Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Monday Nitro
April 29, 1996
(Taped on 4/22/96)
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Ric Flair (2/11/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Konnan (1/29/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Sting & Lex Luger (1/22/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lex Luger (3/6/1996)
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and that Emmy-award winning Steve “Mongo” McMichael.
This was pre-taped due to most of the talent gone to wrestle for New Japan throughout the week.
WCW World Tag Team Champions Sting & Lex Luger vs. Harlem Heat
This is a rematch from Saturday Night where Jimmy Hart threw a towel into the ring to cost Harlem Heat the tag titles. The whole brief relationship between Jimmy Hart and Harlem Heat makes no sense and it’s not even explained by the commentators, so let’s just move onto the match. Sting and Booker start us off. Booker nails Sting with a hook kick, but gets turned inside out with a clothesline. Jumping elbow gets two. Luger tags in for a double back elbow for two. Booker goes to the eyes and tags Stevie Ray. Luger fights out of the corner and tags Sting for a double-clothesline. TEAM WORK~! More back and forth stuff as we go to break. After some commercials, Booker hits Sting with a side slam and SPINAROONIES into a jumping leg lariat. Instead of quickly covering, Booker poses for the crowd. He does manage a two-count though. Stevie Ray tags in for a Bicycle Kick that gets two. Sting runs into a double-KO spot with Booker T to set up a HOT TAG TO LUGER! Sting gets dumped, leaving Luger alone for a powerbomb/flying elbow drop combo from the Heat. Here comes Jimmy Hart to throw the towel in again for Harlem Heat, but Booker catches it before the towel hits the ground and tosses it out of the ring. Stevie Ray throws Jimmy Hart into the ring to Booker T as Sting comes up behind him and schoolboys Booker for 1-2-3. (9:23) Silly stuff. The tag team division at WCW could have been great, but they’re just settling for Luger shenanigans.*½
Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Fire & Ice
This is the Nitro debut for Scott Norton and Ice Train as a tag team. I liked them when I was a kid, so let’s see if they are any good now that I’m older. Ice Train powerslams Rick and catches him with an avalanche. Rick avoids a second avalanche and drills Ice Train with a release German suplex. Scott and Norton square off. Norton NO-SELLS shoulderblocks, but then takes a t-bone suplex. Norton lands on his neck off an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Scott comes off the top and gets caught by Norton for a press slam. Rick runs into Norton and gets knocked for a loop. In comes Ice Train, he hiptosses Rick. Scott gets nailed with a clothesline as the match breaks down. Norton and Rick go to the floor while Ice Train big boots and nearly steps on Scott. Scott fights back to attempt a double-underhook slam, but Norton breaks it up with a clothesline. Norton takes Scott over the top rope to the floor and follows him out while Rick levels Ice Train with a Steinerline for the random 1-2-3. (3:26) Rather sloppy power match, but they seem to get better. I remember enjoying their Great American Bash match. *
Gene Okerlund brings out the WCW world champ Ric Flair and his two ladies. Flair looks as though he’s about to cry on his way to the ring knowing he’s going to lose the belt. What a mark! Usual stuff from Flair. He’s going to beat up that big dumb giant.
Lord Steven Regal vs. Belfast Bruiser – Parking Lot Brawl
These two had their first match at Uncensored in March where Finlay won by DQ after he was attacked by Regal’s other Blue Blood buddies Earl Robert Eaton and Squire David Taylor. Good times. Now they are going to meet out in the parking lot because well, we all know it, Finlay loves to fight. Finlay misses Regal and kicks THROUGH a car window. Well that’s not safe at all. Finlay grabs a piece of a cinder block, but Regal kicks it out of his hand and grinds Finlay’s face on it for crying out loud. Finlay fights back and slams what looks like a tire into Regal’s ribs. Regal gets his head bashed into a Chevy Blazer until the front bumper falls off, which is a fun weapon for Finlay. Regal elbow drops Finlay on what appears to be a GMC Jimmy! Finlay chokes Regal with a seat belt while our commentators Bischoff, Mongo and Heenan make as many bad car references and puns as possible. They fight into a truck bed where both guys smash each other’s heads on the roof. Another car window gets busted thanks to Regal. Now Finlay drops an elbow on the hood of a truck. Bischoff demands the director to go wide because this is just too gruesome. Regal tries a piledriver on a car, but Finlay backdrops him over. Regal tries for the piledriver again and this time he gets it. Holy crap. Cover, 1-2-3. (6:13) Very stiff and brutal stuff. Wow, a piledriver on a car. I can’t get over that. ***
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/Elizabeth & Woman) vs. The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart)
Flair stops by Debra again for a quick line. She tells him to leave her alone. Flair stalls a bit and then tries a shoulderblock on Giant. That ain’t happening. Flair Corner Flip lands him on the floor, so Flair makes him give chase back into the ring only to set Giant up for a thumb to the eye. Giant sells nothing and slams Flair off the top. Giant goes for a CHOKESLAM, but Flair has his arms and legs tied up in the ropes to prevent that at all cost. Low blow to the Giant gets him out of that jam. Flair’s got Giant on his knees, but Giant shoves Flair back and stands up only to take a brass knux punch to the face. Flair struts around and goes for the FIGURE-FOUR! He has it on, but then Giant sits up and GOOZLES Flair! There’s the CHOKESLAM for the 1-2-3. (5:51) Since he’s wrestling Flair, he gets the face reaction even though he’s definitely not a face champion. *½
Giant addresses Hulk, Sting, Luger, and Savage to bring it. And with that, WE ARE OUTTA HERE!
Keep in mind with the ratings, that Nitro (a 2.1) aired at 7pm instead of its usual 9pm time where it goes directly against Raw (a 3.9) because of TNT airing the NBA Playoffs. A victory nonetheless in the Monday Night Wars for the WWF.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.