Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.
Since Halloween Havoc 1996, Eric Bischoff had been trying to sign the “match of the decade” in booking WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan vs “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Piper was not “associated” with WCW but Bischoff claimed to have met with Piper to try and sign the match. Hogan had been calling Piper a coward and Piper had not appeared on television since the PPV. However, it was promoted that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper would be on WCW Nitro this week.
…oh yeah and this is the go-home show for WCW World III. They’ve mentioned that once or twice I guess in the last few weeks.
I could go on a big tirade about how badly they’ve promoted their World War III PPV this year but I won’t do that. I will forgive them for that on the grounds that this was a pretty good episode of WCW Monday Nitro. This was the best one in a long time. There was not a lot wrong with the episode and it featured a legendary WCW moment as Rowdy Roddy Piper confronted Eric Bischoff at the end of the show.
Date: November 18th 1996
City:Florence, South Carolina
Commentators (First Hour): Mike Tenay and Larry Zbyszko
Commentators (Second Hour): Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay
First thing they show on Nitro is not even the intro video for WCW Monday Nitro. The first thing they show is the Outsiders standing in the ring with chairs and the Nasty Boys and High Voltage both laid out, sparing us from seeing that match. I think there was another luchador tag team out there was well. I think what happened was High Voltage was wrestling a dark match but the Nasty Boys beat up those guys but then Outsiders beat up the Nasty Boys. It was crazy because they do kind of explain that later but without that, we just see the Nasty Boys randomly on the show after they were barred from the show last week! It was completely upside down with the storyline.
Kevin Nash grabbed the mic and said it was nice to see Larry Zybszko dressed up this week after Nash buried him for what he wore last week. Nash and Scott Hall intimidate Tony Schiavonie as they yelled about how they can be funny or deadly. Nash mentioned Tony’s bad neck and asked if Tony ever wanted to pick up his kids? Sounds like a threat to me.
Hall said they’ve heard how scary the Faces of Fear are and they are the two toughest guys in the business but he told “those two highlanders” to come out here and they would slap the coconut crap out of them. Hall said if the Faces of Fear won’t come to us, we’ll come to them. Nash and Hall walk to the back. FIGHTING WORDS.
So out of nowhere, Meng and The Barbarian appear out of thin air and bring the fight to the Outsiders! These two tag teams had a GREAT FIGHT! Kevin Nash would garner a reputation of being lazy in the near future but at this time, he, Hall and the Faces of Fear worked their asses off to put together a wild brawl! Nash and Meng used trash cans as swords as they battled! It was a hell of a brawl as Hall goes head first into the fire exit door! The Outsiders are selling like crazy for the Faces of Fear and it was GREAT!
They explain later what happened before the show started. It was shown that I guess the Nasty Boys were beating up High Voltage and “two Mexican friends” when the Outsiders attacked with chairs. Tony berated Larry as a wrestler for not stepping in and said he can’t be dealing with this as he has a family. Therefore, he was leaving Larry to it and Tony walked out for the rest of the show.
A unique way to start the show but I think the brawl between these four huge men that spilled out to the back really made it worth it. To give WCW credit, watching this fight really made me want to watch The Outsiders vs Faces of Fear at World War III! They’re doing Outsiders vs Faces of Fear vs Nasty Boys at the PPV so this was done with that in mind and I got excited for watching this match! Therefore, this was a success! HUGE THUMBS UP for the opening segment.
La Parka vs Juventud Guerrera
We got THE DEBUT OF LA PARKA as he was booked against Juventud. I liked this match. The pacing was weird but this was exactly the type of match I expected it to be with a whole bunch of lucha spots from both men. They delivered that so I was content.
This is weird to admit but when I was younger, I had a Batman buckle belt exactly like La Parka had on for this match! This was weird booking when Juventud Guerrera, the loser of last week’s match against Miguel Perez, was back this week but Miguel Perez wasn’t. Shouldn’t the winner get booked for the next Nitro rather than the loser? What’s the incentive for Juventud to win if he just gets another match the next week anyway? It felt odd.
