Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Monday Nitro
July 8, 1996
Disney MGM Studios
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: The Giant (4/29/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Ric Flair (7/7/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (6/24/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lex Luger (3/6/1996)
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (5/18/1996)
This is the first Nitro to be taped outdoors. Too bad it’s not taking place over a swimming pool.
HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko. Tony has a little bit of trouble it seems getting through this introduction. Hogan is was the evil third man at the Bash at the Beach and we’ll see still shots of what happened later, which they hype all the way to the end of the show in typical Nitro fashion.
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio
Rey beat Psychosis at the PPV to earn this title shot. Rey takes Malenko to the floor early on with a headscissors over the shoulders and a satellite armdrag. Mysterio fake dives on Malenko to a HUGE pop. Back in, Malenko buries a knee and tries a suplex, but Rey flips out and tries a quebrada. He gets caught, but shoves Malenko off into the corner for a sunset flip off the shoulders. That fails, but he avoids the punch and levels Malenko with a springboard dropkick. He catches Malenko with one more for good measure. Cover, 1-2-NO! Mysterio escapes a powerbomb with an armdrag, but Malenko finally stops this guy with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Commercial time. We come back to see Malenko still in control. Tiger Driver gets two. Mysterio lasts through a camel clutch, but gets hung out to dry. Down on the floor, Malenko goes the extra mile and delivers a Brainbuster on the floor! Holy crap. Back in, that gets two. Mysterio ranas Malenko to the floor and tries an Asai Moonsault, but Malenko doesn’t get up in time to catch him and Mysterio goes SPLAT on the concrete. Back in, Mysterio is STILL in control with a flying headscissors from the top. Cover, 1-2-NO! Split-legged moonsault gets two. Mysterio heads up, but gets crotched and taken down with the SUPER GUTBUSTER! Cover, 1-2-NO! WHAT. Malenko lifts him up off the mat. Belly to belly throw, but Malenko lifts Mysterio off the mat again. Malenko goes for a tilt-a-whirl, but Mysterio counters *that* into a hurracanrana for 1-2-3! (9:47 shown) And we’ve got a new WCW World Cruiserweight Champ. The internet insiders at the time were saying that originally, WCW was gonna have Rey job to Malenko again…then they decided to do a tag match instead with Rey/Eddie vs. Psicosis/Dean, and then changed their minds again to put the Cruiserweight Title on Rey. Even though the idea of that tag match really intrigues me, I’m glad they went with it this way as a great Nitro moment. And boy, Mysterio didn’t stop for one second during that entire match. ***½
Gene Okerlund has the Steiners and the Nasty Boys backstage. Yeah, those two teams don’t get along.
“Blood Runs Cold” promo. In each of us burns a fury of a warrior. Glacier. Coming to WCW.
Hugh Morrus & Big Bubba (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Blue Bloods (w/Earl Robert Eaton & Jeeves)
Apparently these two teams have been having their share of problems on WCW Pro. Morrus comes in and mocks the Blue Bloods for a bit. In comes Bubba, he catches Regal with a BIG BUBBA SLAM! Morrus eats a bunch of European uppercuts until John Tenta runs in and beats Bubba away. Meanwhile, a DOUBLE BACK SUPLEX from the Blue Bloods to Morrus lands him on his head for the academic 1-2-3. (3:01) So the Tenta/Bubba feud isn’t over? ¾*
WCW Saturday Night! Watch it! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! The Dungeon of Doom will compete in an eight-man tag! Randy Savage will be in action! The Horsemen face some people in a six-man tag! And in the main event, the tag champs Harlem Heat faces Public Enemy! What a dandy of a show! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS AND ALL THAT PLUNDAH, BABY!
