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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WCW Nitro Episode (1/22/96)

Savage vs. Flair and more in Las Vegas!

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WCW Monday Nitro

January 22, 1996 brings us WCW Monday Nitro from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada!

This show is touted as featuring Hulk Hogan facing off against One Man Gang from the Dungeon of Doom. We are also slated to see Randy Savage take on Ric Flair and Dean Malenko battle Brian Pillman plus, Harlem Heat take on Sting and Lex Luger. Eric Bischoff, Steve McMichael and Bobby Heenan are on the call as usual. Konnan sighting as well as he interrupts the commentators to announce himself defending his belt against Psychosis.


Quick Results

  • Randy Savage defeated Ric Flair to capture the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
  • Brian Pillman defeated Dean Malenko
  • Sting & Lex Luger defeated Harlem Heat to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship
  • Hulk Hogan defeated One Man Gang

The Details

WCW Heavyweight Championship
Ric Flair (c) vs. Randy Savage

These two brawl outside the ring to begin the match and Savage is tossed into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Savage regains control with a big clothesline. Flair comes back and tosses Savage over the top rope and distracts the referee while Jimmy Hart gives a kick for good measure. Fair tosses Savage over the rail at ringside and both trade strikes before Flair eats a big back body drop on the floor before sidestepping Savage’s top rope double axe handle to the outside. Back inside the ring, Savage battles back as the two trade more strikes.

Flair is back in control, hitting a shin breaker and the figure four leglock, using the ropes for leverage until the ref notices and breaks the hold. Flair goes to the top rope, and surprise, Savage catches him. Savage hits a pair of top rope axe handles and Jimmy Hart distracts the ref. Arn Anderson inadvertently hits Ric Flair with a foreign object and Savage hits the top rope elbow drop. The bell rings before the pinfall for some reason, but the ref counts and awards the WCW Heavyweight Championship to Randy Savage.

Hogan is out with Savage and Mean Gene in the ring, Randy calls Hulk out for celebrating as if he won the belt himself. Hogan says he’d like the first shot at the belt, Savage says he’s no Nick Bockwinkel, but tells him he wants to do it in Caesar’s Palace. Hulk says he’s going to do whatever it takes to get to the number one contender position (probably just some politics in the back). This heavyweight title picture is already feeling stale.

Winner: Randy Savage via pinfall (new WCW Heavyweight Champion)

Brian Pillman vs Dean Malenko

The match opens with some chain wrestling before Pillman is caught with a hip toss and dropkick by Dean. Dean fires up and hits a big clothesline and a nice brainbuster quickly followed by a neckbreaker for a near fall. In the corner, Pillman fights back and hits a tornado DDT but refuses to cover. Dean hits a nice tiger driver and the action goes outside the ring then back in with Pillman in control. Malenko comes back again with a big pop up gut buster. Dean gets a leg caught up in the ropes, Brian covers him and the ref doesn’t see it, so we get the pinfall. I feel like these two guys could really put on solid matches if they were given a good amount of time.

Winner: Brian Pillman via pinfall

WCW Tag Team Championship
Harlem Heat (c) vs Sting and Lex Luger

They go to commercial and we get an ad for SuperBrawl that features only Hogan, Savage, Flair, Sting and Luger. Just sad and depressing. Luger gets worked over until Booker T is tagged in. He hits a double clothesline and gets a tag to Sting. Multiple Stinger splashes on both Harlem Heat and we see a Scorpion Death Lock attempt from Sting. Luger distracts the ref for reasons and Booker T hits a big ax kick to break up the hold.

Sting continues to get beat down as Booker T hits a top rope facebuster on Sting. Harlem Heat are utilizing quick tags in and out, keeping Sting dealing with a fresh man. Booker T misses the Harlem Hangover and Sting gets to Luger for the tag but the ref doesn’t see it. Jimmy Hart is down and hands Luger a foreign object. Luger is tagged in, hits Booker T with the object for the pinfall victory. Commentary says it looks like a roll of silver dollars from the casino. We have new tag champs and it all happened behind Sting’s back. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops. Mediocre tag match here.

Winners: Sting and Lex Luger(new WCW Tag Team Champions)

One Man Gang vs Hulk Hogan

One Man Gang is announced as the United States Champion, but I’ve never seen that belt defended on Nitro. One Man Gang gets control with a clothesline and bodyslam before hitting a splash that Hulk no sells and comes back. Hogan kind of hits a powerslam before hitting the big boot and leg drop for the win. The Dungeon of Doom and Four Horsemen come out and Hogan holds them off until Savage comes down to help. Hogan and Savage stand tall in the ring as literally 9 other wrestlers leave, unable to take down Hulk and Savage. Back in the ring, Hogan previews their Clash of the Champions tag match for the following night but they keep bringing up an upcoming title match.

