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The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–05.20.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 05.20.96

Live from somewhere. Running time is listed as 70 minutes, although I thought the two hour thing didn’t start until next week’s show? Since I’m watching early Sunday morning, the network load appears to be light enough that there’s no issues with buffering today.

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan. Mongo is now a wrestler as of Slamboree, so he’s done as an announcer. Good riddance.

Fire & Ice v. The Steiner Brothers

Juice Train throws Scott around to start, but gets clotheslined for two. Train comes back with his own suplex for two, and then Scott shows him up with an overhead suplex. Well that was fun. Norton comes in to pound on Rick, and hits a semi-flying splash off the middle rope, but Rick returns fire with a release german suplex for two. Scott tosses Norton and follows with an axehandle to the floor as they’re letting it all hang out here. Back in, Norton catches him with a samoan drop for two, but Rick and Train clothesline each other and it’s BONZO GONZO. Bischoff clarifies that it’s a 90 minute show as the ref calls for the double DQ at 5:26. Much better than last week’s mess. **1/4

Ric Flair v. Eddie Guerrero

Pretty impressive cleavage on Woman tonight, especially since that’s not usually her strong suit. Eddie works a headlock and slugs it out with Flair in the corner, taking some vicious chops in the process. And you know damn well he told Flair to lay them in there. Eddie fights back with a dropkick to put Flair on the floor. Flair stops for a tantrum by his table and an argument with the ref. How sad is it that everyone in the match except Flair is now dead? Not that Randy Anderson led a particularly high-risk lifestyle or anything, but geez. Back in the ring, we get a Flair Flop and take a break. Back with Eddie on top with a sunset flip for two and he pounds on Flair in the corner until Flair puts him down with atomic drop. Eddie gets a backslide for two, and a small package for two. Flair tries the figure-four and Eddie cradles for two and then trips him up and gets his own figure-four. Flair quickly makes the ropes, but he bails and suckers Eddie into a dive that goes badly. Eddie blows out his knee on the landing and Flair goes to work with a suplex on the floor as we get a funny bit from the announcers: Bobby notes “Flair knows how to win as a 13-time World champion…well, 15 if you count…” before Bischoff cuts him off with a curt “We’re not talking about those titles.” Flair works on the leg, but Eddie fights off the figure-four and comes back with a sunset flip, which Flair blocks by punching him in the face. That works. They trade chops in the corner and Eddie suddenly gets a tornado DDT for two out of the corner. A ropewalk into a rana ends up hurting Eddie’s knee even more, but he goes up with the frog splash…and blows out his OTHER knee in the process. Flair recovers and finishes with the figure-four by positioning Eddie away from the ropes and getting the pin at 20:09. But again he makes sure to grab the ropes and the women’s hands at the same time, so Eddie looks good in the loss. ****1/4 Was this on any of the DVD releases thus far? Because it was pretty fucking great.

Ric Flair cuts his victory promo about how Kevin Greene came into Carolina without his permission, and then made a mistake by trying to cross-train football and wrestling like Flair “cross-trains the girls”, and even Elizabeth is unable to keep from cracking up on camera.

WCW World tag titles: Sting & Lex Luger v. The Faces of Fear

Meng stomps Luger down, but Lex gets a powerslam for two and we take a break. Back with Sting missing a dropkick as Meng goes to work on the back. Meng with an atomic drop into the Barbarian’s KICK OF FEAR for two. Barbarian takes him to the top for an impressive belly to belly that gets two. DOUBLE DIVING HEADBUTTS follow, but Luger distracts the ref and Meng is ROBBED of the tag titles. Sting fights back and Meng cuts off the tag with a dramatic atomic drop, and Barbarian gets a backbreaker for two. Finally Sting dives for the hot tag and Luger runs wild. STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM gets two on Barbie. It’s breaking loose in Tulsa and Meng eats the post, allowing Sting to hit Barbarian with a flying splash that gives Luger the pin at 10:52. Where did THIS come from? ***

BLOOD RUNS COLD. In the Observer, Dave clarifies that Bryan Clark probably won’t be a ninja after all, and all we know for sure is that Chris Champion is the main guy.