Eddie Guerrero vs. Psychosis
Here it is – the Nitro debut for Psychosis. Should be pretty sweet. We cut away to hear Rey Mysterio’s feeling on Hulk Hogan’s recent turn. You know if it wasn’t for his voice, I would have no idea how he really feels! In the ring, we see lots of cool mat stuff from these two. Eddie lands on his feet out of a monkey flip and armdrags Psychosis and his balls into the bottom rope. Eddie blatantly pulls on Psychosis’s big wad of hair out of a headlock and gets dumped for it. From the top, Psychosis nails Guerrero with a SWANK corkscrew moonsault! “Eddie!” chants go up. Back in, Psychosis starts working the arm real good. Eddie catches Psychosis with a rana, but his arm hurts too bad to capitalize. Psychosis comes off the top, but flies down into an atomic drop. Just when Guerrero looks like things are going his way, he misses a corner charge and runs into the ringpost. Psychosis delivers a rana off the top turnbuckle for 1-2-NO! Now Eddie tries to bring Psychosis down with a SUPER ELECTRIC CHAIRDROP, but Psychosis counters into a sunset flip powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Eddie catches Psychosis up top this time and brings him down with a superplex to set up the FROG SPLASH for the 1-2-3! (8:35) Another great cruiserweight match. You gotta love these two. ***¼
Gene Okerlund meets with the WCW world champ The Giant, Kevin Sullivan, and Jimmy Hart. Of course, Hulk Hogan is brought up. Jimmy has no comments. Sullivan actually highlights this interview by MAKING SENSE FOR ONCE and says that Hulk Hogan took away from him what he had spent the last 18 months trying to do by destroying Hulkamania himself. Giant tries to put everyone’s mind at ease by telling everyone that everything is okay because as long as he has the WCW world title, nothing can go wrong.
Rick & Scott Steiner vs. The Nasty Boys
The winner of this match gets a shot at the tag titles at Hog Wild. Lots of clubberin’ going on to start on poor Scott Steiner. Scott comes back with a double underhook slam on Sags, and a Steinerline for Knobbs cleans house on the Nasties. That leaves the Steiners to do the dog thing. Back in, Rick Steiner gets clobbered in the corner with splashes. He catches Knobbs with a powerslam and a Steinerline gets two. Tag to Scott, he takes Knobbs over with a T-bone suplex. He telegraphs a backdrop and gets dumped out for a chairshot to the face from Sags! Bischoff and Heenan take over mid-match as hour #2 begins. Back inside, Scott catches Knobbs with a boot off a corner charge and delivers a Spinning Belly to Belly Suplex for 1-2-NO! Tag to Sags, Scott fights out of a bearhug with an overhead suplex. Wait a sec, Col. Parker and Sister Sherri (who returned last night at the Bash at the Beach pre-show to help Harlem Heat) are shown discussing something. Some kind of dastardly plot and/or sex position, I’m sure. Anyways, they come to ringside where Sherri distracts the ref while Parker nails Knobbs with a pipe. By accident or on purpose, who knows for sure? Scott covers him for the win. (6:09) Actually, this was some pretty good stuff up until the nonsensical finish. In the post-match interview, the Nasty Boys almost sound pro-nWo since they do what they want to do – when they want to do it just like the Nasties. So you’re saying they rarely ever shower too? **
HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan. WE’VE GOT FIREWORKS! Where was Eric Bischoff last night? He got buried in some last minute details. Running a million-dollar company can cut into your free time – even when it’s just ‘rasslin. Is this true? Is that all there is to this story?! We’ll find out for sure at some point and time.
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/Elizabeth, Debra & Woman) vs. Jim Powers
IT’S THE JIMMY POWERS! Yeah, he’s got a chance. They trade headlocks to start. Flair has enough of that and dumps Powers out to Woman for some eye ball clawing. Back in, the sunset flip fails, but Flair misses the punch and gets stuck in the headlock again. Flair goes to the eyes to stop all that. A chop from Flair triggers a whole bunch more chops from Powers. Flair begs off and Flair Flips out to the floor. One little dance with Woman and he’s back in shape. Back in, he thumbs Powers in the eye again. He heads up top and takes a ride to the mat. A pair of clotheslines from Powers gets two. Powers whiffs on a dropkick, but counters the FIGURE-FOUR with an inside cradle for two. Powers misses a corner charge and takes a chop block. Rolling Knee Drop connects on the knee to set up the FIGURE FOUR with a little leverage assistance from Woman for the win. (5:40) Yep, Jimmy Powers just didn’t have a chance. Typical Flair stuff, really. *½
All of the Horsemen crew sans Chris Benoit meet up for an interview concerning Hulk Hogan. Arn says the Horsemen never pretended or claimed to be role models, but Hogan did and that’s why he’s scum. Mongo mentions something about the Apocalypse being here and it’s all about the Four Horsemen. Flair doesn’t concern himself with Hogan, he just reminds us that the champ can go ALL night long. WOOOO.
