Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Monday Nitro
September 2, 1996
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Ric Flair (7/7/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (7/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (8/20/1996)
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (7/8/1996)
Another week of US Open coverage on the USA Network is a great week for WCW.
HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Alex Wright
Wright does some fancy kip-ups off a wristlock, so Page nails him with a forearm. Das Wunderkind ain’t down with that and pops DDP with a spinning heel kick. Out to the floor, Wright drops a plancha on Page and continues to punch the crap out of him. Back in, Wright hits a slingshot splash for two. Just as things are going his way, he misses a charge and flies into the ropes. DDP stomps him around and then delivers a Tilt-a-Whirl Sideslam. Sitout powerbomb gets two. Dang, this crowd is HOT. Wright shoves off a Diamond Cutter attempt and catches Page with a belly to belly suplex for two. Wright goes back to all this fancy stuff like doing flips off DDP’s chest, so he gets dropped with a DIAMOND CUTTER out of nowhere for the 1-2-3. (3:44) Not too shabby. DDP is starting to do the move that got him so over in ‘97 and ‘98 by doing the Diamond Cutter out of virtually any realistic position. **
Gene Okerlund interrogates ref Nick Patrick again for possibly being a tad slow on the pinfall counts in that last match. Give it a break, Gene. I know he’s a former wrestler turned referee, but Nick Patrick actually cuts decent heel promos.
After the break, Gene is in the locker room with Col. Rob Parker and Sherri. Parker’s got not one, but TWO gifts for his sweetie. Aww, it’s a leather vest and leather chaps! The man is classy!
WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat vs. Greg Valentine & Buddy Valentino
So yeah, Parker and Sherri aren’t out here where they need to be, but then again they are wrestling a has-been and a never-was. Buddy Valentino looks an awful lot like Buddy Rose. And who do we have here? It’s Ted DiBiase! He takes his seat without saying a word just like last week. Anyways, since Buddy Valentino is a never-was, Harlem Heat isolates him and puts him away with the HARLEM HANGOVER. (4:45) Looks like they’ve changed the plans for Fall Brawl. Harlem Heat will defend the tag belts against the Nasty Boys instead of the Steiners. And speaking of the Nasties, they attack the Heat during their post-match interview and beat them up all the way to the commercial break. ¾*
Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho
You’d think he’d get a rematch with Alex Wright after what happened last week, but they go with Dean Malenko. Not that I’m complaining, especially since Jericho meets Chris Benoit at Fall Brawl in two weeks, and Malenko was just feuding with Benoit. Mike Tenay joins us for this match. He’ll be a part of the second hour broadcast team starting tonight. Nice mat exchange to start. Jericho unleashes one too many kicks and when Malenko catches one, he takes Jericho over with a back suplex. A NASTY brainbuster from Malenko sends Jericho rolling into the ropes. Tenay announces Rey Mysterio will defend the Cruiserweight title at Fall Brawl against newcomer Super Calo – one of my FAVES! We look over and Ted DiBiase is leaving during this match. How RUDE. Malenko gets a little mean by grabbing the ropes for leverage during a headscissors. Not sure how that works, but whatever. Anyways, Jericho fights out with an electric chair drop. Malenko hits a butterfly suplex and grabs an ab stretch. He pulls on the ropes for leverage during this hold too. Jericho hiptosses out, but then Malenko shuts down a comeback with a springboard into a bulldog for 1-2-NO! Well that was cool. Crossbody sends both guys on the floor. They go back in, but Jericho baseball slides into Malenko and takes him off the apron for a springboard crossbody to the floor! You know, the one Christian used to do a lot. Back in for real this time, Jericho delivers a Missile Dropkick for 1-2-NO! Malenko reverses a tombstone piledriver for 1-2-NO! Malenko misses a corner charge as Jericho floats over into a bridging German suplex for 1-2-NO! They go back and forth trying another German suplex perhaps, but then Jericho counters one into a torso rollup for 1-2-3! (9:01) Excellent see-saw battle that highlights Jericho’s “Lionheart” character very well as he refused to quit and wasn’t afraid to keep on bringing the heat to somebody like Malenko. ***½
Video package airs showing off Rey Mysterio and Super Calo.
WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! Steve McMichael takes on Big John Tenta. Beautiful! Due to the split of the Blue Bloods, Squire David Taylor battles Earl Robert Eaton! I actually want to see that. Plus, Chris Jericho, Randy Savage and more will be in action! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS AND PLUNDAH, BABY!
The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Brad Armstrong
Sorry, Brad. You have no chance. Outside the building, a black limo pulls up that may or may not hold the nWo. Armstrong unwisely attempts a sunset flip on the Giant and gets yanked up by his throat. The crowd thinks it’s going to be a Chokeslam, but Giant just tosses Brad away. Armstrong rolls out and hotshots the Giant. He tries a Missile Dropkick and Giant staggers back, but then Brad charges at him and gets goozled for the CHOKESLAM. (3:48) Still nothing going on with that limo. ½*
The following announcement has been paid for by the new World order: This time it’s just Hollywood Hogan talking about Flair, Arn, Sting and Luger. “Whatcha gonna do at Wargames when the nWo destroys you!”
HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and for the first time on Nitro – Mike Tenay.
Recap of last week’s Nitro when the nWo spray painted a Turner production trailer, Ted DiBiase showed up and flashed the numbers four and five, and then they show when the nWo came out and beat up the Four Horsemen, Sting, and Luger all at the end of the show.
Randy Savage vs. Ron Studd
Once again when somebody has a big match with the Giant, they first must go through Ron Studd. As Studd is manhandling Savage, Hall and Nash start to get out of the limo when Hogan pops his head out and tells them to get back inside when he spots the cameraman. Meanwhile, Studd gets yanked out to the floor for the Flying Double Ax Handle. Back inside, Savage SLAMS the big guy and drops the MACHO ELBOW for the win. (2:44) Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage after the match. He mentions his next two huge matches coming up at the next two PPVs – Giant at Fall Brawl, Hogan for the WCW world title at Halloween Havoc. Savage says Giant couldn’t handle the pressure of defending WCW at Hog Wild, now he takes over from here on out. Savage absolutely guarantees victory in both of these matches. I’d imagine you don’t win too many bets, do you Randy. ½*
Sting & Lex Luger vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
Right after everybody makes their entrances, we cut to the back where the Four Horsemen are going after the limo. There’s nobody inside! Back to the ring after a brief commercial break. What could have been a cool match gets cut short. REAL short. Rick shoves Lex off a tie up and barely grazes ref Nick Patrick, so he calls for the DQ for being touched by a wrestler. (0:38) The crowd is PISSED. I’m sure it has something to do with Scott Steiner’s most recent injury, but I didn’t realize his injury came this early and took him out of action for a whole four months. Nevertheless, no rating. Duh.
The Four Horsemen (w/The Ladies) vs. The Dungeon of Doom (w/Jimmy Hart)
Will this feud ever end? Mongo starts us off. It’s not too awful bad. He takes a Bossman Straddle and heads to the floor. By the way, the Dungeon of Doom team consists of Kevin Sullivan, Big Bubba, and the Faces of Fear. Mongo blocks the slide to the floor uppercut and brings Bubba back in for a backdrop. Benoit drops a SWANDIVE HEADBUTT on Barbarian, but now we get Flair vs. Meng. To the back we go, Sting and Luger are chasing Nick Patrick all the way outside to the black limo. He doesn’t actually go to the nWo’s limo – instead, he goes behind some semi truck. Sting and Luger give up on Nick Patrick and go after Ted DiBiase, who is getting inside the limo! So much for that fifth Horsemen idea, Eric. Sting throws a CINDER BLOCK through the car door window, so the limo drives off. Instead of getting in their own car, Sting and Luger hijack a POLICE CAR and start to drive off after them!
