MONDAY NITRO: THE LOST RECAPS
On tonight’s show...Who will be the new No.1 contenders for the Tag Titles? Why was Bischoff missing from Bash at the Beach? Who thought that Jim Powers were a logical contender for the US Title? Get the answers to all these questions (actually just to the first one) and MORE WCW tomfoolery in this week’s episode of…
WCW Old School Recap of Complete Awesomeness!
Date: July 8th, 1996
Location: Orlando, FL
24 hours removed from perhaps the most remembered Pay-Per-View in WCW’s history, Bash at the Beach 1996 and Hogan’s heel turn, live from the Disney/MGM Studios and I for one hope for a bunch of inter-promotional matches with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck taking on the Outsiders...boy would that be swell *takes medication*...hi I’m Esben Evans, and I’ll be your host for another edition of the column that sets new standards for awesome internet wrestling writing (no, not the Back Leg Front Kick...ungrateful bastards). We start off with Schiavone & Zbyszko running down the card from last night and quickly touches on their disappointment in Hogan, but damn have they gotten over it quickly as they seem quite happy to move on to our first match.
Dean Malenko (c) Vs Rey Mysterio, Jr., WCW World Cruiserweight Title Match
Well this is a nice surprise. Based on their last two encounters, this match should be very good indeed. Both men starts off at an insane pace that makes the present day Rey Mysterio look like Kevin Nash in comparison. We learn that tonight, Ric Flair will defend his newly won US Title against Jim Powers (yes, THE Jim Powers), Sting will take on Arn Anderson and The Steiner Brothers will face The Nasty Boys with the winners getting a shot at the Tag Team Titles at Hog Wild (Steiners Steiners Steiners, PLEASE be the Steiners). Rey Mysterio uses his speed to gain control until Malenko finally catches him with a Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker and locks him in a Surfboard as we go to commercials.
When we come back, Malenko is still in control as he nails a Flapjack and a nice Double Underhook Powerbomb for a 2 count. Malenko keeps Mysterio grounded but Rey does almost catch him off guard with a lightning quick Roll Up that only gets 2, but Malenko retains the advantage by dumping him to the outside with a Front Suplex...which isn’t grounds for a DQ so either the rule has FINALLY been removed, or...err...it didn’t count because he hit the top rope on the way down? Schiavone talks about WCW having never received as many outraged phone calls as after last night’s show, I can kinda picture how they must’ve went.
Turner Employee: Turner Broadcasting, this is Mike speaking
Caller: WHY HOGAN WHYYYYY! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
Turner Employee: ...*sigh* you’ll want WCW’s offices, let me transfer you.
Back to the match, Rey begins to fight back as he manages to hit a Hurricanrana to the outside followed by an Asai Moonsault that overshoots a little bit. Rey lands next to the mat as Tony wonders whether it’s cement or asphalt...yes, he actually questioned which one it was...DOES IT MATTER!? He follows it up by saying that he’s really worried about Mysterio’s legs...Mysterio then follows it up by kicking Malenko a few times and hitting a HUGE Hurricanrana after jumping from the top rope back in the ring, so no reason to fret Tony. Malenko sets him up for his Top Rope Gutbuster and nails it, but just as it looks like he’ll get the win he pulls him up from the mat at 2. He hits a Released Northern Lights Suplex but again pulls him up before the 3 count which ends up costing him moments later as Mysterio hits a Hurricanrana (the dude’s only move pretty much) for a 3 count out of nowhere.
WINNER and NEW WCW World Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Pretty good start for this week’s show as we go backstage with “Mean” Gene who is standing by with The Steiner Brothers AND The Nasty Boys, so you just know that we’re up for an intelligent debate. Scott says that he doesn’t agree with the way that both Harlem Heat and The Nasty Boys have been acting, but he does respect The Nasty Boys’ wrestling ability...which probably makes him the only one in the world who has ever done so. The interview then sort of degenerates into The Nasty Boys yelling about it being Nastyville and Rick Steiner appearing to stroke out...it was interesting to say the least.
The Dungeon of Doom (Big Bubba & Hugh Morrus w/ Jimmy Hart) Vs The Blue Bloods (“Lord” Steven Regal & “Squire” Dave Taylor w/ “Earl” Robert Eaton & Jeeves as The Kooky Butler)
Big “USA! USA! USA!” chants to start off the match, which I guess makes the Dungeon faces in this match by default. We get still images from last night’s Carson City Silver Dollar Match as the event repeatedly washes over me like a war trauma...the horror...the horror.
