May 17, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Monday Nitro
April 1, 1996
Cleveland, OH
Convocation Center

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.

The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Sting
IMPROMPTU MATCH~! Right as the program begins, we see the Giant and Sting facing off in the ring. HUH? Wasn’t Giant showing signs of a face turn just last week? Apparently, Giant and Sting were supposed to team up (?!) against Harlem Heat, but Jimmy Hart paid Harlem Heat to forfeit the match and paid the Giant to turn him back over to the dark side, I guess. What a lame attempt to undo what was done. They finally make contact as Sting hammers and clips Giant down to his knees. He starts laying in the punches, but Giant NO-SELLS and stands back up to his feet. They run the ropes as Sting tries a crossbody block, but it’s like flying into a building. He just goes SPLAT! On the floor, Giant whips Sting into the guardrail and then presses him back into the ring. Giant wants to CHOKESLAM Sting from inside the ring to the floor, but Sting dropkicks him back when he gets lifted up in the air to cause Giant to take a nasty bump to the floor. He hops right back up though as LEX LUGER shows up in the ring alongside his buddy Sting and the ref throws the match out. (2:41) It didn’t set the world on fire, but it’s good to see Giant brawling with somebody besides Hogan all the time. *½

After the intro, they show Jimmy Hart paying off the Heat.

Rick & Scott Steiner vs. The Road Warriors vs. The Nasty Boys – Triangle Match
This hodge-podge of feuds and rivalries has generated into the first-ever triangle match on Nitro. Lots of history here too among these three teams. Rick and Knobbs start the match. Lots of clubberin’ to start. Steiner catches Knobbs in a powerslam for two. Sags makes the save, so Scott comes in and dropkicks him to the floor. Blind tag to Animal from Rick, he runs in and drills Knobbs with a clothesline. Animal misses a charge up against the ropes and becomes the temporary face in peril for the Nasties. Blind tag to Hawk from Animal and a blind tag to Scott from Sags! Scott pounds Hawk and delivers a pumphandle slam. Double-KO spot leads to Hawk missing a corner charge and ramming his shoulder into the post. Back in, Hawk comes right back with a reverse neckbreaker on Scott. That gets two. Animal tags and hits a jumping shoulderblock. Blind tag to Rick, he catches Animal with a clothesline from the apron and gets two. Scott hits Animal with an overhead belly to belly suplex right after Sags gets a blind tag. The Nasties take over on Scott, but Rick reaches his brother for a tag. Steinerline to Knobbs. It breaks down into a big six-man brawl out on the floor. Once everybody returns to their corners, LOD works on Rick. He manages to break away for a tag to Scott, who backs Animal into the Nasties corner for a tag. Lots more clubberin’ from the Nasties on the Steiners. Animal breaks up a Nasties pin attempt. Sags comes over and attacks both the Road Warriors which spills out to the floor while Knobbs is left with the Steiners. Bad idea. Looks like this could be the finish, but the match carries on as we go to break. We come back and see a double-KO from Rick and Animal. Sags and Hawk get the tag. Hawk NO-SELLS some clubberin’ and powerslams Sags! Knobbs wants him some, but actually clotheslines Hawk down and splashes him for two. Hawk receives the Nasties double-team corner splash. Bulldog gets two. Rick gets a tag from Hawk and comes in for a release German suplex on Knobbs! Lots of random quick tags here. At one point, Rick looks to finish with a Belly to Belly Superplex on Knobbs, but the Road Warriors knock them both off the top to the floor. On the outside, Knobbs wipes Rick out by sending him into the ringpost. We don’t see what the crap is going on the ring for about ten seconds. Here come Public Enemy. Rocco Rock jabs Knobbs in the chin with a chair while Johnny Grunge dressed like Brian Knobbs rolls into the ring and plays dead for Scott Steiner as he covers him for the 1-2-3. (12:37 shown) The old “we can make you look like the guy we hate, so let’s dress you up like him and fool the ref” trick. Not a bad match. I think it went a little too long considering it was a lot of the same thing for a while. **½

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! WCW TV Champ Lex Luger defends against the Giant! Randy Savage will take on Scott Norton! That feud is STILL going on? And the WCW world champ Ric Flair shows up to wrestle…the Booty Man? Alright. It’s the MUTHASHIP, IF YOU WHEEEEELL! PAY WINDAHS, CLUBBERIN’, and PLUNDAH, BABY!

