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The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–01.01.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 01.01.96

Fuck the waiting game. Let’s play Hungry Hungry Hippos and go back to Nitro for a while. I wanna review stuff and if they’re not gonna update RAW on any kind of regular schedule, I’ll give my virtual money to WCW instead. So after we left our heroes, Ric Flair had regained the WCW World title for the 12th time at Starrcade, and Randy Savage is none too happy about it.

Live from Atlanta, GA

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo

Arn Anderson v. Randy Savage

Arn immediately works him over in the corner, but Savage takes the brawl to the floor and TOSSES HIS JACKET AT HIM. Hey, that fringe can get into someone’s eye and do serious damage! That’s reckless. Eric notes that there’s some stupid thing going on over on RAW, but the Smoking Gunns won it anyway and no one cares. Ah, the RAW Bowl. Well, it WAS different. Back in the ring, Macho with an atomic drop and he hits Double A with a Double A(xehandle) for two and chokes him out in the corner. Arn takes him down with an armbreaker and goes to work on the giant bandaged arm with a hammerlock slam. Brain notes that Arn can “break every bone in a chicken leg and never touch the skin.” That’s a, uh, very specific skill set. Arn grinds on the arm while Savage tries a comeback, and gets the DDT for two. Ref is bumped and AA quickly grabs his trust brass knuckles, but Savage snatches them and knocks him out for the pin at 7:52. **1/2 The Horsemen are outraged and protest, but Savage is protected by double jeopardy laws. I think.

Lord Steven Regal v. Chris Benoit

They fight over the knucklelock and Regal throws forearms and grabs a cravat, and they do a nice little wrestling sequence that ends with Benoit suplexing him on his head for two. Oh, they’re frisky today. They fight over a suplex and Regal gets the butterfly suplex for two before Benoit clotheslines him down. Regal fights to the top, but Benoit takes him down with the electric chair, then misses the flying headbutt. They fight over a tombstone and Benoit spikes him with that for two, but Regal bails to escape. Benoit follows with a dive, SPLATS on the concrete, and Regal rolls him in for the pin at 5:50. Jesus, no wonder he had brain damage. This was quite the strong style super-stiff fight, with the added realism of them battling for every little move. Felt way too short, though. ***

Brian Pillman bitches out Benoit and AA for losing tonight, wearing his BADASS leather duster right out of Undertaker’s closet. Arn tries to make peace, and the Dungeon storms the ring, but the Giant keeps them from attacking. Notable here: Brian Pillman pointing out that Benoit was always able to perform with the limo full of naked women. That was apparently part of his “pretending to get fired” persona that ended up getting him fake fired for real. It’s very confusing, admittedly.

Lex Luger & Sting v. The Super Assassins

The Assassins are Warlord and Barbarian under masks, in case you’re wondering. Warlord works on Luger’s back, but Sting comes in and cleans house while Craig Pittman tries to convince Mongo to be his manager. He doesn’t succeed. Barbarian with an over the shoulder backbreaker on Sting and they give him a double shoulderblock for two. The Assassins cut off the ring for a bit, but Sting fights them off and makes the hot tag to Luger, who quickly finishes Barbarian with the rack at 5:47 while Sting puts Warlord into the scorpion. That was quite the visual for the finish. *1/2 Who the hell watched this and thought “Well, Warlord sucked, but we’ll give Barbarian a job for the next 5 years?”

WCW World title: Ric Flair v. Hulk Hogan

And the dance continues. Hogan overpowers him to start and Flair throws chops, but Hulk no-sells it, so Flair pokes him in the eyes and goes up. Hulk of course slams him off and clotheslines him to the floor, with Flair going up for the move before Hulk was even in contact with him. KAYFABE, Ric! They fight on the floor and back in for the Flair Flip, but he clips the knee to take over. Figure-four in the middle as the supposedly pro-Hogan crowd goes nuts for Flair, but Hogan reverses it. This prompts Jimmy Hart to come out and distract Hulk and Flair goes back to the knee again and follows with a suplex. Hulk is CONVULSING, but Flair makes the mistake of going for the pin and it’s comeback time. The crowd is openly hostile to that, but the big boot and legdrop follow anyway. This brings Arn in, but Hulk no-sells the brass knuckles and that’s a DQ at 8:00. Hulk threatens to beat up the entire Four Horsemen by himself, but thankfully Giant saves them from a vicious 1-on-4 beatdown. Have I mentioned how much I hate Hogan recently? This was every Hogan-Flair match you’ve ever seen in your life. **

The Megapowers promise to destroy Flair & Giant next week while forcing in all sorts of pop culture references. Hogan threatens to take on the entire Horsemen team and the Giant by himself if need be. Hey now, that’s not until the NEXT PPV.

