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Old 11-14-2015, 02:35 AM   #126
LKJ
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS XXXII



Show starts on highlights of Randy Savage winning the WCW Title and the ensuing tense moment between Savage and Hulk Hogan.

From there, Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan kick things off from the announce table, talking about the night's matches and then also mentioning that tonight we'll see just about the worst idea I can imagine, a wedding between Col. Parker and Sister Sherri. They send it to Mean Gene at a little white chapel elsewhere in Vegas, where I guess that wedding is happening. Such complete idiocy.

Public Enemy vs. Nasty Boys: I was definitely not optimistic when I saw that this was going to be a match, but it turns out to be an extremely entertaining brawl, with all four fighting each other the whole time. It was conducted under normal tag rules, but Nick Patrick can't keep control of the bout, so he eventually just calls it off and makes it a double disqualification. After the bell, Rocco Rock moonsaults into a table that Knobbs is laying across, and the table barely gives; it seems like it may not have been gimmicked.



One hunk of wood comes loose on impact, and Sags improvises and hammers Johnny Grunge with it twice, then throws the busted table at Grunge when Grunge attempts to escape to the floor. Holy ****. This whole thing was such a pleasant surprise.





Result: Double DQ
Rating: ****

Eric Bischoff brings out Ric Flair, Big Show, and Jimmy Hart for an interview. Bischoff says that it was a bad night for Flair last night. Flair says that here in Vegas, among the bright lights, the beautiful women, etc., what happened last night was nothing. I would rant about him burying the title, but he's Ric Flair so I guess I'll turn a blind eye this once. He said it's no big deal, because Savage has to step back in the ring with him and The Giant tonight. Giant takes over the mic and sounds about as coherent as Ahmed Johnson. He should probably leave his talking to Jimmy Hart at this early stage in his career.

Dean Malenko vs. Alex Wright: During Dean's entrance, they show video of a match on WCW Saturday Night where Malenko got Wright in the Texas Cloverleaf and refused to release it until multiple officials forced him off. This match is fine on a technical level, with some nice targeted limb work from Malenko and good selling from Wright, but the audience clearly doesn't care about either man, so it doesn't really take off. Also the finish gets botched…the speed with which Malenko flips through for a pinning combo is awesome, but Alex Wright clearly kicks out on 2 and Randy Anderson counts three anyway. Schiavone doesn't mention the botch; Heenan doubles down in the face of zero questioning and says, "He beat him fair and square in the center of the ring."



Result: Dean Malenko via pinfall
Rating: **

The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Disco Inferno: Instead of Disco Inferno coming out when his music hits, a random Elvis impersonator heads to the ring eating a burger. He enters the ring and does a terrible Elvis impression, then sings Taskmaster an unintelligible song until Taskmaster attacks, beats him up, and clears the ring of him. The Elvis impersonator's Elvis wig comes off, and from one angle he very much looks like Scott Steiner, but I couldn't substantiate that, nor would it make sense. So we don't get a match. No idea WTF this was.

No match

We go on location to the chapel, where Mean Gene does a stupid interview with Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater.

And back to the arena, where Eric Bischoff brings out Sting and Lex Luger. Bischoff calls their title win last night controversial. Luger asks what he means. Bischoff says "you know what I mean." Then they never really get into that aspect further…I wanted to hear Sting actually talk on that. But instead, they're interrupted by the Road Warriors. Animal and Hawk are friendly with the champs, but say that they're really the most dominant force, and that Sting and Luger should take them on. Sting loves the idea.



Luger says they have to deal with actual contenders for the belts, and not a team that has been away so long. Among the contenders Luger names? State Patrol. Man, I had forgotten there was a team named that. They were jobbers who only ever showed up on C-shows. Bischoff responds incredulously, but Lex holds firm. That was Luger's rendition of "who are you to doubt El Dandy?" Hawk yells back at Luger, and they leave the segment off there. Not too bad.

Next we have a pre-taped interview with Paul Orndorff, who says that his injury is career-ending. He expresses his sorrow that he got shelved during a hot streak (not really) and expresses anger at the Horsemen. Then, by the end of the segment, he vows revenge against the Horsemen. So I guess it isn't career-ending? Okay.

Back to the chapel. Can we have a damn match already? Col. Parker shows up asking Gene for $50. He says he's lost all his money in Vegas. He gets a call from Sherri, but it's inconclusive what they're talking about. I don't care enough to try very hard to translate it.

Brian Pillman vs. Eddie Guerrero: This match has obvious potential on paper, but it's not that great. It does give us a famous/infamous moment though. While Pillman is engaging in his histrionics outside the ring, at one point he goes and shoves Tony Schiavone. Shortly after, he's back outside the ring and he goes over and messes with Bobby Heenan, causing Heenan to snap and say "what the **** are you doing?" Happily, it doesn't get censored on the network. Apparently the story on this is that Heenan had a fragile neck, which is what caused his retirement from managing and full-time transition to broadcasting, and he didn't realize that it was Pillman who was messing with him; I guess he thought it might be a fan. Pillman wasn't supposed to mess with him anyway, since allegedly Heenan was on a "do not touch" list.



After dropping the f-bomb, Heenan goes for a walk and tries to calm down while Tony awkwardly stumbles along. Heenan, clearly furious at Pillman and rattled by the fact that he just cursed on live TV, starts to leave, but turns back around and returns to the table. "I'd like to apologize if I said anything I shouldn't have, but the man was going for my neck and I was concerned for my own well-being. He's a loose cannon. But if I said something I shouldn't have, I apologize." In a funny moment that follows about a minute later, Tony says, "So after what just happened, is it fair to say that you would prefer for Eddie Guerrero to win this match?" Heenan immediately abandons any notion of being anti-heel and instantly says no, causing an incredulous response from Tony as I laugh out loud. The thing is, this moment is the type of thing that really helped Pillman's character grow, as there was just nobody who he didn't piss off.

Match was meh; pretty disjointed. Pillman and Guerrero collide mid-ring with dueling cross-bodyblocks, but Pillman gets the better of it and hooks the tights for the 1-2-3.

Result: Brian Pillman via pinfall
Rating: **

Eric Bischoff brings out Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, and Kevin Greene. Hogan keeps referring to Kevin Greene and Miss Elizabeth as their "secret weapons." They're not secret you dip****, they've been advertised like five times and now one of them is literally standing right next to you. This promo gets super ****ing weird at the end. Allow me to transcribe.

Hogan: "The problem that we're going to have tonight, after we bust up The Giant and Ric Flair, at the victory celebration, which one of us is gonna take Liz out on the town tonight, dude?"
Bischoff: "Oh man, I'd like to know that one myself!"
Greene: "Wait a second, big brother. You might have to go through me first."
Savage: "Let me give you a little advice. Elizabeth is gonna be tough to go through. You might have a better time - an easier time - with the Dallas Cowboys, brotha."
Hogan: "Well we all know that she's more than YOU can handle, dude!"
Bischoff: "WHOA WHOA WHOA!"



WHAT THE **** DID I JUST HEAR? Savage is cool about it though. Obviously Hogan had to have cleared that whole sequence with him in advance, but it was still surreal. And hell, Savage was so volatile that I think it would take balls to go there even after Savage cleared it backstage. I remember Ric Flair saying in a shoot that Randy was still hung up on Liz when they reunited in WCW.

Tag Team Titles - Lex Luger & Sting (c) vs. The Bluebloods: This is the third straight match where I hoped for better than I got, but it was okay. Pretty standard formulaic match where the Bluebloods control Luger for a while, Luger hot tags to Sting, Sting wins the match with a Scorpion Deathlock.



