Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Eric Bischoff, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
INTERESTING TIDBIT: Due to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Turner Broadcasting loaned/rented/whatever their production equipment to other broadcast companies for the Olympics. That caused WCW to air Nitro, Pro, and WCW Saturday Night from the MGM Studios.
Opening montage. Hogan’s still in it despite what happened last night? Huh?
Stills for BatB are shown.
Match 1 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Cross-corner whip by Malenko, but he ate knees on his follow-through.
Flying headscissors by Mysterio was followed by a Mexican arm drag.
Mysterio escaped a vertical suplex, attempted a springboard moonsault, tried a sunset flip, and avoided a right hand. Whew!
After a springboard dropkick from the second rope, Mysterio delivered a second dropkick from the top rope and got 2.
Upon escaping a powerbomb, Mysterio delivered another Mexican arm drag.
Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Malenko turned the tide in his favor though.
Tony shilled Hog Wild on 8/10 from Sturgis, SD where the winner of the upcoming Nasty Boys-Steiners match tonight will face Harlem Heat at the PPV.
After a commercial break, Malenko gave Mysterio a face plant then delivered a powerbomb for 2.
Camel clutch by Malenko who then tried to put a knee into Mysterio’s midsection.
However, Mysterio evaded the attempt and rolled up Malenko for 2.
Gourdbuster on the top rope by Malenko sent Mysterio down to the floor.
Malenko tossed Mysterio outside the ring, joined him, and then gave him a brainbuster! GET OUT THE SPATULA!
Back in the ring, Malenko got 2 off a slam.
Pumphandle slam attempt by Malenko, but Mysterio used momentum to land on top for 2.
Flying headscissors by Mysterio sent Malenko over the top rope down to the floor.
Asai moonsault by Mysterio missed by a mile. HE LANDED ON CONCRETE!
He tossed Malenko back into the ring, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered a huracanrana.
Do we have a new champion?
Springboard moonsault #3 by Mysterio almost got 3.
Top rope gutbuster by Malenko only got 2 because Malenko pulled Mysterio up. Will it cost him?
After giving Mysterio a cross-corner whip, Malenko delivered an overhead suplex for 2.
He pulled him up again. Now he’s asking for it.
West Coast Pop by Mysterio got the pin.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: Told you it would cost him. Malenko has no one to blame but himself. Awesome match! Seek it out pronto!
PEPBOYS sponsors the replay.
Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews both the Nasty Boys and the Steiners. Mutual respect is spat between them.
Blood runs cold, but they’ve removed the arrival date. Might as well scrap it now.
Order the encore presentation of BatB coming tomorrow at 8pm.
Stills from the silver dollars on a pole match are shown.
Match 2: Lord Steven Regal & Squire Dave Taylor (w/ Earl Robert Eaton & Jeeves) versus Big Bubba Rogers & Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Heel versus heel match? Who are the minions in this outdoor studio going to cheer?
A “USA” chant broke out, so the crowd will root for the Dungeon members. Grime over class? Really?
Dropkick from Taylor, but Morrus made him eat a clothesline.
Elbow drop from Regal to Rogers got 2.
Bossman slam by Rogers got 2 thanks to a save by Taylor.
While Taylor delivered a series of European uppercuts to Morrus, Tenta ran in to brawl with Rogers.
The Blue Bloods gave Morrus a double belly-to-back suplex and got the pin.
Summary: More angle than match here as the Tenta-Rogers rivalry isn’t over.
After the match, Tenta rams Rogers into a palm tree. You don’t see that every day.
Ad for the WCW Magazine. The naughty narrator is still fixated on torture. Tsk. Tsk.
On WCW Saturday Night, the Dungeon of Doom are in eight-man tag action while the Horsemen are in six-man tag action. Also, the Public Enemy will face Harlem Heat (aired 7/13, taped 7/9).
Match 3: Eddie Guerrero versus Psicosis
At the beginning of the match, a promo by Mysterio aired in split-screen.
Monkey flip by Psicosis, but Guerrero landed on his feet.
Mexican arm drag by Guerrero sent Psicosis to the floor to regroup.
After a leap frog, Psicosis used momentum to send Guerrero through the ropes to the floor.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a corkscrew plancha. Amazing!
