WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Phoenix, AZ

Airdate: October 28, 1996

Attendance: 6,300 (3,175 paid)

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

Opening montage.

For those interested, Zbyszko wore a Superman t-shirt under his required blazer.

To begin the program, Tony and Zbyszko discuss the stills between Piper and Hogan from last night completely ignoring the World title match minus the outcome.

Match 1 for the WCW World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion) versus Juventud Guerrera


Rating: ½*

Summary: Tons more angle than match here. Let’s move along.

At ringside, Tony talks on the microphone as Sting leaves to get a snack.

Ad for the WCW Monday Nitro t-shirt (w/ subtitles) for only $19.95 brought to you by Faces of Fear. Has to be seen to be believed.

After a commercial break, we revisit stills from the Arn-Luger match from Halloween Havoc. According to Tony, Arn didn’t suffer a major injury and should return shortly. Whew! Unfortunately, Eddie Guerrero suffered some broken ribs in his match against DDP last night.

Match 2: Diamond Dallas Page versus Mike Enos


Rating: **

Summary: Good offense from Enos, but it wasn’t good enough. Will DDP become the next member of the nWo?

After a commercial break, we revisit stills from the Cruiserweight title match from last night.

Prior to the next match, A.C. Green of the Phoenix Suns was shown in attendance wearing an nWo shirt.

Match 3 (non-title): WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko versus Jim Powers (w/ Teddy Long)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Showcase match for the NEW Cruiserweight Champion with some Patrick drama thrown in.

After the match, Long confronts Patrick yet again as PEPBOYS sponsors the replay.

Ad for the WCW Magazine as Konnan is featured. Arriba la raza!

On WCW Saturday Night, Faces of Fear square off against the Rock’n’Roll Express. Also, Jericho faces Benoit.

We then revisit stills from the FoF/Horsemen tag team match from last night.

Match 4: Jeff Jarrett versus Ricky Morton


Rating: **

Summary: Give credit to Morton for standing toe-to-toe with Jarrett. He could have won.

Immediately following the match, Giant, holding the US title belt, has a microphone in the crowd and cuts a promo on Jarrett and the Horsemen.

Tony then interviews Jarrett at ringside. Jarrett claims to have three generations of wrestling in his family. While that doesn’t quite make him a third-generation wrestler (his paternal grandmother worked in the business but wasn’t a wrestler), he has the experience to tell it like it is. In spite of being out of breath, this wasn’t a bad promo by Jarrett.

Match 5: The Amazing French Canadians versus High Voltage


Rating: **

Summary: The Canadians are good, but they’re missing something somewhere. What could that be?

After the match, as Bischoff sarcastically call them his “best friends,” the Nasty Boys give Kaos a double powerbomb. Sags then gets on the microphone and calls Hogan a liar. Knobbs then calls out the Outsiders.

Prior to the next match, Bischoff, in a somewhat snarky tone, noted that Piper asked for five minutes LIVE on PPV so he couldn’t be edited. Stay tuned for the REST of the diatribe later on.

Match 6: Rey Mysterio, Jr. versus Jimmy Graffiti


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Another good showcase match as Mysterio gave Graffiti quite a bit and vice-versa.


Buy the shirt! Send it to Rock Star Gary. Make it an XL. There’s also a hat for “15 bucks.”


Lee Marshall provided the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from Grand Rapids, MI” as AC Green chastised referee Nick Patrick.

Match 7: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) versus Eddie Guerrero


Rating: *

Summary: Probably the worst match these guys had together due to Guerrero’s injury. Benoit sold his “injury” well too.

At the entrance, Tony interviews Nick Patrick with “attorney” Alan Sharp. While Sharp defends Patrick due to the actions of Savage, Jericho emerges from backstage and states that Patrick’s neck injury is fake and purported. Next, he states that Patrick is a “100% paid employee of the (nWo).” When Sharp interrupts, Jericho dismisses him by calling him a “fly-by-night.”

After Sharp chastises Jericho, Teddy Long re-emerges from backstage to join the fray and refers to Sharp as a “scam artist” while Patrick is “sandbagging.” This segment was complete nonsense because Sharp wasn’t a lawyer; he was WCW’s director of public relations.

Prior to the next match, Colonel Parker gives a split-screen promo and dismisses any claims of dissention between Harlem Heat and himself.

Match 8: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Booker T (w/ Sister Sherri)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: What a shitty main event that was. Angle-driven: yes, worthwhile: no.

After a commercial break, the debate between Piper and Hogan from last night was shown. Before it culminated, however, Hogan, DiBiase, and the Giant come to the ring for Hogan’s response.

Under the spotlight, Hogan refers to himself as the “John Wayne of the ‘90s.” Oh, brother. Next, he calls Savage “Nacho Man” yet gives him respect for carrying WCW on his back. On the other hand, he then lambastes him for not “getting the job done.” He digs even deeper by saying he’ll take good care of Elizabeth for him. Afterward, Hogan tells bold-faced lies about Piper then poses for the nWo-ites.

Conclusion: Crappy to mediocre wrestling combined with a main event interview is not the type of Nitro that I want to see. Unfortunately, that’s what this was. WCW baited the wrestling audience with a portion of last night’s interview then pulled the rug out with a Hogan craptacular. Skip this with everything you got. What’s on RAW?

