Venue: Knight Center (Miami, FL)
Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, & Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael
This week on Monday Nitro the WCW World Heavyweight Championship is on the line as Hulk Hogan takes on the returning Lex Luger for the first time. Also on the show VK Wallstreet makes his return to WCW, Randy Savage faces off with Scott Norton, and ‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright tries to figure out how to face Sabu while WCW tries to figure out how to market Sabu given the current state of their product.
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan
- WCW United States Champion: Sting
- WCW World Television Champion: The Renegade
- WCW World Tag Team Champions: Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater
- Alex Wright vs. Sabu (**1/2)
- Sting [c] vs. V.K. Wallstreet for the WCW UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP (**)
- Randy Savage vs. Scott Norton (**1/4)
- Hulk Hogan [c] vs. Lex Luger for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)
Eric Bischoff welcomes the home audience as the crowd gets a pyrotechnic display. This is our first look at the classic Nitro set, as they’ve ditched the Mall of America for an actual arena. Steve McMichael says Monday Nitro is the hottest thing to hit TV since the ‘Where’s the Beef’ lady. That’s high praise. Cut to footage of Hulk Hogan accepting Lex Luger’s challenge at the end of last week’s show. Hogan may have set a record with the amount of times he said ‘BROTHER!’ during that segment.
Back live Bischoff announces that Vader will not be apart of Fall Brawl this Sunday, so as of now Hulk Hogan’s team is down a man heading into War Games. Vader was fired from the company after a backstage brawl with Paul Orndorff and is a few months away from heading to the WWF and losing almost ALL of his monster credibility.
‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright vs. Sabu
This is Sabu’s WCW debut and since I didn’t get ECW locally at the time, I remember this being the first time I ever got to see Sabu actually wrestle live after years of reading about him in the Apter Mags. To say I was hyped up would be an understatement but that was then and this is now, let’s see how it goes over. Wright isn’t a bad choice for his first opponent, and he’s got his theme in full force here instead of a WWE Network dub! I’ll get to the match after I do the Das Wunderkind dance; don’t lie, you used to do the same.
Sabu goes after Wright immediately, seating him and hitting a springboard leg lariat, then takes himself and Wright to the floor with a hurricanrana. Sabu with a baseball slide followed by a slingshot senton, hurting himself as much as his opponent. Sabu sets up a chair and goes for an Air Sabu but Wright moves and hits nothing but guardrail. Wright peppers Sabu with European uppercuts and a standing dropkick. Wright rolls Sabu in and connects with a missile dropkick, Sabu rolling out to the floor once again. Wright connects with a baseball slide of his own and catches Sabu with a plancha. Wright climbs the apron and Sabu hits him repeatedly in the kidneys. He goes to the top, Wright follows him up and connects with a top-rope superplex. Sabu hits another springboard leg lariat, Wright responds with a bridging German suplex for two. Wright to the top, Sabu crotches him and hits a top-rope victory roll for the 1…2…3!
After the bell rings Sabu continues attacking Wright and grabs a table from the entrance stage (that’s suuuper close to the ring, must be a small arena). He seats Wright on it and puts him through the wood with a clothesline. Referee Nick Patrick reverses the decision and awards the win to Wright.
Alex Wright defeated Sabu via DQ (3:57)
- A short match but both men came to play here and made the most of their time. Sabu got to show off some of his dodgy aerial moves and even got to bring his table gimmick from ECW in the post-match attack. It caused him to lose the match, which is lame but I get it, and put over that Sabu doesn’t care about winning he just cares about maiming. Good stuff here, I just wish it had gone a little longer. (**1/2)
‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund introduces his guest for the segment, ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. He’s merely an ELEVEN-time World Champion at this point, apparently. Flair mocks Arn Anderson for hanging out in his hotel room calling his wife instead of out partying with him. WHAT A NERD, RIGHT?!? Flair goes on to hype his match against Anderson at Fall Brawl until he’s interrupted by a very oiled-up Lex Luger. Flair is happy to see him, Luger calls him ‘too much’ AND LEAVES? Okay then. I get what they were getting across, Luger may be good or bad or whatever, but that felt real awkward and out of place, plus it took away from Flair’s attempt to hype his match at Fall Brawl.
