WCW Monday Nitro

Live from Charlotte, NC

Airdate: December 9, 1996

Attendance: 6,382

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

Opening montage.

Welcome to Horseman country!

It’s time for Piper, wearing a Carolina Panthers t-shirt, to come to the ring, hop on his leg, and prove he’s ready to face Hogan at Starrcade. According to Piper, “(he’s) got six kids. (He’s) gotta win this fight.” While the Charlotte faithful chants “Hogan sucks,” Piper makes reference to Bo Jackson’s hip injury with respect to his own. After all, Bo knows hip injuries.

Next, he mentions his boxing match against Mr. T (at Wrestlemania II), and that they (the WWF) wanted Piper to “take a dive.” Since Piper doesn’t dooooooooooo that, they taped his gloves “so that (he) wouldn’t hurt the poor little actor.” With respect to his match against Hogan, Piper’s not taking any dives. Afterward, he infers that the members of the nWo are homosexuals for sitting amongst each other sipping champagne but without any women present.

Ultimately, upon touting Hogan’s popularity and success, Piper calls him out for TONIGHT! Screw Starrcade, right?

Match 1: Mr. Wallstreet versus “Mean” Mike Enos


Rating: DUD

Summary: This appears to be more of an angle than anything else. Let’s continue.

After the match, DiBiase hands Wallstreet a contract. Has Wallstreet joined the nWo?

From WCW Saturday Night, a video showing Woman and Benoit in a restaurant airs. She tells “Kevin” that “it’s over.” Benoit then makes a chess reference in regards to his queen. Wow! Taskmaster’s reaction is anger along with befuddlement.

Match 2: Hugh Morrus versus the Renegade (w/ Joe Gomez)


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Morrus.

After the match, Morrus mounts the opposite top turnbuckle, but Gomez pulls Renegade to safety.

Sony Playstation sponsors the replay.

Suddenly, Taskmaster comes to the ring wearing a Four Horseman t-shirt with a black X on it. He takes exception to putting his dirty laundry on the air. Dude, you’re ON the booking committee. Sheesh!

After a commercial break, we get a video for Sting.

At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Carolina Panthers linebacker Kevin Greene. As you would expect, the Charlotte faithful give him a raucous ovation. Greene’s ready for the NFL playoffs and “Mongo in the offseason.” He then notes that if he gets his hands on Hollywood Hogan then he’d rename him “Chokin’ Hogan.”

To clarify how popular the Panthers were, they finished the ’96 regular season with seven consecutive wins, won the divisional playoff against the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, but lost in the NFC championship game to the Green Bay Packers.

Match 3 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Jimmy Graffiti



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


  1. DDP versus Jeff Jarrett
  2. Eddie Guerrero versus Chris Benoit

Rating: ***

Summary: When Malenko can make Graffiti look good, you know you’re looking at a champion.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Onoo and sneakily reveals that Onoo’s Japanese accent is phony. Onoo believes that Malenko has “belt envy.” Careful, Sonny, this is a family show.

On WCW Saturday Night, Malenko defends the Cruiserweight title against Billy Kidman. Also, Lord Steven Regal defends the TV title against Hugh Morrus. Trivia note: Luther Biggs’ WCW debut also took place on this show. Don’t miss it!

We then revisit World War III and the god-awful triangle tag match for the World tag team titles. The less said the better.

Match 4: Faces of Fear (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Nasty Boys


Rating: DUD

Summary: Do people really enjoy the Nasty Boys’ shenanigans? I know that I don’t.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews “Nature Boy” Ric Flair to a raucous ovation. Flair then brings out Piper for his second appearance tonight. Flair then asks Charlotte how they feel about Hogan. According to Flair, “he sucks.” He then offers Piper the full support of the Four Horsemen. While Piper appreciates it, he wants to beat Hogan by himself. He then kisses Flair on the forehead to finish the segment.


Prior to the next match, we revisit the Piper promo from earlier.

Match 5: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton


Rating: **

Summary: Eaton gave it his all, but Jericho outshined him.

Next, we revisit the highlights of the Sting-Rick Steiner saga.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews the Steiners. Rick asks “What’s next?”

After a commercial break, a video showcasing Lex Luger airs.

Prior to the next match, the Taskmaster cuts a pre-recorded promo in split-screen and shoots on Arn.

Match 6: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson (w/ Mongo & Debra McMichael) versus Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman (w/o Teddy Long)


Rating: DUD

Summary: Hometown victory for Arn.

At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Arn, Mongo, and Debra. While Arn believes the alliance between Benoit and Woman is his fault, Debra disagrees and calls Woman “that little tramp Nancy.” Ooh. I smell a catfight.

