KoaNitro copyHello everyone and welcome back to our weekly look back into the world of 1995 WCW.  Nitro comes to us this week live from Huntsville, Alabama and is the go-home show leading us to Halloween Havoc, WCW’s second biggest PPV of the year.  WCW has always said that Starrcade is their Wrestlemania, but Halloween Havoc has to be right there at the number two slot.  You could probably hold valid arguments for Fall Brawl or Great American Bash, but Halloween Havoc was always setup to have huge matches so I’m putting it at #2.  As we come on the air, Eric Bischoff lets us know that we’re less than six days away from Havoc as Randy Savage’s music starts playing.  This episode of Nitro is getting off to the fastest start we’ve seen yet as the first entrance song plays within seconds of the show’s open.

Match #1: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs Kurasawa (w/ Col. Robert Parker)

The match starts off with Randy getting in Col. Parker’s face and shoving him, leaving an opening for Kurasawa to attack.  Bischoff tells us that Randy has injured his arm and then puts over the fact that Kurasawa was the man who put Road Warrior Hawk on the shelf with a broken arm, so we know what Kurasawa’s main form of offense is going to be.  Kurasawa takes it to Randy for most of this match, honestly.  Randy has been getting his ass kicked for a few weeks now, which is very interesting when you view him at this time as arguably the #2 babyface in the company as far as kayfabe goes, but definitely in the top 5 guys in the entire company at this point.  To see him take a beating and fight back from it really makes the guy he’s wrestling look credible.  Put that against Hogan at this point, who is the John Cena of the era and must be protected at all costs.  The Giant has broken his neck twice and other than a visible , Hogan has sold losing his damn mustache more than he has that neck.

Kurasawa sends us to commercial break with an armbreaker over his shoulder, showing us that he’s really going to zero in on that injury of Savage’s.

October_23,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00001Every match on this show gets a commercial break during it.  It’s odd.  Nitro has been really good about not doing that up to this point, then suddenly they do it in every match!  Watching wrestling for over twenty years now, I’m used to them going to commercial, but WCW has really been doing a good job at presenting wrestling as a true sport in a lot of ways; one of those being not going to break in the middle of a “play,” so to speak.  It really stuck out this time because of how rarely they’ve done this thus far.

Through most of the match, the only offense Savage gets off is finding ways for Kurasawa to dump himself out of the ring.  The first time was Savage grabbing the front of Kurasawa’s trunks and pulling him out.  The second being pulling down the top rope and letting him fly out.  Randy leans against the turnbuckle post and Kurasawa goes for a kick, but Savage moves and Kurasawa wraps his leg around the post in a pretty nasty looking kick.  Savage turns this into a small burst of offense and gets the win with the top rope elbow.  He got the win, but Randy is definitely beat down before heading into Halloween Havoc and the announcers put this over.  He’s got Kamala and then Luger at the PPV, so going in at a disadvantage could be costly.

I mentioned Randy’s getting beat down earlier because of how well it worked in this match.  Randy gets the win through creativity and ring awareness as he’s able to basically incapacitate Kurasawa long enough to hit the elbow drop and get the win.  Other than that, though, Randy is definitely on the receiving end of an ass kicking and comes across looking like he won the match by the skin of his teeth and despite the injury.  It built up Kurasawa nicely and really did a good job selling the injury and the potential for the injury to still be there leading into Halloween Havoc.  Everyone looks good coming out of this.  It really makes me look at Randy in another light and shows me just how good he really was.

We cut from the match to our first look at the announcers of the night.  Bischoff tells us that Hogan, the Giant and the Dungeon of Doom are all in the arena tonight and that there are no restraining orders in place, so who knows what’s going to happen!  Bobby puts over the Lex Luger situation in a pretty damn funny story about the captain of the plane he took into town coming out of the cockpit to ask him if he thought Sting could trust Luger.  Bobby told him to get back into the cockpit and worry about flying the plane and not about Sting and Luger!  It was just such an interesting and funny delivery because he totally put over the idea that EVERYONE is wondering about whether people in WCW can trust Lex Luger, but then he swerves the ending out of nowhere and doesn’t give his thoughts.  I know that this isn’t Bobby’s best work but his run in WCW is really making me appreciate him way more now than I did when I was watching it the first time.  He’s hilarious.  I just wish he had someone to actually play off of in WCW.  No one in the current announce team knows how to work with him and it’s quite sad.  He’s awesome in spite of them.

Suddenly, the lights all go out and the announce team sits in darkness for a few moments before Kevin Sullivan’s father appears on a throne high above the crowd and tells us that the insurance policy has been delivered from its place in the ice and snow and mountains.  It’s the Yeti, we’re told.  That’s right…a yeti.  Abominable snow man.  Snow Bigfoot…in WCW.  We were doing so well, WCW…we really were!  We see a giant block of ice standing behind the announcers and apparently this is what Daddy Sullivan is talking to us about.  A weird thing…now, I may have just not caught it, but the only thing that I know this guy as is Kevin Sullivan’s father.  I haven’t heard him given a name other than maybe the “master” of the Dungeon of Doom.  Yet, any time he addresses the Taskmaster, he calls him “Sullivan.”  Not Kevin.  Just Sullivan.  If he’s Sullivan’s father…it would stand to reason that his name is also Sullivan…so…this just struck me as weird.  They’re not calling him Kevin’s figurative father…they’re selling it as that it’s Kevin’s real dad, so this just seemed weird to me.

We cut to Mean Gene with Kevin Sullivan and The Giant.  Gene gets to ask Kevin “What is this iceberg  all about?”  Poor Okerlund.  He gets to deal with all of the crappy “something coming out of some other thing” angles.  First the Gobbedlygooker, now the Yeti…

Anyway, Sullivan tells us that his father has found him a yeti to be his insurance policy.  He tells us that Hogan has surrendered his colors, he’s now all in black and Kevin now believes that the goodness has left Hogan and he’s filled with the evil that Sullivan always knew was there.  Odd that we here at Ko@2 have a habit of calling John Cena “Hulk Hogan, Jr.” and he’s has this same storyline twice in just a few years.  Of course, we didn’t get an all black John Cena…sadly.  Now…Hogan has done nothing but change his clothes over the last few weeks.  He’s acting no differently except for now telling Mean Gene and Jimmy Hart to shut up occasionally.  Is that really all the goodness that was in Hogan?  It’s all gone now because he doesn’t pretend to like people?  He’s not doing heelish things at all.  He’s just Hogan in black.  We’ll see a much worse Hogan in black just nine months from now, so right now, it’s just Hogan in new clothes so it’s really hard for me to buy into the idea that suddenly there’s no good in him anymore.

The Giant and Sullivan start telling us that they’ve “plucked the whiskers of the rare white Bengal tiger” in reference to shaving Hogan.  It was just so random of a quote and they kept repeating it.  Essentially we break down into another installment of Kevin Sullivan spewing random nonsense.

We were doing so well, WCW…

We go to commercial again and come back yet again with Mean Gene who welcomes “The star of Thunder in Paradise!”

Hogan comes down and tries to out nonsense Sullivan.  The best quote he has totally has to be this…

“But even though I walk through the valley of the Dungeon of Doom, brother, I feel no evil, dude!  Because the only thing to fear is evil itself, brother!  And even though I walk through that dark valley, there’s only one set of footprints, brother!  I don’t fear no man because on my back, I carry all of those little Hulkamaniacs that believe in the prayers, the training and the vitamins, brother!”

I crap on Hogan a lot…but that’s some beautiful stuff there.  To take Psalms 23, FDR’s inauguration speech and Footprints and roll them all into one thing about how you’re a Christ-like figure…that’s amazing.  I gotta give it to him…

Hogan says that after all is said and done, he may just keep the black after Halloween Havoc because everyone knows what a man with black gloves and a black rag on his head is capable of.  Um…what?

Gene asks him about Sting, Luger and Savage and Hogan tells us that Sting is now in the Red and Yellow and growing a Fu Manchu.  He’ll be there for all of them once they figure out who the baddest is.