TV Rating: 3.50

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Fort Wayne, IN

Airdate: October 28, 1996 (taped 10/21)

Attendance: 4,555

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

To begin the program, we revisit Superstars when Austin destroyed Pillman for touting the upcoming match at Survivor Series. In tonight’s program, while Bret lounges in Calgary, Austin’s in the WWF Studios in Stamford to speak his piece. This ought to be interesting.

Opening montage.

Match 1: “Double J” Jesse James versus Salvatore Sincere


Rating: *1/2

Summary: I do not see a future main-eventer in James from watching this match.

From the WWF Studios, Dok Hendrix runs down the card for Survivor Series on 11/17, but Stone Cold Steve Austin interrupts him. Regardless, here it is:

  1. For the WWF title, Michaels defends against Sycho Sid.
  2. Intercontinental champion Helmsley (w/ Mr. Perfect), Crush, Goldust, and Lawler face Mero (w/ Sable), the Stalker, Mark Henry, and newcomer Rocky Maivia.
  3. Undertaker wrestles against Mankind with Paul Bearer suspended in a shark cage.
  4. Also, the previously mentioned Austin will face Bret Hart.

Before Hendrix finishes, Austin accosts him.

As Vince runs down the upcoming segments, a makeup artist tries to remove the shine from Austin’s dome, but Austin tells her where to find love so to speak.

Match 2: Crush (w/ Clarence Mason) versus Aldo Montoya


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Crush.

After the match, Crush grabs an obvious plant from the audience (since he resembled a wrestler) and boots him down the aisle.

We then revisit last week’s episode when Helmsley ran down Mr. Perfect with an equipment cart followed by the heel turn that gave Helmsley the Intercontinental title. On Superstars, Mr. Perfect was suspended by WWF President Gorilla Monsoon **cough**Lloyd’s of London**cough**.

Meanwhile, Austin chastises Vince for making him wait until a production assistant counts him down. That doesn’t sit very well with Austin.

In the Milton-Bradley Karate Fighters holiday tournament, Mr. Perfect distracts Phineas with Dolly Parton to win the first-round match.

Next week, via satellite, Brian Pillman will be LIVE from his home in Lawton, Kentucky. Austin berates Vince for this and promises to be there. We then revisit Superstars when Austin Pillmanized Pillman by stomping his ankle with it trapped in a steel chair. He then impeded the progress of the ambulance so that Pillman couldn’t get immediate medical attention.

Austin then coins the acronym “DTA” for “don’t trust anybody.” and calls Monsoon a “puppet” because Vince is a “greedy, selfish promoter.” Following that, he states that Vince won’t take any action against Austin because of his match against Bret being “the biggest match of the decade.” Despite “making a lot of money for this match,” Austin would rather “kick his ass for free.” Vince is no dummy as he could see $$$ in Austin’s eyes going forward.

After a commercial break, the verbal exchange between Austin and Bret tries to take place, but ring announcer Howard Finkel introduces Sunny in the arena.

Prior to the next match, we again revisit Superstars where the Smoking Gunns tag team broke up. Along with the Austin segment, this angle should have been on RAW.

Match 3: Billy Gunn versus Freddie Joe Floyd


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Billy to further the Gunns’ break-up.

Vince then conducts an interview with both Bret and Austin. While Bret takes a laid-back approach to the match, Austin states that “win, lose, or draw, it ain’t over.” Austin isn’t finished with the segment, grabs the production assistant who was counting him down earlier, and tosses him into a ladder. He then tosses down a monitor and pushes a second ladder into the first one atop the production assistant. Classic badass Austin.

RAW is sponsored by FootAction USA, Sega Saturn, and the Army.

Next, a security guard asks Austin to leave, but Austin retorts that “(he’ll) leave on my own.”

Prior to the next match, we revisit last week’s episode when Smith interfered in Owen’s match against Sid until Michaels intervened.

Match 4 (non-title): WWF Champion the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) versus WWF tag team champion the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Clarence Mason)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: You mean the champion of the promotion wrestles in the main event rather than bumps his gums? Whatamaneuver!

After the match, Smith and Owen double-team Michaels until Sid arrives. As Sid punches Owen, his arm nails Michaels in the back. Was it inadvertent? Michaels doesn’t believe so and gets in Sid’s face. As they discuss who has the fresher breath, Owen gets on the microphone and challenges them to a tag title match next week. Sid and Michaels nonverbally accept.

We then revisit the chaos perpetrated by Austin earlier in the show. As we return to the live feed, the security guard escorts Austin to the door as Stamford’s finest talk to Austin.

Conclusion: While the matches stunk up my screen, the skits with Austin were extremely entertaining. If this is the direction RAW is taking, they might stand a chance at beating Nitro. Did they do so this week?

TV Rating: 2.00

Who won? Hell no! Since Nitro was coming off a great PPV and promised Hogan and Piper later in the show, wrestling fans stayed tuned rather than watch RAW. While nothing is scheduled for Nitro, an in-home interview with Brian Pillman takes place on RAW. With Austin looming, it should at least be interesting.

Stay tuned for week 59 of the Monday Night War!

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

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