Two Plus Two Publishing LLC Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > >

Notices

Wrestling It's still real to me!!!!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-01-2015, 09:46 PM   #1
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

ITT I will give an in-depth recap of the Monday Night Wars, at least for as far as I get in doing the comparison.

How much are you recapping?

I mean, the endgame goal would be to go all the way through the final Nitro, but it feels highly unlikely that I ever get that far. When I put "comprehensive" in the title I do mean it, so...well, you'll see how much I do with this.

What about the Meltzer 4+-Star Match Thread?

That will continue; sort of like I'm doing with this one, I regard that as just sort of an open-ended thing that I'll work on when I feel like it. But I had actually started this project quite some time ago and then just sat on the writeups that I completed. I figured I might as well start posting them, and then I can continue each project at the pace that I feel like working on it. In the meantime, hopefully it can spark some decent discussion.

Etc.

Anyway, thought this was a fun project idea so I'm going to go ahead with it. On with the show.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 09:47 PM   #2
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

NITRO

Minneapolis, MN

Nitro kicks off its inaugural episode from the Mall of America. Welcoming us to the show is the announcing dream team of…Eric Bischoff and Mongo McMichael. Well that's lovely. They're joined by Bobby Heenan, which should have been a big boost to the team, but his bright spots were few and far between in WCW.



Jushin Liger vs. Flyin' Brian Pillman: Hell of a match on paper to open this show considering the past greatness that these two had put on. Mongo calls Heenan "Bobby the Stain" and "Bobby Hernia" early on, which instantly makes me think that Mongo was even worse than I remembered him being. The action in this match was solid outside of a bad botch by Pillman on a flying headscissor move. Wouldn't really touch their Spring Stampede(?) match, but I still credit WCW for having the right idea in giving the fans the high-flying opener. Right away I'm thinking that the Mall of America is a pretty bad venue for a wrestling show, and the crowd wasn't THAT into this (though they did pop nicely at the ending). Pillman goes over on a reversal into a victory roll.

Result: Pillman via pinfall

Hulk Hogan cuts an incredibly lame promo from the concourse where he spends half of it putting over "pastamania," which…I don't remember exactly. Appeared to be a food stand in the Mall of America that he was tied to. Sort of a cringeworthy 90 seconds of talking.

US Title: Sting (c) vs. Ric Flair: To no surprise, the crowd is a lot more live for the introductions of Flair and Sting. As Sting hits the ring, the camera pans back out toward the entry way, and we get the shocking appearance of Lex Luger. He had just been at SummerSlam, he had been advertised for a Superstars segment the following week, and had wrestled a WWF house show the day before this…he blindsided Vince and co. with this sudden defection. This was really the big first salvo being fired to open the Monday night wars, because it was hugely surprising and did create a sense that the WWF officially had some competition on Monday nights who was willing to steal their talent away.



Luger just stands there looking at the ring; Bischoff flips out and says "get him out of here," pretending that he wasn't properly with WCW. Obviously that would play out as a rather large start to an angle with a future defection. They get past the shock of Luger and onto the match, as Luger seemingly exited stage left and let the wrestlers do their things. Sting and Flair put on a pretty decent match, not a standout but both guys were working hard and trying to do their part to help make Nitro's debut a strong one. The match ends in a no contest when Arn Anderson, who had come down to ringside midway through, runs into the ring. Arn trades blows with Ric Flair and clears the ring, then leaves himself. I loved the angle they were in the middle of here.



Result: No contest via Arnerference

Scott Norton, the worst wrestler in the history of humanity, comes down to ringside in street clothes and gets in the faces of the announce team for no reason that I can actually gather. Randy Savage comes to the rescue and challenges Norton. They tease that they're going to do the match right then, but Bischoff firmly insists that they can't because the match isn't signed. He instead throws it to a video package hyping Sabu coming to WCW. I honestly can't say I remembered Sabu wrestling in WCW; it must not have been for long at all.

We get a vignette from Michael Wallstreet, a really lame character that WCW gave to Mike Rotundo. At least he didn't drone on for 15 minutes like his son does on Raw.

WCW Title: Hulk Hogan (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Big Bubba: As this match kicks off, Bischoff announces that Randy Savage vs. Scott Norton will happen on next week's show. Early in the action here, I hear the dreaded words "Dungeon of Doom." WCW was still stuck in cartoon mode at this point in the same way that WWF was. The match was what it was; Bubba was at a reasonably not-THAT-fat weight and moved well, so it wasn't painful to watch this. Hogan goes over with the usual hulk-up and moves of doom for the pin.

Result: Hogan via pinfall

After the match we get a run-in from the Dungeon of Doom (Kamala, Shark, Zodiac, Sullivan), but Lex Luger runs in and saves Hogan. Hogan and Luger clear the ring and then have a hostile face-off with each other as Sting and Savage hit the ring and play peacemaker between the two.



Mean Gene comes in to interview them. Hogan asks Luger why he's there. Luger says that Hogan is "the ONLY world champion," says he's "sick and tired of playing with kids," declares himself ready to play with the big boys, and says that he's coming after Hogan's belt. Hogan says, "You don't have to wait until next week … I'll give you a title shot next week!" Alright then. The thing where wrestlers defect and then crap on their old company always just seemed childish to me and not like anything that would actually affect a fan's perception of the other company.

Overall: Solid debut show. The surprising arrival of Luger made for pretty compelling TV at the time, and they promised a world title match next week to run across from their new official competitors in the WWF. They obviously threw the glove down pretty hard here in declaring war.

TV Rating: 2.5 (unopposed)
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 09:50 PM   #3
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Incidentally, as I look back on when these were authored, they've actually been sitting on my computer since November of last year, so some of them are nearly a year old. If I make a somewhat dated reference in these early ones, there's your explanation.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 09:54 PM   #4
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

RAW

Canton, OH

This appears to be the first Raw after SummerSlam '95, which means that the Monday Night Wars did not include any of the epic build to Diesel vs. Mabel. The British Bulldog had turned heel right before SummerSlam despite being babyface Lex Luger's tag partner, so honestly the Luger departure cleaned itself up pretty nicely on WWF's end.

Razor Ramon vs. British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette): Bulldog doesn't have huge heat or anything, since all he did was turn on Kevin Nash. He cut his hair upon heel turn at least, which I still contend that Seth Rollins should have done also. I was always a big fan of Razor's violent clothesline sending his opponents to the outside…or I guess more to the point, I was a big fan of the opponents who could sell it effectively, as Davey did here. The match is pretty good back and forth, though unfortunately the crowd mostly sat on their hands.



