WCW Monday Nitro – July 1, 1996
Commentators: Tony Schiavone & “The Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko
Eric Bischoff & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
At the top of the broadcast, Tony and Larry discuss Bash at the Beach being just six days away as The Outsiders attempt at a hostile take over of WCW reaches its crescendo. DDP interrupts them because he’s lost his (Lord of the) ring and demands the entire arena to be strip searched until it’s found. LOL. Back to business, Tony and Larry review the end of Monday Nitro last week when The Outsiders interrupted the triangle match that resulted in Harlem Heat regaining the World Tag-Team Titles. Of course, no one knows still who their third guy but Larry sees into the future to predict a New World Order this Sunday. Oh, no! He didn’t just say that!!! It’s stunning he was allowed to. Tony says it’s rumored The Outsiders are at the arena tonight so perhaps everyone will finally find out the identity of who their third man is.
WCW World Tag-Team Championship:
The Steiner Brothers [Rick & Scott] vs. Harlem Heat [Booker T. & Stevie Ray] (c)
Result/Analysis: Harlem Heat via pinfall (8:06 shown) when Booker pins Rick after outside interference from Col. Robert Parker. High-impact opening bout here with Scott and Booker carrying their respective teams. This match feels more like Harlem Heat regaining the Tag-Team Titles than the secondary nature to them winning the belts in the triangle match the week before did. In July 1996, The Steiner’s and Harlem Heat were the top tag-teams going – – – in any promotion – – – so a good match was going to result. With three guys going strong, even Stevie Ray couldn’t screw up enough to hurt the quality. The Steiner’s are teased the winners when Scott hits the frankensteiner on Ray, before he’s not the legal man, and therefore, can’t be the one to pin. Rick follows with a bulldog on Booker but when he and Scott try for a second one, Col. Parker whacks Rick with his walking stick. Booker gets dropped on his back by Scott as this happens but that puts him in position to pin Rick as Harlem Heat retains. The crowd was super hot for the match and both teams brought it. There’ll be more title matches to come. More importantly, Col. Parker, which likely signifies the return of Sister Sherri, too, has come into business with Harlem Heat. I approve.
The Four Horsemen, and the ladies, are at their VIP table enjoying hors d’oeuvres and sipping champage. Competition awaits in an eight-man tag-team match in hour two, but first, “Mean” Gene Okerlund checks in. Debra speaks highly of Mongo like any wife should of her husband and admits she may be high-maintenance. Elizabeth is enjoying the evening as usual as it’s paid for with Randy’s money, and there’s plenty more of that lying around. Arn Anderson promises heads are going to roll with The Horsemen at full strength. AA says they run the professional wrestling world. Well, they do for six more days anyway. Benoit says he’s the man, “The Crippler, silent but violent. Mongo affirms his decision joining The Horsemen because you know, money makes the monkey dance. Flair, well, he’s is in a jubiliant mood at Macho’s expense. Wooo! Joe Gomez, The Renegade and The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express provide the opposition in the ring tonight. Heads will indeed roll.
Blood Runs Cold Promo. Glacier. He’s coming. Sometime before the new millenium.
The Disco Inferno vs. Kurasawa
Result/Analysis: The Disco Inferno via pinfall (3:45) after hitting Kurasawa in the back with the disco ball. Disco’s schtick hasn’t aged well, though, he was a comedy act and nothing more. Kurasawa dominates until Disco’s music hits and an Elvis Impersonator walks toward the ring. The disco ball drops down from the ceiling and with referee Randy Anderson distracted, Disco uses it on an equally distracted Kurasawa. Just bad. Disco challenges Dean Malenko for the Cruiserweight Championship at Bash at the Beach.
