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!
Rob: WCW 2000 – What Was It Like?
Rob Bonnette takes a stroll down memory lane to an oft-overlooked time in pro wrestling: WCW in 2000! How bad did it get? Read on and see!
Rob Bonnette takes a stroll down memory lane to an oft-overlooked time in pro wrestling: WCW in 2000! How bad did it get? Read on and see!
This may seem like a weird topic, but several times this year I’ve some really hot takes comparing the WWE in 2019 to WCW in 2000. The implication is that WWE is messing up really bad and WCW 2000 is one of the shining examples of a major wrestling company doing bad so there people go. The only problems with that analogy are that if you actually look at WWE on substance this year and not on stupid Twitter takes or dopey podcasts it’s not bad at all. Perfect? Of course not, but unless you have on AEW colored glasses there’s been plenty to enjoy this year. The other problem with that analogy is that you’ve got to have no idea just how awful things were in WCW from summer of 1999 through the fall of 2000 to equate the WWE this year to that. Don’t believe me? Let’s just look at the first half of 2000 and I’ll prove it to you.
WCW in January 2000
We start the year with no WCW World Champion thanks to Goldberg shoot kicking Bret Hart in the head and concussing him into oblivion (as much as I defend Goldberg as a performer, he’s on his own for that one). No worries, they’ll just have a match between two of the top contenders, Chris Benoit and Sid Vicious, to fill the title. Benoit wins…….and leaves the company immediately afterwards, completely unexpected. Not only that, but Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn go with him! Now last time I checked no one won either the WWE World or Universal Title on a pay per view this year and signed with AEW the next day. Imagine if whoever wins between Jericho and Hangman Page at All Out says ‘screw this title’ and shows up at RAW on Monday along with all three members of SCU. That’s what happened in WCW!
But that’s only beginning…..
WCW in April 2000
The company did a hard reboot of all storylines on camera and vacated all the titles to start over. Again, this was all done on camera and not in the booking room. Then, with a roster of guys including Hulk Hogan, Sting, Goldberg, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, and even former champions Diamond Dallas Page and Sid they decide to put the World Title on……wait for it……..Jeff Jarrett. The same Jeff Jarrett who was the poster child for unsuccessfully trying to make fetch happen in both the WWE and WCW. Imagine WWE bypassing Reigns, Rollins, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Kofi, Braun, and Randy Orton and bringing back Alberto Del Rio to crown instead. Or Ring of Honor saying never mind to Marty Scurrl and crowning Matt Taven at their biggest show ever…..oh wait, that did happen.
But wait, there’s more!!!
You cannot talk about WCW in 2000 without mentioning one man in particular. This man was not just a celebrity who got in the ring for a gimmick match. No, this man was booked in a title match and walked away the WCW World Champion. That man was David Arquette. Imagine if the Fox Sports anchor who won the 24/7 title from R-Truth, Rob Stone, instead won the WWE World Title. People got mad enough at Jinder Mahal, imagine if it had been a barely trained B-list actor instead. WCW did that, and it killed most of the little credibility they had left at that point. Again you have not seen anything on WWE television as abhorrent as that was in 2000.
WCW in July 2000
Bash at the Beach. Hulk defeats Jarrett for the WCW Title when the booker Vince Russo tells Jarrett to lay down and take the loss. Russo fires Hogan on camera, Hogan walks off with the belt, and then Russo declares Jarrett is still champion and would have a new title match with Booker T! While that did give us Booker T, WCW World Champion, the circumstances were absolutely ridiculous. Again, imagine Vince telling Brock to lay down for Seth at SummerSlam, then firing Seth and saying Brock is still champion then randomly calling out Ricochet to have a match with Brock for the title which Ricochet wins. Can you imagine the fallout across social media and on every podcast afterwards?
So no, there isn’t a thing Vince has done this year that even holds a candle to the choices made by his competition in 2000. It’s a bad analogy and not steeped in any level of verifiable facts. So why say it? Well, you and I both know that it’s been open season as far as pot shots towards WWE in 2019 so anything and everything that can be hot taked will be. So it’s good to take a look at just what these people are talking about before you run with anything they have to say. And in this case, they’re dead wrong. Again.
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.
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