The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 10.07.96
Finally, back to Nitro again now that it’s watchable. And holy moley are there a lot of them all of a sudden, as the archives now run all the way into 1998.
Live from Savannah, GA
Your hosts are Tony & Larry
Meanwhile, on WCW Saturday Night, Harlem Heat overcomes the juggernaut that is the Public Enemy and regains the tag titles, thus setting the universe right again. What a pointless title switch that was.
Harlem Heat v. The Public Enemy
This is non-title for no reason in particular. The Enemy works on Booker T to start, but Rock gets caught in the Heat corner and abused there. We take a break and return with Elizabeth trying to get into Randy Savage’s dressing room. So apparently there’s also a match going on, not that anyone gives a shit, and Rocco is STILL face in peril and taking a shitkicking on the floor. And then we get some chinlocks as the nWo comes out and taunts the Heat from the balcony while this match drags on and on. Like, Rocco has literally been taking a beating for over 10 minutes at this point. Finally we get a comedy spot with Nick Patrick literally just standing there and hugging Sherri on the apron while the Heat beat on Grunge with a chair, and Booker pins him at 12:36. This was not exactly streets ahead, as the kids say. ½*
Meanwhile, that lip-syncing phony Jeff Jarrett is here, making his WCW debut. And he’s got something to say! Hopefully it’ll actually be him saying it and not some other guy backstage while he pretends to talk. YOU’RE A PHONY, JEFF JARRETT! A PHONY! BOOOOOOOO!
Diamond Dallas Page v. Jim Powers
DDP is really in a holding pattern at this point, basically waiting for the nWo angle to start. Powers uses his STEROID SPEED to get a couple of rollups on Page, and a bodypress gets two. Powers tries a full-nelson, but Page casually puts him away with the Diamond Cutter at 2:31. *
Randy Savage is out with yet another fucking racecar driver as they continue to push this stuff that no one outside of the deep south cares about. And he just goes on and on about the race, completely ignoring his upcoming title match and such.
High Voltage v. The Faces of Fear
Meng no-sells everything from Roid and Roider while the Horsemen watch from the aisle, and High Testosterone Levels manage to fuck up every move they try. Over to Barbarian, who promptly beats the hell out of Robby “Roid” Rage and adds a powerbomb for two. Kick of Fear finishes Rage at 3:40. A total and well-deserved squash.
Glacier v. Mike Wenner
Tony puts over all the different styles of martial arts that Glacier uses, which I guess makes him some sort of “mixed martial artist”. Wenner survives the initial flurry (nyuk nyuk) and gets some jobber offense in the corner, but Glacier gets a bad suplex and kicks him to the floor before following with a dive. That seems really out of character for him. Back in, the Cryonic Kick finishes at 2:25. He’s all entrance and almost nothing else at this point. There’s some cool kicks but he has no real handle on what a wrestling match is supposed to look like.
Your hosts are Eric & Bobby & The Iron Professor
Hugh Morrus v. Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett dominates with a hiptoss and some strutting, as the announcers declare him to be the newest member of the nWo. Keeping in mind that Jarrett was supposed to be a babyface here, but wrestles like a heel, so the issue is already confused. Morrus clobbers him with a clothesline after one too many struts, but Jarrett comes back with a kick. Bischoff: “Back leg round kick…check that, it was a back leg FRONT kick” Dammit, Eric, get it right! Any four-year old watching knows the difference between a back leg round kick and a back leg front kick! Morrus gets a powerslam and goes up with a flying legdrop that misses, and Jarrett finishes with the figure-four at 4:04. * Now, Jarrett really was supposed to come in as a part of the nWo, but everyone figured it out, so they decided to switch him to the Horsemen instead, even though everyone hated him and he would have made much more sense with the nWo. Afterwards, Jarrett does a supposed fired-up babyface interview where he tells the nWo to stick it, and the fans boo him anyway. That’s pretty much the story of his WCW run.
Arn Anderson v. The Renegade
AA catches him with a cheapshot and tries a piledriver, but Renegade reverses out and Arn bails. Back in, Arn blocks a sunset flip and gets two, then goes to a chinlock and chokes away on the mat. We get an extended armbar, but Renegade makes the comeback with the handspring elbow, but then makes the stupid mistake of trying another one, and Arn plows him with the DDT at 7:07. Man, Arn in cruise control with a bad neck is a really dull thing to sit through. ½* Arn does a quick beatdown of Renegade after the win, but Lex Luger makes the save.
Lex Luger v. David Taylor
Bischoff points out that this is a LIVE crowd, unlike the canned stuff you might see on other wrestling shows. This was the bug up his ass that week, as the infamous nWo Saturday Night segment had aired previously on Saturday, with Hall and Nash doing commentary in an empty arena filled with canned heat as a further comment on the WWF. Luger squashes Taylor in short order, finishing with the forearm shot and torture rack at 2:33. And then Arn cuts off his celebration, laying him out with a chair in the aisle in a good angle.
Rick Steiner v. Chris Benoit
Benoit attacks to start and gets powerslammed, and Rick just STIFFS him with a clothesline. So they decide to throw down until Rick gets a belly to belly for two. Benoit fights back, so Rick suplexes him on his head for two as we take a break. Back with Benoit throwing chops to take over, and a snap suplex gets two. Bischoff notes that he’s no doctor, but Nick Patrick’s neck brace is probably a fake. Well, you just SAID you weren’t a doctor! Refereeing is a tough job, maybe he’s really hurt, jerk. Benoit with a backdrop suplex for two, but now we have to go to a chinlock while Hulk Hogan arrives backstage. Benoit pounds him down in the corner and actually slams the headpiece right off Rick, and follows with the diving headbutt for two. Another try is caught by Rick, as he hits an overhead suplex and a DDT for two. Flying bulldog gets two and they clothesline each other while the Nick Patrick Show continues, but Rick grabs the briefcase and nails Benoit for the pin at 12:29. Man, watching Benoit take an unprotected shot to the head like that is so much ickier now. They were letting it all hang out, though. ***1/4
US title: Randy Savage v. Ric Flair
Hogan has a cryptic conversation with the Nasty Boys backstage as THAT stupid angle continues to not go anywhere, but the nWo attacks Flair in another part of backstage and Giant steals the US title. Macho tries to make the save, but say it with me, he gets beat up yet again by the nWo. So we get a lengthy beating from Hogan and Giant while they force Liz to watch, and you’d think this would lead to a big revenge for Savage at the PPV…but no. Also, Hogan now apparently owns Liz outright or something. I feel like I missed a week. And then they drive in the nWo monster truck to end the show. What a mess.
Pretty dire week on both sides, but the WWF turns it around pretty shortly, at least.
Tags: nWo, Randy Savage, SmarK Rants, SmarK WWE Network Nitro Rant, WCW Monday Nitro