May 28, 2009
The Powerdriver Review
WCW Monday Nitro
May 27, 1996
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: The Giant (4/29/1996)
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)
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (5/18/1996)
I meant to post this earlier today, but college got in the way. And no, I’m not taking a poetry class. I’m not a fairy.
It’s the THIRTEENTH ANNIVERSARY of the Scott Hall Invasion!
Your hosts for the first hour are Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko! Huh, they don’t even get to sit at the regular Nitro announce position. They just sit over at a ringside table. Seems like an unnecessary setup if you ask me.
FINALLY! We have reached our first-ever two hour Nitro, which would become the norm (except for a few instances where they went three-hours) for the next year and a half. Now, not only was Nitro completely live compared to Raw, but Nitro had an extra hour that Raw didn’t have to hype what would happen when Nitro and Raw went head-to-head at 9pm.
Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (w/Elizabeth & Woman) vs. The American Males
Going into the Great American Bash where they will take on some football boys, Flair and Anderson get a needed warmup match with the American Males. The VIP table (paid for by Randy Savage) is still there. Riggs starts up with Flair, so he gets dumped out to AA. Flair whips him into a back elbow by Arn. They try it again a little later, but Riggs ducks as Bagwell comes over to help out. In the ring, Bagwell backdrops Flair while Riggs dishes out the ten-count corner punch on AA. The American Males clean house and work the crowd. After that’s over, Arn dumps Bagwell, but misses a charge up against the ringpost. And we go to commercial. We come back and Bagwell is fighting out of the Horsemen corner. Riggs gets a tag, but he’s distracted by Flair as Arn clips him from behind. The Horsemen begin to RAVAGE the knee of Scotty Riggs while Woman brings Tony & Larry Z some champagne. Someone bringing them alcohol while they’re working is a first IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPORT! And it begins on Nitro. Riggs finally gets a break once he nails Arn with an enziguri. As Riggs crawls for the tag, Flair gets into a shoving match with the ref. HOT TAG TO BAGWELL! Missile dropkick to Flair gets 1-2-NO! Arn makes the save, but Riggs pounds him away. That directs the ref’s attention over to Riggs. Meanwhile, Arn overturns an inside cradle in Flair’s favor. It doesn’t get the pin though. Bagwell delivers the FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX on Flair, but Arn runs in and kicks Bagwell to break up the bridge. Riggs nails Arn and dropkicks Flair. Bagwell covers Flair, so Woman claws Bagwell. As he gets to his feet, he staggers around into a DDT from Arn! Flair rolls over on Bagwell for 1-2-3! (9:59 shown) Leave it to Ric Flair and Arn Anderson to make the American Males seem legit. **¾
Gene Okerlund meets Ric Flair and the Arntourage in the aisleway. Arn says he’s never met a football player that he couldn’t walk over the top of to get to a better fight. He never saw a woman that Ric Flair couldn’t have with the snap of his fingers. Mongo’s just mad that now it’s his old lady and not just some broad. Oh yeah, and football players are pussies compared to the Horsemen. Over to Flair, when it comes to his ladies, SKYYYY ROCKETS AT NIGHT! WOO! AFTERNOON DELIGHT! Well that’s not exactly how the song goes, but that’s okay. By the way, Debra belongs to the Nature Boy.
After a break, we check out a training montage for Steve McMichael and Kevin Greene. Very weak, guys. Their workout makes Richard Simmons tapes look like Balboa’s wild Russian training in Rocky IV.
The Mauler (w/Col. Robert Parker) vs. Steve Doll
Tony and Larry Z try and make this more interesting by talking about Randy Savage and his recent ban from WCW events. Mauler is Mike Enos and Steve Doll is Steve Dunn from the WWF tag team Well Dunn. I believe this is the WCW debut of Mike Enos. Just a squash as Mauler throws Doll around. The only cool thing that happens is a super fallaway slam. They both go flying over the top to the floor to brawl as we go to break. We come back to see RAZOR RAMON walking down the arena steps. Everybody is standing up and pointing at him in disbelief. He walks behind the floor seats and jumps the railing over by the ringside announce table. Both Tony and Larry are baffled by what is happening right before their eyes. They never mention his name because there’s no need. You know who he is. Razor demands a mic and gets in the ring as everybody clears out – including referee Nick Patrick, which if I believe so, will become important MUCH later. (3:00) ½*
Scott Hall ~ “Hey, you people – you know who I am, but you don’t know why I’m here. Where is Billionaire Ted? Where is the Nacho Man? That punk can’t even get in the building. Me? I go wherever I want, whenever I want. And where, oh where, is Scheme Gene? ‘Cause I got a scoop for you. When that Ken doll look-a-like, when that weatherman wannabe comes out here later tonight, I got a challenge for him, for Billionaire Ted, for the Nacho Man, and for anybody else in uh, WCW. *goofy laugh* Hey, you want to go to war? You want a war? You’re gonna get one.”
