What the World Was Watching: Monday Nitro – September 11, 1995

Eric Bischoff, Steve McMichael (with his dog Pepe), and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are live from Miami, Florida.  Bischoff announces that Vader is AWOL because he has “not filed proper documents” so now Hulk Hogan’s team is one man down going into Fall Brawl.

Opening Contest:  Alex Wright (43-7-1) beats Sabu via reverse decision at 3:57:

Sabu made his name as a crazed hardcore wrestler in the early 1990s, wrestling for Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling in Japan and ECW in the U.S.  WCW signed him to attract fans who read about his exploits in Bill Apter’s wrestling magazines and potentially boost its future cruiserweight division.  Both men waste no time using high spots, with Wright crashing onto Sabu with a plancha and Sabu flying off a chair in an ill-advised attempt to crash Wright against the guardrail.  Sabu prevails with an awkward victory roll off the top rope, with Wright raising his shoulder just after a three count is registered, but then has the decision reversed when he puts Wright through a table with a dive off the top.  Sabu was a on a per appearance deal, so this must have been a way for WCW to hedge their bets.  Regardless of the result, Sabu came off well in this match as Wright has been tearing it up in the ring in recent months.  Rating:  **½

Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair, who recaps his feud with Arn Anderson.  Lex Luger comes to the ring and Flair hypes him before Luger awkwardly walks off because Flair is “too much.”  Uh, why was Luger needed here at all?

United States Championship Match:  Sting (Champion) (25-2) defeats V.K. Wallstreet after a flying body press at 4:12:

Although he was named “Michael Wallstreet” on the previous Nitro, Wallstreet’s name is now “V.K.” Wallstreet, with the V.K. initials taking a shot at WWF owner “Vincent Kennedy” McMahon.  Bischoff also fires a famous shot at the WWF’s taped RAW, telling fans it is an old show and Shawn Michaels “beat the big guy with the superkick that would not win a green belt at the local YMCA.”  While Wallstreet has done nothing to deserve a title shot, at least the U.S. title is being defended more on WCW programming after collecting dust for much of the year.  Wallstreet works a much faster match than fans were accustomed to with his IRS persona in the WWF, but he is largely dominated by Sting because this is WCW, where “the big boys play.”  Rating:  **

Randy Savage (14-1) pins Scott Norton after a flying elbow smash at 5:36:

This match was made on the previous Nitro when Norton was upset that he was not getting attention from the announcers.  Norton wrestled for WCW before in 1993 but walked out of the company before Slamboree when he was booked to wrestle Sting.  That allowed Kevin Wacholz, better known as Nailz, to get brought in for the show and collect a WCW paycheck for the rest of the decade for doing nothing.  Norton is put over as a killing machine in this match, not selling Savage’s early offense.  Fans think the Macho Man is done after a powerbomb, which would have been a great way to make Norton the next Vader, but Savage kicks out of that as well as a vicious powerslam off the ropes.  Norton misses a dive off the top, though, and then the Shark tries to get involved for some reason.  However, he merely collides with Norton and then falls over Norton’s legs, allowing Savage to hit his finisher and win.  Somehow the referee did not care about that, but the finish was a fun end to a physical match.  Rating:  ***

After the match, Norton argues briefly with the Dungeon of Doom.

Bischoff tells fans that Savage endures some injuries in the previous match.

WCW Championship Match:  Hulk Hogan (Champion w/Jimmy Hart) (5-0) beats Lex Luger via disqualification when the Dungeon of Doom interferes at 5:27:

Bischoff’s shots at the WWF continue here, noting that Luger is not used to facing someone of Hogan’s caliber and that the current WWF champion Diesel never made it past midcard level in WCW.  After trading some basic moves, Luger puts Hogan in the torture rack, but Hogan’s hand does not drop three times.  Cue the Hogan comeback and leg drop but the Dungeon of Doom interfere before Luger’s shoulders can be counted down.  This was completely rushed but hey, why give away a big match when this could be a future pay-per-view main event?  Rating:  *

After the bell, the Dungeon of Doom swarm the ring to attack Hogan but Sting and Randy Savage come to his aid and the babyfaces once again turn back the challenge of the biggest heel faction in the promotion.

When we return from the commercial break, Gene Okerlund is in the ring with Hogan, Savage, Sting, and Luger.  Luger is asked by Hogan and Savage why the Dungeon did not touch him, but Sting comes to his aid and makes a case for Luger to be on the team.  Savage is not keen on that idea and says that the Dungeon also did not touch Sting or Jimmy Hart, both of whom become increasingly defensive at the idea that they are working with the other side.  With Sting and Savage deadlocked, Hogan breaks the tie in putting Luger on the team, with Luger accepting the spot in return for a future title shot.

Tune in next week to see Johnny B. Badd face Paul Orndorff!  Also, the Blue Bloods will face the Nasty Boys or the American Males depending on which of those teams wins on WCW Main Event!

The Last Word:  This was a fun follow up episode to last week’s show, featuring the debut of four new talents and a lot of wrestling action.  The Dungeon of Doom were once again made to look like idiots as they were forced to flee because of the power of Hulkamania and its friends and they did not even try to beat up Scott Norton when Norton got in the Shark’s face.  The only hope they have at Fall Brawl is if Lex Luger turns, but that is unlikely when the Dungeon has the Giant positioned as Hulk Hogan’s next big challenger.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.4 (vs. 2.5 for Monday Night Raw – Shawn Michaels vs. Sid for the Intercontinental title)

Up Next:  WCW Pro for September 16!