Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby ‘The Brain” Heenan, and “Iron” Mike Tenay
Want to know what’s involved in the Sherwood Forest episode of Nitro? Read on!
Before the montage completes, the Giant storms the nWo locker room while calling Hogan a “coward.” He’s not wrong! Apparently, Hogan’s backed out of his promise to defend the WCW title against Giant. I smell anarchy!
Not like that, but it’s a good show.
Match 1: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. versus Mr. JL
Upon leap-frogging JL, Chavo gave him a monkey flip.
After JL leap-frogged him, Chavo gave JL a flying headscissors.
He then delivered a dropkick that caused JL to fall between the ropes to the floor.
Next, Chavo hit a plancha as JL landed with a SPLAT!
Upon tossing JL back into the ring, Chavo mounted the top turnbuckle but got dropkicked down to the floor.
With Chavo on the floor, JL mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a cross body block.
When Chavo blocked a whip into the steel railing, JL made him taste it. It must have tasted like the alligator sausage po-boy at 801 Royal.
Back in the ring, Chavo delivered a flying forearm for 2.
He then remounted the top turnbuckle and got crotched.
Afterward, JL joined and gave him a super huracanrana for 2.
Chavo then reversed an Irish whip and gave JL a butt butt. Has he been taking lessons from “Iceman” King Parsons?
Regardless, Chavo mounted the top turnbuckle yet again and hit a moonsault to a big ovation.
Summary: Exciting victory for Chavo despite Schiavone and Zbyszko completely ignoring it.
Prior to the next match, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Duggan who waves the WCW flag overhead. After stating that he can’t do it alone, Duggan calls out Sting by referring to him as “wishy-washy.” Uh-oh. This can’t lead to anything good.
Match 2: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan versus Super Calo
As Duggan waved the WCW flag in the ring, Sting entered the ring and gave Duggan a Scorpion death drop.
Match 3: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman
According to Schiavone, The New Adventures of Robin Hood premiered after this show. That wouldn’t be the last time it got mentioned tonight.
Upon giving Pittman a leg lariat, Jericho delivered a clothesline.
After Jericho gave Pittman a pair of shoulder blocks, he tried a third one, but Pittman evaded him. That sent Jericho over the top rope, but he caught his balance on the apron.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a missile dropkick, and got the pin.
Summary: Showcase match for Jericho.
Match 4: Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) versus High Voltage
After Booker T gave Kaos a back elbow, he gave Kaos a back drop despite Kaos’ best efforts to block it.
To counter an arm bar, Kaos gave Booker T a clothesline followed by a slam.
Rage tagged in, vaulted over the top rope, and delivered a leg drop to Booker T.
Suddenly, Giant barges into the nWo locker room a second time, but WCW Security ushers him out again. The nWo then mocked him. How dastardly!
Meanwhile in the ring, Booker T tagged in and gave Rage a leg lariat.
He then delivered a sidewalk slam, mounted the second turnbuckle, but missed a knee drop.
Kaos tagged in and gave Booker T a butterfly suplex for 2 as Stevie Ray made the save.
All four men were in the ring.
As Rage distracted referee Mark Curtis, Harlem Heat gave Kaos the Heet Seeker.
Summary: Showcase match for Harlem Heat.
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.
On WCW Saturday Night, Arn Anderson faces Barbarian while Lord Steven Regal defends the TV title against Psicosis. Also, Luger squares off against Scott Norton while Eddie Guerrero and Syxx offer a preview of their encounter at nWo Souled Out.
According to Schiavone, the WCW Executive Committee will make a ruling during the program.
Abruptly, Eric Bischoff, Ted DiBiase, and Vincent take over the broadcast table.
Sting video aired.
Match 5: Diamond Dallas Page versus Mark Starr
A main event in any arena!
After a leap frog by Starr, DDP countered a hip toss with a DDT.
Upon giving Starr a cross-corner whip, DDP hit the Diamond Cutter for the pin.
Summary: Showcase match for DDP.
All of a sudden, the Outsiders come to the ring with an nWo shirt for DDP. After Nash and DDP share a hug, the latter puts on the shirt. DDP HAS JOINED THE NWO!Upon shaking Hall’s hand, DDP gives him the Diamond Cutter. SCRATCH THAT! WE HAVE A FACE TURN! In response, the New Orleans faithful ERUPTED. When Nash discovers what happened, he charges but DDP ducks. That sends Nash over the top rope, over a table, and to the floor. DDP then leaves through the crowd as Bischoff and DiBiase are incredulous. Great payback angle!
