May 31, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WCW Monday Nitro
June 3, 1996
Asheville, NC
Civic Center

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)

HOUR NUMBER ONE!

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko.

Before the match, Gene Okerlund gets a word with Shark. Meanwhile in the ring, Big Bubba is playing with Shark’s hair that he cut last week. CUT THE MUSIC!!! What music? You don’t have any entrance music. Shark says he didn’t cut the other half of his hair off as a reminder of what he’s going to do Bubba and the Giant. Also, NO MORE of this Shark nonsense. He’s not an avalanche, he’s not a fish, he’s a MAN. Oh okay. He’s a 500 pound man named John Tenta and that’s what he’ll going by for the rest of his WCW days.

Big Bubba (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. John Tenta
And here we go. Tenta destroys Bubba with a scoop powerslam as Tony apologizes for an ad in the USA Today saying that Johnny B. Badd and Vader would be appearing at this show because they no longer play where the big boys play. Tenta finds Bubba’s scissors he left in the ring (?) and chases Bubba away. Bubba gets PISSED down on the floor and kicks the steps away. Of course, he refuses to get back in the ring while Tenta is holding a pair of SCISSORS, so Bubba gets counted out. (1:10) Yeah, booooo. CRAP

The Faces of Fear vs. High Voltage
This is the TV debut of High Voltage. Kaos and Rukkus. I guess the Rukkus must come before the Rage. Same guy though. And you know, misspellings are edgy! Crowd is super into the Faces of Fear and not so much for the Voltage. Together they get in a few tandem moves on Barbarian, but he quickly shrugs that off and powerbombs Rukkus. Barbarian delivers a Belly to Belly Superplex to set up the STEREO FLYING HEADBUTTS from the FoF. Kaos tries to help out, but Meng throws him out. KICK OF FEAR wipes out Rukkus for the 1-2-3. (3:24) Well that was fun. The Faces of Fear want tag team gold! **

In the back, Gene Okerlund interviews Sting and Luger. The Steiners interrupt. Things get a little heated and Gene FLIPS OUT!

Hulk Hogan montage. He’s still lurking!

Sgt. Craig Pittman (w/Teddy Long) vs. Disco Inferno
Disco tries punching Pittman in the head, but he seems to forget Pittman is a black man. He turns away to do a dance for Teddy Long (apparently Teddy’s into disco?) and gets caught with a waistlock takedown from behind. Pittman HOLDS ON and follows through with a nasty gutwrench powerbomb. Disco begs off and gets his hair messed up by Teddy Long. Obviously he’s just jealous of a man with hair. Disco punches Pittman again to no effect, so Pittman uses his head as a battering ram to take Disco down for the CODE RED. Oh, but Disco submits before the hold is even applied. (1:50) Disco not only sucks, he’s a pussy. A little offensive in a “why are they still doing this in the mid ’90s?” kind of way, but still somewhat entertaining. ¾*

Lord Steven Regal (w/Jeeves) vs. Jim Duggan
Regal BACK HAND SLAPPED Sting on the Main Event to heat things up for the Great American Bash, now he’s got Jim Duggan to deal with. Regal stalls a bunch on the floor while Duggan starts up some “U-S-A” chants. FINALLY they lock up, Duggan unloads with clotheslines and puts Regal back on the floor. Regal walks by Zbyszko and looks like he wants to give him a good punch in the nose. CONTINUITY~! Sadly, Larry Z acts like he doesn’t get it. Back inside, Duggan telegraphs a backdrop and Regal takes over. “U-S-A” chants get Duggan going again. The Blue Bloods come down as Duggan hits the THREE POINT STANCE. He grabs his 2×4, but Dave Taylor gets it away from him. Duggan settles for a taped fist and KO’s Eaton off the apron. As Duggan celebrates, Regal rolls him up with a handful of tights for 1-2-3. (4:27) And Regal continues his winning ways. *

Gene Okerlund meets the Blue Bloods in the ring. Regal was fined for pimp slapping Sting during the contract signing, but he paid double the fine so he’s owed a credit. At the Great American Bash, he wants Sting at his best, so he wants him good and riled up. Good stuff.

So the Pillman/Sullivan feud has turned into a Benoit/Sullivan feud. Benoit is telling Arn not to trust Sullivan and the Dungeon of Doom, but Sullivan takes exception to that. Looks like they’ve been arguing a lot on Saturday Night.