Scotty Riggs vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Result/Analysis: DDP via pinfall (5:42) following The Diamond Cutter. Riggs is the kind of wrestler who had a name but was above jobber status. That’s the perfect opponent for DDP to hone his skills on. Week-by-week Page was improving by leaps and bounds. He’s so old-school, he’d have been a perfect foil in the mid-1980’s with the way he cheats. I love it. Riggs gets in only a smidgen of offense here as Page does his dirty work. The Diamond Cutter was coming along as a finishing move, though, there had yet to be the proper set-up to it. Page mouths off to the camera after the match claiming his ring was stolen because no one could beat him for it. LOL. Okerlund speaks to DDP in the aisle and Page says it’s quite obvious that everyone in WCW is jealous of him. Gene asks Page about facing “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in a Taped Fist Match at Bash at the Beach but DDP doesn’t care about that right now; he only cares about finding his ring, so he frisks Gene for it. Okerlund scoffs. Ha! Page was being booked expertly at this point.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Result/Analysis: Savage via pinfall (5:17) following the flying elbow drop. Back from obscurity is Greg “The Hammer” Valentine to wrestle an old foe. I had visions of Savage defeating Valentine at WrestleMania IV in my head as I watched this, but I also had longings for Jimmy Hart in Valentine’s corner. Tony and Larry speculate Valentine could be “the third man” joining The Outsiders. Yeah, never. It’s a typical Savage match. He gets the short end but still manages to pull off the win. Valentine doesn’t fit on the roster but he looks decent here. I can think of worse talent employed. Savage pins Valentine at exactly the second hour marker so that timing was pre-planned.
Eric Bischoff is back alongside Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Bischoff addresses “Nash” personally saying he didn’t impress anybody by doing what he did. The Outsiders walk out within the crowd as ticket holders bringing with them popcorn and cokes and take front row seats at ringside. Nash tells WCW Head of Security Doug Dellinger they came to see “The Big Boys.” Heenan is concerned for his safety. Eric wants The Outsiders out of there but as paying customers, the U.S.A. being a free country, they’ll be allowed to stay.
Another Blood Runs Cold promo … “within each of us lies the fury of a Warrior.”
WCW World Heavyweight Championship:
John Tenta vs. The Giant (c) (w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart)
Result/Analysis: The Giant via pinfall (6:38) following a choke slam. The match is one-sided, and rightfully so, but it drags on for far too long! The Outsiders eat their entire popcorn bags as Eric and Bobby whine about not finding out who their third man is. The Giant pounds away, cornering Tenta, as Hart sounds off on the megaphone like he’s calling an Earthquake (Tenta) match from 1990. Funny. Tenta makes a spirited comeback, which succeeds in getting The Giant off his feet after an impressive standing dropkick. Impressive in that Tenta weighs 400+ pounds. Kevin Sullivan and Big Bubba come out to sidetrack Tenta, though, which allows The Giant the opening for the chokeslam of death as the ring shakes from the impact. Afterward, Bubba, having already shaved off half of Tenta’s head, shaves off half of his beard. Tenta, per Heenan, has been mounted, he’s been deep-fried and filleted. “That fish is over with.” Well, Bobby, he’s at least ready for Halloween early.
At Bash at the Beach, though, get ready because it’s Bubba versus Tenta in a “Carson City Silver Dollars On A Pole Match.” You read that right. The Carson City Silver Dollars On A Pole Match. WTF! The Giant tells Okerlund in the post-match interview, Tenta made the fatal mistake of leaving The Dungeon of Doom and paid for doing so with a choke slam. He’s the World Champion now and he always will be, calling his title reign a legacy. The Giant reminds Sullivan he told him never to trust a “horse.” Come Sunday, The Four Horsemen will leave Bash at the Beach as four geldings (castrated male horses) with The Dungeon of Doom standing alone as the elite force. Gene says the tag-team match will feature no disqualifications, no count-outs, and their must be a winner. Sullivan attempts to speak on Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit but he walks off without finishing his thought. As for The Outsiders, panning the camera back to them, they look unimpressed. Popcorn re-fill?
WCW Saturday Night Promo: The American Males vs. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express, DDP in singles competition, Chris Benoit wrestles The Cobra and Savage, Sting and Lex Luger prep for Bash at the Beach in a six-man tag-team match.
