Ric Flair vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman and Fall Brawl fallout in the third edition of The WCW Nitro Saga
Hello everybody and welcome back to The WCW Nitro Saga, now officially live, right here, on Screen Critics *thumbs up*. Now before we get into this I just want to mention that this is the first episode after Fall Brawl which had that Hogan’s team vs. Dungeon of Doom clusterfuck. Just know, I didn’t watch that PPV, nor will I, so mark me down for that if you want to. I’ve been trying (and failing) to watch People of Earth lately instead. I also have admittedly been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory lately, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. I used to have so much trouble actually sitting down and watching TV for any period of time past 5 minutes, but now for some reason, it’s getting easier.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older so I’m relaxing more? I don’t know, but regardless, it’s time for some more WCW Nitro. Promoted for this week was Paul Orndorff vs. Johnny B. Badd in a match that I am absolutely dreading, and hopefully we’ll get some other decent shit. Probably not. Come on JeriKane, keep your spirits high.
Let’s dive into the third episode of WCW Nitro.
When?: September 18, 1995
Where?: The Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tennessee
Episode #3 start!
We have a fucking lovely start to this week’s episode, seeing Mongo’s face on commentary. Luckily he brought “Pepe” the dog with him again, so. That’s nice. Eric Bischoff welcomes us to the show, and I notice how he and Vince McMahon have almost completely different voices when they’re commentating compared to when they’re talking on the mic for a promo. I’m sure it’s because they’re mostly yelling for commentary, not to mention the fact that they were younger when they did commentary. At the same time though, Bobby Heenan sounded the same on both promos and commentary, so maybe those aren’t factors. Hashtag mysteries, aye? Eric says a whole bunch of nothing, mentions they’re gonna talk about Fall Brawl, and then suddenly we hear sirens going off. Apparently there’s an emergency backstage, and we’re going to cut to Mean Gene for coverage.
Gene says that this is how we left Fall Brawl last night (hmm… maybe I should watch that PPV), and out come Kevin Sullivan and The Giant (!!!!!) from the ambulance. Holy shit, our first appearance from Big Show here on WCW Nitro, and I must say he’s looking super scary. Meanwhile Kevin Sullivan over here is looking like just woke up from a nap.
Holy crap Big Show is cutting this promo in a weird, quiet voice and it’s genuinely terrifying. The Giant says he’s been thinking about what it’d feel like for Hulk Hogan to be in the back of the ambulance, and then says that he is the true immortal one, not Hogan. Mean Gene mentions The Giant’s dad, who of course was Andre The Giant. I totally bought into that kayfabe when I was a kid. I didn’t find out until I was like, ten, that it wasn’t true. I won’t lie, I was kind of devastated. It was too perfect to not be true, I thought. Kind of funny we’re talking about kayfabe dads right now considering what happened on RAW this past Monday. ANYWAY, I digress. We get sent back to Bischoff, and he says it’s time for some action.
Match #1: The American Males vs. Harlem Heat
Well this right here is already quite eventful. The American Males make their entrance first, and they just look terrible. They remind me of… was it The Dicks? One of those tag teams that got called up in the mid 2000s that didn’t really succeed on the main roster. Now obviously Buff Bagwell would go on to have success, but still, this is terrible. Apparently they were set to face The Blue Bloods, but before Bobby Eaton could get to the ring he was assaulted by Harlem Heat, who are our WCW Tag Team Champions. Commentary mentions that they won the titles last night, which adds another layer to my conflict of whether or not I want to watch Fall Brawl. Booker T cuts a promo and says they’ll defend the titles tonight against The Dicks, which is cool. What’s really cool about this whole thing, is that we’re getting our first Booker T appearance here on Nitro. I’m a pretty big fan of Book, so I’m excited to see him evolve over the time of WCW Nitro’s existence.
