Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.
The first WCW pay-per-view of what will prove to be an eventful year for WCW. Two steel cage matches were promoted as double main-events in the middle of the conflict between The Mega Powers, The Four Horsemen and The Dungeon of Doom. Ric Flair and Randy Savage have traded the WCW World title back and forth, but Superbrawl would hopefully prove once and for all who the better man is. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan’s battles with The Giant would continue as the two “immortals” of WCW face off inside of a steel cage. How will the forces of good and the forces of evil fair at WCW Superbrawl VI?
Date: February 11th, 1995
City: St Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavonie, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan
This show felt really underwhelming for the most part. I’m not sure where this show ranks when compared to the other WCW PPVs I’ve watched so far. I think the difference between those PPVs and this one was that the stakes didn’t seem as high on this show. It didn’t feel like the intensity and build to the top programs were so grand that I felt a mass surge to watch it. Two steel cage matches back-to-back didn’t seem very special, especially knowing TNA would do entire PPVs with steel cage matches about a decade later!
I guess the double steel cage match thing was a bigger deal in WCW 1996. With that being said though, I don’t know if the action was really pay-per-view level of action. The Savage vs Flair match was very good and I thought the TV title match was good but everything else was, below part at best. There was some matches that were boring beyond boring and then there were matches were I had no idea what was going on and I just could not believe that it made PPV. There was one really infamous angle on this show which was pretty much the talking point and the biggest takeaway from this show. It’s funny because one of the guys involved would end up wrestling their final WCW match on this show!
I do love that the show starts and they cut to the announce team of Tony Schiavonie, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan. Tony would be talking while positioned in the middle of this motley crew and Bobby and Dusty are on either side of him just started staring at each other around Tony! Dusty had this big smile on his face as he does it as he and Bobby have a stare down!
“Public Enemy” Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock vs “The Nasty Boys” Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags in a street fight
We start of with a match which, without the Brian Pillman vs Taskmaster stuff, would have really stood out from the crowd. This was not a wrestling match at heart as it was a fight… a brawl. This may sound like I’m stating the obvious… but that’s EXACTLY THE POINT of a street fight. They start brawling right away and these guys batter away at each other with every weapon they could find. I usually am not enthralled with hardcore wrestling like this but I liked this match to an extent.
Public Enemy clear the ring as they brawled on the outside. Rocco Rock grabs a GINORMOUS TABLE. It’s insane how big this table looked on TV with a black cloth on top of it! Maybe it was forced perspective making me believe it was big but I just saw Rocco with this giant looking table over his head! Rocco runs into Sags with it but Sags no-sells this table charge and smashes Rocco with the table! There was barely any selling to these weapon shots but I didn’t seem to mind.
Grunge and Sags have brilliantly screwed up double clothesline spot. They do the clothesline and Grunge goes down but Sags kinda wobbles, loses his footing and then falls down! It was a way funnier version of the Barbarian/Animal double clothesline botch from a few weeks ago!
Sags brings in a trash can and smacks Grunge in the head with the lid. Sags went for a piledriver on the trash can and I figured at first that the WWE Network didn’t wanna show this because there was a random cut to Sags suddenly going for the cover and the trash can was all bent. Of all the stuff you can see on the Network, including Madusa’s German Suplex on Sherri from a weeks ago, this is the one they wanted to censor? They did end up showing this on the replay so I have no idea what happened here with the Network.
Grunge doesn’t even sell this and batters Sags with the trash can lid to the back. Knobs suplexes Rocco through the table. Knobs smack Rocco with a chair. Knobs goes for the cover but the referee was out of position, like really out of position. Grunge looked like he proper grazed Knobs with the trash can lid to the face. Grunge did a bulldog on Sags to the trash can.
They brawled, and brawled, and brawled, and brawled. Sags found another table and backdropped it onto Rocco. I think Rocco did a Diamond Cutter of some kind but I could barely see it with the lighting! Grunge looked like he proper smashed Knobs on the head with a trash can. Rocco went for a Swanton Bomb like he did on their debut but he missed the table. Rocco landed ass first on the floor. It looked like it hurt as he thudded onto the floor. Knobs picked up the win with a pin and then they continued to brawl after the match.
On paper, all of that would sound like a horrible match but in execution, it actually turned out alright. It wasn’t like these guys really hurt each other, with the exception of a few spots. There were light hits with shots to the head (the lightest you could think of anyway) and this was a match where the two tag teams just wanted to fight. They weren’t interested in winning and it was a street fight, so everything they did was to inflict punishment and it fit the styles of the tag team and the story of the match.
It wasn’t particularly a technical brilliant match but there was a charm where it was a street fight by it’s very nature. They hit each other and it wasn’t just insane hardcore stuff where they were killing each other, other than the Rocco Rock spot at the end. It wasn’t like they were all going for Bradshaw like chair shots to the head. As safe of a hardcore tag match as they could have possibly done.
