What the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – December 30, 1995 (Last Column of the Series)

There were no new bouts on WCW Prime, so we head to WCW Pro with Chris Cruise, Dusty Rhodes, and Larry Zbyszko doing commentary.  They announce that Ric Flair is the new world champion.

Opening Contest:  The American Males (14-5) defeat the State Patrol (1-10) when Scotty Riggs pins Lieutenant James Earl after a double dropkick at 2:28:

The Males have padded their win-loss record at the Patrol’s expense throughout the year, winning all three of their encounters prior to today’s show.  The Patrol rip the Steiner Brothers Steinerizer, putting Riggs through the ringer.  However, Marcus Bagwell gets a quick hot tag after that, dropkicks Earl into Sergeant Buddy Lee Parker and the double dropkick helps the Males win a quick, entertaining match.

Hugh Morrus (3-2) pins Terry Morgan after a sit out powerbomb in 53 seconds:

Morrus outmuscles Morgan, catching a leapfrog attempt with a powerslam and then hitting a sit out powerbomb to win in less than a minute.

Steve & Scott Armstrong (1-6) defeat the Southern Posse when Scott pins Rick Thames after a Steve missile dropkick at 5:17:

1995 has not been a good year for the Armstrongs as they only had a smidgen of success against the lowly Barrio Brothers.  This is a slow-moving squash as the Armstrongs work basic moves and Steve awkwardly throws some clotheslines against their opponents.  Scott shows good fire after a hot tag, superkicking Sonny Trout out of the ring.  He holds Thames in a Hart Attack position for Steve’s missile dropkick and scores the winning pin.  Cruise notes that the Armstrongs streak of futility is finally over.

Okerlund interviews Sister Sherri, who recaps the nice things she has gotten from Colonel Robert Parker.  Sergeant Craig Pittman interrupts the interview to ask Sherri to be his manager.  Like the other managers, she rebuffs him in saying she is in love, has the tag team champions, and has no time for him.  This story is making Pittman look like one of the biggest losers on the roster.

Television Championship Match:  Johnny B. Badd (Champion w/Kimberly) (53-5-3) beats Dean Malenko (5-3) via disqualification at 8:11:

During Badd’s entrance, Zbyszko rants about how she is neutering Badd and should not have anything to do with his career.  After a long feeling out process, Malenko dropkicks Badd’s knee when Badd comes off the top rope and he proceeds to work over that body part.  They keep it interesting with some Badd hope spots, with some of them not working as Badd tries to throw an enzuigiri and misses.  Malenko kicks out of the Badd Mood and pulls the referee into Badd to escape an abdominal stretch.  That causes him to get disqualified and Kimberly steps in to prevent further damage to Badd.  This was a decent way to protect Malenko, even if it was a downer of a finish based on the good work that went into the match.  Rating:  **¾

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (3-1) defeat the Barrio Brothers (2-12) when Arn Anderson pins Fidel Sierra after a DDT at 3:17:

Because of the taping schedule, Flair does not have the world title with him during his entrance.  The Barrios play babyface, but the Disney crowd does not buy that since they are wearing foreign flags on their attire.  Strikes and eye rakes are the order of the day until the teams brawl when Ricky Santana breaks up a Flair figure-four effort on Sierra.  While Flair takes out Santana on the floor, Anderson DDTs Sierra and pins him.  There was not much to this one.  Rating:  ½*

The Last Word:  This marked the last WCW show of 1995 to feature original matches as the rest of the week’s broadcasts were of the “year in review” variety and it was a good one by Pro standards as most of the matches were entertaining and the bad stuff was short.  The company is in a better position than it was in at the beginning of the year, with lots of top challengers to the world title and a more diverse, youthful roster that can provide more exciting matches for fans.

Backstage News*:  Ric Flair’s victory at Starrcade illustrates that he is still a major option for WCW even though lots of people were saying he was too old in 1989 and needed to take a backseat to other stars.

*Randy Savage’s poor matches at Starrcade were likely due to his lingering tricep injury.  Savage turned down getting surgery earlier in the year, possibly because he was getting the world title at World War 3.  It might be in his best interest to do so.

*The reason for the restart in the Kensuke Sasaki-One Man Gang dark match after Starrcade went off the air is because Sasaki did not want it reported in the Japanese media that he lost two matches on the same show.

*There have been some talks about giving Eddie Guerrero an upset victory over Ric Flair to win the WCW title, replicating what Ricky Steamboat did to Flair to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Championship in the 1970s.

*In a follow up to the WCW Hotline debacle over Steamboat that was reported last week, Steamboat’s lawyers forced Gene Okerlund to tell hotline listeners that Steamboat would not be honored at the Omni and that Steamboat was no longer associated with WCW.

*Backstage news sourced from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for January 6, 1996.

And as we end 1995, here were the final standings for WCW wins and losses, including those who left the promotion at various times during the year.

