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Old 11-03-2015, 04:29 PM   #76
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tragichero View Post
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.
I mean look how many jobbers wrestled at the first WrestleMania and it was considered the greatest event of all time at the time
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:32 PM   #77
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW had a lot of TV shows...Saturday Night, Main Event, Worldwide, Pro. These shows had straight up classic jobber matches.
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:37 PM   #78
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

December 18, 1995

RAW

Newark, DE

Video recap of what happened at In Your House 5.

Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon hype Razor vs. Yokozuna for the IC Title tonight, as well as an update on Shawn Michaels. They're interrupted by the music of Double J, and we head to the ring.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Fatu: Fatu got an entrance and everything, but I assume that this moment marks the end of whatever thought they might have of actually giving him a singles push under this gimmick. Obviously he's not going over a newly-returned Jeff Jarrett. Fatu actually gets referee Tim White to dance once he gets to the ring, which was kind of funny as it was just sort of happening in the background without anyone acknowledging it.



This match provides little to speak of, and actually to my surprise Jarrett doesn't go over by pinfall or submission, but instead goes over by DQ when Ahmed Johnson runs in and interrupts things. So I guess they actually sort of protected Fatu.

Result: Jeff Jarrett via DQ

Dok Hendrix is in the audience with Gorilla Monsoon. Dok says that Bret Hart is defending the title against The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble, and says that Diesel is upset about it. Gorilla dismisses it, says "he's a big boy, he'll get his shot somewhere down the line." Monsoon says that Jeff Jarrett may have thrown his hat into the ring for the Royal Rumble, but that Gorilla is throwing it back out after last night and is putting him in a one-on-one match with Ahmed Johnson instead. Well that will be horrible. Gorilla says that names for the Rumble match itself will start being released this weekend on Superstars.

In a pre-taped segment, Goldust delivers another sexually-charged promo toward Razor Ramon.

Buddy Landell vs. Bob Holly: I do not understand what this Buddy Landell crap was. Vince really thought it was an awesome idea to utilize cheap copies of WCW stars. This match is boring as hell and seems to go on for a decent while, or at least for longer than anyone would reasonably want. Landell goes over with…an elbow drop. Seems about right.



Result: Buddy Landell via pinfall

Brother Love is with Ted DiBiase, who explains that the guy who he joined forces with last night isn't Santa Claus, it's Xanta Klaus, and he's from the South Pole. What an embarrassing idea this was. As mentioned on the PPV writeup though, they did away with it quickly. I'm pretty sure it disappeared forever within a month.

We see a promo for the "Raw Bowl," which would air on New Year's night. They didn't really explain what that was.

IC Title - Razor Ramon (c) vs. Yokozuna: Goldust comes out and gets a seat in the audience to watch this match. As Razor gets to the ring, he expects his pyro and instead gets showered with gold dust. The distraction allows Yoko to jump him early. I enjoy an early spot where Razor's tornado punch sends Yoko all the way out of the ring, but the match is a pretty slow punch/kick/resthold affair, and is mostly pretty damn boring.



Lights start flickering in the arena during the match, and suddenly Undertaker and Paul Bearer wheel a casket to ringside. Yokozuna loses his **** and runs away, so I guess we have a countout. I do not understand Taker's involvement there. He has an upcoming title shot at Bret Hart and he has some personal tension with Diesel. That seemed to go totally unexplained. He stopped feuding with Yoko over a year ago. Whatever.

Result: Razor Ramon via DQ

From the desk, Vince says that Raw is pre-empted next Monday night for Christmas, but that they would return for the Raw Bowl on January 1st.

Dok is with Razor Ramon at the top of the aisle, and asks him about his response to Goldust's interest in him. Razor says that Goldust sent him a letter telling him how hot and handsome he is, and says, "And you know what, he's right. But I don't play that game. I only like women. Goldust, you can do your thing mang, but just not with me."

Vince sends it to a video package in tribute to Shawn Michaels. Ah, this is the infamous "Tell Me a Lie." The cheese factor is way over the top here. The show goes off the air at the end of the video.

Overall: Episode was complete trash with basically zero redeeming value. Hell, the cheesy Shawn Michaels music video may have been the best part.

NITRO

Augusta, GA

From the desk, they start to talk up the Savage vs. Giant main event tonight for the WCW Title, when they're suddenly interrupted for an iconic moment.



Shots fired. I don't even remember them particularly using her after this, but it was still a strong salvo in early stages of the Monday Night Wars.

Mongo welcomes Refrigerator Perry up to the announce table for no apparent reason, so there's that. He doesn't actually join in on the commentary.

Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero: Eddie gets a jobber entrance this time for some reason. Obviously he was far from a jobber. Heenan: "Everywhere I go, airports, everyone is talking about Eddie Guerrero. They're chanting 'Eddie, 'Eddie.' I don't know why." Gotta say, I'm not sure that story is true.



The crowd is kind of sleeping through this one, and to be fair the match isn't all that good overall. Eddie takes a hard spill to the floor when Flair knocks him off the top rope, which hurts Eddie's knee. That sets up the figure-four leglock, which Eddie struggles in forever before finally passing out and staying down for a three-count.

