WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Charlotte, NC

Airdate: June 24, 1996

Attendance: 6,000 (4,238 paid)

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

Opening montage.

Tony opens the program noting that Bischoff is still recuperating and will not be hosting the second hour. A LOUD “We Want Flair” chant begins as we revisit the interview from GAB where Bischoff ate a powerbomb for our pleasure.

Back in the locker room, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Savage, Sting, and Luger. All three men wear face paint in support for WCW. Next, we revisit a segment from three weeks ago when “Ramon” tossed his toothpick at Sting. Luger then almost says “WWF” before correcting himself. Suddenly, Scott Steiner interrupts then Harlem Heat stand with their backs to the camera and are ready for the triangle match tonight. Okerlund throws it back to Tony as all six men argue with one another.

Match 1: The Blue Bloods (w/ Jeeves & Earl Robert Eaton) versus the Public Enemy


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Creative finish for a hot crowd.

1-800-COLLECT sponsors the replay.

Match 2: The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Kip Abee


Rating: NONE

Afterwards, Okerlund is in the ring with Jimmy Hart. The Taskmaster joins them and cuts a promo on Benoit. Another LOUD “We Want Flair” chant emanates from the crowd. Consequently, Hart makes fun of Flair.

Blood runs cold…Glacier…coming to WCW…July 1996…perhaps?

Match 3 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus “Hardwork” Bobby Walker


Rating: *

Summary: The hot crowd only popped for Disco Inferno so his involvement here was necessary for both this match and their upcoming PPV match.

After the match, Okerlund interviews Malenko in the ring. Disco Inferno joins him in the ring and shoots on Malenko about Nitro being all about ratings. How true it is! Malenko finishes the segment but cutting a quick promo on Disco Inferno.

Ad for the Bash at the Beach on July 7 only on PPV.

On WCW Saturday Night, Sting & Luger will team with Savage in six-man action against Meng, Barbarian, and Maxx. Also, Rey Mysterio will wrestle against Billy Kidman. Lastly, Eaton will face John Tenta (aired, 6/29, taped 6/19).

Match 4: Eddie Guerrero versus the Barbarian (w/o Meng)


Rating: ***

Summary: Surprising finish to a brief big man-small man match-up.

In the ring, Okerlund interviews Guerrero. We revisit Guerrero’s match against Konnan at Uncensored. For that reason, Guerrero wants another shot at the US title and wishes Sting, Luger, and Savage luck against the invaders.

Match 5: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson & the “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Mongo) versus the Rock’n’Roll Express


Rating: **1/2

Summary: With the crowd firmly in the back pocket of the Horsemen, the tag formula died a miserable death, but they made the most of it.

After the match, Joe Gomez hits the ring but gets nailed by Mongo with the Haliburton. As Arn and Benoit hold him, Mongo slapped the taste out of his mouth. Immediately, Savage and KEVIN GREENE hit the ring while the crowd both boos and cheers.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Flair with Woman, Elizabeth, and Debra. The rest of the Horsemen show up as Mongo goes crazy. Lastly, Flair runs down Konnan. They truly did NOT want the Charlotte crowd to scream in favor of Flair during the telecast.

Match 6 for the Lord of the Ring: Diamond Dallas Page (holder) versus “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: The big push of DDP continues. With the exception of heat, Wright brought everything else.

Okerlund interviews DDP in the ring and informs DDP that he will face “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in a taped-fist match at the PPV. DDP then runs down both Duggan and his grandmother. How scummy!

Blood runs cold one more time. Considering how hot it gets in the South in late June, everyone likes something cold.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Kevin Greene. We revisit the swerve at GAB. Greene then pumps the crowd with some Panther pride. After football season, he’s going Mongo hunting and seeks revenge on the Four Horsemen.

Match 7: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Kevin Greene) versus VK Wallstreet


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Wallstreet was game, but Savage has a PPV main event slot to keep.

Ad for the WCW Magazine. The naughty narrator mentions torture and the Booty Babe in a single breath. Tsk tsk.

Match 8 for the WCW World tag team titles (triangle): Sting & the “Total Package” Lex Luger (champions) versus the Steiners versus Harlem Heat


Rating: **

Summary: While the Harlem Heat victory was secondary to the invasion angle, this match could have been a lot better than it was.

