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WCW Nitro 12/23/1996

Written By: Matt Peddycord

WCW Monday Nitro
December 23, 1996
Macon, GA
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.

Chris Benoit (w/Woman) vs. Eddie Guerrero – WCW U.S. Title Tournament Quarterfinals
Why isn’t this the finals instead? Because DDP and Eddie Guerrero are still feuding after four months because of that one time he took his Battlebowl ring? Nothing has happened since then though? Come on. You were going to give Eddie the belt anyways. Oh well – at least we get to see this match again. Even though these two have fought like at least once every month since the beginning of Nitro. Why am I complaining? At least it’s not a Hacksaw-Wallstreet rematch because it could have been. It really could.

DDP joins us for commentary since he’s got the winner of this match at Starrcade. These two get ROUGH with one another to start with chops a plenty. Kevin Sullivan cuts a creepy promo on the split screen threatening Benoit. Eddie controls with a headlock as we take a commercial break. When we return, Benoit launches Guerrero into a hotshot. Back suplex gets two. A delayed cover off Benoit’s NASTY signature snap powerbomb that should be illegal in 48 states gets a nearfall. Benoit connects with more chops, but Eddie comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Benoit stops the Frog Splash with a superplex. Man this crowd is HOT. Benoit hangs Eddie out to dry and goes for a back superplex. The ref gets up on the ropes to talk Benoit down, but he gets shoved away which allows Eddie enough time to regroup and push Benoit to the mat for a funky FROG SPLASH! Cover, 1-2-3! (10:34 shown) Guerrero advances to the finals. Hard fought match for both guys. They REALLY had the crowd in the palm of their hands for the entire match. ***¼

Gene Okerlund brings out the rest of the Four Horsemen. AA tells Benoit that he took the beating from Kevin Sullivan last week because that’s what Horsemen do for each other, but then asks why Woman isn’t here for the Horsemen this week. Debra runs her mouth off again like somebody cares about her opinion until Benoit literally tells her and I quote, “Talk to the hand because the man don’t understand.’ Oh man, she better take a step back. Mongo defends his lady and starts pointing fingers at Benoit until Ric Flair steps in to remind everybody that’s its Christmastime and we just need to party ALL NIGHT LONG! WOOO! He goes on to ask who can blame Woman for leaving the devil after ten years for a weekend with Benoit. Somehow Flair seems to think that the Four Horsemen are still alive and well.

Really Naitch? Let’s have a quick sidebar, buddy. Ric, you can’t even wrestle right now because of your messed up shoulder. Arn is just about done with his career because of his broken down neck. Benoit just lost to Eddie Guerrero for a chance at the US strap and nobody likes him in the Horsemen right now because he keeps causing trouble messing around with Woman while Arn’s taking beatings in his place and Mongo doesn’t like him because he’s talking down to his wife. And then you have Mongo there who I haven’t seen wrestle in months. The Four Horsemen are dead, my man. Give it up, there’s nothing left.

Alright back to the show. Hollywood Hogan and his nWotourage head to the ring. It’s another week of Hogan talking about how Roddy Piper is SOOO scared of him because he won’t confront him when he’s in the building. He continues to say how he’s a bigger star than Piper ever will be, men who wear skirts are dumb, and that Piper’s a big huge coward. Give them what they want, Hulkster. It’s posin’ time!

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! It’s the Year in Review show including the incursion of the new World order. Also, you’ll see the lead up to Piper/Hogan on Sunday night at Starrcade! Don’t miss out! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS, CLUBBERIN, AND PLUNDAH, BABY!

We take this opportunity to watch the trailer for Roddy Piper’s new film entitled Marked Man. As with most of Piper’s films, it looks worthy of a MST3K viewing.

Lex Luger vs. Tombstone

Tombstone is 911 from ECW. No reason to sign him away from that fed other than just because they could. He was only here in WCW for about four months before heading to JAPW with the rest of the ECW throwaways. And no, this isn’t ECW so 911 doesn’t just chokeslam Luger for the pin. Instead, Luger takes a few slams and a few clotheslines before making his comeback and hoisting Tombstone up in the TORTURE RACK for the quick submission. (3:38) Right as he lets go of Tombstone, the Giant shows up for a beating. Luger actually gets him up in the TORTURE RACK right as Scott Hall and Kevin Nash make the save. ½*

Flashback to Last Week: The real Sting beat up the nWo Sting and this week didn’t beat up the Steiner brothers. But later on in the night when there was this huge free for all in the ring, WCW guys started firing away on Sting. All he did was defend himself before quietly leaving the ring. You don’t want my help? FINE.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Mr. JL

Does JL only work heel against Rey Mysterio? After they trade some armdrags, Rey ducks a pescado and hits a flying headscissors off the apron. Back in, a bit of perfect irony comes as Mysterio knees JL when he sticks his head through the ropes – a spot where Jerry Lynn himself would give you a jumping legdrop with no set up – and delivers a springboard legdrop for two. JL blocks a rana with a powerbomb, but Rey flips out of another powerbomb and nails JL with a quebrada. Rey runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but connects with another flying headscissors to send JL to the floor for an awesome suicide dive! Back in again, JL avoids the Springboard Hurracanrana and faceplants Mysterio for La Magistral that gets two. JL heads up top, but Rey crotches him for an awesome SPRINGBOARD DRAGONSTEINER for the 1-2-3! (6:02) These two did much better with a shorter amount of TV time. As Rey Mysterio always seemed to do back then, he certainly knows how to deliver a fantastic finish. **¾

In a rare moment, Rey Mysterio heads over to the announce position to slap Tony and Larry Z with some knowledge. STING WAS JUST DEFENDING HIMSELF. When somebody throws a punch at you, you duck and then stand up straight and swing back. Larry just thinks Rey is dreaming – like he’s on some Mexican skunk weed or something like ALL the youth of the ’90s were. Replay that Bonnie Tyler video!