Back in the ring, Psicosis rammed Guerrero shoulder-first into the top turnbuckle.
He then applied a fujiwara arm bar.
According to Tony, Hogan will be on Nitro next week.
Dropkick by Psicosis preceded a knee drop.
Huracanrana by Guerrero got 2.
Psicosis mounted the top turnbuckle but received an inverted atomic drop on the way down.
Cross-corner whip by Guerrero, but he rammed his shoulder into the ring post on his follow-through.
Psicosis placed Guerrero atop to the top turnbuckle, gave him a superhuracanrana, but only got 2.
Guerrero caught Psicosis on the top turnbuckle, but a top rope sunset flip by Psicosis only got 2.
Again Guerrero caught Psicosis on the top turnbuckle and delivered a superplex.
Guerrero mounted the top turnbuckle, hit the frog splash, and got the pin.
Summary: Really good match with a ton of high-flying.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews the Taskmaster and the Giant with Hart. Taskmaster has a solid shiner after what Benoit did to him last night. Of course, they discuss the Hogan heel turn. According to the Giant, as long as he has the World title, “nothing can go wrong.” Famous last words.
Match 4 (#1 contender for the WCW World tag team titles): Nasty Boys versus the Steiners
Double shoulder block by the Nasty Boys got 2 on Rick.
Although he missed a clothesline, Scott gave Sags a butterfly powerbomb.
Next, he ducked a charging Knobbs who ate a Steinerline.
Upon tagging in Sags, Knobbs gave Rick a cross-corner whip that was followed by a Sags clothesline.
Sags gave Rick another cross-corner whip then assisted Knobbs with a corner splash.
That got 2.
Knobbs missed a clothesline then fell victim to a Steiner slam.
Elbow drop and Steinerline got 2 for Rick on Knobbs.
After a cross-corner whip by Scott, he gave Knobbs a T-bone suplex.
Sags tossed Scott outside the ring, brandished a chair, and then walloped him with it.
At this point, Bischoff and Heenan took over on commentary for hour #2.
Meanwhile, Knobbs gave Scott a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Belly-to-belly suplex by Scott got 2.
Scott countered a bear hug with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
In the meantime, Sister Sherri and Colonel Parker were spotted watching the match from the entrance.
While Sherri distracted referee Nick Patrick, Parker nailed Sags with his cane.
The Steiners became the #1 contenders.
Summary: Methinks the happy couple want their team to face the Steiners at Hog Wild.
After the match, a fireworks display occurred. Well, it was Independence week.
In the ring, Okerlund interviews the Nasty Boys. According to Knobbs, they don’t see what was wrong with what Hogan did last night. Yikes!
Prior to the next match, stills from the US title match from BatB are shown.
Match 5 for the WCW US title: Ric Flair (champion w/ Woman, Debra, & Elizabeth) versus Jim Powers
Although Powers used to be partners with Paul Roma, there’s no truth to the rumor that he was offered a spot in the Four Horsemen.
According to Bischoff, he was “buried” in meetings with the WCW Executive Committee rather than being available for the Main Event prior to the PPV. OK…
Flair tossed Powers outside the ring and distracted referee Jimmy Jett. At the same time, Woman raked Powers’ eyes. How dastardly!
Dropkick by Powers was followed by a cross-corner whip.
That resulted in a Flair flip to the floor.
In typical fashion, Flair mouthed off to a fat boy and danced with Woman prior to returning to the ring.
Flair then mounted the top turnbuckle but (sing it with me)…♬came down the haaaaaaaaaaard waaaaaaaaaaay! ♬
A pair of clotheslines by Powers got a pair of 2 counts.
He then missed dropkick #2.
Flair attempted a figure-four leg lock but received an inside cradle for 2 instead.
Another cross-corner whip by Powers, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
Flair then clipped his left knee. (whistle) Personal foul #0 Offense. 15 yards. Still first down.
Knee drop to the knee set up the figure-four leg lock.
Powers submitted as Woman assisted Flair with the hold.
Summary: Showcase match for Flair.
At the VIP table, Okerlund interviews three of the Four Horseman (sans Benoit). Arn takes Hogan to task for forsaking his role model status.