Result: Ric Flair via pinfall

Arn comes in applauding Flair after the match, and Mean Gene arrives on the scene to interview both of them. Arn says that he respects Paul Orndorff, but that when you jump on one of the Horsemen, you jump on all of them. Basically they had no choice but to hospitalize him.

Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart interrupt. He says he respects the both of them, but that they've got a loose cannon on their hands. Taskmaster says that as the Enforcer, Arn Anderson had better keep Brian Pillman on a short leash. Arn tells him that if they come at Brian Pillman, they're going to find Flair and Anderson. Again, they just barely ever acknowledge Chris Benoit. It's strange.

Sgt. Craig Pittman interrupts a segment at the announce desk. He asks Bobby Heenan to manage him to the world title. Heenan says that he doesn't manage anymore, but that he would try to find a manager to help his situation. Pittman angrily says, "If I don't get help soon, I'm going to take no prisoners." Then he walks off. Can't say I possibly remembered that.

Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell (w/ Scotty Riggs): Bagwell gets a bit of offense in here, but Luger shrugs it off and puts him in the torture rack. Nothing to this match.



Result: Lex Luger via submission

We get another Lex Luger/Jimmy Hart promo about how Luger is the rightful champion. We already had this promo last week.

Sting vs. Earl Robert Eaton (w/ Jeeves): On WCW Saturday Night, Lord Steven Regal had recruited Bobby Eaton and turned him into a proper British gentleman, so that's what this was. This match plays out a decent bit like Luger-Bagwell, with the superstar obviously going over the midcarder with his submission finisher despite some token offense from the midcarder. Nothing really bad about the match, but nothing especially good either.



Result: Sting via submission

Mean Gene joins Sting in the ring and asks him about the upcoming triangle match at Starrcade. Sting tells Ric Flair that he's not about to forget what Flair did to him at Halloween Havoc, not even after two Scorpion Deathlocks. He also says that he's annoyed with Lex Luger for not showing him enough respect when he talks about going through all the talent in WCW. Just more generic Starrcade hype; they kind of keep hashing over old ground.

WCW Title - Randy Savage (c) vs. The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart and The Taskmaster): Big vs. little can work really well if the little guy is flying around the ring, but Randy Savage does most of his attacking from the mat here, and it just doesn't make for particularly interesting action. It also has a terrible ending…like Lex Luger, The Giant gets robbed when he has the match won, because Hulk Hogan just runs on in with a steel chair and waffles him in mid-pin. So first he craps all over Savage's title win, and then he steps in and delegitimizes it further each week that follows? Solid.



Result: The Giant via DQ

Hogan proceeds to keep hitting The Giant with the chair, then even attacks a ringside official who tries to calm him down. Mongo and Refrigerator Perry go to ringside and Hogan threatens them as well. This crowd chants "Hogan, Hogan, Hogan," so maybe the negativity was just in Charlotte.

After a commercial, Mean Gene attempts to interview Hulk Hogan. The Giant comes back down the aisle after him, and Hogan runs down and continues to beat on The Giant and now The Taskmaster with a steel chair. Then he returns to the ring and yells at Savage that Savage owes him a title shot. Savage says that he needs to beat Flair next week, and then needs to survive Starrcade, and then at that point he'll give Hogan a title shot.

They go to the announce desk, where Heenan yells at Mongo to mind his own business and Mongo yells back at him before they sign off for the night.

Overall: I mean…they've really neutered the hell out of Randy Savage's title run here and made it basically pointless. And once again he can't hold the belt without it being all about Hulk Hogan, which is ****ty. Anyway, the show was a bunch of meh without anything being great or terrible. The brief confrontation between Flair/Arn and Taskmaster/Jimmy was probably my favorite moment of the show.

---

Ratings for 12/18/95: Nitro 2.7, Raw 2.3
Ratings Running Score: Nitro, 7-6-2

Better Show: "Meh" beats "aggressively terrible." Nitro wins.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 12-3

Match of the Night: Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero (though, again, it wasn't all that good)
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:07 PM   #79
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I had no idea the Horsemen/DOD angle started this early. I mean, Benoit was fighting Sullivan the following summer.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:25 AM   #80
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

The Bryan and Vinny show are doing 'Retro Tuesdays' looking at Raw v. Nitro from this week 19 years ago (so a year ahead of where you are). Bryan brought up that Madusa had very few matches, at least on Nitro, after the belt dump.

profightdb has ~10, 4 on Nitro in 1996, including a loss to Sherri Martel.

http://www.profightdb.com/wrestlers/...html?prom_id=4
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:02 AM   #81
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I think WCW and WWF both assumed the Japanese women would put on classic match after classic match like they had been doing in Japan when they came to the states. Or at least be something different and good that gets over. When that didn't exactly happen, WCW didn't know really what to do with Madusa; those were probably supposed to be the opponents for her.

