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WCW Nitro: September 30, 1996

We’re almost up to date kids. Just 5 days (and 18 years) behind from being back on target.

Was last week’s Nitro an oversaturation of the nWo, after months of prime booking? BigDaddyLoco thinks so, and explains:

I remember this being the first time I was turned off by the nWo. WCW couldn't have looked any lamer here which was of course a big part of the problem. It wasn't as bad as the redo the set episode, but it wasn't exciting television. Hall was on his game though.

wannaberockstar adds his thoughts as well:

I get the whole suspension of belief thing but, at this time, the NWO was literally assaulting WCW employees and interrupting a live, nationally broadcast television program and the people in the trucks nor the people where ever the main TNT broadcast hub was located, didn't once think that they're witnessing a criminal act on live tv and they should either call the police or, at the very least, shut down the feed and air some rerun of Thunder in Paradise or something.

Let’s not lose hope now. Because hope is all we have. Hope that a hero emerges. Someone who can stand up to the nWo. Someone with the where-with-all to dial 9-1-1 during an emergency.

Dr. Unlikely feels someone in particular might be up to the task:

I would love to have seen a sit-down interview with Glacier at this time, where he's all "Holy shit, did I return from my mystical trip to Japan just in time for the start of a massive gang war? People are stealing police cars and being beaten with bats on live telvision! Why aren't the authorities involved in this?! My dad was a cop, this is really messed up!" We can only assume that Glacier will now be the the focus of Bigelow-esque bidding war by the nWo, Dungeon, Horsemen and Luger, right? Like, that's what the next two months of this show must be about, everyone trying to recruit this massively-hyped, superpowered ninja who has arrived to fill the Sting-sized void in the war for WCW's soul?

There is no time to expand on this, because we are LIVE from Cleveland, Ohio, the home of the defending AL Champion Indians, and a bunch of teams that have won JACK SQUAT for about 300 years. TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO are your announcers, and gee whilickers is Tony ever hot. Not in body, but in rage, of course. His good friend Eric Bischoff was slapped around like Lash LeRoux’s stepchild, but even worse, they debuted an nWo race-car. I actually didn’t make that last part up.

ERIC BISCHOFF is behind the desk, to talk about the “New World Odor” (oh good, THAT’S spreading). Bischoff starts the 1905 crap, and skips Ric Flair’s name when listing the greatest champions in its history. “The nWo is nothing but DIRT BAGS! That means you Hulk Hogan!” Whoa, watch that potty mouth. Bischoff declares his hiring of Hogan the biggest mistake of his life. The fans reply in total support of WCW by chanting “NWO!” loud enough to blow the roof off of any arena in the country.

EL TECHNICO and JUVENTUD GUERRERA vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY (for the WCW world tag-team titles)

El Technico is dressed like The Flash, assuming the Flash started with the red body stocking and stopped accessorizing immediately. They really couldn’t have tapped any other Cruiserweight talent, they had to agonizingly import another Mexican instead of using, say, Billy Kidman? Billy Kidman would have been a much better choice here. A real shame Billy Kidman isn’t in this match. Maybe WCW will realize all their mistake and book Billy Kidman in the future, instead of El Technico, who certainly isn’t Billy Kidman. Juvi hits a springboard rana onto Rock, and he rolls to the floor. Juvi’s right behind – big mistake because the floor is like the STREETZ, and the guardrail is now home to Juvi’s face. Technico tags in, and faces a double team sidewalk cutter, which he sells like Billy Kidman. Juvi gets dumped to the outside, allowing them to blind El Technico by turning his mask around. Drive By finishes at 2:05. * Technico is put through the table after the match, by a slingshot senton from Rock. Technico is left for dead, eventually eulogized by Billy Kidman.

In the locker room, MIKE TENAY is on duty. Gene’s face has been printed on Milk Cartons at this point. CHRIS BENOIT, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL are present. Mongo promises no more 60-on-1 assaults by the nWo. Does WCW realize they had about 1,000 jobbers in the back? Surely their combined jobber superpowers could have been the strength of at least 2-3 Sting’s. In other news, Chris Benoit vows to kill Rick Steiner for some reason. Rick had better seek the asylum of the enclosed pool area with the rest of the dogs.


Hollywood is hangin’ and bangin’ with Nasty Nick Hogan, and the rest of the nWo. DiBiase yuks it up that WCW is on the hook for the nWo ads since they lost at War Games. Hall welcomes WCW back from Japan, figuring a little R&R must have done them some good. Nash makes dated jokes about Ross Perot and Bill Murray, but then this show IS 18 years old, so I suppose it might have been hip amongst that critical 45-60 year old demographic they were chasing at the time.

DEAN MALENKO (with Rey Mysterio Jr’s mask) vs. ALEX WRIGHT

Wright dominates Malenko early with a bunch of holds. Nobody’s buying Alex’s technical prowess, WCW. Malenko hits a backdrop suplex out of a headlock for 2, and Tony calls for a commercial break.

