RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #31 (APRIL 15TH 1996) – HULK HOGAN’S REIGN OF TERROR CONTINUES AS HE CONQUERS SIX HEELS BY HIMSELF

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.

maxresdefault

We’ve officially hit the period of WCW Nitro were things just don’t add up and make sense anymore. These last few episodes have closely resembled WWE 2019 now more than ever where it is very clear “plans change” as things are completely turned on their heads. The Giant’s big babyface turn two weeks ago was completely pushed to one side as he’s back to fighting the good guys again. Lex Luger’s slow transition from heel to face sharply ended when he was just randomly an overwhelming good guy fighting by Sting’s side.

Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter always used to get this stick about when WWE, TNA or any company does a big swerve, he’d go “plans change” and people think Dave is covering his ass. If you don’t think that WWE nowadays don’t change their minds on a daily basis, think again. If you don’t think that WCW changed their minds over and over, these last two episodes demonstrated that clearly they did.

WCW have generally been good since this series started with promoting a match for the next week’s Nitro and then delivering that match. Last week, they promoted Hulk Hogan, The Booty Man and The Booty Man’s “big plan for satisfaction” going against The Taskmaster and Arn Anderson. They didn’t specifically mention what match it was but it was something where Booty Man had a plan against the heels.

This week, the Booty Man was off the show as he had “an injury” which I’m not entirely sure whether it was a work or a shoot. He’s off the show. So not only did they not deliver on Booty Man and his weird promo about getting satisfaction if you know what I mean. They did not come up with a replacement tag team partner for Hogan either. No, Hulk Hogan went at it alone with Arn Anderson and Taskmaster.

I’m going to tie this intro into this opening match where it was…

 

Hulk Hogan vs Arn Anderson and Taskmaster w/Jimmy Hart, Woman and Miss Elizabeth

Hulk-Hogan-Birthday-Nitro-777x437

They do this match where it’s your typical Hulk Hogan vs bad guys match. Arn and Taskmaster jump him before the bell. Hogan fights them off. Hulk Hogan pulls off one of the worst Figure Four Leg Locks of all time followed by the definitive worst Figure Four Leg Lock of all time on Arn Anderson. He got Arn’s leg and was a deer in the highlights. He had no clue how to put on this move and Hogan is a guy who had been a wrestling main-eventer for at least a decade by now, maybe for 15 years by this point. Literally if you picked two random kids outside of your house, showed them the Figure Four Leg Lock on a video and told them to go do it, it would have been a 1000 times better than what Hulk Hogan did here. He didn’t know what leg to put over. He was trying to tie up the legs himself and it was a disaster.

Hogan no-sold a chair shot and ran wild until the heels somehow got the heat and everyone, including Jimmy Hart, got kicks in on the outside. Booty Babe in an exceptional outfit yet again came out to support Hogan. Hogan bonks Arn and Taskmaster into each other and hits the Leg Drop for the pin. So yes, Hulk Hogan overcame Arn Anderson and Taskmaster clean in a handicap match. It’s stupid for one man to beat two men on his own but FINE… it’s Hulk Hogan. You put your top babyfaces over so him destroying two babyfaces was tolerable to me. BUT THEN…

Hogan grabbed both of the girls at ringside in Miss Elizabeth and Woman. He dragged them both into the ring, lurked over them like he’s going to attack these women and amped up the crowd for this beating against the women. This was so uncomfortable by this point to see Hogan manhandling these women and wanting to beat him up. Yeah, this was also the same Hulk Hogan who tried to punch the ref last week. What a complete arsehole this character is!

Then he changed his mind and went after Jimmy Hart. Hart begged for his life but Hogan kicked his ass and ripped his shirt off. The Giant came down for “the save” but it had minimal affect. He chokeslammed Hogan but Hogan no-sold this chokeslam and got right back up. Hogan fought back and hit a scoop slam and sent The Giant packing.

He then cut a promo about going after the title and he actually nearly scoop slammed Mean Gene Okerlund and that was that.

So to recap, Hulk Hogan overcame the odds from having to go up against six heels. Now granted, I understand three of those people were managers. I understand to an extent that Arn Anderson and Taskmaster are beaten up all the time by Hogan so what does it matter if they get beat up again. The Giant? He had to get beaten and sent packing here?

The Giant hadn’t even been involved with Hogan since I think the lumberjack match before Uncensored and before then, the last time they crossed paths was SuperBrawl I think. The Giant went out here just to be slain by Hogan and shown to be a complete geek. This was the same Giant who Hogan was terrified off at Halloween Havoc and was fighting on par with Hogan at SuperBrawl. On this show, he was just another guy.

I figured that maybe the “Hoganisms” that caused Hulk Hogan to go over all of these heels were purged from his system at the Doomsday Cage match. Nope, he still had a bit more typical Hogan conquering left to do. The Giant paid the price here and it really indirectly buried Sting and Lex Luger later on in the show but we’ll get to that.

There was no way any of this was planned last week so whether it was Hogan changing his mind or Bischoff changing his mind, this angle did more harm than good and A HUGE THUMBS DOWN for this opening match.

Despite all of that, the fans were still going nuts for Hulk Hogan throughout this whole segment!

Now onto the rest of the show…

 

Date: April 15th 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Charleston, West Virginia

Rating: 2.8

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

I do love after this match, the announcers have some banter. Mongo makes a comment about how the fans love him and Bobby Heenan, without missing a beat, responds saying: “yeah they love me.” Mongo talked about his dog wearing camouflage and that the dog didn’t wanna get hit by a stray bullet to which Heenan looked at the camera with a face of just total disgust! Heenan’s reactions to some of Mongo’s comments are some of the highlights on Nitro every week!

 

“Public Enemy” Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock vs “The Nasty Boys” Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags in a street fight

6910d5f6f6d09e3f317b237326f24793

If you simply watched their SuperBrawl match instead of this match on this episode of Nitro, you’d find it hard to tell the difference between that match and the match that was on this Nitro. This was garbage wrestling to its very core and if you love several minutes of guys clobbering each other with trash cans and anything they could find, then you liked this match.

I wasn’t much of a fan as literally a lot of my notes were just XXXXX hit XXXXX with XXXX and for a while I just stopped taking notes. When I stopped taking notes, I look up and Johnny Grunge walloped Brian Knobs with trash can shots RIGHT to the head with purely blatant smacks to the head. He did this at least three times in the row to the head and Grunge was clearly aiming for the head as he moved his position to get a better hit of the head. DUDE. Was it really necessary to smack Knobs in the head over and over?

There was on spot earlier on in the match I liked where Knobs put the trash can on Grunge and while he then hits Grunge with like a trash can lid or something, Sags is on the other side of Grunge PUNCHING the trash can! I don’t know why but I loved that. “I’m gonna punch this trash which is shielding you and maybe I’ll connect with you inside the trash can!”

They got a table and Mongo said: “here comes the wood.” They didn’t even build up to the big table spot later. 30 seconds later after finding this table, someone is randomly thrown into the table. No big move through the table or anything no, someone is randomly thrown through the thing.

A cameraman fell over something on the outside. Rocco did a bulldog on Knobs into a chair. The big finish was there was another table and Grunge missed a top rope leg drop and went through the table. He went crashing through the table and Knobs got the pin. I remember a spot very similar to this from SuperBrawl to lead to the finish. Just like the finish to that match, there was also post-match brawl between the two tag teams!

They all still continue to the fight after the bell. Rocco did a cannonball off the top rope and hit Grunge on the apron to send him, Grunge and Sags crashing through the table. This sucked. The match was a waste of time to me and really, it accomplished nothing when these big weapon shots are shown to be ineffective after the match because they’re all still fighting with each. They all still continued fighting… so why did I bother watching this tag match if they were gonna fight afterwards anyway?

 

“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs Earl Robert Eaton w/Geaves

x1080 (4).jpg

An alright match which didn’t get a lot of time and the announcers completely didn’t care about. Savage starts the match on fire and then Eaton just… gets the heat somehow! I looked down for 20 seconds to write up a note and I look up and Eaton is getting the heat on Randy Savage! I had no clue and they didn’t mentioned what the move was that changed the tide in this match!

Savage tried to fight back but Eaton raked at him over and over. Eaton did a Ric Flair impersonation and then did a Figure Four Leg Lock which was 20,000 times better than Hulk Hogan’s Figure Four Leg Lock from earlier… and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. Eaton somehow got a Four Horsemen t-shirt in the ring and showed it at Randy to fire him up. I did like the storyline that Eaton was doing everything he could to piss off Savage as Savage was in a feud with Ric Flair who was with Miss Elizabeth.

Eaton was doing Flair’s move and showing off Flair’s merchandise.  Savage then turns it around and then just straight up starts choking Eaton! Savage then beat up Geaves who ran for his life. Savage did a back drop on the outside to Eaton.  Savage hit the scoop slam in the ring, hit the elbow drop and got the pin.

Then Savage threw the referee down and then goes for another elbow drop. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Alex Wright and a few other babyfaces try to beg him off but Savage did the elbow drop anyway. The faces then hold Savage down as they handcuff the Macho Man.

To recap, nothing happened to Public Enemy when they beat up The Nasty Boys and put them through a table. Here, Randy Savage goes for another Elbow Drop and the babyfaces run to the ring begging Savage to rethink this. Savage hits the move and HE’S the one in handcuffs? You think they’ll be any follow up to Public Enemy beating up the Nasty Boys after the match? Of course not. This made no sense.

 

WCW Nitro showed a poster for I believe a movie called “The Great White Hype” and this poster showed Samuel L Jackson with a turban on and a great big cigar in his mouth.

 

Sting (c) and Lex Luger (c) vs Ric Flair w/Woman and Miss Elizabeth and The Giant for the WCW Tag Team Championship

x1080 (5)

What a bizarre match to put on for your main-event. The parallels between the AEW shows in 2019 to the WCW shows in 1996 are absolutely remarkable. The day after AEW Full Gear, they announce that AEW World Champion Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara are challenging the SCU for the AEW Tag Team titles. In April 1996, the WCW World Champion Ric Flair is challenging for the WCW tag team titles on the Nitro episode I’m watching the day they announce that AEW show in 2019! It’s amazing the coincidences that fall into place when reviewing these shows!

Ric Flair goes to Mongo’s wife again and Mongo just SITS THERE and threatens Flair.  Lex Luger was still the WCW TV Champion, in case you’re wondering. Sting runs wild early on and even dropkicks Giant off the apron.

Sting throws Flair into Giant, Giant catches Fliar and threw him back in the ring. Flair goes: “what are you doing” and tears into The Giant, and then turns around into Lex Luger flexing and gets frightened off!

Flair gets thrown out into Giant again and Giant throws Flair back into the ring. Flair loses his mind, runs outside and chops Giant! Then Giant chases Flair up the ring as they cut to the ads. I loved this big man/little man dynamic with the heel tag team where they don’t get a long but The Giant is just mean and scary and doesn’t need to do a lot to get Flair to back off!

The Giant finally got the tag and kicked away at Luger in the ring. Ric Flair is back on the apron and after everything that happened early in on the match, he starts thrusting at the crowd and starts enjoying himself!

Woman raked at Luger while Luger was down on the outside. Flair drops a beautiful knee drop which I don’t remember seeing much from him during this Nitro series. Giant does two big Irish Whips to Luger into the corners and reduces Luger to screams of agony!

Flair does the Figure Four on Luger for a long time. Flair and referee Nick Patrick starts pushing each other. Luger finally fires away and the fans go nuts. Luger throws Flair off the top rope. Sting finally got the hot tag and ran wild on Flair as The Giant just stood there.

This hot tag included a quickfire superplex! They moved so fast to get this superplex spot over and done with during this hot tag of Sting running wild! Sting goes for a Scorpion Death Lock as Luger batters The Giant to hold him off. Woman threw the coffee at Luger again this week but Luger ducked and Sting ended up with coffee on him. This caused the ref to call for the bell.

The Giant chokeslammed the babyfaces. Flair went for a “pin” on Sting and Luger, tried to punch the ref and celebrated over the prone bodies in the ring.

This was exactly what I was mentioning earlier. Hulk Hogan ate a chokeslam after his match from The Giant, who was fresh mind you, and was totally fine but Sting and Lex Luger ate a chokeslam after their match and they were down for the count? It made Sting and Luger look so inferior to Hulk Hogan. It made The Giant looked so inferior to Hulk Hogan. The Giant overcame two men with a partner where as Hogan overcame six people earlier on in the show.

Speaking of Hulk Hogan, where was he for this beating? His friends (at least Sting was his friend anyway) were getting beat up by the heels and he’s nowhere to be seen. Do you guys remember at World War III where Hogan said Sting was his “best friend forever?” He left his friend at the mercy of The Giant KNOWING that he could kick The Giant’s ass easy as he watched him do it EARLIER ON THAT NIGHT. What a friend.