Japanese women's wrestling was extremely hot at this time; hotter than women's wrestling had been in the US at least since Mildred Burke and probably ever. The person voted Most Outstanding Wrestler by Observer readers in 95 was Manami Toyota. WCW and WWF tried to get a slice of that action but didn't know how to.

Last edited by moorobot; 11-06-2015 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:15 PM   #82
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

December 25, 1995

NITRO

Augusta, GA

The guys at the desk wish us a Merry Christmas.

Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Scotty Riggs: This being in the same arena as last week's show, and having the same Hulk Hogan fan in the same front row seat, I'm sure they were taped at the same time, which would mean that Lex Luger gets to wreck both American Males in the same night. Eric Bischoff informs us that Sting has "literally" been on a roll for several months. Seems legit. Luger and Riggs get a decent amount of time here, more than I would expect. It's a bit difficult to get into as a competitive match since we know that Riggs can't pin Luger or something, but the action is alright. To no surprise, Luger goes over with the torture rack.



Result: Lex Luger via submission

Mean Gene is with Sting and asks him what the deal is with his friendship with Lex Luger. Sting takes offense and tells Gene to knock it off with that angle, that he's friends with Lex and is trying to straighten him out. They REALLY repeat their same talking points in interviews a lot.

Big Bubba vs. Sting: They casually mention that Hulk Hogan is suspended until the end of 1995, which is all of a week, so I guess that's just an explanation for why he's not in on Starrcade. The action in this match feels like they're mailing it in, and it isn't really much to speak of. I do dig the ending spot, where Bubba catches Sting up top and is going to throw him off, only to get countered into a small package for the three-count.



Result: Sting via pinfall

Mean Gene with Lex Luger. "What's the deal with you and Sting?" C'mon man, quit doing the same segment in slightly altered forms. Ah, here's a twist: Sgt. Craig Pittman interrupts. He agrees that Luger is the uncrowned champion, then asks Jimmy Hart to manage him. Jimmy demands that Pittman take his shirt off, which Pittman does…he has a good physique, but nothing special. Jimmy says "look at yourself, and look at Lex Luger. Why would I manage you?"



Then he hands him a quarter and tells him to call someone else, laughs hysterically, and he and Lex both leave. I really don't remember this Pittman angle at all.

Dean Malenko vs. Mr. JL: Pretty good action here, as you would expect. No particular story to the match, but some nice Malenko spots including the rare but intoxicating second-rope gutbuster.



Malenko slaps on a leglock and gets the quick submission for the win.

Result: Dean Malenko via submission

Mean Gene is with Ric Flair. Wonder if he'll ask about his friendship with Lex Luger or something. Jimmy Hart quickly interrupts and apologizes for Kevin Sullivan rudely interrupting their promo last week. He then thanks Flair for saving him from Randy Savage a couple of weeks ago, and says that as a thank you he wants to accompany Flair in tonight's title match. WTF. Flair accepts.

WCW Title - Randy Savage (c) vs. Ric Flair (w/ Jimmy Hart): The crowd is disappointingly dead for this one, a meaningful world title match between two of the company's biggest stars. It really hurts any hope of watchability that the match had; the action here is okay at times, albeit too reliant on rest holds, but it just comes off as incredibly boring when the crowd is such a bummer.



The match gets nearly 15 minutes and is overwhelmingly dominated by Flair…Savage launches a comeback late, and then, even in a spot where the match wasn't on the verge of a finish, we randomly get a Lex Luger run-in to attack Savage and cause a DQ. So lame. What is even the motivation for Luger? Yeah he hates Savage, but doing this keeps Savage with the belt just like a Savage win would. And he has no real motive to cost Flair the belt, not to mention that his manager is actually in Flair's corner here. Whatever.

Result: Ric Flair via DQ

Sting runs into the fray as well, but goes straight after Flair. He clears Flair out, Savage clears Luger out, and then Sting and Savage trade shoves and slaps and jaw back and forth. There's our go-home scene for Starrcade as the show fades out.

Overall: Pretty bad episode. Flair vs. Savage was a dull affair that took up nearly half the show. Malenko vs. JL was decent, Jimmy Hart randomly rejecting and laughing at Craig Pittman was actually kind of entertaining, but that's all I could take away here.

---

Ratings for 12/25/95: Nitro 2.5, Raw N/A
Ratings Running Score: Nitro, 7-6-2 (this week = no result)

Better Show: N/A
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 12-3 (this week = no result)

Match of the Night: Dean Malenko vs. Mr. JL
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:27 PM   #83
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

The Lex Lugar stuff seems to make literally no sense. I sort of remember this as a kid and 20 years later I am still lost. Perhaps this angle is just too smart for me.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:33 PM   #84
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

He was a selfish heel who wished to advance his career. But he and Sting were best friends, and at least to this point he had never double-crossed Sting, so it does make sense that Sting remained friends with him despite disagreeing with some of his actions.

Makes sense to me, but maybe you're talking about another aspect of the angle.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:38 PM   #85
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKJ View Post
He was a selfish heel who wished to advance his career. But he and Sting were best friends, and at least to this point he had never double-crossed Sting, so it does make sense that Sting remained friends with him despite disagreeing with some of his actions.

