WCW Monday Nitro
Live from Lake Buena Vista, FL
Airdate: July 29, 1996
Attendance: 450 (0 paid)
Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Eric Bischoff, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Tony promotes two title defenses tonight—the Giant will defend the World title against the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson while Cruiserweight champion Rey Mysterio, Jr. will defend against Eddie Guerrero. Also, the American Males will face the Steiners. Sounds like a great card. Afterwards, Zbyszko coins the phrase “new world odor.”
Next, we see a video (taped 7/24) from Cincinnati, OH (courtesy of WCW Saturday Night) where the Outsiders attacked Sting while he was loading his trunk.
Before I forget, at the same Cincinnati show, the Steiners won the WCW World tag team titles from Harlem Heat. However, on 7/27 in Dayton, OH, Harlem Heat regained the titles. Don’t miss a WCW house show ‘cuz you never know what’ll happen.
Match 1: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan versus Mike Enos (w/o Colonel Parker)
Summary: Duggan’s involvement on the show here was merely for patriotic purposes while the Olympics are underway.
PEPBOYS sponsors the replay.
In the ring, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Duggan who questions Hogan’s intentions. Duggan then shows his lack of intelligence by noting that Hogan is a great technical wrestler.
Slim Jim ad featuring “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
On WCW Saturday Night, Flair will face Chavo Guerrero, Jr. Also, the Giant squares off against Nasty Boy Brian Knobbs, and Savage will face Chris Benoit.
Match 2 (six-man): “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the “Crippler” Chris Benoit, & Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/ Woman, Elizabeth, and Debra) versus Sting, the “Total Package” Lex Luger, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Summary: Good main event (in the middle of the show) until the abrupt finish.
Backstage, Arn Anderson is down writhing in pain. The Outsiders have aluminum baseball bats and have nailed Marcus Bagwell. A clueless Riggs checks on his partner and takes a lighting fixture shot to the head by Hall. From the railing of the adjacent trailer, Rey Mysterio, Jr. leaps at Kevin Nash but is caught. Nash then transforms Mysterio from cruiserweight into a human javelin against the trailer. OUCH! As the Outsiders get into their stretch limousine, Savage chases after them. In fact, he jumps atop the limousine to reach through the moonroof.
In the aftermath, chaos has taken place. Woman shrieks “someone call an ambulance!” After a commercial break, a WCW trainer checks on Arn while the Horsemen console him. While another trainer checks on Bagwell, a fire engine pulls up. From the Monday Night War DVD, Bischoff stated that the event was SO real that neighbors in the area thought it was actual and called 911.
While Eddie Guerrero and Alex Wright check on him, Mysterio screams “there were FOUR” as Wright claims, as far as we know at this point, there are only three members of the nWo. A pair of ambulances pull up behind the fire engine as an enraged Mongo shouts at the injustice. Paramedics remove the mask, but Mysterio covers his face for the camera.
As the paramedics load Mysterio into an ambulance, Wright joins him. Meng appears and gets into a shoving match with a disconsolate Benoit. That doesn’t sound very smart, even for Meng. Tony apologizes for the interruption as we take another break.
The second hour begins sans fireworks. Bischoff and Heenan are on camera, but Heenan, due to his neck issues, walks off. Somberly, Bischoff describes what has transpired while paramedics load Arn onto a stretcher. As the chaos continues backstage, Tony and Bischoff discuss standby matches while the listless crowd chants “BORING.”
As paramedics load Arn into the ambulance, Flair and Woman join him. Next, we see Sting holding the baseball bat. Doesn’t he know that’s tampering with evidence? He could be charged with obstruction of justice! Bischoff actually notes that Bagwell trains at Sting and Luger’s gym in Atlanta. Believe it or not, paramedics load Bagwell into the same ambulance as Arn then Sting joins them! Kayfabe? What’s that?
OK, I feel better as a paramedic tells Sting “there will be no fights in here.” As fireworks explode, Bischoff informs us of upcoming stand-by matches.
Match 3: The Steiners versus High Voltage
Summary: You don’t want to mess with the Steiners when they’re distracted. That screwdriver looked VICIOUS! Welcome to WCW, High Voltage.
As the ambulances leave the premises, Bischoff states that Rogers will fill Mysterio’s place in the next match.
Match 4: Eddie Guerrero versus Big Bubba Rogers (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Summary: Stand-by matches, by nature, are booked on the fly, so it was obvious that these guys could not map out a great match with short notice.
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
Cue the NEW nWo logo and music as Hall, Nash, and Hogan promote themselves in black and white film. After they discuss future growth within, Nash jokingly asks Luger “Whattaya bench?” Afterward, Hall tells Sting and Luger “don’t sing it, bring it.” To finish the segment, Hogan closes with “the Giant shall crumble and fall at Hulk Hogan’s feet.”
