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?

 

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

Random thoughts while being drunk on nostalgia and Bud Light Platinums

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- The Champ

—–

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

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

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

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

-Shane

 

—–

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.5

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.5

(Raw 2, Nitro 1) (Tie Weeks – 1)

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

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

 

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

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

Razor Ramon defeated The 1-2-3 Kid

Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Barry Horowitz

PG-13 defeated Al Brown & Sonny Rogers

Bret Hart deafeated Jean-Pierre Lafiette

 

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

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

 

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

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

We go from there right into:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming Up graphic: Kevin Sullivan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match #4: Lex Luger vs Meng

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—–

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

—–

WWF Raw Ratings – 1.9

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.7

(Raw 2, Nitro 1)

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

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

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

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

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

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

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

 

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

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

Until next time…

-Shane

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

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

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

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

Match #1: The American Males vs The Blue Bloods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming UP graphic…Flair and Pillman.

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

Match #3: Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs Ric Flair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—–

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

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

—–

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.7

WCW Nitro Ratings – 1.9

(Raw 2, Nitro 0)

—–

WWF Raw results from this week

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

-Shane