Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–04.22.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 04.22.96

Hey, it’s another content warning! Hopefully this one pays off. Speaking of paying off, whatever happened to ads on the Network? It’s literally been months since I’ve seen one at the beginning of a show.

On another note, I took the plunge and subscribed to NJPW World this morning, because I just don’t have enough Shinsuke Nakamura in my life. But then who does?

LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE from somewhere. But more importantly, much like the relief of having a painful boil on your ass cheek lanced, Hulk Hogan is gone on extended vacation and we can all breathe again.

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Mongo.

The Public Enemy v. The American Males

Bischoff once again gives away the results of RAW, and yeah, it sounds like a yawner. Riggs gets double-teamed in the corner to start, but the babyfaces regroup and clean house with stereo dives. I will say that watching Bagwell week after week like this, you can really see him developing into a top worker, which makes his neck injury in 98 that wrecked him for good all the more depressing. The Males get a double-team on Rock for two and Bagwell works the arm, but he gets caught in the corner and worked over. Double clothesline as PE shows that, yes, they can work a solid tag formula if need be, and they do a good job of cutting off the ring and letting Bagwell show off his selling. Rock goes up and misses a senton and it’s HOT tag Riggs as the crowd was just waiting for that one. Dropkicks for the heels and a flying forearm gets two, but Bagwell gets backdropped to the floor with a nice bump. They toss Riggs over the top for the DQ at 7:22, which is too bad because I was really getting into the comeback. **1/2 Poor Riggs takes the table bump afterwards.

Eddie Guerrero v. Chris Benoit

Ah, there we go. Mean Gene does the first round draw for Slamboree, and SHOCKINGLY Savage and Flair are forced to team up. Eddie chases Benoit and threatens a dive to start. Back in, they get into a shoving match and Benoit drops him on his head with a backdrop suplex and we take a break. Back with Benoit apparently holding the same chinlock we left with, and then they magically pick it up again with Eddie snapping off a rana. Benoit chops him down again while Bischoff runs down the Cruiserweight title tournament thus far, much of which only took place in his imagination. Bobby Eaton, who hasn’t been a cruiserweight since Memphis in the 70s, is apparently still in the hunt! Eddie pounds on Benoit in the corner, but gets tossed and comes back in with a rana off the top for two. Eddie tries another one, but Benoit grabs the ropes and pins him at 6:00. Short but fun. **1/2 Mongo’s take on Randy Savage: “Every rabid dog has his day!” Well, usually it doesn’t work out very well for the rabid dog, but I suppose.

Speaking of which, Mean Gene brings out someone from WCW’s head office to confront Randy Savage for his recent actions against Ric Flair. SEVERE RAMIFICATIONS, YEAH! This guy should see a psychiatrist for standing there like a little stupid person, yeah! Personally, I would not want to give an angry Macho Man his performance review.

Jim Duggan v. Meng

Kind of funny to hear Bischoff running down the WWF again here when we’re featuring two aging WWF castoffs who were brought in because of the name they made for themselves there. Duggan stomps Meng down and out, but gets choked on the ropes. Meng goes to the nerve pinch and that goes on for a while. Finally Duggan fights out and goes for the 2x4, but Meng steals it and Duggan instead tapes the fist and knocks him out for the pin at 5:51. I call shenanigans on Meng going down to one punch. Duggan’s hands are nowhere near as big as frying pans! DUD

WCW World tag titles: Sting & Lex Luger v. Ric Flair & The Giant

Randy Savage continues his path of rage by attacking Flair before the match, but security hauls him off as indeed this storyline has gotten immensely more watchable without Hogan around. Amazing, huh? The champs clean house while Bischoff hypes up Slamboree, which sounds like one of the least appealing PPV lineups this side of Wrestlemania Play Button. Also, apparently the Detroit Lions want to give the Giant a tryout, which is actually something that really did happen and which I had totally forgotten about. Had that gone anywhere, that would have been weird. Back in, Flair can’t overpower Luger (duh) and he gets destroyed as usual. He’s obviously having fun this week getting beat up by the babyfaces. Unlike some other blond World champions, there’s a guy who is clearly secure in his position. Sting with a superplex that sends Flair flying out of the ring, but Sting misses his dive onto the railing as usual. Back in, Sting recovers and brings Luger back in, but he walks into a Giant choke. Sting dives in with clips to the knee, desperately trying to break the hold and then finally kicks his arm to force Giant to release. What a great spot to put over the power of the Giant. Woman gives Flair a cup of coffee, but he accidentally throws it in the Giant’s eyes and the ref calls for the DQ at 7:27. ** And that mistake would cost Flair a lot more than just this match, of course. Just an awesome moment as Giant challenges Flair, who hides behind the announcers and accepts the challenge, then notes “Next week I’m gonna kick your big ass!” before RUNNING off in terror as he realizes what he’s just said. That was hilarious.

Next week: Ric Flair defends the World title against a very angry Giant! Spoiler: It doesn’t go very well for him.

The Pulse

This show is so much better already.

