WWF In Your House: Seasons Beatings – 17th December 1995 –

latestWWF In Your House – Season’s Beatings

Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler

Location: Hersheypark Arena, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

With the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be the best time to focus on a Christmas wrestling show. Sadly I came across this pay per view from 1995, but at least this is a start. The main event here is Bret Hart defending the WWF Championship against the British Bulldog, as they are playing up the rematch of their classic from three years earlier. Let’s get started. Continue reading

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WCW Nitro – 25th December 1995 – A lousy Xmas present for the fans

WCW Monday Nitro

Date:                   25th December 1995

Location:             Augusta, Georgia

Commentators:   Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

Merry Christmas!! 1995 style! Considering it’s Christmas Day for Nitro, this show was taped seven days in advance after the previous Nitro episode. WCW’s present to the fans is a World Title match between the champion Randy Savage and Ric Flair, just two days before Starrcade. Seems a bit weird they had a pay per view on a Wednesday but it’s not the first time it had been done. Let’s begin.

Apparently, Hogan has been suspended until the end of 1995 for his attack on Flair last week. So he’s gone for less than a week? Oh right he also misses the biggest PPV WCW can offer, Starrcade. Apparently.

Segment 1: Lex Luger def Scotty Riggs

Another warm up match for Luger for Starrcade, which was a formality in its result. Despite that, this was a fairly competitive match, as Riggs gave a fair amount of offense. Of course, no one bought that he had a chance against Luger, and the Rack ended this pretty quickly. Solid match, if not spectacular. Rating: C-

Sting is tired of being asked about him and Luger being friends. Ithink we should find out in a few episodes.

Segment 2: Sting def Big Bubba Rogers

Another warm up match, but this one was VERY boring, with a lot of stalling by both men/ Thankfully it was over in short order, but this match is not a fail for the fact Sting was MAJORLY over with the fans at the time. Rating: C-

Sgt Craig Pitman is turned down by Jimmy Hart to be his manager in humiliating fashion. Oh well.

Segment 3: Dean Malenko def Mr J.L

Very entertaining match from these two, as you would expect, but unfortunately this may be the last we see of Mr J.L, as Malenko broke J.L’s arm from a fireman’s carry off the top rope. I’m not sure he had another match on Nitro after that. No rating because of the unfortunate incident, but we have seen this match many times before.

Segment 4: WCW World Title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage def Ric Flair (via DQ)

Interesting fact: this match was one half of the main event at WrestleMania VIII nearly four years before for the WWF Championship. The problem here is this is ANOTHER disqualification in the main event of Nitro, which is getting annoying to see week after week. It sets up potential clashes at Starrcade (especially the clash between Sting and Savage to close the show) based on the triangle match to meet the WCW Champion in the main event, but it’s still annoying to see. Rating: D+

Overall: D+ This was a poor go home show for the company’s biggest pay per view of the year. I haven’t seen the pay per view at all, so I have no idea if it was any good at all or not, but judging by this show alone, I’m not sure if there are enough reasons to want to watch it. Poor ending; poor show and poor promotion of a major pay per view.

Naturally, because WWF RAW was not on at Christmas this year, Nitro won in the ratings. That was one way to get the fans interested in Nitro.

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WCW Nitro – 18th December 1995 – A WWF title belt disgraced

WCW Monday Nitro

Date:                    18th December 1995

Location:              Augusta, Georgia

Commentators:    Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

It’s almost Christmas…. 1995 that is. With Starrcade only 9 days away, the WCW World Champion, Randy Savage will have a busy time defending his World Title until then, starting tonight against The Giant. Also, I think a famous moment occurs here with a defection from the WWF and one of their titles. Long time wrestling fans know what I mean here. Let’s begin.

