Raw History: Episode 179 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 56
October 7th, 1996 | Hershey Park Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania
WWF Champion: Shawn Michaels (1) since 3/31/96
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Marc Mero (1) since 9/23/96
WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (1) since 9/22/96
The show opened with clips of Vader demolishing Shawn Michaels last week, as well as notes that Jesse James will speak tonight. Kevin Kelly and Jerry Lawler handle commentary.
Non-Title Match: WWF Intercontinental Champion Marc Mero w/ Sable def. Fake Diesel via disqualification in 5:38
Jim Ross comes out with “Diesel” but joins commentary. Future Kane uses his power to manhandle Mero but gets caught with a dive off the apron. Back inside, Fake Diesel hits a press slam and commentary announces that Mero will face Faarooq in a rematch at In Your House. We get a split screen of Fake Razor doing a horrible Scott Hall impersonation while Glen Jacobs goes through Kevin Nash’s limited moveset. Mero starts a small rally as Fake Razor shows up. Mero sees him and somersaults onto him. Lawler thinks that should somehow be a DQ. Razor gets in and we get the actual DQ. Shit match that bored me to tears. ½*
The lame Diesel and Razor lay out Mero and Jim Ross doesn’t seem into their actions. What is going on?
GRAVEYARD ~ The Undertaker is digging a grave and warns Mankind that he won’t have a nice day at Buried Alive.
Sid cuts a promo backstage to warn Goldust that he is the master and ruler of the universe.
The Smoking Gunns def. The New Rockers in 9:02
This sounds pretty bad. The Gunns get a split screen interview where Billy is mostly focused on getting Sunny back, while Bart wants the Tag Titles back. Sunny calls in during the match to say that she’ll reconsider managing the Gunns if they get the titles back. She then plugs Livewire. Both teams are technically heels, so the crowd has no clue who to cheer for. They respond with apathy. Bart plays the “face” in peril for a bit and the Rockers do their lame offense. Billy comes in with dull work and they do a shit version of Poetry in Motion. Sidewinder finishes it. Boring tag match that got way too much time. DUD
JESSE JAMES ~ We get a video package of Jesse James getting interviewed about really singing “With My Baby Tonight.” It’s clear this is only happening because Jarrett is debuting in WCW soon. Nobody cared about this angle and James wouldn’t find anything that worked for about another year.
Goldust has words for Sid but they aren’t that interesting.
Jim Ross conducts an in-ring interview with Vader and Jim Cornette. Cornette handles the talking while Vader standings huffing and puffing. It’s like Brock and Heyman. Cornette is mad that Vader has to beat Sid for a title shot when he pinned Shawn Michaels last week. He has a good point. Cornette thinks the WWF is protecting their golden boy, Shawn Michaels. He feels that Vader will get past Sid and win the title. Fine work from Cornette.
NEXT WEEK ~ Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin! Awesome!
The Sultan w/ Bob Backlund and The Iron Sheik def. Aldo Montoya in 3:26
This goes exactly how you’d expect. Sultan dominates and Backlund yells wildly on commentary. Sultan wins with the camel clutch.
GRAVEYARD II: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO ~ Mankind and Paul Bearer are digging graves when Mankind realizes that this is not a good idea. He doesn’t want to get buried alive.
Sycho Sid def. Goldust w/ Marlena in 3:33
Fake Razor watches on a monitor for some reason. Maybe Sid will squash him. Goldust gets the upper hand for a bit and does some gay things that fuel a Sid comeback. Goldust escapes the Powerbomb and Shawn Michaels calls in to plug the match with Austin for next week, as well as the Survivor Series title match against either Sid or Vader. Sid hits the chokeslam and powerbomb to win. This was kind of just there but Sid was mega over. *
Vader jumps Sid from behind and hits the middle rope splash. Sid no-sells and sends him packing to close the show.
October 7th, 1996 | Savannah Civic Center in Savannah, Georgia
WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan (2) 8/10/96
WCW United States Champion: Ric Flair (5) since 7/7/96
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (7) since 10/5/96
WCW Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (3) since 8/20/96
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio Jr. (1) since 7/8/96
Yes, over the weekend Harlem Heat regained the Tag Team Titles. Footage airs from last week when Macho Man found Elizabeth in the nWo hotel room.
WCW World Tag Team Championship: Harlem Heat (c) w/ Col. Robert Parker and Sister Sherri def. Public Enemy in 10:14
Jobber entrance for the champions. The teams brawl until Sherri gets involved and Rocco Rock grabs her. Booker saves her heading into break. Returning, Liz is shown going into Randy Savage’s locker room. Back to the ring and the champions are working a heat on Rocco. We get a false hot tag before the nWo show up in the crowd to taunt Harlem Heat ahead of the Tag Title match. It’s the Outsiders, Syxx, Vincent and Ted Dibiase. PE come close to winning but a distraction turns it around for the champs. Rocco gets sent through a table outside and Grunge gets his knee taken out with a chair. They knee drop the chair onto his leg and retain. Not off to a strong start. The match wasn’t very good and the finish felt rather overbooked. *¼
SATURDAY NIGHT ~ Nick Patrick announced that he’s trying to get a Randy Savage fined for a million dollars and he blames Mean Gene for stirring the pot.
Diamond Dallas Page def. Jim Powers w/ Teddy Long in 2:35
DDP’s popularity continues to go up despite being heel. We get a split screen promo from DDP, telling Eddie Guerrero that he has a beating coming his way. He ends it with the classic BANG! The Diamond Cutter connects to handle Powers in easy fashion.
