Hello my friends, welcome back to the WCW Nitro Saga. The road to Starrcade continues this week, as we’ll be seeing the Macho Man Randy Savage defend his World Championship against The Giant. Plus action from Ric Flair, Eddie Guerrero and more. On top of all of that, we’ve also got a little something extra special tonight…. a big moment in pro wrestling history. That’s right, it’s all going down in this week’s episode of the WCW Nitro Saga.
Before we begin this week’s episode, I would like to announce that starting with the first Nitro of 1996, I will be including results from the RAW of the same night. I figured it would be a fun bonus thing. Along with that, I’ve also made graphics to compliment switching from match to match during these Nitro reviews. Just a little something to evolve this series as Screen Critics as a whole evolves and gets better. Now without further ado, let’s get into this week’s episode of WCW Monday Nitro.
When?: December 18, 1995
Where?: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center in Augusta, Georgia
Boy, people aren’t lying when they say WCW was a primarily southern promotion. I feel like we never leave the state of Georgia. We start off the show this week as we usually do, with Eric Bischoff promoting the card while looking as stressed as he could possibly be. Easy E gets somewhat flustered and calls The Giant “400 inches” which is quite funny. Giant, of course, will be in the main event tonight against Randy Savage with the world title on the line. Mongo starts going on about “the little guy” until he’s interrupted by…. Alundra Blayze??? Why, yes, yes it is! I think we all know what’s about to happen here. She calls Pepe a “bad dog” which is extremely mean, then says that she is Madusa, always has been and always will be. So from here on, I will refer to her as “Madusa.” She then introduces the WW*blank* Women’s Championship belt, and proceeds to throw it into a trash can, as seen here:
Sorry, Madusa, I had to get a decent screenshot, and you decided to block your own face anyway. She proclaims that THAT is what she thinks of the WW*blank* Women’s Championship belt. She says that she is now officially a part of WCW, and that “this is where the big boys play, well now, this is where the big girls play,” before throwing her mic into the trash can as well. Absolutely hilarious, that last bit. Our amazing announce team sell their shock over what just happened very well, I must say. Bischoff even scoops the title out of the trash to look at it himself, but he puts it back in when he’s done. Get buried, WWF. Your title got thrown in the trash twice in the span of two minutes.
Suddenly William ‘The Fridge” Perry shows up thanks to Mongo, who’s sick of wrestlers storming the announce both. Oh buddy, just waits until next year. Perry snubs Bischoff and shakes the hand of Bobby Heenan, nearly ruining him all the while. I guess The Fridge is supposed to be a bodyguard of sorts for the announce team tonight. Good luck with that. Nonetheless, this show is getting on the road with Ric Flair in action to kick us off. What a wild night it has been already, and (hopefully) it’ll only get better from here.
Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero
My dudes, this is absolutely insane. We’re kicking off a show with Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero. Holy crap. Two of the greatest wrestlers of all time in our opening bout. Not bad at all. Eddie and Flair kick things off with a little stare down, while also looking towards the crowd for… support, I guess. Speaking of the crowd, they’re going absolutely insane, and I have not one clue why. Flair hasn’t even WOOOO’d yet. Why are they so hyped up? Surely Wildcat Willie didn’t cause this? What if these aren’t actually fans at all? What if this is all an illusion…. eh, I don’t know. What I do know is that we’re in for some good action in this match. As we get into it now, Flair teases a tie-up, but then… he pulls his hand back, slicks the hair, struts, and WOOOOO’s for our viewing pleasure. This match is very weird up to this point. Finally, we get a collar-and-elbow, which leads to Flair taking down Guerrero, and many, many counters and reversals until they’re free men once again. Eddie says bring it, Flair WOOOO’s again. Happy times.
