What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – January 2, 1995

“Double J” Jeff Jarrett lets us know how great he is going to be in his signing debut on tonight’s RAW.

Gorilla Monsoon and Shawn Michaels are doing commentary and they are taped from Liberty, New York.  This episode was taped on December 12, 1994.

Read more…

What the World Was Watching: Wrestling Challenge – January 1, 1995

Although I have reviewed some of the early Attitude Era action on the Blog, I am going to embark on a new project:  reviewing all of the major televised action for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1995.  Readers are likely aware that 1995 was a terrible financial year for the company, with James Dixon writing in Titan Sinking that Vince McMahon and Titan Sports lost $6 million.  The wrestling industry was in the doldrums in the mid-1990s, reeling from declining ratings; the end of the Hulkamania boom; and lingering suspicions from sponsors about steroid and drug use, which caused the federal government to put McMahon on trial in the summer of 1994.

On a personal note, 1995 was the year that I got into wrestling.  Being exposed to the business during one of its worst times did not phase me since I had nothing else to compare it to.  I knew nothing of workrate or star ratings and accepted Diesel as the WWF champion.  However, it was painfully obvious to me that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were clearly the best and I enjoyed their televised matches throughout the year.  Little did I know at the time that both men had a significant rivalry behind the scenes and when it exploded in Montreal two years later it would help the WWF regain its position as the supreme brand of professional wrestling in North America.

These reviews will chronicle major WWF programming in 1995.  We will go through Wrestling Challenge, Monday Night Raw, Superstars, and The Action Zone.  Pay-per-views will also be covered, as will the occasional Sunday Night Slam where warranted.  Win-loss records will be provided for talent throughout the year and matches will be recapped, with reflections on the purpose of those matches and how they fit into existing storylines.  I will also compile other statistics – house show attendance, drawing power for champions – that I will share periodically.  Furthermore, for each week of action I will try to provide a brief calendar of notable events so readers can see the context that all of this booking is fitting into.  The reviews will be posted to the Blog on Tuesdays and Fridays going forward.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Great American Bash ’89: Glory Days

Live from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: July 23, 1989

Attendance:  14,500

Hosted by Jim Ross & Bob Caudle

Thus far, 1989 has been great. Can the NWA continue the trend with this show? Read on!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash Of the Champions V: St. Valentine’s Massacre

Live from Cleveland, OH

Airdate: February 15, 1989

Attendance:  5,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Magnum T.A.

Are you ready to hype Chi-Town Rumble? Well, Ross and Magnum are as they detail what tonight’s show contains and add the spice of NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and #1 contender Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat being here. This episode has to be awesome, right?

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…NWA Starrcade ’88

Live from Norfolk, VA

Airdate: December 26, 1988

Attendance:  10,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Magnum T.A., Jim Ross, and Bob Caudle

Will the NWA, now under the Turner umbrella, introduce a new champion? Or will they maintain the status quo? Let’s find out!

Read more…

Thunder – March 14, 2001

Thunder
Date: March 14, 2001
Location: Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

The long nightmare is almost over as we only have two shows left, including this one. This is the final show before Greed and things aren’t exactly looking up. Monday’s show was full of old guys having bad matches and not enough build to anything other than Sunday’s main event. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Monday Nitro – March 12, 2001

Monday Nitro #281
Date: March 12, 2001
Location: Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

It’s Greed week and that means we’ll likely hear more about Dusty Rhodes and his rather unfunny stipulation for Sunday’s tag match. Other than that it’s time for the final push towards the pay per view, which hopefully means more of the pretty good Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page feud. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Thunder – March 7, 2001

Thunder
Date: March 7, 2001
Location: Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schaivone, Mike Tenay

The roll that WCW was on just a few weeks ago seems forever ago as they’re right back to the mostly uninteresting shows that aren’t getting anyone anywhere. Well save for the Steiner Brothers and the other old acts that is. They’re getting closer to Greed and the card isn’t looking great so far and I doubt that changes tonight. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Monday Nitro – March 5, 2001

Monday Nitro #280
Date: March 5, 2001
Location: Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schaivone, Scott Hudson

After last week, it’s really hard to say what we should expect here as Nitro worked very well but Thunder was every bit the show you would have expected it to be. I’m liking Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page but the rest of the show is so all over the scale that it’s hard to guess what you’ll get. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Thunder – February 21, 2001

Thunder
Date: February 21, 2001
Location: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

It’s hard to believe we’ve got less than a month to go. The last pay per view is called Greed because the wrestling universe is funny that was. Earlier this week we found out that Diamond Dallas Page was the next challenger for Scott Steiner, mainly because there’s pretty much no one left to do it. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Thunder – February 7, 2001

Thunder
Date: February 7, 2001
Location: Bankcorpsouth Center, Tupelo, Mississippi
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

Amazingly enough, we’re coming in off a surprise heel turn this past Monday as Rick Steiner joined up with Flair’s group to reunited with his brother yet again. They really aren’t even hiding the fact that this is another NWO clone and I really don’t think anyone minds at this point. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem

Live from Miami, FL

Airdate: June 8, 1988

Attendance:  unknown

Hosted by Tony Schiavone & Bob Caudle

While the initial Clash stands on its own as a spectacular, this Clash serves as a promotional vehicle for the upcoming Great American Bash tour. Get out your beach umbrella, fruity cocktail, and sunscreen as we head to Miami, Florida for some NWA wrestling action!