Randy Savage is out for an interview with Mike Tenay. He brings out the Slim Jim racecar driver. They’re pushing this stuff hard lately but it’s probably over in the south. The Slim Jim driver came in 10th, while the nWo car didn’t even finish because they hit a wall. Savage celebrates this like it makes a difference in his upcoming match. It goes on for too long but the highlight is Savage shouting “PRAISE THE BIG MACHO MAN IN THE SKY!” Liz shows up to try and talk to him but he storms off.
The Faces of Fear w/ Jimmy Hart def. High Voltage in 3:44
I love a good Faces of Fear squash. Chris Benoit, Debra and Steve McMichael watch this from the stage. High Voltage get in a few pieces of offense, but this is all FOF. They have a chance to win but decide to pick up their opponent and do more damage. They both powerbomb Rage before the Kick of Fear wins it. I thought this was a fun squash.
SATURDAY NIGHT ~ Eddie Guerrero vs. Disco Inferno and Harlem Heat faces Rough and Ready.
Glacier def. Mike Wenner in 2:26
Tony Schiavone hypes the ovation for Glacier, which is rather silent. His entrance again might have gone longer than the match. Wenner survives a flurry of strikes and then Glacier surprises with a plancha. Once back inside, he hits a spin kick to win. Glacier is just not over.
HOUR NUMBER TWO!
Jeff Jarrett def. Hugh Morris in 4:07
It is the WCW debut of J-E-DOUBLE F J-A-DOUBLE R-E-DOUBLE T! Since he jumped from the WWF, Bischoff speculates if he’s joining the nWo. Jarrett messes around and struts at every opinion. Morris is pissed at that and clotheslines the hell out of him. Commentary keeps noting that Morris is with the Dungeon of Doom, but he’s never with any of them. Bischoff thinks Morris has it in the bag but Jarrett hits an inverted atomic drop and does more strutting. Jarrett slaps on the Figure Four to make Morris submit. I wonder if they were either setting up Jarrett/Flair or if Flair was unhappy with him using his finisher. *
Tony Schiavone interviews Jarrett to see if he’s in the nWo. He brings up Hogan’s comments that he made the wrestling industry into what it is, but Jarrett was offended by that. He says that Hogan put no food on his table and that his father, Jerry, did. He quotes Sting and tells the nWo to stick it.
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER ~ Buy the shirt! ! THE PRECEEDING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER
Arn Anderson w/ Woman def. The Renegade in 7:07
Since Arn is facing Luger at Halloween Havoc, Arn wants to warm up against guys Luger just wrestled. Luger beat Renegade on Saturday Night this past weekend. Tenay mentions that Renegade took the WCW Television Title from him at the Great American Bash last year. Yuck. Renegade counters a piledriver and uses his power for a quick upper hand. Arn takes it to the ground, wearing down the former TV Champ. Renegade’s small comeback sees him do the Chyna handspring back elbow and nothing else he does gets a reaction. He tries it again but Arn is ready with a forearm. DDT ends it. The reason for the match was solid but it took too long. Renegade is garbage. ¼*
Arn Anderson continues to beat up Renegade until Lex Luger shows up to run him off.
Lex Luger def. Squire Dave Taylor w/ Jeeves in 2:35
The Blue Bloods are falling apart. Eaton left because of the treatment of Jeeves and Taylor indeed beats up Jeeves en route to the ring. Luger makes his full entrance, so he went to the back after running in, just to come out again. Luger gets some promo time on a split screen and has choice words for Double A. Taylor gets in minimal offense before Luger finishes with the Torture Rack. Short squash, which is fine.
As Luger leaves, Arn sneaks out to wear him down with a steel chair.
Rick Steiner w/ Scott Steiner def. Chris Benoit w/ Debra and Steve McMichael in 12:58
Thank god they’re doing this again because we were robbed of it last week. Benoit starts hot but a leap frog gets caught in a powerslam. Rick seems more aggressive than usual. Rick hits a belly to belly, followed by a sweet release German suplex heading into commercial. These two are just hammering on one another. They cut away from this fun to show a limo backing in with an nWo license plate. Hogan and the Giant exit it, arriving at the building. Thankfully, Benoit and Rick work a chinlock during this so we don’t miss anything. I would have done their arrival during Arn/Renegade. They trade chops and STEINERLINES and Benoit gets two on the diving headbutt. Another suplex from Rick before he goes up top and hits the diving bulldog. Mongo hilariously telegraphs an attempted briefcase shot on Scott. Rick steals it, whacks him with it and hits Benoit to take the win. Lame finish aside, that match ruled. Hard hitting and right up my alley. ***¼
We’re supposed to get Ric Flair defending the US Title against Randy Savage now, which is odd since Savage has a WCW Title shot coming up. Hogan and Dibiase talk with the Nasty Boys backstage and Ted hands them a contract. Hogan wants them to watch his back. After Savage makes his entrance, the cameras cut backstage where the nWo jumped Flair. Ric writhes around in pain, screaming “OH GOD!” Liz is there and Giant backs her away out to the entrance. Savage has a chair for Giant but gets attacked from behind by Hogan. They beat up Savage to the ring where Hogan forces Liz to watch it all. Hogan sprays an outline over Savage like he’s a dead body before hitting the leg drop. Hogan says that he owns Liz’s body, heart and everything else with the deal she signed. He hilariously announces that they’re going to tear down the broadcast booth. That brings out an nWo monster truck with Syxx in the passenger’s seat. He revs up to back into the broadcast set as the show closes.
Nitro: There are certainly flaws with the WCW product despite being very hot at the time. The closing segment here was a mess, went on too long and had the issue of nobody in WCW helping. Where was Luger? The Steiners? The Horsemen? Most of the matches were either squashes or not good with the only enjoyable ones being Benoit/Steiner and the Faces of Fear squash. There isn’t much going besides the nWo angle either. Eddie/DDP and Luger/Arn are all I can tell. 4.0