Welcome back wrestling fans to another episode of WCW Monday Nitro, coming to you on December 4, 1995 from the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
A week removed from World War 3, working towards Starrcade. The show was advertised to feature Macho Man Randy Savage defend his WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Lex Luger. Let’s see how it all plays out!
Bischoff, Heenan and McMichael on commentary to break down all of the action. Ric Flair, Sting and Luger are all vying for a shot at the title leading into Starrcade. Bischoff says that Hogan, The Giant and Ric Flair are all on “probation” as of 48 minutes before the broadcast per WCW legal team.
American Males vs Harlem Heat (With Sister Sherri) – WCW Tag Team Championship Match
How long has it been since we’ve seen any true tag team match? Lots of singles pairings, but no true tag matches. Let’s solve that by having a title match! Riggs and Stevie Ray start us off and Bischoff says Stevie is nursing a sore ankle, we’ll see if that comes into play. Booker T in, but the Males fight back to gain the upper hand. During the match, we see Colonel Parker at the ramp holding a gift, presumably for Sherri. Harlem Heat in control as Sherri is given the gift from Parker and they kiss before Parker takes her from ringside and Sherri shows the camera a ring. Riggs is still getting worked over, a German suplex from Stevie Ray, knees and a kick from Booker T. Phoenix Suns star, AC Green is shown at ringside, cheering on the Males. Riggs gets his knees up for a Booker T splash and gets the hot tag to Bagwell. Fisherman suplex to Ray for a near fall, and Bagwell eats a Harlem Hangover from Booker T before eating the pinfall.
Winners: Harlem Heat via pinfall
Mean Gene Okerlund on the ramp to interview Sting who brought out Lex Luger as well. Sting says that friendship is one thing, but he’s gunning for the World Heavyweight Championship and that if Luger wins tonight and Sting wins the triangle match at Starrcade, friendship doesn’t matter. Luger agrees with the predictions but he’s just as hungry.
Sting vs Kurasawa
Colonel Parker is not ringside which is interesting per the announcers. Sting is in control early with a big dropkick and clothesline to the outside. Kurasawa regains control with some strikes before getting back in the ring and hitting a big knee to the midsection. Sting deals with multiple standing arm breakers and chops before trying to fight back. Sting hits a big Stinger Splash and locks in the Scorpion Death Lock and Kurasawa quickly taps out.
Winner: Sting via submission
A Starrcade commercial advertises WCW facing off with stars of New Japan, I am intrigued!
Scott Norton vs The Giant (with Kevin Sullivan and Jimmy Hart)
WCW really played up The Giant being Andre’s son, down to the gear. Giant takes control early with a knee and a big bodyslam followed by clubbing blows to Norton’s back. Norton counters with a big atomic drop and he held The Giant up for a few seconds which was very impressive. Norton bounces Giant’s head into the turnbuckle and goes for some clotheslines and off the top rope, but The Giant catches him and hits the chokeslam to pick up the victory. Surprising that they let Norton get that much offense in.
Winner: The Giant via pinfall
Mean Gene is in the ring and brings out Ric Flair who is brought to the ring by the Phoenix Suns’ own, Charles Barkley. Flair says him and Barkley are going to tear the town down, I can only imagine the party those two could create. Charles says they have the best basketball fans in the world and they should respect the Nature Boy. Flair issues a challenge to Luger, Sting, Hogan and Savage to watch out, because Flair is coming for that title.
Lex Luger (with Jimmy Hart) vs Randy Savage – WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Savage is rocking some great bright green and red with white on his tights, and I will admit that I’m partial. Savage is in control early, keeping Luger in the corner, but Lex catches a rebound clothesline to gain control before taking it outside the ring. Macho hit s a big double axe handle from the top rope for a near fall. Luger counters a suplex with one of his own before missing a standing elbow drop and Savage takes advantage, working over the arm. As we come back from the break, Savage is still working over Lex’s arm outside the ring and brings him inside to do more of the same. Nice old school psychology here, keep working over a limb. Randy wraps it around a ring post and continues the attack until missing a double axe handle, crashing into the guardrail. Luger is back in control, favoring that left arm heavily. Luger goes to pin Savage and hook the leg with that arm but quickly switches while grimacing, great job by Lex. Savage whips Luger into the guardrail to regain control and we see Hart removed a turnbuckle pad, but Savage puts Luger’s head into it, who inadvertently bumps the referee who is unable to count after a Savage elbow drop. Ric Flair comes out with brass knuckles and hits Savage. Hart rolls Luger on top as Flair goes up the ramp, only to be stopped by Hulk Hogan. Hogan stops Flair from leaving the ring, but stops the ref from counting a pin. The ref throws the match out with a DQ. Hogan accidently hits Sting and they come face to face as Savage tries to stop them from fighting.