Result: Sting & Luger via submission
Rating: **

At the chapel, Sherri arrives in the limo. Parker admits to her that he's down to his last dollar. Sherri gets mad and the two squabble. Quit having these segments please.

Back to the arena, Eric Bischoff brings out Brian Pillman. Pillman comes out and immediately threatens to rattle off the seven words you're not allowed to say on TV. He cuts a manic promo (without uttering any of those words) and leaves. I remember liking his character better back then than I find that I do now. Too often it comes across kind of forced. Meh.

Mexican Heavyweight Champion - Konnan (c) vs. Psicosis: Mike Tenay joins the booth for this one, since Tony and Bobby wouldn't have any idea what to say about these guys. Konnan comes out rocking some ridiculous yellow ninja turtle gear. I'm not sure he was ready to stop being Max Moon just yet.



Konnan hasn't graduated to baggy jeans and obnoxious sing-along yet, so the crowd doesn't care about him at this point. I found that I somewhat enjoyed this match; generally I didn't enjoy much of anything Konnan did, so my low expectations may have helped. A combination of a low dropkick into a DDT was strong, and shortly after that we get a high-elevation tope over the top rope to the floor from Psicosis.



Konnan executes a modified German superplex from the top, then executes a standing figure-four. It doesn't actually look very convincing, but it gets the submission.

Result: Konnan via submission
Rating: **3/4

They throw us back to the ****ing wedding one last time. I'll never know why they thought that a comedy wedding between two inconsequential heel characters should be the foundation for a Clash of the Champions. In the middle of the vows, Madusa appears and attacks Sherri. The wedding is ruined and never goes off. I really hope this angle stayed confined to weekend shows going forward.

Ric Flair & The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan (w/ Kevin Greene, Woman, and Miss Elizabeth):

If ever there was a time for a "you've still got it" chant…



Flair entertainingly bumps around the ring a bit for both Savage and Hogan before tagging out to The Giant. Once The Giant enters, the match turns awful and boring for several minutes until Hogan bodyslams him and he tags back out. Amid some four-man chaos, Savage hits the flying elbow, but Jimmy Hart runs distraction on Savage and Flair recovers and produces some brass knuckles. He knocks the Macho Man out and scores the pin. Not a very good match, and didn't seem to have any real point to it from a storyline standpoint.



Result: Ric Flair & The Giant via pinfall
Rating: *1/2

Pillman and Zodiac run down after the match. Hogan and Greene combine to throw them both out of the ring. Greene was literally five days away from playing in a Super Bowl here, so him doing anything physical at all here is astounding. Hogan and Greene help Savage up, they hold the ring, and the show signs off.

Overall: After that excellent opening brawl, there was enough that looked potentially really good here on paper that I had high hopes. Unfortunately nothing came close to measuring up to that match, but it was still a somewhat entertaining show, even if it all felt pretty pointless in terms of story advancement.
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Old 11-14-2015, 03:03 AM   #127
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

My god, Elizabeth is gorgeous.

Surprised to see you like a hardcoreish match. I'll have to go watch this right now.

edit: lolz at the PE music dub.
enjoyable match but way to short to consider great which is what I call 4* matches. Worth the watch. That bump by Rocco was nasty.

Last edited by .isolated; 11-14-2015 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 11-14-2015, 03:26 AM   #128
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Yeah I hear you on the length of the match, I always find it awkward to try to rate matches that are just a few minutes but have me enthralled the whole time. It was really that throwing of the table at Johnny Grunge's head that had me going "WHAT?" He flung it pretty damn hard and it at least somewhat connected. It didn't look particularly safe.

I went and checked to see what Meltzer gave that match, and he gave it ***3/4, so we were of a similar mind that time. Then I went to check what Scott Keith had to say about it, and he gave it the dreaded "DUD" rating, which is inexplicable to me.
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Old 11-14-2015, 01:15 PM   #129
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

January 29, 1996

NITRO

Canton, OH

Bischoff, Mongo, and Heenan welcome us to the show. Tonight we're getting yet another WCW World Title match, as Randy Savage will defend against The Giant. We're also getting Flair vs. Hogan. WCW may have been running a winning strategy for crushing Monday Night Raw, but they were leaving themselves zero room to really ramp up for their PPVs. The Road Warriors also make their return tonight.

Ric Flair (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Hulk Hogan (w/ Woman and Miss Elizabeth): Hogan controls early, but Flair comes back and works the leg for quite some time. Hogan's leg selling is iffy, but he seems to remember about it just often enough that it at least allows the intended story to be told…at least until the hulk-up, when of course everything goes out the window. Hulk delivers the big boot, drops the leg, and pins Flair, but Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron to distract. Arn Anderson runs in, and Hogan fights him off. Nick Patrick doesn't call it a DQ, I guess because Arn didn't successfully hit him. There has been a long delay since the legdrop, but Hogan finally covers, and at this point Flair kicks out, and in the meantime Jimmy Hart holds Miss Elizabeth and Arn takes her shoe away. He feeds it to Flair, Flair clocks Hogan with it, and we have a three-count. An okay match with a silly and empty ending. Hogan turns up bloody on the outside of the ring after that finish.



Result: Ric Flair via pinfall

The Faces of Fear (Meng & The Barbarian) vs. The Road Warriors: Seattle Sonics shirt sighting in the crowd. **** you, David Stern. This was the first that Meng and Barbarian had teamed on Nitro, and maybe the first time they've teamed since Meng was Haku. I mentioned that Meng wasn't much of a worker these days, but he did deliver a very nice piledriver in this match…which Hawk promptly no-sold. TommyLeeJonesFrown.jpg. No-selling is to ringwork what sing-along is to mic work.



Overall, these teams generally look to be over the hill, and their work just didn't look as sharp or impressive as it once did. The match is non-terrible, but that's all I'll give it. The Faces of Fear give the LOD a lot more of a go than I expected them to get to give in this match, but the Road Warriors of course eventually go over on an awkward, sloppy sequence that featured Barbarian looking like he forgot how they were going home, wrestling himself into a corner, and then just having to contrive a way to get in the line of fire for a Hawk flying clothesline off the top for the pin.

Result: Road Warriors via pinfall

Mean Gene in the ring with Kevin Sullivan and Hugh Morrus. Sullivan says that he's angry because he thought that Arn Anderson was a man of his word. Not sure what he's going on about. Anderson and Pillman head to the ring, Arn rocking the suit again. Sullivan yells that he expects Arn to keep his word and to keep Pillman in line. Arn says that he is a man of his word and that he is going to take care of this.

Anderson admonishes Pillman for acting out as an individual and not acting like a member of the team. He says he has to administer some tough love, and says, "But in this case, this is going to hurt YOU more than it hurts me," as he removes his belt. Pillman begs for mercy, Sullivan and Morrus jump Arn, Pillman ducks out of the ring like a pussy, but Sullivan follows him out with Arn's belt and whips him repeatedly on the floor. Arn makes his way back to his feet and clears Sullivan out to save Pillman.



Anderson is furious at Sullivan for being the one to break their deal, and gets back into the ring to lay down the law. "Somebody back there in that executive committee is in this building. I'm not asking. I'm telling you, unless you want a bloodbath in that dressing room, get me a match. I'm not asking it, I'm demanding it." Arn GOAT. Pillman yells to Arn: "I got you into this mess, and I'll get us out!" Hugely compelling segment.



After a commercial, Mean Gene is in the ring with Sister Sherri. He shows the video footage of Madusa jumping Sherri at the wedding at Clash of the Champions. Before Gene can get any further, Madusa jumps Sherri from the top rope, and I guess they start a match with each other from there.

