What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – October 30, 1995

Eric Bischoff, Steve McMichael, and Bobby Heenan are calling the action and they are live from Dayton, Ohio.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, 3,500 fans attended the show, with 2,500 paying for entry.

Bischoff says that Randy Savage will not face Sergeant Craig Pittman tonight because he was hurt at Halloween Havoc and that Eddy Guerrero will be his replacement.  Savage was dealing with a legitimate detached tricep injury so the beating at Halloween Havoc was a convenient way to write him out for the time being.

Opening Contest:  Eddy Guerrero (4-2-2) beats Sergeant Craig Pittman (38-8) with a victory roll at 5:29:

Pittman keeps Guerrero grounded, suplexing him several times and methodically working the arm.  Several gutwrench suplexes seem to have Guerrero beat but his stuns the former Marine with a victory roll to score the upset and earn a big pop from the crowd.  In just a short time Guerrero is quickly making a mark as a babyface.  Rating:  **

The Shark (4-3) wrestles Scott Norton (3-1) to a double count out at 2:45:

This is the long payoff for the Shark costing Norton his match with Randy Savage on the September 11 edition of Monday Nitro.  Heenan leaves the announce table to chat more with Sonny Onoo somewhere in the arena, thereby laying the foundation for the WCW-New Japan feud.  The match gets off to a hot start, with both men trading big blows and Norton slamming the Shark.  The action eventually spills to the floor, where both are counted out.  Norton was a new commodity and the Shark has jobbed to several big acts on the card, so why not put Norton over and heat him up?

After the match, Heenan is shown talking to Onoo about various WCW television broadcasts.  Onoo appears to agree to buy some of them.

Tony Schiavone recaps Ric Flair’s turn on Sting at Halloween Havoc.  He welcomes out the Three Horseman, with Brian Pillman hyping the four fingers as a symbol of excellence that is a dynasty in professional wrestling.  Arn Anderson puts over Sting’s resiliency but reminds him that he is no match for the three of them.  As he does this, Pillman mocks Sting trying to tag Ric Flair last night and Flair mocks punching Pillman in the face.  Flair says that the Horseman will be ready to work on next week’s show whether people like it or not.

Bischoff tells fans that next week’s Monday Nitro will be interactive as fans can vote for a heel and babyface to collide in the main event.  With Sting and Ric Flair as choices, it is obvious what fans are going to choose.

Sabu (3-1) defeats the Disco Inferno (7-3) after a slingshot somersault leg drop at 2:26:

If this match was booked in the ECW Arena, Sabu would brutalize Disco to a bloody pulp.  Since this is in a more family friendly environment, we get a basic wrestling match, with Disco slowing things down after Sabu lands a few basic aerial moves like a springboard dropkick.  A blind charge puts Disco on the canvas, though, and Sabu wastes no time finishing him off with a somersault leg drop from the ring apron.  After the match, Sabu puts Disco on a table but when he tries a somersault plancha onto the table it does not break.  A frustrated – and probably hurt – Sabu picks up the ring steps and throws them as Disco flees to the locker room.  This would be Sabu’s last appearance in WCW as the company ceased the continuation of his pay-per-appearance deal.

Meng & Lex Luger (w/Jimmy Hart & Kevin Sullivan) defeat the American Males (10-1) when Luger gets Marcus Bagwell to submit to a Torture Rack at 6:43 shown:

Remember when the American Males were once tag team champions?  None of the announcers do as they never mention it.  Bischoff notes that the Meng-Luger match at Halloween Havoc was a setup, an illogical piece of storytelling because they wrestled for thirteen minutes.  A setup would have been a ten second affair akin to what the Rock and Big Bossman did at Survivor Series in 1998.  Luger does all the bumping for his team, having an entertaining sequence with Marcus Bagwell after a hot tag.  When it looks like the Males might put Luger down for the count, Hart hops on the ring apron and Meng lays out both Males with kicks, giving Luger the chance to put Bagwell in the Torture Rack.  This was largely a squash, which is exactly how it needed to be booked.  Rating:  *

Fans are shown footage of the end of last night’s cluster of a pay-per-view.  At least we get to heat the epic Tony Schiavone “It’s the YET-AY!” call again.

Schiavone interviews Kevin Sullivan, Lex Luger, the Giant, and Jimmy Hart.  The Giant is sporting the WCW title, which Schiavone is quick to note that he did not win it at Halloween Havoc.  Hart says that he once managed Sullivan and that while Sullivan was his past, Luger and the Giant are his future.  Luger gloats about beating Hogan up last night, with the Giant saying that he will defend the WCW title on the next Nitro against anyone willing to face him.  By the end of the segment Schiavone quickly forgets about questioning the Giant about why he claims to be the world champion and hypes a title defense for next week’s Nitro.

