WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Wheeling, WV

Airdate: June 10, 1996

Attendance: 3,500

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Eric Bischoff, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Opening montage.

Tony and Zbyszko shill the upcoming tag match featuring the Horsemen facing Joe Gomez & the Renegade in the second hour! I can’t wait for that! We then revisit the “interruption” by “Ramon” from last week. Who will be “Ramon’s” big surprise?

Match 1: Scott Steiner versus Booker T


Rating: ****

Summary: Excellent opening match that proved that each man could compete at the singles level. Singles titles will hopefully be in both men’s futures soon.

PEPBOYS sponsors the replay.

At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Scott Steiner. Okerlund informs us that the Steiners will face Fire & Ice this Sunday at the Great American Bash. Suddenly, Debra McMichael interrupts the interview and steals Scott’s mic time. How dastardly! She’s worried that her husband may hurt someone permanently on Sunday. Also, she wants to schedule a meeting to call the match off. Okerlund will see what he can do.

Match 2 (Lord of the Ring ring): Diamond Dallas Page versus Jim Powers


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for DDP as he gave Powers a lot of offense.

Video promoting the falls-count-anywhere match between Benoit and the Taskmaster at GAB was shown. It included the ending to the “respect” match at SuperBrawl involving Brian Pillman.

Highlight video showcasing US champ Konnan. Following that, Okerlund interviews him in the locker room while promoting Konnan’s match against El Gato (who?) at GAB.

Match 3: Sting versus Meng


Rating: *

Summary: Impressive win by Sting. He’d better have his wrestling shoes on against his lordship on Sunday though.

In the bowels of the building, Okerlund interviews Debra and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. The latter brings Debra into Flair’s dressing room, but Debra storms out. Joe Gomez and the Renegade come to her aid, but Arn puts the boots to Gomez as Flair locks the Renegade in the figure-four leg lock. Doug Dillinger and Nick Patrick chase the Horsemen off their prey.

We revisit last week when Taylor stole the 2x4 from Duggan as the latter lost to Regal.

Match 4: “Squire” David Taylor (w/ Jeeves) versus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan


Rating: *

Summary: Without the crowd solidly behind him, Duggan matches would be completely worthless.

Promotional video for the cruiserweight title match between Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio, Jr at GAB.

In the locker room, Okerlund interviews Bubba Rogers with Jimmy Hart. We revisit last week’s match as Tenta chased Bubba from the ring with scissors.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Norton to ZERO reaction. We revisit last week when the Giant delivered a pair of chokeslams to Norton.

We begin the SECOND hour with a World title match! How enlightening!

Match 5 for the WCW World title: The Giant (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Scott “Flash” Norton


Rating: *

Summary: The sole star for this match is dedicated to the impressive strength of the Giant. Norton is well over 300lbs., and the Giant picks him up with relative ease.

After the match, Luger hits the ring before the Giant can chokeslam Norton again. He tries to attack the Giant but gets swatted outside the ring like a common housefly. The Giant follows him and kicks him down the aisle. He then grabs the VIP table in order to chokeslam Luger through it again. However, Luger responds with a 50-yard field goal, if you catch my drift. Luger then grabs the champagne bucket and nails the Giant in the back of the neck. Bubba, Morrus, and the Taskmaster come to the Giant’s rescue.

Luger comes to the broadcast table and cuts a promo on the Giant.

Match 6: Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves) versus Billy Kidman


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Regal and not a terrible debut for Kidman.

After the match, Sting hits the ring and nails Regal. The reaction by Regal is extraordinary.

Match 7: Public Enemy versus the Nasty Boys


Rating: **

Summary: Crappy finish to a wild brawl. You’d think these guys would use the house show circuit to practice their matches for TV so that they’d look great for the masses. Well, they didn’t here. Sorry.

After the match, Knobbs took the garbage can and threw it at Rocco’s head. KA-BONG!

Uh oh. I’m starting not to feel well. No, it can’t be. Yuck. It’s another Hogan promo video. Where’s the Giant to stop this chicanery? And pass the Pepcid, please.

At the WCW Power Plant, McMichael and Greene train for their PPV tag match as Chris Cruise narrates the promo. After we revisit highlights about Heenan and Savage’s coaching appointments, the “Macho Man” snaps into the Power Plant and amps up the football players.

Match 8 for the WCW World tag team titles: Sting & the “Total Package” Lex Luger (champions) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson (w/ Woman & Elizabeth)


Rating: ***

Summary: Good main event with a crappy finish. More on this later.

With the Giant in the corner, Luger charges but eats a forearm. The Giant pulls down the strap. Who does he think he is, Jerry Lawler? Anyways, Scott Steiner runs in and hits the Giant with a wooden chair to no avail. Sting has a second wooden chair, but they have no effect on the World champion. Hart instructs his protégé to wait until Sunday to exact revenge on Luger. In accordance, the Giant walks away from the ring.

In the aisle, Okerlund interviews the Giant. The latter refers to Luger as a “dead man.”