We get some more takedown action from Eddie, who is seemingly trying to one-up Flair in the wrasslin’ department. Another collar-and-elbow leads to Ric punching the face of Eddie Guerrero repeatedly. So vicious. He then attempts to whip Eddie off the ropes, but Eddie counters. Flair, however, is able to stop his momentum on the other side of the ring and offers another strut for the viewers around the world. Flair hits us with a WOOOO once again before being dropkicked in the back by Guerrero, which he sold by flopping like a fish to the ground. Amazing. Flair gets up all pissed like but gets taken down with not one, but two different drop toe holds. Eddie then mounts Flair’s back and messes with his hair, only to then slap the Nature Boy in the face when they return to their feet. This match is incredible. Eddie does his own version of the Flair strut to get into Ric’s head, which makes Flair go to the outside for a breather. Ric walks around the entire ring before slowly making his way back into it.
Action resumes inside the ring with teases of a test of strength spot. Flair grabs hold of one of Eddie’s hands, which allows for Naitch to kick Eddie in the gut, and then chop him down. Flair then attempts a back suplex, which Guerrero is able to flip out of. Eddie hits two consecutive dropkicks on Flair before whipping him off the ropes. That proves to be a bad idea though as Flair holds on to the ropes on the opposite side of the ring, which causes for Eddie to miss on his third dropkick. Flair tries for a Figure Four but instead gets met with a small package by Eddie for a two count. Flair attempts a hip toss once back on his feet, but he once again gets taken onto his back for another two count. Flair looks like he’s seen a ghost as he tries to recover and get his wits about him in the corner. Eddie takes this time to once again slick his hair and WOOO, making a mockery of Ric. Ric gets back into it with a knee to the gut of Guerrero, and then some chops. Eddie sends Ric into the opposite corner, but gets met with a boot to the face when he runs over there. Things have now slowed down drastically.
With Eddie Guerrero laid out on the mat, Flair decides to drop a knee on the forehead. Ouch. The Nature Boy gets Eddie into the corner now, where they take part in a chop/punch exchange, with Eddie ultimately getting the upper hand. Latino Heat eventually shoots Ric off and hits a back body drop, then follows that up with a tornado DDT from the second rope. Eddie covers and only gets a two count. He then grabs Ric’s hand and launches himself off the ropes with a springboard hurricanrana. Guerrero once again tries to get the win, to no avail. The high flyer heads to the top rope, however, Flair is able to stumble his way into the ropes, which causes Eddie to land badly on his knee outside the ring. Ric Flair naturally takes advantage of this, stomping Eddie’s leg into the ringside barricade, before chopping him some more and throwing him back into the ring. From there, Flair continues the assault on the bad leg by kicking it, before locking in the Figure Four. Flair plays his dirtiest here, grabbing onto the ropes for extra leverage every chance he gets. Eddie attempts a comeback, but he gets slapped in the face, and eventually, the pain becomes too much. Flair gets the pinfall victory after Eddie passes out in the Figure Four.
Match Rating: 4 stars
That was absolutely insane. What a great match. Literally, everything about it was top notch. That finish made Eddie look like a beast too, you can’t do much better than that. It was Austin/Hart from WrestleMania 13 on a smaller scale. So good. This one goes right up there with Harlem Heat vs. American Males for one of the best matches in Nitro’s (up to this point) history.
Arn Anderson runs down to the ring to celebrate with Ric following the latter’s victory. Mean Gene then joins us (ugh) to interview Flair and Anderson. He tells Ric to stop attacking Eddie or else he’ll cut this interview short. Oh I’m so scared, Mean Gene. Anderson says that the Horsemen are on a roll, as tonight it was Eddie, Saturday it was Johnny B. Badd, and last week it was Paul Orndorff (I can feel another rant in me already). Anderson then takes time out of his promo to address Mr. Wonderful, and say he respects him. Then he says some philosophical stuff that I do not want to write out. Ric Flair gets the mic and begins to speak, but he’s almost immediately interrupted by The Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart. God dammit, you two. I wanted to hear a Flair promo. Sullivan says he respects the Horsemen for being the greatest faction of all time, and Flair for being the greatest champions of all time. Then things get super awkward when Mean Gene has to remind Flair to face towards the hard cam. Holy crap, they actually made him do that mid-promo, and in no way did they try to hide it. Unbelievable.