Promo by the Outsiders for their match at nWo Souled Out aired.
According to Schiavone, stay tuned because the WCW Executive Committee have an upcoming announcement later in the show. Can’t wait!
Match 6 (non-title): WCW US champion Eddie Guerrero versus Dean Malenko
As the New Orleans faithful chanted “Ed-die,” Malenko delivered a leg lariat.
According to Schiavone, the WCW Executive Committee ruled that Hogan will face Giant TONIGHT! Oh my God! Whatever you do, DON’T change the channel!
Meanwhile in the ring, Eddie delivered a belly-to-back suplex, went to the apron, and hit a somersault senton for 2.
Malenko then used momentum to toss Eddie between the ropes to the floor.
Upon Eddie’s return, he hooked a figure-four leg lock, but Malenko made the ropes.
To counter a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, Malenko gave Eddie a flying headscissors.
He then gave Eddie a monkey flip, but Eddie landed on his feet like a cat.
Well, not THAT cat.
He then successfully gave Malenko a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2.
After Malenko reversed a cross-corner whip, he ate knee on his follow-through.
Eddie then attempted a tornado DDT, but Malenko tossed him across the ring.
Upon giving Eddie a knee to the midsection, Malenko hooked a rope-assisted abdominal stretch.
He then converted it into a rollup for 2.
When Eddie executed a sunset flip, Malenko made him eat a knuckle sandwich.
In another portion of the stadium, Syxx climbed a ladder and sat atop it to taunt Eddie.
In the meantime, Malenko gave Eddie a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
After Eddie hooked a Gory special, a pinfall reversal sequence culminated with a backslide by Eddie for 2.
Malenko then reversed an Irish whip, secured a rollup, but only got 2.
Upon clotheslining Eddie, Malenko got another 2.
Eddie then walked the ropes and gave Malenko a huracanrana.
Next, he gave Malenko a cross-corner whip but came up empty as Malenko floated to the apron.
Malenko then mounted the top turnbuckle, attempted a double axe handle, but Eddie blocked it.
After a brainbuster, Malenko got 2.
When Malenko attempted a vertical suplex, Eddie escaped and rolled up Malenko for 2.
Eddie then delivered his own brainbuster but got distracted by Syxx.
With Eddie standing on the second turnbuckle, Malenko delivered a powerbomb.
Summary: Exciting drama as these guys have amazing chemistry that never gets tired.
Sony Playstation sponsors the replay.
We then revisit the opening of the program as Giant invaded the nWo locker room.
Not quite like that but close.
Match 7: Konnan (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Super Calo
After Konnan rolled up Calo, the latter hooked a somersault rollup for a one-count.
Upon giving Konnan a series of Mexican arm drags, Calo delivered a dropkick.
When Konnan sought refuge outside the ring, Calo met him with a tope suicida. Woohoo!
Back in the ring, Calo delivered a pair of elbow drops for 2.
After a leap frog by Calo, Konnan delivered a somersault clothesline that resulted in a 360° sell.
Konnan then delivered a pair of powerbombs, mounted the second turnbuckle, but received a super huracanrana for 2. Um, why didn’t Calo sell those properly?
As Konnan reversed an Irish whip, Calo attempted a cross body block but fell straight down. That’ll teach you to sell, jabronie!
Next, Konnan delivered the 187 and pinned Calo.
Summary: Except for the awkward cross body block, this was pretty good stuff.
Prior to the next match, Taskmaster cuts a pre-taped promo on Benoit and warns him about next week in Chicago. Well, there have been a lot of murders there recently. Nonetheless, according to Schiavone, they will meet in a falls-count-anywhere match at the upcoming Clash on 1/21.
Match 8: Jeff Jarrett versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman)
According to Schiavone, the Hogan-Giant match will be NON-TITLE. I smell something.
As the New Orleans faithful chanted “Jarrett sucks,” Mongo and Debra McMichael came to the ring.
While Arn trailed behind the McMichaels, Jarrett gave Benoit a snap suplex for 2.
Benoit then reversed an Irish whip and clotheslined Jarrett.
When Jarrett reversed a cross-corner whip, he followed with a corner clothesline.
Next, Jarrett gave Benoit a running guillotine for 2.
He then gave Benoit a stungun, hooked a somersault rollup, and got another 2.
After Benoit reversed a cross-corner whip, Jarrett delivered a swinging neckbreaker.
While Arn distracted referee Mark Curtis, Debra and Mongo fought over the Haliburton.