Segment 1: The debut of Madusa from the WWF

And yes we start with the famous moment of the program: Madusa (formerly Alundra Blayze in the WWF) debuts with the WWF Women’s Championship, as she was still recognised as the champion. So what was her first action? Dumping her title belt in the trashcan. On live TV! Classy move, don’t you think? That one move sparked the Monday Night Wars into life even more, as it was a statement of intent by WCW. It hit Vince McMahon where it hurt the most: his pride in his company and its tradition. Rating: B-

Segment 2: Ric Flair defeats Eddie Guerrero

This was the first of three warm up matches for those competing in the triangle (Flair, Sting and Luger). A competitive match here, but Flair (in the style only he can do so well) cheated to win in the Figure Four leglock. Eddie is getting better reactions each time he goes out there, so it’s a shame he was never used to his full potential in WCW. Rating: B-

Dungeon of Doom come out after the match and threaten the Four Horseman about Brian Pillman attacking one of their guys. I think this was where their year long feud originated.

Segment 3: Lex Luger defeats Marcus Bagwell

Second of three warm up matches tonight. Just above a squash here, with Bagwell submitting to the Rack by Luger. No rating here, but Luger looked ready for Starrcade.

Segment 5: Sting defeats Earl Robert Eaton

The third and final warm up match tonight. Total squash in the end, with a Stinger Splash and Scorpion Deathlock ending Eaton. There was some doubt before the match about whether Sting was a good or bad guy, due to his affiliation with Lex Luger recently.

Segment 6: WCW World Title: The Giant defeats Randy Savage (c)

This match was given some good time, which was mostly dominated by The Giant, as was to be expected. The announcers were smart to push The Giant as having a chance of him winning the title, but did anyone believe the title would change hands here? I should have expected this, but Giant won by disqualification after Hogan interfered and took out everyone in his path. Surprise, surprise. Rating: C-

Hogan want’s his title shot at Savage, who agrees to it. Providing he gets past Ric Flair next week (another World Title match two days before Starrcade?) and through the Starrcade pay per view. This may be overkill on the World Title scene but I suppose they needed to keep the audience tuning in over Christmas.

Overall: B- This episode was mainly a warm up for the triangle match and a TV World title match, because this is WCW after all. I think the World Cup of Wrestling was mentioned once throughout the show, which is not the way to promote a pay per view effectively. The opening segment was a shocker at the time, with the tradition of the WWF slapped in the face on live WCW TV. Decent show tonight with a great opening scene.

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WCW Nitro – 11th December 1995 – Here lies the career of Mr Wonderful

WCW Monday Nitro

Date:                   11th December 1995

Location:             Charlotte, North Carolina

Commentators:    Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

We continue towards Starrcade, with a big focus being put on the three way dance between Sting, Lex Luger and Ric Flair for a shot at Randy Savage and the WCW World Title. Well, they assume it will be him if he gets by The Giant tonight in a title defence next week (why can’t it be this week?). Tonight’s main event is Hogan and Sting versus Flair and Anderson of the Horsemen. Let’s begin.

The World Cup of Wrestling is mentioned for the first time on Nitro, with the stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling facing the stars of WCW at Starrcade. Is this what the Heenan and Sonny Onoo deal was about a few weeks before?

Segment 1: Eddie Guerrero defeats Mr J.L

Should have mentioned this before, but Mr J.L is Jerry Lynn and I believe he was the reigning NWA World Champion at the time. This match got the crowd into the show, but it was short and it typified what these two did in WCW. Apart from great matches, they didn’t do anything else for their time in the company. It’s a shame as well, because they were phenomenal athletes. Good match anyway, with Guerrero looking particularly impressive here with some great athleticism and techniques. Rating: C+

Segment 2: “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff defeats Disco Inferno

This was more of a battle of the most awful theme songs in wrestling history, as my ears couldn’t take either man’s theme anymore. Short match thankfully and I couldn’t care less about this match. Unfortunately for Paul Orndorff, this was his last match on Nitro I believe, as he retired shortly afterwards. No rating for this one.