Makes sense to me, but maybe you're talking about another aspect of the angle.
I get it that much. I just sort of mean how they go about setting it into motion, like what you mentioned with the Flair-Macho match.

Just to confirm, they've been doing the same thing with Lugar since he debuted right? As in, the heel stuff but friends with Sting? 15 weeks to run with this angle seems long, but probably normal for the time period.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:42 PM   #86
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Luger was a suspicious babyface when he arrived. People didn't know if they could trust him, but he fought alongside the top faces on Hogan's War Games team and worked that match straight-up as a babyface. Despite some shady behavior in following weeks, he didn't turn heel until Halloween Havoc, when he ran in and joined the assault on Hogan and then Savage at the end of the show. So he's only been full heel for about two months here.

I still remember Luger and Sting teaming on WCW Saturday Night at this time, and Luger entering behind Sting and high-fiving the fans when he knew Sting was looking, then refusing to high-five and being a dick to them when Sting's back was turned. I enjoyed that.
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:24 PM   #87
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW STARRCADE '95



Our opening graphic focuses on the World Cup of Professional Wrestling, with WCW facing off against NJPW.

Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan at the announce table. Some generic hype, and then we're off to the ring.

World Cup - Chris Benoit vs. Jushin Thunder Liger (w/ Sonny Onoo): Full writeup here. Great action between Benoit and Liger with a lame dirty finish, when Kevin Sullivan gets involved in mid-match and distracts Benoit, leading to Liger finishing him off on a botched hurracanrana into a pin for the win. NJPW takes a 1-0 lead on the night.



Result: Chris Benoit via pinfall (10:29)
Rating: ****

Backstage to Mean Gene, who is with Eddie Guerrero. Guerrero immediately gets tongue-tied while trying to say that Kevin Sullivan shouldn't have been out there; for a moment, Eddie sounded like Ricky Steamboat. Gene asks him to size up his match with Shinjiro Otani later. Eddie says he's just happy to be here. Man this is a lame promo. In 1995, Eddie was awful on the mic. He did become better later.

World Cup - Koji Kanemoto (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Alex Wright: Wright hasn't appeared on Nitro in nearly two months, so I'd pretty much forgotten him. We get loud "USA" chants, I guess in support of the native German. Nice spinning toehold drops by Kanemoto. Some nice headscissor takeovers by Wright too, as he gets significant extension and almost seems to change from a dropkick into a headscissor. Kanemoto ends up scoring the clean victory after dropping Wright hard face-first along the top turnbuckle, then pulling him into the middle and rolling into a pinning combo for the win.



Some sporadic good offense in this match, but they didn't seem to have a ton of chemistry and their exchanges never seemed very organic. It was alright, but I didn't love it.

2-0 NJPW.

Result: Koji Kanemoto via pinfall (11:44)
Rating: **1/2

The announcers talk about WCW's need to rally the troops and come back now that they've fallen into a deficit. They send it to Mean Gene backstage, who shills the hotline and then brings in Sonny Onoo. Onoo says that if they win tonight, they might buy WCW, and then buy Iowa. Onoo trolls Gene a bit, and Gene sends it back to the announce team.

World Cup - Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Masahiro Chono (w/ Sonny Onoo): This is Chono before he became "Masa MY HERO Chono HAR HAR HAR." The crowd is in full throat behind Team WCW, so Luger actually gets a surprisingly huge pop upon his entrance here. Match is short and a non-negligible part of it is spent on stalling, so I can't say much in its favor except for a hilarious commentary moment where Dusty and Bobby suddenly turn on Tony and start making fun of him. Chono hits a front kick, which Tony calls a mafia kick.

Dusty: "Where do you get all this? A German suplex, a mafia kick? He kicked him with the bottom of a 12 and a half boot right in the middle of the mush. Ain't got nothing to DO with the mafia! Hell, what you talking about? Man!"
Bobby: "Tony! He kicked a man in the head!"
<Luger hits a back elbow>
Dusty: "He just caught him with a Sicilian elbow!"
Bobby: "Right around the Yugoslavian neckbreaker! He kicked a man in the head, Schiavone!"

(I'm pretty sure that first sentence is what Bobby said. Yes it's nonsensical.)



As that exchange ends, Luger puts Chono up in the rack and scores the victory. Again, a huge pop for Luger winning. NJPW's lead is cut to 2-1.

Result: Lex Luger via submission (6:41)
Rating: *1/4

Mean Gene with Sting backstage. He mentions that Sting's opponent tonight, Kensuke Sasaki, beat him a couple of months ago in Japan for the US Title. Sting vows that he gets his win back tonight. He also cuts a promo about tonight's triangle match.

World Cup - Johnny B. Badd (w/ Kimberly) vs. Masa Saito (w/ Sonny Onoo): Sonny Onoo grabs a mic and yells that Kimberly should be home doing dishes. Kim snags the mic away and combats sexism with some anti-Japanese racism. Alright, whatever. Badd and Saito trade some stiff chops in a fun exchange in the middle of this match, but it slows down hard from there. As a call-back to last match, I did get excited when Saito hit a Russian legsweep just because it led to Tony having to call the name of the move. "Russian legsweep. You guys like that one?" Bobby: "What country haven't we been to yet?"



