The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 07.22.96
Oh boo hoo, so I left Nitro for a bit and went back to RAW. RAW gets me in a way Nitro doesn't! I talked for hours with RAW on the phone the other night about feelings and Joe Gomez and stuff, and I'm lucky if Nitro calls me back after a night of drinking. I'm a human being too, you know. But that's fine, back to Nitro. Joe Gomez better be on this show, hopefully in a super-creepy beach video.
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Tony & Larry
Scott Norton vs. Squire Dave Taylor
Taylor fires away with forearms, but Norton no-sells them and sends him to the floor. Back in, Norton misses a blind charge, but tosses Taylor again and this time it's a DQ at 1:45. Oh yeah, over the top rule. 1/2* They brawl on the outside while the timekeeper frantically rings the bell. Because that's ever worked before.
Meanwhile, the Horsemen are chillin' at Flair's fancy table, preparing for the main event tonight.
VK Wallstreet vs. Konnan
They trade armbars and Wallstreet tosses him and works the leg back in the ring. VK uses the ropes, but gets rolled up for two. We hit the chinlock as Tony talks up the awesome win streak that Wallstreet is on: One win over Jim Powers! And if he wins tonight, that's TWO. Samoan drop gets two, and Konnan rolls him over for the pin at 5:18. Dammit, the Reddit guy lied to me about putting money on Rotundo here. HE WAS ON A WINNING STREAK! * I feel like Rotundo should take this gimmick back to TNA and manage the Wolves.
Meanwhile, WCW's failed babyface trio are ready to chomp on the Horsemen tonight. They all want Hogan and don't care for him very much.
It's GLACIER, and he's all doing karate and shit.
And then the most WCW thing ever, as we get a video of the awesome team of Joe Gomez, the Renegade, Alex Wright and Jim Powers walking on a beach and taking their shirts off in what looks like the trailer for a gay porn film. Joe Gomez is so above this. And yet it stirs strange feelings in me. Things I've never admitted to myself about Joe Gomez.
Joe Gomez, The Renegade, Alex Wright & Jim Powers vs. Hugh Morrus, Kevin Sullivan, The Barbarian and THE LEPRECHAN
Not to be confused with Hornswaggle. The camera immediately ignores this bullshit and heads to the back while Alex Wright gets beat up. So in the back, the Outsiders have hijacked the truck and start messing with the broadcast, which gives us a rare glance of directing legends like Keith Mitchell and Craig Leathers. Hall and Nash keep sending the camera to the crowd, apparently looking for a friend. Nash: “Everyone back to the trailers for pot pies and Mountain Dew!” Sounds good to me. Anyway, after this gross disrespect of the legend that is Joe Gomez, we finally return to the match with Teddy Long giving Jim Powers a peptalk. So Powers' HGH shots finally kick in and he runs wild, but Giant runs in and just chokeslams everyone like a bunch of geeks at 5:42. Clearly he was terrified of Joe Gomez going on a win streak and getting a title shot. Frankly they should talk Joe Gomez out of retirement and have him face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania because it would be the only guaranteed 200,000 ticket sellout in history. If they played that beach video beforehand, it might be 400,000.
The Giant declares himself the cancer of WCW that no one can cure. I thought that was Hogan? Also, I'm pretty sure Joe Gomez could cure cancer in between bookings.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Prince Iaukea
The epic clashes continue. The Prince gets a dropkick in the corner, but DDP lays him out and follows with a sideslam. Iaukea comes back with a pair of springboard bodypresses for two, but Diamond Cutter outta nowhere finishes at 1:25.
Dean Malenko vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
This is Chavo's Nitro debut, and Meltzer is immediately busting on him in the Observer, noting how green he is and how he's been unable to adjust from the lucha libre style. Poor Chavito. Malenko pretty much dismantles him, but Chavo gets a brief comeback with a dropkick. Malenko drops him on his head with a backdrop suplex and totally ignores Chavo's comeback, then throws him around the ring while we switch to HOUR NUMBER TWO.