Segment 3: Horseman interview goes wrong

During an interview by Mean Gene to the Horseman, Orndorff came out and complained that he could have been a Horseman before Pillman, which angered Flying Brian. Can you imagine Orndorff as a Horseman? Unthinkable. Unfortunately, this is where Orndorff’s career ends, as a piledriver by Anderson and Flair goes wrong, with Mr Wonderful’s head and neck hitting the concrete. Scary stuff to see, as even Heenan went to help Orndorff (Heenan himself had neck surgery earlier in 1995). A sad end to a long and successful career, although Orndorff made a small comeback in WCW in 2000.

Segment 4: Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeats Hacksaw Jim Duggan

This match was here to give Luger momentum into Starrcade. Nothing more, nothing less. Moving on.

Segment 5: Hulk Hogan/Sting defeats Ric Flair/Arn Anderson

The story to this match was trust issues between Hogan and Sting, stemming back to last week when Sting got hit by Hogan. This match was good, but the ending ruined it for me. Anderson and Flair beat down Sting for the majority of the match, but Hogan got the “hot tag”, did two moves and got the pin on Anderson. So what was the point of the beatdown by the Horsemen if Hogan ruins that in two moves? Good match, with Anderson and Flair working well together, but a poor ending. Rating: C-

By the way, I could have sworn I heard “Hogan Sucks” chants throughout that match.

Horsemen attacked Hogan and Sting after the match, but Luger saves Sting and Randy Savage came out and got punched out by Sting. I believe this has been overbooked a bit now, because this is getting confusing a bit now. Hogan/Sting/Savage make up at the end of the show, which makes me wonder when these three will fall out. To be honest, I don’t even care now, it’s been too long.

Overall: C Aside from the World Title scene for Starrcade and the World Cup of Wrestling, no other reasons have been given to watch Starrcade ‘95. The neck injury to Orndorff was horrible to watch, knowing that injury ended his career. Things seem a little stale at the moment, but I am hoping this picks up as we get closer to Starrcade. Average show tonight.

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WCW Nitro – 4th December 1995 – The Road to Starrcade ’95

WCW Monday Nitro

Date:                   4th December 1995

Location:             Pheonix, Arizona

Commentators:   Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

We are getting closer to the biggest event on the WCW calendar, Starrcade ’95, although you could be forgiven for thinking that isn’t the case at the moment. To be fair there is still time to build any rivalries for the big event, so let’s get going with this episode of Nitro (been a while since I have done one of these, so I may need to refresh my memory of what is going on).

The main event is Lex Luger v Randy Savage for the WCW World Title. Wow indeed. Who will be the champion at Starrcade? At the moment, it will be Sting v Luger v Flair in a triangle match at Starrcade, with the winner facing the WCW Champion later in the night. Shouldn’t the challenger be determined BEFORE the pay per view normally?

Segment 1: WCW World Tag Team Titles: Harlem Heat (Booker T/Stevie Ray) (w/ Sensational Sherri) (c) defeats American Males (Marcus Bagwell/Scotty Riggs)

Looks like Harlem Heat won the titles back at some point since they lost the titles to the Males in September. No idea when that happened. This match was just there, as Colonel Parker gave Sherri a ring (?) and they left together in the middle of the match. Some manager she was. A sweet looking Harlem Hangover ends Bagwell, with this match picking up a little bit at the end. Riggs looked sloppy in some of his moves though. Rating: C-

Sting says he will win the triangle match and face Luger for the title.

Segment 2: Sting defeats Kurasawa

This match just made Sting look good. Nothing more, nothing less. Kurasawa was in WCW more or less as a jobber to the stars, with a few wins thrown in against undercard wrestlers.

New Japan wrestlers will fight WCW wrestlers at Starrcade ’95. Any reason why this is happening then?

Segment 3: The Giant defeats Scott Norton

Pretty obvious outcome as soon as I saw the Giant was in this match. Giant remarkably got picked up by Norton (a first at that time), but the chokeslam by Giant ended this pretty quickly. Were you expecting anything else? Rating: C

Ric Flair (accompanied by Sir Charles, a former basketball player I think), puts a warning on Hogan, Sting and company.

