Live from Nashville, TN

Airdate: December 29, 1996

Attendance: 9,030 (8,327 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

It’s the battle of the Hollywood icons. Who will rule the battle of the silver screen? Hogan or Piper? Read on!

This reflection is sponsored by 5-hour Energy. Thanks, WWE Network!

Match 1 (title vs. title): Dean Malenko (WCW Cruiserweight champion) versus Ultimo Dragon (J-Crown champion w/ Sonny Onoo)


  1. British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight
  2. IWGP Junior Heavyweight
  3. NWA World Junior Heavyweight
  4. NWA World Welterweight
  5. UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight
  6. WAR International Junior Heavyweight
  7. WWA World Junior Light Heavyweight
  8. WWF Light Heavyweight

Rating: ****1/2

Summary: Incredible match that could have gone either way.

Match 2 for the vacant WCW Women’s title: Madusa versus Akira Hokuto (w/ Sonny Onoo & Kensuke Sasaki


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Poor Madusa. A year ago, she trashed the WWF Women’s title on Nitro. On this show, she couldn’t win the big one to become WCW women’s champion.

Backstage, DDP joined the wcwwrestling.com internet broadcast.

Back in the locker room, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Piper who discusses the battle of the icons.

Match 3: Rey Mysterio, Jr. versus Jushin “Thunder” Liger


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: The WCW announcing team gave away the result of the match by noting that Liger will face Ultimo Dragon for the J-Crown in the Tokyo Dome on January 4.

Match 4 (no-DQ): The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman) versus Jeff Jarrett


Rating: ***

Summary: While the finish made sense with the no-DQ stipulation, the shenanigans took away from the match.

At the entrance, Okerlund tries to interview Arn and then Benoit, but neither offer a word. Mongo and Debra come out to address the dissension between the Horsemen. While Mongo is perplexed, Debra calls Jarrett “Horseman material.” She then calls Nancy “rode hard and put away wet.” Okerlund tries to cover the microphone but it’s too late.

Sting montage aired.

Match 5 for the WCW World tag team titles: The Outsiders (champions w/ Syxx) versus Faces of Fear (w/ Jimmy Hart)


Rating: **

Summary: Where were all the maneuvers Faces of Fear used to climb the mountain to get here? I guess I can be thankful that the Nasty Boys were not involved this time.

Standing alongside Vincent and Elizabeth, Ted DiBiase interviews Hogan who cuts a promo on Piper.

Match 6 for the WCW US title (tournament final): Diamond Dallas Page versus Eddie Guerrero


Rating: ***

Summary: Crappy finish to a decent match. While some folks thought Hall would help DDP, the nWo got its receipt for DDP’s refusal to join them.

After the match, the nWo comes into the ring, but Eddie fights them off including Syxx with an inverted atomic drop as he comes off the top turnbuckle. After Eddie dropkicks Hall, the nWo outnumbers and triple-teams him. Syxx then takes the US title belt as Hall and Nash tell DDP “you don’t get it.”

For some reason, the WWE Network skips a promo for nWo Souled Out. C’mon, guys!

Match 7: The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Giant


Rating: **

Summary: More angle than match as Patrick continued his nWo persona while Sting leaned toward WCW. Interestingly, the big names of the nWo didn’t come out to support the Giant. Do I smell foreshadowing?

Match 8 (non-title): WCW World champion “Hollywood” Hogan versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper


Rating: *1/2

Summary: There appears to be a weak spot in the nWo as both Giant and Hogan lost at Starrcade. I wonder what’ll happen on Nitro to explain this.

After the match, Piper stands on Hogan with one foot as the Outsiders hit the ring. Remarkably, he holds them off and exits the ring. Once again, the Nashville faithful chants “Rod-dy” while Hogan is still OUT COLD. As Piper celebrates with his kids, a grumpy Giant traipses back to the locker room.

Suddenly, Giant gets in Hogan’s face and questions his whereabouts during Giant’s match. Hogan responds by saying that Giant “dropped the ball.” As the Nashville faithful chants “Hogan sucks,” Hogan cries for his belt, and DiBiase ultimately delivers it. He then lies about beating Piper and spits on the camera.

Conclusion: With a main event ten years in the making, no one thought Hogan-Piper would be a masterpiece. In fact, it was nowhere near one, however, for the sake of entertainment, it fit the bill. In addition, with the Malenko-Ultimo Dragon and Mysterio-Liger matches, this show was a fun-filled three hours. If you’ve never seen this show, I recommend it. If you haven’t watched it recently, relive the excitement at your earliest convenience.

Stay tuned for week 67 of the Monday Night War!

Buyrate: 0.95

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

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