DDP, the reigning Lord of the Ring and Battlebowl champ, will face off with Brad Armstrong. Flair puts over DDP's style. Of course. Heenan tries to help Flair plot to steal Kevin Greene's wife, and therefore Kevin Greene's Panthers signing bonus. I mean, there's a lot of true scumbag energy between Heenan and Flair at the desk. In the ring, Armstrong's early burst of energy is snuffed by DDP going into the break. We come back and DDP snuffs out a couple of Armstrong comeback attempts. Armstrong's third comeback attempt works out better. Flair takes some time to put him over, too. Geez, man. Flair is better at this than actual commentators who do this shit for a living. Unfortunately for Armstrong, DDP hits the Diamond Cutter out of nearly nowhere for three.


  • Okerlund comes down to interview DDP, who puts himself over in an extremely corny and endearing way, as is DDP's way. He gives himself another self high-five and threatens The Giant (remember, he also got a title shot guaranteed to him at a future PPV for winning). Okerlund says that the committee has seen the video from last night, in which DDP definitely had a foot or two on the floor at one point before he won. The committee won't reverse the ref's decision, but it will strip him of his title shot, and he grabs Gene by the lapels. Gene calls for SECURITYYYYYYYY as DDP throws a tantrum. I did not remember this happening; I just thought they'd forgotten about DDP's title shot in true WCW style. I mean, look, if you're not reversing the ref's decision, DDP should get his shot as a stip of winning the tournament. This is a cheat. 


  • The main event pits Arn Anderson against The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, which is the lead-in to the SuperSonics beating Utah's asses. Flair cheers for Karl Malone. That ain't it, Flair. You were doing so well, too. Arn comes down alongside Kevin Sullivan while Flair prematurely celebrates Arn's victory. Bisch calls Sullivan a homewrecker in the Dungeon's house, much like Liz is a homewrecker. Flair's answer is perfect: "Haha, what are you talking about, Liz looks nothing like Sullivan." What an interpretation of that comment. 


  • Jimmy Hart, who has come down with The Giant, asks Sullivan why he's seconding Arn. Sullivan responds that he's supporting Arn and making sure he gets a fair shot because Arn supported him through the Pillman issue and now, during the Benoit issue that was the Pillman issue before Pillman left and Sullivan didn't skip a beat with running that "beefing with one of the lesser Four Horseman" angle he was running. The match starts. Arn's offense is ineffective. Arn's defense is insufficient. I feel like I, and everyone in this crowd, is just waiting for what seems like inevitable fuckery. Arn does briefly gain control by attacking The Giant's testes, which is like the only way to actually get control against this dude. Arn's DDT attempt gets turned into a chokeslam for three, and as soon as the ref's hand hits the mat the third time, Flair leaves the booth. But...nothing happens? Bisch lampshades that fact, knowing that we expected something to happen. All that does happen is that Heenan steals the rest of the champagne and a few candelabras before leaving to join Ric Flair at the aftershow party the Horsemen are having. 


  • This wasn't a perfect Nitro, but it was pretty great, and that's largely because of the work Ric Flair put in. Hell of a performance all around on his part. He was absolutely on one this night. 4.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #37 - 27th May 1996

"The one where you know who I am, and actually, you also know why I'm here"

  • We're here for two hours now, and we open with Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko at ringside for hour one instead of at the desk with the typical group of commentators. Z talks like a right-wing radio host who is trying out as many words as he can from his pocket dictionary. I think, maybe, this could be charming to someone. I don't think it is to me. 


  • Let's mark our first two-hour show with AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES. They are dorks. They're looking to defeat Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, who are accompanied by Woman and Elizabeth as per usual. Schiavone shills the upcoming GAB. Riggs starts out okay, but he goes to the floor, and that's no place for him against the Horsemen. Riggs gets a beating outside, inside, and then outside again before Bagwell comes over to save him. They end up clearing the ring of the heels after a four-man brawl. Bagwell's back is oddly unhurt from carrying this team. 


  • Flair wants a drink and heads to his ringside banquet table, but Woman gets him to put the bottle down and to re-focus. The crowd is strangely bored by all of this. I think it's alright TV wrestling! We go to break, and when we come back, Bagwell puts in work on both his opponents to get out of their corner. Then, he makes a huge mistake - he tags in Scotty Riggs. You know what happens: About ten seconds in, Flair and Arn pull the okeydoke on Riggs and take out his leg. They beat his ass, Riggs eventually gets a hot tag, Flair and the ref have a shoving match, roughly in that order. Bagwell almost gets three off a nice-ass missile dropkick, it was really sweet, man. Bagwell hits a sweet fisherman suplex with a bridge, but Riggs preoccupies the ref like an idiot and he only gets a visual three. He gets another pin attempt broken up by Woman's eye rake, and Arn hits Bagwell with a DDT behind the ref's back as, again, Riggs preoccupies him. Flair covers for a three he really had to work for, at least until Riggs got involved. It's a slow burn to the AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES etc. etc. exploding.


  • Arn and Flair talk to Gene Okerlund at the banquet table. Arn thinks Mongo is a wuss for using pads. Flair yells a lot, quotes the song "Afternoon Delight," and generally acts like he's lost it. He also reminds Randy Savage that Savage's ex-wife is bankrolling his lifestyle with the alimony. Well, it's bad, but at least Liz didn't buy a boat and name it Alimoney. There's taking an L, and then there's being so caught up that you openly empathize with OJ Simpson


  • We get a very '90s video of Mongo and Kevin Greene in the gym. It is surprisingly only somewhat homoerotic. Ah well, Mongo, the more comfortable you get as a pro wrestler, the better you'll get at making a homoerotic workout video to show on your weekly pro wrestling program. Hey, they steal Hogan's catchphrase! That's a reversal from, oh, the past few months. 


  • Steve Doll makes his way to the ring to face The Mauler Mike Enos, accompanied by Colonel Rob Parker. Well, this is going to be a historically important match, and not because it's Enos's debut in WCW. Some stuff happens. Enos hits a nice belly-to-belly. Thing is, I'm waiting for the inevitable run-in. Walk-in? Saunter-in? Yeah, that last one. Enos hits a second-rope fallaway slam because he's really into foreshadowing. We get a commercial break. C'mon, no need to draw it out. 


  • We come back and Scott Hall immediately saunters on down from the crowd. He requests a microphone and Enos, who was beating Steve Doll's ass again, looks over in confusion. Col. Parker decides to just lead him on out, which is a solid move as long as Enos gets paid the winner's purse. Hall cuts a promo on Billionaire Ted, Scheme Gene, and the Nacho Man (but not the Huckster, hmmmmm). He'll be back in hour two to talk to weatherman wannabe and Ken doll-lookalike Eric Bischoff re: a challenge and also a war. A wrasslin' war! The best type of war, IMO. 


  • It's Sgt. Craig Pittman! Aw, he's probably gonna job. Teddy Long leads him down. Well, at least he's jobbing to DDP! That guy is awesome for being such a scumbag. Seriously, I'm excited for this match-up. Page tries to kick Pittman while Pittman's doing a pushup, but the Pitbull moves and DDP whiffs on the kick as comically as possible. He went full Looney Tunes on that bump. He gets control with an eye poke, but he tries to headbutt a) a black man and b) a Marine, which by the laws of pro wrestling means that DDP is the one to take a bump through the ropes after seeing tiny tweeting birds circling his head. 


  • Page gets control with a neck snap, but soon, Pittman gets the Code Red locked on...the wrong way. Long leans over the apron to remind Pittman how to put on his own move that he has somehow forgotten how to do and DDP grabs him. This distracts Pittman, who gets hit with a Diamond Cutter as soon as he tries to check on Long. Well, that was underwhelming in terms of being a competitive wrestling match, but DDP really turned on the goofball scumbag energy! It's too bad that Pittman is randomly an idiot now, though. 


  • Video package about how crazy Randy Savage is. Flair has been just as, if not more, insane, so I'm not sure that Savage is the one who should be suspended from live events. 


  • The Canadian Shark is yelling a lot. Sullivan kicked him out of the Dungeon, because Sullivan got a bigger dude to replace him, and he's mad. He's going to take The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) down and take the world title back to Surrey, where he will display it for his fawning Canadian fans at the local Cora during a long, large victory breakfast. Well, I think he at least intimated some of that.


  • Video package of Hulk Hogan hanging out with George Foreman, Shaq, Dennis Rodman, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Kevin Greene. He's still cool! And relevant! He's not old and shitty! He certainly doesn't need a heel turn to freshen up!


  • Bisch welcomes us to hour number two alongside Bobby Heenan. He won't dignify Scott Hall's outburst! 


  • The Shark is in the ring awaiting his WCW Championship shot against The Giant. This should be good. The Shark clubbers. It's not effective! The Shark clotheslines. It's not effective! The Giant clotheslines. It's wildly effective!  The Giant gets control, but gets cocky and eats a second-rope axe-handle. Then The Shark tries to body slam The Giant. Nope. The Giant, on the other hand, has a lot of success with a similar move. The crowd pops for it because it's awesome. Wrestling needs more four-hundred pound guys body-slamming one another and fewer 180 pound guys doing shitty, obviously-choreographed flippies. The Shark uses an eye gouge and some shoulders to the solar plexus to take control. A second-rope clothesline knocks The Giant down for a second, but Jimmy Hart offers himself up as a distraction on the apron, and The Giant uses that time to quickly recover and hit a chokeslam for three. Then Big Bubba shows up and shaves half The Shark's head because Bubba is a dick, man. Somebody tell The Giant to have a funeral for his daddy indoors when that dread day comes. I think there's a better match in these two, but the body slam spot was sweet.


  • Bisch is still heated about Hall insulting him. I guess he's going to dignify Scott Hall's outburst later tonight!


  • Maxx is facing Lex Luger for the TV Title. Who the fuck is Maxx? Google tells me he's a Power Plant dude with an unremarkable career who passed three years ago. How the fuck are guys like The Shark and Maxx getting title shots, seriously? I'm not asking for a rankings system, but I would like some logic to these title opponents. Maxx is bigger than Luger, so Luger struggles to match power. Maxx is clearly limited, so Luger does some nifty pro wrestler acting to get the crowd invested. He's slow to engage, generally looks unsure of himself, and gets the crowd to chant for him and give him some spirit. I think we need to re-assess Lex Luger as a wrestler. I think he's really good and generally underrated. Maxx chokes and clubbers while Bisch tells security to keep Hall away from the desk until the end of the show. 


  • Maxx does every simple move he can think of from his Power Plant classes. It's not very compelling. Luger's trying to help the guy by eating all his offense and struggling from underneath, which is nice. Luger finally hits the loaded forearm, which Eric notes beat Yokozuna again, but which he fails to note was a victory by DQ count out. Meanwhile, Luger hits a powerslam and gets Maxx up for the Torture Rack after a bit of jostling. He wins, the crowd is genuinely happy, and this was just a vet leading a green dude through a ten-minute TV match, nothing more or less. 


  • Okerlund comes to the ring to interview Luger, who's got a title shot against The Giant at GAB. We see the table chokeslam from two weeks ago on Show #35, a chokeslam which was awesome as hell. Luger wants to fight all the biggest dudes WCW can find to prep for The Giant. I hope this is what leads to the awesome Roadblock Torture Rack incident.


  • Two hours of programming, and we're being subjected to a Hardwork Bobby Walker/Brad Armstrong match. Come on, man. This is not the cruiserweight matchup we want to see. Walker tries to do stuff he's not athletic enough to do. It's sloppy. Rey Misterio Jr. is getting a shot at Dean Malenko's Cruiserweight Championship at GAB. OK, you have Misterio under contract, put him in this slot instead! This match is below average. Walker should really stop trying to do stuff he can't reliably do. Anyway, he gets three off a weak top-rope dive, and no one cares, man. 


  • Lord Steven Regal walks out with Jeeves, and yes, we've settled on Jeeves, I think. I guess they're not worried about the PG Wodehouse estate suing anymore. Alex Wright, who still isn't even fifty years old yet(!) high-fives his way down to the ring, no dancing tonight, he's ready to fight. They have a nice mat exchange with a couple of lovely Wright escapes. Regal struggles with Wright's speed, agility, and flexibility, and logically should try to turn this into a strike-fest. Wright hits a lovely dive and we go to break. Man, let it run. This was enjoyable. Modern ads for Fourth of July sales. It absolutely does not feel like July should almost be here. Anyway, we come back and Regal got control in the ring somehow, but Wright wins it back briefly before an eye-poke stops him. However, Wright is feeling himself tonight and even wins a strike-fest before Regal counters by grounding him into the mat. Wright basically keeps fighting up, and Regal has to use misdirection to regain control. It's a nice little story of match strategy here.  Wright has too much energy, and Regal keeps trying to ground him down before testing him with strikes. Wright finds one more flurry of offense and gets a two-count, but his monkey-flip gets stuffed and Regal bridges for three. Good match! 


  • Okerlund comes to the ring to interview Regal. Regal insults him, Americans, The Giant, Savage, Scott Hall, and like everyone, man. Push this man, he's on fire. He challenges Sting so that he can beat him and use that win as a springboard to challenge, uh, "that bloody circus freak" in his words. I am in on Regal/Giant, btw. 


  • Scott Steiner is wrestling Sting in what Bisch swears is their first-ever singles meeting. That seems probably true. Sting hits Flair's buffet table for a few snacks on the way down. Early exchanges, Scott press-slams Sting, bust out the suplexes and Stinger Splashes, dammit. Sting gets air on a dropkick and hits a flurry of moves that culminate with a cross-body to the outside. They come back in, though, and Steiner uses a forearm and a suplex to take control. He hits a nice belly-to-belly and then comes off the top rope with an axehandle to a wobbly Sting on the outside. The crowd should care more about this.


  • Sting wins control back with a boot to the mush for about three seconds, before he gets overhead release belly-to-belly'd. Man, Scott Steiner has all these dope belly-to-belly variations. I love it. Steiner locks in an STF, but it doesn't look like he's really sunk it in. There's some protracted mat stuff that I don't think is effective. Eventually, they get back up and Sting reverses a vertical suplex into a Slop Drop Scorpion Death Drop. One Stinger Splash lands, but Steiner dodges the second one and hits a Dragon Suplex. Then, Lex Luger shows up at ringside...and so does Rick Steiner. Meanwhile, Scott hits a second-rope Samoan Drop and signals for the Frankensteiner. Sting dodges the move and locks on the Sharpshooter Scorpion Death Lock, but Steiner gets in the ropes. They struggle over a Tombstone Piledriver, which Sting ends up hitting for 2.9. This is a pretty good finishing-run segment, but this crowd is sooooooo lame. Eventually, it goes outside where Luger interferes on the part of Sting and is attacked by Rick Steiner. The match breaks down and all four men fight one another as Nick Patrick calls for a no-contest. All the undercard babyfaces spill out of the back to separate everyone. What a nice touch! 


  • It's too bad that these guys, who are friends, are fracturing right at this moment because...here comes Scott Hall to the desk. Hall says that "we" are sick of Bisch's shit talking and challenges three of WCW's best to a match for wrestling supremacy. He tosses a toothpick and rolls out. Credits. 


  • Truly an historic Nitro! Also a mediocre one. They'll get this two-hour card scheduling thing sorted out soon enough. 3.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.




Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #38 - 03 June 1996

"The one where Heenan shows off his coaching credentials, and yes, he has them (technically)"

  • Larry Z. and Tony S. are at ringside and announce a Luger/Sting vs. Steiners tag title match for tonight. Helllllll yeah. Also the Rock 'n Rolls are here. Not as exciting as the Fantastics, but cool. First, though, a grudge match.


  • The grudge is about hair. The Shark's hair. He comes down the aisle to talk to Gene Okerlund while Bubba and Jimmy Hart - already in the ring - celebrate by tossing around Tenta's chopped-off hair that they saved especially from last week. After talking about being embarrassed by his hair situation, John Tenta reclaims his name. He's not a Shark or an Avalanche, you dicks! Respect. Reclaim your identity! Tenta heads to the ring, beats up Bubba, and grabs the scissors while Schiavone lets a bunch of disappointed viewers who saw the USA Today ad for tonight's show know that Johnny B. Badd and Vader will not be here, WCW bought the ads months ago before a bunch of contract negotiations, please understand. Bubba bails and eats the count-out, having no desire to lose his dashing crew cut to the Shark's barberism. Get it? BARBERism? "Barbarism" is spelled similarly? You get it, right? HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, anyway, that was a segment.


  • WARNING: HIGH VOLTAGE. Actually, a warning for High Voltage, here in their WCW debut: Run, because the Faces of Mothafuckin' Fear are coming to the ring. High Voltage initially confuses the Barbarian with double-team moves and lots of youthful yelling, but Barbarian powerbombs uh, Ruckus? Kaos? The dark-haired one. The crowd, which gave FoMF cursory boos as they entered, cheers that dope-ass powerbomb. Larry Z puns on High Voltage's moniker as a way to shit on Bill and/or Erik Watts. Meng and Barb murder the dark-haired one. It's fun. There's a dropkick, a pumphandle slam, and general celebratory posing. Ruckus is the dark-haired one, and he gets top-rope B2B'd as the crowd applauds Barbarian. Stereo top-rope headbutts and a side kick later, and FoMF are quite popular winners. That's called "getting over with your work," folks. 


  • Mean Gene interviews Lex Luger and Sting in the locker room while we get a recap of last week. Lex declares that he was just out for support; Sting is like, "well, man, you did interfere first" and Luger points out that suplexing a dude on concrete is not entirely friendly. The Steiners show up and yell at Lex, but Sting's kinda like, "hey, shit, Scotty did try to suplex me on the floor now that I think about it, that's not cool, I thought we were friends." Scotty's yelling like an insane man, of course. These two teams got beef!


  • Short Hulk Hogan outro. NOPE.


  • Disco Inferno dances out when we get back. YEP. There is some AWFUL dancing in the crowd. Some good ol' boy in the front row is inexplicably wearing a Gangstas t-shirt. What I'm saying is that the crowd shots were excellent. Disco's going to one day inherit the inability to remember how to do his own finisher from his opponent tonight, Sgt. Craig Pittman. Pittman stuffs an armdrag and works the arm himself. Disco lands a right hand when they get back to standing, but then he dances, so how this ends up is that Pittman just powers Disco over in a gutwrench powerbomb. Disco thinks his right hand has the magic tonight, so he, um, swings downward onto the top of Pittman's head for some reason. Black Marine's head = Disco nearly breaks his hand, by the sometimes racially-suspect rules of professional wrestling. Pittman goes for the Code Red, but Disco gives up before it's close to locked in, since (as he tells the camera), he would be able to neither dance nor primp his hair if his arm was injured. I mean, this man has his priorities! Dumb match, and I mean it as a compliment because Disco's involved. 