Match Rating: **
Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Konnan the WCW US and Mexican champion. Konnan said that he thanked all of the Latins and that he wasn’t gonna let them down. Konnan said he’d be smarter and he would leave as US champion as he was supposed to face the One Man Gang. As much as I have a go after the WCW title picture in the last few months, this US title has went from being held by Sting, to Kensuke Sasaki, to One Man Gang and now to Konnan in the space of a couple of months!
Mean Gene pointed out that One Man Gang has a lot of mass but Konnan said he’ll deal with it as he’s dealt with it before.
Johnny B Badd © w/Diamond Doll vs DDP for the WCW TV title, Johnny B Badd’s Diamond Doll and DDP’s $6.6million (which I guess DDP stole from Diamond Doll)
I’ve actually been a fan of this program since I saw the first match at Halloween Havoc I believe. This has told a very basic story of the Diamond Doll initially being with DDP and eventually going with Johnny B Badd who respected her while her former man DDP simply wanted her as property. Johnny B Badd was fighting for her honour and so far, had DDP’s number in the big matches. There hasn’t been one time so far, to my knowledge, where Badd came off as a bad babyface. Here, this is the blow-off match and I’ll explain why at the end of this review…
The referee holds a cheque of the $6.6million which is on the line and it’s just a big blue cheque which says in big letters, CA$H! It didn’t include like a name of the bank, sort code or anything. It was a big blue piece of cardboard with CA$H on it and the referee hoisted it up like he was holding up the WCW World title!
DDP came out with roses in his mouth and in his hands, and then DDP eventually grabs Diamond Doll’s arms. Badd makes the save to kick things off. DDP, in this segment, represented the perfect heel. I have to hear all the time on Twitter about Baron Corbin being such a great heel. Apparently, we all hate Baron Corbin and that’s what makes him such a good heel that he’s hated. I guess Baron Corbin fans have got it into their heads that it’s all about getting the negative reaction and if you get the negative reaction, you’re automatically a good heel.
DDP was such a good heel in this program because I don’t hate DDP in this program because he’s a bad wrestler or he’s boring or whatever. He’s not a bad wrestler and he’s not boring. I don’t care about any of that. I care about how this is a sleazebag millionaire, in storyline, that wants it all and wants to own Diamond Doll as property. Baron Corbin, from a storyline, gives me no motivation to wanna care about his character. What is there to care about? He’s a tall guy who is below par in the ring and is booed because of the way he is pushed and promoted. That’s not the same as getting heat because of something your character does.
You need to be a good enough heel where I wanna see a babyface come in and kick your ass. Here, as a fan, I wanted Johnny B Badd to come in and kick DDP’s ass because I like the Diamond Doll and DDP is being a dick to her. I don’t wanna see a babyface come in a kick Corbin’s ass because simply put, I don’t wanna see Baron Corbin because he’s not any good. The RAW ratings in 2018 hit record-low numbers because people didn’t wanna see Corbin. That’s not productive television giving him such a prime position on RAW. DDP, as a mid-card talent as of early 1996, does right what RAW main-eventers in 2019 cannot or are unable to do.
Badd snapmared DDP over the top rope and then did a double axe handle. The commentators argued about the rules as I guess a rule in WCW wrestling was that throwing someone over the top rope was illegal. Badd did a nice float-over arm drag as the two men battled for the backslide pin. The men traded leapfrogs but then DDP dropped Badd on the top rope with a stun gun.
There was another random cut in this match so I guess there was issues with redeveloping this PPV on the WWE Network as I wound up getting it all over the show. DDP did a gutbuster. DDP did an Irish Whip but Badd just tumbled into the ground. Either this was really good selling by Badd or he got injured somehow.
Badd then went for a sunset flip but DDP simply punches him to knock him down. DDP taunts but then Badd almost gets him again with the sunset flip but DDP punches him. Then DDP sits on Badd out of cockiness but then Badd finally flips over DDP for the near fall! I dunno why but I loved that. DDP’s cockiness got the better of him and Badd, the babyface, never gave up with getting this roll-up! It was awesome!
DDP hits a beautiful DDT and deservingly runs around the ring to celebrate! DDP went to Diamond Doll for a rating, that Diamond Doll use to give him back when she was managing him, and Diamond Doll decided to give him a 0 this time. DDP got mad, fell over Badd liked he slipped on a banana peel, got rolled up but almost got pinned!
Badd fires back but DDP forces Badd down on the mat with a sleeper hold. DDP gets his foot on the rope, Diamond Doll goes “ref, look”, the referee turns around to see her and then DDP gets his feet off the rope like a smart heel! You know what this was. This was every pantomime where the bad guys sneaks up on the good guy, and the audience yells “he’s behind you!” That was Diamond Doll’s role in this little spot!
Badd almost catches DDP with a roll up for a near fall. Badd makes a comeback with punches, playing into his background as a boxer. Badd does a big double axe handle as Diamond Doll throws up the 10 board for Johnny B Badd! Badd does a big sunset flip off the top rope for a near fall. Badd does a big sit-out powerbomb. Badd went for so many roll-ups in this match! DDP goes for the feet on the ropes cover but Badd kicks out anyway.
