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Old 11-02-2015, 02:58 AM   #51
anguyen92
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Huh. I'll be. That's exactly how Bischoff reacted to The Giant's fall.

Good write-ups. I'll be sure to follow this from time-to-time when I get very bored and not find myself on a sabbatical from 2+2, just to read how awful Raw was and the WWF in general in 1995 and poke fun at it.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:22 AM   #52
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Nothing to contribute but enjoying these write-ups!
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:39 AM   #53
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

This whole time I thought the Giant falling off the roof was the cliffhanger at the end of the ppv as it went off the air. Learning that not only did they just jump to another match, but actually had him come back out and wrestle makes it even more amazing. <3 bad wcw.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:09 PM   #54
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

It must have been around this time they did the promo about the Giant's shirt. In story, he was Andre's son, and in one promo where he was talking to Hogan he made a huge deal about the 'fact' the shirt he was wearing was his dad's. As if wearing his dad's ****ing shirt would give him super powers or something. One of the most unintentionally funny promos around.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:54 PM   #55
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHalpert View Post
This whole time I thought the Giant falling off the roof was the cliffhanger at the end of the ppv as it went off the air. Learning that not only did they just jump to another match, but actually had him come back out and wrestle makes it even more amazing. <3 bad wcw.
Not just that, but he was literally back out to wrestle 17 minutes after the fall. There wasn't time for much more than him just changing into wrestling gear and heading to the ring. With zero attempt at an explanation. My best guess for why they did this is that it makes Giant an even bigger monster that a would-be fatal fall didn't even affect him, but then he didn't even really go over Hogan in the main event, so it's all pointless.

WCW really did bad wrestling in style.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:54 PM   #56
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Good to see you anguyen.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:57 PM   #57
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

November 13, 1995

NITRO

Jacksonville, FL (must have been taped? Last week was in Jacksonville too…Nitro was rarely taped)

We start at the desk discussing the prior week's big announcement, that the world title was vacated and would be up for grabs at World War 3. Then we go to a video of Hogan wearing what looks like a black Taskmaster robe with a black Phantom of the Opera mask while wielding a plastic sword.



This was basically Hogan's lowest point in life until TMZ got a hold of him 20 years later. He cuts a promo vowing that he and Randy Savage would get back at the Dungeon of Doom. He also mentions that he's going to confront Sting soon and find out whose side he's on.

Meng (w/ Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart) vs. Randy Savage: Meng enters first, Savage's music plays and distracts Meng toward the normal entrance but Savage sneaks in from behind to ambush Meng. Early on, this features Savage "slamming" Meng's head into the guardrail about as softly as I've ever seen. WTF. That wasn't even the last of it either, as these guys seemed to be working Honky Tonk Man-level soft on each other for some reason outside of a few hard chops. Anyway, this is an entirely unremarkable and short match that Savage ships with a flying elbow.



Result: Randy Savage via pinfall

Dungeon of Doom runs in after the match, including Lex Luger, and lays Savage out.

Chris Benoit vs. Kensuki Sasaki: Nice stiff back-and-forth between these two as they trade right hands, chops, and other strikes.



Beauty of a closing sequence where Benoit throws two German suplexes that he holds on after, then closes the trifecta with a dragon suplex bridge pinning combo to get the three-count. The crowd started really getting behind him just on his ringwork alone; I don't know that he had cut a single promo so far (not that promos were very helpful to him). Nice match while it lasted, but too short to really get into.

Result: Chris Benoit via pinfall

TV Title - Johnny B. Badd (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero: Code of Honor to start. Nice pace to this one, with both guys working hard. Love a subtle spot where Badd reaches out for a single leg from his knees and Eddie jumps to dodge it. Nice, really high, sunset flip by Badd off the top (only gets two). Unfortunately some sloppy spots occur as well as the match goes on. I liked Eddie a lot even at this point, but he wasn't at his peak yet and seemed to be a lot more botch-prone. While the two were wrestling a sportsmanlike match to start, it became more of a brawl as it went on and the two got increasingly angry at each other; I like the storytelling.

Dave Penzer announces a two-minute warning on the time limit as Eddie hits a slingshot splash into the ring. Cool spot where Badd reverses a piledriver attempt and hits a tombstone of his own. Only gets two; really should have been three.



Tornado DDT by Eddie, but he can't cover quickly and can't get three. The two dive at each other with cross-bodies and collide, unable to get up before the time limit runs out. Eddie looks like he might clock Badd even after the match is over, but does the straightforward handshake and hug-it-out. Overall this was decent but not great. Still establishes itself as the early clubhouse leader for Match of the Night.

Result: Time Limit Draw

Mean Gene is in the ring with The Giant, Kevin Sullivan, and Jimmy Hart. They have pretty good heat, and it doesn't even seem like it's X-Pac heat since I heard the crowd chanting for Hogan earlier. Jimmy Hart's promo work after his heel turn here was surprisingly good; I never thought of him as a really good talker, but maybe I previously sold him short.

Sting vs. Dean Malenko: The announcers try to put over Malenko, and idiot Mongo McMichael interjects, "Who are you kidding? He can't beat Sting. Sting is too powerful." At least after the commercial break he adds that he might have to eat his words, as Malenko has spent a number of minutes in control. The mat wrestling here is solid, and puts Malenko over pretty strongly.



He gets a near-fall on a great-looking German suplex pinning attempt. Sting looks to finally launch the comeback, but comes up empty on the Stinger Splash. Malenko quickly capitalizes by going up top and connecting on a missile dropkick. He tries to follow with the Texas Cloverleaf, but Sting counters into a small package that wins it. Good match, good booking.

Result: Sting via pinfall

We get an announcement of Hogan vs. Sting for next week's show.

Mean Gene in the ring with Sting. Sting expresses his surprise that Hogan wants to take him on, but basically says "let's do it, looking forward to it." Back to the desk, they discuss that match for next week and then sign off.

Overall: This was okay, but entirely forgettable.

RAW

Brandon, Manitoba

We open with some inconclusive house show clips and Vince saying that as a result of increased hostility between Razor and the 1-2-3 Kid, Gorilla Monsoon now questions the Kid's impartiality, and therefore the WWF will be completing its bait and switch, and will not be airing a title match tonight as advertised. Which they already knew when they advertised the Razor vs. Sid match, as it was already taped as a non-title match. Incidentally: in kayfabe, why the **** would they think that the Kid would be impartial in the first place? He had been Razor's best friend for over two years. Anyway, scummy piece of business by Vince and co. there.

HHH vs. Henry Godwinn: HHH jumps Godwinn before the bell, then picks up his fragrance and sprays it at Godwinn to insult him. Godwinn's response is to pick up his slop bucket and…pour it all over himself. Helmsley, revolted by how gross Godwinn now is, goes running away. He slips and slides on the slop on the floor before retreating to the locker room.



Result: No Contest

We go to the Survivor Series Slam Jam with Dok Hendrix. He talks up the Diesel vs. Bret match for this coming Sunday, as well as the Wildcard Match.

We get a video package hyping up Shawn Michaels. Meh.

Ahmed Johnson vs. local jobber: Generic squash match here, and Ahmed's first action on Raw. Seems like it would have been better to just let him debut in actual ring action at Survivor Series, but whatever. We get a PIP promo from Shawn Michaels, who expresses confidence that Ahmed would be a friendly face on his team this Sunday. Johnson finishes the squash with what would eventually be called the Pearl River Plunge, his tigerbomb finisher. I'm more than a little bit surprised that Vince called it a "tigerbomb" since that certainly seems like it would be in the vast whatamaneuver category of moves that he doesn't know the name of.

Result: Ahmed via pinfall

Vince conducts a ringside interview with Ahmed. Do not ask me what he said.



After some product shilling, we go to commercial and come back to a Diesel-Bret promo. "Diesel, the truck stops here!" Good one, Bret.

We get via satellite interviews from Bret and Diesel in separate locations. Bret sucks here, stammering his way through a lot of his lines. Nash is understated but fine.



The next segment is Vince and Lawler facing off with Karate Fighters toys. Yep.

King Mabel vs. local jobber: We get a Taker promo from the shadows, not showing what he looks like from the recent (shoot) broken face that he suffered at the hands of a Mabel botch. Mabel shows some impressive big man agility here, not only executing a jumping clothesline but actually replicating that Curt Hennig signature rolling neck snap move. A belly-to-belly ends it.



Result: King Mabel via pinfall

Razor Ramon vs. Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase) (guest referee 1-2-3 Kid): Lawler carries on about how unfair it is to have the Kid as the referee. "This is like having Don King referee one of Mike Tyson's bouts!" Vince: "Well, you've always said it takes a king to know a king!" Uhhh…

Razor gets in some early punch-kick offense, but Sid takes control within a minute or two and dominates a good chunk of the action. There's a fair bit of interference run against Ramon, some from DiBiase and then some from Dean Douglas when he comes down to participate…the Kid is always conveniently distracted in these moments. Razor fights his way all the way to his feet out of a camel clutch by Sid, and falls away with an electric chair drop. Pretty cool spot. For our final spot, Razor sets up for the Razor's Edge, lifts Sid into position for it, but the Kid pulls Sid loose, Sid powerbombs Razor, Kid drops down and executes the fast count to give Sid the win.



DiBiase places a Canadian $5 bill in Razor's mouth, the Kid quickly picks it back out and pockets it, and leaves with Sid. The slow heel turn is complete.

Result: Sid via pinfall

After a break and a house show ad, Lawler laughs and wonders aloud if the 1-2-3 Kid will now be the Million Dollar Kid. Not a bad idea, really.

They send it back to a group heel promo backstage featuring Dean Douglas, Owen Hart, and Yokozuna, but Razor instantly interrupts it by charging angrily at Dean, and the show quickly goes to black before the segment gets anywhere.

