Hulk Hogan falls deeper into darkness, Eddie Guerrero challenges for the TV title, and more.
Hello my friends, it is that time of the week once again. It is time for the WCW Nitro Saga. Last week we saw the special voting-oriented edition of Nitro, which gave us a great Sting vs. Ric Flair match, but now this week we’re back to our normal regularly scheduled programming, so let’s see what WCW has in store for us tonight.
When?: November 13, 1995
Where?: Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida
Okay, I immediately have a number of questions. Well not really, more like something I noticed, as well as a question. What I noticed was Vader is no longer in the opener for Nitro. Which I guess means that he was finally let out of his contract, because if I’m not mistaken, Vader is in the WWF by the Royal Rumble in 1996, so he had to have already been let go at this point. Now for my question, weren’t we in Jacksonville last week? Is Eric Bischoff LYING TO ME? ARE WE NOT LIVE??? Son of a gun. These jerks are no better than the WWF. Y’know, I came into this relationship expecting honesty, commitment, and enjoyable experience for the both of us, and I’m not getting any of that. Regardless, commentary talks about the situation with the WCW World Championship, and how Hulk Hogan will have to defeat 59 other men at World War 3 in the battle royal if he wants to become champion again. It always feels weird to me when the world title in any promotion is vacant. Sometimes it’s not so bad, like in the build-up to Unforgiven 1999. Vince vacating the title leading into the 6-Pack Challenge was awesome. It made for great television. The Giant being forced to give up the title all because Hogan didn’t want to lose? Not so much. In WCW’s defense, however, they do have a clear path and destination for the world title, so I can’t be too mad. Eric LIAR sends us backstage to the former world champion Hulk Hogan. Freaking joy.
What in the hell am I watching? That my friends is Hulk Hogan. Looking like some kind of bootleg Batman. I’ve taken so many screenshots as this segment has progressed, I honestly have no idea what this man is saying. I heard something about ‘brother’ Randy Savage delivering heads to him on a silver platter. So basically it’s your typical Hogan stuff, but I just can’t get over this whole Skyrim looking setting Hogan’s in. I’m pretty sure it’s like, the Dungeon of Doom’s lair or something, but still, this is unbelievable. It’s stuff like this that makes me so glad I decided to start this series. I will never see Hulk Hogan the same way ever again. Continuing now, Hogan says that eventually, he will confront Sting about his allegiance. Imagine if they had done that, but instead, it was in the WWF in 2001 during the Invasion angle. Brooooo. I mean really though, Hogan’s an idiot if he can’t see that Sting and Luger are best friends. Just because Luger joined the Dungeon doesn’t mean Sting will too. Gosh. Hogan completed his segment by saying ‘whatcha gonna do when the Macho Man and Hulkamania take the power of the doom and destroy yooouuuuuu.’ Paraphrasing, obviously. Holy crap, we’re only five minutes into this episode and it’s already wild. It’s like that Drake album, Nothing Was the Same.
Back at the commentary table, Bobby Heenan predicts that Hulk Hogan will be the first man eliminated from the World War 3 battle royal for the title. Imagine that. That’d be like John Cena being the first man eliminated from the Royal Rumble in one of the upcoming years. That would be absolutely insane. Then again, they practically did that with Daniel Bryan in 2015. Wasn’t he like, the tenth man eliminated? Something to that effect. And that was when he was his hottest too. Pro wrestling companies give absolutely zero fucks. Nonetheless, out comes Meng along with the Rubber Ducky Man as we get ready for our first match of the evening. Next up is the Macho Man Randy Savage, who is announced as being from “the dark side of Venice Beach, California.” Major freaking eye roll. I can’t wait until Kevin Nash and Scott Hall show up. Lord Jesus help us.
Randy Savage vs. Meng
Randy Savage mysteriously healed between last week’s episode and this week, DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT’S STILL THE SAME DAY. This is all leading me to believe one thing…. maybe… pro wrestling is scripted. I don’t know guys, but I’m just getting that feeling from all of this nonsense going on here. Savage, now also dressed in black and white, comes through the crowd rather than the entrance way, and sneakily attacks Brother Meng from behind. What a coward. He’s fitting in with that WCW etiquette though. Tradition is very important in pro wrestling, so I’m glad they’re sticking to it. Like that High School Musical song. Stick to the Status Quo. This crowd is lit as this one officially gets underway. Macho Man hits Meng with a back elbow, and then throws that big son of a gun to the outside of the ring. This right here is another scene. Macho Man in black and white before the nWo, Rubber Ducky Man down and out, and the crowd going bananas. It’s quite awesome, I’m not gonna lie.