Apparently it was “all Dean Malenko” during the break, but Wright is rallying. Malenko ends that fast sending him to the floor, and whips Wright into the guardrail. Back in, Deano grapevines the leg, while Alex contemplates his options. Dean releases, and Wright hits a bunch of European uppercuts, but he is NOT Dave Taylor so Malenko retains his life. Malenko tries a crossbody off the top, but Wright ducks and then locks Malenko in a crucifix for the big upset at 5:19. Ain’t that a stinker. *1/2

MIKE TENAY welcomes Randy Savage, who’s hot off his rampage on WCW Saturday Night (read the recap!). However, Savage no-shows his appearance, so Tenay calls an audible for a break. Does he have the authority for that? Know your role, rookie.


I don’t see good things in the immediately future of Mr. Powers. NICK PATRICK is your referee, and sporting a neck brace after his vicious assault. Larry thinks Savage was in the wrong, since he’s supposed to be our savior right now and he’s not in control of his faculties. If you’re waiting for Savage to commit to sanity, Larry, then you’re in for a long, long ride. Powers hits a clothesline on Eddie for 2, and slaps on a chinlock. We check out the crowd, where the NWO LACKEYS are once again parading around with signage. Powers connects with a vertical suplex for 2, while the crowd shits all over this match and starts chanting for the nWo. Eddie fights back with a European uppercut, but Powers just slams his mug into the buckle. Eddie manages a backdrop suplex, and heads up, but Powers cuts him off. Powers hits a superplex for a close 2, which draws the ire of Long – but Patrick’s been on the up and up. Eddie manages a German suplex with a bridge, and scores the pin at 6:26. Long argues that Eddie had HIS shoulders down and it was Powers who kicked out, but Patrick doesn’t particularly care. Long demands Patrick return to referee school. *1/2


The Nasty Boys have joined the nWo party, wanting to talk that business Hollywood brought up last week. Syxx brings in the caterer who has more food, while the Nastys just want to party it up. Nick Hogan throws on a wolf mask, letting Hall coin the term “Wolfpac” for the first time. Saggs bends over and talks out of his ass, impersonating WCW.

MIKE TENAY has tracked down ARN ANDERSON, WOMAN, and ELIZABETH. Arn says the Horsemen forgave Liz once for her moment of weakness after War Games with Savage, but then on WCW Saturday Night she strayed again. Arn says she is a Horseman, there’s no grey area. Liz calls matters complicated, but Woman’s all bitch, please. Arn warns Liz to start thinking, long and hard.


What the hell is this crap? WCW has been slapping themselves on the back all night about having their roster back, and THIS is what they send out? Thankfully, the Countdown to RAW Hour #2 hits the screen, which means it can only look up from here. Armstrong delivers dropkicks as the fireworks explode.

MIKE TENAY, ERIC BISCHOFF, and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN take over the booth. Tenay tries to explain what happened with Savage, shedding absolutely no new light on anything.

Meanwhile, Morrus drops a leg across Armstrong’s pooter, and then drops his weight down in the same spot. Yikes. Armstrong comes back with an enzuigiri, and punches Morrus in the stomach causing him to sell like Bald Bull. Brad tries the side Russian legsweep, but Morrus hooks the ropes to block. Scoop slam sets up No Laughing Matter, which is not good enough for Morrus, who does it again, finally accepting the pin at 4:16. **

Backstage, ARN ANDERSON and WOMAN are arguing with ELIZABETH, demanding to know if she’s with them or not. Arn tells her to take her heart out of business.

ERIC BISCHOFF drops his headset, and says he’s going to go looking for Randy Savage as well as the hotel the nWo is staying at. He invites Schiavone to take over if he’s around.


TONY SCHIAVONE takes over the lead headset, and declares his loyalty to Eric Bischoff. NICK PATRICK referees, which seems strange since he’s allegedly an nWo guy, but they’re in a hotel off-site. Jericho takes down Arn with a drop toe hold and applies a half Indian deathlock. Arn comes back with shoulderblocks to Jericho’s midsection, as ELIZABETH watches from a small monitor backstage. Jericho kicks Arn in the head, which sends him to the floor. Jericho comes off the apron with a shoulderblock, but before he can follow up he’s getting slapped by Woman and decked by Arn. Back in, Arn drops a knee across Jericho’s face, as Liz walks off. Jericho is given fishhooks which are illegal, but this is wrestling so you’ve got at least 5 seconds to break and it’s totally cool. Arn comes off the top which is funny because he has nothing in his repertoire from there, and eats a dropkick to the face. Jericho hits a spinning elbow off the top, but only gets 2. Lionsault misses, and Arn leaps up to flatten the kid with a DDT for the win at 5:35. Loads of fun here. ***

ELIZABETH grabs her bags and leaves the building.