Overall: The Kid's heel turn was done okay, though it was blatantly obvious and they practically announced that they were doing it by pulling the title out of the match. The rest of the show was a lot of filler. Again, not a great episode.

---

Ratings for 11/13/95: Raw 2.6, Nitro 2.2
Ratings Running Score: Raw 5-3-2

Better Show: This is basically a tie of mediocrity. I'll give another very very slight edge to Nitro.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 7-2

Match of the Night: Johnny B. Badd vs. Eddie Guerrero
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:32 AM   #58
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WWF SURVIVOR SERIES '95



We open on the surprise reappearance of Mr. Perfect, who is back to work the commentary table. I can remember marking out big for this as a huge Hennig mark. It's him, Vince, and JR on commentary.

Marty Jannetty/Bob Holly/Barry Horowitz/Hakushi vs. 1-2-3 Kid/Skip/Rad Radford/Tom Pritchard (w/ Ted DiBiase and Sunny): This was obviously the debut of the heel 1-2-3 Kid, a previously unannounced participant in this match but a breath of fresh air after all of the other jobbers here were introduced. He doesn't start the match for his team, but gets a nice heat pop the first time that he's tagged in.

Eliminations:
Bob Holly pins Dr. Tom Pritchard after a garden-variety cross-body off the top.
Skip immediately pins Bob Holly via surprise roll-up.
Rad Radford pins Hakushi after the 1-2-3 Kid kicks Hakushi in the back of the head while not legal in the match.
Barry Horowitz pins Rad Radford after Radford gets distracted from his own dominance of Horowitz by the desire to stop and do push-ups to impress Skip. Don't ask.
1-2-3 Kid pins Barry Horowitz after blind-tagging in and hitting Horowitz with a knee to the back and a running legdrop.
Marty Jannetty pins Skip after a powerbomb off the top rope.



1-2-3 Kid pins Marty Jannetty after Sid comes down to the ringside, and, during a referee distraction, hangs Jannetty across the top rope to enable the Kid to make the pin.

Some fun offense by Hakushi in this one; it's a shame that he's not among the wrestlers who got to make a pin in this match. Many of the elimination spots here were pretty stupid, but it's an okay match overall. It does its job, as it was clearly a vehicle to help further propel the Kid on his new heel push. Amusingly, throughout the match they show Razor Ramon watching on a monitor backstage and raging alongside several babyface jobbers who try to settle him down. The first moment they show this actually made me laugh out loud.

Result: 1-2-3 Kid sole survivor (18:45)
Rating: **1/2

We see footage backstage of Razor's temper tantrum in full overdrive, as he lays waste to the monitor he was watching the match on.

We are then sent over to an interview with Razor's unfriendly tag partners for the wildcard match later: Yokozuna, Owen Hart, and Dean Douglas with Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji. Cornette, Owen, and Dean take turns cutting promos where they tell Razor to get his **** together for their match later.

Alundra Blayze/Kyoko Inoue/Sakie Hasegawa/Chaparita Asari vs. Bertha Faye/Aja Kong/Tomoko Watanabe/Lioness Asuka (w/ Harvey Wippleman): Vince is obviously in the same boat as I am here in not actually knowing most of these competitors by name. As an added bonus, Vince also doesn't know the name of most moves. Mercifully, to start the match, he cues Jim Ross to start the play-by-play call.

Eliminations:
Alundra Blayze pins Lioness Asuka after a German suplex.
Aja Kong pins Sakie Hasegawa after a back suplex.



Aja Kong pins Chaparita Asari after a second rope splash.
Aja Kong pins Kyoko Inoue after Inoue attempts a sunset flip and Kong just sits out on top of her. Kong just eliminated all three of these women in quick succession to make it 3-on-1. The pin on Inoue seemed to be a botch where Inoue kicks out and Mike Chioda just counted it.
Alundra Blayze pins Tomoko Watanabe after a piledriver.
Alundra Blayze pins Bertha Faye after a German suplex that, incidentally, never featured both of Bertha's shoulders actually being down on the mat.
Aja Kong pins Alundra Blayze after some sort of hard running chop.

The early action was pretty good, especially an impressive offensive series by Sakie Hasegawa that started to get the crowd into it, but it seemed like they just sort of wiped the best workers out early so they could get on with the point of the match, which was putting Aja Kong over as quickly as possible. It was a lot of very rushed eliminations, and just wasn't given the time to be a good match. A couple of glaringly obvious ref botches didn't help.

Result: Aja Kong sole survivor (10:01)
Rating: **

We are subjected to an unfunny bit where Todd Pettengill interviews a President Clinton impersonator.

Goldust vs. Bam Bam Bigelow: These early Goldust matches were pretty torturous. Just all kinds of slow; there was a bunch of time in between spots that ensured that they could never get any real flow going to the match. There were a couple of decent spots here - a nice bump by Bam Bam taking the clothesline over the top rope, an electric chair drop by Bam Bam - but the start-stop-start-stop-start-stop thing is just not enjoyable. Goldust goes over after capitalizing with a bulldog when Bigelow had been stunned by an empty corner charge.

This was an improvement on the Goldust-Jannetty match from the last PPV, but still not good.

Result: Goldust via pinfall (8:18)
Rating: *3/4

We have another Pettengill/fake Clinton segment, this one featuring Bob Backlund. This goes a step further than just being unfunny; it's actively painful. Make it stop.

Video package hypes Taker vs. Mabel, featuring Mabel breaking Taker's face legitimately.

King Mabel/Jerry Lawler/HHH/Isaac Yankem vs. Undertaker/Savio Vega/Henry Godwinn/Fatu (w/ Paul Bearer): Man, they were really struggling for people to fill these matches. Taker's team is called The Darkside, so naturally it features Fatu wearing bright red and yellow. At least Savio went with black ring attire. After a lot of hype about what he would look like after the injury, Taker debuts the white mask look here.

Eliminations:
The Undertaker pinned Jerry Lawler after a Tombstone.
The Undertaker pinned Isaac Yankem after a Tombstone about a minute after pinning Lawler.
The Undertaker pinned HHH after a chokeslam.
King Mabel then ran away and got counted out.



Lots of really dull stuff before Taker eventually tags in and defeats the whole other team. Also Savio Vega no-sells a Jerry Lawler piledriver, so that's good.

Result: Undertaker's whole team survives (14:21)
Rating: *1/4

Bret and Diesel cut dueling promos from their respective locker rooms. Meh.

In preparation for the wildcard match, Sid and Bulldog are backstage for a promo; Jim Cornette is now with the Bulldog. I'd forgotten that he was a manager of guys on both teams. In a pretty funny bit, he denies ever being part of that earlier promo. As Ted DiBiase and Jim Cornette start to jaw, Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson enter the shot and Shawn talks a bit. Shawn refers to Ahmed as his "back door." …Okay.

Owen Hart/Yokozuna/Dean Douglas/Razor Ramon (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Shawn Michaels/Ahmed Johnson/British Bulldog/Sid (w/ Jim Cornette and Ted DiBiase): Yoko and Owen enter first, but Cornette only appears for Bulldog's entrance. None of this was of any actual consequence, so whatever.

Eliminations:
Shawn Michaels pinned Dean Douglas when Dean's partner Razor Ramon punched him into a Michaels schoolboy.
Razor Ramon pinned Sid after Shawn Michaels accidentally superkicked Sid.
Ahmed Johnson pinned Owen Hart after hitting him with the Pearl River Plunge.
British Bulldog pinned Razor Ramon after 1-2-3 Kid came to ringside and distracted Razor, allowing the Bulldog to hit his running powerslam.
Ahmed Johnson pinned Yokozuna after a bodyslam, a Shawn Michaels superkick, and a running splash.



Spot of the match happened early when Owen Hart threw a sick belly-to-belly suplex on a charging Shawn Michaels. Looked fantastic. Enjoyed a spot where Ahmed got trapped in the enemy corner and Razor shrugged and joined in on the cheap shots with his heel partners. In general, this match was a lot of fun, with creative spots and story-telling. Not only was this match way outside the WWF norm in terms of doing some face vs. face and heel vs. heel at the time, but it actually makes for pretty fun viewing today even though by now we've seen unwilling partners team up a billion times. It was done well, and had lots of fun wrestling.

Result: Shawn Michaels/Ahmed Johnson/British Bulldog survive (27:24)
Rating: ***1/2

WWF Title: Diesel (c) vs. Bret Hart: Bret absolutely bumps his ass off this match, which of course was the obvious formula to putting on a great match with Kevin Nash. Bret took an absolutely wicked whip into the stairs early on, among other great bumps like a late spill from the apron through the Spanish announce table.



The two babyfaces embraced the no DQ stipulation and pulled out all the stops to try to bring home the belt. I thought that this was a great match, significantly better than their Royal Rumble bout earlier in the year. Our ending comes when Diesel, who had Bret seemingly beaten, was slow to finish him off and fell victim to a surprise small package by Bret that got a 3-count when Diesel was setting up for a Jackknife.

The moment he loses, Diesel drops some angry curse words and then Jackknifes Bret twice and beats up several officials, turning semi-heel in the process while yelling "I'm back!" to the crowd.

Result: Bret Hart via pinfall, new WWF Champion (24:54)
Rating: ****1/4

Overall: The main event and the wildcard match are enough by themselves to make this a good show. Far better than a lot of WWF's PPV offerings from this year.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:36 AM   #59
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

**** it, I suppose I can just unload what I've got.

Incidentally, I noticed in going through it that my count was missing one on the better show running score, so that's corrected (to reflect one more nod to Nitro) going forward.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:38 AM   #60
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

November 20, 1995

RAW

Richmond, VA

We get our recap of Survivor Series, highlighting Bret Hart's WWF Title win over Diesel the night before, as well as Diesel's subsequent post-match attack on Bret.

We also get a video of 1-2-3 Kid's heel turn from last Monday night, and a recap of the Kid's actions at Survivor Series.