Kevin Sullivan (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Prince Iaukea
Another Nitro debut here for Prince Iaukea. Sullivan takes Iaukea to the floor and drops him crotch-first on the guardrail. Back inside, he charges Iaukea in the Tree of Woe and the DOUBLE STOMP finishes. (1:22) With Gene Okerlund, Sullivan reminds everybody that Hulkamania isn’t dead and he’ll be coming back, which is why he needs to keep the Four Horsemen on his side. ¼*

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (w/Elizabeth & Woman) vs. The Rock N Roll Express
Holy crap the Rock N Roll Express are back. They are looking ten years older since the last time we saw them at Survivor Series 1993. Flair has a Kevin Greene jersey on while Arn is wearing a skin-tight Steve McMichael jersey. Flair does some hilarious football mimes up the aisle just to show he’s a crazy sonuvagun. And here’s my audio goes really bad. You can hear the in-ring action, but you can barely hear Tony and Larry. Arn’s jersey is so tight, the girls literally have to peel it off him. About a minute into the match, HOUR NUMBER TWO of Monday Nitro begins with Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan. Fireworks go off and everybody in the ring just lets that happen. Morton fights out of a corner and backdrops Flair around. Tag to Gibson, he cleans house on the Horsemen. Gibson blocks a turnbuckle smash on the apron from Arn and returns the favor. He delivers a terrible flying bodypress for two. Flair tags in and gets taken down in a drop toehold to set up STEREO FIGURE FOURS! It’s just like old times. Flair and Arn regroup on the floor. Well really, Flair throws a tantrum. We’ll be back after commercials. Now the commentary is fixed! Morton armdrags Arn around for a tag to Flair. He thumbs Morton in the eye and chops him in the corner. Morton turns the tables on Flair, but Arn pulls Flair out of the corner to help him avoid a charge. Arn tags back in and stomps on Morton’s face real good. On the floor, Flair ILLEGALLY whips Morton into the guardrail and chops him down leaving him for dead. Back in, Arn works the arm with a hammerlock slam. He grabs an armbar and Flair helps out with some cheap leverage. Meanwhile, Bischoff and Heenan discuss whether or not Heenan will manage Flair and Anderson to take on Greene and Mongo. He’ll have an answer later. Arn hits a Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! You know as sick as this sounds, I would pay Arn to give me a spinebuster. It would be like riding the greatest rollercoaster ever. Flair tags in and drops an elbow for two. Big suplex hits so hard it hurts Flair for another two. Arn grabs a headlock, but Morton fights out into a sleeper. Arn escapes *that* with a back suplex and tags Flair, who hooks on the FIGURE-FOUR! Wait, no, Morton counters into an inside cradle for two. Flair tries to block a sunset flip with a series of punches, but Morton absorbs the blows and pulls Flair down anyway for 1-2-NO! Morton backs Arn towards his corner during a front facelock but once Arn gets close enough, he lets go and knocks Gibson off the apron. Heenan leaves the announce table to tell Woman something. Double-KO ensues. Morton rolls past Arn and makes the HOT TAG TO GIBSON! DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! DOUBLE DROPKICK TO FLAIR! DOUBLE DROPKICK TO ARN! While the ref is with Morton and Elizabeth, Woman claws Gibson in the eyes during an O’Connor roll on Flair. With Gibson blinded, Arn kills him dead with a DDT. Cover by Flair, 1-2-3. (16:01 shown) Decent LONG tag team match as far as TV goes that I bet Hogan & Friends were wondering why they would allow some old has-been tag team to go this long with people they are feuding with, but who cares. **½

As usual, Gene Okerlund meets with Ric Flair and Arntourage. Arn says he’s too thick to play pro football because Mongo’s jersey had his chest going where the neck goes. Flair says that the jerseys were a gift from Debra McMichael. Uh oh. He sends a message to the whole NFL – he and Arn are bigger, faster, and they go alllllllllllll night long. WOO! Bobby Heenan walks over to explain himself. He was just telling Woman that he knows a good place to get her diamonds cleaned. Is Heenan going to manage Arn and Flair? Since he made a promise to himself many years ago that he was done managing, he declines the offer. However, he does have an All-Madden Trophy from 1988 (which he pulls out of a Halliburton) as a coach. So no he won’t be managing, but yes he will be coaching Flair and Anderson for their match at the Great American Bash.