A Rey Mysterio Jr. video package is shown. Psicosis is Mysterio’s opponent at the PPV. The video, highlighting Mysterio’s match with Dean Malenko from The Great American Bash, is stopped when The Outsiders get a mic and start walking toward Bischoff. Security heads them off as Nash mocks Bischoff for the frequent flier miles he got for his last ride as Donny Osmond. Team WCW comes out in the aisle to back up Bischoff and Heenan. The rest of the locker room empties as well as Savage charges toward The Outsiders like a wild man. Bischoff says, “You don’t want none of this.” The Outsiders leave as Nash shouts “Attica, Attica, Attica.” Wild.
Duggan, meanwhile, tells Gene he found DDP’s ring while relieving himself on the toilet. Okerlund calls the ring “King of the Ring.” Duggan said he wears a man’s ring, however, so the feminine ring he found can’t be THE missing ring. Duggan promises to return it to DDP because he’s a good scout. The interview drags on before DDP barges in to call Duggan a thief. Duggan tosses the ring on the ground for DDP to pick up which has him taping his fist to sucker punch Page when Page stands back up. Old-School here. Bischoff clarifies afterward, for clarification, DDP had won “The Lord of the Ring.” Eric didn’t want another lawsuit pending from the WWF lol.
Eight-Man Tag-Team Match:
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express [Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson], Joe Gomez and Renegade
vs. The Four Horsemen [“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “The Crippler” Chris Benoit, “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & Steve “Mongo” McMichael] (w/ Woman, Miss Elizabeth, and Debra)
Result/Analysis: The Four Horsemen via submission (11:51) when Renegade submits to Flair while in the figure-four. Eight-Man tag matches are fun. The Rock ‘N’ Roll take turns beating up Flair and AA at the start of the match as The Horsemen are reeling. Desperado Joe Gomez tags in, so the tide turns as each Horsemen, most notably, Benoit makes him his bitch. Gomez takes a pounding at for a solid 7/8 minutes with Mongo getting his cup of coffee as he’s carried by the other three. Woman shrieking when Flair takes a shot or when he’s almost pinned is just classic. Arn hits a spinebuster on Gomez but Rock ‘N’ Roll break it up. After Gomez nearly pins Benoit and Flair despite being on the receiving end of further punishment, he eventually tags in Renegade. That leads to a rush of energy but things quickly get out of hand. Renegade goes to the rope for a flying whatever just as Mongo tosses the briefcase at him (and he misses completely!) allowing Flair to lock-in the figure-four for the tap out. The Horsemen taking individual turns to make Gomez their personal whipping boy is what’s to like from this match.
“Mean” Gene interviews The Horsemen to wrap-up. Mongo responds to a question about his former head coach Mike Ditka saying he doesn’t care what Ditka thinks, or Chicago for that matter. The Horsemen are his team now and he’ll do whatever it takes, at every level. Arn seconds the fire Benoit is now illiciting, courtesy of Sullivan lighting his fire, and reaffirms his prior comments that heads are going to roll now that The Horsemen are at full strength. He says, “The body count starts now.” Flair puts Konan on notice for the PPV as he’ll be winning the U.S. Title one more time. Woooo! Woman puts the moves on Gene. Liz promises to keep spending Savage’s money with Debra enjoying the lavish lifestyle she’s not afforded. Classic.
Eric and Bobby discuss Bash at the Beach as the seconds wind down on the night. The Outsiders cause a further ruckus as they’re escorted to their getaway car.
The Verdict: The go home Nitro before the biggest PPV in WCW’s history gets the juices flowing. The third guy joining The Outsiders is still a mystery. Given the pay-off, that’s wise. The two other factions have strong nights. The Giant continues to dominate and stand front-and-center for The Dungeon of Doom. The Four Horsemen roughed it up on their opponents inside the ring and continued to do their talking outside the ring. DDP is coming on. Harlem Heat is back on top.