Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Monday Nitro
July 22, 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: Rey Mysterio (7/8/1996)
HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko.
Most recently, Muhammad Ali lit the torch at the ‘96 Olympics! Hey, he showed up for a WCW event once! Also, Shaq just signed with the LA Lakers. That’s news – he showed up for a WCW event once too! See how relevant we are when we have the cash to throw around to bring people onto our program?
Flashback to last week’s Nitro where Hall and Nash covered up the WCW letters with bed sheets that were spray painted n-W-o.
Scott Norton vs. Squire David Taylor (w/Jeeves)
This shouldn’t surprise you, but Norton walked out on Ice Train during a tag match on Saturday Night. He is one bad dude. Nothing match as Norton grows tired of the European uppercuts and tosses Taylor over the top rope for the DQ. (1:45) Afterwards, they take turns sending each other into the ringpost. ¼*
GET YOUR FOUR HORSEMEN T-SHIRT NOW!
Speaking of the Four Horsemen, everybody but Flair is sitting over at the catered table. Apparently they’re running low on Savage’s money, because all they have is a fruit platter. Nevertheless, Arn enjoys his apple. Where is Ric Flair? Doesn’t he know he’s in the main event tonight? Arn tells us not to worry – that guy loves to be fashionably late. Mongo mentions the Outsiders when nobody was talking about them. Benoit has a little trouble ending his little promo. Gene wants a banana, so Mongo fake throws it at him. GENE SELLS IT ANYWAY!
“Mexican Heavyweight Champion” Konnan vs. VK Wallstreet
This crowd is actually digging Konnan here, which is cool because it gives Wallstreet tons of heat when he starts grabbing the ropes for extra leverage. Whoops, I think I hear an “Irwin” chant. Konnan makes his comeback and hits the K-Factor. Wallstreet surprises Konnan with the STOCK MARKET CRASH, but hooks the arms and rolls Wallstreet up for the 1-2-3. (5:17) Decent match for Konnan. He actually didn’t screw up once and gave Wallstreet plenty of offense. *½
Okerlund meets up with Sting, Luger and Savage. They want to beat up the world. Well, specifically Hogan and Flair, but they’ll take on the world too!
Glacier is coming. In this commercial, he’s revealed to be Sub-Zero from the Mortal Kombat video game series in human form. Doubt this guy can shoot ice out of his wrists though. To be fair, he probably is the most well known Mortal Kombat character.
WCW’s JOB Squad (Wright, Gomez, Renegade, Powers) get a video package of them walking on the beach and taking their shirts off wearing some cool shades. This is SO ’90s.
Kevin Sullivan, Hugh Morrus, The Barbarian, and the Leprechaun (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Alex Wright, Joe Gomez, Renegade & Jim Powers
Ahh, the Leprechaun. The precursor to the Hornswoggle character. Someone over at the WWE must have been watching the Nitros on 24/7 and thought, that might be fun to do. Let’s hire us a little person and give him a one dimensional character! I mean, it worked so well with Nick Dinsmore! This match is deemed meaningless as we go to the back where Hall and Nash have HIJACKED THE PRODUCTION TRUCK! We get a shot of long-time WCW producer Keith Mitchell, who is just a small bald man. Anyways, Hall and Nash tell the production nerds to tell the cameramen to pan the crowd. They’re looking for somebody. They never say who or that they found who they’re looking for. Finally, security comes in and tells them to get the heck out of the production truck. Back to ringside, Teddy Long walks out and motivates Jim Powers into a comeback on the Dungeon of Doom. Too little too late, as the Giant runs in and CHOKESLAMS everybody for the DQ? No contest? (5:29) Giant says every since Hogan left to make movies in Hollywood, he’s been wreaking havoc all over WCW. Now WCW has come to him to get rid of the nWo, so now he’s going to have to chokeslam Hogan at Hog Wild. So yeah, he’ll face Hogan at the PPV. No rating for the match. We probably only saw about a full minute.
WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! Sting and Luger, the Nasty Boys, and the Steiner Brothers will be in action! Not against each other, but they’ll have their own matches. Plus, Rough N Ready will show up. And in the main event, US Champ Ric Flair defends against the Booty Man with the Booty Babe in his corner. He’s still around? It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS AND PLUNDAH, BABY!
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Prince Iaukea
Nitro debut for Prince Iaukea. Page tosses Iaukea to the floor after a tilt-a-whirl slam. Iaukea comes back in with a springboard crossbody for two. Another one gets two. Enough of that, DIAMOND CUTTER! (1:39) Another week, another Diamond Cutter. ½*
Recap of the Benoit/Sullivan feud. Seems random, but it makes sense once you see the main event. Especially when you think about Woman’s involvement.
