What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – December 11, 1995

Monday Nitro

-Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael, and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan are in the booth and are live from Charlotte, North Carolina.

-Opening Contest: Mr. J.L. vs. Eddie Guerrero:

Neither JL or Guerrero get an entrance as the match starts after the show has only been on for a couple of minutes. Guerrero clotheslines JL and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. A side suplex gets two. JL arm drags out of a powerbomb and arm drags out of an inverted slingshot, but gets caught with a sloppy backbreaker. JL comes back with a headscissors off the ropes and Guerrero bails. Back in, JL manages to put Guerrero on the top rope and kicks him in the face to make Guerrero fall to the floor. Outside, JL cannonballs off the apron onto Guerrero and rolls him back in for two. A suplex gets two. Guerrero gets a sunset flip out of blind charge, but JL quickly gets out, BUT Guerrero flips JL back into a sunset flip and that gets the pin at 4:27. A solid opener that had its moments but the high spots came off as too choreographed. Grade: C

-“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Lex Luger and Jimmy Hart. Hart says that Luger should be the WCW World Champion and Luger says he would have destroyed Savage’s arm if it wasn’t for Sting and that Hogan ruined his opportunity to be world champion. Take a number Lex. Luger addresses Sting and says that they are good friends, but the best man will have to win the triangle match. Just standard promo fare here.

-The Disco Inferno vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff:

Orndorff takes his time on his way to the ring, but is awesome when he interacts with the crowd and they respond with a “Paula” chant. Disco gets tired of waiting on Orndorff and attacks him before the bell. A blind charge eats elbow, though, and Orndorff unloads. Orndorff hits an inverted atomic drop and a forearm off the ropes as Bischoff talks about Orndorff’s “world famous” left hand in reference to his alleged beating of Vader backstage. Orndorff slams Disco’s head into the canvas and then mocks Disco’s dance before dropping an elbow. If you think there’s too much dancing before the People’s Elbow you need to see this. Orndorff folds up Disco with a side suplex and Orndorff gets the pin with the help of the ropes, which he doesn’t need because Disco makes no attempt to kick out, at 2:23. Although the match didn’t have much action, Orndorff handled the crowd beautifully and you could tell he was really having fun out there. Grade: D

-Okerlund interviews the Four Horsemen, although there are only three: Flair, Anderson, and Pillman. Flair and Anderson have Four Horsemen shirts, but Pillman doesn’t. That’s just wrong. Pillman criticizes Hogan’s turn away from the dark side and takes shots at the American Males, the Dungeon of Doom, McMichael, and Orndorff. Flair starts talking to a big pop, but Orndorff interrupts him, apologizes, and gets in Pillman’s face. Orndorff says he could’ve been a Horseman until Pillman took his spot. Anderson tries to play peacemaker and Orndorff just brushes him aside and says that Pillman’s just carting around bags. Unsurprisingly, that creates a slugfest and when Orndorff doesn’t let Anderson and Flair break it up they join in the beating and Anderson and Flair finish him off with a spike piledriver on the cement.

-After the commercial break we see medical personnel putting Orndorff on a stretcher.

-Lex Luger (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan:

Duggan attacks Luger when he gets into the ring and Luger bails. Back in, Duggan pounds away as the camera cuts away to show that Orndorff is being loaded into an ambulance backstage. When we cut back to the match Luger is in control, but Duggan reverses a whip into the corner and hits another clothesline. Duggan goes for the three point stance clothesline, but Hart hops up on the apron, grabs the 2×4, and wildly swings it around. Duggan tapes up his fist for some reason and then goes over to deal with Hart, but that just allows Luger to hit him with a forearm in the back of the head and put him in the Torture Rack for the win at 2:42. Duggan carried this short match and it wasn’t bad. Grade: D

-Okerlund interviews WCW World Champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage about Starrcade and his title match with the Giant on next week’s show. Savage says that he’s going to turn into TNT and blow up in the Giant’s face.

