April 25, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Monday Nitro
March 11, 1996
Winston-Salem, NC
LJVM Coliseum

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Ric Flair (2/11/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Konnan (1/29/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Sting & Lex Luger (1/22/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lex Luger (3/6/1996)

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and that Emmy-award winning Steve “Mongo” McMichael.

This is a special show to me because it was my very FIRST live wrestling show.

The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Jim Duggan
With Flair and Arn taking the forefront of the Hogan feud, this is the first time we’ve seen Giant on Nitro since Superbrawl. Duggan blitzes the Giant to start, but doesn’t get too far with that. On the floor, Duggan leaps off the apron into the arms of the Giant to get driven into the ringpost. Giant seems more at ease in the ring than ever before. He continues to pound Duggan as Brian Pillman pulls a “shoot” by walking through the crowd at ringside holding up a banner advertising some 1-900 number. The director tries to pay him no mind in order to make it seem like a serious shoot when it’s definitely not. Bischoff gets up from the announce table to make sure security escorts him out of the building. Pretty awesome. Back over in the ring, Duggan bites his way out of a bearhug. That doesn’t stop the Giant though, as he avalanches Duggan. He misses a second one to set up Duggan’s THREE-POINT STANCE! Wow, Giant goes up and over the top rope to the floor and lands on his feet. It slowed him down, but doesn’t stop him. Back inside, Giant pounds Duggan some more and goes back to the bearhug. Like an idiot, Duggan headbutts out and nearly kills himself falling on the way out to the floor. But then Duggan sees some electrical tape on the floor! He pulls it up and wraps it around his fist! Back in the ring, Duggan pops Giant in the face and puts him on his backside. Why the ref doesn’t DQ him, I don’t know. Jimmy Hart tries to get the tape away from him as some of it hangs from his hand, but Duggan’s too strong. He just yanks Jimmy into the ring and proceeds to headbutt him out of the ring. Uh oh, CHOKESLAM! See ya later, Duggan. (6:30) Wow, really? Six minutes with Duggan and the Giant? This was okay, but Giant shouldn’t have had so much trouble with him. I mean, it’s not like Giant was trying some new moves or anything here. ½*

Steve Grissom came in fourth and started in 43rd place this past weekend! Well, that’s not bad. I still don’t care though.

The Road Warriors vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
It’s supposed to be LOD vs. the Nasty Boys, but somebody took care of them in the back. And to my surprise, the FN STEINER BROTHERS make their long-awaited return to WCW on Harley Davidson motorcycles! This is a dream match that never really got its due attention in 1989 when it should have been the biggest thing to hit tag team wrestling. Instead, the Road Warriors were in a feud with the Skyscrapers and the Steiners feuding with Doom. Ever since then, they were never really in the same promotion to make this happen, so this was certainly the best way to bring the Steiners back into WCW. Scott and Hawk start the match with neither man giving an inch. Hawk powers Scott around with a hiptoss and some chops to the chest. Scott blocks a second hiptoss with a sweet belly to belly suplex. He gives Hawk a pumphandle slam and looks over at Animal to give him the universal ‘up yours’ sign. Hawk headbutts Scott away to avoid a Belly to Belly Superplex and delivers a Flying Clothesline. Hawk hits a reverse neckbreaker, but then he ducks low off a whip and takes a double underhook slam. Tag to Rick, who starts barking. Hawk doesn’t know what to think about that and tags in Animal. Animal catches Rick with a powerslam and a dropkick. Off a whip reversal, it takes TWO Steinerlines to take Animal off his feet. He follows up with a NICE release German suplex on Animal. Geez, Rick gives Animal a Belly-to-Belly Superplex and tags Scott for an Overhead Belly to Belly Suplex on Animal! The Steiners maintain control of Animal as Scott sits down on a rear chinlock, which is reminiscent of his future finisher: The Steiner Recliner. Hawk breaks that up with a kick to the head. Still no tag though. Scott looks like he whiffs on a dropkick to Animal, who sells it anyway for a two-count. Double-KO spot sets up a HOT TAG to Hawk! He gets rid of Scott and prepares Rick for the DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Yes! Scott breaks up the pin at two. He takes Animal to the floor to whip him in the guardrail. Now they can give Hawk the STEINER BULLDOG, but Animal still manages to stop it. Scott still hits Hawk with a flying clothesline, but then he turns around and takes one from Animal! Everybody’s down! Scott gives Animal the FRANKENSTEINER for 1-2-NO! Animal gets dumped again. The Steiners follow through with the STEINER BULLDOG on Hawk. As soon as Rick stands back up though, Animal hits him from the apron with one of his spiked wristbands. Oh snap. Hawk covers Rick and gets 1-2-3. (10:10) Odd to see a returning team lose. Regardless, this is one of the better tag matches we’ve seen on Nitro. Kudos to Animal for taking and SELLING all those suplexes. ***¼

