Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby ‘The Brain” Heenan, and “Iron” Mike Tenay
Take your pick…fallout from IYH XII or Arn Anderson versus Taskmaster? Guess who wins.
Holy switcheroos, Batman! Tony and Zbyszko are now sitting at the broadcast table by the entrance rather than at ringside. As they begin the show, the nWo (Bischoff and DiBiase) comes out to steal the broadcast. Initially, Zbyszko stands his ground but bequeaths it after a minute or so. Perhaps he can take in some night golf.
Bischoff then has us revisit Piper on last week’s show when Bischoff stood in Hogan’s place and paid the price.
Match 1 for the WCW World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion) versus Psicosis
After a commercial break, Psicosis reversed a cross-corner whip, but Regal countered with a rollup for 2.
Psicosis then delivered a spinning heel kick as the Pensacola faithful CAME ALIVE!
Another heel kick sent Regal outside the ring to regroup, but Psicosis gave him a tope. Woohoo!
Upon tossing Regal back into the ring, Psicosis mounted the top turnbuckle, hooked a sunset flip, and got 2.
After a dropkick, Psicosis placed Regal atop the top turnbuckle and delivered a huracanrana for another 2.
Next, he hooked an inside cradle and almost got 3.
He then slammed Regal, remounted the top turnbuckle, and hit the guillotine leg drop.
Do we have a new champion?
Regal came back with a German suplex but couldn’t capitalize.
Psicosis then hit another heel kick and got 2.
Shortly after, Regal delivered a butterfly suplex for 2.
He then placed Psicosis atop the top turnbuckle, joined him, but Psicosis nailed him sending Regal down to the mat.
Psicosis then hit a top rope splash but only got 2.
When Regal came back, he hooked an inside cradle for 2.
Psicosis then responded with a backslide for 2.
After a superkick, Psicosis attempted a headscissors, but Regal dumped him instead.
He then applied the Regal stretch.
Psicosis submitted so Regal retained.
Summary: While this was a complete contrast of styles, they mixed it together well.
After a commercial break, we revisit Nitro from three weeks ago when Sting planted Rick Steiner allowing Rogers to beat him.
Match 2: Big Bubba Rogers (w/o Jimmy Hart) versus Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Rogers gave Chavo a cross-corner whip, but Chavo floated over and gave Rogers a drop toehold.
After a dropkick, Chavo pinballed Rogers while he was in the ropes.
Another dropkick sent Rogers to the floor.
He then attempted a plancha, but Rogers caught and slammed him on the floor twice.
Back in the ring, Rogers delivered a shoulder block but missed a splash.
Chavo came back with a flying forearm and a dropkick but couldn’t take Rogers off his feet.
While getting caught in the middle of a huracanrana attempt, Chavo nailed Rogers repeatedly until Rogers went down for 2.
After a butt bump, Chavo gave Rogers a rolling senton for another 2.
As he came off the ropes, Chavo ate a Bubba slam.
Summary: Showcase match for Rogers.
Valvoline sponsors the replay.
After a commercial break, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Onoo with Chono. While Onoo wears a New Japan Pro Wrestling t-shirt, Chono unveils an nWo t-shirt. Another member has joined the ranks. As Onoo and Chono argue in Japanese, Okerlund asks Onoo for an interpretation “in English, you idiot.” Chono then rips the NJPW t-shirt on Onoo.
Match 3: IWGP tag team champion Masahiro Chono (w/o Sonny Onoo) versus “Lionheart” Chris Jericho
At this point in time, Chono held the IWGP tag titles with Hiroyoshi Tenzan.
After Chono tossed Jericho outside the ring, Jericho returned and delivered a series of kicks.
Chono came back with a Yakuza kick and a head butt.
Jericho responded with a sunset flip and got 2.
After tossing Jericho outside the ring, Chono joined and nailed him.
Back in the ring, he gave Jericho an inverted atomic drop.
Jericho then reversed a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Chono then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Jericho caught and gave him a top rope superplex. Woohoo!