 

Bischoff managed to get Heenan handcuffed somehow as Heenan tried to wrestled himself out of it. He bit it as the headset went across his face and was having a horrible time with these handcuffs as Nitro went off the air.

50482d44719535.5a1dcf2f71e46

This show was horrible this week. Maybe I’m being a little harsh but I was not a fan of this episode. There was not much to enjoy throughout. The Hulk Hogan angle at the start of the show really set the tone where there’s no longer like a well though-out story-telling process. A few months ago, I could see there was a detailed plan with certain storylines, especially with Luger and Sting. They even stopped that last week and after all of that, they get their asses kicked by the heels at the end of this show.

Now the show mostly consists of just a bunch of stuff happening. They never mentioned once the May PPV or the Lethal Lottery they’re doing in May. They’ve not mentioned a thing and as a WCW fan, this must have been infuriating. They never even mentioned the WCW Cruiserweight Tournament which a few weeks ago, they could help but mention throughout that episode. This week’s episode was the worst Nitro I’ve seen so far but it is right up there.

 

I hope you enjoyed my review of Episode #31 of the Nitro series. Don’t forget to follow @ArmbarExpress on Twitter for tweets from yours truly an update whenever Express posts are uploaded. Alternatively, follow us on WordPress for updates too! I will be back with my review of Episode #32 of Nitro from April 22nd 1996.

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #30 (APRIL 1ST 1996) – A BUNCH OF PLANS CHANGE AS THE GIANT TURNS FACE… AND THEN HEEL AGAIN

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.

maxresdefault

After months of programming revolved around a plot to end Hulkamania, the storylines in Nitro became centred around Ric Flair’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship once again. Ric Flair was defending the title against The Giant last week, who earned the right to fight Flair after he defeated Loch Ness at Uncensored. The Giant dominated Flair during the match and after Arn Anderson and Taskmaster both ran down and ate chokeslams from the big man, the referee called for the bell and Flair escaped with the title.

 

Now we’ve got a new episode of Nitro to review on, of all days, April 1st 1996. This show certainly felt like one big joke. This was the show where Nitro just fell complete off the rails for me. It’s clear from just looking at my review for the last episode and now writing this episode that a whole bunch of plans got changed. Storylines were dropped or changed with Lex Luger and The Giant. There was a whole bunch of messy matches, angles and promos. If things did get changed during Saturday Night or one of WCW’s other shows then they sure didn’t let the Nitro audience know.

I had no clue of what was going on for a lot of this show and it all stemmed from the opening match where The Giant and Sting are just randomly fighting. I’m going to just jump into this match from the get-go because the whole match and the whole idea of the match was just preposterous.

 

The Giant vs Sting

x1080 (1).jpg

There was no opening video package as there usually is for Nitro as Sting and The Giant start an impromptu match. They didn’t explain this until after the match but the original match going in was Sting and The Giant vs Harlem Heat as Lex Luger was pulled out of it for some reason. They showed a clip AFTER the match which showed Harlem Heat taking a bribe from Jimmy Hart to not do the match. They took it and I guessed The Giant was bribed to wrestle Sting and I guess the referee just OK’d it. This all happened RIGHT BEFORE the match was supposed to take place.

So the match kicks off the show. Sting goes to work but Giant eventually starts no-selling and even no-sold a crossbody. They fought to the outside and then Giant pressed Sting over the top rope. The Giant tries a chokeslam from the apron but Sting dropkicks Giant off the apron. The Giant takes this giant bump (pardon the pun) to the floor for a dropkick which, if you look at The Giant, he should never have needed to take a bump like that. It’s actually astonishing how many big bumps The Giant was willing to take at this stage of his career because this is at least the third time in as many shows I’ve reviewed where Giant took a big bump. He did the big corner spot against Loch Ness, he did that same spot against Flair last week and he did this bump off the apron for Sting.

Lex Luger runs down to “make the save” even though Sting was in control of the match. He and Sting hold control of the ring and stand their ground as the ref then calls for the bell.

The opening moments of this episode of Nitro made me think I missed a week or two of Nitros. I even exited the episode on the WWE Network to check if I was watching the right episode but no I was. After Lex Luger was still borderline babyface/heel after Uncensored, he was full-on babyface here saving Luger. No shades of grey. The Giant turned babyface last week I guess but is now back to fighting the babyfaces and working for Jimmy Hart. The infamous legacy of The Giant’s heel and face turns in professional wrestling began with this show as they changed their mind A WEEK after he beat up Taskmaster, Ric and Arn last week.

They didn’t explain what was going on and I was so confused as to why Lex Luger was a full babyface for some reason. I was so confused by the bribing thing and The Giant fighting Sting. Think about this as well. You’ve got Sting vs The Giant which I believe was the first time they did this, and it’s an impromptu match with no build.

By the way, I love the irony that in 2019, I just watched an AEW show where did something similar where they cut the ring and the Lucha Bros and Private Party are just in the ring ready for a match! No entrance or anything, just like this Sting vs The Giant deal.

 

After this, we get the Nitro opening video package.

 

Date: April 1st 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Cleveland, Ohio

Rating: 2.8 (My theory from last week of WCW saving Hulk Hogan for this week to bolster the ratings clearly wasn’t true. Their ratings went down and they lost to RAW!)

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

“The Steiner Brothers” Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner vs “The Road Warriors” Animal and Hawk vs “The Nasty Boys” Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags

x1080 (2)

I have gone back and forth since watching this episode about whether or not this match was any good. My brain tells me that this match was no good. It was really hard to keep track of and it seemed a little messy. My heart tells me that this was a decent brawl with seeded hatred from all three teams that led to a clever finish. If you’ve watched this episode, please tweet the @ArmbarExpress or leave a comment below with your thoughts.

There was no ring introductions or entrances for this match either. Two men started in the ring as the four men were on the apron. Rick Steiner and Brian Knobs started off. They have a great scrap at the start, throwing hands like mad men which I enjoyed.

Rick landed a beautiful takedown but Sags broke up the pin to which Scott dropkicked Sags. Animal waltzed in with a tag and goes to work on Knobs but then crashed face first into the top rope. Scott tagged Sags by slapping his head! Good old Scotty!

Scott goes to work on Hawk. Fans popped for a Hawk neckbreaker of all things. Scott hits a belly to belly suplex but Sags takes advantage with elbow drops. So Rick tags in Scott as Nick Patrick’s back is turned and the ref just assumes the tag happened without hearing it! The rules are loose with the referees and I’ve even asked the question to Jim Ross on Twitter about this. He mentioned on an AEW Dynamite episode a few week ago that the referees can only call what they see in a match. What does this mean for what they hear? If they hear something, does they call it or ignore it? Again, tweet me @ArmbarExpress if you have an answer!

Suddenly, all hell breaks loose on the outside as the fans go crazy. There’s a huge brawl with all six guys. The three tag teams brawl on the outside but Nick Patrick is able to somewhat restore order. The match restarts and Bobby mentions that he doesn’t even know if the Steiners speak English! Clearly the Scott Steiner vs The English Language YouTube video wasn’t available back then!

Hawk barely applied a camel clutch. Knobbs goes for the cover on Hawk I think and Animal and Rick both break it up! Sags does it a big backbreaker. Knobbs goes to work as the Nasty Boys get the heat. Sags and Hawk stumble into the barricade as they brawl. Then Scott gets the heat on Jerry in the ring. I had no idea who the heels and babyfaces were. I guess the Nasty Boys are the babyfaces as I don’t remember them doing a thing wrong. I guess The Steiners are faces too but they’ve done heelish stuff on Nitro. I’m assuming the Road Warriors are the heels but they were babyfaces in peril at the PPV. Again, I had no clue what was going on with their character alignments other than… they all hated each other which I bought. Things happened that led up to this match with all three teams.

Hawk then decides to no-sell and beats up Sags. Knobbs flies in. There’s no real chemistry to this match but it was a fun brawl in my eyes. I should have hated this match but the fans are into it. I think the wrestlers were into it and I do like that there is rooted hatred that caused all of this. There’s reasons for why they’re so mad at each other.

Rick and Sags go for a belly-to-belly suplex off the top rope but the Road Warriors knock them off. Hawk gets dumped to the outside. Then Public Enemy come down. They beat up Sags and then Grunge rolls into the ring and swaps out for Brian Knobs. Grunge had a wig on and a tie-dye shirt on. He lets Scott Steiner pin him as the Steiner Brothers win the match.

Public Enemy pulling off Twin Magic was amazing to see and it worked with the storyline where they also had beef with the Nasty Boys. Bischoff explained that this proved Public Enemy attacked the Nasty Boys on the night the Steiners returned. I don’t know how it works but the finish was pretty clever. I wrote in my notes that “This show feels like a weird trip” but I will give credit where credit is due. The finish was interesting and executed well. There was some good brawling and the fans were into it so as tacky as the match seemed, I’ll give it a thumbs up. It worked with the stories they were trying to tell and the fan reactions.

 

 

Hulk Hogan and The Booty Man w/The Booty Babe vs Arn Anderson and Taskmaster w/Woman and Miss Elizabeth

Nitro-End-Booty-Man-1024x731

They revealed during the entrances that they were drawing the “Lethal Lottery” on WCW Saturday Night to take place in May.

Steve “Mongo” McMichael then explained during the entrances when referencing Hogan and Booty Man that: “You start from the top down.” I understand that this is like a prison mentality where you pick on the biggest guy in the yard to assert yourself but in the confides of the wrestling business, that is a terrible strategy! It’d be like if I started training for wrestling tomorrow and I decided to call out Brock Lesnar! Bad Idea!

Whoever was picking out Kimberley’s outfits each week deserved a raise. She looked tremendous in this outfit too and she looked good in whatever they were putting her in. Bobby Heenan randomly declares that he’s announcing his retirement from wrestling which seemed completely out of the blue to do it at this moment. He just randomly goes quiet and says he’s calling it a day.

Arn gets bounced around with punches from Hogan and Booty Man. Arn Anderson is the pure definition of a true worker. He had to sell his ass off for the Booty Man every week and he went out there and bumped like crazy. He even tried to bump during that Doomsday Cage match. This Arn Anderson was a great wrestler.

Booty and Hogan do a double big boot to Arn. I totally forgot that Taskmaster and Arn argued about the chair shot last week with Giant and yet here, they’re suddenly teaming together with no signs of discord. Arn set up Taskmaster to be killed by The Giant for god’s sake.

Booty Man ran wild with knee lifts. Arn wanted Hogan tagged in and Hogan obliged. Bobby accused Hogan and Booty of brainwashing Booty Girl to which Bischoff accused Bobby of losing his mind! Taskmaster accidentally elbow dropped Arn so I guess that played into what happened last week between Arn and Taskmaster. Hogan clunked their heads together.

Booty and Hogan do a double clothesline. Booty goes for a sunset flip but unbeknownst to him, Taskmaster made a blind tag and took advantage with a kick to the back to get the heat for the heels.

Woman even raked the eyes of the Booty Man. Hogan broke up a pinfall and then Hogan threatened the referee with a punch. I swear to god this happened. The ref sent Hogan to the corner and Hogan pulled his fist back to deliver a punch! WHAT? The biggest babyface in professional wrestling everyone!

Hogan gets the hot tag and runs wild on the heels. Hogan delivers two big boots to the heels. Elizabeth tried to help Arn. Woman gave Taskmaster her shoe which has been the norm for the heels as of late but in response, Booty Babe gives Hogan her shoe as Hogan used it on Taskmaster and won. I do like the faces turning the tides of the heels with the shoenanigns… I’ll let myself.

The girls went after Booty Babe after the match. but Booty Man protects her in the most gentlemanly way possible! He didn’t hit them but he got in front of Booty Babe and basically told them to back off. Booty Babe gave Booty Man a kiss, Booty Man is in a drunken state after this kiss as Hogan had a tremendous shocked face on display!

Arn and the heels goes after Booty Man in the ring as they’re showing the replays from the match but Hogan makes the save.

FullSizeRender-2

Then we got a bizarre post-match promo. Mean Gene Okerlund is with Hogan and Booty Man. Hogan said it was a shoe-in… which was as cringe-worthy as my shoenanigans joke! I may have misheard this, but I could have sworn that Hogan said that Booty Babe was on top of her game “in many ways.” This caused me to raise my eyebrow a little bit. I questioned whether this was an intended euphemism or if I was just being silly. Then Booty Man said he had something on the backburner that’s gonna give them satisfaction: “if you know what I mean.” I swear to all of the gods that he said that! There’s no way this was a slip-up!

Booty Man said he can’t give it way but it’ll give them the upper hand and give them the satisfaction. Hogan said the heels were all laughing as they beat up the Booty Man. They took forever to get to the point that they were gonna get the last laugh. Hogan threw it Booty to close the promo and Booty said: “we’re gonna kick their caaaaans.”