As Debra released it, Mongo accidentally hit Benoit instead of Jarrett.
Summary: More angle than match as the dissension between the Horsemen continues.
At the entrance, Okerlund interviews the Four Horsemen minus Flair. While Benoit wants the Horsemen to be an elite team, he also wants Mongo to stop fumbling. Afterward, he defends Woman to Debra. As Mongo apologizes, Benoit questions Flair’s whereabouts. Next, Arn requests that Benoit and Mongo settle their differences as Debra lies about being a gossip monger. Angrily, Mongo gets in Benoit’s face for not accepting his apology, and Arn has to separate them. Lastly, Arn’s anxious about his upcoming match with Rick Steiner.
Match 9: Scotty Riggs versus Billy Kidman
After a slam, Riggs delivered a dropkick.
He then reversed an Irish whip but fell victim to a flying headscissors.
When Kidman delivered a dropkick, Riggs face-planted him afterward for 2.
To add excitement to this boring match, Marcus Bagwell appeared at the entrance seemingly dressed for Mardi Gras.
When Riggs tried another face plant, Kidman gave him a second dropkick for 2.
Bagwell then informed us that “(Riggs) is fat while (he’s) buff.” I sense a new nickname.
After Riggs reversed a cross-corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
Kidman then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a 450 splash.
To finish off Kidman, Riggs hooked a fisherman’s suplex for the pin.
Summary: Showcase match for Riggs who will face Bagwell at the PPV.
Lee Marshall then delivers the 1-800-COLLECT road report from “Chicago, IL.” Perhaps he can jump off Navy Pier never to be seen again.
Aaron Neville was shown in the crowd. He’s no fool to be at Nitro during WCW’s rise.
Match 10: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Rick Fuller
As the New Orleans faithful chanted “Lu-ger,” their hero countered a hip toss with one of his own.
Fuller came back with a clothesline and a leg drop for 2.
When the New Orleans faithful stood to cheer for him, Luger nailed Fuller with a forearm.
After a clothesline, Luger delivered a second forearm.
As Luger hooked the Torture Rack, the New Orleans faithful ERUPTED!
Summary: New Orleans loves Luger even during a showcase match against an extra-large opponent (6’5” 286lbs.)
While Luger takes his time returning backstage, Giant emerges from the entrance and stands in Luger’s path. He then concedes to go to the ring for an interview with Okerlund. Vociferously, he states that he “(wants) it REAL BAD” referring to his desire to be WCW World Champion again. Following that, he mentions that he was a “bookend” in the nWo and wants to close a chapter on Hogan tonight.
Match 11: The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson versus Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner)
As Rick made his entrance, Scott “controlled” him with a chain leash.
Arn then countered a hip toss with a fireman’s carry takeover.
When Rick reversed a cross-corner whip, he ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
He then countered a left hand with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
While Arn sought refuge outside the ring, he motioned for the Horsemen to come out to assist him.
According to Schiavone, the highlights of the Hogan-Giant match will be seen during the commercial breaks of The New Adventures of Robin Hood. Boy, I’m glad the WWE Network won’t air that show while I cover the match.
Regardless, Rick gave Arn a powerslam for 2.
He then followed with a back drop for another 2.
Arn came back and attempted a DDT only to receive another back drop.
According to Tenay, the rest of the Horsemen are locked in the dressing room in a “screaming match.” Surely, Mike, you cannot be serious.
Meanwhile, Rick clotheslined Arn over the top rope to the floor.
When the Horsemen didn’t show, Arn got counted out.
Summary: More angle than match as the sand in the hourglass that is Arn’s career has almost run out.
After the match, Okerlund interviews the Steiners in the ring. While Scott’s ready to rip out Hall’s “goozle”, he wants to make a “believer” out of Nash. It could happen.
Promo aired for nWo Souled Out live on PPV on 1/25. Interestingly, it contained the address to the nWo web site.
Prior to the main event, Hogan cuts a promo on Giant, but when he gets too close to the ring, Giant grabs and slams him inside.
Match 12 (non-title): WCW Champion Hollywood Hogan (w/ Ted DiBiase) versus Giant
After Giant gave Hogan a cross-corner whip, he followed with a kick to the midsection.
Hogan then sought refuge outside the ring, but Giant caught him in the aisle and tossed him back into the ring.
Nitro then went off the air.
During the first commercial break of TNARH, Schiavone had the gall to make us think that the match was ongoing during the commercial breaks. C’mon, Tony!
