The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 10.14.96
By Scott Keith on 26th December 2022
The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 10.14.96
LIVE from Memphis! I expect to see lots of powder thrown and bullshit finishes.
Your hosts are Tony & Larry
Dean Malenko v. Brad Armstrong
This crowd is insanely jacked tonight. Larry notes that Armstrong beat him on WCW Saturday Night, so if Dean wins then it’ll be an even-steven contest. Maybe that’s where Vince got the idea from? The recap of the match in question reveals that it’s the stupid finish where they do a rollup and one guy gets his shoulder up first. They do a wrestling sequence while all the fans get distracted by nWo signs and ignore the match. Malenko bails off a dropkick and even the announcers are getting annoyed by the nWo fans in the audience. So Malenko goes to a hold on the mat while the crowd calms down a bit, and Larry drops some WISDOM on us: “The greatest fool of all is the man who fools himself.” I feel like doing Mike Tenay’s thoughtful pose now. Brad with a missile dropkick for two and his patented Russian legsweep for two, and Larry brings up the Armstrong Curse years before Russo made it a gimmick. They trade suplex attempts and Malenko clips the leg and pins him with a three-quarter nelson rollup at 5:20. Nice little finish there, distractions aside. **1/2 Question: Why didn’t they have Jeff Jarrett immediately come out and squash Brad after the “real Double J” stuff started on RAW? That seems like exactly the play that Bischoff would have made in response. Or did it happen somewhere else and I missed it?
Meanwhile, the nWo is here.
Last week on WCW Saturday Night, Jim Duggan pins Michael Wallstreet with the tape, but Nick Patrick reverses the decision, so we get another rematch tonight.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. Mr. Wallstreet
You don’t have to tell a bunch of southern hicks twice to chant USA! Wallstreet pounds away in the corner to start and then it’s every other Duggan-Wallstreet match we’ve ever seen with punching and chinlocks. Duggan grabs the tape, but Wallstreet steals it, and then takes too long wrapping it around his fist and Duggan finishes with the three-point stance at 4:20. So yes, Wallstreet got outsmarted by JIM DUGGAN. At least this one had a clean finish. ½*
Hugh Morrus v. Jim Powers
Tony stops with a special thanks to “Mr. Lawler” (!!!!!!!) for all the help promoting the show. Well I immediately had to check what THAT was all about, but I guess Lawler just decided to help out for whatever reason. So they trade lame power stuff and Morrus takes over with a suplex for two while Patrick repeatedly sells his injured neck. He slow-counts a Powers sunset flip, which has Teddy Long criticizing the count. What would Long know about refereeing? Powerslam gets a very slow two count and the crowd goes apeshit as Patrick is just hilarious with this neck deal. A small package gets another incredibly slow two count, but Morrus puts him down and finishes with the moonsault at 6:30, with a normal speed count. Match was crap but the Nick Patrick gimmick is GREAT and as long as I can get some kind of entertainment out of a match, that’s all I need. * And of course Memphis just goes crazy for all of this ga-ga with the evil referee. I mean, once he actually joined the nWo then the joke was dead, of course, but for now he’s terrific. I’m also amused at Larry Z supposedly being a babyface announcer but completely burying the Memphis crowd by calling them a bunch of idiot hicks. I LOVE idiot hick crowds! They’re the most fun!
Lex Luger v. Greg Valentine
Luger tries a suplex and his injured back gives way, allowing Hammer to take over. Why did we never get a Valentine-Anderson team, aka the most grizzled heel team in history? Valentine works on the back while there’s more nWo shenanigans in the audience. Valentine continues slowly working him over and there are some guys in the crowd who are REALLY into Luger’s comeback attempt. Luger with the atomic drop and clotheslines, and the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DEATH gets two. Valentine gets two with a rollup on the ropes, but he stops to argue and Luger grabs him from behind and puts him in the rack at 6:33, and you’d think Luger just won the World title or something the way that the drunk fools in the front row go crazy. Good on them, I’m glad to see people having fun at a wrestling show. *1/2
Nick Patrick gets promo time, as Tony announces that Randy Savage has been fined FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for his assault on a WCW referee. Patrick is obviously outraged at this miscarriage of justice, but Tony shows us footage from nWo Saturday Night, with a mysterious referee in a ski mask who looks and sounds suspiciously like Nick Patrick. Patrick denies it all, because obviously he’s in better shape than that guy. Maybe it’s Randy Anderson? He rightly points out that if everyone is so scared of the nWo, maybe they should grow a set and do something about it instead of going after injured referees. Anyway, we can all get lost because he’s calling his legal team. So awesome. Patrick should have transitioned to being a manager because he’s a better promo than half the guys in the promotion at this point.
