The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 09.02.96
By Scott Keith on 10th August 2022
The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 09.02.96
(Hey, blog otters. I actually got surprise last-minute tickets to see the Lumineers here in Saskatoon last night, so I was unable to review NXT or really anything else because I’m old and enjoy going to bed at a reasonable hour. It was a GREAT show, by the way, which is weird because you wouldn’t think the “two guys and a piano” aesthetic of their music would translate to a rock show, but it sure did. Anyway, Nitro was once again unopposed on this date, so it’s just the one repost this time.)
Live from somewhere! Turns out to be Chattanooga, TN
Your hosts are Tony & Larry.
Diamond Dallas Page v. Alex Wright
Wright puts him on the floor with a leg lariat and follows with a hot dive, actually showing some fire for once. Slingshot splash gets two, but he misses a bodypress and necks himself on the top rope. DDP takes over with a tilt-a-whirl slam for two, and a powerbomb gets two. Wright blocks a Cutter attempt and comes back with a belly to belly for two. Wright does his flip out of the corner, however, and DDP boots him in the gut and pins him with a Diamond Cutter at 3:35. **
Nick Patrick talks to Mean Gene about how his count was a little slow yet again. Randy Anderson made a bad call in the Hogan-Flair match at the Clash, so how come no one is all over HIS case? The man makes a good point. Basically all the referees suck.
Meanwhile, Col. Parker continues his seduction of Sherri with gifts of leather chaps and vest. For riding Parker’s prized horse, you see.
WCW World tag titles: Harlem Heat v. Greg Valentine & Buddy Valentino
This is apparently the debut of Mark Curtis as a referee. Ted Dibiase joins us at ringside while Valentine immediately goes to a chinlock. He drops an elbow for two on Booker and it’s over to Valentino, who unleashes a FAT GUY DROPKICK on Stevie before getting beat up by the Heat. Harlem Hangover finishes at 4:25. Just a squash. The Heat do their standard “point to the camera” interview afterwards, but the Nasty Boys jump them from behind and hit Booker with a spike Piledriver to set up the tag title match at Fall Brawl. Well that works.
Dean Malenko v. Chris Jericho
Mike Tenay joins the broadcast team here as they expand the cruiserweight division and thus actually need someone who knows what they’re talking about. The guys do a slow start to the match while Ted Dibiase gets up and walks away, as Nitro pioneers the “Guys doing restholds to keep the crowd focused on what’s going on elsewhere” tactic that is still used today. Finally with Dibiase gone 4:00 in, the match picks up and Jericho bridges out of a headscissors before Dean gets a butterfly suplex for two. Malenko with a bulldog out of the corner while the announcing concentrates on Nick Patrick’s refereeing job. They slug it out on the apron and Jericho follows with the springboard dive to the floor. Back in, a missile dropkick gets two. They reverse tombstones and Malenko hits it for two. He keeps working the count, which I always love. Jericho with a bridged german for two. Leg lariat and they do a great series of reversals, leading to Jericho getting a rollup for the upset pin at 8:40. This was GREAT. More like this, please, Nitro! ***1/2
The Giant v. Brad Armstrong
Armstrong gets his token offense attempts, which are laughed off by the Giant as he goes to his choking in the corner. Brad tries a sunset flip, which Giant turns into a two-handed choke to block. Tony wonders why he didn’t just chokeslam him and notes that Giant seems preoccupied with something tonight. Finally he’s done toying with Brad and chokeslams him at 3:31. ½*
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
Hulk rambles about Fall Brawl. I can only imagine what this promo sounded like before the editors were able to pull it into something coherent.
THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER
Your hosts are Eric, Bobby and Mike.
Randy Savage v. Big Ron Studd
Usual Savage formula with Studd slowly pounding away and slamming him before Savage miraculously comes back with the flying elbow out of nowhere at 2:40. As a note, tickets for Halloween Havoc went on sale at this point and set a one-day record for money with nearly $100,000, so obviously picking a main event early is an effective tactic.
Sting & Lex Luger v. The Steiner Brothers
Kind of a funny finish here, as Lex kind of brushes up against Nick Patrick during the opening lockup at 0:35 and he calls for the DQ. The heat for that is NUCLEAR, and they were really going a good job with this angle for a while before he just became another nWo crony.
The Four Horsemen v. The Dungeon of Doom (Kevin Sullivan, Meng, Barbarian & Big Bubba)
Mongo slugs it out with Bubba and the Horsemen work him over in the corner, then it’s over to Barbarian. Benoit hits him with a german suplex and a diving headbutt for two, and Flair comes in to a massive babyface reaction while Sting and Luger chase Nick Patrick out of the arena and into the nWo limo. Dibiase follows and Sting steals a cop car to chase the limo after throwing a cement block through the limo’s window. Back in the ring, Eric notes that this kind of thing is “uncharacteristic” of Sting. Well I should hope so. Flair hits everyone in the nuts repeatedly back in the ring, but Arn gets hung in the Tree of Woe and worked over by the Dungeon as he’s apparently the face-in-peril. We take a break and get a reminder that GLACIER is still on his way (in two weeks as it turned out) and return with Benoit and Sullivan having a playground scrap. Meng pounds him down and Barbarian adds a powerbomb, then Sullivan tosses Benoit over the top rope while the ref is tending to the Horsemen. Back in, Bubba goes up and hits boot. Benoit and Sullivan exchange manly chops in the corner, but Barbarian beats Benoit down for two again. Benoit comes back with a crossbody on Meng for two, and finally Arn has had enough and comes in with a spinebuster on Bubba, to no avail. Benoit gets hauled back to the corner and the Faces of Fear try STEREO DIVING HEADBUTTS, but Benoit moves and makes the hot tag to Flair. It turns into a giant brawl and Flair finishes Sullivan with the figure-four at 16:14. ***1/4 And then all hell breaks looses as the nWo attacks, laying out the Horsemen like a bunch of geeks and then going after the Dungeon. Giant comes out to make the save…but he’s the fifth man. The crowd goes APESHIT for this turn. Finally Randy Savage comes out with a chair and does his best, but the heels completely destroy him as well. Man, although these beatdowns became cliché and boring later, this was some absolutely molten heat.
Now, on the subject of the Giant, it made absolutely no sense and was undone by Starrcade, but that’s because it was supposed to be British Bulldog jumping ship and debuting, and we covered that subject last week. Second choice was Sean Waltman, but the WWF was playing childish legal games by “losing” his release form in the mail and WCW was too gun-shy to put him on TV without proper legal backup. Also, making the Horsemen look like a bunch of goofs was a last-minute booking change by Hogan after Sullivan had already written the show, so there’s that as well. And now of course with the Giant introduced as the fifth guy, the floodgates were open for watering down the nWo concept. Still, a hot ending to a good show this week.