Segment 4: WCW World Title: Randy Savage (c) v Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Considering Luger beat Randy Savage once before (with the help of the Dungeon of Doom), he was a slight threat to say the least. This was a good main event, but a lot of overbooking at the end bought it down for me. Ok, I knew this match would not have a clean ending, but with Hart, Flair, Hogan and Sting involved, plus a referee bump, it seemed to be way too much to have here. At least the crowd finally woke up for this match, but then they seem to wake up for the big stars mostly. Rating: C-

After Hogan hit Sting (again), they make up, along with still-World Champion Randy Savage to end the show. Yeah, this won’t last long I think.

Overall: C- Apart from the main event and the triangle match made for Starrcade, this show more or less set up the huge tag team match next week on Nitro (Hogan/Sting v Flair/Anderson), which defeats the purpose of this episode. Still, this show was just there, but at least the build to Starrcade has begun, which is the important thing to take from this show, and two title matches on free TV is not something to complain about anyway. Decent show, but not the greatest to watch.

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WCW Nitro – 27th November 1995 – Luger and Sting? I’m intrigued…

WCW Monday Nitro

With RAW happening tonight, I figured it was time for another episode of WCW Monday Nitro, just to get us in the mood. Before that, I just want to say two things here:

1)      I just want to get this section of Nitro done, so we can eventually get onto the NWO period of Nitro (it gets way more interesting then);

2)      I am going to start putting up more opinion posts based on current news and thoughts in wrestling. The reviews may be getting a bit old here, so I figured its time to shake things up a little. Watch this space.

Date:                   27th November 1995

Location:             Salem, Virginia

Commentators:   Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

World War 3 has come and gone, with Randy Savage the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion, after winning the 60 man battle royal the previous night. Finally, a Nitro without Hogan/Giant as the champ or the title being vacant. I would have to get used to that otherwise. Oh wait…..

Anyway, I have no idea what happens in this episode, aside from maybe an appearance by Savage, so let’s see what goes down.

Apparently, there was some controversy surrounding the WCW Title and Hogan. Can’t he ever lose cleanly without any controversy? Hogan ditched his dark side attire last night  on PPV and declared Sting his best friend forever. Oh that is ironic for later on (next year)!

Segment 1: WCW TV Title: Johnny B Badd (w/ Kimberly) defeats Diamond Dallas Page

This was a rematch from last night, when Badd retained the title and won Kimberly’s services from DDP. Well, she certainly looks happier with him. This match was a squash for DDP, but a chain thrown by Kimberly (part of the flowers DDP gave her) to Badd ends this with one solid punch. Nothing match really, but this was about Kimberly and deciding between DDP and Badd. I think her choice was made clearly. Or was it? Rating: C-

Luger has apparently pissed off the Dungeon of Doom, so Hart has a plan. Who cares anymore about the Dungeon?

Segment 2: Akira Hokuto/Bull Nakano (w/ Sonny Oono) defeats Cutie Suzuki/Mayumi Ozaki

All the way from Japan and I believe this had something to do with the business agreement between Sonny and Heenan a few weeks ago. Now, to me this was a short, but good display of power by Nakano and Kokuto, but no one really cared until the ending when Nakano tried a splash off the top rope. This was pretty new at the time for American fans and certainly a great direction for WCW to go with the cruiserweights, though not necessarily the women sadly. It’s a shame, as this was a solid match, with a lot of high flying moves and they got time out there (even to create false finishes). You wouldn’t see WWE do that today with the Divas. Rating: C+

Segment 3: Hulk Hogan defeats Hugh Morrus

Hugh Morrus became a part of the Dungeon of Doom? Ok then, I still couldn’t care much. Beating by Morrus, Hulk Up by Hogan, leg drop and it’s over. What else did you expect here? Too short to rate.