DDP does the tombstone slam for a near fall. DDP goes a sleeper hold in the middle of a ring as Badd is passing out. Badd does a stunner to get out of it. Badd does his own sleeper hold getting on the back of DDP. Badd then reverses a tombstone slam from DDP into his own tombstone piledriver for the win.
I really liked this match as Badd gives Diamond Doll the money as we got a happy ending. I’ve really liked this storyline with DDP, Badd and the Diamond Doll. A simple story and the babyfaces looked good in the process. I think this was the strongest PPV match between the two in the series as things felt a little crisper between the two in the ring and thank god for that as this was the blow-off match! That the last match was the best match made for a good ending to the storyline.
This may be spoilers for future Nitros but about a month later, Johnny B Badd leaves the company. Badd apparently protested against the angle with Diamond Doll, who was actually DDP’s real-life wife Kimberley Page. Therefore, he left the company and joined the WWF as Marc Mero. Where they go with DDP and Kimberley after this angle remains to be seen but I imagine they reunite somehow on TV in the future.
Match Rating: ***1/2
Harlem Heat were interviewed by Mean Gene. Stevie says that Lex Luger committed grand larceny when Lex Luger and Sting won the WCW tag team titles and tonight, they were gonna get him. They said Sting was on the hit list too. Booker said: “they were pulling on us when were supposed to be pulling on them!” A bad sentence out of context! He told the champs to watch their back and watch their back hard as they refused to walk out without the titles. Harlem Heat said they were taking the tag team title picture into the future. They also mention that the Road Warriors would be facing the winners on the same night.
Sting © and Lex Luger © vs “Harlem Heat” Booker T and Stevie Ray for the WCW Tag Team Championship
There’s not a lot I can say about this match other than what I’m about to say. Out of Sting and Lex Luger, Sting should have always been the guy taking the heat as Lex Luger is waiting for the hot tag. Lex Luger, in case you weren’t aware, wasn’t very good. The idea is that if he’s not good, you don’t want to expose him and make the audience aware of this. You protect him by having him only be active when it’s the most important time for him to be active and show him to be a star. Him having to sell for Harlem Heat for seemingly the entirety of this match was unbearable.
Booker and Sting wrestled for a while. Luger gets tagged in but Ray and Booker knock him to the outside with a double back elbow. Luger initially doesn’t wanna get back into the ring until Sting talks him into it. Luger then immediately tags Sting into the ring. See, even Lex Luger didn’t wanna get tagged in and get beat on!
Sting hits a big bulldog on Booker and tags Luger back in. Booker then misses an elbow drop, but somehow transitions this into the spinaroonie and then hits a side kick! I thought that was pretty impressive actually to do all of that in one motion! Harlem Heat get the heat… which is a pun I swear was not intentional when I wrote the first draft of this review! Luger clotheslined Booker on the chest in a poorly mistimed clothsline on the part of both men.
Stevie damn near killed Luger with a Powerbomb where he got him up for position and then just let go and dropped him. Way to go Stevie. Stevie went for a nerve hold on Lex Luger and at this point in the show, I wanted a nap. Sting finally got the hot tag but the referee didn’t see it. Sting said “screw it” and started beating up Booker and Stevie anyway! As the referee is dealing with Sting I believe, The Road Warriors come out and hit Stevie in the ring with a lead pipe and Luger covers Stevie for the win. This was a really bad match which ever way you slice it. I pray that I never get to see this match again as these two tag teams can’t seem to do it right, even with Sting and Booker T on hand to idiot-proof the match. I don’t know who was booking these matches… I guess I actually got an answer later on in the show when we get to the Brian Pillman match!
The funny thing about this… this wasn’t even Sting and Lex Luger’s worst match on this show.
Match Rating: ½*
Mean Gene interviewed Sting and Luger. Luger cuts a promo and said that he had held up his end of the bargain. Sting said he didn’t know what happen but he celebrated that they won the match.
Konnan © vs One Man Gang for the WCW United States Championship
Apparently, I watched a totally different match to seemingly everyone else on the internet. I’ve seen a few reviews of the match calling it a dud. Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awarded this -2 stars at the time. I saw a match where Konnan and One Man Gang tried their best for a match that nobody cared about. I didn’t think it was any good, but this was nowhere near as bad as the Sting/Luger vs Road Warriors match which we’ll get to.
I love how when they showed the name plate for One Man Gang, the name plate fades away starting from the middle towards the outside and One Man Gang throws a kick in the middle to show the affect that he kicked it in two! That I liked!
It’s weird seeing Konnan without a gangster-like gimmick! Here, he was kinda dressed like Kalisto with his mask on for his entrance. One Man Gang clobbered at Konnan and drove his foot into Konnan’s face. Konnan tried to chop the big man down with dropkicks to the knee and then does a big wheel kick.
Konnan does a crossbody that sends them both to the floor. One Man Gang does a leg drop. Dusty gave the following advice: “fist him in the head.” One Man Gang gouged at Konnan’s face. The first few minutes of this match was exciting but then it just dragged and dragged as One Man Gang got the heat. Konnan fired back and somehow did a hurricanrana to One Man Gang. One Man Gang missed a big splash. Konnan does a diving cannonball onto One Man Gang for the win.