82 comments:

  1. Dr. Million Dollar FactsMarch 10, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    I never understood the finish of using coffee.

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  2. It was slightly more devastating than a woman's shoe.

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  3. A man can only take so much caffeine to the face.

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  4. Ok, so using MONGOLOGIC, you don't stand there drinking coffee while a man is talking to you, but you DO use it to win a match. Got it.

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  5. "Oh, that coffee wasn't even hot. MM! Now that's hot!"

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  6. I'd argue that Meng/Haku was bigger in wcw than in wwf.

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  7. His hair certainly was.

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  8. I'd have thought it would give the recipient renewed energy

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  9. ThebrazilianpsychoMarch 10, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Scott, do NJPW reviews!

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  10. Yeah, I'd agree on this one.

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  11. Meng, Ricky Steamboat and Rick Rude are the only guys that spent a good amount of time in WCW and the WWF/E and WCW actually managed to use better. IMHO.

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  12. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 10, 2015 at 1:14 PM

    "AAAHH! IT'S NOT HOT!... WHAT IS THIS PLACE? THERE ARE NO HULKAMANIACS HERE!... I'VE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE!"

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  13. OSW's review of Havoc 95 is one of the greatest achievements of the internet.

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  14. Miss Elizabeth's amazing rack agrees too...ssssoooooooo damn hot when she came out in the leather dresses...

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  15. Agreed. Start off with WK9 if you haven't done so already.

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  16. Shit, start by finishing the damn Best of Japan 2001 tape set!

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  17. “I think you can use some of those words on television, but what you cannot do is throw coffee.”
    - David Letterman to Andy Kaufman, 1982.

    There's a long tradition of coffee-throwing in 'rasslin.

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  18. Spoiler alert everything gets *****

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  19. Where are they getting hot coffee from? Is there a coffee maker near the ring?

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  20. The King gave Kaufman a hell of a slap on TV.

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  21. "Back then, wrestling was real." - Random middle-aged guy

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  22. They could have had a masked heel named Mr. Coffee.

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  23. But Haku was a King in the WWF. He didn't do the Tongan Death Grip though or have the golden spike of death so i guess he became more dangerous in WCW

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  24. "Back then, Jerry Lawler wasn't a total joke" - me, today

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  25. Luger, Vader, Goldberg, maybe others...

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  26. "IT'S THE YETAAAAY!" "THE YETAAAY!" "THE YETAAAY!"

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  27. Good catch. I didn't really consider Goldberg and Vader because they left WCW and never came back or WCW shutdown and they were pretty much done after that. I looked at those three because they bounced in between and WCW used them so well I was amazed they could be so effective there but not so much WWE.

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  28. AverageJoeEverymanMarch 10, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    Ahhhhh my doctor said I wasn't supposed to get any coffee in my eye!!

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  29. I'll buy that as much as I'd buy Macho waking up Hogan with an elbow drop.

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  30. I totally say "THE YETAAAY" around the house to my dogs. They seem to like it.

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  31. Absolutely and totally.

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  32. "Back then, any girls who were alive would be too old for me by now." - Lawler, today

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  33. What was up with Benoit barely being on Nitro. If you just watch Nitro, you wouldn't even know that he's a Horsemen. He doesn't associate with them ever. Never fights with people or even feuds with them. It's really odd

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  34. I've always been interested in this topic. Steamboat and Rude are glowing examples of guys whose stocks rose dramatically once they jumped ship. Barry Windham is another one, had his US Express run early, but he floundered in all his other tours of WWF, while he was a default upper mid-carder throughout his time in WCW.

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  35. But... but Scott isn't Meltzer!

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  36. One of those women who got hotter as she got older. Ivory is one of the others.

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  37. Re-watching StarrCade '95 and... For some reason I've always loved hearing a heel / tweener Luger getting big pops.

    As for the best of 7: couldn't they have structured it a bit differently to let "the new guys", Eddie and Benoit, get the important wins? WCW always loved lotteries so why not have the deciding match be, say, Benoit-Liger, which would probably have drawn a better match out of them. And maybe have Eddie win the second to last match to bring things to 3-3. Two guys brought more over, despite Eddie's mullet.

    I don’t know why I think about these things.

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  38. Yeah i noticed that too. Whenever he came out, they talked about him being a Horseman but he barely hung out with them. We saw Pillman with Arn and Ric doing his psycho character every week but not Benoit.

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  39. That luger clueless character was the tops

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  40. I think he had lots of Japan dates still

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  41. Ivory had a hot body in those tight leggings. Her voice? Ugh

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  42. I'd love to see him do WK9, at least

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  43. Yeah it seems like more people know "Meng" than "Haku". I always assumed the WWF name got more penetration but non fans always said how they met Meng when getting their cars detailed.

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  44. Buddy Landell appeared on Colt Cabana's "Art of Wrestling" podcast recently, and claimed Elizabeth weighed 300 lbs when she first met Randy Savage with Savage essentially telling her to slim down if she ever wanted a shot of being with him.

