The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW / WCW Monday Nitro – 12.18.95
FINALLY the horror of 1995 comes to a close.
Live from Newark, DE. There’s more than one Newark?
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler, and we have yet another minor makeover of the show with new purple graphics.
Jeff Jarrett v. Fatu
Fatu is now making a difference by dancing like a jackass. Like he’s ever going to get over as a dancing fat guy. So Jarrett made his epic return at In Your House V and people already don’t care again, mostly because Roadie had most of the heat. Jarrett struts and gets chased out of the ring, as Vince DEMANDS action. You’ve got the wrong show then. Back in, Jarrett tries hitting him in the head and gets nowhere, and Fatu slugs him down, but misses a blind charge and Jarrett chokes him out on the ropes. They head out to the floor and we take a break. Back with Jarrett working on the shoulder as I should note that Fatu’s tights are now “Makin’ a change” instead of “Makin’ a difference.” I feel like that is the missing ingredient in this character. Fatu comes back with a backdrop and corner clothesline, and a backbreaker gets two. Ace Crusher follows, but he hurts his bad shoulder doing the move and Jarrett sends him into the post again before Ahmed Johnson runs in for the DQ at 7:38. Like really, JJ was going for a figure-four when Ahmed ran in, it’s not likely that was going to affect the bad shoulder. But then Ahmed isn’t exactly a pillar of intelligence anyway. Usual Jeff Jarrett borefest. *1/2
Meanwhile, Goldust is horny for Razor Ramon.
Meanwhile, Diesel gets into a staredown with Undertaker over Taker’s impending title shot.
Buddy Landell v. Bob Holly
Oh man, poor Budro, who could fuck up any push ever given to him. Apparently he was in line for the NWA World title in 1985 and got busted for coke to lose the title shot, although Buddy’s version is that he missed a plane. How dumb did you have to be to get busted for COCAINE in the 80s? They practically handed that shit out at the door! And shortly after this match he slipped in a parking lot, tore up his leg, and never returned to the WWF. Buddy is using Flair’s old music and robe, which I’m sure was no coincidence. They exchange chops in the corner as Lawler notes that Buddy is a 17 year veteran, which is not the kind of thing they typically brought up. Buddy slugs Holly down and works a headlock, but puts his head down and gets DDT’d. This crowd absolutely could not care less about this match. Holly comes back with a rana and some clotheslines for two, but misses a dropkick and Buddy finishes with the corkscrew elbow at 6:51 of boredom. *
Ted Dibiase appears on the Brother Love show and tells us all about Xanta Claus, who lives in the South Pole and steals gifts from little children. Now that was a loser gimmick.
In two weeks: The RAW Bowl! Lucky us.
Intercontinental title: Razor Ramon v. Yokozuna
Goldust is watching from the entrance, which pretty much telegraphs the finish right away. Ramon works on the arm for a while, but Yoko tosses him. Back in, Ramon goes back to the arm, but Yoko applies the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM. Ramon fights out of that and slugs away, then goes back to the arm as we take a break. Back with Yoko holding ANOTHER nerve pinch, but Ramon fights out again until Yoko cuts him off and pounds away in the corner. And then we get choking before Ramon comes back with a bulldog and Undertaker wheels out a casket to mess with Yoko. And Yoko is so terrified that he runs away at 10:35. Were they supposed to be building up to a THIRD casket match between those two? ½*
Razor Ramon admits that, yeah, he’s handsome, but he only digs women and not Goldust. That’s pretty cool of him, actually, and totally unlike the usual knee-jerk homophobic angle. Although a few years later we’d find out that he was really into groping senior citizens while drunk off his ass.
And oh yeah, we wrap it up with TELL ME A LIE, as Shawn Michaels might be done for good, you guys! Now, which lie are they referring to? The one where Shawn didn’t fail a drug test in 1993? Or the one where he had career-ending knee surgery in 1997 and had to miss Wrestlemania?
This was a weak-ass live RAW. Kind of apropos for the year in general, I guess.
The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 12.18.95
Live from Augusta, GA
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo.
