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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:19 am

Steven Regal vs. Juventud Guerrera - Nitro 28/10/1996
Fuck me, another Regal match with some bullshit NWO crap. At least the last match was just interference at the end and didn’t ruin anything. This has people going around with NWO signs and Syxx on the mic cutting a promo. Regal genuinely looks pissed off as he looks up at Syxx cutting a promo during HIS match lol. Still, it doesn’t put him off his game much as he goes to work on Guerrera until Guerrera starts using his quickness to take it to Regal. After a missed 450 splash, Regal locks in the Regal Stretch and wins. Well, this was like, 3 minutes long. Not entirely sure why it was on this set. Didn’t serve a purpose and wasn’t that fun because half of it was taken up with the NWO bullshit.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:27 am

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson Vs Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage - January 8th 1996
Christ, skipping 4 months, was it really that bad? I've always enjoyed both these tag teams (Note to self: Watch Hogan and Savage vs The Alliance To End Hulkamania just for the hell of it). This is a good old superstrong face(s) vs chickenshit heel(s) match. It's got some goofy as hell shit like Hogan blowing raspberries at Flair but hey, I like that.

Really it's just a bunch of fun with all the normal spots, Flair poking people in the eyes, failed crossbodies, possibly one of my favourite "heel thinks he's taken his opponent down and starts posing but he hasn't" spots ever, the fucking lot.

Only real negatives is that Flair's body seems even more jelly like than normal in this match, it's distracting. If the match didn't have a commercial break and had a proper ending I could see it easily making my list, at the moment it's in the maybe pile.

Lex Luger and Sting vs The Road Warriors - February 5th 1996
This is yet another good tag team match, a slower affair than the last one and without as much fun, just a solid powerhouse tag match, not a lot to really say about it, had SHENNANIGANS to end it... was short, alright. meh.

Finlay vs Steven Regal - Parking Lot Brawl - April 29th 1996
FUCK....ME. I mean christ I know both these guys enjoy working stiff but christ. This is just one hell of a batshit crazy brawl, I mean there's really no way of describing this, windows smashing everywhere, car's getting dented by heads, stiff as hell punches and that fucking Piledriver to end the match.This is gonna make it onto my list, no idea where but it's fucking gonna be on there.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:35 am

Chris Jericho vs. Mike Enos - Nitro 9/23/96
[Only admins are allowed to see this link] ... enos_sport

Really good 8-minute big man/little man match. Enos isn't monstrously big but works mean enough to make up for it. They establish the dynamic early as Enos slaps Jericho, Jericho hits a spinning heel kick, etc, and it's very good. Enos busts out some sweet spots, including that diving shoulder block from the apron into the ring that Sheamus does. Sheamus does it better, though. He torches Jericho on the outside & targets the back after a diving clothesline from the apron. Uses the guard rail & the steps, pretty awesome. Enos is good and mean in control but doesn't hit hard enough to really put this one over the top into nomination territory. Jericho's hope spots are all awesome, though, as are the cutoffs, and Enos hits a super powerbomb, which rules. But he also locks in a lame Boston Crab, throws crappy headbutts, etc. Finish is pretty cool.

So yeah, great layout/story and a handful of great spots-- way more than you'd expect in such a short match-- but not quite hard-hitting or fiery enough for me to want it on my list. I'll keep it floating in the "maybe" pile and recommend it to others. It's at the least very fun.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:39 am

Lord Steven Regal vs Psicosis, Nitro 12/16/1996, TV Title
Fuck this was awesome. Loved how Regal controlled the opening grappling with his unique chain wrestling and particularly dug the arm wrench whilst stepping on the inside of Psicosis's leg to force him down to the mat. Really dug how Psicosis's high flying made more sense not only because it was the tv title on the line but because Regal demonstrated he'd win the grappling with ease.
Psicosis's offence largely is really good at getting the crowd hot and making Regal look in trouble, bar 2 whiffed rolling liger kicks. Loved how Psicosis turned the tables on Regal by wrenching his arm to the mat which Regal sold tremendously by contorting his body. Psicosis gets extra points as well for selling the left arm after this. He has some great hurricanranas and leg drops here as well as a sick looking tope to the floor.
Regal was selling this like a champ as well. He comes off incredibly groggy and out of breath in failing to keep up with this high flyer and his constantly checking to see if his teeth are still in place and neck isn't snapped after each hard bump was a joy to watch. His transition spot is really great with a beautiful german after a quick counter from nowehere: again putting over his grappling ability as being the difference maker. I'm not sure if this next bit was unintentional but Regal appears to do a forward roll after the german and immediately holds his head afterwards: not sure if that was him trying something fancy and being too fucked up to attempt it or just rolling through from his momentum but either way it was a great spot to see him selling the neck and back of his head.
His control segment is nice enough, some good suplexes and vicious kicks to the head because Psicosis has embarassed him so far and Regal demands he pay a price. There's also 1 great potato shot in the corner and the finish is great with Psicosis attempting a victory roll but Regal counters into a Regal stretch (which looked vicious btw) for the win.

Terrific match which highlighted Regal's technical ability and great bumping off of Psicosis's high impact offence. Loved how he continually sold the impact of these moves and how they made it seem like Psicosis had no choice but to go high risk because Regal controlled the opening grappling exchanges. Regal finally managing to survive through his expertise was also a nice touch for the finish:

***3/4-****. Definite top 40 for sure.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:40 am

Lord Steven Regal vs Psicosis, Nitro 12/16/1996
I watched this earler but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as you. I was really into it at the beginning but then the commercial break took me right out so I had to re-invest myself in the match. That said, it was still a seriously good match and better than 99% of the stuff that Nitro ever produced. Both guys did pretty much what you expected from them and then some. I loved the final image with Regal covered in sweat and struggling to stand. I get what you mean with it feeling like Psicosis had no choice but to go high risk, it was like a game of 'Catch me if you can' with Regal constantly chasing Pscicosis and then resume grounding & pounding him.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:47 am

Ric Flair vs The Giant (Big Show), WCW Title Nitro 25/3/1996
God damn was this entertaining. Flair comes out with 2 smoking babes and I'm immediately compelled to be rooting against him. They work some basic comedy spots highlighting Show's power and size being too much for Flair who ends up running away only to be dragged like an infant back to the ring. Show dominates with suplex and displays of brute power as Flair flies round the ring like a lunatic until one error of judgement from Show costs him as he whiffs on a top rope splash (pretty hilarious that Flair was almost in a SSP position under the ropes and Show ends up jumping 3/4s of the way across the ring). From here Flair's bitches distract the ref and allow for him to choke Show with a chain which he cleverly conceals in his trunks and strongly denies using when the ref gets suspicious....one of the women chokes Show as well and you get the feeling they're like females in Bond films who you just oggle at before realising they can snap your neck with those gorgeous thighs. at Flair just running up and punting Show square in the balls. Interference after the chokeslam is well done: Arn hits Show with a chair but Show chokeslams someone else instead and Arn giggles like a schoolgirl until he eats a chokeslam all whilst Flair crawls away like a coward.

***


Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage, Nitro 08/01/1996
WCW with another tag team gem. Great heel work by Flair & Arn, some comedy spots, a wonderful transition into FIP, a hot crowd for Hogan and just some wonderfully entertaining wrestling makes for a hell of a match. Flair & Arn are great early on as heels in peril bumping like madmen for mainly Hogan's offence but Savage manages to get some licks in including one of the better double axe handles to the floor from him. Transition spot is a beauty with Flair & Arn being put in double figure fours only for Arn to lean over and poke Savage in the eye before hobbling up and hitting a DDT behind the ref's back. Savage's FIP segment is good with Flair & Arn getting in plenty of illegal choking and cheapshots whilst taunting Hogan to tag in and out and keep the pressure on Savage. Hot tag looked a bit dodgy with Flair basically punching Savage into Hogan's hand but we get some good bumping from Flair & Arn including a wonderful 'oh shit' reaction from Arn after Hogan no sells the spinebuster (fuck you Hogan for that btw).