WCW United States Championship
Sting [c] vs. V.K. Wallstreet
Wallstreet has gone from ‘Michael Wallstreet’ to ‘V.K. Wallstreet’ in the span of a week apparently, a not so subtle dig at the owner of the World Wrestling Federation. Pro wrestling is petty. Tom Petty. I believe this is in-ring redebut, but I haven’t watched the weekend shows or anything, so I could be wrong. During Sting’s entrance Bischoff gives away the results of this week’s Monday Night Raw for the first time, saying Shawn Michaels wins his match. TOM FRIGGIN’ PETTY, I LOVE IT.
In case you don’t understand that Wallstreet is a rich guy gimmick he’s got giant dollar signs on the side of his singlet. Thanks for clarifying. Sting grabs a side headlock to start, Wallstreet tries a hip toss but Sting counters with one of his own followed by a pair of dropkicks. Sting whips Wallstreet into the corner, forcing him to bail out to the ring to slow things down and get his bearings. Bischoff talks about Lex Luger leaving the WWF just eight days ago and McMichael says Luger literally came out of the bush leagues. These kittens have claws tonight. Sting charges at Wallstreet, Wallstreet tosses him out to the floor. Sting hits a springboard clothesline to Wallstreet on his way back in but falls victim to a back elbow so he doesn’t follow up. Wallstreet goes for the Stock Market Crash (Samoan drop) but Sting counters with a sunset flip for two. Sting with count-a-long buckle shots into a clothesline and Stinger Splash. Sting to the top with a flying crossbody for the 1…2…3!
Sting [c] defeated V.K. Wallstreet via pinfall with a flying crossbody to retain the WCW UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP (4:13)
- Wallstreet makes his debut by losing in short order to the United States Champion. That’s pretty funny. Match was okay but the two seemed to have some miscommunication, leading to some jank here and there. Luckily the commentary going full HAM on the WWF was entertaining enough to overlook it. It comes off lame watching this over 20 years later but at the time Bischoff giving away results from the competition was serious business and a real slap in the face. (**)
After a commercial break Bischoff hypes up this weekend’s Saturday Night show, which features the debut of Disco Inferno (YAY!!!!!) plus a whole lot of matches that mostly sound unwatchable (Renegade vs. Max Muscle? Dave Sullivan vs. Big Bubba? NO THANK YOU SIR).
‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. Scott ‘Flash’ Norton
This match was signed after Norton interrupted the show and hassled the commentary team before Savage made the save. Interesting mini-feud we got going here, definitely not one I would have expected to exist. Norton had a brief run in WCW back in 1993 but bolted for Japan in short order so this is like his re-do.
Norton attacks Savage before the latter can even get his entrance gear off. Norton threatens McMichael, setting up a match that never happens. Norton manhandles Savage, countering a sunset flip with a choke throw. Savage ducks a clothesline and sends Norton out to the floor with one of his own, following up with a double axhandle from the top turnbuckle. Back inside Savage turns Norton inside out with another clothesline then attempts a crossbody but Norton catches him on the way down for a quick bearhug that’s more an intimidation tactic than an attempt to finish the match. Norton almost puts Savage through the mat with a power bomb but Savage manages to kick out of the pinfall attempt. Norton hits a pair of backbreakers then tosses Savage to the mat like a sack of garbage with a military press. Norton connects with a powerslam off the Irish whip for the 1…2…Savage manages to kick out once more. Norton sends Savage out to the floor, Bischoff trying like hell to put Norton over and play up Savage possibly being injured. Norton goozles Savage to the apron and hits a HANGING DDT IN A SUPLEX POSITION. A light just went off in Randy Orton’s head. Norton heads to the top and launches at Savage, Savage uses the momentum and sends him crashing head-first into the canvas. Savage mounts his comeback with jabs and knees. The Shark and Kamala show up to interfere, Savage sends Norton into Shark, who lands on top of Norton’s legs and pins him down for Savage to hit the Flying Elbowdrop for the 1…2…3!
