The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 03.18.96
Live from Chattanooga, TN
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo
We pick the show up with Giant engaged in a brawl with Loch Ness in the aisle, while Lex Luger casually walks by and does his usual entrance.
World TV title: Lex Luger v. Loch Ness
Sadly, Loch Ness has been beaten to a pulp by the Giant, and is unable to answer the count. Jimmy Hart runs in for a hug and Luger quickly pushes him back after “breaking kayfabe”. Luger is so excited that he runs over to the announce desk and high-fives Bobby. “I’m peaking at just the right time!” It’s really sad that they wasted him in the Uncensored main event nonsense because he was really on fire at this point.
Tony Schiavone returns from the dead to interview “The Megapowers” and holy crap, they were basically asking for a cease-and-desist letter. Macho even has “Mega Powers” on his gear! The balls on these guys. They’re still hyping up the Doomsday cage without ever explaining how it worked or who was in it.
The Public Enemy v. The Steiner Brothers
Oh this is gonna be glorious. Scott throws Rock around with a tilt-a-whirl slam and a press slam to start, and then chases him to the floor. Back in, Grunge tries beating on Rick and gets destroyed as well. Mongo’s take: “Break out the broom and the dust mop, because the Steiners are cleaning house!” Let’s not. Rick heads out and gets double-teamed, and TPE takes over on him, but Scott comes in with another suplex on Rock. Rock moonsaults Scott for two and Grunge gets a neckbreaker for two and heads up, but Scott fights him off and it’s hot tag Rick. He somehow ends up on the table at ringside, but Rock misses the dive and puts himself through it. Back in, the Steiners finish Grunge with the bulldog at 7:00. Eric Bischoff literally promised that this would be a crazy brawl at the beginning, and they just did a wrestling match. Super disappointing. *
Arn Anderson v. The Booty Man
Beefcake’s entrance is so sad, an aging has-been getting pushed one more time because he’s friends with Hulk Hogan, as no one gives a shit about him without the bigger stars around to protect him. Booty beats on Arn in the corner, but AA bails to slow down this torrid pace and starts working on the arm after a cheapshot. Arn goes up and Booty catches him with a shot on the way down, and makes the comeback. Kimberly comes out and gets into an argument with Woman, and Booty hits the High Knee for the pin at 5:52. DUD
The Road Warriors v. The Nasty Boys
Bischoff continues hyping up the Uncensored card and holy god it sounds like the worst pile of shit ever just by the matches listed. This tag match actually is a wild brawl from the start, with everyone fighting to the floor immediately as we take a break. Back with the Nasties in control on Hawk, but Knobs gets flung into the railing and take a huge bump. Apparently the Nasties were almost fired for budget reasons at this point, as they needed money to justify the contracts of Hall and Nash. So it would have been win-win! Back in, the Warriors double-team Knobs, and Hawk pounds the injured ribs. I’m zoning here – were the Nasty Boys supposed to be heels at this point? Animal with a powerslam and he drops the elbow on the ribs for two. Splash misses and it’s hot tag Sags, but the Steiners run out and mug Sags. Animal hits Knobs with the gauntlet and pins him at 7:00. This was just a mess, with everyone blowing up sometime during the heat segment. ½*
Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage v. Kevin Sullivan & Ric Flair
Speaking of messes, this is a texas tornado match that was originally booked to be Flair v. Sting for the World title before Hogan stepped in and changed it. And after two tag matches that should have been booked as messy brawls, this is the one that we get the crazy brawl in. They run around doing the junk brawling and we get the awesome sight of Hulk Hogan trying a figure-four on Sullivan, the only one I’ve ever seen worse than Dusty’s version. More messy brawling and Hulk makes the comeback off a Flair suplex. Mongo’s take: “If you like a good public someone getting beat down like a dog, you’ll like this match.” Actual things said by people on live TV. THEY PAID HIM TO SAY THESE THINGS. Flair hits Hogan with the SIZE EIGHT OF DOOM after a million years of meandering brawl, but it’s time to hulk up again as Arn Anderson joins us. Brian Pillman comes out of the audience throwing chairs and they call for a DQ at 10:30, because reasons. * Hogan, as booker, saw that Pillman’s act was getting over and basically demanded that he be made part of the main event deal, thus killing Pillman’s whole gimmick. Hogan and Savage manage to fight off the Horsemen alone, but then Jimmy Hart brings out flabby gut Zeus and Jeep Swenson (who is literally made up like a walrus) and that somehow turns the tide. Best of all, Swenson was named “The Final Solution”, which passed through multiple layers of approval before someone realized that people MIGHT be offended by it. Because WCW.
The Alliance to End Hulkamania, or TAEH for short, rambles about Hogan. And remember, TAEH is the opposite of “Heat”.
This Hogan stuff…holy god. I’m still astonished that one company could change directions so drastically within a couple of months and suddenly change wrestling forever.