I’m still trying to figure out what people saw in this match that made it so hated. It felt a little bit of a styles crash but it didn’t seem like they were totally on different pages or anything. One Man Gang was slow but it just seemed like a slow heatless match but there was nothing really they messed up that made me think: “oh my god why am I watching this?” Maybe if you were so offended by the crossbody spot where they both tumbled to the outside which was kinda sloppy but I’ve seen way worse executions of that spot. I dunno. Maybe I’m being generous.
Match Rating: *1/2
Mean Gene interviewed the Road Warriors. Animal yelled that everyone saw what Luger did on Nitro, where Luger cheated to win. Luger brought this upon himself and Sting is making a big mistake of believing Luger. They faked an apology to Harlem Heat and then they walked off. Nothing really noteworthy about this promo. They were very loud and very rude to the heels.
“The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan w/Jimmy Hart vs Brian Pillman in an I Respect You match
“Here we go” which is what I said to myself as they played Taskmaster’s theme song. I heard about what happened before I sat down to watch this PPV and it’s been mentioned to me before, but watching this in execution was kinda surreal. I’m not entirely sure where the reality began and ended with this whole angle and what followed. All I know is that we had another alternate reality moment where all of a sudden, we leapt into the Quantum Realm and landed into WCW 2000. The year of the ultimate insider references and “shoots” in wrestling and that type of writing was evident in this particular angle at the very least.
The rules of this match was basically that it was an I Quit match but they had to make their opponent say “I respect you” for it to end.
Taskmaster does his entrance. Brian Pillman runs down to the ring as Taskmaster and Pillman brawl to start the match. Pillman then whips Taskmaster on the back and they sounded like they hurt. I guess this was Pillman’s revenge for a few weeks ago, when Taskmaster whipped him over and over while he grabbed onto the apron. If this was a “shoot” or whatever this was, this was Pillman’s way of getting revenge. They brawl to the floor as Pillman whips Tasmaster. Taskmaster tries to shoot and take him down with shoot amateur wrestling. It felt like a real fight where they were both sloppy in trying to take each other down.
Taskmaster punches him in the face. Then we get the big moment. Pillman flies into the referee, who was holding the microphone. Pillman grabs the mic and Pillman said: “I respect you booker man” and he walked out. Pillman races out of the ring, as Taskmaster is left dumbfounded by what has happened as Pillman walked out. After 30 seconds or show of showing the ring, they cut to Pillman who is flipping off the crowd as he exits!
On many levels, this was one of the most unbelievable angles I’ve ever seen. It didn’t strike me as a brilliant angle or anything, it was just unbelievable where I could not believe it happened. If you look at the rest of the show, with the exceptions of Eric Bischoff’s constant shots at the WWF, this was a storyline driven show. There were insider references but there was never “worked shoots” at least in the early days of WCW. All of a sudden, Pillman walks out of the match and ousts Sullivan as the booker.
The story about this angle was that it was apparently all a work that only two people knew about in Eric Bischoff and Brian Pillman. If you look at the execution of the angle, Jimmy Hart had no clue what was going on. The referee had no idea what was going on as I don’t even recall him calling for the bell after Pillman said the line. Arn Anderson certainly didn’t know as we’ll get to in the next match. To be perfectly honest, I don’t even think Kevin Sullivan knew either. Pillman says the line and Sullivan stood there for an uncomfortably long time not knowing what to do which is funny because, as the “booker man” of WCW, you figured in storyline that he’d know what was going on! So I bet he had no clue either.
The idea was that Brian Pillman had been slowly transforming into the Loose Cannon as was evident by his actions since joining the Four Horsemen. Pillman I guess was trying to work everybody, including Eric Bischoff, with this gimmick. The brawl from the Nitro go-home show seemed like Pillman was just doing what he wanted. Apparently, this whole angle was just an angle to “fool the boys” into thinking that Pillman had really gone against the script. Reportedly, Pillman and Bischoff had an argument where Pillman was “fired” by Bischoff which was apparently a work to get him to ECW. The plan apparently was for Pillman to go to ECW, which he did, and then come back as a bigger star in WCW down the road.
That didn’t happen as Pillman decided to sign with the WWF instead! So effectively, this was Brian Pillman’s last ever appearance on WCW television/pay-per-view. From a storyline perspective though, what was the idea?
You’re going to have Pillman, if Bischoff was in on it, go out there and say “I respect you booker man” but what was this going to accomplish? Who in the audience, except the boys, are going to even understand what it is that Pillman was on about? This is not like 2019 where all the news and gossip is available online for these fans. A handful of people in that building were probably aware of what a “booker man” was. Everyone else in the crowd just probably thought Pillman was referencing Booker T!
This is my biggest problem with insider references where, to a hardcore audience it’s fine but, it comes off as complete random and pointless to the main-stream audience. After all of this, there was no-pay off in the end for WCW! In hindsight, this was a really stupid angle.