WCW World Television Champion Lex Luger vs. Alex Wright
I remember being so pumped to see Johnny B. Badd here. However, Bischoff didn’t want to accept Badd’s demands for a renewed contract, so Badd went walking over to the WWF and left losing the TV title to Luger. How that makes sense, I’ll never know. It seemed like a no-brainer to drop the belt to DDP, but noooooo. Wright works an armbar to start. Luger escapes, but then takes a headscissors takedown and a dropkick that puts him on the floor. Wright follows him out with a plancha! Back inside, Wright hits a flying double ax handle for two. Luger yanks Wright into the corner to take control and then knees Wright to the floor. Back in, Luger delivers a press slam. Wright comes back with a crossbody out of the corner. He tries a floatover off a corner whip, but Luger catches Wright and drops him face-first on the top turnbuckle. Luger starts roughing him up, but then Lex charges into a boot. Alex Wright starts kicking some serious tail culminating with a Missile Dropkick! He heads up to the top to finish off Lex when Jimmy Hart runs in and grabs Wright’s foot. Wright kicks Jimmy away and tries a flying bodypress, but Luger catches him for a hotshot for 1-2-3. (6:37) I remember this being the bathroom break match. And it still is a bathroom break match. The crowd just didn’t care through the whole thing. *¾

Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, & The Booty Man vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, & Kevin Sullivan (w/Elizabeth & Woman) – Lumberjack Strap Match
Liz is looking quite delicious here tonight. There was rumored to be like 20-25 lumberjacks around the ring, but there’s probably a dozen at most. The way the camera angles are, there’s no way I could name them all for you. Just name somebody - he’s probably one of the lumberjacks. Oh yeah, and they all have leather straps to beat you with too. Hogan is wearing a Mega-Power shirt again, which he rips up half way through his entrance just to screw with Vince so you can’t read what it says, I’m sure. The most notable (according to the storylines) lumberjacks are Giant and Loch Ness. They can’t get along. Out on the floor, Giant grabs hold of Hogan while Flair gets in some chops down on the floor. Loch Ness wants to whip Hulk with his strap, but Hogan moves and Giant gets nailed. That causes Loch Ness and Giant to brawl to the back. Just as everybody is whipping the crap out of one another, Kimberly comes out again to get a closer look at the Booty Man. And just like that, she’s gone again. More whipping and stuff continues in the ring with the good guys still in total control. Flair tries to leave, but like a good lumberjack, Road Warrior Animal grabs him and carries Flair back into the ring. And now Kimberly is back again. This chick needs to make up her mind. Back inside, Hogan gets the Big Boot and the LEGDROP on Flair to win. (6:29) Total mess of a match. ¾*

After the Mega Powers leave, the heels come back in for an interview with Gene Okerlund. Hogan may have won tonight, but the Doomsday Cage Match at UnCeNSoReD is coming. That’s right folks, one of the worst PPV main events is indeed coming. Flair goes into crazy mode and pulls Liz close hoping to bring Savage back out for a beating. And that’s all there is from me for now.