WelcoKoaNitro copyme, everyone, to this week’s second installment of Kick Out At Nitro!  Shane here, continuing on my journey through WCW, starting with 9/4/1995 and continuing on until the final episode in 2001, bringing you reviews, reminiscing and a look back at Nitro and Pay Per Views from the days of yore.

This week’s episode brings us to September 18th, 1995, live from Johnson City, TN.  Tonight we’ll be dealing with the fallout from Fall Brawl as well as making moves that may possibly set us up for Halloween Havoc coming in about six weeks.

My first notice is that the opening video has as much Vader in it as it does Hulk Hogan.  For a man who jumped ship before the first episode and has constantly been said to have gone AWOL, we’re promoting him a bit much aren’t we?  Guess TNT wasn’t that big on paying someone to re-edit the graphic week to week.  It’ll be interesting to see how long Vader sticks around in the opening reel.

We start off with the commentary team consisting of the usual Nitro three; Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Steve “Mongo” McMichael (with Pepe).  Man, I miss Schiavone already!  While Mongo is trying to talk, Bischoff cuts him off saying there’s an emergency in the back.  We start to hear sirens over the announcers before we cut to the back and see Mean Gene and an ambulance backing up towards him.  Gene says that last night Hogan left in an ambulance, so maybe this has something to do with that.  The ambulance stops and out pops the Giant and Kevin Sullivan. September_18,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00001 Gene asks a question and Sullivan says talk to Giant.  Giant cuts a promo about how awesome it was to put his hands around Hogan’s neck and feel him go lifeless.  Gene says something along the lines of “if your father saw you with the likes of this man…” as he points at Sullivan, again playing up the Andre the Giant connection.  Do they later just drop this or do they ever address the fact it’s bull?  Interested to see.  Anyway, Giant says his father would be happy and we cut back out to the arena.

Match #1: The American Males vs The Blue Bloods

The American Males come out and I’m sad they haven’t started the hand clapping gimmick yet.  They also haven’t started wearing tights yet as they come out in slacks and suspenders covered by their vests.  As we wait for the Blue Bloods, we see Stevie Ray from Harlem Heat come out beating down “Earl” Robert Eaton.  Booker T comes out as does Sherri with the WCW Tag Team Championship belts.  They get in the ring and Booker T says that the whole world saw what they did to the Blue Bloods, but they shouldn’t have been here in the first place.  He says they’re giving the American Males a title shot tonight!

Match #1 (take 2): The American Males vs Harlem Heat (WCW Tag Team Champions) w/ Sister Sherri

Bischoff makes a point that without Commissioner Nick Bockwinkle here, this match can’t be sanctioned for the tag titles, but apparently we’re having it anyway.

Booker T hits a nice axe kick that Bischoff says reminds him of some of the K1 kickboxers he’s been watching.  Man, I remember when K1 was a thing.

Booker about takes Riggs’s head off with a spinning wheel kick but follows with a very lax cover, smirk on his face and all.

Booker (yeah, he did everything in this match pretty much) has Bagwell from behind and Sherri jumps up on the apron to hit him with her shoe, but out comes Col. Robert Parker.  He stops her and she falls into his arms and he whisks her away to the back.  Booker T grabs Bagwell and lifts him up for a pumphandle slam, but Buff-To-Be reverses and gets the pin.  Winners and NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPS, the American Males!  The announcers leave us wondering if it will be official or not.

We get the Up Next graphic as we go to commercial.  Looks like we have Johnny B Badd and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff to look forward to.

We come back from commercial, including one with Macho Man slinging Slim Jims, to Mean Gene in the ring welcoming out Ric Flair.  Flair comes out in the black and white robe that he’s been wearing a lot lately.  Gene asks about the collaboration between Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman.  Flair says that Double A has broken the code!  They could feud and fight all they wanted, but Double A went out and brought someone else into it.  He says he broke the code twice…once by airing family business and once by bringing in an outsider.  Flair says that when he takes on Pillman tonight that he’ll chop him so hard that Boomer Esiason will feel it in Long Island!  After that he’s going to search Johnson City and kick Arn Anderson’s ass!  Nice to see that Flair is breaking that PG barrier a little early into the run on Nitro.

We get a promo for WCW Saturday Night, starting at 6:05 Eastern on TBS!  Looks like we will have Sting vs Lord Steven Regal, Cobra vs Craig Pittman in a return match from Fall Brawl (prompting me to wonder why they bothered putting it on the PPV), an interview with Dusty Rhodes and hopefully an update on the condition of Hulk Hogan after getting his neck Steven-Segalled by The Giant.

Match #2:  “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs Johnny B Badd

As a result of last night’s conversation with Gary Spivey (see the Fall Brawl post and click the picture), Orndorff now has terrible new entrance music, new attire and a new ring jacket.  He also comes out with a hand mirror that he spends most of his time checking himself out with.  Prototype for Tyler Breeze from an era bygone, it seems.  JBB enters and almost shoots Orndorff execution style with his glitter gun, yet again showing us that this is truly Where the Big Boys Attempt Murder.  We’re also told that JBB has nine stitches above his left eye from where Pillman opened him up the night before.

Watching the match, it’s interesting to see that Orndorff’s right arm is already noticeably smaller than the left.  I remember from seeing him at a PPV around 2000 or so that his arm was atrophied due to nerve damage, but I thought that came later than this.  Guess not.  That’s a big part of the reason that I wanted to go back and start watching this stuff from the beginning…I wanted to see what I have been mis-remembering for years.  Stuff like this and DDP already having the Diamond Cutter are seriously messing with my time frames.

JBB goes for a diving axehandle to a downed opponent but eats Orndorff’s boots in one of the worst examples of that spot I have seen in recent memory as we go to commercial.

We come back from commercial to a JBB clearly with the upper hand but we’re told that Orndorff has been targeting the eye of JBB through the break.  Thankfully, the stitches have held, though.

Bischoff informs/reminds us of DDP winning the TV Championship during this match as well.

Orndorff gets knocked outside and starts checking himself out with his mirror again as JBB begins a 619-like maneuver.  Orndorff sees it in the reflection, though, and ducks.  He goes back in and lifts JBB for the piledriver, but JBB reverses, clotheslines and tries one of his own.  It’s blocked and JBB goes for a sunset flip, but Orndorff drops the knees and gets the pin.

September_18,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00017We go to the commentators and are informed that this weekend some WCW stars were on the set of Baywatch.  We cut to Macho Man doing bench presses out on the beach with one guy spotting him and four girls in the familiar Baywatch red one-piece cheering him on.  Kevin Sullivan comes out of nowhere and attacks Savage, dropping the weights on him and then throwing sand in his eyes in order to get the upper hand.  Once he gets it, he puts a beatdown on Savage that was awkward with no soundtrack or commentary over it.  Ric Flair comes into frame to save Savage, which is odd since those guys have always feuded.  Flair keeps calling Sullivan “Devil” through this segment.  It’s also important to note that Savage’s speedo is also adorned with the frilly designs that his ring tights have on them.

