Posts Tagged ‘WCW Monday Nitro’

HogWildA little over 19 years ago, I spent my summer mowing yards and saving up for the holiest of grails…a Sony Playstation.  I would count out my money every week and work until I knew that I had enough, just imagining how awesome that new video game console would be when I was finally able to bring it home.  However, something else happened 19 years ago, in the summer of 1996.  Something that would make me put off getting my new gaming awesomeness just a little bit longer, so that I could experience something I had never experienced.

That something, ladies and gentlemen, was WCW Hog Wild.

In the annuals of wrestling history, Hog Wild probably isn’t anything more than a blip on the radar.  However, to 14 year old Shane, it was the event that I just HAD to watch.  Hogan had just sided with the Outsiders, Hall and Nash, and they had been running roughshod over WCW for the last few weeks.  Tonight, though…in Sturgis…WCW was finally going to get its hands on the traitor in the form of The Giant.  It was must see TV for my brother and I, and my Dad was really into Harleys, so I figured that the added appeal of the pay per view being at the Sturgis rally would be enough to push my parents over the edge and let my brother and I pool our money together and order our very first PPV.

$30 dollars later, on an August Saturday Night, I fell down a rabbit hole that I wasn’t about to come back from.  This was the beginning of me being in a world where I could order wrestling PPVs and not have to wait on the pictures to show up two months later in WCW magazine.  In fact, I ordered three of the next four to round out 1996.  The only PPV I didn’t see from this point on to the end of the year was World War 3, and I really can’t remember why I didn’t order that one.

So, sit back, as I reminisce on my very first wrestling pay per view purchase and as WCW and I bring to you…

WCW Hog Wild, live from Sturgis, SD!

Hog WildFirst thing, the promo art for this one must have been done early in the year because the Hogan that’s featured on the poster/box art/etc is red and yellow babyface Hulk Hogan.

The PPV starts with Tony Schiavone narrating a history lesson on South Dakota and the Sturgis rally, showing us pictures of women in bikinis and leather riding motorcycles, ending with the WCW wrestlers coming down the main strip in Sturgis on their own Harleys.  I like that the wrestlers got together in Minnesota and all rode in together.  That’s badass.

Our announcers are in some awesome attire.  Dusty Rhodes is in not only a cutoff denim shirt, but also cutoff denim shorts!  Tony is in slacks, a black shirt, but a WCW Hog Wild denim vest and a leather cap.  He’s also showing off some of his ink on his arm, which was kind of interesting to see.  Heenan is pretty normally dressed, but all in black, which I’m sure is hot as all get out.  They’re all in sunglasses.

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Match #1: WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match: Ultimate Dragon w/ Sonny Onoo VS Rey Mysterio, Jr. (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

This is ULTIMATE Dragon, not Ultimo Dragon, just to let you know.  Sonny Onoo is in leather, including a big furry hat.

Tony wishes goodnight to those watching WCW Saturday Night on TBS as they’re about to end that feed and go to PPV only.  I wanted to find that episode of Saturday Night but couldn’t, sadly.

The setup is pretty cool.  It’s a basic stage but with camo tarps over it.  There’s a wide dirt walkway and the ring is up on a dirt pile about four or five feet high, so they’re up pretty high.  A lot of the members of the crowd are sitting on their motorcycles and will rev up the engines when they’re excited.

The announce team is joined by “Iron” Mike Tenay, who is there, as always, to provide us with background information on the foreign wrestlers.

Match starts off with some quick mat wrestling, with Dragon mostly leading the charge.

Someone has a blow up sex doll in the crowd.

Rey is in his Spider-Man gear.  I love that Rey will show his comic book fandom in his gear.

We get dueling backflips, dueling leg sweeps, and a standoff that gets a reaction out of the crowd.  The crowd starts chanting USA in a match with a Mexican and a Japanese guy.

Dragon hits a handspring elbow in the corner, shades of the Great Muta.  He follows it with a running Liger-Bomb, showing us that tonight will be a mixtape of the greatest of NJPW in 1994.  Dragon doesn’t go for a pin, though, but wraps on a Figure 4.  Rey is able to get to the ropes and end the hold.  Tenay lets us know that Dragon made it to the end of the J-Crown Tournament, defeating Jushin “Thunder” Liger in 2 minutes.  He also tells us that Liger was just diagnosed with a brain tumor.  I saw something about this in Meltzer’s newsletter, so I need to read into this.

Close-up of Sonny Onoo, who tells us that American fans are so stupid because Mysterio is from Mexico, not the USA.

Rey hits a big missile dropkick that sends Dragon to the ringside area, then a baseball slide dropkick that knocks Dragon off of the platform that the ring is on.  Rey then dives off of the top rope all the way to the ground!  Back in the ring, Rey hits a Hurricanrana, but Dragon takes over and sends Rey to ringside and hits a hell of a body press over the top rope, sending both men to the mat hard.

Dragon takes it back into the ring and hits a picture perfect German suplex for two.  He follows it with a springboard moonsault but doesn’t pin, then goes with a top rope moonsault for two.  Dragon goes back to the well for another Ligerbomb but Rey whips it into a Frankensteiner.  Rey tries for a top rope Frankensteiner, but Dragon shoves him off.  Mysterio flips out of it, jumps up, tries again, hits it and covers for three.

Winner: Rey Mysterio, Jr. (still WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

We go to Mean Gene, in jeans, white tee shirt, and WCW Hog Wild denim vest.  He tells us to call his hotline (1-900-909-9900) to find out about who may be on the premises and how they may factor into the next members of the New World Order.

We get some shots of Main Street in Sturgis and a little history of the rally, as well as some cool aerial shots of the crowd.

Match #2: Scott “Flash” Norton VS Ice Train

This is billed as a “Special Challenge Match.”  Ice Train is out without Teddy Long, which is odd.  He’s also heavily taped up due to apparently coming out on Saturday Night and getting in the face of the Giant.

Scott Norton’s outfit was made by Mead, apparently, as it looks like a 90s Trapper Keeper.  Red, purple, neon colored text…ugh.

Norton starts beating down on Ice Train’s bandaged arm and shoulder, showing no remorse.  Norton takes Ice Train outside and rams his shoulder into the ring post.

Tony tells us that Teddy Long is out due to being choke slammed on Nitro.  I like that.  Non-wrestlers should be out a long time due to big moves like that, and now he’s been out for almost a week.

Norton is ruling Ice Train in this match.  Train tries to build back but Norton is able to take him back out with one move.

Ice Train is able to hit a powerslam and a few quick clotheslines, but Norton beats him back down and applies an armbar to Ice Train’s injured arm.  The referee ends the match due to this, but Norton has to be persuaded to let Ice Train’s arm go.

Winner: Scott Norton

We get a pre-taped interview from Ric Flair, cutting a promo on the Outsiders and how they took out Double A.  Flair says he had decided that the Horsemen and the nWo could co-exist, but then they jumped the Enforcer, and all of that changed.

“It’s on now.”

Quick commercial for Official WCW Hog Wild merchandise.  We see a black T-shirt and that sweet denim vest everyone’s been rocking lately.  The shirt is $21.95, but the vest will run you $89.95 plus a 10-spot for shipping!

Match #3: Battle of the Bikes: Bull Nakano w/ Sonny Onoo VS Madusa

“I haven’t seen anything here that says Huffy…or Schwynn!” – Bobby Heenan

Bull Nakano comes out in a leather jacket with nunchucks.  Onoo is on a white, red and orange Japanese motorcycle.

“How’d you like to come home late from dinner and have her waiting there on you!?” – Heenan

Madusa comes out riding her pink Harley, to the delight of the crowd.  Tony tells us that Madusa was part of the group riding to Sturgis on their bikes, so she’s the real deal.  She’s also making her money right now driving a damn monster truck, so that’s pretty badass.

Nakano jumps Madusa from behind and then hits her in the gut with the nunchuks, while the referee looks right at her, not giving a damn, apparently.  Nakano whips Madusa across the ring by her hair, twice, before the ref gets involved, too.  What’d Madusa due to this ref?!

When did Madusa become a babyface?  We saw her apparently sleeping with Col. Parker, then beat up Sherri, then disappear for a few months, then show up a few weeks ago on Nitro randomly in red, white, and blue as a full out babyface.

Nakano slams Madusa but Madusa slips up out of the move like she’s from the Matrix, then hits three running clotheslines.  Nakano locks her up in a scorpion bow and arrow that I’m pretty sure Paige uses now…or at least used to…before settling for a side headlock.  The bikers start revving up their bikes, trying to revive Madusa.  It must work because she ducks a clothesline and hits a Frankensteiner for two and we get the loudest pop we’ve had thus far.  Madusa misses a spinwheel kick and gets clotheslined, ending the revving.  Madusa is able to get a nice German suplex for two, firing them back up.  It’s interesting that this is the match they’re popping the most for.  I wonder if it’s more the idea that if Madusa loses, they’re going to smash a Harley, or if they’re really that into her.

