Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Eric Bischoff, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Tony and Zbyszko shill the upcoming tag match featuring the Horsemen facing Joe Gomez & the Renegade in the second hour! I can’t wait for that! We then revisit the “interruption” by “Ramon” from last week. Who will be “Ramon’s” big surprise?
Match 1: Scott Steiner versus Booker T
Each combatant fought over a backslide which Scott won.
Butterfly suplex by Scott got the crowd roaring.
Following an inverted atomic drop, Scott clotheslined Booker T over the top rope to the floor.
Scott leaped from the apron and hit Booker T with a double axe handle.
After giving Booker T a cross-corner whip, Scott ate a reverse kick on his follow-through.
Scissor kick got 2 for Booker T.
After a slam, Booker T mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and got 2.
Scott countered a vertical suplex attempt with a Scorpion death drop. I guess we know who donated that move to Sting.
Back drop was followed by the ten-punch count-along; however, Scott stopped at four and was reversed on a cross-corner whip.
Booker T then ate boot on his follow-through.
Belly-to-belly suplex by Scott, but he missed the Frankensteiner.
Leg lariat by Booker T got 2.
Sidewalk slam, and Booker T mounted the top turnbuckle again.
However, he missed the splash.
Overhead belly-to-belly suplex by Scott got the pin.
Summary: Excellent opening match that proved that each man could compete at the singles level. Singles titles will hopefully be in both men’s futures soon.
PEPBOYS sponsors the replay.
At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Scott Steiner. Okerlund informs us that the Steiners will face Fire & Ice this Sunday at the Great American Bash. Suddenly, Debra McMichael interrupts the interview and steals Scott’s mic time. How dastardly! She’s worried that her husband may hurt someone permanently on Sunday. Also, she wants to schedule a meeting to call the match off. Okerlund will see what he can do.
Match 2 (Lord of the Ring ring): Diamond Dallas Page versus Jim Powers
Wow! Yet another Nitro debut! Powers put on quite a bit of muscle since his match against Giant Gonzalez in 1993.
Reverse savate kick in the corner by DDP put him in control early.
Upon jawing with the fans, DDP received a rollup and almost got pinned.
I guess he didn’t learn his lesson. Why? Because as he jawed with referee Randy Anderson, Powers rolled him up again and almost won.
Impressive gutwrench gutbuster by DDP kept him in control.
As I type, he gave Powers a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Ten-top-turnbuckle count-along for Powers kept his advantage intact.
Knee lift and dropkick by Powers got 1-2-NO!
Back elbow and Diamond Cutter got the pin for DDP.
Summary: Showcase match for DDP as he gave Powers a lot of offense.
Video promoting the falls-count-anywhere match between Benoit and the Taskmaster at GAB was shown. It included the ending to the “respect” match at SuperBrawl involving Brian Pillman.
Highlight video showcasing US champ Konnan. Following that, Okerlund interviews him in the locker room while promoting Konnan’s match against El Gato (who?) at GAB.
Match 3: Sting versus Meng
BATB ’95 rematch! I hope this match is better than that one was.
Meng attacked at the onset, but Sting delivered a back drop to turn the tide.
Unfortunately, he missed a dropkick then ate a Meng elbow drop.
Cross body block by Sting got 2.
A trio of clotheslines by Sting preceded a face plant.
Surprisingly, Meng countered a slam with an inside cradle for 2.
After giving Meng a cross-corner whip, Sting rolled him up for 2.
Shoulder breaker by Meng, and he mounted the top turnbuckle.
Sting caught him and applied the Scorpion death lock.
Sting won by submission.
Summary: Impressive win by Sting. He’d better have his wrestling shoes on against his lordship on Sunday though.
In the bowels of the building, Okerlund interviews Debra and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. The latter brings Debra into Flair’s dressing room, but Debra storms out. Joe Gomez and the Renegade come to her aid, but Arn puts the boots to Gomez as Flair locks the Renegade in the figure-four leg lock. Doug Dillinger and Nick Patrick chase the Horsemen off their prey.
We revisit last week when Taylor stole the 2x4 from Duggan as the latter lost to Regal.
Match 4: “Squire” David Taylor (w/ Jeeves) versus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
According to Tony, in place of the Renegade and Gomez, Luger and Sting will defend their titles against the Horsemen. Wow! That’s quite the upgrade!
Knee lift by Taylor, but he missed a cross body block.
Three-point clothesline got 2 thanks to a foot on the bottom rope.
