Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby ‘The Brain” Heenan, and “Iron” Mike Tenay
Trying to make this week's shows appear to be exciting is like polishing a turd.
As Tony and Zbyszko crow about the “match of the millennium” at Starrcade, the Steiners interrupt to call out Sting. We then revisit last week’s episode when Sting dropped Rick like a bad habit.
Match 1: Glacier versus “Hardbody” Harrison
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This goober is back!
If his name sounds familiar, yes, this is the same “Hardbody” Harrison that was convicted of sex trafficking and received a life sentence in Georgia. Harrison also sued WCW for racial discrimination and received a portion of an undisclosed settlement. If only this match was as interesting as these two facts.
At the onset, Glacier destroyed Harrison in the corner with kicks and palm thrusts.
Cryonic kick by Glacier got the pin.
Summary: Hopefully, Glacier’s Nitro appearances don’t multiply like rabbits.
Gee…how many free tickets did WCW give away for this show? Let’s see…members of both the Cincinnati Bengals and Dayton Ice Bandits were in attendance. Unfortunately for them, neither team was noteworthy in ’96.
Match 2: The Amazing French Canadians (w/ Colonel Parker) versus Renegade & “Desperado” Joe Gomez
The Canadians began the match by butchering the Canadian national anthem. I apologize to all of my Canadian readers for this debacle.
After a leap frog, Gomez gave Rougeau a dropkick for 2.
While Renegade distracted referee Mark Curtis, the Canadians launched Gomez over the top rope thanks to a low bridge by Parker.
Ouellet and Parker then double-teamed Gomez on the floor.
Back in the ring, Ouellet tagged in and clotheslined Gomez.
Rougeau tagged in as the Canadians gave Gomez a double stungun.
When Rougeau applied a Boston crab to Gomez, Ouellet mounted the top turnbuckle, got caught, and was slammed down to the mat by Renegade.
Hot tag Renegade.
After clotheslining both Canadians, Renegade gave each a powerslam.
With Rougeau in the corner, Renegade delivered a handspring back elbow that was more of an avalanche than an elbow.
Rougeau then reversed a cross-corner whip sending Renegade into a clothesline by Ouellet.
He then gave Renegade a piledriver.
Finally, the Canadians delivered the Quebec Crash for the pin.
Summary: Showcase match for the Canadians. That’s two DUDs in a row. Are you keeping score?
At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Arn Anderson. When Okerlund mentions Piper, the Dayton faithful finally cheers. Arn then recalls his two earlier victories over Hogan in consecutive weeks. Unlike the sports teams in the stands, those wins are certainly noteworthy. According to Okerlund, Piper will be on Nitro next week in Charlotte, NC. Lastly, Arn states the Horsemen are ready for the nWo when they pay a visit to their hometown.
Prior to the next match, we revisit last week when Marcus Alexander Bagwell joined the nWo. I believe he needs to shorten that name and get a nickname. I wonder if he’ll choose paper or plastic.
Match 3: Faces of Fear (w/o Jimmy Hart) versus Scotty Riggs & Robert Gibson
According to Tony, Faces of Fear will challenge the Outsiders for the WCW World tag team titles at Starrcade.
After Riggs gave Barbarian a kick to the face, he attempted a sunset flip with help from Gibson in the form of a clothesline to Barbarian.
Shortly after, Riggs tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a flying body press, and got 2 on Meng.
After Riggs and Gibson gave Meng a double clothesline, Riggs got another 2.
Barbarian tagged in as Faces of Fear gave Riggs their back drop/powerbomb combo. Awesome!
That only got 2 thanks to a save by Gibson.
After a backbreaker, Barbarian got another 2.
Shortly after, Meng gave Riggs a piledriver for yet another 2.
Barbarian tagged in but missed an elbow drop.
Riggs then attempted another sunset flip, but Barbarian tried to sit on him. Riggs escaped to save his own bacon.
Hot tag Gibson.
After he flubbed a cross body block to Barbarian, Gibson gave him an enziguri.
When Gibson got distracted by Meng, Barbarian nailed him with a Mafia kick.
Summary: Showcase match for Faces of Fear. That’s three awful matches in a row!
After the match, Riggs brings a steel chair into the ring and WAFFLES Faces of Fear with it. Pass the Aunt Jemima please!
On WCW Saturday Night, Lord Steven Regal defends the World TV title against Arn (aired 12/7, taped 12/4).
