The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 07.01.96
Call it schadenfreude, but BYE BYE FLAMES. I’m man enough to admit it.
So apparently the reason that Nitro isn’t being further updated is because no one is actually watching the archived content. Seems like kind of a catch-22 to me. Well, I’m watching, all the way to the bitter end when I run out of Nitro episodes in a few weeks. IT’S STILL REAL TO ME, DAMMIT!
Live from Landover, MD
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko
DDP interrupts the opening spiel to complain about his magic ring being stolen. STRIP SEARCHES FOR EVERYONE! Oh, and Larry promises that this Sunday will bring a “new world order” of some sort. Yeah, well, that’s like, just his opinion, man.
WCW World tag titles: Harlem Heat v. The Steiner Brothers
Scott throws Booker around with a belly to belly and press slam, then dumps him to the floor. Somehow, Scott Steiner is getting bigger literally by the week. The Steiners clean house and we take a break, returning with the Four Horsemen enjoying some refreshments at Flair’s private table. I’m guessing that gag went away for good after next week. Rick with a Steinerline on Stevie Ray for two, and Scott takes him down with a backslide and overhead suplex as Larry again is all about the new world order. Rick wipes out Booker with a pair of clotheslines while Col. Parker now joins us at ringside. Booker hits the sidekick for two, but Rick brings him down off the top rope with a belly to belly for two. Scott with a butterfly powerbomb for two, but Stevie hits him with a cheapshot from the apron and the Heat take over. Booker with a flying splash for two, but Scott makes the hot tag to Rick. Clotheslines and powerslams abound, and Scott hits the Frankensteiner on Booker, but he’s not legal. Rick goes up with the flying bulldog, but Parker whacks Rick with his walking stick on a second attempt and the Heat retain at 10:08. Did Parker miss his cue there or something? Not sure why they suddenly put the Heat back with Parker again. Solid match with the guys throwing each other around, however. ***
Meanwhile, Mean Gene brings up the open wound of Joe Gomez’s Nitro debut getting ruined, and Debra admits that she might be a bit high maintenance.
GLACIER is on the way! At this point it’s actually getting pretty funny.
Disco Inferno v. Kurasawa
Kurasawa has somehow dumped Sonny Onoo and turned babyface for some reason never adequately explored. Mainly comedy here, as Disco runs away and Kurasawa no-sells everything and looks to finish Disco off…but it’s the oldest finish in the book, as Disco’s music hits and an Elvis impersonator comes down to distract Kurasawa, allowing Disco to pull down the disco ball and hit him in the back for the pin at 3:42. Like I said, the oldest finish in the book. DUD
Diamond Dallas Page v. Scotty Riggs
Unlike last week’s show, DDP’s generic butt rock music has been restored to its former glory with no wacky overdubbing. Page pounds away and drops Riggs with a backdrop suplex, and slugs him down for two. Page with the abdominal stretch and he blocks a sunset flip, but Riggs finishes the move for two. Page boots him down again and gets a pumphandle backbreaker for two, but Riggs makes the comeback. Dropkick puts Page on the floor and Riggs follows with a dive, and back in for a flying forearm that gets two. But, alas, Diamond Cutter out of nowhere finishes at 5:36. Good work from both here. **1/2
Randy Savage v. Greg Valentine
Valentine gets the recycled Hollywood Blonds music as they dig him out of whatever state fair he was working in 1996. Hammer pounds away but misses a blind charge and Savage gets two. They fight to the floor and Valentine drops an elbow. Back in for some choking as Tony speculates that GREG VALENTINE might be the third man. Savage comes back with a slam and goes up, but Valentine catches him coming down. The ref loudly calls out a 30 second time warning, so Valentine “knocks himself out” on a back suplex and Savage miraculously drops the elbow at 5:14 to move us to the second hour. Meh. *
Still live, still in Landover, MD.
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan
The Outsiders joins us at ringside, with popcorn and drinks and about a million extra viewers over RAW. Bischoff refers to “Kevin Nash” for the first time here.
