Showing posts with label WCW Monday Nitro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WCW Monday Nitro. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

WCW Monday Nitro #5: F*ck Wrestling, Hogan's Here


WCW Monday Nitro #5, October 2nd, 1995
Denver Coliseum in Denver, Colorado

The announcers were running down what matches we were getting tonight, including the rematch of Flair and Arn Anderson from Fall Brawl, and the match between Randy Savage and Lex Luger where if Lex lost. he'd have to leave WCW forever. While they're talking, Ric came out, en robe, and began running down Anderson and Pillman. He was crazy for approximately 20 seconds before he walked away. Ric remains a gem on this show every week.

They recapped the past 3 weeks of Savage and Luger promos. About Savage being weary of Luger, and how Luger just wants trust...and the World title. This build has been Pay Per View caliber, but was given away for free to pop that rating.


Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger, Where Lex Must Leave WCW if He Loses

This match was, for the time and the men involved, main event levels of awesome in terms of the psychology and the action in the ring. They locked up for a solid minute and a half, rolling out of the ring together in the lock up like two bulls fighting over a Lady Bull. This was going very well, Luger playing a great heel here. Luger's character, a mix of narcissism and delusions of being a babyface, is an awesome thing that I would love to steal one day. It went well, anyway, until The Giant came out. He grabbed Savage and proceeded to try and break his neck like Rambo. It only half worked, rendering Savage unconscious. Luger, who was knocked out at some point before The Giant attempted murder, woke up thinking none the wiser of the practical corpse. Like Rob Terry years later, lifting a dead Ken Anderson for a slam, Luger hurked the body of Savage up into the Rack, where the referee lifted savage's unmoving hand three times for the submission.
***


Disco Inferno came out with his wonderful music to dance. Eddie Guerrero with a baby mullet and a singlet came out to tell him to piss off, cause he had to make the wrestles. I began salivating from excitement for...


Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko

I've been excited about this match for two weeks now. And I had every reason to be excited, because these two began to put on a clinic for how to grapple. Reversals into submission escapes, into stand offs. I loved it.
But then.
We got word that hulk hogan had arrived in the arena. Cool, whatever. Then we got a split screen with Hogan arriving and Jimmy Hart on speed as always. Fine, I can still see the match. Then we got the full shot of Hogan, really saying nothing and doing nothing but being Hulk Hogan.
You fuckers.
I was really enjoying this match, and so were a lot of people in the crowd. But here, on the fifth Nitro, WCW began to kill itself. It began the trend of telling fans that the wrestling and the action in the ring doesn't matter, because what matters are the stars and the personalities. Thankfully, we came back to the match for more action and an eventual pin fall, with Eddie using some combination for the pin. It was still good, but the Hulk Hogan interruption took me out of the actual action, and took a lot from the match.
**1/2

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

WCW Monday Nitro #4: Hogan in a Neckbrace, Savage seeks Revengeance

It took 4 weeks, but Vader is finally out of the opening video for Nitro. For a guy who was never on the show, they sure did take their time replacing him with Luger.


WCW Monday Nitro #4, September 25th, 1995
Florence Civic Center in Florence, South Carolina


Disco Inferno vs. Alex Wright

So this is the infamous Disco Inferno. Never seen an Inferno match before this, and really it wasn't as bad as some have warned me it would be. Despite being Disco's Nitro debut, Alex Wright was the star of this match. He was able to clear the top rope on a dive, with no hands, and without much effort. Wright would probably be really popular today, with his cosmopolitan style and look. After a kind of short match, Wright got the pin with the backslide. Nothing special.
*1/4


Hulk Hogan cut a Hulk Hogan promo in a neck brace. He talked about how the Giant broke his neck and how he won't die, and I'm starting to think that maybe Ric Flair isn't the immortal sorcerer after all. Brother, brother.

They recapped the Randy Savage and Lex Luger confrontation from last week. Pirate shirt, snakes, etc. The two came out to shout at each other, and decide to have a number one contenders, Lex leaves town match next week. But for tonight, they have matches to get ready for.


Kurasawa vs Craig Pittman

Monster Morning Mullet
Well, this match was an unexpected treat. Pittman had a nothing match at the Pay Per View last week, but here he managed to have a really fun match with Kurasawa (who is Manabu Nakanishi.). Fun in the same way I enjoy Ishii and Makabe going at it. The brawl included a lot of Kurasawa going for Pittman's arm, because apparently he had broken Hawk's arm months ago. The match was pretty 50/50, until Kurasawa pinned Pittman with a GERMAN
SUPLEX
HOOOOOLLLDDDUUUUUUUU
**1/2, a very fun match.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WCW Monday Nitro #3: Pillman vs. Flair, Savage attacked on the Beach

Didn't really feel like doing a full Fall Brawl write up, so here's the quick notes.

