Monday, January 8, 2024

WCW Monday Nitro Review - July 1st, 1996

WCW Monday Nitro
July 1st, 1996
Landover, Maryland

WCW World Champion: The Giant (since 4/29/96)
WCW US Champion: Konnan (since 1/29/96)
WCW Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) (since 6/24/96)
WCW TV Champion: Lex Luger (since 3/6/96)
WCW Cruserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (since 5/18/96) 

Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbysko open the show. Before they can cover much, Diamond Dallas Page interrupts and says his ring has been stolen. He wants the building shut down and searched. They shew him away and replay the incident from last week where The Outsiders showed up and Harlem Heat stole the tag titles from Luger & Sting. That leads us into our first match of the evening. OO also, this was the first mention of "New World Order" as Zbysko said verbatim "there will be a new world order in professional wrestling on Sunday"... interesting. 

1) Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) (c) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) - WCW World Tag Team Title Match

The Horsemen were shown at ringside watching this with their ENTOURAGE. This is decent. They go back and forth with stuff. There's some decent near falls down the stretch and some confusion on who the legal man is. Just as The Steiner's are building some momentum, Colonel Parker gets involved and it gives Harlem Heat the opening they needed to finish this one off and retain the titles. 

Match rating - **1/4

Mean Gene approaches the Four Horseman at ringside after the match. They all get a few minutes to speak. Mongo talks about why he did what he did and joined the horsemen and it's because MONEY MAKES THE MONKEY DANCE. This gets Flair all sorts of fired up.

2) Disco Inferno vs. Kurasawa (Manabu Nakanishi)

It's crazy seeing Nakanishi here under the ring name Kurasawa. I had no idea he ever worked WCW, but he did a ton as my Cagematch research taught me. Seeing him beat up Disco a little here was fun. Disco's music starts playing mid-match and a guy dressed up as Elvis comes out and while the ref is distracted, Disco hits Kurasawa with a disco ball for the pin.

Match rating - 1/4*

3) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scotty Riggs

This is basically just another enhancement match for DDP heading into his match with Jim Duggan at Bash at The Beach. He wins with a cutter.

Match rating - *1/2

After the match, DDP is still looking for his ring and even resorts to checking Mean Gene's pockets. 

4) Greg Valentine vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage

Commentary is heavily questioning how smart Macho Man is for stepping up to the Outsiders and hyping up Sunday’s big PPV trios match. They collar n elbow tie up and Hammer gets the advantage in the corner and works over Macho Man. They roll outside and use the railing. Macho Man fires back once things get back in the ring. The countdown for hour two begins and it goes live right as Savage hits the big elbow for the three count. Pretty dope. 

Match rating - **


Back from commercial, Bischoff has a message for Kevin Nash. He says The Outsiders didn’t scare anybody. Not Luger, not Sting and not Savage. And everyone will be there Sunday to fend them off. They move onto other topics and as they are talking, Bobby Heenan notices Scott Hall & Kevin Nash coming through the crowd holding food and drinks. Bischoff starts calling for security. They try to kick them out, but they say they have tickets and seat themselves in the front row. 


5) John Tenta vs. The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart)

“John Tenta… still wearing that bad haircut.” -Eric Bischoff 

This sure does happen. The big men do what they do. Giant wins off a chokeslam and then Big Bubba comes down and shaves off Tenta’s beard. After the match, Mean Gene interviews them in the aisle way. Tenta has Big Bubba in a something on the pole match. So Bubba talks ab that, but Giant does most of the talking. He & Kevin Sullivan face Anderson & Benoit in a No DQ match at the PPV and man oh man I’m excited for that one. 

A Rey Mysterio Jr video package airs. The Outsiders interrupt in the middle of it and start approaching the commentary table, but security prevents it. The Steiner’s and Randy Savage come out also as Hall & Nash are led out of the arena after a standoff on the stage. DDP & Dungeon of Doom come out also and Nash still has a mic and says they’re gonna need more than that if that’s the best they got. 

Backstage, Mean Gene is with Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Duggan punches out his opponent on Sunday, DDP when he approaches him. 

6) The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson, Chris Benoit, Ric Flair & Steve McMichael) vs. Rock n Roll Express, Joe Gomez, & The Renegade

It’s the horsemen so it’s immediately pretty great. Just seeing them work and do their thing. It’s just fucking great. This match choice and placement is weird as hell so like.. this isn’t a great match. But Flair, Anderson & Benoit are just a joy to watch work. They dominate this and work smart as fuck, things just sort of suck when they aren’t in. The finish seems a little rushed and Flair locks Renegade in the figure four and ends this thing. 

Match rating - **

After the match.. an absolutely fucking GOATED promo from Benoit, Anderson, & Flair. I don’t even know where to start. Just go watch this damn thing. Flair says Benoit is SILENT BUT DEADLY AND THE PARTY GOES ALL NIGHT LONGGGG. Woman, Elizabeth, & Debra surrounding them. These men are GODS. All fucking hail, buddy. 

Meanwhile, Kevin Nash & Scott Hall try to break into the arena again backstage. Security forces them to get in their car and leave. They speed off and Nash says “see you in Daytona…” 

SEE YALL IN DAYTONA BABY. Bash at the Beach is up next :)

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