WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Richmond, VA

Airdate: June 17, 1996

Attendance: 5,638

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

Opening montage.

Instead of sitting at ringside, Tony and Zbyszko are now sitting at the broadcast position near the entrance. Due to the attack on Bischoff last night, Tony will be the play-by-play announcer all night. Additionally, now that Mongo has joined the Four Horsemen, Zbyszko will no longer refer to him as “Dumbo.”

We revisit the interview segment of the “intruders” but the ending isn’t shown.

Tony shills Bash at the Beach on 7/7 only on PPV.

Match 1: Rick Steiner versus Stevie Ray


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Short and sweet, but not terrible. Anything longer could have been worse.

After the match, Booker T hits the ring and gives Rick a standing leg lariat. Stevie Ray then gives him a powerbomb. As Booker T mounts the top turnbuckle, Scott hits the ring to protect his brother and takes a forearm shot to the back when Booker T comes down.

1-800-COLLECT sponsors the replay.

Match 2: Disco Inferno versus “Desperado” Joe Gomez


Rating: **

Summary: Good debut for Gomez, but he will need some seasoning in WCW’s mid card in order to improve.

After a commercial break, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Flair with Woman, Elizabeth, and Debra McMichael. According to Debra, it was all about the Benjamins. Flair then cuts a promo on Savage.

Match 3: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson & the “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus the American Males


Rating: ***

Summary: The pairing of Arn and Benoit is a great idea. I wonder where they go from here.

In the ring, Okerlund interviews Arn and Benoit. According to Benoit, the Horsemen are about guts, glamor, and glory.

Match 4: John Tenta versus Bubba Rogers (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Tenta won the big man match. That dropkick was a sight to behold.

After the match, Tenta chases after Hart. As Hart runs into the ring, he drops a loaded sock by Rogers. Taking the loaded sock, Rogers wallops Tenta repeatedly. Once Rogers finishes his dirty work, he opens the sock to reveal numerous coins. Zbyszko asks the proverbial question: “More of “Macho Man’s alimony?” HA!

Outside the ring, Okerlund interviews Rogers who actually shills the Bash replay tomorrow night.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Savage. Considering his prior behavior on Nitro, Savage was somewhat subdued.

The second hour counts down as Savage made his entrance. Instead of going to the ring, Savage chases Heenan toward the ring. In what may be called the Great Escape, Heenan is able to avoid getting his brains scrambled and return to the broadcast table.

Match 5: “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Woman, Elizabeth, & Debra McMichael)


Rating: ***

Summary: This was a lot more angle than match. With that being said, Savage and Flair can tear the house down in almost every way possible.

After the match, the Horsemen stomp the bejeezus out of Savage.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews the Taskmaster with the Giant and Hart. Like Benoit, the Taskmaster wears battle scars on his face. The Giant refers to himself as “the best that came out of the Dungeon of Doom” then uses a nursery rhyme to finish his promo.

Blood runs cold—GLACIER-coming to WCW.

We revisit stills from the interview of the “intruders” at the Great American Bash where they beat up Bischoff and put him through a table. We also see stills from the Horsemen tag match and the falls-count-anywhere match. Catch the replay tomorrow night!

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Rey Mysterio, Jr. He respects Malenko but wants a clean match this time as opposed to last night.

Match 6 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.


Rating: ****

Summary: Mysterio wanted a clean match. He got one. And we got a heck of a match.

Ad for the WCW Magazine. Now the naughty narrator talks about Lex Luger and torture. What kind of fluff is this rag anyways? Sheesh!

Match 7 for the WCW World title: The Giant (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Scott Steiner


Rating: **

Summary: That T-bone suplex is a sight to behold.

Glacier promo #2. Coming in July 1996. Really?

MAIN EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Okerlund announces that from the top six wrestlers in WCW, three will face the “intruders” and their “surprise buddy” at Bash at the Beach. The six names include:

  1. Hulk Hogan
  2. The Giant
  3. Ric Flair
  4. Lex Luger
  5. Sting
  6. Randy Savage

According to Okerlund, the three men will be Lex Luger, Randy Savage, and Sting.

