Sunday, August 14, 2022

WCW Monday Nitro Review - May 27th, 1996

WCW Monday Nitro
May 27th, 1996
Macon, Georgia

WCW World Champion: The Giant (since 4/29/96)
WCW US Champion: Konnan (since 1/29/96)
WCW Tag Team Champions: Sting & Lex Luger (since 1/22/96)
WCW TV Champion: Lex Luger (since 3/6/96)
WCW Cruserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (since 5/18/96) 

Commentators - Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko (Hour One) and Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan (Hour Two) (ugh)  

SO outside of a very few select matches (mostly cruserweight stuff), I haven't watched hardly any WCW. My dad was a WWF/Stone Cold head so as a kid, that's all that was on so I don't even have any childhood memories or knowledge of WCW. BUT with having so much time at home recently, I figured there would be no better time to start diving into the company and what better place to start than as the Monday Night Wars were picking up and as the NWO formation began to be teased?

This is the first broadcast of Nitro as a two hour program head to head with Raw's one hour program.

1) Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. The American Males 

God, Flair & Anderson are SO GOOD. They make this match somehow seem interesting and believable. They get the win after 11 minutes which you could argue they didn't need but they worked it perfectly and it flew by. 

Match rating - *** 

2) Steve Doll vs. Mike Enos

This gets interrupted and one of the most historic moments in WCW history takes place. SCOTT HALL walks through the crowd and cuts the well renowned promo - "You want a war? You've got one..." Crowd is awkwardly quiet in complete shock and awe. WHAT IS GOIN ON. Epic epic moment that is a huge hallmark in the history of the Monday Night Wars and pro wrestling as a whole. 

3) Craig Pittman vs. Diamond Dallas Page

TEDDY LONG is ringside with Pittman. Page gets the win in a glorified squash. D D P.

Bischoff welcomes us to hour two of Nitro. Man he realllllly is so openly trying to outdo WWE with these little things as Raw was only an hour long at the time and he made a huge deal out of Nitro being 2 hours and being in it's second hour as Raw is just starting for it's one hour program. 

4) The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Shark - WCW World Heavyweight Title Match 

Fun squash . People are popping hard for The Giants big strength spots bc he's suuuuper fresh at this point. Giant retains (obvs). 

Match rating - **

5) Lex Luger vs. Maxxx 

Luger has a small struggle but overcomes and wins this by hoisting the big boy up on his shoulders in a torture rack for a huge pop. Luger faces The Giant on PPV coming up, they hype this up with a post match interview in the ring.

6) Bobby Walker vs. Brad Armstrong

This was an attempt at a cruserweight style match and these two tried here, but it's a dud. Walker wins with a diving shoulderblock.

7) Lord Steven Regal vs. Alex Wright

Regal is excellent. So vicious and on his game. Wright is much younger and green (no pun in reference to his tights) and that makes the story simple. Regal works over Wright hard with holds and brutal palm strikes. But Wright fires back and floors Regal with some uppercuts only to go for a moonsault and get grounded again. Wright is able to get back on the offense, but Regal is just too wise and gets Wright in a pinning combo out of a monkey flip attempt.

Match rating - **3/4

Regal's post match interview with Mean Gene RULES. He addresses Scott Hall showing up and then says he wants Sting or the "painted face circus freak" one on one. GOOD SH*T.

8) Sting vs. Scott Steiner

HOLY FK. Scott Steiner looks so young and DIFFERENT. WOW. First time seeing him outside of his TNA run if I'm being honest and lordy. But he kills it here. This was super solid and unfortunately had a DQ non finish, BUT it made sense and the brawl that ensued out of it between the Steiner's and Sting/Luger was awesome and made me really wanna see the match. Plus the crowd was hot for it.

Match rating - **1/2

As the locker room empties to try to separate the brawl in the ring, Scott Hall re-emerges at the announce both for one final word to Eric Bischoff. He reiterates that "we are coming and we are taking over" - Bischoff keeps asking who "we" is and Hall tells Billionaire Ted to get three of his best and they will settle it in the ring. Hall leaves and Bischoff & Heenan, along with the crowd, are shocked and confused as Nitro goes off air.

FINAL THOUGHTS: There were some duds, but overall, I was kept intrigued for pretty much the whole duration of the show and left wanting to see more of several of the feuds they are building. Plus the Scott Hall stuff is epic, even to this day. I'm excited to

keep digging further into this!! 

1 comment:

  1. Heenan facial expressions and call on this night sold the whole thing for me. Genuinely shocked and made everything seem very real.