Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby ‘The Brain” Heenan, and “Iron” Mike Tenay
Welcome to Horseman country!
It’s time for Piper, wearing a Carolina Panthers t-shirt, to come to the ring, hop on his leg, and prove he’s ready to face Hogan at Starrcade. According to Piper, “(he’s) got six kids. (He’s) gotta win this fight.” While the Charlotte faithful chants “Hogan sucks,” Piper makes reference to Bo Jackson’s hip injury with respect to his own. After all, Bo knows hip injuries.
Next, he mentions his boxing match against Mr. T (at Wrestlemania II), and that they (the WWF) wanted Piper to “take a dive.” Since Piper doesn’t dooooooooooo that, they taped his gloves “so that (he) wouldn’t hurt the poor little actor.” With respect to his match against Hogan, Piper’s not taking any dives. Afterward, he infers that the members of the nWo are homosexuals for sitting amongst each other sipping champagne but without any women present.
Ultimately, upon touting Hogan’s popularity and success, Piper calls him out for TONIGHT! Screw Starrcade, right?
Match 1: Mr. Wallstreet versus “Mean” Mike Enos
With nothing truly happening in the ring, Ted DiBiase came down the aisle.
Just as I type that, Wallstreet gave Enos a cross-corner whip but ate a clothesline.
After a leg drop, Enos delivered a powerslam and noticed DiBiase with a contract in hand.
Seeing his opponent distracted, Wallstreet hit the stock market crash (Samoan drop).
Summary: This appears to be more of an angle than anything else. Let’s continue.
After the match, DiBiase hands Wallstreet a contract. Has Wallstreet joined the nWo?
From WCW Saturday Night, a video showing Woman and Benoit in a restaurant airs. She tells “Kevin” that “it’s over.” Benoit then makes a chess reference in regards to his queen. Wow! Taskmaster’s reaction is anger along with befuddlement.
Match 2: Hugh Morrus versus the Renegade (w/ Joe Gomez)
After Morrus delivered a spinning heel kick, he laughed in Gomez’s face.
Renegade then hooked an inside cradle for 2, but Morrus responded with a clothesline.
When Morrus applied a bear hug, Renegade countered with his own.
He then hit a powerslam for another 2.
Next, as Morrus meandered toward the corner, Renegade gave him a handspring elbow.
However, when he tried a bulldog, Morrus countered with a belly-to-back suplex.
Morrus then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit the No Laughing Matter, and got the pin.
Summary: Showcase match for Morrus.
After the match, Morrus mounts the opposite top turnbuckle, but Gomez pulls Renegade to safety.
Sony Playstation sponsors the replay.
Suddenly, Taskmaster comes to the ring wearing a Four Horseman t-shirt with a black X on it. He takes exception to putting his dirty laundry on the air. Dude, you’re ON the booking committee. Sheesh!
After a commercial break, we get a video for Sting.
At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Carolina Panthers linebacker Kevin Greene. As you would expect, the Charlotte faithful give him a raucous ovation. Greene’s ready for the NFL playoffs and “Mongo in the offseason.” He then notes that if he gets his hands on Hollywood Hogan then he’d rename him “Chokin’ Hogan.”
To clarify how popular the Panthers were, they finished the ’96 regular season with seven consecutive wins, won the divisional playoff against the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, but lost in the NFC championship game to the Green Bay Packers.
Match 3 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Jimmy Graffiti
After Malenko delivered a clothesline, he followed with an elbow smash.
During the commercial break:
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
Buy the shirt! Send it to Rock Star Gary. Make it an XL.
THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
Afterward, Sonny Onoo came to the ring to distract Malenko.
It worked as Graffiti gave Malenko a jawbreaker.
Next, he delivered a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
He then followed with a gutwrench suplex for another 2.
According to Tony, the semifinals of the US title tournament stand as:
DDP versus Jeff Jarrett
Eddie Guerrero versus Chris Benoit
Malenko came back and hooked a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
Graffiti then gave Malenko a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
When Malenko gave him a leg lariat, Graffiti spilled to the floor.
He then avoided a baseball slide and gave Malenko a clothesline.
Maliciously, he then made Malenko taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the LTD at McKoy’s Smoke House and Saloon.