Razor connects on a Razor's Edge right after a ref bump, which naturally doesn't end the match. We get a Dean Douglas run-in and axhandle off the top. 1-2-3 Kid to the rescue, Douglas owns him as well and leaves him laying outside before returning to the back. As Tim White comes to, Bulldog powerslams Razor. The Kid jumps off the top at Bulldog, missing and hitting Razor instead, and we get the DQ finish.

Result: Bulldog via DQ

After the commercial, Vince McMahon interviews Razor and the Kid in the ring. Vince talks about Dean Douglas outsmarting the two of them and leading the Kid to cost Razor the match. The Kid flips out about being accused of costing Razor the match, says he gets no respect, and tells Razor off, culminating in him challenging Ramon to a match next week before walking off in a huff. As he leaves, Razor accepts.

Smoking Gunns vs. Rad Radford/Brooklyn Brawler: Radford and the Brawler were obviously just playing the role of "jobbers who have gotten really minor pushes in the past" in this match, so it's just a barely glorified squash. The Gunns win after a Sidewinder.

Result: Smoking Gunns via pinfall

We get a vignette from Goldust, who was ramping up to his debut. They definitely did a nice job of building intrigue around him.

Isaac Yankem vs. Scott Taylor: Taylor would later become Scotty 2 Hotty, but was purely an enhancement talent up to this point. Yankem was in the middle of a pretty lame feud with Bret Hart that had ended in a silly non-finish at SummerSlam. He goes over here via DDT (which he called DDS, apparently…I remember nothing of that and was curious as to what the hell his finisher was).

Result: Isaac Yankem via pinfall

We get our In Your House report hyping the next PPV. The main event was to be the Tripleheader Match pitting Diesel and Shawn Michaels against Owen Hart and Yokozuna, with every belt in the company on the line. It was a great idea that they unfortunately ****ed over by overbooking it. Other matches on the card at this point included Dean Douglas vs. Razor Ramon, Bret Hart vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte, Bam Bam Bigelow vs. British Bulldog, and Waylon Mercy vs. Savio Vega. A fairly unmemorable PPV, but Bret vs. Lafitte delivered very nicely despite the fact that it was blowing off the dumbest story ever (Lafitte stole Bret's jacket and Bret wanted his jacket back).

IC Title: Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase): Shawn Michaels quickly does a greeting to the camera before the commercial and announces that he was in the midst of playing the absolute low point of his career from a character standpoint. 1995 babyface HBK was just so awful. Thankfully he was elite in the ring.



Sid was historically awful in the ring, but Michaels did a very nice job of carrying things here and this was remarkably watchable for a Sid match. Plays out as the classic big vs. little match, with the monster dominating the action and the underdog launching the comeback and winning as he connects on two superkicks and pins Sid cleanly.

Result: Shawn Michaels via pinfall

We close things out with an interview as Dok Hendrix catches up with Michaels and Diesel backstage. Michaels explains how he's been righting all of his past mistakes, and the promo actually works pretty well. Then we get an oh-so-witty comment from Kevin Nash at the end that ruins the promo because of how clever he thinks it is.

Overall: Solid, unspectacular show. The Michaels-Sid match delivered better than I expected since I thought that I actively remembered all of Sid's watchable matches (you can count them on one hand), and it left me feeling like the episode was worth my time.

NITRO

Miami, FL

Bischoff, Heenan and Mongo are set up at the classic metal announce table that they would use going forward. They give us a recap of last week's setup to tonight's title match between Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger. As they return to the desk, they break the big news that Vader had gone AWOL and wouldn't be at the upcoming PPV. I guess this is when his divorce with WCW happened? He would be in WWF within a handful of months.

Sabu vs. Alex Wright: Babyface Alex Wright was hopelessly lame even if semi-capable in the ring. You know you have a bad face character when eventually turning heel means that you just continue playing an exaggerated and self-aware version of the same person. Anyway, this match was all about putting Sabu over. He hits some high spots as the announcers talk him up really well. Great missile dropkick and a nice superplex by Alex Wright as well; both guys are really bringing it here. Sabu didn't even **** up any spots, so you knew it was a special night.



The ending spot of a reverse hurracanrana by Sabu for the pin is probably one of the weakest of the match, but still this was a very fun opener. And for good measure, Sabu sets Wright on a table after the match, dives off and breaks them both through it in a cool spot. Doing that gets the decision reversed and we have a DQ. Silly ending, but still enjoyed a lot.

Result: Alex Wright via DQ

Mean Gene is in the ring after commercials and summons Ric Flair to the ring. Naitch bemoans the fact that his main man, his running buddy Arn Anderson wasn't out with him last night at South Beach. As he talks about their past greatness, Lex Luger comes to the ring. Flair gives him a friendly greeting and talks about how Luger is taking Hogan down tonight; Luger just smirks and goes "you are too much" and leaves. Flair was a joy to listen to as was still usual at this point, but I have no idea what the point of that segment was, particularly the Luger involvement.



US Title: Sting (c) vs. VK Wallstreet: Okay, so they dumped the "Michael" name since last week and went with "VK," obviously some sort of shot at Vince K. McMahon. As Sting hits the ring, Bischoff announces the results from the taped Raw and says "keep it right here, we're live." Cheap as that move felt, it probably worked pretty damn well until it didn't.

Rotundo looked odd wrestling in a singlet after so many years in a shirt and tie. This match wasn't doing a lot for me, but there was a great spot in the middle where Wallstreet threw Sting through the ropes pretty violently to the outside. The announcers and their obsession with "we're the best wrestling company" is pretty tiresome. I can't imagine repeating it that much was actually particularly +EV. Sting wins this with a cross-body off the top rope that looked like it was designed for a near-fall…moves like that should win though, so thumbs up. Decent match.

Result: Sting via pinfall

Randy Savage vs. Scott Norton: One recurring pattern that I have to compliment is that they set every one of these matches up nicely the week before and made all of them meaningful on some level, hyping the debuts of Sabu and Wallstreet and creating this Savage-Norton and the later Hogan-Luger match. Later WCW would just throw crap against a wall 10 minutes before the broadcast, but they seemed to have some sort of creative vision at this point.



Norton jumps Savage before the bell, and then proceeds to no-sell everything that happens to him. He was just amazingly awful in every way; where Sid sold moves really badly, Norton didn't even really attempt to sell them. Once you get past how terrible it is, it's pretty comical to watch. Less comical is Norton's various power moves that he seemed to execute really sloppily and just hope that it didn't kill someone. We get a goofy ending here where the Dungeon of Doom tries to run in against Savage, John "Shark" Tenta gets lightly knocked unconscious and falls on Norton, enabling a Savage elbow and a pinfall. Within two seconds Tenta is back up and befuddled, either by the fact that a ringing bell can apparently cure a coma or by the fact that his run-in was thwarted. This was a stupid match, though the unintentional comedy added something or other.