Back to reality, Mean Gene calls Randy Savage out to the ring and makes mention of Ric Flair saving him.  Savage says “Flair, thanks but no thanks!”  He’s not interested in Ric Flair’s help.  He says he knows how to kill a snake…you cut its head off…so he’s going to take care of the Dungeon of Doom himself by taking out Sullivan.  Gene says that they won last night but that it wasn’t without controversy.  Savage says he doesn’t know anything that’s going on with Hogan right now, which is interesting since at this time they’re portrayed as being besties, but whatever.  He says that only the strong survive, however, and that there’s no one stronger than Hulk Hogan.  He wants to give Hogan some constructive criticism, though, and say that he’s a terrible judge of character.  Lex Luger was only out for himself and it showed when he cheap shotted Savage in the match.  Gene says that he asked some of the wrestlers who watched the match about that and they’ve all said it was an accident.  Savage asks Gene who he asked.  “Jimmy Hart?  Sting?  He’s Luger’s best friend!”  He says that when the DoD comes back, they’ll have three new members…Lex Luger, Sting and Jimmy Hart.  Nice of Savage to throw every one of his teammates from last night except for Hogan under the bus.  Really…Sting in the DoD?  Granted, he calls Luger and Hart pretty damn well, but we’re a way off from that.

This brings Lex Luger out, saying that if they want to talk about personal intentions, they need to talk about how Savage wants the WCW Championship as well.  Savage says that Luger’s right, but he’ll tell him to his face what he wants.  Savage says that someday he’ll be champ.

Lex and Savage get in each other’s faces, Savage antagonizing Luger, setting up for a match.  Savage slaps Luger as we go to commercial.

We come back and Bischoff tells us that they just cleared the ring of Savage and Luger and they the two were slapping each other back and forth in what we can only imagine was the girliest fight ever.

Coming UP graphic…Flair and Pillman.

We come back and get a recap of last night.  They once again show us Hogan’s Harley getting ran over by The Giant, but we get the longer cut this time which is really just awkward extras jumping up and down asking for Hogan’s autograph.  It’s so evident that they’re plants that it’s kind of sad.  Giant comes in, runs over the bike about 4 times, causing Hogan to gingerly beat on the door of the truck while Giant laughs.  We then are shown The Giant snapping Hogan’s neck again, which never gets old.  If I recall correctly, this happens like three more times before Havoc.

Match #3: Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs Ric Flair

The commercial break happens during Pillman’s entrance, making it one of the more oddly placed breaks we’ve seen thus far.  We come back to Flair’s entrance, though.  Once the match starts, Pillman really takes it to Flair.  They are really playing up Pillman’s new mean streak, which is cool.  Bischoff points out that this isn’t the same Pillman that we saw just a few weeks ago when Nitro debuted, though.  This Pillman is edgier and more focused.

Flair goes up top and dives off with an axe handle, showing us that Flair does indeed make it off of the top rope sometimes.  He’s met with a dropkick to the mouth for his troubles, however.

There’s a sign behind the ring that says “Flyin Brian: Time to ride Space Mountain!”  Now, from what I recall, Space Mountain is a euphemism for sex.  It’s the oldest ride in the park but it still has the longest line.  That line is referencing the ladies waiting to jump aboard Naitch…so, I’m guessing this fan figures that Flair is about to sodomize Pillman.  Interesting.

It’s at this time also that I realized that I hate hearing the sound of the phrase “the WCW.”  As in, “we’ve got a lot of guys here in the WCW.”  It’s not something you put a “the” in front of.  With WWF it worked because it was “the” World Wrestling Federation.  The Federation makes it okay for you to use “the” because it’s referencing something.  Once it went to WWE, though, the use of “the” fell off because they’re not referencing it as a Federation that just happens to be about wrestling around the world.  Same with WCW.  Just irks me.  Of course, it’s Mongo who said it, so that may have been a contributing factor.

Flair goes back on offense and Heenan remarks that this is the Flair that he remembers!  He’s focused!  He then tells us that the producer of Baywatch had Kevin Sullivan thrown off of the set after Tony makes a comment about Flair saving Savage being a bit out of Flair’s character.

Flair goes to the well again by going up top, but now Pillman remembers what’s supposed to happen when Ric Flair goes to the top and stops him by tossing him into the ring.

Mongo makes a really dumb comment when he asks Heenan “Isn’t it a shame you never managed him?” in regards to Flair.  Heenan informs Mongo that he has, in fact, managed him before, showing us all that Mongo has no knowledge of anything wrestling and has no need to be in the company at this point.  He also later says that in the NFL snapping someone’s neck like The Giant did Hogan was an automatic 15 yard penalty.

September_18,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00028Figure 4, Pillman gives up and Ric Flair is our winner.  Flair calls Double A out from the back and we can see that his chest is almost black in some places from the chops that he and Pillman traded back and forth.  Flair tells Double A to see the signs and learn to love it because if not tonight, then next Monday on Nitro he’s going to kick his ass.  Bischoff says they’re going to have to get a censor out here for Flair.

We go to commercial and come back with just a few minutes left to get a wrap up from our announce staff.  Mongo hypes Savage/Luger.  Bischoff is super hyped about the Hogan interview on Saturday Night.  Heenan says that Ric Flair may have given his last “whooooooo” because Arn Anderson is looking for him.  This one’s odd as it’s actually Flair that’s looking for Double A, but whatever.  Heenan grabs his headset and says that there’s something going on in the back, but Bischoff waves it off saying there’s something going on in the front too as he starts hyping next week’s Nitro with Alex Wright and the Nitro debut of Disco Inferno; Savage vs Sullivan and Luger vs Meng.  With that, we go off the air without ever acknowledging what was going on in the back ever again.

—–

This episode wasn’t terrible by any means, but we were a little lacking in the in ring product, sadly.  The tag match was the Booker T show as I’m not certain Stevie Ray got tagged in at all.  We did get to see the first title change on Nitro, though, which was cool.  I wonder if Bockwinkle will allow it to stand, though.  I can’t get behind Paul Orndorff at all.  I know he was on the verge of being a really big deal around Wrestlemania 1, but this version of Orndorff is doing nothing for me.  Granted, I don’t think he’s going to be around much longer, though, so he pretty much is at the end of his career at this point.  I like Randy Savage picking a fight randomly on Nitros, though.  He did it with Norton and now with Luger.  I finally want one of these impromptu matches to actually take place, though.  They always get pushed off a week or two.  Flair/Pillman was a damn good match and it helped further the story along.

Still not a fan of Mongo, though, and honestly I can’t wait for him to start wrestling so that he leaves commentary.  Almost a year before that, though…

—–

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.7

WCW Nitro Ratings – 1.9

(Raw 2, Nitro 0)

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

The 1-2-3 Kid defeated Razor Ramon (7:08)

Kama & Tatanka defeated Savio Vega & Bob Holly (5:47)

Jean-Pierre Lafitte defeated Brian Walsh (3:18)

Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeated Men on a Mission (9:30)

 

Nitro was definitely the better show this night as all but the opening match that night sound terrible.

Anyway, so long and we’ll see you again next Thursday for our next installment of Kick Out At Nitro!

-Shane

KoaNitro PPV  Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the most important night in the history of our website!  On our journey from the first episode of WCW Monday Nitro, we come to our first Pay Per View event.  Granted, this one came a bit quickly as we only got two weeks of Nitro leadup for this one and we really only set the table for two matches (Flair vs Anderson and the War Games match), but we’re here, so let’s take a look at what we’ve got coming up.