Segment 4: Randy Savage interviewed as WCW World Champion

Savage is happy to be champion, but the PPV footage shows Hogan never went over the top rope in the battle royal… scrap that as the Giant attacked him and Hogan after the tape had a malfunction. Ok so Savage gets taken down easily by a chokeslam but Hogan fights off the Giant without going down? Why must Hogan always take the spotlight from Savage (slight bias here)? It continues the Dungeon/Hogan storyline but Sting is questioned about calling off Hogan. Get used to it Sting, there’s more where that came from. Rating: C-

Segment 5: Arn Anderson/Brian Pillman v Sting/Luger

Luger comes out after Sting, but without Jimmy Hart. This was your normal style TV tag team main event, but it was interesting to see Sting/Luger work well together without as much as a word between them. I know they were tag team champions I think before in the early 90’s, but still it was weird to see. Despite that, there was still some miscommunication between them, on the part of Luger. You may notice I’m not talking about the match but that’s because it was all about Luger/Sting teaming up here. Rollup by Sting wins it and a mildly interesting main event overall here. Rating: C+

The Horsemen (including Ric Flair) attack Luger and Sting after the match until Hogan makes the save. Sting even stops Hogan from beating Luger up. I forgot what happens from here between Sting/Luger, seriously.

Overall: C+ This wasn’t so much about wrestling tonight, but the fallout from World War 3 and advancing the stories, which was fine for me. You can’t ignore the happenings from a pay per view, hence they are supposed to draw the fans in and keep them guessing and watching Nitro for more. As far as the stories go for this episode, I could care less about the Dungeon of Doom, but the whole Sting/Luger angle is intriguing me to say the least and that’s all I can ask for. See how wrestling can hook a fan at times? Who knows what you’re interested in on a wrestling show? As long as it draws you in to see the next episode, it’s usually a success to you.

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WCW Nitro – 20th November 1995 – Hogan v Sting BEFORE Starrcade ’97

WCW Monday Nitro

Date:                   20th November 1995

Commentators:   Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

This is a quick episode to view before RAW goes up tomorrow.

At least this build to World War 3 is not so long tonight, as we will have the long build to Starrcade ’95 after this. I have no idea what happens in WCW between now and February ‘96, so it will all be a huge surprise for me, which I am a sort of looking forward to. Tonight we have the main event of Hogan versus Sting, which will be intriguing to say the least. Let’s begin.

We begin with McMichael saying the Hogan v Sting match should have been on PPV, but we get it on free TV! And we get the major problem for WCW over the next few years: giving away awesome PPV matches on free TV.

Segment 1: Scott Norton defeats Shark

This is a rematch from one or two weeks ago, when they fought to a double countout. Shark attacks Norton before the match outside and dominates the match, until a powerslam by Norton ends Shark. Short and pointless really, as neither man advanced any further from this feud. Rating: D+

Segment 2: Taskmaster and Hart interview

Hart tries to talk up Sting for his match with Hogan, saying Hogan dumped him for Savage. Taskmaster wants Hogan to face the entire Dungeon this Sunday in the battle royal. Same old, same old promo. Next please.

Segment 3: Eddie Guerrero defeats Brian Pillman

Disco decides to dance before the others come out. Have to admit that’s something different, but his dancing is awful and generic. Still, it’s better than my dancing. Actually, it was supposed to be Flair in the match, but Pillman instead replaces him for no reason. Oh it’s because Flair is “so” focused on the Stinger, which is better than no reason at all I guess. Can’t complain here to be honest, as this should be good.

To say this would be better than Flair versus Guerrero is an understatement. These two were hammering each other out there, with Guerrero impressive in flying about in and out of the ring. This match was a bit short, but considering this is a one hour show that’s fine. Good victory for Guerrero off the frog splash, which does not come off as a fluke. Rating: B

Apparently, Benoit was already introduced as the fourth member of the Four Horseman. That must have been announced on WCW Saturday Night then a week or so ago.

Recap of Savage having his arm injured by the Dungeon last week. Moving on.

Segment 4: Hawk defeats Big Bubba Rogers

This is a rematch from about a month ago on Nitro, when Disco interfered and caused Hawk to lose by countout. Does anyone really care about this match? Bischoff implies someone will jump from the WWF to WCW at World War 3 this Sunday. I can’t remember anyone doing that to my knowledge.