Result: Savage via pinfall

WCW Title: Hulk Hogan (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Lex Luger: Hogan actually does some legit wrestling in this match, at least until he throws a suplex and Luger bounces up and no-sells it.Hogan no-sells a move shortly after…the sequence wasn't my thing, but it at least made sense.



Luger gets Hogan up in the Torture Rack until he lets it go, seemingly thinking that he won (though I don't know why he would have thought that). Realizing he didn't win, he goes for a pin but it gets kicked out of. Hulk-up sequence ends in a legdrop, Dungeon of Doom hits the ring before the pinfall can take place.

Result: Hogan via DQ

Savage and Sting run to the ring to save Hogan from the Dungeon of Doom. They leave Luger alone. Hogan gets in Luger's face as they go to break. Back from break, Mean Gene is interviewing all of the men. Hogan and Savage accuse Luger, asking what side he's on, but Sting plays peacemaker and advocates that they add Luger to the team to replace Vader. Savage says hell no and says he'd rather go 3-on-4. Sting says that he votes yes on Lex. Hogan has the tiebreaking vote and, despite being conflicted, invites Luger onto the team. Luger says yes on the condition that he gets his title shot back later. Everyone's mad at each other and yelling, but Luger ultimately appears to be on the team.

Overall: Pretty strong. Opening match was a great way to kick off the show, Sting vs. Wallstreet was decent, Flair on the mic was nonsensical but fun…I hate this Dungeon of Doom crap, but all in all I enjoyed watching this.

---

Ratings for 9/11/95: Raw 2.5, Nitro 2.4
Ratings Score: Raw 1-0

Better Show: While Raw wasn't bad, I enjoyed Nitro a decent bit more. Pretty easy decision this week. For the sake of fairness, I'll alternate back and forth as to which I watch first and which I watch second each week.
Better Show Score: Nitro 1-0

Match of the Night: Sabu vs. Alex Wright
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:02 PM   #5
DCoop919
centurion
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 152
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

This is awesome. I'll be tuning in
DCoop919 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:08 PM   #6
Dylan E08
veteran
 
Dylan E08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: REBUILDING
Posts: 2,124
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Please tell me Diesel is WWF Champ at this point.
Dylan E08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:09 PM   #7
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

He is. It was a dark time.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:11 PM   #8
Dylan E08
veteran
 
Dylan E08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: REBUILDING
Posts: 2,124
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKJ View Post
He is. It was a dark time.
Yes! I am so in for this.
Dylan E08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:14 PM   #9
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW FALL BRAWL '95

Asheville, North Carolina

US Title #1 Contender Match - Flyin' Bryan Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd: This was for a shot at Sting. I don't see this as the really great match that many do, in that it was slow to start, had quite a few botches, and the psychology was really dumb at times - both men using slow restholds as it was announced that the time limit was about to run out, then having the ref make what they referred to as a judgment call on the spot and restarting the match for OT - but there were some cool spots during regulation, and the action during the overtime session was excellent and salvaged this match to at least being decent. I still don't buy Meltzer's four-star rating at all though. Johnny B. Badd goes over with a partially-botched spot with the two men hitting each other with cross-body blocks and JBB forcing his way forward into a pinning position to get three.



Result: Johnny B. Badd via pinfall (29:14)
Rating: **3/4

Ric Flair cuts a promo on Arn Anderson to build up their match against each other later. Says he loves Arn, but he's going to teach him a lesson.

Cobra vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman: Just a quick outright squash that blows off a feud that nobody cared about from WCW's B shows. Fun fact: apparently Cobra was the dude who went on to become nWo Sting.



Result: Sgt. Craig Pittman via submission (1:22)
Rating: N/A

Paul Orndorff has some sort of comedy segment backstage where he talks to a motivational speaker, who encourages him. I don't know any context about that, but I'm quite certain that it was dumb as hell.

TV Title - Renegade (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. DDP (w/ Diamond Doll and Maxx Muscle): Renegade wasn't quite as bad in the ring as I remembered; the attempt to pass him off as a worthwhile stand-in for the Ultimate Warrior after teasing that Warrior was coming to WCW was just such a cheap trick on their part that it made me see this guy as irredeemable. His work here doesn't look too awful though. Match is just okay; DDP goes over when Maxx Muscle holds Renegade's ankle from the outside and leaves him trapped in place to take a Diamond Cutter.



Result: DDP via pinfall, new TV Champion (8:07)
Rating: **

Tag Team Titles - Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater (c) (w/ Col. Parker) vs. Harlem Heat (w/ Sister Sherri): Buck and Slater were the most generic team ever. I forgot that they ever existed outside of WCW Saturday Night, but here they were with the tag titles. The crowd doesn't give a **** about any of this, so I question how this team ever became champs. To be fair, it would be ridiculous if the crowd did care about this match, because it's a bunch of really, really slow offense.



Lots of punches, lots of kicks, lots of restholds. There was some stupid storyline where Colonel Parker was in love with Sherri…the match ends amidst a bunch of chaos with all four men in, Parker kissing Sherri, and the Nasty Boys running in and hitting Dick Slater with his own boot. Harlem Heat win the titles. Correct result, but a bad match.

Result: Harlem Heat via pinfall, new Tag Team Champions (16:49)
Rating: 1/2*

We get a promo segment where Buck and Slater are mad at Parker, and Parker calms them down. Whatever.

Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson: Holy **** this was great. I remember loving this story, but I didn't really remember this match being a standout for some reason. Great build, nice promo video and then spoken promo by Arn before the match. Tony sends it to the ring for "the match we never thought we'd see," which helped put the story over even better. They show some wrestlers in audience seats who are out because they want to watch this match. Nice touch there as well. Great spot where Flair does his usual flip over the turnbuckle off of an Irish whip, but then as he heads across the apron Arn charges him and Flair drops down and pulls the top rope and sends Arn spilling over it to the floor. It's like he set up that spot for years. Lots of great psychology. During a ref distraction, Brian Pillman interjects himself into this feud for the first time by attacking Flair from behind…this sends Flair staggering into Arn's DDT for the pin. Excellent, excellent storytelling. Match of the night by miles.



Result: Arn Anderson via pinfall (22:37)
Rating: ****1/4

War Games - The Hulkamaniacs (Hogan, Savage, Luger, Sting w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Dungeon of Doom (Kamala, Zodiac, Shark, Meng w/ Kevin Sullivan): Sigh. From the greatness of Flair-Arn to this. For completeness I did sit and watch the whole damn thing. Left in the wrong hands, War Games could be a very, very boring match. Confirmed: these were the wrong hands to leave it in.

Result: Hulkamaniacs by submission (18:47)
Rating: 1/2*

As a match stipulation, Team Hogan's win enables Hulk to get five minutes in the ring with Kevin Sullivan. Because Sullivan and the Giant ruined his bike, I think? As Hogan beats Sullivan down, The Giant interrupts, enters the cage, and beats Hulk down. Team Hogan back in for the save really late, but the damage was done and Hogan is left laid out to close the show.



