Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson in a steel cage match, words from Hulk Hogan, and more on the sixth edition of the WCW Nitro Saga
Hello, folks, it is I, JeriKane, and welcome back to the WCW Nitro Saga. Where everything is made up, and the matches don’t matter. Last week we saw a bunch of different stuff that I honestly can’t remember. My only memory from last week’s show is when Disco Inferno came out and danced for absolutely no reason. That’s still one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen. This week we’ve got Flair vs. Anderson inside a steel cage, as well as some other random matches (Big Bubba Rogers vs. Road Warrior Hawk, for instance). Let’s not waste any more time talking though, let’s jump right into this weeks WCW Nitro Saga!
When?: October 9, 1995
Where?: Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, Illinois
WCW Nitro Saga Episode #6 Start!
I try my hardest guys, I really do, but Mongo does not make enjoying this show very easy. A lot of the time when doing the WCW Nitro Saga, I feel the same way Bobby Heenan looks. In this case, instead of having all five of my fingers up like Brain does, I only have one up. Take a guess as to which one that is. Anyways, these three goofs are wearing football jerseys because reasons. I honestly don’t care. This goes back to that whole Barrett/Ziggler thing when I wrote about their hidden gem match. Sports bore me to tears, but then again, so does everything else, so, take that for whatever it is. Bobby Heenan says Hulk Hogan is in the building tonight (joy), and there’s a restraining order in place (Hogan being a punk I guess).
Either way, The Giant and Kevo Sullo are outside the arena, so you know something is gonna go down tonight. Wow, I can barely contain my excitement. Out of nowhere Sting shows up and does his trademark “woo” thing. He says that tonight he is going to solve the problem between the Macho Man and Lex Luger, all while looking like an old teacher I had in the fourth grade. He was a good teacher. He was also a John Cena fan. Very shocking, I know. We head to the ring for our first match of the night, which is Sting defending the US title against “The Shark.” Fun times.
Match #1: Sting vs. The Shark
You know, sometimes I watch modern WWE and I’ll think “damn, what happened to all the gimmicks?” I mean, I know we’ve got people like say, Bray Wyatt right now, but back in the late 90s, it seemed like everyone had a character, and it was so much fun. Then I watch Nitro and see stuff like “The Shark” and it makes me happy we’ve got wrestlers like I don’t know, every single cruiserweight, just walking around looking like normal people. It is infinitely better than seeing them saddled with a god awful gimmick like this. I mean honestly, what the fuck man? Was Hogan this desperate for people to bury? That WCW would take a talented enough guy like Earthquake and turn him into a god damn shark? Maybe I’m being a hypocrite though because when I watched TNA in the mid-2000s I loved Shark Boy. In my defense, I was likely six years old the first time I saw him, and this was around the time that Shark Boy and Lava Girl came out in the theaters, so maybe that influenced my like for him. It just boggles my mind how wrestling can get away with such stupid stuff on the regular. Or, could, I guess. I don’t see a shark character flying in the mainstream wrestling scene today. In CHIKARA or PWG? Yeah, sure. In WWE? Hell no.
This match started off right away with The Shark in control of things, hammering down on Sting. He even grabbed the US title belt and posed with it, which was a fun little moment. Shark hits a huge running power slam, follows it up with an elbow drop, and follows that up with a leg drop. That reminds me of when I play 2K and just spam moves like that while they’re down after a big reversal. Shark went for a nonchalant cover but only gets a two count. Referee Nick Patrick had to assure Shark that it was indeed only a two, while still looking like something from the 1960s. Shark went for a big splash in the corner, but missed, and ends up getting hit with two Stinger Splashes for his troubles. Sting then connects with a flying crossbody from the top rope for the three count, and the win. Afterwards, Sting does a lap around the ring and then bails as Shark tries to get his hands on him. You see, this is why I kind of have to go on rants, otherwise, these articles will be super short because nothing happens in these matches.
Match Rating: 1 star
We get a replay of last week when Granny Kevin Sullivan attacked Hogan and shaved his mustache. I still can’t get over Mean Gene and his “WHAT IS THIS??? THERE’S A WOOOOMAN” when Sullivan initially threw the powder at Hulk Hogan. God damn, that is some funny shit. I must have replayed that at least thirty times at this point. Y’know, re-watching that segment, all I could think was how Hogan probably got some hair in his mouth during that whole ordeal, and he stayed pretty calm out there. I would have likely had a fit if I were in that spot because hair in the mouth is very annoying. Either way, next up is Sabu vs. a guy in a mask. His look reminds me of Super Calo, but I don’t think it is him. We’ll get to that, however not before we get a look at the famous creepy Halloween Havoc commercial.