  • Lord Steven Regal and Jeeves march out as if on a mission. Regal, who we saw backhand the fuck out of Sting in a video before the break, I'm saying that Sting's soul left his body and dissipated in the ether above, had better put in some work on this bum Hacksaw Jim Duggan. I'm having a red-white-and-blue popsicle as I watch this, and that's really good enough for me this July 4th. No need for Duggan coming out here and yelling HOOOOOO and having a shit match, though Regal's facial expressions at Cousin Jonathon's expressions of patriotism are pretty good! Regal's early trickery just earns him a few clotheslines, so he bails and considers his strategy. It doesn't work and he gets punched a lot. Finally, Regal gets the better of Hacksaw for, let's see, about fifteen seconds before Hacksaw Hacksaws Up.


  • Soon enough, Regal's getting slaughtered, and Robert Eaton and Dave Taylor come out to help Jeeves run a distraction. Hacksaw grabs the 2x4 to smash Regal with for no reason because Regal's cooked, and Taylor takes it away. Hacksaw, the face in this match, then goes to the tape and punches Eaton before Regal grabs the tights and holds on to a rollup for three. Great way to build Regal strong for a competitive match with Sting at GAB, you idiots! Okerlund comes into the ring to interview Regal, whose eye-roll at a tortured Okerlund jokey metaphor is truly AMAZING. Regal cuts a dope promo as we watch him slap fire out of Sting on video again. PUSH REGAL, YOU IDIOTS.


  • We cut to videos of multiple WCWSN segments in which Chris Benoit cuts somewhat stilted promos with Arn Anderson and Kevin Sullivan in which he expresses trust in Arn, but not Sullivan, and he advises Arn against being friends with Sullivan. This is all sort of sudden because Benoit's been slotted into Brian Pillman's spot, and I'm not really sure why Sullivan insisted on doing this. It's not a one-for-one substitution and feels sort of tortured. Anyway, back in the arena, Sullivan marches down and kicks the fuck out of Prince Iaukea. Sullivan works dope squashes, so imagine all the dope Sullivan squash stuff that you might normally see and one or two things that are cool that you might not expect. Heck, do yourself a favor and watch ten minutes worth of Kevin Sullivan WCW squashes on YouTube right now. You'll be happier for it.


  • Sullivan and Jimmy Hart are interviewed in the ring post-match by Gene Okerlund. Hart makes quite the salient point; they've got the champ in the DoD and Hogan's not on TV right now, so why be pressed about getting along with the Horsemen? Taskmaster says that Hogan will be back one day and they'll all need the help of Flair and Arn. Sullivan shits on Pillman for quitting immediately in their SuperBrawl match (was Pillman officially WWF-bound by this time?) and then reaffirms that Benoit stands in the way of a DoD/Horsemen alliance now that Pillman's gone and he had to change course with the booking Benoit has taken up Pillman's unnecessary opposition against Sullivan. 


  • Rock 'n Rolls against Ric Flair and Arn Anderson is next. Flair and Anderson are rocking Kevin Greene and Mongo McMichaels's jerseys as they come down the aisle. Flair acts legit nuts, like maybe a medical professional should give him a check-up? Could it be a UTI, maybe? Someone get him to a urologist, maybe? Fireworks that mark the second hour are about to go off as the competitors start the feeling out process. This is pretty cool now in 2022, tbh, and I remember it feeling quite fresh in 1996. Arn appropriately is spooked by the fireworks before pretending that he wasn't spooked at all. 


  • While the match goes on, Eric Bischoff asks Bobby Heenan about the Halliburton that Heenan's carrying around. That Halliburton's going to get some use in the next year or two! Flair does a bunch of spots that pop the crowd and basically works the match as a series of poppable (pop-worthy?) events for the pre-break opening. He flops a lot, lets the ref beat him up, struts, gets put in a figure four by Gibson, etc. The crowd likes it, and if you like Flair's shtick, you'll like it, too. You can just imagine the long heel control spot and the Rock 'n Rolls babyface fire comeback because you've seen them before countless times, and we'll skip to the finish. Heenan heads to ringside to consult with Woman and Miss Elizabeth while the crowd is sort of sitting on their hands, waiting for the hot tag. It happens, but Arn DDT's Gibson after a Woman eye-rake and Flair gets three.


  • Okerlund interviews the Horsemen and Horseladies in the aisle. They run down Greene and Mongo. Flair hits on Debra. The usual. Heenan's there, too, and unexpectedly refuses to manage the Horsemen. Then he comes back for the Halliburton, pulls out a plaque that declares him head coach of the All-Madden team, and declares that while he refuses to manage again, he will certainly coach. OK, sure, whatever, but also, this is based on some shit that happened:


  • Another Hogan outro/promo. GO AWAY. 


  • We're back...with an even longer Hogan promo. FUUUUUUUCK.


  • Ice Train is getting a shot at The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) and his WCW Heavyweight Championship, I guess based on an 0-1-1 record in tag action against the Steiners? Sure, whatever. I guess the "feed Goldberg mid-carders while the real main eventers do real main event shit" strategy actually originated here. M. I(ce). Smooth ain't backing down. Except for when he backs down to head to his corner, which is when he gets chokeslammed for three immediately. Scott Norton comes down to yell at The Giant and gets a chokeslam two chokeslams for his troubles as well. Chokeslams are awesome. 


  • Gene Okerlund comes to ringside to interview The Giant, who is as irritated as I am about all the Hogan video packages since he's the champ. Where the fuck are his outros and video packages and shit? Good point. Then, he threatens Luger with a few of them ol' chokeslams. Meanwhile, Norton's out in the ring even though he's supposed to be wrestling Hugh Morrus next. 


  • We come back from break and Norton's still laid out in the ring. Morrus strolls on out and takes the chance to go to the pay windah with ease, except not really because after hitting a leg drop, he feigns wimpy pins. Morrus drops elbows, yells, and is fucking BORING, do a fat-man moonsault already. It's the one thing you're good for. He finally goes up for one, but we don't even get that since Norton staggers up, botches the catch, and then beats him with three forearms. This did not achieve anything, including making Norton look tough. Main event me, please. 


  • Well, before that, we are subjected to a Kevin Greene and Mongo McMichael video package narrated by Tony the Tiger Lee Marshall. Greene draws up strategy on the board. It's as stupid as it sounds, and I don't necessarily mean that in a derogatory way. It's a promo where two roided up morons attempt to talk about cogent strategy by putting everything in football terms. Kevin Greene is cutting what I would call an appropriate, enthusiastic, and even good promo just by being himself here. He's also eating a Slim Jim while he brainstorms for some cross-promotional advertising. The Slim Jim also is key to the brainstorm since they come up with the idea to get Savage (currently banned from wrestling on TV by WCW officials) to coach them for their GAB match (which he is not currently banned from doing on TV by WCW officials). This was actually pretty solid and had me chuckling. 


  • The Steiner Brothers finally face off with Lex Luger and Sting for the WCW Tag Team Championships in our main event. Savage calls in during the match to accept Greene and Mongo's proposal over the protestations of Heenan. Scott Steiner suplexes Sting a bit in split-screen as we watch Heenan freak out over Savage's call at the same time.  Meanwhile, all four men in the ring have had early spurts, but we go into break after the call. When we come back, the Steiners have control over Luger before Luger can get a tag to Sting. Sting hits a Stinger Splash on Rick Steiner, but Scott Steiner clotheslines Sting out of his Scorpion Deathlock attempt. Scott's back in with a suplex and a super-Frankensteiner on Sting, but Luger saves. Sting hits a Scorpion Death Drop to give Luger a chance to finish Scott off with the Torture Rack, but Rick saves. He also saves Scott from getting suplexed on the floor by Luger in a reversal of last week's main event spot that led to a total match breakdown. The Giant comes down and weakly chokeslams Rick Steiner in the aisle and then beelines for Luger in the ring as the match is called off. Luger dodges Giant's attacks until Sting and Scotty come in to help him forearm The Giant out of the ring. The split-screen and focus on Savage, along with the non-finish, really cooled this thing off for me, though the crowd enjoyed the post-match shenanigans.


  • Heenan freaks out at the desk about Savage and I've forgotten that I haven't seen Scott Hall yet tonight until just now, when he walks over to the desk. Heenan splits while Hall talks some shit to Bischoff and again references "we." Sting ain't having any of this, though, and he walks over to confront Hall and just fight him right now instead of waiting to set up a three-on-three. Hall tosses a toothpick in Sting's face in response, and Sting, who subconsciously is still upset that Regal backhanded him with no repercussions, slaps the shit out of Hall in what is a face-saving move to recover some of his lost masculinity from the Regal incident. That, or he's just irritated by Hall tossing a toothpick at him. Cops break it up as Hall threatens to bring a big surprise to the show next week. What, are you going to bring along a friend with a shocking ability to mis-categorize the parts of speech? **checks notes** Huh, actually, yes, that is exactly what he's going to do. 


  • These shows need balance. If there's not the right mix of wrestling just to do dope wrestling, wrestling to get momentum behind a guy getting a push, wrestling to push angles along, promos, interviews, and random stuff that seems out-of-control (like Hall showing up at the desk), a show can feel somewhat unfulfilling. Thos show didn't have enough competitive wrestling, IMO. I enjoyed the FoF and Sullivan squashes, but the one genuinely competitive match (Flair/Arn vs. Rock 'n Rolls) did nothing for me,and everything else was bullshit finishes. That attempt to push Norton as a tough competitor was a failure in action, though I get it in theory. This wasn't a good show, but it wasn't lacking in entertainment value. It just felt incomplete, as though it were missing all of the elements that elevate a solid Nitro into a great one. 3.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.



Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #39 - 10 June 1996

"The one where I had to re-write half this shit oh, and also Kevin Nash shows up"

  • I was writing this in front of the TV a few days ago when my Chromebook farted on itself (metaphorically), and I lost most of what I'd written to that point. I reconstruct it here, annoyed to some degree.


  • Larry Z. and Tony S. welcome us to Nitro. They hype tonight's show, especially, um, the debut of Joe Gomez. Well, that's something!






  • *muahahaha*


  • Fuck yeah, it's Booker T. He saunters, poses, and talks shit into the camera. This man is so intense, but you know, he's one of those wrestlers who has killed his aura for me in the present by talking too damned much on podcasts and the like. His opponent tonight is Scott Steiner in a preview of the final Nitro's World Championship match. I'll be reviewing that here in 2042. 


  • This match is another one that I enjoyed even if I don't think I can point to some thread that pulls it all together. I just really enjoy these dudes. Part of it is how athletic they are for their size (though Steiner's already on the road to relative immobility via 'roids). I also just enjoy that this is competitive, back and forth stuff, where each guy hits impactful strikes and suplexes. It's fun TV wrestling, is what I'm saying, but it's not formulaic or anything. It's just an enjoyable contest. 


  • Steiner steals Sting's Scorpion Death Drop, but his Frankensteiner attempt gets stuffed, and Booker's counter-kick gets two. Book goes to the top, but opts for a splash or a headbutt, something that he's less proficient with, over his practiced, tried-and-true Harlem Hangover. That's a strategic mistake, probably, sure, that seems logical. Steiner rolls out of the way and then steals Bayley's Bayley-to-Belly for three. MATCH 'EM UP AGAIN, DAMMIT. 


  • Outros. Jimmy Hart talks shit in an annoying voice and then cackles. Jimmy Hart rules. Where would I list him in terms of my favorite managers? Probably third behind Bobby Heenan and Gary Hart


  • We're back, and Gene Okerlund's on the ramp talking to Scott Steiner. Apparently, the Steiner Brothers are going to rematch Fire & Ice one more time at GAB, and there must be a winner. Fuck yeah, beefy boi graps! That will be awesome, no doubt. Steiner yells a lot until Debra McMichael cuts in and asks for the floor. Steiner's cool with it and lets her take the rest of his mic time. She proceeds to talk in that Alabaman accent that will make her such an effective heel later. The South has a lot of cool shit about it, but some of these accents are very much exempted, IMO, sorry to my fellow Southern posters and I don't include all of you and your various regional and ethnic dialects or accents within the South in this critique.


  • Anyway, Debra's all wanting to talk shit out between Mongo and Flair and them, and I'm like, this is a wrestling show, you're far too adult for this show Debra, I want to see people punch out their aggressions and maybe suplex out their aggressions too. What is this talking sensibly shit? I don't like it. She asks Gene to help her broker peace talks, like what is this, the United Nations? 


  • Jim Powers comes to the ring. No one cares. Diamond Dallas Page comes to the ring. Not enough people care. DDP is apparently defending that Battlebowl ring in every match he has, and Powers does some boring offense and gets a couple of two-counts as DDP basically looks befuddled and like he's bad at the art of pro wrestling, and we know that's not true. Eventually, he hits an elbow that knocks Powers into the ropes and gets a Diamond Cutter off the rebound. Maybe it was just an off-night or something in-character, but whatever, Page survived. I basically was ready for the finish thirty seconds in.


  • A Sullivan/Benoit video package that does nothing to make me care about this hastily-arranged feud plays.


  • A video package promoting WCW United States Champion Konnan plays next, followed by the man himself being interviewed by Gene backstage. He hypes his GAB match with Pat "El Gato" Tanaka which could honestly be good or bad, but will probably be kinda weird and novel at the very least. 


  • It's Tha Monsta Meng down the aisle, and I'd pick him to win except that Sting is his opponent tonight. Sting acknowledges a kid in the front row with his facepaint on, and that kid looks thrilled as fuck. Meng opens up out of a lockup with wild clubbering and he and Sting go back and forth early. Meng starts out with eye rakes and chokes and clubbers, but come on, that's not beating Sting, who hits a high-impact crossbody and a nice clothesline. Meng almost gets three with a surprise small package (!!!), and Sting does likewise with a schoolboy. That's when Meng decides to progress his offense with a shoulderbreaker and some sort of top-rope move. Sting crotches Meng, and unfortunately the testicles of the peoples from Oceania do not match the toughness of their heads in the physiological laws of pro wrestling. One Scorpion Deathlock later, and it's over, even though come on Meng, you could have reached out and grabbed the ropes, well, maybe he wanted to ice his balls ASAP. 


  • Outros in which Dave Taylor threatens Hacksaw Jim Duggan followed by William Regal classing up this trashy American rasslin' show. 


  • Backstage after the ad, Gene Okerlund tries to parlay with Debra McMichael and Bobby Heenan. Heenan's all like WHY DON'T YOU JUST TALK TO FLAIR WHEN YOU'RE FUCKIN EACH OTHER, TOOTS, but then he takes her back to the Horsemen dressing room where the door slams and Debra screams and the door opens and Woman probably punched her in the eye or something and then Joe Gomez and Renegade are randomly there and then Flair and Arn fuck them up and all that happened just like I described it with no room for punctuation. 


  • Dave Taylor walks out and pushes around Jeeves a bit as he does so. We flash back to last week, when Hacksaw was being a shithead and lost because he's a dumbfuck cheating asshole. That was great. Now Hacksaw's marching out to wrestle a match, which is much less great. I've watched enough of Hacksaw's act to be cured of any nationalism. I am looking forward to 1999/2000 WCW for one reason, which is that Lance Storm hands Duggan a bunch of storyline Ls, if I recall correctly. Hacksaw no-sells a Taylor strike and hits a couple clotheslines. There's a bit of Taylor offense, but he misses a crossbody and gets three-point tackled. Taylor gets his foot on the ropes and then does a great Looney Tunes spot where he taps Duggan on the shoulder and gets him to turn around to punch him while Duggan jaws at the ref. Anyway, it doesn't last long because this shithead Duggan tapes his fist and punches out Taylor. THEN, he's got the fucking tape on the hand that Pee Wee Anderson raises in victory. REVERSE THE DECISION WHAT THE SHIT. 


  • Video package of hot cruiserweight action to hype Dean Malenko vs. Rey Misterio at GAB. Lots of video packages since things went to two hours. Okerlund's in the locker room with Jimmy Hart and Big Bubba. We recap John Tenta's beef with Bubba. Hart shits on Tenta while Bubba whips the scissors on his fingers like he did with the handcuffs, Bossman style. Bubba cuts a total mean girls promo, it's actually pretty funny. He makes fun of Tenta's weight and hair and cackles a bit himself, the catty guy that he is. 


  • Scott Norton comes down the ramp. Before he gets to the ring, he meets up with Mean Gene and we get a recap of last week's shenanigans where Ice Train and Norton ate a total of three chokeslams between the three of them. Norton does a typical angry man promo that lasts thirty seconds before making the rest of the trip to the ring. The Giant (in French: LE GEANT~) follows after the fireworks signal the start of hour number two. Norton jumps The Giant at the bell and clubbers, but Giant is like, what the fuck is this shit? He clubbers Norton right back and then hits a NIIIIIIIICE powerslam. I want more high-impact cool shit, but Giant goes to the boot choke. Norton gets control again and hits a couple clotheslines, but the rule of threes means that the third attempt goes nowhere. Things spill outside where a Norton charge eats post and leads to a Giant chokeslam on the padding. Giant rolls Norton in for an easy three-count. I liked it! Big dudes doing big dude shit in a short, sweet TV match. The Giant's interested in more chokeslams, but Lex Luger runs out to brawl with him instead. The Giant gets the upper hand and goes for another table chokeslam outside, but Luger kicks The Giant in the berries and runs, which is pretty good strategy!


  • The Giant is chasing Luger, but I guess didn't see Luger walk over to the desk to cut a promo and totally missed him. Or maybe he just wanted to go backstage and ice his balls ASAP. 


  • Billy Kidman's corny ass heads to the ring. Said corny ass is getting kicked by Steven William Regal. Regal jumps Kidman at the bell and strikes him a bunch. Kidman counters with a dropkick and an early pinfall attempt before whiffing on a top-rope splash and geting suplexed to Bolivian. Regal gets a submission off a high-angled half-crab with a boot to the face (I mean, that's what I'd call it?) and barely has time to get his bearings before Sting runs up from behind and slaps him. Wow, punk move, Sting. You can tell that dude is in his feelings from being so disrespectfully punked.


  • Outro of the Nasty Boys somewhere backstage talking shit.


  • Intro of the Nastys coming to the ring talking shit.  They're going to brawl with Public Enemy again, who run down before the Nastys's music ends and start the fight. They have basically the same split-screen brawl they did a few shows back for the first five minutes before the match evolves into an actual standard tag match out of nowhere. That's actually pretty novel. Usually, two opponents try to have standard matches to settle their feud, but they find that this isn't enough and they need a special brawly type of match to settle it. This happened in the reverse out of nowhere, like all four men thought that trash can lid shots really weren't resolving the core of their beef with one another. I like it!