Overall: Arn vs. Flair carried the show and is by far the reason to tune in. Others liked Johnny B. Badd vs. DDP better than I did, but it was passable. The rest of the show ranged from "not good" to "completely unwatchable."
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:21 PM   #10
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

September 18, 1995

NITRO

Johnson City, TN

Bischoff, Mongo, and Heenan at the booth, and they quickly throw it to Mean Gene, who is reporting from outside of an ambulance in the back. A celebrating Taskmaster and Giant emerge from it, bragging about the beatdown on Hogan the night before. Gene scolds The Giant and says that "if your father was still alive, he would be ashamed of you." That thing where they insisted that Andre was Paul Wight's father was such a facepalm.

The American Males vs. The Bluebloods: The American Males enter as normal. As Bobby Eaton emerges from the back, Stevie Ray attacks him and then Booker T finishes the job. I guess we're not going to have this match? Booker grabs the microphone and says that the Bluebloods had no place out here and that we're going to have a tag team title match right now instead.

Tag Titles - Harlem Heat (c) (w/ Sister Sherri) vs. The American Males: Marcus Bagwell and Scotty Riggs were so lame in this role. Not bad in the ring, but the characters were brutal. The action here is just okay, with the highlights being Booker T's high-impact kicks. Mostly dominated by the Heat, but the Males launch a comeback, and as they do Col. Rob Parker strolls down to ringside. He catches Sherri as she falls off the apron, and amidst the chaos the Males score the upset when Bagwell shifts his weight and falls on Booker T in the middle of Booker's attempt at a pumphandle slam. This was all pretty weird.



Result: American Males via pinfall, new tag team champions

Mean Gene is in the ring to again introduce Ric Flair for an interview, stating that Flair would be taking on Brian Pillman later. Flair says that Arn broke the code…that it's okay for them to squabble, but you don't bring an outside party into a family fight. Flair tells Pillman, former Bengal, that he's going to chop Pillman so hard that Boomer Esiason is going to feel it.

"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs. Johnny B. Badd: Orndorff comes to the ring to his hilarious opera song as he admires himself in a handheld mirror. Whatever quality Orndorff had in the ring was long since gone by this point, but this character was pretty great. The announcers talk about what a long grueling match JBB had the night before. This match is incredibly disjointed, sloppy, and pretty bad. Mr. Wonderful goes over clean when he kneels down for a pinning combo as Johnny B. Badd was attempting a sunset flip.



Result: Orndorff via pinfall

We now have footage of Randy Savage filming a guest appearance on the beach for Baywatch, and The Taskmaster attacking him while Savage is randomly doing bench presses. Flair makes the save. Tonight we seem to be getting a montage of everything that was wrong with WCW circa 1995.



Mean Gene is back in the ring and introduces Randy Savage for an interview. Savage's words for Flair: "Thanks but no thanks. See ya in the next lifetime. See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya. Don't even care. Dig it!" Flair was seemingly in the middle of a slow burn face turn, but the top faces didn't trust him and weren't going to align with him. I'm very appreciative that they had Savage continue to hate Flair in this spot instead of just doing the stupid Team Babyface thing. Savage then addresses Hogan and says that Hogan is a poor judge of character and that he shouldn't have let Luger onto their War Games team, as Luger hit him with a cheap shot as expected.

Gene argues that other wrestlers thought it was unintentional. Savage: "Who'd you ask? Jimmy Hart? Sting? You can't ask him, that's Lex Luger's best friend!" Savage openly says that he thinks that Luger, Hart, and Sting are all with the Dungeon of Doom. As he says this, Luger comes out from the back, gets in Savage's face, and the two threaten to fight right there but it doesn't end up happening.

Back at the announce desk, they kick us to footage of The Giant running Hulk Hogan's motorcycle over in a monster truck before yesterday's PPV, and then they show footage of him running in and attacking Hogan at the end of the PPV.

Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman: These entrances are exceptionally short. I'm guessing they were running behind. Pillman is showing an edgier side in this match, cheating and using the ropes on a pinning attempt. He's been a babyface up to this point, and the announcers are questioning what is up with him. In general this has no real flow; lots of spots that don't do much together, and then Flair suddenly cinches the figure-four leglock in on Pillman who almost instantly taps. Flair calls Arn out as Pillman slinks to the back, but that's being left off for next week.



Result: Ric Flair via submission

The announce crew hypes next week's show and then mercifully signs off.

Overall: Awful episode, far and away the worst Nitro of the first three. Raw doesn't have much of a bar to clear to be the better episode this week.

RAW

Canton, OH

We open with a video montage of last week's confrontation between Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid that leads into tonight's match. This is actually a Thursday edition of Raw, so the two shows weren't head-to-head this week.

Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid: The Kid jumps Razor before the bell. He's not a heel yet, but he's obviously teasing that he's heading that way. Nice fall-away throw from the second rope by Razor after he regains control. He approaches the match with a clear attitude of "alright, have you had enough? Are you going to settle down?" It's both a good stance for the babyface character to take and also plays right into the Kid's accusation of Razor not really respecting him.

The back-and-forth is good here, with both guys getting in some nice offense. A ref bump knocks Earl Hebner out of the ring as the Kid slides out as well. Dean Douglas runs in and hits a top-rope splash on Razor…one of those spots that the Kid can plausibly deny having any awareness of. The Kid and Earl Hebner come to at the same time, and the Kid slowly drags himself over for the cover. Hebner gets there to count and slowly slaps the mat three times for the pinfall.



Result: 1-2-3 Kid via pinfall

Dean Douglas cuts a promo backstage where he calls the Kid dumb for actually feeling like he won anything, and then spends the rest of the promo talking trash at Razor to hype their coming PPV match.

Kama and Tatanka (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. Savio Vega and Bob Holly: Umm, so instead of having jobbers get squashed, they just wanted four jobbers to fight each other? Because there's no better mark of a jobber than the WWF logo being worn on Bob Holly's ass. I would assume that the Corporation team would go over here since they're actually a legit alliance, but yeah.



The action is whatever, this whole thing just feels like filler. It ends on a botched reversal of a top rope cross-body by Bob Holly, where Kama turns it into (sort of) a powerslam for the three-count.

Result: Kama/Tatanka via pinfall

Jean Pierre Lafitte vs. Brian Walsh: Standard jobber squash, they talk to Bret Hart on the phone during it to hype the upcoming PPV match since he was filming Lonesome Dove somewhere and wasn't at the show. Lafitte goes over with a nice top rope cannonball.