Hulk Hogan & The Booty Man (w/The Booty Babe) vs. Kevin Sullivan & Arn Anderson (w/Elizabeth & Woman)
At the start of the match, Bobby Heenan tells everybody that tonight is his last night in WCW and that he will be retiring. Arn does okay against the Booty Man to start. He goes for a figure-four, but Booty Man kicks him off and hits an atomic drop off into Hogan for a right hand. Arn bails while in the ring, Booty Man takes out Sullivan with an atomic drop of his own. This crowd is not as pro-Horsemen as Charlotte, but they are certainly booing the Mega-whatever these guys are called. In the ring, double-big boot to Arn. Tag to Sullivan, he doesn’t fare much better as Booty Man catches him with a knee lift to send him to the floor. Finally, Arn works the arm a little bit and then decides he wants Hogan. The crowd starts to cheer, but it’s not for Hogan. They catch each other with back elbows. Hogan counters a ten-count corner punch with a hotshot and levels Arn and Sullivan with a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER. Hulk and Booty catch Arn with a double-clothesline, but Booty gets caught in the wrong side of town. Woman gets her claws in Booty’s eyes. Eventually, Hogan gets the hot tag and destroys. Woman sneaks Sullivan her shoe, but it’s Hulk who fires first with the Booty Babe’s HUMONGOUS high heel shoe to get the three-count. (6:45) Woman tries to attack Kimberly (while Liz just stands there), but Booty Man saves her. Then she gives Booty Man a big kiss. Yeah, she better be getting PAID is all I have to say. During the replay, Booty Man is down in the ring while the Arntourage scurries. Arn does the cutthroat sign from the aisle, and I MARK THE F OUT. *

Gene Okerlund interviews Hogan, Booty, and Kimberly. They’re tired of everybody else getting the last laugh on them, so next week the Booty Man has some *secret weapon*. Well, the last secret weapon you three geniuses concocted was Elizabeth. How’d that turn out for your little crew?

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/Elizabeth & Woman) vs. Lex Luger
Is this Luger’s official turn from sneaky tweener/heel into a full-fledged babyface? Now he’s got a chance to hold every belt but the U.S. title, which he had held four times before. Even with the two ladies on his arms, Flair stops over and says something to Mongo’s wife Debra. Some classy lady in a Mickey Mouse t-shirt tries to get in his face. Some fun Flair stalling to start. Luger catches Flair with a press slam that puts him on the floor. Back in, Flair takes another one. Flair goes low to take control and catches Lex running at him with a back elbow. Flair gets slammed off the top and takes a clothesline to the floor. That sends Flair over the edge as he throws a tantrum. Back inside, Flair thumbs Lex in the eye and starts chopping. Luger fires back and presses Flair up only to drop him on the top rope. A bunch more clotheslines fire Lex up. He heads out to scare the women away. Back on the apron, Flair runs him off with a knee that sends Luger flying into the guardrail. Woman comes back to ringside and claws Lex. In the ring, Flair goes for the knee and applies the FIGURE-FOUR! Flair slaps Lex, which results in NO-SELLING the hold. Luger reverses the hold, but gets dumped. Flair whips him into the guardrail, but it has no effect. Luger runs Flair over with a clothesline and chases him back into the ring for a sunset flip. Flair grabs the top rope to block, but ref Nick Patrick kicks his hand free to cause him to fall back into the pin for 1-2-NO! Backslide for Lex gets two. Flair Flip leads to Flair leaping off the top and getting caught. With Flair in his arms, Luger sets Flair up in the corner for a superplex! Powerslam sets up the TORTURE RACK, but the women are on the apron. Woman gets a cup of coffee from the classy lady in the front row and heads into the ring to throw it right in Luger’s face. Now Flair school boys Luger up with tights in-hand and both feet on the TOP ROPE for the 1-2-3. (10:57) Sting comes down to check on his pal while Flair and the women take a hike. This was loads of fun. Not exactly Flair-Luger from Starrcade ‘88, but still fun to watch. ***

Before we go, Bobby Heenan shakes both Bischoff and Mongo’s hands since he’s retiring and then announces…APRIL FOOLS! You didn’t fool me, Bobby. I can see the FUTURE!

By the way, no April 8 Nitro because the two-night premiere of the TNT movie Moses is more important than wrestling. And sadly, I don’t have the opposing Raw, soooooo we’ll just plow onward to the April 15 Nitro next.

wordpress stats plugin