The crowd chants USA, appropriately this time, as Madusa hits a sunset flip for two, but is dropped into a belly-to-belly suplex that the referee accidentally counts three on.  Madusa does get her arm up, so that’s all on the referee.  Sonny Onoo starts freaking out, thinking Madusa just lost, so he grabs the sledgehammer and starts trying to smash Madusa’s bike by hitting it in the seat.  The bell rings, ending the match for some reason, as Madusa runs out and takes the sledgehammer from Onoo, chasing him away.  She begins smashing the bike with the sledgehammer, pushing it over and beating on it a bit more.

19960810_madusa_bull_USETony tells us that Madusa was actually pinning Bull Nakano, and that’s what the three count was.  I just went back and rewatched this, and YES…Nakano’s shoulders were down and stayed down for the three count.  However, Madusa was never in an offensive position.  She was the one being pinned.  So…they’ve given this to Madusa based on a screw up by the referee apparently, but Madusa never actually won this match.

Winner: Madusa (but we know she really didn’t win)

Tony tells us that we can chat with the WCW wrestlers on CompuServe and we go backstage to see the Steiner Brothers on laptops.  Rick is clearly playing a video game instead of chatting, prompting Scotty to ask him where he got that game.

Match #4: “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko VS “The Canadian Crippler” Chris Benoit w/ Woman & Ms. Elizabeth

From the looks of it, those fans that aren’t on their motorcycles are just standing in the crowd.  A two hour Saturday Night, three hours of PPV…yeah, that’s gotta get old fast.

Jimmy Hart comes walking out with Dean Malenko, telling him all he needs to do is take Benoit out and he’ll take care of everything else.  Of course, that “everything else” means a Cruiserweight Championship shot.

Woman looking good!  Short shorts, USA top…yep.

I’ve been looking forward to this match for a while.  When I really got into watching technical wrestling, this was a match that I constantly went back to on my old VHS tapes.

Benoit starts off in Malenko’s face with a “come at me, bro” stance, then just attacks, taking Malenko down and hammering on him with fists.  The two beat on each other for a while, then Dean takes over with a suplex and an elbow drop for two, then moving into a headlock.  Tide turns to Benoit, who goes for a pin but Malenko’s leg is on the rope, so referee Nick Patrick refuses the count.  Benoit just grabs Malenko’s leg and hooks it, making Dean kick out.  Just a small moment but I liked it.

We get a pin trade-off, each man moving through some two counts, then Benoit bridges up and attempts a backslide, but Dean jumps out of it and rolls him up, Benoit reverses, Malenko bridges out himself and then pulls off his own backslide for a two count.  Great volley!  Hiptoss by Dean and into a short arm scissors.  Benoit is able to stand Malenko out of the arm scissors and suplex him down in an incredible feat of strength.  He follows with a snap suplex and an abdominal stretch, but Dean is able to get out of it with an arm drag, but Benoit is right back on him with a headlock.

Out of the headlock, the two men fire off punches and meet in the middle of the ring with a double cross body block, taking down both men.  Dean comes off the top with a double axe handle, but Benoit blocks it and snap suplexes the Ice Man before hitting the diving headbutt for two.  The Crippler goes for a tombstone piledriver but Dean is able to reverse it and hit one of his own for two.  Dean pulls Benoit back down three more times for three more two counts, trying to wear out the man with multiple kick out attempts.  I love it when wrestlers try that!  Dean goes for the cloverleaf, Benoit rolls up, two count.  Dean hits a crossbody near the ropes, sending both men toppling over the top rope and to the ringside area.

Coming into the ring, Dean goes up top and Benoit follows, superplexing him down so hard that Benoit flips when he hits the ring.  He gets up after selling the head, though, and hits a scoop slam and a quick cover for two.  Dean hits a beautiful release German suplex for two.  These two are just throwing everything at each other!  A few more suplexes, a Liontamer from Benoit that Bobby calls a “Canadian Crippler Crab.”  Around this time, the announcer starts letting us know that we’re approaching the time limit for this match.

Benoit throws out a snap powerbomb for two.  Haven’t seen that in a while.  Scoop slam to Malenko and Benoit goes up top.  Malenko heads up with him and superplexes him off, crawling over to Benoit for a two count as David Penzer tells us that we have thirty seconds left.  Dean tries a quick roll but again, two.  Dean hits his own powerbomb as the time limit runs out, but again Benoit kicks out at two.

Winner: Draw (time limit)

Nick Patrick tells both men that there must be a winner, so we’re going to go back for five more minutes in an overtime period!

DM10962Benoit attacks Malenko from behind, back suplex, cover and a two count.  Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Benoit for another two count.  Benoit then locks Malenko in his own Texas Cloverleaf.  Malenko starts working toward the ropes, but Benoit pulls him back to the center of the Hog Wild logo in the middle of the ring.  Woman is going absolutely nuts encouraging Benoit on.  Benoit finally drops the hold due to Malenko refusing to give up.  Dean gets a measure of revenge with an enziguri, dragging himself to the corner, showing that they’re spent.  The two men knock heads in the corner, taking both of them down.  Malenko hammers on Dean’s knee from behind and then applies a leg scissors.  Benoit pulls Dean over to the ropes and jumps on the leg twice, then drags him back to the middle of the ring and locks on the leg scissors again.  Dean rolls Benoit up in a small package, but Benoit kicks out again just as the time limit runs out.

Winner: Draw (time limit)

Yet again, Nick Patrick calls for a five minute overtime.  The crowd doesn’t really react to this that well.  Bobby covers it nicely, saying that they’re mad that Benoit isn’t the winner, but I really think that this type of match is just lost on this crowd, which is sad because it’s an awesome match.

Chris Benoit Wins Malenko at HoG Wild 1996Benoit hits a dragon suplex for two.  Malenko tries a reversal but Benoit covers, again for two.  The Crippler goes for a dropkick off of an Irish whip, but Dean grabs the rope and Benoit hits the mat.  Dean locks on his own Texas Cloverleaf, but Woman helps Benoit get the ropes.  Dean expertly turns it into an STF, but Woman again gets involved.  Dean lets go of the move to try to run off Woman, but Benoit rolls him up for the win, using the ropes for leverage.

Winner: Chris Benoit

Damn, that was a good match!  Technical clinic right there!

Match #5: WCW World Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers VS Harlem Heat (WCW Tag Team Champions) w/ Sister Sherri & Col. Robert Parker

At the onset of the match, it seems that Stevie Ray has run afoul of some of the bikers in the crowd as they are begging him to come out into the crowd with them.  I can only imagine what words were said in that exchange.

Strong start off with Scotty and Booker T.  Tiger Driver, snap suplex and a Rick Steiner Steinerline sends Booker to the outside to regroups with his camp.  Crazy to see the first offensive move being a major one like the Tiger Driver.  Booker goes for a spin kick but Scotty ducks, gorilla press slam and the crowd goes nuts!  Into the corner, mounted punches with the crowd counting along loudly, then a hip toss that sends Booker outside again.  Back suplex and a tag to Rick, who comes in firing off punches.

Someone throws in a coke bottle and Randy Anderson kicks it out of the ring in the smoothest motion I’ve ever seen.  He runs over to check on a pin and just effortlessly kicks it with his left foot in mid-step.  It’s awesome.

Rick tags out to Scott, who gets a side slam from Booker as Sister Sherri is having a conniption on the outside.  He tries to follow Scott into the corner, though, but Scott gets a foot to Booker’s face and comes out of the corner with a belly-to-belly.  Tag out to Rick, who also gets a suplex for two.  Sister Sherri starts yelling and Rick counters with a very loud “shut up, bitch!”  Looks like Sturgis brings out the intensity in the Steiners…which I was unaware they could get more intense!  Booker tries to leapfrog Rick, but Rick catches him in a powerslam.  Scott hits a dropkick off of an Irish whip and goes for an STF, but in comes Stevie Ray to break it up.  Scott tags out to Rick, who comes in with a camel clutch.  Randy Anderson didn’t see the tag, though, so he questioned the Steiners about it, but lets it stand.  Booker sends Rick to the ropes and Stevie Ray holds down the top rope, letting Rick fly out to the floor where he can get in some cheap shots.  Back in the ring, Booker goes for a Harlem Side Kick, but Rick ducks and Booker crotches himself on the top rope.  He tags out to Stevie Ray, who is able to keep Steiner down, though.

After being controlled for a while, Rick is able to get the tag to Scott, who clears house with punches and a huge overhead belly-to-belly to Booker T.  Col. Parker tries to throw powder in Scott’s face, but Scott ducks and he gets Booker T with it.  Sherri throws it, too, though, and gets Scott.  Parker takes advantage of the blinded Steiner to hit Steiner over the head with his cane, breaking it.  Booker T gets the pin.

Winners: Harlem Heat (still WCW World Tag Team Champions)

The crowd immediately starts pelting Parker with trash.  It’s interesting that the Steiners are the ones that they’ve been the most into in this whole event.