    Even Colt could not stifle his laughter at the thought of the lovely Miss Elizabeth ever weighing 300 lbs.

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  45. I think that show's pretty damn good the way it is.

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  46. Undoubtedly, but at this point, I think most of his face value was still as a former WWF star. I could be wrong.

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  47. So what was the deal with the Hogan hiatus? Did he want a 2 month vacation? Did he know his character was stale? Was he filming something?

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  48. Buffalo HopscotchMarch 10, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    I think he was off filming one of those TNT movies. Devils Island or something like that?

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  49. haha was that any good?

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  50. If everything gets five stars, then Nakamura/Ibushi deserves seven. One extra because dueling Bomayes, one extra because Nakamura.

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  51. But he made more money in WWF/E.

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  52. Buffalo HopscotchMarch 10, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    It's terrible unless you really love Apollo Creed. They made a sequel to it in '98 as well.

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  53. He could team with Mr. Tea.

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  54. haha livin in america!!

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  55. Ah, the good ol' days when Nitro was on at 5 pm on the west coast

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  56. Oh I agree! It was just for the sake of argument. Def one of my favourite WCW shows, actually.

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  57. watching all this old wcw/nwa footage ...ugh ya hogan was just never needed. but yet he is so totally vital to wwf/e to the point i completely give him a pass. i actually like the thought of wwe/hogan the two concepts side by side. its like hogan had two egos or something. or at least i have two perspectives of him? i know im gonna catch heat for this cos hollywood hogan was so vital but really was it? the company went bust and man i just cant even watch it past 1993. ugh

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  58. Brutus wasn't on this show either. Makes me think they were honeymooning together.

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  59. The word 'ass' was very taboo at this time, especially in WCW. I remember my mom nearly collapsing when Flair said it. #Memories

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  60. Filming a movie and also attempting to build leverage for a contract extension by leaving Nitro behind and watching the ratings fall. Instead, that tactic backfired on him, and if Hogan hadn't agreed to turn heel, Bischoff was prepared to let him stay home, bring him back for the contractually-obligated Havoc main event, then let his contract expire shortly after.

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  61. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 10, 2015 at 6:19 PM

    And Coco B Ware

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  62. TheOriginalDonaldMarch 10, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    Too bad Kaufman is dead, because I'm sure the producers of Air Bud would have had him be World InterSpecies Champion to promote RussellMadness

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  63. TheOriginalDonaldMarch 10, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    "Back then, there was NO WAY I let the talent into my family"-Vince, today

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  64. TheOriginalDonaldMarch 10, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    Get it straight-It's THE MONSTER MENG~!

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  65. The Amazing GamecockMarch 10, 2015 at 8:11 PM

    47 year old Flair was better than 20-60 year old Hogan

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  66. Jeff Jarrett would like a word with you.

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  67. No. He was filming Secret Agents Club and Santa with Muscles.

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  68. I respect Buddy at times - but I don't buy it.

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  69. Hot objects cause pain.

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  70. I'm not sure what your cutoff is for a "good amount of time", but lots of guys spent a few years in WWF and were not used nearly as well as they were in NWA/WCW. Goldberg, DDP, Arn and Tully, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, Flair, Dusty, Luger, Vader, Barbarian, Pillman, Legion of Doom, Ron Simmons, Barry Windham, Johnny B. Badd, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, Raven, Kidman, Psicosis, Juvi, Ultimo Dragon, Terry Taylor, Paul Roma, Maxx Payne (i.e., Man Mountain Rock), Tracy Smothers, Shane Douglas, Harley Race, Rock 'n Roll Express.

    Hall and Nash are interesting because they increased their stock every time they jumped but their greatest success was in WCW. X-pac's greatest success was in WWF, but that success depended on him reinventing himself as Syxx in the NWO.

    Mike Rotunda had a memorable gimmick as IRS in WWF, but I'm not sure he was really used better in WWF. Same goes for the Bushwhackers.

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  71. Bishoff had the nerve to criticize Vader going over Makin' A Difference Fatu and the Godwinns over Tajiri and some jobber? You don't say...

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  72. We were really spoiled here on the west coast. I remember getting home from school and immediately working on my homework so I'd be done by 5. I'd have dinner during the break between Nitro and Raw. The best.

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  73. Scott, you need to do Wrestle Kingdom 9! Then do the event where Styles wrestles Tanahashi so you can rate Honma vs Ishii.

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  74. Scott and others with njpw world: Here's a handy spreadsheet filled with recommended matches and their links https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/t-C580gdlEvQ5JWix1LLCLQ/htmlview?pli=1#gid=0

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  75. Nice list.


    I always thought the worst WWE misuses of talent were DDP, Vader, Raven, and Steiner.


    They could have made money with those four, but Vince chose not to.

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  76. This makes me wonder what WCW would have been like if they had ditched Hogan and went with the Sting NWO turn instead.

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  77. And they never explained it on air right? He just kind of disappeared?

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  78. It was so awesome in 1998. I'd do my homework before Nitro, watch WCW, eat dinner, then Raw. What a great time

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