WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Monroe, LA

Airdate: May 19, 1996

Attendance: 4,000 (3,029 paid)

Hosted by Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Steve “Mongo” McMichael

Opening montage.

If I had known last week’s episode was the last for McMichael on commentary, I would have celebrated. Woohoo! Good luck in the ring, #76! But not against the Horsemen!

So instead of having the interview segment LIVE ON TNT, they replay the McMichael/Greene interruption of the Horseman interview from the PPV last night. Anyways, according to Eric, McMichael and Greene will face Flair and Arn at the Great American Bash.

Match 1: Fire & Ice versus the Steiners


Rating: ****

Summary: Very impressive high-impact power match that refused to disappoint. I wouldn’t mind seeing these teams go 20 minutes on PPV.

Before they head to the back, Scott ducks a clothesline and gives Norton a very safe belly-to-back suplex on the floor. In the meantime, Rick makes Ice Train taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Ouachita River platter at Warehouse No. 1.

Ad for the WCW Magazine. Get inside the “demented mind” of the Giant. Um, I don’t think this is THAT type of magazine, dude.

Match 2: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Woman & Elizabeth) versus Eddie Guerrero


Rating: *****

Summary: This was everything and a bag of chips for a Nitro match. Get all of this! Wow!

1-800-COLLECT sponsors the replay.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Flair by the VIP table. After Flair taunts Savage, he runs down McMichael. In the process, he disparages Debra. Next, he vows that Greene won’t make mini-camp. Finally, Flair takes his party to the broadcast table.

Flair sits at the broadcast table in Mongo’s spot as Heenan lights the candles. According to Flair, Jane Fonda “loves the Nature Boy.” Flair is truly a character.

Match 3 for the WCW World tag team titles: Sting & the “Total Package” Lex Luger (champions) versus the Faces of Fear


Rating: ***

Summary: Good tag team match. Sting played a very good role while in jeopardy.

Outside the arena, Okerlund interviews an insane “Macho Man.” Savage tries to enter the building, but security keeps him out.

Blood runs cold. Are the White Walkers from Game of Thrones coming to WCW?

Match 4: Diamond Dallas Page versus Brad Armstrong


Rating: **

Summary: DDP’s starting to make a name for himself. Armstrong hung with him well.

In the ring, Okerlund interviews DDP. The latter calls the former “Snapperhead.” He then touts his victory at Battlebowl. He thanks…himself for his glory then calls out the Giant. Gene informs him that the WCW Championship Committee recognizes his achievement but gives his title shot at the Great American Bash to Luger. DDP practically assaults Okerlund out of anger.

Wait a minute! Luger? You mean the World TV champion AND one-half of the World tag team champions gets a World title shot on a technicality? While I understand two heels cannot wrestle in the main event of a PPV, this is highway robbery. DDP got screwed!

Coming up next the Utah Jazz with Karl Malone face the Seattle Supersonics here on TNT. Sorry, I don’t review basketball games from 1996.

Match 5 for the WCW World title: The Giant (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson


Rating: *

Summary: That star was an E for effort for the “Enforcer.” He stood no chance but made the most of it.

As Eric plugs the 2-hour Nitro next week, Heenan takes everything valuable for the after-party from the broadcast table.

Conclusion: Great show! It’s a shame they had to leave their regular timeslot with a show like this to produce. I’m truly looking forward to next week’s show.

TV Rating: 2.30

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Sioux City, IA

Airdate: May 19, 1996 (taped 4/29)

Attendance: 3,347 (sold out and probably knocked out by now)

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Highlights from last night’s house show at Madison Square Garden are shown. We see Phineas kissing Sunny much to her chagrin.

Opening montage.

Match 1: “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Stone Cold Steve Austin (w/ the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: I realize that I mention the word chemistry a lot, but it bears repeating. The more these wrestlers compete against one another, the better their matches will become. Stay tuned.

After the match, a perturbed Mero questions Vega’s motives.

In Kuwait, Ahmed Johnson lifts the spirits of the country in the midst of economic recovery.

Next week, in the first round of the King of the Ring tournament, Johnson will face Vader. Also, Goldust will face the Ultimate Warrior. Speaking of which, yesterday in Astoria, Queens, the Warrior was signing copies of his newly released comic book.

RAW is sponsored by Snickers.

Match 2: The 1-2-3 Kid (w/ the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase) versus Savio Vega


Rating: **

Summary: The finish helped this match to be better than the opener.

After the match, Austin runs in and attacks Vega from behind. Austin misses a clothesline so Vega hammers him until the Kid gets up and clocks Vega with another spin kick. DiBiase gives Austin the strap. Austin tied Vega up so that DiBiase can put the chauffer’s hat on him.

Last night at MSG, Henry Godwinn and Hillbilly Jim knock on a door that Phineas is supposedly behind. All of a sudden, Sunny exits with a piece of paper in her hand and wishes them good luck. The slop drop by Phineas got the pin and the WWF tag team titles for the Godwinns. So, next week, on the Free for All, the Godwinns will defend the tag titles against the Smoking Gunns.

In the aisle, Jim Ross interviews Paul Bearer. Undertaker gives an interview from the casket, but Mankind shuts and seals it. Meanwhile, Goldust distracts Bearer. Mankind then brandishes a steel pole, nails the casket a few times, then dumps it on the floor…with the Undertaker inside! How dastardly! Officials get the casket right-side-up and take it backstage.

Prior to the main event, Cornette informs us that Diana Smith has a restraining order against Shawn Michaels. WWF President Gorilla Monsoon comes to the ring. He reads the order then talks to ring announcer Howard Finkel. The latter announces that Diana Smith “must leave the ringside area immediately!” Curses, foiled again!

WWF Champion the “HeartBreak Kid” Shawn Michaels comes out to join the broadcast team.

Match 3: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette) versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts


Rating: D-U-D

Summary: I spelled out the rating because this match was B-O-R-I-N-G. I certainly hope that Smith brings a better game to the PPV than he did to this match.

Conclusion: While the show set the table nicely as an appetizer for the PPV, alone it stunk yet again. How will they compete against a 2-hour Nitro next week?

TV Rating: 3.10

Who won? Once again, they were not head-to-head. With RAW in prime time and Nitro running beforehand, RAW won again. We’ll see what happens next week when the head-to-head match-up resumes.

In other news this week in pro wrestling history:

Gee, was it someone’s last night on the job yesterday? Yep, both Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) and Kevin Nash (Diesel) finished their WWF schedule. But, wait, there’s more!

At Madison Square Garden, after WWF champion the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels beat Diesel in a steel cage match, both Razor Ramon and Hunter Hearst Helmsley went to the ring and embraced their Clique buddies. In front of God and everybody! Somehow, someway, Vince gave approval for this. Kayfabe broken at MSG! I can read the headline of the New York Daily News right now. This moment has been named the Curtain Call. I wonder how things will play out going forward.

Stay tuned for WWF In Your House Beware of Dog!

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

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