Madusa vs. Sherri: Sherri isn't actually in wrestling gear or anything. She takes a pretty extensive beating from Madusa, but is able to turn the tables long enough to head up top. Madusa tries to throw Sherri off, Sherri rolls through for a pinning combo, 1-2-3. Madusa keeps beating on her after the bell and leaves her laid out. This little fight was only a few minutes long, but it was pretty entertaining.



Result: Sherri via pinfall

After a commercial, we're onto our main event.

WCW Title - Randy Savage (c) (w/ Woman and Miss Elizabeth) vs. The Giant: Savage's music plays, everyone looks to the entryway, and then he jumps The Giant from behind and hits him repeatedly with his title belt. The Giant is declared the winner by DQ basically simultaneously with the match starting.



Result: The Giant via DQ

Ric Flair comes out and assaults Savage, beating the hell out of him on the floor and then helping him up to the apron so that The Giant can add his own contributions to the beatdown. So this was basically a Vince-style bait-and-switch. Technically there was a match result, but we didn't get a title match. Not that I was terribly excited to watch it or anything. Flair and Giant continue the beatdown until Hulk Hogan comes out, heavily taped after the shot from Elizabeth's shoe busted him open earlier, and chases them out. Then he fends off the rest of the Dungeon of Doom as they descend upon the ring.

Flair, Jimmy Hart, and The Giant storm the announce table and cut threatening promos on Hogan. Which is kind of weird, because he's still right there in the ring and you could just go attack him.

At Superbrawl it sounds like we're going to get Flair vs. Savage and Hogan vs. Giant. Time runs out on the show during this desk segment, and that's where we leave off.

Overall: I really can't say enough for how well the Horsemen plotlines make the whole show seem better. Show was mediocre aside from that elite segment, but one elite segment is enough for me to think that it was a pretty good episode.

RAW

Stockton, CA

Video package to open. Tonight we'll have Shawn Michaels vs. Yokozuna. We'll get an update on Gorilla Monsoon after the attack from Vader last week. And we'll see Diesel vs. British Bulldog. And, "despite the threat of legal action," they continue with Billionaire Ted sketches. …

British Bulldog vs. Diesel: Well, as we already discovered in 1995, these guys don't know how to do anything interesting together. Bulldog goes straight back after the leg like he did back in October, and I have traumatic flashbacks. Thankfully they weren't afforded nearly 20 minutes this time, so just by that token this match is less bad than the IYH 4 match was.

Mid-match, Yokozuna comes to ringside, and after taking a cheap shot at Diesel from the outside he heads over and undoes a turnbuckle pad. Diesel ends up using it for his own gain, slamming Bulldog's head into it and then later executing a snake eyes where he drops him on the exposed steel.



Diesel goes for the pin, Cornette distracts the referee, Yoko in for the save, but Diesel rolls out of the way and Yoko ends up dropping a leg on Bulldog to add insult to injury. Now we get our pin from Diesel for the 1-2-3. I don't know, it wasn't a very good match but it wasn't that bad.

Result: Diesel via pinfall

They send it to Dok Hendrix for the In Your House report. First they talk up the main event, Bret Hart vs. Diesel in a steel cage. Pre-taped promo from Bret is pretty good, though I think that I'm being biased by Bret having a black eye that makes him look meaner. No idea what the story on that was. The match with #2 billing is Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart. And the third match…a "crybaby match" between the 1-2-3 Kid and Razor Ramon. The loser will have to be fed a baby bottle and put in a diaper. I really, really, really don't understand how an idea like that gets green-lit. My best guess is that Hall and Waltman might have both been known to be leaving at this point, and this was just a way to embarrass both of them…but that's no excuse to take it out on us fans who are just trying to enjoy watching. Also just added for the PPV, HHH vs. Duke "The Dumpster" Droese. We get footage of HHH jumping Duke on Superstars and cutting his hair.

Dok turns his attention to the Billionaire Ted stuff, and actually shows a copy of a letter from Eric Bischoff to Vince McMahon on the screen, which implicitly threatens litigation. I paused and read the whole thing. My favorite part of it is, "In light of WCW and WWF program ratings, we understand your concern about the content of our programs." Dok says that the WWF is doubling down and is ready to "defend their rights." Leave it to Vince McMahon to exercise "his rights" by running childish weekly skits that can basically be described as an extended temper tantrum.



With that, we get our newest sketch, this one in the form of a press conference. Reporters accuse Ted of deliberately trying to put the WWF out of business, trying to undercut their advertising rates, and whine to him about putting his show on directly across from WWF's instead of picking a different timeslot or different night. This is all very rich coming from a ruthless piece of **** like McMahon.

Bodydonnas (w/ Sunny) vs. The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim): This is our first appearance of Phineas Godwinn on Raw. Strangely enough, he would be around for years in multiple forms. If I remember correctly, he was quite a bit less talented than Mark Canterbury d/b/a Henry Godwinn, who was a pretty capable worker in spite of his silly gimmick. For some reason, Sunny flirts with Hillbilly Jim outside the ring, though I don't really get what good her team will get from the other team's manager being distracted.



Phineas does get the pin here, going over Skip 100% clean after a Slop Drop (reverse DDT). Match was whatever.

Result: The Godwinns via pinfall

Advertisement for next week: Bret Hart defends his title against The Undertaker.

We get a video package showing Vader's tantrum at the Royal Rumble after being eliminated, and then his rampage on Raw last week. They get a taped promo from Jim Cornette and Clarence Mason. Mason makes a bunch of threats with legal jargon that don't actually make any sense legally, which is a bit weird since he really was a lawyer in real life. Vince says that, after the break, they would reveal who has been assigned to stand in for Gorilla Monsoon while he's out.

Vince stands in the ring and introduces…Rowdy Roddy Piper. Piper enters with, "Does this make me your boss?" He goes on to recount his history of being a troublemaker, then bizarrely launches into…incoherent political thoughts. "There will be no government shutdown when I'm president. Where I come from, Newt Gingrich - a newt - that's something that can't have kids. I've got six kids; that's why I'm president." WTF? Then he tells the fans that the company is now in good hands, and he picks up Vince and does an airplane spin to end the segment.



After the break, we get our first promo that contains no explanation of who it is, but the voice is clearly recognizable as Mick Foley, readying to debut as Mankind. That'll put butts in seats.

Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Shawn Michaels: Michaels plays to the crowd at the start, alternating between pointing at Yoko so the fans will boo and pointing at himself so they'll cheer. Kind of funny; I approve. Owen Hart joins the forces at ringside early on, and gets his shots in on Michaels when he falls out of the ring at one point. Early on, this match is very entertaining, with Michaels either flying around the ring and doing the stick-and-move thing on offense, or bumping around for Yoko, but it slows down more than I would like and hits a real lull in mid-match. The match ends when, during a ref distraction, Owen Hart comes in and directs a spinning heel kick at Michaels, but accidentally hits Yoko. HBK with the superkick to follow, and he scores the pin.



Result: Shawn Michaels via pinfall

Dissension between Cornette's men after the match. Yoko gets up and shoves Owen. Davey runs into the ring to intercede. Michaels has hung around, and all three turn their attention to him, but Diesel runs in to aid Shawn and Yoko/Owen/Davey bail out. Cornette grabs the mic and insists that there's no dissension amongst his men, and then challenges Shawn and Diesel to a tag match against Yokozuna and the British Bulldog for next week. Diesel and Michaels childishly taunt them from the ring, which I guess is their way of accepting. The show signs off from there.