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay.

Flashback to Earlier Tonight: Hogan talks junk about Piper.

Glacier vs. Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker

Oh man. More Glacier? Give this guy something to do! Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker is no longer part of the police force – he’s a Gomer Pyle now. Perhaps a Sgt. Carter instead? Anyways, kicks are everywhere. Tenay makes the first CRYONIC KICK call. The first one whiffs, but the second one NAILS Parker for the win. (2:29) Glacier is a force, says Bobby Heenan. ¼*

The Amazing French Canadians (w/Col. Robert Parker) vs. Public Enemy
The Public Enemy interrupt the AFC’s ‘O Canada’ performance by blinding them with their toboggans. The shenanigans continue as they try to put Rougeau through a table, but Oulette distracts and the AFC hit Grunge with La Bombe de Rougeau followed by the Boston crab-flying legdrop combo. Rocco Rock tries to break up the QUEBECER CRASH off the table up in the corner, but the table breaks. Once the Public Enemy take what’s left of the table and run the AFC down with it, the ref calls for the bell. (3:23) I do like the AFC, but this was hardly even a match. Oulette gets Public Enemy’s version of the Quebecer Crash on a broken down table before he’s pulled out by Rougeau and Parker to celebrate how they are #1. WHAT. ¼*

Flashback to last week when Big Bubba turned on the Dungeon of Doom and joined up with the new World order.

Konnan (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Big Bubba

Here’s Bubba’s first Nitro match as a member of the new World order. Speaking of firsts, this is the first time we’ve seen Nick Patrick as a referee since World War 3. No neck brace, no ski mask – he’s just wearing some creepy earrings. Bubba controls to start until he goes out after Jimmy Hart, which gets him hit with a suicide dive by Konnan. He follows up with a ride into the steps, followed by a dropkick. Back in, Konnan complains to Nick Patrick about a slow count while Bubba’s on the floor. Bubba tries to attack, but Konnan fights him off. Nick Patrick talks to Jimmy Hart for no reason while Bubba chokes Konnan and tosses him over the top to the floor. After some more choking, Jimmy gets on the apron to complain and winds up barely poking Nick Patrick in the nose to send Jimmy to the back. Nevertheless, Konnan tosses Bubba over the top rope to the floor for the DQ. (5:36) I don’t even know what to say here. It’s like now that Raw is on from 8-9pm, they don’t even have to try. ¼*

On the Road with Lee Marshall: He’s in Knoxville, Tennessee! While Starrcade is sold out, the following Nitro in Knoxville still has tickets available! He drops the weekly weasel joke and Bobby one-ups him with an actual insult.

WCW World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal vs. Dean Malenko

While you would never know it by our ‘informative’ commentators, it appears the TV belt is on the line since it gets shown to Malenko. Only Tenay is able to pay attention to this match and mentions the TV title being on the line about minute into the match. The point being that if Malenko wins the TV strap, he’ll have a chance at holding TEN titles at once if he were to capture the J-Crown at Starrcade against Ultimo Dragon. This should be a good grappling match if nothing else. Regal tries to dislocate Malenko’s elbow to start. Malenko kips up and when he tries a monkey flip, Regal cartwheels away and drills Dean with an enziguri. Sonny Oono comes out of the tunnel to snap some pictures of the match. From here, Regal keeps Malenko grounded with a headlock. The crowd is silent through this whole match as Tony and Bobby hype Starrcade. Malenko mounts a comeback out of an ab stretch, but Regal stops that with a full nelson. Malenko rolls out of a Boston crab and nearly gets the Texas Cloverleaf turned over when Regal finds the ropes. Butterfly suplex by Regal, release German suplex by Malenko. Brainbuster by Malenko brings us to the ten-minute time limit draw about 34 seconds early. (9:26) The crowd is just sitting with their arms crossed. While I enjoyed it, surely they won’t do this again. **½

Rick Steiner (w/Scott Steiner) vs. Jeff Jarrett
So the two guys who talked the most crap about Sting square off against each other. Rick does his maniacal laugh during the whole match as he hits Jarrett with a Steinerline and slams him into the corner. Overhead suplex brings out the clearly fake and obvious nWo Sting. Of course Tony is convinced it’s the real Sting. Steiner saves Jarrett from a Scorpion Deathdrop with a Steinerline and Jarrett jumps on top of Sting for the 1-2-3. (2:24) WHAT. ½*

Since we haven’t seen Hollywood Hogan for an hour, let’s bring him out! Once again, Hogan calls out Roddy Piper. The bagpipes hit, but it’s Eric Bischoff dressed like a Scottish stereotype with a Hulkster t-shirt on pretending to be Piper. He ‘admits’ Hogan is the true icon and the unrivaled god of wrestling. He lays down for Hogan as Nick Patrick comes out for the three-count. While Bischoff is worshipping Hogan, more bagpipes play as the REAL Roddy Piper heads down to get into a fisticuffs exchange with Hogan. The crowd is going nuts until the new World order runs down to make the fight 12-on-1 while Sting watches on from the rafters. WCW security comes out WAYYY too late and that’s where we leave off six days before Starrcade. Because I mean you know nothing important is going to happen on WCW Saturday Night.

Here’s the final card for Starrcade on December 29!

– MAIN EVENT: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
– Lex Luger vs. The Giant
– Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero (WCW US Title Tournament Finals)
– WCW World Tag Team Champions The Outsiders vs. The Faces of Fear
– Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
– Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger
– Akira Hokuto vs. Madusa (WCW Womens Title Tournament Finals)
– 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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