Friday, March 13, 2015

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–05.13.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 05.13.96

Desperation time, as I’m trying the PS3 to find SOMETHING that will play the Network properly. Aside from stuttering at the beginning and two “Cannot play this video” errors before it would load, it appears to be functional tonight. NJPW World 1, WWE Network 0 thus far, though.

Live from Nashville, TN. Lex Luger is CAMPED OUT in the building so that he doesn’t miss his title shot tonight!

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo.

The Steiner Brothers v. The Public Enemy

The Steiners quickly clean house and chase TPE out of the ring. Back in, Rick beats on Grunge with a powerslam and elbowdrop for two, and Scott tosses him with an overhead suplex for two. They fight on the floor and Rock accidentally hits Grunge, but finally gets it together and takes over on Rick. Scott comes in and the Enemy double-teams him as well, with Rock hitting a flying headbutt for two. They team up with the Rougeau senton for two, but Rock misses a flying senton and it’s hot tag Rick. Belly to belly puts Rock on the floor as Bischoff announces that Nitro will go to TWO HOURS starting May 27. Man, they better have one hell of an angle planned to kick that off. Frankensteiner finishes Rock at 6:55. This was decent. **

Chris Benoit v. Dave Taylor

Bischoff hypes up DDP’s return due to a mysterious benefactor, who was obviously supposed to be Ted Dibiase before they came up with the nWo role for him instead. Taylor tries to grab a toehold, and Benoit drops him with an enzuigiri. Taylor comes back with forearms and boots Benoit down, but Benoit catapults him into the turnbuckles. Taylor gets a fallaway slam for two, but misses a crossbody while Mongo leaves the broadcast position to find Macho Man. Benoit finishes with a dragon suplex at 4:16. This was a bit of a style clash to say the least, with Taylor trying to do some kind of a strong style stiff match and Benoit doing a mat-based wrestling match. *

Meanwhile, Savage is barred from the building and unable to penetrate Doug Dellinger’s wall of security. Mongo butts in and lets Savage know that he’ll deal with the situation himself.

BLOOD RUNS COLD. Dave’s running theory at the time was that it would be the Outsiders, but this week in the Observer he amends it to a “team of ninjas” which will feature Bryan Clark. Getting closer.

Ric Flair v. VK Wallstreet

This is a weird combination. Wallstreet controls on the mat and they exchange chops in the corner, which results in Flair bailing to the floor. Back in, Wallstreet works the leg as we take a break. Really, you expect people to stay tuned through two minutes of commercials for MIKE ROTUNDO? As a babyface? Back with Wallstreet slugging away on the floor and seeming to be shockingly motivated here for some reason. Back in, he backdrops Flair into the samoan drop for two. I was kind of hoping he’d bust out the old airplane spin there. Flair would be all over that. Wallstreet with a sunset flip for two. Backslide for two. He clotheslines Flair to the floor, but charges and accidentally knees the post instead of Flair. You know, if he was wearing kneepads, he’d be fine. But he’s not and he looks weird without them, so fuck him. Figure-four finishes at 7:51. Well, Rotunda was sure game for a fight this week. **3/4

Meanwhile, Flair gives his victory speech from his table (which apparently follows him from show to show now) and he’s sick of hearing about Mongo and his wife. He’s the REAL quarterback!

WCW World title: The Giant v. Lex Luger

Aaaaaaaaaand now the Network starts acting up again. Just let me finish this damn show! Luger tries to overpower him, but walks into a clothesline and gets shoved to the floor. Back in, Giant pounds away in the corner, but Luger comes back with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF…oh, never mind, Giant no-sells it. Back to the floor and Giant tosses him back in again like the proverbial sack of garbage while Flair enjoys his expensive dinner with Savage’s money. Luger keeps slugging away and finally knocks Giant to the floor, but Giant is so annoyed by this that he chokeslams Lex through Flair’s table for the DQ at 4:13. So I guess that’s another babyface turn for Lex? I gotta say, the storylines for this show have been going off the rails in the past couple of months, to say the least. DUD

The Pulse

Nice chokeslam to finish the show and the Flair-Rotundo match was surprisingly decent, but there’s not much else here this week.

81 comments:

  1. R.I.P. Gene Gene the Dancing Machine

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMarch 13, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    I'm more and more convinced that the biggest thing ruined weekly wrestling TV was the expansion to two, then three hours.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Im serious, watch the network on your phone or iPad/kindle if you have one- with headphones on; its the tits

    ReplyDelete
  4. The rosters eventually got so big that two hours was a necessity. Three hours is just flat-out overkill, however.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMarch 13, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    Yeah. Two hours should have been the ceiling. And no "Thunder" or "SmackDown" to further oversaturate things.

    ReplyDelete
  6. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 13, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    I watch the Network on a laptop and haven't had any major issues with any shows, old or new.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So when Hall and Nash were prepping to enter WCW, was some sort of an Invasion angle the consensus theory at the time?

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is about where I started to lose interest in watching the old Nitros.