Overall: The main event was nothing special, but it was the best part of the show. As usual, I assume that Piper's segments work better for the rest of the audience than they ever did for me. The rest of the show was filler.

---

Ratings for 1/29/96: Nitro 2.8, Raw 2.4
Ratings Running Score: Tied, 9-9-2

Better Show: Nitro wins another night with room to spare, and does so without the benefit of any particularly great wrestling. It was just a more watchable show in general at this point, and had a much bigger feel to it, with more interesting stories.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 17-3

Match of the Night: Feels like I'm saying this far too much, but there was nothing really resembling a great match on either show this night. I'll shrug and give the honors to Shawn Michaels vs. Yokozuna.
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Old 11-14-2015, 01:16 PM   #130
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

JANUARY 1996 IN REVIEW

Arrivals:
WWF - Vader (from WCW), Steve Austin (from WCW by way of ECW)
WCW - Public Enemy (from ECW), Woman, Miss Elizabeth, Konnan (from AAA)

Match of the Month: Public Enemy vs. The Nasty Boys, Clash XXXII

PPV of the Month: Well…Royal Rumble was the only PPV this month. I would say the Clash was better if that counts, so let's say that counts.

Ratings: Raw manages to grab 3 of 5 here. It's really a fairly weird thing to try to make sense of these ratings, because WCW was emptying the clip to try to put on the better show but wasn't fully breaking through on the viewership side. At the same time, the ratings were really close from the first episode on, so it doesn't seem like WCW was overcoming a position of great strength on WWF's side either.

I guess it can probably be chalked up as: people were loyal to one company or the other, because corporate loyalty is a thing for no rational reason, and so there was a built-in group of people who were going to watch one over the other no matter what. Then there were a smaller number of independent viewers who would truly just make their own decisions as to which one they felt like watching more from week to week, and on top of that there were really casual fans who didn't necessarily tune in weekly, but would occasionally be drawn in by something that interested them.

Quality: WCW was fun to watch more often than not, and watching WWF was a chore more often than not. I really don't remember seeing it this way at the time, probably because I grew up on WWF and fell into the silly WWF loyalist group as described in my theory above.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:01 PM   #131
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I recall shoots with WCW people who were shocked that Nitro was put in the same time slot as Raw thinking they would split the audience, not realizing that there were more WCW fans and more WWF fans than just plain old wrestling fans with no loyalty to either brand or show. It is rather puzzling when I try and think about what finally makes loyalty change or a show to grow then. Nitro being the better show nearly every week for 20 weeks didn't move the needle that much. But eventually the needle was moved...
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:30 PM   #132
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Yeah, the needle moved when the situation changed from "Company A does mainstream PG wrestling way better than Company B does" to "Company A has changed their model to one that is far more appealing to teens and young adults, and actually has trendy mainstream appeal." Mainstream PG wrestling had seemingly exhausted whatever boom it had with the public, and it wasn't coming back under that same form.

With the turning point to the better product in sight, I have to admit that it feels frustrating that for completeness sake I have to trudge through a few more months to get to it. But at least it's getting closer.
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:56 PM   #133
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW PPV buyrates had to be pretty low at this point as they were basically giving the same cards away for free every Monday.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:27 PM   #134
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

My first ppv I ever bought was uncensored 1996. I was 8 at the time and a huge hulk hogan fan. I am not sure how many people bought ppv's back then but I remember just getting the show was a pain in the ass.

First you had to rent this box and pay a deposit for the box
Then you had to go to the cable station to pay for the box and they gave you a code
You brought the box home and hooked it up to your tv
Entered the code then turned to the ppv channel.

It may not seem like a lot but today you can just click a button and you have the ppv. From 99-2001 I think I ordered just about every ppv and did little odd jobs to earn money for them, I imagine if the process was anything like it was 5 years prior I would probably be ordering less pay per views.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:29 PM   #135
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

As bad as WCW was at this time (late 95, early 96) WWF was almost not watchable.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:39 PM   #136
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I was a huge mark during this time and watched everything from both promotions religiously and enjoyed nearly all of it...even Hart's jacket being stolen.

To show how good 1995 was: I was listening to the Lapsed Fan podcast on KotR 95. I listened to 4 or so hours of it and then they got to the main event. Before then, they had never even mentioned what the main event was (nor did I know what it was). Good stuff.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:39 PM   #137
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW PPV buys at this time were in the low 100,000s without Hogan and usually the 200,000s with him (he didn't work every PPV). WWE's PPVs, outside of the big 4, were doing low 100,000s-200,000s in 2013 (last year prior to Network). I'm not sure what WWF was doing in late 95-96 PPV buys but I think it was about the average of WCW with/without Hogan numbers (with minimal difference between PPVs because the big ones costed a lot more than the In Your House).
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:17 AM   #138
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

February 5, 1996

RAW

Stockton, CA

Vince McMahon opens right up saying that this could be one of the momentous Raws ever seen. Well right away I'm hoping they're not just showing a past PPV match for half the show. They do kick things off with a hell of a lot more star power than usual…

Yokozuna & The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Shawn Michaels & Diesel: This match was built up by last week's events, where Yoko accidentally helped cause Bulldog to lose to Diesel, and Owen Hart accidentally helped Yoko to lose to Shawn. Michaels takes a simple shoulderblock from Bulldog and gives it the SummerSlam 2005 over-sell.



In general, Michaels bumps around nicely for Bulldog and Yoko in the early stages, and this thing gets off to a fast start. Unfortunately it slows down and becomes the heels methodically destroying HBK with pretty uninteresting offense. The eventual hot tag to Diesel gets a total non-reaction from the crowd. Michaels rejoins during the hot tag sequence, splashes Yoko off the top, Bulldog accidentally legdrops Yoko when he tries to save him, Michaels superkicks Yoko out of the ring to knock him out, and Yoko can't answer the 10-count despite Owen Hart running to ringside to try to help him up and back into the ring. Match was decent…I just wish it had continued as well as it started.

Result: Shawn Michaels & Diesel via countout

Jim Cornette berates Yokozuna in the ring after the match. Or, as Vince says, "He is just verbally RAPING Yokozuna!" Okay. Yoko eventually has enough and attacks Cornette, Owen and Davey attack from behind, but Yoko clears them out as well, and we have our 1996 re-creation of the WrestleMania VI Andre the Giant face turn. It goes over pretty well with the live crowd.



Mankind vignette.

Hakushi vs. The 1-2-3 Kid (w/ Ted DiBiase): The Kid heads to the ring wielding the oversized baby bottle, so right away I'm going to be reluctant to like this match segment. Fun escape by Hakushi early as he flips out of a headscissor.



Nice slingshot somersault plancha over the top by the Kid as well. Excellent spot later where Hakushi dropkicks the Kid as the Kid flies off the top, looks far better than most spots of that kind. Despite the oversized baby bottle sitting in the corner of the ring, these two do some really good work together, significantly better than their last Raw match and also better than their opener at SummerSlam '95. And as I write that, Hakushi unleashes a nice springboard plancha from the top rope to the floor. He was so good. Great hurracanrana spot from Hakushi a moment later. We get a clean finish, as the Kid pulls off a butterfly superplex for the win. Tremendous match, will be tough to beat for match of the night.



Result: 1-2-3 Kid via pinfall

Another taped promo by Jim Cornette and Clarence Mason. Mason is still threatening to sue for reinstatement of Vader.

Vince goes to a via satellite interview with Gorilla Monsoon. Gorilla apologizes for letting himself get provoked by Vader. Says he doesn't have any say in whether Vader gets reinstated, and says he thinks that Roddy Piper will do a good job as president until Monsoon's return after WrestleMania.