Taylor reversed a cross corner whip, but Duggan put on the brakes before hitting the top turnbuckle.
Duggan then wrapped his fist in tape and got the pin.
Summary: Without the crowd solidly behind him, Duggan matches would be completely worthless.
Promotional video for the cruiserweight title match between Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio, Jr at GAB.
In the locker room, Okerlund interviews Bubba Rogers with Jimmy Hart. We revisit last week’s match as Tenta chased Bubba from the ring with scissors.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Norton to ZERO reaction. We revisit last week when the Giant delivered a pair of chokeslams to Norton.
We begin the SECOND hour with a World title match! How enlightening!
Match 5 for the WCW World title: The Giant (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Scott “Flash” Norton
After giving Norton a cross-corner whip, the Giant delivered a powerslam.
Standing boot choke in the corner kept the Giant in control.
That is until Norton delivered a pair of avalanches.
The third attempt met an extra-large boot to the face though.
After the Giant tossed Norton outside the ring, both combatants brawled.
Norton set the Giant up against the ring post but only hit said ring post upon charging him.
The Giant then chokeslammed Norton ON THE FLOOR!
He tossed Norton back in and pinned him.
Summary: The sole star for this match is dedicated to the impressive strength of the Giant. Norton is well over 300lbs., and the Giant picks him up with relative ease.
After the match, Luger hits the ring before the Giant can chokeslam Norton again. He tries to attack the Giant but gets swatted outside the ring like a common housefly. The Giant follows him and kicks him down the aisle. He then grabs the VIP table in order to chokeslam Luger through it again. However, Luger responds with a 50-yard field goal, if you catch my drift. Luger then grabs the champagne bucket and nails the Giant in the back of the neck. Bubba, Morrus, and the Taskmaster come to the Giant’s rescue.
Luger comes to the broadcast table and cuts a promo on the Giant.
Match 6: Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves) versus Billy Kidman
Want another Nitro debut? Here ya go.
Dropkick and a rollup got 2 for Kidman.
Kidman climbed the turnbuckles and gave Regal a bulldog.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and missed a somersault splash.
Overhead belly-to-belly suplex by Regal was followed by a Liontamer. Regal actually stood on Kidman’s head.
Regal won by submission.
Summary: Showcase match for Regal and not a terrible debut for Kidman.
After the match, Sting hits the ring and nails Regal. The reaction by Regal is extraordinary.
Match 7: Public Enemy versus the Nasty Boys
Knobbs tossed Rocco outside the ring and made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Fowl Play at Later Alligator.
Sags tossed Grunge outside the ring and whipped him into the steel railing. Knobbs followed up with a clothesline.
After Sags tossed a chair at Rocco, the latter made the former taste the steel railing. Waiter, please give the big guy with the black mullet a Pulp Fishin.
Bischoff mentioned “a broken arm.” Actually, Grunge broke his hand the previous night against the Nasty Boys in Johnstown, PA.
Upon receiving a knee from Sags, Rocco inadvertently ate the steel steps.
Face plant by Knobbs who then mounted the middle turnbuckle and delivered another clothesline.
Meanwhile Sags rammed Rocco head-first into the ring post.
With Grunge outside the ring, Knobbs leaped from the apron and nailed him with a double axe handle.
After Public Enemy missed a double clothesline, Sags clotheslined them both.
Upon giving Grunge a cross-corner whip, Knobbs ate a knee on his follow-through.
Before the commercial break, Sags gave Grunge a piledriver in the ring while Rocco made Knobbs taste the steel railing. Pardon me again, waiter, but could you please give the blond guy with the mullet a Belt Buster?
During the commercial break, an ad promoting Glacier aired.
When we returned, Grunge gave Knobbs a clothesline.
Double back elbow by Public Enemy, but Knobbs ran Grunge over with a clothesline.
After giving Grunge a cross-corner whip, Sags delivered an avalanche.
Rocco came into the ring, but Sags gave him a powerslam.
All four men were in the ring.
Double shoulder block by the Nasty Boys sent Grunge between the ropes to the floor.
A double clothesline by them sent Rocco over the top rope to the floor.
As Rocco appeared to have fled, Knobbs joined Grunge outside the ring and made him taste the steel railing. Waiter, sorry to bother you, but can you please give #69 a Sam’n’Ella?
Rocco returned with a metal garbage can, but Knobbs walloped him knocking the garbage can from his clutches.
After Sags gave Rocco a pumphandle slam, Knobbs mounted the second turnbuckle but was rebuffed by Grunge.