Juvi worked on La Parka. They exchange chops with La Parka delivering a kick to the face to floor Juvi. Mike Tenay joined Larry to save his arse on commentary but to be honest, this commentary was pretty bland especially with Tenay. I didn’t get much from them for the rest of the hour.
Juvi floored Parka with a clothesline. A bunch of lucha libre spots leads to a backbreaker for a two count. La Parka does a suicide dive into the guard rail. Juvi did a springboard hurricanrana to La Parka, who was seated on the top rope. That spot was actually pulled off really well.
Juvi did a springboard moonsault which appeared to look like a springboard pele kick because his feet landed right on Parka’s face! That can’t have fun for poor La Parka!
Parka cut off Juvi with a dropkick when Juvi went for a springboard splash. Parka did a crossbody to Juvi on the floor. Parka hit a powerbomb. Parka did a Romero Special but Juvi broke it up by just raising himself up from the hold and then just falling on top of La Parka to turn the match around! It was so basic but the fans yelled “ohhh” and reacted because Juvi landed right on the gut of Parka!
Juvi smashed Parka’s head into the turnbuckle. A part of me thought I missed an episode because they just randomly bring up that Roddy Piper would be here. That just seemed to be brought up out of nowhere after weeks of “negotiations” and Eric Bischoff supposedly being stone-walled.
Juvi did a top rope frankensteiner for a 2 count. Parka did a senton of the top rope but Juvi moved out of the way. Parka got small packaged for a 2 count. In the middle of these high-flying spots and lucha libre spots, Juvi did a random DDT! A part of me thinks they were supposed to only get a few minutes like the Miguel Perez match last weekbut they ended up getting more time at the last minute, so they just ended up doing a bunch of other spots without any real plan!
Juvi did a tornado DDT or a “rolling DDT” for a 2 count. Some fans actually started booing as I think they wanted the match to be over. Juvi tried a spinning frankensteiner but he fell down and La Parka does a tremendous springboard corkscrew for the victory.
This was a fine match with a great finish. Not much in psychology but the execution for a lot of the moves were on point. The fans popped for Parka winning so I will go ahead and say this was a success.
Dean Malenko © vs Ultimo Dragon w/Sonny Onoo for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
This was a weird one with the timing as well. It’s the J-Crown Champion from NJPW Ultimo Dragon facing the WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko for his title and it got… FOUR MINUTES! A few weeks ago, they had an episode of Nitro which saw Marcus Bagwell and Brad Armstrong get a long time for a match followed up by a Cruiserweight title match which lasted four minutes and got a bad ending. This show followed the exact same formula. Parka and Juventud got a lot of time and this big champion vs champion match got four minutes and a DQ finish! It was crazy with the time management for the show!
Although this match got four minutes, this was a great four minutes with Dragon and Malenko. They pulled off some amazing stuff and it was like a small teaser to what would have been a five star classic between these two at this time! This is a spoiler but apparently this match happened again at Starrcade 1996. We’ve got that to look forward to!
There was a good bit of mat wrestling to start of the match. Dragon and Maleno battled for the arm but then Dragon switched and worked on the leg of Malenko with a toe hold. Dean trying a kick but Dragon sweeping the leg was a spot that was pulled off beautifully. This was a small move but it worked out really well in execution!
Dragon did a cartwheel elbow smash. I love how after a massive exchange and a dragon suplex, Dragon tried a leapfrog and Dean just stood there and walloped him with a big clothesline! Some tremendous wrestling on display and in the middle of this, Malenko clotheslined Dragon out of his boots!
Dragon Irish-whipped Dean into the guard rail. Dragon missed a top rope moonsault. Dean tried a Texas Cloverleaf. Sonny Onoo got on the apron and got thrown in the ring. Dean then tossed Dragon over the top rope for the disqualification finish. Out of all the matches we’ve seen on Nitro in the last four weeks, this is the match with the disqualification for one man throwing another man over the top rope?