After a clothesline by Giant, Hogan hit Giant low making referee Randy Anderson cringe.
To humiliate Hogan, Giant stuffed Hogan’s bandana in Hogan’s mouth.
During the second commercial break of TNARH, Giant tossed Hogan back in the ring and slammed him.
When Giant tried to chokeslam him, Hogan kicked him in the shin.
A second attempt was thwarted by an eye rake.
Before a third attempt could be made, the rest of the nWo swarmed the ring.
Referee Randy Anderson then called for the bell disqualifying Hogan.
Summary: Horrible main event made even worse by having it cut into pieces to encourage viewership of a new TNT program.
Thanks, Cary. I’m glad we’re on the same page.
After the match, Giant cleans house of the nWo as the program ends.
Conclusion: While most of the show promoted the upcoming PPV, the DDP turn against the nWo makes this an historical episode not to be missed. What’s on RAW?
TV Rating: 3.40
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from Albany, NY
Airdate: January 13, 1997 (taped 12/30/96)
Attendance: 6,855 (wishing they could be elsewhere)
Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and the Honkytonk Man
Prior to the first match, we revisit RAW from two weeks ago when Helmsley attempted to abduct Marlena, but Mero got in his path. After Helmsley tossed Marlena at Mero, Goldust mowed both Mero and Marlena down.
Match 1: Goldust & Marc Mero (w/ Sable & Marlena) versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley & Jerry “The King” Lawler
A four-way brawl opened the match until Mero and Goldust cleared the ring.
Upon Lawler’s return, Mero gave him a back drop.
When Lawler held Mero, Helmsley accidentally nailed him.
Helmsley tagged in, but Goldust came in unexpectedly.
Mero then reversed a cross-corner whip and gave a back drop to Helmsley.
As Goldust tagged in, Helmsley sought refuge outside the ring.
In case you forgot, Goldust will challenge Helmsley for the IC title at the Royal Rumble on Sunday.
While Helmsley put his boot up for Lawler, Goldust became the one doing the ramming.
He then gave Lawler and Helmsley a double noggin knocker.
When Mero tagged in, Helmsley also tagged in and caused Goldust to distract referee Jack Doan. Simultaneously, Lawler and Helmsley double-teamed Mero in the heel corner.
Helmsley then delivered a back elbow and tagged in Lawler.
After a vertical suplex, Lawler missed a fist drop.
According to Vince, the winner of the Royal Rumble match will face the loser of the WWF title match next week on RAW. Perhaps we could see Michaels vs. Bret?
As Goldust tagged in, Helmsley left the heel corner to avoid the tag.
Goldust then delivered a lariat, but Helmsley wouldn’t tag in.
When Lawler held Goldust, Helmsley nailed him again. What is this? The Keystone Cops?
Mero tagged in, but Lawler tagged in Helmsley.
After Helmsley tossed Mero outside the ring, he leaped from the apron and gave Mero a kick to the midsection.
While Goldust distracted Doan again, Lawler nailed Mero with a foreign object.
After a commercial break, Helmsley gave Mero a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Mero came back with a flying headscissors and made the hot tag.
Goldust then pummeled Helmsley and delivered another lariat.
When Helmsley reversed an Irish whip, Goldust delivered his patented uppercut.
After Helmsley got tied up in the ropes, Goldust practically mugged him.
Doan then called for the bell disqualifying Goldust and Mero.
Summary: While elongated, this was more angle than match as the Goldust-Helmsley feud took the spotlight here.
After the match, an enraged Goldust nails his own partner. Interestingly, Mero does not retaliate.
Live from Park Place in San Antonio, TX, Shawn Michaels hangs out with some of his fans.
Meanwhile, taped from the Alamodome, Sid uses Frankenstein logic to prove he’ll retain the WWF title on Sunday.
After a commercial break, we revisit Survivor Series when Sid nailed Jose Lothario with a TV camera. Following that, we revisit Sid’s powerbomb of Pete Lothario from last week.
Michaels rebuts by stating that Sid can be the master and ruler, etc., but he won’t be WWF champion come January 19. Is Michaels a soothsayer?
We revisit Superstars from “yesterday” as Austin clipped Bret’s knee. He then mounted the second turnbuckle and “Pillmanized” Bret (aired 1/12, taped 12/17/96).
After a commercial break, Vince shills Royal Rumble this Sunday on PPV.
We then revisit Superstars from “two weeks ago” as Smith nailed Austin behind referee Jim Korderas’ back costing Austin the victory in a handicap match (aired 12/29, taped 12/17).