Outside the ring, Sags whipped Grunge into the ring post.
Rocco mounted the top turnbuckle, but Sags HAMMERED him with the garbage can.
Referee Nick Patrick called for the bell.
Public Enemy won by DQ.
Summary: Crappy finish to a wild brawl. You’d think these guys would use the house show circuit to practice their matches for TV so that they’d look great for the masses. Well, they didn’t here. Sorry.
After the match, Knobbs took the garbage can and threw it at Rocco’s head. KA-BONG!
Uh oh. I’m starting not to feel well. No, it can’t be. Yuck. It’s another Hogan promo video. Where’s the Giant to stop this chicanery? And pass the Pepcid, please.
At the WCW Power Plant, McMichael and Greene train for their PPV tag match as Chris Cruise narrates the promo. After we revisit highlights about Heenan and Savage’s coaching appointments, the “Macho Man” snaps into the Power Plant and amps up the football players.
Match 8 for the WCW World tag team titles: Sting & the “Total Package” Lex Luger (champions) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson (w/ Woman & Elizabeth)
Gorilla press slam by Luger to Flair was followed by a pair of clotheslines.
Gorilla press slam #2 kept Luger in control.
He then gave Flair a cross-corner whip which led to a Flair flip.
Flair landed on the apron but got nailed by Sting.
Luger delivered a vertical suplex to Flair to bring him back into the ring.
However, he missed an elbow drop.
Bischoff mentioned and encouraged some Nitro parties. Sounds like a great idea. How about an internet Nitro party where everyone sits, reads, and discusses my Monday Night War reflections? (hint, hint)
Arn gave Sting a cross-corner whip but put on the brakes before coming up empty on his follow-through.
Sting nailed him regardless.
After a leap frog, Sting gave Arn a face plant.
Flair came into the ring and received gorilla press slam #3 much to Woman’s chagrin and her SHRIEKS.
Upon returning from a commercial break, Sting gave Arn an atomic drop.
Arn then got pinballed between the champions.
Sting reversed a cross-corner whip but missed a Stinger splash.
After giving Sting a snap mare, Flair mounted the top turnbuckle.
Unfortunately, (sing it with me) ♬…he…came down…the…haaaaaaard…waaaaaaaay!...♬
Immediately, Sting mounted the top turnbuckle and gave Flair a top rope clothesline and got 2.
Sting then put Flair up on the top turnbuckle and gave him a top rope superplex. Wow!
SPINEBUSTER by Arn only got 2.
Arn tried more pinfall attempts but ultimately took a couple of knees where the sun doesn’t shine. OUCH!
Flair tried to suplex Sting, but his back gave out.
As Luger distracted referee Randy Anderson, Arn guillotined Sting on the top rope.
Sting escaped a belly-to-back suplex attempt by Flair, rolled him up off the ropes, but only got 2 thanks to Arn.
Flair attempted to hook the figure-four leg lock, but Sting hooked an inside cradle instead.
Anderson was distracted by Luger again so no count.
Actually Anderson turned around but only counted 2.
During another commercial break, an ad for the WCW magazine aired. Once again, the naughty narrator discussed something “demented.” Where are Standards and Practices when you need them?
When we return, Flair whipped Sting into the steel railing.
Sting used a sunset flip to re-enter the ring but only got 2.
Backslide by Sting only got 2; however, Flair tagged out so Arn kicked Sting.
After a slam, Arn mounted the middle turnbuckle but only hit knees on a Vader bomb.
Hot tag Luger.
Gorilla press slam #4 for Flair was followed by a series of clotheslines by Luger.
Powerslam by Luger only got 2 again thanks to Arn.
After the Horsemen missed a double clothesline, Luger clotheslined them both over the top rope to the floor.
The Giant hit the ring so Anderson called for the bell.
Summary: Good main event with a crappy finish. More on this later.
With the Giant in the corner, Luger charges but eats a forearm. The Giant pulls down the strap. Who does he think he is, Jerry Lawler? Anyways, Scott Steiner runs in and hits the Giant with a wooden chair to no avail. Sting has a second wooden chair, but they have no effect on the World champion. Hart instructs his protégé to wait until Sunday to exact revenge on Luger. In accordance, the Giant walks away from the ring.
In the aisle, Okerlund interviews the Giant. The latter refers to Luger as a “dead man.”
