RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #51 (SEPTEMBER 2ND 1996) – THE GIANT AND TED DIBIASE JOIN THE NWO

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.

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The New World Order took advantage of the divide within WCW during the latest episode of WCW Nitro. They came out at the end of the show to lay waste to Sting, Lex Luger and the Four Horsemen and then took over the announce booth to end the show. The show also included debuts for Juventud Guerrera, Chris Jericho and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, who teased that either he was the fifth member of the Four Horsemen of the fourth or fifth member of the New World Order…

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It is hilarious that the big mystery last week was whether there was a fifth member of the Four Horsemen or the fourth and fifth member of the nWo. Ted DiBiase teased it and walked into this episode with a lot of mystery as to who else could possibly join up with the nWo in the takeover of WCW. If you happened to watch WCW Monday Nitro on the WWE Network like I did, the thumbnail for this episode is a shot of The Giant at the end of the show hanging out with the nWo at the announce booth! No attempt at all to at least cover up the spoiler for potential first time viewers of Nitro!

To be fair to WWE, their archive is focused on meeting the old-school demographic. RAW’s key demographic in 2020 are people in their 50s who have fond memories of the Monday Night Wars. It’s probably way easier to help direct people to this episode by posting the spoiler as if to say “this is the episode that you’re looking for”. If you wanted to relive The Giant turning on WCW and the Dungeon of Doom and siding with the nWo, you’ve got it right here. Works as an archive, miserable for first-time viewers.

 

Date: September 2nd 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Rating: 4.3

Commentators (First Hour): Tony Schiavonie and Larry Zbyszko

Commentators (Second Hour): Eric Bischoff, Mike Tenay and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

 

 

DDP vs Alex Wright

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Could Alex Wright have come off as a bigger geek on these WCW Monday Nitros? I don’t even remember seeing him win a match on Nitro yet and he just comes off as such a nobody who barely accomplishes anything. The dude was very athletic, don’t get me wrong, but he’s in there with DDP for this match and despite of all of his efforts and athleticism, he’s still came off as such a nothing guy even compared to the cruiserweights, let alone the heavyweights. 

I was on my internet travels and I stumbled across an interview with the recently released from WWE Deonna Purrazzo. Deonna is actually a very solid comparison to how Wright was treated here. Wright ended up staying with WCW for a long time but both Wright and Purrazzo were very athletic and talented people. Deonna talked about how she never ever won while in WWE and brought up a good point of how she was ever going to engage with the fans if all she did was lose. If all she did was lose then why should she still be there on television or whatever?

If you wanted DDP on this night to squash a guy with a Diamond Cutter and win, there are so many jobber guys that they could have gotten on the cheap that would have done the job just as well as Alex Wright. That’s not a knock on Alex Wright but anybody else could get beat up for a while and get hit with the Diamond Cutter to put DDP over. If you have Alex Wright, who is an athletic guy, then he shouldn’t be reduced to just a glorified jobber to the midcarders unless you’ve actually got a plan with him. If you don’t, don’t bother wasting his time.

DDP’s over-selling really jumped the shark here. He’s pulled it off really well before but it really irritated me here when he is flopping around for Alex Wright at the start of this match. There’s nothing wrong with a cartoonish sell but his stuff selling for Wright just looked silly. Wright took control with some dives but missed a crossbody as DDP got the heat. DDP hit a side-walk slam to a ridiculous pop. The fans really liked this slam. DDP hit a sit-out powerbomb for a 2 count.

DDP tried the cutter but Wright pushed him off. Wright hit a belly to belly suplex. Wright upper-cutted the gum out of DDP’s mouth. The finish saw Wright doing a backflip from the corner and then he turned around, and walked right into a kick in the gut by DDP. DDP hit a Diamond Cutter and won the match. Why bother doing a backflip that’s just gonna lead to DDP hitting his move and pinning the guy? 

It was a short but a decent match, all things considered, but this did not help Alex Wright at all.

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The previous match had been refereed by our main man Nick Patrick. Mean Gene interviewed Patrick and talked about Patrick being “slow on the draw” for that count. I think this is kinda stretching it to hype up the “controversy” of the Nick Patrick storyline. Patrick said WCW reviewed all of his matches and he’s still in WCW. Patrick was upset of people being on his case and Mean Gene for spreading lies. He mentioned Randy Anderson blew a call with Hogan/Flair a few weeks ago but Patrick is constantly the one under the microscope. He called Mean Gene a liar. This got a fair amount of heat and Nick Patrick did actually cut a decent promo all things considered.

However, I’m still baffled at this idea of interviewing the referee after the match and completely ignoring the efforts of the wrestlers in the ring. No interview with DDP, THE WINNER, or Alex Wright. Of course we have to amp up this referee storyline.

 

Mean Gene interviewed Sister Sherri and Col. Robert Parker. Parker wanted to woo Sherri and got her a present, which was a black leather jacket. Col Robert Parker said Sherri was gonna ride his horse John Henry back in his farm and…. this storyline has been going on for one year. ONE YEAR. Do not think I am exaggerating this, because they were doing this storyline during the early Nitros with Parker and Sherri. Did this storyline ever go anywhere?

 

“Harlem Heat” Booker T © and Stevie Ray (c) vs Greg Valentine and Buddy Valentino for the WCW Tag Team Championship

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This was the one and only Nitro wrestling appearance from Buddy Valentino. Think of Valentino as what would happen if you got a picture of Greg Valentine and then stretched the width of the picture on the Paint program on your computer. This was a wide man. Greg Valentine wasn’t really in that tremendous shape in 1996 but he was Lex Luger compared to Valentino.

Valentino had this singlet on which accomplished nothing in terms of covering up the exposed parts of his chest. The singlet was draped over his shoulders with his nipples to the side of them. I mean I don’t want to get on a man for his appearance on a wrestling show and I don’t wanna get on Valentino because he wasn’t that bad in this match. He was working hard for an appearance on a big wresting show and he was able to pull off a dropkick despite being such a big man. It’s funny, he did this dropkick and Greg Valentine is laughing his ass off on the apron as he clapped on his partner! That I enjoyed!