This match begins not with a bell ringing, no no, but with THE single loudest shriek I have ever heard from a human being ever. What the fuck, crowd. Not even Roman Reigns gets reactions like that these days. As things really get under way, Eric Bischoff mentions that the WCW commissioner is none other than Nick Bockwinkel, and my mind is blown. I had no idea he was ever even in WCW, let alone that he was an on-air authority figure. That’s pretty fucking awesome, I’ve gotta say. I’m a big fan of his match with Curt Hennig from the AWA DVD (I believe it is, either that or Mr. Perfect’s DVD). Curt Hennig in the AWA overall was just, well, perfect. Every match he had was good. Back to the tag team match, as I got sidetracked there, it’s been all Harlem Heat so far. Nice powerslam and leg drop by Booker, but not much else notable up to this point.
Every camera that’s not the hard-cam has fucking awful quality, I don’t know what’s up with that, but it’s bothering me. Booker T now with a heel kick, cover, and only a two count. Finally Scotty Riggs gets the tag to Buff Bagwell, and Buff is cleaning house. Down comes “the colonel” Tennessee Lee, who takes Sherri (who was with Harlem Heat) into his arms and disappears. This leads to a distraction, and a pin by Bagwell! We have new WCW Tag Team Champions! Holy shit.
That was honestly amazing. There was a lot of hype around this whole thing, from the entrances to the declaration of this match becoming a title match, all the way to the finish. It was quality television, and really the first match I’ve truly enjoyed in my Nitro quest so far. Hoping there will be more like that as we continue on tonight.
Match Rating: 3 stars
Next is Paul Orndorff vs. Johnny B. Badd, but not before we get a Slim Jim advertisement from the Macho Man, where he tried to hypnotize us, so we could “snap” out of it. I get it. Mean Gene is in the ring and welcomes out Ric Flair, probably for another random ass segment with Lex Luger, ’cause that’s what WCW and Ric Flair are all about. Randomness. Gene says Flair will face Brian Pillman tonight and suddenly I am excited and happy again. Not for nothing, but Flair is wearing his robe from WWE 2K17.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Ric Flair? ‘Cause I really love Ric Flair. This guy is fuckin’ batshit crazy and it’s the most entertaining thing in the world. He was cutting a regular promo on Pillman and Arn Anderson, and then he just suddenly stops and does his strut. It’s hilarious. Why did WCW ever try to bury or otherwise get rid of Flair? This has been the most entertaining thing on the show so far, and we just had a pretty decent tag team match. It blows my mind. He concluded by saying that he was gonna find Arn Anderson and kick his ass, before strutting around some more. A++ segment, god damn. I’ve never been so entertained. Now obviously that’s an exaggeration, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t highly enjoy it.
We now get a promo for WCW Saturday Night, where we’ll see Sting taking on Lord Steven Regal, who was MIA tonight, which I’m assuming is because Harlem Heat attacked him backstage. WCW Saturday Night was on at 6:05PM. That’s such an odd time. It’s dinner time, and I’m not a fan of eating food while watching wrestling (even though I know a lot of people are). Which is funny considering me and my parents used to do it all the time whenever HEAT was on back in the day. I still remember that Triple H vs. Maven World Heavyweight Championship match that was on HEAT. Why do I remember that? Not only because of family traditions, but also because I was a huge fucking Maven fan. He had that sweet dropkick and that GOAT theme song. Don’t judge me, you know deep down inside you loved Maven as well.
We go right back to the ring, which means it is time for the greatest match any of us will ever see on Nitro!
Match #2: Paul Orndorff vs. Johnny B. Badd
I have so many questions, main one being, why the fuck is this match happening??? I really don’t understand why this needed to be a thing. Not only that, but why is Mr. Wonderful still wrestling in 1995? Just think if WCW wanted to, they could do Hogan vs. Orndorff next week on Nitro in a god damn blast from the past match. Now that I’ve said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually happened. Maybe not next week, but eventually. It seems like something WCW just couldn’t help themselves on. Pauly O does his entrance all Tyler Breeze-like, while looking like everyone’s granddad, which just makes it all the more hilarious. Here comes Johnny B. Badd, who gets a ton of pyro. Rest in peace pyro in modern WWE. Johnny Boy is wearing a cape that says “When you’re hot, you’re hot” which is accurate. This match is now officially getting under way.