After Heenan gives a pep talk to the WCW wrestlers, a still photo of Luger on a stretcher is shown. Since his status is unknown, Pittman will take his place in the next match.
Match 6: Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman the “Tatal Package” Lex Luger (w/ Teddy Long) versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit
Overhead belly-to-belly suplex by Pittman was followed by a German suplex.
Pittman reversed a cross-corner whip but ate a mule kick on his follow-through.
Head butt to the midsection by Pittman sent Benoit outside the ring to regroup.
After a distraction by Long, Pittman tossed Benoit back into the ring.
Unfortunately for Pittman, he fell prey to a Crippler crossface.
Long threw in the towel for Pittman.
Summary: Showcase match for Benoit.
Match 7: Sting versus Arn Anderson
After Arn tossed Sting outside the ring, he tried a piledriver.
However, Sting countered with a back drop.
During the commercial break, another Glacier promo aired. At this point, all of the wrestlers would like something COLD due to the high humidity in Central Florida.
After the commercial break, Arn countered a leap frog with a SPINEBUSTER. Woohoo!
HARD cross-corner whip by Arn hurt Sting’s back.
Rope-assisted abdominal stretch by Arn, but referee Nick Patrick caught him. SNEAKY!
Splash by Sting hit knees and got a pair of 2 counts for Arn.
While trying to pin Sting’s shoulders down, Arn got caught with a standing leg scissors.
He countered it into a rope-assisted Boston crab.
Meanwhile, a black limousine was parked near the entrance.
When the camera returned to the ring, Arn got a pair of 2 counts.
After a snap mare, Arn mounted the second turnbuckle, attempted a double axehandle, but got caught with a clothesline.
In the meantime, the Outsiders exited the limousine and made their way toward the ring.
Cross-corner whip by Sting was followed by a back drop.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a top rope clothesline for 2.
As the Outsiders made their way to the ring, WCW Security stood between them and the ring.
Savage came to the ring to defend WCW.
The match continued as Arn attempted a DDT, but Sting held the ropes.
He then applied the Scorpion death lock and got the submission.
Summary: More angle than match as the Outsiders’ influence ruined the flow of it.
After the match, WCW Security keeps distance between the Outsiders and Savage & Sting.
In the ring, Okerlund interviews Sting who takes Hogan to task for falling down on the job as a role model. “(The fans) cannot believe in you!” He then tells Hogan to “stick it.” Very passionate promo. Savage refers to Hogan as “Hollywood” Hogan but refrains from saying things that don’t belong either on TV or at Disney World. He’s one up on Pillman in that respect. Finally, Okerlund ends the segment with the ultimate question: “What happened to Hulk Hogan last night?”
Back at the entrance, Okerlund interviews the Outsiders. Nash (with fanny pack) informs us that Hogan will be on Nitro next week. Afterward, Hall notifies us that this portion of Nitro was sponsored by “the Outsiders and Hulk Hogan.” That part may need to be tweaked a little.
To end the program, Bischoff and Heenan discuss the events from last night via still photos.
Conclusion: In regards to Hogan’s heel turn, whether you saw the PPV last night or didn’t, the animosity from the wrestlers as well as the broadcasters in this show told the whole story. Spectacular sales job on the turn performed by WCW.
With respect to the wrestling, the Cruiserweight match was remarkable along with the Guerrero-Psicosis match being really good. By itself, Nitro was an excellent follow-up to the PPV last night. Unless RAW has some special surprise, I don’t smell them getting anywhere near Nitro’s rating.
TV Rating: 3.50
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from Green Bay, WI
Airdate: July 8, 1996 (taped 6/24)
Attendance: 4,660 (sold out but fading quickly)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
BIG NEWS! WWF President Gorilla Monsoon has indefinitely suspended the Ultimate Warrior due to his no-showing of events last weekend. The suspension can be lifted with the presentation of an appearance bond. Monsoon continued by saying that Warrior will wrestle Owen tonight (although the match took place prior to his hiatus). While this certainly smells like angle, it’s actually true.
Match 1: Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) versus the Ultimate Warrior
Vince asked the proverbial question: Will this be the final appearance of the Ultimate Warrior on RAW? The long answer is no due to his appearance in New Orleans in 2014.