***3/4


Eddie Guerrero vs Ric Flair, Nitro 1996
Flair again enters with some smoking babes before a crowd shot shows a well....not smoking Babe (I had visions of the Elephant Man tbh). Anyways this was really well worked: Flair bumped terrificly for Eddie early and made him look terrific in the early going with Eddie constantly finding ways to counter into a headlock or submission hold. Eddie doing the Flair strut after dominating for a good 5 minutes and getting Flair incredibly pissed off was hilarious. Next few minutes dragged a bit with neither guy keeping momentum and just exchanging bursts of offence until Eddie misses a crossbody to the floor and from here on out Flair works over the leg well and Eddie sells amazingly: he can't hook a pin on a crossbody because of the pain and even has to hobble when attempting a rana off of the ropes before hobbling post impact. Best bit is when he finally looks to be on the verge of putting Flair away with a frog splash only for the leg to give out again and Flair locks in a figure four where they tease Eddie reversing it only for Flair's women to pull his arm for extra leverage and the ref counts Eddie's shoulders down as he falls back to the mat in agony. Really good match between a main eventer and young midcarder in making Eddie look to be a legit threat to Flair only to have the leg and outside interference cost him the victory of his career.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:49 am

Steven Regal vs. Psychosis - Nitro 16/12/1996
Nice opening stuff, really enjoyed Psicosis/Psycosis (which is it btw lol?) hitting an arm drag on Regal which gets a HUGE pop, only for Regal to kick him in the head then school him on how to apply holds. There is a particular spot that, well, looks pretty shitty lol, where Regal is whipped into the corner, and tries to jump off the ropes over 'cosis to roll him up... and its botched or something lol. Thing is, I'm honestly not sure if it was meant to be done like that, because it was almost like they were setting it up to make sure we know Regal stinks at anything where he leaves his feet, so 'cosis would probably benefit more from utilising his high flying skills in this match. I'm probably spouting total shit, but fuck it, makes me sound smarter or something . FUUUUCK me at the German Suplex by Regal. Poor 'cosis lands right on his head. Pretty much from there Regal is just regular awesome Regal; stiff strikes and brutal mat work. The whole "Regal stinks at leaving his feet" works out nicely for me when Psicosis is able to make a comeback from reversing Regal on the top rope while he attempts a super double arm suplex. In the end though, it seems that Psicosis goes to the high flying well too often and Regal reverses a head scissors takeover (well, I think that's what he was going for) by slamming the poor guy into the mat and locks in perhaps the most vicious Regal Stretch ever. Good match. Both guys looked great, they got a decent amount of time for a non NWO/Former WWF Wrestler. Regal rocked the mat and Psicosis looked great with his high flying stuff and they did well establishing how both men have their strengths and weaknesses, and Regal came out looking great by overcoming his to get the win. Not sure if I'll place this on my list, but it's a consideration.

Rating: ***1/2


Steven Regal vs. Dean Malenko (Nitro 12/23/96)
They start off with the TECHNICALZ stuff, which all looks nice, and just as I was thinking "man, this looks way too cooperative"... Regal busts out an Enziguri and Malenko goes DOWN. Now the match becomes a "Regals beats the fuck out of Malenko, and Malenko does what he can to escape holds", and it's all fucking good shit. The escapes by Malenko aren't smooth (there's that damn work again... someone get me one of them word dinosaurs.. you know, a thesaurus), and Regal sitting in a hold and taunting the front row is just awesome lol. Malenko is a guy that I've gone from absolutely loving to thinking "well, he's alright" over the last couple of years, and honestly this match is one of those matches that could make me love the guy again if he had more of them . He's pretty aggressive on offence, with his shots looking nice and stiff. The mat work between both guys feels more gritty than a usual Malenko match, regardless of the fact Regal is in there. All in all while Regal was as great as he always is, Malenko is the one I came out of this match thinking more about. I want to see more of THIS Malenko dammit! Finishing stretch was real nice too, and the actual finish fit in nicely with Regal's TV reign (using the time limit to his advantage and shit), but not seeing a rematch between these 2 on the next disc of the comp makes me sad because either it didn't happen (which sucks because the finish was a perfect set up for it) or it's just not on the set and I have to get off my arse and find it . Think I liked this match more than the previous one too, so it has a better chance of making my list.

Rating: ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:50 am

Chris Benoit vs Chris Jericho, Nitro 30/12/1996
This goes just over 4 minutes but christ if they don't get a lot of stuff in. Jericho hits a beauty of a dropkick to the floor and Benoit hits one sick ass back suplex off the top rope for the win. He also lays in some hard ass knees to the face and one impactful elbow drop. They just went at it 1000% with some nice counters and bursts of offence from both and tried to get as much in as they could for the time given. Great bout and something that might make the #100 spot as just a great spectacle and a good representation of what the undercard and midcard had to do when competing with the stacked main event scene from this era.

***
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:15 am

Road Warrior Hawk/Road Warrior Animal v Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner (Nitro 11/3/96)
--I didn't look forward to this, and although it wasn't bad, there was nothing to it. Some matches suck, and some are just uninteresting. I wasn't sure who the faces/heels were supposed to be. Seemed like they were going for face vs. face, then Steiners as heels, then Warriors as heels when they won by whacking one of the Steiners with something. Looked like a thermos to me. I'm sure it wasn't. Either way, nothing of real interest to see here, but the Steiners doing a Doomsday Device (unsuccessfully I think, I remember a rwally bad down period where Animal took too long to get Scotty down) was a nice touch.

Fit Finlay v Randy Savage (Nitro 25/3/96)
--Six or seven minutes, but it's FINLAY and SAVAGE going six or seven minutes. This was the night after Uncensored, where Fit had smashed up Regal's nose with a forearm (I remember it being a fist, though, they're building it as a forearm anyway) and he controls most of the match. When he lays in the forearms it's great, the commentators fly off like "there it is, the forearm that got Regal" or something, and Macho was selling it like a total drunk. Savage's winning comeback almost came out of nowhere since he got almost no offense in, but Finlay was wiggling during the three count instead of laying there dead so it looked more believable that way. Fun match.

Sting/Lex Luger vs. Marcus Bagwell/Scotty Riggs (Nitro 25/3/96)
--Any interest I could have had in this (which was pretty much zero- American fuckin' Males) was squashed when I saw Bagwell in the ring sing along to his team's song (American fuckin' Males). Luger was pretty great in this, though. he comes out and the way he's high-fiving the fans and shoving his arms in the air comes off as really sarcastic, and he seemed to stop doing that sort of fan-pleasing when Sting turned his back. Bagwell was basically Sting's protégé, and when they got in the ring together Sting got the upper hand at every point and Bagwell clapped and gave him dues, and Sting played the role of respectful mentor. Luger was a prick. He pounded the ever-loving shit of Bagwell and Tony Schiavone wondered whether it was to get under Sting's skin, who was confused and disgusted an the apron. Sting/Luger winning was pretty priceless; Lex almost runs off with both tag belts and Sting's in the ring raising the American (fuckin') Males' arms. What else? Oh yeah, Scotty Riggs.... he was.....pretty shitty, actually. American fuckin' Males.

