Kick Out At Nitro! – 1/15/1996

Posted: January 22, 2015 by Kick Out At 2! in Kick Out At Nitro, Shane D
Tags: , , , , , , ,

KoaNitro copyHello everyone and welcome back to the only chronological journey through WCW’s history on the Internet, starting with the first WCW Monday Nitro and going until Vince buys the whole shebang!  Tonight’s episode comes to us from my current hometown of Miami, FL!  This is the second show in Miami since the show began.  They definitely seem to keep hitting the same places over and over, but hey, at least it’s not Georgia.

Bischoff opens the show telling us that we’re getting a World Title match with Flair defending against Sting.  We’ll see Hugh Morris & Kevin Sullivan vs Anderson and Pillman as well as Savage and Luger tonight.  Mongo says he’s interested in the Flair/Sting match because Sting will want the title even more just to take it from Flair.

Luger’s music hits while Mongo is talking the matches up which leads us to the ring for…

Match #1: Lex Luger vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Bischoff tells us that they just found out 40 minutes ago that whoever wins the title match tonight will face Savage next week.  Man, WCW really needs to calm down the title matches in my opinion.  Giving away stuff like this is good for ratings, but it kind of waters down what makes a World Championship match special.  I haven’t seen any of the other titles defended on TV in months, but it seems like every week for the last month we’ve gotten a World Title match.

11596aSavage makes his entrance and runs Luger off to his usual place on the arena floor at ringside.  I’d love to see how much time Luger spends on the floor versus in the ring.  I’d have to say it’s a good 20%.  Luger grabs a chair and throws it into the ring but Savage snags it out of the air.  He tries to use it when Luger gets into the ring but the ref stops him, giving Luger the opening to jump Savage.  Luger takes Savage outside (shock!) and bangs him around on the steps a few times, returning to the ring and stopping Savage from entering when he tries.  On his second attempt, though, Savage pulls Luger under the bottom rope and takes him outside to bang his head off of the steps as a receipt.  Back in the ring Savage hits a double axe handle for two.

Savage does a really good job of showing that he’s trying to get the win.  After every few moves he goes for the pin.  I like that because it shows that there’s an endgame to the match instead of just two guys beating on each other.  Some matches seem to forget that at times.

Savage gets the advantage, taking Luger out with a hot shot and going for the flying elbow.  He gets tons of air and the thing looks beautiful, but Luger moves and Savage eats canvas.  Luger strikes and racks Savage for a good thirty seconds for the win.

Winner: Lex Luger

During the replay you see how well orchestrated the final spot was.  Luger moves at the VERY last moment, giving Savage no kayfabe time to change up his approach so he straight misses the move.  Very well done.

We come back from break to the Dungeon of Doom’s music playing, thinking we’re going to be heading into our tag team match.  Sullivan, Morris and Jimmy Hart are coming out and Sullivan grabs Mean Gene and drags him to the ring.  We also see The Giant and One Man Gang coming out, followed by all four members of the Horsemen.  One Man Gang is holding the WCW United States Championship…a belt that he won in a DARK MATCH at Starrcade!  Yes, a major title changed hands in a dark match at a PPV where the reigning champion at the time wrestled…but not for the title.  Damn WCW, why you gotta be so dumb sometimes?

11596bBack in the ring, Gene asks what the hell?  Anderson and Pillman are definitely not dressed for a match.  Anderson says that he and Sullivan have come to a meeting of the minds.  There’s no money in a fight against the Horsemen and DoD.  Sullivan says he respects Flair and due to that, Flair can “borrow” the Giant for Clash of Champions.  Sullivan says he respects Anderson, Anderson respects him, and all is well there, but he has a problem with Pillman.  Pillman is disrespectful and not Horseman material.  Pillman is in the background making faces and he grabs the mic and starts running his mouth.  Arn Anderson steps up and slaps the ever loving crap out of Pillman!  He tells Pillman that he told him to keep his mouth shut and Pillman retreats to the back of the pack.  Anderson says that outbursts like this will stop because they’re not professional and the meeting comes to a close.

