Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and “Iron” Mike Tenay
Before the program begins, the Outsiders have hit the ring and already demolished High Voltage and the Nasty Boys with chairs. In case you didn’t know, Nitro started at 7:55pm ET to get the jump on RAW. Instead of joking around, Nash menacingly intimidated Tony and Zbyszko then mentioned the triangle match at World War III noting that the Nasty Boys were just left laying. As Nash bullied Tony, Hall referred to the Faces of Fear as “islanders” and wanted to “slap the coconut breath” out of them. C’mon, Scott, that’s unnecessary.
La Parka made his WCW debut here. For those unaware, La Parka was a luchador dressed like a skeleton.
Guerrera began the match on the top rope and evaded a charging La Parka as the bell rang.
After a spinning heel kick, Guerrera tried to give La Parka a cross-corner whip, but La Parka put on the brakes and clotheslined Guerrera.
Before Zbyszko could make a fool out of himself, Tenay joined him to handle play-by-play.
In the meantime, Guerrera clotheslined La Parka.
After a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, La Parka got 2.
Upon backdropping La Parka to the apron, Guerrera received a slingshot body scissors to the floor.
La Parka then delivered a tope suicida. Woohoo!
Back in the ring, La Parka hoisted Guerrera onto the top turnbuckle and joined him.
Both luchadors stood on the top turnbuckle until they both slipped.
Having landed on his feet on the apron, Guerrera delivered a springboard huracanrana for 2.
Guerrera then gave La Parka an Asai moonsault for another 2.
Next, he tried another springboard maneuver, but La Parka caught him in mid-air with a dropkick for 2. Sweet!
After another dropkick by La Parka sent Guerrera to the floor, he mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a tope knocking Guerrera down.
Back in the ring, La Parka delivered a powerbomb but only got 2.
He then applied a surfboard, but Guerrera landed on top for 2.
Guerrera then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a missile dropkick, and got another 2.
According to Tenay, Piper should be making his Nitro debut tonight.
Nonetheless, La Parka reversed a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
Upon giving La Parka then ten-top-turnbuckle count-along, Guerrera got yet another 2.
He then hoisted La Parka atop the top turnbuckle and delivered a super huracanrana for near fall #4.
Afterward, a dropkick got a fifth 2 count for Guerrera.
Near fall #6 occurred as Guerrera tried a victory roll on La Parka.
La Parka came back with a slam, mounted the top turnbuckle, but missed a senton.
According to Tenay, the Amazing French Canadians will face Harlem Heat at World War III.
Guerrera then tried a slam, but La Parka countered with an inside cradle for 2.
Upon delivering a crescent kick, Guerrera gave La Parka a DDT for 2.
After La Parka hoisted Guerrera onto the top turnbuckle, Guerrera responded with a tornado DDT for another 2. You can’t fault these guys for trying.
Regardless, Guerrera placed La Parka on the top turnbuckle again, spun around, but La Parka blocked the super huracanrana.
He then hit a corkscrew senton splash and pinned Guerrera.
Summary: The luchadors busted their ass to get the Florence faithful to their feet, and it worked.
After a commercial break, a promo for Ultimo Dragon airs.
Match 2 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Ultimo Dragon (w/ Sonny Onoo)
Can Ultimo Dragon add a ninth championship to his current resume?
As the bell rang, Mysterio cut a promo on Malenko in split-screen.
While Mysterio will face Ultimo Dragon at World War III, Malenko defends the Cruiserweight title against Psicosis.
Malenko then attempted a back drop, but Ultimo Dragon landed on his feet.
Upon giving Malenko a spinning back kick followed by a cross-corner whip, Ultimo Dragon delivered a handspring back elbow.
Malenko came back, gave Ultimo Dragon a cross-corner whip, and followed with a corner clothesline.
Ultimo Dragon turned the tide with a tiger suplex for 2, but Malenko came back with a clothesline for 2.
Tenay then questioned why Bischoff would offer the nWo their own TV show. Hmmm…
After a spinning heel kick by Ultimo Dragon, both wrestlers fought on the floor until Ultimo Dragon whipped Malenko back-first into the steel railing.
Back in the ring, Ultimo Dragon mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a moonsault.