BUT FIRST…Madusa returns to WCW during the opening, carrying the WWF Women’s title with her, which she dumps into the trash to launch the second atomic bomb of the Monday Night Wars. This was actually HUGE, killing off the WWF Women’s title for years and also launching a lawsuit from Titan and paranoia from Vince that led to one of the reasons behind the Montreal screwjob (in that Vince talked about not wanting the same thing to happen with Bret’s belt). It was also weird in that she was already fired by the WWF, but no one thought to get the belt back from her for some reason.
Ric Flair v. Eddie Guerrero
They trade takedowns and Flair takes over with a cheapshot, but Eddie dropkicks him in the back of the head and does his own strutting. Eddie hits more dropkicks, but misses a third one and Flair goes for the figure-four, which Eddie reverses for two. Backslide gets two. Eddie charges and hits boot while Eric is obviously very distracted by the monitor of RAW he’s watching. They slug it out and Eddie gets a tornado DDT for two and follows with a rana for two. To the top, but Flair knocks him to the floor for a nasty bump onto his knee, and Flair is the shark who smells blood. Back in, Flair goes to work on the leg and the figure-four finishes at 7:33, with Eddie finally passing out due to the pain and getting pinned. This was a GREAT finish because Eddie’s knee was clearly shot from the bump, but Flair still made sure to grab the ropes and cheat outrageously, then let him fight for a full minute before passing out. ***
Mean Gene immediately jumps in to interview Flair & Arn, but Kevin Sullivan interrupts to complain about their alliance falling apart.
Meanwhile, Craig Pittman tries to recruit Bobby Heenan as a manager.
Lex Luger v. Marcus Bagwell
Bagwell survives Luger’s flurry of clotheslines and hiptosses him out of the ring. Back in, a flying forearm sets up the devastating splash, but Luger gets his knees up to save his career and finishes with a powerslam and Torture Rack at 3:00. *
Earl Robert Eaton v. Sting
You have to love Bobby Eaton, who was content to just go along with whatever goofy new idea they had for him at the midcard level. Eaton debuts the new manservant for the Bluebloods, Jeeves, who used to be WCW mascot Wild Cat Willie. Sting gets a dropkick and works on the arm, but the Earl of Eaton chokes him out on the ropes and goes to work with an armbar. Bobby accidentally calls Randy Savage the WWF champion here before correcting himself, no doubt because they were watching the RAW feed at the same time. Eaton goes up with the flying kneedrop, but misses and gets finished by the Scorpion at 3:55. Nothing special, but not terrible. *
WCW World title: Randy Savage v. The Giant
Savage taking a shitkicking from big heels is his specialty so this should be decent. He slugs away on Giant and tries a sleeper, but Giant drops him out of that and takes over with a bearhug as we take a break. It’s actually pretty rare to see that on Nitro at this point. Back with Giant slamming him, but Savage throws clotheslines until he walks into a backbreaker for two. Giant tosses him over the top and into the railing, then follows him out and tosses him back in for a dramatic spot. And then the Giant goes up with a flying splash (!!), but misses, and the Savage miracle elbow only gets TWO. Giant tosses him off like a child and out to the floor, but a suplex on the concrete backfires when Savage hooks the ropes on the way down. Back in, Giant shrugs it off and chokeslams Savage, but Hulk Hogan breaks up the pin with a chair at 9:30 for the DQ. He chases Giant out of the ring with the chair as the crowd actually goes crazy for this, which makes it all the more baffling why WCW didn’t find a way to do Hogan v. Giant at Starrcade in some fashion. Pretty good match, especially the Lucha Giant sequence. **3/4 It was kind of weird how they booked Giant to basically be on the verge of squashing Savage and winning the title clean instead of having him cheat and thus Hogan be justified in breaking up the pin. In this case Macho was clearly beaten by the better man and had his title saved. Hogan’s post-match interview sees him whining and crying about not getting a title shot and how his name is still on the belt. Savage promises him a title shot if he gets past Ric Flair at Starrcade, but of course that was not to happen. And then they artificially stretch out the show past the overrun time again as they talk and talk about nothing until the show ends.
Next week: Randy Savage defends against Ric Flair in a yucky taped show!
Good to be back.