What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – November 13, 1995

WCW Nitro

-Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael, and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan are in the booth and are still stuck in Jacksonville, Florida.

-Hulk Hogan appears dressed like the Phantom of the Opera in a graveyard. He raises a sword and says that Randy Savage is going to bring Meng’s head back to him on a silver platter. This stuff gets weirder every week. He says after last week he doesn’t know if Sting is a friend or foe and if Sting is with the Dungeon of Doom he’s going to become public enemy #1.

-Opening Contest: Meng (w/Kevin Sullivan) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage:

Savage gets to curtain jerk another Nitro. Savage comes out of crowd and knees Meng in the back, causing Meng to crash into Sullivan and Sullivan goes to the floor. The battle spills to the outside, where Savage takes Meng to the post and then to the guardrail a couple of times. Back in, Savage slams Meng and Sullivan gets on the top rope to prevent Savage from doing the flying elbow, but Savage just knocks him off. However, when Savage goes for a top rope axe handle Meng nails him in the gut and Savage goes to the floor as Jimmy Hart comes to ringside. Meng pounds away on the outside and inside as McMichael makes football references. After two minutes of that, Meng slams Savage, but a top rope splash misses and Savage whips Meng into Jimmy Hart, who’s climbed onto the apron. Savage clotheslines Meng in the back of the head and Savage hits the top rope elbow smash to finish at 4:52. After the match, the Shark attacks Savage from behind and when Savage tries to escape, Lex Luger comes out and destroys Savage’s left arm. Savage established a good pace for the match at the beginning, but Meng destroyed it with his repetitive beat down of Savage. Grade: D

-Kensuke Sasaki vs. Chris Benoit:

We have a staredown to start and Benoit gets in a few shots. However, Sasaki catches him with a clothesline and delivers a suplex. Stomp city and Sasaki delivers a powerslam off the ropes for one. Sasaki takes Benoit’s head off with another clothesline and gets a bulldog. A slam gets one. Sasaki snapmares Benoit and its chinlock time. Sasaki releases it to deliver an elbow drop, but that only gets one. Benoit flips out of a tilt-a-whirl slam and crashes onto Sasaki out of a slam attempt for one. Benoit and Sasaki go through a reversal sequence until Benoit gets the rolling Germans and Benoit caps it off with his full nelson German suplex for the pin at 2:39. These two would have a longer match at World War 3. Grade: D+

-Television Championship Match: Johnny B. Badd (Champion) vs. Eddie Guerrero:

It takes us until NOVEMBER to get a real television title match on this show. Guerrero gets the jobber treatment so that isn’t a good sign. Both men showcase their wrestling ability until Badd hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker off the ropes for two. When Badd goes for another one, Guerrero gets a headscissors and sweeps Badd’s legs for one. Badd gets a quick snapmare for one after Guerrero jumps over his leg sweep and both men regain their bearings. A Guerrero blind charge eats elbow and Badd gets slingshot leg drop from the apron for two. Badd covers again for two. Guerrero elbows Badd as he gets to his feet and gets a springboard hurricanrana out of a wristlock for two. Guerrero goes for a superduperplex, but Badd blocks it by tossing Guerrero face first to the canvas, and goes for a top rope sunset flip, but Guerrero reverses that and both men roll through, scoring several near falls. Guerrero charges Badd and goes over the top rope and Badd cannonballs onto Guerrero. Back in, Badd goes for a slingshot splash, but Guerrero moves and covers for two. Badd reverses a waistlock, but Guerrero rolls him up for two. Guerrero gets a sunset flip after being placed on Badd’s shoulders for two. Guerrero gets a La Magistral cradle for two. When both men get to their feet, Badd uses some his amateur boxing skills and when he asks for the crowd’s approval they give it to him. Guerrero sells the boxing punches like death and Badd gives him time to recover. Guerrero snaps when he gets to his feet, tackles Badd, and both men roll on top of each other and punch away. Badd jumps over the referee when he tries to separate them and unloads. I love the story that both guys are telling here. Referee Randy Anderson warns both guys and they lockup. Badd applies a headlock and Guerrero side suplexes out. Guerrero hits a slingshot somersault splash onto Badd from the apron for two as Dave Penzer tells us there are two minutes remaining. Guerrero comes for a Tombstone piledriver, but Badd reverses and that gets two. Badd covers again for two. A Badd blind charge eats elbow and Guerrero drills Badd with a weird looking tornado DDT for two. With thirty seconds left, both men body press each other simultaneously off the ropes for a double KO and the time limit expires as both men exchange punches at 9:03. What? There were 57 seconds left! After the match, both men continue brawling, but eventually reconcile. It sucks that this match was held late in a taping because the crowd was exhausted and wasn’t awake for it. Grade: B-

-“Mean” Gene Okerlund is with the Giant, “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan, and Jimmy Hart. Sullivan and Hart complain that WCW cheated the Giant out of the World title and Sullivan puts it over as the only title worth wearing. Sullivan repeats his argument at the end of last week’s show that the Giant will win the battle royal. The Giant says that when the battle royal finishes he’ll be the winner. Sullivan goes into convulsions and mocks Hogan. A pretty boring segment because they didn’t say anything different and add to the feud.

-Non-Title Match: Sting (United States Champion) vs. Dean Malenko:

Although Sting was the United States champion at this time he didn’t feel that it was necessary to bring out the belt so I guess it’s not on the line in this match. Malenko tries to use his technical stuff early, but Sting powers out of all of it. Sting slams Malenko when he tries a leapfrog and offers a handshake when Malenko gets to his feet. Sting, you’re supposed to offer that at the BEGINNING of the match. Malenko dropkicks Sting’s knee and works it over as we go to a commercial break.

When we return, Malenko is still working the knee. Malenko fights out of a Sting powerslam, pushes Sting into the corner chest-first, and hits a German suplex for two. Sting avoids a Malenko dropkick, but a Stinger splash misses and Malenko hits a missile dropkick. Malenko goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, but Sting small packages him for the win at 5:09 shown. At least they made Malenko look dangerous here. The match was rushed and suffered accordingly. Grade: C-

-Okerlund interviews Sting, questions him about his relationship with Lex Luger, and says that Hulk Hogan wants a match with him next week. Sting says he can tolerate Hogan calling him a little dog, although he’s a big dog in WCW, but he’s gotten tired of him and looks forward to facing him next week. Okerlund says that if something quacks like a rat it is one (rats quack?) but Sting says he’ll settle his issues with Hogan in the ring next week.

-Tune in next week to see Sting square off with Hulk Hogan!

The Final Report Card: Since this was a taped show there was more of an emphasis on the in-ring product and I can’t complain about that. When you compare the wrestling quality on Nitro and what the WWF was offering on Raw during this time period it was a no contest. The WWF would counter Sting vs. Hogan with Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart (where Shawn suffered the “concussion” that threatened his career). You could tell the Monday Night Wars were heating up.

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

Show Grade: C-

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