More beauty shots of Sturgis and the surrounding area.

“More shots of the raceway here at Sturgis.” – Tony

“That ain’t the raceway…that’s the track at the high school!” – Dusty Rhodes

Dusty wasn’t wrong…it was clearly the high school track.

We get a video package of the WCW wrestlers riding their bikes from the Mall of America to Sturgis.  Impressive, seeing who all went.  We also get a quick shot of DDP with Kim on his bike, breaking kayfabe!  We’re also seeing a lot of the guys with wives, which is interesting.  Looks like Double A and Big Bubba both have theirs, as well as DDP and Mongo.  We also get shots of a lot of the crazy looking people and bikes at the rally.  It ends with a woman starting to flash us, which is unfortunate that it faded out on that part.

Growing up with a Dad who was into motorcycles, that culture was always somewhat in my life, so seeing this stuff is always cool.  Like I said at the beginning, this is one of the reasons we were able to buy this PPV as it appealed to that aspect of him.

Match #6: WCW United States Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero VS “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair (WCW United States Champion) w/ Woman & Ms. Elizabeth

“These girls got a Harley to ride, right here!  1200 CCs!”  Flair, pointing to himself.

The first sign I’ve seen in the crowd all night…Flair is God.

We start off with a shoving match, Flair shoving Eddie, then Eddie shoving back, each time Eddie shoves, Flair takes a bump.  Finally fed up with it, Flair shoves the referee, who shoves him back.  Guerrero and Flair slap each other, and Flair bails to the ringside area to slow the match down.

Slower paced match, with Eddie working to show he can hang with Flair by being the quicker of the two at times, or coming back right after a move.

As the sun is setting, they don’t seem to have turned on the lighting rig yet as at times during this match, it seems to get really dark in the ring.

Chops from Guerrero in the corner, Flair flop in the center of the ring.  Listen…I love Ric Flair.  He’s arguably the greatest wrestler in history.  However, the flop…stupidest thing in wrestling.  Yes, that includes the People’s Elbow, 5 Knuckle Shuffle, Worm, and Stink Face.  Yeah…I said it.

Ric Flair Retains WCW US Title At Hog WildEddie tries a sunset flip, Flair goes for a fist drop, Eddie moves and Flair hits the mat.  Eddie gets a drop toehold off of an Irish whip, then puts Flair in the Figure 4!  Eddie follows up with a nice headscissors that he walked up the ropes to get, gets a two count, then follows with a few chops and a tornado DDT out of the corner, again for two.  Eddie struts a little, mocking Flair, and we get a small look at Eddie later in years.  He’s so good, but so vanilla right now…hard to believe that in the future he’ll be one of the most charismatic wrestlers ever.

Sunset flip from Eddie again, this time he pulls Flair’s tights down to get the roll up.  He only gets 2, though, so sadly we all had to see Flair’s ass for nothing.  Eddie goes to the eyes, then goes for a frog splash, hitting it, but coming down on his knee and selling the injury.  Flair goes for a kneebreaker, but Eddie gets out, rolls backwards, and Rick hits him with a hell of a clothesline.  Figure 4 from Flair, grabbing the top rope and then Woman for leverage.  Eddie lays down, referee counts the pin, and it’s Flair’s victory.

Winner: Ric Flair (still WCW United States Champion)

Mean Gene is with Jimmy Hart and The Giant.  Hart isn’t wearing his trademark jacket, but he does have a tie with his face as well as Sullivan’s and The Giant’s.  Quick promo on how Hogan betrayed the fans.  He’s going to chokeslam him.  Short and sweet.

Match #7: Grudge Match: The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) VS Sting & Lex Luger

Debut of the nWo music as entrance music!  We’ve heard it in the paid promos, but this is the first time someone’s come to the ring to it.

My only complaint thus far is that Sting and Luger come to the ring much too happy and calm for this to be a grudge match.  I would have liked to see them fired up and pissed.

Hall starts it off for his team, Luger for his.  Tony reminds us that this is really one of the first times that Luger gets to get his hands on the Outsiders since he got knocked out of the match early at Bash at the Beach.  Hall throws his toothpick at Sting then locks up with Luger and is backed up into the corner where Nick Patrick forces a break.  They lock up again, Hall bests Luger with an armdrag and mocks Luger’s pose.  Hall attempts a hip toss out of the corner, but Luger blocks it twice, comes out with his own hip toss, and follows with a scoop slam.  Hall tags out to Nash and the big man saunters into the ring to the awaiting flexing pecs of Luger.

Nash waves Luger away and points at Sting.  He spits in Sting’s face.  Sting no-sells it, wipes it off casually, and Luger tags out to him.  Sting walks in and spits back in Nash’s face, then jaw jacks with him a bit, staring him down.  Nash sends him to the mat with a big right hand, though.  Sting comes up from the mat with a big right of his own, though, rocking Nash back to the ropes.  Nash runs in with a clotheslines, Sting ducks and tries a scoop slam, but the big man is just too much.  Sting swings rights and lefts, bobbing and weaving away from Nash’s punches.  Nash sends him to the ropes, but Sting ducks, thumb to the eyes and scoop slams Nash this time, firing up the crowd and then nailing Hall with a right for good measure.  Nash gets back up and hits a snake eyes in the corner on Sting, who staggers into the waiting punch of Hall as the Outsiders tag out.

Now it’s time to beat up Sting over in the Outsiders corner.  Sting tries to stagger over to Luger, but Nash stops him short with a big clotheslines before tagging back out to Hall.  Hall catches Sting’s cross body block attempt with a fallaway slam, pinning with his feet on the ropes for two.  From then on, it’s the “beat down Sting” show.  Sting and Nash collide off of an Irish whip, knocking Nash down and Sting loopy.  He basically Flair-flips, but it’s way more casual and he falls head first into Nash’s junk.  I always liked that spot.

At one point, Heenan yells “C’mon Hall!” and the other announcers rake him over the coals as Bobby backtracks over what he really meant.

Outsiders vs Sting & Luger Hog Wild 1996Irish whip from Hall, tag out, big boot from Nash.  A really smoot transition and it came off really nice.  Nash calls for the Outsider’s Edge and tags out to Hall.  Hall sets up for his finisher but Sting backdrops him out of it and gets the hot tag to Luger.  Bobby again roots for the wrong team.  Luger cleans house, knocking Nash into the corner while he’s hammering Hall in another.  Sting comes flying in with the Stinger splash, taking Nash outside and locking him in the Scorpion Deathlock.  Inside, Luger hits a powerslam to Hall and goes for the rack.  There’s a really bad attempt at hitting referee Nick Patrick with Hall’s feet, sending Patrick to his knees once, then, we deliberately see him come down and chop block Luger while he’s got Hall up.  Fast count later, and the Outsiders are our victors.

Winners: The Outsiders

The announcers argue about whether it was a fast count or not, and honestly it’s not too bad, but Patrick definitely didn’t “stumble,” as Tony says he did.  He took aim and dropped his best Ric Flair forearm to the knee of Luger.  We’ll deal with Patrick a bit more in the future, ladies and gentlemen.

Match #8: WCW World Heavyweight Championship: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan VS The Giant (WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

We go to Michael Buffer and his milliondy-word-long intro that probably netted him a small fortune.

It’s now fully night time and the dark setting outdoors looks so badass.  Outdoor arenas always look so much better at night than they do through the day.

Hogan has new tights and boots that look way better than the solid black ones he was sporting in 95 and a few weeks ago.  He’s got an airbrushed Terminator/nWo shirt that’s pretty awesome as well.  He’s also got HOLLYWOOD on his tights, officially going by “Hollywood” Hogan now.  The change to the dark side is complete.  His intro wasn’t overly heelish, though, which was interesting.

Hogan heads to the ringside area as Giant enters the ring, and Giant is holding him off from getting into the ring while Jimmy taunts him with “come on in, big boy!”  Hogan tries a few times and isn’t able to get in, so he waves it off and heads to the back.  Halfway down the aisle, he thinks better of it and is able to finally get into the ring, to the cheers of the crowd.  I wonder if the crowd is siding with the nWo or if they’re just ready to see Hogan get his ass kicked.

Hogan fires off some rights on Giant, but they don’t faze him, so he bails to the ringside area again.  Irish whip to Hogan, shoulder block by The Giant, and Hogan’s back on the floor.  Back in, back suplex, and Hogan again heads out.  Hogan tries to draw Giant into the corner but Giant stands in the center of the ring and tells Hogan to come out to him.  Giant reaches out to lock up with him but Hogan pulls back, taunting Giant.

