KoaNitro copyHello ladies and gentlemen!  We’re one night removed from WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 and we’re heading into the stretch leading us to the first ever World War 3 coming up at the end of November.  WCW Monday Nitro comes to us tonight from Dayton, OH, and we’re back to our normal Nitro announce team of Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Steve “Mongo” McMichael.  We kick off with Bischoff telling us that the footage from last night is arriving later in the night.  I’m not sure why the production truck wasn’t able to bring something shot on video just last night…in that same production truck…along with them.  Hell, if someone had watched it on PPV and video taped it, they could have the footage quicker than it’s going to show up at this major television show.  Seriously, just one of those little things they do to build suspense that made no sense to me.  They could have just as easily said that they would show it to us later and not had to build up this whole “it hasn’t arrived yet” thing.  Bobby Heenan said that he hasn’t been to sleep yet, which is nuts.  Maybe he was up all night celebrating Hogan getting his ass whipped.  We also see Pepe dressed up as a witch bat…

We get some information that Randy Savage is out tonight and therefore won’t be able to wrestle Craig Pittman.  Instead, Eddie Guerrero will be taking his place, which leads us to…

Match #1: Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman vs Eddie Guerrero

Pittman had to wrestle Mr. Wallstreet to get a shot at this match, we find out.  Not sure why.  Both men have wrestled on Nitro before, so why is that a big prize to wrestle for?

Eddie is in his black tights, so I’m happy.  I just like them way more than the white ones.

October_30,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00002This match was honestly way better than I thought it had any reason to be.  Pittman took it to Eddie, making him work a ground game instead of letting him fly.  Pittman took Eddie down quite a few times pretty handily but Eddie returns the favor with a pretty nice slam.  Off of an Eddie Guerrero two count Eric tells us that Eddie almost got the upset victory there.  How sad is that crap?  Eddie Guerrero, one of the best wrestlers ever, almost got an upset victory over Craig Pittman.  Wow.

We get a pitch for World War 3 and Bobby Heenan asks if Bill and Hillary know about WW3.  Bischoff says that the rumor is that they watched Halloween Havoc, so he’s pretty sure they do.  Really…?

Pittman is controlling this match and working on Eddie’s arm so that he can set up for the Code Red.  Pittman is nailing some great throws and suplexes here.  Eddie gets a quick roll up and almost gets three, but Pittman answers with another suplex as Bischoff lets us know that they just got word that the footage is on its way.  So…nothing new?  Pittman Irish whips Eddie, who quickly rolls him up for the win.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero

We go to commercial with a graphic saying that we have Scott Norton vs The Shark up next.

We come back to a replay of the 9/11 Nitro match between Norton and Randy Savage.  We see how The Shark’s interference cost Norton the match.  We then get a replay from last week on Nitro when the two got in each other’s faces backstage, setting up our match tonight.  We also get info from Bischoff telling us that during the break, Bobby Heenan left the announce booth.

October_30,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00006Match #2: Scott Norton vs The Shark

Wow, this is Norton’s first match on Nitro since that Savage match.  The two lock up “like two mooses in rutting season.”  We’ve got a full on hoss fight on our hands here as the two basically beat each other around the ring.  Not much technical wrestling going on here, that’s for sure.  Norton hits a nice flying shoulder block off of the top rope and a body slam, leading us to a double clothesline spot that looked pretty rough.

We cut to where Bobby Heenan has been sitting all this time.  He’s eating sushi with…wait for it…Sonny Onoo!  Called that crap, didn’t I?!

Norton and Shark brawl to the floor and continue to brawl at the ringside area, causing the referee to call for the bell due to count out.  They continue to brawl up the ramp, taking a moment to slam each other’s heads into the giant steel WCW letters and then brawl backstage.

Winner:  Double count out

October_30,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00008We get a tight shot on Bobby and Sonny and we can overhear Bobby basically running down WCW’s programming schedule, then accepting an envelope from Onoo.

We go to commercial break and come back to Tony Schiavone in the ring.  If I’m not mistaken, this is his first Nitro appearance.  He shows us pics from the PPV last night, courtesy of WCW Magazine.  I guess the film guy got there quicker than the video guy.  He runs down the Anderson/Pillman vs Sting/Flair match from last night and then welcomes out the Horsemen.  There’s a funny moment as Ric Flair grabs one of those foam Hulk Hogan signs from a fan and carries it into the ring.  I always kind of feel bad for the people who get their crap stolen.  Those foam Hogans definitely cost money.  Same thing with that guy who got his hat stolen a few weeks back by Disco Inferno.  Terrible thieving wrestlers.  Pillman tells us that last night brought us one step closer to the reformation of the Horsemen.  Anderson tells us that for two years people have asked him to bring back the Horsemen.  Be careful what you wish for…because now you have it.  Seriously…I love Arn Anderson, but is this the only promo he cuts from 1995 onwards?  He cuts this same promo in September of 1998 as well.  Flair tells us that whether we like it or don’t like it, we need to learn to love it because they’re the best thing going today.  He says Sting is like the women they deal with.  THey tell him what he wants to hear and then they do what they want to do.  He challenges Sting next week.

October_30,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00010We go to break finding out we have Sabu vs Disco Inferno up next.  Coming up on Saturday Night we have Alex Wright vs Chris Benoit, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson vs Renegade and Cobra, and Harlem Heat, who are now the WCW Tag Team Champions, apparently, vs The Blue Bloods (Steven Regal & Bobby Eaton).  It looks like Harlem Heat won the tag belts back on the Saturday Night episode that aired on 10/28, according to Wikipedia.

We come back from commercial to:

Match #3: Sabu vs Disco Inferno

Bischoff gives us another useless footage update.  We get it, Bisch…just tell us when the damn tape arrives and quit giving us non-updates.