Taskmaster says that the Horsemen have a loose cannon on their ship (oh really?) and that he doesn’t care about Paul Orndorff. Well, guys, The Undertaker had a good run, but Kevin Sullivan is now my favorite wrestler of all time. Sullivan says that when Pillman insults one member of the Dungeon, he insults them all, so they (the Horsemen) had better keep track of Flyin’ Brian. Flair then proceeds to turn his back to the hard cam and cut his promo on Sullivan, saying the Horsemen are brothers. If you find one, you find em all. It was basically an awesomely worded threat. The Dungeonleavese the ring like children, and the Horsemen finish up by saying that they are reunited, and it feels so good. WOOOOO.
We return to the commentary table to see a distraught Mongo, which makes me very happy. They all run down what has already happened tonight, as well as what is still to come. Happy fun time transition segment. Well…. not quite, actually, as… for some reason, Sgt. Craig Pittman comes up to the commentary desk. Clearly The Fridge is doing a great job as protection. Apparently this man, Pittman, doesn’t know how to hold a microphone up, so Uncle Eric has to do it for him. Pittman asks Bobby Heenan to be his manager and guide him to the world championship. Freaking L.O.L. Get outta here with that, Pitbull. The Brain declines, saying he’s a broadcaster now, but he does offer to help get someone else to manage him. Pittman then says that if he doesn’t get help soon, he won’t be taking any prisoners. What a waste of time that was.
Up next: Lex Luger vs. Buff Bagwell.
Lex Luger vs. Buff Bagwell
Someone in the god damn crowd needs to put their annoying little child down. They’re blocking the view. Anyways, look at how far the mighty have fallen. From a show stealing tag match on Nitro a few weeks ago, to inevitably being Lex Luger’s chew toy tonight. It’s the story of Marcus Bagwell, ladies and gentlemen. Where’s Scotty Riggs at anyway? This doesn’t make any sense. I know, I know. I can’t expect “sense” from WCW, but I’m trying to keep that dream alive. We start off with some technical holds from Luger, until he throws Marcus away with a hip toss, leaving Buff shocked. Hell, I’m shocked too. That’s way more than I expected from Lex Luger in this match. We get some abdomen shots and whatnot from Luger, before Bagwell takes control and starts leapfrogging and monkey flipping. What am I even watching anymore? This is madness. Fast paced dropkicks and arm drags from Buff, which send Luger to the apron of the ring to regroup. Absolutely amazing.
Luger stands up and looks around a bit before being sent off the apron with another dropkick by Buff Bagwell. The Total Package takes a walk outside the ring to collect himself, then goes back in and connects with his generic Lex Luger offense. How lovely. While this boring stuff happens, I just want to point out how Bagwell’s pants are reminding me of the Honky Tonk Man’s gear. It’s just a shame that Buff does not have long sideburns, or his hair slicked back. Scotty Riggs is down at ringside now to support his tag team partner. Luger and Bagwell trade control back and forth, until Buff hits a big back body drop, followed by two huge clotheslines. Buff is definitely feeling the stuff right now. Marcus Bagwell takes down Luger with a running forearm a la Shawn Michaels, then goes for a splash, to no avail as Luger is able to get the knees up. Flexy Lexy shoots off Buff and hits him with a powerslam, and then puts him up in the Torture Rack for the submission victory.
Match Rating: 1 star
Time filler match. More need not be said.
As if being forced to watch Lex Luger wrestle wasn’t enough, we head to Mean Gene who is going to interview Lex and Jimmy Hart up on the ramp. What have we done to deserve this? Is it because we boo Hulk Hogan? Is it because we cheer Ric Flair? I want to know, so I can stop and not be subjected to this any longer. Jimmy Hart says that Lex Luger is the uncrowned heavyweight champion, and then Lex takes the mic and says the same. He then explains to us what “submission” means. Great. Thanks dude. He concludes by saying he’ll become world champion. Yeah, I don’t think so, bud. Not yet anyway.
