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WCW Nitro: September 23, 1996

Last week was a whirlwind of activity, to say the least. The 1-2-3 Kid joined the nWo, leaving little doubt from the minute he sat down which side he was on. Sting threw a tantrum about the lack of faith WCW guys had in him, and walked out on the company. The Horsemen have turned their attention on Lex Luger, leaving WCW’s frontline completely decimated. Randy Savage is expected to be alone this week as most of WCW is in Japan. And of course, we saw the debut of Glacier, who, and I say this as respectfully as possible, was a big fat giant dud of a loser.

It’s time for a little Nitro.

TONY SCHIAVONE is screaming at decibel levels usually reserved for high powered dog whistles, because they are LIVE! LARRY ZBYSZKO is here in body, but not in spirit. Tony has a copy of USA Today, showing an ad for Monday Nitro, where the nWo logo has been spray painted over the WCW logo. The nWo has spray painted every individual newspaper in the world! What attention to detail! Wait, no, it was printed that way, which Tony figures DiBiase paid for.

EARLIER TODAY: The nWo lackeys handed out nWo propaganda to fans filing into the arena.


Konan’s other “n” was sent to Japan this week, along with Max’s second “x”. Dave Penzer introduces Sullivan as “from the Iron Gates of Fate”, but it sounds like “Iron Gates of Taint” on this old VHS dub, which in an ironic twist of fate would also be where his stunt double was announced from in the WCW/nWo: A XXX Parody release. I’d recommend skipping over the 8-man. A new tradition is born here on Nitro; pairing random members of the Cruiserweight division and making them seem like jobbers (because they secretly are). Konan hits a powerbomb, but Juvi comes back with a rana and follows with a slingshot plancha to the floor. A springboard 450 guillotine legdrop gets 2. Konan fires right back with a cradle DDT that looks kinda vicious, and goes to tag out but Sullivan doesn’t want to come in for some reason. So Konan happily hits a super cradle DDT, but again Sullivan won’t tag, and a fresh Armstrong comes in. Armstrong attacks quickly, but Konan goes low and powerbombs him. Konan forces a tag to Sullivan, who double stomps Armstrong for the pin at 2:39. * Post-match, the Dungeon turns on Konan. Hart calls it an initiation, and the Dungeon explains himself. Konan stands up, and declares his loyalty to the Dungeon of Doom. He is immediately given his “n” back.

MIKE TENAY is once again working tonight because Gene is still MIA. RANDY SAVAGE is pacing around, and knows he’s a marked man tonight with most of WCW’s relevant players out of the country. He promises to beat up the whole nWo tonight. Regarding Elizabeth: Not in this lifetime, or the next.


It seems odd that of all people to be left off the Japanese tour, they’d not bring Jericho with them considering his long history over there. Enos offers the hand of friendship, which is just a ploy for a bitchslap. Come on Chris, you should know better, his NICKNAME is “MEAN” for god sakes. Enos throws a bunch of short headbutts, but Jericho stops that with a simple armdrag. NWO LACKEYS start protesting WCW in the crowd, and amazingly the announcers completely ignore them. Enos hits a running clothesline off the apron to the floor, and then uses the TV cable to choke out Jericho. Because he’s so mean, he also throws Jericho head first into the steps, and then suplexes him back first on top of them. Larry assumes Jericho’s bones are broken, which if true, would seem really irresponsible of WCW to allow Jericho to keep wrestling. Back in, Enos locks him in a bear hug. Jericho claps loose, but winds up getting powerslammed. Enos applies a Boston crab, but Larry astutely points out he isn’t leaning back with full force so he’ll never get a submission. Jericho is placed in a quasi-torture rack, but he escapes with a sunset flip for 2. A butterfly suplex gives him time to go upstairs, and a missile dropkick connects. Enos is placed up top, but he blocks a rana with a superbomb. Enos poses, taking way too long to cover, and gets 2 as a result. Enos goes for a powerslam, but Jericho reverses in mid-move and scores the upset at 7:43. **1/2


Tony talks Glacier’s backstory, of having chosen wrestling over going into Law Enforcement like his father. Apparently he’s never heard of the State Patrol, because in WCW you’re allowed to do both. Glacier’s entrance lasts about 4 hours, and the fans turn on him right away. There’s no chance Tanaka was chosen by accident here, right? There’s way too much of a Shang Tsung vibe going on for this to be a coincidence. Once again, they wrestle in a blue arena which is ridiculous, and Glacier wins with the Cryonic Kick at 1:11. 1/2* I can’t wait to see who gets to impersonate Goro at Starrcade.

THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) (for the WCW world tag-Team titles)

Tony announces The Outsiders vs Harlem Heat for the tag-titles at Halloween Havoc IF they can get through the threat of TPE. NICK PATRICK referees here, so don’t bet against him disqualifying the audience on account of the rules. Tony ALSO announces some of the big stars coming our way in Hour #2, and I’ll spare you the embarrassment, because even WCW Prime is saying “really, that’s the best you’ve got?” Why on earth did they send EVERYONE to Japan if Nitro was going to air from NOT JAPAN? Little happens before we call for a commercial break.

Apparently it was “all Harlem Heat” during the break, but we come back just in time to see Booker crotch himself off a missed Harlem sidekick. Grunge dances in front of Stevie Ray, and Booker clotheslines his head off. Stevie enters with a competent leg drop, and Booker pulls him out to choke a bitch. TPE recovers by hanging around their table, but Nick Patrick tells them to get back in the ring. Grunge gets locked in a headlock, which goes nowhere. Booker enters with a vicious Harlem sidekick, but stalls too long and only gets 2. Who cares though, because …

In the back, THE NWO arrives in their limos. Hogan, DiBiase, and “Sting” travel together, the rest in the other car. Nash announces that they are definitely in the house.

Grunge finally gets a hot tag, and he brings the “fists of fire” as per Tony. Those lead him right into a double headbutt from the Heat. He manages to roll away from the Harlem Hangover, but Stevie keeps him from leaving the ring. Somewhere in here, Booker sneaks in a small package, both guys appear to have their shoulders down, and the bell rings at 8:43. Patrick announces it was Booker’s shoulder down, and gives the belts to TPE. Huge, completely undeserved reaction for this. Barf. I don’t even REMEMBER this happening. **

ERIC BISCHOFF, MIKE TENAY, and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN take over the announce booth. Bischoff says there’s a new nWo member later tonight. Yeesh, ANOTHER one? 7 isn’t enough? No, Eight is Enough.


I kinda get a kick out of the fact that the way, way, way over the hill Greg Valentine somehow has warranted enough respect to wrestle exclusively on Nitro, while the in his prime Jushin Liger wrestles on … well, Prime, I guess that’s appropriate. Hammer works over Macho’s legs ever … so … slowly. Savage gets tossed to the floor, but he angrily rolls back in just to get tossed again. Savage is dropped throat first across the guardrail. Bischoff sends his best wishes to Super Calo who died before Nitro dislocated his shoulder before Nitro. Savage finally wakes up, and slams Hammer with a chair in the face. The referee suggests maybe he not do that, but allows it. Savage, sensing invincibility, dives off the top with a chair to Valentine’s skull, and THAT draws a DQ at 2:59. DUD

KEVIN NASH, SCOTT HALL, NUMBER SIX, and TED DIBIASE rush the ring, and attack Macho together. Savage swallows the Outsiders Edge, while we spy ELIZABETH looking on from the stage. THE GIANT comes on down now, while Nash fires off a Jackknife. Giant gives high fives to everyone, and offers one to Savage, but “oh he can’t get up.” Then he introduces the greatest of all time, the largest arms in the world, and the financial backer of the nWo, HOLLYWOOD HOGAN. Hogan draws nuclear heat during his entrance. Hogan drops the leg, while Giant does an amazing Ric Flair impression. Trash fills the ring as Hogan drops a second leg. For kicks, Nash pulls a Slim Jim out of his tights and starts whipping Savage. Hogan says the glare from Savage’s bald spot is making him blind, so he spray paints his head, while Giant pops his mug in front of the camera and says “yeah, snap into it!” and eats the Slim Jim.

The guys hit the announce booth now, and everyone scatters except Bischoff. Nash and Hall order him to stay put, and do his job. They join him on commentary, and introduce DiBiase’s new head of security. “Bring out Vince!” And, so we are introduced to the former Virgil, now VINCENT. He and Hogan share a loving hug while the fans chant “Virgil”. Bischoff begs for the producers to go to break, and tries to bolt, but they keep him from going anywhere.

Upon return, they still haven’t moved. Hall welcomes everyone to nWo Nitro. He says he could take over anything he wants. Vincent keeps swatting Bischoff on the back of the head, which seems to bother him because he keeps fixing his part.

An nWo car drives out to the staging area, while Nash tells us that yes, the nWo has its own racing team. Nash promises Kyle Petty next week.

Giant takes over the ring announcer position.

JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long) vs. VK WALLSTREET

Nash calls Long “Peanut Head”, which is probably racist, but still funny. The nWo runs down Wallstreet’s credentials, and they seem to like him – so they decide to wander down to the ring to get a closer look. DiBiase dons a headset to join Bischoff on commentary, while Vincent keeps him from running. And we don’t get a match, because the Outsiders just start teeing off on Powers for the hell of it. Why? DiBiase explains it’s because they can. Referee RANDY ANDERSON takes off, because he doesn’t need this crap. NICK PATRICK steps up to the plate, because he’s the man. Giant announces himself as Powers’ opponent now, and skips around the ring like a ballerina. Chokeslam gives him the “win”.

Meanwhile, Hogan is rushing around in the backstage area, spray painting the wall. He runs into the NASTY BOYS, and it’s hugs all around. He says when they called him, it was great, because they’ve always been friends. He wants to talk business with them later tonight, and gives them the keys to his room to hang out in the Hollywood suite.

Giant stays in the ring to keep his role, while the rest of the nWo go back to the booth. Hogan joins them wearing Savage’s green cowboy hat.


Hogan meets Studd in the aisle, and shakes his hand. They know each other intimately, after all. Still, that doesn’t stop Hogan and Nash from immediately beating him up. Hall orders them to play “the theme from your favorite adult movie”, and the nWo porno theme fires up. Duggan is offered a new opponent instead.


Duggan defends himself with the 2x4, swinging wildly at both Syxx and Nick Patrick. They wind up taking different sides of the ring, and Duggan turns his head to Patrick allowing Syxx to attack from behind. Still, Duggan whoops him pillar to post, giving Syxx very little offense at all. Duggan roars his war siren of “USA”, which fuels him forward. 3 point stance looks to finish, but Giant pulls Duggan out by the feet while Patrick watches Syxx intently, out of concern. Chokeslam! Duggan is rolled back in for the easy win at 2:21.

Hogan encourages Bischoff to join them instead of fighting against them.


Nash can’t remember the name of our portly jobber, until Bischoff reminds him that the nWo hired the poor guy. Sting wins with the Scorpion Deathlock at 1:36, while the fans passionately chant “WE WANT STING!”


Rage screams “WCW BAYBEE! NO MORE NWO!” on his way to the ring. This is where the guys are bloody idiots. Regardless of where the “top stars” are, I imagine at least 1500 members of WCW’s inflated roster are still backstage. If they’re really as pumped and fired up on behalf of their company, why aren’t they saying “hey, if we all grab baseball bats and rush the ring, they’re screwed”? Do they really need “leadership” to figure this out? Anyway … The Canadians sing the National Anthem in French, which DiBiase grows tired of, so he sends the Outsiders down to take care of things. The Canadians run away, leaving us with:


Bischoff asks if DiBiase bought the French Canadians loyalty to get them to run away? DiBiase: “No, they’re just smart.” Outsiders play Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who starts, and Hall gets the nod. Hall bitch slaps Kaos, and nails him with a running clothesline in the corner. Hall puts him in the STF, and paintbrushes Kaos. That brings in Nash, who works the kneelifts in the corner. Bischoff calls for a commercial break, which Hogan shrugs off because TV or not, they’ll just be destroying “WCW champions”.

Upon return, Hall has Kaos locked in the abdominal stretch. Bischoff begs Hogan to make Vincent stop hitting him, that he’s ready to do whatever he wants. Hogan ignores him, continuing to explain why he created the nWo and generally stroking his own ego. Rage gets the “hot tag” and walks into a fallaway slam from Hall. Bischoff tells them to stop beating up these guys. Hogan asks where WCW’s hero is? He suggests maybe Liz save the day. Nash connects with the big boot, and Hall follows with a backdrop superplex. Kaos gets the tag, which makes him eligible for the Jackknife. Hall pins him with one foot at 8:10. 1/2*

Back in the announce booth, the entire nWo crew airs a replay of Macho’s beating from earlier in the night. Hogan: “I’m gonna get my kids a Macho Man punching bag for Christmas this year!” Bischoff tries to get in some plugs for Halloween Havoc, but Nash ignores him, asking how he feels about the nWo taking over his entire company instead? Before they sign off Hall has one more question for the Giant: “Hey, is Andre really your dad?” Giant: “Man, why did you have to go there?” And that’s it.

This is a very polarizing edition of Nitro. They compensated for the lack of stars by making the second hour then nWo show – but it came at the expense of the entire roster. The masturbatory booking made sense for who the nWo is, and as a one-time affair, this probably isn’t all that bad, because it was DEFINITELY leaps and bounds edgier than anything going on in the WWF.

The problem, as we’ll discover, is that this type of stuff simply isn’t gonna stop after tonight. But … we’ll worry about that as we approach it.

No Prime this week, so we’ll skip ahead to WCW Saturday Night next.