Winner: Lex Luger via DQ(no title change)
Mean Gene is in the ring with Hogan, Savage and Sting. Hogan questions Sting about his relationship with Luger. Sting says Luger is his best friend, but he is on Hogan’s side. Hogan and Savage talk about Savage calling Luger’s motives. Sting says he is with Hogan, they shake hands and Hogan asks Sting to keep Luger out of his face. Sting says he will do everything in his power to keep Luger out of their faces.
Fun show, the main event was given over 20 minutes which was great. The main event players keep seeing their storylines progress further but there still isn’t much of the undercard developing which is annoying in my opinion with the talent they have. We will see how this all continues next week!
Chairshot Classics: WCW Monday Nitro Episode 23 (5/2/1996)
Josh Wennes is back to cover the 23rd edition of WCW Monday Nitro in this edition of Chairshot Classics!
From the Jenkins Center in Lakeland, Florida, we have episode 23 of Monday Nitro! This episode is touted to feature the Road Warriors taking on Lex Luger and Sting as well as Ric Flair battling Marcus Bagwell. Kevin Sullivan and Hugh Morrus are also set to team against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. As a teaser, the WWE Network also says “The rivalry between Hulk Hogan and The Four Horsemen takes a new turn.” I can’t lie, this doesn’t exactly entice me too much, but let’s see what the show brings!
WCW Heavyweight Championship
Chris Benoit vs Randy Savage (champion)
WHY NOT PUT THIS MATCH IN THE TEASER??? The two tie up and roll all the way around the ring before Benoit takes control by sending Savage outside and into the guardrail. Benoit seemingly chops the life right out of Savage’s chest with some brutal shots. Benoit works the head with a sleeper and some strikes before hitting a stunning snap suplex. Benoit delivers a scoop slam and a top rope diving headbutt that, knowing the future, makes me a little uneasy. A big belly to back suplex nets a near fall for Benoit before using a backbreaker and stretching that back across his own knee. Outisde the ring, Benoit puts Savage into the ring post, rolls him back into the ring and sends him over the top rope again. Benoit goes for a suicide dive and Savage moves, sending Benoit careening to the floor and guardrail headfirst. Savage rolls Chris inside and hits a big elbow drop on the back of Benoit. Flair comes out and approaches Elizabeth and Savage goes out to stop him. Woman then attacks Randy from behind and Flair joins the party, ending the match via DQ. Arn Anderson comes down and joins the beatdown on Savage before Hogan comes to the rescue with 2 of the weakest chair shots I’ve ever seen. Mean Gene runs down to talk to Hogan about what has happened. Hogan says they need to put a stop to Ric Flair and Flair sneaks up behind Hulk and attacks the injured eye from last week. The Giant and The Zodiac join the ring and Giant delivers a chair shot to Hogan. Savage comes back and steals the chair while the heels powder out of the ring.
Winner: Randy Savage via Disqualification
Kevin Sullivan and Hugh Morrus vs Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman
Morrus in charge early as he hits both Pillman and Anderson with military press slams before tagging in Sullivan. After a very unusual exchange, Anderson and Morrus are tagged in. Anderson hits the patented spinebuster. Morrus fights out of a reverse chin lock before Arn tags in Pillman. Morrus counters a corner attack and tags in Sullivan. Pillman rushes Sullivan and they trade what look like legit shots before it turns to a four person brawl. Anderson drags Sullivan towards the back, only to be hit by a broom. Morrus and Sullivan double team Pillman and the ref calls for the bell as the a belt is brought in to hit Pillman. This was strange and uncomfortable.
