Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and “Iron” Mike Tenay
Once again, Sting watches the show from the rafters. Also, Giant, DiBiase, and Vincent observe everything from the audience. Tony then informs us about a tournament for a new women’s champion as the belt sits on the broadcast table. Additionally, he notes that Bischoff is in Portland, OR trying to sign “Rowdy” Roddy Piper to a WCW contract. I hope he doesn’t make a wrong turn.
Before I forget, this crowd is OFF THE HOOK making matches much better.
Match 1: Marcus Bagwell (w/ Scotty Riggs) versus Brad Armstrong
After a slam by Armstrong, Bagwell returned the favor.
Upon the completion of a commercial break, Armstrong reversed a cross-corner whip and gave Bagwell a pair of arm drags.
Armstrong then gave Bagwell a hip toss followed by a dropkick.
Next, he clotheslined Bagwell over the top rope to the floor.
Armstrong then met him with a baseball slide.
Subsequently, Bagwell re-entered the ring via a springboard clothesline. Sweet!
After giving Armstrong a dropkick, Bagwell clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor and then hit a plancha.
Back in the ring, Armstrong mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a tornado DDT for 2.
Bagwell then reversed an Irish whip and gave Armstrong a backbreaker.
After a clothesline, both competitors hit simultaneous cross body blocks.
Summary: Really good finish to a match that saw Bagwell play somewhat of a tweener role.
Before the next match begins, we revisit last week’s episode when the nWo cheered for DDP during his match.
Match 2: Diamond Dallas Page versus Ice Train (w/ Teddy Long)
As the match began, Hall and Nash observed from the audience.
DDP hooked a full nelson, but Ice Train easily broke it.
He then reversed an Irish whip and gave DDP a back elbow.
While DDP was on the apron, he guillotined Ice Train using the top rope.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying clothesline.
Afterward, Ice Train hit a sunset flip but only got 1.
DDP retaliated with a clothesline for 2.
After a pancake, DDP got another 2.
He then gave Ice Train a swinging neckbreaker and got yet another 2 with a HUGE kick-out from Ice Train.
Ice Train then delivered a vertical suplex.
Next, after a leap frog, he gave DDP a powerslam for 2.
After SQUISHING DDP, he splashed DDP for another 2 as referee Nick Patrick was slow to count.
He then hit a flying shoulder block and clotheslined DDP over the top rope to the floor.
Suddenly, the Outsiders stormed the ring and ambushed Ice Train. Since Patrick had his back to the ring, he didn’t see anything.
DDP re-entered the ring and hit the distracted Ice Train with the Diamond Cutter.
Summary: Decent match with a good angle teasing DDP as a possible member of the nWo.
On WCW Saturday Night with the best ratings in the business, Lord Steven Regal defends the World TV title against “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Harlem Heat toasts their croissant against the Amazing French Canadians, and the winner of the upcoming Cruiserweight title match faces former champion Mysterio. Oh, and Syxx wrestles against the Bounty Hunter during the nWo allocated segment. Solid episode.
Match 3 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Scotty Riggs (w/ Marcus Bagwell)
According to Tony, Malenko, should he succeed, will defend his title against Psicosis at World War III.
Riggs hit a shoulder block but only got 2.
He then tried a backslide and got another 2.
Meanwhile, Syxx took a peek from the audience although his cover was blown by the crazed lunatics wanting their five seconds of greatness.
All of a sudden, the nWo minions strolled through the crowd with their signs.
After giving Malenko a cross-corner whip, Riggs “hit the pole” with his shoulder according to Zbyszko.
Malenko then gave Riggs a cross-corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
Again, Malenko gave Riggs a cross-corner whip, almost ate knee, but then ate boot on his follow-through.
After a back drop, Riggs delivered a dropkick that sent Malenko retreating to the floor.
Riggs then followed with a plancha. Woohoo!
Next, he mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a double axe handle, and got 2.
Once again, he mounted the top turnbuckle, but Malenko upset his balance sending Riggs flailing to the floor.
Afterward, a rather disgusted Bagwell tossed Riggs back into the ring.
Malenko then hooked an Oklahoma roll for the pin.
Summary: This was both a showcase match for Malenko as well as more “tweener” drama for Bagwell.
We then revisit last week’s episode when both an injured Benoit and an injured Eddie gave their worst performance.
Match 4: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) versus Hector Guerrero
Let’s hope Eddie’s older brother can regain honor for his family against Benoit. All hail LaserTron and the Gobbledy Gooker!
As the match began, in split-screen, the Taskmaster seeks revenge in Baltimore on 11/23. Get your tickets now!
After an arm drag, Hector gave Benoit a pair of flying headscissors.
With Benoit on the floor, Hector hit a springboard splash on the floor. Wow!
He then rammed Benoit shoulder-first into the ring post.