Ref Randy Anderson gets on the apron and tells the yet unnamed Scott Hall to get out of the ring. Hall drops the mic, peacefully exits the ring, and heads to the back (?) as we go to commercial.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman (w/Teddy Long)
Tony and Larry shake that off and act like it didn’t happen at least for now. DDP screws with Pittman to start the match. He gets Pittman to do some pushups and tries to kick him, but Pittman sees it coming and gets out of the way just in time for Page to whiff and fall back on his butt. Larry Z blames Teddy Long for neutering Pittman. DDP tries to headbutt a black man and fails. He crashes on the floor and gets wrapped up in some cables. Back in, Pittman NO-SELLS turnbuckle smashes and goes for an inverted CODE RED. Page gets in the ropes, grabs hold of Teddy Long, and shoves him back into the guardrail. WOW, DDP is the strongest man alive. Pittman leans through the ropes to check on his manager, which distracts him long enough for DDP to regroup and hit the DIAMOND CUTTER. It’s over. (3:01) See? Pittman didn’t need no manager. ½*
We take a video look at Randy Savage and his recent spell of Macho Madness over the last few months.
Shark is standing by in the locker room with Gene Okerlund. He parted ways with the Dungeon of Doom on the Slamboree pre-show. Now he’s getting him a world title shot? Remember, he’s the guy who almost destroyed Hulkamania in 1990!
And yes, that sets up a video montage for Hulk Hogan. Where’s he been lately? Why, he’s hanging out with D-level celebrities at charity events and receiving mouth-to-mouth from Yasmine Bleeth! Don’t you…forget about him.
Your hosts for the second hour are Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan! Bischoff says he’s not even going to dignify a response to the interruption by giving a response to the interruption. He’ll let “the interruption” come out and talk to him later.
WCW World Heavyweight Champion The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Shark
Shark can’t even knock the Giant down! Giant answers back with one clothesline and puts Shark on his back so he can stand on Shark’s chest. Shark catches Giant from behind with a double sledge and then goes for a slam, but that’s no good. Giant handles Shark like a child and slams him pretty good. Shark goes to the eyes to take control and rakes Shark’s eyes across the top rope. Giant eats a boot and takes a clothesline off the middle rope to finally put Giant down. Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron and distracts Shark as Giant gets up and goozles Shark for a CHOKESLAM! And that does it. (4:00) Afterwards, Big Bubba comes in and shaves off half of Shark’s hair. What a jerk. ¾*
WCW World Television Champion Lex Luger vs. Maxx
Bischoff mentions the interruption again and says that he’ll let him come talk to him later in the show. Luger wants every big man WCW can find to get him prepared for his world title shot against the Giant at the Great American Bash – starting with DDP’s old lackey Maxx Muscle. This sucks because Maxx controls the biggest chunk of the match pushing Luger around. He catches Lex with a powerslam and appears to have hurt his knee. Luger comes back with the Loaded Forearm and delivers a powerslam to set up the TORTURE RACK. (5:45) Wayyy too long and ugly, but I see what they were trying to do here showing that Lex could take a big man beating and still come back to win. ½*
“Hardwork” Bobby Walker vs. Brad Armstrong
Could the matches on this episode possibly suck anymore? Bobby Walker is the African-American Power Plant grad who later sued WCW for being racist. They trade armbars for a LONG while. Walker gets in a few nearfalls with an inside cradle and a backslide. He tries a double-jump flying shoulderblock, but he F’s up and settles for a botched flying shoulderblock instead. He covers Armstrong for the surprise 1-2-3. (4:26) Congrats “Hardwork” on pinning Brad Armstrong. Not like he would job to just anybody. Haaa. ¼*
Lord Steven Regal (w/Jeeves) vs. Alex Wright