As Bischoff denigrated the WWF PPV, Jericho delivered a spinning heel kick for 2.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a leg lariat.
Jericho then delivered a clothesline, but Chono no-sold it.
As Jericho charged at him, Chono evaded him sending Jericho between the ropes to the floor.
Jericho tried to re-enter the ring, but Chono nailed him. In the process, Jericho got his left leg caught between the bottom and second ropes.
Chono then exited the ring and put the boots to Jericho.
Referee Mark Curtis called for the bell disqualifying Chono.
Summary: Showcase match for Chono despite losing. Poor Jericho had NOTHING to work with here.
On WCW Saturday Night, the Outsiders compete in a handicap match. Also, Eddie Guerrero faces Disco Inferno while new nWo recruit Mr. Wallstreet faces Eaton. Get it all right here:
Once again, we revisit last week’s show with Piper calling out Hogan, Flair putting Piper over on the microphone, and the “discussion” between Piper and Bischoff.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews Flair with Arn, Mongo, and Debra. While Arn cuts a promo on the Taskmaster, Flair, wearing a University of Florida sweater, endorses the union of Benoit and Woman. Meanwhile, Debra calls Woman “nasty little Nancy” and is extremely full of herself. Mongo then shows his support for Arn as Flair does the same for Piper at Starrcade.
Match 4 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus David Sammartino
Malenko gave Sammartino a HARD cross-corner whip injuring Sammartino’s back.
After another cross-corner whip, Malenko came up empty on his follow-through.
Sammartino then rolled him up for 2.
As Sammartino ducked a right hand from Malenko, he fell victim to an inside cradle for 2.
Sammartino then hooked a backslide for 2.
In a unique spot, Malenko hooked Sammartino in a double chickenwing and pinned him.
Summary: It takes a lot to drag Malenko down to DUD, but Sammartino did it. He should be proud.
Bischoff and DiBiase hand the reigns of the show back to Schiavone who’s joined by Tenay and Heenan.
We then revisit the defection of Chono to the nWo.
Match 5: Ice Train (w/ Teddy Long) versus Jerry Flynn
Wow! This show is so historical now that Jerry Flynn debuted.
After Ice Train no-sold some punches, he delivered a clothesline resulting in a 360° sell from Flynn. Woohoo!
Upon slamming him, Ice Train hit a splash.
He then gave Flynn a cross-corner whip followed by an avalanche.
When he gave Flynn a second cross-corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
Flynn then clotheslined Ice Train and followed with a leg lariat in the corner.
After Flynn delivered a series of kicks, he got 2.
It’s Ice-up time!
As Schiavone reluctantly shilled the on-sale date for tickets to nWo Souled Out in January, Ice Train delivered a head butt but missed an elbow drop.
Upon giving Ice Train a spinning thrust kick, Flynn ate a clothesline.
When Flynn tried to deliver another series of kicks, Ice Train caught Flynn’s left leg, took him down, and applied an ankle lock.
Summary: In addition to Flynn, this would be the Nitro debut of the tap-out submission. Surprisingly, it came from an Ice Train victory.
After the match, Syxx interviews the Outsiders at the entrance. While Hall calls out Faces of Fear for tonight and is allegedly sober, Nash looks like he fell off the wagon with a bandana and his Outsiders t-shirt ripped to resemble a tank top.
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.
Video featuring Sting airs.
Match 6: Rey Mysterio Jr. versus “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton
As Eaton gave Mysterio a face plant, he delivered a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2.
According to Schiavone, Mysterio will face Jushin “Thunder” Liger at Starrcade.
When Mysterio sought refuge outside the ring, Eaton leaped from the apron but ate the steel railing instead. It must have tasted like Miss Judy’s fried pork chops at Five Sisters Blues Café.
Mysterio then delivered a tope suicida. Woohoo!
From the apron, Mysterio brought Eaton back into the ring via a victory roll for a 1-count.
Mysterio then escaped a vertical suplex attempt and gave Eaton a spinning heel kick.