This is WCW Fall Brawl: War Games from Ashville, NC.  It came to us on Sunday, September 17th, 1995.  Fall Brawl is one of my favorite PPVs because of the double ring setup.  I always thought there was something so cool about seeing the two rings side by side.  The rings are also adorned with my favorite WCW ring mat ever…the cross-hairs around the WCW logo!  We open on a quick hype video building up both of our main event matches then are kicked over to the announce team of Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone.  I can honestly say I have missed Schiavone the last two episodes.  Bischoff is an okay commentator, but he has a bad tendency to overact; Mongo is just plain terrible…so finally pairing Heenan with someone else that can play off of him a bit more was a welcome change.  Tony informs us that earlier in the day the Giant ran over Hulk Hogan’s new Harley Davidson, given to him by the fans, with a monster truck, thus setting up the monster truck war that we’re going to have going into Halloween Havoc (not to jump too forward).  Bobby tells us that The Giant was sorry that Hogan wasn’t on the bike when he ran it over, leading us to realize that not only is this where the big boys play, it’s where the big boys commit attempted murder.

FallbrawlMatch #1: Flyin’ Brian vs Johnny B Badd

I remember being a big JBB fan back in the day, so I was quite happy to see him show up here.  The odd thing, however, was seeing Michael Buffer announce both men.  This was at a time when Buffer was getting paid huge sums PER WORD, so having him do the first match of the night was interesting.  Buffer was always a WCW staple to me but I only really remember him doing the PPV main events with an occasional Nitro thrown in, never the early matches on the card.  JBB comes out tossing frisbees and teasing shooting the glitter gun and is way more over than I figured he would be.  Johnny was getting a ton of crowd reaction on this show.  We’re told that this match is to determine the #1 contendership to Sting’s WCW US Championship in a match that will be held on WCW Saturday Night on 9/30.  I was upset that this wasn’t announced for Nitro, as I don’t have access to Saturday Night at the moment, so it won’t end up on the journey we’re on.  Oh well.

Pillman really starts laying the groundwork for a heel turn in this match.  The last time we saw him he was opening the show in a great match with Jushin Liger, so the heel tactics kind of start coming out of nowhere, honestly.  Our first inclination of this was Tony saying that Pillman hadn’t been around all day.  He had been distant and hadn’t been talking to anyone in the arena before the match.

We’re told that Sting trained Johnny B Badd.  What?!  Was this in kayfabe or did Sting really have a hand in Mero’s training?  What wrestling I did follow as a kid was always WCW, bt I really didn’t get a chance to watch a lot of it until WCW Nitro started, honestly, so my Johnny B Badd knowledge is a bit lacking.  This did lead us to a funny joke from Heenan asking “So, basically, Johnny B Badd is Sting’s pet?”

The match gets a bit more intense as JBB gets busted open.  Pillman drops a Boston Crab and punches JBB, grabs him bu the hair and yells “Who’s a bad man now?!”  Really starting to push Pillman into heel territory here.

The match goes to a 20 minute draw, causing referee Nick Patrick to order the match to go to Sudden Death.  Heenan remarks “I’ve never heard of this before!”  That’s probably because wrestling isn’t a sport that sudden death really works in.  This isn’t an iron man match…the first pinfall is going to win the match no matter what!  Anyway, we’re treated to a beautiful JBB top rope Frankensteiner and a tornado DDT from Pillman, leading into a double cross body block that Johnny B Badd rolls into a pinfall.

A small takeaway that I have with this match, oddly enough, is that as they played JBB’s music after he won, I noticed there’s a lyric that actually says “He looks just like Little Richard.”  Sometimes that WCW music just came right out and stated the obvious.  What can you ask for, though, from a company where the Steiner Brothers’s music literally starts with “Here’s the story of two brothers, Rick and Scott…?”

After the match our commentators talk a bit with Heenan again blaming Hogan for throwing Flair off of his game, leading to this match with Arn Anderson.  Just as we lead back to Mean Gene who will be speaking with Flair, Heenan straight goes off on some kid in the crowd, leaving me to wonder whether or not that was kayfabe or if the kid really said something that pissed him off.

Backstage, Flair runs down his history with AA and their bond.  They’re best friends, but Flair is going to have to offer some tough love.

Match #2: Cobra vs Craig “Pittbull” Pittman

This match was a throwaway match where not a lot happens.  Cobra is apparently the babyface in this match, which while I barely remember Cobra, I really don’t remember Pittman being a heel, so this threw me off a bit.  We’re informed that Cobra isn’t a marine…he’s CIA!  Apparently the CIA doesn’t pay well enough, so he’s got to moonlight in WCW.  They didn’t really blow open the coffers for good entrance music for Cobra, though, as his entrance music is just Morse Code playing over and over.  And we all thought Cesaro’s siren music was bad!  Cobra goes to the ring and waits for Pittman, who no shows.  A random guy who looks a lot like Low Ki comes out to distract Cobra as Pitman repels from the ceiling over a year and a half before Sting started doing it!  Pittman wins with an arm bar and yells some gibberish into the camera.

spiveyWe kick back to our announce team who talk a bit about how Paul Orndorff is going through some hard times.  This leads us to the biggest WTF moment we’ve had thus far along the journey!  We see Orndorff backstage flipping out during this crazy edited video, wondering if he’s still “Mr. Wonderful” or not since he lost the match to Randy Savage.  In walks Gary Spivey from the Psychic Network!  I always thought this was just a WCW gimmick, but apparently Spivey was around outside of WCW, which leads me even further into this WTF rabbit hole.  Spivey got a vision that Orndorff wasn’t doing so well.  Orndorff says that he’s held so many belts…but, of course, Spivey knows these things!  Whether his psychic knowledge told him this or whether he just happened to be a fan of Mr. Wonderful, we’ll never know.  Spivey asks Orndorff who he sees in the mirror and Orndorff says “Mr. Wonderful.”  He then proceeds to make out with his wrist…then his elbow…then his biceps…then the mirror…

This was one of the most terrible wrestling oriented things I’ve ever seen…

Oh, WCW…

Match #3:  Television Title Match between Renegade (C) and Diamond Dallas Page (w/ the Diamond Doll and Max Muscle)

This match opens with a small moment that really makes you appreciate Bobby Heenan’s comedic timing.  The announcers are talking about how badly DDP treats the Diamond Doll, and Schiavone makes a comment about how in high school all of the girls always seemed to date douchebags.  Heenan says nothing.  He just leaves Schiavone for a few moments to sit with that in the air.  It really made me laugh out loud.

The match starts with DDP jumping Renegade.  DDP headbutts Renegade, who doesn’t sell crap, leading DDP to sell the severity of Renegade’s no sell!  We’re treated to an innovative Hangman’s side headlock, then Renegade diving for a clothesline, DDP moving and Renegade eating the ropes.  Kim starts jawjacking to the camera about how much DDP sucks, to which DDP makes her hold up a sign with “10” on it.  I forgot all about this part of the DDP schtick.  It made sense after I thought about it because he always held the 10 fingers high, then formed them into the diamond sign.  Lot of stuff I find going through this stuff the second time around, apparently.  Heenan tells us that we don’t know Page’s side of things regarding how he treats Kim…maybe Kim burnt the toast!  This shows us that Heenan will apparently condone some domestic abuse over some breakfast food.  One of the most surprising moments is when Not Warrior hit the Great Muta’s corner handspring elbow!  I really wasn’t prepared for that!  Match ends with Max Muscle grabbing Renegade’s foot and DDP hitting the Diamond Cutter for the win, taking the TV championship!

This part threw off my timeline a lot.  I don’t remember DDP using the Diamond Cutter until into the Benefactor angle.  I always remembered it as the Benefactor brought him back from poverty and then taught him the Diamond Cutter, leading to Page’s rise in late 96.  I was pretty surprised to see the move almost a year before this.  I guess my memory isn’t as good as I thought it was.