Back at the broadcast table, Heenan loses his mind about the tag match at the PPV then hightails it as “Ramon” makes his weekly visit. This week, “Ramon” is wearing black rather than denim. Suddenly, “Diesel” comes up from behind Bischoff. He runs down WCW’s slogan and confuses his grammar. Adjective? He then makes a Marge Schott joke then mentions a paleontologist for the “fossils” here in WCW. Next, he asks about Hogan and “Blunder in Paradise” which even I find funny. Bischoff tells them to show up in Baltimore, and he’ll arrange the “fight.” Before leaving, “Diesel” stated that “the measuring stick just changed around here.” Truer words were never spoken.
Conclusion: Amazing! Nash and Hall show up at the very end maintaining the audience tuned in for their appearance, and they bring the goods. I truly cannot wait for the PPV to see what happens next.
As far as the rest of the program is concerned, the opening match and the main event are worthwhile, but the very end is historic and can’t-miss-TV. Do I even want to know what’s on RAW?
TV Rating: 2.60
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from Fayetteville, NC
Airdate: June 10, 1996 (taped 5/27)
Attendance: 5,000 (4,200 paid) beginning to get bored
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Prior to the first match, Lawler has a present for the Warrior…a framed portrait of him. Excellent work!
We revisit the 1994 King of the Ring where Owen became King then this year’s Slammies when Owen won his first Slammy award.
Match 1 (King of the Ring qualifier): Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) versus Yokozuna
After reversing an Irish whip, Yokozuna took down Owen with chops.
Owen tried to reverse a cross-corner whip but ate a clothesline instead.
After a slam, Yokozuna missed an elbow drop.
While Owen distracted referee Earl Hebner, Cornette poked Yokozuna with the end of his tennis racquet.
Owen then gave Yokozuna a running guillotine.
As Owen kept nailing Yokozuna, a healthy “We Want Bret” chant broke out.
Spinning heel kick finally took Yokozuna down to the mat.
Owen then mounted the second turnbuckle but missed an elbow drop.
Back elbow by Yokozuna was followed by an attempt for a Bonsai drop.
However, as Yokozuna mounted the second turnbuckle, he fell backward to the mat. TIM-BER!
Owen then pinned him with his feet on the ropes.
Owen advanced to the quarterfinals.
Summary: Owen didn’t work with Yokozuna. He worked AROUND Yokozuna.
We see highlights of action from Rosemont, IL involving the Warrior and WWF champion Shawn Michaels.
WWF Attitude Adjustment Tour:
Thursday, June 13 in Salt Lake City, UT
Friday, June 14 in Denver, CO
Saturday, June 15 in Phoenix, AZ
Sunday, June 16 in St. Louis, MO
Saturday, June 22 in Winnipeg, Manitoba
In a WWF Action Zone exclusive, Jake “The Snake” Roberts spoke out about his past drug abuse.
Prior to the next match, Jim Ross interviews a despondent Yokozuna. The latter states that he needs “to find himself.”
RAW is sponsored by milk. It does Sable’s body good.
Match 2 (King of the Ring qualifier): “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Bodydonna Skip
Winner of this match will face Owen in the quarterfinals.
Roberts was the guest color commentator for this match.
Hip toss and a pair of arm drags gave Mero the early advantage.
After a dropkick sent Skip between the ropes to the floor, Mero did a fake-out since he knew his somersault plancha would come up empty.
Upon giving Skip a cross corner whip, Mero ate boot on his follow-through.
Skip then hung Mero out to dry on the top rope.
After giving Mero a snap suplex, Skip mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a fist drop.
With Skip on the top turnbuckle, he attempted a missile dropkick only to receive a dropkick in return.
After putting Mero on the top turnbuckle, Skip attempted a super huracanrana, but Mero blocked it.
Mero then hit the sunset flip from the top rope but only got 1.
After a commercial break, Skip gave Mero a knee to the midsection.
Gutwrench suplex by Skip got 2.
A slam and elbow drop got 2 for Skip.
Upon giving Skip a kick to the midsection, Mero delivered a sweet knee lift.
He then attempted a cross body block, but Skip ducked. Mero flew over the top rope to the floor.
Skip attempted a plancha but came up empty.
Next, Mero hit a somersault plancha.
Slingshot splash only got 2 for Mero.
After placing Skip on the top turnbuckle, Mero hit a super huracanrana. Ah ha. No wonder he knew the counter so well.
Mero advanced to meet Owen in the quarterfinals.
Summary: Somewhat sloppy match for these guys. This had serious potential to be a better match.