Next, we revisit Shotgun Saturday Night when Mero and Sable argued after Diesel beat him. Afterward, Honkytonk Man wanted to join Sable in a good cry, but Maivia put a stop to that. When Mero noticed Sable with Maivia, a brawl broke out between them.
Match 2: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Clarence Mason) versus Rocky Maivia
Bret limped to the broadcast table to provide commentary for this match.
After giving Smith a hip toss, Maivia delivered an arm drag.
Upon leap-frogging Smith, Maivia gave him a hip toss followed by a dropkick.
Smith then exited the ring to regroup with Mason.
When he returned, Owen came to the ring with his Slammy.
As Maivia escaped a slam, Smith used momentum to send him between the ropes to the floor.
While Owen confronted his brother, Smith joined and rammed Maivia face-first into the steel steps. C’mon, Smith, he’s got a multi-million-dollar movie career ahead of him. Don’t destroy his image during his rookie campaign.
After a commercial break, Maivia used a sunset flip to re-enter the ring and got 2.
Smith then retaliated with a clothesline; however, he missed a second clothesline.
Afterward, Maivia came off the ropes with a cross body block for another 2.
Smith then delivered a delayed vertical suplex and followed with a leg drop for 2.
Next, a double shoulder block put both wrestlers down on the mat.
Maivia came back with a pair of clotheslines, yet a third clothesline took both wrestlers over the top rope to the floor.
Smith then made Maivia taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Plain Jane at TJ’s Café.
Suddenly, Austin came to the ring and gave Smith a chop block. How dastardly!
As Bret and Owen went face-to-face, Austin gave Smith a Stone Cold Stunner on the floor.
After Bret and Owen chased after Austin, Maivia won by countout.
Summary: This was more angle than match as the Bret-Austin rivalry continued.
Back in the locker room, Faarooq and the Nation of Domination cut a promo about unity.
In a taping blunder, Park Place is shown LIVE with the recently victorious Maivia in attendance. Oops.
Match 3: The Undertaker versus Crush (w/ the Nation of Domination)
Undertaker didn’t wait for Crush to get to the ring as he ambushed him in the aisle.
He then rammed Crush face-first into the steps.
In the ring, Crush delivered a head butt but ate a DDT.
Undertaker then slammed Crush and delivered a leg drop.
In addition to competing against one another, Undertaker and Vader will also compete in the Royal Rumble match on Sunday. They’d better get plenty of rest for their upcoming busy night.
After giving Crush a cross-corner whip, Undertaker delivered a clothesline.
He then attempted the rope walk shoulder smash, but Faarooq crotched him on the top rope. OUCH!
As Crush charged, Undertaker backdropped him over the top rope to the floor. C’mon, man, save that for Sunday.
After Undertaker pulled Crush up to the apron, Crush guillotined him using the top rope.
Upon his return, Crush gave Undertaker a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Crush came back with a piledriver and elbowed Undertaker on the apron.
Next, he guillotined Undertaker using the steel railing and rammed him into the steps.
Meanwhile, Vader watched the match from the entrance. I guess all the monitors were taken.
During a commercial break, the Starburst Fruit Twists Rewind was the chop block and Stunner by Austin from earlier in the show.
Afterward, Crush gave Undertaker another cross-corner whip followed by a clothesline for 2.
Upon giving Undertaker a backbreaker, Crush mounted the second turnbuckle but missed a fist drop.
After Crush missed a clothesline, Undertaker hit a flying version.
He then attempted the tombstone, but Crush escaped and delivered a belly-to-belly suplex.
When Crush tried the heart punch, Undertaker escaped and gave him a chokeslam.
Abruptly, the Nation of Domination ran into the ring and attacked Undertaker.
Referee Earl Hebner called for the bell disqualifying Crush.
Summary: S-L-O-W, plodding, useless match.
After the match, Vader joins the fray and gives Undertaker a pair of NOD-assisted Vader bombs. Suddenly, Ahmed Johnson runs in with a 2x4, but with Vader’s assistance, the NOD overpower him. Faarooq then whips Johnson with the 2x4 as RAW goes off the air.
Conclusion: Colossal waste of time. This was the go-home show for Royal Rumble, but, in spite of all the advertising, the show didn’t accomplish anything. Skip this episode. Did it stand a chance against Nitro this week?
TV Rating: 2.30
Who won? Nope, RAW lost by over a point again. Next week, the winner of the Royal Rumble match faces the loser of the WWF title match on RAW while Nitro goes deep dish in Chicago.