Jean Pierre Lafitte via pinfall

Owen Hart and Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji) vs. Men on a Mission: This was heel vs. heel for no particular reason. Owen Hart kind of ends up playing the de facto face-in-peril role as MOM isolate him before Yokozuna can ever get in. The match builds toward Owen and Mo making simultaneous hot tags to the big men. Mabel with a flying clothesline on Yoko, followed by some chaos and a double-team, but that doesn't end up being the endgame sequence as we settle back down to Owen vs. Mo soon after.



Owen and Yoko ultimately go over after executing the double-team drop toehold into Yokozuna legdrop on Sir Mo, and Yoko holds Mabel back as Owen makes the pin. The pinfall gets a pretty good pop, as the crowd seemed to prefer the tag champs here. I don't really understand putting the heel tag team in a match where they might get cheered right before they're going to main event a PPV against your top two faces, but okay.

Result: Owen Hart and Yokozuna via pinfall

Shawn Michaels and Diesel cut a weak promo backstage on Owen and Yoko. Back in the ring, Jim Cornette talks his team up and hypes the main event of the In Your House that coming Sunday. I love a good Cornette promo.

Jerry Lawler offers his "royal prediction" of Yokozuna leaving the Tripleheader match that Sunday as the new world champion after defeating Diesel. They hype next week's show with a main event of Undertaker vs. British Bulldog before signing off.

Overall: Not a bad show, not a great one. The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Razor stuff was both a pretty good match and a pretty well-done story. Most of the rest of the show was whatever.

---

Ratings for 9/18/95: Raw 2.7, Nitro 1.9
Ratings Score: Raw 2-0

Better Show: Raw wins the night with ease despite not being particularly great; hopefully that was the worst Nitro I have to sit through for a long while.
Better Show Score: Tied 1-1

Match of the Night: Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid

Last edited by LKJ; 10-01-2015 at 10:47 PM.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:42 PM   #11
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WWF IN YOUR HOUSE 3: TRIPLEHEADER



Saginaw, MI

Vince, JR and King on the call. King, contrary to his Raw prediction of Yoko winning the World Title, says that Owen Hart is going to win the IC Title in tonight's main event. JR predicts that Yoko will win the IC Title. Vince says, "Sounds like Shawn Michaels is in trouble," and we go to our curtain-jerker.

Waylon Mercy vs. Savio Vega: Waylon Mercy (played by Dan Spivey) was a great gimmick in the early-going, as the creepy and disingenuous southerner with a violent streak. Some overlap with Bray Wyatt, so maybe the character would have gotten stale quickly if given any significant push, but as is I enjoyed it. Savio goes over with a spinning wheel kick, which felt like a transitional move but might have actually been his finisher? I remember being floored by this outcome, since Vega was mostly jobbing at this point and the match just screamed "give the new heel character his first PPV win." Instead this result announced that Waylon Mercy was pretty much dead from the start. That was fine, since this match also announced that Dan Spivey had absolutely no good ringwork left in him as he spent the whole seven minutes plodding around incredibly slowly.



Result: Savio Vega via pinfall (7:06)
Rating: *3/4

Backstage, Dok Hendrix interrupts a heated exchange between Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Cornette, with Cornette assuring Monsoon that Owen Hart is in Michigan and would be here. Monsoon said that the Tripleheader main event would go down tonight regardless and that the fans wouldn't get ripped off.

Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. Henry Godwinn: Mother of God. This was a PPV match? Listen to that deafening pop for the sounds of a farmer calling for hogs, which was still Godwinn's theme at this point. This match is basically what you expect, straight brawling with few moves. I do like that Godwinn comes in selling a back injury based on a powerbomb he took on a show the week before, and that Sid actually deliberately works on that back injury. For the limited talent we're dealing with here, at least they were telling a story properly; to his credit, Godwinn sold well, including in subtle ways that lots of wrestlers miss when selling. Sid goes over with a powerbomb after getting more help from DiBiase than a huge monster heel should possibly have in dealing with a midcard face that the fans don't really care about.



Result: Sid via pinfall (7:23)
Rating: **

In the post-match, Henry Godwinn…gets his heat back? As Sid and DiBiase struggle over who gets to pour slop on Godwinn, Godwinn recovers, sneaks up, grabs the bucket and douses DiBiase with it. Dumb.

Backstage again, Gorilla Monsoon says to Cornette that if Owen no-shows, either Yoko could fight a handicap match, or Cornette could find a new partner for him for just that night who would be sanctioned to be a tag team champion and fight in that match. Cornette loses his mind and says he doesn't know who he could find…I guess British Bulldog wasn't in his camp yet.

British Bulldog vs. Bam Bam Bigelow: No, Bulldog was with Cornette; Vince comments on how Cornette isn't out there for this match. Well I don't know what Cornette was being so incredulous about then. Bam Bam as a face and Bulldog as a heel were both pushes that never really fit or got over very well. The psychology here is fine, this match is slow as hell. The finish comes somewhat out of nowhere, when Bulldog catches Bigelow staggering out of a whip into the turnbuckle and hits him with a front powerslam for the three-count. I'm genuinely surprised that this match was only 12 minutes long, because it sure felt longer.



Result: British Bulldog via pinfall (12:00)
Rating: 1/4*

We get an appearance from Mr. Bob Backlund, in the middle of his contemplated run for the Presidency. He actually ran for Congress in real life five years later, but got wafflecrushed by an incumbent in the general election. Backlund rants at the crowd for a while before introducing Dean Douglas.

Razor Ramon vs. Dean Douglas (w/ Mr. Bob Backlund): Solid, fine work by both of the wrestlers, but I still didn't find it that interesting. They give us the lame ending: ref bump, Razor's Edge, Razor attempts a pin, and 1-2-3 Kid comes running in and counts to three like an idiot. Razor gets mad at the Kid, pushes him out of the ring, and Douglas wins via distraction roll-up. Meh.



Result: Dean Douglas via pinfall (14:53)
Rating: **1/2

Bret Hart vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte: The story behind this match was incredibly stupid (Lafitte stole Bret's jacket and Bret wants it back), but that was 1995 WWF for you. These guys did not only a lot of nice spots, but some creative ones that you didn't otherwise see much, and the ending is a solid one…the two collide in mid-ring and both go down, but Bret stirs first, and before getting up he interlocks legs with Lafitte and then gets up to turn him fully into the Sharpshooter for the win. From a technical standpoint this was a really great match, and it really only suffered from a ****ty build and from an atmosphere where you knew they were never possibly putting Lafitte over Bret. Still, the workers did absolutely all you could ask of them here.



Result: Bret Hart via submission (16:37)
Rating: ***3/4

Backstage, Cornette confirms that the British Bulldog will sub in for Owen Hart tonight for the main event. It's so stupid that they did this with their main event plans.