From the apron, Mysterio then delivered a springboard dropkick.
Following that, he hit a springboard moonsault for 2.
Eaton then reversed an Irish whip and delivered a clothesline for 2.
After a slam, Eaton mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the knee drop for another 2.
Mysterio then reversed a cross-corner whip but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
Eaton then mounted the second turnbuckle, but Mysterio caught and gave him a huracanrana.
Summary: Showcase match for Mysterio.
Next, Lee Marshall provides the 1-800-COLLECT Road Report “from Macon, GA.” Unless Marshall brought his wife, I don’t see him “Macon” any bacon.
Another Benoit-Woman video airs. After Benoit speaks French to Woman, he asks “Kevin”: “Doesn’t life suck?” followed by “have you finally faced the truth?” I fear for Arn’s safety tonight and Benoit’s in the future.
Match 7: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson versus the Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart)
The match began in the aisle as Taskmaster nailed Arn.
After Taskmaster ripped Arn’s t-shirt, Arn rammed him face-first into the ring apron.
As Hart distracted referee Mark Curtis, Taskmaster then tossed a chair into Arn’s face. E-C-W! E-C-W!
With Taskmaster leaned up against the ring post, Arn tried to decapitate him with the chair but missed.
In the ring, Sullivan nailed Arn down to the mat.
Upon tossing Arn outside the ring, Taskmaster tossed Arn over the steel railing into the crowd.
They then brawled in the crowd but didn’t leave the ringside seats.
Back in the ring, Arn accidentally nailed Curtis when he pulled his arm back to hit Taskmaster.
After Taskmaster raked Arn’s eyes, Arn mistakenly gave Curtis the DDT. D’oh!
Curtis was OUT COLD.
Taskmaster then gave Arn the double stomp and tied Arn to the Tree of Woe.
When Taskmaster charged, Arn nailed him down I-65 SOUTH.
As Hugh Morrus ran in, he ate a DDT from Arn.
Konnan then tried to run in but got nailed on the apron.
When Hart got up on the apron, Arn tossed him into the ring.
As Arn tried to give Hart a DDT, Konnan handed Taskmaster a balsa wood chair to nail Arn.
Hart then revived Curtis to count the pin.
Taskmaster won. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Summary: Brawl with a lot of heat. Methinks Arn had better get Benoit back to help him fight the Dungeon of Doom.
After the match, Hart yelled “you shouldn’t have played that video.”
Match 8: Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner) versus Sting
As the Pensacola faithful chanted “We Want Sting,” Sting came through the stands to the ring.
When Sting climbed over the steel railing, nWo Sting had already entered the ring.
nWo Sting then pointed his bat in Sting’s face, but Sting returned the favor.
While Scott retrieved nWo Sting’s bat, Sting tossed his bat to Rick.
As they turned their backs to the Steiners, Sting gave nWo Sting the Scorpion death drop and left through the Pensacola faithful.
During the commercial break, an ad for Starrcade aired live on PPV on 12/29.
Afterward, WCW World champion “Hollywood” Hogan comes to the ring along with Giant, DiBiase, Vincent, and Elizabeth. Upon running down Piper, he tells Vincent to locate him. Next, Hogan runs down Flair and calls Savage “washed-up.” DiBiase then informs us that “Piper ran out the back door.” How conniving! He then poses for the nWo-ites to finish the segment.
Match 9 (non-title): WCW World tag team champions the Outsiders versus Faces of Fear (w/ Jimmy Hart)
As Hall and Meng fought in the ring, Nash and Barbarian fought outside of it.
Barbarian then tried to ram Nash into the ring post, but Barbarian HIT THE POLE instead.
After Meng missed a clothesline, Nash tripped him.
Hall then hit Meng with a lariat.
When Hall attempted the Outsider Edge, Barbarian entered the ring and gave Hall a Mafia kick.
Nash then entered the ring and gave Barbarian one too.
With all four men in the ring, Rogers ran into the ring.
He then nailed Meng.
