The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 01.15.96
Live from Miami, FL
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo
Lex Luger v. Randy Savage
Gotta love all the carefully planted Hulk Hogan merchandise in the front row to prove how popular he is. Bischoff announces that Savage gets a shot at the World title next week because reasons. Luger lays him out and tosses him to start, then runs him into the stairs as Savage immediately begins his regimen of laying around and selling. Savage makes a quick comeback on the floor and back in for the double axehandle for two, and the fans start chanting for Luger! Savage chokes him down in the corner and slugs him down for two. Savage on offense is just so weird at this point. Luger finally takes him down and drops elbows to take over. Savage drops him on the top rope, but goes up and misses the flying elbow in spectacular fashion, allowing Luger to finish with the Rack at 5:05. Kind of a weird, junky match where both guys were kind of working heel and didn’t click. *1/2 And so Savage is getting a title shot, and he loses clean to Luger in five minutes? You could say “Well, that sets up Luger for the title shot after Savage wins it”, but no, that didn’t happen at all.
Mean Gene brings out both the Four Horsemen and the Dungeon of Doom, who are all apparently out to have a sit-down. One Man Gang is now with the Dungeon and has magically become the US champion without anyone airing a title change or explaining it. Arn Anderson tries to broker peace with Kevin Sullivan, who agrees to lend them the Giant at the Clash of Champions because he respects Arn. He does not respect Brian Pillman, however. Pillman won’t shut his big mouth, so AA slaps him around and promises that sort of thing will stop. Related note from the Observer at the time: Zodiac was being featured more because Hulk Hogan saw that Bischoff was pushing his friend DDP, and Hulk wanted to push his own friend again. So that’s why he got repackaged into The Booty Man a few weeks after this as a “secret agent” in the Dungeon.
The American Males v. The Public Enemy
So Public Enemy leaves ECW, and immediately gets ridiculously exposed without Paul Heyman protecting them at every turn. Wisdom from Mongo: Just because your head is shaped like a hubcap don’t mean you’re a big wheel around here. The Males get dumped and beat on, but Bagwell comes back with a flying bodypress on both Enemy. The crowd starts a quick “ECW” chant while Riggs takes a cheapshot and he’s face in peril. Man, Grunge looked like SHIT here, way out of shape and with terrible timing. Bagwell gets a hot tag almost immediately and powerslams Grunge, but Rock hits Bagwell behind the ref’s back and Grunge rolls him up for the pin at 3:35. OH MY GOD this was fucking awful. -* And then they set up tables and put Bagwell through a double stack of them, which is exactly what they SHOULD have been doing instead of wrestling shitty matches to introduce them.
WCW World title: Ric Flair v. Sting
Sting no-sells a bunch of Flair’s stuff to start and gets his press slam, setting up a Flair Flip and a suplex back in for two. Superplex and Sting tries for a big splash, but he hits the knee and we take a break. Back with Flair in control and trying for a pin on the ropes, and Jimmy Hart gets a cheapshot in behind the ref’s back. Flair with a chop for two, but Sting comes back with a sleeper and Flair escapes with a backdrop suplex. They slug it out in the corner and Flair gets the figure-four, but Sting reverses for two. Backslide gets two for Sting. Sunset flip is blocked by Flair, so it’s another press slam, but a blind charge misses. Flair goes up and gets slammed off, but Sting no-sells all the chops and now Luger comes out and “accidentally” hits Sting with the megaphone while trying to stop Jimmy Hart. Flair finishes with the figure-four at 13:00. Flair and Sting could literally do this match in their sleep, but it’s always fun. ***1/2 The Megapowers save Sting, and Hogan, self-serving bastard that he is, keeps trying to stir up trouble by telling Sting that he can’t trust Luger. MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS, HULK! And who is he to talk about people who can’t trust their tag partners? He alienated both Paul Orndorff and Randy Savage! And then he has the nerve to bitch at Savage about getting a title shot next week because it’s HIS title! Who would possibly cheer this selfish asshole? He’s worse than John Cena! And Hogan was writing his own material! He actually thought people would LIKE him for acting like a douchebag!
Hulk Hogan v. Meng
Meng and Sullivan randomly beat up a photographer on the way to the ring. What the fuck was that about? This has been one of the weirdest shows in the run of Nitro I’ve ever seen. Meng attacks and chokes him down, setting up the SHOULDER MASSAGE OF DEATH for two. Meng goes up and misses a diving headbutt and Hogan comes back and slugs away in the corner. Meng spikes him for two, but Hogan makes the comeback to a dead silent crowd and uses the foreign object on Meng for the pin at 4:41. WHAT A FUCKING HERO. He literally already had Meng down and beat and chose to use an illegal object on someone who couldn’t defend himself. DUD
Next week: Ric Flair v. Randy Savage for the World title! Harlem Heat v. Sting & Luger for the tag titles! Hulk Hogan probably acts like a douchebag again and then wonders why no one cheers him!