WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Casper, WY

Airdate: August 12, 1996

Attendance: 6,408 (4,220 paid)

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

Opening montage.

According to Tony, it is a dark day in WCW because Hollywood Hogan became the WCW World Champion once again and desecrated the belt by spray-painting “NWO” on it. Zbyszko calls out the WCW wrestlers for allowing this to happen. We then see still photos from the PPV. Tony questions referee Nick Patrick’s intentions after getting accidentally nailed by Hall when he was in Luger’s Torture Rack.

INTERESTING TIDBIT: Meltzer noted that due to power issues around the country, the buyrate for Hog Wild may suffer. How does WCW respond? RETURN MATCHES! There will be three tonight. I fear for RAW’s rating.

Match 1 (eight-man): The Taskmaster, Hugh Morrus, Meng, & the Barbarian (w/ Jimmy Hart & Big Bubba Rogers) versus High Voltage & Rough’n’Ready


Rating: *1/2

Summary: The hot crowd really helped this dog.

After the match, Rough’n’Ready toss Kaos outside the ring then deliver a double belly-to-back suplex to Rage. So much for that partnership.

This Thursday, Clash of the Champions XXXIII will air on TBS. Suddenly, Luger and Sting interrupt the promo and want to challenge the Outsiders to a rematch RIGHT NOW. But RAW hasn’t even started yet!

Glacier is still coming. What’s taking this guy so long? His dinner must be ICE COLD by now.

Match 2 (Battlebowl ring): Diamond Dallas Page versus the Renegade


Rating: DUD

Summary: Another showcase match for DDP who will face Eddie Guerrero on Thursday.

Meanwhile, back in the nWo dressing room, Hogan joins Nash and Hall on the sofa. In the meantime, Hall is wearing an anti-WCW t-shirt. Nash then dismisses Sting & Luger’s challenge saying that they’ll do things when they want to do them rather than being called out. Nest, they hint at their fourth member but don’t show him.

On WCW Saturday Night, the Four Horsemen compete in an eight-man tag match against High Voltage, Renegade, and Joe Gomez. Also, former WCW World champion Giant faces Jim Powers (aired 8/17, taped 8/13).

Match 3: Konnan versus Jim Powers (w/o Teddy Long)


Rating: *

Summary: Tony mentioned during the match that Konnan was basically turning heel, and this match proved it.

After the match, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Konnan. Despite being a heel, Konnan still supports WCW.

Match 4: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman & Elizabeth) versus Ron Studd


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Benoit against a tall opponent.

After the match, Okerlund interviews Benoit with Woman and Elizabeth. He then narrates highlights of the Malenko-Benoit match from Hog Wild and compliments Benoit on it. Afterward, Benoit cuts a promo on Giant.

We then revisit stills from the World tag team title match at Hog Wild. No mention of the hostile crowd reaction was made.

The second hour begins as Bischoff returns to the broadcast table. A sober Heenan asks about his disappearance last week, but Bischoff responds that he was “taking care of some business.” Hmmm…

Match 5 for the WCW World tag team titles: Harlem Heat (champions w/ Sister Sherri & Colonel Parker) versus the Steiners


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Crappy finish to a shorter version of what we saw on Saturday.

After the match, dissension between Harlem Heat and Parker is teased.

We then revisit the aftermath of the motorcycle destruction match as Madusa destroys Nakano’s Honda then pushes it down.

After that, more stills from Hog Wild are shown as we revisit the Cruiserweight title match.

Match 6 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio Jr. (champion) versus Ultimo Dragon (w/ Sonny Onoo)


Rating: ****1/2

Summary: For a short match, these guys put everything and a jar of mustard into it. Seek this one out STAT.

As Heenan described the replay, he was disgusted that they named this town after a ghost. HA!

We then revisit stills of the match between Flair and Guerrero from Saturday night.

Match 7 for the WCW US title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion w/ Woman & Elizabeth) versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage


Rating: **1/2

Summary: I hate to rate this so low, but obviously, this was more angle than match.

After the match, Bischoff speculates that Flair may have joined the nWo because Hogan never touched him. We then revisit stills from the Hog Wild main event followed by the birthday celebration.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews the NEW WCW World champion Hollywood Hogan. When Okerlund asks Hogan about Flair, he wants Flair primed and ready for the Clash on Thursday. He then refers to Flair as the “stupid little man.”