  • The downside is that the regular tag match between these teams is just sort of there. I think there's nothing more to get out of this pairing at this point, honestly. It even gets a commercial break, which I'm sort of bummed about since I'm hoping for the end, but Sags hits a nice piledriver on Grunge as we go to break, and it's a temporary soothing balm. But yeah, this match goes on and is saved somewhat by Bobby Heenan ranting about Savage and Debra on commentary. Bischoff keeps talking about WCW wrestlers fighting and not avoiding matches with doctor's notes, so obviously that's a shot at WWF, but it's way too early for a certain guy to lose his smile. Hold on...is it Pillman going WWF at this time that Bisch is alluding to here? IDK, he's got beef with like everybody at this point. Anyway, the match: It keeps going and there are even a couple 2.9's, and I feel like a whiny kid complaining about the length of the car ride from the backseat. C'monnnnn, when is this overrrrrrrr? Worst of all, it just gets thrown out when everyone goes back to brawling. Fuck off. Don't run another one of these unless a) it has a definitive finish and b) it's under five minutes. 


  • Hulk Hogan video package, and I'm thinking, why is this man so needy? He's made millions of dollars in his career. He can afford a therapist.


  • Another video package, this one showing Randy Savage as he shows up to train Kevin Greene and Mongo McMichael. Well, first we recap the Savage/Flair/Mongo feud. I'm irritated with all these retrospectives, and they're only showing up on a weekly basis. IDK how I ever put up with constant retrospectives for things that happened five minutes ago on modern WWE shows. I saw a one minute clip of WWE a week ago, and it's legit unwatchable. All the camera cuts, the yelling on commentary, the tortured vocabulary that they like to use. Once you stop watching, when you come back, it's just impossible to watch comfortably. How do they make new fans? 


  • So, Sting and Lex Luger have decided to fill in for Joe Gomez and Renegade tonight. Sting's doing the most out here this week, like he's heard my pleas for more Sting on these shows. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Woman, and Liz walk that aisle. Flair acts like a nutbar, and on commentary Bisch talks about how Savage is the nutbar, and I still don't think this computes entirely! I think they've corrupted each other, and that should be the story they tell, especially because Flair absolutely could not hold it together against The Giant across multiple weeks, didn't even get close to holding it together really, and was entirely un-Flair-like in losing the gold. And he's not even fronting about it! Since when has Ric Flair not cared about getting the gold right back after losing it? He's so focused on Savage that he's been infected with the Madness. 


  • I mean, even in this match, Flair immediately dances up to Sting and gets one-tapped to the mat. Like, what? They need to tell this story better on commentary because I feel strongly that Flair is absolutely shading his character portrayal in a way that tells this story. Flair gets beat the fuck up and Arn struggles to even run interference for him early on. Luger basically rolls him until he gets cocky and whiffs on an elbowdrop, when Arn comes in and tries to get some momentum going. He fails and Sting gets in the ring. Arn tries to hold things together, but Sting is clearly a level above him and controls the match. Flair gives up after eating a gorilla press and runs over to grab weapons from the banquet table. Heenan at least points out Flair's loss of composure on commentary. Thank you. Help Bischoff figure out what's going on here with Flair's character as well. 


  • Anyway, there's a TV break, and Sting's working Arn when we get back. Arn gets a tag to Flair, who is visibly trying to hold himself together. He dodges a Stinger Splash, and having little composure, he immediately fucks that up by going to the top and getting tossed. Only Arn's interference can save his partner from eating a pinfall off a top-rope clothesline first, and a superplex second. Really, Arn trying to get control of the situation in any way possible is a compelling story here! He keeps failing, and you almost could feel bad for the guy if he wasn't such a dick. Even the heel control segment is short and always feels about two seconds away from falling apart. Heenan enhances this when Arn breaks up a pinfall and Heenan notes that Arn could have hit a DDT from that position. Sting gets a visual five-count on Flair with a sloppy small package. We get another break.


  • When we get back, basically Flair and Arn are struggling to stay a step ahead of Sting and keep him cut off from Lex. Arn's splash attempt eats knees, and that gives Sting a chance to make the hot tag. Luger works Arn and Flair both, but The Giant comes down to finish what he started with Luger earlier tonight, and the match gets thrown out. The Giant gets the upper hand until Scott Steiner runs down and hits a couple of chairshots using the banquet chairs that Flair was grabbing at earlier. Sting joins in with a couple chairshots himself. The Giant is only somewhat wobbled and feels good enough to cut a quick interview/promo with Okerlund at ringside. The Giant's peeved, to say the least, and wants to make the Luger match at GAB no holds and/or furniture barred. 


  • We go to the desk. Heenan flips out on Savage. Then he flips out and ditches the desk because Scott Hall shows up. Bisch thinks it's a good idea to talk shit to Hall about his "big surprise." Kevin Nash walks up from behind and cuts a promo in which he looks at the adjective verb "play" and generally talks shit. He shows that he follows the news by making a reference to former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott's fondness for white supremacy and dislike of inferior races. Bisch is backtracking, going full used car salesman, and promising that he'll tell them who they're going to be fighting at GAB. I hope Bisch enjoys the fine dining in Baltimore because he's gonna eat a powerbomb hahahahahaha!


  • Grades are an imperfect measurement of a show. I think this show was generally good, but the video package filler and endless Nastys/PE tag bring it down for me. The grade I'm giving here doesn't really encapsulate the experience of watching this show in any dependable way, but numbers are all I have. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #40- 17 June 1996

"The one with a Richmond crowd that likes the Horsemen and MOVEZ, in roughly that order"

  • GAB '96 was a solid show, a real solid show, and now we're only three weeks out from Bash at the Beach '96, which is a legendary show that I'm excited to watch. I've been stopping for PPVs since Slamboree because ultimately, the TV has convinced me that it's worth doing so. We'll see how long that lasts! I sort of feel like watching some of that '99-'00 shit out of sheer curiosity, actually. Hey, it's not like I'm in a rush to finish this re-watch. It's been a really nice project for me, and I enjoy writing at my pace, so actually why not stop to watch a few PPVs?


  • They give Larry Z. and Tony S. a proper desk this week. Schiavone is doing double-duty tonight because Eric Bischoff got launched off the stage at GAB. It was great. Scott Hall just punched him in the gut impulsively and Kevin Nash reacted like, "Ah, fuck it, might as well beat this little guy up, too." Larry Z. says that it's nothing to beat up Bischoff, which I think is a maxim that he will put into practice at Starrcade 1997. 


  • GAB recap from the fellas at the desk. They tease Bischoff getting powerbombed through the table. Wanna see that shit? Wait for hour twoooooooooooo






  • Stevie Ray is one of my favorite bad wrestlers ever. He talks shit, he looks like he'll fuck you up, and in a couple years, he does a Pedigree Slapjack, an undeniably cool move. He's going to wrestle Rick Steiner in a battle of lesser tag team members that is an inverse of last week's Booker T/Scott Steiner match. Rick pinballs for Stevie's early offense. Then, Rick launches Stevie in an overhead belly-to-belly that's pretty sweet and rocks Stevie with a bulldog from the top rope. Stevie gets back on top with a powerslam. It's pretty dang nice! He goes up top, uncharacteristically I might add, and whiffs. That's not so nice. One Steinerline later, and Rick is celebrating for approximately five seconds before Booker runs in and sidekicks him. Stevie powerbombs Rick, but Scott saves Rick from a Booker top-rope move by running in and covering Rick as Booker launches. Oops, Scotty's ribs are injured from Booker's impact. Not great since he's matching up with The Giant tonight...




  • The cocky, cool, disco-dancin' fool named Disco Inferno asks the music to be cut as soon as he gets in the ring and then declares that the crowd is there to see him dance. He asks for his music to be cut back on, but they play Joe Gomez's music instead, which is a real bummer, and I feel robbed. Schiavone talks about Hulk Hogan calling WCW offices to put his name in the hat to face The Outsiders at BatB. Hahahahahaha don't trust a snake Hulkster. Meanwhile, Disco pinballs around the ring for Joe Gomez. He bails, he checks his hair, he jaws with the crowd and David Penzer. It's entertaining! Joe Gomez cuts it off with some punches. It's less entertaining. ?


  • Anyway, Gomez whiffs on a crossbody and a good third of the crowd cheers, at least. Disco does some goofy offense before whiffing on a corner charge, but he catches Gomez with a neckbreaker that would get three if Disco covered. Disco doesn't cover. He primps his hair. He dances. He casually covers Gomez. He gets rolled backward onto his shoulders for three. He's still happy because he can dance and his hair stayed in place. Bless you, Disco. 


  • We're backstage with Gene Okerlund, Ric Flair, Woman, Liz ( looking GREAT), and Debra McMichael. Gene's disappointed in Debra. Debra's getting paid, she doesn't give a fuck. Ric Flair yells a lot. There are four Horsemen again! He's feeling great. Apparently, Macho Man got reinstated and Flair is prepared to continue ruining Savage's life.


  • Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit get quite the pop as they saunter down the aisle! You know who doesn't get a pop, though? Their opponents, the American Males. Well, to be fair, there is a high-pitched collective squeal early on before the noise dies down. A thirsty lady in a pink polka-dot dress is about to tumble over the rail to get some of Bagwell and Riggs, actually. Arn Anderson, agent of chaos, punches Bagwell to start, bails once Riggs comes at him, and then gets a receipt from Bagwell. He goes back over to his corner and Benoit's face is FUCKED UP, damn. That brawl left a whole lot of marks. Meanwhile, Arn's hit like two shots to Riggs's midsection and the crowd has cried out passionately for a DDT. 


  • Bagwell and Benoit end up in the ring next and they have a nice segment full of quick, crisp moves and counters. Arn gets back in and everyone sort of fucks up a ref confusion spot, I think? Eh, just get back to Benoit and Bagwell, which they do, and it's good. This match made me want to see a Benoit/Bagwell match. Anyway, it breaks down after Riggs saves Bagwell after a Benoit flying headbutt, and then Arn catches Bagwell behind the ref's back for a huge fucking pop, man this crowd in Richmond loves the hell out of Arn Anderson. Anderson also saves Benoit after a Males double-dropkick and is rewarded for his efforts when Benoit hits a Stun Gun on Riggs for three shortly after. Good match! The crowd being really into the Horsemen helped. 


  • Gene Okerlund interviews the winners of the previous tag match. Arn talks his shit and tells Kevin Sullivan to get fucked, but you know, way more eloquently. The crowd loves it. Oh no, Benoit is talking now. He fucking SUCKS on the mic. Shut the fuck up and do another sweet snap suplex, Jello-for-brains. 


  • John Tenta cuts a promo in the outro. He had a dismal match with Big Bubba at GAB, which is weird because both guys are very good at the pro graps. 


  • Big Bubba and Jimmy Hart are here when we come back. Let's hope that this match with John Tenta is better than their last. Tenta cut some of Bubba's beard at GAB, but you can't even notice. Bubba acts like Kane when his mask was pulled off back in 2005 or whatever, though. Quake's still sporting half a haircut, but the guy's been going bald since the '80s, so really it's not that much worse than what he already had going. Tenta throws a dropkick, which I appreciate. Big man dropkicks are cool. Was Tenta's best work as part of the Natural Disasters? That tag team was awesome to me as a kid, and I saw Summerslam '92 again awhile back and they were very good that night. I'm opining about this because the match itself is okay enough, I guess, but it's heatless and I wish these guys were a big man tag team that did splashes and Bossman slams and cool shit like that instead. Instead, we get Bubba putting a resthold on Tenta. Bummer. So we get to the finish, where Tenta hits two corner splashes and then atomic drops Jimmy Hart when Hart tries to interfere. Bossman tries to take the advantage, but gets powerslammed. Tenta powerslams Bubba again and puts his feet on the ropes unnecessarily to get a pinfall. He chases Jimmy Hart around and into the ring, where Bubba grabs a sock full of quarters and fucks Tenta's world up. OK, that got very fun around the time of the corner splashes, but the stuff before it was boring as hell. 


  • Mean Gene interviews the loser and his manager at ringside. Bubba is so mean talking about Tenta's general appearance, hahahaha, what a piece of shit. That was entertaining. 


  • Okerlund hustles back to the locker rooms during the break to interview Randy Savage before his match against Ric Flair tonight. Savage says that if anyone says he's crazy, he'll fuckin' kill them. Then he says that he is crazy, and he'll fucking kill them. I'm paraphrasing. So, seriously, Gene asks Savage if he's talked to a mental health professional - rude - and Savage says that he talked to a woman psychologist who said he was OCD - One Cool Dude. What the fuck? I have so many objections of so many types to this part of the promo. Whatever, get Savage to the ring.


  • Hour two starts with Randy Savage against Ric Flair. Well, it actually starts with Savage chasing Bobby Heenan around and then into the ring as the latter comes out to join the desk. Heenan bails over the top rope all the way to the floor in a suit and business shoes to get away from Savage, and it is fucking impressive, seriously. He catches his breath at the desk while Tony calls the ladies the Witches of Eastwick. Schiavone dropping a little John Updike reference into our wrasslin' broadcast, huh? I dig it. Daryl Van Horne Ric Flair trots out, taunts Kevin Greene, grabs a mic, taunts Savage and basically acts like an ass, to the point that Savage uses the word "ass" in his retort, then rushes from the ring and starts brawling with Flair. 


  • This match is heated and Liz gets involved and the banquet table gets involved and it's appropriately out-of-control. The crowd is WAY into it, too. Schiavone yells A LITTLE BIT OF THE BUBBLY when Savage attacks with a champagne bottle, and I think, you know, Schiavone's late-career revival in AEW is like the exact opposite direction from Chris Jericho's unbearable indulgent suckitude in his AEW late career. I digress. It's a long match, and I probably don't have to narrate its many twists and turns leading into the finish because you probably know them. Well, actually, Flair gets his knee clipped while on the top rope and FLIES the fuck across the ring, and that looked cool. But yeah, otherwise, the finish: Flair argues with Randy Anderson, gets knocked into Anderson, gets punched in the nuts, and eats two Savage elbows. Savage fights off the other Horsemen for awhile until there's a murder definitive bit of interference. It's Mongo in the Wrestling Ring with the Halliburton! A couple case shots and Mongo draping Flair across Savage later, and Flair steals another win over Savage. Then Savage gets beat the fuck up by all four dudes. 


  • Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart, Kevin Sullivan, and The Giant in the locker room. Sullivan's mad at Arn and cuts a promo in the exact same cadence and tone as Danny DeVito playing a drunk Frank Reynolds on the airplane during the Boggs bet. They say I can't drink on a plane, they say I can't bang on a plane, they say I can't be a docta? The Giant wants to murder the Horsemen with his chokeslams and shit and references Humpty Dumpty like an asshole. Stop doing dumb Kevin Sullivan shit in your promos, dude. He yells PROGNOSIS: CHOKESLAM like he's excitedly headed into an Upper West Side movie theater with Elaine Benes and George Costanza after buying tickets. What the fuck? OK, this was stupid enough that I've come back around on all of it. 


  • Stills of Eric Bischoff getting Jackknifed at GAB. Stills of Razor and Diesel Hall and Nash laughing about it. Hey, it was funny! More GAB stills of the Horseman fuckery from the tag at GAB. I just noticed that while Kevin Greene wore trunks in Carolina Panthers colors, Mongo didn't wear trunks in Chicago Bears colors; he wore trunks that matched the secondary and tertiary colors of the Four Horsemen logo on the t-shirt he was handed post-match. Huh, nice little foreshadowing there. Anyway, more recap of Sullivan/Benoit. Schiavone and Heenan pontificate on who the third man is. 


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Rey Misterio Jr. on the ramp. Misterio cuts a shitty promo in English. At least it's short. He cuts an even shorter promo in Spanish that sounded more confident. He just said he was going to become the WCW World Cruiserweight Champ in Spanish, to be fair. Anyway, he heads to the ring to face Dean Malenko for said championship in another GAB rematch tonight. The Richmond crowd is listless at first, but these two dudes sort of reel them in through their work. The crowd was into Benoit earlier because he's a Horseman, but they also dug his crisp, fast-paced offense, so when these guys pick up the pace and hit nice, clean moves, the crowd appreciates it. I think they actually work the wrong match to some degree because the crowd responds to that stuff and sits on their hands for the matwork, but Malenko doggedly sticks to the matwork for too long. He ends up hitting Misterio with a sick powerbomb and a nice capture suplex after said matwork, and I think he's going to go more high-impact, but no. 


  • Misterio was such a crazy athlete. He hits his springboard hurricanrana on Malenko standing at ringside. That's fucking WILD, man, so impressive. This crowd wants cool moves and 2.9s, and I wish they'd just speed this thing up permanently and do that. It's so appropriate for this moment and this crowd. Malenko straight kills Misterio with a Scorpion Death Drop on the counter for three. It was good, but a slightly different match gets the appropriate heat. The crowd was begging for something with faster pace and more MOVEZ, and Malenko grounding Rey didn't fit with that. It worked in Baltimore the night before, but that crowd was naturally behind Misterio enough to make it work. Not so in Richmond. 


  • Scott Steiner, ribs taped, high-fives the fans as he comes to the ring to face The Giant (French: LE GEANT~). Steiner tries to suplex The Giant. It fails. These dudes with their hubris, trying to toss The Giant all the time. Speaking of, he tries to bodyslam The Giant, fails, and gets a lot of strikes to his injured ribs. This could be a really good match, but they work this match around Steiner's ribs, and it is slowwwww and plodding and boring as shit, unfortunately. Son of Andre eventually goes outside to grab a wooden chair in revenge for the previous week's chairshots, and Steiner crotches him, but then he goes for a sleeper that doesn't work and gets crushed. Steiner gets boots up on a Giant corner charge and then pumphandle suplexes the FUCK out of the big man, the crowd has been waiting for some cool shit to happen all match and they explode. Steiner breaks the chair on The Giant while swinging for the fences, and The Giant is like, FUCK YOU, CHOKESLAM. That was the second and final cool thing to happen in this match. It wasn't good! How wasn't this good?! These two are really good! I'm disappointed as hell in this match.


  • Glacier promo. These have been happening forever now. We get a date! July 1996!


  • Gene Okerlund on the ramp to announce WCW's team for Bash at the Beach. Out of Hogan, Flair, The Giant, Sting, Savage, and Luger, the drawing conducted backstage pulls the last three names in that list. It'll be Sting, Savage, and Luger vs. Hall, Nash, and Poochy ???