Malenko then hooked the Texas Cloverleaf, but Onoo got up on the apron.
After Malenko backdropped Onoo into the ring, Malenko backdropped a charging Ultimo Dragon over the top rope to the floor.
Referee Randy Anderson called for the bell disqualifying Malenko.
Despite losing, Malenko retained.
Summary: Good preview of what these two could do on PPV. Malenko had him, but since this is Nitro, they found a way to keep Ultimo Dragon strong rather than submit to Malenko’s finisher.
On WCW Saturday Night, Faces of Fear wrestle against Ciclope and Galaxy. Also, Regal defends the TV title against Malenko (aired 11/23, taped 11/12). In addition, Arn Anderson faces Bunkhouse Buck.
We then revisit last week’s episode when Harlem Heat faced the Amazing French Canadians, but it ended when Sister Sherri almost got her hands on Parker.
Match 3: The Amazing French Canadians (w/ Colonel Parker) versus the American Males
According to Tenay, if Harlem Heat defeats the Amazing French Canadians on Sunday, Sherri will get five minutes with Parker.
After the Amazing French Canadians butchered the Canadian national anthem, the American Males made their entrance and started a “USA” chant with the Florence faithful.
Upon delivering a dropkick to Ouellet, Bagwell gave one to Rougeau as well.
The American Males then double-clotheslined Ouellet over the top rope to the floor.
After receiving a double back drop, Rougeau joined his partner for refuge outside the ring.
Riggs tagged in and gave Rougeau a monkey flip after a leap frog.
After a leap frog by Rougeau, the Males collided with one another.
As Bagwell distracted referee Mark Curtis, Ouellet put a knee into Riggs’ back.
Rougeau then hit a flying back elbow to Riggs.
Ouellet tagged in, and Rougeau slammed him onto Riggs’ back. Yikes!
After a couple of exchanges between them, Ouellet tagged in again as the Amazing French Canadians double-guillotined Riggs using the top rope.
Hot tag Bagwell.
Riggs then put a knee in Rougeau’s back causing an accidental collision of heads between Bagwell and Rougeau.
Ouellet then tossed Rougeau atop Bagwell.
Summary: As the downward spiral of the Males’ team continues, the plot thickens as their lack of chemistry worsens.
While one of the ham’n’eggers in the audience plays with his LJN figures of Piper and Hogan, Zbyzsko refers to their pending match-up as “match of the century.” Last week on RAW, the Austin-Bret match was dubbed the “match of the decade,” so WCW took it one step further.
According to Tenay, the nWo hacked the WCW web site, but WCW has regained control. Cybersecurity wasn’t much back in ’96, I guess.
Match 4: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Hugh Morrus
As Morrus made his entrance, he told us that it’s “Happy Hour.” Bartender, I’ll have what he’s having.
After Morrus slammed Luger, Arn Anderson cut a promo in split-screen.
While Arn promoted his rematch with Luger in Baltimore, Morrus gave Luger a hip toss.
He then gave Luger a vertical suplex, but Luger no-sold it.
After a vertical suplex by Luger, he gave Morrus a hip toss.
Upon giving Luger a cross-corner whip, Morrus delivered an avalanche.
Shortly after, Morrus gave Luger another cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
After a series of clotheslines, Luger hit a flying back elbow.
He then gave Morrus a cross-corner whip but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
Upon clotheslining Luger, Morrus mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a splash.
Luger then hooked the Torture Rack and won the match.
Summary: The Florence faithful love Luger.
After the match, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Luger in the ring. In the meantime, Sting comes through the crowd, enters the ring, and pushes Luger with his baseball bat. He then gives Luger the bat and leaves the ring. A confused Luger ends the interview immediately.
The nWo music plays, and Hogan with his entourage comes to the broadcast table and intimidates Bischoff.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews DDP. Once again, the Outsiders interrupt. This time, they have Giant and Syxx with them. Giant wants to “punk” DDP, but the Clique won’t let him in on the joke.
Match 5: Jeff Jarrett versus Bobby Eaton
Jarrett reversed an Irish whip and gave Eaton an inverted atomic drop.
He then nailed Eaton sending him to the floor.
Next, Jarrett hip-checked him into the steel railing.
Not to be outdone, Eaton pulled Jarrett outside the ring and made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Carolina Peach Chicken at FATZ.