This was a horrible promo mostly thanks to the Booty Man. Jesus Christ, he was very energetic guy but Booty Man could not cut a promo to save his life. He’s talking about satisfaction like this is the storyline for a pornographic film.

 

 

Ric Flair © w/Woman and Miss Elizabeth vs Lex Luger for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

x1080 (3)

This was exactly how you’d imagine a Ric Flair vs Lex Luger match going. In fact it seemed almost identical to their stuff together at Starrcade during their triangle match with Sting. It was very similar to Flair vs The Giant from last week from last week.

I think this was just a huge coincidence but this Ric Flair title reign is very similar to Randy Savage’s title reign from 1995 which I called the worst World title reign ever. On Nitros, Savage had back-to-back title defenses against Lex Luger and then against The Giant. In March/April 1996, Ric Flair defended the title against The Giant and now against Lex Luger! The big difference being that at least Ric Flair wound up winning this match which we’ll get to.

A fan flips off Flair in the front row and Flair just flexes right in from of them. Then Flair went up to who I believe was Mongo’s wife in the crowd. It was some blonde and some other woman yells right in his face. This fan proper lashed out at Flair and Flair just looks at her and kept walking down to the ring! We need more passionate fans like this in 2019 that are this much into the show!

Bobby gave Luger the advice that: “All he has to do is beat Flair, which is easy” which was an interesting way to bury Ric Flair. Flair’s a heel so I guess it doesn’t matter but he is the WCW Champion. Then Mongo bigs up Lex Luger! Last week, after Lex Luger turned face, Mongo was still calling him out and considered him a heel. A week later, he pulls a complete 180 and is on the Luger Bandwagon. You could say he was on a… Lex Express. 😉

OK, I’ll get back to reviewing the match!

Luger grabbed the arm of Flair and Flair sold this like it was death! Luger just grabbed his arm and Flair, screamed bloody murder and fell on the floor!

Luger Gorilla Pressed Flair and Flair rolled to the floor, grabbed his arm and was down for the count! Flair sold this like he was actually dead from this Gorilla Press, a week removed from being Gorilla Pressed all over the place by The Giant! This was one of the best Ric Flair sells I’ve ever seen!

Flair tries an Irish Whip but Luger’s arm was too big so Flair just fell down! Luger sent Flair off the top rope. Flair got mad on the floor as he does giant angry stomps on the floor, proper leaping into the air, and yells at the same fan that screamed at him earlier on! I’m sure that fan was so giddy after that segment, being on the receiving end of crazy Ric Flair!

Flair dropped to his knees to lure Luger in and then poked him in the eyes. Flair gets thrown off the top rope. Luger backs away the girls but then Elizabeth whispers something in Woman’s ears. Flair knocks Luger off the apron. Flair distracts the ref and Woman rakes the eyes of Luger. Bobby accused of Luger of making bad comments about her!

Flair’s Figure Four Leg Lock was then reversed by Luger as Woman squealed like a dying pig at ringside. Luger tries a sunset flip but Ric kicked out. Luger tries a backslide but gets a 2 count. Luger caught Flair off the top rope so the second straight week, Ric Flair actually does a dive from the top rope but the other wrestler caught him so it didn’t work!

Luger hits a big superplex and gets pumped up. Woman then grabbed a cup of coffee as Luger has Ric in the torture rack, and threw it in Luger’s eyes. Even though Luger has had hot coffee thrown at him, Flair still felt the need to get his feet on the rope as he pins Luger to retain the title! Sting comes down to chase off Flair.

I enjoyed this main-event. It’s a typical Ric Flair vs Big Powerful man match and Flair was awesome throughout and he got a big victory. So this gets a thumbs up.

Du5HMFMVsAAY1Xp.jpg

So to close the show, they cut to the announce booth. Bobby Heenan shakes Mongo’s and Bischoff’s hands as he again outlines his intention for this to be his last night. He cuts a big promo about walking away from the business. But then he goes… APRIL FOOLS!

I should have figured this out but I just saw the date being April 1st 1996 and I just ignored it. They had a show airing on Christmas Day and it wasn’t like that was a themed episode of the show, so I just figured this was going to be a regular show and when Bobby said he was gonna retire early on in the show, I thought it was just a random joke. He mentioned it once or twice during the show and it was just so obscure and out of the blue. So then they have this pay-off and Bobby cackles away, having a grand old time as he proclaims that he pulled one other everyone!

Bobby Heenan was so great and I’ll admit that it threw me off guard! Bobby still commentates for the next 6 years or so with WCW so I knew he wasn’t actually retiring as I thought this was some weird angle but yeah, this was a cracking April Fool’s Joke from Bobby “The Brain” Heenan!

50482d44719535.5a1dcf2f71e46

This episode of Nitro I was ready to just hate on, especially after the Sting vs The Giant thing but after reviewing the Booty Man/Hulk Hogan promo, I just learned to laugh at the silly stuff and the show became more enjoyable. I enjoyed the main-event, I enjoyed the pay-off to Bobby Heenan’s storyline during this show and I enjoyed certain aspects of the triple threat tag team match. This was not as good as last week’s show but this was OK. I can’t really give it the thumbs up but this was still not that bad.

I do believe there is another two weeks between Nitro episodes again so we will be back with the April 15th 1996 episode of Nitro as the reign of Ric Flair continues.

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

 

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #29 (MATCH 25TH 1996) – RIC FLAIR VS THE GIANT FOR THE WCW WORLD TITLE

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.

maxresdefault

WCW Uncensored came and went. We got long street fights, long title matches, a long Booty Man match, short monster matches and we got a match I’m positive will not be surpassed as the worst match I ever saw. The Doomsday Cage match saw the Mega Powers vs The Alliance to End Hulkamania. At the end of all the shenanigans within the cage, outside of the cage, in the ring, with frying pans, with Z-Gangsta, people being eliminated and then not being eliminated, Lex Luger turned on Ric Flair and Savage pinned Ric Flair as Hogan and Savage won the Doomsday Cage match.

uncensored-logo

I have to point out a few things for this episode of WCW Nitro. If you haven’t read my review of Uncensored and specifically the Doomsday Cage match, I promise you will get more enjoyment out of it than watching a 3 hour edition of RAW in 2019. I believe this was one of my greatest match reviews of my entire life. Please read it by clicking this link .

No matter what happened, there was barely any follow up to the Doomsday Cage match. They mentioned briefly that “Hogan won” and completely ignored Savage getting the pin. They never mentioned Z-Gangsta, The Ultimate Solution or even Brian Pillman, who I guess was supposed to be in that match too but was randomly pulled out of it (or Pillman pulled out of it).

They never even tried to promote the replay. Having watched that pay-per-view in full, how could anyone have wanted to buy this replay? They were in the right to not mention it like they usually do with WCW PPVs. That match alone brought down that whole show that steering as far away from it as they could was the best thing to do.

Another thing to mention was that they revealed at the start of the show that there would be 3 title matches on this episode of Nitro. The US title, WCW World title and the WCW tag team titles would all be defended. This was after a pay-per-view, where only one title match was on the pay-per-view at all. Promoting the title matches on Nitro was great for Nitro ratings but not for PPV buys.

 

Date: March 25th 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Huntsville, Alabama

Rating: 3.1 (down from last week. Yeah, Uncensored saw the ratings go down by 0.5!)

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

Randy Savage vs The Belfast Bruiser

tumblr_n1itifAEOr1sg99p0o1_1280

I have to get a small rant out of the way. It’s gonna be very brief as it’s not that big of a deal. They mentioned that all of a sudden, there was a cruiserweight tournament going on, I guess to crown the first WCW Cruiserweight Champion. There was no mention about it beforehand on Nitro. The last time we heard about the cruiserweights was that they were coming. They’ve been a non-factor on Nitro for a long time. Then all of a sudden, the announcers start talking about Mr JL beating Dean Malenko in the first round of the cruiserweight tournament.

This is LITERALLY the first time this tournament has been mentioned on Nitro. Was it not possible for them to mention earlier that they were doing a cruiserweight tournament to try and build anticipation for it? They randomly mentioned later on in the show too that Jushin Liger, Chris Benoit and Psychosis all advanced in the tournament. I’m just trying to put this all together. I don’t think they even showed a bracket for the tournament on Nitro. Even if these matches were happening on Saturday Night or WCW Pro or whatever was around, these guys at WCW are talking about this tournament like all the fans watching Nitro are meant to know about it.

Call it nit-picking, but this bothered me when watching this show.

Randy Savage vs The Belfast Bruiser was a match that was well suited for both men. A scrappy beat-em up fight in the confides of a wrestling match.

Spots included Bruiser slamming Savage right into the turnbuckle. Bruiser slammed Savage into the guardrail. Bruiser roughed Savage up and sent him over the guard rail and into the crowd. Bruiser was proper laying a beating in on the Macho Man and it made the Belfast Bruiser come off as a worthy opponent for Savage.

Savage would just do whatever he could to get back into the match such as grabbing the leg but Bruiser just stomped away at him. The fans rooted for Savage as he worked his way up to his feet. Bruiser went into the ring post elbow first and Savage out of nowhere hit the elbow drop for the win.

It was a little lame that Bruiser took the whole match and Savage just hit an elbow drop and won but you know what? Savage had to dig down deep to beat an opponent the announcers actually said was undefeated so I’ll allow it. It wasn’t like Bruiser was buried. It was a serious match and Bruiser came off like a threat. In a weird way, it helped the Bruiser that Savage had to resort to his biggest move to get the job done when he got the slightest opening. He wasn’t taking it easy on Bruiser so it made Bruiser come off as a problem for Savage. This was a good opener and it gets a thumbs up.

gene-okerlund-wcw.jpg

Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Ric Flair with Woman and Miss Elizabeth. Flair talked about how they were going to slay a real life, walking, talking, fire-breathing giant. Ric Flair was defending the title against The Giant on this show. He wanted to assure the world that he would look down at the Giant and sing that he had the whole world in his hands. Flair said it’s not easy being the Nature Boy as he’s got the women and the title! Mean Gene talked about Lex Luger, who turned on the heels the night before, and Ric said he hadn’t really looked at the package for what he was.

Flair said: “For the judgement you made last night. you are on the long list of people that won’t be able to style and profile!” According to Flair, Lex Luger lost his PARTYING privileges for attacking him! In a fascinating in hindsight moment, Ric asked Elizabeth: “who is more man? Me or Luger.” Liz responded by saying “you are Ric.” With the benefit of hindsight, that was an unbelievable moment. Remember when Edge and Christian were doing a segment with Mick Foley where Edge said Lita looked hot from a distance? These comments in hindsight are just incredible! 

Great promo from Flair as Eric Bischoff then explained Elizabeth had Savage’s money in her hands. I remember seeing money in her hands during that promo but the way it was worded suggested that on screen, she had all of Macho Man’s money in her hands! If that was the case, then that’s not a lot of money! I do think Bobby goes on to explain she had $2 million so I guess Liz had the rest of it in the back or something. Bobby does actually deliver the following joke: “What do you call a woman with $2 million? Divorced.”

 

Konnan © vs Mr JL for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship

45010a2ad2ea2234-600x338

This match was certainly not the length of the Eddie Guerrero vs Konnan match from the night before. This one lasted less than seven minutes and it was… fine. Konnan chopped away JL to kick things off.

JL takes control of the match with the headscissors to send Konnan to the floor. Konnan takes over and works on the arm. Mr JL was coming back from an arm injury from his unfortunate match with Dean Malenko from before so this was at least good demonstration of ring psychology.

Konnan does a monkey flip but JL lands on his feet. Bischoff said they got word that Macho had went ballistic backstage. Konnan did a weird look surfboard submission. Mr JL did a top rope dropkick and Konnan held the knee.

Konnan did a Gutwrench Powerbomb. They traded roll ups. One of the announcers mentioned that Konnan was “showing signs of fatigue” which was actually true with this match as well as the match with Guerrero!

Mr JL did a top rope DDT for a near fall to which Bischoff accused referee Nick Patrick of doing a slow count. Why would you not put over the fact that the champion kicked out of such a devastating move and just nit-pick at the referee’s judgement? Was it not possible for Bischoff to say something like “I can’t believe Konnan kicked out of such an impressive top rope DDT” rather than cry about the referee? Konnan did an Alabama slam for the pin to retain the title clean.

The match just seemed like it was just there but it was still fine for what it was. Konnan at least got a clean win under his belt as champion which was fine with me.

 

The Booty Man vs Disco Inferno

booty-man-booty-babe-nitro.png

I cannot believe that after they purposely went out of their way to mention that they have talent like Chris Benoit, Jushin Liger and Dean Malenko that they then put on The Booty Man vs Disco Inferno as an actual match on Nitro. Thankfully, there wasn’t much to it. It went less than 80 seconds and Booty Man hit a poorly executed high knee for the win.