Your hosts are Eric & Bobby
Chavo uses the distraction of the fireworks to get a sunset flip for two, but Malenko holds a headscissors on the mat and more boring holds. A brainbuster and powerbomb follow while the bored crowd messes around, but Chavo gets a pair of cradles for two. To the top, but he whiffs on something and the Cloverleaf finishes at 8:05. WAY, way too long for what was basically a squash. *1/2
Meng vs. Ice Train
Well this should save the show. Meng attacks to start, but Train gets a bodypress for two while Teddy Long looks on his second segment of the show. What, the Craig Pittman revival worked so well that guys are lining up now to be managed by Long? Train works on the arm and gets a terrible sunset flip for two, and they slug it out in ridiculous fashion as this somehow gets worse by the minute. Ice Train escapes a nerve hold and comes back with a clothesline for two, but Meng slugs him down and goes to a chinlock. This match is the very definition of time-wasting garbage. Train makes the comeback with a pair of corner splashes and a powerslam for two, but he goes up and lands on the KICK OF FEAR. And then Scott Norton runs in for the DQ at 6:17 and beats up Meng for reasons that aren't immediately clear. Then Norton stops and cuts a promo about how he's going to protect Ice Train until the PPV so he can beat him up himself. That makes...sense? I guess? DUD But who will protect us, the fans, from shitty Ice Train matches?
Eddie Guerrero vs. Psicosis
Apparently the WCW agents like Terry Taylor were really high on Psi at this point, calling him one of the best workers ever, but not high enough on him to, say, suggest that he ever win a fucking match. They trade some armdrags and we take a break, returning with Psi missing a blind charge and wiping out. Psi recovers with a dropkick, but Eddie monkey-flips him onto the top rope and dumps him to the floor, following with a dive that looked like some mixed signals. Psi seemed like he was trying to catch Eddie whereas Eddie just wanted a straight bodypress. Just looked awkward. Back in, Eddie gets a suplex for two, but Psi puts him down with an enzuigiri and goes up with a flying spinning leg lariat. Eddie bails and Psi follows with a suicide dive that sends Eddie into the geeks in the front row, and back in for the flying legdrop. Eddie rolls him up for two and snaps off a rana, and a backbreaker gets two. Psi with a West Coast Pop for two. Powerbomb and a twisting senton from the top gets two. Eddie fights back with his own rana from the top and finishes with the frog splash at 9:00. Not the best for either guy, but thankfully miles better than everything else on this particular shitty show. ***
Sting, Lex Luger & Randy Savage vs. Arn Anderson, Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael
This was supposed to be Flair leading the Horsemen team, but he's not here as they tease him as the fourth member of the nWo. That of course went nowhere. Finally the poor Disney crowd gets some real star power tonight with Randy Savage in the main event, and they immediately go crazy for him and literally everyone is standing. Sting cleans house on the Horsemen to start, but quickly gets railroaded on the floor and sent into the post. Back in, Benoit with a backdrop suplex for two and Mongo gets a neckbreaker for two, but Sting hits him with a bodypress for two. He follows with a dropkick that's about 0.5 Erik Watts and Benoit comes in to beat on Sting with chops. We get a hilarious cut to the mysterious limo in the parking lot, the one that no one can figure out or open, as some WCW suit gets caught on camera and just casually opens the door and looks inside to talk to someone. D'OH! Meanwhile, Sting gets worked over in the Horsemen corner, but fights back with a suplex on AA and it's hot tag Luger. It's BONZO GONZO and everyone is just missing their cue like crazy, but now Savage steals the briefcase of money back from the women and nails Benoit with it to give Luger the win at 6:15. So Savage gets his money back to finally put that storyline out to pasture. This was a mess. *1/2
RAW was a way better show this week. I don't expect that trend to last long, so enjoy it while you can.