Hakushi vs. 1-2-3 Kid (w/ Ted DiBiase): The Kid still comes out to his babyface music instead of DiBiase's music, which is an odd choice. I think he came out to DiBiase's at the PPV. They get a mid-match phone call from Razor Ramon, cutting a generic promo on the Kid. We also get Marty Jannetty attempting to run in and get at the Kid, I guess still pissed from the Kid beating him the night before. Jannetty gets held off by officials.



As for this match, it wasn't nearly as good as I hoped when I saw that these two were going to square off. There wasn't one single spot that I could isolate as a particularly entertaining one. Not a terrible match, but certainly disappointing. The Kid wins on a spinning heel kick after DiBiase pushes Hakushi off the top rope amidst a ref distraction.

Result: 1-2-3 Kid via pinfall

Jerry Lawler goes out to conduct an interview with The Kid and DiBiase. Smartly, Ted does the actual talking while the Kid just preens for the camera. Marty Jannetty again interrupts, and Sid comes out and actually powerbombs Jannetty on the floor. Can't say I was expecting the powerbomb on the floor to actually get completed. Pretty fun.



Dok Hendrix gets the floor to pitch the next PPV, another In Your House, with a main event of Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog. Also announced is a Hogpen Match (sigh) between HHH and Henry Godwinn.

Skip (w/ Sunny) vs. Savio Vega: These two were both pretty firmly in the job squad, and I wasn't fully sure why they were even bothering with this match, but in mid-match Diesel strolls out in street clothes, attacks Skip at ringside, then grabs a mic and cuts a promo even though no bell has rung and the match was never formally ended.

Result: No Contest



Diesel says that he isn't out there to apologize to anyone, and that he slept like a baby last night for the first time in a year, and that he saw himself smiling in the mirror for the first time in a year. He yells at Vince for turning him into a corporate puppet; implying that Vince was more than an announcer was very rare for the time. He says that all he needs is his family, his friends (he singles out HBK as one of them, solidifying that this is a tweener turn), and his fans, who he says he'll only high-five if they're wearing a black glove so he knows they're with him.

Advertised for next week: Undertaker vs. Kama and the return of Brother Love, to interview Bret Hart.

Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji): Shawn and Owen didn't work together too many times, but when they did they really made magic during whatever time they were given. Not too surprising since they were two of the top three workers in the company at this time. Unfortunately they got an incomplete match here, but the action was really good while it lasted.

In an angle that was very innovative and worked well in a time that we hadn't seen a really sad number of wrestlers die young, Michaels took an enziguiri from Owen during this match, and then later in the match after he knocks Owen to the outside, Michaels poses in the ring before suddenly collapsing and staying down.

Result: No Contest



This is a live show, and all parties involved try to put it over as a shoot collapse by Michaels (it was a work): Owen and Cornette both look legitimately shook outside the ring after it happens, and Raw cuts awkwardly to commercial when it happens as Vince leaves his announce position to go check up on Michaels, and we get nothing but radio silence from the announce table after this point. They only return from commercial to show EMTs attending to Michaels. Really, there are a few things about this that would almost certainly clue me in to it being a work if I was older when it happened, but it was pretty convincing to young me. Eventually the show just fades out.

Overall: Good episode. The Michaels vs. Owen match delivered good action and then it delivered a really unique angle at the time that was mostly really well-done.

NITRO

Macon, GA

Bischoff, Heenan, and Mongo hype the show from the desk, with Bischoff declaring tonight's episode to be "the Super Bowl of wrestling." I guess Tony Schiavone got it from somewhere. Mongo talks about how Hogan vs. Sting is not a match that should be given away on live TV, which is an odd thing to admit since it's totally true, but of course that was the nature of the Monday night arms race at the time.

Scott Norton vs. Shark: Norton was out first here, and got jumped from behind by Shark when he was halfway down the aisle. A 400 lb. man clotheslining you from behind at a full sprint would floor the average man, but this being Scott ****ing Norton, it was just a reason to slowly turn and start kicking him. The match is mercifully short, and ends on kind of a cool spot with Norton scooping Shark with absolute ease and slamming him, then pinning him for the win. Norton may have been awful, but he was certainly strong.



Result: Scott Norton via pinfall

Mean Gene interviews Kevin Sullivan and Jimmy Hart, and opens by calling Jimmy Hart a Benedict Arnold. Hart cuts a promo trying to rile Sting up and turn him against Hulk Hogan for snubbing him in favor of Randy Savage. Sullivan hypes the World War 3 60-man battle royal. Okerlund signs off from the interview by deadpanning that Sullivan and Hart are "two of the biggest pieces of human garbage that I can recall."

We get our first Disco Inferno appearance for a few weeks, just showing up for no particular reason when it wasn't time for his match. He gives way within 20 seconds, as usual.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Brian Pillman (w/ Ric Flair): This was advertised as Guerrero vs. Flair, but when Flair's music hits he comes out in street clothes and Pillman comes out ready to go. Flair grabs a mic and just basically says that he's above wrestling Eddie, and that the advertised match must have been some mistake. Cheap bait-and-switch by WCW, but at least we get a better match out of it.

The match provides some nice spots, some good action…the crowd isn't really into it, which takes me out of it a bit for a while too, but a great guardrail bump by Pillman followed by a splash from the top rope to the aisleway by Guerrero gets me back into it. Nice sequence to end the match, as the two men battle at the top rope, Eddie pushes him off, then quickly capitalizes with a nice frog splash for the win. Good match.



Result: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall

They show highlights of last week's post-match beatdown by the Dungeon of Doom and Lex Luger on Randy Savage, saying that Savage has a serious arm injury now.

Big Bubba vs. Road Warrior Hawk: Umm, can we stop having Road Warrior Hawk matches? Bubba has some sort of foreign object fall out of his pocket almost immediately during the match that goes unmentioned. I'm guessing that's a hidden object to win the match with later. No, actually it's a swerve; he produces the object, tapes his fist around it, then gets tripped by a suddenly-appearing Jim Duggan, and he lands on his own loaded hand and gets pinned by Hawk for the win. This match was an absolute greasefire.



Result: Road Warrior Hawk via pinfall

Sting vs. Hulk Hogan: Sting comes out in red and yellow. Hogan makes some weird entrance from the crowd in all black and sneaks up on Sting from behind, but doesn't attack; in fact, Sting attacks first. The match is deathly boring, even though it does feature Hogan executing a suplex on the floor. One where he actually goes down with his opponent, not like that bull**** that he did to Virgil at WrestleMania IV. This match ends when, during Sting's second application of the Scorpion Deathlock, the Dungeon of Doom runs in and attacks. The faces fight them off. The Giant joins the fray, appears to be able to handle all three of them, but Sting and Hogan double clothesline him over the top with a jointly-held steel chair. Whatever.



Result: No Contest

After a commercial, Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan cause a ruckus at the announce booth before going away, and Eric Bischoff spends a couple of minutes hyping World War 3 before going off the air.

Overall: Guerrero-Pillman was a nice match, but the rest of this episode was hot garbage.

---

Ratings for 11/20/95: Nitro 2.5, Raw 2.3
Ratings Running Score: Raw 5-4-2

Better Show: Raw has the better show on the night without very much hesitation. Nitro's only bright spot was one pretty good match that didn't have any real meaning; Raw at least tried to advance some interesting stuff.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 8-3

Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:45 AM   #61
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW WORLD WAR 3 '95



Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are the announce team. Tony picks Hulk Hogan to win the main event battle royal; Heenan gives several reasons why it will be Randy Savage, then suddenly says, "But you have to go with The Giant. He's the biggest." It was funny, though I don't think that writing it down does it justice.

Mean Gene is standing by to interview Hogan, Savage, and Sting. Hogan rips the black clothing off to reveal the red and yellow underneath, then some random stage hand sets it on fire. Okay. Hogan pulls out a piece of paper, calls it a "rag sheet" that says that The Giant is going to win the match. Referring to the paper, says "This is like a dinosaur compared to the internet, brother! The internet's got the scoop! It says that we're going to steal the belt." 1995 is weird.

We get our background for the upcoming DDP vs. Johnny B. Badd match, where the Diamond Doll voluntarily put herself up as a prize in this match in a WCW Saturday Night segment. The poor woman had no idea that she was actually being set up to have to make out with Ed ****ing Leslie during the months to come.

TV Title - Johnny B. Badd (c) vs. DDP (w/ the Diamond Doll): Heenan a few minutes in: "Did you fight this hard for your old lady?" Tony: "I think so." Heenan: "You're a fool." Some good heeling by Dallas as he pulls a Randy Savage and hides behind Kimberly, then actually pushes her into Badd and sucker-punches Badd while reaching over the top of her. A lot of the Page/Kimberly/Badd interplay was entertaining here, and helped carry the match. Some decent ringwork from Badd here as well…DDP was mostly pretty sloppy. Badd goes over with a Badd Day (somersault plancha over the top to the floor) and a slingshot legdrop into the ring for the three-count. I enjoyed this.



After the match, Kimberly is a bit stunned and tentative, but ultimately embraces Johnny and leaves with him.

Result: Johnny B. Badd via pinfall (12:35)
Rating: ***1/4

Johnny B. Badd and the Diamond Doll meet Mean Gene at the top of the aisleway and cut a quick promo. Badd tells her that it's her choice as to whether she wants to manage him or not, and that she can take some time to think about it. He tells her that he wants her to do whatever she wants to do, and to pursue her dreams, etc.

Taped Fist Match - Big Bubba vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan: This build was a big pile of AIDS where Hacksaw Jim Duggan mentions one time that his ancestors would engage in taped-fist fights…then, after mentioning it in a promo one time, he suddenly started doing it in every ****ing match. It was a staple on WCW Saturday Night and WCW Pro, but mostly stayed off of Nitro aside from the go-home show. Anyway, the match is exactly the dreadfully dull brawl you would expect when looking at it on paper.



