What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – November 6, 1995

WCW Nitro

-Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael, and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan are in the booth and are coming to us live from Jacksonville, Florida.

-Call 1-900-370-3WCW to vote for who will fight in tonight’s main event. It costs 99 cents per call! You have to choose someone from the “red” and “blue” locker room (rosters included below).

-Opening Contest: Cobra vs. The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart):

So did Cobra get in line first at the end of last week’s show to fight the Giant for the title? So much for making that a big angle for this week’s show. The Giant lifts ring announcer Dave Penzer into the air and forces him to call the match a WCW title match. We still don’t get an explanation for why the Giant thinks he’s the world champion and the Giant chokeslams Cobra and pins him in 17 seconds. I’m not even going to bother to rate this for obvious reasons.

-“Mean” Gene Okerlund is in the “red” locker room where fans can vote for the Shark, Scott Norton, Diamond Dallas Page, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the Blue Bloods, or Big Bubba Rogers. The Shark and Scott Norton have to be separated because they still have a problem after last week’s match.

-Tony Schiavone is in the “blue” locker room with Johnny B. Badd, the Nasty Boys, Alex Wright, Sting, Dave Sullivan, Mr. JL, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Sting demands that fans vote for he and Flair to face off while Duggan throws things around like an idiot.

-Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage are in Venice Beach, California and hanging out with a homeless bum while some random guy plays on an electric guitar. Hogan tells Savage to stick with him and Savage tells Hogan to fight for the dark side and that he will go to WCW and find out who’s friend and foe. The homeless guy makes random noises during the segment. What in the holy hell was this?!?!

-“The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Renegade:

The Renegade does his Ultimate Warrior impression by running to the ring, shoulder blocking Sullivan, and clotheslining him to the floor. Why no disqualification? The over the top rule must only apply on WCW Saturday Night. Outside, Sullivan atomic drops the Renegade onto the guardrail and clotheslines him off. Sullivan takes the Renegade to the steps and we head back inside, where Sullivan slowly beats on him in the corner. A slingshot somersault splash from the apron hits knees and the Renegade gets a messy powerslam off the ropes. The Renegade hits a springboard elbow smash in the corner, but the Renegade ties himself in a Tree of Woe on a blind charge and Sullivan splashes him against the buckles. A double stomp off the second rope finishes at 2:45. After the match, Jimmy Hart throws water in the Renegade’s face and rubs off his face paint. Hart then tells the Renegade that his career is over…which is chilling when you consider that the Renegade committed suicide years later because his career went downhill so fast. Grade: D

-The lights go off in the red locker room and I’m surprised Okerlund didn’t start cursing. Flair makes fun of the situation by saying the lighting going out was an act of God and he demands to be put in the main event tonight.

-Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero:

Benoit tears into Guerrero to start, hits a sick snap suplex, and gets a ton of velocity on a side suplex. Benoit locks in a Liontamer as a Japanese contingent with Sonny Ono is shown eating. Members of the delegation include Masa Chono and Jushin “Thunder” Liger. When the camera cuts back to the ring, Guerrero gets a tilt-a-whirl sidewalk slam and gets an elbow off the ropes. When Benoit bails, Guerrero delivers a flying body press onto him from the top rope. Bischoff would rather talk about the stupid Hogan vignette than call the match, though. Guerrero goes to the top rope, but Benoit catches up to him and hits a superduperplex for a double KO spot. Benoit then slowly covers for two. Benoit hits a devastating powerbomb for two. Benoit hits a short-arm clothesline but Guerrero gets a victory roll off the ropes for two. Benoit must’ve watched Guerrero’s match with Craig Pittman from last week’s show. Benoit goes for a kneelift off the ropes, but Guerrero counters with a fluke schoolboy for two. Benoit hits a German suplex for two. Benoit goes for another and when Guerrero tries to get out with a punch, Benoit ducks and hits a Northern lights suplex for two. Benoit goes for a full nelson German suplex, but Guerrero knows what’s coming from their previous encounter and gets in the ropes. Benoit suplexes Guerrero onto the top rope, but Guerrero blocks being suplexed back inside. A slugfest ensues to wake up the crowd and when Benoit goes to suplex Guerrero into the ring, Guerrero falls on top of him for the pin at 6:28. Benoit actually got his foot on the bottom rope at one, but the referee didn’t see it and won’t restart the match, which irritates a few fans at ringside. Stupid finish aside, I liked the psychology that was being employed in this match to build off of their previous encounters. Grade: B-

-Sting still begs to face Flair tonight and the Nasty’s just say “whatever he said” when talking about the Blue Bloods. I feel like I’m watching a slimmed down version of the 1993 Battlebowl pay-per-view as they show the face and heel locker rooms throughout the show.