Taskmaster vs Arn Anderson
Now let’s pick from when that last segment left of. Kevin Sullivan is standing in the ring wondering what to do. Then Arn Anderson comes out. I believe the moment Pillman said what he said, somebody, possibly Bischoff, said to Arn backstage: “right buddy, we need you out there to wrestle Kevin instead.” Arn responded: “what do you mean? I’m working Sullivan?” They told him that the fans wanted a I Respect You match so they’re gonna throw him out there and Ric Flair will break it up after 3 minutes. They told him just to go out in what he was wearing. I say this because if you look at what he was wearing, Arn Anderson did not know this was coming and was not prepared to come out.
Arn Anderson was dressed in a big shirt and PURPLE SHORTS as he comes down to the ring. I’m pretty certain on my worst day, I never dressed this badly in my life! This was a man not prepared to wrestle! Taskmaster then starts whipping Arn and then Arn takes off the shirt and prepares to fight.
They both grab the strap in the ring. Arn gets control and whips away at Taskmaster. Arn tries choking him with the strap. Taskmaster straddles Arn with the strap, which I’m sure Arn was thrilled about. Taskmaster whips away at Arn and yells at him to “say it” as he beat on him. Arn low blows Taskmaster to get his revenge for the straddling him!
Arn chokes Taskmaster on the ropes and hangs him with the strap but Taskmaster says “hell no” refusing to submit. I was so confused as all of this went down. Taskmaster whips at Arn again to which my notes read: “What was this match?”
Finally Ric Flair jogs down to the ring. He puts an end to like three minutes of Arn and Taskmaster whipping each other with this strap. Ric tries to break it up and play peacemaker telling them to snap out of it. At the same time as he’s trying to play peacemaker, Flair goes off on a fan and says: “hey if I wanted to talk to you, I’ll take your wife and make a woman out of her!” I couldn’t believe my eyes and my ears. Clearly Ric Flair was not ready for this angle either! Ric goes crazy, vowing to destroy Hulkamania and take the belt and Liz. Arn and Taskmaster eventually shake hands as they make peace. Ric goes off on a fan some more and that’s how the match ended.
Nobody said “I respect you” as they shake hands and move on. There was no finish. This was the most bizarre 5 minutes or so I’ve seen on the WCW series so far. Like, even Hulk Hogan cutting a promo with a sword was not this bizarre!
I had to go for a walk somewhere after this angle went down so I was away from the PPV for an hour and came back. It then just felt like a completely different show!
Mean Gene did an interview with Jimmy Hart and The Giant. Jimmy said that Hogan has one eye and time is ticking on him before Hulkamania dies forever. The Giant said that today will be a day of reckoning. He had looked into the souls of men where maggots crawl. All that is bad and evil is inside him is like a volcano that is gonna erupt all over the arena and all over Hulk Hogan. The last thing that is going to go through Hogan’s mind is his fist. He said Hulkamania is done forever as The Giant roared and ran off.
What a promo! Even The Rock or Ric Flair could not make this promo work but The Giant in 1996 was so awesome with promo delivery. There are some things only The Big Show/The Giant could say and pull off and this was one of them. He cuts a promo about looking into the souls of men where maggots crawl and a volcano erupting all over Hulk Hogan and he is dead serious and menacing with his delivery! This made me excited about seeing The Giant later! The match however, did not!
Sting © and Lex Luger © vs “The Road Warriors”Animal and Hawk for the WCW Tag Team Championship
This is going to sound like the biggest contradiction in this review, but I mentioned that it would have been better for Sting to get beat on for the heat and Lex Luger to get the hot tag to run wild, rather than Luger being the one being beat on. This match was determined to prove me wrong. This match was so terrible, that it is right up there with the infamously bad WCW tag title match at Fall Brawl.
We start with Lex Luger backing away from the Road Warriors as Sting tries to convince him to get down to the ring. They teased him walking out and then coming back into the match and… for like 3 minutes! This went on for 3 minutes before the match even started where Luger wouldn’t get into the ring and Sting had to tell him to get his ass on the apron. Now granted, it is possible that the Brian Pillman angle affected this match too so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. However, you couldn’t think of anything else to do with 3 minutes to kill?
The bell finally rings. Early on, Sting and Hawk screw up a neckbreaker. Hawk goes for a chin lock. Time passes as I grow older and older. Eventually Sting finally tags in Luger but Luger is hesitant but eventually gets into the ring. Luger and Animal eventually fight. Animal does a funny big boot where he doesn’t stand up and raise a boot – he raises it and falls down himself! It was like the Rocket Kick that Karl Anderson does!
Animal does a powerslam. Tony then decides now is the time to tell us that we are watching WCW at its best… incorrect! Luger and Hawk continue to fight. Sting does a back elbow but Sting inadvertently falls into Animal’s crotch for an accidental low blow. How this was not a DQ, even if unintentional, blows my mind. Especially I’m confused why this was not a disqualification, after they talked about throwing somebody over the top rope being a disqualification earlier! That is illegal but headbutting somebody in the groin is OK?