Match #4: WCW World Tag Team Championship Match between Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater (C) w/ Col. Parker and Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri)

I have no idea why Slater and Buck are tag champs in 1995.  If this was 1993 in WCW and you told me this, I’d understand.  I wouldn’t be okay with it, but I’d understand.  Anyway, entrances bring back my favorite Harlem Heatism of all time, “It’s on like neckbone, sucka,” so I’m happy.  Schiavone plugs the WCW hotline (1-900-909-9900…burned into my memory forever) and talks about how if you call you will get information on a wrestler who has potentially defected to another wrestling organization.  They’re talking about the A-W-O-L Vader, of course.

Booker T and Slater start, Booker gets the upper hand and does something that really impresses me in regards to Harlem Heat’s ring awareness.  Stevie Ray goes to congratulate Booker, but instead of high fiving, which would be considered a tag, they bump forearms.  It’s a simple little thing, but it impressed me nonetheless.

The big story of this match is the fact that at Bash at the Beach in July, Sherri hit her head and fell in love with Col. Parker.  Since then she hasn’t been all that attentive in Harlem Heat’s matches.  She’s even wearing a yellow flower that Parker gave her tucked nicely into her cleavage.

HH work way better as a tag team than the champs do, but that’s to be expected.

Parker starts straight creeping on Sherri about halfway through the match.  He starts to leave his side of the ring, saying “It’s hard for me to stay here in this corner” while wiping sweat away from his brow.

Since when were Harlem Heat faces?  I remember them as heels more through the time I was watching it until Booker T went solo.  I guess I remember 1996 way more than I do 1995.

Nick Patrick is still sluggish as all hell.

Tony tells us that in a few weeks Dusty Rhodes will be joining the commentary team.

Bobby starts straight creeping on Bunkhouse Buck out of nowhere!  “You ever in the men’s locker room when Buck takes that long underwear top off and gets in the shower?  Mmmmm…mmmmm.”  WTF, Bobby!?

The heels swap out without tagging leading Nick Patrick to ASK them if they tagged.  He really is the worst ref in history.

While the match wraps up in ring one, Sherri and Parker meet across ring two.  They end up in the middle and start making out.  During this, the Nasty Boys come out and hit Slater with a boot, costing them the match and the tag team championship.  Sherri and Parker split apart as Buck shows up pissed, leaving with Parker.  Harlem Heat ask Sherri what’s up and she says it’s her psychology and says they got the belts back didn’t they?  We follow Buck and Parker up to the top of the ramp where Mean Gene awaits.  Buck says Parker is lovesick and asks where he was when they needed him.  Parker says he’s serious about Sherri, sends Slater and Buck off and says they’ll get the belts back eventually.  Gene gives Parker some crap about all of this, to which Parker responds he’s conflicted, he’s never felt like he feels tonight.  He’s got to have Sherri!  He feels 20 years old!

We take a quick break as Tony pitches Halloween Havoc, coming to us from Detroit on 10/29 (which is when the write up for that event will be here at Ko@2!).

The show goes to the back where Mean Gene is standing with Arn Anderson.  He says we’re going to get a little history lesson and we get a video package about the developments that lead us to this feud.  An important thing to mention is that even the voice over announcer for this segment blames Hogan for Flair being off lately, just like Heenan.  Anderson says he loves Ric Flair, that his stomach is in knots just thinking about having to fight his brother, but at the end of the day he has to answer to Double A and that tomorrow, he’ll respect Double A, just as Flair will.

Match #5: Ric Flair vs Arn Anderson

One of the funniest parts of the beginning of this match is during the entrances.  Bobby Heenan says that “piece of human sewage Hulk Hogan” came between Flair and Anderson!  Human sewage!  One of my favorite parts of this is Heenan’s nonstop hatred and distrust of Hogan, but human sewage is a new one.  I like it.  To this, Tony responds saying that isn’t true, despite the WCW voice over guy just stating that it was.

Wrestlers start filling up the stands to watch this match, giving us our first glimpses of the American Males and Eddie Guerrero!

Even at this point, Flair’s body is looking rough.  There’s the ever present knot on his lower back from a torn muscle…but there looks to be a hole in his shoulder as well!  There’s a very visible depression in his shoulder that looks like someone just scooped a section out with a melon baller.  Odd.

One of my favorite segments came early when Flair is still trying to gingerly feel AA out, leading Anderson to full force smack Flair in the face.  Flair sells it wonderfully, a mix of both surprise and fear.  Through the early part of the match, Flair is very halfhearted in his offense, but Anderson is really taking it to Flair.  They’re doing a great job telling a story of Anderson wanting to make Flair respect him.

At this point, we’re told Flair is an 11 time champion.  I need to check my totals later, but that seems way off.  I know they hotshotted the title around in WCW between now and the end of the company, but does Flair really get 5 more title reigns in that time?

I never realized that Anderson wears his kneepads the same way that Flair does…around his shins…until this match.

Commentary alludes to these two men being cousins.  Always love it when that continuity is brought up.

Flair hits his once in a blue moon move off of the top in a big way, as he hits a double axehandle from the top to ringside!

We get a great run from both men towards the end of the match as AA goes for the DDT and Flair blocks, allowing him to start turning the tables.  He puts Double A in the Figure 4, which Anderson fights.  Flair has enough of this, though, and spits in Anderson’s face.  Anderson gets pissed!  He rallies back, reverses the move back onto flair.  Flair gets out, hits Anderson with a chop block and goes for the Figure 4 again, which Anderson rolls into a small package.  Kickout, they stand, Flair takes out the leg again.

At this time, out comes Brian Pillman.  He jumps to the ring apron and nails Flair with a punch.  Flair goes to hit back, Pillman kicks Flair in the back of the head, causing him to stagger into an Arn Anderson DDT for the win!

We go to the announcers telling us that War Games is next!

It’s crazy build up video night in WCW as we get a very weird video hyping the Hulk Hogan / Dungeon of Doom feud.  We see tons of oddness from Sullivan, including him in numerous shots holding posies as well as beating a Hulk Hogan action figure with a shovel.  We then get a video replay of the Giant running over Hulk Hogan’s Harley.  Apparently the Harley was given to him by the fans.  Why the fans are buying things for a millionaire, I’ll never know, just like I’ll never know where the Giant got a damn monster truck!

Seriously…the Dungeon of Doom is effing terrible!  Really…just bad.  It’s hard to believe I have almost a year of this nonsense on the horizon!  The nWo will be a blessing by that point, I think.

We get some banter from the commentators that sews the seeds for some Lex Luger dissension.  From what I remember, that’s pretty much a running Lex Luger gimmick up until the nWo arrive…no one in WCW trusting Luger except for Sting.  Interested to see where this goes as it seems like I remember him being with the Dungeon of Doom for a while…maybe even when he was tag champs with Sting.  Guess we’ll see.

Mean Gene is in the back with the four babyfaces, all dressed in camo pants, camo Fall Brawl t-shirts, and camo war paint.  Everyone’s excited, even Luger.  Luger says he’s in, they’re together, and everyone’s ready to fight!  Hogan says all he had to do was look Lex in the yes to see he was red, white and blue!  I’m guessing he probably saw Lex’s WWF zubaz pants in the back and was brought to that conclusion.  One really odd part of this is near the end, Hogan points at Jimmy Hart and says “We’re gonna use him as bait, Brother!”  Poor Jimmy!