I legitimately can’t wait until we’re past October just so I don’t have to see that promo anymore. Hopefully, soon The Zodiac will be gone as well, then I’ll be a happy man. Two more things I want to note here before we continue, during that commercial, the editing team did some shape shifting with pictures of Hogan and The Giant when they turn into monster trucks. It reminds me of the intro to Roseanne. Second, the Hulkster’s influence on WCW is very real, because I was just thinking how only a few years before this, Vader and Sting and Flair were having amazing battles pretty regularly. I thought of that ’cause Vader is in the commercial, getting leg dropped by Hogan.
Match #2: Sabu vs. Mr. J.L.
What the hell. Mr. J.L.? Upon doing some Googling, I see that Mr. J.L. is Jerry Lynn, and now I understand wrestling much better. I also see that he never wrestled as Super Calo. Oh well. Before this match got started the camera man showed a fan in the crowd who looked a lot like Justin Roberts. I really hope it was actually him, ’cause that’d be super cool. Sabu continued the WCW Nitro tradition of everyone being a poor sport and attacked Mr. J.L. as soon as he could. Sabu hit a front flip leg drop from the apron to the inside of the ring, and then followed it up with a springboard Rough Ryder that he nearly missed, which made me laugh. I feel like you’re almost guaranteed at least one botch in every Sabu match. It’s part of his charm at this point. Sabu, of all people, then locks in a rest hold, and suddenly I feel like I am in bizarro world because this does not feel right, at all. This feels dirty. Super Calo breaks free and hits Sabu with a jumping back elbow, and then gets him to the outside, all while the crowd chants “ROMAN SUCKS, ROMAN SUCKS.” I know that’s not what they’re chanting, but it damn sure does sound a lot like it. You never know, maybe it’s a crowd full of time travelers…
Jerry Lynn hits the worst looking suicide dive I’ve ever seen to the outside, and now both men are down. Back in the ring, Sabu hits a “spinning wheel kick” (thanks, Uncle Eric) and that sends Jerry Lynn back to the outside of the ring. In and out, in and out. Sabu points to the sky, then launches himself onto Lynn, and it looked quite ugly. Hey, that’s Sabu for you. Kota Sabushi sends Jerry Lynn into the barricade and then launches himself off a chair onto Lynn. There goes a famous Sabu spot. Mr. J.L. is getting messed up. Or at least, he was, as back in the ring he manages to connect with a German suplex on Sabu for a two count. I legitimately thought he was about to pull off the upset there. Well done, lads. Well done. Mr. Lynn gets some more offense in, until Sabu just straight up Stan Hansen’s him with a clobbering lariat. Brutal stuff. I love it.
Sabu does some more flippy shit and then locks in half of a Camel Clutch. Ultimately though Jerry Lynn would get to the ropes and force a break. Sabu tries for the top rope, but gets stopped by Mr. J.L., and then DDT’d while hanging from up there. That’s gotta be it, right? Nope, wrong. Another two count for your viewing pleasure. Might as well be watching Sesame Street. Jerry Lynn went for the top this time, and he also gets caught. Sabu attempts a hurricanrana to no avail, as J.L. hangs on. Lynn soars, and Lynn falls. Technically, I guess. He got powerbombed, and then put into a Camel Clutch, which leads to our dear friend Sabu getting the win. Dammit. I kind of wanted J.L. to win.
That was a nice, decent little match. It got me invested, so I’d say it did its job.
Match Rating: 2 stars
After the match, Sabu continues his attack, hitting a sunset flip powerbomb to J.L. onto the floor. That’s a weird choice of attack for a post match beating. Why not go with something a little less contrived, like a regular powerbomb. Or a suplex. Or literally anything else. These are the questions I have. Sabu went for the steel steps, but the camera cuts away to the commentary team, so I’m gonna have to assume Mr. J.L. was murdered off screen by Sabu. Rest in peace, my friend. Back to the ring, and Sting is inside of it, along with Mean Gene and Lex Luger. It’s time to settle this issue between Luger and the Macho Man Randy Savage. Or not. I’m going to go with not because that’s how wrestling works. We’ll see. Take it away, Mean Gene.