This match got longer than the last one, which was an ok match at best. Duggan trips Bubba for Hawk to get the pin. Really? That’s how you end a match, with a trip? WCW hurts my head at times. Rating: D+

It is time for Nitro’s biggest main event to date: Hogan versus Sting.

Segment 5: Hulk Hogan (w/ Randy Savage) v Sting (No contest)

Hogan came in from the crowd, which was the first time I have ever seen Hogan do that. This match can be broken down into three parts: first part was the punches and kicks by both guys; second part was the rest holds (and they were legion in this part!) and thirdly, the “Hulk up” comeback. Seriously that was it…. until Sting had Hogan in the Scorpion Deathlock. Predictably, the Dungeon of Doom attacks both guys for a no contest. The rematch between these two? Starrcade 1997. Match was fine for what it was, but it got boring with all the rest holds, which was vintage Hogan. Rating: C

Savage gets chokeslammed by the Giant, who gets clotheslined out by Hogan and Sting with a chair. That’s smart at least. Taskmaster and Hart yell at the announcers to end the show.

Overall: C This was a decent show, but nothing much above that. The main focus here was the World Title battle royal, which was fine as this was the go home show for the pay per view. A good wrestling match and a solid yet unspectacular main event means this show was a great way to kill time, but a lot of it meant nothing for the long term, which is a shame considering the talent they have here at the moment.

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WCW Nitro – 13th November 1995 – Wrestling, wrestling, wrestling, promo, wrestling

WCW Monday Nitro

Date:                  13th November 1995

Commentators:  Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

We continue the build to World War 3 in just two weeks, and with the WCW title newly vacant, the pay-per-view just became more interesting. Hogan may appear on this show as we will find out and what of Sting, who walked out of the arena with Luger last week? Nitro is starting to get a little more intriguing now and not before time. Let’s begin.

Unfortunately, I could not find the opening to this episode, meaning I have missed the opening segment most likely. Hope I didn’t miss too much, but luckily I can still see part of the opening match:

Segment 1: Randy Savage defeats Meng (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Too short for me to see a lot of it but the flying elbow ends Meng. No rating, as I didn’t see anything sadly.

The Dungeon and Luger take out Savage after the match, with Luger targeting the arm.

Segment 2: Chris Benoit defeats Kensuki Sasaki

This was a short match, but it was hard hitting and intense to say the least. Sasaki, who didn’t last long in WCW, had some solid moves, but Benoit easily matched him. Dragon Suplex ends Sasaki to a good pop from the crowd. It was clear who WCW wanted the fans to cheer, as Sasaki got a silent reaction out of the crowd. It’s also about time they got Benoit a feud instead of random matches, no matter how good they are. Rating: C+

Segment 3: WCW TV Title: Johnny B Badd (c) v Eddie Guerrero goes to a time limit draw

They’re not wasting time with the matches tonight are they? Eddie had no entrance here, so what does that tell you? Also, Guerrero wins one match and gets a title shot? So many questions here, my mind is going into overtime. They traded several near falls before just punching each other into oblivion. It became clear they were heading for the ten minute time limit, which sucked so badly, as I was getting into this match. Badd retains the title, and they hug each other?! Didn’t they want to rip each other’s throats out a minute earlier? Rating: C+ (for the stupid time limit ending)

Apparently, Hogan wants Sting next week on Nitro. We’re two years too early right?

Segment 4: Dungeon of Doom interview

Mean Gene interviews the Dungeon, with Hart calling himself and the Taskmaster the smartest men in wrestling for taking the WCW Title off Hogan. Taskmaster says he has wanted to end Hulkamania for 10 years (really?? They weren’t even in the same company for nine of those years!) and says Giant will win the world title. Taskmaster pretends to have another seizure, which s a bit tasteless. Nothing we haven’t heard before.

Segment 5: US Title: Sting (c) defeats Dean Malenko

Where’s Sting’s belt as he enters the ring? DANG Malenko was so much shorter than Sting, it’s laughable. While it was enjoyable to see these two fight it out, this was just a token title defence for the Stinger. Rollup gets the win for Sting but what a performance by Malenko. He proved he could perform with the best of them, but it’s a shame he never got more of a chance in WCW. Solid match here. Rating: B-

Sting talks about how he is ready for Hogan next week on Nitro to end Nitro. Sting avoided the whole issue with him walking out with Luger last week.