We are also told during the wrestler entrances that next Monday’s Nitro will be fan interactive.  The fans will get to control which matches happen.  So, Taboo Tuesday or Cyber Sunday almost ten years early?  Bischoff runs down two lists of wrestlers, from blue and red locker rooms, and tells us we’ll get to choose which wrestlers face each other.

The match starts out with Disco dancing and Sabu unceremoniously punching him in the mouth for it.

Heenan’s back, so they ask him about the meeting.  Heenan says it’s just a friend in town and he’s showing a little hospitality.  Nothing they need to worry themselves over.

Disco is showing a bit of a mean streak in this match as he grabs Sabu’s hair and whips him across the ring a few times.  It’s not Bull Nakano levels, though.  Man, that should start happening soon.  After years of garbage WWE Divas matches, some Madusa vs Bull Nakano matches sound pretty good.  Maybe some Akira Hokuto thrown in there as well.

Disco is pretty much running this match, which is odd on both the standpoints of it being a Disco Inferno match and he usually never runs it as well as Sabu not just destroying his opponent.  Disco’s Achilles heel, though, is that after ever little bit of offense, he dances.  It costs him momentum.  I do like that they’re keeping that little bit of character with him.  He does well through the match but his dancing hubris always seems to cost him.  The crowd starts getting behind Sabu, though, and chanting his name.  Dancing costs Disco hitting a splash in the corner.  The recoil from hitting the corner sends Disco to the mat where he’s hit with Sabu’s flipping leg drop.

Winner: Sabu

Sabu’s normal post match beat down starts at this point.  Sabu hits a flip to the outside, taking Disco out, but after getting up all Disco is really worried about is his hair.  Sabu has taken the time to go to the end of the ramp and retrieve a table, which he hits Disco with and then puts him up on.  He goes for the flipping dive over the top rope but Disco moves and Sabu takes the table back first and it doesn’t break.  Looked like a pretty rough landing.  Disco high tails it out of the ringside area as Sabu flips out and starts throwing stuff, starting with the ring steps.

We go to commercial break again and come back to…

Match #4: Lex Luger and Meng (w/ Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan) vs The American Males

We get a quick update that the footage is finally here.  Thank Heavens!

The Males are getting full babyface cheers.  I know that Meng and Luger are pretty hated right now, but last time we saw the Males I didn’t think that they were really that over.  Heenan says that Luger and Meng are full-time wrestlers and that the Males have another day job where they work at the mall and spray cologne on people.  That cracked me up.

Pretty much right as the match starts, we go to commercial.  Only one interruption tonight, though, which is good.  Not like that one Nitro where they went to commercial in every match!  Does a WCW match ever end on commercial break?  It almost seems like I remember that happening once.October_30,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00017We come back to the Males controlling Luger, surprisingly.  Granted, until Saturday the Males were Tag Team Champions, but still, this is Lex Luger we’re talking about.  And a newly heel Luger at that!  I wouldn’t imagine the American Males would be leading the match.  Even Mongo is shocked that this is happening.  He says that they’re kicking the “shag” out of Luger and Bischoff almost has a heart attack at the word that Mongo could have used.  Heenan applies a little logic to it saying that the Males are a full-time tag team whereas Luger and Meng have only been together since last night.  Both Bischoff and Mongo comment that they’ve been together way longer than last night, hinting that the Luger/Dungeon of Doom alliance has been going on a good while.  Even if that is the case, one would have to assume that the connection has been between Luger and Sullivan and that Meng had no part of it, especially since Meng seemed awfully pissed and shocked last night when Sullivan cost him that match.  Luger takes a terrible looking backdrop that the announcers put over like a million bucks, with it eliciting a “nice!” from Bischoff twice and a “very nice” from Heenan.  Meng and Luger get an opportunity and almost take Scotty Rigg’s head off and regain control of the match.

When does the Barbarian show up?  I liked the Faces of Fear.

Meng’s hair is really fluffy today.  Not that I would ever tell him that.  I’m legit scared of Meng.

Bischoff says that Hulk Hogan hasn’t spoken to anyone since last night.  Well, I guess he really doesn’t have any friends left at this point, since Savage is out and Jimmy Hart turned on him.

Why hasn’t Bobby Heenan told us what happened to the Giant last night between his fall off of the Cobo Arena and him coming out to for the World Championship match?  He promised!

Riggs gets the hot tag to Bagwell who comes in and cleans Luger’s clock with a few clotheslines.  Jimmy Hart distracts the referee during some American Males double-teaming, which is only lightly less homoerotic than it sounds, allowing Meng time to come in and superkick the crap out of everyone.  Torture Rack to Bagwell for the win.

Winners: Meng and Lex Luger

We head to commercial with promises of the footage from last night when we return.

We come back and head to our announce booth where Bobby Heenan is still sipping champagne from his earlier sushi dinner with Sonny Onoo.  Man, that makes me really want sushi right now.  Haven’t had any in a while!  Mongo decides to trick ‘r treat for Pepe, holding out his bag, into which Eric deposits the fabled full Snickers bar.  He says it’s because they’re a sponsor, but I think it’s because Eric has the money on the block and is handing out the good candy.  I know at one point Jimmy Yang went to Bischoff’s house dressed as Sting and has a cool pic of him ready to hit him with the Scorpion Death Drop…I remember seeing that in WCW Magazine.  Anyway, Mongo offers the bag to Heenan, who no-sells it, and gets covered in silly string as a result.  I love how they play up the fact that Heenan hates Mongo.  That being said, I wonder how much “playing” is involved.

We finally get our damn footage from last night, showing us everything that happened from the Hogan leg drop on.  Since I can’t replay the footage, I’ll replay yesterday’s post so you can see what happened.  See…I can play this game too…but I didn’t spend all post baiting you and telling you that “I’m about to copy and paste from last night, folks!”