Mostly no real redeeming value, except for kind of a cool unexpected enziguiri spot by Bubba in mid-match and also a decent over-the-top bump to the floor by Bubba. Our finish comes when VK Wallstreet strolls out carrying some chain, Duggan attacks him with sends the chain flying into the ring, Bubba picks it up amid the distraction, wraps it around his fist and knocks Hacksaw out with an uppercut. Duggan gets counted down for a 10-count as per the match rules.

Result: Big Bubba via knockout (10:08)
Rating: 3/4*

Ric Flair is with Mean Gene, and cuts a generic Flair promo. On Sting, and on the field in the 60-man battle royal later.

Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto (w/ Sonny Onoo): See full writeup here. Cliffs: a sea of botches with the occasional good spot mixed in. Generally not good. Nakano and Hokuto go over with a guillotine legdrop by Nakano.



Result: Nakano & Hokuto via pinfall (9:16)
Rating: **

Lex Luger and Jimmy Hart join Mean Gene. Hart talks Luger up as maybe being the next world champion. Luger appears to offer him a high five, and Hart is oblivious to it. He eventually gets to talk also, though he doesn't do it very well or anything.

US Title - Kensuke Sasaki (c) (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Chris Benoit: Apparently Sasaki is Akira Hokuto's husband. This one is pretty difficult to get into. The first five minutes or so are very dull. Benoit hits a nice suicide dive, delivers on a few nice spots after that point, but I was left reaching for things to like all that much about this match. Sasaki goes over clean with a brainbuster.



Result: Sasaki via pinfall (10:00)
Rating: **1/2

Back to Mean Gene with The Giant, Kevin Sullivan, and again Jimmy Hart. Gene tells the Giant "your father would be ashamed if he knew what you were acting like." I squirm every time they do the Andre's son stuff. This promo is nothing. The Giant threatens Hogan via a "roses are red, violets are blue" rhyme, so that's pretty menacing.

Lex Luger/Randy Savage video package next, showing Luger's turn to the Dungeon of Doom and his recent obliteration of Savage's arm.

Savage is the latest to join Mean Gene. Gene: "Are you jittery?" Savage: "I'm always jittery. It's part of my charm." Well, he's not wrong. Gene asks him about the arm injury, and Savage declares himself to be one million percent.

Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart): It's kind of pleasant to watch Savage play the role of crazed babyface taking out his aggression on a dude he hates (and this is presumably before Luger ever got with Liz), but there wasn't much to this. Savage mostly dominates, but then after one reversed Irish whip into one of the additional ring aprons outside, he finds himself up in the torture rack on the floor. Once he gets released and thrown back inside, and Luger puts a submission hold on Savage's bad arm, Savage passes out from the pain for the submission.

Result: Lex Luger via submission (5:28)
Rating: *

Luger keeps the hold on Savage after the match, but Sting runs in and calmly convinces Luger to let go. Luger does so and then just leaves the ring and heads to the back with Jimmy Hart.

Video recap of the Sting/Flair feud, with Flair making a fool of Sting and re-forming the Horsemen to ambush him at Halloween Havoc. Such greatness.



Sting vs. Ric Flair: This is a fun one to watch, as is no surprise with this matchup. Flair obviously plays the part of the contemptible chicken**** heel to perfection in this (and every other) spot. The best compliment I can pay his performance is that, although I clearly prefer him to Sting, he's even able to induce me to enjoy seeing Sting get his measure of revenge here. Stinger goes over with a superplex and a Scorpion Deathlock.

Result: Sting via submission (14:30)
Rating: ***1/2

Video recap of how the WCW Title got held up, when Jimmy Hart double-crossed Hulk Hogan and screwed him out of the belt, and the WCW Championship Committee responded by vacating the title. Even as late as this recap, they advertise Yeti as the oversized mummy…

60-Man Battle Royal for the WCW Title: …of course, Yeti comes out for this match dressed in a gigantic ninja costume, with absolutely zero explanation.



When I was young I was actually excited for this match idea. Then, within a few minutes of it starting, I went "oh" and felt really stupid because I not only realized that it was going to suck, but I realized that it was unforgivable that I somehow got excited for it. The whole thing was a huge mess that was impossible to follow, and it was all just an exercise in waiting for it to be thinned down to the final five or so.



Going to the end, Sting and Luger are battling The Giant up against the ropes. Hogan comes out and dumps all three out. If Sting was Hogan, he would pitch a fit about his friend throwing him out of a battle royal. But Sting is Sting, and he just disappointedly walks off. Hogan goes under the bottom rope and fights Giant outside, so he's not eliminated, and then apparently more eliminations happen off-camera, and suddenly Randy Savage is being pronounced the winner. I knew this thing was a huge mess, but I had forgotten that they literally didn't show the last elimination or anything (even if Hogan shouldn't have been ruled out).

Hogan bodyslams Giant on the outside, then suddenly realizes that Savage has been named the champion, so of course it's extended tantrum time; Savage simply could not succeed on the highest level without Hogan making it all about him. This booking is like some sort of caricature of Hulk Hogan. Watching him politic and whine and complain is genuinely kind of infuriating, because you know that it's a re-enactment of how he regularly conducted himself backstage as well. The crowd hates this finish of course, and correctly so. The two men agree to deal with the situation tomorrow night on Nitro, as the show meets a terrible finish.

Result: Randy Savage wins battle royal, new WCW Champion (29:40)
Rating: 0*

Overall: Flair vs. Sting and DDP vs. Johnny B. Badd were both fun encounters, so the show wasn't too terrible, but man…that awful last match, and awful ending to the awful last match, sure leaves a bad taste as the show signs off.

Last edited by LKJ; 11-03-2015 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:50 AM   #62
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

November 27, 1995

NITRO

Salem, VA

To the desk with the usual crew of Bischoff, Heenan, and Mongo. We get the footage of Hogan shedding the black garb in favor of the red and yellow. Bischoff and Heenan talk about the controversy in Savage winning the belt last night. Some hype for Sting/Luger vs. Anderson/Pillman later, and then we go to the ring.

Johnny B. Badd (w/ Diamond Doll) vs. DDP: DDP comes to the ring with a bouquet of flowers, looking serious. He makes like he's begging for the Diamond Doll's forgiveness, then puts the flowers in her hand and instantly sucker-punches an unsuspecting Johnny B. Badd. That was pretty great. The Doll is ringside and looking at the bouquet of flowers, and is the match is going on she finds a thick chain inside the bouquet. She acts really unsure about what she's supposed to do, really conflicted; almost the whole match is being filmed over her shoulder while this goes on, so the match itself isn't much to get into.



While the referee is distracted and Page comes asking for her to give him the chain, she throws it through his legs to Badd, who waffles Page and wins the match. It was kind of inconclusive whether she meant to throw it to her or not. Badd is confused about that too.

Result: Johnny B. Badd via pinfall

Back to the desk, more hype for Sting and Luger teaming up…they basically just say again what they already said at the start of the show.

Mean Gene is at the top of the ramp with Kevin Sullivan and Jimmy Hart. Sullivan confronts Hart about Luger's alliance with Sting, and blames the fact that Savage won the WCW Title on Luger releasing the hold he had on Savage's arm after the match (when Sting came down and seemed to convince him to). Jimmy talks him down and reassures him that Sullivan can trust him.

Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto (w/ Sonny Onoo): What is this, 2015 WWE? The whole show is rematches from the PPV? Heenan on Nakano: "I think she's a rather attractive…in an, umm, Oriental way." WTF. This is largely a repeat of last night's match, with lots of terrible sloppiness and the occasional well-executed spot thrown in. Great ending spot, as Hokuto hits a missile dropkick on both Suzuki and Ozaki simultaneously, then executes a nice fisherman buster for the three-count. Still not a very good match, but I dug the ending.



Result: Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto via pinfall

Hulk Hogan vs. Hugh Morrus: I guess I'm pretty surprised that Hogan would have ever had just a random match in the middle of a Nitro against a random midcarder like this. You might know Hugh Morrus better as Bill Demott, the former NXT trainer who got forced out after acting like a huge piece of ****. His WCW character was that he was kind of a twisted psychopath who laughed a lot. The crowd really doesn't seem to care about this match despite Hogan's presence. This is all kind of weird. Morrus hits his top rope moonsault finisher, Hogan hulks up as ten people in the crowd cheer, and he goes over with the legdrop. They really made him hulk up to beat this guy?



Result: Hulk Hogan via pinfall

Mean Gene brings out our new world champion, Macho Man Randy Savage. Savage expresses his excitement to be on top, which is Hulk Hogan's cue to come out and ***** at him some more. He cues up the tape of WW3 from last night, and when it gets to wear he's going to get dragged under the bottom rope, the tape ****s up and fuzzes out, so it never gets shown. Savage continues to deny all knowledge of what really happened. This is so incredibly stupid.



As this happens, The Giant comes out of the back and attacks both. He chokeslams Savage on the concrete, then chases Hogan into the ring and beats him down. Sting runs down and attempts a save, which at least works well enough to be a distraction so that Hogan can beat the Giant repeatedly with a steel chair, eventually knocking him out over the top. As a referee in the ring tries to stop him from wielding the steel chair, Hogan just brazenly elbows the referee down. Such a great babyface. Hulk continues assaulting The Giant down the aisle with the steel chair, sometimes actually hitting him with it and other times just sort of lightly massaging him with it in lieu of an actual chair shot. Sting settles Hogan down, then Hogan and Sting tend to Savage on the floor as the segment ends.

Back to the announce desk, Bischoff brings up the fact that Sting called Hogan off from Giant. They were teasing Sting as a possible Dungeon of Doom member pretty hard here.