What the hell happened to “VK”? He was called that as recently as Last Night! Did he wake up and legally change his name? What were his motivations? Is he running from the law? The mob? The IRS? The 99%? Luger’s fired up, overcoming Wallstreet like Warren Buffet. But like a depression, Wallstreet fights back to crush his dreams and apply an abdominal stretch. A scoop slam sets up an elbowdrop for 2. The rear chinlock is applied because all of 2 minutes in, we really need to slow this baby down. Luger fights loose, but is stopped with a snapmare. Wallstreet misses a blind charge, and Luger rolls him up for 2. A foot to the face stuns Wallstreet and Luger hits the forearm of STEEL for 2. A clothesline from Wallstreet turns things around once again, and he goes for the kill. Luger fights out of a Vertical suplex, and applies the Rack for the submission at 7:23. *1/2

Back at the announce table, Tony says it takes a big man to admit a wrongdoing, and Eric showed a lot of guts admitting his signing of Hogan was a mistake. Heenan: “I told you that a long time ago.” Tony brings out WCW’s new peace offering to Sting: The WCW/Sting Sports Motor Car. It’s purple and yellow, WCW’s colors, with Sting’s face on the front. Elliot Sadler will drive it this week. Tony begs Sting to come back.


Meng and Morton start, and Morton’s using the “hit and run” strategy which lasts about 3 seconds before Meng catches him and chokes him. Morton jumps on Meng’s back with a sleeper hold. Heenan: “Meng hasn’t slept since ’62!” And indeed, Meng’s face changes from savage to uncomfortable savage as his selling, and he eventually knocks Morton off. Barbarian comes in and they give Morton a double headbutt. Morton winds up in a fallaway slam position, but Gibson hits a dropkick to launch Morton on top for 2. Each guy takes turns trying pinfalls to no avail. Gibson manages a sunset flip for 2 as we head to a commercial break.

You won’t believe it if I tell you, but when we come back, Morton is being beaten down, and kept away from his corner. I know – on what planet, right? Meng kills him with a spike piledriver, but Gibson saves. An atomic drop sets up a big boot from Barbarian, and that gets 2. Morton is powerbombed to China, but somehow he kicks out. Holy hell. A nasty backbreaker hits now, but Morton escapes again. Meng comes in, but Morton slams his head to the buckle and dives for Gibson. He’s denied, so he leaps on Meng’s shoulders with a front facelock. Meng swats him down and axehandles the back of his head. Morton dives with a desperate crossbody for 2. Barbarian comes back, and he hits a hard elbowdrop. Scoop slam brings back Meng, and both guys dive at Morton with headbutts, but again Gibson saves. Barbarian tries a swandive now, but Morton moves to safety, while Barbarian shakes the cobwebs. Gibson gets the hot tag, but the fans don’t respond at all. He hits a kneelift followed by an enzuigiri! Barbarian is pounded in the corner, before he turns back to Meng and hits a double dropkick with Morton’s help! Hart interferes long enough for Barbarian to hit Gibson with the Kick of Fear and the Islanders win again at 9:24. I loved every second of this. ***1/2

THE PUBLIC ENEMY hit the ring to save the Express, so the Faces of Fear figure what the hell, and decide to try and break Johnny Grunge’s leg for kicks. GIVE THEM THE TAG-TEAM TITLES NOW DAMNIT!


The Nasty Boys are stuffing their faces while DiBiase orders a bottle of Dom. Kyle Petty sits with the nWo, who confirms he will be driving the nWo going forward, before mocking the WCW car. Hogan says at Halloween Havoc, Liz will both be trick AND treat.

CHRIS BENOIT (with Mongo and Debra McMichael) vs. RICK STEINER

Yes, this is the main event of Nitro and NOT WCW Worldwide. The giveaway is the audience of greater than 100 viewers. NICK PATRICK referees, lecturing the camera that he is the one under scrutiny yet still continues to work hurt. Benoit and Steiner throw meathooks at each other, with neither getting an obvious advantage, until Steiner throws a German suplex to break the stalemate. Yikes. Benoit comes back with a short-armed clothesline for 2. A headbutt crosses Steiner’s eyes, and Benoit follows with a snap suplex. Rick comes back with a huge powerslam that takes Benoit over his head, but it only gets 2. Debra comes over to distract Patrick, allowing Mongo the chance hit Steiner with the Haliburton, and Benoit scores the win at 4:26. ** The announcers complain that Patrick must have heard the briefcase shot, because apparently he’s held to a different standard than every referee in history.

Tony signs off, but after the credits come up …


We’re in the hotel room, where Scott Hall has put on the Wolf mask. Elizabeth(!!!) is seated between Giant and Hogan. Giant tells Liz he’s already had a chance to do two movies since he joined the nWo, including one with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hogan tells Liz to stop worrying about Savage. Vincent comes in with a giant bowtied present, while Hogan promises Liz a three-movie shoot if she joins the nWo. Liz says everything’s changed since they made the initial deal, but Hogan promises to make it work. She takes off into the hallway, where Randy Savage is waiting! “YOU SET ME UP! YOU’VE GOTTA BE RIBBIN’! WHAT’S YOUR DEAL? I CAN’T TAKE IT NO MORE!” Liz cries and begs for her life, as Nitro goes off the air for real this time.

Well, at least he didn’t slap her.

What will Macho do! Tune into WCW Prime to (not) find out!