Jarrett came back and guillotined Eaton using the steel railing. Pass the Excedrin please!
If that wasn’t enough, he then rammed Eaton face-first into the ring post. Screw the Excedrin! Give me morphine!
Anyway, back in the ring, Jarrett gave Eaton a running guillotine.
After a vertical suplex, Jarrett hooked the figure-four leg lock as “Nature Boy” Ric Flair made an appearance with his left arm in a sling.
Summary: The Jarrett push continues due to Flair’s influence.
In the ring, Okerlund interviews Jarrett with Flair. Beforehand, we revisit last week’s show when Sting dropped Jarrett like a bad habit. Flair then drops the “Meeeeeeeeean Gene” for us as only Slick Ric can do. Meanwhile, Sting watches from the rafters as Flair pulls rank on the other Horsemen to the betterment of Jarrett.
Next, Lee Marshall provides the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from Norfolk, VA.”
Match 6: Big Bubba Rogers (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Jim Powers (w/o Teddy Long)
The Juice is loose on Nitro!
Rogers gave Powers a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
Powers then gave Rogers a cross body block and got 2.
After a clothesline, Rogers gave Powers the running guillotine followed by an enziguri.
Next, he gave Powers a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Upon giving Rogers the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along, Powers delivered a knee lift.
Immediately, Rogers came back with the Bubba slam for the pin.
Summary: Showcase match for Rogers.
Match 7: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) versus Eddie Guerrero
In spite of the countless times these two have wrestled on Nitro, it never gets old.
At the onset, Guerrero gave Benoit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
Benoit then gave Guerrero a monkey flip, but Guerrero landed on his feet.
Next, Benoit applied the Crippler Crossface, but Guerrero made the ropes.
While Benoit received advice from Woman, the Taskmaster cut a promo on him in split-screen.
After a flying back elbow, Guerrero gave Benoit a springboard senton for 2.
Benoit then reversed a cross-corner whip causing a sternum-first bump by Guerrero.
He then followed with a belly-to-back suplex.
Upon giving Guerrero a Northern Lights suplex, Benoit got 2.
Afterward, Benoit applied an abdominal stretch then attempted a powerbomb.
On the other hand, Guerrero countered with a sunset flip for 2.
After a back elbow, Benoit got 2.
Upon completion of a commercial break, Guerrero gave Benoit a flying headscissors.
Benoit came back with a military press followed by a face plant for 2.
He then hung Guerrero out to dry.
As Guerrero mounted the top turnbuckle, Benoit joined him and gave him a top rope superplex for 2. Wow!
When both wrestlers spilled over the top rope to the floor, they brawled until Woman came between them.
Back in the ring, Guerrero hooked an inside cradle for 2.
He then gave Benoit a belly-to-back suplex and mounted the top turnbuckle again.
When he leaped, Guerrero noticed that Benoit had moved so he somersaulted to his feet.
He then tried another flying headscissors, but Benoit used momentum to land on top for the pin.
Summary: This is more like the initial series of matches these guys had. To say it was good would be putting it mildly.
After a commercial break, Bischoff is in the ring and wants to apologize for Hogan’s antics. He also promises to make Hogan-Piper a reality. Suddenly, Piper’s music plays, and Bischoff is perplexed. Piper makes his entrance to a healthy standing ovation. As the Florence faithful chants “Roddy,” Piper is PISSED OFF and calls Bischoff a “liar.”
When Piper tries to get the truth from him, an intimidated Bischoff doesn’t remember. As Piper calls him a “piece of shit,” Giant hits the ring to manhandle Piper. The rest of the nWo comes to the ring and wrangles Piper.
Surprisingly, Hogan gives Bischoff a hug. BISCHOFF HAS JOINED THE nWo! Hogan then runs Piper down on the microphone as Piper tries to get his hands on him to no avail.
Tenay and Heenan are in disbelief as security keeps Piper at bay. At the PPV, Piper will have a contract to fight Hogan.
Conclusion: Wow! Just when you thought you knew where WCW was going, they veer off in a direction that shocks you. This is definitely a must-see episode. RAW has no chance against it, but what can they deliver?