Sting/Lex Luger vs. Arn Anderson/Brian Pillman: Horsemen enter first. Sting is out second, and people wonder where Luger is, but Lex eventually arrives late. Luger appears to team with Sting in good faith as the announcers question his loyalties, but a spot does arise where Sting slaps the Scorpion Deathlock on Arn, Pillman heads up to the top rope with the intention of jumping off to break it up, and Luger pushes him off hard enough that Pillman still does hit Sting hard and knocks him loose.



Bischoff wonders if it was deliberate. Heenan calls it an accident. Bischoff: "I don't know, man. That's a pretty accurate accident." Later, Sting needs a tag and makes it over, but Luger is trading blows with Pillman on the outside and is late getting back to the corner. A few different spots that leave the announcers wondering what side he's on. Amidst some four-man chaos, Sting rolls up Pillman for a three-count.

Result: Sting & Luger via pinfall

Right as the three-count hits, Flair runs down to ringside and ambushes Luger, and Flair/Arn/Pillman put the beatdown on both Sting and Luger. Hogan runs in for the save, probably with the hope that there's a mic down there to ***** about last night's loss again. Hulk beats Flair out of the ring, and the Horsemen are successfully cleared out. Hogan is going to attack Luger next, but Sting catches Hogan's arm and stops him as Luger slips out of the ring and walks away. Hogan is pissed at Sting over that, and they exchange some words in the ring before getting over it and shaking hands.

Back at the announce desk for the last segment, Bischoff says there's no update on Randy Savage's condition available yet. He encourages people to watch WCW Saturday Night for an update. Then he hypes that WCW Saturday Night will have big Starrcade news, and then he signs off. Okay.

Overall: This episode was kind of a load of crap. That last tag match was at least kind of interesting, but it wasn't great, and everything else was complete garbage. If Raw doesn't have the better episode this week then I'll be amazed.

RAW

Richmond, VA

We get the recap of Shawn Michaels collapsing in the ring last week as a cold open.

After the credits, Vince and Lawler are ringside hyping Undertaker vs. Kama and Bret Hart being interviewed by Brother Love. Okay, maybe Raw will be as bad or worse than Nitro.

Ahmed Johnson vs. Rad Radford: Though he did make it onto the Survivor Series card, Radford was really nothing more than a jobber with entrance music. He gets slightly more token offense in than the jobbers without entrance music do, but gets squashed pretty quickly here in any case. Vince mentions that Ahmed is going to face Dean Douglas at the next PPV. Ahmed goes over with the Pearl River Plunge in this match.



Result: Ahmed Johnson via pinfall

Jerry Lawler steps up to interview Ahmed. "Dean Douglas said that when you graduated from kindergarten, you were so excited that you could hardly shave without cutting yourself. He also said that at In Your House, he's going to teach you a lesson." Ahmed angrily mumbles at King as Douglas comes down to ringside and interrupts. Ahmed immediately challenges him to get in the ring. Douglas is in street clothes, but begins to strip down and acts like he's going to enter the ring when a gaggle of officials all hold him back.



After a commercial, Lawler does some product placement for Twix, and then we head to an update on Shawn Michaels. They attribute last week's collapse to the beating he took in Syracuse and the fact that he returned to the ring too quickly afterward. Vince says that Shawn intends to return to action as soon as he can.

Aja Kong & Tomoko Watanabe vs. Alundra Blayze & Kyoto Inoue: Dueling women's tag matches? Since Raw was taped, I almost have to think that Nitro saw how this one went and decided, "Yep, we can put on a better one than that." Kong and Watanabe use the same theme that the Orient Express did in the past. I guess they just have one stand-by Japanese entrance theme. This is mostly underwhelming action. Nice hard back suplex by Aja Kong sets up a…tornado backhand, I guess, and that gets the pinfall. The Nitro women's tag on this night was probably better just by virtue of a bigger flourish for an ending spot.



Result: Kong & Watanabe via pinfall

Video recap of Diesel's promo from last week. Basically just shows most of it, so not much of a recap to be done.

We're onto the Brother Love Show after the break, with his guest Bret Hart. I always thought this Brother Love gimmick was atrocious. So grating and annoying. Thankfully I think that this was a one-off. If not, the return wasn't for long. Brother Love talks a bunch of **** at Bret and keeps yanking the mic away and won't let Bret get a word in edgewise. Bret eventually forcibly takes the mic. He has some nasty words for Diesel because of the post-match beatdown at Survivor Series, he vows redemption against the British Bulldog for the match he lost to him back in '92, and then Bob Backlund suddenly sneak attacks and locks on the chicken wing. Backlund leaves Bret laid out as the show goes to commercial. Terrible segment.



HHH vs. local jobber: Vince notes that HHH is undefeated in the WWF. I had forgotten that he got the "undefeated" treatment for a time. The announcers talk up the HHH-Henry Godwinn feud during the action, and Helmsley goes over with the Pedigree.

Result: HHH via pinfall

Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty vs. Sid & The 1-2-3 Kid is booked for In Your House.

Jim Cornette issues an open challenge on behalf of Owen Hart, who cuts a promo bragging about hospitalizing Shawn Michaels. I took that as the first true confirmation that the collapse was a work, although I guess they did have Owen do the same after he legitimately spiked Austin in '97.

Kama comes out in street clothes, walking on crutches. Vince accuses him of faking. DiBiase says that Kama is unable to go, and that he has secured the services of another WWF superstar. He introduces…Sir Mo. Did they really manage to sub in an even less interesting wrestler for Kama? After executing another bait-and-switch advertisement at that.

The Undertaker vs. Sir Mo (w/ Ted DiBiase): Vince says that if Taker wins, he'll get his urn (in the form of a gold chain) back. Why do they keep doing storylines where people have to win back their own personal possessions? Early in the match, Taker falls over the top rope, lands feet first, chokes Ted DiBiase, and a clearly healthy Kama attacks him to save his manager. No disqualification since the ref is distracted. As you can imagine, this match is completely worthless. Taker goes over after a chokeslam.



Result: Undertaker via pinfall

King Mabel shows up at ringside. Undertaker repossesses the gold chain as Mabel slowly ambles around the outside. Eventually Yokozuna comes down and hits the ring, facing Taker down. Taker hands the gold chain to Paul Bearer and readies to fight. Once he turns his attention back to Yoko though, Mabel attacks Paul and steals the chain back, running off with it. Really? This was actually Undertaker's entire 1995. The urn got stolen from him by King Kong Bundy at Royal Rumble. Then he briefly got it back at WrestleMania, but by the end of the match Kama had stolen it back and had promised to melt it down and turn it into a chain. Nearly eight months later, Taker finally gets that back, and has it stolen again before the end of the segment. What a great character arc.

Vince and Lawler advertise Marty Jannetty vs. Sid for next week, and also an Intercontinental Title match between Razor Ramon and Dean Douglas. With that, they mercifully sign off.

Overall: Another week, another incredibly atrocious episode. Way to go, WWF.

---

Ratings for 11/27/95: Nitro 2.5, Raw 2.3
Ratings Running Score: Tied, 5-5-2

Better Show: We have another week where Nitro is a pretty bad show, and is clearly the better show between the two. These weeks are the worst. Luger/Sting vs. Anderson/Pillman was the only watchable thing on either show on this night.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 9-3

Match of the Night: Sting & Lex Luger vs. Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:52 AM   #63
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

NOVEMBER 1995 IN REVIEW

Arrivals/Departures: Absolutely none of significance that I can see. Mr. Perfect would be the closest thing, but he was basically just back to announce, and not on Raw. So basically he was nothing, since Lawler was already a very capable heel commentator that handled Raw and most PPVs.

Match of the Month: Bret Hart vs. Diesel from Survivor Series

PPV of the Month: Gotta give the nod to Survivor Series this month. Raw was utter garbage, but WWF did at least manage to crank out a good PPV.

Ratings: It was a split decision this month, with each show winning two weeks, and things remain knotted up after the third month of the Monday Night Wars. Nobody really finding much of an edge yet.

Quality: WCW may have been the better overall product this month, but if so then it wasn't by much; they were really kind of dropping the ball while WWF was in a bad way. Though occasional great matches and segments have happened on both shows since the start of the Wars, neither company is showing much sign that they're going to start GOATing it up at any point in the foreseeable future.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:52 AM   #64
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

December 4, 1995

RAW

Richmond, VA

You know things are rolling along well in WWF when I sit down to do this and go, "Oh ****, I have to start with Raw. … Okay, well here's hoping." I imagine things will feel a bit less hopeless once we break through to 1996.

We get an opening video package, hyping the IC Title match between Razor Ramon and Dean Douglas, and also showing Sid's powerbomb of Marty Jannetty on the floor to hype their one-on-one match. "Plus, alarming comments from the personal physician of Shawn Michaels."

Bob Holly vs. British Bulldog: Bulldog gives up a decent bit of early offense to Holly, as well as multiple surprise pin attempts leading to near-falls during the match. Honestly, Bulldog is such a fringe main event challenger for the world title that he shouldn't be doing anything but completely dominating Holly from bell to bell in a match like this. He needed added credibility wherever he could get it. After having the aforementioned trouble, Davey does of course end up going over after a running powerslam. Somewhat watchable match, no more or less.



Result: British Bulldog via pinfall

As the last match ended, Vince announced a Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund non-title match for next week. I thought it was customary to advertise these things as title matches and then kick things off the next week with a "butnahhh."

Jerry Lawler goes to interview Backlund, who is campaigning in the audience. He mentions that next week's match is non-title, which causes a hilarious angry outburst from Bob. Okay, that explains why they resisted the bait-and-switch this time. Backlund rants endlessly as Vince pleads for someone to cut his mic so that they can go to commercial. I really enjoyed the Mr. Backlund thing at times.



Fatu vs. Brooklyn Brawler: Huh. Did not know that Steve Lombardi was still around at this point. The announcers pretty much ignore this squash match; they talk Bob Backlund, they shill the hotline, and then the match is over. Fatu wins after a top rope splash.



