What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – October 23, 1995

Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and Steve McMichael are tasked with commentary and they are live from Huntsville, Alabama.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, 7,000 fans attended the show with only 2,100 paying for tickets.

Opening Contest:  Randy Savage (18-3) beats Kurasawa (w/Colonel Robert Parker) (9-0) after the flying elbow smash at 5:48 shown:

Booking this match was incredibly dumb because Savage and Kurasawa were booked for Halloween Havoc so neither of them are in a position to lose, especially Kurasawa who the company was building as a big talent on WCW Pro and Worldwide.  Savage’s left elbow is taped up and Kurasawa smells blood and goes after it, laying the groundwork for yet another “Savage get his ass kicked until he hits a few moves” match.  Kurasawa’s positioning for the finish was comical too as he had to roll onto his back and twist himself into position.  Rating:  *

Bischoff lets fans know that Hulk Hogan and the Dungeon of Doom are in the building and there are no restraining orders tonight.

The Master makes his first live appearance, speaking from an elevated chair and spouting nonsense about a thirteen ton block of ice that contains the Yeti.  Gene Okerlund interviews the Giant and Kevin Sullivan, with Sullivan putting over the Yeti as an insurance policy for Halloween Havoc.  The Giant vows to take Hulk Hogan’s life and his title at the pay-per-view.

Okerlund interviews WCW Champion Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart.  Hogan goes off the rails once again, telling Okerlund that he might keep his black look after Halloween Havoc “because we know what a man with black gloves and a black bandana is capable of!” in reference to the recent O.J. Simpson trial.  Hogan rips off his neck brace and says he is going into his title defense at one hundred percent.  He accuses Sting of trying to steal his gimmick because Sting is going to wear red and yellow tonight, and he is ready to deal with him, Lex Luger, or Randy Savage.

Eddy Guerrero & Mr. J.L. (w/Alex Wright) defeat Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko when J.L. pins Malenko with a victory roll at 9:04 shown:

This was supposed to be Guerrero teaming with Alex Wright, but Wright comes out on crutches with an injured left knee, thereby scuttling whatever feud WCW was building between he and Guerrero.  As the match develops, the Shark and Scott Norton are shown fighting backstage as fellow WCW wrestlers like the Zodiac and Bunkhouse Buck try to separate them.  At least WCW is nice enough to do that angle in the split-screen rather than cutting away completely as they did several weeks ago when Malenko faced Guerrero.  The Huntsville crowd greets the early stages of the match with silence and they do not care when J.L. is placed in peril but when Guerrero gets the hot tag they blow the roof off the place, helped by Guerrero taking out the heels with dropkicks and then headscissoring both of them in unison.  During the four-way brawl, Wright trips Malenko from the floor, helping J.L. wrap up Malenko for the victory.  Rating:  ***

After the match, Brian Pillman attacks Guerrero and gives him a DDT in the aisle.

Sting & Lex Luger (1-0) beat Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) (46-7-3) when Sting pins Booker T after a flying clothesline at 7:04 shown:

During Sting and Luger’s entrance Bischoff trashes the recent WWF In Your House pay-per-view, with McMichael calling it “In Your Outhouse” for maximum cringe.  As has been her habit, Sherri pulls out pictures of Colonel Robert Parker and kisses them as her men put Luger in peril with chinlocks.  Thankfully that is as far as that angle goes this evening as Booker T misses a Harlem Hangover, Sting gets the hot tag, and scoring the pin for his team.  This was just a standard tag match to fill time so both teams held back a lot.  Rating:  *½

After the match, the Giant comes out and chokeslams Luger and Sting.  Randy Savage runs in to give it a go, knocking Kevin Sullivan out of the ring while Hulk Hogan makes the last appearance in this babyface rendition of Our Town and he gets Savage to step aside before putting on a small mini-match with the Giant before Hogan and Savage take out the Dungeon of Doom.  After this, Doug Dillinger steps in with a billy club to hold Hogan back and as the show goes off the air, the ice breaks and the Yeti, who looks like a mummy, pops out.

The Last Word:  Although the match quality of the opener and main event was not good, the angles and crazy interviews made up for it.  And most important, the crowd ate it up.  The Dungeon of Doom still looks as ineffective as it always does, though, and if not for the Giant this feud would be dead in the water.  Fans would be right to think the Giant’s odds to defeat Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc are long simply because he is associated with such an awful group.  And leave it to WCW to think that the Yeti is a mummy.

Monday Night War Rating:  2.6 (vs. 2.2 for RAW – Bertha Faye vs. Alundra Blayze for the WWF Women’s Championship)

Up Next:  WCW Pro for October 28!