Up next: Earl Robert Eaton vs. Sting. Oh boy.
Before that nonsense though, we see what will be going down on WCW Saturday Night. Arn Anderson will be taking on Johnny B. Badd, Alex Wright will do battle with VK Wallstreet, and Sgt. Craig Pittman will take on Kobra. Literally the only reason to watch that show would be for Arn Anderson. Goodness gracious.
Robert Eaton comes out first with some little servant person. Honestly if I didn’t know any better, I’d think Robert Eaton and Mr. Perfect were the same person. They look so similar it’s not even funny. Out next is Sting, talking about “waaaaaatch your step” and then he mentions something about Wednesday, not Tuesday. Is this where John Cena got his talking to the camera bit from? ‘Cause gosh darn, Sting sure is doing it a lot here.
Earl Robert Eaton vs. Sting
This one starts with a collar-and-elbow, with Sting taking down Robert Eaton. I then notice a giant group of fans in the crowd heading up the stairs somewhere, which Sting also notices, as he stops to squint and see what’s going on. See, even Sting isn’t interested in this match, and he’s the one wrestling in it! Unreal. Eaton locks Sting in a side headlock, then gets whipped off by the Stinger, who leaps and jumps and takes Sir Earl down. My dude Sting is wearing orange and black. In December. We’re past Halloween and Thanksgiving man. Where’s the green and the red and the white? Christmas colors. Lots of stalling and whatnot in this one. Crowd play. It’s about as generic as it gets in terms of a televised wrestling match. If I’m not mistaken, the crowd is doing the wave right now as well.
Sir Earl Grey targets Sting’s throat by choking him out on the middle rope. He then delivers some uppercuts for good measure. Eaton with a snapmare and a cover, but he only gets a one count. He then transitions into an armbar on The Stinger. Sting fights back with chops to the skull, and a hip toss once he’s broken free. He tries a running maneuver on Eaton, but Sir Grey takes him down with sort of a Rock Bottom to the knee. That looked pretty brutal, not gonna lie. Eaton then goes to the top rope, looking for a flying knee, but he misses as Sting gets out the way. Sting takes control and hits a Stinger Splash, then follows it up with a Scorpion Death Lock for the submission win.
Match Rating: 1 star
Hey look, more time filler. What a surprise. Thank goodness the good stuff is next.
We see Mean Gene again, because WCW hates us. He interviews Sting, and asks about the triangle match at Starrcade. Sting basically says Lex Luger better watch it, and that he’s going to become a 6 time WCW Worlds Heavyweight Champion of the World at the big PPV.
Up next: The Giant vs. Randy Savage in a WCW World Championship Match. Aww yeah. It’s about to go down for real. But first….
Hey kids, with your parents’ permission, don’t forget to pick up your copy of Halloween Havoc 1995 on VHS!
I’d rather watch Lex Luger wrestle Earl Grey Eaton.
The Giant vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
Here we go lads, it’s time for the main event. We get some not-so extravagant entrances, and this one gets underway. Savage is ducking and dodging Big Show early on. That’s gotta be making the big man angry. The Giant, by the way, has his Giant Silva hair look going on, and I am not a fan. It’s quite creepy, in fact, which is good for the gimmick since he’s in the Dungeon of Doom. Savage manages to land some right hands to the face of The Giant, then hops onto his back for a sleeper hold. Very smart strategy thus far by Savage. Big Show struggles for a bit, then eventually flips Savage over and onto his back on the mat. Giant then takes a second to recover, which proves to be a mistake, as Savage hits a running knee, which sends Giant into Jimmy Hart, taking down the Mouth of the South. Macho Man then for some reason attempts to suplex The Giant, and of course that does not even come close to happening. Especially not with Savage’s bad arm. Giant takes control following that with clubbing forearms and right hands.