Dean Malenko vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Another Nitro debut for Chavo Jr. He would go on to great fame by losing to Kane at WrestleMania 24 in nine seconds. Chavo shows off with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, so Malenko catches him with a kitchen sink. Fireman’s Carry Gutbuster gets two. Chavo takes Malenko to the floor with a dropkick and doesn’t follow up with anything. Back in, Malenko goes back to work destroying Chavo. Dean delivers one SICK backdrop driver and follows up with a fallaway slam. They fight over a superplex as we head into hour number two with Bischoff and Heenan on commentary. They’d rather go wide for the fireworks than show the match, but it looks like Chavo shoves off Malenko and catches him with a flying sunset flip for two. Malenko comes up with a clothesline and decides to keep Chavo grounded with chinlocks and such. Once Chavo gets to his feet while he’s caught in a double chicken wing, Chavo mule kicks Malenko back. Makes no difference as Malenko is the first guy up. Here comes Jimmy Hart, who seems to be in the back pocket of Malenko lately. Dean hits a powerbomb and goes over to talk to Jimmy, which gets him all discombobulated, as Chavo schoolboys him for 1-2-NO! Chavo does a cool floatover into a small package for 1-2-NO! Off a corner charge, Malenko backdrops Chavo to the apron, but Chavo forearms him back. He heads up top, but flies down into the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF. Tappy tap tap. (8:10) Good debut for Chavo, but he was never as good as his uncles. **½
Just for the sake of routine…HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan.
Meng (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Ice Train
Why is Meng getting so much singles time lately with people that he has no chemistry with? Teddy Long comes out and shows his approval of a crossbody from Ice Train on Meng. Train gets a few hope spots, but Meng is all over him with face claws. Train hits a few corner clotheslines and powerslams Meng for 1-2-NO! He comes off the second rope and eats the KICK OF FEAR. Oh that’s beautiful. Down to the floor, Ice Train looks out on his feet. Here comes Scott Norton to post Meng for the DQ. (6:20) You see, he wants Ice Train at his best at Hog Wild. Well, what kind of a bad guy are you? ¾*
Recap video of the formation of the nWo and how little they have actually done since Bash at the Beach. Except for beating up Luger and Bubba, what have they really done that makes them scary?
Eddie Guerrero vs. Psychosis
This is a rematch from two weeks ago. “Eddie” chants go up right at the bell. They do some quick stuff on the mat to start and then we go to commercial. Couldn’t we have done this during the Meng/Ice Train match? After the break, we see Psychosis take his nasty corner bump. Psychosis ducks a springboard and dropkicks Eddie down, but then runs into a monkey flip and lands on the top rope. To the floor we go, Eddie delivers his weekly dive. Back in, a back suplex gets two. Psychosis flips out of a second one and nails Eddie with an enziguri. Flying Spinning Heel Kick connects! Awesome. On the floor again, this time Psychosis levels Guerrero with a suicide dive. In the ring, Psychosis hits the GUILLOTINE LEG DROP. Eddie mounts a comeback with a torso rollup, a headscissors, and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Just when it looks like things are going Eddie’s way, Psychosis delivers a spinning hurracanrana off Eddie’s shoulders (the transition looks amazing, the execution not so much) for 1-2-NO! Powerbomb sets up a Corkscrew Senton. Delayed cover gets two. Eddie has enough of this and takes Psychosis to the mat with a rana off the top. That puts Psychosis in position for the FROG SPLASH for the 1-2-3. (7:24 shown) Eddie continues on his winning ways to face Ric Flair for the US strap at Hog Wild. Excellent weekly dose of cruiserweight action, but didn’t quite have the snap crackle and pop of the first one. Too close to the same finish, too. ***
Arn Anderson, Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael (w/The Ladies) vs. Sting, Randy Savage & Lex Luger
Still no Ric Flair. It’s been TWO WEEKS now without him! Arn checks out a white limo that’s pulled up near the ring area. Could it be Flair? Somehow, Bischoff connects this to question whether or not Flair has joined the nWo, which makes ZERO sense. Hot start with Sting destroying the Horsemen until Mongo puts a stop to it with a flying shoulder tackle. I mean, I don’t know why they didn’t just make that his finisher since he’s a football player. Sting becomes *your* face in peril as the Horsemen take turns beating up Sting. Mongo does a REAL ugly back suplex looking thing on Sting and nearly breaks his neck dumping him on the ropes. That’s enough from you, Mongo. Sting counters a sleeper with a back suplex and makes the HOT TAG TO LUGER! During the six man melee, Debra goes to give her hubby the briefcase when Woman tries to stop her. Savage runs over and takes the briefcase away from them and whacks Benoit in the back. Luger covers for the 1-2-3. (7:38) What’s the deal with Woman? She’s in cahoots with Sullivan, so she wouldn’t want to see the Horsemen win. Get it? Afterwards, Benoit gets in Woman’s face, but Arn cools them down. Pretty average six man main event, but that’s alright. It wasn’t supposed to be more than that. **½
Gene Okerlund grabs the winners for another interview. Like usual, they vow revenge on the Outsiders and Hogan.
Nothing much really happening with the nWo when Hogan’s gone, but a lot of talking going on. I mean, momentarily hijacking a production truck isn’t really that scary.