TV Rating: 3.20
WWF Monday Night RAW
Live from New Haven, CT
Airdate: November 18, 1996
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Prior to the first match, we revisit Survivor Series when Yokozuna injured Vader.
Match 1 (tough-man contest): Stone Cold Steve Austin versus Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer)
Due to Vader’s injury, Mankind will take his place.
While Austin was jawing with some fans of Bret, Mankind ran out to attack him in the aisle.
As officials tried to separate them, Mankind and Austin continued to brawl in the aisle and at ringside.
Mankind then reversed an Irish whip sending Austin into the steel steps.
Finally, the match began in the ring as Austin stomped a mud hole in Mankind and walked it dry. Sorry, Austin, but I may have to borrow that from time to time.
Regardless, Mankind escaped to the floor, but Austin leaped from the apron and delivered an elbow smash.
He then returned to the apron, leaped, and hit a double axe handle.
Mankind came back and rammed Austin face-first into the steel steps.
According to Vince, Shawn Michaels accompanied the “injured” Jose Lothario back to San Antonio this morning.
At any rate, Austin then leveled Mankind with a clothesline.
He then nailed Mankind with a right hand sending him between the ropes to the floor.
On the floor, Mankind grabbed a chair, but Austin booted him down before it could be used.
He then reversed an Irish whip sending Mankind crashing into the steel railing.
Back in the ring, Mankind applied the Mandible claw, but Austin evened the score with a FIELD GOAL. In case you’re wondering, Bearer occupied referee Earl Hebner’s attention at the time.
After a commercial break, Mankind placed Austin atop the top turnbuckle but received an eye rake.
Austin then leaped from the second turnbuckle but ate a shot to the midsection.
With Austin laying on the apron, Mankind delivered a leg drop.
He then guillotined Austin using the steel railing.
Austin came back, tried to suplex Mankind to the floor, but received one into the ring instead.
According to Vince, Bret will battle Owen next week on RAW. Impressive!
Anyway, Mankind then gave Austin a swinging neckbreaker.
After a leg drop, Mankind gave Austin a face plant.
Austin then reversed an Irish whip and applied a sleeper.
Mankind escaped and clotheslined Austin.
He then tried a piledriver, but Austin backdropped him over the top rope to the floor.
Mankind responded by guillotining Austin using the top rope.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, got caught, and was tossed down to the mat.
Another right hand by Austin knocked Mankind outside the ring.
Mankind then rammed Austin face-first into the steel steps again.
Austin came back by guillotining Mankind using the steel railing.
Back in the ring, Austin mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered an elbow smash for 2.
Briefly, Bearer went backstage and summoned the Executioner to the ring.
The Executioner then nailed Austin from behind.
Hebner called for the DQ.
How do you have a DQ in a tough-man contest?
Summary: Great brawl that forecasted the upcoming (or is it now in progress?) Attitude Era.
After the match, Mankind and the Executioner double-team Austin until the Undertaker arrives to even the odds. Unhappy that he received some relief, Austin clotheslines Undertaker over the top rope to the floor. Undertaker returns, but Austin leaves to fight another day.
Catch the replay of Survivor Series on PPV tomorrow night!
Moments ago, we get the reverse angle of Austin’s clothesline that sent Undertaker over the top rope to the floor.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Johnson is in the stands as Sunny makes her entrance and will be the guest ring announcer for the next match.
The Akklaim Slam of the Week is Rocky Maivia’s debut at Survivor Series.
Match 2: Faarooq (w/ PG-13 & Clarence Mason) versus Savio Vega
Similar to Survivor Series, PG-13 rapped Faarooq to the ring.
Faarooq gave Vega a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
Like WCW did with Piper, the WWF is trying to bait its audience to stay tuned for Shawn Michaels.
Vega then gave Faarooq a dropkick followed by the ten-punch count-along.
He then gave Faarooq a cross-corner whip followed by a monkey flip.
In the meantime, Sunny joined the broadcast table for this match.
Vega then delivered a cross body block and got 2.
Afterward, a hip toss earned Vega another 2.
He then reversed an Irish whip but ate a spinebuster for 2.
After a HARD cross-corner whip, Faarooq gave Vega a snap suplex for another 2.
Next, he gave Vega a belly-to-back suplex.
Upon completion of a commercial break, Vega tried a splash but hit knees.