Out we go to Michael Buffer with the rules and introductions as the cage lowers to really bad, random fireworks.

War Games was always a really cool match.  It starts with two men in the cage for five minutes.  Then, at the end of the five minutes, there’s a coin toss that the heels always win.  The winner of the coin toss…aka the heels…send in one man, making it 2 on 1.  Then, after two minutes, the babyfaces send in one, evening it up.  This alternates until all eight men are in the ring.  Once that happens, the cage is locked and thus begins The Match Beyond, which can only be won on submission or surrender.  There’s a special stipulation tonight, though.  If the babyfaces win, Hogan gets Sullivan in the cage tonight!  Very odd of the Dungeon of Doom not to ask for a stipulation in return.  Maybe they all get to run a beat down train on Jimmy Hart or something like that?  Way to aim for the middle, Sullivan!

Match # 6: War Games!  The Dungeon of Doom (Shark, Zodiac, Kamala and Meng w/ Kevin Sullivan) vs The Hulkamaniacs (Sting, Randy Savage, Lex Luger and Hulk Hogan w/ Jimmy Hart)

The DoD are out first, followed by a very cool looking Hulkamaniacs team!  Honestly, they all really looked pretty cool matching and in the camo.  Hogan looks like he didn’t need to apply a brown base coat, though.  Seriously, that MF’er is tan!

Sting and Shark start off first, which Heenan says is a bad idea.  He thinks the DoD should have left their big man until the end.  Sting starts off with this awesome diving clothesline from one ring into the other.  This may not sound that awesome if you’ve never seen a War Games setup.  There’s one set of ropes, then about a foot of ring apron, then another foot of ring apron and another set of ropes.  Jumping from one to the other always looks so badass!  Sting tries to bodyslam Shark and that doesn’t work out so well.  Really, lifting big guys around this time is the sole property of Hogan…only to be given to Luger once Hogan turns heel.  Shark tries Sting’s dive himself, only to not make it and end up stuck on the two sets of ropes, leading Sting to kick the crap out of him a few times and then attempt a diving slash, but he gets caught by Shark, who tosses him into the ring.  Heenan makes a joke about Shark being a taxedermist’s dream, to which Schiavone replies with the wanted “Will you stop!?”  Thank you, Tony!  Sting clamps on the Scorpion Deathlock as the first round ticks to the end, bringing in Zodiac.  Sting fends him off a bit, puts him in the Scorpion, but is jumped by Shark, leading to the 2 on 1 until Savage comes in.

Savage cleans house.  While he’s preoccupied, Meng is able to grab Sting’s arm from under the cage and holds him there as Savage starts getting a doubleteam ass whooping.  Sting is finally able to break free and starts his comeback.

Heenan says he wouldn’t be shocked if the DoD start using flamethrowers!  Well, we’ve already seen that Heenan is just waiting on domestic violence and murder, so this is just par for the course.

DoD gets Savage’s leg under the cage and all of the outside heels start kicking his ass.

Kamala comes in next and the heels dominate.  Nothing much else happens until Lex Luger comes in and then it’s Clothesline City, population Dungeon of Doom!  There’s even a double clothesline to Shark and Kamala.

Clothesline City has it’s first major city wide crisis as he goes for clotheslines on Zodiac, who ducks it and causes Lex to hit Savage.  Savage gets up, realizes who hit him, and they start brawling.  Sting tries to break up the fight as Meng comes in and the DoD start beating them down.

Finally, Hogan comes in and we move into The Match Beyond!  Hogan’s first action is to hit everyone of the heels in the eyes with white powder!  Heenan says that the powder smells like napalm or gunpowder!  No, Bobby, it doesn’t, but we’re still glad to see you think that Hogan will murder the heels in this match tonight.  Hogan traps Zodiac in the middle ropes between the two rings and bounces him around.  It’s actually quite interesting how much play that Hogan makes sure that Ed Leslie gets some major play in this match.

Hogan starts moving back through the heels, moving on from Clothesline City to their next town over neighbor Back-rakeville!  It’s always interested me how much Hogan acts like a heel as a babyface.  Powder, back rakes, eye rakes, he’s used chairs before…it’s nuts.

Hogan starts sending everyone face first into the cage, including Shark, who makes the entire cage move.  It was a very interesting visual.  Hogan grabs Zodiac in the camel clutch in the middle of the ring and Zodiac gives, giving the match to the Hulkamaniacs.

Realizing he’s got to get into the cage, The Taskmaster bails, but is stopped at the top of the ramp by WCW’s oldest official in a suit who proceeds to very sheepishly tell him he has to go back to the ring.  When that doesn’t work, a random Latino man from backstage helps the old man gingerly shove Sullivan back to the ring.  Thankfully, Sting shows up and takes Sullivan back himself, tossing him into the cage and locking it.

Hogan bounces Sullivan off the cage quite a few times, to which Heenan says that he’s “dribbling him like Dennis Rodman dribbles a basketball!”  It’s always fun to look at WCW predict future involvements or storylines years before they happen.  In about a year and a half, Rodman will align himself with Hogan and all will be right with the world.  Wait, I mean all will be terrible.  Yes, terrible is the right word.

They exit the cage for a moment, then go back in, Hogan kicking Sullivan’s ass every step of the way.  Hogan even starts choking Sullivan with his wrist tape, going back to those heel tactics that I was talking about earlier.  It really goes to show you that even though he’s traditionally a heel, Heenan’s anti-Hogan rhetoric is pretty spot on the money.

Out comes the Giant.  He picks up Randy Anderson and moves him, grabs the top of the cage and vaults himself over the top rope in a damn impressive feat of athleticism from a man who’s 7’4″.  Hogan attacks him, but nogo.  Giant grabs Hogan, chokes him, then snaps his neck just like you’ve seen happen to every underling ever in a Steven Segal movie.  Heenan is pretty much selling that The Giant is the second coming of Andre…stating he “remembers those boots…those tights…”

Michael Buffer calls for an EMT to ringside as Bobby Heenan laughs maniacally as they go off the air.

“I’ve been waiting for this day!  The Immortal Hulk Hogan…bwahahahahahahahaha!”

I feel you, Bobby, I really do!

With this, we go off the air.

—–

So, the first PPV is off the air.  I really like how some groundwork was laid for Pillman’s heel turn and eventual joining of the Four Horsemen.  We got to see his mean streak come out in the match with Johnny B Badd and we saw him align himself with Arn Anderson against Ric Flair, so we know that big things are coming for him.  We saw the odd situation with Col. Robert Parker and Sister Sherri, which I really don’t care about, but I do seem to recall both of them managing Harlem Heat for a while until Parker splits off with the Quebeccers…but that’s a while down the road I think.  We also saw the ends of these chapters between Flair and Anderson as well as Hogan and the Dungeon of Doom, leaving us to wonder where we’re going next.  With Hogan, I know that pretty soon we’re getting the pre-nWo Black Hogan with no mustache, but I think that’s still a few episodes away.  I also know that we’re getting the monster truck match between him and Giant, followed by the World Championship match between the two coming at Halloween Havoc.

Of course, we have six weeks of Monday Nitro to get through before that, though!

See you back here tomorrow for the fallout episode of Nitro!