  • I'm looking forward to BatB. We're two Nitros away! Let's hope they're put together a little better than this one, though the stuff with crowd heat was great. Honestly, the stuff with crowd heat was so good that this will get a slightly higher score than I'd have otherwise given it. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting that Hogan could have been selected to go up against the Outsiders and their mystery partner. I guess Hall and Nash would have wrestled by themselves until Hogan revealed himself as the third man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hogan leading the WCW team, not really interacting with Hall and Nash in the ring for most of the match, and then finally getting a hot tag from Savage only to turn and hit him with a few legdrops would have been dope. It's hard to argue with what WCW did, but I'm not sure the Luger injury work to make it 2-on-2 followed by Hogan randomly walking out made as much sense as putting Hogan on WCW's team and having him turn during the match, at least conceptually.

But hey, the Hogan turn as it happened is iconic, so why meddle with a good thing?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #41- 24 June 1996

"The one with a lot of random matches and strangely, no Flair in Charlotte"

  • Bisch is still hurt as hell, man, and Tony Schiavone is doing double-duty at the desk again tonight. Larry Z rambles, but he does it in a way that makes it clear that he thinks he's being insightful as hell. We see Bisch get launched, finally. Last week, it was video that cut before the Jackknife and then after that, it was just stills of the aftermath. 


  • Okerlund interviews WCW's BatB team backstage. They're all wearing Sting's facepaint in a show of solidarity. Savage does some talking, then takes off to prepare to eat boring VK Wallstreet offense until it's time for a Savage Elbow. Sting is irate. Luger is resolute, though he almost says that WWF stands strong before correcting himself and naming WCW. The Steiners wander in and offer their back-watching services after tonight's tag title match between them. Harlem Heat walks in and refuse to offer anyone kindness or friendliness, and Booker T thinks everyone in this room who isn't him or Stevie Ray is a sucka. Yelling ensues. Good to see the spirit of comradery alive and well in a WCW under siege!


  • The Blue Bloods walk down the aisle. A cute kid with a huge smile sits on dad's shoulders and does a thumbs down. That was heart-warming. Regal and Taylor are the active members of the team tonight, and Public Enemy is their opponent. We get an inset promo from PE that doesn't play properly until halfway through, when I think both men yell BIKINIS and talk into the camera at the Nastys and let's hope they aren't proposing a bra-and-panties match. No, it's just a dog collar match. Please let this feud die. 


  • This match is weird enough to be novel, though. Rocco tries chain wrestling Regal, but it doesn't work, and then Regal does some legitimately awful dancing, it's fantastically awful, and eats a dropkick for his troubles. Rocco mocks Regal's pose and walk, but it's not as good as Regal's mock cabbage patching. Taylor and Rocco have no chemistry. PE is the default faces because they're American, I guess? That's what ends up happening. Regal calmly steps aside to miss a Rocco middle-rope moonsault attempt and then dances around, and this guy is fucking magnificent. Also, I'm somehow interested in a ten-minute Steven Regal/Rocco Rock match right now. I'd love to see that, seriously. Grunge gets a hot tag that no one really cares about, but Eaton trips Grunge from his position outside the ring. Grunge falls into the cast on his arm and looks fucked, but Taylor eats a cast shot shortly after and gets pinned. I mean, that was in no way good, but I would encourage all of you to watch it because it was the epitome of weird-as-fuck mid-90s WCW TV matches. I'm not sorry to have spent time watching it. 


  • Harlem Heat on the outro to hype a match. Oh, the tag title match tonight is a triangle match, I see. I hate it. 


  • Kevin Sullivan is real angry and Jimmy Hart can barely keep up with him as he stomps down the aisle. He tries to drag his opponent, some jobber named Kip Avee Chip Amie (I had to give up and check dude's name in the recap at DDT Digest), into the women's bathroom, but Doug Dellinger just can't have that sort of thing on his precious wrestling show! I think Sullivan loses by DQ. Meanwhile, Sullivan pimps Subway inadvertently (?) by beating Amie's head against the Subway booth across from the bathroom. Someone needs to get Sullivan off TV because his Benoit feud sucks and makes no sense. Hart and Sullivan cut a promo in the ring. The crowd wants Flair, not Sullivan. I can't blame them. Jimmy Hart hates on Flair's promos and leaves. OK, cool. But not really.


  • There's this Hello Fresh commercial with some influencer (or actor pretending to be an influencer) that is really awful, like the dish she makes is one that you could make without a recipe and after spending five minutes to get the five ingredients you need in a store. Who is Hello Fresh for other than single tech bros who think that subbing to this service will allow them to truthfully say that they know how to cook on their Match profiles?


  • Hardwork Bobby Walker is out to the ring. His opponent is Dean Malenko, and I guess beating Brad Armstrong earns you a Cruiserweight Championship shot. Apparently, Disco is getting a shot at Malenko next. The ref showed the belt to the camera as if this were a title shot, but I'm not sure the desk has received that message. Malenko has opted for chinlocks over destroying a limb. Bleh. Well, he ramps it up to a Camel Clutch eventually. Walker gets zero offense and Malenko wraps on the Texas Cloverleaf, but he drops it because he sees Disco wander to ringside. Disco's not here to interfere, really. He just has a giant gold record and wants to dance in the ring. The truck, deciding to make up for last week, hits his music when he asks for it. Disco dances in the corner as the match continues. Walker would like to use said corner to botch a leap, but Disco's already there, and Malenko simply dropkicks Walker into Disco and then bridges over on a Northern Lights for three. I don't know how to rate that, but once Disco showed up, I was indeed entertained. 


  • Disco and Dean have a promo battle in the ring after the match is over. Disco says that Dean and Walker were stinking up the joint and so he came out to entertain everyone. I mean, yeah, that is actually legit true. Disco celebrates his successful CD and Malenko responds super-boringly and Disco won the night, man, Disco won the night. 


  • IT'S BARBARIAN. I hope Barb kicks someone in the face. He actually high-fives some lucky rubes on his way to the ring. His opponent: Eddie Guerrero! Wow, this is a night of weird matchups, huh? Eddie dodges Barb's advances a few times, but Barb catches up to him and tries a press slam. Eddie escapes it, sticks-and-moves, and hits a nice counter-dropkick. He does get caught and planted, though. Barb hits a SAVAGE fucking powerbomb, it was great. He's just tossing Eddie around and buries him on a pumphandle slam. See, thing is Barb is too lax and not taking Eddie seriously, and he only pins with one hand. Eddie dodges a corner charge, but they botch a hurricanrana spot and the crowd knows it and lets them know that they know it. Some back-and-forth leads to a super-belly-to-belly that launches Eddie across and then out of the ring. Barb tries a regular superplex next, but Eddie shifts his weight and falls on top for three. I mean, I enjoyed it again! It wasn't great, and Eddie was having an off-night, but what a weird, entertaining matchup to have in the first place. 


  • After the match, Gene interviews the winner in the ring. Eddie cuts a boring pseudo-fiery face promo about a match he had with Konnan at Uncensored and some other stuff. 


  • Hour two starts with Arn and Benoit working the Rock 'n Roll Express. Mongo's seconding his boys at ringside, Halliburton at the ready. Apparently, there were technical difficulties on the original recording, but we don't seem to have missed much; Benoit and Morton open. They have a crisp exchange and the RnR's do some nice double-team moves before Arn comes in to a big pop. Anyway, this match moves at a really nice pace and is good, and Mongo uses the Halliburton to bash Gibson over the head and make him food for Benoit. After the three-count, Joe Gomez runs out and gets beat up and slapped around. Sure, why not? Then Macho Man and Kevin Greene run out and the Horsemen bail. 


  • Flair and the ladies are backstage. Flair rants for awhile and then is joined by the other three Horsemen. Mongo yells like a meathead athlete, and it's good. I saw a picture of him as he is now a couple days ago, and Gehrig's disease is a real bastard. It made me sad as hell. I'm sorry that I saw it, honestly.


  • The desk talks about Bash at the Beach being important and that there's so much security here. You know, it's striking in retrospect how the nWo angle just creeps up on everyone in WCW. Everyone is distracted by their own shit, and it's like Hall shows up, but no one's worried, and then Nash shows up, but no one's worried. And then Bischoff eats a powerbomb, and everyone sort of realizes the threat they're under, but it's only three weeks to BatB and besides, they've still got these internal feuds that they can't just let go. I like that build because yeah, that really would be what would happen. Internal divisions have made WCW ripe for the picking by an outside unified force. 


  • Alex Wright and DDP is our next match. Keep the interesting matchups coming, fellas. Wright gets a couple of early rollups while Schiavone hypes some other BatB matches: Flair and Konnan, DDP and Duggan in a Taped Fist Match. Maybe it's because I'm not watching the SNs at this time, but it really seems like they just threw the rest of this PPV together in a rush because of the short turnaround time from GAB and the focus on The Outsiders. Anyway, DDP dominates in the meantime, but he Charlie Brown's a field goal attempt on Wright's ribs and eats a few Euro uppercuts and then some regular-ass, good ol' US-of-A punches. Wright lands a double-axehandle from the top rope for two and then a nice missile dropkick that tumbles DDP outside. Wright hits a dive through the ropes and looks very much in the ascendancy, but DDP gets knees up on a splash attempt and then stuffs a Wright reversal attempt on a gutwrench suplex, turning it into a Diamond Cutter for three. This was very good TV wrestling, as you'd expect from these two. 


  • Okerlund is definitely on duty tonight; he's back in the ring to interview another match winner. DDP thinks the Diamond Cutter is a killer move (it is) and that WCW officials are in conspiracy against him with this Taped Fist Match shit (sure, I can believe it). We go to an outro with Randy Savage talking shit to the Outsiders and a Glacier promo all packaged together.


  • We're in Charlotte, and Kevin Greene, then-Panther is out. The crowd is not into his threats to the Horsemen, but they do enjoy his declarations that the Panthers are going to kick some ass that year. They made it to the NFC Championship game, so, you know, good work backing up that claim. 


  • It's Vincent Kennedy Wallstreet. I'm more interested in Tony Schiavone namedropping Steph Curry's pops Dell while talking about all the people in the area who have told him that they're behind WCW in its fight against The Outsiders. Savage is out, still with the Sting facepaint, Kevin Greene seconding him. Greene's presence distracts Wallstreet, and Savage jumps him at the bell. Heenan claims that Antonio Inoki called WCW offices to see if he could wrestle for WCW against The Outsiders, and I am inconsolable that this didn't happen. This is an okay TV brawl, I guess, but I'm more interested in the commentary at this point. Schiavone and Heenan have a spirited debate as to whether Savage's maverick ways are an asset or detriment to WCW's chances. Eventually, we get the old Savage Elbowsma--no, Wallstreet rolled out of the ring. Aw man, this match does not need to be longer than it already has been. Well, he runs into Kevin Greene out there, who dodges a punch and launches him into the post before rolling him back in for a Savage Elbowsmash. OK, the delay in the finish was acceptable. Greene's dopey meathead athlete energy is definitely an asset whenever he shows up.


  • Outro with Sting and Luger talking up their chances in the main event tonight.


  • Speaking of the main event, it's ICE ICE ICE COLD COLD COLD as Harlem Heat yell at the camera on their way to the ring. They're shortly followed by the Steiner Brothers and Sting and Lex Luger. I'm not even going to try and write up the stuff that happens in this match too much; we'll just go with the broad strokes here. I will say that Booker and Scott Steiner start; why would either of those guys ever tag in Sting or Lex? These would be better if they were Tornado Tag-style. Scott tags Sting in willingly for some reason! How idiotic is this? The commentary recognizes this flaw in the match logic and try to justify it, but it doesn't work. The crowd pops huge for Booker crotching himself on the top-rope after whiffing a kick. Stevie Ray has a long control segment with lots of chinlocks, and it inspires the crowd! Unfortunately, it inspires the crowd to chant WE WANT FLAIR. Hey, wait, Flair hasn't shown up all night, has he? Strange choice to only have him cut one backstage interview for this show in Charlotte. I sure hope this show had a Flair dark match after the cameras cut. 


  • Since that Scott Steiner tag out, I don't think either Steiner has been in the ring again. I hope that commentary will point out this flaw in the Steiners's plan, but they're too busy looking at Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, who come out of the crowd with baseball bats in their hands. Security comes out and floods ringside, and in the chaos, Booker schoolboys Luger for three. Nick Patrick's decision not to just throw this match out as soon as the ring filled up with security is quite the choice! Hall and Nash back away and look threatening as they do it. 


  • The Brain wants to split, but Tony Schiavone wants to stick around to give an impassioned defense of WCW before the cameras cut. 


  • The end of this show still felt chaotic despite its age. I'm actually pretty surprised at how fresh this "hostile takeover" and worked shoot stuff feels after these tropes have been run into the ground in the 26 years since WCW did them here. Of course, even age-old tropes still feel fresh when executed well. The weird matchups on tonight's show kept things interesting even if the matches themselves didn't click all the time. I like weird pairings. This seems like a solid 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes show.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #42 - 1 July 1996

"The one where The Outsiders go into their endgame"

  • Larry Z. and Tony S. are dumped at ringside on a flimsy table again. No desk for these guys. They talk about the Bash, but are interrupted by DDP. Apparently, someone stole his Battlebowl ring. He wants all the anti-nWo security in the arena to strip search everyone in the building. They shoo DDP away so they can go back to recapping last week's main event, specifically its ending. I dig that Harlem Heat won the gold and just walked on past Hall and Nash at ringside, no beef at all. I guess Chet Lemon wanted to make sure his commentary partner Black Snow got free passage back to the locker room.


  • The Steiner Brothers challenge Harlem Heat for their newly-won WCW Tag Team Championships to open the show. Booker's too busy talking on a massive brick of a cell phone to talk shit - no wait, he hangs up and finds the camera. I don't remember what the cell phone is about. It's not Sherri this time, I'm assuming. I'm pretty sure she's been fired by now. The Main Event Mafia EXPLODES as Book and Scott Steiner get started. These two have excellent chemistry with one another as usual. I think in general, these teams are good opponents for one another because they'll throw and take great looking kicks, clotheslines, powerbombs, and suplexes willingly. Even this match, which is just okay for their standards, is enjoyable. In 1997, the WCW tag scene is Hall and Nash, Faces of Fear, Harlem Heat, and the Steiners. That's a hell of a core for your tag division.


  • Rob Parker's out to ringside for some reason, I guess because he was the guy on the cell phone. He watches Booker get two on a top-rope crossbody, go to the well again, and get belly-to-belly'd off the top by Rick Steiner. Stevie comes in and hits a powerslam, followed by quick tags between Booker and Stevie that culminate in a Booker top-rope splash for two. The match breaks down and all four guys are in the ring. Scott hits Booker with the Frankensteiner, but he's not legal. They try to correct that with an initial Rick Steiner bulldog and then by double-teaming Booker with the top-rope bulldog, but Parker beats Rick with his cane as he perches up top, and Booker gets three off the interference. Good match even though Nick Patrick didn't bother to try and count a Rick Steiner pin attempt off the initial bulldog right before the finish.


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Debra about Mongo's in-ring exploits lately. She's at the banquet table with the rest of the crew. Liz crows about spending Savage's money on her buddies. Arn says that this is the first time the Horsemen have been at full strength since the mid-'80s. Wow, dude just erasing a whole bunch of past Horsemen. Benoit speaks little, which is good. Mongo says shit about how much he likes money. Flair has a conniption. He WOOs a bunch. The crowd matches his WOO output in kind.


  • Outro is Savage yelling.


  • We're back with Disco Inferno's goofy ass. He's got his gold record with him. He dances, then stops the music to ask people if they want to see him dance. You could have just kept dancing, dude. The truck is really fucking with Disco from week to week. They start up Kurasawa's music instead. Hey, it's nice to see this dude. Kurasawa beats up Disco and celebrates in between chops and kicks. Disco comes back with a bunch of Karate Kid-level feints and kicks and threatens a Crane Kick. The crowd is into Disco's stupidity. He tries his version of a martial arts chop and gets chopped to the mat instead. This guy is getting a title shot in six days and he's TERRIBLE. Haha, he kicks the stairs in frustration and sells a foot injury. I don't need rankings, but who the fuck in WCW offices thought to themselves, "Yeah, Disco's been on fire, give him a shot." It's a new title and probably needs to be treated more competitively. But wait, Disco's music starts playing again randomly? A fat Disco Elvis dances down the aisle! The disco ball is lowered! Kurasawa is confused! So is the ref! Disco is not confused, though. He grabs the disco ball and swings it right into Kurasawa's cranium. That is his sole offensive move of this match, and it's enough to head to the pay windah. The crowd loved all of this stupidity, and I did, too. We just don't need to give this man a title shot at this point in the Cruiserweight Championship's lifetime. But I can't even be that mad because Disco is dumb as hell and I'm glad he's on the Bash. 


  • AMERICAN MALE! AMERICAN MALE! Scotty Riggs is alone tonight. He's opposing DDP, who spends some time in gorilla checking a tech for his lost ring. He continues to harass techs on his way down the aisle. Tony slanders DDP by saying DDP's scumbag ass probably just pawned the ring for extra dough. He said it with some venom in his voice, too. An inset promo from Hacksaw lets us know that Hacksaw doesn't have DDP's ring, as he only carries around shit that helps him cheat to win matches. That fuck. DDP is pissed about his lost ring and tries to murder Riggs early. Riggs tries to get something going, but DDP's back on him immediately. He does his leveraged abdominal stretch stop. Drop that spot, man. Anyway, Riggs is never really in this match and struggles to string two moves together. Riggs finally gets a little flurry going, but Page slips out of a body slam attempt and hits the Diamond Cutter for three. Then, he checks a knocked-out Riggs's boots and tights for his ring. It's sort of impressive that he dismantled Riggs like this while being so distracted by the loss of the ring, honestly. 


  • Gene Okerlund stops Page as he heads back up the ramp and says that he might have an idea about where the ring is. DDP shits on Duggan for a couple seconds, then frisks Okerlund, who gives him no information about his ring. What the fuck? Gene deserves a Diamond Cutter for his lies. 


  • Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, a guy who I do not enjoy even though everybody likes him and I feel like I should too, is wrestling Macho Man, and I am bummed about the prospect of watching Hammer on offense for eight of the nine minutes of this match. Savage overturns the food on the banquet table on his way down. Anyway, not much to say about this match. Valentine bores me to death. He does some plodding, dull offense, he knocks himself out doing a back suplex, Savage hits the Savage Elbow, that's pretty much it. And I don't get the big deal about the Valentine/Piper Dog Collar Match, either. It's fine, that's about it. There, I said it.