Warrior used Owen’s momentum to send him over the top rope down to the floor.
Back at the WWF Studios in Stamford, CT, Michaels and Johnson showed off their belts and promised a third man “in a very short time.” Hmmm…
After a pair of hip tosses, Warrior clotheslined Owen over the top rope to the floor again.
Warrior then brought Owen in the hard way.
Face plant by Warrior was followed by a hair slam.
A pair of cross-corner whips by Warrior preceded a slam.
A third cross-corner whip sent Owen sternum-first to the turnbuckle.
Warrior then gave him a sidewalk slam.
Owen reversed an Irish whip and delivered a spinning heel kick.
Warrior no-sold it and ate a clothesline.
Not so surprisingly, Warrior no-sold that but ate another clothesline.
Vertical suplex attempt by Owen reversed by Warrior.
Splash by Warrior hit knees.
Elbow drop by Owen preceded a commercial break.
While Owen distracted referee Earl Hebner, Cornette nailed Warrior with the butt of his tennis racquet.
Running guillotine by Owen was followed by an enziguri.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick.
That earned Owen a 2 count along with a trip through the ropes to the floor due to Warrior’s kick-out.
Sharpshooter attempt, but Warrior kicked him away.
As Smith came to ringside, Warrior gave Owen a series of clotheslines.
He then delivered his flying shoulder block.
Will the Warrior defeat Owen by pinfall?
No, Smith came into the ring causing the DQ.
Summary: This was all Owen as Warrior’s act went stale on him.
After the match, Warrior clotheslines Smith from behind then catches an incoming Vader with a right hand. The numbers catch up with Warrior as Smith delivers his running powerslam. Owen remounts the top turnbuckle and hammers Warrior with the cast. While Owen and Smith hold Warrior, Vader gives him the Vader bomb.
“Moments ago” Warrior gets assistance from officials. RIP Warrior.
Meanwhile, Michaels and Johnson once again threaten us with a third man. O-kay.
Prior to the next match, Pillman comes up behind Vega, but J.J. Dillon stops him before any shenanigans take place.
Back on 5/18 (taped 4/30) on Superstars, Vega and Bradshaw traded shots with the strap and the bull rope respectively.
RAW is sponsored by the WWF Magazine. Vic Venom can’t be far behind.
Match 2: Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw (w/ Uncle Zebekiah) versus Savio Vega
Hip toss by Bradshaw, but he missed an elbow drop.
Cross-corner whip by Vega who then gave Bradshaw a leg lariat that propelled Vega down to the floor.
That earned a 2 count for Vega.
Bulldog by Bradshaw got 2.
While Bradshaw distracted referee Mike Chioda, Uncle Zebekiah nailed Vega in the midsection with the branding iron.
After a slam, Bradshaw got another 2 count.
Sleeper by Bradshaw, but Vega escaped with elbows to the midsection.
Vega then followed up with a cross body block for 2.
Big boot by Bradshaw preceded an elbow drop for 2.
HARD cross-corner whip by Bradshaw hurt Vega’s back.
Vince name-dropped newcomers Freddie Joe Floyd (Tracy Smothers) and Who (Jim Neidhart). Their RAW debuts cannot be too far into the future.
After a slam, Vega attempted a slam, but Bradshaw rolled over to nullify the effect. Oops.
That actually got 2 for Vega.
After Vega missed a dropkick, Bradshaw hit a leg drop for 2.
Sleeper #2 by Bradshaw bored the crowd mercilessly.
Cross-corner whip by Vega but he ate boot on his follow-through.
Yet another elbow drop by Bradshaw got 2.
During the commercial break, the WWF tour spots included:
Albany, NY on 7/11.
Worcester, MA on 7/12.
Portland, ME on 7/13.
Bangor, ME on 7/14.
Vancouver, BC on 7/21 for the PPV.
After the commercial break, Bradshaw gave Vega a pumphandle slam for 2.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying shoulder block that only got 2.
Piledriver attempt by Bradshaw countered into a back drop.
Cross-corner whip by Bradshaw, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
Vega then delivered a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
After a back drop by Vega, Uncle Zebekiah got up on the apron only to get nailed by Vega.
