Kick Out At Nitro! – Reliving WCW Monday Nitro, 9/4/1995

Posted: September 5, 2014 by Kick Out At 2! in Kick Out At Nitro, Shane D
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Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a new run here at Kick Out at 2, and there’s no better time to start it than 19 years to the day that my life as a wrestling fan changed forever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Shane

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