Another member of WCW has defected to the nWo!
then gave Meng the Bossman slam.
ran into the ring, but Rogers nailed him.
nWo and the Dungeon of Doom then battled in the ring.
Suddenly, Giant, Bagwell, Wallstreet, Chono, and Syxx hit the ring.
If you can believe it, members of WCW came to the ring.
As Ice Train came to the ring, Scott Norton attacked him! Do we have ANOTHER defection?
Giant then gave Flynn a chokeslam.
When Chavo ran in, he received a chokeslam from Giant.
Sting then came to the ring, but Arn got in his face.
As Arn missed a haymaker, Sting nailed him.
Mongo then nailed Sting, but the latter retaliated.
Mysterio leaped on Sting’s back, but Sting tossed him down to the mat.
Sting then left the ring.
WE’RE OUTTA TIME!
Conclusion: Solid sizzle that will sell Starrcade. The influx of nWo recruits is good because it separates those who want to fight for WCW and those who want to fight against WCW. WWF who? In all seriousness, with Bischoff and DiBiase on the call in the first hour, WCW tested its audience to see if they wanted nWo Monday Nitro if only for an hour. Only time will tell. What’s on RAW?
TV Rating: 3.40
WWF Monday Night RAW
Live from Tampa FL
Airdate: December 16, 1996
Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry “The King” Lawler
As Bret comes to the ring to start the show, Ross joins him in the ring for an interview. Bret informs us that within the WWF: “there are no rules.” He then calls out all of the main event talent and refers to Michaels as “a little prissy.” Wow! According to Bret, he “will do anything and everything to get back on top.” Finally, he announces that he will be involved in the Royal Rumble.
Match 1 (toughman): Stone Cold Steve Austin versus Vader (w/ Jim Cornette)
Did Vader miss a flight yesterday?
Bret joined the broadcast table for this match and stated that he will NOT get involved along with “mind(ing) (his) own business.”
After Vader pummeled Austin in the corner, he gave Austin a short-arm clothesline.
He then gave Austin a running body block, missed a pair of clotheslines, and ate a Thesz press.
Austin then pummeled Vader sending him between the ropes to the floor.
He then leaped from the apron and delivered a double axe handle.
After a commercial break, Vader nailed and launched Austin over the steel railing into the crowd.
Vader joined and hammered him with a chair.
Austin came back and clotheslined Vader back to ringside.
Back in the ring, Vader reversed an Irish whip and delivered another running body block.
He then attempted the Vader bomb, but Austin got up and nailed him down I-75 SOUTH.
To counter Austin’s punches, Vader backdropped him over the top rope to the floor.
Bret then left the broadcast table and clipped Austin’s knee. Hey, Bret LIED. The scoundrel!
He then applied the Sharpshooter to Austin on the floor as referee Jack Doan called for the bell.
Austin won by DQ.
Summary: Short match to continue the bad blood between Austin and Bret.
After the match, Vader steamrolls Bret as they brawl at ringside. Once officials break up that melee, Bret returns to hook a second Sharpshooter on Austin. Bret must be singing this tune.
We then revisit the Ahmed Johnson interview from last night.
Match 2: The Godwinns (w/o Hillbilly Jim) versus Razor Ramon & Diesel
After Phineas missed a back elbow, he clotheslined Ramon over the top rope to the floor.
Upon slamming Ramon, Phineas tagged out to Henry who slammed Phineas atop Ramon.
Diesel tagged in, gave Henry a cross-corner whip, and followed with a corner clothesline.
Henry then reversed an Irish whip and delivered a back elbow to Diesel.
Next week, Ramon will face Bret on RAW.
Shortly after, Diesel tagged in and gave Henry a big boot.
He then followed with a running guillotine.
Henry came back and gave Diesel a clothesline.
Hot tag Phineas.
As Henry clotheslined Diesel over the top rope to the floor, Ramon attempted the Razor’s Edge to Phineas.
Henry made the save by giving Ramon the Slop Drop.
