Pre-show notes: Click here to watch this week’s episode on WWE Network. If you’d like to read about previous episodes, check out the WCW Monday Nitro tag page. We also do a retro Best and Worst of WWF Monday Night Raw to coincide with the Nitro report.
And now, please enjoy from the vintage Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for September 2, 1996.
As we’ve mentioned before, one of the best parts of going back through these shows with a new set of eyes is realizing that Diamond Dallas Page was Stone Cold Steve Austin before Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin had dropped his “Austin 3:16” nuke at the King of the Ring, but until Bret Hart showed up in November, he was still just a talented mid-carder struggling to make jokers like Marc Mero look good. Meanwhile, DDP was becoming the prototypical Stone Cold: a blue collar dude with a cutter who was building a rabid following and destined for so much more.
Up until now, they’re both missing signature hand gestures. WWE’s a little ways away from realizing they can monetize a middle finger, and Page has been just kinda throwing up his hands as a taunt. The crowd’s picking up on it, but it’s not special. On this week’s Nitro, he counters a Tiger Wall Flip from Alex Wright with a boot to the stomach and a Diamond Cutter out of the corner. The crowd pops huge for it, because wrestling fans love knowing things and recognizing the definite. The Diamond Cutter ends matches. It allows everyone to do simple math in their head. When it’s over, Page throws up his hands … and tilts them in 45 degrees to form a diamond. Welcome to the next level, my dude.