The Giant picks up Macho Man for a big scoop slam, which he easily delivers. Take that, Savage. He then… does some weird hand motion, which I’m assuming is a sign that it’s time for a chokeslam. When I un-pause the video, I see that that is indeed not the case. Giant locked in a bearhug instead. He swerved the hell out of me there. We head to a commercial break mid-bearhug, and when we get back, we see The Giant slamming Macho Man once again. Unintentionally hilarious, without a doubt. I once again notice the crowd getting very excited very randomly…. and they’re looking towards the titantron. But then they turn around and look up…. I THINK I’VE FIGURED IT OUT. Wildcat Willie is obviously flying around the arena, but purposefully avoiding cameras as to not give away the big secret. Damn. I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on that earlier. Well anyways, Savage spends about a whole sixty seconds digging into the eyes of The Giant, which is awful and should not be tolerated. Macho Man then hits a series of running clotheslines, none of which take The Giant off his feet, and ultimately ends up getting caught in the big man’s arms, getting slammed across the knee with a backbreaker.
Big Show goes for a pin on Randy Savage, but the champ is able to get his foot on the bottom rope, and referee Randy Anderson luckily notices it before The Taskmaster removes it. Giant stays on Savage though, lifting him high into the air for a double handed choke. Macho Man ends up on the outside of the ring after being let down, but The Giant immediately goes out after him and throws him back into the ring with an overhead press over the top rope. Absolutely insane, and awesome. The Giant then… heads to the top rope, and attempts to deliver a flying headbutt, however he misses it as Savage gets out of the way. Savage then gets up to the top rope and delivers a beautiful flying elbow drop with his good arm, but only manages to get a two count, as The Giant powers out of the pin. This is madness. The Giant THEN HITS A DROPKICK to send Savage out of the ring. What on earth. The best part about that is that Eric Bischoff completely no sold it on commentary while Heenan and Mongo were absolutely amazed. Giant heads to the outside of the ring and removes the padding to reveal the concrete arena floor. He then goes for a suplex, however Savage is able to hang onto the ring ropes, sending Giant crashing down hard.
Guess what? That fall onto the concrete had absolutely no effect on The Giant, as he popped right back up to his feet, got into the ring, and laid out the world’s champion with a chokeslam. Show however doesn’t go for a cover afterwards, as he takes his time to taunt the crowd. He hits a big leg drop, but his pin is broken up at two as Hulk Hogan runs down into the ring and nails him with a chair to end this match on a DQ. Hogan then hits some more of the lightest chairshots I’ve ever seen, to both The Giant and Nick Patrick. Welp. This one’s officially over.
Match Rating: 3 stars
It was fun until Hulk Hogan came out. As per usual.
Hogan has seemingly completely lost his mind, unloading on everyone in sight with chairshots. Mongo and The Fridge run down to try and restore order, but they’re only getting in The Hulkster’s way. Hulk covers Savage to protect him as we head into what is likely the final commercial break of the night. When we get back, we see Mean Gene trying to get words from Hogan. Hulk basically complains that everyone else that’s on probation is getting title shots, but he’s not. Aww poor baby Hulk wants a title match. Boohoo. We see The Giant returning from the backstage area, looking to get his hands on Hogan, but he ends up eating a chair to the skull from The Hulkster instead. Once Hogan is done swinging his chair at people’s heads, he returns to the ring to clearly state he wants a title shot. Savage then runs down his list of things he has to do, but ultimately agrees to give Hogan a title match after Starrcade. After that they become best friends again. Yay.
Next week: Randy Savage defends the WCW World Championship against Ric Flair.
Welp… that was certainly an episode of Nitro. The first 20 or so minutes were amazing, then the show fell off a cliff. Not to say the main event wasn’t good, but I could have done without the post match shenanigans. Clearly the highlights were Madusa throwing the WWF Women’s title in the trash, and Eddie’s star making performance against Ric Flair. Those things pull this one up to “decent show” status. Next week is the final Nitro of 1995, and from the first episode of 1996 on, we’ll be implementing all of those changes I talked about at the start of this article.
Until then, I am JeriKane, and this is the WCW Nitro Saga.