19951029_gianthogancroppedHogan Hulks up again, big boot, hits the leg drop and suddenly the ref hits the floor.  Hogan has the match won, but the ref is out.  Hogan and Jimmy Hart talk a bit; Hogan lifts the ref up and hands him to Hart to get him ready to make the count.  Hogan turns his back; Hart shoves the ref and nails Hogan with the WCW Championship.  Hogan no-sells it, turns on Hart and goes to beat him when the Giant gets up and we’re back to the bear hug.

What was funny is that during the whole Hogan/Hart/ref gimmick, The Giant would randomly look up and around, and then drop his head down.  I don’t know if this was inexperience on The Giant’s part, or if he was playing possum knowing what was coming.  It just cracked me up.

Kevin Sullivan attacks at this point, making Jimmy Hart motion to the entrance, presumably for the rest of the Dungeon of Doom.  What he gets, however, is Luger and Savage.  They hit the ring and Savage goes to help Hogan, which brings out the Yeti.  As soon as the Yeti hits the ring, though, Luger turns on Savage.  The Yeti joins the Giant in bear hugging Hogan, but it looks like the most useless, stupidest thing ever.  The Giant has a legit bear hug, but the Yeti, who is a good four or five inches taller than The Giant, just puts his arms around the two of them and looks to apply no pressure.  Luger puts Hogan in the Torture Rack while the Giant and Yeti go to hug on Randy Savage for a while.  Luger drops Hogan and then racks Savage for good measure.

October_30,_1995_Monday_Nitro.00021We come out of the replay to Tony Schiavone back in the ring with Lex, The Giant, Sullivan and Jimmy Hart.  I guess Mene Gene had the night off because he’s usually the one involved in all of these segments. The Giant still has the WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt around his waist, despite not winning the title legit last night.  Tony tells him that he’s not the champ and he asks Jimmy Hart about last night.  Jimmy tells us that maybe he’ll put everything in the book he’s writing…or maybe he’ll tell us next week on Monday Nitro.  He says that Kevin Sullivan told Hogan that there was evil in his house…and he was talking about Hart!  He then tells us that he was the only manager Kevin Sullivan has ever had.  That was his past and the Giant and Lex Luger are his future.  So, it seems instead of waiting for his book or for next week, he’ll just tell us now.  Lex cuts generic wrestling promo #255 and I honestly remember nothing from it.  Giant says he’ll defend the title next week on Nitro.  Tony then closes out the show pitching next week’s show from Jacksonville, FL.

——

The thing that struck me most about this show is something that I think WWE could learn from.  Not just this show, but Nitro in general over the last few weeks.  Think of WCW’s main stars at this point.  Flair, Sting, Luger, Hogan, Savage…Hogan and Sting definitely tying for the John Cena spot…and they’re not on the show at all.  This show didn’t feature a match from any of the top five or six stars.  We got two very quick interview segments from Luger and Flair…both of them being multiple man interview spots…and that’s it.  And the show didn’t really suffer for it.  We got some pretty good matches, we moved some story along and we didn’t need the major guys along for the ride.  Now, I know that Saturday Night is still up there as a main show for them.  At two hours and as their longest running show, Saturday Night could still be considered their top show if you really wanted to argue it, so maybe that’s why we don’t always get the main stars here.  Thing is, it makes the main stars more of an attraction when they do show up.  Sure, I missed Sting, but it’ll make it more exciting when he shows up next week.  Of course, Nitro at this point is still only an hour, so that’s why they can get away with it.  I don’t think that would fly on a two hour show.

I’m interested to see where the World Title picture goes.  Of course, I’m saying that knowing full well where it goes, but it’ll be cool to be along for the ride.

This takes us out of October and through our second full month of Nitro and WCW PPV recollection.  I’m having a pretty good time, honestly.  I don’t watch Raw anymore.  Truthfully, WCW is the only wrestling I really watch right now, outside of catching the PPVs on the Network.  I’ve kind of come full circle I guess, as at this time in real time, I didn’t watch WWF, only WCW.  At least this time I’m getting to watch the PPVs.  I didn’t get to order a PPV until Road Wild 1996, so this stuff is all new to me.  I’ve seen pretty much all of these Nitros back during original airing, but the PPVs are all brand new stuff, so that’s super exciting.  How is everyone out there enjoying the journey so far?  Feel free to leave comments and let me know how I’m doing.

Until next week!

-Shane

—–

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.1

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.3

(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) – 2 weeks

Nitro’s first winning streak!  Two weeks in a row!

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

Goldust defeated Savio Vega (5:46)

Marty Jannetty defeated Joe Dorgan (2:44)

The Smoking Gunns (Bart Gunn & Billy Gunn) (c) defeated John Rechner & Phil Apollo to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship (2:51)

Razor Ramon (c) defeated Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) by disqualification to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship (10:16)

Razor and Owen looks like a good match, especially at 10 minutes.  Savio and Goldust doesn’t sound bad either.  Janetty and the Smoking Gunns in squash matches sounds like garbage, though.  That’s one thing I can say for Nitro up to this point…no real squash matches.  They’ll have quick matches, but no jobbers that I’ve seen thus far.  Definitely makes for a better show in my opinion.

KoaNitro PPVIt’s time once again along our WCW journey to plunk down our $29.99 and watch a WCW Pay Per View!  WCW has been building up to this one for six weeks of Nitro and this is where we find out if it was all worth it.  My first impression, right off the bat…I like that they had six weeks of buildup.  Fall Brawl came just two Nitros into the journey, so it seemed like I missed everything leading up to it…because I did.  This one, however, we got a good amount of time for things to build.  As stupid as the Hogan/Giant stuff has been, we got enough time for us to really understand where the story is and why we’re going that way.  Same with the Flair/Sting vs Pillman/Anderson story.  In a world now where it feels like WWE is throwing us a PPV ever three weeks, having a month and a half to get to this point was pretty cool.  It really has me wondering how next year is going at points since WCW still only runs 10 PPVs a year at this point.  They won’t get to 12 until 1997.

