WCW Monday Nitro – May 13, 1996
Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Will be the third time be the charm for Lex Luger? He’s missed out on two previous title shots to challenge The Giant for the World Heavyweight Championship. Bischoff shows Luger “camping out” last night in Nashville to assure himself he wouldn’t miss this opportunity, too. Luger brought his fly swatter and flashlight. Mongo think he’s probably eating raw meat. LOL.
Tag-Team action kicks off Nitro so let’s get down to the ring.
Public Enemy [“Flyboy” Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge] vs. The Steiner Brothers [Rick & Scott]
Result/Analysis: The Steiner Brothers via pinfall (6:56) when Scott pins Rock after a frankensteiner. This was solid tag-team wrestling. WCW had ALL the tag-teams worth their salt at the time with The Steiner’s front-and-center. Actually, Public Enemy acquits themselves nicely and they grow on me whenever they’re not in a Street Fight with The Nasty Boys. The match is pretty even with Public Enemy getting innovative with their offense as they pull off a signature Fabulous Rougeau double-team senton on Scott using the top rope. The Steiner’s were on fire, however, as they were huge fan favorites surging toward another reign as WCW World Tag-Team Champions. First, they’ll need to compete on opposite teams at SlamBoree coming up in six days in Baton Rouge, LA.
Bischoff says Nitro will begin airing for TWO hours on May 27th. That was a signature broadcast …
“Squire” David Taylor (accompanied by Jeeves) vs. Chris Benoit
Result/Analysis: Benoit via pinfall (4:18) with a dragon suplex. This match is a contrast of styles. Benoit, the mat wrestler versus Taylor, the Brit, who like His Lordship, Steven Regal, intended to rough up an opponent. Taylor was in the Blue Bloods with Regal and “Earl” Robert Eaton. Benoit remained a member of The Four Horsemen though they weren’t a “foursome” with Brian Pillman gone/on the shelf. Benoit was just getting ramped up with Kevin Sullivan around this time and of course, they’re a tag-team at SlamBoree. So random that drawing for The Lethal Lottery was. Taylor will substitute for The Belfast Bruiser, who was to tag with Regal (again, random!), since The Bruiser wound up with glass in his eye as a result of the parking lot brawl with Regal two weeks ago. Ouch! As for Benoit, WCW blew their wad with him in these early years. On pure wrestling ability alone, he was one of their top guys. At some point, Benoit could have turned face and feuded with Arn Anderson, at least. That would have been special. At least the Sullivan feud that’s upcoming has juice, and realism, to it. Stay tuned for that. Benoit is your winner here, in a time filler bout.
Outside the arena, “Mean” Gene Okerlund is standing by with WCW security and local law enforcement to make sure “Macho Man” Randy Savage stays out. He’s barred tonight. Whatever. Mongo comes outside to tell Savage he has a plan to deal with Ric Flair since his family (Debra, specifically) has been messed with, too, by “The Nature Boy.” Okerlund tells Savage he’s lost it. Macho insists otherwise and says he doesn’t have a problem with Flair being his tag-team partner at SlamBoree because he’s fine with dragging a dead guy to the ring. Ha! Gene tells Macho to seek out professional help, i.e., go and see a psychiatrist. He says, it doesn’t appear as of yet Savage has.
Glacier is coming. Either that or it’s getting cold as the summer months approach.
V.K. Wallstreet vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Woman and Elizabeth)
Result/Analysis: Flair via submission (5:56 shown) with the figure-four. Mike Rotunda is a quasi-babyface here and he takes it to Flair throughout. It’s strange because Rotunda is a heel in his V.K. Walstreet gimmick, which, of course, is a cheap take-off from his I.R.S. days. Anyhow, Rotunda will team up with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan at SlamBoree. Those two don’t like each other. Wallstreet hadn’t looked this good in the ring since well, he was wrestling as himself in The U.S. Express while he tagged with Barry Windham in the mid-1980’s. That’s over a decade prior. As for Flair, since Walstreet is the irrelevant one, he gets his ASS handed to him yet capitalizes when Walstreet hits the ring post with his knee and then slaps on the figure-four. Then, in typical Flair fashion he gives one of his classic promos after the match with Okerlund. He lays into the Nashville crowd for booing him and says they haven’t thought much of him since he made Dolly Parton ride “Space Mountain” one night. LOL. He also dismisses Savage’s assertion he’s a “dead man” by kissing Elizabeth’s arms up and down. Oh my! Naitch says he’ll wear a new tuxedo to SlamBoree and the girls will be dressed to kill. As for Mongo, and his own flirtations with Debra in the recent weeks, Flair compares himself to Joe Namath throwing touchdown pass after touchdown pass to his wide receivers (Elizabeth and Woman) while McMichael had to roll around in the dirt just to become a four-time all-pro defensive linemen. Wooo!!! Mongo was pre-occupied with recruiting his buddy, all-pro defensive end Kevin Greene of the Carolina Panthers for back-up. Stay tuned for that.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship:
The Giant (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. “The Total Package” Lex Luger
Result/Analysis: Luger via DQ (4:05) when The Giant chokeslams him through a table outside the ring. Lex is laid in ruins to end Nitro as Sting rushes to his aide. The Giant tosses Lex around like a rag doll/yesterday’s garbage all while Luger bounces off of him like a pinball going in the wrong direction. WCW was pushing The Giant as an unstoppable force so they get an “A” for effort. The table was Flair’s VIP set-up and even he, Elizabeth and Woman have to look on in horror as Luger is chokeslammed thru said table and onto the concrete floor. The match had zero to it other than what I describe. The Giant is being booked as a monster. Correctly so. What can Sting do at SlamBoree?
The Verdict: WCW had re-set itself inbetween Uncensored in March and SlamBoree upcoming. Of course, the soon-to-be arrival of two Outsiders from up North would necessitate a full re-set again in the coming weeks. In the interim, The Giant is World Champion and at least he was someone new at the top. The Lethal Lottery/Battlebowl mixed some feuds and will start some new ones. Wrestlers that would rarely see pay-per-view time were about to get some. There’s no fault in that. Oh, and thanks to a mysterious benefactor, Diamond Dallas Page will return at SlamBoree. Someone will be crowned Lord of the Ring and earn himself a World Championship Match.