Referee Mark Curtis was making his WCW debut as Ted DiBiase arrived coming down the steps as the fans popped. Greg went to work on Booker T as the fans paid zero attention to the match. Harlem Heat got the heat on Buddy for a while and Booker eventually hit the Harlem Hangover and Harlem Heat won for the clean win.

Say what you will but Harlem Heat getting a string of clean wins together on Nitro episodes sets themselves up very well for defending the titles against the Nasty Boys at Fall Brawl. Now the Harlem Heat come off as legitimate tag team champions and now they are up against some nasty challengers, pardon the pun.

 

Mean Gene interviewed Harlem Heat. In a line I could not believe Harlem Heat could get away with saying in 1996, Stevie called the Nasty Boys “two fat milk-drinking suckas”. The Nasty Boys jumped the Heat and kicked their arses to a huge pop. They isolated Booker in the ring as the fans chanted “NASTIES”. They hit Booker with a spike piledriver and Knobbs got in a elbow drop in before they leave to attack Stevie Ray. I have no idea who the babyfaces and the heels are in this feud. Harlem Heat are winning matches clean like babyfaces but the Nasty Boys have “turned heel” and attacked the Heat but the fans went crazy for them! The ever-changing allegiances of the Nasty Boys continues!

 

Dean Malenko vs Chris Jericho

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A great match. It was the slow methodical pace of Dean Malenko against the fast pace of this recently-debuted youngster Chris Jericho. It was a crisply-worked match and the fans got into Jericho a bit more this week and it worked in all the areas that mattered. It worked with the crowd and it worked in the ring. 

Mike Tenay was joining the announce booth for this match as it was revealed he would be joining the announce booth for Nitros going forward. I love Tony Schiavonie referred to Chris Jericho as a “great cruiserweight” after he DEBUTED last week in a match where he called for a no contest as he didn’t wanna win a match against Alex Wright! At least they explained Jericho beat J.L. on Saturday Night so at least has won matches in WCW since he arrived!

Jericho ran wild as the fans chanted “ECW”. Dean then cut him off with a belly-to-back suplex. Dean smashed Jericho with a brainbuster

Dean got the heat and then Ted DiBiase decided to leave and walked all the way up the steps through the crowd. Of all the matches Ted DiBiase wanted to leave the show during, it was this one? Dean had a head scissors locked on Jericho and Jericho got him up from that position and then dropped him with an electric chair drop. That was a pretty impressive spot and as discussed last week, Jericho was not a large man at this time. 

So I guess the storyline was that Nick Patrick was more an incompetent referee than a crooked referee. He refereed this match and Dean kept grabbing the ropes and Patrick kept missing this. Dean then pointed at Jericho and Patrick of course attended to him and completely ignored Dean getting the ropes again. Weird since I guess the storyline is Patrick is now looking to call it down the middle. I think it was explained by his announcers that he’s over-compensating. Therefore, his calls have been all over the place to I guess convince the fans that he’s calling it objectively down the middle. 

Dean sent himself and Jericho crashing over the top rope with a crossbody. Jericho crashed into Malenko with a top rope crossbody to the floor. Far be it for me to critique Chris Jericho’s in-ring work, but this was a man that had yet to master the ability to slow down in the ring! This was the case of Jericho being too fast for Malenko as he came crossing down and appeared to crash into the face of Malenko which did not look pretty. 

Jericho hit a missile dropkick from the top rope. Jericho tried a tombstone but Dean reversed it into one of his own for a 2 count. Jericho hit a nice bridge German suplex for a 2 count. Jericho hit a “spin wheel kick” and then reversal after reversal leads to Jericho getting a pin fall following a victory roll-up pin. A fine match between Jericho and Malenko. I guess Dean Malenko, after being hyped up to challenge Rey Mysterio again for the Cruiserweight title, is out of the title picture and losing to the recently-debuted Chris Jericho. 

 

They showed a hype video for Rey Mysterio vs Super Calo for the Cruiserweight title at Fall Brawl. This was a simple but effective video package to hype up this match. All they needed to do was showcase these guys as doing as many flips and cool moves as possible to tell the viewer that if they paid to watch Fall Brawl, they may be able to see all of these cool moves again in a big time title match at the pay-per-view. This gets a thumbs up from me. 

More amazingly, they promoted WCW Saturday Night and one of the matches they promoted was… John Tenta vs Steve “Mongo” McMichael. That match seemed so unbelievable to me when they announced that I had to check and see if they actually did it. They didn’t do it on the episode of Saturday Night promoted nor did they do it at all. My personal theory is that John Tenta watched Mongo’s performance in the main-event and decided he was not doing that match! However, what a match that could have been!

 

Brad Armstrong vs The Giant w/Jimmy Hart

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It’s funny, Giant got a massive pop coming out and the fans really liked The Giant, who had been wrecking guys for the last year on WCW Nitro. Keep that in mind when we cover later what happened at the end of the show. It’s a slow performance from The Giant where he slowly beat on Armstrong. It’s not particularly exciting as they cut away from the match to show a limousine. A clear indication into how Eric Bischoff felt about this match!

Giant threw Brad across the ring. Brad tried a roll up but Giant lifted him with both hands from the floor and up in the air to a thunderous roar from the crowd. Brad did a top rope dropkick to send Giant into the corner but Giant grabbed him and slammed him with a chokeslam for the victory and a big pop from the crowd. A more dragged-out squash match than usual from The Giant but it was OK for what it was.

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We got a nWo announcement. WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan talked about styling and not having to sneak around anymore. Hogan booted a globe ball right at the camera. Hogan talked about The Giant crying and Ric Flair crying, referring to WCW as the World Crying Wrestlers… sick burn. He declared that in War Games at Fall Brawl, Sting would be stung, Luger will be HUNG, Flair won’t even be there and Arn won’t be Arn anymore. I love that Hogan was going for like a rhyming diss on the babyfaces and it came to Arn, so he just rhymed Arn with Arn! 