Vega then hooked an inside cradle for 2.
After a face plant, Vega slammed Faarooq but missed an elbow drop.
Upon slamming Vega, Faarooq mounted the top turnbuckle, but Vega crotched him.
He then joined Faarooq, attempted a superplex, but BOTH WRESTLERS fell to the floor! Get out the spatula. Their goose is cooked.
Miraculously, both survived and returned to the ring.
While there, Vega hit a spinning heel kick and tried a cross body block. When Faarooq ducked, Vega sailed over the top rope to the floor.
As Faarooq distracted referee Jack Doan, PG-13 walloped Vega in the back with the 2x4. Did Faarooq rent that from “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan?
Johnson then came to the ring as Faarooq pinned Vega.
Summary: Competitive match for the renovated Faarooq gimmick.
After the match, Johnson flips a member of PG-13 over his shoulder to obtain the 2x4. He then chases the rest of the Nation of Domination from the ring with it. Johnson grabs the microphone and runs down Faarooq with “You’re going down” as the New Haven faithful chants it with him. Johnson then seeks out Faarooq in the crowd to close the segment.
The Milton Bradley Karate Fighters Holiday tournament continues with Mr. Bob Backlund versus Sunny. After an insane promo by Backlund, Sunny ignores Backlund’s attempts to cheat and beats him to advance. According to the bracket, the elusive Mr. Perfect faces Sid while Sable challenges Sunny in the semifinals. Who’s going to win? You decide!
RAW is sponsored by FootAction USA, Snickers, and Starburst.
Back in the locker room, Ross preps the NEW WWF Champion Sycho Sid for his interview later.
We then revisit stills from the title match last night. Considering Lothario is still alive as of this writing, I will not acknowledge the fake heart attack crap that played into the outcome. Nevertheless, Vince touts Michaels for his selfless act last night. Did he just apologize to Michaels for doing what he had to do for business?
Match 3: Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon versus Leif Cassidy & Bob “Sparkplug” Holly
Jannetty “injured” himself last night. Who knows when he’ll return.
Captain Lou Albano joined the Spanish announce table for this match.
LaFon gave Cassidy a reverse enziguri that sent him between the ropes to the floor.
In split-screen, the WWF tag champions along with Mason were PISSED about Furnas and LaFon’s victory last night.
Regardless, Furnas used a leap frog and a hip toss to take down Holly.
Cassidy tagged in but received an overhead belly-to-belly suplex from Furnas.
LaFon tagged in and gave Cassidy a spinning heel kick for 2.
Afterward, a crescent kick by LaFon got another 2.
Upon completion of a commercial break, Holly delivered his devastating dropkick to LaFon for 2.
Holly then slammed LaFon, mounted the second turnbuckle, but missed an elbow drop.
Furnas tagged in and gave Holly a dropkick for 2.
He then gave Holly a huracanrana but only got 2 thanks to a save by Cassidy.
Speaking of Cassidy, he tagged in but received a clothesline from Furnas.
LaFon tagged in but received a dragon suplex from Cassidy for 2. Wow!
He tried a second one, but LaFon countered with a VICIOUS cobra clutch suplex.
Furnas and LaFon won.
Summary: Showcase match for the newest tag team in the WWF.
Backstage, Sycho Sid wipes off the WWF title with Ross’ pocket square.
Promo for the replay of Survivor Series. Call your cable operator now!
Order your ring rope memorabilia plaque from Survivor Series for $59 now!
Vince then shills WWF In Your House XII: It’s Time emanating from West Palm Beach, FL on 12/15.
In the ring, Ross interviews Sycho Sid who has zero remorse for his actions against Lothario last night. Sid then grants Michaels a rematch. Be careful what you wish for, Sid. After saying he’ll be a fighting champion, Sid states that he’ll end Bret’s comeback at the PPV. Quite the shades of grey there.
Conclusion: In spite of the great opener, this show fell off a cliff soon thereafter. Next week’s show with Bret-Owen sounds good on paper though. Let’s see if they can execute.
TV Rating: 2.40
Who won? RAW had ZERO chance of winning with the Bischoff surprise turn on Nitro. Also, Nitro’s jump-start at 7:55 kept prospective RAW viewers away.