-Shane

Welcome backKoaNitro copy, everyone, to our journey on the path of WCW Nitro and WCW history from 9/4/1995 on!  Today, we’ll be covering WCW Monday Nitro from 9/11/1995, coming to us from my new home, Miami, FL.  This is the true start of the Monday Night Wars as this is the first time that Nitro and Raw go head to head.  Nitro debuted unopposed the previous week, so they had the time slot to themselves.  This week, however, they’re up against the WWE.  The first thing that we’re presented with is the now iconic Monday Nitro set.  I personally love this set.  This is a real wrestling arena to me and one that I get upset isn’t included every year in the newest WWE video game.  Sure, we got it twice, but I want it every year since you can’t create it properly in the Create an Arena mode.  I just love the steel entrance and the giant metal WCW letters.  Brings me right back to high school.

We open the show with a quick rundown of what we’re going to see.  We’re going to see the WCW debut of Sabu!  Also, conspicuous by his absence, is Pepe, Steve “Mongo” McMichael’s chihuahua.  Fear not, however, as he does show up later in the night.  We get a run down of the Hogan/Luger face off and are reminded that we’re going to get Luger vs Hogan in the main event tonight for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.  The next news that we’re treated to is the news that Vader has gone A-W-O-L.  Yes, instead of just saying “AWOL,” Bisch and Heenan make sure to spell it out each and every time it’s mentioned.  Apparently he hasn’t cleared the proper paperwork with WCW Officials and this is going to keep him from being the 4th man in Hogan’s War Games team.  Yes…this, and not the fact that he just jumped to WWF.  What’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander, I guess, in WCW land.  Bobby Heenan makes sure to mention that this news is going to put Hogan in “deep deep deep Nitro trouble,” to which Bischoff responds with an “Easy there,” playing down the worst sexual innuendo ever.

Match #1 is Sabu vs “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright.  My brother was a huge Alex Wright mark back in the day, so hearing that German club music hit and seeing AW groove his way down to the ring brought back some good memories.  As for the match, Sabu basically wrestles his ECW style.  Super crazy offense, jumping off chairs, out of the ring, flipping, etc.  He even attempts an Air Sabu outside, but Wright moves out of the way and Sabu nails the guardrail.  Bischoff really starts pimping New Japan Pro Wrestling here, saying that he first saw Sabu there on 5/3, where he won a title.  Sabu gets the win, the gets a table and climbs to the top rope to put AW through it, to which Mongo exclaims “Sushi!”  WTF, Mongo?  Anyway, worst referee ever Nick Patrick reverses the decision and DQs Sabu.  Patrick really is rough in this match.  He’s slow, counts slow, and apparently hurts his hand while counting as he is seen shaking it after almost every two count.  That mullet, though…

We head to commercial break with an “Up Next” graphic showing Michael Wallstreet and Sting.

Coming back from commercial, we’re in the ring with Mean Gene who brings out Ric Flair.  Flair talks about how he has been out partying in Miami and living the Nature Boy lifestyle.  Normally AA would be right there beside him, but this time he was in his hotel room, calling his wife and kid.  Flair flashes the 4 Horsemen sign, talking about how this is the symbol of excellence.  Out of nowhere, Lex Luger comes out to the ring, following the Randy Orton dress code, apparently, as he’s only in his trunks despite his match being later in the night.  C’mon Lex, not that hard to throw a shirt or some warmup pants on or something.  I’d even take some of those red, white, and blue Zubaz pants if you still have them in your bag.  This leads to the weirdest segment in Nitro to date, as Flair starts getting riled up over Luger and running down his stats.  6’6, 22 inch arms, “abs!,” etc.  Flair says Hogan has it coming tonight.  Luger laughs and leaves, leaving me to wonder why in the hell he came out anyway.  He didn’t say anything, didn’t do anything, just let Flair gush over him and bounced.  Definitely a WTF moment.

We head into our next match as V. K. Wallstreet comes out to the ring.  Bischoff asks what’s with the V. K. gimmick as just last week we knew him as Michael, and Bobby plays dumb.  Bischoff starts giving out Raw results.  I forgot this happened this early into Nitro’s run, honestly.  He tells us that HBK beats “the big guy,” AKA Sid, with a kick you couldn’t beat a green belt with at your local YMCA.  Way to put HBK over there, guy.  I understand that you have to make your company look superior, but sometimes this comes back to look a bit stupid…as it does later in the night.  But, we’ll get to that later.

The biggest thing I realized at this time is that Mongo is too stupid to play off of Heenan properly.  Heenan leaves himself open so many times and you can tell he’s used to Gorilla Monsoon filling in and playing off of him, but with Mongo he just gets silence or he’ll get some other stupid comment.  Mongo makes a mention of his friend Reggie White to which Bobby asks if his brother is named Barry.  Mongo, instead of filling in the much desired “will you stop?!,” decides to give us an “I don’t know…” and leaves it at that.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, Mongo doesn’t seem to be able to call anything without making it a football reference.  He’ll talk about how football applies to wrestling, or how a football player would have worked in that particular spot, etc.  Most of the time it doesn’t apply and it just really comes off odd.

Anyway, this match is is Wallstreet vs the US Champion Sting, and it’s terrible.  Wallstreet looks rusty as all get out, sadly.  Sting wins with a flying cross body off the top instead of the Stinger Splash or the Scorpion Deathlock, which was odd, but oh well.

We head back to commercial with a graphic for Scott Norton and Randy Savage.  Gotta say, looking forward to this match at the time because of how Norton came off on the previous episode of Nitro.  We’re also shown the teaser for WCW Saturday Night (which I really hope WWE Network puts up sometime!) and the WCW debut of DISCO INFERNO!  Can’t wait to see that on Nitro!  No, I’m not being fake about this.

We come back with Scott Norton vs Randy Savage.  Norton is in a black singlet with silver highlights, leading me to miss the brick outfit that I know we’ll get in a few years.  Norton starts strong out of the blocks, really taking it to Savage.  At one point, Savage goes for a sunset flip and Noron stays standing, then lifts Savage up into a lifting choke.  Norton also catches Savage out of his double axehandle and ties him up in a bear hug, as well as powerbombing the crap out of him a few moments later.  Norton is beating the crap out of Savage in this match and the announce team is really playing this up.  Bischoff says quite a few times that this is the worst beating that Savage has taken.  Savage keeps kickout out of everything, but Norton is in full beast mode and just keeps delivering this ass kicking.  Savage starts his comeback and out comes Kamala and Shark, however.  The announcers keep calling Shark Avalanche, however.  They do this quite a few times each, so it was pretty interesting.  Shark tries to get into the ring and is met with a Norton punch which knocks him out, but he falls across Norton’s legs, trapping him.  Savage hits the elbow drop, gets the win, which brings out the Dungeon of Doom to take out Savage.  Norton isn’t going to bother selling any of this nonsense, however, and just leaves them to do what they need to do.  The DoD doesn’t touch Norton either, apparently because they were watching backstage and want none of the ass kicking that Norton has been doling out for the last ten minutes.  Sullivan is quite the tactician in this way, honestly.