We get a promo for Saturday Night showing us we’ll have the American Males vs Harlem Heat, Luger vs The Shark, and an appearance from Hulk Hogan.  I kind of wish I had access to Saturday Night because I want to see if Hogan is actually showing up to Saturday Night or if it’s just a pre-tape.  I can’t imagine with Nitro on now that Hogan is stooping to Saturday Night’s level all that much.  I definitely don’t remember him on there at all after Nitro started.

We come back from commercial to:

Match #2: Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs Eddie Guerrero & Mr. JL (w/ Alex Wright on crutches)

Seeing Benoit and Malenko coming to the ring together gave me glimpses of Horsemen to be.  Can’t wait for 1998-99 to show up so these two can start teaming a lot more as Horsemen as well as members of Revolution.

I also can’t wait for 1997 so Eddie can change his music.  His 1997 music is so good.  This music he comes out to now is so generic.  It’s terrible.

Alex Wright is on crutches and not in this match due to an injury to his knee that we find out later is cartilage related.  Bobby says that AW blew out his knee trying to imitate some of Disco Inferno’s dance moves, though.  Sorry, Brain, but AW’s moves are so much sweeter than Discos’s.

Don’t those two start teaming up in the future at some point?

October_23,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00006The match starts off with Benoit and Eddie in each other’s faces, shoving one another.  They’ve had one match thus far and they’re doing a great job of showing that they didn’t settle everything in the ring that night.  Really good at building up a potential rivalry here.  Eddie and Benoit start off the match and it’s not long before we get into some good double-teaming by Benoit & Malenko.  You can definitely tell that they’ve been working together as a team before (in ECW as two members of Triple Threat) and it again makes me giddy for the days of them tagging as Horsemen.  We get some good flying from Eddie and JL, including one awesome spot where our future Horsemen are on the floor, JL comes running at the ropes and jumps, then Eddie just tosses him over the top towards their opponents.  It was a really innovative spot.  JL does look good in this match, but you can tell that he’s just not there yet as he’s being outclassed by the other three men in the ring.

We cut to split screen to show us a fight in the back.  It’s Shark and Scott Norton.  I’ve been wondering where the hell Norton was!  The commentators say that this altercation is due to Shark costing Norton the match on 9/11 against Savage, showing us that Scott Norton takes his sweet time when it comes to dealing with personal issues.  Piss him off and you’ve got a month to think about what you did before he arrives, apparently!

For the second time tonight we cut to commercial during a match, coming back to Malenko in control and finding out that Benoit has a busted mouth.  I don’t recall seeing any blood so it wasn’t that bad.

Bischoff tells us that Hulk Hogan has changed and that his mind just isn’t right.  Again…Hogan hasn’t done anything differently other than wearing black and telling Jimmy Hart to shut up…

We get the hot tag to Eddie Guerrero and he cleans house, hitting this beautiful move where he has one in a wrist lock, jumps to the top rope, grabs the other with his feet and rolls them over in a combo arm drag/headscissors.  Eddie was just so damn good!  Alex Wright trips Malenko with a crutch and JL gets a roll up win.  This causes Heenan to really doubt the validity of AW’s knee issues.

Eddie and JL make their way to the back when Eddie is jumped by Brian Pillman, who attacks him then flashes the 4H hand sign.  They’re already in the ring, Brian!  Seriously…at this time, a Horsemen consisting of Arn, Pillman, Benoit and Malenko would have been amazing!  I love Flair, but that idea alone makes me wish this group had formed to feud with a babyface Flair and Sting.

We come back from commercial to a shot of the giant iceberg and…

Match #3: Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri) vs Sting and Lex Luger

Harlem Heat come out to some weak ass pyro.  Knowing that eventually Booker T will have pyro that will feel warm all of the way across the arena, even in the cheap seats, this was sad.  It was basically some sparklers and a few pops.

We get a pitch for the hotline (1-900-909-9900!  Kids, get your parent’s permission before calling!) and find out we’ll get info about last night’s “In Your Outhouse!”  At this time in WWF, that’s pretty accurate, honestly.  We follow this with six douches in terrible face paint that spell out WCW and TNT.  Seriously, these guys look like assholes.  Not gonna lie.

Bobby says that Sherri has never looked better and Bischoff sells it like he just told him he likes to drink horse urine.  He says Bobby is sick if he believes that Sherri is beautiful.  Wow, Bisch…that’s a little rough, don’t ya think?  Sherri is no Sunny…but still, she’s not in any way a terrible looking woman.

Sting comes out in red and yellow and a goatee, just like Hogan said.  I really like the look on Sting, honestly.  There’s part of me now that wishes instead of the camo, they all came out in red and yellow at Fall Brawl.  I may have to make that happen when WWE 2K15 comes out, now that I think about it.  Yes, all four men from that team are in this year’s game!  Pretty excited about that.

October_23,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00007All four men start the match jaw jacking in each other’s faces.  Sting and Booker get into this hip toss routine that involves Sting hiptossing Booker T over the top rope, which should have been a DQ (as pointed out by Heenan and Mongo, agreeing oddly enough).  Bischoff says that it wasn’t intentional, though, so no DQ…which is crap.  Sting clearly knows how that move is going to turn out if you watch the match.

We go to the commercials again for the third time tonight during a match.  Really hope this doesn’t keep up.  WCW does such a good job scheduling these things after matches and before interview segments, so I don’t want to start seeing matches cut up if they can avoid it.

Stevie Ray is controlling Luger when we comes back.  We cut to Sherri who is looking at random Polaroids of her and Col. Parker together seemingly backstage somewhere.  Really, it’s just her and him standing beside each other against a wall.  Odd.  You would imagine they would be at a romantic dinner or a beautiful view the way she’s looking at them longingly, but they’re totally just a random pic of the two of them backstage.

Booker goes up top and misses a Harlem Hangover, which makes me sad because I love that move.  It was my most used move on the trampoline back in the day.  Lex gets the hot tag to Sting who clears house, getting a tandem of Stinger Splashes and going for the Scorpion Deathlock on Booker T.  Stevie Ray kicks Sting in the head to break it up, though.  Harlem Heat hit a double vertical suplex to Luger while Sting climbs to the top and comes off with a diving clothesline to Booker T for the win.

They don’t get to celebrate, though, as The Giant and Kevin Sullivan hit the ring.  Sullivan chokeslams Luger while Sting rolls to the floor, prompting the announcers to ask why they let Sting go, playing off of the idea that Giant hasn’t chokeslammed Sting yet.  That goes away, though, as the Stinger gets one as he climbs back into the ring.  Savage runs out to make the save, followed by Hogan.  Hogan waves Savage off and then starts punching the Giant, who no sells it.  The whole Dungeon of Doom hits the ring when Hogan finally starts rocking the Giant with punches.  Hogan and Savage clear house and Hogan goes after the Giant, but WCW security headed by Doug Dillinger wielding a damn billy club stop him.

Then, the floor starts shaking (we’re told) and we hear a rumbling as the show ends with the Yeti (actually a damn mummy) bursting free from the iceberg.  Seriously, that’s where the show ends…mid-burst.  I liked how WCW would cut off in the middle of the action sometimes.  Cliff hangers worked in the early days.  It was just that they eventually wore out their welcome when every show ended with “We’re out of time!” though.  We’ve got a few years before that, however.  This is the first show in this run, though, not to end with the announce team wrapping up, so it did feel abrupt and special, which was cool.

 

This show felt like it was three steps forward, one step back, though.  We set up some good stuff with Benoit, Malenko and Guerrero, as well as Guerrero and Pillman.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a match with them added to Havoc…or at least next week’s Nitro.  The power struggle between the babyfaces at the top of the card had some interest added with Hogan acknowledging that all of his “friends” are now gunning for him.  That was a cool little wrinkle added.  We got that crazy Hogan promo.