He said the nWo will take care of all the nWo business. Hogan said you’ve gotta take what you want. Hogan mocked Flair, Sting and everyone talking about the old days of WCW and he asked whatcha gonna do when the nWo ran wild on you. He added that anything else would be civilised and then Hogan unleashed on the greatest evil cackles I’ve ever heard in WCW. This was a MONEY promo. Two thumbs up for the Hulkster for a wacky but solid promo building up Fall Brawl.

 

“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs Ron Studd

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We kicked off the second hour with “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus our new glorified giant jobber in Ron Studd. That is Studd’s position now. Chris Benoit and Randy Savage have both beat this guy in to hype up their respective matches with The Giant. 

Mike Tenay actually explained the origin story of Ron Studd where he was trained by Big John Studd and then took the name of Studd for his name. Tenay left out the tales of his run as the Yeti (which you can read about at these two links below!)

Studd did clobbering blows to the back of Savage. As Studd got the heat, they showed the nWo coming out of the limo as Hogan forced the camera man to get outta here as they wanted to get the “big man” out. Speaking of big men, Kevin Nash really struggled to get out of this limousine. He’s one of the biggest stars in this nWo feud and he was having problems with his knees already. 

Studd tried to scoop slam Savage over the top rope and this tiny referee got on the middle rope to stop him from doing it, because it’s been established throwing a guy over the top rope is illegal.

Savage did a double axe handle to Studd on the outside. Savage scoop slammed Studd but hurt his back in the process and then was able to hit an elbow drop for the win. It did what it needed to do in having Savage beat up a giant to build him up to fighting The Giant at Fall Brawl, so I was OK with this.

Mean Gene interviewed Savage for what I thought was a pretty solid promo. Savage wished Halloween Havoc was tonight because he guaranteed to the people around the world AND THE UNIVERSE that he was going to beat up Hollywood Hogan and take everything he wants because that makes me happy. It was set to be Savage vs Hogan for the title at Halloween Havoc in October.

Savage said he’s living on the edge and if anyone out there was not living on the edge, they’re taking up too much room, which was actually a sweet line that got a big pop from the crowd. Savage buried Giant for “not handling the pressure” at Hog Wild. Savage said he operates better under pressure. He said both Giant and Hogan will melt when the heat of the Macho Man brings them down. A good job in building up two future big matches for Savage in the next few months. 

 

“The Steiner Brothers” Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner vs Sting and Lex Luger

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The Four Horsemen ran outside to the limo but there was no one inside as they figured out the nWo were in the building. 

They kicked off this match with the Steiner Brothers vs Sting and Lex Luger. Think of what a big match this would have been. These two teams wrestled at the very first WCW Superbrawl show many years before this. We have another big match between these teams on Nitro. Rick And Luger grappled as the fans were amped up for this match. In this lock-up, Luger got pushed into Patrick. Patrick had this stern look on his face. This referee, after weeks of his character being called into question, has now just been shoved into by these big men. Nick Patrick’s response was to ring the bell and call for the disqualification… and the place EXPLODED with such heat for Nick Patrick!

This is what NUCLEAR HEAT is all about. I’m not a fan of Nick Patrick but when he called for the bell after being pushed into following the first move of this match, it was like these fans wanted to jump over the barricade and beat him down. His actions made you want to see him eaten alive by the babyfaces. Sting and Luger yelled at him. All four men cornered him in the corner amongst deafening boos from the fans.

Patrick pulled off a great performance and he was such a great character during this angle. He was a man trying to do his job, in his mind at least, and was now doing everything in his power to prove that. He made questionable calls for weeks, he gets called out by “the media” as Patrick put it. He gets bumped into by these big dudes. He was not gonna take this verbal and physical abuse anymore, so he rang for the bell.

As a character, you could have read this in so many ways. You could have read this as Nick Patrick being a crooked referee that was only looking out for himself, calling for the DQ to get out of here and earn a simple pay check. He could have easily been paid off by the nWo to lure Sting and Luger to the parking lot like he did, in order to get them to steal a police car and get them into trouble. Oh we’ll get to that…

Alternatively, you could have seen this as Nick Patrick simply standing up for himself. In his mind, he feels he is genuinely a good referee and after all of the accusations, he snapped. He rang for the bell after a wrestler laID their hands on him. By the rule book though, it was not like Patrick was wrong to disqualify them. Even if it was a “soft” push or whatever, he was still provoked so he had every right to DQ them if he felt it was right. 

Or… you can can conclude that he’s just an incompetent referee that is just over-compensating to make up for his mistakes. Any one of these scenarios would work.

This I thought was solid work. This gets two thumbs up!

 

“The Dungeon of Doom” Meng, The Barbarian, Big Bubba and Taskmaster vs “The Four Horsemen” Chris Benoit, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/Debra McMichael, Woman and Elizabeth

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This match had some of the best and worst of professional wrestling wrapped up into one match and thankfully, they got the worst of professional wrestling out the way at the very start of the match. The match started with “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan and Steve “Mongo” McMichael and I swear, the stuff these two men did together couldn’t have gotten any worse unless one of these men ended up getting accidentally killed in the ring. Everything that could have wrong went wrong.

Taskmaster, the veteran of the two, grabbed Mongo and tried to do an Irish Whip but Mongo tripped and fell down to the ground. These two were on two completely different books as Taskmaster tripped following another Irish Whip and went to grab Mongo again. I think Mongo thought it was a clothesline as he takes a bump to the ground as Sullivan just looks down at him. That spot fell apart so that’s two for two in screwed up spots so far in this match. They tried two spots and messed up both spots.