“Hogan has slowed the pace of this match down to a crawl.” – Tony Schiavone

That’s why I can pretty much offer full play by play on this one.  This match is crawling by.  Hogan locks up with Giant in a Greco-Roman lock, but Giant overpowers him until Hogan fires off kicks to the Giant’s gut.  Hogan is able to reverse it at that point, driving Giant to his knees while yelling “I’m going to break him in half.”  Giant tries to fire back up but Hogan is able to cut it off with a knee to the gut.  Giant is able to come back, getting to a full vertical base and driving Hollywood to HIS knees.  He breaks the hold and applies a top wrist lock to the arm of Hogan.  Hogan mimics like Giant is pulling his hair, leading Randy Anderson to check on it, and Hogan uses the distraction and pulls Giant down by the hair and takes over with a wrist lock of his own.  The crowd goes nuts for it, truthfully, so I’m guessing the bikers are fully nWo.

screen-shot-2014-05-08-at-7-37-49-amHogan controls the top wrist lock for a while, Giant comes back, Hogan grabs the hair again and pulls him back down.  Giant fires back up, Hogan tries the “he grabbed my hair” gimmick again, but Giant doesn’t go down and then pulls Hogan down by the hair.  A couple of headbutts later and Hogan is on the floor.  Giant follows him out, raking Giant’s back a few times and then attempting to run his head into the ring post.  Giant stops it and ram’s Hogan’s head into it and then sends him back into the ring.  Irish whip into the corner, kick to Hogan’s gut, whip into the opposite corner and another kick in the gut.  Whip to the ropes and Giant comes down with a big backbreaker to Hogan.  Two count and Hogan gets his foot on the ropes.  Scoop slam from the Giant and the big man goes for a jumping elbow drop but Hogan rolls out of the way.  Hogan makes it to his feet, selling the back, and then tees off on Giant with a few right hands.  After the second one, Giant is done selling them.  Giant starts Hulking up, complete with the finger point and the “You!” after the 5th punch.  Hogan goes for another punch and gets a trio of chops for his trouble.  Giant sends him for an Irish whip, big boot, then calls for the chokeslam.  Hall comes to the ring, climbing the top rope, and Giant sends him to the mat, then picks him up with a big chokeslam.  Kevin Nash sneaks in with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone, but Giant kicks him in the gut and then chokeslams Nash!  Hogan sneaks in with the belt, though, and nails Giant from behind with it.  1…2…3…

Winner: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan is the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion

The crowd goes nuts, presumably due to the bad guy victory, because that match was slow and bad.  Watch it back with my writing…I’m pretty sure I got EVERY move in my writeup.  It was that slow.

Hogan hugs Hall and Nash in celebration.  Coming down the walkway are two crew members with a birthday cake, followed by The Booty Man in the same shirt Hogan was rocking earlier.  E tu, Booty?

hqdefaultHogan says that Booty Man knows it’s Hogan’s birthday, so now he’s going to wish himself a happy birthday.  Booty Man congratulates Hogan on being the new nWo World Heavyweight Champion.  Dusty goes off, saying he’s the WCW champion!  Booty Man wishes Hogan a happy birthday, then shakes Hogan’s hand for being there for him for 22 years.  He tells Booty Man that he loves him like his own blood.  He says that to have him there with an nWo shirt on is something special.  Hogan says now that he’s champion, in Denver, Colorado, Ric Flair is going to get a beating.  Hogan says the thing that makes the nWo so powerful is that they never mix business with friendship or pleasure.  He says they attacked WCW with no regard for whether or not Arn Anderson was there.  Hogan says Flair showed his soft spot.  He again says that they don’t mix business with friendship, but this is a special occasion.  He says he’ll make an exception.  He whispers in Nash’s ear.  Nash grabs Booty Man from behind and they wail on him, sending him out to the floor.  He tells Flair that Booty Man is his best friend, so if he’ll do that to his best friend, imagine what he’ll do to him.

Nash gets the present that was with Booty Man’s cake.  Hogan unwraps it and it’s a can of spray paint.  Hogan then spray paints “nWo” on the WCW World Championship.  He plays to the camera a bit more and they leave the ring, leaving Giant and Booty Man laying in broken heaps.

We cut back to our announcers and Dusty talks about how hard it was to see a championship title that he has worn be spray painted.  He asks where WCW was when Giant needed him at the end.  With that, we go off the air.

Hogan Marcs Title With Spray

That was it, ladies and gentlemen…WCW Hog Wild.  We end with the World Heavyweight Championship firmly in the grasp of the New World Order.  I think, honestly, looking back, I would have waited just a BIT longer to give him the title, but with the next few months being setup like they are, it’s not terrible that he has it right now.  He’ll only defend it two times through the rest of this year if I’m correct, though…once at Clash of Champions coming up in two weeks and once at Halloween Havoc.

We have the beginnings of the evil referee gimmick with Nick Patrick.  I’m not really looking forward to this, fans.  This takes forever to play out if I remember correctly, so we’ve got a while to deal with it.  Plus, I’m not a fan of Patrick at all.  He’s easily the worst referee WCW has at this point, so I hate that he basically gets a starring role coming up over the next few months.

Watching it again, fully, for the first time since August 10th, 1996, I actually really enjoyed this show.  There was some good wrestling, some good story line stuff, and it had a great atmosphere.  The main event was slow as cold pudding, but that’s kind of what defines this era of WCW going forward…a fantastic undercard compensating for big name main events that aren’t as great wrestling-wise.  Together, it works out to this interesting package that makes WCW so special for the next year and a half.

Join me soon as we head into the next episode of Monday Nitro to see how this all falls out.  Until next time!

Shane

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KoaNitro copyIt’s me, it’s me, it’s that good ole S to the D, and we’re back with another episode of WCW Monday Nitro!  This week comes to us yet again from Disney in Orlando, FL.  Last week, Kevin Nash promised us that we’ll hear from Hulk Hogan (who, oddly enough, is still in the intro video for Nitro), so tonight we should find out what made him turn his back on all of the Hulkamaniacs.  Being at Disney means we’re still at that awesome outdoor arena.

The show kicks off with our Hour One announcers Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko, and Tony hypes this up as potentially the biggest night in WCW history.  That will happen A LOT in the future, so it’s interesting to see it start up.  Tony tells us that the New World Order will be here tonight as we rewatch the footage from Bash.  Actual footage this time, not just the pictures, since I guess they’ve sold all of the replays that they’re going to get in the last week.

Larry mentions that now the question is who is the next member, but from what I remember, we don’t get another member for just about two months.  Tony says that the last time Hogan was at MGM Studios was the day he signed his WCW contract and they had the big tickertape parade for him.

Match #1: Fire and Ice VS The Steiner Brothers

Tony says that the nWo has done a good job at picking their shots since they decide to show up tonight when Sting, Flair, and Savage aren’t here.  Those are three big names to keep off of the show.  Could you imagine a Raw without Seth Rollins, John Cena, and Randy Orton?  Crazy.

Norton and Scotty Steiner start us off with Norton kicking Steiner around the ring.  A lot slower moving match than I’m used to from these two.  Norton controls most of the match until Scott suplexes Norton out of the ring and Norton takes a few moments to collect his thoughts while we go to commercial break.

Back from the break, out comes Teddy Long to watch the match.  One can only guess that he couldn’t resist the allure of a tag team match, playa!  Ice Train gets a big powerslam but Rick retaliates by dropping him on his head with a belly-to-belly suplex.  Rick gets a two count off of a reverse DDT as well.  The Scotts tag back in and Norton again goes to controlling Steiner until Rick gets tagged back in and hits a massive Steinerline and then catches Norton in mid air with a suplex.  Ice Train and Norton try to doubleteam the Steiners by having Norton hold down Scott so Ice Train can splash him.  This gets messed up and Ice Train splashes Norton, Rick Steiner rolls up the non-legal man in Ice Train and gets the win.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers

Mean Gene takes us to the entry way with Kevin Sullivan, Big Bubba, and Jimmy Hart.  Fire & Ice walk past, arguing with each other over the end of the match.  The Dungeon cut a promo on the Horsemen, with Jimmy saying he’ll recruit the worlds best athletes to take them out.  Big Bubba cuts one on Lex.  He says that Lex has a concussion and a detached retina.  The Faces of Fear join the men as we go to a Glacier commercial.

Mean Gene is backstage with Fire & Ice.  They’re yelling at each other when Teddy Long comes up and says he doesn’t want to get into their business, but they’re a great team and he wants them to stay together.  Norton pie-faces Long and shoves him down, saying it began with them and it’ll end with them as he storms off.  Ice Train says that if he keeps it up, it’ll end sooner than he thinks.

Match #2: Billy Kidman VS “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko

Jimmy Hart is talking to Dean Malenko as he makes his entrance.  Malenko calls out the Horsemen, telling Benoit to pay attention.  Malenko and Benoit will wrestle at Hog Wild in a 30 minute clinic, so I’m VERY excited about that coming up.