Ric Flair v The Giant (Nitro 25/3/96)
--This was fun, and Ric looked as good a heel as just about ever. The size difference is shown SO well; Flair can chop all he wants, but big Wighty just throws him and does these humungosaurus poses. One pose the ref backs up like three feet because he thinks he's about to be digested or something. The Giant goes to the top rope and misses a cool looking splash. Ric rolled out of the way, but he could have legitimately laid still and Wight would have still missed him by five feet. Wight takes this ridiculous-for-big-man bump over one of the turnbuckles and flops over to the outside as well. Arn comes with a chair after Elizabeth and Woman distract the ref and when he swings it there's Kevin Sullivan there and Arn blames him and he's pointing and laughing like a school child when Sullivan gets done. He gets done as well, obviously. I think this ended in a no contest, but my memory's not pulling for me right now. Looking forward to the match in April regardless.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:18 am

Sting/Lex Luger v Ric Flair/The Giant (Nitro 22/4/96)
--This, in some way, was like the Road Warriors vs. Steiners tag from March, but unlike that, this was interesting, and, for under ten minutes, was pretty damn good. There's ususal sequences that you might expect, like the Ginat dominating, then getting double teamed and chucked out, then Flair getting his, etc. etc, but it's the 80s style stuff that you never get tired of, and no one needed to be lead/carried to anything. Lex is way less sarcastic and tweener-some here, and it looks like they just nuked the idea of him turning heel because he just seemed like regular ol' babyface Luger. Wight was surprisingly good around this time at showing off size differences. There was this one really awesome segment where he had Luger in the chokeslam position, and Sting gets up on the top turnbuckle to so these chop block things, and he sells the both of them differently. Flair's reaction to Wight getting knocked over was one of total disbelief. I still maintain the opinion that Flair in 1996 is a totally awesome character and just an excellent heel. His entrances in particular are too fucking sweet. Then once it boils down to the point where he doesn't think he can win, Woman hands him a cup of coffee and he ends up hurling it in Wight's face, who gets real pissy afterward and wants a Title match. You can tell how green Wight was on the mic post-match. I'm so loving this stuff.

Steven Regal v Fit Finlay (Nitro 29/4/96)
--The parking lot brawl which others actually seem to like more than I do. Still dig it, though, and I think the only argument I can have against it is it's lack of length. Starts off real nasty, with Fit basically plating his leg through a car window after Regal hopped his arse out of the way. That may actually be my favourite spot in the match, but after that it does nothing to go downhill. The face-in-concrete chunk spot s one I fund particularly nasty. Fit's selling in general here was pretty nasty; some of the head bumps he took on car hoods looked a lot more like he actually launched his own cranium into it instead of subtly blocking t with a part of his arm(s). There's the shots with the car bumper and that AWESOME seatbelt choke as well. The final piledriver on the top of one of the cars was great, which was even greater because in some way it kind of plays off to the Saturday Night match (which, I'll be 100% honest, I only just noticed writing this). I really love how Eric Bischoff on commentary was almost wanting to not let anyone at home see this because it was so vicious, and I remember watching WCW match from even up to 1999 where they reference this. I'm still note going to put it on my list, but this really is something else.

Ric Flair v The Giant (Nitro 29/4/96)
--Not sure I enjoyed this as much, as the first, maybe because they did some of the same things *too* similarly (like, Flair tries failed shoulder block, chops, forearms- the Giant poses, etc.). here were some new things; I don't remember Wight taking a hefty shoulder bump into the turnbuckle the other match, for example. Even if this was completely different, though, the finish was pretty out-of-nowhere bad. I know the Giant is, well, a giant, but surely they can come up with something better than him sitting up from the figure four and chokeslamming Flair to win the World Title. That's not even a problem to me because of "no-selling" or anything, but it all seemed, out of place, I guess. Not going to say I didn't have fun with this, though; definitely not a bad match.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:48 am

Arn Anderson vs. Randy Savage (Nitro, 01/01/96)
This is actually kind of an intriguing match-up, despite the obvious styles clash between the guys. Anderson pounds on Savage before the bell, but Savage is pretty fired up and tosses Arn to the outside. On the floor, Savage sends Arn face first into the ring steps before clawing at his eyes like he’s a human bowling ball. Back in, Arn turns the tide with a couple of well timed boots, but a blocked sunset flip gives control back to Savage. An atomic drop stuns Anderson, and a top rope axe handle gets 2. Anderson throws a thumb to Savage’s eye to stop the attack, and follows with a jumping armbreaker. Savage sells the attack, so Anderson follows up with a hammerlock slam, and Savage bails. On the floor, Randy suckers Anderson in and throws him into the guard rail to buy himself some time. Back in, Anderson goes right back to the arm on the ground, dropping a series of knees. The injured arm is unwrapped, and then thrown into the ring post. Anderson applies a standing armbar with a little help from the ropes for leverage. Savage tries to turn the tide, but a missed charge leads right into a DDT – and Savage barely gets his foot on the ropes at 2. A second attempt is shrugged off, leading to the referee getting bumped. Anderson goes to the brass knucks in his tights – but Savage steals them and decks Anderson to score the pin at 7:55. BRIAN PILLMAN and CHRIS BENOIT hit the ring like wild dogs, and Savage rushes to the back. **1/2

Steve Regal vs. Chris Benoit (Nitro, 01/01/96)
We’ve got a whole lot of Horsemen scheduled on this show. Bischoff points out that this is a heel vs. heel matchup; but truly doesn’t care because he expects the match to be excellent. Some mat wrestling goes nowhere, and Benoit ends that by throwing about 10 headbutts in a row. Baseball’s then home run king HANK AARON smiles on from the front row. Regal applies a reverse chinlock, but Benoit escapes. Regal takes control back with a single leg take down, and grinds Benoit’s face into the mat while mounted from behind. Into the corner, Regal throws some stiff looking punches, but Benoit gets out and throws a vicious German suplex. Regal comes right back with a tigerbomb for 2. Benoit places Regal on the top rope, which Regal fights off with some elbows. He is then dropped by Benoit with the Electric Chair anyway. The diving headbutt misses, and Regal goes for a tombstone. Benoit reverses the hold and hits the tombstone himself! Regal bails, so Benoit just launches himself with a flying crossbody that misses, and Chris NAILS the concrete floor HARD. Bischoff points out that Benoit’s style is “professional suicide”, and he’s rolled back in and pinned with ease by Regal at 5:41 The Horsemen are now 0-2, with the Hogan match looming large. ***

Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan (Nitro, 01/01/96)
Champ enters first because Hogan overpowers tradition. Hogan shows his usual good manners by whipping his shirt in Flair’s face. Bell rings, and we’re off. Flair applies a headlock, but Hogan shrugs him off and hits a shoulderblock. Very pro-Hogan crowd tonight for the first time in awhile. Flair starts in with the chops and takes Hogan to the mat. Hogan tries to fight back, so Flair just goes right back to the chops. Hogan no-sells by puffing his cheeks out like an exhausted walrus. Hogan throws a series of punches, but Flair escapes and heads up to the top. He’s caught by Hogan, and tossed aside like the sweater you got for Christmas. To the outside, Flair jabs Hogan in the eye with his thumb. Hogan responds with a clothesline, and we head back in where Flair begs off. Hogan rakes the face, so Flair just pokes him in the eye again. A chop block finally gives Flair an advantage he can work with. Flair works it over for a bit, while stopping to strut like a boss. Flair gets the Figure Four applies dead centre of the ring, and Hogan has nowhere to turn! Hogan uses everything he’s got to reverse it, and now JIMMY HART is ringside screaming that Flair is the greatest of all time. Hogan stops to yell back, and Flair uses that distraction to go right back to Hogan’s knee. Flair hits a delayed vertical suplex for 2, and Hogan starts convulsing either because he’s having an epileptic seizure, or he’s Hulking Up. Big Boot and Legdrop connect, but Jimmy Hart is distracting the referee long enough for ARN ANDERSON to slither in and clock Hogan SQUARE between the eyes with the brass knucks. Hogan pops RIGHT back up which is a JOKE, pulls the knucks out of Anderson’s tights, and shows the referee like an IDIOT because now we’ve got a DQ at 7:54 and Flair retains the belt. *1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:16 am

Chris Benoit vs. Alex Wright (Nitro, 01/08/96)
Wright is a little over a year into his WCW run at this stage, but still looks the part of a little boy so I don’t like his chances against Benoit. Benoit clotheslines him, rips his leather jacket off, and scrambles him with a German suplex. Wright tries to fire back, but Benoit bitch slaps him to the mat, and kicks dirt over the corpse. Overhead belly to back with a bridge gets 2. Wright is dumped, and Pillman chokes him out on the floor. Back in, Benoit continues his assault, beating and chopping Wright to a pulp. Wright tries a top rope moonsault, but misses. Thankfully his spinwheel kick hits, allowing him time for a springboard crossbody. Benoit’s quick to recover, so Wright catapults him to the exterior. Wright goes up, and hits a flying axehandle all the way from the buckle to the floor. Pillman distracts Wright, so Wright just heads in where he can keep his eye on everyone. Benoit comes in and gets scoop slammed for 2. Wright tries a Boston crab, but he is not from Massachusetts, so it does not work. He moves to an STF, but when Benoit won’t tap, he releases. Benoit immediately starts chopping him again, but Wright counters with a snap suplex for 2. Then he STUPIDLY hits a slingshot crossbody on Pillman on the floor, and when he tries to re-enter with a high risk move, Pillman trips him up. Benoit and Pillman block a series of suplex attempts before Benoit finally finishes with the dragon suplex at 6:41. **1/2