Meanwhile, security still won’t let Randy Savage into the building, and in fact he may never be allowed to wrestle again!

Diamond Dallas Page v. Brad Armstrong

DDP works on the arm to start, but gets dropkicked to the floor. He comes back with a neckbreaker and we take a break. Back with Brad getting a backslide for two as there’s already talk from Bischoff about taking the title shot away from DDP. So why even book him to win the match at Slamboree? Why not just have Savage or Luger win it? That never made any sense. Brad with a flying bodypress for two, but he walks into the Diamond Cutter at 7:34. Most of this took place during the break and never really got going. *1/2 And then Mean Gene announces that DDP is stripped of his title shot and Lex Luger gets the shot instead, because reasons. WEAK.

WCW World title: The Giant v. Arn Anderson

Arn tries to throw hands on the Giant and gets nowhere, and Giant removes him from the ring. Arn goes low and gets a pair of axehandles off the middle rope, but Giant counters a DDT attempt into the chokeslam at 3:38. Turrible. ½*

The Pulse

Check out Flair v. Guerrero, and the rest is pretty much a wash. Geez, I hope they have some giant game-changing development next week…


  1. A 20 minute Flair vs. Guerrero match for free on TV? Sounds amazing! Guerrero worked with Flair several times on TV/PPV didn't? Lucky guy.

  2. "Running time is listed as 70 minutes, although I thought the two hour thing didn’t start until next week’s show?"
    For some reason, this episode was given a 90-minute slot instead of an hour.

  3. Scott, almost sure that eddie and flair is on best of nitro volume 1

  4. MaffewOfBotchamaniaMarch 15, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    That's right.

  5. Badass as it was, that Flair/Guerrero match is kinda depressing in hindsight. And how did Randy "Don't call me Pee-Wee" Anderson die?

  6. I think he had liver or stomach cancer, but not 100% sure.

  7. I think it was testicular cancer, actually.

  8. I'm wondering if they mean the two "WCW International" title reigns, because if he was a 15-time world champion at the time, and he won 3 more from this point forward (1 in 99, 2 in 2000), that would put him at 18. Disqualifying those two reigns puts him at the currently-recognized 16.

  9. Why that one, as opposed to every other Guerrero match?

  10. Funny about the titles because I could swear I remember them announcing savage as a three time champ when he defended against flair at starcade 95 I believe. That would've had to include his wwf reigns.

  11. Apparently between Superbrawl and the arrival of the outsiders, Raw was the better show.

  12. Because this is one of the few where almost everyone in the match (including managers)is dead.

  13. The Amazing GamecockMarch 15, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Sting and Lex vs Faces is not a wash.

  14. I just watched 96 Raw up until May. It's pretty good until Hall and Nash leave and we get more Savio Vega and Godwinns.

  15. I'm pretty sure WCW counted WWF reigns.

  16. Seconded. As much as I love Matt and Danielle eviscerating Total Divas, and BoD RAW, and all that good stuff, I constantly check for new Scott reviews,
    The fact he's reviewing my favorite wrestling show from my childhood is a bonus.

  17. Battle Kat LitterMarch 15, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    Something game-changing happens next week? I hope it's the return of the Hulkster

  18. Battle Kat LitterMarch 15, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    I was a bit of a Barbarian mark as a kid. His big boot is the best I've ever seen

  19. Battle Kat LitterMarch 15, 2015 at 1:49 PM


  20. Halls promo next week is still one of the best moments ever. He just absolutely nails it.

  21. His eighth reign is un-credited.

  22. Yeah, it seems like he's been gone for 93,173 days brother.

  23. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 15, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    Hall and Nash both looked like the scariest men on the planet in the lead up to Bash at the Beach. They had armed guards with GUNS to keep them at bay.

