WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Landover, MD

Airdate: July 1, 1996

Attendance: 7,000 (4,000 paid)

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

Opening montage. Hogan’s still in the opening, yet he hasn’t been on Nitro in weeks.

As Zbyszko rants about a possible new world order coming this Sunday, DDP interrupts by stating that his LOTR ring has been STOLEN! He wants everybody in the building to be STRIP-SEARCHED! Um, DDP, the 4th Amendment wants to have a word with you.

We then revisit last week’s show when the Outsiders (first mention of their name) came out with baseball bats.

Match 1 for the WCW World tag team titles: Harlem Heat (champions) versus the Steiners


Rating: ****

Summary: Improper timing aside, this was an excellent tag match to open the show. The win by Harlem Heat helped to solidify their status as tag champs.

At the VIP table, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the Four Horsemen along with Debra, Woman, and Elizabeth. We revisit the scene when the Horsemen beat up Joe Gomez and the Renegade backstage followed by Mongo’s interference in last week’s match. We finish the recap with Mongo’s embarrassment of Joe Gomez. Amazingly, Debra admits that she’s “a bit high maintenance.” Nah, really? Elizabeth lets everyone know that the money isn’t running out anytime soon. In addition, Arn equates the Four Horsemen to the Supreme Court while Benoit equates himself to a fart: “silent but violent.” HA! Mongo informs us that “money makes the monkey dance.” Bartender, I’ll have what he’s having. Finally, Flair sums it up with “What’s causin’ all this?” Classic Horsemen stuff here.

Glacier promo #9238. Bring him out already! Sheesh!

Match 2: Disco Inferno versus Kurasawa


Rating: ½*

Summary: Since Disco has a match at the PPV, he had to win here. Hopefully, he has a better plan for success on Sunday.

Prior to the next match, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan informs us that he “don’t wear no rings.” I feel sorry for Mrs. Duggan.

Match 3: Diamond Dallas Page versus Scotty Riggs


Rating: *1/2

Summary: DDP’s roll continues.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews DDP. The match between DDP and Duggan will be a taped fist match. DDP then tries to implicate Okerlund as the thief as Okerlund practically begs for legal assistance.

Match 4: “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus Greg “the Hammer” Valentine


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Despite the horrible gaffe by Anderson, Valentine did a good job putting Savage over for the big match at the PPV.

Bischoff opens the second hour by thanking the people for all of the support during his recovery. He then badmouths Nash (first time his name was dropped) as he promotes the main event at Bash at the Beach. As he continues, Nash and “Ramon” walk down the steps with concessions like they’re fans. Nash shows Doug Dillinger three tickets as they sit in the front row. Who’s the third man?

Glacier promo #9239. Blood runs cold? As a matter of fact, my enthusiasm for Glacier is ice cold.

Match 5 for the WCW World title: The Giant (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus John Tenta


Rating: *

Summary: The slam of Tenta along with the dropkick by Tenta earn this match a star. Otherwise, this is DUD city.

After the match, Bubba enters the ring with an electric razor. As Giant holds Tenta, Bubba shaves half of his beard off. If you’ve never seen Big Show in his prime, check out this match purely for his strength.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews the Dungeon of Doom. Bubba cuts a promo on Tenta about their silver dollar match at BatB. In addition, Giant warns Tenta: “Don’t cross the Dungeon of Doom.” Taskmaster tries to cut a promo but is obviously distracted by the Outsiders.

Slim Jim ad featuring “Macho Man’ Randy Savage.

On WCW Saturday Night, the American Males face the Rock’n’Roll Express (aired 7/6, taped 6/19). DDP makes Eddie Jackie feel the bang while Benoit wrestles Cobra. Lastly, Sting, Luger, and Savage tangle with Dick Slater, Mike Enos, and VK Wallstreet in six-man tag action.

Promo for Rey Mysterio, Jr who will face Psicosis at BatB. Wait a minute! While the promo aired, Bischoff instructed the production crew to stop the tape. Nash got on the mic and said “Looks like we’re taking over a little early.” While “Ramon” refers to Bischoff as “Donny Osmond,” Nash taunts Bischoff.

As security tries to escort the Outsiders away, Nash slipped with a subtle F-bomb. Oops. As Savage, Luger, and Sting confront them, Nash calls them “clowns.” A standoff occurs as the crowd chants “Diesel.” Nash then chants “Attica” as he leaves with “Ramon.” Well, that was a lot more entertaining than the Mysterio video.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Duggan who informs us that he found DDP’s ring in the men’s room “toilet.” DDP interrupts and calls Duggan a “thief.” Duggan drops the ring intentionally, wraps his fist with tape, and HAMMERS DDP.

