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WCW Nitro 12/30/1996

Written By: Matt Peddycord

WCW Monday Nitro
December 30, 1996
Knoxville, TN
Civic Coliseum

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Eddie Guerrero (12/29/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (8/20/1996)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Ultimo Dragon (12/29/1996)
WCW Women’s Champion: Akira Hokuto (12/29/1996)

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

Reports say this episode starts SEVEN minutes early tonight. The show kicks off with the new World order getting out of a limo in the back. As usual, Hollywood Hogan’s gloating even though he just lost to Roddy Piper last night. Since they left the PPV last night looking like there was a lot of ‘dissension within the ranks’, now they’re acting like nothing even happened to dispel any rumors of a breakdown of the group. However, the Giant decides to cut the charade. While Hogan’s talking about the “nWo” world title belt, Giant points out that the belt still has his nameplate on it. Wow, Hogan is LAZY. He’s been champ again for five months now. Hogan says they’re all blood in this family FA LIFE, but the Giant dropped the ball last night. Even so, the nWo can stumble and still be the most powerful force in the universe, brother. Giant continues to say that since he won World War 3 and the belt will still remain in the nWo family, he wants a title shot. Hogan responds saying that the title shot means that it’s a bye for him. When somebody in the nWo wins World War 3, that means there’s just one less title defense Hollywood has to make so they have more time to PAR-TAY. Giant seems a little pissed that he can’t have a chance to be the leader of the nWo. Whoa whoa whoa – that’s blasphemy, brother. During this little confrontation, Ted DiBiase gets rid of the camera man.

Stills are shown of Luger-Giant from Starrcade.

The Amazing French Canadians (w/Col. Robert Parker) vs. Public Enemy

Both teams take turns cleaning house on the other. When the AFC start to leave, Public Enemy beat them back to the ring with Canadian flagpoles. It’s a wonder the poles didn’t break. Oulette eats the stairs, but Rougeau avoids the PUBLIC ENEMY SANDWICH through the table. Hey I know it’s a lame description, but what are you gonna do. While Johnny Grunge is dead (I SAY YOU HE DEAD), the QUEBECER CRASH gets the win over on Rocco Rock. (3:29) At least neither Tony or Larry Z called that an upset. ¾*

WCW Cruiserweight Champion Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Jushin Liger

Well while you’ve got Liger here, you might as well bring him to Nitro too. The following Saturday evening in Tokyo, these two square off for the J-Crown where Jushin Liger picks up the win. But tonight, Liger NO-SELLS some clotheslines and drops Dragon with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Surfboard followed by a running senton bomb gets two. Powerbomb from Liger connects, but Dragon flips out of a second tilt-a-whirl and nails Liger with a backbreaker of his own. To the floor, Dragon hits a suicide dive. Back inside, Liger catches Dragon coming off the top with a boot and delivers the BRAINBUSTER for the 1-2-NO! If this were Japan, it probably would have been over. Superplex from Liger gets two. Ultimo comes back with the Dragonsteiner and delivers the TIGER SUPLEX for the 1-2-3. (4:41) Fast and furious action we’ve come to expect from these two. **½

Mr. Wallstreet vs. Konnan (w/Jimmy Hart) – Strap Match
Supposed to be Big Bubba vs. Konnan, but Bubba doesn’t show and Wallstreet takes his place. Standard strap match, but REAL short, which is fine by me. Konnan taps all the corners behind Wallstreet and then gets punched into the fourth corner to give him the win. (2:34) D’OH! It’s the second straight loss for the nWo in two nights. That’s what happens when you a small group gets bigger and you take on all these extra guys. White Castle of Fear, this ain’t. ½*

Speaking of the new World order, it’s fun time with Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff! Long story short, they act as though Hollywood Hogan really did beat Roddy Piper last night as if everybody who bought the PPV didn’t see, you know, the main event.