Dean starts off with a vicious short arm clothesline and immediately goes to the floor with Kidman, attempting a piledriver on the floor but Kidman reverses it into a backdrop.  Dean controls the match for the most part but Kidman’s quickness gets him some occasional hope spots, including reversing a victory roll into a sunset flip for two.  Dean isn’t having any of that, though, and takes it to Kidman.  He hits a very nice side suplex and then pulls Kidman’s legs to the ringpost and wraps his left leg around it.  Dean’s a bit more vicious than normal since losing his Cruiserweight Championship, it seems.  Dean hits an Alabama Slam into a roll up that Kidman rolls through, then Dean reverses and rolls through into a volley of pins.  Kidman goes for a shooting star press that Tony calls a “backflip somersault.”  Dean moves, Kidman eats canvas, and then Dean goes into full Beast Mode.  He hits a brainbuster, powerbomb, tiger bomb, and then ends with a Texas Cloverleaf for the win.

Winner: Dean Malenko

Mean Gene is at the entry way with Kevin Greene.  Greene cuts a promo on Hogan, saying he grew up watching Hogan and saying his prayers, eating the vitamins, and then he finds out that Hogan never believed any of it.  He turns towards Mongo and says that if anyone in the back sees Mongo, to send him his way.

We go to commercial, preceeded with a promo from Harlem Heat talking to Col. Parker and saying that he better get his priorities taken care of.  Not sure what that’s about.  Commercials include one for WCW Magazine.  It’s for Issue 18, which you can find on this website!

Match #3: WCW World Tag Team Championship: Rough & Ready (Mike Enos & Dick Slater) w/ Col. Robert Parker VS Harlem Heat (WCW Tag Team Champions) w/ Sister Sherri & Col. Robert Parker

Ahhhhh, so now I get the whole Col. Parker thing.  He’s basically managing both teams.  Apparently he’s the “promoter” of Harlem Heat and the manager of Rough & Ready.

Honestly a pretty back and forth match, but these two teams just are not gelling with each other.  A few spots get botched, or at least are so awkward that they look botched.  This one should honestly be a squash match.  Harlem Heat are the champions and these two other guys are basically jobbers, so Heat should have just destroyed them.  There are quite a few spots with some good heat between the two teams, though. The story is basically that everyone is upset that Parker is with the other team, especially Dick Slater, who doesn’t trust Sherri anyway, dating all the way back to before their “wedding” in January at Clash of the Champions.  Slater tries to take swings at both members of Harlem Heat a few times.

Parker distracts the referee and Sherri runs over and kisses Slater.  He jumps up and starts wiping his mouth, allowing Booker T opportunity to roll him up for the win.

Winners: Harlem Heat (still WCW Tag Team Champions)

Back from commercial, Kevin Greene comes out, rips his shirt off and says he wants Mongo now!  Gene says that’s probably not going to happen because Mongo is going to avoid him like the plague. Greene says he’s got to go catch a plane back to training camp, but after the season, it’s on!

Match #4: Madusa VS Malia Hosaka

Both women are in the ring when the match starts, so neither get entrances.

Tony tells us that Madusa will face Bull Nakano in a “Destroy the Bike” match where Madusa will have her Harley Davidson and Nakano will have a Japanese motorcycle and the winner gets to destroy the other’s motorcycle.

We’re told that Hosaka has been sent here by Nakano and Sonny Onoo to take Madusa out before Nakano can get to her.

Hosaka is definitely controlling the match, including a cool spot where she snapmares Madusa by the hair about four times in a row.  Madusa fights back, getting kicks in the corner and capping it off with 1-2-3 Kid’s spin kick in the corner and then doing the hair snapmare a few times herself.  Tony tells us that the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Olympics are on Friday.  Two future WWE World Champions will compete at those Olympic Games, folks.

Hosaka goes for a dive out of the corner but misses, Madusa capitalizes with a bridging German suplex for the win.

Winner: Madusa

It’s weird that we’re not getting really any buildup for our Hog Wild matches.  We’re told about two matches that will happen but there’s no angle to them…they’re just booked.  At least with the tag team match we got to see the Steiners win their title shot against Harlem Heat by beating the Nasty Boys.

nWoAs Madusa celebrates, the timer goes off and we’re now in Hour #2.
Bischoff starts off immediately asking “where are they and what are they going to say when they get here?”

They go to commercial and bischoff mentions that something is going on behind them.  We see Hall and Nash in the background, placing giant sheets with N, W, and O over the big metal WCW letters on the set.  The crowd chants “Diesel” as Bischoff wonders where Hogan is.

Match #5: Meng w/ Jimmy Hart VS “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson

Yet again, a Horseman without the ladies.

Hall and Nash are sitting in beach chairs and drinking umbrella drinks while the match goes on.

Meng keeps Double A in the corner for the first few moments by kicking at his head.  Double A finally gets a waist lock but Meng gets out of it and again backs The Enforcer into the corner.

Meng is pretty much controlling Arn through this match, keeping him grounded and punishing him with kicks.  The Barbarian comes out and stands at ringside with Jimmy Hart as Meng boots Arn in the side of the face and gets a two count.  With that, we go to commercial while the Outsiders enjoy their drinks.

Back from break, it seems that Double A is back in control.  Meng sends him out to the floor and Jimmy Hart takes the opportunity to put the boots to Arn a few times and mock him.  Meng comes out and rams Anderson’s spine into the ring apron a few times.  The Enforcer is taking a beating here.  Jimmy Hart distracts the referee, Barbarian hits Arn from behind, and Meng hits a mafia kick for the win.

Winner: Meng

Back from commercial and Mean Gene is at the entry way with Mongo, Debra, and Pepe.  Mongo says that Pepe wanted to chase the big rat around, so they’ve been doing that and counting some more money.  Mongo acts surprised that Kevin Greene isn’t there anymore.  Debra says that the Carolina Panthers is a farm team for B players.  She runs off Mongo’s records and asks Greene what records he has.  Mongo flashes the 4 with the Super Bowl ring as we head off into our next match.

Match #6: “The Crippler” Chris Benoit VS Eddie Guerrero

Horseman #2 tonight with no accompaniment.

Black outfit Eddie!  I remember having a pair of shorts back when I was in high school that had roughly the same design on the sides as Eddie’s outfit.  I loved those shorts because they reminded me of Eddie.

Benoit asks the referee to check Eddie’s boots and immediately cheap shots him with a kick to the gut.  Benoit turns it on immediately, throwing Eddie around the ring and going hard with chops and kicks.  He grabs Eddie by the throat and throws him down with violence before tying Eddie up in the top rope and choking him.

Bischoff says that the WCW main eventers are all in Japan.  Nice to finally know where they are, since thus far all we’ve had to go on is that they’re not here.

Benoit goes for a powerbomb but Eddie armdrags Benoit out to the floor and then comes off the top onto him.  Bischoff tells us that Eddie will get a shot at the WCW United States Championship against Ric Flair at Hog Wild.  Benoit hits a back suplex as we get a shot at the set and see that the Outsiders have gone missing.  Eddie fights back with a snap side suplex but Benoit is immediately back on him with headbutts and chops before snapping off a suplex for two.

Bischoff tells us that about 15 WCW guys will be leaving the Mall of America on Harleys and heading to Sturgis.  Benoit locks on a Liontamer and then drops Guerrero with a massive powerbomb that only gets two.  Benoit bodyslams Eddie and goes up top for the flying headbutt, but Eddie jumps up and superplexes Benoit down hard.  The two men get into a chop battle in the center of the ring, really just teeing off on each other.  Benoit catches Eddie off of an Irish whip with an attempted pop up powerbomb, but Eddie is able to headscissors him over the top rope.  Benoit slams Eddie’s head into the steps, which draws out Dean Malenko.  Malenko bounces Benoit’s head off of the ringpost, sending him down.  Eddie is able to answer the 10 count and Benoit is counted out.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero (via countout)

As we go to commercial it looks like the nWo banners have been pulled down.  Big Bubba has a quick promo telling Lex Luger not to worry about Sting, Hogan or the Outsiders, but to worry about Big Bubba.

Match #7: Big Bubba w/ Jimmy Hart VS “The Total Package” Lex Luger (WCW Television Champion)

Bischoff says that Luger’s doctors wanted him out for 60 days but he refused.

Bubba is beating down Luger for the most part, outside of some early offense from Luger.  Bubba hits a nasty punch on Luger from the outside as we cut to the black limo and see Hall and Nash emerge.  Bubba continues the onslaught.  Bischoff calls the second “back leg round kick” of the evening.

Jimmy Hart is in a completely different jacket from earlier.  He was in a Taskmaster one earlier, now he’s got one with himself on the back.

Bischoff says that he heard people talking about Hogan for years but didn’t believe it.  Heenan says he’s been saying it for years.  He’s not wrong.

Nitro_7-8-96_6Both men are down as The Outsiders begin to make their way to the ring.  Jimmy Hart tries to distract the referee and throw something to Bubba.  Luger takes it and clocks Bubba and then goes after Jimmy, asking him what the hell.  The Outsiders hit the ring and beat down Luger.  As they do, out comes Hogan, dressed all in black.  Nash jackknife powerbombs Luger as Hogan shakes Hall’s hand.  Hogan slaps Luger around a bit while he’s down.  Hogan helps Big Bubba up and shakes his hand.  Heenan and Bischoff speculate if Bubba is the fourth member of the group.  Hogan signals to Hall and Nash and they jump Bubba, beating him down and sending him out of the ring.