Promo for Bash at the Beach this Sunday only on PPV.

Match 6 (eight-man): “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson, the “Crippler” Chris Benoit, & Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/ Woman, Elizabeth, and Debra) versus the Rock’n’Roll Express, Renegade, and Joe Gomez


Rating: ***

Summary: Showcase match for the Four Horsemen. That botch was terrible.

After the match, Okerlund interviews the Four Horsemen at the entrance. Benoit cuts a promo on Taskmaster and Giant about their upcoming tag match. Along that same thought pattern, Arn mentions taking a body count at the hands of the Horsemen. After Flair then cuts a promo on Konnan, Woman hits on Okerlund to finish the interview.

Backstage, the Outsiders get removed from the building. Nash calls one of them “Sgt. Carter” then offers to buy them donuts. HA! They then leave in a black Chevrolet Corvette convertible.

Conclusion: It may be becoming cliché, but the opener and the main event held the show together. The moments involving the Outsiders were can’t-miss-TV, but some of the matches were bathroom break material.

On the other hand, If Nitro didn’t sell you on Bash at the Beach, then I want to know what they didn’t tell you. I can’t wait for the PPV. What happened on RAW?

TV Rating: 3.30

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Green Bay, WI

Airdate: July 1, 1996 (taped 6/24)

Attendance: 4,660 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Match 1 (non-title): WWF champion Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) versus Marty Jannetty (w/ Leif Cassidy & Jim Cornette)


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Michaels continues to impress me in spite of who his opponent is. Although this was good, he and Jannetty have had better matches than this one.

After the match, Cassidy comes into the ring and attacks Michaels. Within a minute, he eats Sweet Chin Music. Cornette tries to attack Michaels from behind, but Lothario forces him to eat a knuckle sandwich.

Over the weekend on Superstars, Ross interviewed Sunny and Phineas. She apologized to Phineas for mistreating him as Phineas told her that he loved her. When she suggested a kiss, Phineas bent down but received a slap rather than a kiss. She then ran him down like a Mack truck. Immediately, the Smoking Gunns attacked Phineas. Hillbilly Jim and Henry come to Phineas’ rescue, which led to a slop drop by Henry to Bart. Eventually, they were able to isolate Sunny who subsequently got SLOPPED! While I understand this segment got some airtime on RAW, the problem I have is that it should have happened LIVE on RAW rather than on Superstars. That’s the big difference between Nitro and RAW right now.

Prior to the next match, we see clips of WWF on tour in Indianapolis, IN and Cleveland, OH. The latter will host Summerslam next month. We then see clips from Detroit, MI and Pittsburgh, PA.

Match 2: Mankind versus Duke “the Dumpster” Droese


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Mankind. This was Droese’s last televised match until 2001.

After the match, Lawler calls Roberts a “hypocrite” then slaps him twice. Roberts then chokes him until Mankind puts the Mandible claw on him. Officials come out to aid Roberts.

Lex Luger’s music sponsors the WWF Superstar Line again. Ross asks us to spend money to find out why the Ultimate Warrior is in the WWF doghouse. Why? I’ll tell you later in my report. Keep reading!

After a commercial break, we revisit what happened previously with Roberts and Mankind.

Next, we revisit how Goldust ruined last week’s main event.

RAW is sponsored by Burger King.

Match 3: Goldust (w/ Marlena) versus “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable)


Rating: **

Summary: Distraction finishes don’t do much for me, but this was a solid win for Goldust.

Next week on RAW, Vader and Davey Boy Smith face the Godwinns. Also, Owen will wrestle the Ultimate Warrior.

Conclusion: While foundations for future shows were being laid within this episode (e.g. “Moments Ago”), nothing worthwhile happened here. Other than the Shawn-Marty match (which was disappointing by their standards), I wouldn’t have watched the rest of the show whatsoever. What’s the verdict?

TV Rating: 2.60

Who won? Due to reality-based storylines (the invasion of the Outsiders), Nitro won by 0.7. That’s a large margin in 1996! Next week the fallout from Bash at the Beach occurs on Nitro while RAW continues to promote another IYH card that doesn’t have a lot of sizzle to it thus far.

OTHER NEWS THIS WEEK IN WRESTLING HISTORY: While not as newsworthy as a lawsuit and a restraining order, the Ultimate Warrior was the talk of the wrestling world.

Apparently, he missed a lot of shows due to the death of his father. However, according to Warrior, they had been estranged since Jim Hellwig was 3 years old. Vince McMahon can forgive a lot of things, but missing shows is an absolute no-no in his book. I wonder how the WWF will spin this as Warrior is scheduled to compete in the PPV main event.

Stay tuned for WCW Bash at the Beach ’96!

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

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