Dave Taylor & Hugh Morrus starts off and the crowd is actually pretty behind Morrus here. Both men tag out and Regal takes control until he walks straight into a Sidewalk Slam that almost costs him the match. Both men tag out again when John Tenta suddenly jumps Big Bubba at ringside which the referee apparently doesn’t see as Eaton distracts him. This allows The Blue Bloods to hit a Double Back Suplex for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: The Blue Bloods
Okay...so that damn feud isn’t over yet. We come back from commercials and go straight into another match with both contestants getting the jobber treatment...does that mean we’ll get a draw?
Psychosis Vs Eddie Guerrero
We quickly get the dreaded split screen treatment as Rey Mysterio Jr. is backstage cutting a promo about how disappointed he was when Hogan turned last night and how the children was crying, all the while sounding like Michael Jackson. Tony then inadvertently sums up WCW’s booking policy by saying that it’s incredible that a guy who just won the Cruiserweight Title only has Hogan on his mind.
Anyway, Eddie has the control early on with a couple of Arm Drags followed by a couple of Headlocks...sounds really like a high flying match up, no? It does turn in that direction though as Psychosis hits a HUGE Twisting Body Press to the outside. The crowd at this point gets solidly behind Eddie as Psychosis begins to target Guerrero’s shoulder. Apparently we will hear from Hogan next week on Nitro as to why he did what he did (he did it for The Rock). Anyway, Eddie gets back in the match as Psychosis tries to hit a “Jumping Aimlessly from the Top Rope” but gets caught with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Eddie goes for a charge in the corner, but due to his shoulder injury, he is inevitably drawn to the ring post and charges straight into that instead. Psychosis hits a Top Rope Hurricanrana and almost gets the 3, but Eddie kicks out in the last minute. Eddie then catches Psychosis on the turnbuckle, only for Psychosis to reverse it into a Sunset Flip Powerbomb, but again he only gets 2. Eddie then AGAIN catches Psychosis up top and hits a big Superplex before nailing him with a Frog Splash for the 3 count.
WINNER: Eddie Guerrero
Okerlund is standing by with Kevin Sullivan, Jimmy Hart & The Giant. Gene asks Hart about Hogan first and he responds in a normal tone of voice that he’s lost for words. Sullivan says that Hogan managed to do something that he had been trying to do for a year and a half, which is destroy Hulkamania, but he’s now on to destroying Benoit instead (Benoitmania?...ironically, Benoit would go on to destroy his own reputation himself as well). The Giant says that we need to remember that as long as he has the World Title, nothing in WCW can go wrong (foreshadowing!) and that The Horsemen might have won the battle, but they didn’t win the war as The Giant won’t have to defend his title tonight.
The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) Vs The Steiner Brothers (Scott & Rick Steiner)
Jerry Sags tries to get a “Nasty! Nasty!” chant going but it dies after approximately one person half heartedly joins in for 3 seconds, the sad thing being that this was their supposed prime. Sags & Knobbs gets spurred on by this tremendous support from the crowd as they double team to dominate Scott Steiner, but the Steiners eventually counters and send both Nasty Boys to the outside. Both teams struggle to retain control of the fight until Sags strikes Scott with a chair just as we go to hour 2 with Bischoff & Heenan...wait, Bischoff is here? Where the fuck was he last night!? Colonel Parker & Sister Sherri (who apparently have rejoined forces with Harlem Heat) are standing by the entrance before rushing the ring where Sherri distracts the ref long enough for Parker to blast Jerry Sags with his cane and Scott Steiner picking up the win.
WINNERS: The Steiner Brothers
Wow, that was forgettable. Bischoff talks about what happened last night and Heenan does comment on him missing, so hopefully we can get an actual explanation. “Mean” Gene is standing by with The Nasty Boys and he asks them about the current Tag Team situation in WCW. Sags begins on a looong weird rant about them having to change, and having no problems with fighting in Street Fights or Chain Matches, but not wanting to fight against Sting & Luger because they have 90 referees...err...what? Knobbs says that they neither condone nor think there was anything wrong with what Hogan did. Gene says that they’re all in this together with Knobbs responding “YOU are all in this together”...which of course makes absolutely no sense.
Ric Flair (c) w/ Woman, Miss Elizabeth & Debra McMichael Vs Jim Powers, WCW United States Heavyweight Title Match
Thank god that Jim Powers is finally getting the title match he deserves. Bischoff talks about having called the WCW offices earlier today to hear how it was going and “not to overstate anything” but they had received calls from parents complaining how their kids had been up crying all night and destroying their Hogan merchandise. Heenan & Bischoff for the first time ever agrees that Hulk Hogan = poop...maybe not in those exact terms, but basically.
