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The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–04.15.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 04.15.96

Must be a heavy Benoit episode because it has the content warning at the beginning. I think they should start putting warnings for Hogan episodes because they’re so shitty.

So last time, you may remember that Booty Man and Hulk Hogan promised an UNBELIEVABLE stipulation to finish off the Sullivan/Anderson team once and for all. You know, after they already finished them off three weeks in a row in fair fights. I can hardly wait to see what Hulk unleashes on us.

Live from somewhere. But it’s LIVE. Not like those other guys. Also, there’s tornado warnings in the area. Could it be the debut of Kerry Von Erich? TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT!

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Mongo.

Hulk Hogan v. Arn Anderson & Kevin Sullivan

So this is Hulk’s big idea: A handicap match. Wow. Hulk of course cleans house and puts Sullivan in a figure-four, and then somehow fucks it up EVEN WORSE on Arn. My 4 year old daughter could probably grasp the basic concept of putting someone in a figure-four! So apparently if Hulk wins, he gets five minutes with the manager of his choice, but if he loses, the heels get Kimberly. This is the stip they took two weeks to plan out? The bad guys double-team him and he destroys them again, this time with chairshots, but thankfully the two idiot heels manage to work together long enough to regain control again. And then Sullivan goes up and Hogan catapults Arn into his crotch, because they’re all fucking stupid, and the legdrop finishes Sullivan at 4:20. Oh fuck off. –* Hogan teases beating up either Liz or Woman, like a real hero, but settles for Jimmy Hart instead. The announcers have to sell all this like it’s the funniest stuff ever, while a 300 pound wrestler threatens two women and a 100 pound manager. Thankfully Giant saves Jimmy Hart and chokeslams the shit out of Hogan…and then he immediately no-sells it. FUCK OFF, Hogan. So then he slams the Giant for good measure and I’m pretty sure everyone in the locker room was booked to come out and actually give Hogan a blowjob on live TV after that, but luckily Mean Gene comes out for an interview instead. And I believe, thank god, that was the last we would see of Hulk Hogan until Bash at the Beach, because this was pretty much the most insufferable level he ever achieved. Even better, original plans called for the Horsemen to send him out on a stretcher to write him out, but Hulk pulled creative control and did the exact opposite. Because you know, beating up all the heels by yourself is also an effective way to go on extended hiatus.

The Public Enemy v. The Nasty Boys

The Nasties attack in the aisle with chairs and this immediately turns into a hardcore brawl, with garbage cans in the ring and goofy spots. I will say that this feud, uninspiring as it was, at least rejuvenated both teams for a while and gave them something to do that was playing to their strengths. Throw the Nasties and PE out there and tell them “Do a garbage brawl for 10 minutes” and they will deliver exactly that. Usual assortment of trashcan lids to the head and Rocco Rock taking crazy bumps and I go read the Observer while it’s happening. This would be the week where Brian Pillman nearly died in a car wreck and basically ended his career as an in-ring worker as a result. Also, the historic first mention of Lanny Poffo coming in with a Gorgeous George gimmick, which would become something of a running joke for the next 4 years. The Nasties put Grunge through a table and pin him at 9:11. It what what it was. ***

Earl Robert Eaton v. Randy Savage

Eaton attacks and gets backdropped to the floor, and Savage drops an elbow for two in the ring. Eaton tosses him to take over, and puts Savage in a figure-four, as the night of shitty figure-fours continues. Savage reverses out and chases off Wildcat Willy or Jeeves or whatever he was being called here, and finishes with the big elbow at 4:00. * Savage keeps dropping the elbow on Eaton because he’s really mad at Ric Flair. Yeah, that Savage-Flair program didn’t exactly set the world on fire, probably because Flair did 17 straight weeks of jobs to Hulk Hogan.

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

Flair puts the moves on Debra at ringside, which marks her historic TV debut as a named character and actually leads to Mongo joining the Horsemen. The champs take turns slamming Flair and the heels regroup as we take a break. Back with Luger getting booted around the ring by the Giant and he’s your face in peril. Flair drops a knee for two and Giant whips Luger around the ring. Finally Flair uses a figure-four that doesn’t suck, our first good one for tonight. Luger fights out and the heels cut off the tag, but Flair goes up and gets slammed off as usual. Hot tag Sting and it’s Flair Flip and superplex to set up the Scorpion Deathlock, but Woman throws HOT COFFEE in his eyes for the DQ at 12:27. Are you KIDDING me with this shit? **3/4 And then Giant chokeslams both babyfaces, after we already saw Hogan no-selling the move earlier in the show!