WCW World title: The Giant v. John Tenta
The announcers reason that Tenta is so mad at Big Bubba that he might just take it out on Giant and win the title! I’m gonna go with “no” to that one. Tenta indeed unleashes his fury and rage on Giant, but sadly he’s not quite as angry as, say, Alex Riley and quickly gets his ass beat in the corner. This progresses at a leisurely pace while I check the Observer, and apparently at this point Hogan kind of gave away the third man deal on a movie set. Also, in much more important news, Glacier debuts at some sort of toy fair and people mock his ridiculously expensive gear and point out how cheap it looks, comparing him to Chris Champion. BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD! Anyway, this shitfest continues unabated, with Giant endlessly choking and pounding on Tenta in the corner while the Outsiders eat popcorn in the front row. Finally Tenta dodges a blind charge and makes the comeback, putting him down with a dropkick, but now Kevin Sullivan comes out for the distraction and Giant finishes with the chokeslam at 6:37. The dastardly Big Bubba shaves off half of Tenta’s beard now. You’re probably asking why he doesn’t just shave off the rest and regrow it, but that would be putting way more thought into this than the booking team did. -***
Meanwhile, a Rey Mysterio video is interrupted by the Outsiders stirring up trouble, until security throws him out, with Nash yelling “Attica! Attica!” all the way. Is it any wonder they were instantly bigger stars than anyone in the promotion?
Meanwhile, Jim Duggan reveals that he found DDP’s ring in the men’s bathroom, but he wouldn’t want to keep it anyway because he wears a MAN’S ring size and not the feminine piece of crap that DDP wears. Page storms in to reclaim the ring and Duggan hits him with a taped fist as Page takes a dramatic bump off it. This was fun stuff. Well, except for Gene accidentally calling it the “King of the Ring”, which has a panicked Bischoff immediately clarifying it as a slip of the tongue so that they don’t get any further legal threats from the WWF.
The Four Horsemen v. The Rock N Roll Express, The Renegade and JOE GOMEZ
Finally, the Desperado assembles his team of anti-Horsemen to get his revenge! And yes, this is your main event, why do you ask? Team Gomez cleans house and Flair starts out the match properly with Morton, who takes him down with a rana and the double dropkick for two. Well that finisher is dead. Oh wait it’s 1996, no one gives a shit anyway. Over to Arn, who falls victim to an enzuigiri from Gibson. Benoit comes in and beats on Renegade, but it’s GOMEZ TIME and he beats on Flair in the corner to kick off the greatest era of WCW TV since the glory NWA years. Backdrop gets two, but Joe gets distracted by his own perfect hair and Flair kicks him in the nuts to take over. Benoit beats on him in the corner and takes him down by the hair, clearly jealous. Gomez fact: Joe Gomez has a much better chance of making it into the WWE Hall of Fame than Benoit does. Mongo comes in and pounds Gomez down, and Flair drops the knee. Gomez comes back with a sunset flip on AA for two, but walks into a spinebuster. He gets a backslide on Benoit, who punches Gomez in his beautiful, beautiful face to put him down again. Flair tries the figure-four, but Gomez reverses for two while Bischoff notes “I don’t want to say anything bad about Joe Gomez, but he’s been getting hammered in there.” Clear proof that this man is nWo through and through, because only a traitor to the entire promotion would dare say anything bad about the heart and soul of WCW, Joe Gomez. If Joe Gomez had been the guy in the rafters, you can bet he wouldn’t have failed like Sting did. And in fact, Gomez decides to tag out to Renegade and share the glory, because that’s the kind of guy he is. Renegade runs wild, but misses a flying whatever while Mongo flails wildly with the briefcase at nothing (did, like, EVERYONE miss their cue for that one? Jesus Christ.) and Renegade submits to the figure-four at 11:53. Joe Gomez had that match well in hand, you hack! 12 minutes of Joe Gomez masterpiece, a match almost as impressive as his hair, ruined by the Renegade’s ineptitude. ***1/2
Mean Gene interviews the Horsemen to wrap things up.
Next week: WCW presents Bash at the Beach, with the third man revealed in another typical WCW angle that went nowhere and satisfied no one. Does anyone even remember who the guy was?