Mean Gene jumps in the ring and says that Hogan and the Outsiders have led us down the primrose path.  Hogan says he wishes he had done this two years ago.  He says he’s bigger than pro wrestling.  Gene says that the children are all disgusted with Hogan.  Hogan says that after he had spent years leading those children down the right path, the parents had the gall to boo Hogan one more time.  Hogan cuts a promo on Sting and on Savage as the fans pelt the ring with trash.  Gene asks where the nWo is going and who is going to be in it.  Hogan says Hall and Nash are just the foundation.  He says that what the people don’t realize is that when he builds his empire, it could be more outsiders…or it could be people close to Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff.  He says there have been double loyalties in the locker room for years, and those people know what where Hogan goes, that’s where the money goes.

July_15,_1996_Monday_Nitro.3Gene is spending way too much time stretching this out.  Hogan’s talking a lot of crap, but it’s just not meshing yet with what Hall and Nash are all about.  He’s pulling down their cool.  Hogan calls out The Giant at Hog Wild then calls out anyone from the back, saying they’ll destroy the entire WCW.

Just as it seems we’re going to go off the air with no answer, out come the Steiners, Faces of Fear, and Arn Anderson.  Bischoff says we’re out of time as he leaves Bobby Heenan alone in the broadcast booth.

 

This wee’s Nitro had about the same feel as last week’s, with the exception of having a Benoit VS Eddie match.  I like this ever-present threat of the nWo a lot.  Them coming out when no one was around and destroying Luger was nice.  It gave them the dominance of beating down a top guy, but showed them to be cowardly heels in the process because they only struck when the timing was right and WCW was weak.  I liked Hogan almost siding with Big Bubba and then ordering his goons to drop him.  Shows that Hogan is a backstabbing kind of guy now, even to people who were his friends.

I’m liking the Benoit / Malenko program.  I absolutely love the match they have at Hog Wild, so I like seeing the build up, with Jimmy Hart possibly paying off Malenko go to after one of the Horsemen on behalf of the Dungeon of Doom.

Hogan’s promo at the end was a little rough.  He went on for about two minutes too long.  I partly blame Mean Gene on that one as he just kept asking questions and stretching it out.  Hogan’s cutting an old school wrestling promo and that’s a bit below where Hall and Nash are right now.  Their promos work because they add a sense of realism to this whole thing.  They just come out and talk normally.  I always loved Nash’s “lay on the top rope and just talk” style and it really sets them apart.  Watching Hogan cut a five minute heel promo was a bit rough.  Hopefully that’ll get better with time.

I’ve got a bit of a plan for catching up now, so hopefully you’ll be seeing these things a bit more regularly.  I hope you enjoyed seeing the issue of WCW Magazine earlier this week.  If you have any copies of magazines that you want to part with, please let me know as I do not have a line on getting every one at the moment.

Until next time, fans!

-Shane

 

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.6

WCW Nitro Ratings – 3.4

(Raw – 17, Nitro – 22) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 5)

WWF’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 6

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 5

 

WCW’s longest official win streak thus far!  5 wins in a row.  Only one more win and they’re tied with WWF.

 

WWF Raw results from this week

WWF IC Champion Ahmed Johnson defeated WWF Tag Team Champion Bart Gunn (w/ Sunny) with a spinebuster and the Pearl River Plunge. (11:28)

Marc Mero (w/ Sable) defeated TL Hopper with a right jab and left hand punch. (11:30)

WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) pinned WWF Tag Team Champion Billy Gunn (w/ Sunny) with an elbow drop off the top and the superkick. (14:00)

 

Wow…those matches all go over 11 minutes?  A TL Hopper match went 11?  What the hell?

KoaNitro copy

Kick Out at Nitro fans…The Champ…is…here!  For an unprecedented two weeks in a row, you get a bit of a different flavor of commentary than that usually provided by myself.  Derick makes his long awaited return to us here in WCW-land, so I leave you in his loving arms.

-Shane

Ladies and gentlemen, The Champ is back with a review of Monday Nitro. It’s been awhile, but Shane tapped me for this one, so here we go. On a side note, Hogan starts this episode, so I may have made Shane mad at some point, and this is retribution. I’m not sure.

Nitro kicks off with it’s normal video package of ridiculous sound effects and buildings exploding. Eric B reminding us for the millionth time that we are LIVE.

Uh oh……

And here comes Hogan. Heenan with a dated plug about Greg Norman choking at the Masters. And we go straight into the handicap Match.

Match #1: Handicap Match: Hulk Hogan VS “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan w/ Woman, Ms. Elizabeth and Jimmy Hart

Originally a tag team match. However, The Booty Man got hurt 2 weeks ago at Saturday Night Main Event. Basically, if Hogan wins, he gets his choice with a manager of his choice for 5 minutes. Same for Sullivan/Anderson. Hogan goes for back to back figure 4 leg locks. God, those look terrible. I’ve always thought that Sullivan stole Hogan’s tights and painted lightning bolts on the rear. Typical handicap match going back and forth. Heels using their numbers to beat down Hogan, but every single one of you knows what is going to happen. Hogan goes into his “shaking man” status, hits the leg drop and wins. Shocking, people. Absolutely shocking. After the match, Hogan corners Woman and Kimberly. Not going to lie, this looks weird. By weird, I mean creepy. Finally, Hogan goes after Jimmy Hart. Atomic drop that Hart sells like he landed on spikes in Hogan’s knee. The Giant comes out and chokeslams Hogan. Hogan IMMEDIATELY no sells it (stupid) and takes out Giant.

Winner: lolHoganwins

After the match: Gene interviews Hogan. Not going to lie here, I don’t really care what Hogan is talking about. A whole bunch of “Brother Brother, Mean Gene, climbing a ladder brother”. Hogan poses like he is deaf.

Back from commercial, commentators talking about Flair teaming with The Giant taking on Luger and Sting in the main event. Damn Mongo has his dog still. I don’t get it.

Match #2: Streetfight – Public Enemy vs. The Nasty Boys.

Nasty Boys were awesome back in the day. And Public Enemy were ok I guess. There is literally a trash can in the ring. Not your standard trash can. A legit “made of hard plastic that feels like concrete” trash can. Basic hardcore match. Seems the weapon of choice is trash cans and trash can accessories. A table is introduced and broken instantly. I’ll give WCW this, WCW didn’t mess around when it came to tables. They didn’t look gimmicked. I’m not sure if budgeting caused the hard takes or what, but I’m a fan. Nitro utilizing the “side by side” camera technique they were famous for. Bischoff begged for a “camera shot of the crowd because they are going crazy”. Nope. The shot they showed was the opposite. Heenan thinks someone has a chainsaw. Made me look, but unfortunately none to be found. Wow. Pinning attempt by Knobbs, broken up by a foot in the ropes. I thought this was a streetfight? Finally…..Knobbs rolls up Grunge for the win. Forgettable match. And now the beatings continue after the bell. Saggs gets an “Enemy sandwich” through a table.

Winners: The Nasty Boys

Match #3: Earl Robert Eaton w/ Jeeves VS “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Commercials, and out comes Earl Robert Eaton. I forgot about this guy! Probably for good reason. Most generic “European” music ever. OUT COMES SAVAGE!!! Thank God this is picking up. Commentators talking about the hatred between Savage and Flair. Bell rings and we’re off. Savage dumps Eaton to the outside, throwing Eaton into the ring post and back inside for the pin. 2 count. Fred Flintstone in the crowd promoting “Dial M for Monkey”. Eaton thinks he is Ric Flair complete with taunt and figure 4. Savage reverses it, cancelling the hold. Savage back on top. Action spills outside again briefly. Back inside the ring, Savage up top. Nails the elbow and this one is in the books. Savage goes for another elbow. Gets it!!. Appearance by Dillinger. Randy is now handcuffed and escorted to the back. Oh my!  Alex Wright and Hacksaw sighting. I guess security was given the night off, so they were asked to play enforcers. Plug for WCW magazine.

Winner: Randy Savage

Match #4: WCW World Tag Team Championship – “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & The Giant w/ Woman, Ms. Elizabeth and Jimmy Hart VS Sting & Lex Luger (WCW Tag Team Champions)

Flair’s music hits and out comes the champion and Giant. Woman and Kimberly escort them out. Sting and Luger out next, and its main event time. The tag titles are on the line? Okay then. Sting and Flair start the match with classic back and forth. These 2 together were truly great. Sting with the Gorilla press to Flair and drop kick to Giant. Tag to Luger and another gorilla press to Flair to the outside. Both times Flair is caught by Giant who tosses him back inside. Flair has had enough of this. He slaps the taste out of the Giant’s mouth, and books it to the back. After the break, Flair and Luger are in the ring. Tag to Giant. Giant commences to throw Luger around the ring and uses his weight to his advantage. Impressive suplex by Giant to Luger. Flair back in and Luger needs a tag badly. Giant and Flair taking turns now beating Luger and keeping him away from the fresh Stinger. Figure 4 by Flair. Luger is selling his heart out. Ric with the extra leverage by Woman and the ropes. Flair lets off the hold and pushes Nick Patrick the ref. Giant tagged in and Gorilla press to Luger. Right back to Flair. Luger fights back, but only momentarily. Flair to the top rope, but it never works (surprisingly). Hot tag to Sting! Sting slams Flair and Irish whip into the corner. Second time tonight a cameraman takes a fall. Sting with the death lock. Woman gets on the apron with hot coffee and attempts to hit Luger with it. He ducks and it goes straight into the face of Sting. Luger and Sting win by DQ, but this is far from over! Chokeslams for everyone courtesy of Giant.