Result: Fatu via pinfall

They send it to Dok Hendrix for a PPV report. Dok says that Owen Hart's open challenge just got accepted…and then Dok gets cut off by Vince, as they send it back out to the arena to show more of Bob Backlund's rantings. He's now furious that his mic got cut. He actually puts the cross-face chicken wing on the sound engineer. Love it.

Back to Dok: Diesel is the one who accepted Owen's challenge for the PPV.

IC Title - Razor Ramon (c) vs. Dean Douglas: Shane Douglas and Scott Hall were obviously both talented guys, but watching them wrestle each other was never all that enjoyable. It's hard not to point it back to the fact that they had a lot of legit personal animosity between them. This isn't terrible, but there's just nothing very interesting about it. Razor goes over clean with a Razor's Edge. Vince calls it a "decisive victory," which I'm guessing is Vince-speak for "blowoff match."



Result: Razor Ramon via pinfall

Video package previews the Bret Hart/Bob Backlund match for next week, as well as the fact that Shawn Michaels will speak publicly for the first time since his collapse on next week's show.

It's time for the Brother Love Show. Brother Love's guest tonight is King Mabel. Mabel declares that he's the first one to ever pin the Undertaker's shoulders to the mat for the 1-2-3, which isn't true (Hulk Hogan pinning him at This Tuesday in Texas comes to mind), and Mabel also declares that he's the first one to ever put the Undertaker out of action, which also isn't true (Yokozuna and company sending Taker off on a supernatural hiatus after Royal Rumble '94).

Brother Love tells Mabel he has a surprise for him. Mabel barks that he doesn't like surprises. Brother Love says he'll like this one. Taker's music hits, and a hooded figure pushes a casket to the ring. Brother Love introduces surprise #1, and removes the hood from the casket-pusher to reveal Sir Mo. Mabel is confused and asks if he turned Mo against him. Then Brother Love introduces surprise #2, and has Mo pull the covering off of the casket to reveal that there's a bunch of graffiti on it. Brother Love presents it as a gift to Mabel, who is really excited about it. What in the **** is this. King Mabel finishes a promo on Taker and that's it. What a pointless and terrible segment.



Razor Ramon is hyping up Marty Jannetty backstage for his upcoming match against Sid, and we're off to commercial.

Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. Marty Jannetty: Jannetty is out second and jumps Sid from behind before the bell. That gives him a chance to get some offense in early, but Sid catches a cross-body attempt before very long and converts it into a powerslam to take control. The action here is not good; Marty tries, but Sid's total lack of ability in the ring is especially noticeable here. This thing ends in a no contest when the 1-2-3 Kid comes to ringside and Razor comes out to counter him, leading them to both end up in the ring. Razor ends up chasing the Kid out through the crowd; Sid stays behind and powerbombs Jannetty in the ring after the match is over.



Result: No contest

Vince actually refers to Jannetty as the winner via DQ, but there is no ring announcement made, and based on what the referee saw, a DQ of just one man wouldn't make any sense. Who knows.

After commercial, they go to a report by Todd Pettengill, who gets comments from Shawn Michaels's doctor. The doctor says he can't see how Shawn can come back soon. He comments that any additional blows to the head could be life-threatening, and that he's not sure it will ever be safe for him to return to the ring.

Vince waxes on philosophically about how this episode has shown that WWF superstars really are human and aren't invincible. "Now we find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of hoping he'll just be alright, all the while knowing that we pushed him over the edge in our unquenchable thirst for excitement." What an odd thing to listen to Vince himself say. With this commentary, the show signs off.

Overall: Show pretty much sucks again. The start was non-terrible - Bulldog vs. Holly was alright, and Backlund made me laugh out loud - but everything else was garbage.

NITRO

Phoenix, AZ

At the desk to start, they say that Randy Savage is defending the WCW Title against Lex Luger tonight. Also, the news from WCW Saturday Night must have been that there is a triangle match booked for Starrcade between Sting, Ric Flair, and Lex Luger (as it stands right now) for a title shot later in the night. Apparently if Savage loses the title tonight he'll switch spots with Luger on that card and be in the triangle match himself. So as much as I've hated Hogan's whining since the end of WW3, I guess I don't get how he's not in the title picture at all?

Changing focus, Eric Bischoff says that Hogan, The Giant, and Ric Flair have all been declared to be "on probation" by the WCW executive committee. They don't say why. Seems clear that there was a bunch of storyline movement on the weekend that I just don't know about. Guess maybe we'll piece it together as the show goes on.

Tag Team Titles - Harlem Heat (c) (w/ Sister Sherri) vs. American Males American Males American Males: I don't actually know when the Males dropped these belts back to the heat after their upset win on one of the first Nitros back in September. Must have happened on a weekend show as well. Colonel Parker comes to ringside mid-match,g ives Sherri a diamond ring, and they leave together. My God, stop it with the Parker/Sherri stuff. The match is pretty dull; the crowd doesn't care about the Males at all, and the small portion of the crowd that is reacting is pretty split. They pop pretty big for the Harlem Hangover by Booker T, as well as the pinfall.



Result: Harlem Heat via pinfall

Mean Gene is with Sting and Lex Luger. Sting tells Luger he disagrees with Luger associating with Jimmy Hart, but thinks that Lex has a real chance to win the title tonight, and if he does Sting says he's going to win the triangle match at Starrcade and face him for the title. He says he won't hold back anything if they face off, even though they're friends. Luger agrees that he won't hold back either. Kinda pointless.

Sting vs. Kurasawa: I continue to enjoy the way this Kurasawa dude works. There isn't much to this match though. Kurasawa took it to Sting with some basic offense to start, including some work on Stinger's arm, but Sting reverses the momentum and soon transitions into the Scorpion Deathlock for the win.



Result: Sting via submission

Scott Norton vs. The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart and The Taskmaster): Norton seems to shock the world and sell the first few moves, but then he launches a comeback and gets WAY more offense than he ever possibly should have gotten against a huge monster like this. He only loses by getting caught off the top rope and chokeslammed while he's in the middle of a bunch of offense. But whatever, Giant gets the pin after the chokeslam. Not terrible for what it was.



Result: The Giant via pinfall

Mean Gene is in the ring, and calls down the one and only Ric Flair. Charles Barkley, who played for the Suns at the time, actually appears first and ends up going to the ring with Flair. I thought the crowd would automatically side with Charles, but the Phoenix crowd does strike the balance of cheering Barkley and booing Flair. Barkley is wearing jeans that appear to be like six inches too big and are being worn too high…he looks like an old man. Anyway, nothing really to this segment, it was just kind of a cool celebrity appearance at the time.

Of note: during the following match's commentary, they mentioned what the deal was with the probation on the three wrestlers. Hogan was for elbowing the referee on the last Nitro, Flair was for hitting a referee on the last one as well, and The Giant was for the chokeslam on the floor on Savage. Okay.

WCW Title - Randy Savage (c) vs. Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart): Lots of arm work from Savage. Luger probably makes more sense for arm work than most from a psychology standpoint, since he uses the torture rack. It also specifically makes sense here since it's Luger who has injured Savage's arm, so it's sort of a tit-for-tat way to exact some revenge. The match turns a bit when Luger, on the floor, sidesteps an axhandle from the apron and Savage hits face-first into the steel guardrail. Lex starts working him over, and a bleery-eyed Savage swings and seemingly incidentally hits referee Randy Anderson, I suppose to set up probation for him or something. The action here isn't particularly special, but I think that it tells a story that works, and I sort of enjoyed it. Lex did a very nice job of selling the early arm work for the duration of the match.



Our endgame sequence is as follows: Jimmy Hart undoes one of the turnbuckle pads when nobody is looking, Randy Savage ends up ramming Luger face-first into the exposed steel, Luger bumps off that hard and runs into the referee, knocking him out of the ring, Savage heads up top for the flying elbow, but there is no referee there to count. Savage pulls Jimmy Hart into the ring and goes after him, Ric Flair hits the ring and takes Savage out. Jimmy places Luger on top of Savage, but still no referee at the moment. As Flair leaves triumphantly, out comes Hogan. Hulk stalks him back toward the ring, and both end up inside. As this happens, the referee finally comes to and is going to count the pin of Luger on Savage, and Hogan just openly breaks it up by shoving Randy Anderson in mid-count. We must be seeing a suspension, which would explain the lack of Hogan in the Starrcade title picture. The match turns into a schmozz after that, as the bell rings.

Result: Lex Luger via DQ

Hogan holds up Luger and is going to clock him. Sting hits the ring and pulls Luger aside, and Hulk accidentally clocks Sting. Sting is pissed, the two jaw back and forth, and Savage breaks it up as they go to break.



Back from commercial, Mean Gene confronts Hogan about hitting another referee. Hogan says he doesn't care about the probation, but yells at Sting and asks what side Sting is on. Sting insists that he's on Hogan's side. But he also says that Luger is his best friend. "I don't agree with the Jimmy Hart thing, I'm trying to straighten him out, but I'm not going to run out on a friend. Would you run out on Macho Man?" LOL. Hogan points out that Savage was right about Luger, that he called it. Sting says that maybe Lex just didn't get a real chance. Wat. Sting and Hogan bury the hatchet and say that they're going to kick Ric Flair's and Arn Anderson's asses next week (I don't think that had been announced yet, but I guess it's a match next Monday). Sting tells Hulk he'll try to keep Luger out of their faces. Everyone shakes hands.

They recap from the announce desk and sign off.

Overall: First half of the show was nothing, but I have to say, I enjoyed the main event and I enjoyed all of the tension between Hogan, Savage, and Sting at the end. Decent episode overall.

---

Ratings for 12/4/95: Raw 2.6, Nitro 2.4
Ratings Running Score: Raw, 6-5-2

Better Show: Raw sucked, Nitro didn't, Nitro wins the night. Novel idea: let's have a week where I can hardly choose between them because they're both so great.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 10-3

Match of the Night: Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:08 AM   #65
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

December 11, 1995

NITRO

Charlotte, NC

From the announce desk, we get some hype for tonight's Sting/Hogan vs. Flair/Anderson main event, with everyone questioning whether Sting and Hogan can trust each other. Suddenly a bell rings in the background and they quickly send it to the ring, where apparently entrances already happened.