  24. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 15, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    Then it gets good again around November when Austin starts getting his steady push to the top.

  25. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 15, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    See, I don't follow that line of thinking. People die. It happens. Elvis and Buddy Holly had tragic deaths but I don't get depressed when I listen to them.

  26. Woman definitely was rocking it tonight. Any tighter and she might have choked herself out.

  27. It's weird, but I've had a dream a few times where he kicks Tito Santana in the back of the head and wins the IC title. Need to drink less I think.

  28. Buddy holly had a tragic death. Elvis most certainly did NOT.

  29. 1. Ric Flair over Dusty Rhodes September 1981
    *2. Ric Flair awarded the title back after Jack Veneno was stripped of it August 1982

    *3. Ric Flair awarded the title back after Carlos Colon was stripped of it January 1983
    *4. Ric Flair awarded the title back after Victor Jovicas victory was reversed February 1983
    *5. Ric Flair awarded the title back after the Midnight Rider relinquishes it February 1983

    6. Ric Flair over Harley Race Starrcade November 1983
    *7 Ric Flair over Harley Race in Singapore March 1984
    8. Ric Flair over Kerry Von Erich Japan May 1984
    *9. Ric Flair awarded the title back after Dusty Rhodes victory was reversed November 1985
    10.Ric Flair over Dusty Rhodes August 1986

    11. Ric Flair over Ron Garvin Starrcade November 1987
    12. Ric Flair over Ricky Steamboat Wrestlewar May 1989
    13. Ric Flair over Sting January 1991
    *14. Ric Flair is recognized as the 1st WCW World Champion during this reign January 1991
    *15. Ric Flair over Tatsumi Fujinami Superbrawl May 1991

    16. Ric Flair wins the Vacant WWF World Title Royal Rumble January 1992
    17. Ric Flair over "Macho Man" Randy Savage WWF World Title September 1992
    *18. Ric Flair over Barry Windham NWA Heavyweight Title Beach Blast July 1993
    19. Ric Flair over Vader WCW World Title Starrcade December 1993
    *20. Ric Flair over Ricky Steamboat for Vacant WCW World Title April 1994

    *21. Ric Flair over Sting WCW International Title Clash Of The Champions June 1994
    22. Ric Flair over "Macho Man" Randy Savage Starrcade December 1995
    23. Ric Flair over "Macho Man" Randy Savage Superbrawl February 1996
    24. Ric Flair over Hulk Hogan Uncensored March 1999
    25. Ric Flair over Jeff Jarrett Nitro May 2000
    26. Ric Flair awarded the title back after Kevin Nash relinquishes it Nitro May 2000

  30. They got lucky. I heard the alternate plan was for them to come out and have sting make bad jokes about their bowel habits and then job them out to the steiners the first few shows

  31. Did Woman have the most annoying shriek ever or what? One would think Flair would get irritated.

  32. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANMarch 15, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Funny thing about discrediting Flair's reigns is that probably half of the people in that Rumble are working for them or will be working for them over the next year, and the other one is over Savage, who is one of their featured guys

  33. "*18. Ric Flair over Barry Windham NWA Heavyweight Title Beach Blast July 1993"
    This one doesn't need the star. WCW counted it as #10.
    They also counted the April 1994 win over Steamboat when it first happened, then immediately dropped it.

  34. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 15, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    Austin's good then, but it's who SID~! who was carrying the WWF through their darkest days of late 96 / early 97, with his promos.

  35. During Sting/Luger - FoF Flair says on commentary that he had seen Elisabeth checking out Luger the other day. Now that's a shoot!

  36. There was a 90 minute show in between the last hour show and the first two hour show. I think it basically got down to how much time did TNT need to fill before the start of the NBA playoffs.

  37. Do you fall asleep watching wrestling?

  38. They usually did, yeah.

    Falir left WCW in 1991 as a seven time world champion, then returned in 1993 as a nine time world champion. That was the first time they did it (and really they only time they could have, anyway).