THE PRECEDING ANNOUCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
Wow! That was a cutting edge promo if there ever was one. They did an excellent job selling their matches at the upcoming PPV as well as establishing themselves as the new force to be challenged in WCW.
Bischoff left the broadcast table as Tony informs us that Bischoff is not only the play-by-play announcer for hour #2 of Nitro but also the executive producer of WCW. Therefore, he has other responsibilities to fulfill. We then revisit what happened earlier.
Match 5 for the WCW World title: The Giant (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Summary: Did ANYONE think Valentine had a gambler’s chance here? Not me.
In the ring, Okerlund interviews the Giant (w/ Hart). Giant quotes Hogan before clarifying himself. Great promo by Giant selling his match against Hogan here. In the meantime, Hart promises the Giant will take Hogan out. We close the program with the human javelin spot.
Conclusion: From a wrestling standpoint, this show sucked. However, as an innovative crash-TV type of show, it worked in spades. Also, WCW brought the fourth wall down a couple of times as to not insult its audience. Both the nWo attack and their promo are historically iconic; therefore, for that fact alone, I recommend this show to all wrestling fans. What’s on RAW?
TV Rating: 3.00
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from Seattle, WA
Airdate: July 29, 1996 (taped 7/22)
Attendance: 6,755 (sold out and still standing)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
According to Vince, Johnson was ambushed by “this intruder” and sidelined with a “ruptured kidney.” OUCH!
Match 1: Sycho Sid versus Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw (w/ Uncle Zebekiah)
Summary: Yeah, let’s protect that Bradshaw guy. He might be somebody someday.
After the match, Bradshaw elbow drops Sid a couple of times as Uncle Zebekiah joins him. After nailing Sid again with the cowbell, they tried to clothesline him with the bullrope, but Sid ducked and gave them a double clothesline. He then gives each of them a powerbomb much to the Seattle faithful’s delight.
Vince then interviews Sunny with Faarooq Asad. They’re seeking the Intercontinental title at Summerslam. Faarooq promises to be fifteen pounds heavier all in gold.
We then revisit the ending to the six-man main event where Vader pinned Michaels.
Match 2: “Marvelous” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Vader (w/ Jim Cornette)
Summary: One time to the well too many cost Mero here. Decent match.
Despite a firearms and controlled substances conviction, Clarence Mason wants Crush reinstated. Monsoon’s ruling was not shown.
The Stridex Biggest Slam of the Week is Sid’s chokeslam and powerbomb of Bradshaw.
Olympic spoof ad for Summerslam coming August 18 only on PPV.
In the ring, Vince interviews both Jose Lothario and Jim Cornette. Briefly, we revisit the Free for All when Lothario knocked down Cornette with one punch. After calling Lothario “an old fossil,” Cornette says he will get even by having Vader beat Michaels at Summerslam. Lothario gets angry and grabs Cornette by the jacket. Upon threatening Cornette, Lothario tried to leave the ring. Cornette then swung back the racquet, but Lothario beat him to the punch so to speak. He then scampers out of the ring for safety as Mankind applies the Mandible Claw to Michaels backstage. I smell an upcoming match between the two in the near future.
Over the weekend on Superstars, Lawler had a match with Aldo Montoya (aired 7/27, taped 7/23) where the latter pinned Lawler after hitting him with a DDT. Earlier, Montoya had dedicated the match to Jake “The Snake” Roberts. An upset Lawler challenges Montoya to a match on RAW next week. Well, that ought to stop the steamrolling train known as the nWo, right?
Backstage, Vince interviews Montoya who accepts Lawler’s challenge.
By the way, where’s the 1-2-3 Kid?
Match 3: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Owen Hart) versus Henry Godwinn (w/ Hillbilly Jim)
Summary: Smith will have to accomplish a lot more than he did here to beat Sid at Summerslam.
Olympian Mark Henry, dubbed the World’s Strongest Man, deadlifted 903 pounds. But, back on 3/11, Henry gorilla press slammed Lawler.
RAW is sponsored by the US Army.
We then revisit IHY9 and the Undertaker-Goldust match. They just can’t leave well enough alone. After that match, courtesy of Coliseum Home Video, Mankind gave a creepy promo.
Match 4: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) versus Stone Cold Steve Austin
Summary: Future rematches between the two would be better than this one.
After the match, Undertaker returns to the ring and gives Austin a tombstone.
In the ring, Vince interviews Undertaker with Bearer. Undertaker vows to make Mankind “RIP” at Summerslam.
Conclusion: While entertaining, the show produced one good match (Vader-Mero) but nothing else. Once again, avoid this show as it holds zero historical value. But how did it fare against Nitro?
TV Rating: 2.10
Who won? Despite the long drawn-out nWo segment in the middle, Nitro beat RAW again. While no matches are scheduled for the go-home show for Hog Wild, RAW promises a battle royal and a revenge match for Lawler against Montoya.
Stay tuned for week 48 of the Monday Night War!
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