More Hogan clips.

WCW World Heavyweight Champion The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Ice Train
This doesn’t last long at all. CHOKESLAM. (0:30) Not even a match. Scott Norton comes down to help his tag partner and takes not one but TWO CHOKESLAMS. CRAP

Gene Okerlund gets a word with the Giant. Giant asks Gene the question why WCW keeps showing video clips of Hulk Hogan? As the world champion, he doesn’t want to see any more of Hogan. He’s taking out Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Sting and Lex Luger is next.

Scott Norton vs. Hugh Morrus
Norton is still down in the ring after the commercial break. Hugh Morrus takes advantage with a couple elbow drops, but he’s too insane to actually try and pin the man. Norton stands up during the NO LAUGHING MATTER and drops Morrus. He punches Morrus a few times on the mat and holds him down for the 1-2-3. (1:51) Alright. ¼*

We check out Mongo and Greene training at the WCW Power Plant. They try and go over game plans but they’re both thinking like football players when they need to think like wrestlers. Mongo gets an idea when he sees Kevin Greene eating a Slim Jim. They both realize that they should give Randy Savage a call since he’s not doing anything right now anyway. Looks like Randy Savage is going to coach them for their match at the Great American Bash. DIG IT!

WCW World Tag Team Champions Sting & Lex Luger vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
Bischoff thinks the news about Savage is pretty HA HA funny. They get a phone call from Savage – totally devaluing the main event. Savage says he can’t wrestle, but there’s nobody telling him he can’t coach anybody. Meanwhile, Scott is throwing Sting all around the ring with tilt-a-whirl slams and such. Sting makes a comeback with a hotshot and drops Scott with a faceslam. Tag to Luger, he stomps Scott while he’s down. Luger ducks low off a whip and takes the butterfly slam. After the phone call, we take a break. When we come back, Rick nails Luger with a Steinerline for two. Belly-to-Belly Superplex sets up a STEINER BULLDOG for 1-2-NO! Sting tags and hits Rick with a Stinger Splash. Scott breaks up the SCORPION DEATHLOCK. Rick tags Scott, who delivers the Belly-to-Belly Suplex out of the corner. Super Frankensteiner gets two. Sting slips out of a suplex and hits the SCORPION DEATHDROP on Scott for the second week in a row. Luger gets a tag and powerslams Scott to lead into the TORTURE RACK! Steiner breaks it up with a kick to the gut. On the floor, Luger goes for a suplex and this week Rick stops it from happening with a kick in the gut. It breaks down with all four inside the ring. Rick and Sting head out to the floor where the Giant meets Rick Steiner and gives him a CHOKESLAM on the concrete! Well, sort of. Giant walks past a downed Sting and pulls the top rope down to send Scott flying out to the floor. Yeah, now the ref throws the match out. (6:42 shown) Luger sticks and runs on the Giant until Sting and Scott Steiner forget their problems and join in on the Giant beatdown! The crowd is going nuts as they whip Luger into the Giant to knock the big guy over the top rope to the floor with the Loaded Forearm! **

Not a bad way to end the-OH WAIT! Here comes “the yet unnamed interruption” over to the announce table. Heenan gets the heck out of there. Scott Hall begins to taunt Bischoff about him starting the war. Hall keeps saying the war that WE are going to finish it. Bischoff doesn’t exactly know what “we” he’s talking about.

Because it only makes sense and I’m not being sarcastic here, “The Franchise of WCW” Sting comes over to the table to defend WCW and confront Hall about what he came out here and said last week. Sting says Hall keeps talking about wanting three of the best WCW has to offer when he’s all alone. Scratch that, Sting challenges Hall to a match…RIGHT NOW. Bischoff keeps mouthing to the camera that it’s not going to happen. Hall says nobody tells him what to do or when to do it, chico. Sting SLAPS the crap out of Hall until security and police separate the two. Right before Scott Hall makes his exit, Hall gets on the mic and tells Sting that he’s got a BIG surprise for him next week. Awesome.

And as you can probably tell, the only thing great about Nitro right now is the development of the nWo.

AND WE OUT!

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