But then we got the Yeti…or Yeh-Tay as we keep hearing it pronounced.  First off, anything bursting out of anything else when it comes to wrestling is stupid…unless it involves Dean Ambrose.  Seriously, we’ve kind of moved from being Kick Out at Punk over here to Kick Out at Ambrose, but if an episode of Nitro had Triple H and Steph saying that they had brought in a Yeti as Seth Rollin’s backup plan, and at the end of the show it burst open and out came Ambrose, that would be the greatest thing ever.  But it wasn’t Ambrose.  It wasn’t the Gobbeldygooker.  It wasn’t Mae Young’s hand baby.  No, it was the Yeti.  And I say “THE” Yeti and not “A” Yeti, because it was actually a mummy.  Yep.  Apparently the Dungeon of Doom aren’t big into cryptozoology.  That’d be like bringing out John Tenta as The Shark but he’s dressed like a clown fish.  Wrong look entirely!

This Halloween Havoc match is going to be terrible.  We can all say that we know this.  The monster truck part is going to be stupid.  The match is gonna suck.  Did we have to involve a mummy?  Seriously, everything is firing wonderfully in WCW land right now EXCEPT for the Dungeon of Doom.  They’re terrible.

With that, we’ll leave the normal write-up part of the show and get on to the show info.  See everyone back here on Wednesday for Halloween Havoc, then Thursday for our next installment of Kick Out at Nitro!

-Shane

—–

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.2

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.6

(Raw 3, Nitro 2) (Tie Weeks – 2)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 2 weeks

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – N/A

 

After two weeks of ties and a week of Raw winning with a terrible showing on paper, Nitro pulls it out for this one.  I guess Yeti = ratings!

—–

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)

 

Raw looks better this week than it has for a while, honestly.  Bulldog/Razor and Shawn/Sid were probably pretty good matches.  Still, no Yeti…all I’m sayin’…

Join us back here next week, everyone!  Same Nitro time, same Nitro website!

KoaNitro copy

Welcome back to Kick Out At Nitro as we continue on towards Halloween Havoc in less than two weeks!  Nitro comes to us tonight from Albany, Georgia.  Thus far there’s really no rhyme or reason to where Nitro comes to us from.  Some weeks it’s a big city like Chicago or Las Vegas and other weeks we’re in Florence, SC or Albany, GA.  Very interesting.

We get off to the show pretty quickly but as it opens we get some basic run down from our announce team.  Mongo has Pepe dressed as an alien this week.  Man, I am starting to feel bad for that little dog.  He says that Pepe is from planet Dogtron and he’s going to show us wrestling that we’ve never seen before on this planet.  Bobby calls Pepe a tarantula again, which always gets a pop from me.  Bobby tells us that Sting will be joining Ric Flair tonight against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman.  This apparently went down on WCW Pro, which was WCW’s Saturday morning syndicated show, so it’s interesting to see storylines playing out on that show as there was really no guarantee who would see that one.  I could understand WCW Saturday Night, but stuff like Pro or Main Event is interesting to put major revelations on.  We get a clip of that episode of Pro where Flair joins Sting in the ring with a few kids dressed as Sting and pleads to him to join him.  Sting accepts but says that if Flair swerves him, he’ll leave him for dead.

Match #1: WCW Television Championship Match – Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Diamond Doll) (C) vs Johnny B Badd

DDP heads to the ring with Kimberly in tow but this time he’s not joined by Max Muscle, so I have no idea where that guy went.  During DDP’s entrance we’re shown clips of WCW Saturday Night where it was revealed that DDP was the reason that JBB missed his US Championship match with Sting a few weeks ago.  From what I gathered, DDP slashed JBB’s tires so JBB punches him in the mouth for it.

We’re told that no matter who wins or loses this match, these two will wrestle again at Halloween Havoc.  Thus far, for Havoc, I think that gives us:

DDP vs Johnny B Badd

Lex Luger vs Meng

Randy Savage vs Kamala

Lex Luger vs Randy Savage (possibly)

Hulk Hogan vs Giant (Monster Truck match)

Hulk Hogan vs Giant (WCW Title Match)

October_16,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00006During Johnny’s entrance, DDP blasts him in the back of the head with the TV Championship, knocking him out cold.  The referee marks the match a no contest at this point, but that doesn’t stop DDP from stealing JBB’s confetti gun and parading around with it while Kimberly looks on shocked.  DDP leans back and covers Johnny, counts his own 3 and then fires the confetti gun after the “win.”

With that, we go to commercial with a graphic showing us that Benoit vs Guerrero is up next.

Match #2: Chris Benoit vs Eddie Guerrero

Eddie comes out first.  I’m so used to either his 1997 look or his WWF look that it’s always weird to see that early 1995-1996 WCW look where he was bigger and had that crazy mustache and mullet.  He’s in a red and white outfit, which sadly isn’t the black outfit that I’m much more of a fan of.  Benoit comes out in his gear from Japan…that blue outfit with the white stripe and star on the back.  I wonder when the black outfit with the random red crotch comes in.  Does he get that once he joins the Horsemen?  Didn’t Pillman also wear those tights?  Did he just inherit them from Brian?  Too many questions!

The announcers start off putting Benoit over huge.  Mongo makes mention of the “Canadian Crippler” name and Brain erroneously tells us that Benoit is from Calgary, Alberta Canada.  Close, Brain…but it’s Edmonton.

This match was awesome.  There was really only one hitch.  Benoit is on the outside and Eddie goes for a dive but pulls back and basically does the 619 spin between the ropes, but his leg catches it and he gets wrapped up in the ropes.  He recovers quickly, though, and goes for a dive off of the top rope to the floor onto Benoit.

The best way to describe this match is hard hitting.  These two really just take it to each other hard.  On the outside, Eddie goes for a clothesline that Benoit ducks, causing Eddie to full force clothesline the turnbuckle post.  From there, Benoit targets the arm relentlessly, including two beautiful moves where he ties the arm behind Eddie and hits a back suplex and a northern lights suplex.  Very innovative.

We get our first Mike Tenay reference when Bischoff tells us that he’s working the hotline.

Mongo gives me a really nice line when he tells us that “If you’re not a WCW fan after this, you’re dumber than dirt!”  Gotta agree with you, Mongo!

October_16,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00010Eddie tries to wrap the move up with the frog splash but Benoit gets the knees up.  He then hits my absolute favorite Benoit move ever, the snap powerbomb.  Seriously, I’ve never seen someone snap off a power bomb before this…or since.  It’s like as the upper body is still going up, Benoit is already pulling the move down, so the guy just whips into the canvas on his shoulders.  It’s nasty.  The power bomb is kicked out of and Eddie punches Benoit but with the bad arm, throwing him off.  Benoit locks up a full nelson and gets the win with a tiger suplex.  Mongo tells us that this match shows us that Benoit is a “bad hombre with a scary case of the quicks.”  Definitely a great debut.

Coming off of that match, Eric tells us that the WCW Championship Committee is currently considering establishing a Cruiserweight Division so that we can see these wrestlers compete for their own championship.  For those of you who didn’t play WCW: The Home Game back in the day, the Cruiserweight Division was way more than a random Dean Ambrose joke.  It was basically WCW’s calling card, outside of the nWo.  The first hour of Nitro was always the best one because it was the Cruiserweight/lucha showcase, so it’s pretty awesome to see it develop from the beginning.

Our next segment starts with Mean Gene in the ring, plugging the hotline.  He tells us that a top official in the WWF is no longer with the company.  He also tells us that a WWF wrestler got into an altercation with a fan in the parking lot and came out on the losing end.  I immediately wondered if this was Shawn Michaels.  I know that around this time he gets jumped a few times by fans, so I can only imagine this is a reference to him.  May have to research that.

October_16,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00015The Giant and Kevin Sullivan make their way to the ring so that they can be interviewed by Gene.  Kevin basically spends the entire time talking about how evil he is and how evil the Dungeon of Doom are, and that Hogan may be talking about showing us the evil in him now that he’s all in black, but that there’s still good in his heart so he’ll never defeat the pure evil that is Kevin Sullivan.  He tells us that come Halloween Havoc, the Giant is going to be the new champion.  Giant says he’s going to push Hogan off of the roof and when they have to cut him out of his monster truck with the jaws of life and drag his carcass into the ring, he’ll pin him and be champ.  Still loving the out right death threats coming from the DoD at this point.