Winner: Hulk Hogan via pinfall


A fairly good show (minus that last match) that helped build some more more stories and we saw 2 title changes on free television which is always fun. I’m really looking forward to when Nitro expands to 2 hour shows so we can see more of this amazing undercard I’m always hearing about. I know the names are there, and they’re impressive. It just seems like they’re an afterthought right now on WCW Nitro. Here’s to hoping it improves!


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classic: Andrew’s 2019 AEW Double or Nothing Ratings & Analysis

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

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AEW Double Or Nothing 2019AEW Double Or Nothing 2019

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

With AEW Double Or Nothing–the 2022 edition–on the horizon, enjoy this trip down memory lane as Andrew Balaz reviewed the inaugural Las Vegas AEW pay-per-view…spectacular?

Well this is history boys and girls. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s the first show of the IWC’s favorite t-shirt company. What becomes of Hangman since he’s injured and PAC cancelled? What surprises will we get?

We all sit here with bated breath. Some want it to fail, many want it to succeed. Me? I just want it to not suck.

Let’s see what we got!

Ratings:

  • Casino Battle Royal: Hangman Page wins @10:45 – **
  • Sammy Guevara vs Kip Sabian: Sabian wins Argentine Facebuster @9:55 – ***
  • So Cal Uncensored vs Strong Hearts: SCU wins via Best Meltzer Ever @14:00 – *** 1/2
  • Britt Baker vs Nyla Rose vs Kylie Rae vs Awesome Kong: Britt Bakers wins via Kneecap Brainbuster @11:05 – ***
  • Best Friends vs Angelico & Jack Evans: Best Friends win via Strong Zero @12:55 – ** 1/2
  • Riho, Hikaru Shida &  Ryo Mizunami vs Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki & Emi Sakura: Hikaru wins via Three Count @13:10 – *** 1/4
  • Dustin Rhodes vs Cody Rhodes: Cody wins via Crossroads @22:35 – *****
  • AAA Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs Lucha Brothers: Bucks retain via Meltzer Driver @25:00 – *****
  • Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho: Jericho wins via Judas Effect @23:50 – **** 1/4

Analysis:

This was definitely a mess. A few spots, a bunch of messy spots and just generally awkward moments. Flying Brian Jr had a few decent spots, Luchasaurus looked good and Orange Cassidy is awful. Hangman being the 21st entrant made a lot of sense, but probably already upset a few people since it wasn’t CM Punk or Jon Moxley. Of course Page won. He can fight with a bum leg, cause he has three of them. So yeah, not an awful match, but it had a lot of issues.

Sabian looked tremendous in this match. Guevara definitely did too much. Shooting Star onto Sabian draped over the outside barricade, a bad double Moonsault and standing Shoot Star hurt the match a little. But Sabian’s technically proficient, charismatic and can hang in the air a bit too. So Sabian was the star here. Solid match.

Well now, this was great. Strong Hearts trio pulled off some great fluid offense and SCU did fantastic. This was just a great match, I can’t really accurately describe more than great match. Best Meltzer Ever is a little dumb when it comes to names, but damn was this a good match.

So Brandi comes out in her gear to swerve us that she’s adding herself to the match, but instead she adds Awesome Kong! So the Triple Threat turns into a Fatal 4 Way and it’s not bad. A lot of the early portion is focused on taking out Kong, then Nyla becomes the target. Britt and Kylie are the ones left in the ring after the collateral damage. Kylie looks to be firing up for a finish, but Britt catches her in a Kneecap Brainbuster (Adam Cole’s Last Shot in ROH).

Excessive spots, excessive near falls, I knew to expect it to a degree with these four, but that doesn’t make it better. This was definitely an ‘Indie style” match, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. There was a lights out attack on both teams from…some team, with masked minions. The “Who Are You” chant kicks up and commentary doesn’t lend any information. So that’s really not helpful.

Everyone got their stuff in, we got to see a lot of personality from the different women and the action was solid. I also appreciated Emi Sakura trying to rally momentum doing We Will Rock You stomps (since she was dressed as Freddy Mercury). Save for the big mess up with the bell ringer calling the end of the match when the referee obviously held up 2 and said 2, just messed up the flow and gave away the finish since Hikaru’s music played. Not bad, just the ending did kind of take the air out of a pretty good match.