Overall: C+ Aside from missing the first ten minutes or so of the show, this was a solid one but not on par with last weeks. The wrestling was good but the promos were far and few between, with very little build up to World War 3 (not counting actually mentioning the PPV), except for the 60 man battle royal. The announcement of Hogan v Sting next week should be exciting to see.

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WCW Nitro – 6th November 1995 – Sting has finally snapped

WCW Monday Nitro

Date:                   6th November 1995

Venue:                Jacksonville, Florida

Commentators:  Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

This is the second of two Nitro’s tonight. Only three more Nitro episodes between us and the next WCW PPV, being World War 3 ’95, which I heard which awful but that’s neither here nor there. The pay-per-view was supposed to be the answer to the WWF’s Royal Rumble event and match, but it kind of fell flat. Big time. Anyway, before then we have to solve the WCW World Title picture, as The Giant may not legally be the champion. Hopefully the build to this pay-per-view is more varied than the last one. Let’s begin.

Fans get to pick the main event for the night. Now I know where WWE got the idea from!

Savage is still out with an injury from Halloween Havoc, so he cannot face Luger yet.

Segment 1: WCW World Title: The Giant (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeats Cobra

Believe it or not this is Giant’s debut on Nitro. One chokeslam and that’s it. Is Giant the champion or not here? I am confused! No rating.

We get Gene in the Red locker and Schiavone in the Blue locker, where fans can choose from superstars in each locker room for the main event. Looks good, but I favour Flair v Sting here.

Earlier in the day, Hogan (back in Venice Beach, California) tells Savage to stick by him and they will take down the Dungeon of Doom.

Segment 2: Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeats Renegade

Basic match, but at least it was longer than the first match. Basic match that just shows the dominance of the Dungeon with no Hogan around. I think this was the peak of the Dungeon’s evilness, seeing how they got even more stupid afterwards in the coming months. Crowd was pretty dead for this one too. Rating: D+

Hart washes Renegades facepaint off and tells him he is worth nothing.

Mean Gene interviews Flair, after the lights go off then on again, who goes off on Sting again. These two could never be separated in WCW.

Segment 3: Eddie Guerrero defeats Chris Benoit

This was an excellent, hard hitting match. To me these moves have been done so many times, but back in American wrestling 1995, this was pretty much new to the fans, hence the big shocks and pops. Benoit hits his moves so hard, I am surprised Guerrero didn’t have whiplash. Controversial ending, with Benoit pinned while his feet were on the ropes. The rubber match will be down the line I assume, as its 1-1 between the pair in victories. Rating: B

Call to decide the main event match!

Heenan’s Japanese friends, including Sonny Onoo, have a buffet table to themselves in the audience.

Segment 4: Sting v Ric Flair

What did I say about the main event earlier? I say it a lot, but Sting was SCARILY over in WCW! Sting just went for Flair in this one, until Flair takes over and slaps on the Figure Four leglock. I mention it for the fact Sting powered out of it like he never knew he was in pain. The crowd pop for that was HIGH to say the least! Flair snaps and tries to hit Sting with a chair but the referee pulls it away from him. Brass knuckles from Flair and an elbow gets…. ONLY A TWO?? I know this is a Nitro main event, but this is getting good in a hurry. Comeback by Sting and the Scorpion Death Lock ends this. Except he doesn’t let go of the hold after the match. AWESOME match for Nitro, with me and the live crowd getting into this from the start. Rating: A-

Referees, security and wrestlers try to get Sting off Flair.  He lets go of the hold then puts it back on. Luger comes in…. and manages to get Sting off him by talking to him. Hang on, this is the same man who put Hogan in the Rack eight days before on PPV. Ah their teasing a Sting heel turn, as he and Luger leave together. Shocking events here.