After the match, a standoff between the invaders and the police finishes the program.

Conclusion: Considering the pro-Horsemen/Flair crowd, WCW had a difficult time putting on a great show. The ending, while hot, was anticipated because Tony had predicted their involvement throughout the program. In spite of that, he did an excellent job of selling the very important PPV happening in less than two weeks.

TV Rating: 3.20

Dark match after the taping: To appease the Charlotte faithful, Flair competed in the main event and pinned Savage after nailing him with brass knuckles.

WWF Monday Night RAW

Live from Green Bay, WI

Airdate: June 24, 1996

Attendance: 4,660 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Match 1 (non-title): WWF Intercontinental champion Ahmed Johnson versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley


Rating: **

Summary: The Johnson push continues although the middle portion of his matches aren’t meaty at all.

In the ring, Hendrix interviews Johnson. Lawler referred to Johnson as the “Buster Douglas of the WWF.” Johnson’s promo was barely intelligible. Maybe next time I’ll use closed-captioning.

Promo for the replay of last night’s PPV.

FootAction USA Slam of the Week: Jannetty gave Skip a super powerbomb on the Free for All.

RAW is sponsored by Burger King and FootAction USA.

Prior to the match, we get video snippets of contestants for the Bodydonnas’ managerial search. The less said the better.

Match 2: The Bodydonnas (w/ Kloudy) versus the Brooklyn Brawler & Jerry Fox


Rating: *

Summary: The ONLY reason to watch this match rather than Nitro was Sunny’s commentary.

After the match, Kloudy dances in front of Sunny then chases her around the ring.

Next week on RAW, WWF Champion Shawn Michaels faces Marty Jannetty.

Kloudy then chases Lawler away from the broadcast table.

Prior to the next match, Vince shills IYH VIII: International Incident from General Motors Place in Vancouver, BC. The PPV will take place on 7/21. Get your tickets now by calling 604-280-4400.

Match 3: Owen Hart, Vader, and the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette and Diana Smith) versus Savio Vega, Aldo Montoya, & Barry Horowitz


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for the heel main-eventers of the PPV.

Another promo for the replay of KOTR ’96.

Prior to the next match, Brian Pillman came to the ring on crutches.

Warrior motivational ad.

Vince interviews Pillman who swears on live TV. Afterwards, Vince apologizes for Pillman’s words from both tonight and last night.

Match 4: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) versus King Stone Cold Steve Austin


Rating: **

Summary: These two need to work on their chemistry to get the fans in attendance behind them. I’m certain there will be a rematch between these two down the road.

After the match, Undertaker bows down to the urn. Lawler enters the ring and chastises the Undertaker about Bearer’s possible intentional shot last night.

Conclusion: RAW served two purposes—get the winners from last night over and sell next month’s PPV. It accomplished their goals but didn’t provide good matches in the process. Considering it was the fallout show from the PPV, its number should be good, right?

TV Rating: 2.70

Who won? Not as good as Nitro’s! WCW hooked their audience with the Horsemen and kept them with the invasion angle. While RAW promises Shawn vs. Marty (again) and Goldust vs. Mero, WCW has the go-home show for BatB to broadcast. Hopefully, both shows are better than this week’s shows were.

OTHER NEWS THIS WEEK IN WRESTLING HISTORY: Do you recall my mentioning Jerry McDevitt and the WWF suing WCW in prior reflections? Well, on 6/20, Titan Sports filed suit against Turner Broadcasting, WCW, and Eric Bischoff citing Scott Hall and Kevin Nash’s involvement in WCW.

The four issues involved are:

The damages that the WWF is seeking as restitution include forfeiting all prior profits involving the invasion angle along with triple the value of the PPV profits, punitive damages, and attorney fees. Yikes!

Wait! That’s not all! There’s more!

In addition to the lawsuit, Titan Sports also filed a restraining order that documented the following:

Attorney David Dunn who spoke on behalf of WCW maintained that the character of Razor Ramon was loosely based upon WCW character the Diamond Studd; therefore, Hall’s mannerisms do not reflect trademark infringement.

Vince McMahon stated that he regretted filing the suit but needed to protect his company.

If you thought the Monday Night War between the programs was hot, the details surrounding the shows appear to be just as hot if not hotter.

Stay tuned for week 43 of the Monday Night War!

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

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