Really the story for this one was in the minor details, and I’m going to list them off and move on!

  1. Disco claimed when they cut to a close up of him that it was $49.95 to buy his CD he had around! I know he’s a heel but that’s a rip-off!
  2. This really was the battle between cheesy, bad theme songs. If Disco Fever wasn’t bad enough, we had The Booty Man’s “Shake Your Booty” theme song which is right up there with the worst theme songs of all time including Candice Michelle’s theme song from 2007. I did discuss that theme during the SummerSlam 2007 review I believe which you can find at this link.
  3. Disco went into a tantrum after Booty Man slapped his booty… weird but OK.
  4. Of course Booty Man’s offense at the start was an atomic drop to the ass of Disco Inferno.
  5. Booty Girl was now the BOOTY BABE.
  6. Booty Man rubbed his ass and then punched Disco in the face with that hand… this match was just all kinds of weird.
  7. Booty hit a crappy looking high knee for the win

That’s literally the key details and they really didn’t have anything to do with the match. It was random and it killed like 4 minutes of TV time.

 

Sting © and Lex Luger © vs “The American Males” Marcus Bagwell and Scotty Riggs for the WCW World Tag Team Championship

e75c497740a6cf6665ac3d6a781e2311

Bischoff told Bobby to look out for the drop kick… great foresight into 75% of the American Males’ offense during this match against the WCW tag team champions.

Luger and Sting had this thing where Luger would go to the fans and cheer during their entrance when Sting looked at him but Luger woukd revert to his heel self when Sting wasn’t looking! Fine heel shenanigans which was weird considering I guess he was a babyface after what happened at the PPV.

It appeared that Luger and Sting were on the same page. Mongo was still untrustworthy of Luger. Riggs ran wild WITH DROPKICKS would you believe it. Luger was frustrated by this and went to work with clobbering blows. Luger took a cheap shot at Bagwell and a brawl broke out which Sting and Riggs broke up. I’m not sure where this storyline goes with Luger but I do like Luger struggling to phase out unsportmanship and heel tactics. The American Males run wild and he loses it but Sting still has to calm him down. That I like.

Bagwell got tagged in an Luger backed away from Bagwell – TINY BAGWELL that Luger beat months ago in a squash! Bagwell and Sting actually worked well together when Sting got tagged. Sting reversed a scoop slam and went to work. Bagwell applauds that Sting was the better man and tagged Riggs back in.

Luger tagged in and went to work on Riggs. A lot of frequent tags during this match which is certainly not a bad thing. Luger suddenly went crazy on Bagwell and this got a lot of heat with the fans. Luger yelled at Bagwell as Sting showed concern about his partner’s mental state during the match. Riggs and Sting did some spots.

This was the finish. Sting did a crossbody which missed Riggs by a whole foot and then makes the cover. Bagwell just stands there and watches as Sting gets the win. No effort to break up the pin, there was nothing to say this was heel move or anything. He stands there and just watches that pin and doesn’t attempt to break it up. I guess something was mistimed. Luger tried to walk off with all of the belts but Sting pulled him back saying: “Hey! Give me my belt!” Sting then gave props to the American Males and they celebrated in the ring without Luger.

This match was OK. Sting was in there with Lex Luger and the American Males. None of these men were terrible but they weren’t particular good either so… you get exactly what you’d think this match would be.

 

Ric Flair © w/Woman and Miss Elizabeth vs The Giant w/Jimmy Hart for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

maxresdefault (6)

In case anyone doesn’t recall, The Giant is getting this title shot because he beat Loch Ness at Uncensored.

REMEMBER when Jimmy Hart was managing Ric Flair? That was only a couple of months ago and now he’s “at odds” with Flair as his main man The Giant is getting a title shot! Hart’s also managing like 5 other heels so I guess the simple explanation is that there’s no honour among thieves!

Elizabeth threw Savage’s money away at the fans. Savage tried to get to Flair on the ramp but Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Eddie Guerrero and a few other babyfaces hold him back. Woman gets a slap in but I loved Savage going all nuts just trying to get to Flair! Savage was seething trying to get at Flair and Elizabeth!

The Giant towered over Ric and put hits hand on Flair’s throat to start the match but Flair slapped it away and got pushed away for his troubles! Savage I guess was in handcuffs and forced out by police and security according to Bischoff.

Flair couldn’t do a thing to The Giant early on. The Giant Gorilla Pressed and TOSSED Flair across the ring. It wasn’t like The Giant was just slammed him down…  he THREW Flair like a ball to the floor. Ric Flair was happy for Giant to launch him across that ring when they were putting this match together!

Flair tried to escape but he was too tired and Giant caught up and carried Flair to the ring. Flair chopped at Giant but Giant no-sold these attacks. Flair then sat down and cradled in the corner!

Pardon my French in advance but The Giant did a suplex and Flair just yelled “AH FUCK!” I laughed, and laughed, and laughed at hearing Flair yell the word FUCK uncensored… pardon the pun.

Flair did a DIVE off the top rope and Giant caught him did a backbreaker and slammed. I love that THE ONE TIME Ric actually did a successful leap off the top rope, The Giant catches him and slams him down anyway! Even when Flair pulls it off, he still fails as it accomplished nothing! THEN EVEN MORE SPECTACULARLY, THE GIANT went for a top rope splash! This was not Eddie Guerrero going for a splash… this was THE GIANT! Amazing how agile this guy was when he was younger. This put Sting to shame. Giant launched his ass across the ring and missed in amazing fashion. This was the pure definition of falling with style!

Giant repeated the over the top rope spot from the night before which I’m stunned he did again THE NEXT NIGHT after he did it the first time! Flair choked Giant with wire as the referee was distracted. Flair choked Giant over the the top rope and just hung him out to dry. Flair did the double eye poke to the big man. Giant is reduced to his knees as Flair punches and chops away but Giant continued to push him away

Flair does a direct kick to the groin to finally floor the big man! Woman choked away at Giant as the ref was distracted. A piss poor referee getting distracted during RIC FLAIR VS THE GIANT… the slowest paced match imaginable. I understand there’s three managers out there but this was not like a tag team match or whatever between cruiserweights. This was the old school methodical Ric Flair vs the lumbering Giant!

I’ll tell you what this was like. I was watching The Lucha Bros vs The Private Party from AEW and I looked at the referee who I think was Aubrey Edwards. She was calling this match or the SCU vs Dark Order match. Anyway, there’s this fast-paced match going on and I was thinking, how can a referee keep up with this match going this fast? Fenix and Pentagon are just doing these spots like poetry in motion and so fast and the referee has to keep track of all of this. This referee on Nitro, I didn’t write down who it was, was getting himself distracted during The Giant vs Ric Flair. How did he pull that off?

Giant pushed Flair off the top rope. Giant pulled down the straps as Flair begged him off. Giant chokeslammed Flair and the girls ran into the ring. Arn Anderson and Taskmaster both come out. Arn hits The Giant with the chair while the referee wasn’t looking. Taskmaster grabbed the chair from Arn. The Giant turned around and saw Taskmaster with the chair and chokeslammed him. Arn laughed at Giant so he got chokeslammed. THE REFEREE then called for the bell as Jimmy Hart, Woman and Elizabeth scream about their fallen comrades.

Bruce Buffer officially declares: “Due to things getting out of control, it is a no contest.” If The Giant ends up winning this title from Flair then why did you do this? The Giant getting a big monster moment where he unleashes hell on everyone in his path I liked but a no contest/DQ after a long match where The Giant beats up Flair just made this match seem like such a waste.

With that being said, I did like the match. Simple Ric Flair match where… he literally could have wrestled a broomstick and it would have worked. Giant was 6 months into the business and he had a good simple match with Flair that just happened to have a crappy finish in my eyes.

 

Not a bad episode of Nitro. Much better than the last couple of weeks. There wasn’t much that was great about it but there wasn’t anything like so horrible that I couldn’t bare it. There was a bunch of matches put together, cutting out illogical or convoluted stuff and sticking to the action in the ring. It wasn’t particular great action but it more felt like a wrestling show then the majority of Nitros lately. This show gets a thumbs up.

Promoted for next week was Hulk Hogan’s big return to Nitro as he would team with The Booty Man to face Arn Anderson and Taskmaster. Hogan was off of this episode for some reason. I can only speculate that maybe WCW expected the ratings for this episode for Nitro to tank because of Uncensored so maybe they were leaving Hogan for the next week to try and pull a big ratings for next week’s show, which happened to be the Nitro/RAW after WrestleMania.

We will see what they do in the next episode but in the mean time, feel free to have a look at review from previous Nitro episodes and stay tuned for my review of Episode #30 of Nitro which I’m planning to upload onto the blog in a couple of days! Don’t forget to follow @ArmbarExpress on Twitter for tweets from yours truly an update whenever Express posts are uploaded. Alternatively, follow us on WordPress for updates too!

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #28 (MATCH 18TH 1996) – THE ALLIANCE TO END HULKAMANIA RECRUITS ZEUS FROM NO HOLDS BARRED

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.

maxresdefault

Last week saw the rivalry between the Mega Powers and the Dungeon of Doom continue, with a six man tag team double strap lumberjack match. Confusing on paper and even worse in execution, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and The Booty Man defeated Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Taskmaster once again to get more momentum going into a big Doomsday Cage match at Uncensored.

This week, we’ve got the go-home show for Uncensored 1996. It turned out to be a rather infamous event but this show was a horrible preview of things to come. I thought last week’s show was pretty bad but this was worse. I will make it perfectly clear that the main-event from last week was worse than anything on this week’s episode of Nitro. However, at least last week had some redeeming qualities about it. I liked The Steiner Brothers’ big return and The Giant vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan. There were hardly any redeeming qualities on this show. Nothing worth going back to watch and the closing segment was just… it felt really flat to me. As a closing segment to hype up Uncensored, this didn’t do it for me.

Anyway, let’s run-down the show…

 

Date: March 18th 1996

Brand: WCW

City:Chattanooga, Tennessee

Rating: 3.6

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

hqdefault (3).jpg

The show does not start with WCW cutting the announcers as they usually. It cut to Loch Ness and The Giant having a “brawl” and when I say a brawl, it was the equivalent to Godzilla slowly beating up a building. Loch Ness can barely moved and he is just leaning and grabbing the handrail as The Giant threw kicks and punches (better than his kicks from last week). Jimmy Hart, the smallest guy imaginable in this scenario, tried to get between them. The Giant threw knees as Lex Luger comes out. Lex Luger walks by as Giant continues to kick Loch Ness’ arse. It turned out that Lex Luger was actually supposed to be defending the WCW TV title against Loch Ness!

 

Lex Luger © vs Loch Ness for the WCW TV title.

Loch Ness is exhausted leaning on the handrail as the referee starts counting him out. Lex Luger implores the referee to count him out and Loch Ness is unable to move at all, so he gets counted out and Lex Luger retained the title!

This led to an awesome Lex Luger moment! Lex Luger has been pretty great in the last few weeks. He starts celebrating like he just won a gold medal. Then Jimmy Hart jumps into the ring and is all excited, RIGHT AFTER two of his guys have had this massive brawl! I don’t know why, but I found that hilarious. He managed every heel so even though two of these monsters are killing each other, he’ll go celebrate with Luger when he retains his title!

Luger backs Jimmy Hart away again. Luger comes to the booth and cuts a great promo. Luger grabs a mic and says he’s on a roll! Lex Luger says he’s ready and he’s peaking at the right time, calling out Hulk Hogan. I thought Luger had a great little moment here.

x1080 (2).jpg

Eric Bischoff then reveals they have a stand-by match. I love the idea that they even had a stand-by match because this implies that in storyline, they expected LEX LUGER and LOCH NESS to go like 10 minutes or something! Loch Ness I don’t even think has wrestled 10 minutes in his combined WCW career yet by this point!

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage are being interviewed by Tony Schiavonie. Hogan said this place was on fire. Hogan predicted the same momentum as the last few weeks. Savage and Hogan said they’re gonna go to the top together and they’re gonna go to dust together. Savage cuts a crazy promo himself. Hogan said there’s no titles on the line at Uncensored as they’ll wreck havoc wherever they go. Hogan said he heard what Taskmaster said… they never during the promo what Taskmaster actually said. I had no idea what Hogan was on about. Hogan says bring all of your horses, bring all of your men and the Mega Powers will kick your ass again. I actually loved that line to close the promo and Hogan and Savage had tremendous tag team promo chemistry. They were both so crazy with their delivery that they played off each other very well.

 

“Public Enemy” Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge vs “The Steiner Brothers” Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner

x1080 (3)

The closest thing to an average match on the entire show. Public Enemy does this stupid wave dance as they make their entrance… and it’s over with the crowd. The fans in the building are all doing this wave and going nuts for Public Enemy. It’s almost astonishing what was considered cool in 1996!