The Pulse: This was a relief after the last few dour RAW shows I’ve been sitting through. Fun and breezy with a few different styles of match, which is what they were best at.

Comments

  1. 🎼 There's only one thing that I hate, 'cause it's a bunch of crap... 🎵

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  2. "TOSSES HIS JACKET AT HIM" made me think of this instantly...

    http://youtu.be/ud-L36fOkU8?t=35s

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  3. Whoever thought to give Barbarian a job for the next five years deserves a raise because he was fucking awesome.

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  4. He had an awesome nickname too. Seriously, BARBIE for this guy? You invite Barbie to a party and Sione shows up is the greatest reaction never to happen ever.

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  5. I haven't watched this episode yet but I'm guessing Flair was wearing green and yellow gear. Motherfucker wore that combo for like 9 months straight in 96.

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  6. I remember that too and wondered what the deal was with that. He's even change the robe sometimes and STILL have that same gear on underneath.

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  7. Virgil's Gimmick TableNovember 5, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Maybe he just went through a phase where he wanted to look like a saggy lemon lime nightmare.

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  8. Hiring Barbarian was a good move, but not hiring Warlord was the blackhole of suck so everything sort of balances out and no-one gets a raise because of it.

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  9. Nope. Black tights, yellow boots, red knee pads. Thanks for playing.

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  10. He got so lazy with his gear in the mid nineties. Even in WWE too when he went back there. As self appointed czar of ring gear, it's a definite black mark on his legacy.

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  11. Remember that Bischoff thought Rey saying "HOOTIE HOO" was more marketable than his mask.

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  12. Pffft Warlord is like the Magnum TA and Ahmed Johnson of greatest stars ever that never were.

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  13. You have to keep a running tally from now on because I guarantee you 9 out 10 times he wearing green and yellow.

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  14. Buddy, you have to stop beginning these with "no way things can get worse" because they always do.

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  15. I have to hold onto some kind of hope.

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  16. Who would have ever thought back in the 80s that, one day, we would all become sick of seeing a Hogan/Flair matchup?

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  17. As someone who had to watch them back then....best to abandon it before Russo crushes your spirit more.

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  18. I guess I kind of felt that way about any matchup that was run into the ground a bit though. Flair/Sting was always pretty fun, but also quite pedestrian after about 1994.

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  19. I remember when people thought Goldberg was The Warlord.

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  20. And that's why Goldberg became such a big star. The fans fell for the ripoff gimmick.

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  21. Actually Russo sounds glorious right now. These shows are much more boring than bad. Russo may be a lot of things but his product is never boring. It may make no sense and destroy the promotion like a bomb but it was NEVER boring.

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  22. A line from one of Scott's rants in 99 in regards to DJ Ran: "If DJ Ran doesn't get the fuck out of my area, I'm going to sue him."

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  23. Also if you don't call the location for next weeks Nitro, The SILVER DOME in New Orleans, LA; then I REFUSE to read the rest! :P

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  24. I still have nightmares about that epically-retarded "HOOTIE HOO!" catchphrase. That may be one of the stupidest things pop culture has ever produced. Master P is like the name people come up with when they want to bash the entirety of rap as an art form.

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  25. I literally cannot wait for the Russo era recaps. You’re so
    definitely going to be all “Take me back to June 1999, please God, anything but
    this!”. :)

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  26. "Dennis Rodman might be coming back. Good grief does he have to?" and your view of Savage at this point. Road Wild 1999 will be glorious in the worst way possible.

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  27. Man this is a pitiful, pitiful time for WCW. They weren't even terrible in an interesting way at this time. If you want the high watermark for boring it's 99 WCW. The worst is that they had a deep roster and kept insisting on using talentless turds like Brian Knobbs in prominent roles.

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  28. I can't wait for Halloween Havoc 99. I can't think of a time where a promotion fucked up so brutally at such a crucial millionth chance to turn things around.

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  29. The "Hootie Hoo" scene in Neighbors is hilarious, but they were referencing Outkast and not Master P.

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  30. Love the new "Death of WCW" book mentions that and then a new aside of "Lesson not...wait, lesson actually learned," noting the millions WWE has made off Rey mask sales.

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  31. Wolfpac sucks? Who is left in it at this point?

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