WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Salisbury, MD

Airdate: November 25, 1996

Attendance: 3,278

It’s the night after WWIII, what could WCW do to maintain their status as the number one wrestling promotion in the world?

Opening montage.

We open the show with highlights of the contract signing.

Match 1 for the WCW US title (first round): The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus the “Enforcer” Arn Anderson


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Luger’s disdain for Arn fueled his desire to injure him rather than advance in the tournament. Not smart but certainly understandable.

We then revisit stills from last night of Mysterio-Dragon, Jericho-Patrick, and Jarrett-Giant with Sting’s involvement.

Afterward, Bischoff leads the entire nWo minus Hogan to the ring. According to Tony, “(Bischoff) is the executive producer of (WCW), and he’s siding with the (nWo).” For those who didn’t pay attention to Meltzer or the credits after a WCW show, that’s considered a shoot. Nevertheless, Bischoff credits Nash’s powerbomb at the Great American Bash where he swore allegiance to the nWo. He then gives WCW wrestlers 30 days to convert their contracts to the nWo. Lastly, he uses the expression “possession is 9/10 of the law” with respect to the Giant and the US title.

Suddenly, the American Males come to the ring. What are they thinking? These pretty boys are going to become the Giant’s dinner. As Bagwell enters the ring, he immediately high-fives each member of the nWo. Riggs questions why Bagwell would do such a thing and receives a blockbuster for his troubles. Sucker! To put the cherry on top for them, the Salisbury faithful chants “nWo” to cheer its acquisition.

So far, this is a really good program. Can the momentum continue?

Match 2: Diamond Dallas Page versus Disco Inferno


Rating: ½*

Summary: Ho hum. Another showcase match for DDP.

After the match, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews DDP in the ring. He acknowledges his previous managing of Scott Hall as well as his tag team partnership with Kevin Nash. Next, he also acknowledges that Bischoff lives across the street from him. However, he was still left in the dark about Bischoff’s allegiance.

Check out wcwwrestling.com for the latest updates on WCW. Zbyszko calls it “spider-friendly.” HA!

Match 3 for the WCW World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion) versus Tony Pena


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Regal.

Sony Playstation sponsors the replay.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Rick Steiner who notes that the Steiners are “110% WCW.” He then questions what Sting’s doing. Be careful, Rick.


Buy the shirt! Send it to Rock Star Gary. Make it an XL.


Match 4 for the WCW US title (first round): Eddie Guerrero versus Konnan


Rating: ***

Summary: Superb little match that showcased Konnan’s talent, but Guerrero’s swiftness earned him the W.

After a commercial break, stills of WWIII from the Harlem Heat-Amazing French Canadians match along with Malenko-Psicosis, and the triangle match for the tag titles.

Match 5: Rick Steiner versus Big Bubba Rogers (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it. More angle than match here.

Next, a battered and bruised Lee Marshall provides the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from Dayton, OH.”

While the show has progressed swimmingly thus far, I present to you…the REST of the show.

Match 6: Rey Mysterio, Jr. versus Psicosis


Rating: **

Summary: Great finish to an extremely short match. The show must be running long.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews a beaten but not destroyed Benoit with Woman. Benoit acknowledges Taskmaster’s stroke while Woman calls it quits as a Sullivan. Hey Taskmaster! Need an attorney?

Next, we revisit the contract signing from last night. Read my reflection of that show to learn about it. WCW didn’t need to replay this to generate ratings. They only did it because they could.

Match 7: Jeff Jarrett versus “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Showcase match for Jarrett.

After a commercial break, stills from the 60-man battle royal were shown. In case you aren’t aware, the Giant won.

Match 8: Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) versus Faces of Fear (w/o Jimmy Hart)


Rating: DUD

Summary: Too short, and these guys worked like they knew that a clean finish wouldn’t happen.

After the match, the nWo made Booker T HIT THE POLE while they rammed Meng face-first into the steel steps. As Bagwell is already sporting an nWo t-shirt, Giant gives Booker T and Meng consecutive chokeslams.

Conclusion: The only worthwhile moment of the show was Bischoff’s announcement. After Sting drops Rick Steiner, the rest of the show belonged with Benoit in the Baltimore bathroom.

Say that five times fast! What’s on RAW?

TV Rating: 3.10

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from New Haven, CT

Airdate: November 25, 1996 (taped 11/18)

Attendance: 4,968 (hanging in there)

Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Prior to the first match, we see Shawn Michaels and Jose Lothario LIVE from San Antonio in split-screen.

Match 1: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus WWF tag team champion the “Rocket” Owen Hart (w/ Clarence Mason)


Rating: **

Summary: As great as this match-up is, it isn’t 1994 anymore, and Austin wants to make Bret pay for beating him at Survivor Series.

After the match, Austin attempts to Pillmanize Bret, but Smith runs in to stop him. While Smith argues with Owen, Austin HAMMERS him in the back with the steel chair.

In split-screen, we see a pre-recorded interview of Bearer and Mankind during their entrance.

Match 2: The Executioner (w/ Paul Bearer & Mankind) versus Freddie Joe Floyd


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for the Executioner.

After a commercial break, Michaels and Lothario are LIVE from San Antonio, TX. We then get footage of the Royal Rumble press conference from last Wednesday. According to Vince, Michaels will face the WWF champion in the Royal Rumble main event. Wait a minute! The show will emanate from the Alamodome? Considering the financial state of the WWF, there’s no possible way they’ll sell that place out. According to Michaels, he’s bringing back the ire that got him to the top so that he can be WWF champion again.

In the semi-final of the Karate Fighters holiday tournament, Sunny beats Sable, but she gets disqualified for using chewing gum. What did she do afterward? Clocked the referee! Entertainment at its finest, folks.

Match 3: Rocky Maivia versus Salvatore Sincere


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Maivia. The New Haven faithful couldn’t care less.

Backstage, Mero, standing with Sable, wants a piece of Helmsley.

After a commercial break, Hendrix informs us that the tag champs have calmed down and will be ready for their title defense at the PPV. Woohoo! Cooler heads prevail!

Match 4: “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Billy Gunn


Rating: *1/2

Summary: While Gunn has some good maneuvers, his lack of charisma is glaring. Moreover, this match was just a setup for the IC title match at the PPV.

After the match, Jake “The Snake” Roberts hits the ring to even the odds.

Conclusion: Aside from Michaels’ sour puss, this is NOT counter-nWo programming. The wrestling audience will not change the channel to watch this stuff instead of Hogan, Piper, and the rest of the WCW clan. Pass on this show BIG TIME.

TV Rating: 2.10

Who won? RAW again lost by a full point. Nitro outshined RAW by a mile even with the filler at the end.

Stay tuned for week 63 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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