Next week there is no Raw because of the Westminster Dog Show.

WWF Title - Bret Hart (c) vs. The Undertaker: For as special of an occasion as it was to have a legit world title match on Raw, this wasn't all that entertaining, and Diesel strolls down halfway through the match to the commentary table to basically announce that Taker couldn't possibly win. Not sure why Bret and Taker were so boring together each time…Bret was able to drag watchable action out of less capable talents than Undertaker.

Riffing off of Taker saying it would be a cold day in hell before Diesel would win the world title, Diesel awkwardly jokes that according to the weather channel, it was -70 in hell today. GOOD ONE. We get a ref bump, so a schoolboy pin by Bret Hart doesn't count. As he remains down, Diesel gets up and actually destroys Bret Hart at ringside. The Undertaker is stupid, so he attacks the guy attacking his opponent and throws him into the steps. Diesel grabs a chair and lights up The Undertaker. He then jackknifes him (badly, but that was a lot of his powerbombs) inside the ring. And does it again. Earl Hebner is just down for absolutely forever here without any real justification.



They go to commercial. During the break, Bret fought Diesel back to the locker room and Taker followed them both back. They say the match was officially called a draw. Alright.

Result: Draw

We finish again on more of the Billionaire Ted press conference. I continue to have nothing but smug contempt for this childishness. A very stupid note to end the show on.

Overall: Man, they really unloaded the clip this week. This was a really strong show, even if I didn't get much enjoyment out of the main event. Good story advancement, the build to a Yokozuna face turn paid off reasonably well, great action between the 1-2-3 Kid and Hakushi…for once, I can actually speak glowingly of an episode of Raw. It will take a lot for Nitro to be the better show this week.

NITRO

Lakeland, FL

Starting at the desk, Eric Bischoff says that we're going to kick things off with Randy Savage defending the WCW Title against Chris Benoit. They rattle off some other matches for the night as well, Road Warriors vs. Sting & Lex Luger among them.

WCW Title - Randy Savage (c) (w/ Miss Elizabeth and Woman) vs. Chris Benoit: I usually don't think about where Chris Benoit's life ended up when I watch him on these shows, but it's pretty tough to just shut it out when Woman is hanging around ringside. We have a really hot crowd for this one, with loud booing for Benoit's entrance and a ton of support for Savage. Unfortunately the match isn't much to speak for. If I didn't know that Savage had some good matches in the future then I would point to him being over the hill and done for given the recent quality of these matches, but maybe he was hurt or something? In any case, he was really kind of sucking in every match here for a time.

Holy **** at a late bump that Chris Benoit takes on a missed suicide dive. From the look and sound of it, it really seemed like he hit his forehead squarely on the base of the guardrail.



After that bump, Savage rolls him inside and hits the flying elbow, but gets distracted as Ric Flair goes after Liz at ringside. As Savage stalks Flair, Woman comes up from behind Macho Man and strangles him with a camera cord, prompting a bell. Arn shows up at the same time, and the beatdown is on until Hulk Hogan clears the ring with a steel chair. The Horsemen, and their new manager Woman, leave triumphantly.



Result: Randy Savage via DQ

Savage gets helped to the back. Hogan and Liz are in the ring as Mean Gene arrives. Hogan is cutting a furious promo as Flair sneaks up behind and hits a cheap shot on him, then tears away at Hogan's wound from last week's high heel of doom attack, opening him up. The Giant and Zodiac also come to the ring, and as Hogan starts to fight back against Flair, Giant hits him with a chair. He's going to continue with the chair shots, but Zodiac stands in the way and stops him. I don't remember that part. Randy Savage runs back into the ring to chase the Dungeon of Doom guys out.

Savage screams about Flair and how what he's going to do to him this Sunday isn't okay to talk about on TV. Then he turns to Liz and yells, "WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN HOGAN ABOUT THE BLINDSIDE?" Gene intercedes on her behalf and says that she really tried to. Savage calls for help for a bleeding Hogan and attends to him in the ring. Even with the Savage-Benoit match not being anything special, the segment as a whole is pretty damn compelling.

The Taskmaster & Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman: Man, last week's segment is getting paid off already? I figured for sure that was a PPV match build. Morrus and Pillman take turns acting like laughing psychopaths before getting going on the action. Morrus struggles to get Arn up for a press slam. Later, Arn doesn't really get Morrus up very well for a spinebuster. The match starts off pretty disjointed and boring until Sullivan and Pillman finally have a go at each other and engage in some pretty spirited brawling.



From there, the four break down into chaos, with Arn brawling with Sullivan up toward the top of the ramp. Near a curtain, Arn is going to do a piledriver on the concrete, but gets hit with…a broom. And what looked like Paul Orndorff swinging it, but the announcers don't talk like they saw him. The broom spot is really contrived and terrible, since Arn really forced his way onto a spot where he could get hit, and then he sells a broom shot like he just took a sledgehammer to the head. Sullivan and Morrus whip Pillman with a leather strap, drawing a bell. I guess they got DQ'd. The announce team hypes the forthcoming "respect" strap match between Pillman and Sullivan at the PPV. Ah yeah, so THAT'S where this was headed. The match wasn't great, but I will say that it was highly effective in building up Sullivan vs. Pillman for the PPV.

Result: Anderson & Pillman via DQ

Paul Orndorff shows up at the announce desk and says "you never know when payback's coming." Then he laughs and walks away. So yeah that was him with the (loaded?) broom.

Ric Flair (w/ Woman) vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell: Pretty big heat for Ric Flair and Woman upon entrance. Flair gives up so much offense to Bagwell that it feels unnecessary, but by this point I suppose it's impossible to really hurt Flair with such things. Bagwell and Flair mostly miss each other on what I guess was supposed to be a mid-ring collision. Bagwell responds after nearly a full stop by randomly throwing himself over the top rope. WTF.



Other than that bizarre moment, Bagwell does a good job with the opportunity that he's given to shine in a match, and of course Flair makes him look like a million bucks. Flair does end up going over clean with the figure-four.

Result: Ric Flair via submission

Flair wouldn't let go of the hold after the bell, so Randy Savage runs down furiously and chases Flair out to the back.

Tag Team Titles - Sting & Lex Luger (c) vs. The Road Warriors: As mentioned the last time I had one of their matches, the LOD was pretty washed up by this point, and just didn't have much left in the ring. They also don't seem to get a huge crowd reaction anymore. Luger still channels his inner heel here at times, pulling down the top rope while on the apron to cause a running Road Warrior Animal to go spilling out to the floor while referee Nick Patrick was distracted. Apparently there's a power outage in mid-match, but the WWE Network slices the outage part out and returns it to action ASAP with a message that this was the most complete form possible.

During four-way chaos, Jimmy Hart hits the ring, feeds Luger a foreign object, Luger uses it, and pins Animal for the win. The crowd boos loudly, and Sting again looks confused about what happened.

Result: Sting & Luger via pinfall

Sting and Luger head to the back. The Road Warriors, furious, hang around the ring while Mean Gene comes in to get a word. Hawk demands a title shot at the winner of the scheduled PPV match of Sting & Luger vs. Harlem Heat.



Back to the desk, they hype Superbrawl for this Sunday, focusing mostly on two different cage matches - Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant and Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair - and then sign off.

Overall: Pretty good episode. Most stuff had a good purpose and hyped the coming PPV well. The wrestling wasn't necessarily great, but it wasn't bad overall either. Flair vs. Bagwell was watchable and might have even been good if Bagwell was a believable challenger to Flair.