Badd connects on a really high-elevation sunset flip off the top rope. I love that spot by him. Sonny Onoo gets up on the apron and runs distraction, Badd runs over and grabs him, the two jostle a bit, Saito dumps Badd up and over the top rope from behind, and they call that a DQ. Terrible ending. Saito looks threatening at Kimberly, so Badd beats him up and clears him out of the ring, then follows him out with the Badd Day somersault plancha that 100% misses its mark. Good times.

NJPW/WCW tied at 2.

Result: Johnny B. Badd via DQ (5:52)
Rating: *

We get an advertisement for Superbrawl, scheduled for February 11th.

Mean Gene backstage with Lex Luger and Jimmy Hart. This is just the Luger rendition of the earlier Sting promo segment, except that Sting talks better than Luger does. Luger does drop the news that Jimmy Hart isn't going to come to ringside with him for the triangle match tonight.

World Cup - Shinjiro Otani (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Eddie Guerrero: Full writeup here. Excellent match, certainly the match of the night. Otani goes over after a series of counter-moves into a final pinning combination.



NJPW takes a 3-2 lead.

Result: Shinjiro Otani via pinfall (13:43)
Rating: ****1/4

Mean Gene with Randy Savage backstage. Savage drops "to infinity and beyond" twice into a quick manic promo. Meh.

World Cup - Randy Savage vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (w/ Sonny Onoo): Punch-kick-punch-kick-punch-kick. So boring. Savage goes over with the flying elbow after what seems like a botched suplex.

As you would expect, WCW and NJPW are tied at 3 and heading to the deciding match #7.

Result: Randy Savage via pinfall (6:55)
Rating: 1/4*

Mean Gene is with Ric Flair, who for some reason is the one guy in the main event scene who doesn't have to pull (scheduled) double duty tonight. Pretty standard Flair promo ensues.

World Cup - Kensuke Sasaki (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs. Sting: This is a little better version of the Savage-Tenzan match, which is to say that it isn't all that great. But it follows the same formula where the Japanese wrestler dominates the strong majority of the match and then abruptly falls victim to the WCW star's finisher. Sting goes over with the Scorpion Deathlock.

Result: Sting via submission (6:52)
Rating: *1/2

We get a brief trophy celebration with Team WCW, who has just won the World Cup.



A video promo sets up the triangle match. Among the talking points: "Will Luger turn on Sting?" They're opponents, you ****wit. I notice that, among all of the builds they've done for this match among all involved in the Sting/Luger/Flair/Savage grouping, there's been no particular Luger/Flair build at all unless it has happened on WCW Saturday Night. Plenty of history between the two obviously, but I haven't heard it mentioned at all.

#1 Contender Triangle Match - Sting vs. Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair: Unlike WWE triple threat matches, WCW triangle matches had this weird (and unfortunate) format where it was only two guys at a time, with another guy on the apron waiting to tag in. But it wasn't an elimination match; it's just one fall to a finish. It's kind of a stupid format. And with that glowing endorsement, I will now watch the match.

Flair and Sting start the match. Flair really ****ing slowly alternates between hitting a move on Sting and then showboating. Eventually Sting hits a couple of moves and then goes for a cover, which Luger comes in to break up. Sting is mad as hell that his friend (and OPPONENT) would prefer not to lose the match while just standing on the apron watching. Luger apologizes for attempting to win the match. Is this Alice in Wonderland? But then Lex still tags himself in anyway, so whatever. Flair vs. Luger quickly turns into another extended heat segment, with Flair really slowly deconstructing Luger. When Luger finally launches a comeback, Flair tags Sting in and gets us to the long-built standoff between Lex and Sting.

Every mini-match within this match is slow and boring, and they put the live crowd to sleep. Luger puts Sting up in the rack, but while up in the air, Sting's leg hits Nick Patrick and causes a ref bump. Ric Flair takes this opportunity to come into the ring, hit a chop block on Lex that takes his leg out and sends him rolling to the outside, and then Flair tosses Sting out over the top on top of Luger on the floor. Flair returns to the apron, revives Nick Patrick from there, Patrick applies the 10-count - Sting nearly makes it back in, but Luger reaches up and holds him out of the ring to stop him - and Flair wins the match by countout. I don't mind the ending as a way for a dirty heel like Flair to find a way to win. Match was mostly very sleepy though.



Result: Ric Flair via double countout (28:03)
Rating: *1/2

After the match, still on the floor, Luger's knee is out. He reaches up to Sting to help him up, but Sting just jaws angrily at him for keeping him from beating the 10-count.

Jimmy Hart comes out to ringside, seemingly ingratiates himself to Flair, and is going to hang out in Flair's corner for the main event.

Quick segment at the announce table, where they discuss Flair's history with Randy Savage. The two feuded earlier this year and had a very good match at Great American Bash.