  • Eric Bischoff is here with Bobby Heenan for hour two. He tries to give a solemn speech, but the crowd chants for WEASEL Heenan over his words. Bisch talks shit to Kevin Nash for a bit. Much like Bonecrusher, he ain't never scared. Does he have a loaded TEC-9  in his trunk? Heenan rambles about definitely being scared. Eric goes back to pimping the Bash when the crowd explodes. The crowd behind the desk alerts Bobby Heenan to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash coming down the stairs with snacks on the other side of the arena. They take a front row seat and they have tickets. Dellinger's dumb ass doesn't know that the fine print allows him to kick out ticket holders if they're potentially unruly. Vince McMahon has done as much just for fans insisting on holding signs that he didn't like. 


  • John Tenta, sans entrance music, walks down the aisle. Well, at least it's not a jobber entrance. They didn't even have some shitty licensed track they could give the poor guy. He's getting a title shot against The Giant off the strength of, let me check, beating Big Bubba last week. Is it irrational to hate that guys get title shots for this little? If I'm Sting or Flair or Savage, I'd be all up in WCW offices demanding that I get a title shot immediately. Just make these non-title, man, no need to make your ace look like a doofus by steamrolling the midcard in most of their title matches. At least LE GEANT~ has been main eventing PPVs, though. Goldberg was going on second- and third-to-last, IIRC. 


  • Oh, the match. It has some nice moments, particularly the Giant's clotheslines and elbowdrops, which are impactful. He bodyslams Tenta, and it looks cool. The desk talks about Hall and Nash having a reserved third seat for their mystery partner. Awhile ago, I read a Re-writing the Book that, while poorly written, had a great concept in mind, which is that there was never a third man and that Hall and Nash basically defeated WCW by fostering paranoia among the roster about who the third man was and having the WCW roster basically self-immolate because of that paranoia. That's pretty high concept for pro wrestling! This match is too long; I'm a big fan of two big dudes killing one another off with power moves and the match ending in like four minutes, at least if it's a TV match like this. Tenta needs to get new tights because he pulls them up after every move. He does a sweet dropkick, but Hart and Sullivan run interference so The Giant can chokeslam Tenta for a pinfall. Bubba's here, and he uses clippers to shave half the poor guy's beard. Apparently, Tenta and Bubba are having a Silver Dollar Match at the Bash, according to Heenan. Can we stop running that one back after this? These guys just don't have it in them to have a good feud in 1996. Maybe four years ago. 


  • Okerlund interviews the Dungeon as they head back up the ramp. They make threats toward all their enemies. Kevin Sullivan and The Giant are working Arn and Benoit in a tag match at the Bash that I don't remember at all, but am somewhat intrigued about. The Giant gets on Tenta for leaving the Dungeon. Uh, he was unceremoniously kicked out, dude. Sullivan is noticeably distracted by Tenta? Hall and Nash? Whatever. He stops mid-promo and The Giant yells some more, and it's not good. They finally leave. Thank goodness. 


  • Rey Misterio Jr. video package for the purposes of hype. WAIT - Bisch cuts in and stops the video. We cut back to the arena, where Hall and Nash have mics and are heading toward the desk. Macho, Luger, and Sting are out, followed by the Steiners, as security tries to keep everyone separated. OK, that was cool as hell. I was just chilling watching the video and did not expect that cut-in at all. Nash chanting ATTICA as security leads him away is fucking funny, I give him credit for that one. 


  • Okerlund is interviewing this idiot Hacksaw in the locker room. Hacksaw claims to have found the ring on the floor of the men's room, which Okerlund accidentally calls "The King of the Ring." Duggan calls it a ring for women, who are weak and small, and not a ring that he would wear. DDP busts in the room and calls Hacksaw a thief. Hacksaw might be a thief, sure, but he's definitely a cheap-shot artist. He throws the ring so Page has to reach down to find it, and when Page straightens back up, Hacksaw has taped his fist and punches him in the temple. HOW IS THIS GUY THE FACE?


  • Eight-man tag team action! The Rock 'n Roll Express, Joe Gomez, and Renegade are up against The Four Horsemen. I mean, this could be a stupid enjoyable mess. Let's see where it goes. It breaks down early, which heats up the crowd. I think they're on edge and excited after The Outsiders made their move, so they're ready to explode. Morton and Gibson have a run of excellent, explosive offense. Benoit and Gibson have strangely good chemistry. Everyone's waiting for Mongo to get in, as am I. Mongo gets in, does almost nothing, and tags out. I am not a purist or anything, and I don't need my Horsemen to be technical masters. It's okay to have a Horseman who is an elite athlete in another sport with big ath-a-lete energy.  I digress. They beat up Joe Gomez a whole lot. Mongo hit a sweet powerslam. 


  • I feel like the crowd's energy has just been sapped entirely by this match. They're quiet as hell. Anyway, Renegade hits a hot tag and Mongo's supposed to clock him with the Halliburton, but he misses wildly. Renegade takes the bump anyway, and Flair wraps on the Figure Four and earns a submission win for his team. The best thing about that finish is that post-match, Debra hands Mongo the briefcase as he waits on the ramp, and he has such a bummed out look on his face. He mouths DAMMIT and turns around in disgust. Aw, you'll get it back. He does by cutting a short, sweet promo on the aisle where he disavows Mike Ditka and Chicago because he's got a new team to play for. The rest of the Horsemen also get mic time, which unfortunately means that Benoit tries to talk shit and sucks at it. Flair mentions Konnan for the first time on TV, just six days before their U.S. Championship match at the Bash. Flair tries to say something about deep, slow fucking a few women in his hotel suite, but what he actually says is about farts (I'M SILENT, BUT DEADLY), and you can tell that he recognizes that he accidentally talked about farts, and it's funny. Hey, even the best fuck up sometimes. 


  • The desk hypes the "hostile takeover" and the Bash. Heenan wants to know who the third man is. I think you can make a reasonable guess, Heenan. We cut backstage where Hall and Nash are talking shit to security as they leave the building. Nash abuses security for being low-paid. This dude is just mean. They get in a Corvette. Nash takes his time, citing bad knees. No lies told there. They peel off as the show ends.


  • I'm excited for the Bash! There's that! The main event was limp, and I'm not sure there were very many good matches, but somehow, this Nitro was more than the sum of its parts. I just think the stuff with The Outsiders is so well executed and interesting. Welp, let's get to the nWo era, for both good and ill. out of 5 Stinger Splashes.








Edited by SirSmUgly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #43 - 8 July 1996


  • Larry and Tony are at ringside for hour one. Tony does a great job of slowly revealing who the third man actually was for those of us who didn't watch it or listen to it because we were too broke for the PPV, so we just cut our TVs to the PPV channel and listened along. 


  • Stills from some of the BatB action the night before. This was a very good show overall.


  • Rey Misterio Jr. gets another shot at Dean Malenko's Cruiserweight Championship based on his impressive win over Psicosis at the Bash. That match lit up the crowd. Jimmy Hart killed it composing Rey's entrance music, by the way. Great theme. I assume this match will be dope. Misterio's opening offense pops the crowd. They love the guy. Who wouldn't? He's awesome. This matchup is always a story of Malenko's power and ability to ground Misterio versus Misterio's speed and agility, and for the first time in their now-three-match series of these recent shows, Misterio is the one able to impose himself early. A desperation backbreaker finally turns the tide toward Malenko. Oh goodness, Tony shills Hog Wild. I don't know if I'm going to watch that. Maybe? I hate those shows' atmospheres deeply, but this one will have good matches (like Steiners/Harlem Heat, which Tony notes is a match at the show). 


  • There's a break in the match while Malenko works a hold. When we come back, Malenko continues to slow the pace and dominate. He switches to power moves for a bit, but can't get a pinfall and logically goes back to grounding Misterio down in holds a bit more. Larry says that Hogan's betrayal of WCW is the most unmanly things that he's ever seen. Dude, you spent most of the '80s wandering around at ringside avoiding lockups. Truly some delusional heel shit to say on your part. Malenko cuts off a couple of Misterio comeback attempts and continues to work him with a body scissors. He dumps Misterio outside and hits a brainbuster on the protective mats, GODDAM, that should be a finish right there. There is no way Rey should be running around doing flips after that move. Sometimes, you gotta keep those types of moves in the bank for big spots or angles instead of as random moves in the middle of a TV match.


  • Rey ranas Malenko outside and then absolutely fucking WHIFFS on a moonsault attempt that he was supposed to actually hit, like he fucking splattered himself across the cement outside, that was nasty. Jesus! Fuck, dude is tough. I would have just laid there and refused to move. He continues his offense back in the ring, including a nice top-rope rana, but gets caught in the corner and top-rope gutbusted. Malenko covers, but arrogantly pulls him up at two. That might be a mistaaaaaaake! He does it again after a belly-to-belly suplex. This comes back to bite him almost immediately as Rey reverses a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker attempt into a rana that gets three. New champ! Good match just for the spectacle of it all. 


  • Gene interviews the Steiners and the Nasty Boys backstage. He seems to indicate that one of those two teams will be winning the right to face Harlem Heat at Hog Wild, which if I didn't miss something in what Tony said during the first match, means that Schiavone definitely spoiled the outcome of this number-one contendership match. The Steiners cut an entertaining promo in which Rick stoically cuts in with "Didn't hurt" after Scott refers to the Rob Parker cane attack in last week's tag title match. Scott then calls one of the Nastys FATSO. Scott hates the Nastys physiques, but he appreciates their ability to win wrestling matches. Obviously, the Nastys have a repartee prepared. Look, these four just yell at each other a lot and do loud pro wrestler promo shit, and it's GREAT. This is absolutely pro wrestling in its purest distilled form. 


  • Jimmy Hart leads Big Bubba and Hugh Morrus to the ring to do battle with the Blue Bloods, Dave Taylor and Steven Regal edition. Jeeves and Eaton act as their seconds. We're in FloriDUH so the morons in the crowd deem the Dungeon of Doom to be the faces because they're American. So, this is a really short, fun match. They just go full out for four minutes before John Tenta jumps Bubba at ringside and the Blue Bloods take the opportunity to double-back-suplex Morrus for three. That was neat! Well, unless that also means that we get more Tenta/Bubba matches. 


  • Psicosis wrestles Eddy Guerrero next. Rey cuts an inset promo about how awful it is that Hulk Hogan is the third man. Half of it is in English, and half in Spanish. He speaks in a light, lilting voice, sort of like Michael Jackson's. Meanwhile, Eddy and Psicosis have a series of fun, fast-paced early exchanges. Psicosis dumps Eddy outside and takes control, working the arm for the next few minutes. Eddy has a busrt of offense, but hits the post on a charge and eats a top-rope rana for 2.9. He jumps up and tries to counter a Psicosis top rope move, but gets sunset flip bombed for 2.9. Psicosis keeps trying to go to the top, though, and Eddy properly counters with a superplex, followed by a quick Frog Splash for three. Solid TV wrestling again!


  • Okerlund asks the Dungeon of Doom ramp-side about Hogan's heel turn. Jimmy Hart is too shocked to comment. Kevin Sullivan is frustrated that Hogan took it upon himself to kill Hulkamania before the Dungeon could do it. He mentions Chris Benoit for some reason before veering back to Hogan as his subject. Jimmy Hart things people are getting fired. The Giant's not worried, though. He says that he has the gold, and as long as he has it, things will be okay. This dude LITERALLY SAYS "nothing can go wrong!" I mean, look, there's harbingers of doom, and then there's actually inviting doom upon yourself.


  • Nasty Boys/Steiner Brothers for a title shot is up next. The Nastys do some early double-teaming of Scott, but of course he's going to get his suplexes in, which he does. Really, the Steiners are a good matchup for the Nastys because they'll take and receive stiff shots, the Steiners look impressive when launching either guy, and none of the four have any problem with picking up the pace and wrestling like they're in a video game. Bobby Heenan and Eric Bischoff introduce hour number two as Knobbs works Scott Steiner over, followed by Sags working Scott Steiner over. Hey, Sherri's back! She distracts Nick Patrick while Colonel Parker slams Sags in the head with the cane. Scott gets three off of the interference. Curious. Where do the allegiances of Sherri and Parker lie? It's not WHO IS THE THIRD MAN, but I'd like to find out!


  • Gene interviews the losing losers in the ring. Sags says that wrestling is about attitude. Vince McMahon pretty much agrees. He can't pronounce the word "inevitable." Knobbs, that bootlicking lame, is all like Oh Mr. Hogan, you shocked us all Mr. Hogan, but you are so brave and strong and the Nasty Boys need to be more like you and the nWo and shit like that. Can't wait until the nWo gives him a shirt, gets his hopes up, and then beats his ass.


  • Jim Powers has beaten his last ten opponents, most recently with a major surprise win over Sting on Saturday Night, so he's earned a U.S. Championship match against Ric Flair. Haha, just kidding, except for the last part about getting a title match against new U.S. Champion Ric Flair. Speaking of, stills to show his win over Konnan at the Bash are aired. This is a crowd-pleaser, insofar as the crowd wants to see your typical Flair TV match. Woman rakes eyes, Flair flops around and gives too much of the match to Powers so he can get his typical spots in, and it's over mercifully quickly. The best spot is Flair, having flipped out of the ring, yelling at a portly fellow in the crowd and then dancing with Woman. Anyway, a leverage-assisted Figure Four ends things, and Arn and Mongo join him at ringside. Gene interviews them. Arn calls out Hogan for his hypocrisy of pretending to be a good guy, which the Horsemen only do when they need to fool Sting into teaming with them so that they can jump him. Mongo...gets off a pretty good line about the only apocalypse in WCW being brought on by the dominance of the Four Horsemen. Flair does and says Flair things. He sings La Cucaracha to mock Konnan. That's good old-fashioned Southern racist heeling. 


  • The desk is still bummed about Hogan


  • Craig Pittman's wrestling Chris Benoit tonight. Yeah, I'm into this. Benoit has a number of shortcomings as a worker and is really best as your mid- to upper-midcard workhorse who you use to have good TV matches that keep the crowd hot and as a gatekeeper for your actual stars. This sort of match against Pittman on a random Nitro is exactly where he shines the most. This is a good, short match wrestled at speed and with intensity from both guys. The match ends when Pittman jumps on Benoit outside as Benoit stalks Teddy Long. When Pittman follows Benoit back inside, he gets kicked and Crippler Crossface'd. He survives in the move, showing a thumbs-up to the ref to indicate that he is still in it, but Long jumps in and throws in the towel (metaphorically; he didn't actually have a towel in his hands) himself. Pittman looks like a real dork. 


  • Arn Anderson faces off with Sting next. Sting high-fives the little Stingers in the crowd somberly. You're the only one left to be a hero for the kids, my man. Hopefully you don't start wearing a trenchcoat and standing silently in the rafters or anything because the kids really need you now. Arn gets tired of the opening graps and tosses Sting outside in a fit of rage. In a similar fit of rage, Sting back bodydrops him on the mat outside. Meanwhile, as the show goes to break, Bischoff is getting news that there may be a couple of special visitors to Nitro...


  • We get back, and Sting and Arn are deadlocked. This match goes back and forth and is perfectly fine, but I'm waiting for the eventuality of outside interference. Arn has a Boston Crab on Sting, but we cut to a limo pulled up outside of the event. We cut back to the ring, where Arn eats a clothesline on a double-axehandle attempt. Sting hits a bunch of offense, but the camera cuts to Hall and Nash leaving the limo and coming toward the ring. The back of Nash's shirt repos the Go-Go Sports Bar in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Well, now my Google thinks I want to go to a go-go bar in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Anyway, I don't think it's in operation anymore. So much for the free advertising they got on this Nitro!


  • Savage runs out to confront the invaders. Arn tries to take advantage of the confusion by DDT'ing Sting, but Sting blocks it and wraps on the Scorpion Deathlock for the win. He stares down The Outsiders as they back away from the ring. Gene interviews Sting and Savage. Sting says that Hogan went Hollywood and calls out a bunch of comments Hogan actually made in promos when he was a face. But let them tell it, "Hogan is actually a heel" is some DVDVR Nonsense (tm). He uses a "heck" for emphasis when he really needs to use a "hell." He does, however, tell Hulk to "stick it," which as Gene notes is "very strong." Savage has a message for Hollywood Hogan, which is basically that he wants to fight him or fuck him, or maybe both? IDK. 


  • Gene rushes back to the limo during the break to interview Hall and Nash. 'Nash calls the group the New Order. Well, their partnership with Hogan is certainly a Bizarre Love Triangle. Then he says that with the way the crowd at the Bash treated him last night, he felt like Mark Fuhrmann at the Apollo. JESUS CRIMINY, that is awful. We get it, you watch the news, Nash! Hall basically says that the nWo is taking over. Gene asks about Hogan, and the Outsiders say he's on set and Savage is just jealous.


  • We close with a recap  and stills of the Bash main event. It's still a great pro wrestling moment. 


  • I liked this show. 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought Rey's WCW music was just stock music? I'm pretty sure it was used as background music in a promo video for Vader in his WCW run before he left for WWE. It was the package where Vader is going on a tour beating people up and it's just house show footage with town names mixed in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #44 - 15 July 1996

"The one where FIRE & ICE EXPLODES"

  • Tony S. and Larry Z. are at ringside. Tony hypes up The Outsiders showing up along with Hulk Hogan. Yeah, let's do this. Video of the BatB main's finish.


  • It's Fire & Ice! Hell yeah, toss some dudes around, fellas. They're wrestling the Steiners again, and while normally I'd decry this modern-WWE style lack of imagination in booking, I'll allow it because I dig this matchup. Sometimes, people will post here at DVDVR that they're cool with watching a specific matchup in modern WWE for the umpteenth time, and I kinda get it now considering my enjoyment of these teams when matched up together. Larry Z. sets up Fire & Ice EXPLODING on commentary while Norton dominates Scott with some face-smashes and chops. No, no, this isn't what I want out of this matchup. I mean, this sucks, Norton is plodding around doing chokes and shit. Scott finally takes over on offense and does a clothesline and an overhead belly-to-belly like any sensible wrestling fan would want out of this whole thing. 


  • There's a break. We come back and Ice Train is in the process of breaking a chin lock. NO. Then Teddy Long wanders out. Oh, man, I love Teddy, he's my boy, but he's got the stench of loserdom about him right now. He's killing Pittman's career. He scouts Ice Train doing boring shit until Rick dumps him on his noggin with an overhead belly-to-belly. See, Rick gets it. He does slams and suplexes and an inverted DDT. Yeah, right, do more of that shit. I guess Fire & Ice, or at least Fire, are heeling by doing shit offense or something. Or maybe they just suck tonight. Anyway. Norton fucks around and allows Rick, who had since tagged out, to get a hot tag. Rick quashes a Norton leapfrog with that loose, out-of-control-looking powerslam he does. Ice Train comes in to help, but whiffs on a splash and wipes out Norton instead. Rick suplexes Ice Train for three even though he's not the legal man. 