As Vega came off the ropes, Uncle Zebekiah tripped him. At the same time, Bradshaw accidentally guillotined himself on the top rope.
Spinning heel kick by Vega got the pin.
Summary: WAY too long a match for these two in the ring. Hopefully, future matches can help them with their timing and execution.
After the match, Uncle Zebekiah distracts Vega so that Bradshaw can nail him from behind. Bradshaw then knocks Vega into the middle of 1998 with the cowbell. After the replay, Vega has a brand on his right cheek.
Back at the WWF Studios, Michaels and Johnson continue to drag out the mystery partner hijinks. Vince then shills next week’s show that involves a WWF title match between Michaels and Billy Gunn. Also, Johnson defends the Intercontinental title against Bart Gunn.
Footage from both East Rutherford, NJ and New Haven, CT was shown.
Match 3: The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim) versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith & Vader (w/ Jim Cornette)
Henry reversed a hip toss by Smith with one of his own.
Simultaneously, Cornette provided guest color commentary.
As Henry came off the ropes, Vader put a well-placed knee in his back.
HARD cross-corner whip by Vader hurt Henry’s back.
Vertical suplex attempt by Vader countered into one by Henry.
He then reversed an Irish whip that allowed Phineas to put a well-placed knee in Vader’s back. Turnabout is fair play, after all.
Henry followed up with a clothesline.
Splash by Phineas got 2.
Vader reversed an Irish whip and clotheslined Phineas.
HARD cross-corner whip by Smith to Phineas knocked the Godwinn off his feet.
Bulldog by Phineas got another 2 on Smith.
Double head butt by Smith and Vader put Phineas down on the mat.
Yet another cross-corner whip by Vader preceded an avalanche.
Short-arm clothesline by Vader, but he missed a second one.
Clothesline by Henry got 2 on Vader.
Cross-corner whip by Henry, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
Another clothesline by Vader was followed by his running body block.
After a slam, Bulldog hit a leg drop on Henry for 2.
Knee to the midsection by Bulldog transitioned into a Vader splash for 2.
A second splash by Vader made Cornette leave the broadcast table.
Henry countered a side headlock with a belly-to-back suplex.
After an elbow drop to Henry’s back, Vader gave him the Vader bomb on his back but only got 2.
Another cross-corner whip by Vader was followed by avalanche #2.
When Vader attempted avalanche #3, Henry caught and powerslammed him.
Hot tag Phineas.
As Phineas nailed Vader in the corner, Smith charged but ran into Vader accidentally.
Slam by Phineas got 2 on Smith thanks to an elbow drop save by Vader.
All four men were in the ring.
As referee Jim Korderas put Henry back in his corner, Smith gave Phineas a powerslam.
Summary: While a competitive match for Camp Cornette, it wasn’t a very good one.
Back at WWF Studios, Michaels and Johnson continue to tease who their partner is.
Ad for the WWF Superstar Line (with Lex Luger’s theme) narrated by Jim Ross.
Backstage, Cornette believes Michaels and Johnson are bluffing.
Back at WWF Studios, Michaels and Johnson reveal their third man to be…Sycho Sid who whispers his return promo to scare Cornette.
Cornette is flabbergasted and apoplectic!
Conclusion: While the opening match is historical for the wrong reasons, the rest of the program was awful. Yes, the WWF paid off its tease with a third man, but that part was probably the second-best part of the whole program. There’s no way this episode stood up well against Nitro.
TV Rating: 2.50
Who won? I was right. Nitro won by a full ratings point. The news of Hogan’s heel turn caused viewers to focus their attention on WCW. Next week, Nitro promises a freshly heel-turned Hogan while RAW promises matches involving their singles champions. I don’t like RAW’s chances next week either.
IN OTHER NEWS THIS WEEK: The Helmsley de-push continued as he did jobs for Marc Mero in Madison, WI, Louisville, KY, Indianapolis, IN, Detroit, MI, Pittsburgh, PA, East Rutherford, NJ, New Haven, CT, and Providence, RI. I bet he can count how many lights are fixed above the ring by now. Considering he’s the WWF champion for the FOURTEENTH time, it’s fun to look at the other side of the coin sometimes.