---

Ratings for 2/5/96: Nitro 2.9, Raw 2.7
Ratings Running Score: Nitro, 10-9-2

Better Show: Close call in the end, but I do think that Raw finally breaks the losing streak by putting on the slightly better show. It had better overall wrestling on the night, and came close to equaling Nitro in terms of story advancement.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 17-4

Match of the Night: No real question on this one. 1-2-3 Kid vs. Hakushi
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:32 AM   #139
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Did Sting have access to instant replay or recordings of the show? Like I alluded too earlier, I feel the "Sting acting confused" stuff went on too long, but lol wrestling logic.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:47 AM   #140
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I do agree that they were doing that stuff too much. Same with Savage somehow not knowing whether Hogan truly got eliminated at WW3. It was silly.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:50 AM   #141
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Stuff like that is still done to this day. Just something you gotta overlook.

Read your last set last night LKJ. Meant to post after reading but fell asleep. Really enjoyed those...perhaps because the shows seemed more enjoyable themselves.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:55 AM   #142
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

It just reminds me of how many times a second ref comes down to change the outcome of a usually inconsequential match and later in the show someone will clearly win with a foreign object or feet on the ropes or whatever.
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Old 11-19-2015, 12:25 PM   #143
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by .isolated View Post
Stuff like that is still done to this day. Just something you gotta overlook.

Read your last set last night LKJ. Meant to post after reading but fell asleep. Really enjoyed those...perhaps because the shows seemed more enjoyable themselves.
Thanks man.

I do agree that stuff like that is just something you have to suspend disbelief on, sort of like when heels just openly scheme right in front of a camera. Its not ideal, but it would be low on my list of gripes.
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Old 11-19-2015, 12:53 PM   #144
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

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Originally Posted by LKJ View Post
Thanks man.

I do agree that stuff like that is just something you have to suspend disbelief on, sort of like when heels just openly scheme right in front of a camera. Its not ideal, but it would be low on my list of gripes.
This is probably a discussion for somewhere else so I'll keep this brief - It's always been weird to me doing it that way because of the other things you want us to believe is "real." I think I like the way Lucha Underground is heading because it's almost coming off as a mini-series of a sitcom mixed with some real awesome wrestling. I mean, it's no secret WWE is wearing way too many hats lately in terms of social media and everything else they have to pander too, but I think it's funny what they choose we should just overlook vs. what they want us to be real.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:02 PM   #145
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW SUPERBRAWL VI



St. Petersburg, FL

Tony Schiavone is rocking a black suit and a black dress shirt, so that's good. It's Tony, Dusty, and Bobby in the booth, doing the standard hype thing for the night before sending it to the ring.

Street Fight - Public Enemy vs. Nasty Boys: For all the generic themes that people got in WCW, the Nasty Boys for some reason get a personalized theme with their name in the lyrics. Decent table bump early, as Rocco Rock gets tossed through one at ringside from the apron. Johnny Grunge bumped like a boss at Clash XXXII, but I see him continually protect the hell out of himself here to the detriment of some spots, so I guess he's not quite in the same physical state. Or the same mood. I can't blame him at all, but it isn't helpful to the match quality.

In general, I don't know, the match is a mess that mostly lacks for interesting spots or bumps. Granted that the trash can lid is kind of a cool weapon, but what feels like 30+ shots with it gets a bit dull. It ends on a hard bump, as Rocco attempts to put Knobbs through a table, but Knobbs moves and Rocco goes through the table and hits a decent bit of concrete as well. That's enough to mop him up for the pin.



Result: Nasty Boys via pinfall (7:49)
Rating: *3/4

Mean Gene teases the hotline by talking about two former champions from WWF possibly coming to WCW. I believe that just might be a tease of what would become the biggest angle ever.

Gene then brings in Konnan, again wearing absurd clothing. Konnan has become US Champion since we last saw him, and he is defending the belt against the One Man Gang tonight in what should be a horrendous match. For some reason Konnan cuts an entire promo while staring down intently at some off-camera target on the floor.

TV Title and Diamond Doll vs. DDP's entire net worth of $6.6 million - Johnny B. Badd (c) vs. DDP: I don't particularly know what the story is on this money; the announcers make it sound like he stole it from Kimberly somehow. For all the stick he takes from people for not really being a good worker, and really only knowing how to play this gimmick, I really think that Badd had developed into a pretty good worker here for a time. He does some nice chain wrestling with Dallas here that I enjoy. He also rescues a stun gun pretty well that Page had sort of botched. Kimberly, by the way, is a pretty terrible performer despite being absolutely gorgeous. She talks into the camera in mid-match and, as usual with her, I just cringe.



Great float-over DDT by Page, who is a lot more on the ball in general here than he was the last time these two met on PPV, despite a bit too much time being spent on getting distracted by the Doll at ringside. I didn't necessarily think this match had great flow, but it did have a good number of individual spots that I enjoyed. The match ends somewhat abruptly when Badd reverses an attempted tombstone piledriver into a tombstone piledriver of his own for the pinfall. He wins Kimberly's $6.6 million back for her. I'm guessing approximately 1.2% of the audience cares about that.

Result: Johnny B. Badd via pinfall (14:59)
Rating: ***

Mean Gene backstage with Harlem Heat. Stevie Ray and Booker T take turns cutting incoherent promos on Sting and Lex Luger.

Tony Schiavone says that Sting confronted Lex Luger on WCW Saturday Night and told him that he could have the belts if they're going to keep winning this way. So he wasn't just playing like he was unaware of what had gone on.

Tag Team Titles - Sting & Lex Luger (c) vs. Harlem Heat: Sting and Luger tease dissension early and often in this match, not blowing up but not really getting along anymore. Match is slow getting going. The Heat eventually isolate Luger, which is tolerable when Booker T is on offense but unwatchable when Stevie Ray is.



Sting gets the hot tag, Nick Patrick doesn't see and tries to disallow it, Sting shrugs at Nick Patrick and just beats the **** out of Harlem Heat anyway, which Nick Patrick does nothing to stop. Eventually Sting tumbles out over the top rope when one of the Heat pulls the rope down as Sting charges toward it. That takes him out of things, but as Stevie Ray looks to potentially be going for the win, the Road Warriors rush the ring, Animal clocks Stevie and Luger falls on top for the win. Apparently the LOD are getting a title shot later on this night, and they really wanted to face the current champs.

Result: Sting & Luger via pinfall (11:49)
Rating: *1/2

Mean Gene grabs an interview with the champs. Luger is celebrating. Gene asks Sting if he saw what happened, Sting pleads ignorance and celebrates with Lex. Time is a flat circle.

US Title - Konnan (c) vs. One Man Gang: What in the hell was going on with the US Title? How do you end up with this as a PPV match? This match starts out a bit better than I expected, with Konnan engaging in some entertaining stick-and-move offense to try to deal with the much bigger man, but it obviously slows to a painful crawl when the Gang goes on offense. Dusty suggests that Konnan should "fist him in the head." Well said, Dusty.



Konnan has a really weird botch where he seems to be going for…maybe a dropkick, and just lands on his back. I dunno. Gang lands his big splash, seems to have a three-count, but pulls Konnan up. Not too often you see a title challenger pull that move. The Gang heads up to the second rope, tries a splash from there, but Konnan moves and One Man Gang sort of lands on his feet. He stumbles back toward the corner, and Konnan has headed up top, connecting with a somersault sentan onto the Gang for the pin. Stupid ending, bad match.