Of course, the big build up to this PPV has been Hulk Hogan and the Giant.  We have seen the replays multiple times by now, starting back in the summer when the Giant arrived and threw his Andre the Giant shirt in Hogan’s face.  From there we go to Fall Brawl where the Giant runs over Hogan’s brand new Harley Davidson then later that night snaps his neck.  A month and a half later we’ve gotten one more neck snap and a Hogan that now dresses in black (but isn’t nWo quite yet) and works without a mustache.  Our main events are going to be Hogan vs the Giant in a Monster Truck Sumo Match, followed by the two going at it in the ring for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.  Tied for second on our big story list is the Flair/Anderson/Pillman/Sting angle and the Luger/Savage angle.  I’m digging both of these and I feel that both come out in pretty interesting and satisfying ways by the end of the night.

Our show starts with a quick promo video of the Giant/Hogan feud which ends with a picture of the two of them head to head.  Nothing out of the ordinary except for the fact that Hogan is eye-to-eye with the Giant in this one.  Really…Hogan’s ego can’t allow him to be a head shorter than a man who is actually a head taller than him in real life?  We go to our announce team which is Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone.  Looks like this is our PPV team at this point as this was our team for Fall Brawl as well.  I know that eventually Tony ends up on Nitro as well, but that may not happen until a year or so from now when Nitro goes two hours.  I can’t really remember, honestly.  We cut to Hogan and Giant grab assing on the rooftop of Cobo Hall, which is next door to the Joe Louis Arena where our PPV is taking place.  Back to our announcers, we find out that Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman attacked Ric Flair earlier tonight.  Sting isn’t at the building yet so he doesn’t know and this may put the match in jeopardy.  Heenan laughs and says that this is what Flair gets…he’s not playing around with friends from Friends, which dates us right smack dab in the 90’s.  We also see Heenan randomly eating at this nice table where Schiavone tells us he’s been having sushi all night.

Video CoverWe go to a replay of the 9/30 WCW Saturday Night, which if you’ll remember is where Johnny B Badd was supposed to cash in his WCW United States Championship shot that he won at Fall Brawl against Brian Pillman.  Sting is in the ring, ready to go, but no JBB.  They postpone the match until later that night, but the same thing happens.  Due to two no shows, Pillman gets a title shot instead.  Later that night, apparently, JBB arrived; dirty, saying he had a flat tire and couldn’t get here.  He had no phone so he couldn’t call in either.  Wow, this is an angle that couldn’t be run today.  Diamond Dallas Page interrupts this interview, saying JBB is stupid for missing his title shot and that it should have went to him.  Max Muscle says it’s hard getting here with four flat tires, to which DDP tries to shut him up, but JBB reacts saying he only said he had “a” flat tire, how did Max know he had 4!?  He punches DDP, which set us up for Nitro a few weeks ago where DDP jumped JBB from behind before the match and stole his glitter gun.

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

As they make their entrances we see that DDP still has Johnny’s glitter gun and we see that Kimberly is not happy to be a part of this team.  We’ve been seeing Kim get more and more disgusted with DDP over the last few weeks, and I know that she eventually leaves DDP for JBB (and then for The Booty Man), so you can definitely tell that is coming.

We get an update on Flair, saying he does have an injury but we have no information on the severity yet.  Also, Sting still isn’t at the arena yet so he has no idea.  Heenan tells us that this is proof that Sting and Flair don’t gel as a team because they aren’t even in the arena at the same time.

Page is in the ring waiting as Johnny B Badd makes his entrance.  He comes out facing away from the camera so we can all read the back of his cape…but no, it’s a decoy JBB!  The real Johnny B Badd makes his way through the crowd and pays DDP back for his Nitro waylay.

All through this match there is a running commentary and speculation on DDP winning 13.7 million dollars recently.  I didn’t really start following DDP until after the whole “benefactor” angle that’s coming up through the first half of 1996, but I do remember there being a time when the angle was that he was poor as all get out, so that ties in pretty well to the next speculation point which is that the rumor is that the Diamond Doll actually won the money and that DDP is just along for the ride.

We get a pretty funny spot in this match when JBB pulls DDP’s hair while he’s in an armbar.  DDP complains to the ref and the ref questions JBB about the hair pull, to which he replies “Yeah, I pulled his hair!  Like this!” as he pulls it again.  I thought that was pretty funny and really showed that JBB was out for payback instead of just winning a match or the title.

Heenan tells us another story about a pilot leaving the cockpit to ask him questions about what was going on in WCW, leaving him to reply “Who’s flying this bird?”  I like to see it not as a joke being used twice, but that pilots all around the world want the scoop from Heenan and he’s getting annoyed and worried for his safety!  Pilots should pay attention to their planes and get their scoops by calling 1-900-909-9900 instead.

We find out that the Sheik will be here with Sabu later tonight.

Two things really run through this match as we go along.  One is that the announcers are constantly putting over the changes in DDP since he “won” the money.  The second is that as this match goes on, Kim becomes more and more disgusted with DDP.  She moves pretty much from distraught at the match to plain out pissed off with Page.  This really takes off when DDP unwraps his wrist tape and uses it to choke JBB.

JBB comes back though, giving Page a duo of atomic drops, moving to punches and then rocking him with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors.  We get a double axe handle from the top rope by JBB that Kim scores a 10.  She’s moved on from upset with DDP to actively cheering JBB.  JBB gives us an ugly sit out powerbomb for a two count.  DDP goes for the Diamond Dream (which is apparently a DDT out of a hip toss, which is odd having signature move that depends on someone else hitting you with an offensive maneuver, but whatever).  DDP goes for a Diamond Cutter, but JBB blocks it by using the top rope to hold himself up, and then covers DDP for a two count for no apparent reason.  That’s one of the logic flaws in the Diamond Cutter.  I’ve always liked the move…but you do as much harm to yourself as the opponent when you hit it.  When Page missed it, technically he did just as much to himself as he would have if he had actually hit the move, so JBB covering him for a two kind of shines a light on that.

