The SmarK Rant for the Monday Night Wars – 09.11.95
By Scott Keith on 20th April 2020
(Hey, now that we’re into the Monday Night Wars era of the Observer Flashbacks, it’s TWO FOR ONE reposts! This was originally done on WWF 24/7, when they would air both shows together, but I think after this I’ve got everything done as separate shows again for the next couple of years.)
WCW Monday Nitro!
– Live from Miami, FL
– Your hosts are Uncle Eric, Mongo and the Brain. Sounds like a morning radio show, actually.
– I should note that although the first show from the mall was a drastically different look for a wrestling show, this show looks 100% like any episode I’ve ever seen of Nitro, minus the nWo logos everywhere. They really hit the formula right off the bat.
Sabu v. Alex Wright
Sabu takes Wright down and chokes him right away, then hits a springboard kneedrop and a rana that puts them on the floor. Sabu follows with a baseball slide and somersault press, then dives off a chair and splats on the railing. Wright with a dropkick and he comes back in with a missile dropkick to put Sabu on the floor again. Wright baseball slides him and follows with a tentative tope, but Sabu goes up, so Wright brings him in with a superplex. Sabu sends him into the turnbuckles and gets a springboard leg lariat, but Wright hits the german suplex for two. Wright goes up, but Sabu brings him down with a weak victory roll off the top for the pin at 4:00. What was that shitty finish? Fast-paced and crazy before that, though. **1/2 Sabu puts him through a table afterwards, so they reverse the decision. Weak sauce.
Ric Flair comes out to talk about his disappointment in Arn Anderson’s behavior as of late, but Lex Luger quickly interrupts and has nothing to say. OK then.
Sting v. VK Wallstreet
Oh, in case you’re tempted to change the channel, Shawn Michaels beats the big guy with a superkick that wouldn’t win a green belt at the local YMCA. Sting controls with armdrags and Wallstreet bails. Back in, Wallstreet tosses Sting, but Sting springboards back in with a sloppy clothesline. Wallstreet elbows him down again and drops elbows, but Sting reverses a samoan drop into a sunset flip for two. Sting rams him into the turnbuckles and drives him into the corner with a high knee, and the Stinger splash follows. High cross finishes at 4:06. Didn’t they just have a big promo for Wallstreet in the first show and build him up as a big deal? *1/2
Scott Norton v. Randy Savage
Norton attacks and gets a short clothesline, then blocks a sunset flip with a two-handed choke. Savage comes back with a hiptoss and clotheslines him out, then back in with a pretty nice clothesline that Norton actually SELLS. Savage to the top, but Norton catches him in a bearhug and pounds the back. Powerbomb gets two. Norton hits a backbreaker and carries him up into a press slam, and a powerslam gets two. Bischoff has this ridiculous deathly serious concern going for Savage’s back, even though the match is only 3 minutes in. Savage bails and Norton brings him back in with Randy Orton’s DDT, then goes up. Savage faceplants him on the way down and hits a high knee to the back, but the Dungeon of Doom runs in. Sharkalanche falls on top of Norton, pinning him down, and Savage drops the big elbow for the pin at 5:39. That is a truly retarded finish. Norton wouldn’t even lay down for the pinfall finish without an additional 400 pound guy on top of him. **
WCW World title: Hulk Hogan v. Lex Luger
Mongo notes that if you’ve never watched a wrestling match in your life before, you should get on the edge of your seat and watch this one. Wouldn’t it be assumed that you’ve seen a wrestling match before in your life, given that there’s been three of them in this show so far? Mongo makes my ears bleed. Luger goes with the headlock and catches Hogan with a suplex, but Hulk no-sells it. Lex with another headlock as Mongo notes that “the owners of WCW aren’t fining these guys for excessive hitting”. What the FUCK is this guy talking about? Luger with a powerslam and he’s already go the rack, but Lex releases too soon and acts like he’s won. He gets two instead and it’s time to Hulk up. Big boot and legdrop, but the Dungeon runs in AGAIN for the DQ at 5:30. *
– So we take a break, and with everyone upset at Luger for not getting attacked, Mean Gene comes out for the interview. Hogan and Savage are all over Lex, but Sting sticks up for him and wants him to be a part of the Hogan team for WarGames. Again I ask: Who was so stupid not to put Sting & Luger v. Hogan & Savage on PPV in a giant stadium? Anyway, of course it turned out that Luger and Jimmy Hart really were in cahoots with the Dungeon, so there’s one rare bit of forethought from the WCW bookers.