With that being said, I was at an England Rugby match against Italy right before the Rugby World Cup this year. I think it may have been the match before the World Cup for England and there’s 50,000 people there for this match. In the middle of it, a wave breaks out. This wave breaks out and it does a complete lap of the crowd four times it went on so long. Maybe it’s a crowd thing that they just felt the need to entertain themselves!

Public Enemy grabbed tables. Rocco did a beautiful arm drag reversal from a tilt-a-whirl which I actually thought was pulled off well. Scott was about to put Rocco through a table with an elbow drop but Rocco moved out of the way. Rick Steiner did a suplex as Bischoff breaks the news that NBA star Dennis Rodman has been suspended for 6 games… whoop de doo.

Grunge did a bulldog to Rick Steiner onto a chair which was not a disqualification. There are bigger fishes to fry with this later on in the show but, why not try to enforce the rules a little bit?

Booker T is revealed as Sting’s partner against the Road Warriors for their match at Uncensored. Rocco did a DDT. Rocco flew off the top rope and Rick BARELY caught him with a powerslam. Rocco pulled off a springboard moonsault.

Scott hit a big belly-to-belly suplex and made the tag to Rick Steiner. Rick and Rocco brawled to the floor. Scott does the punches in the corner. Rocco goes for a dive through the table but Rick moves and Rocco goes right through the table as Scott and Rick hit their finish the Steinerizer for the win.

Now, I get Public Enemy are the hardcore tag team in WCW… but when are tables allowed in a match? I understand they didn’t hit the Steiners with tables and chairs but they used them to their advantage when it is against the rules in a tag match to use them. No matter if you hit them with it or you just use it, it is against the rules of a regular tag match to use a weapon to your advantage. END OF STORY.

Rick and Scott yelled at the Road Warriors as Bischoff refers to WCW Nitro as “the hottest show on the planet”… incorrect. Unless the standards of television were really bad in 1996, I find this very hard to believe.

 

Arn Anderson w/Woman vs The Booty Man w/The Booty Girl

x1080 (4).jpg

Arn Anderson tried so hard to get a good match out of the Booty Man. He tried his hardest to sell for the guy but it was hard to care. The Booty Man didn’t do a thing for me as a babyface. He was very bang average as a wrestler. I found it hard to get into him. This was the second closest thing to an average match on the show.

I will say that I loved that Arn went to throw a punch during the match but then he just collapsed to the mat Flair-style. Arn was trying really hard to get this guy over. Kimberley is with The Booty Man as… THE BOOTY GIRL. I’ve said this a few times but what a strange time the 1990s was for professional wrestling. The edgy content hasn’t even arrived for the WWF or WCW yet and they’re just casually dropping the name BOOTY GIRL as a name for Kimberley.

Arn got the heat. Arn worked on the arm of Booty. Booty runs wild as some fans actually boo.

I’m going to recap the finish but I’m going to leave in the notes as exactly as I wrote them. After I wrote what happened next, I could not believe my eyes as to what I wrote. As a wrestling blogger for about 7 years now, this was one of my crowning moments for the Armbar Express.

Booty throws punches when the Booty Girl arrives. Woman grabs the shoe and goes towards Booty. Booty gets in between them as Arn flies in with a double axe handle. Booty hits the high knee for the win.

In these notes, I would often refer to Booty Man as Booty for short. Writing THE BOOTY MAN over and over is just hard to do fast. So yeah, I just call him booty. Just that it led to the sentence “Woman grabs the shoe and goes towards Booty” is just remarkable. The only problem is that those notes are completely accurate. That’s what happened!

 

They broke down the Uncensored card during this match by the way. Booty Man is facing DDP at Uncensored. Eddie Guerrero is facing Konnan for the US title. Sting and Booker T are facing the Road Warriors. Madusa is facing Col Robert Parker. The Giant is battling Loch Ness. The main-event, of course, is the Doomsday Cage match.

 

“The Road Warriors” Animal and Hawk vs “The Nasty Boys” Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags

hqdefault (4).jpg

I’m 90% certain this was the worst match on the show. After the Road Warriors have their best tag team match in a long time against the Steiner Brothers last week, they had a tag team match that completely fell apart against the Nasty Boys. The tag teams brawled from the get-go. Knobbs goes for a double axe handle to Animal on the floor and just falls down. The least elegant double axe handle I’ve ever seen and that set the tone for this match in many ways.

Bsichoff advised that the Nasty Boys were FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES against the Road Warriors… IN A REGULAR TAG MATCH? I mean this was not a regular tag match. They were brawling but I don’t even know why they were brawling. It was very sloppy stuff as they just brawled. Knobbs goes to the top rope but Hawk pushes him off. Knobbs bumped all over the place and bumped into the guard rail. It looked like it really hurt Knobbs as he was grabbing his gut during the match. The tag teams smack each other with those chairs again as Nick Patrick tries to get in between them.

It was here where I started to question whether every match on this episode of Nitro was No DQ because the refs aren’t doing a thing about any of this. They use weapons and there are no disqualifications at all… at least in the first two tag team matches.

They eventually get into the ring and start to wrestle for a change! There is some huge miscommunication between Knobbs and Hawk in the ring. I don’t think they had a clue what to do or Knobbs was hugely injured from the guard rail spot from earlier so they had to think of stuff on the fly.

They mentioned on commentary that Mean Gene Okerlund was off with a flu. Hawk kicked Knobbs I think in the groin or what Mongo called them: the groin muscles. Again, this was not a disqualification. Animal hits a powerslam. Animal goes for a big splash but Knobbs gets the knees up. Saggs gets the tag and this leads to nothing.  They all brawl in the ring. Knobbs looked like he could barely move.

The Steiners come out to brawl with both tag teams I think… RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REFEREE. The ref doesn’t even call for the bell. They all fight each other and in the middle of this melee, Animal hits  Knobbs with the spike shoulder pads while the ref gets distracted. The ref then comes over and counts for three. Again… a massive mess of a match.

I have a few problems with this match other then how bad it was. Firstly, The Road Warriors couldn’t beat The Nasty Boys clean going into the tag team match with Sting and Booker T? It was so important to protect the Nasty Boys here? Why bother doing a run in during this match?

Secondly, WCW were promoting Uncensored to be no disqualification all over the PPV. To build to a PPV where there are “no rules”, they had a number of matches where the wrestlers did what they wanted and the referees didn’t care. Why would people want to watch the PPV when they could watch No DQ matches all the time on free WCW television? This sucked.

 

 

 

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs Ric Flair w/Woman and Taskmaster in a tornado tag team match

4738951.jpg

I hadn’t even got to the main-event and this review was hard to write. This show was just so draining to talk about and then we got this main-event.  If you take the messy and sloppy aspects of the six man tag team matches as of late with these two factions and made it into a tag team match, you basically got this match. Not a lot of wrestling and hard to keep track of what everyone was doing. As shown later, the announcers couldn’t even keep track of what everyone was doing.

The match started. Hogan and Savage take over as Hogan chased Flair to the outside. Flair cuts him off with the eye poke. Hogan grabbed a big green hat, pulls it over Flair’s head and smashes Flair’s head into the turnbuckle.

For like 90% of the match, they only showed Flair and Hogan on television while Taskmaster and Savage are just brawling elsewhere. Hogan and Flair brawl. Hogan pushes Flair off the top rope as Savage and Taskmaster brawl on the outside. Savage eventually holds Taskmaster up in the ring and Hogan delivers a big right hand to knock him down.

Hogan chokes Taskmaster with some wire as Woman rakes the eyes of Savage as they had a split screen on the go. Hogan ran wild on Taskmaster and Flair. Savage then floors Flair with a clothesline. Savage punches away at the Nature Boy. Tornado tag matches are fine to do but these guys really aren’t having a tag match. There’s just a bunch of stuff happening as they all took turns brawling with each other. To borrow Arn’s line from last week, this match did not resemble professional wrestling at all.

Flair goes for the Figure Four on Savage as Hogan doesn’t even try to save Savage. Hogan just goes for his own Figure Four Leg Lock on Taskmaster as the battle of the Figure Four Leg Locks begin! Eventually Savage reverses Flair’s Figure Four and gets out of harm. Flair pushes the ref and the ref pushes back which is a spot only Ric Flair can pull off this well.

Savage goes to choke Taskmaster’s neck but he ends up grabbing his shoulders so it looked like he was given him a back massage instead! Flair does a back suplex but Hogan no-sold this. Hogan sends Flair over the top with an Irish Whip. Then Flair hits Hogan with a low blow while they were fighting on the outside. and of course, the announcers miss this. Not one of the three announcers were able to see Ric doing this.

I was begging for this match to be over as this was no good. Hogan fired back. Taskmaster gets knocked into Flair. Flair hit Hogan with Woman’s shoe again. This time Hogan kicks out and powers up!

Hogan Hulks up on Ric Flair as Savage and Taskmaster are just in the way. Then Arn Anderson comes down. Hogan hits the big boot. Arn trips Hogan. Then BRIAN PILLMAN runs in and attacks Hogan and Savage as the ref calls for the bell. After everything we saw in the earlier tag team matches, we got a disqualification in the Nitro main-event.

alliance-to-end-hulkamania.jpg

I understand it just becomes like the gimmick of WCW Nitro where all the main-events ended in a disqualification. However, we had a show where all the tag teams did whatever they wanted with chairs and tables and it was no disqualification. In fact, the Steiner Brothers did a run in and it wasn’t a disqualification. Brian Pillman runs in and suddenly it’s a disqualification.

You know what. I’m going to establish this now… this was the worst episode of Nitro I’ve seen so far. There was no sense in the finishes, there was no consistency and the talent was just not there to pull this off. You have guys like Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit on the payroll but first, we gotta make sure that The Booty Man is in there instead. This show needed some serious change.

I will say that Savage and Pillman go on to have a hell of a brawl where they just claw at each other, which I think ended up busting up Savage a little bit. Speaking of The Booty Man, he runs down. Who should make the save for the heels but ZEUS and some other big guy. This was Zeus from the No Holds Barred movie with Hulk Hogan and he was back in professional wrestling with the Dungeon of Doom.

The babyfaces then leave the ring. Rather than staying and fighting, these three cowards walk out at the mere presence Zeus and this other guy, which we’ll get to. I loved Zeus’ face which… you could not take seriously but it was cartoon-like and it fit right in! The babyfaces FLED from the ring as Flair calls out Hogan but Savage backs Hogan off as they leave.

Tony Schavione interviews the group of heels. Taskmaster said they’ve upped the ante. Jimmy Hart said Hogan and Savage were Dumb and Dumber. All the heels said some stuff and rambled on. Arn had some statement where he said he was undefeated on Nitro before The Booty Man beat him. I call B.S. on that one based on the fact that Hogan pinned him 3 weeks ago. Now granted, Arn is a heel so his lies would make a bit more sense when you consider that he’s a heel that’s supposed to be delusional. That at least makes sense to me!

8e828a3635bc91df-600x338.jpg

OK, so as for the new two recruits to the heels’ stable. This stable I believe was officially called the Alliance to End Hulkamania. The two guys introduced here were set to face Hogan and Savage at Uncensored. I’ve lost track of all the guys that Hogan and Savage were meant to be fighting at Uncensored. Apparently, Brian Pillman was supposed to be in that match as well but he ends up not showing up. Anyway, the thing with these two are that these would be wrestling their final wrestling matches in their careers on this show.

Believe it or not, Zeus was going by Z-Gangsta in WCW! He wrestled exactly five times in his wrestling career. He wrestled in tag matches against Hulk Hogan for WWF as part of the No Holds Barred movie build. He wrestled this match in WCW. Believe it or not, he wrestled ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER IN 1990. In WWC Puerto Rico, they had a match. This match is on YouTube so I do plan on watching this match! I am a glutton for punishment but I must see this match! Zeus in his prime I guess!

The other guy’s name was Jeep Swenson. As unbelievable as some of you may find this to believe, he was initially called the Final Solution. This was actually the name of Adolf Hitler’s plan in World War 2 to destroy the Jews so, as you could imagine, this caused some complaints so they ended up changing the name. He then became the Ultimate Solution for this match.

Swenson actually passed away a year later with heart failure. He actually had a role as Bane in the also infamous Batman and Robin movie too. These guys were right up Hogan’s street in terms of big, mean dudes for Hogan to conquer. I think this doomsday cage match could turn out to be one of the worst matches I ever watch. If this show is anything to go by or if any of the previous six man tag team matches in recent weeks are anything to guy, this will be nothing short of a disaster. Keep in mind that those matches that came beforehand did not include Z-Gangsta, Ultimate Solution and Lex Luger who would also be in this match.

uncensored-logo.jpg

The plan is to watch WCW Uncensored in full although I did consider watching just the main-event. However, I am going to watch the PPV and try to stick to watching every PPV as I’ve done before. The real attraction will be this Doomsday Cage match main-event. I will see you with my review of WCW Uncensored 1996.