-Bischoff informs us that Sting vs. Ric Flair has been voted as our match tonight. Well that’s about as surprising as seeing the sun come up every morning.

-Sting vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair:

There’s no robe for Flair, so either he had to pawn it before the show, Flair means business, or both. Sting tears into Flair before he gets into the ring and runs through his power offense. Outside, Sting takes Flair to the guardrail and then doesn’t sell Flair’s chops. Flair begs off to no avail and Sting takes him to the guardrail a second time. Flair’s head must be made of steel because he doesn’t sell that, eye rakes Sting, and suplexes him. As Flair tries to recover, Sting tries to give him a Stinger splash against the guardrail, but Flair moves and Sting eats the steel as we go to a commercial break.

When we return, Flair is pounding away. Flair locks in the figure-four without any setup and uses the ropes for leverage to get a couple of near-falls. Sting rallies with the help of the crowd and reverses the figure-four. Sting doesn’t sell Flair’s offense and Flair tries to get off, but Sting doesn’t buy into it. Sting gives Flair a gorilla press slam and a dropkick before Flair goes to the eyes and tosses Sting to the floor. Flair delivers an axe handle off the apron, chops away, and goes back to the eyes, which might be the most effective strategy because Sting isn’t selling anything else. Flair grabs a chair and runs at Sting, but the referee takes it away from him. That was great because other fans tried to reach out and take the chair away from Flair as he ran. Back in, Flair decks Sting and uses the ropes to get four two-counts. Sting bridges out of another near-fall and gets a backslide for two. Sting slams Flair off the top rope and unloads in the corner. When the referee gets between them, Sting carries him to the opposite corner, but that allows Flair the time to pull out a foreign object and he blasts Sting with it when he gets near him. Flair taunts and drops an elbow drop, but it only gets two. Flair chops Sting off the ropes, but Sting doesn’t sell it and he doesn’t sell Flair’s punches. Sting gorilla press slams Flair off the ropes and delivers a superduperplex. Sting applies the Scorpion Deathlock and that gets the submission at 9:16 shown. This was much better than their match on the first Nitro, but if you don’t continually work the back or the legs I can’t buy into the Scorpion Deathlock as the finish. After the bell, Sting refuses to release the hold as Bischoff wonders what’s wrong with Sting. I dunno Eric, maybe he’s mad that Flair made him look like a fool at the last pay-per-view. Several referees try to get Sting to break the hold and Mr. JL, Eddie Guerrero, and Dave Sullivan come out but they have no effect. Eventually, Johnny B. Badd and Hacksaw Jim Duggan succeed in getting Sting off of Flair but he runs back into the ring and reapplies the hold. Lex Luger comes out, after getting past security, and he convinces Sting to break the hold. Grade: B

-“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews The Giant, Jimmy Hart, and Kevin Sullivan. Hart finally clarifies why the Giant is calling himself the WCW champion. Evidently Hart had Hogan’s power of attorney and he signed the contract for his match with the Giant at Halloween Havoc. The contract stipulated that if Hogan was disqualified during the match that he would lose the WCW Championship and that’s what happened so the Giant is the new world champion. Now that makes sense so WHY did we not get this explanation THE NIGHT AFTER the pay-per-view. We’re not done yet, though, as WCW attorney Nick Lambrose comes out and says that Hart is partially correct because Hogan is no longer champion. He reads a statement from Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel says that because of the dubious means of the disqualification at Halloween Havoc, the WCW World title is being held up and will be awarded to the winner of the three ring, 60 man battle royal at World War 3. The Giant refuses to relinquish the World title until Sullivan takes it off of him and says that the Giant win the battle royal at World War 3. Thanks to the mic skills of Jimmy Hart this segment came off really well.

-Tune in next week to see Randy Savage face off with Meng, Eddie Guerrero fight Johnny B. Badd, and Sting squares off with Dean Malenko!

The Final Report Card: I still think it would have made more sense to have the reasoning behind why the Giant was carrying around the title clarified on last week’s show and then have the announcement about World War 3 take place on this show. WCW was also doing a weird tweener angle with Luger during this time period, which will grow more complex and confusing in the coming months. Despite that, the last half of this show is fantastic as Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Sting, and Ric Flair deliver as usual. I just hope next week theme isn’t “let’s bury the cruiserweights to the heavyweights.”

Monday Night War Rating: 2.0 (vs. 2.6 for Raw)

Show Grade: B

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