The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 04.15.96 Must be a heavy Benoit episode because it has the content warning at the beginning. I think they should start putting warnings for Hogan episodes because they’re so shitty. So last time, you may remember that Booty Man and Hulk Hogan promised an UNBELIEVABLE stipulation to finish off the Sullivan/Anderson team once and for all. You know, after they already finished them off three weeks in a row in fair fights. I can hardly wait to see what Hulk unleashes on us. Live from somewhere. But it’s LIVE. Not like those other guys. Also, there’s tornado warnings in the area. Could it be the debut of Kerry Von Erich? TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT! Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and Mongo. Hulk Hogan v. Arn Anderson & Kevin Sullivan So this is Hulk’s big idea: A handicap match. Wow. Hulk of course cleans house and puts Sullivan in a figure-four, and then somehow fucks it up EVEN WORSE on Arn. My 4 year old daughter could probably grasp the basic concept of putting someone in a figure-four! So apparently if Hulk wins, he gets five minutes with the manager of his choice, but if he loses, the heels get Kimberly. This is the stip they took two weeks to plan out? The bad guys double-team him and he destroys them again, this time with chairshots, but thankfully the two idiot heels manage to work together long enough to regain control again. And then Sullivan goes up and Hogan catapults Arn into his crotch, because they’re all fucking stupid, and the legdrop finishes Sullivan at 4:20. Oh fuck off. –* Hogan teases beating up either Liz or Woman, like a real hero, but settles for Jimmy Hart instead. The announcers have to sell all this like it’s the funniest stuff ever, while a 300 pound wrestler threatens two women and a 100 pound manager. Thankfully Giant saves Jimmy Hart and chokeslams the shit out of Hogan…and then he immediately no-sells it. FUCK OFF, Hogan. So then he slams the Giant for good measure and I’m pretty sure everyone in the locker room was booked to come out and actually give Hogan a blowjob on live TV after that, but luckily Mean Gene comes out for an interview instead. And I believe, thank god, that was the last we would see of Hulk Hogan until Bash at the Beach, because this was pretty much the most insufferable level he ever achieved. Even better, original plans called for the Horsemen to send him out on a stretcher to write him out, but Hulk pulled creative control and did the exact opposite. Because you know, beating up all the heels by yourself is also an effective way to go on extended hiatus. The Public Enemy v. The Nasty Boys The Nasties attack in the aisle with chairs and this immediately turns into a hardcore brawl, with garbage cans in the ring and goofy spots. I will say that this feud, uninspiring as it was, at least rejuvenated both teams for a while and gave them something to do that was playing to their strengths. Throw the Nasties and PE out there and tell them “Do a garbage brawl for 10 minutes” and they will deliver exactly that. Usual assortment of trashcan lids to the head and Rocco Rock taking crazy bumps and I go read the Observer while it’s happening. This would be the week where Brian Pillman nearly died in a car wreck and basically ended his career as an in-ring worker as a result. Also, the historic first mention of Lanny Poffo coming in with a Gorgeous George gimmick, which would become something of a running joke for the next 4 years. The Nasties put Grunge through a table and pin him at 9:11. It what what it was. *** Earl Robert Eaton v. Randy Savage Eaton attacks and gets backdropped to the floor, and Savage drops an elbow for two in the ring. Eaton tosses him to take over, and puts Savage in a figure-four, as the night of shitty figure-fours continues. Savage reverses out and chases off Wildcat Willy or Jeeves or whatever he was being called here, and finishes with the big elbow at 4:00. * Savage keeps dropping the elbow on Eaton because he’s really mad at Ric Flair. Yeah, that Savage-Flair program didn’t exactly set the world on fire, probably because Flair did 17 straight weeks of jobs to Hulk Hogan. WCW World tag titles: Lex Luger & Sting v. Ric Flair & The Giant Flair puts the moves on Debra at ringside, which marks her historic TV debut as a named character and actually leads to Mongo joining the Horsemen. The champs take turns slamming Flair and the heels regroup as we take a break. Back with Luger getting booted around the ring by the Giant and he’s your face in peril. Flair drops a knee for two and Giant whips Luger around the ring. Finally Flair uses a figure-four that doesn’t suck, our first good one for tonight. Luger fights out and the heels cut off the tag, but Flair goes up and gets slammed off as usual. Hot tag Sting and it’s Flair Flip and superplex to set up the Scorpion Deathlock, but Woman throws HOT COFFEE in his eyes for the DQ at 12:27. Are you KIDDING me with this shit? **3/4 And then Giant chokeslams both babyfaces, after we already saw Hogan no-selling the move earlier in the show! The Pulse BYE HOGAN. See you in July.