Hugh Morrus vs. Kensuke Sasaki (w/Sonny Oono)

Again, use the New Japan guys while you have them around. Kensuke Sasaki was always pretty popular with the New Japan crowd, but 1997 would be his absolute breakout year as a singles star. Lots of clotheslines from these two. Eric Bischoff comes over and shows Tony and Larry that he’s got the master copy of the Starrcade tape in his hand. Larry Z makes the best point ~ “Don’t we have a copy of the tape somewhere?” Oh, but Tony says we have STILLS! Neat! Anyways, Morrus hits NO LAUGHING MATTER, but Sonny Oono breaks it up with a Japanese flagpole shot for the DQ. (4:40) Costing Hugh Morrus is however not a laughing matter. He gets mad and chases Sonny Oono away as he tears him out of his jacket. ¾*

Stills particularly of Piper defeating Hogan are shown from last night.

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it IF YOU WEEL! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! Eddie Guerrero defends the US title against Dean Malenko! Masahiro Chono, Arn Anderson, and Lex Luger will all be in action! Plus, the WCW TV champ Lord Steven Regal battles the Ice Train! Don’t miss out! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS, CLUBBERIN, AND PLUNDAH, BABY!

Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) vs. The Faces of Fear (w/Jimmy Hart)

It takes an Axe Kick and a Harlem Side Kick to take Barbarian down! Booker gets caught up top and sent across the ring with an overhead suplex from Barbarian. Booker refuses the backdrop into a powerbomb spot, but still takes a backbreaker from Meng. Here comes Col. Robert Parker to spank Sherri with his riding crop. She goes nuts on him and chokes him to the ground. Careful, Sherri. Don’t bang your head! You might fall in love with him again. Meanwhile, the AFC head down to throw powder in Stevie Ray’s eyes. KICK OF FEAR! Booker lowers the boom on Meng, but he NO-SELLS. Well, sort of. Stevie Ray turns over on top of Meng for the 1-2-3. (3:34) What the heck. So Harlem Heat weren’t duked after all? This was kind of a mess. ½*

Gene Okerlund interviews Diamond Dallas Page. What you gonna do about the new World order since they screwed you out of the US title, Page? He tells Gene not to worry about it. So yeah, don’t worry about it, Gene.

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

We kick off the second hour with a Flashback to Earlier Tonight when Hollywood Hogan and the Giant got into another argument. Plus, Hogan and Eric Bischoff lie about beating Roddy Piper at Starrcade.

Glacier vs. Disco Inferno
Disco tries to get some cheap heat by making Volunteers insults. Never knew disco junkies cared for football all that much. It’s the usual Glacier match with loads of kicks from every angle until Disco pulls the ref in the way and capitalizes with a clothesline. Disco tries his newest submission – a standing figure four – but he doesn’t know how to apply it. Too much dancing gets Disco in some trouble as he dances around into the CRYONIC KICK. Good night. (4:18) Just goes to show Disco Inferno’s untapped potential, which wouldn’t be discovered until late in the following year when he traded the TV belt back and forth with Perry Saturn. ¾*

Stills are shown from the Benoit-Jarrett match.

Chris Benoit (w/Woman) vs. Chris Jericho

This should be fun. Jericho dropkicks Benoit to the floor early and follows up with a missile dropkick. Back in, Benoit blocks a rana with a hotshot and starts shoving the Four Horsemen hand sign in Jericho’s face. Spinebuster gets two. Jericho counters the Powerbomb of Death into a backslide for two. Benoit yanks Jericho into the corner, but Jericho atomic drops out of a ten-count punch and hits a superkick. Lionsault misses, but a flying bodypress does not. Jericho misses a corner charge so Benoit brings him down with a Back Superplex for the 1-2-3. (4:00) Nobody gets up from that move, pal. Good match. **¾

Everybody from the Four Horsemen excluding Arn Anderson show up with Gene Okerlund for an interview. Woman and Debra get into an argument which causes Benoit and Mongo to start pointing fingers. Jeff Jarrett comes out and tries to remind Ric Flair that he’s around. Woman asks Ric where Arn is? He’s partying, Woman. It’s New Year’s Eve Eve! Duh. Before we go, Benoit reminds Jarrett that he can be anything but a Horsemen. Debra tries to stir the pot a little more with Woman, but Flair decides to just dance the night away instead. WOO!