Havoc_19951029_0004bMax Muscle grabs JBB from behind and DDP goes for a clothesline, but JBB moves.  Thankfully DDP stops short from hitting Max, but then JBB dropkicks DDP from behind and the two collide.  JBB picks up the win when Max Muscle accidentally clotheslines DDP.


Winner and new WCW Television Champion, Johnny B Badd!

We cut really quickly back to our announcers to find out that this is the first time that we’ll see The Giant in an actual match.  Sure, he’s been choke slamming folks and snapping necks for a few weeks now, but tonight will be his first official match.  Heenan tells us that they may not get to it as they may both end up going off the roof in the Monster Truck match, though.

Match #2: Zodiac vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Yep, I was as confused as you when Zodiac came out to the ring…and for the same two reasons.  1) Why is it Zodiac and not Kamala, as we were told it would be for the last few weeks?  2) Why is Zodiac employed?

Zodiac, however, apparently comes out to what will become Rey Mysterio Jr.’s entrance music.  It’s always odd to me to see entrance music get recycled.  It’s like when I realized Kurt Angle came out to The Patriot’s music and my mind exploded.

Randy makes his way to the ring and stops to kiss some random woman.  It looked like it made both of their days, so all is well, I suppose.

Savage’s arm is taped up, still selling his match against Kurasawa from the previous Nitro.

At the start of the match a fan jumps into the ring only to be wrangled by Randy Anderson.  For the most part, Savage and Zodiac ignore him, which is probably a good thing.  I think out of all of the wrestlers you could randomly jump, Randy Savage would be near the top of the list of the ones most likely to seriously injure you.

Heenan says that Kamala said he was afraid of Savage, so Kevin Sullivan beat him and sent him back to Uganda.  Guess this is cover up for Kamala leaving the company, kind of like Vader going AWOL before Fall Brawl.  Seriously, WCW, you have two guys leave the company after building them into PPV matches…gotta keep a better watch on that stuff.

Savage wins with the top rope elbow at the end of a very quick match.  Now, as long as Lex Luger wins his match, Savage and Luger will happen later on tonight.

Winner: Randy Savage

We go to the back where Mean Gene is standing by with Johnny B Badd.  We get a quick Hotline plug from Gene in which he tells us that Jimmy Hart has been talking with a man he used to manage in “another federation.”  Johnny arrives to tell us that there’ll be a celebration in Detroit tonight and that dreams do come true.  Gene talks him into taking him out for some Greek food later.

Match #3: Kurasawa (w/ Col. Robert Parker) vs Road Warrior Hawk

This is a Revenge Match coming from Clash of the Champions in Daytona Beach earlier this year.  In that match, Kurasawa broke Hawk’s arm, which we’ve heard a lot about over the last few weeks.

Where is Animal at this point?  We’ve seen Hawk a few times, but is he the only one in WCW at this point?

Early in the match Hawk hits his shoulder on the ring post and Kurasawa goes straight for his arm.  Nice to see WCW playing up continuity here.  Hawk shoves Kurasawa off, though.

We see a “Bobby for Mayor” sign that Schiavone points out, leaving Bobby to respond with “That’s just what I need…to take a pay cut and live in a bad neighborhood.”  Nice to see Bobby get a dig at Detroit in.

Kurasawa hits a Samoan drop, puts his legs on the ropes (which Parker holds) and gets the win.

Winner: Kurasawa with a dirty pin and assistance from Col. Parker.

We go backstage with Mean Gene again, this time with Randy Savage pacing the floor in front of him.  He said he heard what Hogan said and he didn’t like it.  He doesn’t think Hogan can separate business and pleasure.  He’s Hogan’s friend…but when they meet together in the ring, he’s going to win.

He tells Gene that his mustache is crooked; causing Gene to fire back that Savage’s beard is sideways.  Savage shakes it off with a “that’s alright.”  Savage says he’s going to make sure Luger wins his match.

Match #4: JL vs Sabu (w/ the original Sheik)

For some reason, JL has been demoted from Mr. JL to just JL over the course of the last few weeks.  Sabu comes out to what will eventually be La Parka’s music, giving us our random music shift #2 for the evening.  Instead of a chair like La Parka, though, the Sheik comes to the ring with a damn sword!

Sabu hits an asai moonsault that takes out both JL and the Sheik.  I’d watch it a little more closely if I were Sabu, though, with Sheik wielding a damn sword out there.  Sabu also continues to prove he doesn’t give a damn about anyone’s safety as he goes for a flipping leg drop from the apron to the ring that lands his ass straight onto JL’s face.  Sabu wins with the Arabian press.  Afterwards, however, Sheik throws a fireball in JL’s face for no reason other than to do it.

Winner: Sabu

Very quick matches tonight, honestly.  We must be making sure that Hogan gets as much time as he wants later tonight.  And trust me…he’s all over the last hour of this show.

We get a quick rundown video of the history of the Giant in WCW, followed by Kevin Sullivan and The Master in the entrance way.  The Master decides that despite Sullivan being right beside him, he’s going to yell at him like he’s across the room.  Also, I still don’t know why The Master refers to him as “Sullivan” every time he addresses him.  It’s his father, apparently…just call him Kevin or “son,” for goodness sake.  Maybe that’s why Sullivan is evil as all hell…his father is just a loud, impersonal jerk.  Despite getting yelled at directly into his ear, Sullivan spends this entire segment looking bored as crap.

Sullivan is also in his gear…for no reason.  He has no match tonight.  The Master says that Sullivan, The Giant and the Yeti (pronounced throughout this pay per view as “Yeh-Tay”) will destroy Hulkamania.  Sullivan says that Hogan’s evil is out of control.  He says Hogan has no friends and that Sting, Luger and Savage are just vultures at his heels.  He makes a good point here, finally.  He’s way off the mark with his “Hogan is evil now” shtick, but this whole thing about his friends all wanting the gold and not caring about him is pretty accurate.  This is what should have been played up more.  It’s been mentioned once or twice, but this should have been part of Hogan turning “evil.”  He should have felt alienated.  Have his friends be more vocal to him about wanting the title, not just to each other.  Then, Hogan would feel like he was backed into a corner and had no one to rely on.  I think that would have been a lot more compelling story than “Hogan is evil now!” when he really hasn’t done a single evil thing.  The most he’s done is tell a couple people to keep their mouths shut.