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

 

 

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #16 (DECEMBER 18TH 1995) – WWF WOMEN’S CHAMPION ALUNDRA BLAYZE DEBUTS ON WCW NITRO

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.

maxresdefault

The ever confusing WCW World title picture has gotten even more confusing in WCW as of late. WCW announced a triangle match between Sting, Ric Flair and Lex Luger at Starrcade with the winner facing Randy Savage at the end of the night for the WCW title. 2 weeks ago, Savage defended the title against Luger but ended in a disqualification when Hulk Hogan ran down and broke up the pin. Last week, Savage vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan was also booked for Starrcade while Luger claimed himself to be the uncrowned WCW Champion. Then, they randomly announce that Randy Savage is also set to defend the WCW title the next week against The Giant. If that’s not confusing enough….

…the on-going drama with Sting, Lex Luger, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage just kept GOING AND GOING. Sting and Hogan tagged against Ric Flair and Arn Anderson in the main-event of last week’s show. Hogan and Sting bickered, Lex Luger ran down and attacked Hogan, Savage made the save, Sting punched Savage and then they all kissed and made up. The same old storyline with Lex Luger with seemingly no end in sight.

 

Date: December 18th, 1995

Brand: WCW

City: Augusta, Georgia

Rating: 2.7

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

madusa

We kick things off with an infamous WCW angle which was one of the bigger shots fired by WCW at the very start of the Monday Night Wars. The commentators are talking about the show and who should come out but WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze…

….yup, this is THAT segment…

Alundra grabs the mic and cuts a promo. I almost got this down word for word on my notes but this was pretty much her promo for her WCW debut.

“I am Madusa. Always have been Madusa, always will be Madusa. This is the WWF Women’s Championship belt,” says the formerly known as Alundra while Bischoff goes “woah”.

Alundra grabs a trash can conveniently right next to the announce table and drops the title into the trash can.

She proceeds: “And that is what I think of the WWF women’s belt. I am WCW. I used to be called Alundra Blayze but now I’m Madusa. They call this the place where the big boys play. Now it’s the place the big girls play.”

Alundra, now going by Madusa, leaves the booth. Eric Bischoff grabs the title, shows it off… and put its back in the trash can. Then William “The Refrigerator” Perry, NFL star, makes his way to the announce booth to squeeze the hand of Bobby Heenan.

My notes after all of this reads…

“That was it?”

Madusa-Nitro

In hindsight, this was an absolutely atrocious segment. Madusa comes out randomly on the start of Nitro. She cuts a god awful promo. The verbiage was just so wooden but not nearly as wooden as her delivery. She drops the title and she mentions that “that’s what I think of the WWF women’s belt” like the WWF is beneath her. She says that at a time where WCW doesn’t even have a women’s division. I’ve seen exactly two women’s matches since this Nitro series began. It was the same tag team match with the same four people and they both came over from Japanese wrestling promotions. If the WWF women’s division is so bad, what does that say about WCW?

The one thing she had coming in that would have made her like a truly big star in WCW, similar to how Ric Flair showed up on WWF TV with the WCW title, is her parading around with the women’s title. She proclaims herself as the one true champion and tells WCW to make it official, it could lead to a tournament to fight Madusa to see who is the true champion. But no, she doesn’t even have the title and she disregarded the title as meaningless… in a nothing 2 minute segment which was shortly sidetracked by William Perry.

Now maybe I’ll be wrong and this may end up into a great angle similar to what I suggested. Spoiler but we do get a women’s title in WCW and that title is retired in 1997. So my gut is that it wasn’t very successful at all… call it a hunch.

I would also call this unsuccessful on the grounds that the WWF actually filed a lawsuit as a result of this angle!

 

Ric Flair vs Eddie Guerrero

hqdefault (2).jpg

Remember a month ago or so when they were building Ric Flair vs Eddie Guerrero on Nitro? Eddie was set to face Flair in a match but Flair pulled out and he was replaced with Brian Pillman? All of this time later, we finally get the match… and Eddie Guerrero gets no entrance as Flair makes his way down to the ring.

The fans loved Flair in this one as he played around at the start of the match. In the middle of all of this, they announce RIC FLAIR is getting a WCW title match next week?

OK….

Brief Intermission from the review of this match

So to recap, Lex Luger and The Giant both received WCW title shots in the last couple of weeks. Luger got his title shot a few weeks ago and Giant got his title shot on this episode of Nitro. Luger got a title shot because he beat Savage at World War III right before Savage won the title. The Giant got a title shot because he was the champion but got stripped off the title and never got a one on one singles rematch. FINE. Both those explanations make sense as to why they both got title shots.

Ric Flair?

Obviously, I understand that he is Ric Flair. However, based on his win/loss record since he turned heel again at Halloween Havoc, what on Earth has Ric Flair done to earn a title shot? I don’t even remember the last time he won a match on Nitro. He may have won matches on Saturday Night. However, Flair was in the Starrcade triangle match anyway and now HE’S getting a title shot?

Him and The Giant are both on probation and they’re getting title shots. If you think about it, the one person that has the greatest claim to a title shot nowadays is Hulk Hogan who is also on probation. Hogan has not been mentioned once, at least up until this point. Hulk Hogan unfairly lost the WCW title and he wasn’t even beaten for it. He was never eliminated from the World War III battle royal and Flair and Giant are both getting title shots before him.

I know I’ve made fun of Hogan’s character as just a whiner on this show but if you look at what’s happened, he has every right to be pissed!

…back to the match

In singing Flair’s praises, Bobby Heenan brings up Flair’s a 11 time champion at this point and asks the question of “how many of you humanoids did anything 11 times well?” Eddie dropkicked Ric in the back of the head and Ric did an amazing flop for the sell. Eddie slapped Ric in the face and then styled and profiled himself, to which Flair got proper bugged eyed with fury! The fans actually booed when Eddie did this.

Eddie missed a dropkick and Flair goes a Figure Four Leg Lock but Eddie reverses this into a small package for a near fall. This was turning into a very well paced match that suited Ric’s old school style and Eddie’s ability to adapt to just about any pace of a match. Flair got the heat as he chopped away at Eddie and did some knee drops. Eddie fired back as Eric Bischoff referenced some Mike Tyson fight.

Eddie hit a tornado DDT. Eddie actually managed to pull off a hurricanrana spot with RIC FLAIR of all people. It actually also looked very well executed too. Ric was dizzy and hit the ropes to send Eddie crashing onto the floor. Eddie grabbed his knee and Ric went immediately for the knee. Solid use of ring psychology which shouldn’t come as a surprise when Ric Flair and Eddie Guerrero are both involved.

Ric stomped on Eddie’s leg. Ric locked on the Figure Four as Ric grabbed the ropes for leverage but Eddie refused to give up. Ric slapped at him but Eddie yelled “Noooooo!” Eddie fought and fought and fought and fought but Eddie eventually passed out and Ric PINNED him with a Figure Four.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Flair pin somebody with the Figure Four before! I actually thought this was a clever finish. They got Eddie over as a babyface who refused to give up, even against a 11 time world champion. This was a solid match that told a good story and had an excellent finish and it definitely would have helped Eddie. Whether they follow up on this the right way remains to be seen…

 

Arn joined Ric in the ring as Mean Gene came down as well. Ric went to attack Eddie and Mean Gene yelled him “HEY KNOCK IT OFF, or I’ll cut this interview!” Arn said he respected Paul Orndorff but for every reaction, there’s an opposite or equal reaction. In case you don’t remember what happened last week, the Four Horsemen took out Paul Orndorff with a spike piledriver. Arn said the Horsemen does not put personal achievements above the group and you don’t jump the Horsemen.

Taskmaster ran down and put Arn and Ric over. Mean Gene pointed Ric towards the hard cam like a true professional! Taskmaster was upset that Brian Pillman knocked the Dungeon of Doom during his promo last week. I don’t remember Pillman knocking the Dungeon of Doom unless he’s referring to Pillman taking a shot at the Zodiac. Taskmster said they better put Brian Pillman on a short leash. Ric said no problem but Arn grabbed the mic sand said that if you come looking for Pillman, you mess with the Horsemen. Taskmaster said there are no allegiances in WCW and left.

 

Sgt. Pittman interrupted the announcers now. So that’s THREE times that the announcers have had somebody interrupt them at the booth in one episode. Pittman said he’s been doing a lot of sneaking and peaking and found that Bobby Heenan was one of the best managers of all time. He wanted Bobby to manage him. Bobby said he didn’t manage anymore as he’s a broadcast journalist but Bobby will help him find a manager. Pittman said if he doesn’t get help, he won’t be taking any prisoners.

 

Lex Luger w/Jimmy Hart vs Marcus Alexander Bagwell

maxresdefault (5).jpg

I’m gonna get the positives out of the way regarding this match… at least Lex Luger is getting some wins under his belt all of a sudden and is looking more of a threat. Remember when Luger kept getting beat on Nitro and Hogan made him look weak and the time he lost to Meng? Now he’s on a winning streak…

…that’s about where the positivity ends…

This was a typical Luger match where he gets blown up and does a horrible job with selling. Bagwell got some offense including a monkey flip. Luger got the heat. Bagwell ran wild. Bagwell went for a splash but Lex got the knees up and then hit the powerslam. Luger locked on the torture rack for the win.

That’s pretty much all you need to know.

Mean Gene does an interview with Luger and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy said Luger is the uncrowned champion. Luger said he’s breathless with anticipation… nothing to do with him completely blown up of course. Luger said he’d take the title and said Savage should give up.

 

Pittman and Cobra are set to wrestle each other for what seems like the 100th time as of late and this match is plugged for Saturday Night. How exciting…

 

Sting vs Earl Robert Eaton w/Jeeves

wwef_36913661_th_64

So right before this match, these announcers have the temerity to plug that Sting was going to be on WCW Saturday Night to do an interview about his friendship with Lex Luger. After MONTHS and MONTHS of this storyline, they wanted you the fans to tune into WCW Saturday Night to watch Sting TALK more about this never-ending storyline.

Eaton started off with a headlock and Sting pushed him off, doing a leapfrog and then pushing Eaton high in the air with his feet.

This was a basic but rather boring match. The fans were bored and did the wave. Sting did a hip-toss which led to Eaton delivering a backbreaker. Eaton missed a top rope knee drop. This led to Sting hitting the Stinger Splash and locking on the Scorpion Deathlock for the win.

Bischoff said Sting is “on a roll like a freight town going down hill”… very much the entire story of WCW’s existence.

So after plugging that we’ve got an interview with Sting on Saturday Night, Mean Gene comes out to do an interview with Sting… ON NITRO. Again, why would I wanna watch WCW Saturday Night on TBS or whatever channel they were on.

Mean Gene said: “Sting, we’ve got to discuss what’s going down at the triangle match at Starrcade.” Sting said he’ll not forget what Flair did to him and “what he did to all of those kids,” referencing the angle where Flair got all of the fans in the ring to get Sting to team with him. Sting said he was upset by Luger not mentioning his name when talking about going through the roster during his earlier promo. Sting says he’s been a five time WCW Champion and he wants to be the six time champion.

 

Randy Savage (c) vs The Giant w/Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart for the WCW Championship

526x297.jpeg

Bischoff reminds us that Randy Savage has an injured arm which, if you’ll recall, Hogan basically claimed was fake news during World War III. So I guess, in WCW storyline, Savage is ACTUALLY injured… well he’s actually injured in real life in 1995 but now they’re properly acknowledging it.

Savage starts with the ill-advised tactic of jumping onto The Giant’s back to choke him out. Giant stumbles around the ring to fight it but Giant slams him down. Giant goes to work and locks on a bearhug. Giant tries a chokeslam but Savage rakes him in the eyes. Savage tries multiple clotheslines to take the challenge down but Giant catches him, carries him around “like a child” according to Bischoff and delivers a backbreaker. It was actually a well done spot.

The Giant misses a splash and Savage counters with an elbow drop but The Giant flings Savage in the air as a kick out. The Giant actually unleashes a dropkick during this match. The Giant tries a suplex on the floor but Savage somehow grabs the rope to avoid being slammed onto the floor. How they pulled off this spot so well is beyond me. I’ve never seen a spot like this.

Here is the Armbar Express’ Geek Of The Week sponsored by the Filthy Four Daily show from Figure Four Online! Bryan Alvarez would be proud of this one. The Giant hits a chokeslam and wastes his god damn time posing. Nobody, to my knowledge, has kicked out of this chokeslam yet. He poses and poses during a World Heayvweight Championship match. Giant does a leg drop and then Hogan runs in to hit Giant with a chair for the DQ. The Giant came off like a complete idiot.