We go to commercial with some graphics, letting us know that Meng vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan is up next.  Also, this week on Saturday Night we’re going to get Hacksaw vs Wallstreet, Alex Wright vs Disco Inferno and we’ll hear from Savage, Hogan and Hugh Morris (who may still be called the Man of Question) at this point.  I didn’t hear if they called him by name, sadly).

We come back from commercial to Disco Inferno deciding he’s going to have his one man dance party in the entrance way again.  Just like the last three weeks, the regularly scheduled wrestler walks past him and away goes Disco.

Match #3: Meng vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Meng attacks hard and the two trade blows.  Eric Bischoff keeps bringing up the fact that Kevin Sullivan isn’t with Meng, just like he did when Luger wrestled Meng a while back.  They’re definitely  making a big deal of the fact that Meng is wrestling on his own now, though.  Thing is, I don’t remember Meng leaving the DoD until the team basically disbands, so I have no idea where this is going.

Spike to Hacksaw’s throat, Meng wins.  Match was a throwaway match.

We go to commercial break with a graphic telling us the Main Event is up next.

October_16,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00023We come back to a video of Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart cutting a backstage promo.  Hulk mentions the “Hulkamanioids” instead of the normal “Hulkamaniacs.”  Is a Hulkamanioid the evolved form of a Hulkamaniac?  Which one can defeat a Mew?

Anyway, Hogan tells us that he knows that him dressing in black has made us shake and quake in fear.  He says now we know the evil in his heart, despite the fact that over the last two weeks he’s done nothing evil except for tell Mean Gene and Jimmy Hart to keep their mouths shut.  He says that he can stop an elephant in its tracks.  He can make a promoter drop to his knees and cry because the promoter knows that Hulkamania is bigger than the entire promotion.  Apparently black Hulk Hogan’s evilness is just to rag on Vince McMahon and take potshots at him.  Who knew?  Jimmy pipes up and tells us that Hogan is scaring the crap out of him and Hogan tells him to stay out of it.  Hogan tells us that the Bigfoot guys (the guys making his monster truck) are under the gun and that if they don’t finish the truck by Havoc that he’ll tie up to the Giant’s truck himself and pull it around the arena.  He’ll then lift the Giant over his head and slam him, burying him beside his “father.”  Apparently the black outfit and no stache are making Hogan’s delusions of grandeur even worse!

Match #4: Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman vs Ric Flair and Sting

Arn and Pillman come out to the ring flashing the 4 Horsemen sign.  I like the idea that they’re going to form their own Horsemen without Flair, but I also remember being a teenager watching this and laughing at Pillman flashing the 4 handsign when there were only 2 or 3 people in the Horsemen.  Maybe wait until you actually form the group before you start flashing gang signs, guys.

Flair comes to the ring and it looks like his pyro goes off a little too close as he jumps back a bit and sells it.  On camera it looks like it happened right in front of him.  I’d like to see that from the side to see how close it actually was.

Flair gets in the ring and we don’t get the entrance of Sting.  The bell rings and we start the match 2 on 1, just like Flair said he would do it.  The announce crew spends a lot of time telling us that of course there’s no way that Sting would ever trust Flair and that’s why he’s not coming out.  Flair takes it to both men, though.  I like that they didn’t play up Flair being upset at no Sting since last week he told us that he’ll take on both men without a partner anyway.  He’s fired up and he’s going to put as much hurt on both men as he can.

The match works with Flair pretty much dominating until Anderson gets him down.  He goes for a knee drop but Flair catches the leg, stands up and slaps on a figure 4.  He’s got it on for a few moments when Pillman climbs to the top and dives off.  Flair moves over and Pillman eats canvas.  Flair drops the figure 4 on Arn and puts it on Pillman.  We go from there to a double axe handle off of the top by Flair, but then Flair is double teamed.  He gets kicked in the back of the head by Pillman, which staggers him into a spinebuster by Double A.  This brings out Sting.  Flair tries to tag for a while but is getting beaten down until he gets the hot tag and Sting cleans house.  The moment that Sting gets the tag, the arena explodes!  It is probably the loudest pop I’ve heard in Nitro since I started this journey.  This crowd was hot for Sting and hot for him being in this angle.  That pop was awesome and it basically took Sting to another gear in the match as he goes nuts, hitting clotheslines, bulldogs and does the chest beating deal.  Pretty awesome visual.  He backs Arn and Pillman into opposite corners and hits two Stinger Splashes on both men.  Both men hit the floor as Flair gets up and back into the ring.  Arn and Pillman decide to take a powder, however, and head to the back, giving Sting and Flair the win via countout.

October_16,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00030We go to commercial and come back with Mean Gene in the ring with Sting and Flair.  We get the full announcement of the same match at Halloween Havoc.  Gene mentions that there must have been some reluctance on Sting’s part and that’s why it took him so long to come out.  Sting says definitely, but that might be out the door now.  No one on the planet thought that he could trust Flair, but Sting was watching backstage and saw that Flair had guts and integrity, so that brought him out.  He says that now he knows that Flair is on the straight and narrow path so that at Halloween Havoc, the two of them will destroy the Horsemen.  Flair puts over Sting pretty huge and we go back to our announce team.

Heenan says that he’s getting sick of Sting and Flair being friends.  Flair being a babyface bothers him and he’s sick of it.  Mongo makes a comment and Heenan ends the show with “Step outside with me,” apparently challenging Mongo to a damn fight!

We go off the air with next week’s rundown, letting us know that Sting and Luger will be wrestling Harlem Heat.  We’ll also see Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko teaming against Alex Wright and Eddie Guerrero in the match I’m most excited to see next week.  We’ll also hear from Hulk Hogan, sadly.

This week’s show was pretty damn good.  It was possibly the best episode thus far due to the Benoit/Guerrero match and the main event.  The Benoit/Guerrero match was just so good and I can’t wait to see those two and Malenko start trading off matches over the next few months.  Plus, we’re getting the Cruiserweight division coming up, so things are really about to get good.  The crowd reaction to Sting coming out during the Flair match, though, was outstanding.  It was just so cool.  I love responses like that and it came off so cool on TV.

Pretty excited about next week and the fact that we’re getting closer to Halloween Havoc!

Until next week.

-Shane

 

—–

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.6

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.2

(Raw 3, Nitro 1) (Tie Weeks – 2)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 2 weeks

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – N/A

 

After two weeks of ties, we’re back to Raw winning the night.  Looking at the card, no idea why, but at this point, WWF is still the established show and has been on the air for over two years, so I would imagine that plays a lot into it.  That being said, I’m also not watching the WWF show like I am the WCW show, so I don’t know if it came across a lot better on TV than it did on paper, but looking at the lineup, I seriously doubt it.

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Doink the Clown

The Smoking Gunns defeated PG-13

Dean Douglas defeated Joe Dorgan

Bret Hart defeated Dr. Isaac Yankem

 

Wow, Raw has just looked terrible over the last few weeks.  Strictly on paper, I see no way that it’s hanging with Nitro right now.  Like I said before, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt since I haven’t been able to watch those episodes of Raw, but still…these matches just look terrible.  Oh well.

Until next week, have a good one!  We’ll see you back here next week!

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Welcome back everyone to anther episode of Kick Out At Nitro!  This time, WCW comes to us live from the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, IL.  We start off with a quick replay of the Kevin Sullivan attack on Hulk Hogan from last week.  Really quick cuts, enough to let you know what’s going on, then we move on to the show open!  WWE could take notes from this as it got everything across in 30 seconds instead of playing the entire four minute segment as a replay.  Good job, WCW.

It took me a few times watching the new Monday Night Wars show on the WWE Network (for only $9.99!) but I finally realized that the opening to that show is an amalgam of the openings for Nitro and Raw at that time period.  Random explosions and fire happening like the opening to Raw coupled with the explosions and broadcasting the video clips on the side of buildings, etc, from the opening of Nitro…cool stuff.