We go to commercial with the Luger/Hogan graphic.  We come back to Luger’s entrance, then go back out to commercial.  We come back to Hulk Hogan’s entrance, to which Mongo lets us know that this is a “real man!”  Bobby asks what that makes Luger, and Mongo’s got nothing.  We get word from the back at this point that Savage is hurt, his back and floating ribs are hurt, leaving Hogan possibly down another man for War Games with the AWOL Vader and now Savage.  We start the match and get some chain wrestling…yes, chain wrestling…

I know that which ever person I state did the chain wrestling will be a shock, so I’ll just leave that linger there for a moment…

It was Hogan!  Every now and again Hogan will bust out some chain wrestling and it always baffles me.  We get a vertical suplex to Lex, who sells nothing and gets up and intimidates Hogan.  A moment or so later we reverse the spot, suplexing Hulk and getting no selling from him.  This causes Bischoff to exclaim that “Lex never faced this calibur of competition!”  He says that WWF’s champion never reached past midcard status in WCW as a way to put over WCW.  This makes sense, and I get it, but at this time, Diesel was the WWF Champion…so yeah, Bischoff is talking crap about the guy that in less than a year he’ll be filling his shorts over anytime he shows up.  Wonder what suddenly makes Diesel such a big deal come June…

Anyway, we get the Torture Rack and we do the arm check that we normally see with a sleeper hold, but Hogan keeps the arm up on the third drop.  Luger thinks he’s won, though, and after being told he hasn’t, he pins Hogan.  You know what comes next…kick out, Hulk Up, finger wag, irish whip, big boot, leg drop, 1-2…and the Dungeon of Doom comes out to take out Hogan.  Sadly, we’ll see this ending for about a year and a half once the nWo comes out, so I guess we might as well get ready for it now.  Savage comes to the rescue, as does Sting, and Mongo once again admonishes Pepe for being a Dungeon of Doom fan, telling him that he’ll never wear his horns and cape to the matches again!  This running gag that the dog is a DoD fan kind of tickles me, I’m not going to lie.  Hogan and Luger get in each other’s face, with Sting and Savage keeping them separated, as we go to commercial.

We come back and it’s a mirror image of last week…all four guys in the ring with Mean Gene.  We talk about Vader being AWOL again, and Hogan bitches a bit about Luger again, asking him why the DoD didn’t touch him.  Savage asks that too, leading Sting to stick up for Luger (a running theme for the next year if I remember correctly).  Sting says to add Lex to the War Games match in Vader’s place and Savage loses his mind.  He says he’d rather go in 4 on 3 instead of get stabbed in the back by Lex.  Savage then asks why the DoD didn’t attack Sting or Jimmy Hart!  Jimmy freaks out and lets Savage know that he was the guy who ran to the back to get Sting and Savage, so that’s why he didn’t get attacked.  They then vote on letting Lex into Club Hogan.  Sting says yes.  Savage says no.  Hogan asks Lex and Lex says after Sting begs Lex to say yes and not make him look like a dick for sticking up for him.  Lex says he has one condition…he wants his title shot.  Savage yells that Lex has ulterior motives…but then again, that’s kind of Lex’s deal.

We end on the announcers, finally letting us get a look at Pepe.  We’re told that next week we’ll get Paul Orndorff vs Johnny B Badd as well as the Blue Bloods either facing the Nasty Boys or the American Males.

—–

So, we go off the air leading us into Fall Brawl on 9/17/1995.  We’re told that there will be match between Johnny B Badd and Flyin’ Brian to determine who will wrestle Sting for the United States Championship.  We also know that we’ll get the War Games match between Hogan’s Team and the Dungeon of Doom, as well as Ric Flair vs Arn Anderson.

Looking back on this show, I’m shocked at how excited I am for Scott Norton.  His debut last week and his beatdown of Randy Savage have endeared him to me more than he ever was back when I was watching this in real time and I can honestly say that I don’t remember much about him until he starts teaming with Ice Train, so I’m actually excited to see him week to week.  Hopefully this will keep up.

I’m not surprised at how much I’m hating Hogan, though.  His segments are rough and I’m just not into it…which is sad because I know that I’ve got a good bit of him to come.  We’ve got his run through now until around the middle of 1996 right before the nWo turn…and this is going to be hard to get through, for myself and definitely for Derick.  I’m certain that Derick will have to have psychiatric help before we reach the nWo run!

Hopefully you’re enjoying our foray into WCW 1995, though, and we’ll see you back here on 9/17 as we cover Fall Brawl!

—–

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.5

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.4

(Raw 1, Nitro 0)

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

The British Bulldog defeated Razor Ramon via DQ (7:10)

The Smoking Gunns defeated Rad Radford & The Brooklyn Brawler (2:46)

Dr. Issac Yankem defeated Scott Taylor (2:14)

Shawn Michaels (c) defeated Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase) to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship (7:21)

There was also a dark match involving Lex Luger.  This show was taped on 8/21, though, but still funny that Luger was on the show while also wrestling for the WCW World Championship.  Granted, he wasn’t on TV, but it’s still funny to me.  Of course, sooner than later we’ll be dealing with the same people on TV at the same time, so we’re starting to set that precident early.

Anyway, join us on Wednesday for Fall Brawl and then Thursday for our next episode of Nitro!

-Shane

 

 

KoaNitro copy

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a new run here at Kick Out at 2, and there’s no better time to start it than 19 years to the day that my life as a wrestling fan changed forever.

As I’ve stated before, I was a wrestling fan as a kid, but really only knew a few wrestlers.  Those wrestlers, however, were all in WCW.  I grew up loving Sting and hating Ric Flair, so WCW runs through my veins.  The night before I started 8th grade brought me the TV show that I wouldn’t miss a single episode of for almost four years.  That’s right…WCW Monday Nitro on TBS.

This week, WWE answered my prayers and did the thing I’ve been waiting for since I bought the Network back in February.  They brought me Monday Nitro!  Sure, I’ve had bootleg copies of old VHS tapes that were on YouTube or Torrented for years, but here we are, in beautiful quality, just as it was back in the day.  At this time, Sept-Dec of 95 and all of 1996 are up on the Network, as well as the PPVs to go with those shows, so I proposed a journey to my fellow Ko@2ites…to go through the history of WCW, in order, and relive our childhoods.

Now, this run through the past will probably primarily be myself and Derick, but since Robbie missed out on WCW at this time, we’re hoping to pull him into this as we go.  I haven’t decided on a full way of doing Kick Out at Nitro, though, since there’s the possibility and plan that it’ll have three writers who could pop up at any time…as well as have two to three writers together in posts…and even end up as a Podcast if we get Skype figured out and get that up and running.  My plan for this first one, however, is to do a quick rundown of the show, viewed 19 years after my original viewing (I haven’t watched this episode again since that night) and give my thoughts on it.

The show opens, as most know, in the Mall of America.  An odd place for a wrestling show to be certain, but there’s just something about this location that seems really cool for a show.  I always liked WCW’s odd shows like the Spring Breakout at Club La Vela or Road Wild, so this fits that course.  If you’re not a fan of WCW from that time, though, it can come off weird as my wife caught me watching it and her first remark was “Are they in a mall?”

The show opens strong with what the first hour of Nitro will soon be synonymous with…great cruiserweight action!  Here we have “Flyin” Brian Pillman vs Jushin Thunder Lyger!  The two put on a great match to the tune of Eric Bischoff and Steve McMichael talking nonstop about their athleticism and the great in-ring action.  The only thing I can really say bad about the match is a pretty crappy looking frankensteiner that Pillman doesn’t pull off right, honestly.  Well, that and the commentary.  I’ll talk more about that later, but it was odd having Mongo attack Heenan with things like “How can you say this isn’t great action, Bobby?” when Heenan really said nothing of the kind to need that retort.