We go backstage again with Mean Gene along with Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart, and the winners of the Hulkamania Harley Davidson giveaway.  Front and center is this scared girl who looks about 12 years old but we find out that she’s the winner’s fiancée!  Of course, they are from Alabama, so the fact that there seems to be about a fifteen year age difference between the two of them and that she doesn’t look more than 15 maybe isn’t so out of the ordinary.  I apologize to anyone reading this from Alabama…but my blue and orange Florida blood couldn’t help but take a dig at you.  Hogan is putting over the winner and the bike and tells Gene “that he’s already told me how he’s getting it back to Alabama, dude, but you can ask him about that later.”  Way to keep us in suspense, Hulkster.  I’d imagine he’s going to ride the damn thing.  Either that or tow it.  Now, I’m hoping he’ll surprise me and tell me that he’s going to fly the thing home.  That would be a real shocker.  Mike, the winner, wins even more stuff, including some shirts and a new exhaust that he has to go pick up at the shop.  Gene says that he could use an extra exhaust pipe.  55682828Hogan spoils the surprise by telling us Mike is going to ride the bike back to Alabama, but Mean Gene asks him anyway, prompting Mike to tell us that he and the fiancée are going to “straddle it and ride home.”

We get an ad for World War 3 on November 26th.  This is actually the first WW3 PPV, so that’s exciting.  The main event will be a 3 ring battle royal, 20 mean in each ring, and a giant in each ring!  The winner will get a title shot.

We cut back to our commentators and Bobby gives us another zinger by saying that Mike’s new bike will look nice in his trailer park, beside all of the other cars up on blocks and the small $4 swimming pool.  The only thing that kept it from being as sharp as it could have been was the fact that it took Heenan roughly a minute to come up with the words “swimming pool,” leaving him to just try to make a circle his hands in the most terrible game of charades ever.  After the segment, Tony mocks him by making the circle with his hands.  I wonder if these two actually like each other.  There’s gotta be something somewhere that has some candid info on this relationship.


Match #5: Meng vs Lex Luger

As Luger comes out, we get a quick glimpse of a tombstone that’s part of the entryway set with the name Crockett.  Gotta believe that’s a shout-out to Jim Crockett, the man you used to run Mid-Atlantic before it became WCW.

We find out that on Saturday Night, Meng kicked The Shark in the back of the head so that Luger would win the match.  Kevin Sullivan apparently then told Luger that he would “see him tomorrow,” building up more of the is he/isn’t he between Lex and the Dungeon of Doom.

We get info that Ric Flair has been attended to and that Sting is finally in the building.  Way to wait until the very last moment to get here, Sting.  For a guy that’s supposed to be “the franchise,” getting here 2/3 of the way through the PPV is a little lame.  Whatever happened to being the guy who was the “first to arrive, last to leave?”

Havoc_19951029_0001bWe get a nice shoulder breaker from Meng to Luger and referee Nick Patrick asks Luger if he wants to stop, despite him not being in a submission hold currently.  I always thought that was more of a trope when Patrick turned heel and went with the nWo…asking WCW wrestlers if they wanted to stop the match despite not being in a predicament where they might need to, but apparently it’s just how Patrick rolls.  Rewatching this stuff really does show me that he was a terrible referee way before the nWo stuff.  Meng follows his shoulder breaker with a nice old-school piledriver as Heenan gets worried that the Yeti may be in the building.  The Master told us that he was here, but Heenan took that to mean that he was “here” in a spiritual sense alongside the Dungeon of Doom.  He didn’t realize that he was physically in the building.

We’re told that this match is full of “close physical contact…man on man competition.”  Reuse the Mean Gene meme from earlier and apply it to Schiavone if you don’t mind.

Luger is in this match way longer than Randy was in his so there is the question of what sort of toll will that take out on Lex.  Sullivan also keeps talking to Luger randomly through the match and Heenan makes a point that Sullivan isn’t attacking Lex at all despite there being multiple opportunities.  Anyone else turns their back on Sullivan and he’s going to destroy them, but Lex is basically allowed to have a clean match with Meng.  He’s not really out there directing Meng to attack Luger or anything like that, truthfully.  He’s just out there observing more than anything.

Heenan is asked about the man he was having sushi with earlier and Heenan says that’s just one of his Japanese business associates and that it has nothing to do with WCW.  Is Sonny Onoo around at this point?  Didn’t he and Heenan have a kayfabe partnership?  This may be how they bring him in, especially since we’re seeing more Japanese stars show up.  Or, at least wrestlers who were stars in Japan like Benoit, Malenko and Guerrero.  We’ve also got the Cruiserweight division coming up, so that would be a good time to bring all of this together, if it actually has a purpose and isn’t just something they’ll drop.

Luger starts hitting clotheslines like they’re going out of style and Heenan puts over the fact that there’s a steel plate in Luger’s arm due to a motorcycle accident.  This may be the first time this run that they’ve mentioned the Bionic Forearm.

Meng hits Luger with the golden spike and pins Luger, but Sullivan jumps in and kicks Luger, causing him to win via DQ.  Meng isn’t happy about this.

Winner: Lex Luger via Disqualification

We cut to Mean Gene again who is with The Giant in a racing flame suit, but nothing of importance is said, honestly.  He’ll destroy Hogan, etc.

Match #6: Arn Anderson and Flyin’ Brian vs Ric Flair and Sting

Havoc_19951029_0005bAfter the 2 Horsemen enter, Sting enters alone.  They announce him and Flair together, but no Flair.  This does bring me back to something I always liked with WCW.  If the team is two singles stars together, they’ll usually still come out together.  I liked that.