Flyin' Brian vs Johnny B Badd had a fucking phenomenal match. I can't recommend this shit enough. It's a marvel it was the opener. I don't even want to spoil the ending for you for maximum enjoyment. ****

DDP won the WCW TV title from Renegade in a nothing match. Watch it for DDP's smoking hot Diamond Doll, and the awesome finish. *3/4

The match between Arn Anderson and Ric Flair was so spectacular that I was ready to give it 5 stars. But the finish, Pillman interfering to set up the main event of this Nitro, ruined that prospect. Still a great match to watch. ***3/4

War Games was wacky. Fuck it. *1/2







WCW Nitro #3, September 18th, 1995
Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tennessee 

The show opened with The Giant and The Taskmaster coming from an ambulance claiming they killed Hulk Hogan. This show really is stuck right in the middle of the 90s.

WCW Tag Team Championship
Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) (c) vs. The American Males



All of you have to stop. If you've never heard the American Males theme, click the video to the left here.

We good? A'int that so clownshoes it's amazing?

This was going to be the Males vs. The Bluebloods, but Harlem Heat beat Robert Eaton down on camera, and I assume drove a stake through Steve Regal's heart in a vain attempt to kill him because he wasn't on this show. Harlem heat  challenged the free living Americans to try and take their titles. Heat took 80% of the match, before Rob Parker came out to woo Sister Sherri with promises of oil and land. This magically turned the tides, as Bagwell reversed a Pumphandle by Booker into a Crossbody for the pinfall and the American Males won the tag titles!
**

Monday, September 11, 2017

WCW Monday Nitro #2: Panic Ensues, The World and US champs Defend Live on TV

Last week's show was a great romp through wackiness. These opening weeks look to be a great bridge between the best parts of the late 80s, and the good things to come in the Attitude Era. Last week did a great job setting up this week's Nitro, when we were promised Sabu, Mr. Wall Street, and what was bound to be an awesomely horrendous Main Event of Lex Luger and Hulk Hogan. I couldn't wait for Nitro from 22 years ago!



Monday Nitro #2
September 11th, 1995, from the Knight's Center in Miami, Florida

We were read the line up for the night, including the Norton and Savage match I've been really excited for, and "The Match of the Century" between Hogan and Luger. Oh, we'll get to that.


Sabu vs Alex Wright

This was Sabu's debut on Nitro, not WCW though. He certainly was Sabu, doing Sabu things like springboard leg lariats, ridiculous dives, shortening his career, etc.. At one point, Mongo compared Sabu to a Full Back in football. I have minimal football knowledge, but a quick Wikipedia search says otherwise. I think I've seen Wright a couple times now, and he's always proven to be really solid technically. His German suplex bridge was particularly good. Eventually, after Bischoff hypes up such things as the Arabian Facebuster and the Arabian Leg Drop, Sabu won with a top rope Victory Roll, which looked a lot more devastating than it sounds.
**1/2

And then, Sabu needed to be Sabu. He got a table out. not a table as we know it today. This was a table approximately half way between today's gimmick tables, and those tables at your grandma's church when they play bingo. It was a sturdy, meaty table that Alex Wright was leaned against. Sabu took a leap of faith off the top rope, overshot his mark completely and went head first into the table. It was terrifying, and the decision on the match was reversed by Disqualification. What the fuck.

Looks great as a gif, though.

Ric Flair came out and started being Ric Flair. He complained that Arn wasn't out slamming beers and women with him. Not in those exact words, but might as well have. Luger came out halfway through, and Ric started salivating at the sight of his old running mate. He called him "Package" at least once. Lex only came out to say that ric never changes, then left. Why? I have no clue.


WCW United States Championship
Sting (c) vs. VK Wallstreet

As Sting came out, Bischoff told us that Shawn Michaels was winning his match on the opposite channel, and that we shouldn't bother changing over to them. Sting, the great white meat babyface that I maintain every company needs, was able to get a really good match from Wallstreet. no disrespect meant towards Rotunda, but in 1995 his already small window of prime was past him a while ago. Sting went for  a slingshot dive into the ring and became almost the second casualty on this show when Wallstreet wasn't there to catch him. The finish was so simple it was great, just a crossbody by Sting off the top rope. Shit used to be so simple to get right.
***1/4

Monday, September 4, 2017

WCW Monday Nitro #1: WCW Erupts, Launching the Monday Night Wars

September 4th 1995

The Mortal Kombat movie was on the top of the Box Offices.

People were still waiting for the verdict on the OJ Simpson case.

In less than a week, the Sony Playstation would be released.

And Monday Nitro aired for the first time.


I was one and a half years old when Monday Nitro debuted on TNT. I've been watching professional wrestling now for over a decade, and I think it's time to find out what I didn't get a chance to watch. WWE would have you believe that their rival was fucked up from the first day, only giving grudging respect. But I want to find out for myself. So I'm going to watch Nitro every Monday night, for at least a year, and see just how good, or bad, Monday Nitro was.

Monday Nitro emanated from the Mall of Goddamn America, which is definitely an unconventional venue, but it certainly helped make the product seem different. And it's only an hour long, which was the standard set by RAW at the same time. The commentary team is Eric Bischoff (Okay), Bobby Heenan (Always a Plus),and the infamous, the wonderful, Steve "Mongo" McMichael. I only know the man by reputation, and if you follow along with me, we'll find out if the stories I've heard are true. But, never mind that shit, because we have our first match.