The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 04.29.96
Taped from whatever last week was. What is this, the World Whining Federation? I thought that the “C” in “WCW” stood for COMMITMENT, Eric.
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo
World tag team titles: Lex Luger & Sting v. Harlem Heat
Bischoff notes that the winner of Battlebowl at Slamboree gets a title match at the Great American Bash, and THAT sure didn’t happen. So many lies tonight. Booker and Sting trade wristlocks until Booker sidekicks him, but Sting drops an elbow for two. Luger with an elbow for two. Stevie Ray comes in and beats him down in the corner, but Lex returns the favor and the champs double-team Stevie for two. The announcers talk about how Sting can’t trust Luger, but oddly the entire direction of the company changed before that storyline could be brought to the logical conclusion, and Luger just kind of transitioned into full babyface for good. We take a break and return with Booker putting Sting down with a spinkick for two. Stevie with a bicycle kick for two. The Heat get the heat on Sting, but it’s hot tag Luger and he’s throwing clotheslines all over the place. Powerslam on Booker and it’s BONZO GONZO, as the Heat hit a double-team powerbomb on Luger and now Jimmy Hart runs interference, allowing Sting to roll up Booker for the (unintentional) cheap win at 8:38. So the skullduggery from Luger continues. **
Fire & Ice v. The Steiner Brothers
Apparently everyone is talking about Fire & Ice! After Ice Train got off the steroids he suddenly dropped to like 120 pounds. He was just the WORST. Rick throws Juice Train around and Scott follows with suplexes on Norton, which is pretty damn impressive because he’s a big guy and generally doesn’t sell stuff like that. Fire & Ice briefly get the heat on Rick, but he comes back with a Steinerline on Ice Train out of nowhere for a quick pin at 3:25. What a mess. *
Ric Flair lets us know that Randy Savage is SMALL next to the Nature Boy, and he’s not worried about the Giant.
GLACIER is coming. Well, not for many months after this. But eventually. I mean, glaciers are slow moving and all.
Parking Lot Brawl: Lord Steven Regal v. The Belfast Bruiser
So yeah, Finlay punches through a windshield and grabs a piece of concrete, but Regal goes to the eyes and Finlay throws some serious punches in response. And then he drops a tire on Regal, rims and all. OUCH. The old bumper to the back and a slam on the hood follows, but Regal throws some vicious high kicks to fight back until Finlay chokes him down with a seat belt. Regal tries to put him a windshield without success, so Finlay drops him on the safety railing face first. They fight on the roof of a pickup and take a crazy bump to the concrete, and another poor window dies for this match. Thankfully they gimmicked the windows of that car. They fight on the roof of another car as Bischoff gets the director to pull out wider and wider, and Regal piledrives him on the roof and pins him on the hood to win it at 7:00. A crazy brawl, predating the WWF Hardcore division by a long time. ***1/2
WCW World title: Ric Flair v. The Giant
Flair tries to attack and gets press-slammed and tossed out of the ring, but Giant misses a blind charge and Flair goes up. And that of course never works. Giant goes for the chokeslam, but Flair hits him in the Big Shows and takes over. Flair also finds an international object in his tights and puts Giant down with that, and now we go to school with the figure-four. Giant appears to be out, but then suddenly wakes up, chokeslams Flair right from the figure-four, and wins the title at 5:49. Pretty bad. *
Due to the timeslot changes with playoffs, this show scored one of the lowest ratings in the history of the show. They would of course rebound from that, but in fact TNT executives freaked out and expanded the show to two hours as a result, a move that would change everything. So there you go.