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Big Bubba, Jimmy Hart, and Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan. They have a plan for destroying Hulk Hogan, but I'm kind of distracted because Train and Norton are arguing as they pass this interview on their way to the back. Bubba threatens Lex Luger and plans to end him tonight. The Faces of Fear show up a little bit late; I think they were cleaning out catering and missed their cue. More Sullivan babble to end.


  • Outro with a somnambulant Dean Malenko saying something boring about Billy Kidman and the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. 


  • Yep, Fire & Ice are already exploding. They've been a tag team for like a month-and-a-half, WTF? Gene Okerlund interviews them in the back. Fire wants to be a heel. Ice does not. Teddy Long wants to offer his professional opinion, but Fire isn't having it. Teddy Long is collecting as many black midcarders as possible for a stableful of guys who never win, I guess. WCW, everybody! Was this Terry Taylor's idea?


  • Billy Kidman is full of vim and vigor. Dean Malenko is trying to shoo Jimmy Hart away as he comes to the ring. Hart's pitching him on Dungeon membership, it seems. Malenko shakes hands with Kidman, then holds on and short-arm clotheslines him. He's mad because he's not the champ anymore. So, these guys have a good match. Malenko is intense and vicious, and Kidman's enthusiastic and ready to bust out his best impact moves to try and get a win.  Malenko very logically tries to destroy Kidman's wheels and keep him grounded, and Kidman does a fine job of fighting up from underneath. Kidman whiffs on his hopeful SSP attempt and eats a nasty clothesline/brainbuster/powerbomb/double-underhook powerbomb/Texas cloverleaf finish, 5MOD done right and with ruthless efficiency. Awesome little TV match. 


  • Kevin Greene is upset about Hulk Hogan being a lying liar, and he says so to Gene Okerlund. This dude is legit fun on the mic. Now he's yelling about beating Mongo up. I fully believe that Greene is extra intense because of the roids he's on the personal nature of his conflict with Mongo. 


  • Outro with Harlem Heat. Booker is especially irate. They both threaten Robert Parker for trying to double-deal and shit. 


  • I guess Parker's double-dealing by also having his own tag team of Dick Slater and Mike Enos, colloquially known as Rough & Ready. They're getting a WCW Tag Team Championship shot against Harlem Heat for some reason, who are also managed by Rob Parker. Sherri's with the Heat, too. Isn't she mad at Parker for shtupping Madusa's disgusting ass? I feel like I missed some aspect of this storyline because I haven't been watching SN or something. But hey, this match seems like it should be entertaining! Then Stevie puts a bearhug on Slater like two minutes in. Oy vey. Enos tags in and is READY, which is less intimidating than being Slater/ROUGH. I mean, you could be READY for any old thing. I'm READY for another cup of coffee right now. This match sucks, and I'm bummed.


  • Booker finally tags in and flies around, but of course, he gets grounded and is going to be FIP, YUCK. No, this match needs Booker throwing kicks and doing top-rope dives and shit. Well, he gets a side slam in there, but yeah, this match layout is not conducive to good TV wrestling considering the personnel. Why not just have a random Booker/Enos match that would almost surely rock instead? Axe kick for two from Book, as he has not yet mastered the move. Book wasn't really FIP, at least for that long, and he tags in Stevie and this match just goes on and on. Lookit, I'm just jumping to the finish. Parker distracts the ref, Sherri jumps into the ring and liplocks Slater, Slater is apparently too good for Sherri and is grossed out which is BULLSHIT because they are definitely at each other's levels, and Book schoolboys the disgusted Slater for three. Awful.


  • Rey Misterio video package that is not interrupted by The Outsiders this time around. 


  • Outro with Jimmy Hart standing next to Meng, telling Arn Anderson that he is FUCKED tonight because THA MONSTA is coming for his head. 


  • Kevin Greene is back out to rip his shirt off and yell some more about Mongo, who is somewhere in the back eating fine foods and drinking earthy wines. Greene has to catch a plane to go play football for his money like some blue-collar yutz, unlike Mongo.


  • Ew, speak of the devil: Madusa's disgusting ass is out here. She's the worst. She's wrestling Malia Hosaka. They're hyping this SHITTY xenophobic Madusa/Bull Nakano bike-destroying shit at Hog Wild. Harley Davidson is dying because, uh, let's say that their specific demographic that they've marketed aggressively toward is disappearing for a multitude of reasons (NO POLITICS) and Honda is in no such trouble. Just saying. This is okay TV wrestling, but Madusa sucks and I'm depressed that she's on my television phone. A U.S.A. chant breaks out amongst the nationalistic rubes at Disney/MGM Studios in Orlando, but you know, I guess that a pro wrestling event is one of the last places that you can do that sort of thing in semi-polite society, like the Olympics or the World Cup. Both women trade whiffs on second-rope dives; Hosaka whiffs on a second move from that part of the ring shortly after and gets back suplexed with a bridge for three. 


  • It's HOUR TWO! Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and a load of fireworks are here. 


  • Outro with Arn. He feels confident going into his matchup with Meng tonight.


  • We're back. Hall and Nash are covering up the giant WCW logo that oversees the audience and the ring with sheets that spell out n-W-o


  • Meng/Arn Anderson is the next matchup. Hall and Nash oversee the action. They sip drinks with tiny umbrellas in them while they observe, hahaha. Meanwhile, Meng wants to get to kicking, and Arn wants to get to not being kicked. It's pretty neat for a little TV match. Meng is a murderer, and so Arn has to use trickery and deception to have a chance. Meng stalks Arn, and Arn tries to figure out how to kill Michael Myers disable Meng long enough to win. Barbarian comes to ringside during the break. The crowd is more interested in Hall and Nash, variously starting "Diesel" and "Razor" chants, and the commentary is more interested in talking about what a shitbag Hulk Hogan is. I mean, yes, but also, let's focus on this match. Jimmy Hart runs interference for Meng, Barbarian jumps onto the apron and pops Arn in the head, and Arn turns around right into a Meng kick for three. I guess Mongo was too busy tasting the night's selection of chocolates somewhere in the back to give his boy Arn any help? 


  • We come back from break, and Mongo has apparently finished his meal. He and Debra are out with Pepe! Yay, he hasn't been ditched on a roadside somewhere! McMichael agrees to fight Kevin Greene after the NFL seson ends. Debra heels on the Carolina Panthers and oh boy, she is irritating. She pitches her voice at just the right level that, combined with that accent, she genuinely is going to make me claw out my eardrums. Debra rambles a whole lot, but unlike most people new to cutting promos, she is naturally talented at heeling enough that she makes it work. She decides that the Panthers are all little farm boys, and it makes Okerlund laugh. It was good stuff! My reaction to it was based on her talent and ability, not because it sucked!


  • Chris Benoit apparently was also too busy in the back to give some help to his boy Arn, I suppose. He's going to wrestle Eddy Guerrero. I could just slap an A- on this right now and then adjust the - to a + if necessary. Benoit asks the ref to check Eddy's pads so that he can jump Eddy while the ref distracts him during said check. The short Benoit control spot to start turns into a bunch of crisp reversals and counter-reversals ending in a Guerrero dive to Benoit on the outside. The crowd, which has been sort of lethargic for the most part (and I can't blame them) wakes up at that dive. The camera and commentators are more concerned with Hall and Nash, who have left their spot overlooking the crowd. Back in the ring, these two struggle back and forth to take control of this match. Benoit hits a snap suplex to take control, and the crowd gives a little "Eddy" chant to inspire Benoit's opponent. Nice. Benoit destroys Eddy with a powerbomb, though, and uh, that was sick. He dominates for kind of a long time, but gets caught trying for the flying headbutt and superplexed from the top. They go into a finishing run that includes a vicious chopfest and a series of reversals that end in Eddy hitting a rana that spills both himself and Benoit to ringside. While the two fight at ringside, Malenko runs out and posts Benoit - well, that explains the Jimmy Hart interaction from earlier. Eddy is hurt, but has enough of his bearings to get back in the ring and beat the count for a win by countout over Benoit. Well, that match wasn't deserving of that finish. Most matches tonight have been to advance storyline or characterization in some way at the end, and have sacrificed quality in doing so.


  • Big Bubba and Jimmy Hart threaten Luger in the outro. We've had two Glacier promos tonight as well, including one now, but I mention them only to note that Glacier is no longer "Coming in July" and is now just back to vague "Coming to WCW" status. 


  • Big Bubba Rogers and Jimmy Hart hit ringside to wrestle WCW Television Champion Lex Luger. The desk sells Luger's injuries from BatB as he makes his way to the ring. Anyway, this match does start at a decent pace, but of course, I'm waiting for the nWo to do some fuckery. Bubba tries to go to the air and gets dumped. He gets tumbled outside almost immediately. Bubba takes control shortly after. The camera cuts to Hall and Nash hanging out near a limo in the back. It cuts back to Bubba in the ring killing time with his offense. Bubba's heel control offense is boring as shit and the commentary is more interested in the nWo, so I'm sorry to say that I'm disinterested in what's going on. Luger hits the loaded forearm a few times and then runs himself into a double-clothesline. Hall and Nash come to ringside while Jimmy Hart runs interference and throws a roll of coins to Bubba. Luger intercepts and pops Bubba with a loaded punch, but as he gets mad at Jimmy Hart, the distraction allows Hall and Nash to jump him. Hogan enters the ring as the commentary reminds us for the umpteenth time that Sting, Savage, Flair, and a lot of other headliners are not here tonight. Hogan helps Bubba up and pretends to be buddies with him before calling for Hall and Nash to beat his ass; he steals one of Hall's taunts in the process. Yeah, since this isn't young, fresh, 'n new to me ([tm] Kelis), heel Hogan has no positive effect on my waning patience for him. He still SUUUUUUUUUCKS, but I guess that at least he's now a heel in front of a crowd that has always hated him. 


  • Gene Okerlund gets in the ring to interview the nWo. Hogan is still cutting Hogan-esque promos in tone, volume, and vocabulary like it's 1985, except they're heel ones. A family in the front row wearing Chairman Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh t-shirts boos vociferously. Hogan shit-talks Sting and Macho. He suggests that Macho had erectile dysfunction and that's why Liz left him, which is COLD and actually some good heeling! People launch trash into the ring. I know you can't encourage wrestling fans because they always take things too far, but I do love that visual. The nWo plans to expand aggressively. Hulk Hogan agrees with Michael Jordan: Fuck them kids. He challenges The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) to a title match at Hog Wild and is excited to spray paint the belt after he wins it. He's still corny as fuck and doesn't really fit with Hall and Nash or the aesthetics of the '90s, but hey, it was effective at the time. A bunch of WCW dudes, both heel and face come to ringside and look like they want to fuck the nWo up, which of course is when the show ends. Yeah, that's hype. 


  • This Nitro was often hard to watch match-wise, but it did get me excited to see what the nWo would do. And hey, there was some good wrestling. On the other hand, the bad stuff really sucked the air out of the arena, and it was outdoors, which is saying something. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #45 - 22 July 1996

"The one with The Limo Mystery"

  • Tony S. and Larry Z. start our show as usual. Some stuff about Ali and Shaq and Hogan that I barely pay attention to. A bit of recap regarding the nWo


  • Squire David Taylor (with Jeeves) is disgusted by Orlando. As are we all. Why are they outside at Disney/MGM each week right now? Seems like they should be taking this show on the road while things are hot. It's a heel-heel matchup between Taylor and Scott Norton. Norton basically no-sells most of what Taylor does. Taylor's a big dude! I don't know that I buy it. Maybe feed Kidman to Norton instead for this purpose. It's not long before Norton chucks Taylor over the top rope and eats a DQ. They fight outside before Norton gets the better of Taylor and picks him up to powerbomb him powerslam him dump him onto the announcer's table just drop him on the protective mats lightly after walking around with him for a few seconds. Crap, crap, craaaaaap.


  • Outro with VK Wallstreet hyping a match with Konnan. What, does someone out there with the book absolutely hate me?


  • Gene Okerlund is at the banquet table with the Horsemen and Horseladies, sans Flair. Okerlund asks about where Flair is, and Arn assures Gene that Flair'll make quite the entrance when he's ready. Gene talks to Mongo, who doesn't give a fuck about the nWo and is more concerned with beating up Randy Savage, Lex Luger, and Sting tonight. Benoit cuts a shitty promo about being silent, but deadly violent. 


  • VK Wallstreet and Konnan is next. Hooray! Actually, I genuinely enjoy Konnan, who has charisma even if he's not a great in-ring guy, but this is just an awful matchup for him. I will say that this isn't as bad as I thought. It wasn't GOOD, but it was acceptable enough. Wallstreet doesn't spend too much time working rest holds and he actually does his best to work a bit quicker, as is Konnan's preference. He dashes Konnan into the steps and takes over in the ring after that, but he hits his Stock Market Crash reverse slam and casually leans back to cover; Konnan just holds on to Wallstreet, shifts his weight, and leverages Wallstreet into a pinning situation for three. It was really much better than I had any right to expect.


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Lex Luger, Sting, and Randy Savage. Luger thinks the nWo are lame for jumping him when Sting and Savage were touring in Japan. Sting invites Hogan to stick it once more. The Nitro outro music starts playing; can Savage get in his boasts and threats before we cut to break? Yes. Yes, he can. 


  • Well, we actually see Sub-Zero Bi-Han Glacier doing kicks and shit for the first time in this particular hype video. No debut date, though.


  • Cheesecake vid for some of WCWs young stars who are going to have an eight-man tag tonight. The video was really long and faintly silly. Oh no, these dudes are wrestling the Dungeon of Doom, including new member (Braun) the Leprechaun, PLEASE NO. Uh, the young cheesecake muscle men are Renegade, Alex Wright, Jim Powers, and, it looks like, Joe Gomez. The DoD is Barb (who deserves better), Hugh Morrus (who doesn't), Braun the Leprechaun, and Sullivan. Hot take: Braun the Leprechaun is the best Braun in the history of professional wrestling. 


  • We cut early in the match to The Outsiders fucking around in the control truck, which I'm way more into, honestly. Hall quotes David Bowie. Surprising, I figured he'd be more into Garth Brooks. The Outsiders turn face by forcing the producers to shoot the crowd instead of the eight-man tag. I mean, Nash offers Dellinger and his crew pot pies and Mountain Dew. That's a mega-face move right there. 


  • We cut back to the match and Teddy Long, the Jobber Whisperer comes out and pep talks a fallen Jim Powers. It...works? He gets back in and is all fired up. Things break down, and unfortunately Powers's comeback and Long's pep talk is all for naught because LE GEANT~ comes down and chokeslams everyone. 


  • The Giant and Jimmy Hart are the only two dudes left in the ring. Gene Okerlund enters and interviews them. The Giant cuts a fiery babyface promo on Hogan, sort of? Not completely; he's irritated that Hogan is heeling on the rest of WCW even more than he is. But yeah, it's pretty much a face promo. It's fine. He accepts Hogan's challenge for the WCW Championship at Hog Wild.


  • Diamond Dallas Page and Prince Iaukea are in the ring when we return. It's short, DDP mostly dominates, and he hits the Diamond Cutter after forcefully whipping Iaukea into the corner and waiting for him to stagger out, defenseless. This was short and inoffensive.


  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. cuts a bland babyface promo in the outro.


  • Back with a recap of the ice-cold (IMO) Benoit/Sullivan feud.


  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. comes out to face off with Dean Malenko as we slouch toward Bethlehem hour number two of Nitro. This should be no worse than "pretty good." Chavo gets the best of an early speedy exchange with Malenko, who buries a knee into Chavo's gut ASAP and gets to work. He hits a nice gutbuster for two and continues his offensive onslaught until Chavo stops it with a counter-dropkick. They lock up again and Malenko gets back on top, hitting a nasty-looking high-angled back suplex. At the fireworks to start hour number two, Malenko's superplex attempt gets stuffed, and Chavo follows up with a sunset flip for two.


  • Eric Bischoff's levels are off and Heenan's mic isn't working - thanks a lot, Outsiders! Malenko works a hold so commentary can blather on about The Outsiders without us missing much. Malenko hits a rope-amplified legdrop and goes back to working a facelock. I am cool with methodically breaking down a worker, but chinlocks and facelocks aren't great television. STFs are much better, though, which Malenko transitions into. Malenko continues to control, and though Chavo escapes a potential surfboard with a dropkick, Malenko gets on top of him again almost immediately. He hits a clothesline, brainbuster, etc., etc., and Jimmy Hart is out here to cheer Malenko on. Malenko hits a disgusting powerbomb, but is distracted by Hart's megaphone-amplified histrionics. Chavo gets a couple of flash rollups for two off the distraction, but his top-rope missile dropkick attempt is caught and transitioned into a Texas Cloverleaf for a Malenko submission win. The match was, in fact, pretty good.


  • Meng and Jimmy Hart yell in the outro. I'm hyped. 


  • The desk is freaking out/talking tough about the nWo some more. 


  • Ice Train vs. Meng is our next matchup. This has potential! Ice Train wants to dance around and pose a bit to start. Meng wants to beat the shit out of Train. These two meaty men slap some meat. Train hits a big-man crossbody. Teddy Long looks on from the entryway. Come down here and counter Jimmy Hart, dammit. They work a sunset flip spot when they could be clotheslining each other instead, and as if Meng saw me type that, on cue, he hits a clothesline. Meng clubbers, gets interrupted by a Train small package for two, and then goes right back to clubbering. Unfortunately, this leads to a nerve hold, but fortunately, it doesn't last long and Train gets fired up and makes a comeback. It's aborted, but the second Train comeback includes clotheslines and a nice powerslam. Train goes up top for a double-axehandle, but gets kicked square in the face after launching, and it was sweet as hell. Meng tosses Train outside and goes to work, but Norton comes down and posts Meng to cause a DQ because, as he tells the camera, he wants to make sure that Train has no injuries to fall back on as excuses after Norton whoops him at Hog Wild. This was solid TV wrestling, but maybe Train cleanly beating someone lower on the scale than him would have been more useful in the build?


  • BatB main event/nWo formation and perpetration video recap.


  • Eddy Guerrero cuts a drab promo on Psicosis in the outro.


  • Eddy and Psicosis are next. I am ready. They have a nice opening exchange before an early break. We come back and Psicosis does that wild corner bump he does off a whiffed leg lariat or whatever. That's a sweet bump, man. Anyway, they go back and forth and put in some really solid work as they do. Eddy's top-rope crossbody to Psicosis on the outside pops the crowd really nicely. I think Eddy's back-and-forth to Japan is actually hurting him because he gets over with his work and then is off TV for a few weeks and goes back almost to square one. Anyway, Psicosis hits a, uh, more of a leg lariat without hooking the neck than a kick, but it's sweet, and then he does a suicide dive, and that's daring considering the limited coverage of those protective mats. Psicosis gets some HEIGHT on a guillotine legdrop, like I wanted to yell BOOMSHAKALAKA. These are athletes doing dope athletic shit, but it still feels like a competitive fight. That's a hard line to walk, IMO, and these two do it so well. Psicosis gets a couple of two-counts, but he eats a top-rope hurricanrana/Frog Splash combo for three shortly after. Good match!