Mongo did a shoulder tackle which is successfully pulled off. Then Mongo went to the top rope as I think he wanted to do a moonsault because his back was turned to Sullivan as Flair cheers him on. Mongo lost his footing, turned around and fell onto the middle rope. Mongo did this big dive off the middle rope and just lands in the middle in front of Sullivan. It was basically a flying nothing executed by Mongo as Sullivan crawled to the bottom rope. RIC FLAIR was left speechless on the apron watching this all go down. It was like Ric Flair’s brain malfunctioned at the sight of such sheer horrific wrestling from Mongo. Words do not do these spots justice. You really should look up this episode on the WWE Network and watch the first 90 seconds of this match. It is worth seeing…

Taskmaster himself was not any better and it does take two to tango. Taskmaster, as the veteran, was supposed to walk Mongo through their four spots and they screwed up three of them. Sullivan just appeared to wanna grab Mongo and do what he wanted to do while Mongo was just clearly not able to work a match on the fly. The “dive” spot was 100% Mongo’s fault but this was some of the worst wrestling you’ll ever see. 

I love that Benoit and Barbarian proceeded to have a quickfire chop battle with such ferocity. These guys were awesome in this match. Benoit german-suplex Barbarian like it was a regular move for him and please keep in mind htat Barbarian was a large competitor.

Flair finally got the tag to a big pop. This was some of the very BEST of professional wrestling. Ric Flair talked about being a babyface during the Stone Cold Broken Skull Sessions episode he did. He said he didn’t like being babyface because he was the dirtest player in the game all and all he did was cheat, so how was he gonna get himself over as a babyface? This crowd didn’t care. Flair got the hot tag and he did low bow after low blow to the Dungeon of Doom to thunderous reactions from the crowd. It was the most heelish house of fire spot you will have ever see. The referee just let it all go as the place is going bananas. Then, as Flair is running wild, THEY CUT TO THE BACK. 

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Sting and Luger are shown chasing Nick Patrick down to the limo as Patrick pleaded for his life. Patrick ran past the limo but then Ted DiBiase is shown going into the limo.  Sting, as a rational thinking babyface, threw a cement block throw the windows of limo! If I were in that limo when Sting threw that cement block, I would have been crapping myself to see a massive cement block that was able to break through the window at such high speed. This was a scary spot. 

AND THEN, Sting and Luger decided to play Grand Theft Auto as they steal a police car and go after the limo. WHAT? They stole a police car which the announcers point out will land them in jail all because they wanted to chase a retired professional wrestler in a limo! Absolute insanity!

Back to the match, I love that it was the Horsemen vs the Dungeon with two heel groups, and both teams were trying every dirty trick in the book in the middle of this nasty stable war. It wasn’t like the Horsemen suddenly worked like complete babyfaces. They were the babyfaces but they were acting like the Horsemen and pulling off Horsemen tactics. Arn talked about needing to do the wrong thing and doing bad things to win War Games two weeks ago and they demonstrated that during this match

Benoit and Sullivan start fighting on the mat but this was broken up. Meng did one of the best-looking atomic drops ever to Benoit. I like Meng doing a curb stomp to the gut of Benoit on the floor and Benoit bounced off the mat to sell it! Barbarian hit a powerbomb on Benoit but Arn broke up the pin. Sullivan actually threw Benoit over the top rope while the referee’s back was turned.

Flair eventually got out a chair as things started spiralling out of control. Arn got in illegally and hit Bubba with a spinebuster. The Faces of Fear missed a double top rope splash. Ric ran wild with another hot tag. Flair locked on a  Figure Four as the rest of the Horesmen took care of the Dungeon. Benoit floored Jimmy Hart at ringside. In an uncomfortable spot with the benefit of hindsight, Benoit yelled at Woman to grab Flair’s arms as the Horsemen got the win. Benoit argued with Woman as Woman was upset at Benoit for mixing personal with business or something.

This was a fun train-wreck of a match when all things are considered.

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The nWo jumped everyone after the match as Bobby left the booth. Hogan floored the referee. I do want to point out before The Giant came out that the nWo were kicking WCW’s arses 3 on 8 at this point! They were controlling the ring albeit with the wrestlers already being beat-down by each other and Flair’s infinite low blows delivered. It was an un-even fair that the nWo was winning!

The Giant then walked down to the ring. The nWo back off and then Giant turned around and chokeslammed Barbarian and then Meng. He is revealed as the fifth man on the New World Order (with Ted being the fourth I guess) as he hugged Kevin Nash. The Giant has betrayed us all and joined the nWo.

It’s funny because the running joke of The Giant/Big Show’s career was that he was always turning babyface and heel like every few months, so the people could have considered this a heel turn as he joined the nWo. However, The Giant was still aligned with Dungeon of Doom who are clearly heels. He was the heel in the feud with Randy Savage and he was squashing jobbers as a heel monster. He was the defacto babyface against Hogan but other than that, he was a full-blown heel at this time. This was a heel that somehow turned heel again despite already being a heel! Only The Giant could pull that off!

Savage ran down with a chair as he cornered Hogan. This was the funniest wrestling spot of the entire night. Savage had Hogan cornered with a chair. If you recall 3 weeks ago, Hogan hit Savage with a chair to the back of his head. 3 weeks later, Savage had Hogan at his mercy with a chair and he was gonna swing this chair right at Hogan. In the most agile thing Hulk Hogan as ever done, he ducked the chair shot and shoot took Savage down to avoid the chair shot at all costs! It was the best technical wrestling Hogan had ever done and it was a necessity for him, because this crazy Randy Savage had a chair shot with Hogan’s name on it! It was the funniest spot to see Hogan take down Savage as if this were a shoot fight, which it probably was in Hogan’s eyes!

The nWo took control again as Hogan smashed Savage with the chair. Giant delivered one last chokeslam and I love Hogan had to get his hands on Savage as well as Giant slammed him down. Because apparently Hogan was concerned Giant could not lift and chokeslam RANDY SAVAGE! I think he would have been fine doing the spot Hulkster!

Because this was the Hollywood Hogan show, Hogan couldn’t help but deliver three leg drops to Savage in a homage to Bash at the Beach. The WCW guys all tried to get in the ring but the nWo holds the fort in the ring. So yes, the nWo were kicking WCW’s arses despite having a 4 on 9 disadvantage! What underdogs these nWo hooligans were! 