Steve Regal vs. Eddie Guerrero (Nitro, 01/08/96)
Regal makes disgusted faces about being in the ring with Eddie Guerrero, which always warms my heart. Guerrero works a hammerlock to start, and upon escape, we get the confused face. Eddie wrings the arm a bit, but Regal kicks him away, and gives us a victory hop. To the mat, Regal punches Guerrero square in the mouth a couple of times. Eddie runs the ropes, but right into a knee from Regal. Guerrero snaps off a quick headscissors, and they trade pinfall attempts. Regal takes control with a thumb to the eye and gives the fans a thumbs up. A clothesline attempt is missed, and Eddie snaps off a quick bridge for 2. Regal comes right back with an overhead reverse suplex for 2. Regal jumps on Guerrero’s face, and when confronted by the referee he reacts with SHOCK that the referee would accuse him of such a thing. Guerrero tries a roll up, but Regal just sits on him for 2. That’s reversed for 2. Regal hits Eddie with a series of elbows, and stretches him. Back to their feet, Eddie hits a dropkick that staggers the Lord. Regal comes right back with an Irish whip to the corner, and an elbow to the face. Regal slaps Eddie, and when that only sets Eddie off, Regal beats him to the mat and celebrates. Out of nowhere, Eddie gets a backslide and scores the 3 at 8:07 despite some confusion as the bell never rang to signal a winner. ** Regal gives the camera a quick lecture about the state of America. Silly Regal, America’s not a state.

Sting vs. DDP (Nitro, 01/08/96)
Page, grumbling the entire way to the ring, promises that once he’s finished with Sting he’s getting his TV Title back. During the pre-match handshake, Page grinds his cigar in Sting’s eyes, blinding him. If this is typical behavior from Page, I can only imagine how well President Clinton would have gotten along with his wife, Kimberly. After an early beatdown, Sting recovers and tosses Page to the outside. A slingshot splash to the outside gets a big pop from the crowd. Back in, they botch the leapfrog and Page goes head first into the crotch. With momentum, Page hits a side suplex followed by a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Page works a rear chinlock on the mat, and cheats like crazy using the ropes for leverage. Referee Nick Patrick taking time to check the shaking rope and ask questions is phenomenally old school. Sting fights back to his feet, but a handful of hair drives Sting right back to the mat and we go back to the chinlock. Sting escapes again, and is a sudden house of fire. Page sells an atomic drop like standing death, and a Stinger Splash opens him up for the Scorpion Deathlock. Page blocks with the ropes, and then hits Sting with a neckbreaker over the ropes. Another swinging neckbreaker gets 2. Sting gets in a small package for 2. Page tries a pinfall of his own for 2, and then argues with the referee that it was 3. That costs him, and the Scorpion Deathlock finishes at 6:20. That was a great deal of fun, and an early indicator that Page could play with the big boys if given the chance. ***

Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson (Nitro, 01/08/96)
World Champ enters first, but we’ll let it slide this time because this is thankfully non-title. You might ask, ‘well it’s a tag-team match, of course it’s non-title?’ – but you would be silly, because this is WCW. Thankfully we are about 4 years away from Madusa and Oklahoma battling over the Cruiserweight Title in a JR’s BBQ Match. Hogan and Savage have clearly compromised on team unity, as Savage is decked out in red and yellow with a fairly apparent bald spot, and Hogan allowed him. Savage and Flair start, and Flair wastes no time in taunting Hogan into the ring instead. Hogan gives Flair the old “kiss my ass” spot; and Flair reacts with wild irritation. Flair takes Hogan to the mat with chain wrestling, goes to poke the eyeball, but Hogan no-sells and wrings Flair’s wrist. Flair chops are no-sold, so Flair pokes him in the eye again which thankfully works this time. Hogan responds with the big boot – but doesn’t follow with the legdrop for the first time ever? Anderson charges, and Hogan starts throwing bodyslams like Santa Claus throws cookies at children who try to catch him in the act. Let that be a lesson kids. Anderson is the legal man, so Savage hits him with an axehandle off the top, and works over the shoulder. Flair and Hogan start brawling illegally, so the referee rightly sends Hogan back to his corner, and Flair takes over for Arn. Flair works over Savage, but goes to the top rope and is caught. Savage and Hogan put dual figure fours on the Horsemen, but when the referee stops the farce, Anderson nails Savage with the DDT, and Flair gets 2 before Hogan breaks it up. Anderson dumps Savage to the outside, and he crashes face first into the guard rail. Anderson gives him a couple of extra shots and rolls him back in to Flair. And this is a good time for a break in the action???

Upon return, Anderson is working an abdominal stretch while Flair is pulling for leverage. The referee misses the entire thing because he’s too busy staring at Savage’s crotch to ensure he doesn’t tap out. Horsemen switch during a full nelson, and Flair punches him in the face a dozen times while the referee has a discussion with Hogan about god knows what. Anderson kicks Savage in the face and boots him to the outside. Flair whips Savage into the guardrail where Randy plays dead. Now the Horsemen start double teaming Savage right in front of the referee, who still misses everything. Hogan tries to break it up, but the referee is quick to remind him it’s only 1 legal member at a time, while the Horsemen both beat on Savage. Savage realizing his only hope here is to fight back, gets chopped down by Flair and stomped by Anderson. Savage blocks the DDT, and staggers to corner to get a tag to Hogan. Flair throws a chop and does the Superman pose while Hogan of course never felt a thing. Clotheslines for you, clotheslines for me. Anderson and Hogan wind up left alone while Savage and Flair brawl on the floor. Anderson flattens Hogan with a spinebuster, and Hogan pops right back up, to hit the big boot and legdrop at 12:19. **1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:28 am

Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage (Nitro, 01/15/96)
Bischoff announces during the entrances that Savage is getting a title shot against the winner of Flair/Sting, which should give away the finish of this one to sharp eyed viewers. Savage brings a chair to the ring with him, and in the tug-of-war with the referee, Luger takes a cheap shot and launches Savage over the top, crashing into the guard rail. Savage eats the ring steps, and when trying to crawl back into the ring, Luger boots him right back to the floor. Savage telegraphs the same spot, but this time drags Luger by the ankles to the floor and beats the piss out of him. Back in, Savage hits the axehandle off the top for a close 2. Luger begs off, which just incites a psychotic attack from Savage. Luger is choked with Savage’s boot. Savage continues his assault, picking up a string of 2 counts. Luger rakes the eyes to get the advantage, and drops a trio of elbows for 2. Savage comes back with a Hot Shot, and heads up top for the Big Elbow – but Luger moves and Savage pounds the canvas. Torture Rack finishes clean as a whistle at 5:10. Luger is 4-0 against Savage in his return to WCW. **

Public Enemy vs. American Males (Nitro, 01/15/96)
This is TPE’s WCW debut, and Bischoff builds them up like they’re the greatest tag-team this side of the Road Warriors. Yikes, is HE ever gonna be disappointed. The Males dump both members of Public Enemy to the floor, so TPE yanks them to the floor and brawl. Back in, Bagwell hits a double crossbody block on both members, and dropkicks them to clear the ring once again. Finally the referee takes control and a regular tag-taem match erupts. Grunge gets monkey flipped by Riggs for 2. Bagwell comes in and backdrops both members, and flattens them with dropkicks. Bagwell tries a roll up but the referee is busy with Riggs, and Grunge gets the pin with a handful of tights 3:28. This was a god awful trainwreck with no flow, and a sign of TPE’s future. Post-match, a couple of tables are set up in a spot that takes way, way too long and Bagwell takes a senton from Rocco through the both of them. -* for all of it.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:31 am

Sting vs. Ric Flair (Nitro, 01/15/96)
WCW is running through Flair’s potential challengers at a rapid pace, between Savage on Saturday, and Sting tonight. Flair attacks, but Sting just screams in his face much to Flair’s annoyance. Flair tries to dump Sting, but Sting is right back in the ring. Flair takes a press slam, is whipped to the buckle where he flips to the apron and gets clotheslined. A suplex drags Flair back into the ring, and Hart starts screaming “GRAB HIS TIGHTS, IT HELPS!” Flair opts for knife edge chops instead. The two fight to the top rope, and Sting hits a superplex. Big splash goes to finish but Flair blocks with his knees, and we take a commercial break.