This was a lame finish to an otherwise awesome match. To be fair, they mentioned on commentary that Bobby Heenan picked Dean to win the World War III battle royal and he threw the J-Crown Champion over the top rope here. It at least demonstrated that Malenko can throw a man over the top rope so at the very least, they are teasing that Malenko may be able to do that to anyone that steps in his path at World War III to win the battle royal. That I very much appreciated.
They did show the finish of the Harlem Heat and Canadians match from last week where Parker was thrown into the ring by Stevie Ray but eventually, the referee just called off the match… seemingly for no reason.
“The Amazing French Canadians” Jacques Rogueau and Carl Ouellet w/Col Robert Parker vs “The American Males” Marcus Bagwell and Scotty Riggs
There wasn’t much to this match other than to continue to slow build for an American Males break-up. There was no Harlem Heat there to promote the Amazing French Canadians’ match with Harlem Heat at World War III. Speaking of which, it was revealed if Harlem Heat won the match at World War III, their manager Sister Sherri will get 5 minutes in the ring with Col Robert Parker. My apologises, I guess that is the pay off to this year long storyline with Parker and Sherri. A random five minute match.
Bagwell waived the American flag coming out and gaining patriotism points with the crowd. Bagwell ran wild on the Canadians and then Riggs came in as they worked together to dispose of the Amazing French Canadians. Jacques stopped the match just so he could do some kip-ups, he encouraged Riggs to do some and then kicked him to gain control!
Riggs did a monkey flip to Jacques and Jacques almost landed right on his head. In response, a later spot see Jacques try a monkey slip but Riggs does not fall for it and punches him in the face. Of course he sees the danger in doing this spot! He damn near destroyed Jacques’ neck with the same spot earlier on in the match!
Bagwell and Riggs bump into each other for a spot and then yell at each other. To be honest, I had no idea why Bagwell was in the ring other than to crash into Riggs. It was hard to figure out what Bagwell and Riggs were going for before they crashed into each other.
Rogueau scoop slammed Ouellet into the back of Riggs which looked unpleasant for Riggs. The spot I usually see with the Amazing French Canadians is Jacques scoop-slamming Carl into an opponent who are usually laying on their back. Riggs was sitting up and so this big man was thrown right into the back of Riggs!
They do a quick double STO to Riggs as they continue to get the heat. Ouellet punched Rogueau by mistake and then Riggs was able to get the tag to Bagwell. Bagwell ran wild on the Canadians. Riggs kneed Rogueau into the head of Bagwell and then Jacques was rolled onto Bagwell for the pin by Carl.
This was a creative finish to an otherwise bland match. I didn’t think it was bad but there really wasn’t much going for it in my eyes. I love how the American Males were arguing after the match and Riggs’ big complaint was that Bagwell celebrated too much during the match! What a buzzkill this Scotty Riggs turned out to be!
They showed the WCW website and there was a red creepy web page they had called the WCW Dark Room. What on earth was up with that? It was like the website had suddenly changed into a website for a cult that ended up on WCW television!
Hugh Morrus vs Lex Luger
This was a bad match. I don’t expect much from Lex Luger’s matches but at least they would be the Lex Luger formula for a match. They can at least accomplish the goal of getting Lex Luger over. The fans loveD the Torture Rack so you build towards that finish and then Luger delivered the move. I will get to the finish in a little bit but this match really let me down.
I love how Tenay talked up Lex Luger’s win streak when 3 weeks ago, he walked out of a match with Booker T because he saw his friend Sting in the crowd! He’s on a great roll but if he sees his friend in the crowd, he’s vulnerable. It’s like Sting is his kryptonite right now!
Hugh beat up Luger for a while as Arn cut an insert promo. Luger no-sold a slam and then taunted at Hugh by flexing his muscles. Luger hit a suplex and slammed Hugh with a hip toss.