Tripleheader - Tag Team Champions Yokozuna and British Bulldog vs. WWF Champion Diesel and IC Champion Shawn Michaels: The action here was decent enough, but inserting Bulldog and turning the whole match into an obvious screwjob was some **** on the level of late WCW. The booking is too overwhelmingly annoying for me to speak very positively about this match even though it isn't that bad of a match in a vacuum. Owen Hart runs in late in the match, takes a Jackknife from Diesel and gets pinned even though he was temporarily not a tag team champion. Diesel and Shawn still get the belts for the night.



Result: Diesel and Shawn Michaels via pinfall, new Tag Team Champions (15:42)
Rating: **

Overall: Bret Hart vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte was great, a couple of other things were alright but nothing special, and the ruined main event leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Overall it doesn't feel like a great show, but I've seen worse.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:45 PM   #12
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

September 25, 1995

RAW

Grand Rapids, MI

We open tonight's show with the announcement that Jim Cornette brought in his attorney, Clarence Mason, to argue that their losing of the tag titles last night was wrong since an outside man was pinned. This caused Gorilla Monsoon to strip the tag titles and put them back on Owen Hart and Yokozuna, but it was announced that they would have to defend their tag titles that night on Raw. What an embarrassing bit of booking.

Skip (w/ Sunny) vs. Marty Jannetty: This was apparently another surprise return for Jannetty, no doubt taking a break from his latest stint in rehab. He was definitely looking like he had some miles on him by this point. He's actually pretty entertaining here, between frazzling Skip with wrestling moves and then trolling Sunny. He goes over after a rocker dropper and a top rope fistdrop. Decent little opener.



Result: Marty Jannetty via pinfall

More footage of Cornette's lawyer lawyering Monsoon into giving Owen and Yoko their belts back. Monsoon says that the scheduled Owen/Yoko vs. Smoking Gunns matchup for tonight's Raw has been turned into a title match.

Tag Team Titles - Owen Hart & Yokozuna (c) (w/ Cornette and Fuji) vs. The Smoking Gunns: Decently entertaining match here, with Owen shouldering the vast majority of the ring time for the heel team and running a lot of good offense. They operate off of the classic tag match template, with face-in-peril Billy Gunn making the hot tag to Bart and in the ensuing chaos the Gunns hit the Sidewinder on Owen. Yoko attempts to save Owen and ends up splashing on him also when Bart moves out of the way. Billy isolates Yoko, Bart pins Owen, and we have new tag team champions (unfortunately no Finkel, so we only have new champions, not NEW champions). Nice pop for the Gunns on the win; HBK and Diesel come out and celebrate with the new champs. Shouldn't they be pissed and want those belts for themselves? The booking to get here was all kinds of stupid, but the title change was done well if you can justify the rest.



Result: Smoking Gunns via pinfall, new tag team champions

A Bret Hart-Jean Pierre Lafitte rematch is advertised for next week. Razor vs. 1-2-3 Kid on the next episode as well.

Dok Hendrix talks to Gorilla Monsoon, who announces that British Bulldog will get the shot at Diesel's WWF Title at the next In Your House PPV, and that Bret Hart would get the shot at whoever the champion is at Survivor Series. Also advertised Shawn Michaels vs. Dean Douglas for the IC Title at In Your House.

British Bulldog vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer): Decent power stuff back and forth between these guys early. We get some leg work on Taker, who sells it nicely for the most part. Match culminates in a series where the Bulldog hits some strong power moves (a piledriver, a delayed suplex) but keeps getting kicked out of when he attempts pins. Taker launches a comeback, and hits a chokeslam, but King Mabel runs in. As Taker is distracted by him, Bulldog hits him from behind into Mabel, who executes a belly-to-belly for the obvious DQ finish.



Result: Undertaker via DQ

The Mabel run-in causes Diesel and HBK to run in, their run-in causes Owen and Yokozuna to come back out, their appearance prompts a re-appearance by the Smoking Gunns as they help Shawn and Diesel hold the ring.

Vince and Lawler preview next week's matches, and as they advertise Razor vs. the 1-2-3 Kid, Lawler says, "And rumor has it, the Kid has been negotiating with the Million Dollar Man." WTF. "WHOSE SIDE IS HE ON??" I don't know why they would foreshadow that.

Overall: Reasonably watchable show, with nothing aside from the convoluted title change booking being bad and the tag title match itself being pretty good. I won't need to rewatch this episode ~ever, but it wasn't bad.

NITRO

Florence, SC

Standard annoying intro from the team of Bischoff, Mongo and Heenan, and we're off to the ring.

Alex Wright vs. Disco Inferno: Decent pairing of talent in the ring here, Alex Wright the better worker of the two but Disco the far better character. And consistent with that, the high spots do belong to Wright here, with a plancha over the top to the outside and later a dropkick that picks Disco off when he had climbed to the top rope. Wright ultimately snags the win out of nowhere with a surprise backslide that gets a three. Solid but unspectacular opener.



Result: Alex Wright via pinfall

We go to a taped promo by Hulk Hogan, who talks about how he's been building a monster truck and how he wants his truck to go against the Giant's. Well, at least we're building to one of the GOAT Wrestlecrap moments.

Now a recap of Lex Luger and Randy Savage getting in each other's faces last week on Nitro before coming live to the ring, where Mean Gene is waiting with Savage. He calls Luger out, and Luger is already in mid-run to the ring as Savage calls him out. He challenges Savage to a match next week on Nitro; Savage accepts. Then Luger loses his mind and says, "You know that title shot I'm due? I'll put that on the line!" Dude, Savage already accepted, you didn't need to sweeten the pot. But wait, there's more. "In fact, if I don't beat you next week, I'll leave WCW!" Well that escalated quickly. Makes zero sense that Luger would do those things after his challenge was already accepted, but there it is.



We get an announcement of Machine vs. Machine, the two monster trucks going at it at Halloween Havoc. Guess that's one way of reminding us that WCW was based in the South.

Kurasawa (w/ Col. Parker) vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman: The crowd doesn't care a lick about these guys, they're both heels with no heat. For their part, the two wrestlers put on some nice action, with a hard falling slam on the concrete outside being a nice early highlight. They really seem to be working stiff as hell throughout this, and no matter how little the crowd cares it's tough for me not to enjoy this. Kurasawa goes over with a German suplex bridged into a pinning combo. Best action of the night so far even though it was brought down by being a heel vs. heel match that the crowd sat on their hands for.



Result: Kurasawa via pinfall

Back from break, Gene is in the ring with Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. They have extended a tag team challenge to Ric Flair, who has been turned down by the likes of Randy Savage and Sting to be his partner. Arn taunts Flair about how all of his past actions have come back to roost. Nice promo by both of these guys.



Flashback video to The Taskmaster attacking Randy Savage on the beach at his shoot for a guest spot on Baywatch, which sets up this match for tonight.