Bischoff tells us that we have a standby match to replace the tag team match that isn’t going to happen and he announces WCW’s newest tag team acquisition from ECW, the Public Enemy.

As part of my ongoing drive to find out more about this time period, I decided last night to finally break down and pay for a subscription to the Wrestling Observer so that I can get my hands on the back catalog of Observer newsletters.  I started at the first issue in January of 1996 and it makes mention of Public Enemy debuting soon in WCW.  Apparently they were supposed to debut earlier than tonight, but there was a hold up because they didn’t know if they would be able to use the name Public Enemy since it was owned by Def Jam Records, who had a deal with ECW at the time.  Apparently they went through and they got to keep the name as well as their individual names from ECW.

Match #2: Public Enemy (Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge) vs The American Males

During the Males’ entrance, we see some cougars getting excited in the ring, dancing a little and taking off their jackets.  Looks like the Males have fans in at least one demographic.

The Males start off strong, double Irish Whips, double back drops and double clotheslines to the floor.  Public Enemy pull the Males under the ropes and beat them down on the floor for a while, moving back into the ring and trying to double-team Scotty Riggs, only for him to duck and Bagwell hit a flying cross body block to both men, sending them to the floor.

We get a small “E-C-Dub!” chant from the Miami crowd.

Grunge goes for a clothesline in the corner but Riggs rolls him into a pin for two, but Grunge hits a hard right hand in his corner.  They aren’t able to really capitalize, though, as Riggs tags out to Bagwell pretty quickly, who takes out both men with dropkicks and clotheslines.

Bischoff tells us that despite the loss earlier, Savage still gets the title shot, which is kind of silly to me.

Public Enemy distract the ref for a quick moment, allowing Grunge to roll Bagwell up with a handful of tights for the win.

Winners: Public Enemy

11596dThis match was 100% Males and the PE stole a victory.  Of course, this kind of works out to their advantage because afterwards they beat Bagwell down as Grunge sets up two tables in a double-decker style.  Bagwell gets set up on the top table and receives a Johnny Grunge flipping senton through both tables in what will become a staple of Public Enemy here in WCW as we go to commercial.

We come back from break to Sting’s music playing, meaning we’re leading into…

Match #3: WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match – Sting vs “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (WCW World Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

Flair tells us during his entrance that he’s been telling us for years…whether you like it or you don’t, you have to learn to love it!

We go to commercial break during Flair’s entrance and come back to a card advertising Clash of Champions on January 23rd which will feature the wedding of Col. Robert Parker and Sister Sherri.

Bischoff tells us that later tonight, Hulk Hogan will take on Meng.  Now I’m pissed.  This is a match between Sting and Ric Flair…for the WCW World Championship…the entire reason that every person in this company is here…and the Main Event is Hogan vs a random Dungeon of Doom member!  Not only is that disrespectful, that’s just stupid.  That shows us that in WCW-land, a random Hogan match is worth more than the championship.  Wow.

Anyway, enough anger, at least for now, because I’ve got Sting and Flair in the ring, and that’s never bad.  Kevin Sullivan mentions quite a few times in his podcast that he knew if he ever got stuck or wrote himself into a corner or didn’t have a show, he knew he could throw Flair and Sting into the mix together and he would get gold.

Just a little over 19 years from this show, Sting will show up on Monday Night Raw.  Something I never thought would happen.  Crazy!

This match is pretty much normal Sting/Flair fair.  That’s not to detract from it.  These two are magic together.  We go to commercial break right after Sting hits a big superplex and goes for a splash but Flair gets his knees up and Sting takes a gut full of them.