Randy Savage v. Mike Enos
Before the match, Eric Bischoff shows a video from Elizabeth, shot in their backyard, and she’s begging for his forgiveness for signing a contract with Hulk Hogan. So apparently she still loves him, and Savage is pretty broken up about it, but Bischoff badgers him about it like an ass. Although I guess Bischoff was secretly nWo at this point so it kind of makes sense. Savage just leaves the building, nearly in tears, and THIS was probably the best thing he’s done since joining WCW, actually showing real emotion and making fans care. And then, once again, he got his ass beat by Hogan at the PPV.
Your hosts are Eric, Bobby and Tenay.
Eddie Guerrero v. The Cheetah Kid
Wait, wasn’t that Rocco Rock? I don’t know who this guy is, but it’s clearly not Ted Petty. Probably some Power Plant goof. Tenay treats him like he’s the original Cheetah Kid, talking about his accomplishments on the indy scene for the past decade, which is…weird. The Kid quickly gets a powerbomb, but a second try is reversed by Eddie into an armdrag. Cheetah with a springboard dropkick to the floor and head back in where Eddie snaps off a rana from the top and finishes with a frog splash at 2:40. This was OK. *1/2 A quick check of cagematch.net reveals that it was in fact a Power Plant goof: Prince Iaukea! Well that’s pretty neat.
Meanwhile, it’s the historic first ever Lee Marshall 1-800-COLLECT road report!
Big Bubba v. Jeff Jarrett
So of course Jarrett is over as a giant babyface here. Bischoff gets the perfect response to the WWF here: “I understand Jarrett can’t sing a lick. But WCW is about wrestling, so who cares?” Much easier to be the bigger man when you’re winning the ratings war, I guess. Bubba overpowers him to start while Jarrett sells his ass off, but he quickly makes the comeback until Jimmy Hart trips him up. Jarrett chases and runs into a Bubba ambush on the floor. Back in, Jarrett with a crossbody for two, but Bubba takes him down with a chinlock and then blocks a comeback with a big boot. Bubba slugs him down for two, but misses a charge and gets beat in the corner. Jarrett with an atomic drop and figure-four, but Jarrett releases and goes after Hart instead. Bubba catches him with a spinebuster as a result, but he bumps the ref and grabs the megaphone. Jarrett dropkicks it back in his face and pins him at 6:44. Had they done every Nitro in Memphis, Jarrett would have been a top babyface star in a month. Sadly, they did not. **1/2 Really shockingly fun match as a result of the hot crowd and an amped-up Jarrett.
Jeff Jarrett announces that he’s facing the Giant at Halloween Havoc, and he’s gonna make Giant respect Ric Flair and the heritage of WCW. See, that was an OK direction for the character, but then they immediately lost track of what he was supposed to be about and it went nowhere.
Harlem Heat v. The Faces of Fear
The Heat works Meng over to start, but Barbarian comes in with a corner clothesline on Stevie. The Heat dump him and work him over, but Booker goes up and gets crotched. Barbarian brings him down with an overhead superplex, which kind of crazy for two jacked up dudes to be doing. Meng with a pretty swank powerbomb for two. They trade some near-falls and now it’s nWo time, as the Outsiders come out and the match is called off at 7:20. The Heat and FOF join together with chairs and I’d probably back off from that too, which is exactly what Hall and Nash do.
The nWo is out for the main event interview, beginning a tradition of rambling Hogan promos to close the show. The Nasty Boys come out with nWo gear to supposedly join the team, but Knobbs complains about the money in the contract and Hogan punks them out, finally paying off this stupid angle. So I guess these two goofs who spent months kissing Hogan’s ass and trying to join before getting tossed out like garbage are supposed to be babyfaces now. Hogan promises to beat Savage and basically infers that he’s going to have his way with Elizabeth, and the Outsiders take over the announce desk to close the show. Funny bit as Hall reveals that the Harlem Heat is not actually from Harlem, but rather from TEXAS. Next he’s gonna tell me that Los Matadores are not actually Mexican!
Lame ending to a GREAT show, full of entertainment from a super hot crowd.