Next, we see highlights from a house show in Baltimore on 11/23/96. Taskmaster immediately made Benoit taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Peter Piper at the Laughing Pint. After brawling in the aisle, the Dungeon of Doom was waiting for Benoit in the bathroom. Although WCW wasn’t trying, they alluded to the Andy Dufresne’s encounter with the Sisters in Shawshank Redemption. Later, Woman came to the ring and jumped on Taskmaster’s back for continuing the punishment of Benoit. If you were seeking content for her remarks from last week’s show, here it is.
Match 4: Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus K.C. Sunshine
K.C. who? Does he have an R&B band back in the locker room?
At the onset, Taskmaster ambushed Sunshine, took him out of the ring, and rammed him face-first into the broadcast table.
After nailing Sunshine with a chair, Taskmaster made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Cornerstone at Jimmy’s Ladder 11.
Upon tossing Sunshine out of the ring again, Taskmaster grabbed a bottled water from the broadcast table and nailed him with it.
When Sunshine returned to the ring, Taskmaster tied him to the Tree of Woe and nailed him in the midsection.
After a double stomp, Taskmaster got the pin.
Summary: Showcase match for Taskmaster. Make it four!
In the ring, Okerlund interviews Taskmaster who warns Benoit that either he or Benoit will be “buried alive” and alludes to Woman.
Match 5 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Billy Kidman
According to Tony, Ultimo Dragon will challenge for the Cruiserweight title at Starrcade.
He also notified us that the finals of the US title tournament will occur at the PPV.
While Tony and Zbyszko rambled about Bischoff and the Executive Committee, Kidman gave Malenko a huracanrana for 2.
After a leap frog by Malenko, Kidman gave him a flying headscissors.
When Malenko sought refuge outside the ring, he proved that you can indeed powerbomb Kidman as he did so ON THE FLOOR with a SPLAT!
Meanwhile, Sonny Onoo brought his camera with him as he walked down the aisle.
Back in the ring, Malenko gave Kidman a belly-to-back suplex followed by a delayed brainbuster and almost got 3.
After a cross-corner whip, Malenko avoided eating boot and gave Kidman a back elbow.
Upon whipping Kidman back into the original corner, Malenko ate boot on his follow-through.
Kidman then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick.
He then hooked a fisherman’s suplex and got 2. Yet another nod to the incoming Curt Hennig.
Malenko came back with another powerbomb attempt, but Kidman countered with a backslide.
Kidman then hooked an inside cradle and got 2.
Malenko reversed it and got 2.
Kidman reversed it again and got another 2. Cool!
After a dropkick, Kidman gave Malenko a cross-corner whip and floated to the apron.
When he mounted the top turnbuckle, Malenko caught and gave him a superplex. Wow!
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Onoo blinded him with the flash bulb sending Malenko crashing to the mat.
Kidman then mounted the top turnbuckle, attempted the shooting star press, but hit knees. OUCH!
As a result, Malenko hooked the Texas Cloverleaf and got the submission.
Summary: Wouldn’t you think an upset would occur when the champion became blinded? I thought so too. At the very least, this match broke the string of showcase matches. You’d think I was watching WCW Saturday Night.
Match 6: Jeff Jarrett versus Big Bubba Rogers (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Upon receiving a cross-corner whip, Jarrett floated over, but Rogers caught and slammed him.
Rogers then reversed an Irish whip but fell victim to a swinging neckbreaker.
When Hart wasn’t paying close attention, Jarrett stomped his hand. Clever!
While Rogers distracted referee Mark Curtis, Hart gave Jarrett the business.
As Jarrett got distracted by Hart, Rogers attempted to nail him but hit Hart instead.
Jarrett then made Rogers HIT THE POLE!
After Jarrett tossed Rogers back into the ring, he mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, and got 2.
He then attempted to hook the figure-four leg lock, but Rogers kicked him into the corner.
While Curtis checked on Jarrett, Hart tossed his megaphone in Rogers’ direction.
When Rogers grabbed the megaphone, Jarrett executed a sunset flip.
Rogers then tried to send Jarrett into the middle of 2002 with a shot from the megaphone but missed.
Jarrett then earned a false pin as Hart distracted Curtis.
Rogers argued with Curtis about the megaphone, so Jarrett dropkicked it into his face knocking him out.
Summary: Haven’t we seen this before? Oh yeah, back on 10/14 in Memphis. C’mon, WCW, at least change the finish to a small degree. Sheesh!
PEPBOYS sponsors the replay.
The Steiners hit the ring and call out Sting again in the rafters. When Rick challenges him to a match, Sting nods his approval.
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
Buy the shirt! Send it to Rock Star Gary. Make it an XL.
THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
Unexpectedly, Eric Bischoff and members of the nWo break the script and overtake the broadcast location scattering Tony, Tenay, and Heenan. To begin their commentary, Hall congratulates Sting for joining the nWo. Bischoff then informs Piper that he should be mindful of the nWo and trashes Vader. We then revisit a match between Hogan and Vader where Hogan overpowers him. Next, we revisit the ambush of Flair from weeks ago. Finally, we see the demise of the Randy Savage courtesy of Hollywood Hogan.
Match 7: Eddie Guerrero versus “Squire” Dave Taylor
When Guerrero made his entrance, he gave the nWo announcers a scowl.
As the match began, we revisit the Konnan-Guerrero match from last week as Konnan gave him a superplex followed by the botched move that cost Konnan in the US title tournament.
Meanwhile, in the ring, Guerrero gave Taylor a backslide and got 2.
Taylor came back with a pair of flying headscissors.
When Guerrero gave Taylor a flying headscissors, Taylor landed on him. Yeah…
After Taylor delivered a dropkick, Bischoff demanded that the pending US champion defend the title against the Giant because he had the belt.
Guerrero then gave Taylor a cross-corner whip, but Taylor leaped to the second turnbuckle.
He then missed a cross body block as Guerrero evaded him.
Guerrero then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit the frog splash, and got the pin.
Summary: Showcase match for Guerrero. Oh no! They’re back!
Next, a disgruntled Lee Marshall provides the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from Charlotte, NC.” To say he was pleased to talk to the nWo would be an understatement.
Match 8: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson versus Jim Powers (w/ Teddy Long)
Anybody else thirsty? Need some juice?
No, not that kind.
After Arn tossed Powers outside the ring, he joined and rubbed Powers’ face into the floor mat. Somewhere Ricky Morton was pissed.
He then made Powers HIT THE POLE!
Back in the ring, Arn slammed Powers, delivered a knee drop, and got 2.
Powers came back with a cross body block and got 2.
While the Outsiders mocked Piper, Arn mounted the second turnbuckle, avoided eating boot, but missed an elbow drop.
Once again, Powers came back with a knee lift followed by a dropkick for 2.
After a pair of cross-corner whips, Powers delivered a clothesline for another 2.
Arn then blocked another cross-corner whip and delivered the DDT.
Summary: Showcase match for Arn. SIX of these puppies so far.
Don’t jump on that just yet, Rock Star Gary!
Match 9 for the WCW US title (first round): The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/o Woman) versus WCW World TV champion Lord Steven Regal
When Regal made his entrance, he besmirched the nWo.
At the onset, Benoit delivered a head butt to Regal.
Surprisingly, Regal was BUSTED OPEN!
To protect WCW’s image and sponsorships, the rest of the match was shown from the WIDE SHOT. God forbid an accidental blood spot taint a pro wrestling show, right?
After what felt like an eternity, Benoit slammed Regal, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit the diving head butt for 2.
They then executed a tombstone reversal sequence which Benoit won.
Regal then sought refuge outside the ring. When Benoit saw him, he attempted a plancha but came up empty.
Back in the ring, Regal placed Benoit on the top turnbuckle and gave him a butterfly superplex for 2. Wow!
Benoit came back and delivered a release German suplex.
He then gave Regal a dragon suplex and got the pin.
Summary: Stiff match with accidental blood. While the Dayton faithful loved the ending, they were not enthused during it.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews three of the Four Horsemen minus Flair. Arn informs us that the Horsemen will take the leadership role for WCW then questions Benoit about Woman. As you would expect, Benoit solidly defends her. In a “what were they thinking” moment, Debra chimes in referring to Woman as “Nancy.” Kayfabe? What’s that?
Match 10: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Rocco Rock (w Johnny Grunge)
Early on, Rock guillotined Luger using the top rope.
While Rock distracted referee Randy Anderson, Grunge gave Luger the business.
After a cross-corner whip, Rock gave Luger a corner clothesline. In the meantime, Hall ran down ECW.
Rock then gave Luger another cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
After Rock tossed Luger outside the ring, he distracted Anderson again so that Grunge could ram Luger face-first into a monitor. OUCH!
Back in the ring, Luger gave Rock a gorilla press slam.
When Rock reversed an Irish whip, Grunge tripped Luger.
As Grunge got up on the apron to hold Luger, Rock charged but hit Grunge instead.
Luger then applied the Torture Rack for the submission.
Grunge tried to stop him so Luger dumped Rock on top of him.
Summary: Showcase match for Luger. Make it seven!
Match 11: Sting versus Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner)
As the Dayton faithful chanted “We Want Sting,” Sting came through the crowd.
Still in his black trench coat, Sting dropped the bat, turned around, and dared Rick to nail him.