Randy Savage defeated Scott Norton via pinfall with the Flying Elbowdrop (5:37)
- I enjoyed this one. Norton looked like a total monster here, credit to Savage for making his offense look tremendous. The ending was real goofy though and was a weak way to keep Norton looking strong in defeat. The Dungeon of Doom looking like a bunch of goofs was pretty on brand though so I guess it makes sense overall? (**1/4)
The Taskmaster, Meng, and Zodiac of The Dungeon of Doom try to attack Savage, but Savage bails from the ring instead. Norton and Shark get into a shoving match, the former mad that the latter cost him the match. The Dungeon of Doom bail, Norton angrily staring them down. Ooo are we gonna get a hoss fight between Shark and Norton soon? I can get behind that.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Hulk Hogan [c] [w/ Jimmy Hart] vs. ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger
This is the first-ever meeting with between Hogan and Luger, and the first example of WCW willing to give up potential PPV money by airing this live on Monday Nitro instead. This tactic was part of what made WCW a success…and eventually contributed to their downfall. Let’s enjoy it while it’s the former though, deal?
Hogan backs Luger in the corner but the ref prevents Luger from getting in a cheap shot. Hogan with a side headlock into the hammerlock into a drop toehold into front facelock. THE HOGAN TECHNICAL SPECIAL. Hogan with a suplex, Luger immediately pops up and grabs a side headlock. Hogan whips him off and tries a backdrop but Luger counters with a suplex. Hogan pops up immediately as well, mocking Luger with a posedown of his own. Evenly-matched muscle dudes trying to one-up each other. Luger bails from the ring to avoid a right hand, Hogan rolls him back in and connects with a back bodydrop, Bischoff mocking Luger for having spent years facing mediocre competition in the WWF. Luger regains control and gets Hogan in the TORTURE RACK. Hogan almost passes out but Luger thinks he has it won and drops the champ. Luger argues with the ref then covers Hogan for the 1…2…Hogan kicks out and HULKS UP. Hogan hits the big boot and the Big Legdrop for the 1…in come The Dungeon of Doom to attack Hogan. I assume he wins via DQ?
Hulk Hogan [c] defeated Lex Luger via DQ to retain the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (5:27)
- The match did a good job making Hogan and Luger look like equals and The Dungeon of Doom interfering saved Luger from falling to the same boot/legdrop thing that everyone else always goes down to, keeping him strong. For a first-time meeting these two worked pretty well together, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it would end in a schmozz. Give us a taste but not the whole meal, I see what you’re doing WCW. I SEE YOU. (**1/2)
The Dungeon of Doom continue their assault on Hogan. Randy Savage and Sting, Hogan’s teammates for War Games this Sunday, run in and help clear the ring. Sting and Savage have the same taste in neon green, good to know. They clear the ring of the Dungeon of Doom super easily, because the Dungeon of Doom are a bunch of jokes, then Luger recovers and gets into a shoving match with Hogan.
After a commercial break ‘Mean’ Gene is in the ring to get some words from Hogan. Hogan talks about Vader going AWOL before Fall Brawl then asks where Luger which side he’s on since The Dungeon didn’t attack him. Savage also wants to know but Sting, Luger’s best friend of many years, plays peacekeeper and says Luger should join their team for War Games. Savage doesn’t agree, saying he’d rather be one man down than have a man who will stab them in the back. Sting wants to win War Games though and Luger has his vote to join the team. Savage asks why The Dungeon of Doom didn’t attack Sting OR Jimmy Hart. Hart pleads his innocence. Finally Hogan chimes in and since he has the final vote. After some deliberation from Sting and Savage, Hogan asks Luger to be their partner at War Games. Luger agrees to join Hogan’s team on the condition that he gets a rematch for the World Title.
The arguing continues as we cut to the announce table. Heenan says no one can be trusted, McMichael’s dog is dressed in a sombrero. Bischoff hypes next week’s show which will feature Johnny B. Badd vs. Paul Orndorff plus The American Males in action. As Bischoff signs off Heenan quickly says that Hogan’s team is fighting once again, driving home the point that in-fighting might ruin their chances to win War Games.
Final Thoughts: Solid show this week from an in-ring perspective, with a good debut from Sabu and a short but good main event. Storyline-wise this was decent as well as they covered up Vader’s firing by putting Lex Luger on the War Games team, despite his allegiance not being all that official quite yet creating some intrigue heading into Fall Brawl. Worth watching all the way through.
- Best Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Lex Luger
- Worst Match: Sting vs. V.K. Wallstreet
- Best Moment: Hulk Hogan does the one string of technical wrestling he knows
- Worst Moment: Scott Norton loses a match because The Shark fell on his legs. What a goofy finish.