We come back from commercial to an ad for SuperBrawl on February 11th.    Sting goes for a Stinger Splash but Flair moves and Sting eats the turnbuckle.  Flair goes for a pin with his feet on the ropes, but doesn’t get it and gets an ear full from worst referee ever, Nick Patrick.  Flair pitches Sting outside where Jimmy Hart gets a kick to the gut in. Flair hits a chop off of an Irish whip, covers and is tossed off of Sting.  Another chop, but Sting retaliates with a clothesline.  Flair tries a whip to the corner, Sting reverses and grabs a sleeper, but Flair gets out of it with a jawbreaker.  Flair starts punching and chopping, but it’s time for Sting to stop caring about all that mess, firing back and reeling Flair.  Sting goes for a dropkick off of an Irish whip, but Flair grabs the rope and Sting falls hard.  Flair goes for the Figure 411596e but Sting rolls it into a small package for two.  Sting tries a back slide for two.  Sting tries a sunset flip and Flair fights it off, resulting in Flair’s tights being pulled down and his ass showing.  Mongo says he’s thankful we didn’t get a reverse angle shot of that and I’m inclined to agree, even if it is with Mongo.  Flair goes for something off the top, momentarily forgetting he’s Ric Flair.  Sting reminds him as he sends him crashing to the mat.  Sting’s fired up now, no-selling chops and hitting a gorilla press slam.  He backs Flair into the corner and out comes Lex Luger.  Luger’s arguing with Jimmy Hart, who is on the ring apron, and takes away his megaphone just as Sting goes for a Stinger Splash.  Sting gets a face full of megaphone, though, knocking him out.  Flair wraps on the Figure 4 and gets a pinfall victory out of it.

Winner: Ric Flair (still WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Luger attacks Flair but out comes Hogan and Savage, chasing everyone off.  Hogan and Savage check in on Sting as Mean Gene comes in.  Bischoff asks how Sting is going to be able to trust Luger as they’re supposed to tag up at the Clash.

Hogan says that hopefully now the sense has been knocked into Sting.  He brings up Luger holding Sting down at Starrcade and then brings up that Sting could have been champion tonight if it wasn’t for Luger.  Savage says he told Sting day one that he couldn’t trust Luger and says that Sting is dying by it.  Sting asks what the hell they’re talking about.  He says “Luger did this?!”  Apparently Sting doesn’t know what happened so he’s going to go talk to Luger and find out from the horse’s mouth and he heads to the back.

Hogan says that at the Clash, they’ve got a secret weapon.  But tonight, though, Hogan and Savage have problems.  He says that he has been on a roll recently and tonight is now the fourth time that Savage has lost to Luger, but Savage gets a title shot for the belt that Hogan says has his name on it.  I haven’t paid attention to it to find out whether it still does, but you would imagine that as this is the second champion since Hogan lost it that it wouldn’t have his name on it any more.  Hogan whines a little more about not getting a title shot and Savage basically tells him to shove off, leaving Hogan to wonder why Savage is leaving him alone.

Hulk Hogan is the worst friend ever, but he’s got a point.  Savage doesn’t really deserve the title shot in any way other than getting a return match after losing it.  That’s the only way I can see this making sense.  He’s lost more than he’s won recently, especially to Luger.  Not that Hogan should be getting the shot, but damn, Luger probably should.  But, apparently they just give out title shots here in WCW willy-nilly, so maybe Hogan just has to wait his turn.

We go to commercial and come back to the Saturday Night rundown.  We’ll hear from Hogan.  We’ll get Harlem Heat vs Luger & Sting.  We’re also going to get an interview with Jim Belushi for some damn reason.  Seriously, apparently two back to back weeks of Mike Ditka interviews followed by Jim Belushi…that makes no damn sense.

With that, we head into our sham of a main event…

Match #4: Meng w/ Kevin Sullivan vs Hulk Hogan

Kevin Sullivan is wandering around ringside beating up production crew members but no one comments or mentions it until almost a minute into it happening.

Man, I’m going to try to be objective, but screw this match, man.  Hogan vs Meng should not main event a show where the title is up for grabs.  I’m going to lay money on it being a screwy finish with the DoD / Horsemen beating Hogan down too.

Meng starts off strong, kicking and punching and sending Hogan outside where Sullivan gets a shot in.