    ReplyDelete
  9. No, there was a wide variety of theories and guesses about how they would be used. The biggest fear is that WCW would bungle things with Hall and Nash somehow ("It's Nash as the newest member of the Dungeon of Doom, the new Yeti!"). WCW's track record wasn't too good with being handed a good thing, and they had earned little faith about getting it right.
    Certainly few people, even if they had guessed right about an invasion angle, would have expected it to go as well as it did (at least short-term).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah, by looking at WCW's output from around that time, I wouldn't have expected them to do anything proper with Hall and Nash. It's funny thinking of Nash as a Dungeon of Doom member considering Oz would've fit right in with those jobber creatures.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nash as Yeti's long lost brother.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my god. I'm a damn fool. I never even thought of the DiBiase connection before with DDP!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Especially when they still had another 2 hours of Saturday Night and another hour of WorldWide. No matter how big your roster is, having 6-8 hours of booking to do every week + PPV's is madness.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Give them this: Luger and the announcers sold that table bump as though Lex were dead. Watching it again, as an effective blowoff to the "two-faced Luger" storyline I was stunned by how effective the angle was.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Surprised Benoit and Taylor couldn't find a beat. Goes to show there's no magic formula to account for chemistry between wrestlers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wouldn't want Poochie as my brother.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Unless Slamboree has already happened - then the two faced luger wasn't totally dead yet

    ReplyDelete
  18. Most reports I read at the time was Diamond Studd returns.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm crying now that Oz didn't return - except when one night in 1998 - Nash screamed into a mic - I feel like Oz.

    Or how about the time Nash destroyed the masked tag team known as The Master Blasters. Oh that Jevin Nash.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Harlan Leverage IIIMarch 13, 2015 at 11:26 PM

    Nope, different guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACpNVD5GMUw

    ReplyDelete
  21. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONMarch 13, 2015 at 11:43 PM

    No Network problems for me, I watched the Bret Hart Dungeon Collection earlier then some of Superbrawl III and it was totally find.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's me! It's me! It's Ted DiBi!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't think it was mentioned on Nitro, but the other WCW shows had segments where a college student filmed footage of DDP after he lost his money in February. They did several of these, and the last one showed him getting into a limo with an unidentified woman. I assume it supposed to be Kimberly, as this was after Johnny B. Badd left.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Network's working great on PS4.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This show is about a week prior to Slamboree.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Do you have trouble stretching old footage to full screen on the iPad?

    ReplyDelete
  27. In their defense, like you said, they had half the planet under contract. I think *I* main evented Worldwide one week.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I always wondered why he wasn't involved in the Dave Attell relaunch of the Gong Show. Turns out diabetes took both his legs.


    :( Dance on, Gene. Godspeed.


    (Without using the google, name Gene's song.)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Never seen always sunny in Philadelphia before. That opening scene was the most horribly/awesomely awkward first 2 minutes I ever seen

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think the latter is the most important point. it doesn't seem unlikely that three hours of Nitro would have worked with their gigantic roster. but having all those shows was just too much.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Also, As someone who was one at the time, I find calling wrestlers "Punk" and "Grunge" is the lamest shit ever

    ReplyDelete
  32. Burt Macklin, FBIMarch 14, 2015 at 2:29 AM

    What episode?

    ReplyDelete
  33. The very first. The Gang gets a little bit racist

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm still working my way through..currently on season 4..personally didn't like season 1, season 2 is awesome tho

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would say it gets about 100,000,000 times more horrible/awesomely awkward as the series goes on

    ReplyDelete
  36. Burt Macklin, FBIMarch 14, 2015 at 4:02 AM

    Season 1 sucks a bag of dicks.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Buffalo HopscotchMarch 14, 2015 at 4:02 AM

    Season 1 was solid, but they were still finding their feet with it. Once they added Danny DeVito it really started to take off.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 14, 2015 at 4:06 AM

    I'm getting a lot of Deja Vu on mine. We'll be watching for a while then suddenly it'll jump back a few minutes, then suddenly catch up with where it should be.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 14, 2015 at 4:08 AM

    You beat Maxx, I think it was about **1/4.

    ReplyDelete
  40. The biggest advantage Nitro had was it could throw a world title match on tv like it was nothing. They've already had about 20 title matches to air. Diesel, Bret and Shawn probably had a combined 2 at this point; however, I don't remember any of them.

    ReplyDelete
  41. It gets a LOT more horrible and awesomely awkward. But that first episode is a perfect intro. That said, you will soon discover Charlie is the greatest character on any TV show, ever.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yeah, WCW had the talent. And Thunder was pretty good for a while. Problem was they should've booked it as the 'up and coming' show for mid-card feuds.

    ReplyDelete
  43. These recaps keep on being awesome, and I can't commend you enough for giving Meng/Barby their due. The rating for their match here is spot on!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Network hasn't worked correctly for new 2 months now. They refuse to listen

    ReplyDelete
  45. Battle Kat LitterMarch 14, 2015 at 5:52 AM

    Needs more Hogan

    ReplyDelete
  46. "Bischoff hypes up DDP’s return due to a mysterious benefactor, who was
    obviously supposed to be Ted Dibiase before they came up with the nWo
    role for him instead."