Mr. JL vs. Eddie Guerrero: I didn't remember this being the case, but it really feels like Eddie Guerrero gets way more Nitro airtime than any other midcarder does at this time. Surprising, since he wasn't getting huge reactions or anything. No complaints from me though. Eddie does a pretty sweet spot here with an armdrag from the top rope (JL was standing on the mat) that gets significant elevation. Great somersault sentan by JL from the apron to the floor. The ending happens when JL attempts a driving pin attempt facing in toward Eddie and Eddie flips him into a pinning predicament of his own, which gets a three-count. I've never seen that pinning combo actually result in a three before. Huh. Not a great match, but a pretty good one that had its spots.



Result: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall

Mean Gene with Lex Luger and Jimmy Hart. Gene to Jimmy: "Who dresses you? Spike Lee or Spike Jonze?" Hart tells him to shut up and then declares Luger to be the uncrowned champion, since Hogan broke up the pin last week when it looked to possibly be over. Luger cuts a generic promo about the upcoming triangle match he's in at Starrcade.

Video package for Starrcade, advertising it as NJPW vs. WCW.

Disco Inferno vs. Mr. Wonderful: If nothing else the entrance music was pretty great. Still, this was kind of a weird heel vs. heel match with no heat, and Paul Orndorff was really too far over the hill to have a good match against basically anyone at this point. Orndorff goes over with a back suplex while having one foot on the ropes during the pin. At least this was kept short.



Result: Mr. Wonderful via pinfall

Mean Gene calls out the Four Horsemen. Only Flair, Arn, and Pillman come out. There was always this strange thing where Chris Benoit rarely appeared with the others during this time, so he always seemed less like an actual Horseman. Pillman says that it's an honor to be part of the greatest dynasty in professional sports history. Actually he was a Bengal. Pillman says that everyone wanted to be a Horseman, including Hulk Hogan, the American Males, Mongo McMichael (yup), and Paul Orndorff. Flair is obviously over big here, being in Charlotte.

Once Flair starts talking though, Paul Orndorff comes marching back out to angrily confront Brian Pillman for saying his name. Orndorff says that he really respects Flair and Arn, but says that Pillman is just the kid that carries people's bags. Pillman attacks, and the two start brawling until Ric and Arn jump in, first looking like they're just breaking it up, but then going into beatdown mode and making it 3-on-1. They culminate the beatdown in a spike piledriver on the concrete floor.



Was this a face turn for Paul? He just debuted a new heel gimmick within the last couple of months. As Orndorff lays motionless, they go to break.

Back from break, the EMTs are putting Orndorff on a stretcher off to the side of the aisleway while Lex Luger's music starts playing in the background.

Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan: This is an incredibly stupid match with an even dumber ending. Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron, eventually grabs Hacksaw's 2x4 and is holding it up, Duggan gets distracted with him for some reason and is going to go attack, Luger attacks Hacksaw from behind and purportedly knocks him into his own 2x4 as Jimmy was holding it up (it wasn't close to that), then picks Duggan up into the torture rack as Duggan staggers back. The rack finishes it off.



Result: Lex Luger via submission

Mean Gene with Randy Savage. Gene says that Savage is defending the WCW Title against The Giant next week. Savage cuts a pretty pointless promo on The Giant as a result. Guess that was just a way to work him into the episode.

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Sting & Hulk Hogan: Flair and Anderson out together, of course. Sting comes out by himself, which apparently means LOTS OF DRAMA to Eric Bischoff. I thought it just meant that two main event babyfaces were getting their own music. But no, Hogan is out well behind Sting (still during Sting's music) and, although he acts weird during his walk down the aisle like he might be upset, he's just sort of fine once he gets into the ring. Okay.

This crowd is openly hostile to Hulk Hogan. There's a "Hogan sucks" chant, and thunderous booing when Sting tags him in the first time. In Horsemen country, but still. Hogan still works face and does a bunch of face no-selling, but it isn't popular. Because of the hot crowd, this is a reasonably fun piece of business at times even if not any sort of great wrestling match. I do love a spot where Arn DDTs Sting while Sting has the Scorpion Deathlock on Flair though.



Sting plays face in peril forever, Hogan gets the hot tag and pins Arn after a legdrop almost instantly, a finish that the crowd just boos the hell out of.

Result: Hogan & Sting via pinfall

Brian Pillman runs in after Hogan and a Horsemen beatdown commences. Luger runs in and tries to run interference to pull Pillman off, but then also tries to keep Sting from helping Hogan while Arn and Flair double-team Hogan. I don't know what the hell is going on. Sting pushes past Luger to save Hogan anyway. Randy Savage runs in and Sting clobbers him. Sting immediately regrets it, and reacts like it was an accident.

Mean Gene comes back to the ring to try to has things out as the crowd starts another loud "Hogan sucks" chant. Sting pleads to Savage that he wishes he could take it back. Hogan notes to Savage that Sting just saved his ass. Hogan says, "I'm on suspension, you guys are in the triangle match…" Wat, so he IS suspended? He just wrestled. Savage makes an unexpected peace offering to Sting and they shake hands.



They go to commercial and then come back to the announce desk, where they say nothing of interest and then sign off.

Overall: This was a pretty strong episode. They were actually accomplishing some angle advancement each week, and teasing interesting stuff for the following week (with another world title match to occur the next week). The Horsemen stuff was all great…they were really carrying things at this point.

RAW

Salisbury, MD

Video package kicks things off to hype Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund and Shawn Michaels's first public interview since the collapse tonight. I'm guessing it's a via satellite number.

Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette, Mr. Fuji, & Yokozuna) vs. Jeff Hardy: Jeff Hardy was truly a local jobber of the Matt Shoulders variety at this point, and was just "currently in the ring" as Owen and his entourage arrived. Kind of a cool time capsule here to see him in this role, but unfortunately it isn't a legit match between the two, which you have to think could have been great. They show Owen's sister Diana in the crowd during the match, surely there for British Bulldog reasons. Owen hits a missile dropkick, teases the Sharpshooter, then shakes his head at the crowd and just rolls through into a pinning combo to end the match right there.



Result: Owen Hart via pinfall

Owen pulls Hardy into the corner after the match as Yoko enters, and Hardy gets a banzai drop for his efforts. And then Owen does slap the Sharpshooter on. Diesel, watching from the back, rushes the ring and chases Owen out. Diesel and Yoko trade blows, then Diesel clears the ring with a big boot that sends Yoko sprawling outside. "I don't think Owen has a prayer this Sunday night!" Well that's no way to sell a PPV match, Vince.

Aja Kong vs. Chaparita Asari: Asari was already in the ring, so this is probably just a jobber match. Asari does get some early offense, but it turns into an Aja Kong squash right after the first couple of dropkicks by Asari. Kong executes some sick powerbomb variation that I've never seen before. She packages her opponent up and then drops her neck-first.



Kong picks her up out of pinfalls multiple times when she could have won, and continues the beatdown. This is a fun squash, as Kong does some nice power offense and Asari bumps like crazy for her. Kong finally goes over with a backhand strike. Asari is shown bleeding from the nose after the match.

Result: Aja Kong via pinfall

They send it to Todd Pettengill, who has a pre-taped sit-down interview with Shawn Michaels. Michaels says he wants to come back, but doctors won't clear him yet. Todd asks him if he might be facing the possibility of retirement. Michaels gets offended that they're exploiting him for a reaction by putting him on the spot like that, and says he won't dignify the question with a response. Some pretty solid acting by Michaels there, really.



Ahmed Johnson vs. unnamed local jobber: Well, the streak of actual entertaining squashes ends here, but at least this is an especially short one too. The jobber is equally thankful for how short it is, since Ahmed botches two spinebusters before finally going to the finisher. He goes over with the Pearl River Plunge.

Result: Ahmed Johnson via pinfall

Jerry Lawler goes to interview Ahmed at ringside, just like a couple of weeks ago. He goes straight back into taunting him like he did two weeks ago also. Ahmed yells back at King and shuts him up, sending him slinking back to the announce table.

After a commercial and some vignettes, we join Vince McMahon in the ring with Ted DiBiase, Sid, and the 1-2-3 Kid. Ted hypes his men up, saying that they're the next tag team champions. Ted does a good job, but when they let the Kid talk, he's way too tryhard as a heel and really sucks on the mic here. Sid talks a bit and…well, he's less bad than the Kid. This is just a general hype promo for the Sid/Kid vs. Razor/Jannetty match for Sunday.



Video package hypes Razor vs. Yokozuna for the IC Title next Monday.

Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund: Jerry Lawler goes and interviews Diana Hart Smith to ask where she stands on the upcoming match of her brother against her husband. She nonchalantly supports her husband on all questions, even says she supports his alignment with Jimmy Cornette because Cornette is who finally got her husband a title shot. As for the match, it's a fairly sleepy one, though it doesn't help that Vince and Lawler just totally ignore it throughout, and make it seem like it's nothing I should be paying much attention to either. We get a DQ finish when Bulldog runs in late.

Result: Bret Hart via DQ



Bulldog's distraction allows Backlund to slap on the chicken wing on Bret, and Bulldog beats on Bret while he lays there in the hold. A bunch of officials pull Backlund off eventually, but Bret is left laid out and Vince yells his way off the air to finish the go-home show.

Overall: Not too bad. The first two squashes were entertaining, the Shawn Michaels interview was done well…the main event wasn't very good, but they did a half-decent job of building heat for the Bret-Bulldog match that was coming up on Sunday.