I probably should have awarded “Geek of the Week” if you will to Randy Savage since, yet again, Savage is saved from losing the title because of Hulk Hogan running down to cause a DQ. He’s never been able to defend the title by himself yet.

x1080-tDK.jpg

So Hogan goes crazy. He whacks the referees with a chair, attacks some kinda official as well. I have no idea who he was but Hogan laid him out too. Hogan attacks Giant, attacks Taskmaster. Fans are going CRAZY FOR THIS by the way as this is going on. Mongo and William Perry try to calm Hogan down. Hogan then goes into the ring to check on Savage. The fans chant Hogan, Hogan, Hogan. This was actually a very well done segment, other than burying Savage as the champion, that got a lot of positive reaction from the crowd. They loved Hogan going crazy. A complete 180 from last week’s show where Charlotte, North Carolina booed Hogan out of the building!

Mean Gene interviewed Hogan and Savage. Mean Gene said Hogan risked the chance of being suspended. The Giant tries to get down of the ring again as Taskmaster and two security guard are able to pull The Giant away. Hogan takes a massive swing at the head of Giant, Taskmasker and a security guard. The heels flee. Hogan said he’s sick of this probation. Hogan says Savage owes Hogan a title shot. Hogan says he knows Savage can beat Ric. Savage says he has to get past Starrcade. Savage says right after we’ll get that match the world has been waiting for in Hogan vs Savage. Hogan I think said he has respect for the NFL players in the football field. He says don’t try to step onto their turf, they will get laid out. Savage and Hogan celebrate with Hogan’s music.

50482d44719535.5a1dcf2f71e46

So I’m not sure what to make of this. So right after all of these matches, title shots and Starrcade main-events are set up, then Hogan gets a title shot after Starrcade, This does not help with the build to Starrcade at all. This makes Hogan’s title shot seem way more important than the triangle match and the title shot at Starrcade. If that’s the case, why should I care about Starrcade? They’re just starting too many fires or potential storylines and not focusing on the PPV in front of them. And on top of all of this, Flair is getting a title shot next week?

Now, I haven’t looked at the results for next week’s show. I don’t know who wins and loses this match but it did seem weird to me that Flair of all people is getting a title shot. Luger and Giant had legitimate claims to a title shot. Flair does not. So either Flair is being fed to Savage in order for Savage to get a legitimate title defence under his belt or… they’re putting the belt on Flair next week because Savage is injured.

Or maybe it’ll end in a disqualificaiton…

 

That was my Nitro review. Bland in part but one of the more excitable Nitros as of late. Eddie vs Flair was good and the closing segment with Hogan going crazy was good. I still think the Starrcade build is pretty poor but they do have one more week before Starrcade so maybe next week will turn things around.

Stay tuned for our review of next week’s show where Ric Flair is the next man to challenge Randy Savage for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship!

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #14 (DECEMBER 4TH 1995) – RANDY SAVAGE VS LEX LUGER FOR THE WCW TITLE

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.

maxresdefault

The controversy continued to run wild following World War III. Randy Savage had won the WCW World title in the 60 man battle royal, despite Hulk Hogan never being truly eliminated. Hogan vowed to show the tape on Nitro and Savage agreed to give Hogan a title shot should the tape show what happened with Hogan and The Giant. Nitro had the footage on deck but the video footage got cut at the moment Hogan got pulled under the bottom rope by The Giant.

The Giant came down to brawl with Hogan which led to chair shot after chair shot delivered by the Hulkster. There were more issues for Hulk Hogan as his mistrust of the relationship between Lex Luger and Sting emerged once again. Even after fight by Luger and Sting’s side at the end of the show, Hogan still saw Luger as the enemy.

 

 

Date: December 4th, 1995

Brand: WCW

City: Phoenix, Arizona

Rating: 2.4

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

NOTE: This show was actually an overrun. Usually the episodes of the WWE Network are 40-48 minutes long but this one was in the mid 50s if I recall.

 

It was revealed at the start of the show that Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and The Giant were all on probation for their actions last week. I was wondering if they were gonna even mention Hogan and Flair attacking referees last week and they ended up mentioning it.

 

“Harlem Heat” Booker T (c) and Stevie Ray (c) w/Sister Sherri vs “American Males” Marcus Bagwell and Scotty Riggs for the WCW Tag Team Championship

Nitro02.png

Many, many moons ago, the American Males beat Harlem Heat for the WCW Tag Team titles. That was way back in Episode #3. Here we are, 11 episodes later, and Harlem Heat are once again defending the tag team titles against the American Males.

Things started off with Stevie and Scotty, with Stevie supposedly having a bad ankle. The one noticeable thing in the first couple of minutes was that American Males did a double back drop on Booker and he didn’t land on his back. He did a complete flip and seemed to land on HIS ANKLE.

So Col. Robert Parker comes out with a present. This was delivered to Sister Sherri and revealed to be a coat. Harlem Heat are kicking American Males’ ass by the way as this is going on. It was revealed that Sensational Sherri had a ring as she left ringside. Then Booker gets upset that she left during a match they were dominating anyway with no problems… weird.

A.C. Green, NBA basketball player, was at ringside having words with an already irate Booker. Harlem Heat did an ugly looking double Gordbuster on Scotty. Harlem Heat… future 2019 WWE Hall Of Famers by the way.

Fans start chanting for AC. Booker screws up a backbreaker by just dropping Riggs on the mat. Bagwell makes the hot tag and runs wild on Harlem Heat. He turned Booker inside out and hit Stevie with a Northern Lights Suplex. Bagwell goes for a dropkick but Stevie catches him, elevates him in the air for 5 seconds like he’s gonna do a Cesaro Swing, then just drops him…

Booker hit the Houston Hangover for the pin. As my notes read… WHAT AN UGLY MATCH. This tag title scene is really in need for a shake-up.

wcw-starrcade-1995.png

Sting and Lex Luger do an interview with Mean Gene. It’s been announce that Sting, Luger and Flair are set to do a triple threat match at Starrcade. Mean Gene said Sting got Flair to say uncle. Sting said he doesn’t agree with Jimmy Hart being Luger’s business partner but gives Luger credit and that he could get the job done. At this point, I got proper confused. They explain that the winner will get a title shot later on in the night against the WCW Champion. Lex Luger is challenging for the world title in the main-event… so Luger is gonna be in the triple threat and then challenge himself for the title if he wins on Nitro?

…it took them until an interview later to explain all of this.

Sting said momentum is going his way and that he’s gonna win.  He’s gonna come at Lex like he would with the Nature Boy. Luger said he’d win the title and that Sting’s right but as far as the triangle match is concerned, Luger said there’s no holds barred for him too. A perplexing interview!

 

Sting vs Kurasawa

hqdefault (1).jpg

This was no good in its own right either. My initial question was why Kurasawa wasn’t with his manager Col. Robert Parker but then the commentary team asked the same question moments later! The explanation was that he was with Sherri.

My notes for this aren’t stacked at all. Sting sent Kurasawa to the outside with a clothesline. There was one great spot where Kurasawa hit a kitchen sink on Sting, put on a big smile and said “HA HA HA!” That was awesome. I enjoy the small things of wrestling!

My notes finish with Kurasawa working on the arm and then Sting hitting a Sting Splash. He tapped out Kurasawa with the Scorpion Death Lock for the win. NOTHING to this match.

 

Starrcade was plugged as NJPW battling WCW. That actually sounds kinda sick.

 

Scott Norton vs The Giant w/Jimmy Hart and Taskmaster

wwef_36843813_th_64

You remember when Scott Norton was aligned with the Dungeon of Doom a couple of months ago and he had the storyline with The Shark? Fast forward to this episode of Nitro and he’s just another dude in a match with the top heel in the group! I therefore assume Norton got kicked out of the group.

They plugged Hogan and Sting against Arn and Flair for next week. Giant hit a big shoulder tackle and ROARED. Giant beat on Norton and hit him with a scoop slam. Then we had an incredible feat of strength. Scott Norton LIFTED THE GIANT up for an Atomic Drop. He has The Giant up in the air for close to 10 seconds as the fans go NUTS. Incredible from Norton.

Now as I saw this spot, I couldn’t help but notice that Norton was thicker than The Giant of all people. I’m not saying that in an negative way but if you watch The Big Show later on in the Giant’s career, Giant always had a thick waist. The Giant here was proper slim.

Norton batters away at Giant. Norton tries to clothesline him twice and as Bobby Heenan declares that these two could go on all night, Giant catches Norton off the top rope with a chokeslam for the win. A quick but fine mean guy match.

 

Mean Gene is with Ric Flair along with NBA star Charles Barkley. This major big time NBA star makes his way down to the ring and he had his jeans pulled WAY UP. Charles said he could never measure up to the Nature Boy and he’s his man no matter what people say. Flair said they’re gonna tear the town down and the greatest basketball player alive is standing with the Nature Boy. Charles said we have the best basketball fans in Phoenix and we’ve got the best wrestling fans in Phoenix and you better appreciate the Nature Boy. Flair said Hogan, Sting and Savage better not jump on him anymore as Charles may just become a full-time Horsemen.

 

Randy Savage (c) vs Lex Luger w/Jimmy Hart for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

2389700.png

This was an absolutely nothing match supposedly for the WCW title. Eric revealed that they would reveal the team from Japan that would take on America at Starrcade. This match however starts with Lex Luger backing away from Randy Savage. Now, I understand Luger is the heel in the situation. However, Luger tapped out Savage clean at World War III… why the hell would he feel the need to back down from Savage?

Luger looked blown up 30 seconds into the action. We got all kinds of stalling. I don’t think they told us this on commentary but I don’t think they mentioned the reason for why Luger has this title shot. The very reason why was that he beat Savage at World War III right before Savage became the champion. But nobody on the announce team mentioned this.

Luger tried an elbow drop which did not look like an elbow drop at all. He leaped high in the air, stuck his hands to the sky and just to a flat back bump on the mat as Savage evaded. It actually did look like he stuck one his arms out a little bit so it’s possible it was just a bad camera angle.

Savage started working on Luger’s arm in a twist of fate, as he locked on the arm lock that Luger used to beat him at World War III. At the very least, they explained that Savage would go into the Starrcade triangle match should Luger win the title in this match.

Savage went for a double axe handle but crashed into the steel rail. They both clobbered each other. Savage and Luger fucked up clothesline spot where Luger didn’t seem to be in place for it. Savage smashed Luger into the exposed turnbuckle but Luger fell into the ref and knocked him down. Savage got a hold of Jimmy. Flair ran down at hit Savage with the Brass Knuckles.

Jimmy pulled Luger for the cover when Hogan ran down to go after Flair. He got his hands on Flair. The referee went to make the count but Hogan broke it up for the DQ. Hogan went to punch Luger but Sting ran down and Hogan accidentally punched Sting. Hogan and Sting pushed away at each other while Savage separated them.

Mean Gene came down to interview the babyfaces. Hogan said he didn’t give a shit about probation. Hogan asked about Sting and Luger again. Sting says straight up that he is on Hogan’s side. Sting insists that Luger is still his friend and he’s trying to straighten him out. Sting says sometimes he questions Savage’s motives but he’s not gonna doubt the Macho Man. Sting asks why Hogan questions Luger. Hogan pointed out Macho Man said that he warned us about Luger in the first place. Sting says maybe they didn’t just give Luger the opportunity he needed. Sting said if they don’t get it sorted out, they may lose next week’s match with the heels. Hogan told Sting not to have Luger get in his face. Sting makes one last statement and he’d keep Luger out of Savage and Hogan’s face.

50482d44719535.5a1dcf2f71e46

This was not a particular strong edition of Nitro but we do have a big Sting and Hogan vs Ric and Arn main-event next week. They’re starting to build towards Starrcade and if it’s WCW vs NJPW for Starrcade, then they’ll need to do a stronger job at building that angle to the PPV.

I will see you all in Episode #14 of this WCW Nitro series!

WCW Nitro Reading Order

 

 

RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #13 (NOVEMBER 27TH 1995) – STING AND LEX LUGER VS ARN ANDERSON AND BRIAN PILLMAN

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.

maxresdefault

We’ve went to war. World War III came around, headlined by the World War III 60 Man Battle Royal for the vacated WCW World Heavyweight Championship. 60 men vied for the big gold belt in a battle royal featuring giants, sharks, sumo assassins, horsemen, cruiserweights and many, many more. Eventually, it came down to six men left in the one ring. It came down to Dungeon of Doom members The Giant, Lex Luger and One Man Gang battling the babyfaces in Hulk Hogan, Sting and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Friends Sting and Lex Luger united in an attempt to eliminate The Giant. As they were on the verge of eliminating The Giant, Hulk Hogan sneaked up from behind and tossed out all three men including his best friend forever Sting.