The Pulse

BYE HOGAN. See you in July.

Comments

  1. The Flair/Savage stuff gets real good real quick after Hogan leaves. Surprise, surprise. The re-forming of the Horsemen is so awesome & it's too bad they had no use for it after the nWo showed up.

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  2. Jonathan MeisnerMarch 9, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    There's something oddly amusing about the PE/Nasties match going 9:11

    Is it next week Giant wins the title from Flair, or 2 weeks from this show?

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  3. Jonathan MeisnerMarch 9, 2015 at 9:11 PM

    Also, I know we've ragged on Cena no selling before (Summerslam 2010 comes to mind), but even he has never *completely* no sold like Hogan did here. It's a good thing he turned heel and became leader of the nWo, because this face run was running completely on fumes.

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  4. So what was the content warning actually for?

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  5. Next week is Giant/Flair v. Sting/Luger again.

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  6. The Nasties v. PE tag match I'd assume.

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  7. The coffee, man, the coffee! Someone could have DIED!


    Worse? It was CAFFEINATED! Think of the children!

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  8. I'd be more concerned that watching the Hogan match would lead to permanent brain damage.

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  9. Pillman pretty much DID die in that car crash. It just took a year for a chain of side effects to catch up to him.

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  10. "Yeah, that Savage-Flair program didn’t exactly set the world on fire," Meltzer has always stated that house show business, ratings and buy rates were much stronger during this program and said it had a bigger impact in 96 than the first few months of the nWo.

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  11. The weird thing was, Hogan (in his prime years) was a master at the psychology of selling during the heat portion of a match. If you watch the majority of his ‘Hogan v big fat heel’ matches, he would sell like a champ during the middle part of a match. I can only surmise that the transition to complete no-selling was borne of age, insecurity or both.

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  12. Once Hogan left, yeah. These first few weeks have been brutal, though.

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  13. I think it's sad that his hart foundation buddies did ziltch to help him. Shit, even the Godwins fucked him up for almost starting a new WWF drug program.

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  14. Jonathan MeisnerMarch 9, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    Which setup the title match if I'm correct. It was that Nitro where Giant won the title from Flair that was the first airing for Nitro in Canada, at least on the east coast in Nova Scotia, or it's the first one I saw.

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  15. I heard that guys were mad at pillman but didn't know it was the godwinns.poor Brian I think if he had his foot removed it would have been better.but that's a tough decision

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  16. I'm sure they tried but they can't babysit him. And they had their own problems, too.

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  17. Threadjack.if you could pick any song for a wrestlers entrance what would you choose.example the rockers:motley crue live wire.Brock lesnar: metallica seek & destroy

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  18. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMarch 9, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    "Thunderstruck", in its entirety, for Sting in the 90s.

    "Shepherd of Fire" by Avenged Sevenfold, for Brock Lesnar

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  19. GAB '95 also drew well.

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  20. Aesthetically, maybe. Business-wise, no.

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  21. I always thought it was a WCW thing and Hogan believing that WCW wrestlers were inferior to WWF wrestlers so that's why he refused to sell for them.

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  22. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 9, 2015 at 10:08 PM

    *home province pop over here*


    Cape Breton Island FTW

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  23. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 9, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    If I remember, Scott, wasn't this your jumping off point for WCW? Or a little before this? The Hogan stuff had gotten waaaay out of control.

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  24. Word. Annapolis Valley.

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  25. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 9, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    I'm pretty sure we kicked your ass in some sport somewhere.

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  26. From the old rants I remember, he did a total boycott from Hogan's debut through losing the title to the Giant at Halloween Havoc.
    This episode, though... wow. Hogan really needed to get the fuck off TV.

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  27. Possibly. I played baseball in high school and mostly drove around with friends, skated and partied.