One thing that bothered me was that Hugh did a knee to the back of Luger and Luger doesn’t feel his back to sell it. He just wobbled like a penguin to the corner and doesn’t even try to sell it. Luger really has a hard time trying to sell and usually I will try to block it out in my mind, but it really irritated me here. Then Hugh did a polish hammer and Luger fell down and became unmoving…. It was so inconsistent of how he sold during the match and it was really jarring.
Luger made a comeback with 3 clotheslines and did a back elbow to change things up! Hugh did his own clothesline but then he missed a big splash. Luger motioned of the Torture Rack, the fans went crazy as Luger is able to get another big man up in the air for this move. However, he’s unable to get Hugh properly up for the move. This is a conspiracy theory and I don’t have much evidence to go on but I’m fairly certain Hugh dead-weighted him. Luger got the man on his shoulders just like he’s done with other men way bigger than Hugh Morrus, but Morrus slid to the other side of Lex’s shoulders. Luger just then carried him like he’s about to do a shinbreaker. He dropped Hugh and then the referee decided that Hugh had given up.
Luger was pissed off in the ring that he wasn’t able to do the spot properly. I think Luger wanted to do what he did with Roadblock a month ago and try the spot again but this referee decided “he got him up, let’s take the match home” which did not sit well with Luger. This was a bad match with a horrible finish. I personally think this was the worst thing on the entire show.
Mean Gene interviewed Lex Luger. All of a sudden, Sting showed up through the crowd with a red baseball bat. He doesn’t have the black baseball bat yet but he did have a red one. I don’t know the significance of why it was red. Luger and Sting have a stare down. He poked Luger in the chest with his bat and pushed him into the corner with the bat. He gave Luger the bat and left. Larry then goes on a weird tirade along the lines of: “even I, as brilliant as I am psychologically, can’t figure this out.” Was there any need for Larry to say that other than to get himself over?
Luger then doesn’t respond to Mean Gene’s further questioning and then just left because Luger can’t figure out what was going on with Sting either. He looked dumb-founded. This felt like a filler Sting appearance because they certainly didn’t follow up Sting attacking Jeff Jarrett last week. It’s important to continue to establish the previous Sting/Luger relationship but this just seemed to accomplish nothing in the storyline.
They showed an interview with Nick Patrick and the solicitor Alan Sharpe which I think was from WCW Saturday Night. Chris Jericho and Teddy Long interrupted them. Teddy called out Alan Sharpe and claimed his law firm was called “do we cheat them and how” or something. Teddy made a comment along the lines of Jericho could beat up Nick Patrick with one arm tied behind his back and I guess it was booked. Chris Jericho with one hand tied behind his back vs Nick Patrick booked for World War III.
Johnny Grunge vs Chris Jericho
Ever since Chris Jericho arrived in WCW, I have had the pleasure of listening to Chris Jericho’s “All the Days” first WCW theme song. It’s a tremendous song and I was always happy listening to it. I’m not sure what happened here but all of a sudden, on the WWE Network, they played Jericho’s WWE Break the Walls Down theme as he came down for this WCW match. They couldn’t just play the All the Days song again? They had to put on the clearly out-dated future WWE theme? That song doesn’t sound like it belonged on a WCW show from 1996 because it clearly didn’t fit the era. If this is going to be the case for the rest of Jericho’s WCW run while I watch Nitro on the WWE Network, I’m going to be really upset.
Jericho worked on Grunge for a while and then Nick Patrick came down, still with a neck brace and also wearing sunglasses and all black. I will get into this later but Nick Patrick wearing a neck brace and still accepting a wrestling match with Chris Jericho is unintentionally hilarious when you think about it!
Jericho tried a top rope moonsault, landed on his feet and then Grunge floored Jericho with a lariat. Jericho did a “jump spin wheel kick” to Grunge and then followed this up with a springboard dropkick.
Grunge got mad and grabbed a chair but Jericho slid between the legs and dropped Grunge face first into the apron. Grunge did a clothesline to a seated Jericho, who was sat on a chair Grunge brought into the ring.
