We are smack dab in the middle of the fallout from Halloween Havoc and the build to World War 3 in WCW. The world heavyweight championship will be awarded to the winner of the 60 man, 3 ring battle royal.
WCW Monday Nitro, Episode 11
Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Aired November 13, 1995 (recorded November 6, 1995)
We kick off at commentary with the usual team of Eric Bischoff, Bobby Hennan and Mongo McMichael. I don’t think I’ve asked this yet, but what is the deal with Mongo and the dog? I don’t believe it’s been explained on Nitro at all. Discussion about the upcoming World War 3 is had before we are sent to a segment with Hulk Hogan in a mask and a black robe. Some sort of executioner angle? He says every member of the Dungeon of Doom fears the Hulkster and that the prayers and vitamins are immortal. He is very sure that Randy Savage is beating Meng tonight and will bring him Meng’s head. He’s also concerned about Sting. He’s not sure if he’s on the side of Hulk or the Dungeon of Doom. Hulk discloses his plan to take down the members of the Dungeon one by one after finding out if Sting is on his side or not.
Meng vs Macho Man Randy Savage
Macho Man is introduced as being from the dark side of Venice Beach. They are really pushing Hogan and Savage being on the dark side. Savage attacks Meng from behind to start the match while he was waiting for Randy to make his entrance. After a distraction from Kevin Sullivan, Meng takes control. Jimmy Hart joins Kevin Sullivan at ringside and the commentary team(especially Bischoff) talk about how much of a low life Hart is. Meng sticks Savage in the corner and works him over with chops and kicks before going to the top and missing a flying headbutt. Savage hits the big elbow drop and wins but is quickly attacked by The Shark, Kevin Sullivan and Lex Luger. They work over Randy’s arm exclusively before the commercial break.
Winner: Randy Savage via pinfall
Kensuki Sasaki vs Chris Benoit
Benoit attacks immediately before the bell and tries to use some agility but Sasaki uses power to negate the advantage. Sasaki hits a snap suplex and snap powerslam before various strikes and a running bulldog. Kensuki hits a snapmare followed by a rear chin lock. He goes for a pop up powerslam but Benoit reverses and hits two german suplexes and a dragon suplex with a bridge to score the pinfall victory. Short matches and Chris Benoit just don’t mix well for me. I know this is early in his career but I want more.
Winner: Chris Benoit via pinfall
WCW United States Championship
Johnny B. Badd (c) vs Eddie Guerrero
Johnny is in control early with a tilt a whirl backbreaker, but his second attempt is countered into a head scissor by Eddie. Johnny fights back and hits a slingshot leg drop from the apron to the inside for a near fall. Eddie walks the rope for a nice springboard lucha hurricanrana takedown. Badd counters a superplex attempt and hits a sunset flip from the second rope nearly half way across the ring, amazing athleticism. There are some pinfall attempts both ways but the ones by Badd just look sloppy to me. I know he wasn’t great in the ring, but these are slow motion in transition. Gurrero is sent outside and Badd comes out with a somersault plancha. Eddie gets into control with 2 minutes left in the match–wait, there’s a time limit?–with a belly to back suplex and slingshot senton. Johnny hits a tombstone piledriver and Eddie kicks out at 2! Subtle shot across the bow of WWF and The Undertaker? Eddie hits a tornado DDT but gets only a near fall. A double cross body attempt takes us down to the time limit and we have a draw. This was a fun match that deserved more time and a definitive finish. Both guys are fired up after the match but shake hands.
Winner: Draw after 10 minute time limit
Hulk Hogan will be on Nitro next week and he wants a shot at Sting for some reason. I didn’t think Hogan knew who’s side he was on? Mean Gene Okerlund is joined in the ring with Jimmy Hart, Kevin Sullivan and The Giant. Gene takes Hart to task for selling out Hulk, but Hart defends the move as being intelligent. Sullivan talks about beating Hulk Hogan and how at World War 3, The Giant will be victorious once again. The Giant talks about ending Hulkamania as Sullivan collapses and convulses in the ring for reasons that aren’t explained.
Dean Malenko vs Sting
Sting tries the power game early, but Dean takes control targeting the leg with kicks and submission holds. Sting starts a comeback, but Malenko goes right back to a dropkick to the knee. Sting doesn’t seem to be selling the damage to his leg. Dean shoots Sting into the corner and hits a textbook rebound german suplex with bridge for a near fall. So great, watch this episode just for that. He cinches the waist in the perfect position, pops the hips and plants the toes on the bridge. Sting misses a corner splash and Malenko capitalizes with a top rope missile dropkick. Dean looks for the Texas Cloverleaf but Sting counters it into an inside cradle for the victory. Not a bad match, Sting started selling the leg damage finally after the bell.
Winner: Sting via pinfall
Mean Gene is in the ring to talk to the Stinger. Gene tells Sting that Hulk wants a one on one match. Sting claims he has nothing against Hogan and that he never expected Hogan to come after him. Sting says he is a big dog here at WCW despite what Hogan said about him. Sting says he is looking forward to the match, and that he has nothing to hide.
Back at commentary, they talk about Sting walked out on the match, but they don’t know why. Hennan talks about Hogan being paranoid and scared, it seems 100% accurate to me.
An interesting episode here with some good matches. One thing I always hear about WCW is how great their undercard was. They have great talent there at this point (Malenko, Guerrero, Benoit, etc), but I haven’t seen a whole lot of story development outside of Hulk Hogan’s storyline. Now, I know that Nitro is only 1 hour long at this point, but I feel a little cheated out of some stories. Maybe I’m just not far enough into the run of WCW Nitro, but I’m not giving up!!!!!