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WCW Nitro 12/16/1996

Written By: Matt Peddycord

WCW Monday Nitro
December 16, 1996
Pensacola, FL
Civic Center

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Vacant (11/25/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (8/20/1996)
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (10/27/1996)

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko.

Bischoff and DiBiase come out and take over the broadcast right in the middle of Tony’s first sentence. Larry Z tries to put up a fight, but he’s retired. He plays golf every day. Get out of here, Larry.

Flashback to Last Week: Eric Bischoff confronts Roddy Piper, but the part where he gets knocked out naturally isn’t shown.

WCW World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal vs. Psychosis

This crowd is either really against Regal, really into Psychosis, or just really hot – I can’t decide. Bischoff reminds everybody that the WCW locker room has until Christmas to convert their contracts over to the nWo or else they will become targeted. Early on, Regal tries to break Psychosis’s arm and we go to commercials. AND WE’RE BACK! Spinning heel kick and a Koppou Kick sends Regal to the floor for a plancha! Back in, a flying sunset flip gets 1-2-NO! Top rope hurracanrana gets 1-2-NO! Whoa – GUILLOTINE LEG DROP connects. Delayed cover gets a nearfall. Regal drops Psychosis with a German suplex to buy himself some time. He keeps Psychosis grounded with a full nelson. Butterfly suplex gets two. Psychosis shoves off the Butterfly Superplex and hits a HUGE flying splash for 1-2-NO! Psychosis gets a bunch of nearfalls off cradles, but then takes a faceplant to set up the REGAL STRETCH to give him the submission victory. (10:37 shown) Nice to see Psychosis being able to hang with the TV champ. That crowd really wanted to see a title change. Good little TV match with loads of heat-filled action. ***

Flashback to Three Weeks Ago: Sting cost Rick Steiner a match with Big Bubba when he gave Rick the Scorpion Deathdrop.

Big Bubba vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Chavo beats Bubba to the floor, but his pescado gets caught for a slam. Back inside, Bubba misses a splash. Chavo punches Bubba down while he’s up on his shoulders. Flying Butthole and a somersault senton gets two. But Chavo can’t keep Bubba down forever. He runs into a BUBBA SLAM for the 1-2-3. (2:53) Rule #1 to booking a cruiserweight division: Don’t use them to job to big guys. That’s what fat ugly wrestlers with mullets are for. ¾*

Gene Okerlund grabs Masahiro Chono and Sonny Oono for an interview before they go to the ring. Gene asks Oono why Chono hasn’t renewed his contract with New Japan yet. Oono’s been negotiating and stuff. He shows off his New Japan t-shirt, so Chono tries to one-up him by wearing an nWo t-shirt! The new World order has just gone international! Oono is freaking out in Japanese. Chono responds in more Japanese gibberish (THIS IS AMERICA! SPEAK AMERICAN!) and then tries to rip Oono’s t-shirt off. Boy, those Japanese shirts are not cheaply made. Bischoff and DiBiase are laughing it up in approval.

Masahiro Chono (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Chris Jericho

Since Jericho’s like TOTALLY all about WCW, you’d think he’d be attacking at the bell. Jericho spinning back kicks Chono in the head, so he retaliates with the MAFIA KICK. Chono beats Jericho around the ring for a while. Jericho tries to stop him with a superplex, but can’t capitalize on a cover. Meanwhile, Bischoff makes a remark about how Antonio Inoki (the New Japan owner) has to be in shock much like Vince McMahon back when Luger showed up at the first Nitro. He even mentions that he WATCHED the PPV last night. Wow, so you admit on live TV that you bought a WWF PPV? DiBiase wisely keeps his mouth shut. Chono ducks a Flying Spinning Heel Kick, but Jericho comes down on his lower back! Moving on, Jericho gets his foot trapped in the ropes and as he’s hanging over the side of the apron, Chono kicks the crap out of him until ref Mark Curtis calls for the bell. (5:50) So Jericho wins via DQ. Not a good return for Chono, but I’m sure they’ll be sending this tape primarily for the finish to New Japan where it matters as the nWo Japan starts here. Over the next several years, the group would feature other New Japan heavyweight stars such as Chono’s tag team partner Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Great Muta, Satoshi Kojima, and Hiro Saito.

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! WCW world tag champs The Outsiders will be involved in a 3-on-2 handicap match! Jeff Jarrett, Diamond Dallas Page, Scott Norton, Lex Luger, Eddie Guerrero, M. Wallstreet, and many others will be featured on the show! Don’t miss out! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS, CLUBBERIN, AND PLUNDAH, BABY!

Flashback to Last Week: Ric Flair gives Roddy Piper the support of the Four Horsemen, but Piper wants to do this on his own. Now they show Bischoff making fun of Piper for being a gimp and then getting knocked out. Of course it didn’t even hurt. He could have gotten up and beaten Piper down, but he felt bad for him. You know, with the bad hip and all. Kevin Greene hops in the ring to help out, but then we go off the air.

Gene Okerlund brings out Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Steve & Debra McMichael. Flair’s got his Gators pullover on. Long before Tim Tebow was the man, there was Danny Wuerffel. Tonight, AA says he’s going to mend Sullivan’s broken heart with a broken body. Awesome. Flair doesn’t blame Benoit for wanting a piece of Woman. Of course, Debra has to run her mouth off. Mongo gets us back on track and encourages Arn to take Sullivan down Horsemen-style. Flair wraps this interview up with a frog in his throat. It had to happen eventually.

WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Dave Sammartino

A ripped David Sammartino makes his WCW debut here. Dang, he’s like 100 pounds lighter than he was at the first WrestleMania. No real story here. They tussle on the mat for a while until Malenko hooks the arms (CATTLE MUTILATION?) and rolls the shoulders for the seemingly surprising three-count. (2:56) Crowd isn’t pleased with the match, but hey Dean wins again! ¾*

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay. When the threesome come out, Heenan gets a huge “weasel” chant and he gives them a nice angered response. Bobby just won’t let that go, will he.

Flashback to Earlier Tonight: Masahiro Chono becomes the newest member of the new World order.

Ice Train (w/Teddy Long) vs. Jerry Flynn

For someone so “accomplished and disciplined in martial arts”, in his Nitro debut Jerry Flynn looks like he just got out of bed with a hangover and didn’t even bother to shower before this match. Ice Train runs Flynn over a bunch until he comes back with kicks. Train HULKS UP and catches one of Flynn’s kicks to clamp on an anklelock. WHOA. That gets the win. (3:25) Tenay says Ice Train picked up that submission hold during his matches with Scott Norton. Yeah right. ¾*

Syxx interrupts Ice Train’s celebration to introduce the WCW world tag champs, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash for an interview. They come out to say things like “too sweet”. They hype Starrcade and then make a challenge to their opponents at the PPV – the Faces of Fear – and since they’re in the building, they want to hook it up tonight.

They air an LSD-induced promo for Sting.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Bobby Eaton

Bobby shuts Rey down for a minute with a right hand. Billy Robinson backbreaker gets two. Rey slides out and avoids a lunge off the apron as Bobby eats the guardrail to set up a suicide dive by Rey. Back inside, Rey spin kicks Eaton down for a springboard dropkick, which sets up a split-legged moonsault for two. Once again, Eaton shuts Rey down this time with a clothesline. Flying Knee Drop to Rey gets 1-2-NO! Next up, Rey catches Eaton up top and brings him down with a hurracanrana for the 1-2-3. (4:59) Rule #2 to booking a cruiserweight division: Don’t use heavyweights to job to them. That’s what other cruiserweights are for. **

On the Road with Lee Marshall: He’s calling from next week’s location for Nitro – Macon, GA. GET YOUR TICKETS! Marshall thinks a bunch of fictional fifties musical characters will be there. Heenan tells him to stay off the moonshine.

Another video of Chris Benoit and Woman in Europe is shown. Those two are so in LOOOOOOVE!

Arn Anderson vs. Kevin Sullivan (w/Jimmy Hart)

Looks like Arn is fighting Benoit’s battles now. Sullivan meets Arn on the floor where a chair nearly takes Sullivan apart up against the ringpost. They brawl into the crowd for a bit with Arn in control. AA knocks the ref back by accident and when he gets his eyes poked, Arn turns away and DDTs the ref! Whoops. Sullivan hits the DOUBLE STOMP and then ties Arn up in the Tree of Woe, but he blocks the charge with a shot to the balls. DDT to Sullivan? Nope. Hugh Morrus comes in for the save and he takes the DDT instead. Konnan attacks and gets thrown out. Now Jimmy Hart gets grabbed for a DDT, but Sullivan saves with a wooden chair. Jimmy wakes up the ref, who counts the 1-2-3. (3:51) Some cool chaotic moments there. Then again, maybe I’m just an Arn Anderson mark. It’s definitely the loudest the crowd has become since the opener. Mongo runs in for the wayyyy too late save.

Rick Steiner (w/Scott Steiner) vs. Sting
Of course, no match. Sting starts to come down from the rafters, but then another gum-chewing Sting comes out from another part of the arena. AND THE ANNOUNCERS THINK HE’S THE REAL STING. It’s the nWo Sting, guys. He pulls the ropes down for the real Sting while the Steiners get the bats. When they turn their backs, Sting hits the nWo Sting with the SCORPION DEATHDROP. Now it clicks and Tony finally realizes who the real Sting is. Rick tosses Sting the bat and he heads back through the crowd. Oh, Sting is definitely WCW now!

The World Champ Hollywood Hogan, Ted DiBiase, The Giant, Vincent, and Elizabeth all head to the ring. Once again, Hogan gets the ‘Hollywood’ spotlight and talks down Roddy Piper. He tells Vincent to go find Piper, but he’s not here bro. When Vincent returns, Hogan says Piper ran out the back door when he heard Hogan was looking for him. Since he can’t beat up Piper tonight for his nWo-ites, he decides to pose instead.

WCW World Tag Team Champions The Outsiders vs. The Faces of Fear (w/Jimmy Hart)
Again, no match. They brawl until Big Bubba comes out to help the Faces of Fear – or DOES HE? He starts punching Meng and gives him the BUBBA SLAM! Konnan, Hugh Morrus, and Kevin Sullivan run down to beat up Bubba, but the Outsiders help fight them off. The locker room clears out as it’s just a huge brawl. When Ice Train heads down, Scott Norton cuts him off with a DDT on the floor! He’s nWo out too! Sting heads to the ring and tries to stop everybody from fighting. When he backs Arn away, AA takes a shot at him. Sting ducks and knocks Arn away. Mongo goes to defend Arn, but he gets nailed. Rey Mysterio jumps on Sting’s back, but gets flipped off. Enough of this. He tries to help, but WCW tries to hurt him. Sting leaves back through the crowd again as we fade to black.

Some matches have already been announced for Starrcade on December 29!

– MAIN EVENT: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
– Lex Luger vs. The Giant
– WCW World Tag Team Champions The Outsiders vs. The Faces of Fear
– WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. J-Crown Champion Ultimo Dragon

Bob Colling Jr. View All

34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.

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