Back in the ring, Hector delivered a pumphandle backbreaker and applied a reverse spinning arm hold. OUCH!
During the commercial break:
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
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THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
Afterward, Benoit gave Hector a knee to the midsection then hung him out to dry on the top rope.
Next, he prepped Hector for a face-plant but gave him a gutbuster instead for 2.
After a head butt to the midsection, Benoit hooked an abdominal stretch, but Hector escaped.
Upon delivering a second gutbuster, Benoit got 2.
Next, Hector hooked a surprise inside cradle for 2.
Benoit came back with a short-arm clothesline for 2.
Hector then responded with a sunset flip for 2.
To counter a slam, Hector hooked another inside cradle for another 2.
He then hooked a Kiwi roll (with mustard?) for 2, but Woman raked his eyes to break.
Benoit then took down the distracted Hector for the pin. BOOO!
Summary: Crappy finish to a good match. Bring back Hector!
From the crowd, Giant absorbs some nWo love from the Grand Rapids faithful.
Last week, Jarrett barely won the Battle of Tennessee against Morton, and the Giant read his fortune.
By the entrance, Tenay interviews the Four Horsemen with Woman and Debra. In this case, Jarrett replaces Flair but gets dismissed by both Benoit and Mongo. As the rest of the Horsemen leave, Jarrett calls out Sting who is in the cheap seats.
Prior to the next match, Tony, Tenay, and Heenan discuss the not-yet-signed “match of the decade” between Hogan and Piper.
Following that, Lee Marshall provides the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from St. Petersburg, FL.”
Match 5 (WCW Women’s title quarterfinal): Madusa versus Reina Jubuki
After a standing choke, the Grand Rapids faithful chanted “USA.”
Zero and Sonny Onoo came out to scout the match from the entrance. I usually give WCW credit, but Zero was a derogatory name for the Japanese army during WWII since they didn’t fight with planes against the Allies. Shame on you, WCW. Regardless, her real name is Chigusa Nagayo.
Meanwhile, with Jubuki seated on the top turnbuckle, Madusa took her down with a handstand/flying headscissors combo.
She then mounted the second turnbuckle but missed a dropkick.
Jubuki then hooked a northern lights suplex but only got 1.
Afterward, she mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick for 2 as Madusa bridged out.
Madusa then escaped a slam attempt, hooked the German suplex, and got the pin.
Surprisingly, the Grand Rapids faithful ate it up with a spoon!
Summary: A clever disguise helps a tournament when the audience isn’t completely cognizant of the competitors.
Match 6: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus Michael Wallstreet
According to Tony, the winner of the 60-man battle royal at World War III will earn a World title match. Last year, the winner became the WCW World champion.
After a hip toss, Jericho gave Wallstreet a leaping side kick for 2.
Wallstreet then tossed Jericho outside the ring.
Jericho re-entered via rollup and got 2.
Wallstreet regained the advantage with a rope-assisted abdominal stretch.
After an elbow drop, Wallstreet got 2.
Shortly after, Jericho countered a reverse chin lock with a jawbreaker.
He then gave Wallstreet the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along followed by a cross-corner whip.
Next, he gave Wallstreet the ten-punch count-along and another cross-corner whip.
Upon his follow-through, Jericho leaped over Wallstreet and landed on the apron.
He then guillotined Wallstreet using the top rope.
Afterward, he mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick.
With Wallstreet outside the ring, Jericho joined him but ate the ring post.
Back in the ring, Jericho hooked an inside cradle and got the pin.
Summary: After needing a decent head start, this match got going and finished strong.
By the entrance, Tenay interviews Nick Patrick along with Alan Sharpe. Jericho joins them and calls out Patrick for feigning injury. Sharpe retorts by calling former NHL player Ted Irvine, Jericho’s father, a “goon.” Considering his long career and his goal tally, Irvine was quite the opposite. Teddy Long comes out and runs down Patrick for ignoring the interference by the Outsiders earlier tonight.
In the meantime, as DiBiase and Vincent watch from the audience, Sharpe continues his denigration by referring to Long’s suspension during his days as a referee. Jericho rebuts stating the issue revolves around the present and not the past.
We then revisit last week’s episode as Luger lost to Booker T by countout after chasing after Sting into the stands.
Prior to the next match, Luger cuts a promo on Sting.
Match 7: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Booker T (w/ Sister Sherri)
After a back elbow, Luger gave Booker T a delayed vertical suplex. He must have learned that from his Allied Powers days.
Another back elbow sent Booker T reeling over the top rope to the floor.
After a commercial break, Luger gave Booker T a cross-corner whip followed by a powerslam for 2.
Booker T came back by reversing an Irish whip and delivering a stun gun to Luger.
He then gave Luger a scissor kick and tossed him outside the ring.
