WCW Nitro 7/15/1996

Written By: Matt Peddycord

WCW Monday Nitro
July 15, 1996
Orlando, FL
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: Rey Mysterio (7/8/1996)

All the major WCW stars – Flair, Savage, Sting, Giant – they’re over in New Japan for a two-day tour.

One of the matches that take place is this little rare gem. SAVAGE vs. LIGER~! Interesting, no?

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko. Tonight’s big topic that they spend the whole night talking = when will Hulk Hogan and the Outsiders show up?

They start the program by just showing us the video footage of the Hulk Hogan heel turn from Bash at the Beach instead of the still shots we got last week. I’m guessing they thought it might kill the buys for the PPV replays on Tuesday?

Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Fire & Ice

Scott Norton and Ice Train are having their share of relationship problems, which should hint to you what the finish will be. Norton overpowers Scott a bunch to start. Finally, Norton runs into a boot in the corner and eats a Steinerline. Overhead suplex puts Norton on the floor as Ice Train heads down to psyche his partner up. And with that, it’s commercial time! We come back to see HOLLA HOLLA HOLLA Teddy Long is heading down to get a closer look at the match. In the ring, Ice Train catches Rick with a powerslam, but then runs into a boot in the corner just like Norton did and takes a Belly to Belly Suplex. Whoa, reverse DDT gets two. Norton and Scott tag in and head out to the floor to brawl. Back in, Norton hits a flying clothesline and goes for a flying elbow drop, but eats a boot on the way down. Tag to Rick, he Steinerlines Norton out of his boots. Powerslam gets two. Ice Train makes the save and a double-team ensues. Norton holds Rick while Ice Train goes for a splash, but then Rick moves forward and Ice Train splashes Norton by accident. Scott nails Ice Train back into a German suplex from Rick for the 1-2-3. (7:39 shown) Yep, just as I thought.

Gene Okerlund interviews Kevin Sullivan, Big Bubba, and Jimmy Hart while Fire & Ice argue on their way to the locker room. Pretty much the same stuff is said that was said last week about Hulk Hogan from Sullivan. Jimmy Hart tells the Four Horsemen that they’re time is up. The Faces of Fear show up all late and stuff. Since Big Bubba has a TV title match tonight with Luger, he informs Lex that he shouldn’t worry about Hogan, Sting, or his “detached retina and concussion” – he needs to worry about Big Bubba. OH, what a barnburner that will be!

Our world is about to change. Enter the realm. Blood runs cold. In each of us burns a fury of a warrior. Glacier. Coming to WCW.

In the back, Teddy Long interrupts the argument between Scott Norton and Ice Train. He’s not here to get in their business, but he’s going to do it anyway. He tells the both of them that they shouldn’t break up, so Norton gives him the old heave ho. Looks like Fire & Ice have broken up! Awwww.

Dean Malenko vs. Billy Kidman

Ahh Billy Kidman. Such a cute kid. Anyways, Jimmy Hart gets a quick word with Malenko on his way to the ring and then gets shooed away. Remember, Dean Malenko faces Chris Benoit at the Hog Wild PPV August 10! They quickly fight out to the floor where Kidman backdrops out of a piledriver. Back in, Kidman delivers a missile dropkick for two. Ugly German suplex connects, but then Malenko buries a knee and takes over. Malenko takes Kidman to school until he gets off a quick sunset flip. Malenko gets a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. They head over to the ringpost where Malenko posts the knee to do more damage. Kidman tries a floatover out of the corner, but Malenko catches him with a whiplash spinebuster. They do a quick rollup sequence and then Kidman delivers a Springboard Bulldog for two. SHOOTING STAR PRESS misses and Malenko just explodes on the guy. HOW DARE YOU TRY YOUR FINISHER ON ME? Brainbuster, powerbomb, butterfly powerbomb, and the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF gets the submission. (5:14) Malenko is INTENSE. Good little match here. **¾

Kevin Greene shows up just to get him some of Mongo and he’s got two hours before his plane leaves to go home to Charlotte. WHERE YOU AT, MONGO?

WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) vs. Rough & Ready (w/Col. Robert Parker)

This match makes no sense. Parker and Sherri pick up where they left off before she got released last March as love birds – meaning why would Parker try and help his guys beat up Sherri’s guys? By the way, Rough & Ready are Dick Slater and Mike Enos. They brawl to start. Enos goes low on a test of strength with Stevie Ray. He telegraphs a backdrop, but Stevie Ray NO-SELLS the forearm to the back. Enos catches Stevie Ray with a boot and misses an elbow drop. Tag to Booker, he nails Enos with a Jumping Heel Kick. Knee drop misses and Enos tags in Slater. Rough & Ready take Booker to the floor where he takes a slam on the concrete. Back in, Booker goes low and hits a side slam for two. Slater rebounds with a swinging neckbreaker and tags Enos. Booker catches him with a side kick and hits the Scissors Kick for 1-2-NO! And the action breaks down a little bit as all four men get in the ring. Slater avoids a corner charge and unloads on Booker. Slater delivers a Piledriver and tags Enos, who gives Booker a Fallaway Slam. Slater’s back in and runs into a double KO. False tag spot ensues, Enos delivers a big powerslam to Booker. As Slater covers, Sherri comes in and kisses Slater until he’s so disgusted that Booker easily rolls him up for the 1-2-3. (7:40) What the heck was that finish? Were her lips laced with some kind of instant drug that would baffle Slater into getting pinned? WHAT. Match was okay, but then the finish knocked this down an entire asterisk. *

Rey Mysterio highlight video package is shown.