Result: Konnan via pinfall (7:27)
Rating: *

Mean Gene brings in the Road Warriors. Gene confronts them about their interference earlier. "Everyone but Sting saw what you did in that match earlier." Animal says, "Well everyone saw what Lex Luger did to me on Nitro. An eye for an eye." Animal's version of "an eye for an eye" is "if you screw me over, I will screw someone else over to help you out." The lesson is, keep screwing Animal over. LOD continues to cut a promo vowing to dismember Sting and Luger later.

Respect Match - The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Brian Pillman: This is a hybrid of an "I Quit" match and a strap match. You can only win the match by forcing your opponent to say "I respect you." Taskmaster in first, Pillman in second, he sprints into the ring and attacks, and they don't actually get the strap tied on. They engage in some stiff brawling for maybe a minute, and then Pillman goes and grabs the mic from the referee and famously says, "I respect you, booker man." And then he walks out, I'm pretty sure never to be seen on WCW TV again.



Sullivan was on the booking team at this point, and this was a worked shoot that stemmed from that. I'm not sure if there is any consensus about how many knew that this was going to happen, and Pillman actually did get released from the company here, so this was all a bit murky. But in any case it's how his WCW career ended.

Result: Taskmaster via…submission, sort of (1:36)
Rating: N/A

The announcers awkwardly try to avoid talking about how the match ended, as Tony just repeats that Pillman said "I respect you" and leaves off the last part. Sullivan and the referee just sort of hang around the ring for a while with nothing much happening. Arn Anderson and Jimmy Hart head to the ring, sort of together or something, and Arn is in street clothes. As he hits the ring, Sullivan whips him with the leather strap, and Arn gets mad and loses his shirt. They tie on the strap, the bell rings, and I guess we sort of start an impromptu second match. This all looked like a very real improvisation after an actual shoot.

Respect Match - The Taskmaster vs. Arn Anderson: Taskmaster takes it to Arn, whipping him and giving him a beating. A low blow from Arn turns the tide and he controls from there, trying to strangle Sullivan with the strap. After some mediocre brawling, Ric Flair runs to the ring and tries to play peacemaker, getting between the two guys and encouraging the two to call the whole thing off and set their minds to beating Hogan and Savage. It works, and the match just sort of stops there. Arn and Sullivan shake hands in the name of an alliance to beat Hulk Hogan.



Result: No contest (3:45)
Rating: N/A

Flair continues ranting, and even says "Savage, I'm taking the belt and Liz." Dude. Spoilers.

Mean Gene backstage with The Giant and Jimmy Hart. Angry anti-Hogan promo ensues. Paul Wight was really bad on the mic at this point. If he turned face twice in a week back then, he would never be able to explain it to the audience.

Tag Team Titles - Sting & Lex Luger (c) vs. The Road Warriors: Sting is anxious to get to the ring and Luger is a lot slower on his walk down. Luger actually stops outright and turns around to leave, and Sting has to talk him into coming back. They keep this sequence going FOREVER before finally getting the match going.



Hawk and/or Sting **** up a neckbreaker on what is obviously a legit botch, but Sting reacts well by trying to take advantage and turn it into a pin, which Hawk tries to work with and counter-wrestle into his own pin. That improvisation is better than wrestlers usually react to botches, where they'll just sort of pretend that the move really did land well. Back to the match, Luger tries to avoid tagging in for a long time. It's weird how hard they're going with this "Luger fears the Road Warriors" stuff…that's really not particularly consonant with Lex's character, not even his heel character. A terribly boring match devolves into four-way chaos, they all brawl on the floor, and we have a double countout. Lame finish, but I'm just relieved that it's over.

Result: Double countout (13:56)
Rating: 0*

Mean Gene is with Ric Flair and Woman backstage. Flair cuts another promo where he threatens to steal Miss Elizabeth away from Randy Savage.



After the cage lowers and a video promo for Uncensored airs, we're back with Gene, alongside Macho Man and Elizabeth. The usual frantic Savage promo here.



[B]WCW Title Cage Match - Randy Savage (c) (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Ric Flair (w/ Woman):[B] Before the match Flair offers to spare Savage if Liz will "come over and kiss a real man." Liz turns away dismissively, so Flair eventually enters the cage after further stalling. Savage furiously attacks Flair the second he finally comes in, but Flair counter-attacks, takes control, and then just randomly clocks referee Randy Eller to knock him out, then stomps him for good measure. Eller is back up a minute later and the ref bump has no real effect, so I guess Flair just did it to be funny.



Savage heads all the way to the top of the cage and attempts an axhandle all the way to the mat from there, but Flair hits him on the way down. Nice spot. After extended offense from Flair, Savage turns the tables again, grates Flair's head into the side of the cage, and Flair blades at this point. Flair tries to climb up the cage, Savage grabs Flair's trunks down hard, we see a significant amount of ass, and then Flair gets crotched for good measure. Savage rolls over for the pin, and it's enough of a near-fall that the timekeeper gets fooled and rings the bell. Whoops.

Woman attempts to throw powder at Randy Savage when Savage is near the side of the cage, but misses when Savage ducks. They pan over to the other side of the cage, where Liz does the unthinkable.



Flair hammers Savage with the high-heel shoe Elizabeth hands him, and we have a new WCW Champion.

Result: Ric Flair via pinfall, new WCW Champion (18:52)
Rating: **3/4

Arn comes out to celebrate. Hulk Hogan runs out wielding a steel chair, but Flair, Arn, Woman, and now Elizabeth escape to higher ground.



Even all the explicit teasing of an Elizabeth heel turn didn't convince most of the audience that it would actually happen. It certainly didn't convince me. But it was an exciting step to take, even if it isn't nearly as awesome watching it back now as it was at the time…I can get into that more during the next Nitro write-up. The "kiss a real man" thing probably should have come to fruition after the match for maximum heat.

Backstage, Hogan cuts a furious promo, yelling at Liz for being a turncoat. I knew where the angle was headed at the time, but I really like that moment on Nitro where Hogan got jumped and Savage came in yelling at Liz for warning him, while Gene and Hogan called him off. This time around Savage's paranoia was proven right.

Cage Match - Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart and The Taskmaster): Noticeable "Hogan sucks" chant to start. Match sucks, just as you would expect. Slow-moving brawling, no real story…I would rather be watching Melina vs. Alicia Fox. We get an endless bearhug by The Giant. Hogan fights his way out, but The Giant chokeslams him really badly. Hulk-up time. Hogan smashes Giant into the cage more times than I can count, big boot, bodyslam, three legdrops. Hogan goes to climb out and Giant does the Undertaker sit-up and goes and catches Hulk. Seriously? But Hogan knocks him back down to the mat and climbs out.



Mercifully, this one is over.

Result: Hulk Hogan via cage escape (15:04)
Rating: 0*

Taskmaster immediately hits Hogan with a chair outside the ring, but Hulk is still in no-sell mode and ends up chasing Sullivan back into the ring. Here's Meng, The Barbarian, Hugh Morrus, Shark, Zodiac, One Man Gang…Hogan just dominates all eight men, inside of the cage, because of course he does. Some huge dude walks down, being called the Loch Ness Monster. This is someone different than The Yeti. Loch Ness gets held out of the ring, and Hogan just keeps the ring. Tony: "There's going to be a day when the Loch Ness Monster gets a hold of Hulk Hogan." I barely, barely remember that this guy existed, so I can't imagine that heads anywhere interesting.

Hogan poses and we go off the air.