Top Thirty Overall Records

1—Koji Kanemoto (5-0)

T2—Frank Andersson (4-0)

T2—The Giant (4-0)

T2—Shinjiro Otani (4-0)

T5—The Star Blazer (1-0)

T5—Wahoo McDaniel (1-0)

7—Sting (60-3-3)

8—Dustin Rhodes (18-2)

9—Hulk Hogan (13-1-1)

T10—Super Assassin #1 (4-0-1)

T10—Super Assassin #2 (4-0-1)

12—The Renegade (26-3)

13—Johnny B. Badd (61-6-3)

14—Lex Luger (24-4)

T15—Booker T (52-8-3)

T15—Stevie Ray (52-8-3)

17—Meng (35-6-1)

18—Alex Wright (63-11-3)

T19—Brian Knobbs (44-7-4)

T19—Jerry Sags (44-7-4)

21—Vader (24-5)

22—Kevin Sullivan (36-8)

23—Kamala (18-4)

24—Randy Savage (33-7-1)

25—Brian Pillman (50-11-1)

26—Road Warrior Hawk (10-2-1)

27—Diamond Dallas Page (28-6-2)

28—Sergeant Craig Pittman (41-10)

29—Sabu (4-1)

30—Scott Norton (8-2-1)

Top Twenty-Five Singles Records

1—The Blacktop Bully (15-0)

T2—Frank Andersson (4-0)

T2—The Giant (4-0)

4—Koji Kanemoto (3-0)

T5—Shinjiro Otani (2-0)

T5—The One Man Gang (2-0)

T7—The Great Muta (1-0)

T7—The Star Blazer (1-0)

T7—Wahoo McDaniel (1-0)

10—Sting (44-2-1)

11—Johnny B. Badd (54-5-3)

12—The Renegade (24-3)

13—Meng (33-4-1)

14—Steve Austin (14-2)

T15—Lex Luger (18-3)

T15—Vader (18-3)

17—Kamala (12-2)

18—Dustin Rhodes (11-2)

19—Hulk Hogan (7-1-1)

20—Alex Wright (55-10-3)

21—Kevin Sullivan (24-5)

22—Diamond Dallas Page (28-6-2)

23—Sergeant Craig Pittman (41-10)

24—Sabu (4-1)

25—Brian Pillman (34-9)

Top Twenty Tag Team Records

T1—Sting & Lex Luger (4-0)

T1—The Monster Maniacs (4-0)

T3—Kevin Sullivan & Avalanche (3-0)

T3—Dustin Rhodes & Johnny B. Badd (3-0)

5—Lord Steven Regal & Jean Paul Levesque (1-0)

6—The Super Assassins (4-0-1)

7—Sting & Randy Savage (3-0-1)

8—Harlem Heat (51-8-3)

9—The Nasty Boys (44-7-4)

10—Ric Flair & Sting (2-0-1)

11—Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (4-1)

12—Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman (8-2-1)

13—Stars & Stripes (21-7)

14—The American Males (15-5)

15—Kevin Sullivan & the Butcher (6-2)

16—The Blue Bloods (25-9-2)

T17—Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Marcus Bagwell (2-1)

T17—Kamala & the Shark (2-1)

19—Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck (23-16-1)

T20—Big Bubba Rogers & Avalanche (2-2)

T20—Brad & Scott Armstrong (2-2)

Top Ten in Televised Match Appearances (Iron Worker Award)

1—Alex Wright (78)

2—Arn Anderson (72)

3—Johnny B. Badd (70)

T4—Bunkhouse Buck (66)

T4—Marcus Bagwell (66)

T4—Sting (66)

T7—Booker T (64)

T7—Stevie Ray (64)

9—Brian Pillman (62)

10—Hacksaw Jim Duggan (58)

Most Appearances By Show:  Monday Nitro-Sting (13); Prime-Tim Horner and Scott Armstrong (5); Pro¬-Bunkhouse Buck (19); Worldwide-Arn Anderson (18); Saturday Night-Arn Anderson and Alex Wright (25), Main Event-Alex Wright (9)

Top Five Matches in December 1995

1—Shinjiro Otani vs. Eddie Guerrero (December 27, Starrcade ’95) – ****¼

2—Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair (WCW Championship Match, December 25, Monday Nitro) – ***½

3—Chris Benoit vs. Jushin Liger (December 27, Starrcade ’95) – ***½

4—Koji Kanemoto vs. Alex Wright (December 27, Starrcade ’95) – ***¼

5—Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger (WCW Championship Match, December 4, Monday Nitro) – ***

Top Five Overall Matches in 1995

1—Shinjiro Otani vs. Eddie Guerrero (December 27, Starrcade ’95) – ****¼

2—Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair (Fall Brawl, September 17) – ****

3—Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero (October 7, WCW Saturday Night) – ****

4—The Blue Bloods vs. Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko (October 29, Main Event) – ****

5—Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (November 25, WCW Saturday Night) – ****

After a year and a half – during which time I went through a job switch, getting engaged and married, and two moves – this is the final review of 1995 WCW television programming.  As always, I would like to thank those who read and/or commented on my columns to provide feedback or point out any details that I may have missed in an initial viewing.  Since my overall vision of this project was to recap all of 1995’s major wrestling in the United States, my next set of reviews will be covering the regional federations of the era.  This will take me through the stories and matches of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW), and the United States Wrestling Association (USWA).  Since all of these places only had one television broadcast a week and I post three columns a week, each federation will have a specific posting day.  ECW will get Monday, SMW will get Wednesday, and the USWA will get Friday.  Juggling all of this will be a challenge, but I hope it can spark some good discussion and/or memories for those on the Blog of Doom.  These reviews will start next week, giving me time to do some initial research on rosters and lay out an effective introduction to these respective series.  Again, thanks for reading.