The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 03.11.96
All the cool kids are watching Nitro on Monday nights, you know.
LIVE (after a one week break for a mini-series) from Winston-Salem, NC
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo. Funny how Bischoff keeps calling it “the Warzone”, considering what RAW would become less than a year later.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. The Giant
Mongo notes that, and I swear to all that is holy that I am not making this up, you have to see Giant in person to appreciate how big he is. Giant dumps Duggan and runs him into the post with ease, then hammers on the back with those frying pan-sized hands while Brian Pillman makes a nuisance of himself at ringside in his continuing efforts to get fired. Giant with a bearhug that Duggan escapes via biting, but Giant beats him down again. Bischoff talks about the ailing Jim Duggan Sr., who is apparently a legendary Irish taped fists champion. So…yeah. Duggan comes back with the three point clothesline and Giant takes a bloody impressive bump over the top rope off that, but lands on his feet and comes back in to finish destroying Duggan. Duggan escapes another bearhug with a headbutt this time, but knocks himself silly and lands on the floor. Duggan pulls up the tape from the mats and uses it to tape up his fists, which is quite the visual, but he goes after Jimmy Hart like a moron and it’s CHOKESLAM and goodnight at 6:23. Bischoff notes that Giant’s fists are like ’63 Chevy car doors. Well that’s more impressive than frying pans, I suppose. This was, dare I say, shockingly entertaining crap because Duggan was bulletproof and he just went out and took a beating for his artform. ** for the entertainment value.
And now, THE STEINER BROTHERS return. And then right away we get one of the all-time biggest dream matches.
The Road Warriors v. The Steiner Brothers
I’m guessing this show spanked RAW in the ratings like Giant chokeslamming Duggan. Hawk throws chops on Scott, but gets tossed around with a pair of suplexes while Animal talks shit from the apron. Was this supposed to be a Warriors heel turn around this time? Because I totally do not remember that, but they’re clearly heeling the past couple of shows. Hawk comes back with a neckbreaker and Animal powerslams Scott for two, but Rick comes in and suplexes the shit out of HIM. Top rope belly to belly and they are throwing BOMBS out there tonight. Scott with his own suplex on Animal and he hangs him in the Tree of Woe, but walks into a boot in the corner. Scott goes to the rear chinlock as this thing finally calms down for a minute and the Steiners cut off the ring. Rick pounds him with forearms on the ropes as Bischoff notes that it’s the most vicious crossface maneuver that you’ll see anywhere. Well, I mean…never mind. Hot to Hawk and he powerslams both Steiners, and the Doomsday Device on Rick follows, but Scott saves. It’s BONZO GONZO and now Animal gets tossed and Scott hits Hawk with a flying clothesline, but Animal clotheslines HIM off the top. Frankensteiner on Animal, but Hawk saves. Steiners with the flying bulldog on Hawk, but Animal nails Rick with the gauntlet and Hawk pins him at 10:09. This was the craziest shit you’re gonna see all week, with four big roided monsters suplexing the shit out of each other and absolutely no wrestling to speak of. It was AWESOME. And the best thing that the Warriors did during this run by far. ***1/2 Steiners of course stuck around until the bitter end, while the Warriors were gone soon after this. Can you imagine all the money they would have made feuding with the Outsiders? Jesus.
World TV title: Lex Luger v. Alex Wright
So Luger is now TV champion after beating Johnny B. Badd on WCW Saturday Night, and Bischoff goes HARDCORE burying Marc Mero on the way out of the promotion. That was one ugly split. Luger was an odd choice to move the title onto, to say the least. Wright works the arm and takes him down with a flying headscissors, putting Luger on the floor. So just reading through the Observer from this point, and there was a focus group thing done by WCW where they discovered that people REALLY liked Alex Wright a lot, so suddenly his push was renewed again. Also, they LOVED Eddie Guerrero and workrate guys in general. Listening to the fans? What a bunch of marks. No wonder this company went out of business. Wright works on the back, but Luger dumps him to take over and gets a press slam and some punishment in the corner. Wright comes back with a bodypress, but Luger necks him in the corner and slaps him around in a show of sportsmanship. Wright keeps fighting back despite the quality bad-mouth getting laid on him, but then maybe he just didn’t understand English and thus wasn’t de-motivated like he should have been? Wright comes back with a missile dropkick and goes up again, but Jimmy Hart appears and pushes him off into a stun-gun from Lex that finishes at 6:36. Luger then goes through an elaborate routine where he yells at Hart for interfering, because he’s a good person and all. This stuff was all gold. **1/2
LUMBERJACK STRAP MATCH: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage & The Booty Man v. Kevin Sullivan, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson
We’re in North Carolina so you can guess what the finish is going to be. There’s straps involved, but no one is actually strapped to each other, and it’s just a big schmoz with the faces beating on the heels. I should note that the Faces of Fear wearing lumberjack shirts might be the greatest thing ever. Just a whole lot of nothing and bullshit and Hogan beating on Flair with the strap. Big boot and legdrop finish clean at 6:23. DUD Gotta love how they’re building up to the unwinnable deadly Doomsday cage match at Uncensored by having the babyfaces destroy the heels week after week on TV. Yeah, they really seem worried.
Mean Gene interviews the heels as they rant and rave about nothing to close the show.
As usual, crazy great undercard and then hot garbage from Hogan and his cronies to end the show. But man please do check out that Steiners v. Warriors match on the Network or the YouTubes.