-Eric Bischoff, Steve â€œMongoâ€ McMichael, and Bobby â€œthe Brainâ€ Heenan are in the booth and are live from Phoenix, Arizona. Bischoff informs us that the WCW Executive Committee has put Hulk Hogan, the Giant, and Ric Flair on probation and that they are all on thin ice based on their recent actions. The â€œexecutive committeeâ€ concept is something I wish would return.
-Opening Contest for the WCW Tag Team Championships: Harlem Heat (Champions w/Sister Sherri) vs. The American Males:
The crowd boos the Males during their entrance. The Heat dominate Riggs until Bagwell gets tagged in and the Males clean house. Bagwell gets a sunset flip out of a Booker blind charge for two and Colonel Robert Parker appears in the aisle with a present. Sherri opens the gift from Parker and they share a kiss. When the camera gets back to the match, Booker gets a two count, but misses an elbow drop. Spinarooni time and Booker hits an axe kick on Riggs for two. Sherri leaves with Parker, showing off an engagement ring, and Booker yells at her. Ray gets two on a side suplex until Bagwell breaks it up. Riggs gets a fluke rollup for two after Booker yells at A.C. Green, who is sitting in the front row. Riggs also gets a fluke sunset flip for two. The Heat beat on Riggs until a Booker pump splash off the second rope eats knees and Bagwell gets the momentum swinging tag. Bagwell takes out the champions and hits Ray with a fishermanâ€™s suplex for two until Booker breaks it up. Ray catches Bagwell on a dropkick, slams him, and a Harlem Hangover finishes at 7:47. Standard tag match here. Grade: C
-â€œMeanâ€ Gene Okerlund interviews Sting and Lex Luger. Sting says that Luger has a good shot at beating â€œMacho Manâ€ Randy Savage tonight for the World title, but that heâ€™d better not be complacent because he plans on winning the triangle match at Starrcade and taking the title off of him. Luger says that he will win the title tonight and that heâ€™ll face Sting if it comes to that. After the interview, Sting walks to the ring for a match.
-Sting vs. Kurasawa:
Colonel Robert Parker isnâ€™t with Kurasawa like he usually is because of his involvement with Sherri earlier in the show. If I were Kurasawa, Iâ€™d fire my manager over that. Sting dominates for a while until the match spills to the floor, where Kurasawa lays in some chops. Back in, Kurasawa gets a kneelift and works the arm. Sting fights out of the corner, not even selling the arm, and takes Kurasawa to the buckle. Stingerâ€™s splash and a Scorpion Deathlock finish at 2:38. A month earlier Kurasawa broke Hawkâ€™s arm and looked like a threat. Now heâ€™s just a jobber. There wasnâ€™t enough action here to justify a higher grade. Grade: D-
-Scott â€œFlashâ€ Norton vs. The Giant (w/Kevin Sullivan & Jimmy Hart):
When I heard the Dungeon of Doomâ€™s music I feared that we were going to get Norton-Shark III. Maybe they are saving that rubber match for next week. The Giant beats on Norton and exercises his weak grapple attacks from WCW vs. NWO World Tour until Norton gives him an atomic drop. The Giant shakes it off and Norton goes to the eyes. Norton goes to the top rope, but he dives right into a choke hold and the chokeslam finishes at 2:44. The Giant was pretty green at this point, but he and Norton put together a good short power match here. Grade: D
-A slimmed down Chares Barkley, who I donâ€™t initially recognize, comes out with Ric Flair for an interview. Barkley says that he canâ€™t measure up to Flair, but that Flair is his guy regardless of what the fans in Phoenix say. Barkley says that the fans in Phoenix need to appreciate Flair and Flair says Barkley might retire from the NBA and become a Horseman. That wouldâ€™ve been a much better choice than McMichael.