  • The Horsemen are here to face off with Sting, Savage, and Luger. Wait, but where are Arn Anderson and Ric Flair? Arn's in the back trying to peek into a white limo, actually. He can't see anything, so he gives up and heads to the ring. The Horsemen and Horseladies huddle up as Sting's music hits. So, this is an interesting main event in theory, but again, I'm waiting for the limo payoff at first instead of really paying attention to Sting's early blitz or the Horsemen's outside-the-ring fuckery, etc. Sting and Mongo have a fun little in-ring sequence, though. Then after a few tags, they have another sequence and Sting is just like "I'm not letting you drop me on my neck, you doofus," which I think is entirely fair. Actually, he was expecting to get crotched on the top rope and Mongo wanted a back suplex, and Sting was right to do whatever he could not to eat a back suplex once he figured out what was going on. Anyway, Sting eventually hot tags Luger and after he fires off, the match breaks down entirely. On the outside, Debra and Woman fight over the Halliburton for whatever reason, which allows Savage to snatch it, hammer Benoit with it, and leave Luger to get an easy three-count. 


  • Gene Okerlund is in the ring with the winners and admonishes a woman for flinging her underthings into the ring. Savage really doesn't mind it, though. Sting cuts a promo and is corny, as is his way. Luger cuts a pretty solid fiery babyface promo, actually! Savage does his thing, too, and after all these gentlemen hype what they're going to do to the nWo in the weeks ahead, the show ends. Hey, there was no payoff for the limo! Hmmm...


  • Uneven show, as many of them are. The nWo is used with such care and without all the overbooking that would soon come, and that's awesome. It's nice to anticipate the nWo showing up. The matches range from shit to good, though I wish WCW could figure out how to book a good match that also moves an angle along instead of only being able to do one or the other. 3.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #46 - 29 July 1996

"The one with one of the best spots ever done: Yes, I'm talking about the Lawn Dart"

  • Still in Orlando with Tony S. and Larry Z. Two title matches tonight: WCW World and Cruiserweight Championships on the line, and we're getting Eddy/Rey for the latter. YES. Also, there's nWo talk. Larry Z. drops a NEW WORLD ODOR for the first time on Nitro, and I hate it.


  • Grainy footage of The Outsiders creeping on Sting and Luger as they leave the arena post-WCWSN. Sting gets jumped when Luger steps away to take a phone call. That was cool, actually. Two dudes holding a shitty camcorder creeping is pretty effective heel shit!


  • "Ready" Mike Enos is out alone. Apparently, Rough & Ready is already pissed at new manager Rob Parker. Okay. Enos has the unenviable task of getting something watchable out of Jim Duggan's bitch ass. He kinda does, somewhat! I do like Mike Enos as a worker, man. He brings intensity and gets into a nice little headbutt exchange with Duggan early that I think looked heated. Enos takes control, goes outside, slams Duggan on the concrete, gets back inside, and hits Hacksaw with a stiff-looking clothesline to the jaw. There's an unfortunately protracted chinlock spot, but hey, Enos made Duggan move a bit early on and that's the tradeoff we have to have with Duggan. Hacksaw eventually Duggan's Up and, after a double-shoulderblock spot, Duggan sunset flips and pulls tights for two, but Enos hits a sweet neckbreaker for two in response. Enos follows up with a vertical suplex and then whiffs on a splash from the top rope, and that's pretty much it for Enos after that, as he eats a taped fist off a ref break in the corner. It wasn't great or even good, but I was generally entertained. I give all the credit to Enos.


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Hacksaw in the ring (calling his win "highly questionable," thank you, it was, someone admit this please besides the heel commentators). Hacksaw is real hurt that Hulk Hogan turned on the fans and all that kind of thing. He calls Hogan a "great technical wrestler," and I believe "guffaw" is the proper term for what I did upon hearing that. 


  • All the Horsemen and Horseladies are here, including Ric Flair. Tony S. thinks Flair might be nWo, and Larry Z. disagrees. "[He wasn't here last week] because of travel issues. Have you ever tried to fly out of Atlanta?" Hey, the man makes a helluva kick point. They're running the six-man tag main event back, except with Flair wrestling as he was supposed to be last week. It'll be Flair, Benoit, and Mongo since Arn's getting the shot at the WCW World Championship mentioned above later on in the show. Sting, Savage, and Luger come down and it pops off immediately, lots of wild brawling in and around the ring. After Nick Patrick pops it, um, back on? The bell rings and we have an actual match. Flair does a lot of work flopping around and doing his Vaudeville routine for Sting and then Savage and then Sting some more. I've found that I'm over the Flair/Savage stuff by this point, and actually I remembered this stuff as more engaging when I previously watched it than I've found it on this go-round. I think I'm just sick of Flair, man. I'm not saying that I could never see him again and be fine. It's more like I want to see him not doing Flair shit. I'd gladly watch him in a garbage match or doing something out of his typical comfort zone. But past 1992, Flair ranges anywhere from "pretty entertaining" to "dire" and is wildly inconsistent in the ring. 


  • On the flipside, I was stoked for Luger and Mongo in the ring together, which I don't remember as something that would have excited me back in 1996. It doesn't last long, but Luger overpowering Mongo really meant something and was very neat, especially the look of enraged surprise on Mongo's face. I'm going to end up reassessing Mongo, who never quite lost his clumsiness in ring and had a special propensity for blowing spots, but who also had excellent intensity and just seemed dangerous. He had an aura after he stopped with the goofy face commentator act and is low-key one of my favorite Horsemen. His simple offense looks pretty good, too! He hits Sting with a nice clothesline and a good-looking backbreaker in one sequence, for example. It's funny because everyone in this match except for Flair radiates an intensity that enhances the match while Flair does his whole clownish heel act in what is entirely the wrong spot for it. 


  • Sting finally settles into the FIP spot. He's getting his ass whipped for awhile when Jimmy Hart runs out yelling about the Outsiders in the back. He diverts a cameraman to the back and then tries to get help from the men in the ring. Luger, Sting, and Savage leave as we cut to the back and...


  • ...Hall and Nash are standing over Arn Anderson and Marcus Bagwell, holding baseball bats. They take out Scotty Riggs next, and then Rey Misterio's crazy ass tries to hit a splash off the railing of a production truck, gets caught by Nash in mid-air, and then is launched head first into the trailer HOLY FUCK, I played that back like five times. That shit might be a top-three wildest bump I've seen. It's as disgusting now as it was 26 years ago. Savage runs out and dives onto Hall and Nash's limo as it makes its escape, which is also pretty wild, but FUCKKKKKK man, that Rey bump is stupid. Jesus Christ. It's chaos in the back as the wrestlers from the six-man tag and a bunch of other people check on the downed wrestlers. Rey tells Eddy that there were four attackers. How would Rey know? He only saw two before Nash tried to throw him through the goddam trailer head-first. 


  • This is such effective television. People legit called the Orlando cops after seeing this live, and yes, we can make fun of simple ol' Floridians, I mean, simple ol' wrestling fans, but seriously, this is television that sparks a visceral reaction and everyone did a killer job at making this seem as real as they possibly could. Heels and faces alike are trying to help (even if the heels are more concerned with helping the other heels and vice versa, look, internal hatreds die hard even when being attacked by an outside force). The matches that included downed wrestlers are canceled, and Tony Schiavone lets the audience know that they have to scramble to book matches to replace the ones that can't go on, which is a nice touch. The medics take Rey's mask off to brace his neck, and he covers his face in shame. They took off the mask! That's some serious shit (until the whole Nash feud, at least)!  Yeah, we're not getting Eddy/Rey, but you know what? I'm fine with sacrificing it for this angle. This was great. 


  • It's hour twoooooo, but we get no fireworks. Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan are out and talking with Tony and Larry. Heenan talks about his neck injuries and refuses to work unless he can get a guarantee of safety. Eric's like fuck is you talking about? I can't guarantee half the matches that I promised for tonight. Heenan jets in response. We go back to the carnage and watch Arn get carted out. The remaining commentary desk sells the fourth man intrigue. I'm intrigued! Hey, bonus: The American Males both got aced in that attack, so their scheduled match won't go on! In true DVDVR fashion, I'm about to proclaim that the heels are ACKSHUALLY the faces! (Just kidding, I like the Males even if their theme song and general beefcakiness is super-corny.)


  • The crowd is BORED, and fair enough, they can't see any of this dope-ass shit that I'm seeing. Anyway, after about four segments, we finally get a replacement match. The roster is so depleted that WCW officials had to resort to booking High Voltage on Nitro, and they've got a shot at the Steiner Brothers tonight. Rick's shook and is too busy watching out for sneak attacks to get on the apron and focus. Rage and Kaos need the distraction to be competitive considering their last Nitro match (see Show #38), and they take advantage of Rick as soon as he tags in. Scott, on the other hand, has never lost his focus, and pretty much rolls his opposition when he's in the ring. That's why he's the World Champ in the family, Rick! Scott hits a STEINER SCREWDRIVER FUCK YES for three, that was great! I mean, the match wasn't great, but Scott was great the whole way through. 


  • It's another standby contest! Eddy Guerrero had a shot at Rey Misterio Jr.'s title, but, you know, Rey went smash on the side of a trailer. Now Eddy's wrestling Big Bubba for no title. They have a solid big man/little man match! Bubba does a fine job of stooging for Eddy to open and hilariously goes over to the corner camera at one point and says Big Bubba Rogers, baddest thing in town, but not in a mean pro wrestler voice. He says it like he's a character in/actually is Napoleon Dynamite or something. It's hilarious. Anyway, I thought this was a pretty good match even with the "big man leans on the little man in a rest hold" spots that probably go on a bit too long for me because I like spots with more struggle and less laying around. The crowd is way behind Eddy, which is awesome, and Eddy wins with a sunset flip when Bubba is too distracted with trying to cheat his way out of Eddy's burst of late-match offense. Jimmy Hart and Big Bubba get at each other over Bubba's failure to properly cheat post-match. 


  • Ooh, the following announcement has been paid for by the New World Order! Hall and Nash do some fresh, interesting promo work. Hogan acts like an asshole. He really needed to dial it down. The thing is if he just talked in his normal Terry Bollea voice, that would have improved things immensely. He desperately needed more of a contrast between '80s face Hogan and '90s "I'm the god of pro wrestling" heel Hogan. I mean, maybe he might have been a bit more aggressive, slightly louder with his normal speaking voice, but That don't work for me, brother in Bollea voice is a WAY better '90s heel approach than twirling your mustache and doing loud Hogan shit. He's just so out of place in these promos. Nash copies Michael McGillicuddy with this line: We call it Armageddon! The genesis has begun! It's a new beginning! The beginning of...the New World Order. Only copy the best, Nash!


  • We relive the backstage massacre stuff we saw in the first hour, WWE-style. It's acceptable just because of how cutting edge this all was. Also because they show the lawn dart again. That is so sick. I can't believe Rey agreed to do that wild spot. 


  • The Hollywood Blondes's music hits, but Greg Valentine comes out, which is a depressing juxtaposition and a massive buzzkill for me. I almost check out, but Tony lets us know that he's Arn's replacement, so hopefully The Giant (French: LE GEANT~) kills him in about two seconds. It actually takes two minutes, as a fired-up Giant chokeslams Valentine from his position on the second rope as he tries to deliver an axehandle, and then again just for good measure. Inoffensive, and The Giant cuts a promo with Gene Okerlund after he's done to close the show. The Giant mocks face Hogan's promos and then critiques '80s babyface Hogan as an iconization of the myths that Americans of that era desperately needed to hear. He also quotes Benjamin Franklin. High-end shit from The Giant. The show closes on Rey eating the side of the trailer, as it should. 


  • That mid-show angle was fantastic and the lawn dart is still insane and Scott Steiner did a Steiner Screwdriver and I didn't hate the Hacksaw match. There's no way that this is getting lower than the max rating, even if we didn't get Eddy/Rey. out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #47 - 5 August 1996

"The one with the WCW response to the nWo's fuckery"

  • Still at Disney/MGM's outdoor studio. Bummer. 


  • Larry Z. and Tony S. talk about that wild attack from the Outsiders last week. Video of ambulances driving victims of said attack away. A bunch of WCW wrestlers decide to work security because Dellinger is useless


  • The Rock 'n Roll Express must have won a bunch of matches on Pro or SN, because they have earned(?) a WCW World Tag Team Championship shot against Harlem Heat. I've said before that I don't need rankings or anything (rankings do more harm than good, actually), but I do need some logic regarding title shots. Why not just have a non-title match instead? 


  • This match is solid. Rock 'n Rolls work Stevie's leg for awhile, but he gets the tag and Booker puts in work. The crowd pops big for a Booker side kick and an axe kick, and they start chanting "T." Somewhere, Ahmed Johnson is angered at that. The Heat dominate until they're distracted by Rob Parker and Sherri's out-of-the-ring antics. Booker has to go out and talk some sense into them, but I guess it doesn't work because Sherri is very upset about the Orlando humidity and its effect on Parker. She continues to worry about it as Booker demands their attention to the match considering their fifteen percent take of the Heat's purse, win or lose, every night. Well, he didn't say that exactly, but he was pleading at them like a frustrated first-grade teacher who just needs the kids to sit down to their addition/subtraction exercise because it's her evaluation day and the principal is in the classroom. Hey, Book's pleading actually works because Sherri breaks up a potential pin attempt after a double-dropkick, which leads to enough of a distraction that Booker gets a quick schoolboy on Morton for three. The out-of-ring management silliness and how it played into the match was actually pretty entertaining and well-executed.


  • The Nasty Boys are with Gene, downplaying their friendship with Hulk Hogan. Sting and Lex Luger, their opponents for tonight, don't appreciate the Nastys deflection of Gene's line of questioning about said friendship. The faces come out and parlay. The Nastys, irritated at the interruption, end up mad at WCW wrestlers working security for not responding to said interruption, and remain unconcerned about Hogan's many moral failings. 


  • Malia Hosaka is seconded by Sonny Onoo into the ring and I'm already sighing, though not because of Hosaka. It's because of Madusa, who both in this incarnation of her character and apparently real life is not a big fan of brown people who come to America and do not love everything that is truly American, like freedom and gun violence and Dollar General or whatever, and I genuinely hate Madusa here in 1996 for all the wrong reasons, unlike during her very effective run as Rick Rude's heel valet in early '90s WCW. All the peons in the crowd who were right to chant Booker's name are now into a U-S-A chant and I've sort of checked out of this match, which is perfectly acceptable TV wrestling in truth.


  • Look, I'm sorry for what will be continued asides about this, but I find in 2022 that angles focused on a) xenophobia in which the xenophobe is the face, b) a racist heel saying overtly racist heel things when we all know the racist heel isn't going to lose the match or feud, and c) angles where all the women in the angle backstab each other because that's what bitches do irritate me beyond belief, and I've probably forgotten some other things here, but yeah. I hated this at the time, to be sure, but it's almost unwatchable now. The finish is that Madusa goes after Onoo and Hosaka takes the opportunity to fall on top of Madusa and get an Onoo-assisted pinfall. Yeah, whatever. Hosaka and Onoo walk away laughing because they're evil, and they're evil because they're of Japanese descent, I get it. 


  • Some stuff about Eddy/Benoit and the Malenko interference from a couple weeks ago (Show #44). They speculate that Jimmy Hart helped Malenko get a title shot of some type in exchange for fucking with the Horsemen. I forgot all about that after all the Outsiders shenanigans that culminated in the lawn dart. Alex Wright is going to face Benoit next. Benoit walks out with Woman and Liz, and I think, this guy has to be the second- or third-worst Horseman ever. When were the Horsemen ever solely about wrestling ability? They were about that, yeah, but they were about swag, about drip, and I'm going to be real, guys like Luger and Sid are way better Horsemen than Benoit or Malenko, neither of whom have even a remote amount of coolness to them. Luger or Sid wouldn't look completely out of place with Woman and Liz like Benoit does. 


  • This match is good, as you surely know. It's Benoit and Wright, working a match effectively in which Wright is clearly a level or so beneath Benoit's skills, but has lots of good babyface fire moments that make you think, "Maybe he can win this." There's an abdominal stretch spot, but they don't work it too long or even with Benoit using the ropes, which is a novelty. Jimmy Hart comes out to accost Woman and eww, we're going to do this stupid-ass angle that ends up getting her killed. Malenko shows up to fucking, like, kidnap Woman? Benoit dives onto Malenko and ends up getting counted out. So, I hate this angle for two reasons. There's the obvious one. The other one is Sullivan's desperation to make his Benoit feud make as much sense as his much hotter Pillman feud led to this stupid-ass shooty-shoot idea. I respect you, bookerman encouraged this idiot to go full shooty-shoot with the Woman/Benoit/Sullivan love triangle. Good god. Anyway, solid TV wrestling up until the finish. 


  • Lord Steven William Regal faces off with Macho Man Randy Savage, up next. This is another match that you know I liked, how could I not? Regal does some nifty counter-wrestling and is all You simpering peon, truly I am your superior within the confines of this ring and outside of it as well, to be sure. In response, Savage is like FUCK YOU, I'MMA SNAP INTO IT and beats his ass in response. Fireworks go off for hour number twoooooooo partway through the match, which ends with a Savage Elbow after a long period of domination on Savage's part. In the meantime, Luger and Sting come out and sit at ringside in four empty seats that maybe are reserved for the nWo and Heenan and Bischoff are both AWOL on PBP/commentary. This match was sort of a wild-ish brawl whenever Savage was in charge and Regal lost control of the situation around the time the fireworks went off. It was way different than most Savage TV matches of ate, and it was really cool the way they worked it! Regal was what TV Tropes might call Wrong Genre Savvy. He thought he was wrestling in a technical masterpiece, but actually he was in a brawl with lots of choking, punching, and outside-the-ring post-eatings. 


  • Sting and Luger head over to the limo, parked as usual just outside the ring area, and all that greets them is said limo and a funeral wreath for WCW. Gene Okerlund, irritated at being compared to Matlock by some ham-n-egger at ringside, interviews Savage after his victory. Savage threatens Hogan. The limo vacates the premises. Luger and Sting tote over the funeral wreath, which has a note that gives condolences on the death of WCW and hahaha you don't know how right you are, note on the wreath, now I'm laughing and then crying like Kristen Bell in that one GIF. Sting sees a very long and healthy life for WCW. All I have to say is enjoy TNA, buddy! They kick around the wreath, which does the job for them without complaint. 