The crowd chants “We Want Flair” a lot but we still get Sting starting off strong and cleaning house through most of the early parts of this match, including one moment at makes him look like a total badass.  Pillman tries to bait Sting in with a handshake, but Sting kicks him in the gut for good measure then picks him up in a gorilla press slam.  He drops Pillman nonchalantly and as he’s falling beckons Arn into the ring.

We get some old Anderson tactics later as Arn rams Sting’s head into an unsuspecting Pillman’s head.  Tony lets us know that Gene and Ole Anderson would sacrifice their own bodies as long as it hurt their opponents, so this is just Arn calling back to that.  The match then swings to the Horsemen controlling Sting.  After a few moments, though, the crowd explodes as Ric Flair makes his way out, in slacks and with a big Havoc_19951029_0003bbandage on his head.  He hits the ring and tries to attack but the ref moves him back to his corner.  The rest of the match runs with Sting taking a beating from Anderson and Pillman and Arn doing a great job of keeping Sting from being able to reach the corner and tag out.  Sting is finally able to tag out; Flair hits the ring, hits the ropes, and punches Sting in the face.  From then on it’s a 3 on 1 beat down on Sting.  Flair pulls off his bandage, revealing that there’s no injury underneath.  They beat Sting down and then head out to meet Mean Gene at the top of the ramp.

Flair is happy and says that “now we go to school!”  Double A tells us to be careful what we wish for.  A lot of bloodthirsty fans asked for it and now they have it.

Winners: Sting and Ric Flair via DQ

We go back to Mike Tenay in the back with Lex Luger.  He asks about Kevin Sullivan’s interference.  Lex says that ever since he came here to “the W…” and you can tell he ALMOST says WWF, but catches it later.  He says that more than one person out there seems to want the Luger/Savage match, so maybe that’s why Sullivan helped him.

We go to our announcers and Heenan goes on a tirade against Hulk Hogan.  He says that Hogan doesn’t deserve to be the champion.  He’s desecrating something that Bobby believes in and does, that being WCW.

We get a recap of the feud yet again, leading us to:

Match #7: Monster Truck Sumo Match – Hulk Hogan vs The Giant

We come back and Schiavone is gone and replaced by Eric Bischoff and Bob Chandler, the builder of both Monster Trucks.  Chandler runs down the specs of both trucks, letting us know how powerful they are.  We then go to the roof for the official rules.

Monster TrucksOn the roof, Hogan and the Giant are in each other’s faces as they get the rules explained.  The two trucks will be welded together and will have to push each other around the circle until one of the trucks is completely out of the circle.  There are also two random explosive charges that could potentially disable the trucks.  We see the trucks get welded together, but I seriously doubt that is happening.  I’m no welder, but I’d imagine welding two giant monster trucks together would take longer than a few seconds to do.

Heenan grabs a quick jab at Hogan with “We always expect Hogan to be slow and he never lets us down.”

The match starts and is basically just ten minutes of the two trucks pushing each other around with quick cuts inside of the cabins so we see both men driving the trucks.  They hit one of the explosive charges but the truck no-sells it, leading to what could have been a really cool wrinkle in the match being a useless throwaway firework.  Eventually Hogan wins.

Winner: Hulk Hogan

After the match, The Giant exits his truck and goes after Hogan.  He charges Hogan and he moves out of the way like he’s Batman fighting Bane in one of the Arkham games, but Giant grabs him by the throat and lifts him up onto the ledge, then follows him up.  Hogan is being choked but he throws his arms up and breaks the choke, causing Giant to lose balance and fall off the roof back first.  Hogan leaps for the ledge, looks down and then yells “Oh no!  Help!  Help!”

From there we cut back to the announcers who are freaking out.

Match #8: Lex Luger vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage

We start the match among Tony and Heenan freaking out about the Giant’s apparent death.  Heenan more so.  Tony tells us that he’ll “be honest with you…we may not have a World Title match.”  Yes, Tony…that’s the important takeaway from this.  Your #1 contender may be dead.  But, the big thing is that the match won’t happen.  Sheesh.

The match starts with Luger trying to make peace, but Savage booting him in the guts and starting the match.

We get info from Heenan telling us that they’re not allowing cameras outside so that’s obviously bad news.

Jimmy Hart makes his way to ringside for no reason.  He’s still wearing his black outfit, but he’s just standing outside of the ring on the floor.

Heenan tells us that Eric Bischoff has left the building with Mean Gene.

In the match the ref tries to stop Randy at one point and Randy takes a swing at him.

Heenan goes apeshit about not getting info about The Giant.  He raises his voice and starts yelling at some off air assistant or camera woman and asks how they can’t just go get info for him.

The fans in the match are booing Lex Luger all while Heenan is doing a great job at selling the Giant’s “death.”  He comes across as genuinely troubled, which is cool.  Savage starts gaining momentum in the match and Jimmy Hart jumps up on the apron and distracts the ref, costing Lex a possible win.  Savage Irish whips Lex towards Hart and Patrick.  Patrick moves, his Spidey-Sense tingling apparently, and Luger barrels into Jimmy Hart.  He falls, elbow drop, and gets the win.

Winner: “Macho Man” Randy Savage

We go back to the announcers who are talking about the Giant again and Tony gets info that Michael Buffer is going to the ring.  Heenan explodes again, tells Tony to forget about Buffer and to go find out what is happening outside.  Tony tells Heenan to do it himself, and Heenan throws down his headset and storms off.  He’s only gone a moment, though, as he comes back and says that there are 500 people in the doorway and it would take him two hours to get outside.  Tony looks like he gives absolutely zero #*%#s.  Heenan says that Tony doesn’t understand how serious this is to him.  He doesn’t know how far back he and the Giant’s father go.    We get a quick replay of what went down on the roof and Heenan again asks why we can’t get any information about what happened.  Tony looks at the camera this entire time with a look that says “This crap again?”  I do have to say that I absolutely love how much Heenan is selling all of this, though.  It’s amazing.