Back in the ring, Graffiti mounted the top turnbuckle, got caught, and received a top rope superplex. Woohoo!
As Graffiti evaded a leap frog by Malenko, he delivered a superkick for 2.
After a powerbomb, Graffiti hooked a somersault rollup for another 2.
While Malenko bridged out, he powerbombed Graffiti for 2.
Graffiti came back with a stungun and attempted a vertical suplex; however, Malenko countered with an inside cradle.
Summary: When Malenko can make Graffiti look good, you know you’re looking at a champion.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Onoo and sneakily reveals that Onoo’s Japanese accent is phony. Onoo believes that Malenko has “belt envy.” Careful, Sonny, this is a family show.
On WCW Saturday Night, Malenko defends the Cruiserweight title against Billy Kidman. Also, Lord Steven Regal defends the TV title against Hugh Morrus. Trivia note: Luther Biggs’ WCW debut also took place on this show. Don’t miss it!
We then revisit World War III and the god-awful triangle tag match for the World tag team titles. The less said the better.
Match 4: Faces of Fear (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Nasty Boys
Don’t expect a **** classic here.
At the bell, a four-way brawl erupted.
After Meng whipped Sags back-first into the steel railing, he came up empty on his follow-through.
Back in the ring, Sags tagged in as the Nasty Boys gave Barbarian a double shoulder block.
Meanwhile, the Outsiders stood at the entrance scouting Faces of Fear for Starrcade.
In the ring, the Nasty Boys broke the wishbone on Meng. My wish would be this match to end ASAP.
Barbarian then gave Sags a cross-corner whip but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
After a powerslam, Sags delivered a leg drop to Barbarian.
While Knobbs distracted referee Scott Dickinson, Hart pulled Sags out of the ring.
When Sags sauntered after Hart, he got ambushed by Meng.
Knobbs must be giving away the Colonel’s secret recipe as he continued to distract Dickinson. In the meantime, Barbarian WALLOPED Sags with a chair to the back.
Allegedly, Knobbs detailed his entire AWA crusade while Meng hammered Sags with another chair shot to the back.
Back in the ring, Barbarian mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but came up empty on a diving head butt.
Hot tag Knobbs although the Charlotte faithful was collectively comatose.
All four men were in the ring.
Barbarian then gave Knobbs a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
Knobbs then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying clothesline to Barbarian.
He then remounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying splash.
Unfortunately for him, Dickinson was occupied with Sags and Meng outside the ring; hence, a false pin occurred.
As Hart got up on the apron, Knobbs grabbed him, but Barbarian nailed Knobbs from behind.
While Barbarian held Knobbs, Hart…mounted the top turnbuckle…OH. MY. GOD…leaped, but hit Barbarian with the megaphone.
Knobbs then ripped Hart’s jacket off him, military-pressed him, and launched him atop Meng on the floor.
Finally, Barbarian HAMMERED Knobbs with the megaphone although the camera missed it.
Summary: Do people really enjoy the Nasty Boys’ shenanigans? I know that I don’t.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews “Nature Boy” Ric Flair to a raucous ovation. Flair then brings out Piper for his second appearance tonight. Flair then asks Charlotte how they feel about Hogan. According to Flair, “he sucks.” He then offers Piper the full support of the Four Horsemen. While Piper appreciates it, he wants to beat Hogan by himself. He then kisses Flair on the forehead to finish the segment.
Prior to the next match, we revisit the Piper promo from earlier.
Match 5: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton
After Eaton avoided a leap frog, he clotheslined Jericho.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying knee drop for 2.
Jericho then reversed a cross-corner whip but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
As Jericho hit a powerslam for 2, a pre-recorded interview by Jericho aired.
While Jericho delivered a spinning heel kick, he “embarrassed” Nick Patrick at the PPV.
After a vertical suplex, Jericho hit the Lionsault for 2.
When Eaton reversed a cross-corner whip, Jericho leaped to the second turnbuckle only to be nailed in the back.
Eaton then gave him the electric chair, remounted the top turnbuckle, but missed the Alabama Jam.
Jericho then delivered a superkick, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a missile dropkick.
Summary: Eaton gave it his all, but Jericho outshined him.
Next, we revisit the highlights of the Sting-Rick Steiner saga.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews the Steiners. Rick asks “What’s next?”
