WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Dayton, OH

Airdate: December 2, 1996

Attendance: 3,800

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.

Opening montage.

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


Rating: DUD

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


Rating: DUD

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


Rating: ½*

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


Rating: DUD

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


Rating: ***1/2

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)


Rating: *1/2

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.


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


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


Rating: ½*

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)


Rating: *

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


Rating: **

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)


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Luger. Make it seven!

Match 11: Sting versus Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner)


Rating: NONE

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


Rating: *1/2

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)


Rating: 1/2*

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


Rating: *

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


Rating: *

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.

Stay tuned for week 64 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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