The Dayton faithful LOVED it!
Not surprisingly, Rick gave Sting a Steinerline knocking him to the floor.
After Scott tossed Sting back in the ring, Rick gave Sting a few rights.
When he missed, Sting grabbed him and delivered the Scorpion death drop.
He then took the bat and pointed it at Rick.
Next, he handed it to Rick.
Again, Sting turned around to a raucous ovation.
When Rick tried to WALLOP Sting, Scott caught Sting’s gist and stopped him.
Sting then left the ring as the nWo welcomed him aboard. That might be premature.
Summary: No match as this was all angle to show that Sting wasn’t a heel.
Afterward, Sting points his bat at the nWo then leaves through the crowd.
Conclusion: There must be SOMETHING else on TV that caused Bischoff to produce such a bad show. Seven showcase matches in an hour gets nothing and likes it from me. What’s on RAW?
TV Rating: 3.40
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from New Haven, CT
Airdate: December 2, 1996 (taped 11/18)
Attendance: 4,968 (mailing it in)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Match 1: Flash Funk versus the Goon
You cannot be serious.
The Funkettes (Nadine and Tracy) joined Funk during his entrance.
This was Too Cold Scorpio’s RAW debut.
After the Goon gave Funk a cross-corner whip, he followed with a knee to the midsection.
He then slammed Funk and hit an elbow drop.
Next, the Goon reversed a cross-corner whip, but Funk floated over, hooked a sunset flip, and got 2.
On the other hand, the Goon retaliated with a clothesline.
Meanwhile, Michaels was in the WWF Studios ready for his apology.
Also, there was an altercation in London, England last Wednesday. Stay tuned!
After a hip toss, the Goon missed an elbow drop.
Funk then gave the Goon a dropkick that sent him between the ropes to the floor.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying clothesline to the Goon on the floor.
The Goon came back and rammed Funk face-first into the apron.
He then charged at Funk but HIT THE POLE instead.
Funk then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a moonsault to the Goon in the aisle. Wow!
After a commercial break, Funk gave the Goon a springboard leg drop but only got 2.
The Goon responded with a vertical suplex, mounted the second turnbuckle, hit an elbow drop, and got 2.
He then gave Funk a bicycle kick, but Funk came back with an enziguri.
Funk then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a moonsault.
After ringing Funk’s bell, the Goon gave him a cross-corner whip, but Funk floated over again and gave him a belly-to-back suplex.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit the Tumbleweed, and got the pin.
Summary: Too much offense from the Goon here since this was supposed to be a showcase match for Funk. Great finishing maneuver though.
Last Wednesday, Austin cut a promo from England. Stay tuned!
Ad for the Royal Rumble coming January 19 only on PPV.
Prior to the next match, we revisit RAW from 7/19/93 when Tiny Tim was a guest on the King’s Court. RIP Tiny Tim.
Match 2: Diesel versus Phineas Godwinn (w/ Hillbilly Jim)
This isn’t much better, Vince.
Jim Ross joined the broadcast table for this match.
After a cross-corner whip, Diesel gave Phineas a clothesline followed by a sidewalk slam.
Upon delivering a leg drop, Diesel gave Phineas a running guillotine.
Soon afterward, he gave Phineas the boot choke in the corner.
After another cross-corner whip, Diesel delivered a back elbow.
Phineas then reversed a cross-corner whip that resulted in a sternum-first bump by Diesel.
He then followed with a belly-to-back suplex.
Razor Ramon then came to the ring to support his tag team partner.
Meanwhile, Phineas delivered a back elbow.
As he attempted the Slop Drop, Ramon got up on the apron to distract him.
When Phineas nailed Ramon, Diesel gave him the Jackknife powerbomb.
Summary: Showcase match for Diesel. Giving Dennis Knight who weighed close to 300 pounds a powerbomb earns a ½* from me.
Vince then interviews Michaels from WWF Studios who apologizes for “not being defensive enough.” Way to be passive-aggressive, Michaels! We then revisit stills from Survivor Series as he toots his own horn by calling himself “a man’s man.”
RAW is sponsored by Sega Saturn and Beavis and Butthead Do America. That explains the card for this show.
Match 3: Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw (w/ Uncle Zebekiah) versus “Double J” Jesse James
During his entrance, James sang his song.
After Bradshaw missed a clothesline, James hit a cross body block for 2.
A pair of dropkicks by James then sent Bradshaw through the ropes to the floor.
As James came off the ropes, Bradshaw delivered a Mafia kick.
Bradshaw then hooked la magistral cradle for 2. Impressive!