After a commercial break, a video showcasing Lex Luger airs.
Prior to the next match, the Taskmaster cuts a pre-recorded promo in split-screen and shoots on Arn.
Match 6: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson (w/ Mongo & Debra McMichael) versus Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman (w/o Teddy Long)
After a commercial break, Arn rammed Pittman’s left leg into the ring post while the Charlotte faithful approved.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught and slammed down to the mat.
Pittman then hooked Code Red, but Arn made the ropes.
As they fought outside the ring, Debra distracted referee Scott Dickinson so that Mongo could FLATTEN Pittman with the Haliburton.
Back in the ring, Arn hit the DDT and got the pin.
Summary: Hometown victory for Arn.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Arn, Mongo, and Debra. While Arn believes the alliance between Benoit and Woman is his fault, Debra disagrees and calls Woman “that little tramp Nancy.” Ooh. I smell a catfight.
Next, Lee Marshall provides the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from Pensacola, FL.” How are the paper mills treating you, Lee?
During the commercial break, an ad for Starrcade live on PPV on 12/29 airs.
Match 7 for the WCW US title (semi-final): Diamond Dallas Page versus Jeff Jarrett
After the commercial break, DDP reversed a cross-corner whip which resulted in a sternum-first bump by Jarrett.
He then gave Jarrett a belly-to-back suplex followed by a tilt-a-whirl slam for 2.
Jarrett came back with a jawbreaker along with an enziguri.
Next, he gave DDP a swinging neckbreaker followed by a HARD cross-corner whip.
After a running guillotine, Jarrett fell victim to a sunset flip for 2.
However, Jarrett responded with a clothesline.
Remarkably, he then gave DDP a slingshot suplex. Tully Blanchard would be proud.
Meanwhile, Jarrett mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a fist drop.
Upon hooking a somersault rollup, he got 2.
He then tried to hook a vertical suplex, but DDP countered with an inside cradle for 2.
Jarrett came back with a face plant for 2.
He then hooked a sleeper. Will DDP join the Charlotte faithful by taking a nap here?
No, because DDP gave Jarrett a discus clothesline.
After putting Jarrett down on the mat, DDP leaped to the top rope, delivered a lariat, and almost got 3. Wow!
He then tried another clothesline, but Jarrett ducked sending DDP over the top rope to the floor.
Suddenly, the Outsiders ran down to the ring. While Nash distracted referee Randy Anderson, Hall came into the ring and gave Jarrett the Outsider Edge.
DDP climbed back into the ring and got the pin.
DDP advanced to the final.
Summary: Angle-driven finish to a match that could cure insomnia. Great high spot from DDP though.
In the ring, Okerlund interviews DDP who doesn’t “need them.” He then compares the Outsiders to a one-night stand and tells them to leave him alone. He believes he is the front-runner for the US title final at Starrcade.
Match 8: Rick Steiner versus Scott Norton
Instead of Rick Steiner, Piper, making his third appearance tonight, came through the entrance and went to the ring.
Upon bringing a chair and microphone into the ring, Piper called out Hogan.
In lieu of Hogan, Eric Bischoff came to the ring alone.
After telling Piper that he’s “no Hogan,” Bischoff told him that Hogan will beat him and called him a “gimp.”
Piper retaliated by nailing Bischoff in the back of the head. Well, he asked for it.
While Piper held Bischoff down on the mat, the nWo swarmed around the ring.
Since Piper had a chair, the nWo wouldn’t intervene.
Abruptly, Kevin Greene joined Piper to help even the odds.
After the show went off the air, Piper nailed Nash with a chair.
To help thwart the nWo, the Four Horsemen hit the ring contrary to Piper’s earlier statement.
Rather than confront Greene (which would piss off the Charlotte faithful), they all worked in solidarity for WCW.
With Piper et al in the ring, Nash gave them the crotch chop from the aisle.
The Charlotte faithful ate this up with a spoon.
Conclusion: Hot ending to an angle-driven show. What else was WCW supposed to do? Most of their roster was in Germany. Here’s the card from Braunschweig from the same night:
Booty Man over Disco Inferno
Public Enemy over American Males (but they broke up?)