Randy Savage vs. The Taskmaster (w/ Zodiac): I always hated the overly-synthesized version of Pomp and Circumstance that WCW used for Savage. This match is a mess, an unentertaining brawl with no real point that ends in a no contest when Zodiac gets involved. Savage successfully fights off both guys, but then enter The Giant, who chokeslams the Macho Man. Some random jobbers who I've never heard of run in to try to make the save, which somehow doesn't work. Alex Wright also tries for a save and gets squashed for his efforts. Lex Luger emerges from the back, and nobody knows whether he's out to protect Savage or join in on the beating. Before he can do anything, Giant attacks and lays him out as well. Match was garbage, segment as a whole wasn't any better.



Result: No contest

Lex Luger vs. Meng: Luger is still trying to get back to his feet in the ring when we come back from commercial break. Meng hits the ring to capitalize, attacking Lex before he ever gets back up. Almost the whole match is spent with Meng dominating on offense. Piledrivers, suplexes, Samoan drops, etc. Luger tries to launch a late comeback, but as the referee pushes him out of the corner Meng produces a foreign object (a spike), hits Lex with it and gets the pin. This was not a good match.



Result: Meng via pinfall

Overall: The undercard matches were pretty good, the Arn/Pillman promo was pretty good, but the show ended on a couple of pretty bad matches and it didn't leave me feeling like I had just watched a very good episode by the end.

---

Ratings for 9/25/95: Raw 1.9, Nitro 2.7
Ratings Running Score: Raw 2-1

Better Show: Ehhh…I don't know. Both shows were pretty unspectacular. In terms of quality this is really close. My gut reaction is that I got a bit more enjoyment out of watching Nitro, so it wins by the narrowest of margins.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 2-1

Match of the Night: The best action was Pittman vs. Kurasawa, but a match with that dead of a crowd is tough to pull the lever for. Will give a slight nod to Owen/Yoko vs. The Smoking Gunns here; it checked more of the boxes you look for in a good match.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:48 PM   #13
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

SEPTEMBER 1995 IN REVIEW

Arrivals/Departures: Lex Luger making the surprise WCW debut on the premiere of Nitro was obviously the big one here. WWF types bitterly say that this just appeared to be a loss, because nobody really wanted him, but that always strikes me as a lot of sour grapes. It's obvious enough to me that Lex was an asset to any company, even if he was a jackass that people didn't like to work with.

Match of the Month: Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair from Fall Brawl

PPV of the Month: Not by a ton, but WCW Fall Brawl wins the month. That Arn vs. Flair match was just too great, and Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd was a better second-best match than anything WWF offered as well.

Ratings: WCW had to feel pretty good at this point, with it only taking three weeks before they scored their first head-to-head ratings victory at the end of September.

Quality: Honestly, either show was leaving itself wide open to getting blown out if the other could get their **** together and start cranking out a consistently great product. The quality was very even up to this point, and a person could argue for either company being a bit better than the other at this time.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:50 PM   #14
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Alright, that will be plenty to get the thread started.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 10:56 PM   #15
AJD804
banned
 
AJD804's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,047
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I think this may become the best thread in this forum. I'm really looking forward to watching this develop. I really think WWE Network should do something like this once a week. Show both shows for a week starting at the beginning and then a PPV if it aired that Sunday. They can either show the full shows or have them do a one hour abridged version for each. This can't be any worse than nights when they show bad Divas reruns or Tough Enough from 5 years ago
AJD804 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 11:21 PM   #16
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

It's a little rough that the Monday Night Wars started in 1995, when both companies were at a low point. But I can soldier through and get us to the start of the nWo angle and the rise of Austin, when things obviously got considerably better.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 11:42 PM   #17
.isolated
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
.isolated's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Team J.A.M.M.A.T. :D <3
Posts: 11,551
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Great start, LKJ. Loving it so far.

Nitpick: first Pillman/Liger match was at SuperBrawl II.

As a huge Sabu/ECW mark at the time, I couldn't believe Sabu got a chance in WCW and not long after, Public Enemy was there as well. Then Sabu only had a handful of appearances and went back to ECW. I was sad as a 16 year old who at that time had never seen him wrestle but had heard so much about him through PWI. Luckily, not soon after, the Cruiserweights were unleashed on Mondays and that was incredible.
.isolated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2015, 08:14 PM   #18
True North
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
True North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 20,015
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Subscribed
True North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2015, 08:16 PM   #19
True North
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
True North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 20,015
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I really don't want to give Vince even a penny of my hard-earned money, but this thread may be the clincher for me to order the Network.
True North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2015, 09:17 PM   #20
.isolated
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
.isolated's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Team J.A.M.M.A.T. :D <3
Posts: 11,551
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

All of this stuff is easily found elsewhere.
.isolated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2015, 09:58 PM   #21
LKJ
Smugly Contemptuous
 
LKJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 80,214
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

October 2, 1995

NITRO

Denver, CO

The introduction at the broadcast desk gets interrupted right away by Ric Flair, who grabs Eric Bischoff's headset and excitedly tells Arn that he's coming for him. They say that there's a double main event tonight, Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage and Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson. We get a video recap of last week's Luger-Savage stuff.

Lex Luger Career Match - Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage: For the most part the early offense here is very basic and kind of dull. I like a segment they do where Luger blocks a backslide and does one of his own that Savage sells as a false finish nicely. After that spot the action picks up and gets quite a bit better, with a couple of decent bumps by both guys. We get a ref bump followed by a Savage elbow onto Luger that leaves nobody to count, but while the ref is still out, The Giant makes an appearance to chokeslam Savage, with Luger seemingly not seeing it happen.



Luger gets up and racks Savage, who is unconscious and thus the referee calls for the bell and declares Luger the winner to thunderous boos. Turned out to be a half-decent match.

Result: Lex Luger via submission

Disco Inferno's music hits, causing Eric Bischoff to go "WTF, I thought we were supposed to be getting Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko?" Thankfully we still do get that match, as Disco is just out to dance before getting run off by Eddie as Eddie shows up for his match.



Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko: This was the Nitro debut of both men, and the WCW TV debut for Dean Malenko in general. Eddie had won a match with Jushin Liger the previous weekend in a match where the winner drew a Nitro match with Dean. These two are awesome together, as you could expect. They keep up a great pace, nice variety of moves, and…FFS, they interrupt the match to go backstage to show Hulk Hogan's arrival. Are you kidding me? After staying with that for what felt like a full two minutes, they do return to this action. At least they're back in time to catch a great spot where Eddie takes a leap high off the top and hits Malenko in the aisleway. Eddie goes over here when he blocks Dean's move and sits down into his own cradle pin. Malenko stops Eddie on his way out of the ring and demands a rematch. Eddie says "anytime, you've got it," and they shake hands. This match didn't get a lot of time, and then Hogan took up some of it for some stupid reason, but they did well with the few minutes they had.



