So here it is, the first review in what will be the most comprehensive coverage of the Monday Night Wars. I will be starting the reviews with WCW Nitro on September 4th 1995 and working my way through the good and the bad (in some cases, extremely bad) and ending on the final WCW Nitro, March 26th 2001.
WCW Monday Nitro September 4th 1995.
We open up the debut episode of Nitro with some aerial shots of the Mall of America.
We head inside the Mall of America where Eric Bischoff opens the show and introduces us to his co-hosts Steve McMichael and Bobby Hennan.
Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman
Great way to start the debut episode of Nitro. The cruiserweight division was and still is something the WWF couldn’t get a grasp off.
Lock up to start, Pillman with an arm wringer, which liger rolls through on and kips up into his own arm wringer. Liger grabs a headlock on Pillman, irish whip sends Pillman into the corner and Liger charges with a rolling wheel kick. Liger chops Pillman in the corner, irish whip reversal sends Liger to the corner who floats over Pillman and runs to the opposite corner and comes off the ropes with a moonsault for a 2 count. Liger grabs a headlock on the mat on Pillman, Pillman fights out the the headlock. Both guys end up in the corner again, and Liger chops away on Pillman. Liger whips Pillman into the opposite corner, but Pillman catches Liger with a headscissors take over. Pillman with chops to Liger in the corner. Irish whip by Pillman is reversed and Pillman gets sent into the corner, Pillman gets his foot up into the face of a charging Liger, Pillman climbs to the top rope, and hits a botched headscissors for a 2 count. Snap mare by Pillman, who applies a seated abdominal stretch, which he rolls into a 2 count. Irish whip by Pillman is reversed, Liger hits a drop toe hold, and locks in the surfboard on Pillman. Liger whips Pillman into the ropes, but Pillman reversers into a headscissors, Liger is groggy against the ropes, Pillman charges and Ligers back drops Pillman over the top rope and onto the floor. Liger heads out onto the apron, and hits a somersault plancha onto Pillman. Pillman back onto the apron, Liger attempts to suplex Pillman into the ring, but Pillman reverses that into a suplex from the ring to the floor. Pillman heads up to the top rope and hits a cross body on Liger on the floor. Pillman throws Liger into the ring, Pillman heads to the top but gets crotched on the top rope by Liger. Liger hits a suplex off the top rope for a 2 count. Liger now heads up top and comes off with a cross body attempt but Pillman hits a dropkick in mid air for a 2 count. Chops by Pillman, Liger hits a big powerbomb for a 2 count. Liger takes Pillman unto the top rope and hits a hurricarana off the top for 2!! Liger signals for one more and puts Pillman up top again, Pillman fights back and hits a tornado DDT for 2. Pillman picks Liger up for a German, Liger reverses into a German suplex attempt of his own, which Pillman reverses into a roll up for the 3 count.
Match Thoughts: A great choice to open the show. The match had some awkward moments as well as a couple of blown spots. Overall it was a very entertaining match and not something seen on RAW during this time. **
Sting promo. Sting says he is coming for Flair and nobody can lock on the Scorpion Deathlock like he can. YEAH!!!
INT- Hulk Hogan. We head to a pre-taped interview with Hulk Hogan. Hogan is standing in front of Pastamania, a pasta shop that was in the Mall of America. Hulk asks the crowd who the greatest wrestler in the world is, the crowd screams that he is. Hogan says that he is putting the WCW title on the line in the main event.
Ric Flair vs. Sting
Once Sting and Ric Flair are in the ring, Lex Luger strolls out from the crowd to make his return to WCW.
Lock up to start, both guys end up in the corner. Another lock up which leads to a Flair headlock, Sting sends Flair off the ropes, Flair takes Sting down with a shoulderblock. Flair off the ropes, Sting drops down, and the leapfrogs over Flair, Flair off the ropes once more straight into a Gorilla Press Slam from Sting. Irish whip by Sting leads to another gorilla press slam. Hiptoss out of the corner by Sting, Sting then hits a big dropkick which sends Flair to the outside. Flair comes back into the ring, and pokes Sting in the eye to take advantage. Chops by Flair in the corner, WOOOO! Sting no-sells Flairs chops and strikes, irish whip by Sting and he hits a 3rd gorilla press slam. Flair suckers Sting in and gets a cheap kick to the stomach, Irish whip by Flair, Sting ducks a chop attempt and gets caught up in the ropes, Flair charges and hits a cross body on Sting which sends both guys out over the top rope and to the floor. Flair tries to chop Sting, which doesn’t work, so Flair pokes Sting in the eye again. Flair charges at Sting only to get caught in another gorilla press, this time Sting throws Flair into the ring through the second rope. Whip by Sting into the corner, Sting goes for the Stinger Splash, but Flair moves out of the way, Sting catches himself in the corner. Sting gets a bulldog onto Flair. Sting attempts the Stinger Splash again, but this time Flair hits a back elbow which knocks sting to the mat. Back from commercial, Flair is in control. Flair heads to the top rope but Sting catches him up to and slams him off the top rope. Irish whip by Sting, leads to a 5th gorilla press slam for a 2 count. Arn Anderson comes out from the back, and Sting misses a splash off the top rope. Flair gets Sting up for a delayed suplex, Sting gets straight up and takes Flair down with a clothesline. Flair does his flip out of the corner onto the ring apron, and Sting knocks him down with a clothesline. Stings sets Flair up in the corner and hits the 10 punches in the corner, Sting then hiptosses Flair out of the corner all the way across to the opposite side. Sting puts Flair onto the top, but Flair fights back. Sting climbs up to the top rope too, but gets knocked off by Flair. Flair irish whips Sting and goes for a hiptoss, Sting blocks into his own hiptoss which Flair also blocks, Flair takes Sting down with a headlock takeover, which Sting transitions into a headscissors, Flair rolls through that into a 2 count, which Sting powers out of and gets a backslide onto Flair for 2. Sting lifts Flair onto the top rope, and heads up to. Sting hits a big suplerplex off the top rope. Sting turns his attention to Arn Anderson, Flair chops out Stings leg and locks in the figure four leg lock. Sting hypes himself and the crowd up and tries to turn the figure four over. Flair holds onto ropes and refuses to break the hold. Flair gets DQ for not breaking the hold.