When we return from commercial, we revisit the attack on WCW from 2 weeks ago in Florida. What happened to the proposed Giant versus Arn Anderson match?

Match 8: The “Total Package” Lex Luger & Sting versus the Outsiders


Rating: ***

Summary: Methinks Patrick has joined the nWo.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews the Four Horsemen. Flair says he doesn’t like Luger and Sting, but he’ll “play ball” with them since they’re WCW. He then cuts a promo on the nWo.

Conclusion: Skip the first hour, and this is a great show. Great storytelling with the Patrick turn combined with an excellent Dragon-Mysterio match make this a must-see Nitro. What’s on RAW?

TV Rating: 3.30

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Seattle, WA

Airdate: August 12, 1996 (taped 7/22)

Attendance: 6,755 (sold out but barely awake)

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Vince notifies us that Ahmed Johnson had emergency surgery to repair his kidney. He then wishes Johnson a complete and rapid recovery.

Opening montage.

Match 1: Faarooq Asad (w/ Sunny) versus Bodydonna Skip


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Faarooq.

We then revisit last week’s episode when Lawler beat then humiliated Montoya. Roberts is on the phone and is ready to “crush” Lawler.

Match 2: Crush (w/ Clarence Mason) versus Savio Vega


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for the returning Crush. Mason’s commentary didn’t help this dog either. To save the segment, Vince finished with a federal prosecutor joke.

We then revisit last week where Undertaker and Mankind fought both inside and outside the ring. Afterward, we get a promo for the boiler room brawl at Summerslam this Sunday.

Shot in silhouette behind a screen, Sunny removes her clothes while advertising the Bikini Beach Blast-Off on the Free for All prior to Summerslam.

We then revisit RAW from two weeks ago when Johnson suffered a ruptured kidney. “Against doctor’s orders,” according to McMahon, Johnson won a battle royal last week. We then see Johnson in the hospital in Houston, TX. Afterward, Kevin Kelly interviews Johnson. In kayfabe, Johnson describes how the injury occurred. Ultimately, he’s unsure about his future.

Match 3: The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim) versus T.L. Hopper & Who


Rating: *

Summary: Nice to know Neidhart had not only a job but to job. Match was worthless otherwise.

After the match, Monsoon declares a tournament for the Intercontinental title starting next week on RAW.

On the Wrestle Vessel, Mr. Perfect interviews Bret who wants to speak his mind about his return with an open microphone as he has a LOT to get off his chest.

Backstage, Cornette and Vader are encouraging Owen in his quest to beat Michaels tonight. In fact, both Cornette and Owen walk through the gorilla position to the ring.

RAW is sponsored by Burger King and Stridex.

Prior to the next match, we see scenes from last Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 1996 Summer Olympian Mark Henry participated much to Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s chagrin.

Match 4 (non-title): WWF Champion the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) versus the “Rocket” Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette)


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: A NON-title match during the Monday Night War? Seriously? While they paid a tiny bit of homage to their previous encounter back in February, they should have at least made this a title match.

Afterward, Vader grabs a chair and enters the ring. To counteract that, Michaels pulls Owen’s cast off. Upon Cornette’s tossing Owen his tennis racquet, Michaels kicks Owen causing him to lose the racquet. Michaels grabs it and nails Owen in the head. Vader then levels Michaels with a clothesline. After giving Michaels a short-arm clothesline, Vader slams him in preparation for the Vader bomb. He then hits it then tosses referee Mike Chioda between the ropes to the floor. To prove he’s the man, Vader delivers Vader bomb #2. Before Vader could give Michaels a moonsault, we’re outta time!

Conclusion: This whole set of tapings was three shows each containing fifty-five minutes of junk to get to something good. RAW deserves to get its butt kicked this week for this drivel.

TV Rating: 2.00 (Ouch!)

Who won? Nitro won by a LANDSLIDE! Thanks in part to the aforementioned West Coast power outage knocking out the availability of the PPV on Saturday and to a stacked show against RAW, Nitro demolished RAW this week. The WWF has to start programming their content better before WCW begins to devastate RAW in the ratings. The Intercontinental tournament is a good idea, but does it help to right the ship?

Stay tuned for WCW Clash of the Champions XXXIII!

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

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