Result: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall

Hulk Hogan is out with Jimmy Hart now to talk to Mean Gene (they could have waited until this to show him, the backstage arrival thing was worthless). Hogan is in a neck brace. He threatens that he's going to beat up The Giant right then. He starts to leave the ring to go find him, and Kevin Sullivan comes out disguised as a woman and beats Hogan with a cane. The Giant and Zodiac follow and help lay Hogan out. Sullivan pulls out an electric razor and shaves Hogan's mustache. Save attempts by the American Males and the Nasty Boys get turned away. Zodiac gets some scissors and looks like he's going to reprise his Brutus the Barber role for a night and cut Hogan's hair, but they don't follow through on that part. This 1995 Hogan stuff was just the worst.

Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson: This is a decent back-and-forth match between the two, but they set the bar awfully high at Fall Brawl and this was not that. It's a bit more abbreviated and just wasn't to the same level. Our endgame comes when Flair locks in the figure-four in the middle and Brian Pillman runs in and executes a top rope splash on Flair while he's still in the hold. Arn and Pillman double-team Flair and leave him lying.



Result: Ric Flair via DQ

They announce a Flair vs. Arn cage match for next week, as well as Sting vs. Shark, Sabu vs. Mr. JL, and Big Bubba vs. Road Warrior Hawk, before signing off.

Overall: Pretty good show outside of the Hogan stuff. Luger-Savage and Malenko-Guerrero were both good, Flair-Arn was okay…for an hour's work, I'll take that.

RAW
Grand Rapids, MI

Quick video recap of the Smoking Gunns winning the tag belts last week to start, and then we're off to the ring for our opener.

Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid: Lawler still talking about DiBiase and the Kid negotiating. Teasing that at this point was so stupid. Razor mostly dominates here, then pins the Kid after a running clothesline. Wat. The Kid gets back up and demands another match, so they start right back up without really acknowledging that Razor already won. They go to commercial, and after coming back they show that Razor won again during the commercial. But now they're still fighting. Razor wins once again with a small package. What they seemed to be going for is a big brother holding a little brother down, showing he could beat him up but only doing enough to subdue him. After this third pin, the Kid finally gives in and shakes Razor's hand. He then tries to surprise him with a schoolboy that Razor kicks out of, but Razor laughs it off and they act like the issue is resolved here.



Result: Razor Ramon via pinfall

We were on the eve of the OJ Simpson verdict, and Vince pushes a hotline where people could call in for a price to vote guilty vs. not guilty. I don't even…

Triple H vs. Barry Horowitz: This was during that period of time where Horowitz got to have his own entrance music because he beat Bodydonna Skip. So this wasn't quite a jobber match in the unnamed local talent sense, but it was obvious how this one would end up regardless of a few spurts of Horowitz offense; HHH goes over clean via the Pedigree. The name of that move made a lot more sense in this old Greenwich snob role than it does today.



Result: HHH via pinfall

They start showing preview clips of the Bret Hart vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte match later to advertise it. Don't know that it's a great idea to tell the audience that your show is taped.

PG-13 vs. unnamed local jobbers: I can't say I have any recollection at all of this. PG-13, who was later the white rapper tag team of the Nation of Domination, apparently had a brief earlier run. They were the USWA Tag Team Champions at this point. They were a little sloppy, but they did run some more interesting offense than a lot of teams at this time did. Their finisher is some sort of double-team where one of the two picked up his partner, spun him, and dropped him on the opponent.



Result: PG-13 via pinfall obviously

Jean Pierre Lafitte vs. Bret Hart: You could see how happy Bret was when he could face a wrestler like this who could actually keep up as Bret expanded his offensive repertoire. Good stair bumps by both men, and a couple of nice move --> countermove sequences. It's too bad that Carl Ouellet didn't get to stick around for longer, but apparently he was another victim of Michaels/Nash politics. This was definitely a good match, even if not quite to the level they achieved in the PPV match. The final sequence comes when Bret hits a superplex and follows it into the Sharpshooter for the win.



Result: Bret Hart via submission

Jerry Lawler gets really mad about this result from the broadcast table, as his feud with Bret was ongoing. He and Bret get into it at ringside, and we get a run-in from Isaac Yankem who DDTs Bret on the floor (the padded floor, so this wasn't a Roberts/Steamboat moment or anything). After a commercial, Vince announces that there will be a cage match between Bret and Yankem in several weeks.

They advertise a six-man for next week with Shawn/Diesel/Taker to take on Yoko/Owen/Bulldog, I guess as a result of what occurred on the previous Raw. Before they sign off, they give us the results of the OJ phone poll…51% of respondents said not guilty. Seems legit.

Overall: Good main event match. Everything that came before it was kind of a waste.

---

Ratings for 10/2/95: Raw 2.5, Nitro 2.5
Ratings Running Score: Raw 2-1-1

Better Show: Nitro was better this week by a pretty significant margin. Raw was Bret vs. Lafitte and a bunch of uninteresting filler; Nitro was a much more complete show.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 3-1

Match of the Night: Close between this one and Bret vs. Lafitte, but despite its short duration I tend to give the nod here to Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko, with the full knowledge that they have had better matches.
LKJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 02:45 AM   #22
moorobot
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
moorobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: First Name on the Marquee
Posts: 9,210
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

One thing I want to point out is that for the first year or two of Nitro, some of the angles happened on WCW Saturday Night and weren't recapped on Nitro. Saturday Night had about the same number of viewers as Raw when Nitro started (and therefore about the same as Nitro). I'm not saying this to suggest that everyone should watch Saturday Night also (though it can't be worse than Raw today) but just to say some things on the PPVs won't make sense if one watches only Nitro because of this. Some of the things won't make sense anyway, of course. The WCW PPV previews they would run all day on the day of the PPV were surprisingly good and some of them I'm sure are out there.

Last edited by moorobot; 10-06-2015 at 02:50 AM.
moorobot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 02:55 AM   #23
.isolated
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
.isolated's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Team J.A.M.M.A.T. :D <3
Posts: 11,551
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Kind of interesting to compare those two shows now that you mention it. Only real difference is that top guys were rarely on after Nitro started.
.isolated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 09:50 AM   #24
Tragichero
veteran
 
Tragichero's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,084
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Such a good thread. I might get more milage out of my network after all...or if I go back to WrestleMania reviews...
Tragichero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2015, 09:53 AM   #25
teejayC
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6,372
Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCoop919 View Post
This is awesome. I'll be tuning in
+1
teejayC is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.33 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © 2008-2010, Two Plus Two Interactive
 
 
Poker Players - Streaming Live Online