WCW Title - Randy Savage (c) vs. Ric Flair: Savage controls early, and Paul Orndorff shows up in the aisleway in a full neck brace, glaring at the action in front of him. Orndorff just gets forced to the back. What a weird time to do a call-back to the recent Orndorff/Horsemen stuff that doesn't actually go anywhere.

This match ends in a bunch of chaos. Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron, distracts the referee, and tosses his megaphone to Flair. Savage kicks Flair, takes the megaphone for himself, and lightly blesses Flair with it in lieu of actually hitting him with it. Being barely grazed with the megaphone suddenly leads to Flair bleeding profusely after an obvious blade job. Savage hits the elbow off the top rope, but Randy Anderson is still caught up with Jimmy Hart. Brian Pillman hits the ring and heads up top. Savage catches him and throws him into Chris Benoit, who has also just arrived in the ring. Pillman backs into a corner and Randy Anderson sees him as Savage tackles him. As that distraction is going on, Arn Anderson comes in, clocks Macho Man with a foreign object, throws Flair on top, 1-2-3, new world champion. The championship win gets a huge face pop.



That ending is quite a mess, and it takes far too much suspension of disbelief to think that the referee would be blissfully unaware of all of that interference, but it still is a good result to really put the Horsemen over strong to close out WCW's year.

Result: Ric Flair via pinfall, new WCW Champion (8:41)
Rating: *1/2

Overall: Mixed bag from this show, but I liked it alright. Eddie vs. Otani was excellent, Benoit vs. Liger was pretty great…those were the only great matches, but even in spite of my complaints about the execution of how they got there, the Horsemen going over big to end the show is a fun final moment.
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:27 PM   #88
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

DECEMBER 1995 IN REVIEW

Arrivals/Departures: WWF made some bold moves this month, adding Buddy Landell and Xanta Klaus to the fray. … Really, Jeff Jarrett's return was the only one that stuck at all. They "lost" Mabel, so I guess if you look at it as trading Mabel for Jeff Jarrett, it's a low-impact but positive trade-off. WCW's only real addition this month was the WWF Women's Title belt to their trash can.

Match of the Month: Eddie Guerrero vs. Shinjiro Otani from Starrcade

PPV of the Month: Starrcade

Ratings: Nitro won 2 of 3 contested weeks this month, though the ratings gaps weren't very big. Maybe WCW starting to edge out in front a bit?

Quality: WCW was better each week on Monday nights, and had the better PPV. They had more interesting creative direction and were generally the easier product to watch. But they still weren't great.
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:27 PM   #89
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

And with that, I happily retire from recapping 1995 wrestling. **** that year.
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:09 PM   #90
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

20 years later and Tenzan is still putting on boring matches in NJPW.
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:12 PM   #91
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Not familiar with Tenzan's work so I didn't really know what to expect from him, but Savage really mailed this night in hard. Didn't feel like any real effort from him at all.
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:19 PM   #92
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I haven't finished it yet, I had to come comment as soon as I read "might buy Iowa". What an amazing line lolololol

edit: now im cracking up at Yugoslavian neckbreaker

Last edited by JimHalpert; 11-07-2015 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:48 PM   #93
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I love the fact that Sonny Onoo came out with every NJPW wrestler. But I guess that's WCW for you.

On a side note, I'm a currently reading The Death of WCW as I mentioned in the book thread, and I'm currently on 2000. The only thing I can tell you is that if you get that far in this thread, it's either going to be the most fun you have had doing this, or you will rage quit this. Just to read someone else's account of it is unbelievable. I can only imagine what it will be like to actually watch.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:24 PM   #94
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I'm morbidly curious about late WCW. I was watching wrestling at the time, but at some point WWF got so good and WCW got so bad that I just naturally quit watching without really thinking about it. I don't think there was one particular moment that caused it, so I can't even really think of when I stopped watching.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:26 PM   #95
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHalpert View Post
edit: now im cracking up at Yugoslavian neckbreaker
Here's that moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMvF_6c5wiY
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:52 PM   #96
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

fantastic
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:35 PM   #97
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I watched half of Souled Out 2000 a couple of months ago just for the lolz. Sadly I watched on my tablet because I could've had an entire essay about the unintentionally funny bull**** that they insist on serving up. I'll have to finish it some day.
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:44 AM   #98
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

The funniest thing Souled Out 2000 was them announcing in the first segment that Jarrett and Steiner wouldn't be in the championship match. The title is now vacant with Sid facing Benoit to crown a champion. They show Benoit leaping from the top of a cage hitting Jarrett's lower rib cage area. Immediately after cutting from the clip of that move, Tony says, "that moved caused him (Jarrett) to sustain a concussion, so he won't be able to compete tonight"....riiiiiiight. Powerful headbutt to cause a concussion hitting your midsection.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:11 PM   #99
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

January 1, 1996

NITRO

Atlanta, GA

Eric Bischoff welcomes us to Nitro, and says that the world title is on the line tonight. Seriously, every single week? But in fact yes, Ric Flair will defend against Hulk Hogan tonight. And Randy Savage will face Arn Anderson as well.

