WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Mankato, MN

Airdate: October 21, 1996

Attendance: 4,034

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

Opening montage.

Prior to the first match, we revisit last week’s episode as Savage reacted emotionally to Elizabeth’s video.

Match 1: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus Bobby Eaton


Rating: **

Summary: Eaton gave Jericho a run for his money, but the “Lionheart” toughed out a big win.

After the match, Syxx gave Jericho his appreciation with a crotch chop. Kids, please do not try this at home.

At ringside, Tony interviews Jericho who’s ready to defeat Syxx at Halloween Havoc.

Prior to the next match, we get a video retrospective on Rey Mysterio.

Match 2: Dean Malenko versus Jimmy Graffiti


Rating: **

Summary: Good showcase match for Malenko.

PEPBOYS sponsors the replay.

On WCW Saturday Night, Eddie Guerrero faces Mr. JL while Malenko squares off again against Alex Wright. In the main event, WCW World tag team champions wrestle against Rough’n’Ready. In addition, the Outsiders have their own segment with a warm-up match before Halloween Havoc.

Match 3: Diamond Dallas Page versus Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman (w/ Teddy Long)


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for DDP who appears ready to face Eddie Guerrero on Sunday.

After the match, Long blames Pittman’s loss on Patrick while Patrick claims the opposite.

At ringside, Tony interviews Patrick and claims Patrick to be the nWo referee. Once again, Patrick threatens Tony subtly mentioning “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

We then revisit Nitro from two weeks ago when the nWo attacked Flair. Afterward, Jarrett’s interview from his debut is shown. According to Tony, upon receiving an MRI, Flair will undergo shoulder surgery.

Match 4: Jeff Jarrett versus Ron Studd


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Jarrett.

At ringside, Tony interviews Jarrett who’s trying to rally WCW against the nWo. Jarrett then cuts a promo on the Giant. Meanwhile, Flair joins him and longs for the day he can kick some nWo “ass.” Ominously, Giant lurks up in the stands.

HOUR #2!

Match 5: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Roadblock


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Luger, but Roadblock needs more wrestling lessons.


Buy the shirt! You owe it to Rock Star Gary. Make it XL.


Lee Marshall claims to be in Phoenix, AZ with the On the Road Report.

Match 6 for the WCW World tag team titles: Harlem Heat (champions w/ Sister Sherri & Colonel Parker) versus the American Males


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Do I smell dissension amongst the American Males? That “save” seemed intentional.

Match 7: Faces of Fear (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Fantastics


Rating: **

Summary: The Fantastics were definitely slower than their days against the Midnight Express. Evidently, Faces of Fear are ready for the Horsemen at Halloween Havoc.

After a commercial break, we revisit last week’s episode again with the full video of Elizabeth. While it was a ratings-grabber last week, using it twice allows the viewer to change the channel.

Match 8: nWo Sting versus Mr. JL


Rating: DUD

Summary: All angle for the return of Sting.

After the “match,” DiBiase gets on the microphone as Nash quotes The Doors’ lyrics. When Hall offers him membership into the nWo, Sting refers to nWo Sting as a “cheap imitation.” According to Sting, he “may not be in the nWo’s price range”, but “nothing’s for sure.” Hmmm…he didn’t join, but will he?

Match 9: “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/o Woman)


Rating: NONE

Bischoff again interviews Savage and shows him a different video. From the set of 3 Ninjas, Hogan changes the film’s director from Sean McNamara to the Giant as the nWo takes over this direct-to-video spectacular. Afterward, Elizabeth gets coerced by Hogan, but she won’t budge. In fact, she tells Hogan that he’s “ruined (her) life for the second time.” Yowza! Giant then escorts her to Hogan’s trailer. As Hogan “talks her into it,” she doesn’t leave the trailer. Subsequently, Hogan cuts a promo on Savage.

Back at the arena, Bischoff tries to get a response out of Savage, but he leaves again. Before doing so, he solemnly notes how fragile both personal (Hogan and Elizabeth) and business (Bischoff) relationships are. He then tells Hogan “life is fragile” before going backstage. That’s both scary and deep, folks.

Conclusion: While the return of Sting stole the show, the main event interview sold the PPV. The rest of this show was skippable at best and awful at worst. What’s on RAW?

TV Rating: 3.20

WWF Monday Night RAW

Live from Fort Wayne, IN

Airdate: October 21, 1996

Attendance: 4,555

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Opening montage.

Match 1: Sycho Sid versus WWF tag team champion Owen Hart (w/ Clarence Mason)


Rating: **

Summary: Michaels has his work cut out for him at Survivor Series. But who will the MSG crowd cheer?

After the match, the tag champs double-team Sid until Michaels runs in to even the odds. Upon dispatching them, Sid and Michaels shake hands. Perhaps they were discussing whose role it was later on to get the beer and women for the evening.

We then revisit stills of the PPV from last night courtesy of WWF Magazine.

Match 2: The Smoking Gunns versus the Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim)


Rating: DUD

Summary: The Gunns’ losing streak continues.

Kevin Kelly narrates the Hall of Fame segment featuring Pat Patterson, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and Vincent J. McMahon. Get your tickets for the show on 11/16 now!

Before the commercial break, Helmsley pushes an equipment cart directly into Mr. Perfect’s knee. Afterward, Perfect could be overheard saying “Dammit!”

The WWF Big Bang Boom tour is as follows:

  1. 10/22 in Cincinnati, OH (Superstars taping)
  2. 10/23 in Evansville, IN
  3. 10/24 in Springfield, IL
  4. 10/25 in Rosemont, IL
  5. 10/26 in St. Louis, MO
  6. 10/27 in Cape Girardeau, MO
  7. 11/1 in Richmond, VA

We then revisit LiveWire as Stone Cold Steve Austin burst onto the set unexpectedly and shot down Bret while scaring the bejesus out of both Pettengill and Sunny.

Speaking of Bret, Ross is in the ring and interviews him. After Ross welcomes him back, Bret mentions a “rival wrestling organization” who gave him a “great offer,” but he says he’ll “be with the WWF forever” as McMahon breathes a huge sigh of relief. Well, he did sign a 20-year contract. Nevertheless, he then runs down Michaels for not being as tough or smart as Bret. Next, he accepts the challenge from the “best wrestler in the WWF today” and will face Michaels Austin at Survivor Series. Backstage, Pillman celebrates as Austin stares a hole through him. Bret then finishes the thought with “we’ll see who kicks whose ass in Madison Square Garden.” Finally, he mentions his recently-deceased nephew and wants to be a role model while subtly mocking Michaels. While this was a long, somewhat meandering interview, Bret showed a little attitude here.

Prior to the next match, in the Milton Bradley Karate Fighters tournament, Todd Pettengill and Lawler discuss the first round match-ups. Lawler then defeated Pettengill just for kicks.

Match 3: Hunter Hearst Helmsley versus Mr. Perfect


Rating: NONE

REAL Match 3 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Marc Mero (champion w/ Sable) versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Perfect pulled the wool over Mero’s eyes here as Helmsley broke his losing streak and won his very first title.

After the match, Perfect returns to the ring to present the belt to Helmsley and give him a hug.

Conclusion: Compared to previous episodes, this one was immensely better; however, it’s still not a great episode despite the Hart announcement and the title switch.

TV Rating: 2.60

Who won? Nitro won again with Sting’s return and the hard sell for the PPV. With nothing promised for next week, who knows what will happen.

Stay tuned for WCW Halloween Havoc ‘96!

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

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