    Actually, they probably could have done both with Dibiase's reason for helping DDP being early recruitment for the nWo. Pretend they planned ahead that far! Hydra would have. :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Frank is such a perfect fit it's hard to imagine the show without him. EVERYTHING just went insane with him aboard.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Which is funny, because of how hardcore and EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEME ECW appeared at the time. PWI also treated these guys like they were these insane renegades. I thought they must have been AWESOME. Then I actually saw them wrestle.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The Jersey Shore episode with the montage set to "Vacation" by The Go-Gos is epic. My favorite episode.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Yeah, and WCW's roster could support 2 hours easily with various styles- Cruisers, Tag Teams, Brawls, etc. One of my favourite parts of WCW was the weird stuff in the undercard where you'd see a pretty-boy German dancer fighting a Samoan Savage or something.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dedicated UnderachieverMarch 14, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    Network has been running perfect on Apple TV.

    Maybe try another DNS service. I used to unblockUS and had no end of issue with them to the point they cut my connection speed in half. I went to Getflix and have had zero issue for nearly a year. They offer a two week trial for free. At least maybe try another service to eliminate if unblockUS is at fault or not.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Charlie drinking actual sun tan lotion and Dee/Dennis high as shit involved with those criminals are God-tier moments.

    ReplyDelete
  53. December 89 Flair and Rotunda had a good world title match on NWA Pro, bit of a lost classic

    ReplyDelete
  54. episode where Devito decides to become a pro wrestler called The Garbage Man "I'll come out, and I'll eat garbage!"

    ReplyDelete
  55. Doctor FunkopolisMarch 14, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    I was afraid I imagined those. I feel better knowing they really happened.

    For what it's worth, I absolutely thought it was Kimberly.

    ReplyDelete
  56. "That's not magical! That's not love! That's two homeless guys banging!"

    ReplyDelete
  57. And his 'magical' night.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I dunno, it is any lamer than "Hawk" or "Animal," really?

    ReplyDelete
  59. That's pretty cruel of life, taking the legs of someone who was a "dancing machine." Not cool.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Just like Bonny Heenan getting throat cancer.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I watched the first two.

    The went for abortion jokes in their SECOND episode.

    10/10 great show.

    ReplyDelete
  62. It gets better. And more offensive.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Gun Fever? Charlie Has Cancer? Charlie Got Molested? These are not bag of dick sucking episodes Macklin

    ReplyDelete
  64. The debut of Davey Boy Smith, the return of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and Vader-Sting all in one show? Oh yeah!

    ReplyDelete
  65. I don't actually even need the DNS for the Network now and just keep it for Netflix and Hulu at this point.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hey, it was Maxx. I did the best I could.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 14, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    It's cool, I think C F-B gave you match of the night.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Burt Macklin, FBIMarch 14, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    I dislike pretty much all of Season 1. It felt like they just put on a blindfold and threw darts at controversial topics they could do an episode about in order to be edgy.

    Racism! Abortion! Child molestation!

    Okay, Charlie Got Molested was good.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hydra never plans ahead. It's why they are a piss poor terror group not fit to lick Cobra's collective boots.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hell, in the comics, Hydra could not even plan ahead enough to see that their infiltration of SHIELD was part of a ploy by an LMD version of Nick Fury to infiltrate Hydra for fuck's sake......

    ReplyDelete
  71. I'd watched the show since the beginning but I know a lot of people are OK with skipping straight to season two to start.

    Season one has several episodes (with the molestation episode being the high point of season one) that need to be watched for continuity reasons as far as setting up running gags for the rest the series but the characters have not yet found themselves. In particular, Charlie is relatively normal if not pathetic in season one, Dee is pretty much the voice of reason as opposed to being just as degenerate as the rest of the cast, Dennis is not a full-on sociopath/serial killer fetishist, and Mac is not the modern day version of Ted Baxter, super-fraud.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Yeah, the Jersey Shore episode is an all time classic, especially with the teasing of Charlie/The Waitress and the way the episode slowly but surely has Dennis and Dee's childhood nostalgia fundamentally crushed by reality. The scene in the ER is one of my all time Sunny monologues.....

    ReplyDelete
  73. I've read that the entire Waitress subplot (and the later one where Charlie seduces and dumps a wealthy girl who was in love with him just to make the Waitress jealous) was the writers basically trying to shut up people who kept wanting the two to get together.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Charlie Got Molested is the high point of the first season.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Yeah the last of those sketches had a woman wearing an evening gown glove beckoning DDP into her limo with only her gloved hand shown on video. And IIRC they eventually flat out said it was Kimberly, a year later when she was brought back on screen

    ReplyDelete
  76. I have a kindle fire and no issues

    ReplyDelete
  77. Pretty much.


    It's awesome that Frank joining the group is when things go to shit for everyone. They all degenerate each year because of this insane rich guy who funds all their stupid schemes.

    ReplyDelete
  78. How old are you boy?

    ReplyDelete