As soon as the bell rings Arn gets into the ring and breaks the figure four. Flair and Anderson stare at each other while Arn takes off his jacket, Flair with a cheap shot. Arn knocks Flair down and both guys brawl all the way down the aisle.
Match Thoughts: Great TV match between two excellent wrestlers. This match could have easily hit 4* with a proper finish but i understand why they did the DQ finish. ***1/2
INT- Scott Norton comes out the through the crowd and gets in the face of Eric Bischoff, Bobby Hennan and Steve McMichael. Randy Savage comes out and gets in Scott Nortons face. Macho Man challenges Norton to a match right now. Security breaks this up before the match can start.
Sabu hype video. Sabu will be on Nitro NEXT WEEK!
INT- VK Wallstreet. VK says nothing of real importance, he does mention that IRS will be watching him. VK Wallstreet was IRS in the WWF.
Hulk Hogan vs. Big Bubba Rogers
The first main event in Nitro history. Smart idea by WCW to have Hogan wrestle as he was still quite over with the fans at this stage.
Lock up to start, Hulk overpowers Bubba and sends him into the corner. Another lockup, Bubba grabs a headlock and Hulk is down to one knee. Hogan sends Bubba off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock, Bubba goes flying and gets caught up in the ropes. Bubba with a kick to the guts, a punch to the face that sends Hogan into the corner. Bubba whips Hogan to the opposite corner and hits a big splash on Hogan. Bubba tries to slam Hogans head into the turnbuckle but Hogan blocks it, Hogan then slams Bubbas head into the turnbuckle a few times before connecting with punches to Bubba in the corner. Hogan comes at Bubba in the corner, but gets poked in the eyes. Bubba picks Hogan up and hits a backbreaker. Hogan back into the corner and Bubba starts working over Hogans midsection, Bubba charges at Hogan in the corner and gets hit with two big boots. Bubba falls to the mat, and Hogan mounts him with some punches. Bubba with a throat thrust that sends Hogan falling across the middle ropes, Bubba hits a splash on Hogans back. Bubba turns his attention to Jimmy Hart on the outside, Hogan takes over with punches on the outside, he sends Bubba back into the ring and chokes Bubba with Jimmy Harts jacket. Hogan puts the jacket over Bubbas head and hits the 10 punches in the corner. Hogan whips Bubba into the corner and follows through with a big clothesline. Hogan hits a bodyslam on Bubba and drops 2 elbows. Bubba fights back with punches to the stomach, Bubba hits knee lifts on Hogan and then slams Hogan down. Bubba slams Hogans head into the top turnbuckle, Bubba charges for a splash, but Hogan moves out of the way. Hogan punches at Bubba, and then charges but Bubba hits the Boss Man Slam for a 2 count. Hogan starts to Hulk up, Irish whip followed by the Big boot. Leg drop by Hogan leads to the 3 count.
Match Thoughts: Well that was a very boring main event. The match only consisted of punching, kicking and a couple of bodyslams. Very standard Hogan match. *
Hogan celebrates in the ring with some poses, but the Dungeon of Doom run out from the back. Its 3 on 1, but Hogan is handling them with ease. Luger runs into the ring and clears house. Hogan and Luger back into each other and a big stare down occurs. Sting and Macho Man hit the ring to try and pull them apart.
INT- Hulk Hogan/Lex Luger. Mean Gene gets in the middle of Hogan and Luger. Hogan wants to know why Luger is in his back yard. Luger says he is here from one reason and one reason only, to take the title from Hogan. Lex Luger says he is sick and tired of playing around with kids, and he is here to get it on with the big boys. Luger says he doesn’t care when but he wants his title shot. Hogan says he is going to be the World Champion forever and a day. Hogan offers Lex Luger a WCW World title shot on Nitro next week.
Show Thoughts: Good debut episode for Nitro, WCW showed why being Live was a good thing. The return of Luger was a good surprise, and with 2 very good matches this show gets an easy thumbs up.