Arn Anderson vs. Randy Savage: Savage is of course mad as hell that Arn knocked him out a few nights ago to enable Flair to take his world title. Eric Bischoff announces that the Smoking Gunns won the Raw Bowl, which has yet to fully air on WWF TV tonight. Pretty sure that's the first time he threw out a taped Raw results spoiler.

One problem I always have in these "he just wants to hurt this guy, he doesn't care about the match" type of grudge matches: why the hell does the grudge-holding person almost always still make token pin attempts after transition moves? It's like they just forget the story they're really trying to tell. Arn does a ton of limb work on Savage's bad arm, including a nice arm-breaker spot. Also hits a great DDT.



Anderson really carries things here, and I think it ends up being a pretty good match. Our ending comes when, during a ref bump, Anderson produces brass knuckles from his trunks, Randy Savage steals them away and wallops Arn with them instead, and gets the pinfall.

Result: Randy Savage via pinfall

Chris Benoit and Brian Pillman hit the ring after the ending and read referee Randy Anderson the riot act, but obviously the result stands.

Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves) vs. Chris Benoit: Not a bad match, though I didn't like it as much as I hoped to when I saw that these two were going to go at it. There was the occasional nice spot, but there wasn't a lot of flow to it, and it was all a bit disjointed. The ending was also unexpected and abrupt…Benoit attempts a pescado to the floor and came up empty. Regal rolls him into the ring and pins him for the three-count. Mixed reaction from me; I like it, and I think matches should end that way, but when almost none of them do, it leaves me feeling empty as a viewer. The fault in that lies more with the formulaic endings of other matches than this one, but this is the one that suffers for it.



Result: Lord Steven Regal via pinfall

Mean Gene is in the ring with Brian Pillman, Arn Anderson, and Chris Benoit. Pillman yells at Anderson and Benoit for being 0-2 right after their big triumph at Starrcade. Benoit defends himself, says he can only be beaten by sheer luck, which is how Regal won. He says he holds his own. Pillman says that yeah, Benoit holds his own when they're in the limo with Dom flowing and naked women surrounding them, but that's only half of the job description. Pillman turns to Arn and yells at him as well. Arn fires back at Pillman and tells him to quit starting fires all over the place with everyone.

The Taskmaster and The Zodiac emerge from the back, headed toward the ring, but The Giant and Jimmy Hart pull them back and force them back to the locker room.

The Super Assassins (w/ Col. Parker) vs. Lex Luger & Sting: I didn't remember these Super Assassins, but apparently this was the Powers of Pain under masks. A quick search indicates that they only wrestled three televised matches. They wear identical outfits here, so I can only identify the Warlord by looking for the beefier one that shows zero ability in the ring. Sgt. Craig Pittman interrupts the announce table as the match starts, and asks Mongo McMichael to be his manager. Mongo declines, and encourages him to just kick ass on his own.



As for the match, the announcers obviously question where things are at between Sting and Luger, Bischoff and Mongo question Lex's motives, but the match plays out pretty straight…Sting plays face-in-peril for a heat segment, but eventually makes a hot tag to Luger, who quickly gets one of the Assassins up for the torture rack while Sting puts the other in the Scorpion Deathlock. Game, set, match.

Result: Sting & Luger via submission

Promo time with The Giant and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy says that one night you might see him with The Giant, another you might see him with Ric Flair, but that you're always going to see him around winners. Giant cuts a really incoherent promo at Hulk Hogan and walks off. Gene: "I don't know what he's saying, but I get the impression that this man is predicting a victory for WCW Champion Ric Flair."

WCW Title - Ric Flair (c) vs. Hulk Hogan: The first act of this match is all Hogan, but an eye gouge and a chop block turn the tables and Flair assumes control. Locks in the figure-four, Hogan eventually escapes. Delayed Hulk-up, legdrop, but Hogan gets distracted by Jimmy Hart showing up on the apron. Amidst the distraction, Arn Anderson comes in and clocks Hogan with brass knucks. No-sell by Hogan. Knocks Arn down, takes his brass knucks away, Randy Anderson sees that Arn had these and signals for a bell.



Result: Hulk Hogan via DQ

Hulk faces down the Horsemen. Giant in from behind with a chair, but Savage follows Giant in and takes the chair away from behind. Hogan and Savage have cleared the ring, and the two heel factions slink off.

Back from break, it's promo time for Hulk and Macho. They issue a challenge to the Horsemen for next Monday. Hogan says that if they don't have the guts to go 2-on-2, he and Macho will take on all four of them.

To the desk for some quick wrap-up, and then we sign off.

Overall: Good episode IMO. Couple of good matches, the stories are pretty interesting. No real complaints.

RAW

Newark, DE

This special football-themed episode was called the "RAW Bowl." It's the rare one that isn't on the WWE Network…I don't know if it's a copyright infringement thing or what. Managed to find it on DailyMotion.