Chris Benoit over Eddie Guerrero
Glacier over Mortis (a character yet to be seen on Nitro but was portrayed by Chris Kanyon)
Syxx over Big Bubba Rogers
Lex Luger & Alex Wright over Harlem Heat
What’s on RAW?
TV Rating: 3.10
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from New Haven, CT
Airdate: December 9, 1996 (taped 11/18)
Attendance: 4,968 (walking out in droves)
Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Promo for the Undertaker-Mankind no-holds-barred main event airs to open the show.
A warning screen is then shown. Should I be worried?
Match 1 (non-title): WWF Champion Sycho Sid versus WWF Intercontinental champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Before Helmsley could get to the ring, Sid attacked him in the aisle.
Upon tossing Helmsley into the ring, Sid gorilla-press-slammed him.
In lieu of eating the big boot, Helmsley secured the top rope for safety.
Nonetheless, Sid clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor.
Sid joined and guillotined Helmsley using the steel railing. Someone call a dentist!
Not that one!
Back in the ring, Sid gave Helmsley a cross-corner whip resulting in a Helmsley flip.
He then gave Helmsley a chokeslam followed by a powerbomb.
Helmsley then rolled out of the ring to absorb the beating and the countout loss.
Summary: Too short of a match with a somewhat predictable outcome considering the participants.
We then revisit Summerslam ’96 and the boiler room brawl.
Prior to the next match, we revisit Superstars when Billy Gunn prevented Bart from winning the Intercontinental title (aired 12/8, taped 11/19). Afterward, Billy and Helmsley double-teamed Bart.
Match 2: Goldust (w/ Marlena) versus Bart Gunn
While Marlena distracted referee Jack Doan, Goldust threw gold dust in Bart’s face. Ahem.
Goldust then delivered a lariat and guillotined Bart using the top rope.
Upon tossing Bart outside the ring, Goldust joined and guillotined Bart using the steel railing. Is the dentist on speed dial?
While Goldust distracted Doan, Marlena blew smoke in Bart’s face. How dastardly!
Bart then tried to ram Goldust into the steps but ate them instead.
With Bart on the apron, Goldust suplexed him back in.
When Goldust tried to put a knee into Bart’s midsection, Bart rolled him up for 2.
Backstage, Billy watched the match on a monitor as Goldust responded with a clothesline for 2.
As Billy crowed about being the Shawn Michaels of the team, a match between the Gunns was announced for next week’s show.
then missed an elbow smash, so Bart gave him a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
After a commercial break, Bart hit a cross body block for 2.
Upon giving Goldust a boot to the midsection, Bart delivered a bulldog for 2.
After receiving a back drop, Goldust reversed a cross-corner whip. Bart floated over to the apron, botched a leap to the top rope (same move that DDP successfully hit), and missed a cross body block.
Since Bart hurt his knee upon landing, Goldust chop-blocked him.
Summary: Can Bart rehab his knee well enough to face his former tag team partner next week?
After the match, Billy enters the ring and belittles Bart. When Bart retaliates, Billy heads for higher ground.
We then revisit IYH XI and the Buried Alive match.
In the Milton Bradley Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament, Todd Pettengill offers highlights of previous match-ups. But the finals…will be NEXT WEEK! Stay tuned!
Prior to the next match, we revisit last week’s show when Zebekiah cost Double J the match.
Match 3 (handicap): Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw & Uncle Zebekiah versus “Double J” Jesse James
As James entered the ring, he gave Bradshaw a back drop followed by a dropkick to Zebekiah.
After a slam, James gave Bradshaw a pair of leg drops for 2 thanks to Zebekiah.
James then went to the floor, but Zebekiah joined him only to get nailed.
the other hand, as Bradshaw came off the ropes, he gave James a bulldog.
Shortly after, Bradshaw gave James a belly-to-back suplex.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying elbow for 2.
While Bradshaw distracted referee Mike Chioda, James hooked an inside cradle on Zebekiah for a false pin.
Upon giving James a cross-corner whip, Bradshaw ate boot on his follow-through.
After delivering a sidewalk slam, Bradshaw only got 2.
Bradshaw then placed James atop the top turnbuckle, joined him, but James head-butted him down to the mat.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a lariat.
Next, upon receiving another back drop, Bradshaw attempted another lariat but missed.
