The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 12.25.95
Ad roulette begins! As of today I now have a one in four chance of getting advertisements instead of the WWE logo. It’s just like I’m the champion in a Fatal Four Way match! The odds are exactly the same! No commercials before this one, luckily. Also, with RAW now getting added again, the question becomes: Stick with Nitro, or switch back to RAW and hopefully get 1995 finished off as well on that side?
Taped from whatever last week was. Really, they take Christmas off? How are they gonna win the Wars with THAT kind of shitty work ethic?
Your ho-ho-hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo.
Lex Luger v. Scotty Riggs
Lex flexes a bunch, but Riggs gets a dropkick to send him running and Lex gets some advice from Jimmy Hart. That advice: “Don’t store your steroids in your house if you feel like your girlfriend OD’ing in your living room might be a possibility. Also, always check the t-shirt sizing before you wear it.” Back in, Riggs works the arm for a bit, but misses a dropkick before recovering with a crossbody for two. Finally Luger knocks him off the apron and into the railing (the bump was only 0.2 Pillman, though) and back in with a suplex to take over. Riggs makes a brief comeback, but tries a missile dropkick and misses by three feet, allowing Lex to finish with the Rack at 7:09. Good enough for government work. *1/2
Sting accuses Mean Gene of being “some kind of investigative reporter” because he’s still bugging Sting about the Lex Luger deal. Sting basically tells him to lay off, does his promo, and then Gene waits until he’s walking away and goes “So what’s the deal with you and Luger?”, drawing a pissed off glare from Sting over his shoulder. That was a cool little touch. Too bad they didn’t have a better storyline around the Starrcade show because the Sting/Luger and Flair/Savage stuff was top notch.
Sting v. Big Bubba
Bubba comes out of the corner with a surprising enzuigiri and slugs away in the corner, but they head to the floor and Sting bulldogs him on the floor. Back in, Bobby is once again going on about the mythical airports where everyone is talking about whatever is convenient for the storyline at the time. People must have been losing their shit over the nWo in those airports. And really, can you imagine people stopping Bobby Heenan in an airport and wanting to talk about Eddie Guerrero? Bobby would tell them to fuck off. And they’d deserve it! Bubba goes to a chinlock in the ring, but Sting fights out and goes up. Bubba slams him off, but Sting rolls through into a small package for the pin at 5:14 in a slick finish. I think that clearly puts him over the top on the WON Hall of Fame voting. *1/2
Lex Luger comes out for his interview, but Craig Pittman interrupts and wants Jimmy Hart to manage him. Jimmy laughs at his abs and sends him on his way. Hey now, no need to be mean about it. We can’t all be rippling hunks of manhood like Caliber.
Dean Malenko v. The Mysterious Mr. JL
Stalemate sequence to start and JL gets a tilt-a-whirl headscissors to put Dean on the floor, then follows with a dive as Bischoff accidentally calls him “Jerry Lynn” before correcting himself. KAYFABE! Back in, that gets two. JL with a powerbomb out of a bridge for two. They fight to the top and Dean takes him down with the exploding gutbuster and finishes with a leglock at 3:42. Dean was booked astonishingly strong at this point, actually. **1/2
Ric Flair is out for an interview, but Jimmy Hart comes out to suck up to him and apologize for Kevin Sullivan’s disrespectful behavior and offer his managerial services tonight.
WCW World title: Randy Savage v. Ric Flair
Random great character touch with Jimmy Hart I noticed in the closeups during intros: Presumably Hart makes big money as a manager for the big stars, but he still makes sure to wear crappy cheap sunglasses because he’s basically a skeevy used car salesman at heart. That’s pretty cool. Flair goes with the eyepoke to start, but misses the kneedrop and Savage goes to work on it right away. Figure-four and Flair makes the ropes with the help of Jimmy Hart, as that deal immediately pays dividends for him. Savage pounds away in the corner and Flair drops him with an atomic drop, but Savage reverses the figure-four into a small package for two. Flair tosses him and Jimmy gets the cheapshots in. And we take a break and return with Savage grabbing a chair out of the front row, but Flair clotheslines him on the top rope on the way in. Bischoff clarifies that Hogan is “basically suspended for the rest of 1995.” Wow, six whole days, that’s harsh. Flair pounds on the taped arm to take over and works on a hammerlock, but Savage makes a brief comeback before Flair puts him down with a low blow. And we take another break and return with them slugging it out as my wife notes that Savage looks like he’s wearing “those furry mops they sell on TV” on his boots. If that’s the worst thing about Savage’s wardrobe choices in 1995, we’re lucky. Savage with a sleeper, but Flair counters with a kneecrusher as Bischoff notes that everyone is leaving the WWF and coming to WCW. In a related note, WCW was supposed to tape every other week following this show, but Turner higher-ups were apparently so delighted that WWF was in a death spiral that they actually OK’d live shows every week just to fuck with them. Bet it didn’t feel so good for Vince being on the other side of that kind of thing. Flair with the figure-four, but Savage makes the ropes and slams Flair off the top to make the comeback. Flair goes to the knee again, however, and tries a sleeper, but Savage runs him into the corner to break and gets a small package for two. Flair with a piledriver, but Macho backdrops out for two. Double axehandle gets two. Jimmy trips him up and they slug it out off that, but Lex Luger runs in for the DQ at 21:52 to trigger a giant brawl to end the show. So yeah, they basically gave away the Starrcade main event two days before the show, but it was a HELL of a match. ***3/4 I should note the entire show was built around the triangle match and they completely ignored the New Japan matches and in fact didn’t even list the CARD. No wonder it only did 70000 buys or whatever ridiculous number it was. That being said, this was a GREAT show and flew by.
Next week: A new heavyweight champion will be crowned at Starrcade! I won’t spoil it, but it rhymes with “Shmick Shmair.”