Savage sends Meng face first into the cameraman’s feet, who was standing on the ring apron. Then he sends him face first into the ring post. It’s super early into this little mission Hogan and Savage are on, to take out the Dungeon of Doom one by one, but so far so good I’ll say. Meng looks confused and dazed, and if they can take out Meng tonight, that’ll be a big blow to the Dungeon. Savage now with a kick to the chest, and then he sends Meng face first into the ringside barricade not once, but twice. He shoots Meng back into the ring, then proceeds to rake his eyes and choke him out on the ropes. Man, Randy Savage is not only Hogan’s ‘brother,’ but he seems to have adopted his moveset as well. Macho Man now with a suplex, and he seems to be calling for the patented diving elbow drop, however, Taskmaster gets to the top rope to cause a distraction. He immediately pays for it by getting crotched on the buckles by the Macho Man. After Taskmaster sells his crotching like death, Savage heads to the top rope, where he attempts a double ax handle, but gets met on the way down by Meng’s fist. Finally, now Meng getting some offense in as he hits Mach with a SUUUUUUUperkick. Shout out to Tony Chimel for absolutely no reason at all.
Jimmy Hart has now made his way down to the ring to assist Taskmaster in recovering, as Meng goes to the outside after the Macho Man. He sends Macho Man’s ribs into the barricade, then nails him with a nasty chop. Ouch. Savage then gets sent chest first into the ring post. These tables have all been turned, lads. It’s getting real. Meng now sends Savage back into the ring, and then into the corner. Meng tears off Savage’s shirt to hit him with four huge chops and follows that up with a ton of kicks to the ribs. More of the same here from Meng, attacking with chops and chokes. I take back what I said about this Savage/Hogan mission. They’re screwed. Meng is gonna take them both out before they even realize it. Meng now finally with some different offense, delivering a suplex to the Macho Man in the center of the ring. Meng climbs to the top rope and DIVES OFF for seemingly a flying headbutt, however, Savage is able to move out of the way just in the nick of time. Savage whips Meng right into Jimmy Hart who was standing on the apron. He then climbs up to the top rope and connects with the diving elbow drop! One, two, three, this one is over.
Match Rating: 1 star
Immediately after the bell rings, The Super Shark runs down to attack the Macho Man. Lex Luger then runs down and hangs up Macho Man’s arm on the top rope, before swinging that same arm into the ring post. Luger then drops the arm on the barricade outside the ring, before swinging it once again into the ring post. Where the hell is Hogan, Sting, etc. this is ridiculous. The assault on the arm continues as we head into a commercial break. When we return everybody is gone, as Kensuki Sasaki makes his way down to the ring for his match against Chris Benoit.
Kensuki Sasaki vs. Chris Benoit
Holy crapoly, these attacks before the bell ringing are just out of control at this point. Benoit comes down and gets into Sasaki’s face before they start going at it. Benoit with control until he slides under Sasaki’s legs, and gets up into one hell of a clothesline. Kensuki hits a huge brainbuster-like suplex and then kicks on Benoit for a bit. He shoots Benoit off the ropes and lands a beautiful powerslam. Oh my goodness, that really was quite good. If I see more of this guy on these Nitros, he might join the Orton and Goldust list of amazing powerslams. Kensuki attempts a cover, but can only get a one count. He then gets Benoit onto his feet and collides into him with…. I don’t even know what it was supposed to be. Regardless, he runs off the ropes and lays Benoit out with a huge clothesline. Talk about strong style, good lord. This guy is a tank. Benoit tries to fight back with kicks and chops, but Sasaki sends him into the corner to mush his face. Sasaki shoots Benoit off into the opposite corner, then nails him with a Chris Jericho-esque running bulldog. Very nice.
Sasaki hits a suplex for another one count, as Benoit just won’t stay down, despite the fact that he’s getting absolutely destroyed in this match. Sasaki now deciding to lock in a chin lock. Five minutes into a hard-hitting match. Where is the logic? Hashtag rest hold. Kensuki lands a big elbow drop to a downed Benoit and covers for yet another one count. Benoit escapes a tilt-a-whirl slam attempt by Sasaki, and flips out of another suplex attempt into a cover, but only nets himself a one count. Some more back and forth lead to Benoit hitting a double German suplex, and ending it with a full nelson suplex into a one, two, three. This one is done.