WWF Monday Night RAW!
– Taped from somewhere “two or three weeks ago” according to Bischoff.
– Your hosts are Vince & King, green-screened in at ringside in an awful-looking open. It’s the new fall season, you know.
Razor Ramon v. The British Bulldog
Ramon works the arm with an armbar, but Bulldog whips him into the corner and follows with a delayed suplex. Bulldog works on the back, but Ramon slugs him down, so Bulldog clotheslines him for two. Bulldog with a press slam and we take a break, and return with him getting a slam for two. He sets up for the powerslam, but Razor grabs the ropes and falls on top for two. Bulldog slams him again and goes up, but Ramon slams him off the top and slugs him down. Fallaway slam gets two. Ramon comes back and the ref gets bumped, allowing Ramon to hit the Razor’s Edge. Dean Douglas runs in and hits Ramon off the top, however, and takes out the 1-2-3 Kid as an afterthought, allowing Bulldog to get the powerslam. Kid comes off the top and hits Ramon by accident, and it’s a DQ at 7:10. What is this, a competition to see who can come up with the lamest finishes tonight? Slow and dull. *1/2
– Vince follows up with a hard-hitting interview of the spurned lovers, as Kid is sick of getting treated like dirt by Ramon and challenges him to a match next week.
The Smoking Gunns v. Rad Radford & The Brooklyn Brawler
Billy gets tossed to start , but Bart slingshots him back in off an irish whip in a really slick spot. Someone should swipe that. Bart comes in and runs into a knee from Radford, as the grungry jobbers take over and Vince makes pop culture references so we totally know that it’s totally not taped. Brawler goes up and gets slammed off by Bart, and Billy pounds him in the corner, then the Gunns finish with the Sidewinder at 3:00. *
Isaac Yankem DDS v. Scott Taylor
Taylor of course went on to fame as Scotty 2 Hotty. Yankem chokes away on the ropes and drops an elbow, then uses a hangman choke before dropping Taylor on the top rope. Yankem with the DDS to finish at 1:46.
WWF Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. Sid
Thanks to that bastard Bischoff I already know the finish now! Although more accurately at the time I already knew the finish because of the internet. Shawn evades Sid and gets a flying clothesline, then slugs him out of the ring. Back in, Shawn can’t knock him down and gets tossed, but skins the cat back in and dropkicks Sid out again. Back in, Sid grabs a headlock and chokes away in the corner, then whips him into the other corner and out of the ring, then drops him on the apron. Dibiase gets his cheapshots in and they milk the countout tease, but Shawn heads back in and we take a break. We return with Sid holding a bearhug, but Shawn fights out, so Sid chokeslams him. Sid calls for the belt and I’m shocked Vince didn’t run down and yell at him for calling it that. It’s a CHAMPIONSHIP, Sid, don’t you attend the meetings? Sid sets up for the powerbomb, but Shawn fights out and gets the flying forearm before going up. Flying bodypress gets two. Shawn gives him three superkicks to put him down, and that gets the pin at 7:21. Hey, just like Bischoff said! This was fine. **1/2
It’s not like Nitro was doing anything revolutionary at that point in terms of the presentation. It was the same stupid run-in finishes that RAW was presenting and the same dumb booking mistakes, but at least it wasn’t stale and boring like RAW. RAW gets the best match of the week with Shawn v. Sid, so it’s a very close win for RAW. Both shows were pretty crappy, though.