The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 01.29.96
(Also originally written December 2014, although not at the same time as the RAW episode where I suffered a kidney stone attack. The scheduling for these was bizarre at the time, with the Network adding stuff randomly and leaving gaps so that I never knew when I could resume one show or the other.)
LIVE from Canton, OH
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo
Hulk Hogan v. Ric Flair
Man, they’re really just throwing the big guns out there now. Hogan brings out his harem, including Debra, Elizabeth, Linda Hogan and Woman. Who could seriously buy Nancy as a babyface? It must have been bizarre for Liz to escape to the real world for a few years and then get yanked back into the insanity of her former life again. No wonder she ended up so messed up. Hogan overpowers Flair and no-sells the chops, but Flair pokes him in the eyes on the floor. Hogan no-sells that as well, because he’s got the eye of the tiger or something, and he continues beating on Flair in the corner. Flair finally clips the knee as we take a break. Why do they leave the commercials for WCW magazine in the show, I wonder? Back with Flair working on the knee, but he goes up and gets slammed off. Back to the knee, however, and then Hogan makes the comeback as they brawl on the floor. Jimmy Hart gets a cheapshot and Flair takes over again, because god forbid Hulk ever put Flair over in any fashion but he’s fine with selling for JIMMY HART. Back in the ring, it’s time for the figure-four, but Hulk reverses to escape. Hulk up and he walks into an elbow in the corner and Flair gets a backdrop suplex. Bischoff notes that Jimmy is like “the mean little kid who taunts the gorilla at the zoo”. That’s a pretty specific childhood memory, Eric. Hulk makes another comeback and looks to finish with the usual, but it’s the Horsemen run-in, as Arn STEALS ELIZABETH’S SHOE, Flair hits Hogan in the eye with it, and a thousand jokes were born at 13:36. Yes, Hogan jobbed to a high heel shoe. I’d say that drops him out of contention for the World title, so Savage can rest easy. To their credit, the WWF side of the War wasted no time in mocking this mercilessly. Match got pretty good once Hogan started selling. ***1/4
The Faces of Fear v. The Road Warriors
I believe this would be the Nitro debut of the FOF, actually. Animal attacks Barbarian, but walks into a big boot and the heels take over. Meng tries a piledriver on Hawk and that of course goes nowhere, but Animal gets caught in the Faces corner and worked over. Bischoff notes that these aren’t “a bunch of RuPaul wannabes”. That’s a bit homophobic, no? The FOF work on Animal’s back and Meng gets a dropkick for two. Barbarian with a powerbomb for two and he goes up for a clothesline where they completely blow the spot and then need to repeat it. So the second time, Animal catches him with a clothesline to counter, and it’s hot tag Hawk. He cleans house, looking as bored as humanly possible, but Meng breaks up the Doomsday Device. And then they blow ANOTHER spot, as Barbarian was supposed to piledrive Animal and have it broken up by Hawk, but Hawk was way out of position, like off in another state, so Barbarian just hits the move. And then they reset and do it again, with Hawk actually hitting the flying clothesline this time to finish at 9:01. Holy god did the Warriors look terrible here. ½*
Kevin Sullivan rants and raves about the Horsemen, which brings out AA and Pillman. Arn promises some tough love and takes off his belt, and Sullivan and Hugh Morrus take the opportunity to attack, but Arn lays them out with a DDT while Pillman cowers on the floor.
Madusa v. Sherri
Sherri was actually doing an interview with Gene in street clothes, and Madusa attacks to start the match. OK then. Madusa with a suplex on the floor, and back in for some kicks, but Sherri takes her down and goes up. Madusa slams her off, but Sherri rolls through for the pin at 1:52. Madusa lays her out with a german suplex and slaps her around afterwards to continue the wedding angle. ½* There was actually all kinds of weirdness with this one, as Sherri basically refused to do the job, so Madusa knocked her out with the post-match suplex in a shoot of sorts, as Sherri wasn’t told it was coming. Crazy. (Addendum from 2020: Apparently this was also a receipt from WCW to Sherri for missing shots in Japan and showing up wasted at the airport a month earlier.)
Randy Savage v. The Giant
No match, as Savage attacks Giant with the belt right away and it’s immediately thrown out, so Ric Flair runs out and we get a beatdown. Finally, months later, Hogan makes the save with a chair, but the Dungeon overwhelms the Megapowers and Flair heads to the desk to cut an awesome ranting promo on Savage and finish off the show.
Pretty angle-heavy this week and not much for wrestling, but god knows that’s more interesting than most of what RAW was pumping out at this point.