It’s time to check in with Lee Marshall for the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report. Gotta make sure that man is doing his job – whatever it is. He’s in Monroe Louisiana eating gumbo and makes the weekly weasel joke that nobody laughs over.

Octagoncito & Mascarita Sagrada vs. Jerrito Estrada & Piratita Morgan

Yay little people! Just imagine a bunch of meaningless lucha moves for two minutes. Heenan ~ “Octagoncito was so thrilled to be a wrestler, he said he felt like he was four feet tall.” That’s about as good as it gets here. Sagrada gets the victory roll on Estrada for the win. (2:21) So there you have it. At the Royal Rumble, the WWF would try to utilize some Mexican midgets for the first time too. This was more entertaining than anything Hornswoggle has ever done. *

Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

And you thought there was only one midget match tonight. Once the feeling out process is over, Rey lucha armdrags Malenko to the floor and slides through the ropes for a headscissors on the floor. Just incredible. Back in, Mysterio counters a standing surfboard with a front headlock. Dean places him in the corner and then whips him into the ropes for a hoist into the air only to fall flat on his face. Gutbuster gets two. Snap suplex sets up a half crab. Butterfly suplex gets another two. Rey fights out of a backbreaker and lands on Dean off a tilt-a-whirl for two. Just when things look up for Rey, he charges and gets launched into the corner. Mysterio lands on Dean off a back superplex, but Malenko counters a rana into a powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Rey gets a few surprise nearfalls and dropkicks Malenko to the floor for a seated senton! Holy crap. Back in, Malenko counters the SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA into a Boston crab. Mysterio slips out into a rollup of his own for 1-2-NO! Mysterio tries a headscissors out of the corner, but Malenko counters into a side slam for two. I love it. After all their encounters in 1996, it just makes sense that Malenko would know what to look for and how to counter everything Rey tries to do. That’s good psychology. Flying headscissors from Rey connects, but the bell sounds and we have a ten-minute draw 41 seconds early. (9:19) Rey wants five more minutes, but nah. The man just can’t buy a win since he lost the Cruiserweight belt. Easily the match of the night. ***¼

Lex Luger vs. Greg Valentine
Usual Luger match where he absorbs all the punishment and gets the TORTURE RACK for the win. (2:41) I mean what more do I need to say? Thanks for coming, Greg? ¼*

It’s MAIN EVENT INTERVIEW TIME! Roddy Piper is in the building and he’s heading to the ring. He receives a lot of love from Knoxville. Last time he checked, Hollywood Hogan was napping in the middle of the ring last night to make him the ICON. Whatever that means. He tells us that was his last fight. Funny how that turned out. WrestleMania 25 rolls around and who do I see wrestling Chris Jericho? Piper gets interrupted by Hogan and Bischoff. Hollywood looks PISSED. Piper makes a few Hogan jokes, but then things get serious. Hogan mentions Piper’s kids. Oh snap. He told them he would take it easy on their daddy. Is that so, Hollywood? Piper starts to undress for a fight when the new World order attack. During the mauling, they drop Piper’s shoulder on Norton’s knee. The man does have a pretty lethal knee. Giant just stands back and watches while Hogan blasts Piper’s hip with a chair. Trash is thrown all over the ring. Hogan orders Giant to chokeslam Piper, but he tosses Piper aside and stands alone while Hogan schemes with the rest of the nWo-ites. Here come the EMTs to carry Piper out on a stretcher. Hogan slaps the Giant for screwing up again. Big mistake. Giant grabs him by the throat and SCREAMS for the rest of the new World order to get the heck out of the ring. Meanwhile, Piper is speaking gibberish on the stretcher as he’s being wheeled off into an ambulance. Giant yells in Hogan’s face demanding a WCW world title shot that he feels he deserves for winning World War 3. Hogan begins to cry! He apologizes to the Giant and says he’ll grant him a title shot. Once he’s safe on the floor though, he tells the nWo to attack the Giant! He does alright against them until the numbers game takes over. They rip the nWo t-shirt off him and bash the title belt in his face until he’s completely unconscious.

And now Piper’s ambulance is driving away as we fade to black. Quite the HOT way to end the program.

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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