The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 12.18.95 So back again with these, as I was at a technical conference for work for the past week and wasn’t able to access the Network. A Starrcade 95 redo is on the docket, but first we need to address this show… Live from Augusta, GA Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo. BUT FIRST… Madusa returns to WCW during the opening, carrying the WWF Women’s title with her, which she dumps into the trash to launch the second atomic bomb of the Monday Night Wars. This was actually HUGE, killing off the WWF Women’s title for years and also launching a lawsuit from Titan and paranoia from Vince that led to one of the reasons behind the Montreal screwjob (in that Vince talked about not wanting the same thing to happen with Bret’s belt). It was also weird in that she was already fired by the WWF, but no one thought to get the belt back from her for some reason. Ric Flair v. Eddie Guerrero They trade takedowns and Flair takes over with a cheapshot, but Eddie dropkicks him in the back of the head and does his own strutting. Eddie hits more dropkicks, but misses a third one and Flair goes for the figure-four, which Eddie reverses for two. Backslide gets two. Eddie charges and hits boot while Eric is obviously very distracted by the monitor of RAW he’s watching. They slug it out and Eddie gets a tornado DDT for two and follows with a rana for two. To the top, but Flair knocks him to the floor for a nasty bump onto his knee, and Flair is the shark who smells blood. Back in, Flair goes to work on the leg and the figure-four finishes at 7:33, with Eddie finally passing out due to the pain and getting pinned. This was a GREAT finish because Eddie’s knee was clearly shot from the bump, but Flair still made sure to grab the ropes and cheat outrageously, then let him fight for a full minute before passing out. *** Mean Gene immediately jumps in to interview Flair & Arn, but Kevin Sullivan interrupts to complain about their alliance falling apart. Meanwhile, Craig Pittman tries to recruit Bobby Heenan as a manager. Lex Luger v. Marcus Bagwell Bagwell survives Luger’s flurry of clotheslines and hiptosses him out of the ring. Back in, a flying forearm sets up the devastating splash, but Luger gets his knees up to save his career and finishes with a powerslam and Torture Rack at 3:00. * Earl Robert Eaton v. Sting You have to love Bobby Eaton, who was content to just go along with whatever goofy new idea they had for him at the midcard level. Eaton debuts the new manservant for the Bluebloods, Jeeves, who used to be WCW mascot Wild Cat Willie. Sting gets a dropkick and works on the arm, but the Earl of Eaton chokes him out on the ropes and goes to work with an armbar. Bobby accidentally calls Randy Savage the WWF champion here before correcting himself, no doubt because they were watching the RAW feed at the same time. Eaton goes up with the flying kneedrop, but misses and gets finished by the Scorpion at 3:55. Nothing special, but not terrible. * WCW World title: Randy Savage v. The Giant Savage taking a shitkicking from big heels is his specialty so this should be decent. He slugs away on Giant and tries a sleeper, but Giant drops him out of that and takes over with a bearhug as we take a break. It’s actually pretty rare to see that on Nitro at this point. Back with Giant slamming him, but Savage throws clotheslines until he walks into a backbreaker for two. Giant tosses him over the top and into the railing, then follows him out and tosses him back in for a dramatic spot. And then the Giant goes up with a flying splash (!!), but misses, and the Savage miracle elbow only gets TWO. Giant tosses him off like a child and out to the floor, but a suplex on the concrete backfires when Savage hooks the ropes on the way down. Back in, Giant shrugs it off and chokeslams Savage, but Hulk Hogan breaks up the pin with a chair at 9:30 for the DQ. He chases Giant out of the ring with the chair as the crowd actually goes crazy for this, which makes it all the more baffling why WCW didn’t find a way to do Hogan v. Giant at Starrcade in some fashion. Pretty good match, especially the Lucha Giant sequence. **3/4 It was kind of weird how they booked Giant to basically be on the verge of squashing Savage and winning the title clean instead of having him cheat and thus Hogan be justified in breaking up the pin. In this case Macho was clearly beaten by the better man and had his title saved. Hogan’s post-match interview sees him whining and crying about not getting a title shot and how his name is still on the belt. Savage promises him a title shot if he gets past Ric Flair at Starrcade, but of course that was not to happen. And then they artificially stretch out the show past the overrun time again as they talk and talk about nothing until the show ends. Next week: Randy Savage defends against Ric Flair in a yucky taped show! Good to be back.