Gene basically asks Sting what he has to say, Sting says he wants Savage in the ring, and out he comes. Sting has to keep Savage cool otherwise, a brawl would certainly ensue. Sting says The Giant is winning the game. He’s choke-slammed Hogan, Luger, and Savage, which leads to Savage interrupting, to ask why The Giant hasn’t chokeslammed The Stinger. That is a very valid question if you ask me. Sting calls Macho Man “paranoid” and “insecure,” then says he doesn’t know why The Giant hasn’t targeted him. Sting then says the problem is that all three of these men want to be World Champion. Right, but who doesn’t, Sting? I’m pretty sure most wrestlers in kayfabe want to be World Champion. Sting then goes on to say pretty much exactly what I just wrote. You’ve gotta love the power of pausing what you’re watching, to comment on things, that end up getting mentioned seconds after you un-pause.
Sting tells Macho Man to “shut up and listen” and I audibly gasp. Sting then says at Halloween Havoc, if Luger can beat Sting, and Savage can defeat Kamala, then Luger and Savage should go at it (because that has never happened before). Luger says he never agreed to a match at Halloween Havoc, and that he has a match with Meng at that PPV. Sting then does his best to piss off Luger, and he succeeds. Finally, they all accept everything that was proposed. Savage says “we have a date, don’t be late” and that’s it as we head to commercial. That truly was amazing. I love Savage.
We get a look at a car pulling up to the arena, and Eric Bischoff really hypes this guy up. I thought it was gonna be Chris Jericho, but it ended up being Chris Benoit. Close, but no cigar. Benoit then says “WCW…. where the big boys play” and that’s the end of that. Kind of a strange way to introduce someone like Benoit, but whatever. Good wrestling is coming, that’s all that matters here. Right after that, everybody’s favorite Grand Theft Auto protagonist, Disco Inferno, appears and dances.
It’s a shame Disco appears to be not-the-best-guy in real life, because this gimmick is super fun, and I’m into it. It would have been awesome if he had showed up with it once or twice on RAW after WCW folded. Either way, his dancing got stopped as Big Bubba Rogers comes down to the ring for his match with Road Warrior Hawk, although to Disco’s credit, he did learn from last week, and brought out a boombox with him to play his entrance theme. Hawk comes out next and intimidates Disco, but leaves him alone for the most part. Disco then for some reason puts a child’s hat onto Hawk’s shoulder pad and then runs away.
Match #3: Big Bubba Rogers vs. Road Warrior Hawk
New match, same scenario. Big Bubba attacks Hawk before the bell even rings. Bubba hits a big splash in the corner and hammers away on Hawk as this one gets rolling. Hawk prevents himself from going head first into the top turnbuckle and tries to fire back. Boss Man then does that awesome, out-the-ring-around-the-post-and-back-in move that Baron Corbin does nowadays. I love that so much, and yes I know, it’s not really a move. Or is it? Think about it. Nonetheless, Big Bubba gets caught with a huge powerslam by Road Warrior Hawk, and this one’s almost over. I can tell because the red line is almost up to the next dot on the Network video player. Out of nowhere, Disco Inferno appears on the apron, still dancing. Hawk claws at his shirt, tearing it, until Disco gets away, and Hawk goes after him. Hawk throws Disco into the barricade near the ramp a few times, but in the end gets counted out, which means Big Bubba wins this match. God dammit, Disco.
Another nothing match.
Match Rating: 1 star
Uncle Eric says Hogan is next, and I am so excited, I just can’t hide it. Back from the break, and Mean Gene is the ring. He introduces Hogan, who comes out to noticeable boos from the Chicago crowd. Forever smarky, eh? Hogan comes out looking mean as hell, wearing all black (including the neck brace). This is kind of like a precursor to NWO Hulk Hogan. Awesome.
I am seriously marking out right now. He looks like a man you don’t want to fuck with. Even Jimmy Hart is in all black, this is wild. Hogan tells Mean Gene and Jimmy to shut up, and explains that he dressed in all black because “the games are over, dude.” Hulk mentions how he defeated Andre The Giant at WrestleMania 3, and that if The Giant wants to come out now, he’ll do the same to him. Although he did still call The Giant “stinky” this was a much better promo than what we’ve been getting from him lately. Gene says that that’s not going to happen, and then Hogan goes on a rant about a promoter from the New York City area. I wonder who that could be. He says the promoter’s ego became bigger than the business, and now his promotion is choking and dying. Welp, I guess that settles that. I will never find out who the New York City area promoter was. That promotion must have died a slow, painful death. I mean surely it wouldn’t have lived to see even 1996. If only they had gained a new star that year to put them back on the map.