Segment 5: Dungeon of Doom interview

Mean Gene interviews Hart; Taskmaster and Giant. Hart mentions he had the Power of Attorney to make the match with Giant. He then said he included a title change on a disqualification on the contract. That explains a lot of things already.

So they bring in WCW legal (practising) attorney, who says Hart had Power of Attorney, but Giant is not the champion. Apparently, WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel, who says the WCW World Title is vacant. The winner of the 60 man battle royal will be the WCW World Champion. Huge news and a pretty good way to sell a PPV. It smells of de ja vu though, ala WWF Royal Rumble 1992. Jimmy Hart absolutely flips at this decision. Rating: B

McMichael/Bischoff/Heenan closes the show about World War 3.

Overall: A- Simply put, this was the best episode of Nitro to date in this mini series. Two great matches here; teasing a heel turn of Sting and a twist to the World Title picture at the end of the episode. If I was a fan of WCW at this time, I would tune in next week to see what happened next. Brilliant stuff here and I hope they can continue this momentum in the coming weeks.

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WCW Nitro – 2nd October 1995 – Hulk Hogan… without the moustache!

WCW Monday Nitro

Date:                   2nd October 1995

Venue:                Denver, Colorado

Commentators:   Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

Episode five of Nitro already and…. yeah not too much has happened in the first four weeks. We have a double main event here with Randy Savage v Lex Luger, where Luger is gone if he loses. Sorry to say but that is too predictable to guess. Also, Flair and Anderson collide in a rematch from Fall Brawl. Let’s get to this.

Flair hijacks the announce table to rant about Anderson. Was he drunk then?

Recap of Savage and Luger over the last two weeks.

Lex Luger defeats Randy Savage

I’m surprised this match is going on first but what can I say? That’s WCW logic. An ok match here which was very slow in the beginning but picked up some pace as it went on. As soon as the referee goes down, it becomes predictable what will happen next. The Giant comes down, chokeslam’s Savage and Luger racks Savage for the submission win. To be fair, Luger didn’t see Giant in the ring but it leaves open the question: Is Luger part of the Dungeon of Doom? Rating: C+

Eddie Guerrero defeats Dean Malenko

For some reason, Disco Inferno comes out and manages to piss Eddie off with his dancing. Not very smart Disco! As expected, this turned into a mat based technical style, which these two are known for. Hogan arrives and Jimmy nearly has a heart attack telling him to leave but Hogan wants the Giant. Eddie and Dean meanwhile have a pretty good match here, but the crowd are pretty dead for this. What’s wrong with this crowd tonight? Rollup gets the win for Eddie. Rating: C+

Back from break and Hogan’s in the ring with Mean Gene. Hogan wants the Giant so he goes back to get him. Err what was the point of coming out then? Oh right to get attacked by the Dungeon from the crowd. OH CRAP THEY SHOVED HIS MOUSTACHE OFF! I never knew that ever happened! Hogan looks weird without it though. This just got personal. Oh wow they even cut his hair! What the hell??

There was supposed to be a World Tag Title match on this show but the American Males, the tag team champions, and the Nasty Boys were hurt trying to help Hogan.

Ric Flair defeats Arn Anderson by DQ

As I said, this is the rematch from Fall Brawl. This was more of a brawl than a match, which is fine considering the history between these two. You’re not really going to have a technical matchup again with your ex-friend of 15 years. Despite that, this was a pretty good matchup but again the crowd was near dead for this. See, this is something WCW never got half the time. Let two talented wrestlers go out and have a good match but nine times out of ten it will work. Sadly, Pillman comes in to break up the match but it furthers the story between Flair/Anderson, so I can live with it. Rating: C+

Flair gets beat down by Pillman and Anderson to end the show. Bischoff announced a Cage match between Anderson and Flair next week on Nitro. Wow indeed! THAT closes the show.

Overall: C Apart from the Hogan/Dungeon of Doom segment and Luger/Savage being pretty much predictable, nothing really happened here. This was a problem with Nitro in the early days, as we’re pretty much waiting on the NWO within the next year. Also, where was Sting at this time, considering he was the US champion as well?

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