We return to Sting missing a blind charge, hitting the ropes hard, and Flair drops his knee across Sting’s face. Flair goes for a pin, and uses the ropes for leverage. Flair is caught in the act, and the ref won’t count. Flair dumps Sting to the floor to buy himself some time to plot. Back in, Flair hits a knife edge and goes for a pin, but Sting kicks out with authority. Flair whips Sting to the buckle, from which Sting explodes with a clothesline and Flair sells it like death. Sleeper is applied middle of the ring, but Flair turns it into a backdrop suplex to escape. Flair goes back to the attack, but Sting isn’t having it. Sting goes for a dropkick, but Flair avoids it and goes for the Figure Four. Sting reverses into a small package for 2. Sting tries a backslide, but that also gets 2. Sting uses the ropes to attempt a slingshot sunset flip, but Flair blocks and tries to drop a fist. Sting moves, Flair hits canvas, and Sting is back on his feet looking pissed. Sting makes provocative hip thrusts at Flair, so Flair heads up where he’s promptly caught and slammed. Flair starts throwing every punch and chop he’s got left in his repertoire, all of it no-sold. He whips Sting to the ropes and chops him, stops to pose like Superman, and when he turns around Sting decks him. LEX LUGER is now on the apron trying to talk sense into Jimmy Hart about god knows what, and in the confusion, Sting gets hit by Luger with the megaphone. Luger gets in Hart’s face about Sting being his friend, meanwhile Flair retains with the Figure Four at 11:07. ***
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:57 am

Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair (Nitro, 01/22/96)
HULK HOGAN smells a World Title match and runs down the ramp to remind Savage he’s his best friend. Seriously, that’s all he wants. Meanwhile, this is the re-debut of Woman who has YEARS of history with Flair of course, and Bischoff also announces that Elizabeth has joined WCW and is back together with Randy Savage. Flair takes one look at Woman outside the ring and tries to seduce her, getting him a slap in the process. Savage goes mental and attacks. This and many other wrestling highlights on “What Else is New”, 8:05pm on TBS immediately following Atlanta Braves baseball. Back in, Flair drops Savage with a back elbow, and works him over with chops. Heenan drops ANOTHER “bombshell”, mentioning the Road Warriors are back together in WCW, and will reunite on the Clash of Champions. Modern equivalent would be the surprise returns of Molly Holly, Trish Stratus, and the Dudley Boyz over a 24 hour span. Meanwhile, as Savage crashes into the guardrail outside the ring, we take a commercial break. Back live, the pair are trading blows in the corner, with Savage winning the slugfest. To the floor, Flair is sent face first into the steel. Jimmy Hart blows a whistle in an effort to help. Back in, Flair goes low to escape the attack, then Flair flops centre of the ring. Savage backslides the champion, but Flair kicks out at 2. Flair thumbs the eyes, and slaps on the Figure Four, making sure to use the ropes as usual. He gets caught in the act, and loses a shoving match with the referee. Flair heads up top, but gets caught and slammed. Savage goes to finish, but Flair’s on his feet so Savage uses a pair of top rope axehandles instead. Jimmy Hart gets involved on the apron, allowing ARN ANDERSON the chance to run in with the knucks! Savage is held prisoner, but Anderson clocks Flair! The fans can sense the moment, as HULK HOGAN runs in to brawl with Anderson. Savage heads up to hit the elbow as the bell is ringing for some reason, but the count is made and Savage is YOUR World Heavyweight Champion at 8:02!!! *** Hogan is in to celebrate like a madman.

Dean Malenko vs. Brian Pillman (Nitro, 01/22/96)
Pillman carries a cane and sports a very prominent nipple through a tear in his shirt. The cane is slyfully placed in the ring apron, and I’m going to take a shot here and suggest that comes into play later. Malenko tries a hammerlock and takes an elbow to the face for his trouble. Dean fires back with a dropkick, and Pillman hits the floor. A drunk fan gets in Pillman’s face, so Pillman gets right back in his and asks him to hit him. The fan wisely backs off. Back in, the camera gets too close to Pillman and Pillman threatens to strike him. Malenko is faceplanted, and ground into the mat, before Pillman snaps like the head of a rattlesnake at the camera and laughs maniacally. Pillman stops his pin attempt to flash the 4 in Malenko’s face, and bitch slaps him. That pisses Dean off, who drops Pillman with a brainbuster. A swinging neckbreaker gets 2. Pillman begs off, but Malenko’s a cyborg and doesn’t understand emotion. So Pillman hits a tornado DDT instead, then refuses to pin Malenko, opting instead to hip thrust at the referee. Amazing. That gives Malenko ample time to hit a Tigerbomb that gets a close 2! Pillman heads to the floor and scoots past a baseball slide. Up top, Pillman taunts the crowd and gets caught. So he just jabs his thumb into Malenko’s eye and bites him on the forehead until he gets lost. A second tornado DDT is blocked, and Pillman lands right on his wrist. Malenko drops him with a gutbuster, and locks on a grapevine. Pillman reaches the safety of the ropes, and ties Malenko up in the ropes. Pillman steals the pinfall at 6:24 because the referee apparently misses the whole leg tied in a knot in the ropes. I would have loved to have seen another 10 minutes of this, they were clicking. ***
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:06 am

Chris Benoit vs. Randy Savage (Nitro, 02/05/96)
Bischoff starts his “1905” crap about the WCW’s lineage. Benoit flashes the 4 in Savage’s face, because he is the man and will no doubt do great things and have his big moment that will cause us to remember him forever. For today he’ll focus on the title, beating him into hamburger on the floor with some vicious chops. Benoit tries the decapitator on the bottom ropes – but Savage blocks and attacks Chris in the corner. Benoit fights him to the mat with some headbutts that look a little too real for comfort, and chokes Savage in the corner with his knee. Snap suplex, and Savage is on spaghetti legs. Scoop slam sets up the Swandive, which hits the mark, and Savage doesn’t know where he is. Savage throws a couple of blind punches at the air, before taking backdrop suplex for 2. A leg is dropped across Savage’s nose, and followed with a backbreaker with attempted submission. Savage claws out with an eye-rake, but Benoit keeps him down with another pair of headbutts. To the floor, Savage tries to grab Benoit, but winds up thrown into the ringpost shoulder first. Back in, a double clothesline takes out both guys, but Savage is up first. It doesn’t last, as he misses a blind charge and backdropped to the floor. Chris goes for tope suicida – but MISSES and goes FACE FIRST unprotected into the guardrail! Jesus! Back in, Savage drops the elbow on the BACK OF BENOIT’S HEAD. RIC FLAIR heads down now and kidnaps Liz. Savage chases, but gets his eyes clawed from behind by Woman!!! Referee calls for a DQ at 8:19, but the ambush is on because ARN ANDERSON is in and stopping a mudhole in the champion. Woman laughs at Macho’s misfortune, bringing in HULK HOGAN of course, with a chair to chase off the Horsemen. Woman and Flair embrace in the aisle, while Liz checks on Savage. Great segment, excellent match. ***1/2