Mr. Wonderful is aggressive early on, choking out Marc Mero, but Mero quickly gains control as we head to commercial. Fuckin’ great. We’re back and suddenly every camera has lost some of its saturation. Bischoff mentions DDP winning the television title at Fall Brawl. I can’t wait to see DDP for the first time on one of these next few Nitros. Badd Boy hits a giant double axehandle from the top rope, and Mr. Wonderful sold it like death, which was awesome, and absolutely the height of this match. Mr. Wonderful counters a sunset flip with a pin of his own to get the 3 count, and thankfully this one’s over. Even though Johnny B. Badd’s shoulders were in fucking outer space, I really don’t give a shit. The pin was counted, and it’s over. I no longer have to dread watching this match.
Mongo says he wants to sit on Bobby Heenan’s head, and now I’m mad again. It was going so well, I barely noticed him all night. I barely noticed the commentary at all, but of course someone had to ruin it for me, and of course that someone was Mongo.
Match Rating: 1 star
We see some footage of WCW at a Baywatch shoot or something, I honestly wasn’t paying attention, BUT, we do see Kevin Sullivan show up and shove some poor bastard over, and then choke out the Macho Man with a barbell, which made me legitimately laugh out loud.
I just absolutely love random shit like this. It’s too fuckin’ funny. It’s the whole thing where Kevin Sullivan is supposed to be this evil cult leader, and it’s all supposed to be serious, but then they have him show up at the beach and knock people over in cartoon fashion. It’s the best thing ever. The assault continues as Sully throws sand in Macho Man’s eyes. Finally Ric Flair and some others come in and break it up. Flair I should mention was in his wrestling gear. On the beach. Am I wrong for enjoying this? This is everything I want out of wrestling.
Mean Gene brings out the Macho Man for a promo, where he says “thanks but no thanks” to Ric Flair for saving him I guess. Savage says he will destroy The Taskmaster, and I have no doubt that he can, and will. He goes on to say nobody is stronger than Hulk Hogan, which is in reference to his recovery after what happened at Fall Brawl last night. He then calls him a bad judge of character over the Lex Luger situation and I once again burst out laughing. Macho Man is getting on Luger’s case, and then predicts that he, Sting and Jimmy Hart will join the Dungeon of Doom. Luger runs down to confront Macho, and says he has an agenda. Macho says he has a good point, and that he will be the World Champion soon.
We get a replay of some Fall Brawl events next, where The Giant destroyed Hulk Hogan’s motorcycle. That’s shitty, Giant. How dare you. I’m surprised WCW is giving away PPV footage right away like this. WWE almost never does this. We finish that up and cut to Flyin’ Brian Pillman making his entrance for his match against Ric Flair. It’s our main event of Nitro, and it’s next.
Match #3: Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Ric Flair
This match has a very quick start, with a ton of chops and punches. Things go outside the ring fast, and you’d think these two were Rock and Austin the way they’re going at it. Back in the ring with more chops. We’re slowly seeing Pillman’s transformation now into the crazy son of a bitch he’d become, and it’s pretty awesome. Okay this has gotta be another troll match, it’s almost exclusively chops up to this point. They eventually do the famous Flair crossbody reversal spot, and it leads to a failed top rope splash by Pillman. More chops, then a Figure Four, and Pillman has to tap out.
Match Rating: 1 and a ½ stars
Flair is challenging Arn Anderson now to come out to the ring. Flair says to read the sign, but all I know is I saw a sign earlier that said “WE WANT RAW” so I guess Flair is a WWF supporter. We end with Flair once again saying he’s going to kick Arn Anderson’s ass, and we go to the commentators. Next week is Macho Man vs. The Taskmaster, and Alex Wright vs. Disco Inferno, and that’s it as we sign off for this week’s episode.
This Nitro was way better than last week’s, and way better than the debut episode as well. We got some nice matches with the tag title match, and Flair vs. Pillman, tons of awesome storyline progression in the segments in between. There was really nothing wrong with this episode. Even the match I was dreading with Mr. Wonderful and Mero wasn’t all that bad. Dare I say, I’m looking forward to next week’s Nitro show.
With that, I want to say thank you for reading, and if you have any criticisms, comments, suggestions, etc. leave a comment and let me know, because I want to improve and get better, and the only way to do that is by knowing what you guys do and do not like. Until next time, I am JeriKane, and I still hate Mongo.