According to Vince, Undertaker and Mankind face off in a “no holds barred” match next week.
In the meantime, Bradshaw gave James a cross-corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
While Bradshaw distracted referee Mike Chioda, Zebekiah nailed James.
Bradshaw then attempted a vertical suplex, but James blocked it and delivered one of his own.
Bradshaw came back with a swinging neckbreaker for a pair of 2-counts.
As Bradshaw hooked a sleeper, James countered with a belly-to-back suplex.
When Bradshaw attempted a piledriver, James countered with a back drop.
James then gave Bradshaw a cross-corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
While Zebekiah got up on the apron, James came over and nailed him returning him to the floor.
Behind Chioda’s back, Zebekiah grabbed James’ boot enabling Bradshaw to deliver a lariat.
Summary: While competitive, this heatless encounter was preliminary match material.
After the match, Zebekiah brands James with the branding iron.
In the Milton Bradley Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament, Lawler and Pettengill square off in the semifinals replacing WWF champion Sid and the WCW-bound Curt Hennig. Needless to say, but Lawler won and will face Sable in the final next week on RAW.
After a commercial break, we revisit last week’s episode when Austin lambasted Bret with a chair to the back. Last Wednesday, in London, England, after Austin “crowned” Sycho Sid with the WWF belt, Davey Boy Smith attacked Austin. Because of Smith’s interference, Sid lost. None too thrilled, Sid attempted to powerbomb Smith, but Bret stopped him. As Bret entered the ring, Austin nailed him from behind. That allowed Sid to chokeslam Bret.
Back in the London locker room, Austin cut a quick promo on Bret. Afterward, Smith had a problem with Austin until Owen interrupted while trying to keep Smith’s eyes on the prize—retaining their titles at the next PPV against Ramon and Diesel. Next, Bret “returned the favor” to Smith and cut a promo on Austin then Sid. To complete the promo marathon, Sid whispered his spiel.
Prior to the main event, Vince shills In Your House XII: It’s Time on 12/15 only on PPV.
Match 4: Jake “The Snake” Roberts & “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus WWF Intercontinental champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley & Billy Gunn
As Helmsley made his entrance, we revisit last week’s show when he messed with Sable.
Upon giving Gunn a hip toss, Roberts delivered a knee lift.
DDT attempt #1 was thwarted as Gunn escaped outside the ring.
Meanwhile, James challenged both Zebekiah and Bradshaw to a handicap match next week.
According to Vince, Helmsley will defend the Intercontinental title against Mero at the PPV.
After he kicked Gunn in the midsection, Mero gave him a knee lift for 2.
Shortly after, Mero gave Gunn a back drop for another 2.
Roberts tagged in and gave Gunn a short-arm clothesline.
DDT attempt #2 was countered with a Gunn back drop.
Helmsley tagged in and delivered a knee drop for 2.
He then gave Roberts a HARD cross-corner whip injuring his back.
During a commercial break, an ad for WWF: Full Metal aired.
When we returned, Roberts gave Gunn a cross-corner whip but ate knee on his follow-through.
According to Vince, in addition to the “no holds barred” match, Sid will face Helmsley in a non-title match next week. Yeah, THAT’LL boost ratings, Vince.
While Vince blathered on about next week’s show, Roberts successfully hit the DDT to Gunn on attempt #3.
That caused both wrestlers to be down on the mat.
Hot tag Mero.
As Mero attempted the ten-punch count-along to Helmsley, Gunn nailed him from behind.
After Helmsley almost nailed Gunn by mistake, Mero dropkicked him into Gunn.
As Helmsley came off the ropes, he knocked Gunn down to the floor. When Gunn returned to the apron, he took exception to it.
When Gunn walked out on the match, Mero and Roberts gave Helmsley a double back elbow.
Mero then gave Helmsley a cross-corner whip followed by a Samoan drop.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the Wild Thing.
Hmmm…it was as if Dean Malenko knew this would happen and countered it in his match on Nitro.
Mero and Roberts won.
Summary: This match served as an appetizer for the upcoming title match at the PPV.
After the match, Roberts took Revelations out of the bag and placed it on Helmsley before the IC champ grabbed his belt and took off.
Conclusion: YUCK! Can someone explain to me why this show was so awful?
TV Rating: 2.30
Who won? Lo and behold, the San Francisco 49ers were on Monday Night Football and played against the Atlanta Falcons. So WCW laid down to the 17.1 ratings juggernaut knowing all they had to do was promote Starrcade. The same can be said for the WWF and It’s Time. It didn’t help the WWF as they got spanked AGAIN by yet another ratings point. Let’s hope next week’s shows are better.