Winners: Anderson and Pillman via Disqualification
Marcus Bagwell vs Ric Flair
Paul Orndorff comes to the announce table and says you never know when payback is going to happen, insinuating he was behind the broom attack on Arn Anderson. Bagwell is in control early, tossing Flair from the ring and hitting a clothesline before Ric begs for mercy and gets a cheap shot kick in around the ref. Bagwell battles back with a bevy of strikes and Flair flops. Marcus gets a dropkick for a near fall and goes for another but no one is home. Both men run the ropes and an awkward exchange sees Bagwell go over the top rope. Flair brings him back in and hits a knee drop before laying in some chops and strikes in the corner but Bagwell fights back. Flair is whipped into the corner but gets the foot up. Flair climbs the turnbuckles and gets tossed to the mat to the shock of no one. Bagwell hits a second rope superplex and float over for a two count. Bagwell goes for his slingshot splash but Flair gets his knees up and locks in the figure four leglock for the submission victory. Not often would we see Flair win with that. Flair refuses to let go and hits the ref, but Randy Savage comes out and chases Ric to the back.
Winner: Ric Flair via submission
WCW Tag Team Championship
Road Warriors vs Sting and Lex Luger (champions)
Sting and Animal start us off and Animal powers out of a top wristlock before powering out of a front facelock as well. Sting eats a big powerslam but avoids the elbow drop before hitting a facebuster and a top rope diving clothesline for a near fall. Hawk and Luger in off the tags, and Hawk no sells a piledriver to gain momentum. He hits a shoulder block and knee drop before Sting gets the tag. Hawk goes to work with strikes but eats a Stinger Splash. Sting tries to get the Scorpion Death Lock hooked, but Animal breaks it up and gets the tag. Running the ropes, Animal goes over the top rope after Luger pulls down the ropes. Luger is tagged in and goes to work on Animal’s back. Sting is back in, but the crowd is behind the Road Warriors. Sting works a front facelock for a time, but tags in Luger who hits a big powerslam on Animal but takes too long celebrating. Animal no sells a suplex and hits a powerslam on Luger. Jimmy Hart comes out carrying something big and heavy that Luger gets and hits Animal with it for the victory. Sting is not pleased with the path to victory here at all. Mean Gene is in the ring with the Road Warriors who demand a match for the belts again.
Winners: Sting and Lex Luger via pinfall
Superbrawl is approaching, and we have 2 cage matches to look forward to. Let’s see how the landscape of WCW changes going forward!
- Dark WCW United States Heavyweight Title Match
Konnan (c) defeats Devon Storm
- Dark Tag Team Match
Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater defeat The Barrio Brothers (Fidel Sierra & Ricky Santana)
- Dark WCW World Television Title Match
Johnny B. Badd (c) defeats Diamond Dallas Page
- WCW World Heavyweight Title Match
Randy Savage (w/Miss Elizabeth & Woman) (c) defeats Chris Benoit by DQ (8:17)
- The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman) defeat The Dungeon Of Doom (Hugh Morrus & The Taskmaster) (w/Jimmy Hart) by DQ (7:17)
- Ric Flair (w/Woman) defeats Marcus Alexander Bagwell (7:01)
- WCW World Tag Team Title Match
Lex Luger & Sting (c) defeat The Road Warriors (Road Warrior Animal & Road Warrior Hawk) (8:37)
Results courtesy of CageMatch.net.
Chairshot Classics: WCW Monday Nitro Episode 22
Hogan vs Flair, Giant vs Savage!
From the Canton Memorial Civic Center, in Canton, Ohio, WCW brings us Monday Nitro from January 29, 1996!
This show is advertised to feature Hulk Hogan taking on Ric Flair. There’s a tease about tension between The Dungeon of Doom and The Four Horsemen while The Road Warriors battle The Faces of Fear. We also are slated to see Randy Savage facing The Giant. Bischoff, McMichael and Heenan are on the call as usual.
Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is jerking the curtain? How often did this happen? Hogan is getting a sizable amount of boos at this point in 1996. Miss Elizabeth is back too, out in Hulk’s corner. Flair gets shoved a few times so Hogan can look strong to start the match, Flair goes for a couple of chops, but Hogan no sells them, hits a big back body drop and clotheslines Flair out of the ring and poses. Back in the ring, Flair chop blocks a leg to get his heat back after Hogan just ruined Flair’s offense by no selling. Finally Hogan sells the chops, but Flair goes to the top rope and gets tossed off as Hogan starts to come back until he eats a back elbow. Jimmy Hart tries to get involved but Hogan kicks him off. Hulk comes back with strikes a forehead bite because he’s a good guy. Outside the ring, Flair rakes the eyes to regain control and get back in the ring. Ric tosses him back out and Jimmy chokes Hulk with a bandana. Flair continues to work on the leg, hits a shin breaker and HOLDS ON! He locks on the figure four leglock in a sequence I’ve never seen, beautiful. Hogan reverses the hold and Flair gets to the ropes. Hulk blocks a suplex attempt and hits one of his own. Flair chops and strikes but Hogan no sells but his come back is cut off by a back elbow. Flair hits a stalling belly to back suplex, awesome, but only gets a near fall. Hulk starts to, well, Hulk up. Three punches, big boot and a leg drop. Arn Anderson with brass knuckles gets cut off by Hulk. Flair hits Hogan with Miss Elizabeth’s high heel shoe and gets the pinfall victory. Elizabeth and Savage checking on Hogan, who is selling the eye big time. Very stereotypical Hogan match, but it was given some good time to breathe.