Luger made the tag but before he gets into the ring, Hawk goes over to the corner and beats his ass. Sting and Animal both get tagged back in and LOCK UP… 10 minutes into the match. After so much of the match of the Road Warriors getting the heat on Sting, they tag Luger and then Luger tagged Sting back into the match… and it’s BACK to the lock up!
Sting locks on the Scorpion Deathlock but Hawk flies in and doesn’t do a clothesline to break it up, no, he just clobbers Sting in the head to break it up.
As I was thinking that this was a boring match, Animal decides works on Sting with a chin lock! Luger stomps away at Animal.
The finish made me really hate this show for a while, especially after the Pillman stuff. Hawk attack Luger. Sting hits a suplex but Animal no-sells and then Sting no sells Animal’s suplex. After 10+ minutes of selling, they all decide not to sell as it breaks into a fatal four way brawl. Then the match is thrown out and the match ends in a count out. After this long boring match, it ended in a count out.
Remember on Nitro where they did this match and Luger and Sting actually won the match? They decided after that finish to do a rematch at the PPV, citing that the Road Warriors got screwed. They do this match and it ends without a finish as a brawl breaks out. Keep in mind, we watched about 10 minutes of long chin locks and the Road Warriors getting the heat on Sting. All of a sudden, they all get up and start brawling as if to tell you that what you just watched was a complete waste of time.
This is right up there with the WCW tag team title match at Fall Brawl. Why would you do a rematch that just ends in a count out? Surely the story should have been told in reverse. They have their match on Nitro and a brawl breaks out for whatever reason. Then, the Road Warriors are given a rematch at the PPV because they were never beaten and there was no finish. Road Warriors screw Harlem Heat because they hate Sting and Luger and want to prove they can beat them. Then at the PPV, Luger screws the Road Warriors and Luger and Sting get the victory. What was the point of the Nitro match if you’re just going to do a DQ at the PPV?
Furthermore, this did absolute noting for these tag team titles. You know, when I saw Sting and Luger winning the belts I was totally on board. I’ve watched for 23 episodes and 5 PPVs now where the titles are treat with such disregard. Taking the titles off Harlem Heat and Stevie Ray was a start. It played into the Sting and Luger storyline so I was on board. However, these tag team matches since that title change have been so horrible that I’m just begging for some team to beat them for the tag titles. Now more than ever do WCW need the Steiner Brothers back in the fold!
Match Rating: -*3/4
Ric Flair and Woman do an interview with Mean Gene. Woman says what Woman wants, Woman gets. Flair says Hogan’s master plot failed again. Flair said the plan to turn Anderson and Taskmaster against each other failed. Flair promises blood, sweat, tears and a title change. Mean Gene Okerlund, professional wrestling announcer, proceeds to asks Ric Flair if he wins, will there be a little ride on space mountain? My jaw dropped to the floor! Could you imagine the hysteria in 2019 if like some geek announcer asked a wrestler: “hey, are you planning to fuck someone after the match?” That’s basically what Mean Gene asked Ric Flair! Don’t look at me like that!
And of course Ric Flair, not known for subtlety, responds: “I’ll have Woman on my left and Elizabeth on my right, but who knows who I’ll end up with tonight!” I was blown away by the content from this exchange! Evil horror music plays as the cage comes down for the WCW World title match.
Mean Gene then interviews Miss Elizabeth. She looked NERVOUS as hell during this interview. Thankfully Randy Savage interrupts to make the save and cuts a promo. He talks about the Mega Powers reuniting. Savage said that it’s going to be mental insanity. He says the Mega Powers are cool and tight. Savage says he’s gonna beat up the Nature Boy right now!
They cut back to the announcers and I love Bobby Heenan’s gimmick of not facing the hard cam when it comes to the announcers and then Bobby trying to swivel his way around to the hard cam! Ever the showman!
“Macho Man” Randy Savage © w/Miss Elizabeth vs Ric Flair w/Woman in a steel cage match for the WCW World Heayvweight Championship
EDITOR’S NOTE: OK, I apologise for this picture. Very much the best picture I could find on Google!
I forgot to mention this earlier but Woman looked pretty great here too in matching purple gear to Flair. Both ladies going down to the ring looked gorgeous on this show. There was also some gorgeous wrestling here with this match. It was an old-school, classic fight inside of a steel cage for the world title. These men did everything they could and it was easily the best match on the show.
Ric grabs the mic before the match and said before he hurt Savage real bad, he’s gonna give Elizabeth one last chance to kiss a real man. Elizabeth can’t stop smiling out here while Ric is hitting on her by the way! Obviously, she was nervous and Elizabeth really just was not able to keep a straight face. However, when you read what happened in the finish of the match it made perfect sense for her to smile at Flair. She was supposed to be nervous as if she was hiding something, so she was perfect! Bobby said Elizabeth’s got so much lipstick on she looks like Ronald McDonald.