-WCW World Championship Match: â€œMacho Manâ€ Randy Savage (Champion) vs. Lex Luger (w/Jimmy Hart):
Savage stalks Luger outside of the ring when Luger confers with Hart to start and when they get into the ring Savage refuses a Luger handshake and tears into him. Luger catches himself on his own blind charge and clotheslines Savage and Savage bails. When Luger tries an axe handle off the apron, Savage catches him with a fist to the gut and rolls him back inside. Savage hits a top rope axe handle for two. Luger manages to get Savage into the corner and knees away, but Savage blocks a take to the opposite buckle and hits an elbow off the ropes for two. Luger blocks a suplex and delivers one of his own, but misses an elbow drop and Savage works his arm as we go to a commercial break.
When we get back, both men are on the outside and Savage is still working Lugerâ€™s arm with the help of the guardrail and ring post. Savage whips Lugerâ€™s arm in the ring post and small packages him for two. Savage continues to attack the arm, but when he goes for an axe handle off of the apron to Luger on the floor, Luger moves and Savage crashes into the guardrail. Back in, itâ€™s stomp city, but Luger has to go to the eyes to maintain the advantage when Savage recovers. Luger sells the arm as he takes Savage to the buckle a couple of times and hits a clothesline for two. Luger delivers a few careful elbow drops, something none of the announcers pick up on, for two. A few more elbow drops get two. Both menâ€™s heads collide off the ropes for a double KO as a few idiots in the audience yell â€œboring.â€ Savage covers for two. Savage clotheslines Luger for two and the camera shows that Jimmy Hart has taken the turnbuckle pad off. Savage reverses a take to the exposed buckle, but the referee gets knocked out of the ring, and Savage hits the top rope elbow smash. Thereâ€™s no referee so Ric Flair comes out, blasts Savage with a foreign object, and Hart puts Luger on top of Savage. The referee is still out on the floor, though, and Hulk Hogan comes out as Flair is walking back to the locker room and chases him back to the ring. When the referee gets ready to count the pinfall, Hogan grabs the referee and that leads to a disqualification at 13:58 shown. Hogan pulls Hart into the ring as Flair flees and gives he and Luger a double noggin knocker. Hogan goes to nail Luger, but Luger moves and Hogan hits Sting and Sting doesnâ€™t take too kindly to that as we go to a commercial break. The match between Luger and Savage was pretty good until the disqualification at the end, with Luger doing a great job selling the arm. I wish Savage had done the same in the match since his was taped up from Lugerâ€™s previous assaults. Grade: B-
-Okerlund reminds Hogan that he was on probation and just touched a referee. Hogan says all he wants to know is whether Sting is with him or Luger. Sting yells heâ€™s on Hoganâ€™s side and that Lugerâ€™s his best friend and Lugerâ€™s just mixed up right now. Sting asks Hogan why heâ€™s always got to run down Luger because Sting never runs down Savage. Savage reminds Sting that he called Lugerâ€™s turn before Halloween Havoc and Sting doesnâ€™t have a good comeback for that. Sting reminds Hogan that they have a tag match with Flair & Arn Anderson next week and they have to work together. Hogan demands that Sting keep Luger out of his face, neglecting the fact that HE is the one that interjected himself in Lugerâ€™s business and not vice versa. All this drama is ridiculous and completely unwarranted. Since when is Hogan Stingâ€™s daddy who gets to tell him who he can associate with?
The Final Report Card: After a mediocre undercard, the main event ended the show on a positive note. Although I wasnâ€™t a fan of the cop out finish, it still made both guys look strong and furthered the dissension angle among Hogan, Savage, and Sting. Next weekâ€™s tag team main event should be interesting because itâ€™s going to be in Charlotte, North Carolina and thatâ€™s Horsemen country.
Monday Night War Rating: 2.4 (vs. 2.6 for Raw)
Show Grade: C
Tags: Arn Anderson, bobby heenan, Booker T, Eric Bischoff, Gene Okerlund, Harlem Heat, Hulk Hogan, jimmy hart, Kevin Sullivan, Lex Luger, Marcus Bagwell, Nitro, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Scott Norton, Scotty Riggs, steve mcmichael, Stevie Ray, Sting, the American Males, the Giant, WCW, What the World Was Watching