Match Rating: 1 and a half stars
What a weird match. That felt more like a shoot fight than a performance. Maybe Chris Benoit REFUSED TO FOLLOW THE SCRIPT. Or not. I’m sorry, I wanted to make a reference to that ridiculousness somehow this week. I just love this company so much.
We get a look at what’s going to go down on WCW Saturday Night this week. Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero, as well as Sting vs. Bunkhouse Buck. Okay. Outcomes Johnny B. Badd for our next match, and it’s a World Television title match too. Johnny apparently has a Frisbee with him for whatever reason, and he threw it into the crowd once he got into the ring. Oh man, it’d be hilarious if someone got hit in the face with that. I am an awful person, I know. Johnny’s opponent is Eddie Guerrero, who gets the jobber entrance treatment tonight. Screw this company. I just hope that that isn’t an indicator of how this match is gonna go tonight. Oh my god as soon as I un-pause the episode, I see Johnny B. Badd pull out yet another Frisbee and throw it into the crowd. Unfortunately, I still didn’t see any faces being hit, even though he threw it away from the hardcam this time. RIPperoni pepperoni.
Johnny B. Badd vs. Eddie Guerrero
Okay, ref, we get it. This is a title match. You don’t have to shove the title through the camera to get that point across. Nonetheless, this one begins with a handshake, and then the bell rings. Gasp! They didn’t attack each other before the bell rang. What kind of alternate universe did I enter? Surely I must be dreaming? They’re not following WCW etiquette! They must be punished for their sins. We get some quick take-downs early on from both men, fast-paced stuff, your typical cruiserweight action. It ends relatively quickly with a stalemate. I noticed it says “Badd Man” on Johnny’s ass. Rikishi’s “Bad Man” theme song from his heel turn was so awesome. That might have been the very best thing about that turn to be honest. Eddie and Johnny back at it here with some back and forth wristlocks and headlocks. Wonderful. We get some leapfrog action until Johnny B. Badd takes Eddie Guerrero down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Johnny covers but only manages a one count. Back on their feet, we get more running the ropes until Eddie Guerrero hits spinning head scissors. That’s right, Johnny. You’re in there with Latino Heat. Get pwned.
Eddie trips up Johnny, and covers for one count. Johnny B. Badd attempts the same, but Eddie leaps over his arm. That doesn’t stop Johnny from hitting a snapmare to get a one count, and we reach a stalemate once again. These guys are so fast. I cannot keep up. These two men lock up and end up in a corner. Eddie shoots Johnny the opposite way, then gets met with a boot to the face. Badd then goes to the apron and hits a huge leg drop back into the ring. Shades of the Jeff Hardy CAW I downloaded in WWE 2K17. Johnny goes for a cover, but can only get a two count. He covers again immediately after and gets another two. He’s starting to act very heelish here. Or maybe I’m just biased because I love Eddie Guerrero so much. Eddie makes a comeback with some strikes as both men get back to their feet. He then climbs the ropes and hits a big hurricanrana to Johnny B. Badd for a two. Levels, my friends. Just like that Nick Jonas song. Eddie sets up King B (new nickname, it’ll probably last two weeks before I drop it) for a superplex from the top rope, however, Johnny is able to drop Eddie off the middle rope with a front slam. Johnny then jumps from the top rope and over Eddie with a sunset flip into a pin predicament, but Eddie is able to counter that into his own pin, which is then reversed into a different pin by Johnny B. Badd, but that doesn’t last long either as Eddie once again counters into a pin, and he gets a two. Well god damn. I’m tellin’ ya, this Network needs a slow-motion option or something.