Then we got another horrible finish. First, Grunge grabbed a table and set it up….. SINCE WHEN ARE TABLES ALLOWED IN A MATCH? I know the Dudley Boyz did spots like this for years but this is not, at least it was not announced as, a hardcore match. Grunge is just allowed to use the tables for a spot which is even more illegal than Malenko throwing a man over the top rope.
Grunge smashed Jericho’s head into the table and it’s not a disqualification. Heenan said if Patrick were in the ring he would have disqualified them and Eric Bischoff’s grand rebuttal for this excellent point was… “he hasn’t used it yet.” He said this about 5 SECONDS after watching Grunge use the table to his advantage. I’m so glad now that Eric Bischoff will be a heel from here on out because that was a ridiculously babyface defence of this referee! Goldfish memory on display by Bischoff!
Grunge tried a chair leg drop but went crashing through the table and Jericho did a top rope dropkick for the win. The match was fine minus the blatant use of weapons and I hate that this was all allowed during the same show where you can’t even from a man over the top rope without getting disqualified. This… SUCKED.
Mean Gene interviewed Jericho. Teddy Long came out. Teddy said the match might be too much for Jericho and it is played up that CHRIS JERICHO may lose this match to REFEREE NICK PATRICK. Even if Jericho had a hand tied behind his back, he’s wrestling a referee who was wearing a neck brace. Yes, Patrick had apparently had legitimate experience as a wrestler and it is likely that Patrick is faking his injury as part of this storyline. However, how Jericho would be so incapable in the ring against a REFEREE is absolutely ridiculous. How bad much Jericho be in storyline where as soon as he loses a hand, he cannot beat anybody? By that logic, I would have been able to beat Chris Jericho in 1996 and I was two years old at the time!
Jericho put over Teddy as a intelligent man. Jericho said the match was the only way we’d get a coward like Patrick in the ring with him and accepted the match for World War III.
The nWo arrived with Hollywood Hogan, Miss Elizabeth, Vincent and Ted DiBiase. Heenan bailed but returned later. Hogan grabbed a mic and said it’s time for Hollywood. Hogan demanded Bischoff tell everyone that he’s the biggest star and he’s a bigger star than Piper. He demanded that he tell them that he’s a bigger icon than Rowdy Roddy Piper. Bischoff quietly said it and then Hogan demanded he tell everyone that Piper is scared of Hogan. Hogan told Bischoff to say Piper is 100 times richer than Piper which probably was true at this time! If you consider all the money that was thrown at Hogan at this time for movie roles, television and his big ass WCW contract at this time, this was most likely a true statement! Bischoff relented and said it. Hogan said now that the nWo is running the show, carry on.
…in hindsight, why did this happen? I’m gonna jump ahead to the finish of the show but Eric Bischoff was later revealed to be aligned with Hogan. Therefore, why did Hogan and Bischoff feel the need to put on this facade where Hogan forced Bischoff to talk about how great he is? If he wanted Bischoff to tell everyone how great he is… HAVE HIM TALK ABOUT HOW GREAT HE IS. It’s Bischoff’s show, so he can do what he wants! I’m sure Bischoff will spend the next 3 years talking about how great Hogan is so why not do it here on the night he’s gonna turn heel anyway?
Then Mean Gene Okerlund popped up on the ramp to speak to Diamond Dallas Page again. Mean Gene repeated the line from last week claiming DDP would be the 8th man of nWo if DDP accepted the Outsiders’ offer so they are getting the number for the amount of members wrong. Unless Miss Elizabeth and possibly nWo Sting are not officially part of the group, I have no idea why they keep saying DDP would be the 8th man.
DDP started to cut a promo but the nWo arrive. Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, The Giant and Syxx were there. I’m guessing the Outsiders won the fight with the Faces of Fear from the start of the show because they were back on the show but the Faces of Fear weren’t. Hall asked if DDP had got his wake up call yet. DDP didn’t like the comment about Bischoff last week. Nash is talking again about how DDP didn’t get it with regards to why Bischoff was so important. Giant said we should punk him out so I’m guessing The Giant is not clued in on the plan to get Eric Bischoff in the team. Nash said something very beautiful was gonna happen tonight which was apparently a quote from Space Odyssey 2001.