Conclusion: As a fallout show, it performed extremely well. As a Nitro, the second hour was good TV. I wonder how RAW was counter-programmed.

TV Rating: 3.40 (Wow!)

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Fayetteville, NC

Airdate: June 17, 1996 (taped 5/27)

Attendance: 5,000 (4,200 paid and bored out of their gourd)

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

In lieu of the opening montage, we revisit Beware of Dog 2 and the Caribbean strap match.

Match 1 (King of the Ring qualifier): Stone Cold Steve Austin versus Savio Vega


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Yes, folks, that would be the debut of the Stone Cold Stunner. It earned the match an extra ˝*.

Next, we revisit the Undertaker-Mankind rivalry from the beginning (three months ago) to last week. A quick Undertaker promo follows.

The Sega Saturn Slam of the Week was Roberts’ DDT of Justin Hawk Bradshaw to advance to the KOTR semifinals against Vader.

Short tribute to the befallen Dick Murdoch. He was a former WWF tag team champion.

RAW is sponsored by Burger King.

A highlight from Superstars features Owen making Barry Horowitz submit to the Sharpshooter (aired 6/15, taped 5/28). However, referee Harvey Wippleman reverses the decision.

Match 2 (King of the Ring qualifier): “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Solid win for Mero as he prepares to meet Austin at the PPV.

After the match, Owen shoves Mero through the ropes down to the floor. He then leaps from the apron and nails Mero with the cast. Trainers provide medical attention to Mero.

In the ring, Ross interviews the #1 contender to the WWF title—Davey Boy Smith with his wife Diana. He vows to take Michaels’ title from him this Sunday on PPV. In addition, he doesn’t give a “frog’s fat ass” where Michaels is. Speaking of the WWF Champion, Michaels runs into the ring and brawls with Smith. Officials, referees, and jobbers fail miserably to keep them apart.

Lex Luger’s entrance music and Dok Hendrix shill the WWF Superstar line. They hype five new WWF Superstars who will make their debuts soon. Since I know who they are, it’s not worth spoiling, so I’ll wait for their individual debuts.

Ad for the King of the Ring this Sunday on PPV featuring Lawler.

Briefly, Mero was shown conscious on a stretcher backstage.

Match 3: Aldo Montoya versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley


Rating: NONE

The Olympic torch makes its way through Stamford, CT right outside Titan Towers. Inside the building, Brian Pillman, severely injured in a Humvee accident, signs a contract with the WWF. To say WCW was not pleased by this would be a huge understatement. Pillman thanks Dillon, Monsoon, and the rest of the WWF family for the opportunity.

We revisit the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation performed by Goldust on Ahmed Johnson. The latter was obviously infuriated.

REAL Match 3 (non-title): WWF Intercontinental champion Goldust (w/ Marlena) versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts


Rating: DUD

Summary: WORST RAW main event of the Monday Night War thus far.

After the match, Wippleman reverses the decision after seeing gold dust on Roberts’ face. Upon learning of his defeat, Goldust tries to mess with Roberts but falls victim to a DDT instead.

MAIN EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Who is the special guest referee? Cornette informs us that it is…(drum roll please) Mr. Perfect!

Conclusion: Purpose of RAW this week:

  1. shill the PPV on Sunday (check).
  2. provide consistent entertainment throughout the hour (barely a check).
  3. give the audience worthwhile matches (no way, Jose!)

With Michaels only being given a minute of time on the show, the mid card fodder barely held the show together. I expected a lot more out of Owen-Mero than what took place. Skip this episode!

TV Rating: 2.30 (Ouch!)

Who won? As I mentioned last time, I will describe how Nitro won the ratings battle. They won by using three little words. Better Quality Entertainment. With the Bash being a great PPV and the Bischoff segment becoming instant water cooler chatter, Nitro had everyone tuned in to see what was going to happen next. I certainly can’t wait. But I have one job first…

Stay tuned for another special treat!!

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

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