Live from Daytona Beach, FL

Airdate: July 7, 1996

Attendance: 8,300 (6,400 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

As Tony, Heenan, and Rhodes welcome us to the show, security guards stand on both sides of them. Rhodes mentions that Eric Bischoff may be held hostage. Hmm…

Match 1: Psicosis versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.


Rating: *****

Summary: Outstanding opener to the show. Tenay’s commentary added a lot to the match as well.

Backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews US champion Konnan who vows to retain his title against Flair.

Match 2 (Silver dollars on a pole): Big Bubba (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus John Tenta


Rating: **

Summary: While not a wrestling exhibition, it was certainly entertaining.

After the match, Tenta puts silver dollars on Bubba’s eyes symbolizing his death.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Sting, Luger, and Savage who all wear face paint in unity. They are ready for the attempted hostile takeover.

Match 3 for the LOTR ring (taped fist): Diamond Dallas Page (holder) versus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan


Rating: *1/2

Summary: With the exception of taping Duggan around the ring post, the taped fist stipulation was avoided. The DDP monster push continues.

After the match, Duggan tapes his fist and knocks DDP OUT COLD.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews the Giant and the Taskmaster with Hart. While the Dungeon of Doom speak of home court advantage (Sullivan lives in Daytona), the Giant wants Horse(man) stew for dinner.

At the entrance, Lee Marshall interviews the Texas Hangmen Benoit and Arn. Benoit once again claims to be silent but violent.

Match 4 (dog collar): The Nasty Boys versus the Public Enemy


Rating: *

Summary: Rocco sacrificed his body for our pleasure.

After the match, Grunge knocked Knobbs OUT COLD with a chain shot to the head. Immediately afterward, Rocco pulled Sags off the apron onto the table which FINALLY broke. Wow!

Okerlund stands in front of the locker room occupied by the Outsiders.

Match 5 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Disco Inferno


Rating: ****

Summary: If Disco Inferno had a better match in his career, I dare anyone to find it. Malenko made Disco Inferno, a comedy character, into a legitimate contender for his title. That takes a lot of talent.

Match 6: Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/ Debra) versus “Desperado” Joe Gomez


Rating: *

Summary: I realize that Mongo was a very successful professional football player; however, showcasing his first singles match on PPV was a bad idea. Neither man was a good ring general, and some of the moves were not very crisp whatsoever. If anything, this match established that Mongo’s finisher was the tombstone.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Flair with Woman and Elizabeth. Flair promises to win not only the US title but also the World title and then dances “La Cucaracha.” Perhaps the cocktails were flowing early. Thereafter, Woman promises Okerlund a “private party.” Lucky man.

Match 7 for the WCW US title: Konnan (champion) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair


Rating: ***

Summary: This was the first time since 1981 that Flair had held the US title. Using only what I’ve seen from Konnan matches in 1996, it was pretty obvious that his specialty was lucha libre. While technical wrestling wasn’t foreign to him, wrestling hold-for-hold with Flair didn’t achieve a great result.

Okerlund is backstage outside the Outsiders’ dressing room and cannot distinguish a third voice emanating from it although it’s familiar to him. According to Okerlund, Bischoff is still missing.

Match 8: Taskmaster & Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson & the “Crippler” Chris Benoit


Rating: **

Summary: So much for the Horsemen sweep.

After the match, Benoit leaps from the broadcast location and nails the Taskmaster in the sand. He then makes the Taskmaster taste the steel railing again. Waiter, the local boy also requests a frozen Bahamarita. He then takes the Taskmaster back into the ring, places him atop the top turnbuckle, and delivers a belly-to-back superplex. Woman returns to the ring and pleads for Benoit to stop. The Giant returns as Benoit and Woman head for higher ground. Afterwards, the Giant carries the Taskmaster backstage.

Video package for the events that led up to the hostile takeover.

Prior to the beginning of the match, Okerlund comes to the ring and asks the Outsiders where their third man is. “Ramon” calls him “Scheme Gene” and states that “he’s here and he’s ready.”

Match 9 (hostile takeover): “Macho Man” Randy Savage, the “Total Package” Lex Luger, & Sting versus the Outsiders & ?????


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Usually mystery partner angles flop, but this one won’t. As a wrestling match, it was ok. As a wrestling news story, this was gigantic. What happens next?

After the match, Hogan raised the Outsiders’ arms in victory. The fans actually cheer, but garbage begins to get tossed into the ring too. Okerlund enters the ring for an interview:

Okerlund: “Hulk Hogan…what in the world are you thinking?”

Hogan: “Mean Gene, the first thing you need to do is to tell these people to shut up if you wanna hear what I gotta say.”

Cheers turned to boos.

Okerlund: “I have been with you for so many years. For you to join up with the likes of these two men, (it) absolutely makes me sick to my stomach. And I think these people here and a lot of other people around the world have had just about enough of this man (Nash) and this man (Hall). And you wanna put yourself in this group? You’ve gotta be kidding me!”

Hogan: “Well, the first thing you gotta realize, brother, is this right here (pointing to himself, Hall, & Nash) is the future of wrestling. You can call this the New…World…Order..of wrestling, brother. These two men right here came from a great big organization up north, and everybody was wonderin’ who the third man was. Well, who knows more about that organization than me, brother?”

Okerlund: “I’ve been there and done that. You have made the wrong decision in my opinion.”

Hogan: “…I made that organization a monster. I made people rich up there. I made the people that ran that organization rich up there, brother. And when it all came to pass, the name Hulk Hogan, the man Hulk Hogan got bigger than the whole organization, brother. And then, Billionaire Ted…he wanted to talk turkey with Hulk Hogan. Well, Billionaire Ted promised me movies…millions of dollars…world-caliber matches. As far as Billionaire Ted, Eric Bischoff and the whole WCW (go), I’m bored, brother. That’s why these two guys here, the so-called Outsiders. These are the men I want as my friends. They’re the new blood of professional wrestling, brother. And not only are we gonna take over the whole wrestling business with Hulk Hogan and the new blood, the monsters with me, we will destroy everything in our path, Mean Gene.”

Okerlund: “Look at all of this crap in this ring. This is what’s in the future for you if you wanna hang around the likes of this man, Hall, and this man, Nash. “

Hogan: “As far as I’m concerned, all this crap in the ring represents these fans out here. (Crowd boos.) For two years, I held my head high. I did everything for the charities. I did everything for the kids. And the reception I got when I came out here? You fans can stick it, brother, because if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, you people wouldn’t be here. If it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would still be selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis. And if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, all these Johnny-come-lately’s that you see out here wrestling wouldn’t be here. I was selling out the world, brother, while they were bumming gas to put in their car to get to high school…With Hulk Hogan and the New World Organization of wrestling, brother…whatcha gonna do when the New World Organization runs wild on you?”

Hogan then gets a little rough with Okerlund who threatens legal repercussions. The ring is literally FILLED with debris as Hogan soaks up the crowd’s mixed reaction.

Somberly, Tony then signs off the air by saying: “Alright, we have seen the end of Hulkamania. For Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, for Dusty Rhodes, Gene Okerlund…I’m Tony Schiavone, Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell We’re out here. Straight to hell.” He then tosses down his headset off-camera.

A new day has dawned in WCW. Wow!

Conclusion: In previous reflections, I’ve noted that said WCW PPV had zero historical value. THIS PPV has the most significant historical value of any WCW PPV ever created. As a wrestling fan, it is your sworn duty to watch and enjoy this PPV and its historical significance.

See you for Monday Night War week 44!

Buyrate: 0.71

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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