---

Ratings for 12/11/95: Nitro 2.6, Raw 2.5
Ratings Running Score: Tied, 6-6-2

Better Show: Both shows upped their game a bit this week, but Nitro again was the better show. There was just more creative focus and more excitement there.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 11-3

Match of the Night: Sting & Hogan vs. Flair & Anderson
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:12 AM   #66
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Alright that's all I've got for now. Next up will be WWF In Your House 5, which I don't think I've seen a minute of since I watched it live.
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:22 AM   #67
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Man, that's a great ****ing pop for a ****ing DDT when Arn plants Sting. That was so money.
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:28 AM   #68
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Arn's DDTs and spinebusters were the absolute greatest.
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:30 AM   #69
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Totally agree. I've never seen Flair vs Taker from XVIII but I damn sure have seen his spinebuster on Taker 25 or so times.
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:41 AM   #70
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Also from that Nitro main event:

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Old 11-03-2015, 01:45 AM   #71
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I'm definitely curious about the basis for the active booing Hogan was getting. I realize that the Horsemen were always over as faces in North Carolina, and it could have just been that, but I really wonder if Hulk had put a big chunk of the crowd off with the way he craps all over the end of WW3 and then keeps crying the next night.

Honestly it was like something out of Bret Hart's whining leading into a heel turn in 1997, except that Bret's was actually intended to build into a heel turn. Hogan was just playing the role of babyface Hulk Hogan.

Guess I'll know more when I see how the crowd reacts to him on future Nitros.
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:49 AM   #72
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

You fans can stick it, brotha!
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #73
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WWF IN YOUR HOUSE 5: SEASON'S BEATINGS



We open on Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler. Lawler says that we're going to see the British Bulldog win the WWF Title tonight, and Lawler also says that he's got a big surprise in store tonight. With no further hints about what that's about, we head to the action.

Sid & The 1-2-3 Kid (w/ Ted DiBiase) vs. Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty: Marty Jannetty is rocking a leather jacket that matches Razor's, I guess hoping that it makes him cool enough to be Razor's partner. En route to the ring, they pass by Goldust, who seems to check Razor out. If I remember right, there's some uncomfortable moments ahead with how WWF handles an ostensibly gay character.

Crowd is pretty hot for this one, as 1-2-3 Kid repeatedly tries to avoid having to wrestle against Razor; he gets caught momentarily in a fight with him, then attempts to cherry-picks his spots after that. They go to the crowd in mid-match for an interview with Goldust, who openly lusts after Razor. We really could have done without just drowning out a damn PPV match with this interview. After the initial interplay between the Kid and Razor, this thing slows down hard and becomes pretty dull. Disappointing, given the non-Sid talent involved. Razor randomly ends up pinning Sid after a bulldog. That's the second time in three PPVs that Razor has just sort of shipped a match out of nowhere after a transitional move.



Result: Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty via pinfall (12:22)
Rating: *3/4

The ring announcer announces, from Knoxville, Tennessee, "Nature Boy" Buddy Landell. Nobody knows who the hell that is. Also no music plays and nobody comes down. Jerry Lawler goes into the ring and announces his big surprise…Jeff Jarrett. The crowd goes mild. Jarrett hadn't been around since dropping the IC Title to Shawn Michaels at In Your House 2 back in July. Lawler gives Jarrett a gold record for his album that features "With My Baby Tonight." Jarrett cuts a boring promo and announces that he's throwing his hat into the ring for the Royal Rumble. Alas, he wouldn't win until years later, when he was reincarnated as Alberto Del Rio. Lawler asks Jarrett to come sit with him at commentary.

Dean Douglas's music hits, and he heads to the ring for what was supposed to be his match with Ahmed Johnson. He grabs the mic and says that doctors have sidelined him due to a back injury. Instead he introduces his "graduate student," Buddy Landell. Landell enters to Ric Flair's music and sports a Ric Flair look. He will be Ahmed's opponent.

Ahmed Johnson vs. Buddy Landell: Ahmed no-sells all attempts at offense and wins in a quick squash with the Pearl River Plunge. What in the blue **** was this.

Result: Ahmed Johnson via pinfall (0:45)
Rating: N/A, I don't bother rating squash matches this short, but all of this Lawler/Jarrett/Douglas/Landell stuff was painful.

Jerry Lawler heads up to interview Ahmed Johnson and talks a bunch of **** at him again. Double J joins the fun and also says he was unimpressed by Ahmed. After Ahmed yells some stuff at Jarrett and turns his back, Jarrett attacks from behind with his framed gold record, breaks the glass over his head and then proceeds to hammer him multiple times with a steel chair and send him into the steel steps. Ahmed eventually no-sells this attack and runs JJ off.



They head backstage, where Todd Pettengill is with Razor Ramon. He asks him about the match with Yokozuna tomorrow night, Razor gives some basic comments, and then Todd gives him a gold-covered letter, presumably from Goldust. Razor opens it up, starts reading, and looks disgusted, crumpling it up and tossing it away, leaving the room angry.

Hog Pen Match (special guest referee Hillbilly Jim) - HHH vs. Henry Godwinn: The stipulation on this one is that the first man to get dumped into an actual hogpen in the arena, complete with pigs and pig ****, loses. Needless to say I'm optimistic about how great this will be. Godwinn brings slop buckets to the ring, attempts to cover HHH with one of them outside the ring, and HHH sidesteps, causing Tony Chimel to get slopped instead. The action here is okay - the workers involved were trying in spite of what they were stuck with - but the match's gimmick is so dumb that I just spend the whole time wanting it to get over with regardless. HHH ends up going over when Godwinn charges at him and Helmsley backdrops him into the pen. Godwinn plays the role of noble sore loser babyface and pulls HHH into the pen, beating him up in there and slamming him in the mud repeatedly.



Result: HHH via backdrop into the pen (8:58)
Rating: *

Video package showing Diesel's semi-turn at Survivor Series and his promo the next night, then showing Shawn Michaels's collapse and Owen Hart's subsequent bragging.

Diesel vs. Owen Hart: This is mostly a squash match for Diesel, despite a flurry of offense for Owen in the middle.



Diesel jackknifes Owen, has the pin and lets up, referee Tim White gets in his face about it, Diesel shoves him to the mat before jackknifing Owen again, and officially we get a DQ.

Result: Owen Hart via DQ (4:34)
Rating: *

Santa Claus heads to the ring with Savio Vega as Ted DiBiase is already in the ring. Ted calls both of them in as Vince speculates that maybe Savio has sold out to the Million Dollar Man. DiBiase casts a bunch of shade at Santa Claus and says that the myth of Santa is totally unrealistic. Savio insists that he believes in the magic of Santa Claus. As he does this, Santa attacks Savio from behind and beats him down.



Ted and Santa start to leave together. Savio attacks and pulls the Santa wig/beard off to reveal Balls Mahoney (not that he was known to a WWF audience at this point). He went on to wrestle one Superstars squash match as Xanta Claus before disappearing.

Pre-match promo from King Mabel, who repeats the lies that he was the first to pin Taker and the first to put him out of action.

Before they send it to the next match, they throw it to Dok Hendrix to shill some merchandise. I don't usually even mention these moments, but in this case it's WrestleMania The Arcade Game for the Super NES and Sega Genesis. They're selling copies of this game for…$70. WTF? Most PS4 games don't cost that much even after inflation 20 years later.

Casket Match - King Mabel (w/ Sir Mo) vs. The Undertaker: Well, Mabel attempts a splash from the second rope, which is kind of cool. Of course it misses, because Mark Callaway didn't have an actual death wish and had probably been injured enough by this man.



Mabel hits all of his power moves, Mo dumps Taker in the casket, and then the two just don't bother to try closing the lid on it. Obviously once they eventually do, Taker blocks it and re-enters the ring, much to Mabel's ridiculous shock. Taker unleashes a few moves, knocks Mabel into the casket, and then actually sends Mo in with him. He reclaims the chain that used to be the urn, then shuts the lid. Match sucks, but is mercifully short. This was the end of the line for Mabel and Mo, though obviously Nelson Frazier would later return under the Viscera gimmick.

Result: Undertaker via shutting the lid on both Mabel and Mo simultaneously (6:11)
Rating: *1/2

We get pre-match interviews for the main event, first with British Bulldog, Jim Cornette, and Diana Hart Smith. Diana is totally on Davey's side this time, and says she has no mixed emotions. Cornette cuts a good promo as he always does. We separately get a generic interview from Bret.

WWF Title - Bret Hart (c) vs. British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette and Diana Hart Smith): Full writeup here. This is a very good match, easily the best of the night, as Bret spills a bunch of blood all over the place and the two trade a number of nice spots. Some of the spots get kind of washed over by too much focus on a split-screen with Diana, which is a mistake. Still, certainly enjoyed. Bret goes over with a magistral cradle pinning combo.



Result: Bret Hart via pinfall (21:09)
Rating: ***3/4

After the match, they go backstage, where Undertaker is happy that he finally gets a title shot. Diesel is less happy, interrupts the interview and angrily states that it should be his title shot. The two have a staredown as the show goes off the air.



Overall: Complete and total garbage until the main event, but the main event at least props it up well above In Your House 4. I guess that's something.
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:03 PM   #74
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I learned how to make my own gifs now, so while I've borrowed in the past (and even some of the ones in the immediate post above) I imagine that I'll just insert my own to writeups going forward.
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:39 PM   #75
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Did WCW end the long (long) standing of "jobbers" and WWF eventually followed suit. Or is it that WCW had enough going on every week - and pulling out the big guns for every show - that there was really no room for enhancement talent?

It's amazing to me how much of this I have forgotten. I recorded both Raw and Nitro and saw most of the PPV's. The reason I think I forgotten most of it is because most of it - especially WWF - is just so so bad. What's funny is I don't remember thinking I thought it was terrible as a kid, though I do remember eventually taking a liking to Nitro. Raw seemed like a Saturday AM show at best most weeks, so far. Terrible.
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