October_9,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00007 The show opens on the announcers in Chicago Bears jerseys.  Mongo is in his old Bears jersey, Bischoff is in a #1 jersey and for some reason, Bobby Heenan is wearing a “?” on his.  Bobby lets us know that Hogan is in the arena, but that there is a restraining order on Kevin Sullivan and The Giant so they won’t be getting into the building tonight.

Out of nowhere, Sting interrupts the announce team and puts over Nitro.  He says he’ll be calling out Lex Luger and Randy Savage later because something has to change.  He says he has the remedy and he’s going to solve the problem.

With that, we cut to:

Match #1: United States Championship Match: Sting (United States Champ) vs Shark

Man, Shark was a terrible gimmick.  I’m not calling Earthquake anything special, but painting him up and calling him a shark…yeah…

That being said, is Shark the illegitimate father of Shark Boy?  Was this ever explored?

I have always loved how Sting isn’t announced normally.  The whole “This is Sting” part of his entrance was always so cool.  Just something that I always thought set him apart from everyone else.

Shark starts off with a “vicious shark attack!” on Sting.  That doesn’t last too long, though, as we get an attempted splash in the corner from Shark that Sting ducks and then hits two odd Stinger Splashes.  Usually the guy is in the corner fully with his back to the turnbuckles.  With this one, Shark was about two feet out of the corner, took the Stinger Splash to the back, then took a bump onto the top of the corner.  Weird.  Sting wins with a flying cross body from the top, which I really never remember Sting using, but out of three Sting matches on Nitro thus far, he’s won two of them with this move.

From there we talk about Hogan again and replay the entire attack from last week…looks like I spoke too soon on that whole “Vince could take a note from this” thing.  Guess he actually did.  Replaying something we just saw five minutes ago…nice.

Seriously, what the hell is Zodiac’s deal anyway?  I may have asked this last week, but I can’t remember.  Does he have a gimmick other than he’s just a weird black and white guy in paint and sections missing from his pants?  What was Leslie’s fascination with cutting chunks out of his pants anyway?  Granted, I’ll be marking out a lot when we get around to the Booty Man in a few months because I really liked him as a kid for some damn reason, but still…odd.

My favorite part of this Hogan attack stuff ever since Fall Brawl has been how Bobby Heenan starts cracking up and laughing maniacally every time it happens.  I love how much Heenan hates Hogan.

One quick thing…why do the clippers they use in wrestling always look so damn dull?  That shave Hogan got looked rough.

Match #2: Sabu vs Mr. JL

We come back from commercial to music playing that I really hope isn’t Sabu’s entrance music.  He came out to it, but it really didn’t fit him at all.  It sounded more like Alex Wright’s music than something Sabu should come out to.  After Sabu comes out, we are treated to the New F’N Show…well…the original, under a hood, New F’N Show anyway.  I remember being really shocked when I found out that JL was Jerry Lynn.

Sabu starts the match off by attacking JL as he’s putting his cape away.  I definitely remember this match, which is awesome.  This is the match that I kept coming back to when I spent a while convincing myself that, yes, Sabu actually did wrestle in WCW.  Nice to watch it again and be vindicated…if only vindicated against my own questioning memory.  Partway through the fans start chanting “Hogan sucks” which is awesome.  Sabu flips out of the ring and takes pretty much a full bump onto the floor, but it doesn’t faze him too much as he then sets up and hits Air Sabu onto JL leaning against the guardrail.

Back into the ring, JL whips Sabu into the corner and hits a running dropkick that the entire announce team pops huge for and puts over like it’s sliced bread.  I thought it was a cool spot, but damn, wasn’t expecting something like that from the announcers.  Sabu hits an Arabian press then a camel clutch that JL gets out by getting to the ropes.  Sabu goes up top but JL blocks it and hits a hangman’s DDT.  Sabu then goes for a top rope Frankensteiner that JL grabs the ropes and blocks, then goes off the top himself, but Sabu blocks that and puts him in the camel clutch again for the win.

That’s not it, though, as after the match Sabu throws JL out of the ring then sunset flip bombs him onto the floor from the ring apron.  We cut to the announcers and Bischoff tells us that they’re still fighting but that we have bigger stuff to deal with.  What we have to deal with, though, us Hogan again…really getting tired of Hogan taking us away from cool stuff happening in the ring.

October_9,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00008While Bischoff is talking, we can see Sting and Lex Luger getting into the ring behind him, which is pretty cool when he then kicks us to the ring so that Mean Gene can talk to them.  Never noticed stuff like that before and now I kind of get the major thing about Nitro being live.  You get a small glimpse behind the curtain that WWF didn’t give us at the time…and really still doesn’t give us now.  It also lends to the thing I’m really loving about Nitro right now that I never got back then.  It’s not presented as a wrestling show…it’s a sports broadcast that just so happens to be wrestling.  Stuff happens in real time on this show.  We’re not just watching things the way that they want them shown or through this pre-packaged sterile environment.  Things happen during down time and we get to see that.  That’s cool.  That’s why I really love the way that the show ends every week with a wrap up from the announcers.  I know that eventually down the line we’re going to get to the whole “We’re out of time!” gimmick, but for now, the fact that each show ends a tad bit early and we get final thoughts from the announcers just like we would a football game or something along those lines, that’s awesome.

We go to the ring with Mean Gene, Sting and Lex Luger.  Lex is rocking a shirt and jacket with blue jeans, which is interesting.  Sting says that everyone is there but Savage, so he calls him out.  Savage comes out, wearing full gear despite the fact that he’s not wrestling on this show.  Of course there’s a reason for it as Savage wrestled Sullivan in a dark match, but still, without that context, Savage in full gear is just a bit odd.  That being said, Savage is definitely the kind of guy that would just randomly wear his gear, so I guess it works.  Savage comes out and says that The Giant is winning the game and he’s out there chokeslamming everyone and he asks why he hasn’t chokeslammed Sting yet.  Sting tells him that he’s acting paranoid and that he has no idea why Giant hasn’t chokeslammed him yet, but that’s not the important thing.  The important thing is that everyone wants the WCW World Championship.  So, Sting’s solution is that at Halloween Havoc, after Luger wrestles Meng and after Savage wrestles Kamala, that the two of them wrestle to find out who’s getting the next title shot.  Luger says he said he’d wrestle Savage in a rematch, but he didn’t sign up for this.  Sting calls him a bitch, basically, and asks if he’s up to it.  He punks Luger out a bit and says that apparently he’s not talking to the Total Package, which gets Lex riled up and Lex finally agrees.

We come back from a commercial break to a limo pulling up outside of the arena earlier that day.  We’re told that there is a major star from Japan, Canada, Germany, among other countries, joining WCW.  The limo driver opens the door to reveal Chris Benoit, who says “WCW…where the big boys play” as he walks into the building.

I’m going to take a few moments here and address the elephant in the room as this is the first time that we’re dealing with Benoit on show.  We’re also addressing Benoit for the first time in a very long time as far as this site goes.  In fact, I believe the last time he was mentioned was my “He should never go into the HOF post.”  Benoit, especially in WCW, is going to be a weird subject for me as it’s here that he becomes my favorite wrestler.  Long before Punk…long before Ambrose…my guy was Chris Benoit.  I became a major fan of him at Halloween Havoc 1996 (so about a year in time from this point) and was a huge fan until the night that he died.  I’m not going to lie and say that a little bit of that fandom will not come out during some of these write ups.    That’s going to be weird because I’m usually very against the “remember the wrestler, not the man” mentality because I believe that one overshadows the other.  However, I’m not going to skip over it and act like his stuff doesn’t exist while I’m recapping these shows…and I’m not going to pretend that I don’t enjoy it.  I’m just not going to draw much attention to it when it comes up.  He’s in the show, he’s part of this history journey I’m on, and for this I’ll treat him no different than I would any other participant on this show.