The Last Word:  The heel promo at the end was pretty good and the visual of Kevin Sullivan, the Giant, Lex Luger, and Jimmy Hart standing together almost makes people forget about the cartoon-like Dungeon of Doom stable that had zero credibility coming out of Fall Brawl.  Although the main event was more of a squash this episode beat Monday Night RAW in the ratings, a victory that can likely be attributed to the usual post-pay-per-view interest bump.  At the very least, WCW is starting to assemble a good cadre of heels against after Hulk Hogan and his friends neutered a lot of them over the past six months.  The Giant looks good, a new Horseman stable gives Ric Flair some more credibility, and Lex Luger seems like a man possessed (and has been heavily protected in all his televised losses up to this point).  That said, WCW needed more clarity in the last segment about what is going on with the world title.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.3 (vs. 2.1 for RAW – Razor Ramon vs. Owen Hart for the Intercontinental Championship)

And since it is the end of the month here are some win/loss standings for WCW talent at the end of October 1995:

Top Twenty-Five Overall Records

1—The Giant (1-0)

2—Sting (46-2-2)

3—The Renegade (26-2)

4—Hulk Hogan (12-1)

5—Randy Savage (30-3-1)

6—Johnny B. Badd (51-6-2)

7—Meng (33-5-1)

8—Alex Wright (60-9-3)

T9—Brian Knobbs (42-6-3)

T9—Jerry Sags (42-6-3)

11—Kurasawa (11-2)

12—Diamond Dallas Page (20-3-2)

T13—Booker T (48-8-3)

T13—Stevie Ray (48-8-3)

15—Brian Pillman (43-8-1)

16—Scotty Riggs (10-2)

17—Sergeant Craig Pittman (38-9)

18—Kevin Sullivan (32-8)

19—Sabu (4-1)

20—Road Warrior Hawk (9-2-1)

21—Hacksaw Jim Duggan (40-11-1)

22—Lord Steven Regal (30-8-3)

23—Ric Flair (22-7-1)

24—Lex Luger (9-3)

25—Chris Benoit (3-1)

Inactive Wrestlers that Would Have Qualified:  Frank Andersson (4-0), Wahoo McDaniel (1-0), the Great Muta (1-0), Dustin Rhodes (18-2), Vader (24-5), Kamala (18-4), the Blacktop Bully (15-5)

Top Ten Singles Records

1—Chris Benoit (2-0)

2—The Giant (1-0)

3—Sting (32-2)

4—The Renegade (24-2)

5—Kurasawa (10-1)

6—Meng (31-3-1)

7—Johnny B. Badd (44-5-2)

8—Randy Savage (21-3)

9—Hulk Hogan (6-1)

10—Alex Wright (52-8-3)

Inactive Wrestlers that Would Have Qualified:  The Blacktop Bully (15-0), Wahoo McDaniel (1-0), the Great Muta (1-0), Steve Austin (14-2), Vader (18-3), Kamala (12-2)

Top Ten Tag Team Records

1—The Monster Maniacs (4-0)

2—Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (3-0)

3—Sting & Lex Luger (2-0)

4—Sting & Randy Savage (3-0-1)

5—The Nasty Boys (42-6-3)

6—Harlem Heat (47-8-3)

7—The American Males (10-2)

8—Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman (6-1-1)

9—The Blue Bloods (24-6-2)

10—Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck (21-15-1)

Inactive Teams that Would Have Qualified:  Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (3-0), Kevin Sullivan & Avalanche (3-0), Dustin Rhodes & Johnny B. Badd (3-0), Lord Steven Regal & Jean Paul Levesque (1-0), Ric Flair & Sting (2-0-1), Kevin Sullivan & the Butcher (6-2), Stars & Stripes (21-7), Kamala & the Shark (2-1), Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Marcus Bagwell (2-1)

Top Ten in Televised Match Appearances (Iron Worker Award):

1—Alex Wright (72)

T2—Arn Anderson (60)

T2—Bunkhouse Buck (60)

T4—Booker T (59)

T4—Johnny B. Badd (59)

T4—Stevie Ray (59)

7—Marcus Bagwell (56)

8—Hacksaw Jim Duggan (52)

T9—Brian Knobbs (51)

T9—Brian Pillman (51)

T9—Jerry Sags (51)

Most Appearances By Show:  Monday Nitro-Lex Luger, Ric Flair, and Sting (5); Prime-Tim Horner (5); Pro­-Bunkhouse Buck (19); Worldwide-Arn Anderson (15); Saturday Night-Alex Wright (22), Main Event-Alex Wright (9)

Top Five Matches in October 1995

1—Dean Malenko vs. Eddy Guerrero (October 7, WCW Saturday Night) – ****

2—The Blue Bloods vs. Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko (October 29, Main Event) – ****

3—Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit (October 16, Monday Nitro) – ***¾

4—Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman vs. Ric Flair & Sting (October 29, Halloween Havoc ’95) – ***½

5—Sabu vs. Mr. J.L. (October 9, Monday Nitro) – ***¼

Top Five Overall Matches in 1995 (to this point)

1—Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair (Fall Brawl, September 17) – ****

2—Dean Malenko vs. Eddy Guerrero (October 7, WCW Saturday Night) – ****

3—The Blue Bloods vs. Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko (October 29, Main Event) – ****

4—Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd (Number One Contenders Match for the United States Championship, Fall Brawl, September 17) – ****

5—Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit (October 16, Monday Nitro) – ***¾

Up Next:  WCW Pro for November 4!