The Giant wasn’t having that and pulled the rug from underneath Hogan, by pulling him from underneath the ring and attacking the Hulkster. Hogan and Giant battled outside of the ring and as Hogan had taken care of The Giant, Randy Savage eliminated One Man Gang. Hogan turned around to discover that his friend Randy Savage had been declared the winner and the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion. An irate Hogan pleaded his case that he was never truly eliminated but eventually calmed down and congratulated his other best friend forever Randy Savage on his big title victory….

 

Date: November 27th, 1995

Brand: WCW

City: Salem, Virginia

Rating: 2.5 (According to my research, the ratings for RAW and Nitro were virtually the same for the last two weeks! Spooky.)

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

Johnny B Badd w/Diamond Doll vs DDP

1

I believe this was a non-title match as they had the TV title match at World War III. DDP getting another title shot the next night wouldn’t make sense but it was hard to figure out what the ring announcer was saying. If anyone is able to confirm whether this was a title match, please let me know.

This was the return match from World War III, where Badd defeated DDP to retain the TV title and gain the services of the Diamond Doll. Despite this, a devastated DDP came out and presented flowers to his former Diamond Doll. As he gave her the flowers, he delivered a cheap-shot to Badd to get the heat.

The Diamond Doll Kimberley was actually shown to not be totally disgusted at DDP but somewhat happy that DDP gave her flowers and thought about her. Nevertheless, she was somewhat confused. She inspected the flowers and discovered a chain within the flowers.

DDP hit the same tombstone slam he hit at World War III which caught me off guard. It was very hard to pay much attention to this one. Firstly, because we saw this match at Halloween Havoc and World War III and this one was just a TV version of those PPV matches. Secondly, because the camera was placed on Kimberley for the majority of the match and not on the action in the ring!

The finish saw DDP wanting Diamond Doll to throw him the chain. She was conflicted but eventually threw the chain underneath DDP’s legs. Badd grabbed the chain and clobbered DDP with it for the win. Badd got initially upset with what Diamond Doll did. He questioned whether she meant to throw it at him or at DDP. Diamond Doll simply responded by saying it didn’t matter as he won. Badd was like… OK, and then they were both happy!

So right now, Diamond Doll’s motives aren’t quite clear and it’s unclear where her affections lie…

 

Mean Gene Okerlund was with Jimmy Hart and Taskmaster. I would lose my mind about this considering the amount of times we’ve seen a Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart combo promo in the last month’s worth of WCW content, except that at least The Giant wasn’t out there. It was always a trio of Jimmy and Taskmaster cutting promos as Giant looked mean. As much as I love The Giant in that role, at least this was a change!

This was also not their usual spiel. Taskmaster questioned Jimmy’s motives and asked why Lex Luger was running with Sting? Taskmaster was upset that Luger let go of the submission after his victory against Randy Savage at World War III. If Luger hadn’t let go of the hold, Savage wouldn’t have won the title. Jimmy pleaded his case as Taskmaster’s first manager and that this was all part of a plan.

 

Cutie Suzuki and Mayumi Ozaki vs Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto w/Sonny Onoo

x1080-kgq

This was a rematch from their amazing World War III match. If you haven’t watched their World War III match, I implore you to go watch it on the WWE Network. It is a thing of beauty. This Nitro rematch… was ALSO a thing of a beauty.

Akira tried a sneak attack but she got double teamed with a double clothesline by the babyfaces. Bull tripped the good guys for the heat for her partner. Bull RAGDOLLED the living daylights out of Ozaki who was TINY in comparison. They repeated the elevated choke Hart Attack from World War III but Suzuki broke up the pin.

Ozaki hit a top rope bulldog. Suzuki hit another beautiful dragon suplex. Akira hit a fallaway slam. The fans went nuts as Bull attempted a top rope leg drop, all giddy with excitement! They did a screwy spot where Suzuki leapt on top of Bull’s shoulders and they just fell down face first! Then Ozaki and Suzuki did a double foot stomp together on Bull but only for a near fall.

Bull pulled out a double suplex on the babyfaces which the fans popped for. Akira hit a NAUGHTY looking powerbomb on Suzuki. I mean she almost lost her grip of Ozaki but she pulled it together and you just heard a big THUD and she got slammed onto the mat. Akira missed a spinning kick. There was miscommunication between the babyfaces and Akira capitalised with a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall. The action spilled onto the floor and this led to Akira trying a Molly Go Round (I know that’s what Molly Holly called it but it’s like a 450 seated senton from the top rope, if that makes sense) but crashing into Bull instead.

They hit a few more moves on each other and Akira eventually hit a Northern Lights Bomb for the pin. The fans were super into this and it was a good match. For four women who had not appeared on WCW television before, these fans ate up the action from the Japanese women. This was awesome.

 

Hulk Hogan vs Hugh Morrus

wwef_36838363_th_64

There isn’t really much to say about this match. Hogan beat up Hugh Morrus for the majority of the match. Hugh eventually got the heat. Hugh tried a moonsault but Hogan kicked out. Hogan hulked up. Hulk Hogan hit a big boot and a leg drop for the pin. That’s literally all you need to know about this match…

…..

….what more do you want me to say? It’s nearly 90% of all of Hulk Hogan’s matches in his career. He beats on his opponent, the heel gets the heat, Hulk hulks up and beats him. DONE.

I will say this about Hogan. I know this is stating the obvious but Hulk Hogan looked MASSIVE in this match. Hogan was always a tall guy. I think he was actually 6’8. He was in his casual clothes (casual for Hogan anyway) for the Giant and Sting matches he’s had in the last month and during the battle royal at World War III, we could barely see Hogan because of how messy that battle royal was. Here he was up against Hugh Morrus, with the announcers talking about the size of Hugh Morrus, and Hogan dwarfed in height and in broadness of the shoulders. He looked 10 feet tall.

Again, stating the obvious but he was really humongous in this match…

hulk-hogan.png

Mean Gene brought out the NEW WCW World Champion Randy Savage for an interview. Savage said he’s ecstatic about being the new champion and that means he’s the only world champion. He vowed to face everyone and he was about to talk about World War III when Hogan interrupted him.

This crybaby Hulk Hogan whined about the finish of the battle royal. Hogan even brought up (like I brought up in the World War III review) that his name is still on the name plate to which Savage replied that he was gonna get it changed!

Hogan then showed the clip from World War III and conveniently at the moment where Giant was going to pull Hogan from underneath the ropes, the clip went fuzzy. Hogan is losing his mind about this as Savage is saying that the clip didn’t show anything and he didn’t see anything. Then The Giant comes down to attack the the babyfaces.

The Giant chokeslams Randy Savage on the cement ramp. Keep in mind by the way, it was believed Savage was working with an injury (well not believed by Hogan if you listen to the opening promo he cut at World War III) and this guy is taking a chokeslam on the floor. Sting tried to make the save but Giant got his hands on the Stinger. Before he can do major damage, Hogan comes flying in with a chair.

He smacks him a few times in the back with a chair and they’re relatively hard hits. He knocks him out of the ring and even elbows a referee in the process. This crazy mad man Hogan continues to run wild with the chair. Then Hogan wants to get in some good chair shots to the head…

In what is a double-edged sword situation, Hogan hits Giant with the lightest chair shots to the head you could think of. He didn’t proper SWING it like Bradshaw would for example. He placed the chair in position and ran at The Giant with a chair to the head. While the fans may have cringed at how bad these chair shots were, these were not chair shots that were ever gonna cause a concussion or head trauma. It was the lightest chair shots you could think of and, I know this is a cliche, these chair shots could not hurt a fly.

Eventually, Sting backs Hogan off of The Giant. So I’m sitting here watching Sting watch out of his buddy. Watching out for his best friend forever Hulk Hogan, even after Hogan eliminated him from behind at World War III. Even when Hogan was accusing him of working with the Dungeon of Doom, Sting still was looking out for Hogan’s mental well-being as he did not want Hogan to make the same mistake Sting almost made against Flair. After all, Sting is a great friend. But ERIC BISCHOFF was sceptical about Sting backing Hogan off of The Giant, like he was protecting THE GIANT.

You know I’ve really tried to cope with Bischoff on commentary, but Bischoff is such an annoying presence on the commentary team. You’ve got three announcers as part of the Nitro team. You’ve got the babyface in Steve “Mongo” McMichael. You’ve got the heel in Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. So they’re polar opposites that are gonna argue with each other about the stars that they like. As the third man (pardon the foreshadowing) Bischoff should be the one that remains neutral.

This is not Eric Bischoff as part of the nWo as of yet (spoiler alert but Eric Bischoff was a part of the nWo). Bischoff, as a generic commentator, is spreading wildfire about this and that and trying his damnedest to make every babyface unlikable except Hulk Hogan. He made the comment about Randy Savage possibly screwing Hogan at World War III, Sting possibly siding with the Dungeon of Doom and Lex Luger possibly siding with the Dungeon of Doom. Granted the third thing happened with Luger but you should be trying to at least report the facts. Not spreading gossip like you’re one of these dirtsheets that you guys supposedly hate.

Bobby Heenan will play “devil’s advocate” and Mongo is supposed to be on the side of right. If you’re the play-by-play impartial one, don’t you go ranting and raving about the WWF. Don’t you go accusing people left and right of turning on Hulk Hogan. Don’t go out of your way to make somebody unlikable. That just degrades the status of these big stars.

He really winds me up nowadays but sadly, we’ve got YEARS of this to go with Bischoff. Buckle up.

 

Sting and Lex Luger vs Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman

sneak_nitro91_01--f1bef9b9f7f3a5ec45eedfa226376cca (1).jpg

Luger had a really bad night in this match. His timing was off for a number of spots. Luger and Sting ran wild early, minus an Arn Anderson spinebuster. Bobby said he’d never seen Luger and Sting as a tag team… with no memory of their match against Harlem Heat from a month ago.

At least Luger wasn’t going complete babyface on the heels, with the Total Package whipping out eye pokes and heel moves to work on the bad guys. Unsportman-like tactics used against his fellow heel. Sting had Arn locked on a Scorpion Deathlock. Brian tried to dive onto Sting to break it up but Luger accidentally sent Flyin’ Brian flying into Sting to inadvertently break it up. The heels got the heat. Luger and Pillman started fighting on the outside. Eventually, Sting rolled up Pillman for the pin.

All of a sudden, Ric Flair FLIES down to the ring at a speed very close to The Flash. I have no idea what it was but Flair in a jumper and slacks got down to the ring so fast. I wrote up the finish of the match and I looked away from the TV and when I looked back up, Flair was at the ring going to work on Luger!

The Horsemen laid out Luger, Sting and the referee during the scuffle. Flair locked on the Figure Four Leg Lock when Hogan came out for a third time during the night to make the save. Hogan then went for Luger but Sting made the save to stop him from attacking Luger. Sting and Hogan argued but eventually shook hands and got over it.

I understand, from a storyline perspective, why Hogan went after Luger. Hogan allowed Luger to fight beside him at Fall Brawl and then Luger turned on him at Halloween Havoc. It’s well established that Hogan does not trust Luger. Fine.

The Sting situation however somewhat baffles me. I get that because of his affiliation with Luger, the good guys did not 100% trust Sting. Savage even accused Sting of working with the Dungeon of Doom on Episode #2. Sting and Hogan eventually settled their differences in the ring, they worked together at the end of last week’s episode of Nitro and then they’re friends again at the start of World War III.

Hogan even flat out said that Sting’s relationship with Luger doesn’t matter any more. He will never ever doubt Sting again.

Even after Hogan eliminated him from behind at World War III, Sting came out to rescue Hogan against The Giant on this episode and tried to talk some sense into him. After Sting is such an exceptional friend to Hogan, Hogan goes off on Sting about Sting protecting his friend Lex Luger.

After the two babyfaces bury the hatchet, they’re back to bickering at each other about where Sting’s loyalties lie. If Hogan hadn’t been a complete dick in recent weeks on Nitro, I probably wouldn’t have minded this. However, as a fan, why would I possibly get behind Hogan in this feud and why would I have any reason to not trust Sting?

It’s still gonna be at least 6 months of Hogan as a babyface so I don’t think this was planting the seeds of Hogan’s heel turn at Bash At The Beach. Because Eric Bischoff and Mongo after both on Hogan’s side and Bobby still hates Hogan. In their mind, Hogan is absolutely in the right with this issue with Sting and STING is the asshole just because he’s friends with Lex Luger.

What a bubble these guys live in.

50482d44719535.5a1dcf2f71e46

That was Nitro everybody. Some mixed feelings about a number of segments on this show. There was some exceptional wrestling that was, I guess overshadowed, by crybaby Hogan who is such a horrible friend to Sting and Randy Savage. Bash At The Beach 1996 cannot come soon enough!

We’ll see you all with Episode #14 of Nitro. I don’t think they plugged anything for Nitro. They did plug a special Starrcade announcement for WCW Saturday Night which I assume will be mentioned on Nitro. Nevertheless, we’re on the road Starrcade!