After the break, Bischoff announces that there is still no word on Luger’s condition from what happened last night at the PPV that caused him to be carried out on a stretcher in opening moments of the Hostile Takeover match.
Chris Benoit vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman (w/Teddy Long)
Boy, Benoit goes from possibly wrestling the Giant for the WCW world title to wrestling Craig Pittman? Anyways, Pittman shows Benoit a thing or two about suplexes. A SICK German suplex lands Benoit on the back of his head, so Benoit puts the boots to him real good. Pittman headbutts Benoit to the floor where Teddy Long gets backed up. Back in, Benoit stomps on Pittman some more and locks in the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! Pittman doesn’t give, so Teddy Long jumps in the ring to call for the bell. (2:43) I believe that was the debut of that finisher. Quite the roughhouse little match there. *½
Sting vs. Arn Anderson
Word on the street is that Hall and Nash are on the premises – and there’s just not enough at the freakin’ Disney MGM Studios to stop these two men! WHAT. By the way, why is this match happening? Feeling out process to start. They go to the floor where Arn tries a quick piledriver and Sting backdrops out. Commercials! Here we go, Sting leapfrogs into a Spinebuster! HA. Fun stuff. Arn cheats a little with an ab stretch. Sting hiptosses out, but a splash off the ropes hits knees. Arn tries to get the pin with the knucklelock and comes down into a body scissors. Classic Arn Anderson spot. Arn turns that around into a Boston crab while we check on a limo that has showed up near the ring. Sting catches Arn coming off the middle rope with a clothesline and mounts his superman comeback on Arn while Scott Hall and Kevin Nash head to ringside. Nobody in the crowd is watching the match anymore. While security try and hold the nWo-ites back, Sting and Arn stop fighting and dare them to get in the ring! Randy Savage hops on the apron to help out. Meanwhile, Arn goes for a DDT and Sting blocks by grabbing the top rope. SCORPION DEATHLOCK! That gets the submission. (9:38 shown) I don’t know what it is, but these two just don’t click that well. I could just never see a regular program with these two. **
Gene Okerlund is working overtime tonight. He grabs a word with Sting. He’s not known for his mic work, but this was one of Sting’s best promos ever. He says he should have known Hulk Hogan would be the third man when Hulk didn’t want to travel with Savage, Luger, and himself. Hulk was too busy making movies and coming in for a little “cameo appearance”. When Hulk was walking on the “dark side”, Sting says he should have known when Hulk called him, Luger, and Savage little dogs waiting for a chance to wrestle the great Hulk Hogan. Sting made a mistake, but Hogan make a *bigger* mistake by rejecting the three demandments. He says it’s a good thing Hulk told his fans to believe in something, because they sure couldn’t believe in him. Hulk told the kids to stick it? No, YOU stick it, Hulk! YOU STICK IT! Hahaha. Randy Savage gets some mic time. He can’t tell us what he wants to do to Hulk on TV – especially here at Disney – the happiest place on earth! But, if you take the worst thing you can think of and multiply it by 9,000,000 and then multiply it by infinity and beyond – it would be like one grain of sand in the Sahara desert, brother, because it’s really really scary thinking of what he’s going to do to Hulk. DIG IT!
We come back and Gene Okerlund is standing beside the Outsiders. Nash puts over Hulk and says he’ll be at Nitro next week. Hall is still doing that Razor Ramon shtick. This segment of Nitro has been brought to you by the Outsiders and Hulk Hogan. Gene has no idea what that is supposed to mean.
And they wait until the very last segment to show you the EXCITING STILL PHOTOS of Hulk Hogan turning on the world last night and joining up with the Outsiders.
Funny how Hogan cannot even physically be on the program, but be the most talked about person on the show. Man, I would have opened the SHOW with the nWo in the ring.