What the World Was Watching: Monday Nitro – October 2, 1995

Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and Steve McMichael are in the booth and they are live from Denver, Colorado.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, 9,000 fans attended the show but only 3,000 paid for their tickets.

Ric Flair grabs Bischoff’s headset and tells fans that he is in Denver to get a piece of Arn Anderson.

Opening Contest Where if Lex Luger Loses, He Leaves WCW and Randy Savage Gets His World Title Shot:  Lex Luger (0-2) beats Randy Savage (15-2) via submission to the Torture Rack at 8:00 shown:

After wrestling two Nitro matches, Luger finally has theme music.  Since Luger and Savage know they are going to a commercial break early in this match, they lock up and then tumble to the floor and continue locking up until the show comes back on the air.  Luger also has a creative block of a backslide by using the ropes to prevent going over.  Like Luger’s match with Hogan last month, this does not give a lot away as each man hits a few trademark spots before a ref bump.  Savage hits the flying elbow smash for a visual pin, but the Giant runs in, chokeslams Savage, and Luger racks a lifeless Savage to keep his job in WCW.  Rating:  **½

The Disco Inferno comes out and dances before Eddy Guerrero’s entrance.  Guerrero’s glare is enough to make Disco retreat off the ramp.

Eddy Guerrero (1-0-1) beats Dean Malenko after sitting down on a victory roll at 5:26:

Malenko was a second-generation talent, following in the footsteps of his father Boris Malenko who wrestled as a Russian heel in Florida during the 1960s.  He wrestled in Japan and Mexico as a tag team with his brother Joe and then achieved recognition in ECW in 1994 and 1995 in matches against 2 Cold Scorpio and Guerrero over the promotion’s television title.  Fans in Denver take a while to warm up to the newcomers, with neither man helped by WCW having them go into rest hold mode to show Hulk Hogan arriving in a limo and Jimmy Hart failing to persuade the Hulkster to go home.  Both men go through some standing switches after Guerrero’s frog splash eats knees, with Guerrero countering a victory roll effort for the pin.  The time constraints made it difficult for these two to develop a good match and casual fans had no reason to buy into either guy because of their absence from television.  Rating:  **

After the match, Malenko confronts Guerrero and demands a rematch.  Guerrero said he would welcome that.

Gene Okerlund interviews WCW Champion Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart, with Hogan bringing up Jason Pittman, a sick kid who is about to undergo a double lung transplant, as his inspiration to beat the Giant.  He promises to rip the Giant apart in the locker room.  He does not race back there, slapping hands with fans, but Kevin Sullivan, who is dressed as a woman, throws powder in Hogan’s face and beats he and Hart with a cane.  The Giant and Zodiac come out, with the Giant destroying the American Males and the Nasty Boys singlehandedly with chokeslams.  Sullivan proceeds to shave off Hogan’s signature mustache but the Zodiac refuses to pay homage to his old gimmick by cutting Hogan’s hair.  These beatdowns are getting the Giant over and he is finally making the Dungeon of Doom look like a threat.

Ric Flair (14-3) defeats Arn Anderson (23-11-2) via submission to the figure-four leglock at 8:18:

Despite the result of Fall Brawl, Anderson is still in Flair’s shadow since he is given a jobber entrance.  Also, unlike that show this match is underwhelming with both men racing through spots in the compressed time available to them.  They have the right idea of making this more of a brawl than a scientific encounter, but the flow is disjointed.  For example, Anderson catches Flair with a spinebuster and then applies an armbar.  Flair traps Anderson in the figure-four as Brian Pillman runs out, but Anderson submits seconds before Pillman flies off the top rope onto Flair.  What?!?!  If that is going to be the finish, why have Pillman come out before the bell?  Rating:  **

After the match, Anderson and Pillman do a small beatdown, reinforcing the fact that Flair has no friends.

Tune in next week to see Ric Flair and Arn Anderson clash in a steel cage!  Also, Sting wrestles the Shark, Sabu faces Mr. JL, and Road Warrior Hawk squares off against Big Bubba Rogers!

The Last Word:  For the second straight week the Giant was the MVP of Monday Nitro, making a name for himself by helping Lex Luger in the opener and taking out WCW’s two babyface tag teams.  It was also refreshing to see the Dungeon of Doom get over on Hulk Hogan for once and shaving Hogan’s mustache was a nice touch to advance the feud.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.5 (vs. 2.5 for RAW – Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre LaFitte)

Up Next:  WCW Pro for October 7!