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  28. Ricky Steamboat : Sirius (Alan Parsons Project).
    Oh yeah, that already happened.
    Actual :
    Dusty Rhodes : Working Class Man (Jimmy Barnes)
    CJ Punk : Epic (Faith No More)
    British Bulldogs - Tubthumping (Chumbawamba)
    Shawn Michaels - Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard)
    Daniel Bryan - Eruption (Van Halen)
    Marty Jannetty - Nothin' But a Good Time (Poison)
    Sid - Back in Black (AC/DC)
    Eddie Guerrero (in Latino Heat phase) - Smooth (Santana)
    Raven - Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
    Mick Foley - Love Shack (b-52s)

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  29. Just reading the PBP of the Hogan fiasco makes my brain hurt.

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  30. Because Neidhart and Bulldog were such straight shooters lol

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  31. More or less amusing than the Hogan match going 4:20?

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  32. Get outta my dreams and intoy car - billy ocean.

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  33. You wanna be stoned to appreciate Hogan during this time period.

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  34. Anyone: Fire on High by ELO. How that was never used in wrestling I'll never know.

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  35. Some people would consider their feud a terror attack on their senses?

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  36. Doctor FunkopolisMarch 9, 2015 at 10:54 PM

    Well, it's not like Horsemen/NWO could have drawn money.

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  37. Doctor FunkopolisMarch 9, 2015 at 10:56 PM

    The USWA and OVW used for their live event promos back in the day.

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  38. But...but...Hogan said on the Monday Night Wars "documentary" that the only time he EVER exerted Creative Control was at Bash 2000!

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  39. The opening riff of the Beastie Boy's Gratitude off Check Your Head is a great one for an entrance even if the lyrics aren't.

    Though otherwise Public Enemy had 2 tracks that would have been awesome. Prophets of Rage and Son of A Bush.

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  40. I knew the 95 run drew well, but I didn't think the 96 retread did all that good too. Good for them, I guess.

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  41. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 9, 2015 at 11:09 PM

    The Five Demandments of Hulkamania, brother, in no particular order"


    1. Train
    2. Say Your Prayers
    3. Take Your Vitamins
    4. Believe In Yourself
    5. Embellish Your Accomplishments With Hyperbole, Denials and Lies.

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  42. Raven, down with the sickness
    Jeff Hardy, swan dive_Hed PE
    Any heel, asshole_ Dennis Leary

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  43. As noted below, I boycotted from Bash 94 until Havoc 95. I was definitely watching the PPVs and I think Worldwide at this point, although I didn't have access to either Nitro or TBS because I was super-broke and living on my own for the first time.

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  44. I thought number five was Believe in Hulk Hogan?

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  45. Stranger in the AlpsMarch 9, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    That's what He wants you to believe. He does that through number five. You fell for it.

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  46. I was stoned during that time period and it didn't help

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  47. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 9, 2015 at 11:44 PM

    This is what I point to when people call Cena Superman. At least Cena would sell a finisher (or 17) in his matches.

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  48. Buffalo HopscotchMarch 9, 2015 at 11:59 PM

    Sullivan talked about Hulk no selling the chokeslam in his Timeline video and said it was Hulk being completely insecure and while Hulk thought it made him look like Superman, all it did was just shit over the Giant and guys like Savage and Sting who had been put down by the chokeslam.

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  49. To be fair, Hulk was in and out on the 'believe in yourself' one.

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  50. Oh yeah, doesn't Luger take a kind of a nasty table bump?

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  51. The Ghost of Faffner HallMarch 10, 2015 at 1:28 AM

    So what was Debra's role at this point? Was she just a random member of Flair's entourage who was later revealed as Mongo's wife?

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  52. "I Think Bad Thoughts" by Danko Jones would be a perfect choice for any cocky heel.
    "Suicide Woman" also by Danko Jones would be an ideal theme for AJ Lee.

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  53. We're getting closer to the moment that forever changed the course of wrestling history...the promo where Lex Luger forgot the name of WCW on live TV.


    Oh yeah and a couple of guys from the Kliq showed up too.

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  54. He also said that Nick was an excellent driver on Hogan Knows Best so take anything Hulk says with about 10 grains of salt.

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  55. I like how Savage and Flair never forgot their WWF feud and continued it for like two more years.

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  56. Extant1979 - Extreme SuperstarMarch 10, 2015 at 5:07 AM

    She was in the audience, then revealed as Mongo's wife.

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  57. Best review so far. Love the behind the scenes stuff and general annoyance. Reminds me of the glory days of new WCW PPV reviews.

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