As Booker T distracted referee Randy Anderson, Sherri punted Luger in the ribs.
Booker T then joined Luger and rammed him back-first into the apron.
Back in the ring, Booker T got 2.
After a leg lariat, Booker T crotched himself on the top rope after missing another leg lariat.
Luger came back with a pair of clotheslines followed by another powerslam.
He then attempted the Torture Rack, but Booker T held the top rope.
Afterward, Luger gave Booker T a cross-corner whip but ate another leg lariat upon his follow-through.
Colonel Parker came out and hugged Sherri as Booker T gave Luger an enziguri.
Parker then got up on the apron so Booker T grabbed two handfuls of him.
Seeing the distraction, Luger rolled up Booker T for the pin.
Summary: They can thank the Grand Rapids faithful for most of the rating in this one.
As Parker states his case to an unhappy Sherri, Sting watches from the rafters.
After a commercial break, Bischoff is on the phone and announces that a match has been signed, but neither are all the I’s are dotted nor the T’s crossed. Hmmm…
We then revisit the post-match debate between Hogan and Piper from Halloween Havoc. Check out my reflection of that show for my comments.
Anyway, Hogan closes out the program with a soliloquy requesting an invitation to the Cable Ace Awards. As he plugs Santa with Muscles, Hogan poses for the nWo-ites.
Conclusion: Despite the extremely hot crowd, Nitro was merely mediocre. On the other hand, check it out for the new tweener character for Bagwell. What’s on RAW?
TV Rating: 3.40
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from Fort Wayne, IN
Airdate: November 4, 1996 (taped 10/21)
Attendance: 4,555 (no longer conscious)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
LIVE from Walton, Kentucky, Kevin Kelly stands outside Brian Pillman’s house to hype an interview with the convalescing “Loose Cannon.”
Match 1: Goldust (w/ Marlena) versus the Stalker
As a show of unity for their Survivor Series team, Helmsley, Perfect, Mason and Crush joined Goldust at ringside.
Meanwhile, Stalker brought Survivor Series teammates Mero, Henry, and Maivia with him.
After an arm drag by Stalker, Dok Hendrix chimed in from Stamford with Austin on the phone.
In the meantime, Goldust mounted the top turnbuckle and hit Stalker with a flying clothesline.
Austin, via telephone, called himself “the biggest star in the world.” Not yet, Mr. Rattlesnake.
Stalker then hit Goldust with a pair of lariats.
As Goldust attempted a leap frog, Stalker caught and powerslammed him.
According to Vince, Pillman had his friends protecting his house for him.
After a slam, Stalker hooked a figure-four leg lock, but Marlena raked his eyes as Helmsley distracted referee Mike Chioda.
As Stalker reversed an Irish whip, Goldust attempted a cross body block, missed, and fell out of the ring.
To assist Stalker, Henry, Mero, and Maivia tossed Goldust back into the ring.
After a back drop by Stalker, he then delivered a gutwrench suplex as Lawler joined the match at ringside.
Stalker then placed Goldust on the top turnbuckle, but Goldust blocked and kissed Stalker. Yuck!
Goldust then attempted a fist drop but ate boot on the way down.
During the commercial break, a pre-taped vignette aired with Austin cutting a very edgy and cool promo on Bret for Survivor Series on 11/17.
Afterward, Stalker tried a leap frog, but Goldust caught him as both men tumbled over the top rope to the floor.
As Mero and Maivia tossed Goldust back into the ring, Helmsley and Crush took exception and fought with them.
While Helmsley and Perfect finally tossed Stalker back in, Chioda called for the bell.
Double-disqualification was the decision. BOOOOOOOOOO!
Summary: If the Austin phone interview wasn’t airing simultaneously with this match, I would have watched Nitro.
After the match, Maivia mounts the top turnbuckle and hits both Crush and Goldust with a flying double clothesline. Wow! This kid might amount to something.
Hendrix then shills Survivor Series on 11/17 and the following match:
Undertaker versus Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer in a shark cage)
Supposedly during a house show, although the RAW letters were shown by the entrance, Mankind, with Bearer and Executioner alongside, cuts a promo on Undertaker who then responds with a Bearer mannequin hung upside-down in a cage.
We then go LIVE to Walton, KY where Pillman sits on a couch with his left ankle HEAVILY taped as his wife Melanie stands next to him. Kelly interviews Pillman who gives an emotional promo and reveals his 9mm pistol. Pillman’s well aware of his Second Amendment rights.
In the Milton-Bradley Karate Fighters Holiday tournament, Marlena promises big things for her fighter; however, Sid defeats her handily. Next week, Hendrix faces Sable.