Bobby Eaton vs Jeff Jarrett
Bischoff’s explanation of why nWo are allowed time was that the more WCW censored them, the more people will want to hear more from them. This made little sense to me but obviously the line made a lot more sense at the end of the night.
Eaton and Jarrett wrestled and were among the dying breed of bleach blonde hair wrestlers in WCW! Jarrett worked on Eaton on the outside. Jarrett hit a suplex in the ring and went for the Figure Four Leg Lock as Ric Flair with a cast came out in a Christmas sweater as Jarrett secured the submission victory. This was short for the purposes to get Flair on the screen and to at least give Jarrett momentum heading into the rematch with The Giant at World War III.
Mean Gene interviewed Ric and Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett said we had to unite. They brought up how Sting dropped Jarrett last week. Jarrett said he chopped down Giant at Havoc to which I have no idea what was talking about. I seem to recall The Giant kicking Jarrett’s arse and Ric saving Jarrett from getting chokeslammed!
Ric got on the mic and for the first time on Nitro screamed “MEEEEAAAN GENE!” for WCW. It was glorious as Flair was so happy to be there! Ric said Jarrett is good to go. Ric said Dr Jim fixed him up and the Nature Boy will be back soon. Sting was up in the rafters watching this. Ric said Jeff Jarrett was in the Four Horsemen because the Nature Boy said so and so the other Four Horsemen members had to accept it. Ric and Jeff both strut their stuff and party and this worked with the South Carolina fans big time.
Big Bubba w/Jimmy Hart vs Jim Powers
Bubba hit a Boss Man slam for the clean victory. The match was OK. Very forgettable. Bubba celebrating with Jimmy in his arms was awesome. Those were my full notes of this match!
This was a filler match if I ever saw one. It wasn’t bad but all of my other notes about it were about things not to do with the match!
With that said, it was interesting that there was no Teddy Long with Jim Powers this week so I’m assuming Teddy is with Jericho until after World War III.
Bischoff tried to downplay Piper, saying it was unlikely he was gonna be there for Nitro. He mumbled about movies and management and whatever. You could tell that the second hour meant nothing to Nitro (well except the main-event angle) as JIM POWERS VS BIG BUBBA was the semi-main-event match of Nitro!
Chris Benoit w/Woman vs Eddie Guerrero
This match was a big reason why I loved this show. I have seen Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero wrestle at least a thousand times by now! It’s not that much on this series but I watched this match so many times and this match was a thing of beauty. It was a wrestling clinic when it needed to be, it was a fight when it needed to be and it delivered a winner and a loser! There was no shenanigans with Woman, Taskmaster, the Guerreros or even the referee. This was a true wrestling match and these two delivered as always.
Benoit tried a crossface early on to no avail. Eddie turned things around. Benoit was able to turn things right around himself and he grabbed Eddie and started slapping him as he yelled at him. The intensity of Benoit was always high to an extent but with Eddie, the intensity from him and Guerrero was always really high for these matches and it really introduced a level of realism to an otherwise fake wrestling match.
Benoit did a Northern Lights suplex. He went for the cover and when Eddie kicked out, Benoit immediately grabbed Eddie’s wrist for a wrist lock. This was not a typical match where they do a kick out and then lay there for a minute until the next spot. Benoit went for the cover and almost RIGHT AWAY moved onto the next hold. It was sublime.
It was so clear as Benoit was working on the arm of Guerrero. Benoit tried a powerbomb but Eddie rolled him up for a near fall. Eddie fired back. Benoit and Eddie crashed to the mat with a superplex as they came back from the break.
Benoit tried a powerbomb but Eddie turned the momentum into a hurricanrana to the outside. Eddie and Benoit fired away at each other on the outside with punches as Eddie showed some Latino Heat. Woman got in the way and Benoit took advantage of this distraction.
