WCW Monday Nitro – May 6, 1996

WCW Monday Nitro – May 6, 1996
Daytona Beach, FL

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

Bisch, Brain and Mongo run down tonight’s card, which is highlighted by Lex Luger challenging The Giant for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Also, in cruiserweight action, Japan’s Jushin “Thunder” Liger will square off with Dean Malenko. As for Sting, he’ll be in the ring with His Lordship Steven Regal. Plus, “Macho Man” Randy Savage is in the building so security is on alert. Let’s get down to the ring!

Hugh Morrus vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Result/Analysis: Morrus via DQ (3:07) as Savage chokes him out with his ring jacket. Truthfully, this could be ruled a no contest since the match never officially starts. Morrus jumps Savage upon his entrance and beats him up outside the ring. With Savage crawling inside the ring, Morrus puts on Savage’s hat and jacket and Macho goes beserk since he’s already psychologically damaged from Ric Flair and Elizabeth. Savage uses his jacket to choke Morrus out as he hangs from the ring apron. The referee DQ’s Macho so he body slams him and drops a flying elbow, after Morrus eats one, too. WCW security personnel come out with local law enforcement and Savage walks off to cheers. Even crazy Savage drew a tremendous crowd response. Remember that Macho is Flair’s tag-team partner coming up at SlamBoree. That can’t go well.
Rating: N/A

Dean Malenko vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger (w/ Sonny Onoo)

Result/Analysis: Malenko via pinfall (6:51 shown) following a double underhook powerbomb. The WCW Cruiserweight division was just getting started but these types of high-quality matches became a weekly trend on Monday Nitro. Bischoff announced Japan’s Shinjiro Ohtani as the first Cruiserweight Champion but he never won the belt; He was given the title. Pfft. Bisch also said Ohtani would be defending the strap at SlamBoree but I don’t recollect that match taking place. Such lies. Anyway, this match is a portend of the Cruiserweights taking over WCW and putting forth the best wrestling on their shows each and every week for the next three+ years give or take. Malenko’s work here is technically sound but Liger dictates the pace and style. Liger was an accomplished star in New Japan Pro Wrestling but WCW often got his services on rental. Throw in Sonny Onoo to boot and you get a shrewd business like Donald Trump in Liger’s corner, at least, according to “The Brain.” Malenko executes the best move with a gut buster coming off the top turnbuckle. The move had the look like it could have caused some digestinal problems for Liger.
Rating: ***

After a commercial break, “Mean” Gene Okerlund is with Flair, Elizabeth and Woman. Flair’s in a good mood despite losing the World Title to The Giant last week and why wouldn’t he be with the girls, spending the Macho Man’s money, and sipping cocktails. Wooo! Flair says The Giant got lucky but he’ll get hurt when he comes around again. Once again he flirts with Debra McMichael at ringside and has a cocktail served to her. Debra dumps the glass but Flair is convinced she wants some. Elizabeth tells Gene not to worry over the cost of the champagne because Randy has lots of money. Ric informs Macho they’ll be riding home in the blue porsche of his tonight. As for SlamBoree, he’ll be moving on in The Lethal Lottery and says “Double A” will do the right thing. The opening match has Flair and Savage against Arn Anderson and Eddie Guerrero. Naitch being Naitch in this segment. All in storyline, but I still bet Savage had to be restrained backstage, for real.

Glacier is coming soon. Did anyone care?

“Lord” Steven Regal (accompanied by Geeves) vs. Sting [WCW Tag-Team Champion]

Result/Analysis: Sting via pinfall (5:49 shown) after reversing a Regal butterfly suplex attempt into his own and bridging his body up. Quite the nifty counter move by Sting to win the match here. Sting was still motivated to work good matches – – – mostly, anyway – – – in 1996, especially with an accomplished ring scholar like Regal, who was fresh off of his war of attrition “Parking Lot Brawl” the previous week against The Belfast Bruiser. Now Regal was to tag with The Belfast Bruiser at SlamBoree but Bischoff says he’s injured from the match last week so Regal was drawn fellow Blue Blood “Squire” David Taylor as the replacement partner. Whatever. Sting, on the other hand, is lined up to face The Giant for the World Heavyweight Championship. As for this match, I’d have taken another five minutes. Regal could work a very good match with anyone that was willing.
Rating: **1/4

Well, “The Total Package” Lex Luger is a no-show at the arena as Main Event time is upon us so “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, yes, Old Glory himself, has offered to sub in. The live crowd in Daytona Beach is less than enthused by this. Sting won’t be happy either. The Lex Express must have detoured on the highway that’s the only logical explanation. Luger wouldn’t duck anyone. 🙄

WCW World Heavyweight Championship:
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. The Giant (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Result/Analysis: The Giant via pinfall (3:16) following a chokeslam. Duggan is pancaked. Good. Build The Giant up. It’s the ONLY way to legitimately establish him as the World Champion. After the match, Duggan eats a second chokeslam as do three saps from the roster who run out. Flair also runs in and he wallops The Giant with a wooden chair over his head but that has no ill effect. The Giant grabs Flair’s throat only here’s Sting to make the save. Sting chops at The Giant’s lower base and weakens his knees. He applies the scorpion death lock but Jimmy Hart hits him with the megaphone. Luger FINALLY arrives and Sting is none too pleased. Luger plays dumb about being late. Uh huh. Luger and Sting get in a heated argument with Okerlund on hand but that’s a wrap.

Rating: 3/4*

The Verdict: Solid Nitro. Isn’t Hogan being gone refreshing? The Giant gets Sting at SlamBoree but how does Luger fit into that? Flair keeps torturing Savage. That never tired. The Cruiserweights did their thing as Monday Nitro had a new staple it could go to for a crowd buzz. SlamBoree is finally approaching. WCW hasn’t had a PPV offering since that wretched Uncensored in March. Who will be crowned Lord of the Ring? Savage probably takes out Flair before Naitch and AA pull a fast one.

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