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Hogan grabbed the yellow spray paint as they painted a yellow streak on SAVAGE’s back. The nWo make they way up the ramp and Hogan even yelled: “come on you chickens” as the WCW dudes stayed in the ring like cowards… AT FIRST. The nWo take over the booth. Hogan yelled about if there’s any question about who the most powerful organisation in the world IS, they just showed everybody. The Giant then started cutting a promo. Before I get to the promo, it is a nice change of pace to see a dude turn heel and immediately being able to cut a promo to explain why he did it. There’s no need to wait a week for Giant to cut a big promo about why he joined the nWo. They had a Giant cut a big promo to explain why he did what he did. That sounded good… on paper. In execution, it didn’t work out for Paul Wright.

I’ve loved Giant’s promos for the last year, but he cut one horrible promo at the end of this show. Giant talked about how he got a phone call from Ted DiBiase and he wanted to talk to him about business. Giant talked about getting to Florida and the home of Hulk Hogan. As Hogan commanded him to spit at the WCW logo. Giant mumbled about how there was 20 Harley Davidsons and 5 Mercedes and he walked around his big home. Giant just went on and on about all of Hogan’s stuff that he owned. It sounded honestly that Giant was a realtor trying to sell Hogan’s house. He just started talking about Hogan’s house to the point where he just got completely lost by cutting a promo in a style which clearly didn’t suit him yet.

This promo was eventually interrupted as the nWo and the WCW guys continued to fight. It’s a wild brawl and it really felt like an out of control situation. Everybody is fighting everybody and this was another thing I loved. How many times do we get a big heel turn in WWE and it takes the babyfaces weeks or even months to get their revenge on the people that turned on them? The Dungeon of Doom got betrayed by The Giant and they wanted his head! They were vicious heels so when Giant betrayed him, they wanted to beat his arse. They didn’t have to wait a week to get their revenge. They wanted some of the Giant on this show!

Then the fighting stopped and Giant got back on the headset again and talked about this mansion again. Hogan decided to step and basically cut Giant’s promo for him. He steamrolled over Giant and mentioned everything he showed Giant was his. Hogan stole Flair’s line of whether you like it or you don’t like it, it’s the best thing going today. Hogan destroyed the announce desk as all you see is wreckage as Nitro goes off the air.

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I have to say, the chaotic nature of the ending of Nitro worked really well even by 2020 standards. It turned into a giant “shoot like” brawl and it worked. The Giant’s promo about what Hogan was offering was very weird. Big Show talked about being strong-armed into the group on the Stone Cold Broken Skull Sessions, and this remains to be seen, but he did not look like he fit with this group here. The scary Giant of the Dungeon of Doom selling out for the money all seemed like totally out of character and a weak transition. 

It was also clear from this angle alone that Giant was not going to benefit a great deal from being in this group. By the end of the show, it became clear that Giant was just another one of Hogan’s lackeys in his crew after being the biggest heel in the company for a year now. If you want to discuss wrestling politics, it is entirely possible that Hogan wanted Giant under his wing just so his status as the biggest heel in the company was not in jeopardy. If this guy in The Giant was with the nWo taking direction from Hogan, that meant he coudn’t possible surpass Hogan as the biggest heel. I mean it sucked to be Giant because after being such a stand-out star in WCW and potentially the next big star to go up against Hollywood Hogan, he is now just another guy in Hogan’s group a month after defending the title against the Hulkster.

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I did not think this WCW Nitro episode was any good. It was a very memorable show, especially because of what happened with The Giant. However, even the memorable stuff had some absurdity to it. Sting, the biggest babyface in the business, stealing a cop car and throwing cement blocks at limos. Ric Flair whipping out low blows like it was nothing and being the biggest babyface of the night. The Giant joining the nWo and selling out for the money. There was some good stuff during this show and it felt like an “easy” show to watch if that makes sense to everybody. The show didn’t feel like it dragged although the main-event was quite long. I tolerated the show and things like Chris Jericho vs Dean Malenko helped a great deal.

 

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

TNA Slammiversary 2013 Review – Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell Steal The Show In The Best PPV Of The Year

GAIL KIM AND TARYN TERRELL: What happens when you put Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell in a Last Knockouts Standing match? You get insanity!

GAIL KIM AND TARYN TERRELL: What happens when you put Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell in a Last Knockouts Standing match? You get insanity!

Evening wrestling fans, I’m The “King Of The Mountain” Tom Robinson here with a quick recap/review of Slammiversary last Sunday before Impact airs tonight.

I got to admit, it was a hell of a PPV. If all TNA PPVs delivered are going to be this good than this new four-PPV-per-year strategy may be a stroke of genius.

The show kicked off with the high-flying X-Division Championship Ultimate X match with Kenny King defending against Suicide and Chris Sabin. As usual, a quality Ultimate X Match with all 3 guys given plenty of time to showcase their skills. 15 minutes of high-impact, wham and bang stuff from the X-Division with Chris Sabin getting the Win. Hulk Hogan came out and re-assured Sabin that he’d get a chance to cash-in the X-Division title for a World title shot in the summer. It’s good to hear that the Destination-X Stipulation is still in tact despite Destination X not being around again. I think with that stipulation plus with the returning X-Division guys like Sabin, Suicide and Petey Williams, the X-Division is certainty on the right tracks and it can be a force to be reckoned with again.

We then got a segment with Hulk Hogan being confronted by Mr Anderson, Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff of the Aces And Eights which led to their match against Samoa Joe, Magnus and the returning Jeff Hardy. I loved Hogan’s segment with Aces And Eights, and him calling Garrett and his father Eric a bitch. Definitely giving the middle finger to any parental TV ratings that get in their way. XD Anyway, Team TNA won in an OK 6-Man Tag. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from it anyway but at least this got Jeff back in the ball game and into the fight with Aces And Eights. I just hope TNA don’t have Jeff dominate them like Kurt Angle did for a period after they got full access at Bound For Glory.