Overall: It was okay; not great. Couple of half-decent matches in Badd vs. DDP and Flair vs. Savage, couple of big moments in the Pillman worked shoot and the Liz heel turn. That's enough for a show to not completely suck overall, even though the rest of the show pretty much did.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:37 PM   #146
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Nice Pillman-related article about this time period:

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/wr...evin-sullivan/
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:56 PM   #147
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Thanks for the article, that's great reading. Definitely didn't realize that the "booker man" part was cut off of the WCW video release. I had heard a Bischoff shoot interview talking about the whole thing, so I know that it's at least his story that he knew. But it's not surprising to hear that most others involved in the segment didn't.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:39 PM   #148
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I was such a huge fan of The Road Warriors in 88 when I was 7/8. I watched both promotions and loved them in both. I was so hyped when they came back to wrestle in WCW during this time period and was marking hearing them going against HH, Steiners and Sting/Luger. Then the matches actually happened... To think they were still around in 2000 is ludicrous.

Side note: them sticking a spike in Dusty's eye scared the piss out of me.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:44 PM   #149
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Edit - Everything I had said had already been said (grantland stuff) left LKJ's write up up for a while before refreshing and seeing comments...oops

Last edited by Tragichero; 11-20-2015 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:58 PM   #150
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

February 12, 1996

NITRO

Tampa, FL

At the announce desk, we get the recap of SuperBrawl's results. They show stills of Brian Pillman quitting and leaving, and Bischoff says "he's history." Yep. They also show stills of Miss Elizabeth turning heel and leaving with Flair. And of the ****ing Giant-Hogan match.

As they send it to the next match, they mention that Ric Flair and Randy Savage will rematch next week on Nitro.

Randy Savage vs. Hugh Morrus: Savage comes out wearing a more understated outfit than usual, and also wearing an intense look on his face.



Pretty boring back-and-forth here. Hugh Morrus is really not a guy you have to protect, and after last night it sure seems like it would be better just to have Savage squash him in 2-3 minutes here. He does throw in a second flying elbow after his first one for good measure before scoring the pin. He threatens a third as well until Morrus rolls out. I guess they sort of told an okay story by at least having Savage be pretty unhinged here.

Result: Randy Savage via pinfall

Mean Gene conducts an interview with some race car driver who is sponsored by WCW. Pass.

Scotty Riggs vs. Loch Ness Monster (w/ Jimmy Hart): Obvious squash match is really short and can only be defined by this:



Needless to say, I'm impressed.

Result: Loch Ness Monster via pinfall

Mean Gene is at the top of the aisle, and welcomes out Woman and Miss Elizabeth, who wheel out some sort of hospital bed. And here we go with the segment that immediately made me realize that maybe this heel turn wasn't that great of an idea after all. Liz just absolutely could not talk and was the least believable heel in history. Flair gets up out of the bed. I don't understand the joke. Ric crows about having both women along with the WCW Title.



Flair: "Sometimes only a woman can say things as eloquently as they need to be heard."
Gene: "What's he talking about, Elizabeth?"
Flair: "The floor is yours."
Liz: "Yes, I have something to say. For seven years I had to walk behind Randy, sit in the corner, and never open my mouth. Well when I left, I took half of everything. Half the money, half the property…but that was nothing, because last night I took it all."
<Liz forgets her next line, everyone stands there awkwardly staring at her for many seconds before attempting the rescue>
Finally Flair jumps in with, "What she wants to say…" before Liz finally picks up her cue again and finishes her little speech. She was Sofia Coppola playing Mary Corleone here. It was THAT bad. Here's a clip if you'd like to relive this terrible promo.

They advertise the encore presentation of SuperBrawl on PPV. I usually don't mention those types of advertisements, but a note about that: the encore always cost every bit as much as the live airing did. It was very weird to me that it wasn't cheaper on the replay now that everything is being spoiled on the very show that you're airing.

Dangerous Devon Storm vs. Konnan: I forgot that this Devon Storm dude existed. He sets up a folding chair in the ring and launches off of it Sabu-style for a somersault plancha to the floor. Straight back up to the apron for a missile dropkick to the floor. He attempts to continue the spotfest, but flies into the waiting arms of Konnan for a weak-looking powerbomb on the floor. These acrobatics feel a bit contrived and dumb, but I'm mildly entertained I guess. I did love the last spot, a top rope hurracanrana by Storm countered into a powerbomb by Konnan into a bridge, even if it didn't come off perfectly.



Result: Konnan via pinfall

Arn Anderson (w/ Woman) vs. Hulk Hogan: Hogan's music hits, Hogan begins to enter, and Bischoff says, "This guy is lit!" Too many disrespectful jokes about known alcoholics rush into my head at once, but I resist them all. A fan on the hard camera side holds up a huge sign saying "Bischoff is Satan."

Arn has to bump around a good bit for Hogan early, including taking a catapult outside the ring into the steel post pretty believably. Hulk almost exclusively dominates for a long time until running into an Arn back elbow on a corner charge. Anderson tears away at Hogan's eye, trying to break him open, as Ric Flair and Miss Elizabeth head to ringside.

Arn's spinebuster gets two, but Hogan throws him off with authority and starts the hulk-up sequence. During the hulk-up, Hogan taunts Flair and then slaps a figure-four on Arn. Flair gets into the ring, but Hogan fights him off, so there's no DQ. Meanwhile, Woman gets a hand full of powder, and during a Nick Patrick distraction she throws the powder in Hogan's eye. Arn Anderson collects Elizabeth's high-heel shoe, clobbers Hogan with it, and with that, Arn Anderson gets on top for the 1-2-3 and pins Hulk Hogan. No, you didn't misread that: no matter how much interference led to it, ARN ANDERSON PINS HULK HOGAN. Surely this is the greatest night in the history of our sport.



Result: Arn Anderson via pinfall

Mongo angrily gets his clown shoes on and starts thundering away: "Elizabeth has gone too far now! One thing is Macho, but to do it to the Hulkster?! I don't - this is just - this is outrageous!" WTF at that weird comparison. Hogan of course does the sore loser bit, clearing out Arn and Flair as Randy Savage hits the ring and helps him on the attack. Regardless, Arn stumbles to the back thinking "doesn't matter, had sex pinned Hogan."

Flair, Arn, Woman, and Liz hit the announce desk. Flair gloats over Arn's win and gloats over having the belt and the women. Arn: "No, the sky's not falling. No, it's not the end of time. Yes, Arn Anderson just beat the great unbeatable Hulk Hogan." Hogan storms the booth as the Horsemen run off. He puts on a headset to yell at Flair and Arn to get back there. Apparently because he thinks that the dudes that literally ran off-screen like two seconds ago are now backstage watching him on TV, and are going to say "oh, okay" and come back out.



Gene brings an actual house mic to Hogan. Hogan wants a rematch with Arn. Savage gets a rematch with Flair next Monday. We get the big mad promo and sign off.

Overall: I wondered when that result of Arn pinning Hogan was coming. I definitely remember it. I wish it had happened with a DDT or a spinebuster, but hey, I'll take it. The episode as a whole was average, but certainly worth watching…between the Storm-Konnan match and the result of the main event - and honestly, even the trainwreck debut of heel Liz - I was pleased.

No Raw because of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

---

Ratings for 2/12/96: Nitro 3.7, Raw N/A
Ratings Running Score: Nitro, 10-9-2 (no result this week)

Better Show: N/A
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 17-4 (no result this week)

Match of the Night: Well...Barney's movie had heart. But Football in the Groin had a football in the groin. Konnan vs. Storm was probably the best, but the main event featured Hulk Hogan getting pinned by Arn Anderson. I guess I'll shrug and pick the actual best match, giving it to Konnan vs. Devon Storm.
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