What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – September 18, 1995

Monday Nitro

-Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael, and Bobby “the Brian” Heenan are in the booth and are live from Johnson City, Tennessee.

-“Mean” Gene Okerlund is backstage and an ambulance pulls up and “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan and the Giant come out. The Giant says that each of the three times he’s put his hands around Hogan’s neck he’s melted. The Giant says that he’s the true immortal in WCW. Okerlund sells the Giant as the son of Andre the Giant, a tasteless part of the feud that was quickly forgotten.

-Opening Contest: The American Males vs. The Blue Bloods:

As Bobby Eaton makes his entrance, Harlem Heat, the WCW Tag Team Champions, take him out. Booker T says that Harlem Heat is going to give the Males a title shot. Why would the champions do that? Oh well. An awkward four way brawl starts the action and Stevie Ray eats a double dropkick. Tag Marcus Bagwell and he works the arm. Ray catches him with a sidewalk slam and tags Booker T. Booker powerslams Bagwell when he tries a leap frog, but misses a leg drop and Riggs gets the tag. However, Ray knees him in the back when he runs the ropes and Booker takes his head off with a scissors kick. Harlem Heat work over Riggs and Booker gets some serious hang time on an axe kick for two. Riggs gets a fluke sunset flip, but Booker tags out before he goes down in the move. Booker misses a cannonball and Bagwell gets the momentum swinging tag. Bagwell gives the Heat a pair of dropkicks until Ray swats his second attempt away. Colonel Robert Parker comes down to ringside and when all hell breaks loose Sherri gets on the apron to nail Bagwell, but Parker pulls her off and carries her away. Bagwell shifts him weigh during a pump handle slam and he falls on top of Booker and the Males win the titles at 4:40. The Internet might hate the American Males, but this was the first title change in the history of Monday so their legacy will always be preserved. Grade: C-

-Okerlund interviews “Nature Boy” Ric Flair in the ring. Okerlund asks him about his match tonight with “Flyin’” Brian Pillman, who cost him his match against Arn Anderson at Fall Brawl. Flair says that Anderson broke the code by bringing an outsider into their feud. He says that he’s going to chop Pillman so hard that Boomer Esiason can feel it and then he’s going to destroy Anderson. You’ve got to appreciate Flair’s intensity.

-“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Johnny B. Badd:

I love Orndorff’s “Wonderful” entrance music and Badd gets a huge pop when he comes out. Orndorff pounds away and has to be pulled off of Badd by Nick Patrick. Badd fights back with a few slams, but a top rope dive eats boot and Orndorff covers for two as we head to a commercial break.

When we return, Badd tries a splash off the ropes, but that eats knees. Orndorff goes to the top rope, but a top rope splash eats canvas. These guys must’ve watched last week’s Sabu-Wright match. Badd unloads on Orndorff and knocks him to the floor, but Orndorff won’t cooperate when Badd tries to dive onto him. Eventually Orndorff stays in place and Badd hits a pescado. Back in, Badd gets a top rope axe handle for two. Orndorff goes for a piledriver, but Badd backdrops out and clotheslines Orndorff a couple of times. Badd goes for a piledriver of his own and Orndorff tries to backdrop out of it, but Badd hangs on and tries a sunset flip, BUT Orndorff sits on top of him and gets the pin at 3:57. A solid match, but it didn’t have enough time to develop because of the commercial break. Grade: C-

-“Macho Man” Randy Savage is on the Baywatch set doing bench presses when he’s suddenly ambushed by Kevin Sullivan. Ric Flair and a few lifeguards come over and get Sullivan off of Savage.

-Okerlund interviews Savage and Savage says he doesn’t care about Flair and he says that he’ll destroy Sullivan by himself. Savage says the strong survive and that Hulk Hogan is a horrible judge of character because Luger ended up cheap shotting him in the War Games. He predicts that the Dungeon of Doom is going to have three new members soon: Lex Luger, Sting, and Jimmy Hart. Luger doesn’t like that so he comes out and accuses Savage of being jealous and wanting to be WCW Champion. Savage says Luger’s right about the WCW title and teases fighting Luger as Okerlund tries to keep the peace. You can’t go wrong with crazy Savage and I enjoyed this whole “WCW’s babyfaces don’t know who to trust” angle.

-Clips are shown of Hulk Hogan showing up on the Main Event on his motorcycle and being interviewed by Okerlund. After Hogan goes through his predictable promo, a monster truck driven by the Giant destroys his motorcycle. Hogan throws a tantrum afterward, which is pretty funny. We’re also given clips of the Giant choking the life out of Hogan at the end of Fall Brawl.

-“Flyin’” Brian Pillman vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair:

Flair comes to the ring focused and he and Pillman exchange chops in the corner. Pillman goes to the eyes, but his dropkick misses. Flair tosses Pillman to the floor and goes all Randy Savage by hitting a top rope axe handle to Pillman on the floor. Wow, I’ve never seen Flair do that before or since. Back in, Pillman knees Flair when he gets on the apron and pounds away. However, after a Flair flip Flair ducks a Pillman clothesline and gives Pillman one of his own. Flair tries another top rope axe handle, but Pillman dropkicks him on the way down and gets two with the help of the ropes. Pillman covers again for two. Pillman goes to work on the arm, but when the action spills onto the floor Flair comes back with a series of chops and hot shots Pillman on the guardrail. What is with guys on these last few shows? No one ever seems to sell anything for a significant period of time. Back in, Flair blocks a Pillman sunset flip and pounds away. A Pillman blind charge eats boot and Flair goes to the top again, but this time Pillman throws him off. Pillman goes to the top, but a top rope splash eats canvas and Flair goes for a figure-four, but Pillman small packages him for two. Both men’s heads collide and we have a double KO. Both men get up at the same time and Flair delivers a side suplex. Flair applies the figure-four and Pillman submits at 5:25. I didn’t like that finish because Flair never worked the knee or the leg before applying the hold. After the match, Flair gets on the mic and tells Anderson that he’s going to kick his ass soon. Grade: C

-Tune in next week to see the Disco Inferno face Alex Wright, Randy Savage fights Kevin Sullivan, and Kurasawa and Lex Luger are in action!

The Final Report Card: A very good show here, but Raw ‘s main event of Men on a Mission vs. Owen Hart & Yokozuna destroyed it in the ratings. It’s amazing when you look through 1995 and see that the WWF held their own in the ratings war despite their lack of in-ring talent. Several really good storylines were developing at this time and the civil war among the Hogan allies will grow more complicated as we head into Halloween Havoc.

Monday Night War Rating: 1.9 (vs. 2.7 for Raw)

Show Grade: B-

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