Heenan probably gives us the most real commentary ever when he’s talking about the title.  He says everyone wants it.  Flair has it, Savage wants it, Sting wants it and Hogan is unhappy that anyone else has it.  I know in storyline that Hogan should have never lost the belt and he got screwed in World War 3, but all he has done is bitch about not having the belt ever since then.  It’s worse than Bret Hart in 97 in my opinion, and we all turned on him for being a crybaby at that time.  Of course, the crowd isn’t really as into Hogan as they used to be, which is going to be what causes some major stirring of the pot as we get into July.

Raking eyes, like a "Real American"

Raking eyes, like a “Real American”

Meng is pretty much controlling the match, getting the better of Hogan, until he misses a diving headbutt.  Hogan picks up, firing off right hands and eye rakes.  Yep, the biggest babyface in the company rakes the eyes of his opponent and fires off closed fists…which are illegal in wrestling.  This weekend I actually had about a thirty minute conversation with “The Franchise” Shane Douglas and we talked about watching the babyface be the first one to fire off closed fists.  Straight rule breaking and it doesn’t make sense.  That being said, Hogan is the biggest heel through his entire career.  He always does heel things.  He causes DQs for his friends, he cheats…it’s terrible.

Meng hits Hogan with the spike but gets a two count.  Hogan hits the big boot and then ends up wrestling away the spike from Sullivan, who is trying to give it back to Meng.  Hogan hits Meng in the throat with the spike and gets the win.

Winner: Hulk Hogan

See!  Hogan won with a foreign object!  Granted, it was used on him first, so you could kind of argue retaliation, but if Hogan was the true babyface he should be, he would have found a way to overcome that without cheating.

Savage runs out to chase off Sullivan and he and Hogan seem to have made up as we go back to the announcers, who give us a quick rundown of the show and take us off the air.

—–

Ugh, this show.  Honestly, I didn’t hate it.  I’m just so angry about the placement of the title match.  They could have easily reversed the last two matches and nothing would have changed.  They could have went off the air with Hogan and Savage arguing if that was what they needed to get across and we still would have has a Main Event with the World Title instead of a throwaway Hogan vs Meng match that means nothing other than to further tell us that Hogan and the DoD are feuding.  They’ve been feuding for six months now!  They’ll feud for another few months before we’re finished with them!  Take pride in your championship and make it the focal point of your shows.  If I can main event without the title, what’s the damn reason for wanting the title?  Why does Hogan want it so much when he’s still the focus of the show without it?  Those are logic problems…and damned if they don’t still apply today…but that’s another story.

I’m liking the Pillman stuff going on.  Having Arn take him to the woodshed in front of everyone was a really cool dynamic because it showed that Anderson is trying to keep his ship running smoothly and isn’t going to deal with Pillman’s shenanigans.  I know in either February or March we’re going to get the match with Pillman and Sullivan that breaks the fourth wall, so I’m excited to see how we get there.

Well, folks, that wraps up another Kick Out At Nitro.  I’m almost caught up.  In real time, tomorrow is another episode of Nitro, which I am going to try to get watched and posted tomorrow night.  That’ll leave Clash of Champions on Friday, which may be a bit harder to catch up on, we’ll see.  My plan, though, is after this weekend to have us ready to go for the Nitro on 1/29.  Thanks for sticking with the write-ups and thanks for continuing on this journey with me.  Until next time!

Shane

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.4

WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.5

(Raw – 8, Nitro – 8) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 2)

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

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

 

A full point victory!  WCW for the win, ladies and gentlemen!

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Marty Jannetty

Steve Austin (as The Ringmaster, w/ Ted Dibiase) defeated Matt Hardy (4:36)

The Smoking Gunns (c) defeated The Spiders to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship

The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) defeated Isaac Yankem DDS (8:30)

 

In-ring debut of Steve Austin!  Owen vs Janetty sounds pretty good.  The Gunns vs Headbangers match doesn’t interest me.  We did, however, get an Undertaker victory over Kane, which is something!

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