The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 03.25.96
Live as live can get from somewhere not mentioned.
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Mongo.
Randy Savage v. The Belfast Bruiser
That truly sounds like a parody of a wrestling match that you’d see on a sitcom or something. Kind of ridiculous that Savage is the night after a supposedly brutal 8-on-2 DOOMSDAY CAGE MATCH and he doesn’t even have a band-aid on his head or anything. Finlay works on a headlock and beats on Savage with elbows and Cesaro-like forearms, but Savage comes back with clotheslines to put him on the floor. They brawl out there and Savage goes HEADFIRST into the post like a man. Bruiser drops him on the railing and Savage is staggering around, finally with a good reason to sell like a man fighting death. Normally the heel is just stomping and choking and Savage is selling it like a vicious beating, but this really is a walloping. Back in, Finlay with a short clothesline for two, but he misses a blind charge and Savage pops up for the flying elbow at 5:02. Still the usual formula for Savage, but Finlay made it GOOD by beating on him with gusto. ***
Ric Flair and his harem join us, and Liz feels like he’s more of a man than Randy Savage or Lex Luger. That opinion would soon change.
US title: Konnan v. The Mysterious Mr. JL
JL takes him down with a flying headscissors, but Konnan escapes a dive. Back in, they trade wristlocks on the mat with some neat lucha style work, but Konnan hits a DDT to take over. Senton gets two. JL takes him down into an armbar as this goes nowhere, and both guys are down off a collision. JL recovers first with a missile dropkick for two and now Konnan is selling a knee. And then he ignores that and powerbombs JL for two. What the fuck is with this match? Is Konnan blown up or just being a dick? Even Bischoff notes that he seems really winded. Konnan goes up and JL DDTs him off the middle for two, but Konnan hits a whiplash slam out of the corner to finish at 6:30. Just a total trainwreck. Oddly enough, the “WCW” section of the Observer for that week is missing, so I have no idea what the deal was or if Dave talked about it. *
The Booty Man v. Disco Inferno
Speaking of trainwrecks. Booty with a pair of atomic drops as Kimberly, who is now “The Booty Babe”, joins us at ringside in what must be a very cold arena. Booty finishes with a high knee at 1:10. DUD
WCW World tag titles: Sting & Lex Luger v. The American Males
Riggs hits Luger with a dropkick, and Bagwell continues frustrating him until Sting comes in. Luger then turns into a smiling babyface on the apron, clapping and cheering for Sting. Sting gets a pair of slams on Bagwell, and Luger comes in and pounds on Riggs before getting caught in the Males corner and double-teamed. Bagwell whiffs on a bodypress and Lex beats him down, but Bagwell comes back with a flying forearm and it’s tags on both sides. Riggs with a small package on Sting, but Sting gets a bodypress for the pin at 6:30. Sting stops to celebrate with the Males in a show of sportsmanship, while Luger takes the belts and gets the hell out of there. Mostly a nothing match. *1/2
WCW World title: Ric Flair v. The Giant
Elizabeth and Woman literally throw Randy Savage’s alimony money into the crowd in a genius heel move. Giant throws Flair around in impressive fashion, including a press slam that sends Flair running. Flair fights back with chops and gets nowhere, and Giant whips him into a Flair Flip before catching him with a backbreaker. Giant goes AIRBORNE, but misses a flying splash. Jesus. Flair goads him into trying a charge as well, and Giant hits the post and bumps to the floor. Flair decides to eschew finesse and just chokes him out with a piece of wire before slugging away on the mat. Giant fights him off, so Flair kicks a field goal on the nutsack while the women distract the ref. And then Woman chokes poor Giant down with the wire from the floor, and that’s a little icky to watch. Finally Giant has had ENOUGH of this shit and chokeslams Flair, but Kevin Sullivan and Arn Anderson run in with chairs for the DQ at 8:50, and Giant destroys them as well and walks out on Jimmy Hart. So there’s the historic first babyface turn for Paul Wight. Really fun match, especially once Flair resorted to every ridiculously over-the-top cheating tactic in the books to even the odds. ***
Not much of a show coming off the PPV, to be honest, as the company had very little direction before you-know-what happens about two months from here. Really good main event, though.