Winners: Sting & Luger by DQ (still Tag Team Champions)

We go to commentary to discuss the final thoughts from tonight’s episode. And that’s the end, everyone

Final thoughts:
You could split this episode in half, literally. The first half, not that good. Second half however was a major improvement.

Hogan is going away soon. Shane and I are certain that Hogan leaves (probably to film some Z-grade celebrity flick) and comes back later on this year. So to waste time, he’s stuck inside the storyline with Sullivan and Anderson.

Public Enemy and the Nasty Boys was a very typical hardcore match. Didn’t really expect much so I wasn’t disappointed.

The Randy Savage match was a squash match. Basically used to get Randy on TV. It worked. Served its purpose and I’m not going complain to see Savage on my TV.

Main event was good. It pushed the storyline forward without going too far. Luger and Sting were great together. Flair and Sting were always money.

I gotta say this. Steve “Mongo” McMichael is absolutely terrible on commentary. He doesn’t bring anything to commentary and is constantly shown up by Bobby Heenan. If I could mute him and only him, I would.

-The Champ

While I don’t exactly mirror Derick’s sentiments that this is the worst Nitro ever…it wasn’t particularly amazing either.  The Hogan match was a particular point with me…and not for the normal “Derick and I can’t stand Hulk Hogan” reasons.  First off, what a let down.  After the tag match two weeks ago, we were lead to believe that there would be this “never before seen” match that featured all four men.  Then, after a two week buildup, we find out that Booty Man was injured on an episode of WCW Saturday Night, so that’s that.  Do we get the Mega Powers as a replacement?  Nope.  We get Hogan dominating two of the top heels in the company, single-handedly.  When you throw in everyone involved, I think we come to 1 VS 6 (Sullivan, Anderson, Woman, Liz, Hart, Giant) and Hogan still comes out on top.  That’s pretty ridiculous.  

What I figured the match would end up being is a tag match with maybe the women in as mixed partners, so that way Kimberly could get her hands on Woman or Elizabeth…that would have been new…or NEW-ISH for WCW…but no, regular handicap match with no fanfare.  Not only that, but the reward was they get the manager of the other team alone in the ring.  That was a little nuts, since the heels have never really shown violence towards women, so them beating up Kimberly would have been a little out of place…although dastardly and would have probably gotten heat for sure.  The odd part, though, was Hogan…the biggest babyface in the company at this time…agreeing to beat a woman in the middle of the ring.  Sure, he picked Hart after the fact, but before that, he teased some good ole fashioned domestic violence for a long time.  One has to think that if Giant and Jimmy Hart hadn’t made their way in, Hogan would have commenced to beating a woman in the center of the ring.  Wow…think that one through for a moment.  

Hulk Hogan is a dick.  I’m beginning to think Hollywood was less of a heel than this version of Hogan.

Tag match was interesting, but forgettable.  Public Enemy’s style doesn’t really work in WCW, I feel.  These bedlam brawls are getting old and it just feels like there’s too much going on.  It’s odd, the older I get, the less that ECW style appeals to me.

I kind of marked out for the Dial M For Monkey plug since I remember watching that episode!  Savage played Wres-lor, an intergalactic wrestler.  It was pretty cool.

Tag match was cool…definitely better than the rest of the show, but the whole “Woman hits someone with something” shtick is getting old fast.  It’s like they come up with one thing and then just recycle it over and over.  Between shoes and coffee, Woman is starting to get on my nerves.

Cool plugs for the Lethal Lottery, which I’m interested to get into.  We’re also starting to setup for Mongo’s in-ring debut as we have had Flair wooing Debra McMichaels for two weeks now (pun intended).  Not overly excited to see him in the ring, but I’m willing to give him another shot, 19 years later.  Just happy to have him off of commentary at this point!  I’ll take some throw away matches to not have to hear him anymore.

Well, that’s it for this week.  Join us here next time as we continue to move through April and into May, when everything changes!

-Shane

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 3.1

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.8

(Raw – 12, Nitro – 14) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 4)

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

WCW’s longest Winning Streak (to this point) – 4

 

From the looks of it, WWF runs April and the first half of May.  With this show, yeah, I can see it.  This one just wasn’t good enough to claim that top spot.

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

Marc Mero defeated Leif Cassidy

Steve Austin defeated Bart Gunn

Savio Vega defeated Goldust (c) (w/ Marlena) to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship

 

Moments thereafter, another referee disputed the call and WWF President Gorilla Monsoon vacated the title and ordered that the two compete in a rematch to be held the following week.

 

Not a terrible card.  Not one I’m running to check out, mind you, but still, not a bad card.  I’m okay with this episode of Ntiro losing to this card.

KoaNitro copyWelcome back, everyone, to the Internet’s one and only incredible journey through the world known as WCW Monday Nitro!  Join us as we work our way across the years and bear our ring toward the eventual Mount Doom that is March 21, 2001 and the final episode ever.  That’s still a long ways away, however, as tonight’s episode is from January 21st, 1996, and comes to us from Las Vegas,Nevada.  This is our “go-home” show for Clash of the Champions as there’s no PPV this month in WCW.

This show is coming to us from Caesar’s Palace!  Bobby Heenan is in a black shirt and blazer, Bischoff is in a red and orange Letterman’s jacket, apparently.  Mongo is in a full out tux, it seems.  The announcers are interrupted by Konnan, saying he will defend the Mexican Championship tomorrow against Psychosis.  The lucha libre invasion has arrived in WCW, ladies and gentlemen!

Macho Man’s music starts up and a parade of beautiful women make their way out towards Mean Gene.  Looks like someone hit the strip clubs and flashed a little cash.  One of them, however, is Woman (Nancy Sullivan/Benoit).  This is the only one that the announcers make a deal over.  Hulk Hogan runs out, wishing Savage luck and saying that when Savage wins the title, he wants the first shot then storms off.  Savage says “what it is is what it is,” and then says that first they have to “strip” Ric Flair of the title.  He really emphasizes the word strip, adding a bit more fuel to the comment I made earlier.

Match #1: WCW World Heavyweight Championship – “Macho Man” Randy Savage VS “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair (WCW Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart

Flair makes his entrance and makes a bee-line to Woman, grabbing her arm and starting to try to dance her away.  She slaps him for his trouble and Savage jumps him.  They brawl a bit on the floor, eventually making it into the ring.

Bischoff tells us that tomorrow night Hogan and Savage will have Kevin Greene from the Pittsburgh Steelers watching their back.  Heenan tells us that the Road Warriors are back together and Bischoff says we’ll see them tomorrow at the Clash.

We go to our first commercial break as Savage goes for a double axe handle off the top to the floor, but Savage moves out of the way and Savage eats the guardrail.

Our commercial is for WCW Magazine.  I miss WCW Magazine.  I’ve tried to find copies of it so that I can review them for the site, but unfortunately eBay feels that they’re worth $14.99 a pop and I don’t.  If anyone has them for a reasonable price or has PDF’s or something like that, please let me know.  I’d love to read along.

Coming back from break and Savage has the upper hand, sending Flair out of the ring and bouncing his head off of the guard rail on the outside.  In the ring Flair begs off as Savage starts hammering with rights.  Referee Randy Anderson stops Savage due to the closed fists, giving Flair an opening to get into the eyes of Savage.  He takes him down and wraps up the Figure 4, using the ropes for leverage.

Bischoff lets us know that the cat is out of the bag and tomorrow at the Clash Hogan and Savage will have Ms. Elizabeth in their corner!  Those of you who haven’t run across her, she was Savage’s manager/wife in WWF.

Flair is made to break up the Figure 4 due to him grabbing the ropes and he gets in the face of the referee, who shoves him back.  Savage goes after Flair, hitting three consecutive double axe handles from the top.  Savage goes for Jimmy Hart and out comes Arn Anderson.  Flair grabs Savage from behind and Anderson swings with the brass knucks but nails Flair hard.  Out comes Hogan, chasing off Arn Anderson, while Savage nails the flying elbow from the top.  While Savage is on the top rope, though, it sounds like the bell rings, calling the match off, but Savage pins Flair after the elbow and the referee counts three for the win.