After this, we get Hulk Hogan out in the mall eating some Pastamania.  “Hulkaroos and Hulk-u’s” apparently.  Man, I hate Hogan…so WCW top babyface Hogan is going to be really hard to stomach…especially knowing I have the Giant and the Monster Truck match coming…with the no-stache, black (pre nWo) Hogan…ugh…

Next, we’re treated to Sting vs Ric Flair for the WCW US Championship.  Honestly, I’ve went the last 19 years thinking this was the main event of that show.  No, really!  I always thought it was poetic that the final Nitro ended with Sting vs Flair due to the fact that the first one did, so when I found out this match actually went on second instead of last, I was kind of shocked.  This match is famous, of course, for having Lex Luger walk down the ramp as the match is getting started.  Luger had just been in WWF the night before, so everyone was shocked to see him.  Flair and Sting don’t really sell it all that much, but Bischoff goes full Ziggler on it, freaking out about how Luger shouldn’t be there.  Out comes Doug Dillinger to escort him to the back and we get on with our match.  Decent match involving Arn Anderson coming out to ringside halfway through to distract Flair it seems, despite Heenan saying that they’ve made up.  I kind of forgot that AA and Flair were feuding around this time.  I’m excited to see that match when I make it to Fall Brawl in a few weeks, honestly.

After this we’re shown two packages for wrestlers that will be showing up soon.  The first is Sabu!  I vaguely remembered Sabu in WCW around this time as it was before I got into ECW, but none of my friends that I’ve talked to really remembered it that much, so I kind of thought I was crazy.  Glad to see that I’m not!  The video was actually pretty ECW-esque…or as much so that WCW could pull off.  Quick cuts of flips, Sabu doing crazy stuff, etc.  Good stuff and I’m excited to see him show up.

The next was for Michael Wallstreet…formerly Mike Rotundo aka I.R.S. in the WWF.  He makes a comment about having to watch out of the IRS, actually.  This I’m not excited about at all.  I do not remember being that big of a Wallstreet fan, so this might be some of the lower points of reliving this era of WCW.

Now we get my favorite moment of the night, honestly.  Scott Norton barges into the commentary area and demands a match.  He says he has a contract, now give him a match.  He comes off as a legit badass in this segment, actually.  He’s asking for his match when Randy Savage appears and tells him that if he wants a match, he’s got it.  Savage gets in the ring and is just waiting for a fight, but out comes Dillinger and the rest of the WCW backstage crew to hold off Norton while Bischoff screams “If you get in that ring, you’ll never wrestle here!”  Knowing how Scott Norton really never does anything through his run in WCW outside of being a professional Tag Team partner, this actually got me excited.  I thought of how awesome it would have been to really push Norton this way.  I’m very interested to see how the match with Savage turns out.

Now, to our Main Event…Hulk Hogan, the WCW World Champion, VS Big Bubba Rogers.  I’ve seen more terrible matches, honestly, so I’m not going to rag on it, but it’s about what you expect.  The big thing is the Dungeon of Doom coming out at the end to take out Hogan, prompting Mongo to tell his dog, Pepe, that he wasn’t allowed to be a DoD fan anymore.  We see Kamala, Zodiac, and a few others that I can’t remember right off.  They take to jumping Hogan which brings out Lex Luger to help.  They clear the ring, Hogan sees Luger, rares back to hit him, and we go to break.

We come back and now Sting is in the ring beside Luger and Savage is in the ring with Hogan, with Gene Okerlund in the middle.  Hogan is reading Luger the riot act, telling him he doesn’t deserve to be here, he’s from “somewhere else,” etc, then asks Luger what he’s doing here.  Luger tells him that he’s been where Hulk’s been (WWF, of course) and he’s beaten the same guys that Hulk’s beaten, so he came back to WCW to take what he wants…the WCW Championship.  Hogan freaks out over this, basically acting like Lex Luger is just a johnny-come-lately that waltzed into WCW asking for a title show, completely overlooking that Luger is already a former WCW Champion and has more tenure in this company than Hogan himself has, but oh well.  Luger then says he’ll get his belt if the shot is next week, next year, or five years from now!  Good job not shooting for the soonest date there, Luger.  Oddly enough, Luger would still be around the title scene five years from this, so I guess he’s a man of his word.

Looking back on the show, 19 years later, it wasn’t too bad.  Sure, there was some hokiness to it, and Mongo is just plain terrible on the mic, resorting to calling Bobby Heenan silly names like Bobby The Stain and Bobby Hernia all through the night.  It was enough to make me long for Larry Zbyszko and his “new world odor.”  Seriously, Larry…stop trying to make that a thing…it’s not a thing…but, that’s almost a year into the future at this point, so we’ll deal with that when we get to it.

Outside of the fact that babyface Hogan is on top at this time, the commentary is all that I have against this show.  This show drastically needs a good straight-man commentator so I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of Tony Schivonne at this point.  Two color commentators, one of which knows nothing about the product, coupled with Bisch’s overly eager babyface announcer is a bit much.  Wake me when Mike Tenay starts calling the cruiserweights.  The show held up enough to spawn the idea for this segment, though, so I can’t complain there.  Looking forward to next week’s Nitro!

-Shane

It’s no secret we have been quite here at KickOutat2.com since the departure of CM Punk, but like him, we lost our passion for the art form that we love. There comes a time when you have to take a break. Sometimes no matter what you are doing in life you need to take a little time, clear your head and find your center, that passion for what you love again and start things from a fresh perspective. The thing is WWE absolutely refuses to do anything fresh. For 12 Years John Cena has been WWE’s “Golden-Boy” and for a lot of people that’s a good thing, for most it’s a problem. While this could easily turn into a “Cena-Hater” post keep in mind I respect the man for what he does, he has a work ethic unparalleled to anyone currently in the company and the things he does for charity, especially the “Make-A-Wish Foundation, can truly be heart touching and appreciated by anyone.

That being said this should not be the grounds for closing in on the greatest title reign of all time. Currently the record is held by the Legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. An accomplishment that took a 40 something year to accomplish. After tonight Cena is currently sitting on a 15 Time World Championship record. Again he has only been there for 12 Years so this simply isn’t fair to the ring veterans of yesteryear. Now this isn’t Cena’s fault but mostly a bad call of WWE hot-shoting the title back and forth on a month by month basis in 2007. They are just simply too afraid to take chances on anyone else and this has been a problem for years.

Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt are the two newest individuals to suffer from the wrath of WWE’s booking and John Cena’s “God Like Superman” abilities. The feud with Bray Wyatt was awesome. Not since CM Punk has someone brought out the best in Cena as far as this ring work. It was a good feud and in no doubt helped make Bray Wyatt but in the end Bray should have been the victor. Sadly once it was announced he would be facing Cena in a “Last Man Standing” Match, Bray Wyatt’s fate was sealed and Cena was “protected” according to the status-quo . Tonight the fans were no doubt ready for a new Champion, for a new era in WWE but sadly WWE returned to the well and played it “safe” with their Golden-Boy yet again.

There is no reason in this world that Roman Reigns should not be WWE World Heavyweight Champion as you read this. There are many who say that “It’s too early” or “It isn’t time” but at what point do they decide it is time?  WWE needs to focus on newer talent and promote these guys that the fans want to see to the top spots. John Cena isn’t going to be around forever and they need to learn to stop putting all their eggs in one basket. The Main Event picture should not be stale and boring constantly. Seeing the same thing over and over again is enough to make anyone’s passion wear thin. It’s no doubt that fans and superstars alike walk away from something they simply can not enjoy anymore…. P.S. We Miss You CM Punk!

 

-Robbie C.