WCW Monday Nitro – March 18, 1996

WCW Monday Nitro – March 18, 1996

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Nitro comes on the air with the brawl to end all brawls as The Giant is wailing away on Loch Ness as Jimmy Hart cheerleads. Lex Luger is introduced as he’s scheduled to defend the TV Title versus Loch Ness. Luger poses through his pyro and pays no mind to Loch Ness being ambushed as he heads to the ring. Referee Randy Anderson immediately starts his count. WTF?!?

Match 1: WCW World Television Championship
Loch Ness vs. “The Total Package” Lex Luger (c)
Result/Analysis: Luger via count-out (0:14). “The Total Package” is on such a roll that he doesn’t even break a sweat in these title defenses. Impressive. This actually played to Luger’s schtick. He’d take a cheap victory and present it to the world as if he single-handedly had found the cure to cancer. Speaking of the “C” word, Loch Ness was diagnosed with having it, which sadly led to his premature death two years later. He and The Giant were matched up at Uncensored. Yes, that’s “Uncensored.” Luger’s narcissitic alter-ego was being played off and “The Brain” for one, loved it.
Rating: N/A

The Mega-Powers come out to hype their participation in the Doomsday Cage Match at Uncensored even though WCW had dropped the ball on explaining the match even one time to its audience. Hogan calls himself “The Dirtiest Player In The Game” during his long-winded soliloquy. Savage, meanwhile, references he and Hogan as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Yeah, The Mega-Powers are a pair of Wild West Outlaws. Gimme a break! Tonight, it’s a Tornado Match versus Ric Flair and Kevin Sullivan. Poor Tony Schiavone handled the interview like a stiff board not wanting to complete his assignment. He was uncomfortable, and nauseated like most of us wrestling marks.

Match 2: Public Enemy [Johnny Grunge/“Flyboy” Rocco Rock] vs. The Steiner Brothers [Rick & Scott]
Result/Analysis: The Steiner Brothers via pinfall (7:03) when Rick pins Grunge following a bulldog off the top rope. I don’t think these teams had any prior matches. They may have crossed paths in ECW in 1995 but I’m too lazy to check. Anyway, The Steiner’s were “so over” that it made Hogan’s crowd reactions look like a Sunday School picnic by comparison. Public Enemy eschews their normal brawl tactics and wrestles The Steiner’s here but that’s a proven losing strategy. It’s two impressive showings for Rick and Scott. They want The L.O.D./Road Warriors. Yes, please!
Rating: **

Match 3: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson w/ Woman vs. The Booty Man
Result/Analysis: The Booty Man via pinfall (5:43) following a running knee lift. Oy! Was this pure crap? Anderson doing the job for an 80’s has-been who only still had a job/push because of his BFF standing with Hogan. The Booty Man gimmick is one of the worst in the history of pro wrestling and that includes Naked Mideon. Kimberly, acting as The Booty Babe, though Bischoff calls her “The Booty Girl”, engages with Woman which throws the match haywire. AA always towed the company line but jobbing to Brutus Beefcake had to be the lowest of the low during his in-ring career. Woof! The Booty Man will wrestle DDP at Uncensored. The Booty Babe will be at ringside. Terrible.
Rating: DUD

WCW Saturday Night features The Road Warriors vs. Public Enemy, Sting vs. “Earl” Robert Eaton of The Blue Bloods, Lex Luger defending the World TV Title against Brad Armstrong, Eddie Guerreo matches up with Alex Wright and Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman challenges “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. What? No Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid??? Count me in! That show was so underrated.

Match 4: The Road Warriors [Animal & Hawk] vs. The Nasty Boys [Brian Knobs & Jerry Sags]
Result/Analysis: The Road Warriors via pinfall (5:53 shown) when Animal pins Knobs after using the forearm guard as an illegal foreign object. The match is a brawl and a total clusterf*** at that. It’s like resorting to TV dinners for supper but your microwave malfunctions/overheats and you’re consuming unhealthy calories. Their matches in 1991-1992 were at least passable. Here, it’s four guys blown up and gassed. The Nasties had employment, particularly Knobs who hung on forever, because of relations with Hogan. L.O.D. had the following, and the potential, like with The Steiner’s, to still be included in something special on occasion. Sting and Booker T await at Uncensored in a Chicago Street Fight. Remember, Jimmy Hart negotiated Luger out of the match as his POA. LOL.
Rating: 1/2*

Match 5: Texas Tornado Tag-Team Match
“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair [World Hvt. Champion] w/ Woman & “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan
vs. The Mega-Powers [“The Immortal” Hulk Hogan & “Macho Man” Randy Savage]
Result/Analysis: The Mega-Powers via DQ (10:10) following outside interference by Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. The larger story came afterward as Ze Gangsta (Zeus) and a man named The Final Solution (Jeep Swenson of GWF notoriety) appeared/were introduced as the last trump card played by The Alliance To End Hulk-A-Mania. Neither man talk as AA, Flair and Sullivan bask in their belief Hogan (and Savage) are a certainty to be finished at Uncensored in the Doomsday Cage Match with definitive rhetoric by all on what’s to come. I’m sure at the time the surprise unveiling of these two behemoths made the average fan react in some fashion but time holds no significance to their one shot deals as nothing came from either at the PPV. As for the match, it’s a meandering brawl and nothing more with Hogan in control / the focal point of 99% of it. Pillman’s interference was random because he wasn’t involved at all and spent these days and weeks inventing ways he could get fired. It will be 8-on-2 at Uncensored but you can guess which team wins …

The Verdict: Unsanctioned. Unauthorized. Everything you’ve wanted to see…plus the stuff you haven’t thought of yet! Yes, those are the taglines for Uncensored. What WCW left out was “Unwatchable.” I chose 1996 to thoroughly review and dissect this year, however, so I can’t “unauthorize” myself from recapping the event. Nitro was crushing Raw in the ratings but the product at this early juncture of the year was horrible. I’m uncertain if I watched Uncensored at the time or even caught it later on but I have my doubts. The card is wretched and Hulk-A-Mania will run wild and whatcha gonna do, brother? In case you doubt me, here’s the lineup for the PPV.


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