Eddie small packaged Benoit for a 2 count and Eddie hit a belly to back suplex. Eddie went for a splash but Eddie saw Benoit move and stopped himself. Eddie did a frankensteiner which Benoit reversed into a sunset flip for the pinfall victory.
Great match as usual and a clever finish. Everything they did was on point and I would HIGHLY recommend watching this wrestling clinic displayed by Benoit and Guerrero as usual. A tremendous wrestling main-event.
Moving on to a tremendous main-event angle! Eric Bischoff got in the ring to cut a promo. Eric apologised for what Hogan made him do tonight and WCW were gonna do everything in their power to sign Piper for a match with Hogan. He said WCW will try to reach him through his attorneys and management to get him. Then bagpipes play and it is Rowdy Roddy Piper on the stage! Eric is taken back but not overjoyed either.
Piper had a microphone as fans go crazy for him. Piper said it’s nice to be back. He came here to tell some truth. Piper said he’s never heard so many lies in his life other than when he himself was saying them! Piper said he was king of the frat house as he talked about Charlotte, North Carolina. He said he was PO’d. He understood someone was calling him a coward.
He quotes LL Cool J, who he described as a “rapping kind of guy!” The line was: “You slap Roddy Piper and you didn’t get a hassle” and then he turns around, pointed at Bischoff and declared: “you’re a liar”.
Piper wanted to talk about “jerks and lairs” and then turned to Bischoff. He shook Bischoff’s hands. He questioned Bischoff about his claims of travelling to meet with Piper. He goads him into saying that he took a coach to visit. Piper responds with a line which I always remember from when I watched this angle for the first time. I made it clear when I started this series that I’d never watched the original WCW shows at the time but I have watched angles here and there. I watch this angle and I always remember the line where Piper then asked Bischoff: “Was the road crooked, or was the road straight?”
Piper grabbed Bischoff and called him a piece of shit before the nWo arrive to save Eric. Bischoff. They grab Piper as Bischoff hugged Hollywood Hogan. Bischoff changes his swagger and Hogan reveals everyone is working for Bischoff. Hogan then said Bischoff was working for the nWo so it wasn’t particularly clearly who was actually in charge of the group! Long story short, Bischoff was working with the nWo the entire time.
Piper tried to claw at Bischoff but he wasn’t able to do it. Hogan called Piper a loser. He said he was never been anything in the business until he wrestled Hogan. Hogan called Piper a coward. Hogan took off his belt as Piper tried to get at Hogan but police and security try to pull Piper away this time. Piper breaks away from the security but he is literally pulled away by his coat. The Giant VAULTED out of the ring during all of this in an incredible feat of athleticism form the big man. The nWo leave and Piper agreed to fight, he’ll have a contract at World War III and he tells Hogan to kiss his ass.
This was a famous segment! The reveal that Eric was in the nWo all along. It was clear that this was in the works for some time to reveal Bischoff as being a part of the group. Heenan questioned him about some of his decisions last month and him being with the group is a logically way to explain how the nWo had gotten so far with their take over of WCW. They had a man on the inside in the WCW President Bischoff.
The crazy thing is, Bischoff completely transformed into the cocky asshole Bischoff that I always remembered growing up from watching him in WWE. He was the RAW General Manager when I first started watching wrestling and for the last year and a half when doing these reviews, I’ve seen him as this regular babyface commentator. As soon as they pulled the trigger had him turn, it was almost like he fit right in. He now had the means to say whatever he wanted and act the way he wanted on television!
The one thing I wanted to add before I finish this review was this show was great in terms of actually putting together a weekly television show. When the smoke cleared, this did nothing to promote the WRESTLING PAY-PER-VIEW they had set for the Sunday. There was hardly any mention of the World War III battle royal. The Piper thing only set up a segment for World War III to sign a contact for a match on a different show. Benoit vs Guerrero, as good as it was, never played into the PPV. The Giant and the Outsiders have matches booked for World War III but there’s no other mention of nWo involvement in the World War III battle royal.