We go to the ring where Michael Buffer begins introducing The Giant, but Hogan’s music comes on and he and Jimmy Hart walk out in total seriousness.  Heenan says that Hogan isn’t dressed to wrestle, despite the fact that he’s in his wrestling gear.

Hogan gets in the ring and takes the mic, saying he’s sorry for killing the Giant.

And out walks the Giant.

Seriously, it was meant to be a shock, but it happened so quickly that the shock was kind of lost.  I would have liked to see it drag out a bit, but it didn’t.  Hogan is scared as hell as Giant gets in the ring for his first official match…ever.

Match #9: WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Hulk Hogan (C) w/ Jimmy Hart vs The Giant w/ Kevin Sullivan

Hogan slowly takes off his black bandana, revealing that his forehead is painted up like Kevin Sullivan’s usually is.  This is supposed to show how evil he is, I guess.  If only Hogan had done anything evil for the last month, it would have made sense.  If they had been slowly making Hogan do more evil and devilish stuff, this being the final expression of that anger and evil would have been a really cool idea.  But, he never did anything.  Hell, he gave a guy a motorcycle earlier…how evil can the guy be?

Hogan starts trying to take down the Giant but can’t.  He hits some clotheslines that do nothing to rattle him and then tries to slam him.  The Giant says no and takes over, clubbing Hogan over the back and going on the offense.  Heenan lets us know that tomorrow on Nitro he’ll be able to tell us what happened to The Giant between his fall and he walking to the ring like nothing was bothering him.

Halloween_Havoc_1995_002The Giant controls the match and goes for Hogan’s leg drop, but Hogan moves and you can just imagine him internally monologue “No one steals my move, brother!”  Hogan takes over now as Back-rakeamania returns from Fall Brawl and Hogan rakes Giant’s back over and over.  You could almost argue that Hogan is wrestling like a heel so the evil may have actually taken over…but this is how babyface Hogan wrestles too.  Seriously, watch his matches over…babyface Hogan always did the most heel stuff.  Heenan really did have a point all these years.  In this match, though, Hogan is definitely more of a heel than the Giant, wrestling wise.

Giant locks Hogan in a bear hug and we spend the better part of three weeks here.  Ref checks the arm, we get two drops, then on the third Hogan starts to Hulk up, leading him into a choke slam but a two count.  Of course Hogan is the first man to barely sell the choke slam…the move that everyone has been taken out by.  Hogan Hulks up again, big boot, hits the leg drop and suddenly the ref hits the floor.  Hogan has the match won, but the ref is out.  Hogan and Jimmy Hart talk a bit; Hogan lifts the ref up and hands him to Hart to get him ready to make the count.  Hogan turns his back; Hart shoves the ref and nails Hogan with the WCW Championship.  Hogan no-sells it, turns on Hart and goes to beat him when the Giant gets up and we’re back to the bear hug.

What was funny is that during the whole Hogan/Hart/ref gimmick, The Giant would randomly look up and around, and then drop his head down.  I don’t know if this was inexperience on The Giant’s part, or if he was playing possum knowing what was coming.  It just cracked me up.

19951029_gianthogancroppedKevin Sullivan attacks at this point, making Jimmy Hart motion to the entrance, presumably for the rest of the Dungeon of Doom.  What he gets, however, is Luger and Savage.  They hit the ring and Savage goes to help Hogan, which brings out the Yeti.  As soon as the Yeti hits the ring, though, Luger turns on Savage.  The Yeti joins the Giant in bear hugging Hogan, but it looks like the most useless, stupidest thing ever.  The Giant has a legit bear hug, but the Yeti, who is a good four or five inches taller than The Giant, just puts his arms around the two of them and looks to apply no pressure.  Luger puts Hogan in the Torture Rack while the Giant and Yeti go to hug on Randy Savage for a while.  Luger drops Hogan and then racks Savage for good measure.

Winner: The Giant by DQ (Hulk Hogan still Champion)

The referee hands The Giant the belt, but we get an announcement that the match ended on a DQ and the title didn’t change hands.  Doesn’t faze Giant, though, as he leaves with the belt held high.

We go off the air with Hogan and Savage in the ring after the beat down.  Heenan is happy at this, but at the end of the day, Hogan is still champ.

—–

Wow, three major heel turns on this PPV.  Flair betrayed Sting, but that was inevitable. Flair will always betray Sting.  I have no idea why Sting even bothered with this one.  Luger was pretty expected, but still, a top babyface joining the Dungeon of Doom is pretty out there, so that part is definitely a bit odd.  Jimmy Hart, though…that was pretty major.  Maybe he got really upset that one time Hogan told him to keep his mouth shut and held that grudge.  It’d be funny if the one tiny thing that Hogan did to show his “dark side” was what caused his buddy to turn.  I honestly can’t wait until Nitro to find this out.

All in all, this did what a good PPV should…despite having some garbage matches in it at times.  It ended a feud in Hawk/Kurasawa.  It got us to new or interesting places with a few feuds, like Sting/Flair and DDP/Johnny B Badd as well as how the world title scene being left with a new top heel in Luger.  Plus now Savage has definite beef with Luger, as does Hogan…and presumably as does Sting.  Remember, it was Sting who was the only man vying for Luger this whole time, so now that Luger is a heel, how does that reflect on Sting?  Some pretty good stuff going forward into World War 3.

The bad, though…the monster truck match was awful.  The Yeti is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in wrestling.  Ever.  So this PPV has THAT going for it.

I’m hoping our next PPV has more cruiserweight action, though.  That’s what this one was missing.  Too much slower action and reliance on old WWF star power.  Time to start making those new midcard stars.

Until tomorrow, wrestling fans!

-Shane

 

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!

KoaNitro copy

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?