Hogan ends all that nonsense by talking about trees and how he’s gonna plant them. I never really saw Hogan as a guy to help out the community, but hey. You live and you learn. Gene again reiterates how Hogan will not get The Giant, which leads to another rant about putting graffiti on monuments and burning flags. I want to point out how the crowd could not give any less of a fuck while all of this is happening. They’re not even looking at Hogan, it’s quite hilarious. We hear sirens in the distance, and while Hogan is talking about beating up Gorgeous George in heaven (what in the ever loving fuck, Hogan?), we see The Dungeon of Doom show up on a monster truck outside the building. Stylish as hell, my dudes. This is incredible. Police are right behind them, and they get in front of the monster truck to try and stop it, but that’s not going to work, let’s be real. Mean Gene is losing his shit as Hogan says he’s going to go out there to get his hands on The Giant. WHILE HOGAN IS SHOWN WALKING TO THE BACK, WE GET A SHOT OF WILDCAT WILLIE. OH MY GOD HE WAS REAL. Fuck. That’s nightmare fuel right there, my friends.
We get a look at the Halloween Havoc promotion graphics to help hype up the main event of that show, while we begin to lower the cage in the arena for our main event of the night. Local police show up to talk to Easy E at the commentary table. Bischoff says that they said that they’re keeping Hogan and The Giant apart, even outside the arena. Ultra sad face. Ric Flair makes his way down to the ring, and Arn Anderson yet again gets the jobber entrance as he’s already in the ring. That poor, poor bastard.
Match #4: Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson
Here we go, fellas. Our huge cage match main event. Arn Anderson in control very briefly to start, as Flair soon gets at him with the chops, and then he struts around the ring, because he’s the fucking man and he knows it. We get our famous Ric Flair back body drop afterward, and then Anderson sends him face first into the poorly built steel cage. We get more chops, and Eric Bischoff runs down the card for Halloween Havoc, and while doing so called Meng “Ming,” which slightly annoyed me. Back from the break and Anderson hits a big spine buster on Flair. Very nice. We get a replay of what happened during the commercial break, which was Flair chopping Arn while they were both standing on the top rope, which leads to Arn getting crotched. Classic. Flair grates Anderson’s face against the steel cage, while the crowd, I believe, chants “WE WANT BLOOD.” Gosh, darn heathens. Blood thirsty savages, I say.
Arn gains control and then he takes his turn grating Flair’s face against the fence, which Flair completely no-sells to hit a clothesline, and then strut around the ring. He’s basically a modern day Ring of Honor wrestler. Flair hits a big suplex, and then suddenly Flyin’ Brian Pillman appears. Pillman climbed to the top of the cage, but he was met there by Flair, who knocked him off and down to the arena floor. Flair then hits an awesome double axe handle from the top rope down onto Arn Anderson. That was very unexpected. Maybe Flair and the top rope can be friends after all. Flair then attempts a Figure Four but gets raked in the eyes by Arn Anderson. Double A goes for the cover and GETS THE WIN. WHAT??
Bischoff is saying Arn Anderson had a foreign object, which makes sense because there’s no way Flair loses to a simple eye rake like that. Mongo goes on to say the same thing on commentary, and I, for once, agree and am on his side with this one. We get a replay and it shows that Anderson had what appeared to be brass knucks. That’s one clever bastard.
Match Rating: 2 stars
After the match, Flair appears at the announcer’s desk and completely destroys Eric Bischoff’s headset to say that he’ll take on both Brian Pillman and Arn Anderson, even if he can’t find a partner. Flair is truly an insane person. After he leaves, the commentators go on about Hogan and “the dark side” or something. I don’t know. This show is essentially done at this point. We get a look at next week’s matches, and the biggest one is gonna be Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit. Holy shit.
This was a good show. It went by in a breeze, and I genuinely enjoyed everything that was presented. Sabu’s match was really good, and the Hogan segment was really entertaining, even if it was for the wrong reasons. This show is consistently getting better and better, and that’s great. Next week should be good as we continue to build to Halloween Havoc. I just hope Benoit/Guererro get enough time to have a decent match.
Until next time, I am JeriKane, and this is the WCW Nitro Saga.