All of this stuff is great for weekly ratings but as a means to sell PPVs, I don’t think this did what it was supposed to do. I did check and apparently, there was a big dip in PPV buys for World War III than the pay-per-view before Halloween Havoc. Of course it did. As much as I personally hated the Randy Savage/Hollywood Hogan program, they dedicated so much of Nitro to this stupid storyline that people wanted to watch that match. They put in the work to promote Halloween Havoc as a big deal. For World War III they have not done that, which is sad.
The next review coming up shortly is World War III on the blog. We will review the entire show including Rowdy Roddy Piper signing the contract to face Hollywood Hogan and the World War III battle royal to determine the number one contender for Hogan’s championship at a later stage. Be sure to watch out for that on the blog by following it to get updates for future Nitro reviews. Leave a comment and spread the word if you can as we’re still on this journey to review every WCW Nitro episode and pay-per-view since the very first Nitro! The WCW Nitro review reading order is available below!
WCW Nitro Reading Order
- #1 – September 4th 1995
- #2 – September 11th 1995
- WCW War Games 1995 – September 17th 1995
- #3 – September 18th 1995
- #4 – September 25th 1995
- #5 – October 2nd 1995
- #6 – October 9th 1995
- #7 – October 16th 1995
- #8 – October 23rd 1995
- WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 – October 29th 1995
- #9 – October 30th 1995
- #10 – November 6th 1995
- #11 – November 13th 1995
- #12 – November 20th 1995
- WCW World War III 1995 – November 26th 1995
- #13 – November 27th 1995
- #14 – December 4th 1995
- #15 – December 11th 1995
- #16 – December 18th 1995
- #17 – December 25th 1995
- WCW Starrcade 1995 – December 27th 1995
- #18 – January 1st 1996
- #19 – January 8th 1996
- #20 – January 15th 1996
- #21 – January 22nd 1996
- #22 – January 29th 1996
- #23 – February 5th 1996
- WCW Superbrawl VI – February 11th 1996
- #24 – February 12th 1996
- #25 – February 19th 1996
- #26 – February 26th 1996
- #27 – March 11th 1996
- #28 – March 18th 1996
- WCW Uncensored 1996 – March 24th 1996
- #29 – March 25th 1996
- #30 – April 1st 1996
- #31 – April 15th 1996
- #32 – April 22nd 1996
- #33 – April 29th 1996
- #34 – May 6th 1996 (Nitro)/May 6th 1996 (RAW)
- #35 – May 13th 1996
- WCW Slamboree 1996 – May 19th 1996
- #36 – May 20th 1996
- #37 – May 27th 1996
- #38 – June 3rd 1996
- #39 – June 10th 1996
- WCW The Great American Bash 1996 – June 16th 1996
- #40 – June 17th 1996
- #41 – June 24th 1996
- #42 – July 1st 1996
- WCW Bash At The Beach 1996 – July 7th 1996
- #43 – July 8th 1996
- #44 – July 15th 1996
- #45 – July 22nd 1996
- #46 – July 29th 1996
- #47 – August 5th 1996
- WCW Hog Wild 1996 – August 10th 1996
- #48 – August 12th 1996
- WCW Clash of the Champions #33 – Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair
- #49 – August 19th 1996
- #50 – August 26th 1996
- #51 – September 2nd 1996
- #52 – September 9th 1996
- WCW Fall Brawl 1996 – September 15th 1996
- #53 – September 16th 1996
- #54 – September 23rd 1996
- #55 – September 30th 1996
- #56 – October 7th 1996
- #57 – October 14th 1996
- #58 – October 21st 1996
- WCW Slim Jim’s Halloween Havoc 1996 – October 27th 1996
- #59 – October 28th 1996
- #60 – November 4th 1996 (Nitro)/November 4th 1996 (RAW)
- #61 – November 11th 1996