After a commercial break, we return to Walton, KY as Pillman’s friends attack Austin outside the house. As you would expect, Austin manhandles them even dunking one of them in a kiddie pool. He then uses a plastic garbage can against both of them. After he tosses one of them into the garage door, he SQUISHES the other guy’s head between the car door and the jam. OUCH! Finally, he tries to find a way into the house while trash-talking Pillman.
Match 2: The Sultan (w/ Bob Backlund and Iron Sheik) versus Alex “The Pug” Porteau
To no one’s suprise, Backlund got on the microphone but couldn’t wake up the Ft. Wayne faithful.
After a belly-to-belly suplex, Sultan delivered a belly-to-back suplex.
Upon giving Porteau a backbreaker, Sultan applied the camel clutch.
Summary: Showcase match for Sultan.
Back at the Pillman house, Pillman’s armed and ready while Austin breaks down the back door. As Melanie screams, the feed goes out. Are you fucking kidding me?
Back at the arena, Jim Ross moderates a meeting in the ring between WWF champion Michaels and #1 contender Sycho Sid. What happened to the tag match? Oh, that’s NEXT week. As Ross interviews Michaels, we revisit RAW from 4/3/95 when Sid powerbombed the bejesus out of Michaels cementing his heel turn. Conversely, Sid literally calls “BULLSHIT” on Michaels’ fairy tale. He then states that he accidentally hit Michaels last week when dealing with the tag champs and calls Ross a “fatso.”
When Michaels informs Sid that he’s “not in his league,” Sid rebuts with “I’m not in the little league.” HA! Michaels then borrows Flair’s catchphrase and tears down the podium. As they shove one another, Cornette, along with Vader, Smith, Owen, and Mason, come to the ring. While Michaels and Sid handle Smith and Vader respectively, Owen nails Sid in the back with a steel chair.
Michaels then nails Owen and grabs the chair. When Sid notices that Michaels has the chair, they go face-to-face again. Another ambush by Cornette’s army gets extinguished, and they go face-to-face again. Officials separate them to finish the segment.
Ad for WWF: Full Metal the album.
We then revisit Austin’s destruction of Pillman’s friends followed by Austin’s break-in. Bring back the LIVE feed already! Dammit!
RAW is sponsored by RAW Magazine featuring Sunny.
Match 3: Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Razor Ramon (w/ Diesel)
Ross joined the broadcast table for this match.
While Mero held an arm bar on Ramon, director Kerwin Silfies called in from Kentucky. According to Silfies, the power in the house has been lost.
After a commercial break, Mero mounted the top turnbuckle, tried a double axe handle, but got blocked.
Next, Ramon guillotined Mero using the top rope.
According to Silfies, “we’re out in the sticks somewhere.” HA!
As Silfies was pulled away from the phone, Ramon gave Mero a cross-corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
Mero then countered a side headlock with a belly-to-back suplex.
After giving Ramon a kick to the midsection, Mero delivered a knee lift.
Next, he mounted the top turnbuckle again and hit a missile dropkick for 2.
He then placed Ramon on the top turnbuckle and hit a huracanrana for another 2.
Subdued, Vince noted that Mr. Perfect will be on LiveWire this Saturday.
Speaking of Perfect, he and Helmsley made their way to the ring.
During the commercial break, a promo for the WWF Big Bang Boom tour aired:
11/5 in St. Johns, Newfoundland
11/6 in Sydney, Nova Scotia
11/7 in St. John, New Brunswick
11/8 in Buffalo, New York (featuring Mr. Perfect)
11/9 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
11/10 in Cleveland, Ohio (featuring Mr. Perfect)
11/17 in New York, New York
Afterward, Mero gave Ramon a Samoan drop then mounted the top turnbuckle yet again.
While Perfect distracted referee Earl Hebner, Helmsley pushed Mero down to the mat.
Ramon then delivered the Razor’s Edge and got the pin.
Summary: Mero may have had his working boots on, but the reincarnation of Ramon is AWFUL.
Once again, we revisit the break-in then FINALLY return to the LIVE feed. Pillman’s friends try to restrain him as Kelly states that nobody has been shot. Whew! That’s a relief. Meanwhile, Austin returns, and Pillman’s friends try to remove him. Rather loudly, Pillman calls him a “son of a bitch” and tells his friends to “get out of the fucking way.” No, folks, that was neither censored on USA nor the WWE Network. As Lawler yells at Kelly to grab the gun, a frightened Melanie cries on the couch.
Conclusion: The wrestling on this show was DEPLORABLE, but the Austin-Pillman angle was incredible and makes this a can’t-miss episode. Did it amount to a ratings win for RAW this week?
TV Rating: 2.30
Who won? Unfortunately not, as Nitro beat RAW by more than a full point. The time slot change may have caused that, but if the WWF changes their format to stuff like this instead of crappy taped matches that mean diddly-squat, then their program will supersede Nitro in terms of quality.