As Bradshaw held James in a full nelson, Zebekiah brought the branding iron into the ring but nailed Bradshaw accidentally with it.
Summary: Serious change-the-channel stuff here.
After the match, Bradshaw nails Zebekiah then gives him a lariat. To finish the breakup, Bradshaw brands Zebekiah.
RAW is sponsored by Sega Saturn.
In the ring, Ross interviews the #1 contender to the WWF title--Bret “Hitman” Hart. While Bret discusses the craziness in the WWF, we revisit RAW from two weeks ago when Austin interfered. Next, we see highlights of a match from London when Bret saved Davey Boy Smith from getting powerbombed. Afterward, Austin attacked Bret from behind allowing Sid to chokeslam him. According to Bret, “when you snap, they call you Sycho Sid, but when I snap, they call me the (WWF) champion.” I just hope neither transforms into cereal.
The Akklaim slam of the week is Flash Funk’s Tumbleweed to the Goon last week.
Prior to the next match, we see Mankind in the Dubai desert screaming “I wanna go home!”
Also before the main event, an ad for Royal Rumble aired.
To delay the main event even further, we revisit Summerslam ’96 again when Mankind took the Nestea plunge.
Match 4 (no holds barred): Undertaker versus Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer)
Ross claimed this match will be a “slobberknocker.”
Mankind reversed an Irish whip but ate a flying clothesline from Undertaker.
Upon mounting the top turnbuckle, Undertaker walked the top rope only to nail Mankind on the way down.
Following that, he delivered a chokeslam.
However, as he attempted the Tombstone, Executioner came to the ring.
Not THAT Executioner!
As he got up on the apron, Undertaker nailed him.
During the commercial break, an ad for WWF: Full Metal aired.
Afterward, Mankind rammed Undertaker face-first into the steel steps.
Undertaker came back and gave Mankind some of his own medicine.
After dislodging the top step, Undertaker rammed it onto Mankind’s right hand (the Mandible Claw hand).
Back in the ring, Undertaker missed a big boot so Mankind chop-blocked him.
With Undertaker in the corner, Mankind attempted a follow-through but ate a back elbow.
After a clothesline, Mankind gave Undertaker the Cactus clothesline.
Mankind then reversed an Irish whip sending Undertaker knees-first into the steps.
While a portion of the New Haven faithful chanted “he’s hardcore” at him, Mankind gave Undertaker’s leg an elbow drop.
While they were by the broadcast table, Mankind made Undertaker taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the seafood pie at the Temple Grill.
He then placed Undertaker’s leg on a chair, mounted the apron, and delivered a Cactus elbow to it.
Back in the ring, when Mankind attempted to work on the leg, Undertaker booted him between the ropes to the floor.
He then booted Mankind head-first into the steel railing. OUCH!
Outside the ring, Undertaker slammed Mankind on the Spanish broadcast table.
During the commercial break, Ross shilled IYH XII: It’s Time this Sunday on PPV. Where’s Vader?
Afterward, as Undertaker re-entered the ring, Mankind chop-blocked him again.
Mankind then mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, got caught, but gave Undertaker a drop toehold.
He then retrieved a chair from ringside, brought it into the ring, but Undertaker booted it in his face.
After Undertaker knocked the chair away from Mankind, he attempted the Tombstone only to fall victim to the Mandible Claw.
Will Undertaker pass out?
No, he countered with a bear hug and pulled him into the corner.
Finally, he hit the Tombstone for the pin.
Summary: Really good main event that not only made Undertaker look good but promoted his “Armageddon rules” match with Executioner on Sunday.
Speaking of Executioner, he returns to the ring and applies the Asiatic spike to Undertaker to end the show.
Conclusion: Certainly, the main event is worth watching, but avoid the rest of the show like the plague. Could the main event be enough mustard on the hot dog for RAW to win?
TV Rating: 2.30
Who won? No way, Jose! Despite WCW’s trek to Germany, Piper’s antics along with the rest of WCW won another battle with better wrestling and angles. Interestingly, they stole quite a few moves (e.g. false pin, top rope leap) from RAW. SNEAKY! Next week, Taskmaster faces Arn on Nitro while the fallout from IYH XII transpires on RAW.