Marcus Bagwell vs. Ric Flair (Nitro, 02/05/96)
This is an interesting singles match, between a then motivated Bagwell, and Flair just slightly out of his prime. Bischoff updates that Savage has taken Hogan to the hospital, and is on his way back. Bagwell hits a trifecta of clotheslines that send Flair to the floor. Flair staggers around, so Bagwell follows and flattens him with another. Flair heads in and begs off, before kicking Bagwell in the junk. That’s my Flair! Bagwell comes back with a flurry of fists, causing Flair to flop, and Bagwell gets 2. A dropkick misses when Flair hooks the ropes, but the Figure Four is reversed into a cradle for 2. Bagwell botches a crossbody block, and throws himself over the ropes in a silly looking spot. Woman decides now is a good time to have a long conversation with the referee, while Flair cheats on the outside. Back in, Bagwell counters the chops with a number of hooks, but Flair stops that with a kick to the face for 2. Ric goes to the top rope, noooo Ric! He’s caught and slammed. Bagwell puts Flair right back up again, beats him into a daze, and flattens him with a superplex for 2! A slingshot splash from Bagwell is countered with the knees, and Ric struts now before applying the Figure Four in the middle of the ring! Much as Bagwell doesn’t want to, the submission is called for at 7:02. Fantastic match, Bagwell was totally game. ***1/2

Sting, Lex Luger vs. The Road Warriors (Nitro, 02/05/96)
Very little blonde left in Sting’s hair at this point, as his hair has nearly returned to its natural dark roots. Fans are rabid for LOD here, which seems odd for me; but then I never got the Road Warriors thing. Animal and Sting start, with Sting getting the early upper hand with a clothesline off the top. Both men tag out, where Luger hits Hawk with a spike piledriver. Hawk jumps right back up, because who needs a working neck? Sting heads in, and drops Hawk with a Stinger Splash. Scorpion Deathlock is stopped by Animal, and when Luger cries foul, the Warriors trade with no tag. During an Irish whip, Luger pulls down the rope so Animal tumbles to the floor. Sting doesn’t like it – but doesn’t make a scene. Back in, Luger stomps a mudhole, and keeps the ring cut off. And apropos after this weekend’s Superbowl, the entire building loses power. When we come back, Bischoff promises TNT master control is going to stay with the show all the way through. The building and set are dark, but the ring is well lit. Animal is still in peril, with Sting keeping him in a headlock. Luger bodyslams him and calls for the Rack. Instead, Animal hits a belly to back suplex, which draws in Hawk who takes Sting to the floor. JIMMY HART comes running down with a lead plate, which Luger jams in the kidneys of Animal, and the champs retain at 8:00. Sting caught that, and isn’t happy at ALL. **1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:40 am

Arn Anderson vs. Hulk Hogan (Nitro, 02/12/96)
Fans chant for Hogan, which sends Arn into a an irate rage. Anderson punches Hogan in the back of the head, but that just enrages Hogan who bites him. ENOUGH OF THAT! Arn fires back with a clothesline, which fires Hogan up. Be careful Arn, he might bite you again. Instead, he uses the back rake, because he fights like a 4 year old. Maybe next he’ll pull hair and scream. Arn tries to piledrive Hogan on the concrete, which would have been the most amazing thing in the history of the world, but Hogan catapults his way out sending Arn into the ringpost noggin first. Hogan drives Arn’s shoulder to the ringpost repeatedly, rakes the back again, and heads up. Arn is choked out with the athletic tape from Hogan’s fist, while Heenan rants about Hogan’s true colors. That he’s been a lousy cheater for years, who’s done a lot of rotten things to a lot of people but everyone’s to afraid to call him out on his BS, and he’s upset because the Horsemen aren’t afraid to. “I don’t like the man Mongo, and I never will.” AMEN. Arn is clotheslined which he sells like a gunshot. Hogan whips him to the corner, and Arn throws an elbow to stop the Hogan momentum. Arn heads up, but like Flair, he gets caught. Hogan botches the slam, and Arn improvises by crotching himself across the top rope. My man. Arn starts clawing at the eye of Hogan, as RIC FLAIR and MISS ELIZABETH come strutting down to ringside. Arn destroys Hogan with a spinebuster, but Hogan emphatically kicks out at 2 and Hulks Up. Big boot, pose, strut like Flair, and Hogan puts on the Figure Four right in front of Flair. Ric attacks, but Hogan rolls HIM up at the exact same time, pinning him for about a 20 count. Woman grabs some rat poison and gets on the apron, tossing it in Hogan’s bad eye. The referee sees the giant cloud of dust, but doesn’t call for the bell, because I guess that could be anthing. Anderson then drives Liz’s shoe into Hogan’s eye, and GETS THE PIN AT 9:15!!!! UP YOURS HULK! **
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:44 am

Arn Anderson vs. Hulk Hogan (Nitro, 02/19/96)
Hogan gets his largest pop in awhile; and one has to imagine his recent change to show a little ass (not literally – that wouldn’t come for another 16 years!) might actually have made him a little more sympathetic. Will it stick? Well, for starters, Hogan cheats by choking Arn with his shirt on the outside. Okay, so not everything has changed. Arn slams Hogan face first to the buckle, but coming off the top he’s met with a clothesline, and Hogan bites him in the eyeball. Hogan’s newfound cannibalism really isn’t sitting well with me, did he accidentally snort bath salts instead of cocaine before the show? Arn gets dumped outside which wouldn’t seem like a safe place for Hogan to be, but with the help of a fan’s Hulk Hogan shirt, he chokes Anderson again. Back in, Hogan kicks Anderson in the face, and slams him head first to the mat repeatedly before grinding his nose into sawdust. The double chop to the shoulders knocks Arn loopy; and Heenan starts begging for him to get up. A throat punch sends Hogan to the mat, and Arn drops a knee across Hogan’s face. Hogan blocks the second one, and punches him back to the floor again. Back in, Anderson fakes a punch, Hogan ducks, and Arn goes for the DDT but Hogan blocks. Hulk up time, Anderson eats the big boot, pose pose pose, and Arn is placed in the WORST figure four of all time! KEVIN SULLIVAN charges, but RANDY SAVAGE cuts him off, Anderson taps, and the referee calls for the bell at 7:01. But wait – the referee saw Savage attack, and declares Anderson the win by DQ!!! EAT IT HOGAN! 2-0 FOR ARN! **1/2

Fit Finlay vs. Brad Armstrong (Nitro, 02/19/96)
If I wanted jobber squashes, I’d watch WCW Prime (not that I do not enjoy Prime and its jobber squashes, just to be clear). Nitro should be used for big moments. Like that time Arn Anderson pinned Hulk Hogan. Or that time Arn Anderson beat Hogan by DQ. Making two straight wins. Remember that? Bischoff calls this International Action, because we live in America dammit, where our foreigners are identified and outcast. Fans chant USA. A quick call to Miss Cleo (this IS 1996 after all) indicates that “disappointment be in dey futah chile!”. Unfortunately, that call cost me more than 5 minutes on the WCW hotline; and I’m going to have to ask my readers for money to continue this series. Finlay hits Armstrong with a running knee, and blinds him with a stiff right hand to the socket. Armstrong comes back with a hiptoss for 2. Finlay is sent to the floor, but he quickly pulls Armstrong with him, where his knee destroyed with the ring post. Back in, Finlay works a half crab, that he modifies into a stepover toe hold. Brad won’t tap, so Finlay folds him in half, then moves to an STF. Armstrong elbows his way out, and backdrops Finlay. A crossbody sends both guys dangerously to the floor. Back in, Finlay gets a backslide for 2. Armstrong keeps coming back, this time with a side suplex right on the back of Finlay’s head. However, that’s all he’s gonna get, as a tilt a whirl pancake ends it at 6:49. ***

Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair (Nitro, 02/19/96)
If you recall, about a month ago when Savage got his first title shot against Flair, Hulk Hogan was pitching a fit like a spoiled child. One has to imagine that Savage is getting yet another shot can’t be sitting well with the old Hulkster, but his silence indicates that he’s taking a little time to think about his recent performance. Like those two losses to Arn Anderson. Flair is completely stylin and profilin, strutting as ONLY he can strut, and Savage is in a bad mood. Savage backdrops Flair, who begs off immediately. Savage ain’t having that, and punches him 5 times in the corner, before Flair has enough of that and atomic drops him. The blow is so vicious that presumably, Savage’s man parts have turned black and blue, and he rolls to the floor holding his groin. Flair is not far behind, sending Savage sprawling into the crowd, much to our referee’s annoyance. Savage crawls back over the guard rail, where the champ chops at his chest. Flair gets in the ring, and Savage uses this time not to focus on the match, but chase Woman to the back. When he turns around, Flair is waiting with an elbow to the face. Flair leaves him for dead, where a returning Woman is ready to rake his eyes. Back in, Flair’s strutting, but Savage isn’t quite done yet, and they trade blows. Savage wins the war, and Flair flops. Flair heads up top to attack from up high, but gets caught as per usual, and put in the Figure Four by Savage! Flair hangs on and won’t tap, but he’s feeling an awful lot of pain right now. Flair gets to the ropes after nearly 45 seconds in the hold, but Savage won’t let go. He takes FAR longer than a suggested 5 count, but the referee doesn’t DQ him. Be fair to Flair – come on now! Flair goes low, because hey, why not. Savage tries a sleeper, but Flair backdrops out to save his bacon. Savage comes off the ropes, right into an elbow to the face, and Flair’s feeling good now. Standing vertical suplex drains the color from Savage’s face, and Flair punts him in the stomach for that little extra oomph. A single leg atomic drop sets up the Figure Four, and Flair hooks it. Bischoff keeps playing up that Savage has lost it all to his horrible ex-wife; but how is this any different than DDP who we are supposed to boo? I’m pretty sure Savage was abusive and overbearing, like DDP allegedly was with Kimberly. Hrmph! Savage gets to the ropes to force a break, and both men are on fumes. Flair throws a big chop with what energy he has left, and drops Savage to his knees. Savage pops back up, so Flair keeps firing, but it’s no good. Savage spits in Flair’s face, and Flair begs for mercy. Savage fights his way to a backdrop, and flips Flair over the buckle and clotheslines him on the apron. Macho heads up, hits the axehandle, and calls for the elbow. Liz gets on the apron, and Woman tosses the shoe. Savage intercepts, as KEVIN SULLIVAN runs down. Savage clocks Flair, but only gets 2! HULK HOGAN runs down to fight off Sullivan, allowing ARN ANDERSON to slip in from the back and DDT Savage!! Flair rolls over, the referee turns, counts the pinfall and Flair returns at 11:28! ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:50 am

Sting vs. Big Bubba Rodgers (Nitro, 02/26/96)
Bischoff quickly spoils the ‘World Whining Federation’ results: “DQ, Yokozuna in a handicap match, Jake the Snake Roberts pulverising Yankem, and Diesel over Bob Holly, he’s still around?” As petty as this is, this is one area Bischoff totally had the right idea; basically spelling out that the shows were stale, canned, and boring. As long as he’s not going to give away any long time beloved and popular guys winning the World Title, this should never backfire. The guys lock up to the corner, and the referee orders a break. Bubba backs off gently, and informs Sting “see, I’m a nice guy!” with a sleezy grin on his face. He offers the hand of friendship, and Sting punches him. Wait, Sting is the good guy? Bubba is quite offended, and in a blind rage, he walks right into a face plant. Tables are turned when Bubba throws down, and a big right gets 2. A spinebuster plants Sting mid-ring, but the arrogant cover only gets 2. Avalanche splash knocks Sting out cold, which Bubba takes advantage of by walking around and telling the crowd to kiss his ass. Bubba sets Sting up for a Russian legsweep, but changes direction and punches him in the face instead. A STUNT GRANNY gets in Bubba’s face, and the ensuing distraction lets Sting get a shot in. Back in, Sting hits a spike piledriver that he nearly botches because Bubba’s so damn heavy. Slugfest is won by Sting, and a big boot sets up the Vaderbomb ... but Bubba blocks with the knees. Sting heads out, Bubba heads up, but Sting cuts him off and sends him back in to the ring. Top rope crossbody gets the win at 7:14. Really fun match. ***

Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan vs. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Booty Man (Nitro, 02/26/96)
Bischoff: “The Macho Man, the Booty Man, and The Man!” Gag me already. Our heroes clear the ring quickly, and Arn is left alone with Brother Booty. KIMBERLY walks down the aisle with flowers in hand for some reason; and is eyeballing someone. I assume Arn Anderson has won her over with his repeated wins over Hulk Hogan. Booty hits a running knee on Arn, and Mongo suggests that Hulk Hogan read Sun Tzu’s Art of War, and put spies in the enemy camp. How many other spies might be working for Hogan? Shark? One Man Gang? Super Giant Ninja? Flair tags in, and Booty struts like Ric to absolutely no reaction. I’ll give WCW credit, they’re trying like hell to get this loser over, but at the end of the day, he’s the same Brutus Beefcake we’ve never given a damn about. Savage tags in and FINALLY the crowd wakes up. All 3 heels work over Savage in the corner, but he fights his way out. Savage stays near his corner and calls in Ric. Flair comes in for the test of strength, but instead he punts Savage in the groin and chops away. Back elbow drops Mach, and he goes up. Flair is caught as was the style at the time, but Savage comes off the top right into a fist from Flair. Flair poses, but Savage has tagged out and Hogan’s in. Flair chops him, and struts, but Hogan’s breathing heavier than an overworked walrus, and sends Flair to the outside. Sullivan and Arn attack, but Hogan dumps both of them too. Back in, Hogan bites Flair’s eye because he’s been taking those darn bath salts again, and Booty teams with Hogan to hit duelling big boots, but it only gets 2. Savage tries to get a shot in at Liz, but Arn is there to stand in the way. Savage gets back in, and both ladies try to trip him up, so he grabs them by the hair to a MASSIVE pop. Sullivan stops THAT, and works over Savage. Arn stomps a mudhole, and catapults him in the ropes. Savage rolls out, where Flair throws him into the guardrail and lands some chops for good measure. Sullivan drops Savage with a big boot. Arn comes in, but Savage dives to the corner to get the hot tag to Booty to NO reaction at all. He takes out the entire anti-Hogan Alliance, and Hogan drops all 3 with Big Boots. Arn gets hit with the Legdrop, and Hogan wins it at 12:05. **
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:53 am

Steiner Brothers vs. Road Warriors (Nitro, 03/11/96)
Hawk hiptosses Scott, and poses in a mocking fashion. Scott takes a series of chops, and responds to that by giving Hawk a cross-ring belly to belly suplex. Doctor bomb is done RIGHT in front of Animal to send a message, but when Hawk is placed up top, he headbutts his way out. Top rope clothesline drops Scott. Neckbreaker firmly puts control back in the Warriors camp. However, this is Scott Steiner we’re talking about, and he’s able to shake it off and hit a tiger bomb. Rick comes in, and so does Animal. Powerslam from Animal sets up a dropkick. Rick fires back with a pair of forearms, and it stuns Animal enough so that Rick can hit a German suplex. Top rope superplex launches Animal across the ring, and Scott is back in. Overhead belly to belly connects, and Scott has a staredown with Hawk on the apron. Animal is hung to the tree of woe in a neutral corner, and Scott chokes him out from the outside. Rick is back in, and claws at Animal’s face. Animal kicks loose, as the fans chant for “LOD” because they have no taste. Scott locks on the Steiner Recliner, but it is not yet patented and thus no submission. Hawk breaks up the party. Scott misses a dropkick by 8 feet, but Animal sells it. Double clothesline knocks both guys down, and Hawk gets the hot tag. Both Steiners are killed with clotheslines. Rick is flattened with an assisted clothesline, and Hawk hits him with the Doomsday Device. Scott breaks up the pinfall, and Rick is left alone with Hawk, while Scott kills Animal outside. Rick hits Hawk with a belly to back, and now the Steiners go for a Doomsday Device of their own! Sadly, Animal breaks up what would have been epic, and he hits Scott with a top rope clothesline. All 4 guys lie dead. Back on his feet, Scott hits Animal with the Frankensteiner, but Hawk breaks it up at 2. Scott kicks Hawk to the outside, and Rick hits an assisted top rope Bulldog off Scott’s shoulders! But behind Scott’s back, Animal hits Rick with the spiked padding from their uniform, and Hawk gets the pin at 10:11. Cheating bastards. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:56 am

Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan vs. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Booty Man (Nitro, Lumberjack Strap Match, 03/11/96)
I spy MENG, THE BARBARIAN, DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE, and STEVEN REGAL on one side of the ring. THE GIANT and LOCH NESS are also here, and THEY start fighting! No joke, Booty Man is SO orange here that quite frankly I’m surprised he hasn’t been confused for a cancerous Florida citrus tree and quarantined. HAWK and ANIMAL are also at ringside. Through the melee in the ring, KIMBERLY wanders down with a bouquet of roses and biting her bottom lip. Flair takes a man-sized beating, and tries to get the hell out of Dodge, but Animal chases him up the ramp and hauls him back. Hogan whips everyone in sight, so he’s dumped to the outside and is attacked by ROBERT EATON. DAVE TAYLOR is sent noggin to noggin with Regal, and Hogan whips everyone. KONAN is around and doing little. It’s honestly impossible to follow anything, every single lumberjack is whipping each other, and the camera cuts back and forth so fast you can’t even keep up with what’s happening in the ring. Hogan ties himself to Flair, so Flair thumbs Hogan in the eye to a HUGE pop. Horsemen country baby. Hogan whips Flair fairly hard, and chokes him in the corner. Booty dry humps Arn Anderson while Hogan drops a leg on Flair for the win at 6:27. This was absolutely horrible. DAVE SULLIVAN gives Hogan a pat on the back after the match, which about sums it up. The presence of Dave Sullivan alone warrants his average match rating; -** for the entire mess.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:13 pm

Sting/Lex Luger v Ric Flair/The Giant (Nitro 22/4/96)
--This, in some way, was like the Road Warriors vs. Steiners tag from March, but unlike that, this was interesting, and, for under ten minutes, was pretty damn good. There's ususal sequences that you might expect, like the Ginat dominating, then getting double teamed and chucked out, then Flair getting his, etc. etc, but it's the 80s style stuff that you never get tired of, and no one needed to be lead/carried to anything. Lex is way less sarcastic and tweener-some here, and it looks like they just nuked the idea of him turning heel because he just seemed like regular ol' babyface Luger. Wight was surprisingly good around this time at showing off size differences. There was this one really awesome segment where he had Luger in the chokeslam position, and Sting gets up on the top turnbuckle to so these chop block things, and he sells the both of them differently. Flair's reaction to Wight getting knocked over was one of total disbelief. I still maintain the opinion that Flair in 1996 is a totally awesome character and just an excellent heel. His entrances in particular are too fucking sweet. Then once it boils down to the point where he doesn't think he can win, Woman hands him a cup of coffee and he ends up hurling it in Wight's face, who gets real pissy afterward and wants a Title match. You can tell how green Wight was on the mic post-match. I'm so loving this stuff.

Steven Regal v Fit Finlay (Nitro 29/4/96)
--The parking lot brawl which others actually seem to like more than I do. Still dig it, though, and I think the only argument I can have against it is it's lack of length. Starts off real nasty, with Fit basically plating his leg through a car window after Regal hopped his arse out of the way. That may actually be my favourite spot in the match, but after that it does nothing to go downhill. The face-in-concrete chunk spot s one I fund particularly nasty. Fit's selling in general here was pretty nasty; some of the head bumps he took on car hoods looked a lot more like he actually launched his own cranium into it instead of subtly blocking t with a part of his arm(s). There's the shots with the car bumper and that AWESOME seatbelt choke as well. The final piledriver on the top of one of the cars was great, which was even greater because in some way it kind of plays off to the Saturday Night match (which, I'll be 100% honest, I only just noticed writing this). I really love how Eric Bischoff on commentary was almost wanting to not let anyone at home see this because it was so vicious, and I remember watching WCW match from even up to 1999 where they reference this. I'm still note going to put it on my list, but this really is something else.

Ric Flair v The Giant (Nitro 29/4/96)
--Not sure I enjoyed this as much, as the first, maybe because they did some of the same things *too* similarly (like, Flair tries failed shoulder block, chops, forearms- the Giant poses, etc.). here were some new things; I don't remember Wight taking a hefty shoulder bump into the turnbuckle the other match, for example. Even if this was completely different, though, the finish was pretty out-of-nowhere bad. I know the Giant is, well, a giant, but surely they can come up with something better than him sitting up from the figure four and chokeslamming Flair to win the World Title. That's not even a problem to me because of "no-selling" or anything, but it all seemed, out of place, I guess. Not going to say I didn't have fun with this, though; definitely not a bad match.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:14 pm

Fit Finlay v Randy Savage (Nitro 25/3/96)
--Six or seven minutes, but it's FINLAY and SAVAGE going six or seven minutes. This was the night after Uncensored, where Fit had smashed up Regal's nose with a forearm (I remember it being a fist, though, they're building it as a forearm anyway) and he controls most of the match. When he lays in the forearms it's great, the commentators fly off like "there it is, the forearm that got Regal" or something, and Macho was selling it like a total drunk. Savage's winning comeback almost came out of nowhere since he got almost no offense in, but Finlay was wiggling during the three count instead of laying there dead so it looked more believable that way. Fun match.

Sting/Lex Luger vs. Marcus Bagwell/Scotty Riggs (Nitro 25/3/96)
--Any interest I could have had in this (which was pretty much zero- American fuckin' Males) was squashed when I saw Bagwell in the ring sing along to his team's song (American fuckin' Males). Luger was pretty great in this, though. he comes out and the way he's high-fiving the fans and shoving his arms in the air comes off as really sarcastic, and he seemed to stop doing that sort of fan-pleasing when Sting turned his back. Bagwell was basically Sting's protégé, and when they got in the ring together Sting got the upper hand at every point and Bagwell clapped and gave him dues, and Sting played the role of respectful mentor. Luger was a prick. He pounded the ever-loving shit of Bagwell and Tony Schiavone wondered whether it was to get under Sting's skin, who was confused and disgusted an the apron. Sting/Luger winning was pretty priceless; Lex almost runs off with both tag belts and Sting's in the ring raising the American (fuckin') Males' arms. What else? Oh yeah, Scotty Riggs.... he was.....pretty shitty, actually. American fuckin' Males.

Ric Flair v The Giant (Nitro 25/3/96)
--This was fun, and Ric looked as good a heel as just about ever. The size difference is shown SO well; Flair can chop all he wants, but big Wighty just throws him and does these humungosaurus poses. One pose the ref backs up like three feet because he thinks he's about to be digested or something. The Giant goes to the top rope and misses a cool looking splash. Ric rolled out of the way, but he could have legitimately laid still and Wight would have still missed him by five feet. Wight takes this ridiculous-for-big-man bump over one of the turnbuckles and flops over to the outside as well. Arn comes with a chair after Elizabeth and Woman distract the ref and when he swings it there's Kevin Sullivan there and Arn blames him and he's pointing and laughing like a school child when Sullivan gets done. He gets done as well, obviously. I think this ended in a no contest, but my memory's not pulling for me right now. Looking forward to the match in April regardless.
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PostSubject: Re: 1996 Discussion   Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:15 pm

Road Warrior Hawk/Road Warrior Animal v Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner (Nitro 11/3/96)
--I didn't look forward to this, and although it wasn't bad, there was nothing to it. Some matches suck, and some are just uninteresting. I wasn't sure who the faces/heels were supposed to be. Seemed like they were going for face vs. face, then Steiners as heels, then Warriors as heels when they won by whacking one of the Steiners with something. Looked like a thermos to me. I'm sure it wasn't. Either way, nothing of real interest to see here, but the Steiners doing a Doomsday Device (unsuccessfully I think, I remember a rwally bad down period where Animal took too long to get Scotty down) was a nice touch.
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