RAW Bowl - Smoking Gunns vs. Owen Hart & Yokozuna vs. Razor Ramon & Savio Vega vs. Sid & The 1-2-3 Kid: The teams all wear football jerseys, and the ring has football carpeting. It's an elimination match, two at a time, and for some reason teams have one timeout each.

Owen Hart vs. Bart Gunn to start. Owen then tags Billy, so technically it's Billy vs. Bart. They run the ropes a bit and then go tag Owen and Yoko simultaneously. Owen actually does take a shoulderblock from Yoko before tagging Savio and normalizing the match.



This match is littered with bad football puns from the announce table. Honestly, the concept for the match is reasonably entertaining, and the whole thing would be a lot better if they didn't insist on making it so incredibly cheesy. Vince makes mention that we would be hearing from the Huckster and the Nacho Man later.

First elimination: Kid is in trouble with Razor. Someone for that team calls timeout. Earl Hebner, in full football referee uniform, tries to stop Razor from proceeding. He hits a Razor's Edge anyway. I would have figured DQ for that, but I guess not. As DiBiase pleads his case from the apron, Sid enters and hits a clothesline from behind, which apparently has a massive power-up simply due to being illegal and behind the ref's back, because Razor is knocked out for a three-count when Kid gets rolled on top of him. Razor and Savio are gone.

Second elimination: Yokozuna sets up Billy Gunn for the Banzai Drop. Owen stands behind, holding Billy in place, which he never does. He does this time to blatantly set up a spot. Bart Gunn in from behind, pulls Billy to safety, trips Owen in the process, and Yokozuna lands on Owen. Billy for the pin, and Owen & Yoko are sent to the showers.

Vince talks of an unbelievable bombshell about who is going to be in the Royal Rumble. Pretty sure I know who that is; it's someone who should have been a huge addition, but was just okay due to misuse and kliq politics.

Final elimination: Kid on the top rope while Hebner is distracted, Razor Ramon back to ringside, shoves the Kid off the top into Sid, one of the Gunns makes the pin, and the Smoking Gunns win the match.

Result: Smoking Gunns win the elimination match

Vince and Lawler say that Shawn Michaels is making an announcement about his future next week.

Vince sends it to Dok Hendrix for the Raw Bowl Report. Apparently we're getting Diesel vs. King Mabel later. Which means that I guess I was premature in saying that Mabel was gone. But this was taped in '95 and I do think that this was it. Dok talks about the already-announced Bret vs. Undertaker and Jarrett vs. Ahmed matches for the Royal Rumble, then speaks of the Rumble match itself, but doesn't give us the teased announcement from earlier.

They show highlights of the HHH vs. Godwinn Hog Pen match from IYH. This carries on for a full 9+ minutes. I fast forward.

They advertise for next week that they're going to show the main event from this past IYH on Raw. Seriously? It was only a 60-minute show at this point, and they were still unable to just fill an hour. They also advertise Hakushi vs. Jeff Jarrett.

King Mabel vs. Diesel: Jeff Hardy appears to be one of the enhancement talents carrying Mabel to the ring. Diesel jumps Mabel before the bell and then pins him in eight seconds after a big boot.

Result: Diesel via pinfall

The Smoking Gunns are celebrating their win in the back. The Brooklyn Brawler shows up and presents them with "The Lombardi Trophy," which is a mounted cutout of himself. Obamanotbad.jpg.

Vince and Lawler announce some participants for the upcoming Royal Rumble, then Vince's monster announcement is that Vader will make his WWF debut by entering the Rumble.

To end the show, they send it to "Billionaire Ted's Wrasslin' War Room," which makes fun of Ted Turner, Hulk Hogan, and Randy Savage. A couple of dudes parody Hogan and Savage, saying they can't do anything that WWF stars do today because they're too old. These sketches were such pathetic butthurt on Vince's end.

Overall: I mean, the episode was all kinds of lame, but the Raw Bowl match did have its entertainment value. Spending like 1/4 of their air time on re-airing the Hog Pen match from IYH is obviously pathetic. So are the Billionaire Ted skits. Getting Vader was obviously a coup, even if it was one that they bungled.

---

Ratings for 1/1/96: Raw 2.6, Nitro 2.5
Ratings Running Score: Tied, 7-7-2

Better Show: Nitro remains the better show almost every week. Raw could have maybe beaten a bad Nitro this week, but it was a pretty good Nitro.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 13-3

Match of the Night: Randy Savage vs. Arn Anderson
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:58 PM   #100
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

ive found this thread fascinating

I didn't start watching wrestling til shortly after the mankind/taker hiac (its what a friend showed me to introduce me to it) and didn't consistently watch it until the rock/austin eras were already underway. By the time that I learned there was a wcw it was already on the decline and kind of a joke. I've only know wcw as a place for good cruiserweight matches and terribly awful ideas. So reading through this and seeing wcw being pretty damn solid (this episode seemed quite good) and wwe being a trainwreck is not what i expected.

Looking forward to riding this one out. Just in case it doesn't get said enough, this thread is excellent and I hope you keep it up
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