The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 08.05.96
Live from Orlando, FL. I thought they were done with this? It was a nice change of pace, but it's been five weeks now.
Your hosts are Tony & Larry
WCW World tag team titles: Harlem Heat vs. The Rock N Roll Express
So tonight Scott Norton, Big Bubba, Meng and Barbarian will be acting as ringside security in case the nWo decides to attack again. But what if DX drives a tank up to the show? They'll be HELPLESS! So I feel like this is gonna be a weird style clash. So the first 2:00 or so is stalling, and we take a break and return with the RNR getting a brief advantage on Stevie Ray before Morton gets caught in the corner and double-teamed. Stevie with a press slam and elbow for two. Stevie goes to the chinlock while Booker gets distracted by Sherri and Parker doing their weird act at ringside. Clearly everyone is just dying from the humidity out there. Finally Morton gets the hot tag to Gibson (which Tony actually calls as such!) and they hit Booker with the double dropkick for two, but Sherri distracts Robert Gibson, allowing Booker to recover and pin him after a big boot from Stevie at 10:43. Yeah, this was no good. 1/2*
The Nasty Boys clarify that they stand where they've always stood: Right here in Nastyville. Good to know.
Malia Hosaka vs. Madusa
Madusa sweeps the leg and gets a sunset flip for two, but Hosaka uses the hair to take over. She gets a TERRIBLE figure-four, but Madusa fights back with a powerbomb for two. Superplex and she goes after Sonny Onoo, allowing Hosaka to get a cheap pin with Onoo holding the legs at 4:50. This led to absolutely nothing. *
Alex Wright vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit beats on Wright in the corner until the ref pulls him off, so Wright fires back and gets a dropkick to send Benoit out of the ring. Back in, they trade headlocks and Wright gets a pair of flying headscissors, but misses a blind charge in dramatic fashion. Benoit takes over with a back elbow for two and a backdrop suplex for two. Benoit chokes him out and drops him on the top rope for two. Wright with a rollup for two, but Benoit puts him down with a snap suplex for two. Abdominal stretch, but Wright escapes with a hiptoss, so Benoit rides him down and goes to a camel clutch. Larry is a big fan of the suffering involved here. And then Jimmy Hart comes out to rant at the women, and Dean Malenko wants to haul Woman to the back, so Benoit attacks and gets counted out at 8:24. What a lame finish. Match was OK. **
Randy Savage vs. Lord Steven Regal
They trade armbars to start and Savage quickly snaps and chokes Regal down in the corner, but he gets tossed as Tony makes the shocking announcement that Eric and Bobby are in fact not here. So it's still Tony and Larry for a second hour. So now Luger and Sting joins us at ringside and take a seat in the mysterious vacant front row chairs while Savage takes over and slugs Regal down. They brawl outside and Savage runs him into the chairs, and back in to finish with the flying elbow at 6:15. Nothing match that was basically a squash for Savage, which is a shame because this could have been awesome. *1/2 Speaking of Savage, one of the most hilarious real life running gags in WCW history begins this week in the Observer: “Add Lanny Poffo to the list who are under contract, although there are no plans of using him. Must be nice to be a nephew or brother to a top wrestler in WCW.” Poffo would of course remain under contract for the next FOUR YEARS without ever being used once. Also, they spend this entire show hyping up the main event for next week, which will be Randy Savage challenging the winner of the World title match at Hog Wild. And of course, Randy Savage does not wrestle the winner of the World title match on next week's show, he wrestles Ric Flair. That kind of stuff drives me nuts.
Meanwhile, Sting and Luger investigate the mysterious nWo limo, and they find a wreath saying “Condolences on the death of WCW” in the back. According to Meltzer, that was a rib on Jim Cornette, who actually sent one of those for real to Jim Herd years before. They cut a promo with Savage in the ring and boot the wreath. This show has not exactly been a game-changer like last week's.
Ric Flair vs. The Booty Man
Flair attacks Booty and beats on him outside, then back in for a blatant low blow. And now Bobby Heenan joins us at ringside while Booty Man makes a comeback, and he claims that Bischoff is still missing. Flair goes to finish with the figure-four at 3:00 and then Horsemen come in and lay a beatdown on him for good measure, so I guess it's a DQ or something. DUD That's pretty much it for the Booty Man character, in fact, as I believe his last appearance was getting punked out by Hogan at Hog Wild.
The Following Announcement Has Been Paid For By The New World Order
The Outsiders and Hogan make fun of Lex Luger and rant about the Giant until suddenly the tape is cut off in the control room. Sting and Luger bully the poor tech geeks and censor the nWo's right to free speech! FASCISM! Tony's assessment of the situation: “In defense of Craig Leathers, it WAS a paid announcement from the nWo, but Sting has a good point, throw 'em off the air!” Uh...touche?
The Giant vs. Craig Pittman
Giant clubs Pittman around and chokes away in the corner, but Pittman throws headbutts to the gut before Giant chokeslams him like a piece of garbage at 2:30. Your Tony line of the night: Craig Pittman is apparently “one of the greatest amateur wrestlers of all time”. Just...no. Poor Teddy Long gets chokeslammed afterwards! I hope Hogan beats that big bully now. Giant cuts a really good promo afterwards, which is still kind of mind-blowing since he was less than a year into the sport at this point.
Sting & Lex Luger vs. The Nasty Boys
This show is so long that it feels like Glacier will be here before it's over. No, that's a ridiculous exaggeration, nothing could be longer than the wait for Glacier to debut. Luger quickly cleans house on the Nasties and Sting bulldogs Knobs for two, but he quickly gets caught in the corner and double-teamed. Sting gets worked over in a lengthy heat segment, but makes the hot tag to Luger and it's BONZO GONZO, leading to a brawl on the floor that quickly involves the Steiners. Sting finishes Sags with the Deathlock at 7:04. *1/2 Sting and Luger head down to a second nWo limo and check inside, but someone slams the door and leaves him with a note promising four or even five people. Kind of cool because the Network kept things going after the end of the show and gave us the extra footage of Sting reading the note.
Definitely gotta give the win to RAW this week, as Nitro was a meandering show with no good matches and no real developments.