Incredibly short and not that special match between Jay Bradley and Sam Shaw followed which saw Bradley pick up the victory with his BOOMSTICK clothesline, which provoked me to shout at the top of my lungs….

Anyway, this victory meant tha#t Jay Bradley is now in the Bound For Glory series. It’ll be nice to see Bradley having more TV time with his Bound For Glory participation.

Up next was supposed to be Devon defending the TV Title against Joseph Park. However after Joseph was taken out by Aces And Eights backstage beforehand, Devon was awarded the victory. However, Devon was then given a 2nd opponent for the night…. THE MONSTER ABYSS! And typically enough, Abyss won the title without breaking a sweat! What a badass! I really hope this is the end for the Joseph Park thing. Just let Abyss come back full-time and defend his title like he should. Anyway, great that Abyss is the TV champion. Not a great night for Aces And Eights so far…

And in a pretty good 16 MINUTE fatal four way elimination tag team match we crowned NEW TNA Tag Team Champions! Yes, Chavo and Hernandez were eliminated shortly after Christopher Daniels and Kazarian were eliminated for getting DQ’d. Then it came down to the team of Austin Aires and Bobby Roode and team of Gunner and “The Cowboy” James Storm. In a really back and forth finish to the match, Gunner made Aires tap to the torture rack to win the titles for him and Storm. I loved the ending to this match. It kept you in suspense thinking which team would win, and it was a great exchange between all 4 teams to be honest. A great elimination 4 way tag match. Honestly shocked by the result of this. I figured this team was just booked in the match just to make the numbers. However, it appears that these two are getting a run at the tag titles, and it’ll be interesting to see how they are utilized. At least it gets James Storm doing something. XD

Now we get on to the match of the night… Taryn Terrell vs Gail Kim in a Last Knockout Standing match. If you haven’t watched the match yet, here’s a YouTube link (Sorry that it’s flipped horizontally. I’m assuming this guy uploaded it this way to prevent it being taken down for copyright)….

UNBELIEVABLE! 10 minutes of f’ing insanity! When was the last time you saw women wrestlers do these sorts of things and take them sorts of bumps? It was so… brutal! Chairs were involved! Gail Kim ran head first into a chair which got me marking out. The fans were so into this match. HOLY SHIT chants and THIS IS AWESOME chants just erupted in Boston. This crowd was amazing through-out the night! But they loved this match. Taryn’s little diamond cutter of the stage onto the floor was insane. I bet you about 75% of internet wrestling fans that was giving Taryn beef over her wrestling have changed their mind over her now. That was a gutsy performance from both of them. TMZ uploaded some of the photos of Taryn’s bruises after the match. Click here for the link. If one of your women’s matches gets covered by TMZ, you know you’re doing something right. That’s probably the greatest women’s match I’ve ever seen. And I’m not overselling it either. Crowd were great, the women were great. It was just incredible what I was watching thinking “OH MY GOD!” Insane!

AJ Styles FINALLY got a new theme song as he made his down the ring to face Kurt Angle (who got inducted into the TNA Hall Of Fame. Good inductee, but a little bit early for him. I was hoping it’d be Jeff Jarrett). It was a really badass theme song too. I’ll post it down below. These two put on a good match. I’m not sure I agree with the decision to give Angle the victory. I think AJ needed to win if he was being built up to defeat Bully Ray and save TNA. A loss like this is not going to do AJ any good. Ended a little abruptly too, but it was still good. There was one really good sequence where Angle tried a top rope German Suplex on AJ, which saw AJ flipped and he ended up landing on his feet which I thought was incredible. It was a good match, but AJ should have won.

And finally, the TNA World Title match. Sting vs Bully Ray for the TNA World Title. It was a brutal no holds barred match. There was freaking piledrivers for gods sake. One of the most dangerous moves in wrestling which even Bully said wrestlers weren’t supposed to do. As you’d expect Aces And Eights got involved. And as you’d expect, they helped Bully win. Mr Anderson gave Bully the hammer, who smashed Sting in the head with it to retain the title. That means Sting is now out of the TNA World title picture… FOREVER! Muahahahahaha! Unless they pull out some bogus ruling that overturns the decision or something like that. And if they do that, TNA are a bunch of knobheads. XD Still a great match, to end a phenomenal PPV.

No doubt my favourite PPV of the year. There’s was a lot of action and some insane matches at Slammiversary. Really looking forward to what happens next in TNA. It’s a great way to begin the Road to Bound For Glory for TNA.

Oh and before I leave…. here’s AJ Styles’ new theme song. Pretty badass don’t you think?

WWE Extreme Rules 2013 Review – Things Go To The Extreme At WWE’s Battleground

BROCK LESNAR AND TRIPLE H: The Game brings the fight to Lesnar before the match even starts

BROCK LESNAR AND TRIPLE H: The Game brings the fight to Lesnar before the match even starts

 

Hey WWE Fans, I am “Macho Man” Thomas Robinson. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!

Reason I mentioned the Macho Man is because today marks two years since the “Macho Man” Randy Savage died and I’ve got to pay tribute to the man in some fashion. R.I.P. to Macho Man Randy Savage. What a legend he was, and a great worker and a tremendous talker. And he had so much charisma. And through controversy he built a legacy that will never be forgetten by the wrestling community.

Anyway, Extreme Rules took place last night, and it was a HELL of an event. Seriously enjoyed this event, and there was some great action, as well as some shocking moments match after match. This event really was EXTREME!

 

Chris Jericho gets revenge on Fandango

Chris Jericho FINALLY got a victory over Fandango in the opening match of the night. However, the match was sloppy. I mean, REALLY sloppy. There seemed to be some many botches in this match (mostly because of Fandango) that it’s hard to give the match any credit. Fandango even messed up a roll-up spot. The match looked so out of place and it was a shocking way to start the show. However, if there was 1 thing which saved the match from being a total disaster, it would have to be the ending. A nice sunset flip near the end by Fandango which built the foundations for the finish, which saw Chris Jericho hit the Codebreaker… IN MID-AIR. It looked quality, and it got the crowd buzzing. That ending may have saved this match from being a total dud.