Winner: “Macho Man” Randy Savage – New WCW Heavyweight Champion

Hogan is celebrating like crazy as the referee gets the belt and hands it to Savage.  I guess the bell ringing wasn’t the end of the match or a DQ like I thought it was.  Damn, I don’t remember this Savage title reign at all.  I have a feeling that bell is going to have something to do with this in the future, though.  Savage looks pissed and tells them to cut his music.  He tells Hogan that he’s jumping around and celebrating like he won the match himself.  He says no, HE won the match and HE’S the new champion!  Hogan says that he wants the first title shot and Savage says sure, he wants it right here in Caesar’s Palace.  He’s not Nick Bockwinkle, though, he’s just the Champ.  He says if Hogan can beat him, he’ll shake his hand.  If…and when…he beats Hogan, though, he wants Hogan to shake HIS hand.

We go to commercial break and come back for…

Match #2: Dean Malenko VS Brian Pillman

Haven’t seen Malenko in a while.  The match starts off with some back and forth, Malenko hitting a good hip toss and a drop kick but then Pillman’s mean streak takes over, slamming Malenko’s head into the mat and rubbing his face in it before hitting a hard vertical suplex.  The announcers put Pillman’s whole crazy gimmick over, talking about how he’s the thing that’s making the Horsemen come unglued.

Pillman slaps Malenko in the face and wakes the dragon as Malenko turns it on.  He whips Pillman into the corner and follows him in with a big clothesline before hitting him with a hard brainbuster.  It looks like Pillman was out but he kicks out at two and a half.  Malenko takes Pillman up top but Pillman comes back with a tornado DDT.  Malenko kicks Pillman in the gut and hits a Tiger Bomb for two, following with a drop kick that sends Pillman to the floor.  On the floor, Pillman gets the better of Malenko, taking him to the guardrail and sending him into the ring.  Pillman enters the ring and climbs up to the top and Malenko goes up after him, getting knocked down once but then sending him down.  Malenko hits Pillman with a gutbuster that gets a good reaction from the crowd and then goes for a knee lock but Pillman gets the ropes.

Pillman gets Malenko tied up in the ropes, his foot locked between the bottom two ropes and goes for the pin.  Nick Patrick, WCW’s worst referee ever, doesn’t check for the ropes despite the fact that Malenko is laying right beside them and counts the pin.  Seriously, if they’re that close, you check the ropes first.  That’s refereeing 101.  I’m telling you, I knew Patrick was terrible back when he was an nWo stooge, but this is bad.  He’s just plain terrible even without being a heel.

Winner: Brian Pillman

We go to commercial and come back to our WCW Saturday Night rundown.  Sting and Luger, Johnny B Badd VS Meng, American Males VS Harlem Heat and Ric Flair VS Alex Wright.  They make a big deal about whether or not Harlem Heat or Sting & Luger will be Tag Team Champions since that match is our…

Match #3: WCW World Tag Team Championship – Harlem Heat (WCW Tag Team Champions) VS Sting & Lex Luger

Conspicuous by her absence is Sister Sherri.  Mongo says that they told her to take a hike.  I guess they’re not happy about her marrying their former manager tomorrow at the Clash.

Sting and Luger enter together as the announcers ask whether Luger has cost Sting the WCW World Championship twice now…at Starrcade and last week on Nitro.

We go to a quick commercial break for SuperBrawl on 2/11.

Our referee is Nick Patrick, yet again.  I just hate him so much now.  He’s got heel heat with me and he isn’t even a heel yet.

Luger and Stevie Ray start the match off and Stevie Ray hammers the crap out of Luger.  I liked Harlem Heat a lot.  You had Booker T, one of the most talented guys in the entire WCW locker room, along with Stevie Ray who was just a power house.

Luger gets the upper hand off of a Harlem Heat double-team and tags out to Sting, who gets both men into opposite corners and hits a total of four Stinger Splashes.  Sting starts to lock on the Scorpion Deathlock to Stevie Ray but Lex tries to get into the ring for some reason, distracting the ref, allowing Booker T to get a kick to the back of Sting’s head, breaking the hold.  Booker comes in and starts hammering on Sting, Lex in his corner trying to complain about it and just distracting the ref further.

Apparently Booker T is going to get a documentary DVD release later this year.  I’m excited about that.

Harlem Heat are beating Sting down and the crowd starts chanting for him so much that the hard camera starts shaking.  It was a weird visual but you could see it bouncing along with the “Let’s go Sting” chant.

Booker goes up top for my favorite of his moves, the Harlem Hangover, but Sting moves and Luger gets the hot tag.  Terrible ref doesn’t see it, though, and sends Luger back outside.  Jimmy Hart comes out and gives Sting something that he puts in his right hand, though, as Harlem Heat takes it to Sting on the outside.  Sting and Booker have a cross body collision that Sting gets the better of, and Sting can finally tag out.  Luger nails Booker T with a fist loaded with a roll of silver dollars and gets a pin.

Winners: Sting and Lex Luger – New WCW World Tag Team Champions!

The silver dollars exploded all over the ring and the replay shows that Patrick is looking right at them with no wonder about why there is suddenly change in the ring.  Sheesh.

Off to commercial and back again.

Match #4: One Man Gang (WCW United States Champion) vs Hulk Hogan

What the actual hell!?!?!?  Two weeks in a row that a match with the WCW World Championship…and on a week with TWO title matches…a NON-TITLE match with Hogan vs Random Dungeon of Doom Guy #41 gets the Main Event spot!!!!!!!  I’m starting to get to Derick levels of Hulk hatred here.  There is no sense in this!  This match isn’t even for the title because I have a feeling the US Championship was below Hogan in his mind.

Hogan bounces the One Man Gang around the ring for most of the match, cause Hogan, until OMG hits a few moves.  Of course, Hulk immediately Hulks up and puts a stop to that nonsense.

Bischoff asks what if Elizabeth has something going on with Ric Flair…effectively ruining any surprise when that happens.

Big boot, body slam, leg drop.

Winner: Hulk Hogan

Out comes Zodiac since it’s the Hogan show and his buddies gotta get some time.  Benoit comes out and eats a Hogan fist.  Anderson comes out and out comes Savage and the two of them clean house of the Horsemen/DoD.  Giant wants to come out and beat ass but OMG and Zodiac are keeping him out of the ring.  I wonder why they keep holding Giant back.  All 52 combined members of the DoD/Horsemen contention cower back to the back away from two old men in the ring.

Dear Lord, this angle runs until at least March…

Back in the ring, Hogan and Savage are with Mean Gene.  Hogan ways the One Man Gang was the first step and he will do whatever he can to get to the number one contender spot and have the match right here in Caesar’s Palace.  Um, Hogan, if the US Championship wasn’t below you, that would have given you a number one contender’s spot as the WCW US Champion gets an automatic WCW World Title shot.

Hogan says the “secret weapons” are going to help them destroy Flair and the Giant.  Of course, Bischoff ruined the surprises and Hogan then tells us who they were yet again.  It’s not a damn secret if you tell the opponents a day before the event.

We kick to the announcers who sell us on Clash of Champions.  Bobby goes off, storming off of the set saying that Mongo has interrupted him all night.  Bobby is giving Eric an earful as Eric closes out the show.

—–

Okay…I know that we here at Kick Out at 2 give Hulk Hogan a proverbial ton of crap.  However, it’s stuff like this that makes me feel he deserves it.  Two events in a row…TWO…where a garbage Hogan squash match was billed as more important than the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.  Last week it was bad…but this week, a week with TWO title changes, and they pull this.

The table is set for the Clash tomorrow, though.  We know the secret weapons.  We know the players.  Savage is now champion yet again.

That’s something that I was talking to my friend Jamie about last night…a friend that I hope to eventually have start doing some of these write ups…the things that I run across that I don’t remember.  I do not remember Savage getting another title win.  I thought Giant took it from Flair, who then loses it to Hogan…but apparently somewhere between now and then Fair gets it back, sending him to thirteen times.  That’s intriguing as I have no idea when that happens.  That’s the stuff I like doing this for…not just reliving the stuff I remember, but rediscovering the stuff I’ve forgotten.

That takes us out of this week of Nitro, ladies and gentlemen.  I’ll see you back here soon for Clash of the Champions!

-Shane

Ratings Breakdown

WWF Raw Ratings – 2.9

WCW Nitro Ratings – 2.7

(Raw – 9, Nitro – 8) (Tie Weeks – 2)

(Unopposed weeks – 2)

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

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

 

WWE wins this week, but I love that the two are pretty much neck and neck around this time.  That all changes very shortly, so it’s cool to see the rivalry pretty even at the moment.

—–—

WWF Raw results from this week

Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Savio Vega (3:00)

Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Razor Ramon via count-out (8:01)

WWF World Champion Bret Hart defeated WWF IC Champion Goldust (w/ Marlena) (10:58)

 

Wow, Raw actually sounds pretty good tonight.  It also featured a Billionaire Ted skit, so we’re getting down into the mudslinging when it comes to the Monday Night War!