Wow. Dustin and Cody brought it, Dustin bladed pretty deep, I think even Dusty would’ve blushed. New moves from Dustin like the Misawa style Apron Senton, a Code Red and a few classics. The blood, the desire to keep fighting, this was everything wrestling should be. It made sense for Cody to win the match of course, but wow after the match was a beautiful moment. Also call of the night might have to go to Excalibur when Cody hit a Pump Kick aka Bicycle Kick and you hear him say something like ” He hit him with a BICYCLE”.  In a huge homage to Dustin and Dusty’s Heart to Heart promo, Cody tells Dustin he can’t retire, because he needs a partner. He doesn’t just need a partner, he needs his big brother. This was a great way cap off such a hard hitting personal match. Wow.

Belt reveal with a few extra curricular and Bret Hart. Much like Bret Hart, the belt doesn’t do anything for me. It looks a lot like Big Gold, but it’s so ostentatious it’s hard to love it. Just too shimmery or whatever. It’s not bad, but I in no way love the belt.

I’m very happy there was the unveiling ceremony between the Rhodes match and this one. Cause this was a great match and moving it out too quick could’ve hurt the crowd immersion. Great tandem moves, a decent thread of the ring rust playing a part against the Young Bucks early on and just generally great spots. There definitely was a lot of stuff, big spots and it was “spot monkey” style, but it all worked. The Lucha Brothers pulled out crazy moves to try and get the AAA belts back and the Bucks were trying to prove they still had it with most of the year off. Just really really good.

Well now Jericho and Omega pick back up where they left off. Referee Paul Turner allows for a lot of out of the ring shenanigans. Jericho busts Omega open, tries to use a table as a shield, but Omega still throws himself at Jericho.Jericho focuses on Omega’s face with the Triangle Dropkick, a Lionsault went high and this was pretty damn solid. A few missteps and Jericho not countering the first One Winged Angel was car crash worthy, but aside from that, this was nice. Multiple Codebreakers followed by the new Judas Effect, leave Omega laying for the 1, 2, 3.

Jericho says AEW is for him not for fans, and he deserves a thank you. When the crowd pops, Jericho thinks it’s for him, but Jon Moxley makes his debut through the crowd! Almost as if it were a reference to Lex Luger showing up on the first Nitro, it looks like Jericho basically says “You don’t work here”. Dirty Deeds to Jericho, Dirty Deeds to referee Paul Turner and Omega manages a burst of energy to brawl for a little bit. They end up on the poker chips, Moxley hits Dirty Deeds and then just dumps him off, onto some other stage item.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Well damn, I was skeptical since All In didn’t rate as highly for me as other fans, but this was great. Aside from a few personal gripes, and not really enjoying the cluster that was the Battle Royal, this was one of the better shows of the year thus far. Good surprises like Awesome Kong, Bret Hart and Jon Moxley. Jericho winning the main event breaks up The Elite getting the clean sweep, so that shows it’s not as predictable as All In.

Oh and yes, I can’t express how good the Rhodes match was. The match itself, the story it told, the promo after, everything was just beautiful. That is my number 1 match of the year personally, cause it was just too damn poignant.

Good job AEW. Great show, and the symbolic moment where Cody used the sledgehammer to break the replica throne Triple H used for his WrestleMania 22 entrance. It was awesome.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock from WWE Backlash 1999

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock. 

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WWE Backlash 1999 Steve Austin The Rock

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock.

Let’s set the scene for a minute, you’ve got “The Texas Rattlesnake” and Corporate Rock going one-on-one at WrestleMania XV. Austin wins the championship and the McMahon family is livid. Stone Cold wants his Smoking Skull Championship belt back, and Vince and Shane McMahon are trying to keep it from him by hook or by crook.

Damn, things were different during the Attitude Era, The Rock threw Stone Cold over a bridge and held a funeral for his rival. The storytelling was captivating and exciting, and it kept you guessing what would happen next. Keep in mind this match was conclusively built around a championship belt, something that would never work in the current product.

It was a high-octane no disqualification match with Shane as the special guest referee for their latest encounter. Austin began the match running straight into the ring for a brawl which spilled out all over the arena.  I miss how exciting these two superstars were. Rock hit a vicious Rock Bottom through the Spanish announce table and then got on commentary to talk some smack.

The arrogant challenger took the camera to talk trash while Austin laid on the other announce table, and ate a Stunner through the table. Man, the WWE Universe was on fire throughout the entire match. I feel like both superstars can’t put on a bad match because they have such strong in-ring chemistry.

The finish of the match came when Austin had Rock set up for the three-count but Shane refused to count. Vince came down and struck Shane with the Smoking Skull belt. Austin hit another Stunner and decked the challenger with the belt for the victory. Vince then tossed his rival his precious Smoking Skull Championship.


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