 

The Shield Wins A Title #1: Dean Ambrose wins the US Championship

In a very slick match with a great spots during the match, Dean Ambrose gained The Shield their first title by capturing the US Championship from Kofi Kingston. Yes. And The Shield’s plans for dominating the WWE have started well. Dean Ambrose is definitely the best choice out of the 3 to go for the singles titles. Deano can go in the ring. His Double Underhook Suplex to Kofi off the top rope was something special. It’s the sort off stuff you see at Backyard Wrestling promotions and in the Indies. Something you really don’t see WWE do often is have a guy do that sort of move of the top rope, as they are so protective of their talent (no like that’s a bad thing obvious. You don’t want people get hurt). They won’t even let do CM Punk do the Pepsi Plunge (then again that might be due to Triple H not letting Punk do his finisher off the top rope, not necessarily because it’s dangerous). Regardless, it was a sweet match. Kinda wished it went on longer (it only lasted 6 minutes), but it was still decent.

 

The Celtic Warrior Topples The World’s Strongest Man In A Strap Match

Now I am not one that enjoys these sorts of match. Bull Rope matches, Strap matches, Samoan Strap matches. These matches always turn out to be dreadful in some way or form. Especially when you’ve got two big men like Mark Henry and Sheamus competing. And this match was BORING as hell. In my eyes, anyway. The fans were buzzing about this match for some reason, and were into it a lot. I’ll give the match credit in which the innovative ways to win the match were displayed. There were some innovative tactics used by both men. However, Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick, and tagged the 4th post for the win. I wasn’t that interested into the match, and I hate the rules of the match. I also don’t think Mark Henry should have lost in the manner that he did. But then again, Sheamus hasn’t had a PPV victory since Hell In A Cell, so a victory here gets momentum for him. As for Mark, I guess its back to square one.

 

Before we get on to the next fight, there was a hell of a cat-fight between AJ Lee and Kaitlyn in the back. Serious intensity in that scrap, and I seriously wonder why these two weren’t given a PPV match. This may turn out to be a really good feud for the Divas Title if WWE play their cards right. Sure, Kaitlyn is not a great wrestler, but the same can’t be said for AJ. Miss Lee is really good in the ring, and being real-life friends could help them click in the ring. The best of friends in WWE tend to have the best of rivalries. Take Triple H and Shawn Michaels’ rivalry from 2002 to 2004.

 

Alberto Del Rio makes Jack Swagger Utters The Words “I Quit” in a controversial I Quit Match To Become Next In Line for a World Title Shot

Before the match began, Zeb Colter (Jack Swagger’s manager) cut a stellar promo which the crowd ruined so badly with the WHAT chants. Seriously guys. Stone Cold Steve Austin is not even an active wrestler anymore. CUT OUT THE WHAT CHANTS! WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? They’ve gotten so old. This promo was followed by Lillian’s Garcia sounding sexy as hell speaking Spanish while introducing Ricardo Rodriguez (Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring-announcer).

The match between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger lasted around the same amount of time as their Wrestlemania match and was a really fast paced match. And the pace of the match is always a key factor for me when I judge whether a match is good or not. However, I have a serious problem with the ending.

Firstly, when Jack Swagger locked in the Ankle Lock on Del Rio, Zeb Colter threw in Ricardo Rodriguez’s towel for Del Rio and the referee obviously thought that Ricardo threw it and ended the match. However, after a video replay the match was restarted. And afterwards, Del Rio slapped on the Cross-Armbreaker and Jack said “I Quit” way too quickly in my opinion.

The main problem I have though is the fact that the match can apparently end with someone’s manager throwing in the towel for them. I know that’s not how the match actually ended and I Quit matches have ended in towel throwings before, but I just think the rule is absurd. The ONLY way the match is supposed to end is with someone saying I QUIT. The match is called an I Quit match, not a “Whoever’s Manager Throws In A Towel Loses” Match. There should only be ONE WAY to win. And that is having your opponent say I QUIT. Regardless, the match was still a slick match despite that ending. I wish Del Rio and Swagger can get more than 10 minutes for once. These two are really good in the ring and they should be given at least 1 20 minute match, as they could produce something.

 

The Shield Wins A Title #2: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns Wins The Tag Titles – BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD

BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD! In a pretty short tornado tag team match, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins gave The Shield their second piece of gold with a victory over Team Hell-No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) for the tag teams. It wasn’t a bad match, but it only lasted like 7 minutes. Compared to the epic matches The Shield have had before on PPVs this one felt under-whelming. This should have been given at least 15 minutes. And it’s was an anti-climatic way for the Tag Title reign of Daniel Bryan and Kane to end.

245 days as Tag Team Champions and it ended in a 7 minute match. They’ve done a great service as Tag Team Champions, but all good things must come to an end. Does this mean that they’ll split off into singles action? Maybe. I mean they are not dependent on one another. I mean Daniel Bryan is still incredibly over, and Kane’s popularity has rose again after putting the mask back on. If this is the end for Team Hell-No, it’s been great having them as a team. But all The Shield members now have gold! Superb. And things are now looking up for The Shield as they will continue to conquer the WWE. BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD!

 

The Viper Slays The Giant With The Return Of The Punt Kick

This Extreme Rules match between Randy Orton and Big Show was really enjoyable. The match wasn’t too slow paced match, and it was a lot better than I thought it’d be. I thought it’d be a tad boring, but the fans were into it, I was into it. And Orton and Big Show put on a great match. I’m surprised, considering most of the matches I see Big Show in normally put me to sleep. And him vs Orton would be a match you’d normally don’t want to see. But this was good. A lot of weapon usage, including Kendo Sticks, Chairs and Ladders. And we saw the return of Randy Orton’s “Punt Kick” which I’m pretty sure was banned a couple of years ago. Randy Orton got a hell of a pop entering too. The hometown hero Orton got a hell of a reaction. It appears things went great at Extreme Rules all around for The Viper. Good match.