Latino Heat went for a backslide, however, Johnny B. Badd was able to hang onto the ropes. Eddie came charging at him again, however, this time Johnny sidesteps and sends Eddie crashing to the outside of the ring. Johnny calls for, and manages to hit, a slingshot somersault plancha, as the crowd goes absolutely wild. This has to be a generational gap situation with me. I can’t really get into Johnny B. Badd, even though I know (and can see it here clearly) that he was over like rover when he was active. Just like I’m sure the kids of the future won’t get why we loved Fandango for those three weeks in 2013. Or why we like Tyler Breeze right now. I will say this though, Johnny B. Badd has very nice hair. Seriously, it’s almost up there with Roman Reigns for best hair in wrestling. Back to the action, Johnny sends Eddie back into the ring. He then shoots off from the apron with what appeared to be a twisting splash, but Eddie is able to move out of the way just in time. Eddie then goes for a cover and only gets a two count. Some standing switch action follows that, and we get another pin attempt by Guerrero for another two count. Goodness, gracious. Johnny Boy hits a big uppercut from out of nowhere. Talk about unexpected offense. He goes for a press slam (flashbacks to Sting vs. Flair), however, Eddie is able to get onto his shoulders, and flip down for a pin. Guess what the count was? I swear, dude. Eddie goes for another pin, this time in a cradle, and gets himself another two count.
Johnny B. Badd is now just striking Eddie in the face with punches and slaps. Eric Bischoff is pointing out how uncharacteristic this is for Johnny on commentary. See, I knew I wasn’t going crazy. He is acting like a heel. Johnny waits around for Eddie to recover, and when he does, he goes on the attack on Johnny. A big takedown and some raining punches from Latino Heat. Talk about “heat” hahahaha…. right?…. no? Okay, I’ll stop. These two guys are clawing at each other, rolling around back and forth. It’s pure chaos. Even once they get back to their feet, they’re still going at it, to the point of even knocking down the referee. Finally they’ve broken apart, and they take a minute to catch their breath as the crowd chants “Johnny.” Speaking of which, he locks in a side headlock on Guerrero, who eventually counters out with a suplex. Eddie hits a somersault senton from the apron for yet another, say it with me, TWO COUNT. The PA system in the arena announces that this match has a ten-minute time limit. What the hell? That’s odd. So the story of the match now is that Eddie is running out of time to actually win. Eddie Guerrero goes for a tombstone piledriver, however Johnny counters, and he hits the move instead, which Eddie is able to kick out of at two. Undertaker? BURIED!!11!!!
We get another two count right after the previous one. For god’s sake. Mongo says “there have been more two counts in this match than an identical twin convention.” Who in the HELL let this man speak on air? Not just once, but, we’re going on twelve different times now? Oh my god. Now granted, he’s not particularly wrong, the two counts in this match have been ridiculous, but my goodness is he annoying about it. PA Man announces that there are 60 seconds left of this match. Oh boy. Eddie hits a tornado DDT from the top rope to Big Johnny. He takes a while to recover, but once he does he “shoots the half” and manages to get only a two count on Johnny B. Badd. Both guys get to their feet and hit the double crossbody spot. Now they’re both down again. 15 SECONDS LEFT MY BOYS. EDDIE GET UP. This one ends in a draw. They’re striking each other more, brawling all over the ring. Man, that is highly disappointing. Johnny retains, both men shake hands, and we’re done here.
Match Rating: 3 stars
Another weird match. There were way too many pinfall attempts for my liking, but everything that wasn’t a pin was pretty good, so I can’t be too mad at it. Maybe this is leading to a Johnny B. Badd heel turn? Maybe not, we’ll have to wait and see.
The commentary says that next week Hulk Hogan will be on Monday Nitro. Woohoo. Yay. Not only that, but he wants to face Sting in a match. Hmm… well, that surely won’t end with a screwy finish. Not at all. We now head to Mean Gene who is in the ring with The Giant, Jimmy Hart and Rubber Ducky Man himself, The Taskmaster, Kevin Sullivan. Mean Gene admonishes Jimmy Hart for turning on Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc, and orchestrating this whole ordeal. Jimmy says that what Gene just said was the biggest compliment he’s ever received and that the only thing he’s worried about is what he’s going to do with all 200 of his Hulkamania jackets. It’s a valid concern in my opinion. Rubber Ducky is on the mic next, basically doing his best to promote World War 3, and also putting over The Giant as the odds-on favorite. Yes, because we need to be told that he’s the favorite. It’s not like he’s a giant or anything. And before anyone says anything, this is happening in 1995. It’s not like now when giants are usually among the first eliminated from battle royals. Giant does the speaking thing next, and he promotes himself as the winner and says he will end Hulkamania forever. Yeah, sure buddy, but the highlight here is Kevin Sullivan playing with The Giant’s hands, and then doing his fainting shtick that seems to be a thing now. It’s quite funny, I can’t lie. Granted it’s not as funny as when he dressed up as a grandma, but still.
The state of your company, mate.
Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m watching a pro wrestling show or a Saturday Night Live sketch. Either way, this is fantastic. Kevin Sullivan is quickly winning me over with his over-the-top antics. Isn’t it amazing how when you let someone show some personality beyond being monotonous. promo. #5. on the show, you get some entertaining stuff? Modern WWE take notes. Especially when it comes to Seth Rollins, good lord. That man cannot cut a scripted word-for-word promo to save his life. Anyways, it’s time for our main event of the evening. Out comes Iceman Dean Malenko, to music that sounds like it would be used in the second-to-last stage in a Super Mario game. His opponent tonight is none other than Crazy Man Sting. Good luck Deano.
Dean Malenko vs. Sting
Well, would you look at Stinger over here, acting like he didn’t just attempt to murder Ric Flair on air. He came out high-fiving the fans and all of that babyface crap. Nah, my guy, you’re a monster. Everything is not alright. We get some hold-trading here to start us off. All I can think about is that I want to make that green attire for Sting ’91 in WWE 2K17. Malenko gets Sting into a side headlock, who manages to gets to the ropes and shoot off his captor. Dean tries for a shoulder block, BbUT STING NO SOLD IT. HE’S ALREADY DOING THIS GOD DAMN NO SELLING BS AGAIN. Both men partake in a leapfrogging showcase, until Sting catches Dean Malenko MID LEAP, and drops him down with a press slam. Holy crap, that was extremely impressive. Okay, I’ll take off a mark for the no-selling, just because that sequence leading into the press slam was money. We get a lock-up, which ends in a clean break. Sting hits the ropes and runs off into a dropkick to his shin by Deano Malenko. Ouch. Rest in peace Stinger.
Dean Malenko is now targeting that same leg, with kicks and an elbow drop, as we head off to a commercial break. When we back, we see Sting in a heap on the mat, and good ol’ Dean Malenko standing tall. Dean now locks in atoeholdd as we see what happened during the commercial break, which was Sting attempting a Scorpion Death Lock to no avail. Dean Malenko don’t play like that. Sting briefly makes a comeback with some chops and kicks, but Malenko once again dropkicks that shin, and he’s back in control. What a guy. Dean hits a big splash, and locks in yet another toe-hold-type maneuver. Very slow action here, which is a nice change after the Eddie/Johnny match. Dean eventually breaks his hold and slams Sting’s face into the top turnbuckle. Sting tried to catch Dean in a powerslam, but Dean fought out and nailed Stinger with a German suplex instead. Beautiful. Dean irish whips Sting into the ropes, however Sting holds on, which sends Deano from the air to the mat as he could not connect with whatever he was going for there. Sting then attempts a Stinger Splash, but Dean is able to move out of the way. Dean capitalizes by hitting a top rope dropkick, and then going for the Texas Cloverleaf! Sting however is able to reverse it into a roll-up, which nets him the one, two, three, and the win.
Match Rating: 2 stars
Dean looked surprisingly strong in this match. He lost to a fluke roll-up, and dominated the majority of the match. Color me impressed. Aside from that, this match didn’t really do anything for me. It was a nice cool down like I mentioned.
After the match we get some words from the commentators, putting over how big this upcoming Sting vs. Hogan match is. We then go back to the ring to see Mean Gene who is standing by with The Stinger himself. Let’s see what he’s got to say about Hulk Hogan’s challenge. Sting he says he’s got nothing against Hogan, and that he doesn’t know why Hogan is doing this. He then goes on to call himself a “big dog.” Well, I’m sure Roman Reigns will have something to say about that in twenty years, Stinger. He then says that the list of people who have gotten in his face over the years is pretty long. He concludes by saying that he’s looking forward to this match. Uh-oh. It’s about to get real. We wrap up this episode with Sting once again saying he’s “the big dog.” Oh my goodness.
What a fun show. Fun in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way, mind. Hogan’s Lord of the Rings audition tape being aired to the entire world, Sullivan fake-fainting once again, Sting calling himself “the big dog,” It was all so much fun. Only thing missing quite frankly was Ric Flair, but after what Sting did to him, I understand why he was absent. Next week we’re getting Sting vs. Hogan which should be interesting, provided it doesn’t end with a Dungeon of Doom interference (uh-oh, did I just tell my own future?). I’m not going to get myself too excited for that though. Go in with no expectations, you can’t be disappointed, right?
Until next time, I am JeriKane, and this is the WCW Nitro Saga.