Next, Lee Marshall provides the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from Pensacola, FL.” How are the paper mills treating you, Lee?

During the commercial break, an ad for Starrcade live on PPV on 12/29 airs.

Match 7 for the WCW US title (semi-final): Diamond Dallas Page versus Jeff Jarrett


Rating: **

Summary: Angle-driven finish to a match that could cure insomnia. Great high spot from DDP though.

In the ring, Okerlund interviews DDP who doesn’t “need them.” He then compares the Outsiders to a one-night stand and tells them to leave him alone. He believes he is the front-runner for the US title final at Starrcade.

Match 8: Rick Steiner versus Scott Norton


Rating: NONE

Conclusion: Hot ending to an angle-driven show. What else was WCW supposed to do? Most of their roster was in Germany. Here’s the card from Braunschweig from the same night:

  1. Booty Man over Disco Inferno
  2. Public Enemy over American Males (but they broke up?)
  3. Chris Benoit over Eddie Guerrero
  4. Glacier over Mortis (a character yet to be seen on Nitro but was portrayed by Chris Kanyon)
  5. Syxx over Big Bubba Rogers
  6. Lex Luger & Alex Wright over Harlem Heat

What’s on RAW?

TV Rating: 3.10

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from New Haven, CT

Airdate: December 9, 1996 (taped 11/18)

Attendance: 4,968 (walking out in droves)

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

Promo for the Undertaker-Mankind no-holds-barred main event airs to open the show.

A warning screen is then shown. Should I be worried?

Match 1 (non-title): WWF Champion Sycho Sid versus WWF Intercontinental champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley


Rating: DUD

Summary: Too short of a match with a somewhat predictable outcome considering the participants.

We then revisit Summerslam ’96 and the boiler room brawl.

Prior to the next match, we revisit Superstars when Billy Gunn prevented Bart from winning the Intercontinental title (aired 12/8, taped 11/19). Afterward, Billy and Helmsley double-teamed Bart.

Match 2: Goldust (w/ Marlena) versus Bart Gunn


Rating: ½*

Summary: Can Bart rehab his knee well enough to face his former tag team partner next week?

After the match, Billy enters the ring and belittles Bart. When Bart retaliates, Billy heads for higher ground.

We then revisit IYH XI and the Buried Alive match.

In the Milton Bradley Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament, Todd Pettengill offers highlights of previous match-ups. But the finals…will be NEXT WEEK! Stay tuned!

Prior to the next match, we revisit last week’s show when Zebekiah cost Double J the match.

Match 3 (handicap): Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw & Uncle Zebekiah versus “Double J” Jesse James


Rating: 1/2*

Summary: Serious change-the-channel stuff here.

After the match, Bradshaw nails Zebekiah then gives him a lariat. To finish the breakup, Bradshaw brands Zebekiah.

RAW is sponsored by Sega Saturn.

In the ring, Ross interviews the #1 contender to the WWF title--Bret “Hitman” Hart. While Bret discusses the craziness in the WWF, we revisit RAW from two weeks ago when Austin interfered. Next, we see highlights of a match from London when Bret saved Davey Boy Smith from getting powerbombed. Afterward, Austin attacked Bret from behind allowing Sid to chokeslam him. According to Bret, “when you snap, they call you Sycho Sid, but when I snap, they call me the (WWF) champion.” I just hope neither transforms into cereal.

The Akklaim slam of the week is Flash Funk’s Tumbleweed to the Goon last week.

Prior to the next match, we see Mankind in the Dubai desert screaming “I wanna go home!”

Also before the main event, an ad for Royal Rumble aired.

To delay the main event even further, we revisit Summerslam ’96 again when Mankind took the Nestea plunge.

Match 4 (no holds barred): Undertaker versus Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer)


Rating: ***

Summary: Really good main event that not only made Undertaker look good but promoted his “Armageddon rules” match with Executioner on Sunday.

Speaking of Executioner, he returns to the ring and applies the Asiatic spike to Undertaker to end the show.

Conclusion: Certainly, the main event is worth watching, but avoid the rest of the show like the plague. Could the main event be enough mustard on the hot dog for RAW to win?

TV Rating: 2.30

Who won? No way, Jose! Despite WCW’s trek to Germany, Piper’s antics along with the rest of WCW won another battle with better wrestling and angles. Interestingly, they stole quite a few moves (e.g. false pin, top rope leap) from RAW. SNEAKY! Next week, Taskmaster faces Arn on Nitro while the fallout from IYH XII transpires on RAW.

Stay tuned for WWF In Your House: It’s Time!

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

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