 

John Cena and Ryback Fight To A NO CONTEST in the Last Man Standing Match

The match between John Cena and Ryback was a lot better than I thought it’d be. Considering how limited these guys are in the ring, they put on one of the better last man standing matches I’ve seen as of late. There were some really good spots too. There was Ryback’s fall-away slam to Cena through the table laid on the turn-buckle, which I though looked sick. We had John Cena giving Ryback a powerbomb which impressed me greatly. I know he’s done powerbombs before, but this was delivered to a man that’s nearly 300lbs (that’s 20 stone). That was insane, and another tremendous feat of strength by Cena – love him or hate him.

We had 3 different tables spots during the match, and John Cena even speared Ryback through the barricade (which I think is being so over-done nowadays). The match ended when Ryback drove Cena through the wall of the stage, causing all kinds of explosions. The match was ended… via a no contest. WTF? Why did it end in a no contest? The referee should have at least counted them both down or something. Why did it end like this? It was a great last man standing match, don’t get me wrong, but surely it should have ended in a double count out at least. I guess they’ll be a rematch at Payback (yes, that’s the name of the next WWE PPV. Couldn’t have thought up of a better name than Payback?).

 

Brock Lesnar Defeats Triple H Inside The Cage To Win Their Year-Long War

The rubber match between Brock Lesnar and Triple H was an OK cage match. The match showed-off a lot of intensity, especially with the beginning when Triple H jumped Brock Lesnar during his entrance. When Triple H skips his own entrance, you know shits going to go down!

The match was REALLY slow-paced but it was a good for what it was. An all out battle between The Cerebal Assassin and The Beast at St. Louis. I was honestly surprised by how it ended. I was surprised that Brock Lesnar won via pinfall rather than escaping the cage. Sure, Paul Heyman being involved was as predictable as Brock Lesnar screaming like a gorilla. But I didn’t think Lesnar would win off the Paul Heyman assist. A low blow, a sledgehammer shot and an F5 was what it took to put Triple H away.And at Extreme Rules, nearly 1 year after the feud began, the feud ends with Lesnar.

The real question now is… what’s next for Lesnar? A rematch with John Cena? A confrontation with Heyman’s other client CM Punk? A rematch with The Great One? The possibilities are endless for Brock and what happens with him now will be surely interesting.

 

 

OVERALL, I enjoyed the PPV. A slow start, especially with Jericho and Fandango, but I loved a majority of the matches. The latter end of the card was great and the other matches had a lot of things going for them. Loved the WWE title match, loved Show vs Orton, and I love that Brock Lesnar won the war against Triple H. Now the Wrestlemania party is over and with Lesnar, Jericho and Triple H possibly gone for the time being after this, it’ll be interesting to see the direction of WWE. The Shield have titles, Ryback destroyed John Cena, Team Hell-No may be done, and several feuds coming to an end, WWE have the huge task of avoiding a repeat of last year’s really bad spell after Wrestlemania. So far its going OK, but with big time players gone, WWE need to be cautious.

MAJOR 11/01/2013 SMACKDOWN! SPOILER! NEW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!

ALBERTO DEL RIO: Nope, this was not the work of photoshop.

ALBERTO DEL RIO: Nope, this was not the work of photoshop.

Normally, I don’t look much into tapings, and I don’t watch SmackDown! that much because of the spoilers released online. But this one, I had to blog about, and I couldn’t wait for after it aired to do it, because of what happened. And amazingly, The Rock returning to SmackDown! for the first time in nearly 10 years is not the reason.

Because, we had a title change! And it wasn’t the US Title, or the tag titles, or even divas title for that matter. The World Heavyweight Championship found a new owner on SmackDown! Big Show is no longer the World Heavyweight Champion. THANK GOD! He lost a last man standing match and the new champion is…

ALBERTO DEL RIO! ALBERTO DEL RIO! ALBERTO DEL RIO! And, yes folks. I am so goddamn happy about that! Big Show is no longer the champion, and the new face on the block, Alberto Del Rio, has dethroned the Giant and gained the championship which I thought he should have won during his feud with Sheamus. And it certainly was a shocker to say the least. Of all the guys that were rumored to be in the world title picture at Wrestlemania, Alberto Del Rio was barely mentioned. The face turn has given Del Rio a shift in character, and the shift has turned into a World Title victory! HOLY S**T!

But…. of course, this title change may have been put in place just for the ratings. I mean SmackDown! has been dreadful in ratings, largely due with it being taped. So maybe Vince just wanted a ratings boost. So if that’s he case, I don’t see Del Rio being champion for long. At the moment, reportedly he doesn’t seem to have any World Title plans for Wrestlemania (or maybe he does and we just don’t know about it), so Del Rio would likely either lose it either at the Royal Rumble or Elimination Chamber. It’d be kinda cool to see Del Rio be champion for a while. He’s had two spells as WWE Champion and neither reign lasted that long. In fact, neither reign even lasted 50 days. I mean seriously, this guy needs a long title reign, and with him gaining new-found momentum with the face turn, he should be walking into Wrestlemania as champion,  and he should retain the belt on that show. Del Rio has so much going for him. Mic skills improving, amazing wrestling ability, and he’s got a ring announcer.

As much as I’d like to see that, I just think this was done for the ratings and I think Del Rio will LOSE the belt in only a matter of time. WWE did announce Del Rio’s victory publicly on their website. So, for the third time in the last several months, WWE have spoiled a title change before the taping aired. Don’t know how smart that is. Why tell the audience they are trying to attract what actually happens? Takes away unpredictably.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens. Also on that show, The Rock was confronted by Rhodes Scholars (Rock vs Sandow would be amazing to watch) and Sheamus squashed the 3MB.

But this SmackDown!’s was Del Rio’s SmackDown! The Mexican Aristocrat stole the show!