Vince supplies the address to submit your resume to be the next manager of the Bodydonnas.
Next week on RAW, Owen faces Mero and Stone Cold Steve Austin squares off against Savio Vega in the KOTR quarterfinals.
The Sega Saturn slam of the week was Vega’s pulling of the strap at Beware of Dog 2 sending Austin ribs-first into the apron. OUCH!
Promo for the King of the Ring “in two weeks.”
Vince is in the ring with Lawler and a cap-wearing Warrior? That’s odd to say the least. Lawler sucks up to Warrior by giving him the portrait I mentioned earlier. Warrior sees through this ruse, shills his cap, and vows to “kick (Lawler’s) ass.” In response, Lawler smashes the portrait over the back of Warrior’s head. As the crowd chants his name, Warrior chases Lawler back to the dressing room. Weird promo to hype the PPV main event.
Promo for King of the Ring only on PPV on June 23.
We revisit the glass shattering from before the commercial break.
Once again, we revisit the ending to the title match at Beware of Dog.
Before the Undertaker enters the ring, we see the ending of the Undertaker-Goldust match at Beware of Dog 2.
Match 3: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette, Owen, and his wife Diana)
Before the match started, Michaels was in the WWF studio and cut a promo.
Cornette interrupted, but Michaels wouldn’t dignify his shenanigans. According to Cornette, the “lawsuit” by Clarence Mason of WWF President Gorilla Monsoon was settled out of court. Cornette informed us that the award was a special guest referee for the WWF title match at the PPV. Apparently, removing Diana in the storyline was Smith’s incentive to stay in the WWF. Aw. I wanted to see Davey Boy in WCW. Shucks.
After giving Smith a cross-corner whip, the Undertaker applied a standing choke.
Upon another cross-corner whip by the Undertaker, he walked the top rope and smashed Smith in the shoulder.
Slam by the Undertaker was followed by a standing leg drop for 2.
A third cross-corner whip by the Undertaker earned him a back elbow on his follow-through.
Delayed vertical suplex by Smith, but the Undertaker sat up.
Smith reversed an Irish whip, hit a powerslam, and got 2.
Like a good heel, Smith put his feet on the ropes while holding a side headlock.
After giving the Undertaker a swinging neckbreaker, Smith delivered a leg drop for 2.
Undertaker countered a side headlock with a belly-to-back suplex.
Both men were down on the mat.
Undertaker scooped up Smith for the tombstone, but Smith escaped.
Smith scooped up the Undertaker for the running powerslam, but the Undertaker pushed Smith into the opposite turnbuckle.
During the second commercial break, Lex Luger’s theme music sponsored the WWF Superstar line. Sorry, but that joke never gets old. Oh, and Jim Ross, on option 6, told us that Brian Pillman was the newest WWF Superstar. Wow! WCW must not be too happy about that.
Flying clothesline by the Undertaker preceded the chokeslam.
Next, the Undertaker clotheslined Smith over the top rope to the floor.
Smith pulled the Undertaker under the bottom rope then rammed him head-first into the ring post.
The Undertaker reversed an Irish whip sending Smith into the steel steps.
After tossing Smith back into the ring, the Undertaker was held back.
Smith won by countout.
Summary: Remember, folks, Smith was the #1 contender to the WWF title and he won this match by countout? Yuck.
A close-up shot shows that Mankind was holding Undertaker by the ankle costing him the match. Smith and Mankind double-team the Undertaker, but Cornette instructs Smith to leave the dirty work to the guy in the leather mask. Meanwhile, Mankind delivers a piledriver to the Undertaker in the ring. Before he can apply the Mandible claw, officials put a stop to it.
Conclusion: This is the kind of stuff the WWF used to oppose Nitro? This was utter garbage. While the Warrior interview received jeers by Lawler on The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD, the match wasn’t the catalyst to sell tickets in ’96. Skip this episode PLEASE.
TV Rating: 2.70
Who won? How in the blue blazes did RAW win with that terrible episode? Well, in spite of everything awesome in WCW, the Undertaker-Bulldog match was something the audience hadn’t seen before whereas the Horsemen versus Sting & Luger match was old news. I also think despite the obvious bait-and-switch Nitro tried to pull, people saw through it. I’m certain that “Diesel’s” Nitro debut occurred in the overrun, so the audience didn’t miss it either. Not to give anything away, but this episode marked the last time in over EIGHTY (80) weeks that RAW would win the ratings battle. In future reflections, I will describe just how Nitro beats RAW until the tide turns.