Winner: Ric Flair via pinfall
Faces of Fear vs Road Warriors
Hawk and Animal get a huge pop, out in black and blue spikes, looking ready to dominate. This is a pretty typical looking LOD match. Animal is in early, with some shows of strength, then tags in Hawk. Hawk takes a little punishment then no sells a piledriver. Animal back in and eats some more offense from both of the Faces of Fear, seeming to work on the back. Barbarian hits a big back breaker, and Meng is back in with a camel clutch. Animal slams the mat a few times….isn’t that a submission? Apparently not, as Animal is sent out of the ring and into the barricade and turnbuckle by Barbarian. Meng hits a big dropkick, that was pretty impressive! Barbarian hits a big powerbomb on Animal but he kicks out at two. Animal sells a 2nd rope clothesline in a very strange way, falling forward. Barbarian tries it again but Animal clotheslines him and tags in Hawk. Hawk is on fire, striking both Barbarian and Meng before hitting a double clothesline on them. Barbarian puts Hawk up on the top rope and Animal goes for the Doomsday Device, but Meng pushes him off the top rope. Animal eats a piledriver, and Barbarian goes for another but Hawk comes off the top rope with a clothesline for a pinfall victory. Not the typical squash type match for the Road Warriors.
Winners: Road Warriors via pinfall
Mean Gene has Kevin Sullivan in the ring talking about the dissension between The Dungeon of Doom and The Four Horsemen with Hugh Morrus by his side. Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman come down and Sullivan says that Anderson should take care of Pillman. Anderson takes Pillman to task and tells him that all that’s left is tough love. Sullivan and Morrus attack Anderson and Pillman but Anderson fights back and clears out the Dungeon. Anderson tells WCW executives that he demands a match with Sullivan and Morrus, Pillman says he’ll get them out this mess since he got them into it.
Sister Sherri vs Madusa
Mean Gene is back in the ring with Sister Sherri and Madusa comes out and attacks Sherri with a cross body from the top rope. Sherrie comes back and wraps Madusa’s leg around the turnbuckle but Madusa comes back with a snap suplex on the outside of the ring. Bischoff is obsessed with calling these kicks silly martial arts type names like “back leg round kicks” and it really takes away from the action. Sherri comes back and goes up top, Madusa counters it and Sherri holds on to roll her up for the pinfall victory. Madusa snaps after the match, hits a german suplex that drops Sherri right on her head in an ugly landing. Madusa slams Sherri’s head in the mat repeatedly before the refs get control. That all looked rough.
Winner: Sherri via pinfall
WCW Heavyweight Championship
The Giant vs Randy Savage
Savage attacks Giant from behind with the belt before the match and one shot after the bell rings. The ref calls for the bell and there’s a disqualification. Ric Flair is out and attacks Savage before taking a big stalling suplex by The Giant. They knock the ref out and continue to work over Savage. Flair is directing Giant which is odd. Flair calls for the chokeslam and Giant obliges. Out comes Hogan with an eye wrap and chair, takes out Giant and the entire Dungeon of Doom as they come out. Flair grabs a mic and Jimmy Hart and The Giant join him and challenge Hogan and Savage. Flair challenges Savage for the World title in a cage and Giant challenges Hogan in an unsanctioned match in a cage for Superbrawl. Hogan and a ref are helping Savage out as the show closes.
Winner: The Giant via disqualification (title stays with Savage)
What a show this Nitro turned out to be. Entertaining with the story telling. The wrestling was alright, but the big factor was all the story progression here. They’re building to WCW Superbrawl, and we’ll see how that all goes down!