Moving on…

We come off of this to Disco Inferno dancing in the entrance way, much as he did last week before the Guerrero / Malenko match.  I guess this is just going to be Disco’s deal…dancing during other people’s matches.  They cut his music so that Big Bubba Rogers can come out.  Big Bubba stares Disco down, but as Bubba goes to the ring, Disco grabs a boom box and starts playing his music again.  Out comes Road Warrior Hawk who gives Disco a death stare, but Disco mocks him as he turns his back and even steals a fan’s WCW hat and hangs it on one of the spikes of Hawk’s shoulderpads…leaving the hat’s original owner to stare open mouthed and wide armed in a “what the hell?” pose.

Bischoff takes this time to tell his daughter not to worry about the health of Hulk Hogan because he knows she’s concerned.  Ugh…

This match is forgettable until Disco begins dancing on the ring apron on hard camera side while the match is going on.  Hawk jumps him and tears up Discos shirt and starts beating Disco down, resulting in a count out.

October_9,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00015Back from commercial again to Mean Gene who calls out Hulk Hogan.  Out walks Hogan dressed all in black a full nine months before the nWo.  He’s even in a black neck brace.  His mustache is gone due to the Sullivan attack and terrible shave job we saw last week as well as twice on this very show!  Hogan starts his interview by telling Gene and Jimmy Hart to keep their mouths shut.  That’s odd since Hogan hasn’t really turned heel…he’s just going a more serious route…but that still allows him to act like a tool box apparently, so oh well.  Hogan says that the games are over and that it’s time to take care of family business.  He’s playing their game now.  He brings up Andre again and calls the Giant Andre’s son.  He says that if the Giant comes out, he’ll rip off his neck brace and beat the hell out of the Giant right here.  Gene tells Hogan that won’t happen due to the restraining order.  Hogan then just randomly starts talking nonsense at this point.  Seriously, it’s full of half started sentences that really don’t lead anywhere and all of these weird boasts.  He tells us he worked “just outside of New York City” for a promoter who tried to kill Hulkamania, so he brought it down to WCW so the Hulkamaniacs could grow from saplings into huge redwoods.  Now that promoter is choking on his own ego and he’s dying.  Little early into the war to start with claims like that, especially since Nitro has beaten Raw once thus far, but oh well.  Hogan then says that shaving off his mustache is akin to spraying graffiti on the Washington Monument or burning the American flag.

We cut outside to the Dungeon of Doom arriving in the Giant’s monster truck.  Giant is driving, Sullivan is hanging out the passenger window and Zodiac is just Zodiacing up on the top.  The police won’t let them in, so Hogan says he’s going out to them and leaves.

The cage starts to lower and we cut to the announcers, showing us that Mongo has Pepe here in Chicago Bears gear.  Poor damn dog.

The Rosemont police show up to tell Bischoff that Hogan and the DoD are being kept separated outside.

We cut quickly to the ring to see that for some weird reason, Arn Anderson has been given the jobber entrance and he’s already in the ring.

Match #4: Cage Match: Ric Flair vs Arn Anderson

The match starts with Flair taking it to Double A until Anderson hits a backdrop and slams Flair into the cage.  We get a few moments of wrestling and then go to commercial break.  Coming back from break, we see Double A in control but find out via split screen that during the commercial break, Flair got the upper hand as Anderson tried to get out of the ring and Flair stopped him, causing him to get crotched on the top rope.  Out of that split screen we get a beautiful Arn Anderson spinebuster.  Seriously, no one does that move better!

October_9,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00018We get some back and forth, both men getting sent to the cage and getting their faces raked against the cage.  Pillman comes out and tries to get into the cage through the door but can’t.  He then tries to get into the cage by climbing over the top but Flair meets him and sends him to the floor.  He hits a double axe handle from the top to Anderson, gets a knee breaker and goes for the Figure Four.  At first glance, it looks like Anderson gets him with a quick punch or an eye rake (this is what I thought it was) and then gets a three count.  On later review from a replay as well as constant jabbering from the announcers, we see that Double A socked Flair with a pair of brass knuckles for the win.

We go back to the announcers but a crazed Ric Flair storms the announce booth, ripping the headset off of Bischoff’s head, breaking it in half.  He screams into the mic that next week he’ll wrestle both Anderson and Pillman by himself!  He’ll try to find a partner, but if he can’t then he’ll go 2 on 1.

We end the show with the announcers wrapping up and Heenan telling us that he’s sick of Hulk Hogan being crammed down his throat and down all of our throats.  He says you can only eat so much garbage before you start to choke on it.  Man, I love The Brain!

With that, we go off the air with a quick run down of next week, which will feature DDP vs Johnny B Badd with the Television title on the line.  We’ll see the debuting Chris Benoit wrestle Eddie Guerrero in what I’m certain will be a great match.  We’ll also see Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Meng in what I’m sure will be terrible.

—–

All in all, very interesting show if only on the quick side as far as matches went.  No match on this show lasted longer than four minutes and change.  Less than two minutes in the case of Sting vs Shark and Big Bubba vs Hawk.  Still, we got two definite matches and one potential match setup for Halloween Havoc.  We got the debut of Hogan’s new look leading into Havoc and a look into the future as all he’s lacking is the white nWo logo.  We also got the debut of a new star, so this episode definitely had a lot to offer.

That being said…I miss Scott Norton!  I was amped the first two weeks with how he was being handled…then nothing.  Hopefully he’ll show up soon.  I honestly don’t remember anything about him from this time until he starts tagging with Ice Train next year, so I’m really hoping there’s more coming between now and then.

See you next week!

-Shane

 

—–

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.6

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.6

(Raw 2, Nitro 1) (Tie Weeks – 2)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 2 weeks

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – N/A

 

Two ties in a row!  Granted, not sure how this one competed that closely with Raw when it only had two freaking matches!

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

Owen Hart & Yokozuna & The British Bulldog defeated Diesel & Shawn Michaels & The Undertaker

Fatu defeated Skip

 

Two matches?!?!  Granted, one of the two featured six of the main players at this time in WWF, but still…two matches…

I know that two of our matches this week on Nitro went less than two minutes, with the other two in the four minute range…but still, that’s twice the number of matches in this show.  What’s up with that, Vince?

 

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The weight of the WCW world (brother!) is taken off of my shoulders this week by Kick Out at 2’s resident Champ, Derick.  I want to take this moment to apologize for putting Derick through more Hulk Hogan than his doctor has recommended, but, in the end, Derick, it’s all for a good cause! – Shane

Random thoughts while being drunk on nostalgia and Bud Light Platinums

Double main event! Luger/Savage and Flair/Arn. Kicking off on commentary is Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Mongo McMichael.

Random Flair sighting! Full on robe status and yelling about “coming right for Arn tonight”. Strong presence out of the gate.

Recap from Luger/Savage from last week. I miss Randy….

October_2,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00001Luger and Savage starting contest. Longest collar elbow tie up ever. And it went everywhere. In the ring, in the corner, through the ropes, the stairs, etc. All the way to commercial. 10 minutes in and already 2 Hogan mentions….great. You know what I miss? Back slides.. It’s never done anymore. Why?!? Torture Rack for the win with the big assist by The Giant.

October_2,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00004Disco Inferno dancing interrupted by Eddie Guerrero. Young Eddie looks like Josh Wolfe. It’s a true story. I miss Eddie too… Wow, this nostalgia trip is getting to my feels. Oh what’s this? Hogan (with neck brace) pulls up in a limo and they cut away from a match showcasing talent? Hogan couldn’t do ANY of the moves that Malenko and Guerrero were pulling off!

Guerrero/Malenko up next. Should be a solid technical match.  They are not disappointing at all. Ends with Guerrero with the quick pin. Very fast-paced and technically sound. Take notes, Vince!

October_2,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00007Mean Gene interviews Hulkster. Hey Shane. There has to be an exemption for me not to watch Hogan segments. I got heart issues. I can’t take this. I got a family to think about. Anywho, lots of “Let me tell you something”, “Brother”, and “Whatcha gonna do”. Shenanigans followed by Hogan losing his mustache via the Taskmaster. Ugh…

October_2,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00012Arn/Flair time!! No one, and I damn mean no one, can sell pain like Ric Flair. And Arn will always be the Pippen to Flair’s Jordan. As much as I like Ric, Arn will always have a special place in my childhood heart. Oh! Nick Patrick with a mullet! Spinebuster by Arn. Damn Bischoff just said “vintage Arn”.. Commentators talking about the O.J. trial. For a moment, I forgot this was 19 years ago. Pillman off the top rope causing causing the DQ win for Flair. Double team on Flair. Announcement of Flair/Arn cage match next week.