  39. It needs a star if you don't believe the "NWA Heavyweight Title" was a "World" title at that point.

    PWI and it's magazines, for instance, did NOT recognize the NWA Championship as a "World" title since it was basically defended in WCW, and they already had their own world champion to begin with.

  40. or when bret noticed his talent and rising star and was committed to do an excellent program with him to give him his first big rub. Survivor Series '96!

  41. cancer i believe...

  42. “Flair knows how to win as a 13-time World champion…well, 15 if you count…” before Bischoff cuts him off with a curt “We’re not talking about those titles.”

    I feel like this might be a joke about stealing Woman and Liz.

  43. If I have the network on in the bedroom, yes.

  44. def alot better when hes enthusiastic about a program that is quality when he is reviewing. I myself am giving RAW a break until it gets it shit together, the only match I want to see at WM is Cena vs Rusev bc its the only one that has heat and a pretty good build going for it with Cena being Super Super Serial. Also HE WANTS THE US TITLE!! Who woulda thunk it lol.

  45. It's been awhile but didn't they also say Ric Flair was a 10 time champion after overthrowing Vader at Starrcade '93?

    Dusty's Starrcade '85 "Victory" and then Reversal is listed with an Asterix same as the disputed changes of # 2-5.

    Also for those wondering where the Official # 16 reign comes from, most people accept the Flair/Race switches in New Zealand/Singapore to be legit.

  46. The only guys who were in the 92 Rumble and didn't work for WCW during the Monday NIght Wars:

    - Shawn Michaels
    - Nikolia Volkoff
    - Col. Mustafa (Iron Sheik)
    - Sgt. Slaugther
    - Skinner
    - Undertaker
    - Jake Roberts
    - Jimmy Snuka
    - Kerry Von Erich
    - Hercules

  47. WCW recognized the NWA title win as his 10th reign. Dethroning Vader made him an 11 time world champion according to WCW.

  48. I don't care if Flair has 30 world title reigns. He'll never be in the same league as Roman Reigns.

  49. Good job! Now do Jerry Lawler's Southern title reigns!

  50. So it was the NWA title when Flair won in from Windham, but just the International Title when Rude won it from Flair?

    Does this make Flair the only man to be stripped of the NWA World Heavyweight Title twice?

  51. I stand corrected, just re-watched the finish and Tony & Jesse both acknowledge Flair as a now 11 time World Champ.

  52. "Also for those wondering where the Official # 16 reign comes from, most people accept the Flair/Race switches in New Zealand/Singapore to be legit."

    They do not count towards the official 16. The official 16 are numbers 1, 6, 8, 10-13, 16-19, and 22-26.

  53. Battle Kat LitterMarch 15, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    Rematch from WM6. Nice.

  54. Snuka worked for wcw (with Tito and Steele) in Fall 99. War was still going

  55. That would been quite the trick since Santana wasn't champion.

  56. I'm missing the no selling and hulk ups. I mean if he stopped doing that stuff - all he end up doing is doing main event promos and getting chased off by either Sting of the Giant. Nobody wants that.

  57. Herc had already had that awesome Super Invader run though

  58. his 1992 WCW run was a lot better than it's remembered, and the face tag team of Cactus/Barbarian was -really- over for a couple beore Bischoff took over and scrapped everything since he didn't know what he was doing

  59. ODing in your bathroom with your face buried in the rug is tragic. Listening to six months of slurring concerts in 1977, when the guy blew the roof off in MSG in 1972 is tragic.

  60. First it's my list, i spent almost 10 hard minutes putting that together and second most people didn't recognize the 1993 NWA Title as a world title thus historically it hasn't been seen as being one of the official 16. That's why him beating Sting for the International Title in 1994 also isn't universally accepted.

    I'll admit neither are the Far East title changes with Handsome Harley but if they did occur then they're easily accepted into the NWA Title Reign pantheon as the '84 NWA Heavyweight title is an unchallenged real World Title.