-“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair & “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson vs. Hulk Hogan & Sting:

Hogan and Sting come out separately and Sting comes out first to his music. Hogan comes out a minute later to Sting’s music and he doesn’t look happy walking to ring, giving the impression that Sting bolted to the ring without him. The crowd boo’s Hogan as he comes down to the ring and could care less about his problems. Sting and Anderson start with a lockup and Anderson counters a hiptoss with an arm drag and the crowd loves it. Anderson pounds away until Sting catches him with a gorilla press slam off the ropes. Hogan gets a cheap shot from the apron as the crowd works up a “Hogan sucks” chant. Anderson demands that Hogan get tagged in and Sting obliges. Anderson calls time out and then tags in Flair, who gets a massive ovation. Hogan doesn’t sell Flair’s chops and the “faces” proceed to destroy Flair. All hell breaks loose and it ends with the Horsemen pounding on Hogan. Hogan fights out and tags in Sting, who dropkicks Flair for two. Flair comes back with a low blow, but Sting bridges out of a two count and gets a backslide for two. Flair seizes control with an inverted atomic drop and tags in Anderson. Anderson goes to the top rope, but gets thrown off and Sting applies the Scorpion Deathlock. Flair comes in to break it up and Sting just releases the hold on Anderson, trips Flair, and traps him in it instead. The referee cuts Hogan off and doesn’t let him enter the ring and that lets Anderson drill Sting with a sick DDT to a huge crowd pop. Jimmy Hart runs down to the ring and Lex Luger comes down, ambushes Hogan, and racks him on the floor. Meanwhile, the Horsemen work over Sting’s knee. Flair locks in the figure-four and gets extra leverage from Anderson when he needs it. That gets a two-count until Sting decides to no longer sell it and he drags Flair over to the face corner. However, we get a false tag spot and the crowd erupts. I think that’s the only time I have ever seen that happen. The Horsemen continue to work Sting’s knee until Sting tosses Flair off the top rope for two. Sting drives Anderson’s head into the mat when he puts his head down too early and we have a double KO. Sting gets the momentum swinging tag to Hogan, which gets ZERO audience reaction, and Anderson hits a spinebuster. However, Hogan hulks up, gives a big boot to Flair, and leg drops Anderson as Sting gives Flair a Stinger’s splash in the corner for the win at 13:25. Really? In HORSEMEN country you just jobbed out the Horsemen? If you want to see an example of the fans going against the booking of the match then watch this one because they completely invert the face/heel dynamic. The match was above average, but the figure-four spot needed more drama to sell the idea that Sting and Hogan might actually lose. Grade: B-

-After the match, Pillman comes down to the ring and tries to attack Hogan, but that goes nowhere until Flair and Anderson get involved. Luger comes back out and protects Sting and then tries to keep him away from the Horsemen, but Sting brushes him aside and clears the ring. THEN Savage comes out and gets in Sting’s face so Sting just clobbers him. Savage slaps Sting after he gets to his feet and Okerlund gets in the ring and Hogan and Savage demand to know what’s going on with Luger. Sting apologizes to Savage for hitting him and Hogan vouches for how Sting saved him from the Horsemen. Savage tells Sting that he and Hogan want Sting with them and Sting says that’s cool. These segments made Sting look like such a loser.

The Final Report Card: They packed a lot into this show and it had an old NWA feel to it because of it setting. Despite major towns voicing their displeasure with Hogan, WCW refused to change anything and wouldn’t until the NWO invasion angle seven months later. I think the show should’ve gone off the air with Sting decking Savage because they could’ve played that storyline out on the next Nitro with Savage facing off against the Giant and it would have avoided the stupid Okerlund interview segment that closes out most of these shows, which does not play into Sting’s strengths. The whole “what side is Sting/Luger on” storyline seemed to be building for an eventual clash between Sting/Luger vs. Hogan/Savage but we never quite got there. That storyline also established that WCW saw Hogan and Savage as their top two faces and that Sting was just playing second fiddle to them regardless of how much support he had from the fan base. Furthermore, I fail to see why I would buy the Starrcade 1995 pay-per-view because they don’t hype it very much on this show and the only match they talked about was the Luger-Sting-Flair triangle match. The entire “New Japan vs. WCW” World Cup concept isn’t addressed and none of the Japanese guys were on the show. Someone tell me how that’s a good business decision.

Monday Night War Rating: 2.6 (vs. 2.5 for Raw)

Show Grade: C+

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