The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 10.28.96
Live from Phoenix, AZ
Your hosts are Tony and Larry.
World TV title: Lord Steven Regal v. Juventud Guerrera
This has gotta be a giant style clash. So way up in the rafters, for the first time ever, sits Crow Sting, as he’s finally got his new facepaint down pat. So Syxx comes out and declares that this is nWo Nitro, although that particular disaster wouldn’t actually come until later in the year. When the match actually picks up in the ring, Juvy misses a 450 splash and Regal puts him away with the Regal Stretch at 3:30. Most of the match was dedicated to the shenanigans in the crowd.
Diamond Dallas Page v. Mike Enos
Not sure why Enos is suddenly wrestling a heel, but he slaps DDP around and clotheslines him to the floor to start, so he’s clearly in a bad mood. Page sends him into the railing, and back in for a powerbomb that gets two. Page goes up with a flying clothesline and tries for the Cutter, but Enos counters into an overhead suplex for two while the Outsiders watch from the crowd. Enos pounds away in the corner and a powerslam gets two. DDP hooks the ropes to block a running powerslam, and the Diamond Cutter finishes at 4:15. The Outsiders were cheering for him, which begins a pretty important storyline. Really hard work from both guys here, actually. **3/4
Dean Malenko v. Jim Powers
Tony notes that Powers is strong enough to counter any of Malenko’s holds, and Larry is ANGERED by this nonsense. Clearly the science of mat wrestling can overcome muscles! Powers manages to overpower Dean to start, as Psychosis watches from the entrance to set up the next program. Powers with a chinlock, but he runs into a knee and Larry is like “See, I told you so!” I’m just amused by his sudden passion for this nothing match. Powers keeps coming and runs Malenko into the turnbuckles for two, and the powerslam looks to finish, but Nick Patrick argues with Teddy Long instead. I don’t blame Patrick, Teddy was bitching at him the whole match! Malenko rolls up Powers from behind for the pin at 5:05. Good showing from Powers. **1/2
Jeff Jarrett v. Ricky Morton
How random can this show get? Morton works the arm to start and hits a crossbody out of the corner for two, and they do a nice little deal where he holds an armbar through a slam attempt because he’s so tenacious. Jarrett chokes him out on the ropes to take over and pounds him in the corner, but Morton reverses a flying bodypress for two. Jarrett with a neckbreaker, but Morton reverses the figure-four for two. Sunset flip out of the corner gets two. Finally Jarrett gives him the kneecrusher and finishes with the figure-four at 4:34. This was older fatter Ricky Morton against Ric Flair’s wannabe understudy, but it was still pretty good. **1/2 I still don’t get if Jarrett is supposed to be a heel or what.
High Voltage v. The Amazing French Canadians
High Dosage attacks and works on Carl’s arm, but Kaos gets kaught in the korner and double-teamed while we switch to the second hour.
Your hosts are Eric, Bobby and “Mean” Mike Tenay. That one never got over.
So the match continues as the Canadians pull out the old Rougeau double-team finish, but the Nasties storm the ring for the DQ at 3:44 to completely render this a waste of time. The Nasties cry about how the nWo LIED to them, but then bitterly complain that they don’t need anyone anyway. So they’re not only idiots who got played by Hogan, but bitter losers as well. What great babyfaces.
Jimmy Graffiti v. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Graffiti attacks with a powerbomb for two while Bischoff notes that Piper was given five minutes to talk last night, and WCW has no commitment to him beyond that. There’s another beginning of an important storyline. Rey comes back with a dropkick into a moonsault for two, then takes Graffiti to the floor with a rana. Graffiti splats him with a senton off the apron and they head back in for a chinlock, but Rey fights out with an amazing reversal before finishing with the West Coast Pop at 3:20. No wonder his joints are all wrecked now. **1/2
Chris Benoit v. Eddie Guerrero
Both guys are selling injuries here, although only Eddie’s is real. Even the ref is injured! They do a bit of a slow brawl to start and Benoit works on the ribs while basketball player AC Green cheers on like a dork at ringside, apparently playing it up for the cameras because he was getting filmed by local news. Benoit pounds away and goes to the abdominal stretch while Bischoff notes how both guys are working in tremendous pain. Given how things turned out, I much prefer the current Wellness Policy era where doctors force guys to take weeks off for a hangnail. Benoit finally misses a charge and Eddie comes back with punches in the corner, but they collide and Mongo sneaks in with the briefcase, hitting Eddie in the ribs and putting Benoit on top at 8:20. Really different type of match for them, but still good. ***
Nick Patrick and his attorney, Alan Sharp, speak to Tony about the controversy surrounding him, the lawyer blames everything on Chris Jericho. This brings out Jericho, who accuses Patrick of FAKING the neck injury. Teddy Long also joins us and accuses the lawyer of being a fake as well. Why would you bring in some geek to talk for Nick Patrick?
Booker T v. Lex Luger
Lex dumps Booker as Col. Parker denies any problems in an inset promo. He would of course go French Canadian shortly after this. Back in the ring, Booker chokes away to take over, but Lex comes back with a kneelift for two. Lex stomps him down in boring fashion while Bischoff notes that last time we saw Piper, he was President of the WWF. Although “WWF” is bleeped so this must be from the WWE 24/7 era when they were scrubbing that from the shows. Booker misses a kneedrop and we take a break with literally nothing going on. Back with Booker kicking Luger down (and Bischoff of course has 14 different names for simple kicks) for two. Harlem Hangover misses and Luger goes to finish, but Sting broods in the audience again and Lex is all “Hey, you still owe me for rent on the gym this month!” and chases him into the crowd for the countout at 11:14. *
We finish with the rambling Piper-Hogan confrontation from Halloween Havoc, and then a Hogan interview where he buries Savage (who was thought to be done at that point) and claims Piper is scared of him and blah blah blah.
Really fun show this week with a lot of people working hard.