Look, I know I was all over the place. It’s what happens when your body had a little alcohol, childhood memories and fun at once. Stay tuned for the next update!

- The Champ

—–

First off, I share Derick’s anger at being cut away from the Guerrero/Malenko match just to show us Hulk Hogan arriving at the arena.  Granted, I understand that Hogan is their champ and in the biggest angle going on right now, but still, it’s Malenko/Guerrero!  They started off with a cut screen showing both segments, and that would have been okay, but then it cuts full away from the match, which is unforgivable.  It was a damn good match, too.  Can’t wait for the Cruiserweight division to really get going as that was always the best part of WCW.  This segment did include Hogan using the line “I’m not the big picture now” 

Derick was definitely right about the lock up in the Savage/Luger match being the longest lock up ever.  It was almost comical, honestly.  I’d expect to see it in a Colt Cabana match more than a match with these two main eventers.  I like the teasing of Luger being somehow aligned with the Dungeon of Doom and can’t wait to see that play out to see if I have that exactly right in my memory.  The whole “is he/isn’t he evil” aspect with Luger is pretty cool and a nice way to shake up the main event that’s basically full of babyfaces.

The Flair/Double A feud is getting hot and Pillman is playing his part perfectly.  I can’t wait to see how this turns out…especially once they bring Sting in.

All in all, pretty good episode with some good matches and good story line advancement.  I enjoyed.

-Shane

 

—–

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.5

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.5

(Raw 2, Nitro 1) (Tie Weeks – 1)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 2 weeks

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – N/A

 

Wow, a tie!  First time that’s happened!

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

Razor Ramon defeated The 1-2-3 Kid

Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Barry Horowitz

PG-13 defeated Al Brown & Sonny Rogers

Bret Hart deafeated Jean-Pierre Lafiette

 

Raw was the weaker show again this week.  Razor vs Kid was probably good but on paper, the other three matches just all look weak.

Anyway, join us back here next week for another episode of Kick Out at Nitro!

 

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Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re back for another trip on the Way-back machine to the land of 1995.  September 25, 1995 to be exact.  The destination: the Florence Civic Center in Florence, South Carolina!  Yes, it’s time for another installment of KICK OUT AT NITRO, with your host Shane!

The show opens with one of my favorite Mongo/Heenan quips to date.  Mongo has Pepe with him and has the dog dressed up with a cowboy hat and a saddle.  Bobby refers to it as a four pound tarantula wearing a saddle, prompting Mongo to respond with “You now you wanna ride him!”  Heenan takes a moment and replies with “I don’t want to ride that crap!”  For some reason, the outright dissing of Mongo’s dog and referring to it as “that crap” cracked me up.  I hate Mongo, but I love listening to Heenan go at him.  Reliving Nitro has honestly given me a lot more of an appreciation for Heenan than I had in the past.  I always knew he was good, but never really let it sink in how good.  To see him saddled up with a terrible commentator like Mongo and to hear him still be able to run verbal circles around him, most times going over Mongo’s head…that’s good stuff.

We go from there right into:

Match #1: “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright vs Disco Inferno

This is Disco’s Nitro debut.  He debuted a few weeks back on WCW Saturday Night (Saturday, 6:05 on the Superstation TBS!) and now we get to see him in prime time.

I love seeing Alex Wright flip into the ring as part of his entrance.  My brother was a huge Alex Wright mark at this time, so his matches were always Must See stuff in our house, and even looking back now, the kid can work his ass off.  Good stuff.

Bischoff tells us that we’ll be hearing from Hulk Hogan later in the day.  I’m not sure if this is just going to be a replay of his message from Saturday Night or not, though…

Bischoff says he’s going to ask someone in the production truck to lose Disco’s entrance music, but Bobby pretty much says this is his jam and to back the hell off.

This was actually a really good match.  I’ve never been that big on Disco, honestly, and in my opinion Alex Wright does most of the heavy lifting, but damn if Disco doesn’t know how to work that character.  Stopping randomly to dance/pose/fix his hair instead of getting the pin or following up on moves is a small little thing but it really does flesh out the character.  Match starts off with Disco getting the upper hand but he poses and Wright gets his comeback.  We get to see a beautiful dive over the top to the floor by Wright as well.

Mongo keeps up his habit of referencing everything to football by telling us there’s no reason to switch over to Monday Night Football because San Francisco is going to win so don’t bother.  Hopefully he didn’t have money on that game as Detroit beat San Fran 27-24.

As we go to close out the match, we get a spot that sees Disco take forever to get to the top rope.  Seriously, it’s like a 30 second climb, it’s nuts.  Wright has plenty of time to get up and hit a drop kick, taking back the momentum of the match.  Disco goes for a spinning neckbreaker, but Wright seamlessly transitions it into a backslide (seriously, it’s one of the cleanest transitions I’ve seen) for the win.  I’m just gonna stop right there and say that someone won a match with a backslide!  To steal Derick’s line, this is the last time in recorded history someone won with a backslide.

September_25,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00004We cut from there to Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart in the backstage area/generic WCW locker room.  Hogan has a neck brace on, Jimmy has the World Heavyweight Championship positioned over Hogan’s head and Hogan is doing neck lifts like this.  Hogan cuts his promo about how the Giant messed his neck up but didn’t kill him, etc, but at the time, Hogan thought it was over.  This may also be our first time hearing Hogan refer to him as the “no good stinky giant” as well.

Hogan says he’s building a bigger, better, stronger Hulkamania monster truck.  He challenges The Giant to the monster truck match and then, if he survives that, he’ll put the title on the line at Halloween Havoc.  He says he’ll pick the Giant up over his head (much as he now thinks he did to Andre) and slam him then bury him next to where he beat his father all those years ago.  I forgot that they kept the ‘Andre’s son’ thing up for this long.  I thought they acknowledged it once or twice and dropped it, but it looks like that’s the Giant’s gimmick, so they’re going to refer to it as many times as they can, I guess.

We get our Up Next graphic telling us that we’re going to see Kurasawa vs Sgt. Craig Pittman later.

September_25,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00008We get a WCW hotline plug commercial then come back with the man behind the hotline, Mean Gene Okerlund, in the ring.  He mentions the Randy Savage interview from last week and then they replay it.  Looking around that set I really don’t see any video screens or anything like that, so I wonder if the fans in the arena got to see it.  We come back from the replay with Savage in the ring, who calls out Luger.  Luger comes out and tells Savage that all he’s gotten from him is a severe lack of respect and that Savage has given him the thumbs down ever since Lex arrived here and he’s sick of it.  He says that sometimes you get respect by going to war with someone, and that worked for Hogan and Sting, but not for Savage, so maybe if he goes to war against savage, he’ll get his respect.  He proposes a match next week on Nitro in Denver, CO.  savage is game for it.  Luger says not only will he put his title shot on the line, he’ll leave WCW if he loses the match.  Savage, on the other hand, doesn’t put up crap, leaving Lex looking like a jackass because Savage had already agreed to the match without either stipulation.  Good going, Lex.  Savage says that’s how he likes it, all on the line.

Match #2: Kurasawa (w/ Col. Robert Parker) vs Sgt. Craig “Pittbull” Pittman.

Seriously, is Pittman a babyface or a heel?  I can’t make heads or tells out of this.  Granted, WCW did sometimes rock lower card heel vs heel matches, but still…no one in this match is getting cheered.  Plus, Pittman definitely came across as the heel at Fall Brawl…but then again, so did Cobra…you’re playing a dangerous game with my thought process here, Pittman, and I don’t like it.