  • Recap of Eddy/Flair confrontation on Saturday Night after Flair tortured Chavo a little bit after beating him with the Figure Four. Eddy cuts a shitty face promo. I can't wait until he figures that shit out during his WWE run. He was an effective heel promo at this point, but he was a terrible face promo until his WWE days. 


  • It's Kimberly, hell yeah! Oh, and the Booty Man is here as well. What the fuck ever. Ric Flair is probably going to come out here, flop around a bit, hit on Kimberly, and eventually target the knee and get a win with the Figure Four. Actually, wait! Flair works this under the assumption that Booty is still close friends with Hogan! Smart. He doesn't have time to flirt with Kim because he jumps Booty at the bell and basically fucks him up with almost no response from Booty for the first few minutes. This is actually pretty good, but Heenan comes out and talks about his whole situation and security and I don't care right now because this match is surprisingly awesome. Booty whiffs on a high knee and Flair traps him with the Figure Four, not to win, but to allow Mongo and Benoit to jump in and try to help break Booty's knee while Flair leverages the Figure Four by using the ropes. FUCK THIS WAS AWESOME.


  • Arn comes in and drives a chair into Booty's leg. The Dungeon of Doom is running security outside, and though they're beefing with the Horsemen, they're surreptitiously looking away as if they didn't notice all these Horsemen shenanigans. Then Arn cuts that dope promo where he says the Horsemen have been brought together with everyone else by necessity and then he quotes the Bible about the new world order and ends with, "They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue." IT IS GREAT. Then they let that dumbass Benoit talk, and it's corny and terrible. Mongo yells like a fucking maniac, and that's pretty good. Flair also yells like a maniac, but just for a second because he wants to make sure that Hogan watches as he kicks the shit out of Booty some more. Then he threatens Hogan and it's intense and he's pissed about that attack on Arn last week, which explains the retaliation on the Booty Man. Look, that was some damned fine pro wrestling theatre. 


  • Video of the Outsiders attack from last week. 


  • The following announcement has been paid for by the New World Order. Hall does hand puppets like a dumbass. They talk about how they were able to jump Sting at SN and then about perpetrating the attack at Nitro. Hall wants Ted Turner to sign them to Braves contracts based on their bat-swinging skills. Hall and Nash sing Happy Birthday to Hulk Hogan, who of course is terrible and out-of-place in this promo. I have strong opinions about former WWF/WCW/WWE Champion Terry Bollea which you should PM me about. But I wanted to express them here too because I can't help myself (okay, I'm not that mad about Hogan being shit at cutting a promo in 1996; I just wanted to see the filter). The video glitches and we cut back to ringside. Craig Leathers lets Tony S. know from his spot in the production trailer that Sting and Luger made them stop the tape. We cut back there as Leathers tries to explain that the nWo paid for the TV time, but Sting's like, fuck you, money-grubbing bastard, there are things more important than money. Then he counters Nash's pot-pie and Mountain Dew offer with one of his own. I liked this whole segment a lot except for whenever Hogan talked. 


  • Poor, poor Craig Pittman comes out to get destroyed by The Giant. Actually, this is semi-competitive, but Pittman thinks his headbutts are going to hit the same as they normally do, and um, they don't. Chokeslam, pin, and chokeslam on Teddy Long after Long comes into the ring to call off the dogs. Okerlund cuts a post-match interview with Giant and Jimmy Hart. Hart cuts what starts out as a dope promo where he tells Hogan that everyone tells him what he wants to hear except good old former manager Jimmy Hart. He's interrupted by Gene and the returning limo, though, and it's cut all too short. The Giant cuts a fiery promo on Hogan, who is mad over in Florida and always will be (see: Royal Rumble 1991) and gets a HOGAN chant from this typically very confused crowd (except for when they're chanting for Booker T). 


  • SN review in which Savage, who took the Halliburton from Mongo at some point, uses it in a match against the Nastys and has it reclaimed by Mongo and Debra. I vaguely remember the Halliburton changing possession, but can't remember which show it was on and don't care to look. 


  • Speaking of the Nastys, they come out for the main event against Sting and Lex Luger. This isn't good or anything, but it's also inoffensive. There's a long FIP run with Sting in that role. Luger gets the hot tag, but Sag(g)s cuts off a Torture Rack attempt and it all breaks down. Sags hits Rick Steiner, who is on security duty, by accident, and gets a receipt in return that leads directly to Sting catching Sags in the Scorpion Deathlock for a win.


  • The show ends with a Gene Okerlund interview of the winners, who bring some Little Stingers into the ring to pose before talking. The limo is back, so Sting and Luger decide to go check it out again. They're hoping to run into their Hog Wild opponents of Hall and Nash, though Luger assumes they'll just get another gag gift. Sting actually gets the door open for a second before it's slammed shut again, but not before Sting grabs a Turner briefcase from whomever was inside. What's inside the briefcase? An aftershow exclusive shows the note REY WAS RIGHT. THERE ARE FOUR GUYS...OR ARE THERE FIVE? SEE YA IN STURGIS. Ooooooh, intrigue! That's pretty cool, though. A Turner bag? Is the fifth guy the "somehow didn't make it to work" Eric Bischoff? I don't remember when he turned, actually, so maybe? INTRIGUE, HELL YEAH. 


  • This show had a bunch of good matches that built around a couple of lesser angles, with the standouts being matches worked exactly within the boundaries you'd expect for the characters involved. I mean, hey, this show gave me a genuinely good Booty Man/Ric Flair match in 1996 because of how they worked based on illustrating the fallout to last week's attack. Savage/Regal was also great because the work and characterization melded perfectly. This is the type of wrestling that is great without having to be some twenty-minute classic full of nearfalls. There are many ways to have fantastic wrestling matches, even when they're eight-minute matches on free television. Fantastic episode of Nitro that only loses a quarter-splash for the Madusa xenophobia and the Sullivan love triangle shit. 4.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Show #48 -12 August 1996

"The one with the fourth man, who is...a referee?!"

  • This show is in Casper, Wyoming, which is an, let's say, amazing place to have your first post-nWo Nitro that isn't at Disney/MGM. I know, I know, Hog Wild was in the area and all. Man, if I were in that remote Wyoming/Nebraska/South Dakota area, I would have sold everything I could have to get to the (presumably) rare (definitely) hot wrestling show in my region. When would that be likely to happen again? 


  • Tony S. and Larry Z. are upset at Hogan winning the title and spray-painting the N-W-O on the B-G-B. Hog Wild recap. Nick Patrick is breaking bad, folks! 


  • Big eight-man tag to start. High Voltage and Rough & Ready have been teamed together for some reason. They'll be facing off with a few Dungeon of Doom members: Hugh Morrus, Meng, Barbarian, and Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan is wearing a very un-Taskmaster-like tasseled shirt and blue jeans. Anyway, it's a very short nothing match which Meng wins with a kick to the head of Rage, I think. Rough & Ready are pissed by the poor showing, so they beat up High Voltage some more while the Dungeon leaves the ring. It was a thing that happened, I guess. 


  • Sting and Lex Luger walk to ringside and hijack the broadcast table. They want a rematch against Hall and Nash. They wander around the ring as the crowd goes nuts, but Hall and Nash appear to be disinterested, or maybe sidetracked by doing nWo business, or whatever. Sting tries to goad them into entering the ring, but, no, not happening, so we go into a break. 


  • We come back from the break to see Hall, Nash, Sting, and Luger in a wild brawl all around ringside Renegade walking out. DDP, his opponent, is already in the ring. Page puts in work early, bumping around for Renegade, before a counter-clothesline sets off a short heel control segment. Page has some nice stuff in his arsenal, including a sweet swinging neckbreaker, but then we get a chinlock just when I'm interested in Page busting out more of his interesting offense. Page low-key might be one of my favorite offensive wrestlers ever, I realize just now. He's not a guy who I'd normally think of for that list, but I really do enjoy a lot of his secondary and tertiary stuff along with (of course) the Diamond Cutter. But I digress; Renegade fights up out of said chinlock and fires up as DDP bounces around for him, but DDP reverses a vertical suplex attempt into a Diamond Cutter for three. It was pretty nice, that cutter, as was this short TV match.


  • Hall, Nash, and Hogan are chilling on a couch with questionably-patterned upholstery. Hall and Nash are confused as to why they would give a rematch to two guys they beat in the last two PPVs. Well, technically, it's one PPV - the other one was a no contest. They also think that Nick Patrick is an upstanding citizen and a fine referee. Hogan does some quality heeling. He just talks like himself rather than going full '80s Hogan, and it's markedly better. SO MUCH BETTER. Why didn't he do this more often? This fits the nWo promo aesthetic way better. He shits on WCW for not figuring out who the fourth and fifth nWo guys are and then shits on the BGB's design. This was a good heel promo! Nash likes the couch, though, which I don't know about. But yeah, this should have been how Hogan approached promos on the regular. Somebody must have gotten through to him momentarily. 


  • We're back with Konnan and Jim Powers in the ring. OK, sure, I guess. It's not bad, they at least go fast, but Konnan's offense is so weak-looking. Konnan's heeling, so the enlightened citizens of Casper start a U-S-A chant to rattle him or something, I guess. Powers takes over and does some basic offense that Konnan does work hard to sell. That offensive burst doesn't last long as Konnan counters a corner charge with two boots to the face and uses the ropes to get a pin. Konnan can't find the hard camera when Gene interviews him post-match, but then he does and he craps on the crowd and talks shit about the New World Odor (a royalty is payable by check to Larry Z., Konnan, thank you). So, I guess he's a heel, but still against the nWo? He makes sure to yell ARRIBA MEXICO just to irritate the crowd before he leaves the ring, though. 


  • It's a pre-Reese Big Ron Studd vs. Chris Benoit (w/ Woman and Liz), and I am somewhat underwhelmed by these matches. Why is Liz high-fiving these geek fans? She's a heel. Don't let the geek fans touch you, rule one of heeling. Benoit is very disrespectful and stares down Studd before slapping him twice, so in response, Studd kicks Benoit a whole lot. This is a match designed to get Benoit over as a master tactician and a guy who can take down giants because he immediately takes out Studd's leg and works it over. Studd really oversells some of these kicks to his knee. They're not exactly working a "Benoit broke his leg" angle or anything. But you know, he sells the leg nicely on his brief comeback and sells it as he goes to the top rope to follow up on a one-legged slam, and Benoit logically has time to get up there and superplex him off. It's a visual spectacle of a move that the crowd pops for, and Benoit gets three off it. This was surprisingly engaging for a little five-minute match!


  • Gene interviews the winners of the match. Woman flirts with Gene and is wearing a low-cut top and takes full advantage of that second thing to fluster Okerlund. Benoit chopped down Studd to show that he could chop down The Giant, too, which he'll get the chance to do at the upcoming Clash later in the week. Benoit cuts a promo about Malenko and the Horsemen and uses the word "agenda" fourteen times and then he talks about the Giant and it is TRASH. This guy absolutely SUCKS at promos, holy shit, it's really sinking in truly and deeply at this time how he should never, ever, ever have been allowed to talk for himself. 


  • Harlem Heat/Steiners at Hog Wild recap from the desk, and lots of pimping of the second hour as the little stick of "here comes the second hour" dynamite counts down in the lower-right corner of the screen. Fireworks! Hour two! Bischoff and Heenan on commentary! 


  • The recap from the last segment was to set up the upcoming rematch for the WCW Tag Team Championships: The Steiners face off with Harlem Heat one more time in the hour two opener. The Steiners start off hot, as one would guess might happen. These teams can't have worse than a solid match with one another, and Booker and Scott have very good chemistry together, so unsurprisingly, this too is an entertaining bout. Harlem Heat cannot get untracked going into a commercial break, like, they have just been getting worked. When we come back from the break, um, same thing. It's only when Rick Steiner chases Booker outside and gets baited into eating a Stevie Ray clothesline that Harlem Heat finally gets any control of the match. That lasts for like thirty seconds before Booker eats a powerslam. It really looks like the Steiners might finally win the titles, but Sherri blocks a Scott Steiner suplex attempt by holding onto Scott's leg. Booker looks like he's going to get a cheapie three count, but Rob Parker is running away from Rick Steiner, and he runs right into the ring and plows into Booker and Scott, causing the ref to DQ Harlem Heat for Parker's in-ring interference. Harlem Heat is super-irritated about Parker fucking the whole game up because now, they don't get to go to the more lucrative pay windah in the back. Well, they're still champs, at least. 


  • Review of the stupid Madusa/Nakano bike-bashing bullshit at Hog Wild. 


  • Review of the Ultimo Dragon/Rey Misterio Jr. match at Hog Wild. We get a return match next!


  • Ultimo Dragon's mask is cool. Rey Misterio Jr. seems pretty over! He watches Ultimo spray mist as he waits for the bell to ring. I think someone spraying mist should happen once a wrestling show, myself. At least once a show. Dragon hits a sweet kick combo, an airplane spin into an Argentine backbreaker, and a running powerbomb. All of it is dope as hell. Rey puts boots up on a dive and then does his own cool offense, hitting a springboard rana and a uh, plancha? to the floor. So basically this match is just two guys trading control so they can hit awesome offense. We get a suicide dive and double-underhook back suplex and a couple of moonsaults and does it matter who did these moves? No. No, it does not. It only matters that they looked sweet. Rey escapes a powerbomb attempt, turning it into a sunset flip for three. So yeah, that was a fun exhibition of moves. Not really a match with story or stakes, but hey, they don't ALL have to be that, I'd say. 


  • Ric Flair and Randy Savage resume their petty vendetta even though the nWo is here to destroy everything, all of it, and Flair's even putting up his U.S. Championship to get at Savage. We get to see Woman and Liz again and they look fantastic, so, you know, yay for us! The crowd in Casper is into this match and even though I'm sort of over this feud, I get the appeal. These two have really good chemistry. Why is it that Savage doesn't often come up on a list of Flair's best opponents? I don't think he's the best, but he should be on the shortlist, IMO.  Even over-the-hill Savage and Flair in 1996 just have that spark that makes their pairing work in the ring. 


  • Anyway, Flair gets a momentary advantage before Savage goes off and keeps control until he follows Flair outside the ring, which basically is like giving Flair home-field advantage in a match. Flair takes control out there leading into a break. When we come back, Flair holds up Savage on the ropes so Liz can slap him, which is a mistake. It revives Savage, who thinks about chasing Liz, but instead punches the shit out of Flair. Savage looks on his way to victory until Flair cuts off his double-axehandle attempt with a fist to the gut. He tosses Savage outside, where Woman basically attempts a field goal with Savage's ribs as the football. Flair starts working on the knee to set up the Figure Four once Savage is back inside. He locks on his finishing hold, but it gets turned over.


  • Still, Flair has complete control of this match. All he has to do is a) not let Savage get him back into a brawl, and b) avoid the top rope, which he almost never converts a successful move from. Should be easy, right? Anyway, after Flair loses a punchfest and gets tossed from the top rope, there's a ref bump. Savage sets Flair up for a piledriver, but Hulk Hogan wanders out and bends a chair around Randy Savage's receding hairline. Flair has no idea what's happening, but he gets in the ring and pins Savage, dumped there by Hogan moments before. In a funny moment of overkill, Woman helps Flair with leverage on the ropes during the pinfall even though Savage is completely out. Nick Patrick has come down to count the three. Is Flair nWo? Or is Hogan just playing very simple mind games with the idiots at the commentary desk? Only Flair and Hogan know for sure! Good match, by the way. 


  • We watch the post-match stuff from after the Hog Wild main event. Ed Leslie being allowed to wear the shirt disgusts, even for a moment, disgusts me. This is even worse than letting Vincent and Horace Hogan wear it.


  • Hogan comes back out to talk to Gene Okerlund on the ramp. Unfortunately, he cuts a promo like '80s Hogan. NOOOOOOOO. Come on, you were doing so much better. He talks down WCW and calls General Custer "General Custard." He also talks about the government smoking out the Branch Davidians, which is definitely as tasteless as you'd imagine it. This promo is so bad, but the WORST thing about it is that it comes after what was genuinely good promo work in that backstage segment! Anyway, he calls Hall and Nash "My Outsiders" and then makes up a bunch of stupid names for the biggest WCW stars and can't properly enunciate the word "categorize" even though he tries to say it twice and he calls Flair a STUPID LITTLE MAN and please make it stop. ? Abominable garbage from Hogan here, legit one of the worst promos I've ever heard. 


  • Recap of backstage attack from two Nitros ago. We come back from that recap to confusion, as the Outsiders are not out to answer the challenge of Sting and Luger as expected. Wait, there they are, coming through the crowd. They get kind of a decent face pop! Luger is out next, alongside Benedict Arnold Nick Patrick, the latter of whom is the ref for this bout. But where is Sting? Luger's just like, fuck it, and he starts beating the shit out of both Hall and Nash. Sting shows up seconds later, no music, to ambush Nash. Ah, a little subterfuge from WCW! Luger and Sting are back to back in the ring. Nash and Hall wander around outside, talking strategy, and then try to jump their opponents. It doesn't go very well. Finally, Hall gets one over on Luger offscreen somehow and saves Nash from Sting's assault. I mean, this isn't even a match, it's just four guys brawling, and it has really great energy. Nash tosses Sting over the top rope, which Nick Patrick is cool with.


  • Actually, Patrick is cool with everything - this is now functionally a tornado tag. He's just like, fuck it, whatever, do what you want. He's so laissez f'aire that eventually, he just jets the ring when the Four Horsemen run out suddenly and chase Nash and Hall away. The Outsiders leave through the crowd, Nick Patrick stumbles off somewhere, and Luger and Sting look confusedly at the Horsemen, of all people, having their backs. On replay, we see Nick Patrick pull Scott Hall out of the way of a Stinger Splash. Production REALLY fucked up because they surely were meant to show that as it happened in real time, and they didn't really catch that part of the splash. It makes Patrick running for the hills and the Horsemen coming out after they saw Patrick helping the Outsiders make WAY more sense. Flair cuts a promo on Hogan, whom he will meet at the Clash. He also compares the Horsemen to the nWo man-for-man. It's a quite good crazy Flair promo! The show ends on this note. 


  • I really enjoyed the matches on this show. Even something limited like Benoit/Studd was good because of how it was worked; it achieved the "Benoit can be a giant-killer" concept that it was going for to build to the Clash match between Benoit and The Giant. The really bad stuff was the promo work from Hogan and Benoit, and Konnan's mixed messaging also didn't work so well. But those are small potatoes, ultimately. This was a hot post-PPV show and successfully booked in a way that got me excited for the Clash that would be just three days later. I'm stopping to watch it after seeing this show. Success! 4.5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...