  61. Or 255 years ...

    Did I mention Andre the giant farted on me during our WM 3 match?

  62. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 15, 2015 at 5:29 PM

    Don't tell that to HartKiller. Bret can do no right.

  63. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 15, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    "Sorry, we're live pal."

  64. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 15, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    I'd say having a heart attack on a toilet is a pretty tragic way to go just for the humiliation factor alone.

  65. I think at some point the phantom reigns in New Zealand, puerto rico and other places started to be acknowledged, though in an "unspoken" way. . . I am probbly wrong though.

  66. Sorry but by music standards it really isn't. Its too bad for him and his family that he dies that way, but compared to plane crashed, assassins and AIDS, music set a REALLY high bar. . .

  67. "First it's my list, i spent almost 10 hard minutes putting that together and second most people didn't recognize the 1993 NWA Title as a world title thus historically it hasn't been seen as being one of the official 16. That's why him beating Sting for the International Title in 1994 also isn't universally accepted."
    Whoops, sorry about that.
    I've never heard of the Windham victory in 1993 not counting, but it's definitely #10 of the official 16.
    I assume Flair beating Sting for the International in 1994 wasn't counted by WCW because the title was immediately unified with the WCW World title, the same way WWE recognizes Jeff Hardy as the last European champion even though Rob Van Dam technically deserves it since beat Jeff in unification match.

  68. Of all teams, Barbarian and Dick Slater were the last US tag team champs

  69. thought so…I still need to watch Volume 2. I've had it for a few months and just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  70. Woman had some amazing ta-ta's...whachu talkin bout?

  71. the astricks the ones not recognized by WWE?

    that's a lot more titles "awarded" than I suspected.

  72. For a guy in his position, Arn seems like the most selfless man in this business as he's always down for getting squashed when the situation calls for it.

  73. I wanna say this Flair/Eddie match is the one Flair talks about in his book. He liked Eddie and wanted to go out and make Eddie look good even in a loss. Beefcake overheard this, and freaked out saying "Hulk doesn't think putting over the little guy would be a good move" or something. And Flair basically just laughed at Brutus.

  74. I end up with 17 that I would personally count(NWA/WCW/WWF).
    #1, over Dusty
    #6 over Race
    #7 over Race
    #8 over Von Erich
    #10 over Dusty
    #11 over Garvin
    #12 over Steamboat
    #13 over Sting
    #15 over Fujinami (he won the NWA title, he never lost the WCW title at that March Japan show)
    #16 Rumble
    #17 over Savage
    #18 over Windham
    #19 over Vader
    #22 over Savage
    #23 over Savage
    #24 over Hogan
    #25 over Jarrett

    I wish he won it in WWE. They had a few opportunities for a feel good story there.

  75. I'm watching summer of 92 shows and I guess it was actually announced that the US Tag Titles would be retired while building up a Slater Barbarian match vs the Freebirds. I thought it was cool that they built up how it would be an honor to be the last champions. Did this ever happen any other time not counting unifications?

  76. Steiners were pretty awesome around this time.

    As were Sting and Luger.

  77. I think it was more like they had to mess with these shows for the NBA Playoffs because of the NBA's television contract with TNT. It would become an issue this night because of the Game 2 of the Jazz/Sonics Western Conference Finals matchup. I think the NBA usurped any regular scheduled programming and got preference for those prime time timeslots.

  78. Oh that's good. Let me guess...she was letting the puppies, nay, DOGS out?

  79. On top of that, Snuka helped Benoit out didn't he? What a team that was in hindsight...

  80. "Ric Flair cuts his victory promo about how Kevin Greene came into Carolina without his permission, and then made a mistake by trying to cross-train football and wrestling like Flair “cross-trains the girls”, and even Elizabeth is unable to keep from cracking up on camera."
    So, then, Elizabeth was....corpsing?

  81. Woman had some impressive dogs, but she was generally overshadowed by Debra's dobermans.


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