Okay back inside the ring, Flair is popping the crowd by dishing out low blows to the Dungeon of Doom. Ladies and gentlemen, Meng has balls. Arn hits a random DDT on Meng and pays for it by getting caught in the Tree of Woe and the Running Knee Strike from Sullivan. Arn continues to get his butt handed to him as we go to break. We come back to see Benoit stuck in the same place Arn was in moments ago. Huge powerbomb from Barbarian gets two. Spinebuster by Bubba brings in Flair to punch the crap out of him. Benoit gets tossed over the top rope and Flair saves him by threatening to use a big blue chair! Back inside, Bubba eats a boot when he tries something off the middle rope. Sullivan and Benoit exchange vicious chops, but then Meng takes a desperate crossbody block from Benoit. Bubba cuts off the tag, but Arn comes in and gives him a AA Spinebuster! I love this crowd. Even if you don’t know the issue, how can you not get into this? The Faces of Fear try their STEREO FLYING HEADBUTTS, but Benoit sits up and HOT TAGS Flair! He destroys Sullivan with a Shinbreaker and applies the FIGURE-FOUR while everybody brawls out to the floor. Benoit tells Woman to help Ric if she’s really for the Four Horsemen. To prove her allegiance, she goes over to give Flair the extra leverage help as Sullivan’s shoulders drop to the mat for the 1-2-3. (13:54 shown) Quite the fun eight-man tag. Everybody had their working boots on here – even Mongo. I’m sure the hot crowd helped tremendously too. ***
And we’re not done. The new World order hits the ring and starts beating up everybody just like last week. Here comes the Giant to save the day! Not really. CHOKESLAM to the Barbarian! CHOKESLAM to Meng! Giant and Nash embrace and yes it is official – the Giant becomes the fifth man to join the nWo. Wait a minute, Randy Savage storms the ring with a steel chair! Giant gets nailed, Hall gets creamed, Nash takes the chairshot to the face! And now what to do about Hogan. This crowd is going insane. They want to see Hogan get destroyed! Hogan cowers into the corner as Savage charges with a swing of the chair, but Hogan ducks and takes Savage down. As Savage gets to his feet, Hogan gives him a low blow. Giant, Hall, and Nash all continue to keep the Horsemen and the Dungeon of Doom on the floor while Hogan nails Savage several times in the head with the chair. Just for fun, Giant CHOKESLAMS Savage to set up a repeat of Bash at the Beach as Hogan delivers not one, not two, but three LEGDROPS on the Macho Man. Out comes the spray paint. The nWo letters are sprayed on his chest, then Hogan pulls out a can of yellow paint and sprays a streak down Savage’s spine. Now that the damage is done, the new foursome take over the announce position as Giant tries to explain why he turned on WCW – DiBiase tempted him with all the nice things money could buy, which was more than what WCW could offer. Hogan interrupts him several times, but you can tell where the story was going. Another reason why he couldn’t finish his explanation was because the Dungeon of Doom and the Four Horsemen came by for another huge fight. Once everybody clears out, Giant and Hogan return to the announce table to quote a Stupid Little Man “Whether you like it or you don’t, it’s the best thing going today!” And then they turn the table over and walk out as Hogan continues to work the crowd like any world class heel would do.
EXTREMELY crazy hot and classic ending to Nitro. Now I just wonder how they’re going to explain Sting and Luger stealing a cop car next week and why they’re not serving some serious jail time.
Looks like some of Fall Brawl’s matches on September 15 are already set.
– WARGAMES: Sting, Luger, Flair & Arn vs. The nWo
– The Giant vs. Randy Savage
– WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat vs. The Nasty Boys
– Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho
– WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Super Calo
– “Mexican Heavyweight Champ” Konnan vs. Juventud Guerrera
– Scott Norton vs. Ice Train
– Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.