Kevin Greene comes out again and demands Mongo. This time he takes off his shirt. NOW HE MEANS BUSINESS. Oh well, now he has to leave.

Madusa vs. Malia Hosaka

Even though she’s Japanese (and she’s pretty cute!), Malia Hosaka is more well known for her work here in the US. She’s wrestled for LPWA and mostly WCW, but she’s also made appearances in WWE. Most recently, she’s worked for SHIMMER and other various indy promotions. She gets in plenty of offense on Madusa. Madusa fights out of a chinlock and unloads with kicks. Hosaka stops the Moolah Whips and grabs a Boston crab. Madusa escapes and avoids what Tony calls a Corner Hilo. Anyways, it’s like a back splash off the middle rope. Once again, Madusa avoids a crossbody out of the corner and hits her BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX for the 1-2-3. (4:08) Madusa battles Bull Nakano at Hog Wild!

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan.

Scott Hall and Kevin Nash are putting up white sheets over the WCW letters to make them say NWO. No Hogan as of yet. Are they drinking fruity drinks?

Arn Anderson vs. Meng (w/Jimmy Hart)

More Horsemen vs. Dungeon of Doom stuff. Meng has his way to start, but then Arn trips him up and posts the leg. Meng fires back and it’s more of the same. Barbarian joins Jimmy at ringside. Commercial break! Hall and Nash are sitting down to watch this match. Not exactly the match of choice, I’m sure. Meng tosses out Arn for Jimmy to put the boots to him. Back in, Meng hits a suplex for two. Meng ducks low off a whip and AA goes for a DDT, but Meng backdrops out. While Jimmy distracts the ref, Barbarian nails Arn from the apron into the KICK OF FEAR for the 1-2-3. (8:29 shown) Not a fan of this one. *

Gene Okerlund talks with Steve McMichael and Debra. Mongo and Deb down the Carolina Panthers more than Kevin Greene. Also, why is Debra talking more than Mongo?

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit

Now this is more like it. Funny how Flair, Sting, Giant, Savage are gone to Japan – but these two aren’t. Benoit destroys Eddie early with chops. Guerrero bridges up out of a chinlock and flips out of a reverse suplex. Benoit blocks a tilt-a-whirl, but Eddie counters a powerbomb into a lucha armdrag to take Benoit to the floor, as Eddie flies down on top of him. Back in, Guerrero hits the Hilo and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Benoit yanks Eddie into the corner delivers a back suplex. We look over to the NWO letters and Bischoff notices that Hall and Nash are now gone. Ruh-roh! In the ring, Benoit delivers a press slam and grabs a camel clutch. Out of nowhere, Eddie explodes with a back suplex. Does little good, as Benoit chops back and hits a snap suplex for two. “Eddie!” chants go up. Benoit locks in a nasty Liontamer, but Eddie quickly flips him off. Enough of that, Benoit delivers a SICK powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Took too long to cover. Benoit stays on the back with a backbreaker. Back elbow gets two. Now Eddie catches Benoit up top and brings him down with a superplex. Ten-count corner punch is shoved off, which leads to a CHOPFEST. Eddie wins that battle and ranas Benoit out to the floor. Benoit nails Eddie from behind with a forearm and slams his head on the steps. Meanwhile, Dean Malenko storms the ring and runs Benoit into the ringpost! Once Malenko disappears, Eddie rolls back inside and wins via countout. (9:39) Well that was an awesome piece of work. Plus, it accomplished two things – it continued Eddie’s war with the Four Horsemen and it played off of what happened between Jimmy Hart and Dean Malenko earlier in the night. Good stuff. ***½

Looks like someone took those NWO sheets down, and still no sign of Hogan and the Outsiders.

WCW World Television Champion Lex Luger vs. Big Bubba (w/Jimmy Hart)
This is just killing time until Hogan shows up. Bubba controls the majority of the match working over Luger’s head injuries with typical Bubba offense. Half way into this match, the Outsiders are shown sitting on the trunk of a limo watching the match. Why does Bubba get a TV title shot? When was the last time he beat anyone who would be considered a “contender”? After some commercials, Luger makes his Superman comeback until he’s cut off after a double-KO. Jimmy hands off some foreign object to Bubba, but Luger retrieves it and KO’s Bubba. Wait, here comes Hall & Nash into the ring for the no-contest. (7:47 shown) Once Luger is beaten down, Hulk Hogan heads to the ring all dressed in his “dark side” gear. They dispose the ring of Luger and then act all buddy buddy to Bubba. Bubba actually accepts a handshake from Hogan and then gets blasted from behind by the Outsiders. See ya later, Bubba. ½*

Gene Okerlund jumps in the ring to interview Hulk Hogan while the Outsiders just hang around and listen. Hogan’s pissed for people booing him when he told them all about the Three Demandments that would make them successful. As for Sting, Hogan remembers meeting him at Venice Beach back ten years ago when he was a skinny little bodybuilder and he was shaking in his boots. Hogan’s sick and tired of hearing about Randy Savage blaming him for his divorce – all because he couldn’t rise to the occasion. The only problem is that he thinks he’s the greatest wrestler in the world who made pro wrestling. Yes Hulk, that is the problem. Plastic bottles begin to fill up the ring. From here, Hogan sends out a challenge to the Giant for the WCW world title at Hog Wild and then threatens to beat up the entire WCW right now. Babyface and heel alike head down to ringside, but WE’RE OUTTA TIME!

Outside of Benoit/Guerrero/Malenko, this was quite the dull episode.

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