Read more…

Monday Nitro – January 23, 2001

Monday Nitro #274
Date: January 23, 2001
Location: Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone

We’re on a Tuesday this week as TNT has stopped pretending that Nitro is the ratings juggernaut it was back in the day. It’s the new era of WCW (the latest one that is) with Ric Flair in charge and evil for reasons that haven’t yet been and won’t be explained because WCW. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Monday Nitro – January 15, 2001

Monday Nitro #273
Date: January 15, 2001
Location: Allen County Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Attendance: 4,836
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

We’re past Sin and heading towards SuperBrawl with the big story being Scott Steiner retaining the World Title after Sid Vicious broke his leg. However the interesting thing (work with me here) was the Mystery Man being revealed as Animal, who sided with Steiner and Jeff Jarrett. Oh and Goldberg is retired. Forever. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of the Champions

Live from Greensboro, NC

Airdate: March 27, 1988

Attendance:  6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, and Bob Caudle

In previous reflections, we learned that Vince McMahon and the WWF initially opposed Starrcade ’87 with Survivor Series then subsequently Bunkhouse Stampede with Royal Rumble on USA. With the help of TBS, Jim Crockett Promotions counter-attacked by opposing WrestleMania IV with this show. Back in 1988, despite my admiration for Savage, I tuned in to watch this show instead. Let’s see what transpired.

Read more…

Monday Nitro – December 19, 2000

Monday Nitro #271
Date: December 18, 2000
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Attendance: 2,872
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Mark Madden

Since even WCW isn’t stupid enough to hold a TV show on Christmas night or New Year’s Day, this is the last Monday Nitro of 2000. It’s also the night after Starrcade and a grand total of nothing happened. Steiner is still World Champion, Goldberg is still undefeated (and still feuding with Lex Luger for whatever reason) and the Insiders are still a thing because of reasons. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Starrcade 2000

Starrcade 2000
Date: December 17, 2000
Location: MCI Center, Washington, D.C.
Attendance: 6,596
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

We’ve uh…..arrived. It’s the final edition of WCW’s flagship show and it’s looking somewhere between a bad C show and a horribly unfunny joke. The main event is Scott Steiner (won the title three weeks ago) defending against Sid Vicious (not in the promotion three weeks ago). Such is life in the dying days of this company. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Thunder – December 13, 2000

Thunder
Date: December 13, 2000
Location: Centurytel Center, Bossier City, Louisiana
Commentators: Konnan, Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

It’s the final show before the biggest show of the year and the big match announced for tonight is Sgt. Dewayne Bruce vs. Lex Luger. Odds are Sid and Steiner aren’t going to be in the arena tonight because the idea for the match seems to be based on them being apart as long as possible before we get to the pay per view. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Monday Nitro – December 4, 2000

Monday Nitro #269
Date: December 4, 2000
Location: Pershing Auditorium, Lincoln, Nebraska
Attendance: 3,433
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

Starrcade is rapidly approaching and WCW is clearly on its (final) last legs. We’re building towards a double main event of Goldberg vs. Lex Luger II and Scott Steiner vs. Sid for the World Title. If you need a better reason than that to explain why WCW is in the shape it’s in, you haven’t been paying close enough attention. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Thunder – November 29, 2000

Thunder
Date: November 29, 2000
Location: Metro Center, Moline, Illinois
Attendance: 3,800
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden

We’re now in the post Stevie Ray era so I’m really not sure how well we’re going to be able to survive. It’s just such a sad world anymore and they might have to just close the promotion to let us heal. We’re rapidly approaching Starrcade and the main event is going to be Sid vs. Scott Steiner because we live in a random and chaotic universe. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Monday Nitro – November 27, 2000

Monday Nitro #268
Date: November 27, 2000
Location: Metro Center, Rockford, Illinois
Attendance: 3,800
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

We’re past Mayhem and on the road to Starrcade with Scott Steiner now the World Champion for the first time. It’s hard to say where things are going now but hopefully things pick up a little bit after we’re done with another pay per view. If nothing else it should be interesting to see how things go to get to the biggest show of the year with less than three weeks of build. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Mayhem 2000

Mayhem 2000
Date: November 26, 2000
Location: Wisconsin Center Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 3,800
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray, Mark Madden

We’re running out of pay per views here with just four more after this one. Things are about as bad as they’ve been since Russo left, including a rather uninteresting main event of Booker T. defending his World Title against Scott Steiner (again) in a match that really isn’t the biggest secret. Let’s get to it.

Read more…

Monday Nitro – November 20, 2000

Monday Nitro #267
Date: November 20, 2000
Location: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, Augusta, Georgia
Attendance: 3,000
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

It’s the last Nitro before Mayhem and most of the show would seem to be set up already. Scott Steiner continues to be one of the strongest heels the company has pushed in years but at the same time he’s not exactly lighting the world on fire with the chinlock finisher and all the insanity in his promos. Maybe the TV being back in America will be better so let’s get to it.

Read more…