Powers shows some generic Hip Toss/Back Body Drop/etc. Goodness from the get go as Bischoff mentions that they will update on Lex Luger’s condition after he got stretchered out last night...WHEN THEY KNOW WHAT IT IS! Seriously, the guy is your employee and he’s been in the hospital for roughly 24 hours and you haven’t taken the time to call him because you’ve been too hung up on all the poor children!? What the fuck Bischoff!? Anyway, back to the match where Jim Powers gets a surprisingly big amount of offence as Flair bumps all over the place to make him look good. Flair however eventually manages to go for the leg and lock in the Figure 4-Leg Lock for the submission victory.
WINNER: Ric Flair
Okerlund is standing by with The Horsemen sans Chris Benoit. Arn says that what happened with Hogan made him want to puke as while they never claimed to be role models, that was Hogan’s entire claim to fame and he turned out to be a bigger cunt than they themselves are...more or less. Mongo says that there is an apocalypse coming to WCW but it only has something to do with the Horsemen and Flair gives one of his coked up promos to The Giant regarding his new belt.
Sgt. Craig Pittman w/ Teddy Long Vs Chris Benoit
Pittman explodes with some very nasty looking Suplexes, but Benoit quickly turns the match in his favour as mercilessly beats him down in the corner. After a very short scuffle between the two, Benoit locks in the Crippler Crossface and...Teddy Long tells the ref to ring the bell!? It didn’t look like Pittman tapped himself.
WINNER: Chris Benoit
And we’re going straight into the next match.
Arn Anderson Vs Sting
Sting does not look like a happy camper as he makes his way to the ring. Bischoff gets the message that they may have guests backstage tonight, but they don’t show up before the match gets underway. Sting starts off getting the upper hand as he shows a completely different demeanour than normally. Arn however catches Sting as he attempts a leap frog and absolutely plants him with a Spinebuster. This allows Double A to take control and choke Sting by the ropes before locking in an Abdominal Stretch while getting assisted by the ropes. Sting manages to counter with a Hip Toss, but he eats nothing but knees as he attempts to follow up with a Body Splash. Anderson locks in a Boston Crab as we cut to a limousine that is parked by the entrance. Back to the match, Arn goes for a Double Axe Handle from the top but Sting meets him with a Clothesline and begins to fight back just as Scott Hall and Kevin Nash makes their way to the ring from the limo. Sting & Arn stops fighting and instead tries to get The Outsiders to fight them as Macho Man comes to the ring and I think this match is over...or not! Arn tries to nail Sting with a DDT, but Sting counters into a Scorpion Deathlock and gets the win.
The security team escorts Hall & Nash away as “Mean” Gene tries to get a word with Sting. Sting says that he was surprised by Hogan but that he should’ve seen it coming since Hogan was too “busy” with movies and limousine riding to hang out with him, Luger & Savage. He says that he made a mistake, but Hogan made a bigger mistake when he turned his back on the kids last night. Savage says that he has a message to “Hollywood” Hogan and that he can’t say what he wants to do to him on television. But he wants him to think of the worst thing he can think off and multiply it with 90 million and then multiply it with infinity and beyond...which is one big ass calculation.
After a commercial break, Okerlund is standing by in the other camp with Hall & Nash. Nash says that WCW took a beating last night and next week Hogan will be on Nitro. Hall says that they advertised what they were gonna do, and they delivered big time. Nash and Hall talk about Hogan shooting a movie as the reason he’s not there tonight. Bischoff & Heenan then show the pictures from last night as they talk about how big a dick Hogan is and that’s all she wrote...wait...why the hell was Bischoff missing last night? GOD DAMN IT!
WCW – Aaaah, Good Times: Some decent cruiserweight action tonight, and nice to see them trying to shape Hog Wild already with the Tag Team Title match being announced.
WCW – WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING!!!: Overall it was a pretty lacklustre night, and it just shouldn’t have been after a hot angle at the Pay-Per-View...which by the way they practically shilled for the entire 2 hours to the point where you just don’t care anymore...and where the fuck was Bischoff last night.
Overall I was disappointed by a bland showing today, hopefully it’ll improve next week with Hogan returning (wow, that’s a sentence I never thought I would write). Until next time, I’m Esben Evans, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).