Alright, well this should be a step up after five matches of suck. Wright cartwheels a bunch to counter some wristlocks. He comes back with headscissors takedowns to put Regal on the floor. Wright follows him out with a plancha as we go to break. Exciting! We come back to see Regal torturing Wright’s arm in the ring. Regal grounds and pounds Wright for a while. Wright delivers a belly to belly suplex for two. Regal kicks Wright in the head to make him chill out. That gets two. Wright fights out of a corner with European uppercuts. Off a corner whip, he flips over Regal into a school boy for 1-2-NO! Regal reverts to the ground and pound style that worked earlier. Wright fires back with a dropkick to mount another comeback, but then Regal taps the brakes on a monkey flip and pins Wright with a jackknife rollup for 1-2-3! (7:18 shown) Yeah, that was MUCH better. Okerlund interviews Regal, who says it’s time he had his say about what goes on around here in WCW. For starters, he wants STING at the Great American Bash. **½
Sting vs. Scott Steiner
Good friends, better enemies? Sting hiptosses Scott around the ring, but then Scott press slams Sting with ease. Sting hits a dropkick and flies back out of the corner off a whip onto Steiner. They go to the floor where Sting nails Scott with a pescado. Back in, Sting telegraphs a backdrop and gets nailed with a butterfly slam. Belly-to-Belly Suplex sends Sting out to the floor. Scott follows him out with a flying double sledge! Back inside, Scott covers for two. Sting catches Scott with a boot in the corner, but he quickly comes back with an Overhead Belly-to-Belly Suplex for two. STF is applied on Sting. He flips out of a suplex and delivers the first Scorpion Death Drop. Not yet a finisher, of course. Stinger Splash! He misses a second one and gets caught with a release dragon suplex! Ouch. Here comes the partners Lex Luger and Rick Steiner. Scott gives Sting a Super Samoan Drop and then calls for the Frankensteiner. Sting sees it coming and grabs hold of the ropes causing Scott to miss his finisher. SCORPION DEATHLOCK, but Steiner’s in the ropes. Sting reverses a tombstone piledriver into his own for 1-2-NO! Jumping splash hits knees. They trade suplex attempts on the apron, ending with Sting flipping Scott to the outside. Scott goes for a suplex on the floor and Luger comes over to break that up. That creates a disturbance and a big fight erupts into the ring as the ref throws out the whole she-bang. (10:16) This lacked a lot of heat it would have had if the rivalry hadn’t felt kind of sudden and forced on the crowd. Good back and forth action though. A bunch of random WCW babyfaces come down and separate the two teams. ***
Back over at the announce table, Eric Bischoff allows “the interruption” to confront him with his challenge.
Scott Hall to Bischoff ~ “Ken doll, you’ve got such a big mouth, and we – WE are sick of it. This is where the big boys play? What a joke. I tell you what, you go tell Billionaire Ted, you tell him to get three of his very, very best. Maybe, uh, maybe the Nacho Man. OHHHHH…no. Maybe he’ll get the Stinger! Ooooooooo…I so scared. You go get anybody you want, because we – WE are taking over. You want to go to war? You want a war? You got one. Only, only let’s do it right – in the ring, where it matters. Not on no microphones. Not in no newspapers or dirt sheets. Let’s do it in the ring where it matters if uh, if Billionaire Ted and his big boys got any uh, guts. Because we are coming down here and like it or not, we are taking over. *toothpick to FACE*”
And neither Bischoff or Heenan know what to say.
After all that WCW had tried to do in the last year to destroy the WWF – from giving Raw results on the air to spreading negative rumors about the WWF on the WCW hotline – now the competition had invaded. It’s almost as if there is a method to the madness of WCW. Even when it all seemed to appear by accident, everything that had happened on Nitro up to this point led to this moment in time with Scott Hall. You can call it brilliance or Bischoff stumbling on a prime opportunity, but no matter how you look at it – this was a history-making night in wrestling.
AND WE OUT!