Back at the broadcast table, Heenan loses his mind about the tag match at the PPV then hightails it as “Ramon” makes his weekly visit. This week, “Ramon” is wearing black rather than denim. Suddenly, “Diesel” comes up from behind Bischoff. He runs down WCW’s slogan and confuses his grammar. Adjective? He then makes a Marge Schott joke then mentions a paleontologist for the “fossils” here in WCW. Next, he asks about Hogan and “Blunder in Paradise” which even I find funny. Bischoff tells them to show up in Baltimore, and he’ll arrange the “fight.” Before leaving, “Diesel” stated that “the measuring stick just changed around here.” Truer words were never spoken.

Conclusion: Amazing! Nash and Hall show up at the very end maintaining the audience tuned in for their appearance, and they bring the goods. I truly cannot wait for the PPV to see what happens next.

As far as the rest of the program is concerned, the opening match and the main event are worthwhile, but the very end is historic and can’t-miss-TV. Do I even want to know what’s on RAW?

TV Rating: 2.60

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Fayetteville, NC

Airdate: June 10, 1996 (taped 5/27)

Attendance: 5,000 (4,200 paid) beginning to get bored

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Opening montage.

Prior to the first match, Lawler has a present for the Warrior…a framed portrait of him. Excellent work!

We revisit the 1994 King of the Ring where Owen became King then this year’s Slammies when Owen won his first Slammy award.

Match 1 (King of the Ring qualifier): Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) versus Yokozuna


Rating: *

Summary: Owen didn’t work with Yokozuna. He worked AROUND Yokozuna.

We see highlights of action from Rosemont, IL involving the Warrior and WWF champion Shawn Michaels.

WWF Attitude Adjustment Tour:

  1. Thursday, June 13 in Salt Lake City, UT
  2. Friday, June 14 in Denver, CO
  3. Saturday, June 15 in Phoenix, AZ
  4. Sunday, June 16 in St. Louis, MO
  5. Saturday, June 22 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

In a WWF Action Zone exclusive, Jake “The Snake” Roberts spoke out about his past drug abuse.

Prior to the next match, Jim Ross interviews a despondent Yokozuna. The latter states that he needs “to find himself.”

RAW is sponsored by milk. It does Sable’s body good.

Match 2 (King of the Ring qualifier): “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Bodydonna Skip


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Somewhat sloppy match for these guys. This had serious potential to be a better match.

Vince supplies the address to submit your resume to be the next manager of the Bodydonnas.

Next week on RAW, Owen faces Mero and Stone Cold Steve Austin squares off against Savio Vega in the KOTR quarterfinals.

The Sega Saturn slam of the week was Vega’s pulling of the strap at Beware of Dog 2 sending Austin ribs-first into the apron. OUCH!

Promo for the King of the Ring “in two weeks.”

Vince is in the ring with Lawler and a cap-wearing Warrior? That’s odd to say the least. Lawler sucks up to Warrior by giving him the portrait I mentioned earlier. Warrior sees through this ruse, shills his cap, and vows to “kick (Lawler’s) ass.” In response, Lawler smashes the portrait over the back of Warrior’s head. As the crowd chants his name, Warrior chases Lawler back to the dressing room. Weird promo to hype the PPV main event.

Promo for King of the Ring only on PPV on June 23.

We revisit the glass shattering from before the commercial break.

Once again, we revisit the ending to the title match at Beware of Dog.

Before the Undertaker enters the ring, we see the ending of the Undertaker-Goldust match at Beware of Dog 2.

Match 3: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette, Owen, and his wife Diana)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Remember, folks, Smith was the #1 contender to the WWF title and he won this match by countout? Yuck.

A close-up shot shows that Mankind was holding Undertaker by the ankle costing him the match. Smith and Mankind double-team the Undertaker, but Cornette instructs Smith to leave the dirty work to the guy in the leather mask. Meanwhile, Mankind delivers a piledriver to the Undertaker in the ring. Before he can apply the Mandible claw, officials put a stop to it.

Conclusion: This is the kind of stuff the WWF used to oppose Nitro? This was utter garbage. While the Warrior interview received jeers by Lawler on The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD, the match wasn’t the catalyst to sell tickets in ’96. Skip this episode PLEASE.

TV Rating: 2.70

Who won? How in the blue blazes did RAW win with that terrible episode? Well, in spite of everything awesome in WCW, the Undertaker-Bulldog match was something the audience hadn’t seen before whereas the Horsemen versus Sting & Luger match was old news. I also think despite the obvious bait-and-switch Nitro tried to pull, people saw through it. I’m certain that “Diesel’s” Nitro debut occurred in the overrun, so the audience didn’t miss it either. Not to give anything away, but this episode marked the last time in over EIGHTY (80) weeks that RAW would win the ratings battle. In future reflections, I will describe just how Nitro beats RAW until the tide turns.

Stay tuned for WCW Great American Bash ‘96!

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

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