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*
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…