While Henry distracted referee Jim Korderas, Diesel re-entered the ring and powerbombed Phineas. That did NOT look crisp.
Summary: We get the point, Vince. Now get these jabronies off my TV!
Back in the locker room, WWF champion Sycho Sid, who has beaten both Bret and Michaels within the last 30 days, “thrives on adversity” when he beats Michaels “in his own backyard.” He then tells Jose Lothario to “stay home.”
During the commercial break, an ad for WWF: Full Metal airs.
Vince then shills Royal Rumble live on PPV on 1/19 and interviews Michaels who has pride in his south Texas upbringing. He also promises to win the title at the PPV and informs us that Bret cannot and will not beat him. I smell a challenge!
Match 3: Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon versus TL Hopper & Dr. X
Joined in progress? Why? This is LIVE TV, Vince!
After a leap frog, Furnas gave Hopper an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
LaFon tagged in, attempted a monkey flip, but Hopper gave him a face plant instead.
Dr. X tagged in and gave LaFon a Doctorbomb for 2.
LaFon then blocked a vertical suplex attempt and delivered a snap suplex to Dr. X.
Hot tag Furnas.
After giving Hopper a dropkick, Furnas gave one to Dr. X.
He then hit a powerslam on Hopper and got 2.
LaFon tagged in, double-underhooked Hopper’s arms, but Dr. X made the save.
All four men were in the ring.
LaFon then gave Hopper a cobra clutch suplex.
Furnas and LaFon won.
Summary: Showcase match for Furnas and LaFon.
Back in the locker room, Billy cuts a promo on Bart.
Ad for the Royal Rumble live on PPV on 1/19.
In the finals of the Milton Bradley Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament, Sable faces Jerry “The King” Lawler. While “Wildman” Marc Mero accompanies Sable, Intercontinental champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley seconds Lawler. While Sables calls Lawler a “pauper,” Lawler goes the misogynistic route. Regardless, Sable wins. Lawler then claims she cheated and demands a rematch. When Mero and Lawler come to blows, Helmsley attacks Mero from behind. They then double-team Mero until Goldust comes to Mero’s aid.
When Goldust gets in the ring, Lawler asks him “What’s the big idea, freak?” After Lawler touts Helmsley, he stammers before asking if Goldust is “queer.” Goldust emphatically replies “NO” and WALLOPS Lawler to a raucous ovation. WE HAVE A FACE TURN! Afterward, Marlena comes to the ring, and Goldust addresses her like a gentleman.
We then get this wonderful holiday treasure:
Match 4: Billy Gunn versus Bart Gunn
According to Vince, Helmsley will face Mero for the IC title next week on RAW.
Billy nailed Bart from behind sending both wrestlers over the top rope to the floor.
When they returned to the ring, Bart gave Billy a cross-corner whip but ate knees on his follow-through.
Billy then missed a clothesline, but Bart gave him one of his own for 2.
After a commercial break, Billy delivered a hangman’s neckbreaker followed by a knee drop.
Yikes! I hear footsteps. Could this guy be nearby?
Bart came back with a stungun, and Billy was unable to continue due to a “stinger” according to Vince.
Beware the hangman!
Summary: Too short of a match, and it finished with “stay tuned for later updates.”
While Billy’s “wife” checks on him, Bart’s “wife” also comes into the ring. Billy’s “wife” then asks Bart “How can you do this to your own brother?” While Billy lies prone on the mat, Bart is despondent over his brother’s health. After a commercial break, paramedics secure Billy to a stretcher while immobilizing his neck.
Conclusion: Wrestling-wise, this was awful. Entertainment-wise, for the most part, this was better than recent weeks. Can the fallout from the PPV bring a victory home for the WWF?
TV Rating: 2.30
Who won? Nope. Once again, Nitro beat RAW by more than a full point. Next week, Nitro features the other semifinal for the US title as Eddie Guerrero faces Chris Benoit. On RAW, Bret faces Ramon while Mero gets another shot at the IC title against Helmsley.