Savage rakes away and gouges at Flair to kick off the match. Savage goes for the cover and the ref is nowhere to be seen as he is closing the door. Flair drops the knee. Flair then punches out the referee and stomps at him as Savage fires back! Savage goes for a backslide but again, the referee is nowhere to be seen as he was knocked down by Flair. Savage does a backdrop.
Savage hits one of his clotheslines I think and goes for the cover. Ric kicks out as the referee, who mind you was punched in the face by Flair earlier in the match, does a normal count for Flair. As the referee still continues to be a professional after being attack, Bobby jokes: “come on ref. that was a fast count!” Bobby Heenan had a great night on this show! Everything about this little segment was perfect!
Flair goes to work with some chops and smashing Savage into the cage walls. Savage goes for the Figure Four Leg Lock but Flair continues to fight as Woman screams to urge Flair on. Flair grabs the ropes but the referee kicks the hand away. I also loved this too because grabbing the ropes did absolutely nothing in a steel cage match so the referee is abiding by the rules but also simultaneously sticking it to Flair for the punch from earlier!
This was a battle and a true fight inside of the steel cage. This had a big match feel and it felt like a world title match, like this was really important.
Savage goes to the TOP OF THE CAGE for the double axe handle but Flair punches him in mid-air. Surely a double axe handle from the TOP OF THE CAGE would be a very risky move if you were coming down on your legs. But somehow, Savage got up and was completely fine! Savage was SO lucky as an awkward landing could have easily ended his career. If he landed the wrong way, he could have broken his leg with that much pressure coming onto the mat but that didn’t stop the Macho Man!
Flair tried many many pinfalls after a suplex in a desperate attempt to win the match. Flair throws Savage into the cage wall and he landed motionless right on top of the top rope. It was rather funny how he landed!
I love how Flair puts on the Figure Four and now he goes to grab the rope leverage in a STEEL CAGE MATCH of all things! He tried to escape the Figure Four from Savage earlier by going for the ropes but was thwarted. Here, he locks on the hold and he does it again to his advantage!
Flair tries it again but Savage goes for a small package to counter this. Savage eventually gets back into the match, slamming Flair’s head into the cage wall and then grating his face into the cage wall. Tony even points out that Elizabeth is all quiet at ringside and Woman screaming her head off!
Savage keeps going with the steel cage slams as Woman screams as if King Kong grabbed a hold off her and climbed up to the top of the Empire State Building! Woman did some screaming during this match!
Flair goes to escape but Savage ends up pulling Flair’s trunks down to throw him off and then Flair gets crotched on the top rope. Flair’s bare arse gets crotched on the top rope which is even worse the more I think about it! Savage goes for the cover and Flair kicks out with a damn NEAR FALL off this spot! The time keeper even rang the bell thinking it was a 3 count!
Flair eventually gets back into it and tries again and Savage shows the crowd the full moon of Flair as all I could see was Ric Flair’s naked arse on my television! Savage throws Flair into the cage wall and like instinct, Flair gets his arse up the cage to try to escape! In one motion, he gets thrown into the cage and then immediately tries to escape!
Flair and Savage then goes blow for blow, scraping at each other as they cut to the wide shot. Flair sends Savage back into the cage off a back drop. Woman tries to throw powder into Savage’s face but Savage dodges.
Then we get the finish. Miss Elizabeth goes for one of her shoes and she GIVES IT TO FLAIR! Savage goes for the roll up and then Flair clobbers Savage with the heel of the shoe as Flair wins his 13th WCW world title. Miss Elizabeth turned heel and sided with Ric Flair to help him win the title!
I thought this was really clever the way they pulled this heel turn off. First of all, yes they used Elizabeth’s heel as a weapon to win Ric the title! The insider reference is strong with that bit of irony. Poetically, a heel has to be what helps Ric beat Savage! I loved the nervous energy of Elizabeth, whether intentional or not, which played into the fact that she knew more than what she was letting on. Finally, I loved the match. Flair vs Savage has that Sting vs Flair feel where most times, you’re going to get great stuff from these two. I think the Starrcade match was the only bad match that we’ve seen from the pair so far!
Hulk Hogan chases off the heels after the match.
Match Rating: ***3/4
Then Hulk Hogan decided to scare the living daylights out of me during his interview with Mean Gene. The sound for this promo was so strange, probably by design, where Mean Gene’s mic is turned all the way down and Hogan’s mic was turned all the way. Mean Gene would just be very quiet and Hogan yells at the top of his lungs: “WELL YOU KNOW SOMETHING BROTHER?” It felt like a demon had possessed my TV! I’m prone to hyperbole but I could have sworn I saw the sound speaker proper vibrate! Hogan was so LOUD during this promo! Hogan was pissed at Miss Elizabeth as he hyped up his match with The Giant.
Hulk Hogan vs The Giant in a steel cage match
Michael Buffer did the ring introductions for the two steel cage matches. For this match, he called The Giant, and I quote: “the dynamic dominator of the Dungeon of Doom!” He also billed that The Giant is the man who literally returned from the dead, which is factually correct in storyline! Michael then billed Hulk Hogan as THE KING OF HULKAMANIA! Michael Buffer… did not take this seriously at all with his ring introductions!
