What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – September 18, 1995

Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and Steve McMichael are doing commentary and they are live from Johnson City, Tennessee, better known as one of the home bases of Smoky Mountain Wrestling.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, 3,200 fans attended the show, with 2,031 paying for their ticket.

Gene Okerlund is backstage, where Kevin Sullivan and the Giant arrive at the arena in the back of an ambulance.  The Giant tells Hulk Hogan that he is not immortal.  They are still playing up the angle that the Giant is Andre the Giant’s son.

The next match is supposed to be the American Males facing the Blue Bloods, but Earl Robert Eaton is attacked during his entrance by WCW Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat.  Booker T says that the tag team champions deserve to be featured on Nitro and they are going to teach the Males a lesson, so the Males are given a tag team title shot instead.  According to Dave Meltzer, Lord Steven Regal was headed to Japan for a tour and was not at the show.

Opening Contest for the WCW Tag Team Championship:  The American Males (3-0) defeat Harlem Heat (Champions w/Sister Sherri) (43-6-2) when Marcus Bagwell reverses a Booker T pump and handle slam attempt to win the titles at 4:38:

The Heat receive some loud boos at first, but the male segment of the crowd remembers that they hate the American Males more, so the Heat begin receiving cheers by the end of the match.  Their cause is helped by Booker T amazing the crowd with a scissors and ax kick.  After some average back and forth, Sherri hops on the apron to hit Bagwell with her shoe but Colonel Robert Parker comes out and pulls her off the apron.  That does not appear fatal to the Heat’s chances, but Bagwell reverses a Booker T pump and handle slam to produce the first title change in Monday Nitro history.  So the Males get four consecutive lackluster crowd reactions and are rewarded with the tag team titles.  The Sherri-Parker storyline continues to make the Heat look like goofs as well.  Rating:  **

Okerlund interviews Ric Flair, who continues stealing from the horrible Cobra-Sergeant Craig Pittman feud, accusing Arn Anderson of “breaking the code” by bringing family and Brian Pillman into their feud.  Flair vows to find Anderson in Johnson City and kick his ass.

Paul Orndorff (13-7) beats Johnny B. Badd (36-4-2) after countering a sunset flip at 3:50 shown:

These two have wrestled twice before, trading victories in the first half of 1995.  Orndorff is sporting a new theme song that proclaims how wonderful he is because Gary Spivey is helping him rediscover his former greatness.  Orndorff is also sporting some new orange tights versus his traditional black gear.  A commercial break does not show much of the match, with Badd having to wait a long time to do a pescado as Orndorff fails to get in position for it.  Both men counter piledrivers, but when Badd tries to do a sunset flip during his counter, Orndorff sits down and blocks it and scores an upset, ending a four-match losing streak.  Why have Badd job cleanly when he was just named the number one contender to the U.S. title?  This reeked of a guy getting punished for showing up his skeptics backstage the night before.  Rating:  *

Randy Savage is shown pumping iron on the beach as Baywatch beauties watch him.  Kevin Sullivan attacks him until Ric Flair and some other lifeguards intervene.  The segment is sort of redeemed by Flair telling Sullivan to back off, saying “That’s enough devil!”  Since Flair helped Savage this is positioning him as a babyface.

Okerlund interviews Savage, who says that he will destroy Sullivan in due time.  He tells Hulk Hogan that he is a poor judge of character because Lex Luger attacked him from behind at Fall Brawl.  When Okerlund tries to say it was accidental, Savage is having none of it.  Luger comes out and tells Savage he is in WCW to face the big boys, with Savage ready to fight.  However, Luger defers.

Footage of the Giant messing with and beating up Hulk Hogan at Fall Brawl is shown.

Ric Flair (11-3) beats Brian Pillman (34-5) via submission to the figure-four leglock at 5:24:

With Pillman turning heel to align with Arn Anderson his “Blondes Are More Fun” theme song no longer fits but he is still using it anyway.  Babyface Flair is confirmed as the Nature Boy can come off the top rope without getting slammed, although he eats a Pillman dropkick on the way down.  The match does not carry a great deal of drama as both men just exchange quick moves until Flair gives Pillman a side suplex and applies the figure-four.  Pillman does not even fight the submission and immediately quits, which makes him look like a jobber.  Rating:  **

After the bell, Flair waits for Anderson and when Anderson does not show, Flair says he will be waiting to kick his ass next week.

Tune in next week to see Randy Savage wrestle Kevin Sullivan!  Also, Lex Luger collides with Meng and the Disco Inferno faces Alex Wright!  And Kurasawa will be in action!

Last Word:  Of all three Monday Nitro telecasts to this point this was the weakest by far.  The show was littered with lots of weird finishes.  The American Males get the tag team titles despite a lack of overness, Paul Orndorff ends Johnny B. Badd’s fourteen-match winning streak, and Brian Pillman looks weak after a heel turn that one would think should bolster his position in the company.  The show’s heavy reliance on recapping Fall Brawl seems to have hurt it as well since this broadcast was destroyed in the ratings by Monday Night RAW.

Monday Night War Rating:  1.9 (vs. 2.7 for Monday Night RAW – Owen Hart & Yokozuna vs. Men on a Mission for the WWF Tag Team Championship)

Up Next:  WCW Pro for September 23!