Pittman goes on offense first, hitting two lunging headbutts to Kurasawa’s midsection.  Bobby Heenan says that Kurasawa may be the finest wrestler he’s ever seen from Japan, leaving me to believe that Bobby has never watched anything from Japan.  Seriously…this is 1995…New Japan is reinventing the light heavyweight style at this point…trade some tapes, Bobby!

This match was surprisingly hard hitting, truthfully.  They did a good job at kicking each other’s ass through this one.  Kurasawa hits a backdrop suplex to Pittman on the exposed concrete at one point as well.

Pittman tosses Kurasawa over the top and the announcers make a deal of the fact that the ref didn’t stop the match and DQ Pittman.  I didn’t realize that WCW’s over-the-tope-rope rule was still in effect.  For those of you who are saying “Wait…what?!” right now, in the 90s, it became illegal to throw your opponent over the top rope to the floor in WCW.  Why?  Because Bill Watts.   When this was first introduced, it was also illegal to jump off of the top rope, too.  Go figure.

We’re told that Kurasawa apparently broke Road Warrior Hawk’s arm at some point in the past as well.  Speaking of breaking arms, Pittman goes for his finish, the Code Red armbreaker, but Kurasawa gets a ropebreak.  Pittman gets a good gutwrench suplex, Kurasawa hits a German suplex that Eric calls a belly-to-back suplex.  Pittman does this weird thing where he’s trying to kick out, but his shoulders never leave the mat and he just ends up scooting backwards.  It’s almost like he’s trying to get to the ropes instead of kicking out.  It’s for naught, though, as Kurasawa gets the win.

Coming Up graphic: Kevin Sullivan

September_25,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00015We come back from commercial again to Mean Gene in the ring, which is basically becoming the recurring thing, but this time he’s with Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman.  Pillman says that since Double A walked that aisle and beat the man, Flair has been pathetic.  In the meantime, Pillman and AA have been exercising their rights to bear arms, assemble (he flashes the 4 Horsemen sign), and hospitalize anyone who gets in their way.  They talk about Flair not being able to recruit a partner, saying he tried going to Savage and tried going to Sting, but that Flair and AA spent fifteen years screwing over everyone, and now he doesn’t have Arn to back him up anymore and no one is coming to help.  I’m wondering if this stuff was happening on Saturday Night or if it was just to be taken as happening backstage in kayfabe, because thus far it’s not played out that way on Nitro.

We get a plug for WCW Saturday Night that will include the arrival of Dusty Rhodes to commentary, the Johnny B Badd vs Sting match that he won the title shot for at Fall Brawl, new tag team champs the American Males (I guess Nick Bockwinkle upheld the decision from last week) and that Kevin Sullivan will respond to Hulk Hogan’s challenge.

The announcers remind us why we’re going to see Kevin Sullivan vs Randy Savage tonight by showing the beatdown on the set of Baywatch again.

Match #3: “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage

I have always LOVED the WCW mix of Savage’s entrance music.  Hearing that song done with electric guitar is just so cool.

We’re told that our main event will be Lex Luger vs Meng, giving us what I believe is our first four match Nitro!

Apparently sometime during this Pepe takes a crap on Bobby Heenan’s shoe.

Zodiac comes out to aid Sullivan.  Sullivan distracts the referee while Zodiac waylays Savage, slamming him into the ring post.  Sullivan takes the match over, beating Savage down pretty well until they take it outside again.  Sullivan goes for a clothesline but Savage ducks and backdrops him on the floor.  Savage takes over at this point, hits the double axe handle off the top rope, brings Zodiac into the ring and beats him down.  Referee Randy Anderson gets between them and Savage shoves the ref out of the way, causing a DQ.  Savage slams Zodiac, then slams Sullivan on top of him and goes up for the elbow drop.  Sullivan moves, leaving Zodiac to take that devastating looking top rope elbow.  Out comes the Giant to chokeslam the crap out of Savage, which was cool.  I love the Giant’s chokeslam.  I always thought Undertaker’s looked bad compared to the Giant’s around this time.  It was the fact that Giant jumped and came down with his instead of just dropping them that always put it over the top for me.

At this point the WCW job squad comes out to save Savage, including one unnamed guy and another called Mark Star, whoever he is.    They get chokeslams for their trouble.  Alex Wright comes out and dives off the top, but Giant catches him in a bear hug and slams him.  Out comes Luger.  Bischoff says that Luger is out to finish Savage off.  Luger stands over the prone Savage and reaches for him, but then the Giant attacks Luger.  Luger tries to slam the Giant, but he’s too big, and Lex gets a chokeslam of his own.  Sullivan seems upset at the Giant for taking Luger out, though.

We go to commercial and get a promo for Halloween Havoc including the monster truck and World title matches, amazing me how fast WCW’s production team must be, kayfabe wise.

We also find out that after Nitro on TNT is the movie Karate Cop!

Match #4: Lex Luger vs Meng

Luger is still down from his chokeslam as Meng runs to the ring and proceeds to beat him down.  Bischoff tells us that this isn’t fair.

Heenan says that he managed Andre the Giant at the height of his career and that he’s never seen anyone lay more destruction that he just sat The Giant do.

We get word that Hulk Hogan will be in Denver next week.

Luger is taking an ass kicking in the ring, including a piledriver from Meng.  They mention that the Taskmaster is nowhere to be seen and that he’s never not in Meng’s corner.  The announcers talk about how Sullivan was smiling when Lex was coming to the ring.  They’re really sowing that thread for Lex to be affiliated with the DoD hard.

Mongo says that Pepe isn’t allowed to wear his cape and devil horns anymore because that’s evil incarnate.  The fact that Pepe is a closet DoD fan kills me.

Meng goes for a move off the top and Luger brings him down in some type of side X-Factor or something.  At this point I wonder if Lex still does the loaded forearm gimmick.  I remember that happening around this time, so he’s got to…but my timelines have been off before…especially with DDP, so who knows.

Luger his Meng with a clothesline in the corner that he sells more than Meng does.  Meng takes the time to grab a spike from his boot and nail Lex in the throat with it for the win.

September_25,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00026We go to commercial and come back to the announcers.  I like how Nitro ends with a quick wrap-up segment with the commentary team.  It makes it seem more like a legit sport when they do that.

Mongo tells us that “something is rotten in Denmark and it smells worse than what Pepe left on Bobby Heenan’s shoe.”  Heenan says that Luger left the WWF to play with the big boys.  I believe this is our first real reference to the WWF at this time.  They’ve mentioned “the other show” and “I’ve been where you’ve been” and junk like that, but this was the legit name of the company.  Pretty cool.  Heenan cleans his shoe as wel go off the air with our “Next Week” graphic showing us we’ll see the American Males, Nasty Boys, Dean Malenko and the Savage/Luger match.

—–

This episode was interesting for advancing the Luger/Savage/DoD plot, but not for much else.  We did get the reveal of the Halloween Havoc main event, though, so that’s something.  The Alex Wright/Disco match was pretty good, but the other matches were pretty ordinary, which is sad for the first four match Nitro to this point.  Looking forward to seeing Dean Malenko next week, though!

—–

WWF Raw Ratings – 1.9

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.7

(Raw 2, Nitro 1)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 2 weeks

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – N/A

A reversal of last week’s ratings, but giving us WCW’s first win of the Monday Night Wars.

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

Marty Jannetty defeated Skip (w/ Sunny) (7:39)

The Smoking Gunns (c) defeated Owen Hart & Yokozuna to win the WWF Tag Team Championship(10:09)

The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) defeated The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette) by DQ (7:29)

 

From an on paper standpoint, WWF may have had the better show tonight.  If nothing else, they did have Sunny, which is always a few bonus points.  Really hoping for a good show next week as the in ring action was a little lackluster this week.

Speaking of next week, the October 2nd, 1995, episode will be brought to you by Ko@2’s resident Champ, Derick!  Finally someone decides to let me have a break from the heavy lifting!  The idea is that we will all eventually be giving you Nitro and PPV recaps…and maybe even debuting a new face or two into the Ko@2 world through this…so it’s exciting to be able to sit back and watch next week while someone else takes the reigns.

Until next time…

-Shane