Hogan goes over the cage, rips off his shirt, with an eye patch over his injured eye and is ready to fight this nasty, smelly giant! Hogan fires away at The Giant and bites at him. He strangles The Giant with his tape as he doing everything he can to beat this evil Giant. The Giant works on Hogan, stomping on his hands and then powering him down with the test of strength.
The Giant raked at Hogan’s eyes as Bobby recommended Hogan keep an eye out for the Giant. Hogan tries to slam The Giant but The Giant was too big. The Giant chokes away at Hogan’s throat in the ring with his foot. The Giant tried to escape through the door but Hogan stopped him. The Giant does a big backbreaker.
The Giant does a bearhug and they cut to a close up shot of Giant grinning and vibrating as he locks on the bear hug! To say this looked suggestive is putting it mildly. Not quite at the level of the Yeti dry-humping Hulk Hogan but still did not look pretty which ever way you slice it. Then Hogan vibrates his body to try and fight out of the hold as Hogan finally punches his way out of it! All of that I just said during this paragraph happened!
The Giant does a sloppy chokeslam to put down Hogan and then Hogan fires up to his feet and no-sells this as Hogan hulks up! Hogan throws The Giant into the cage walls repeatedly. Hogan hyped up the crowd and then scoop slammed The Giant and did three leg drops in a row and sought to escape out of the cage. But then GIANT no sells the leg drops of doom and chases after Hogan! This put Ric Flair’s kick out from a few weeks ago to shame in terms of surviving Hulk Hogan’s leg drop.
They engage in a chop battle while scaling the cage. Hogan finally delivers one big punch and Giant falls to the mat, and Hogan climbs out of the cage to win. As a match, this was every Hulk Hogan vs Monster Heel type of match but it told a simple story. The Giant looked a little gassed and he worked very slowly but he didn’t look too out of his depth in there. He did the only match Hulk Hogan knows what to do and it was effective with this audience. This gets a thumbs up!
Taskmaster immediately hits Hogan in the back with a chair and then Hogan no-sells it and chases Taskmaster with the chair. He traps Taskmaster in the cage as Taskmaster and The Giant initially beg him off but then the heels figure out that it is two on one and get confident. Then that confidence immediately disappears…
The Faces of Fear, Shark, Hugh Morrus, One Man Gang and Zodiac all come out and Hogan slays them all with the chair and runs wild. As far as destroying a group’s credibility, Hulk Hogan did a number on the Dungeon of Doom. It wasn’t like Randy Savage, Sting or even the American Males were there with Hogan. Hulk Hogan, with a bad eye and after a gruelling match, destroyed all of the Dungeon of Doom members by himself!
Then coming down to the ring was… THE LOCH NESS MONSTER. This man was actually British wrestling legend Giant Haystacks, who actually did not stay in the wrestling for too long after this angle due to health problems and died a couple of years later after battling cancer. I did look it up and we will see the Loch Ness Monster in three Nitro matches and a PPV match but I will keep those matches to myself for now for the purposes for spoiling any of the storylines right now.
WCW, at this time, was clearly setting him up as Hogan’s next big opponent… literally.
He tries to comes down to go after Hogan but the Dungeon hold back the Loch Ness Monster.
Match Rating: *
That was the show. This review was 8000+ words long which feels like an all-time record. I’ll have to go through some of the other PPV matches to see which one was the longest but this was a hard one to find the time to write up. There was so much to talk about with the tag team matches, DDP vs Badd, Brian Pillman, the world title match and of course the main-event. There was some good stuff on this PPV but also accompanied by a fair amount of bad stuff and this felt like the first WCW PPV where it felt like a chore to watch it. With that being said though, the Randy Savage vs Ric Flair and the TV title match was worth watching this PPV for and I’d highly recommend those two matches if you’re looking to watch any matches from this PPV!
Back to Nitro reviews now where we have a new WCW World Champion once again. This is a spoiler but there’s a pretty infamous main-event set for the next PPV if a recall correctly so seeing the build for that will be something! We will see you with the Retro Express review of WCW Nitro Episode #24!
WCW Nitro Reading Order
- #1 – September 4th 1995
- #2 – September 11th 1995
- WCW War Games 1995 – September 17th 1995
- #3 – September 18th 1995
- #4 – September 25th 1995
- #5 – October 2nd 1995
- #6 – October 9th 1995
- #7 – October 16th 1995
- #8 – October 23rd 1995
- WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 – October 29th 1995
- #9 – October 30th 1995
- #10 – November 6th 1995
- #11 – November 13th 1995
- #12 – November 20th 1995
- WCW World War III 1995 – November 26th 1995
- #13 – November 27th 1995
- #14 – December 4th 1995
- #15 – December 11th 1995
- #16 – December 18th 1995
- #17 – December 25th 1995
- WCW Starrcade 1995 – December 27th 1995
- #18 – January 1st 1996
- #19 – January 8th 1996
- #20 – January 15th 1996
- #21 – January 22nd 1996
- #22 – January 29th 1996
- #23 – February 5th 1996