WCW Monday Nitro
Live from Dayton, OH
Airdate: October 30, 1995
Attendance: 3,500 (2,500 paid)
Hosted by Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Steve “Mongo” McMichael
Apparently “Macho Man” Randy Savage is injured so Eddie Guerrero replaces him in the opening contest. No arguments here. Truth be told, Savage is working with a triceps tear so a night off for him at this point isn’t such a bad idea.
Match 1: Sergeant Craig “Pit Bull” Pittman versus Eddie Guerrero
Summary: Pittman’s power versus Guerrero’s swiftness made this a pretty good TV match.
Back on September 11 Shark got involved in a match between Savage and Scott Norton. Afterwards Norton took exception to it. Last week they had a pull-apart brawl in the locker room.
Match 2: Scott Norton versus the Shark
Summary: The flying shoulder block and body slam by Norton were the only highlights of this big man match.
After the match each man gets rammed into the second W of the WCW steel sign by the entrance. OUCH!
In the meantime Onoo passes Heenan a big envelope. Heenan appears to be very happy.
In the ring Tony Schiavone (He works Mondays?) recaps the match between Anderson/Pillman and Sting/Flair. He then interviews the Horsemen. Arn promises there will be a fourth Horseman soon as Flair challenges Sting next week.
On WCW Saturday Night, Chris Benoit will face (and injure) Alex Wright (aired 11/4, taped 10/11). Also, Flair and Arn will face the Renegade and Cobra. Newly-crowned World tag team champions Harlem Heat will defend against the Blue Bloods.
Match 3: Disco Inferno versus Sabu
Summary: Standard WCW Saturday Night fare here. Notwithstanding this would be Sabu’s swan song in WCW. I’ve read conflicting reports about his departure. One theory was his per-appearance deal not being worth as much as his reappearance in ECW while the other theory being the Turner brass’ taking exception to the Sheik’s fireball at Halloween Havoc. Either way Sabu was an ECW fixture who carved a good niche for himself there.
After the match Sabu tossed Disco outside the ring then hit a plancha. Next he brings a table to ringside and tosses it at Disco. After setting the table up, he places Disco atop it then hits an awkward springboard back/leg drop. Luckily for Disco he moves; however, the table doesn’t break which probably hurts Sabu. OUCH! Out of frustration Sabu tosses the table and the ring steps down the aisle.
Match 4: The American Males versus “The Total Package” Lex Luger and Meng (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Summary: Elongated squash to put over the new heels. The former tag champs get shunted down the tag team rankings after losing the belts last Saturday.
Mongo does some trick-or-treating for Pepe. While Eric gives him a Snickers (WCW sponsor) Heenan doesn’t offer his champagne and was forced to eat some silly string as Mongo’s trick.
Highlights from the PPV last night include the ending to the World title match. While I understand the purpose of ratings, showing the end of your PPV telecast on free TV costs money since some people might buy the replay. Free replay = no future buys. C’mon, WCW, that’s economics 101.
Back in the ring Tony interviews members of the Dungeon of Doom. The Giant is wearing the World title belt while Hart and Luger cement their heel turns. The Giant states that he’ll defend the title next week on Nitro.
Conclusion: Even though they did a decent job of describing the fallout from Halloween Havoc this was a very lackluster episode wrestling-wise. The promise of “interactive content” next week offered hope for the show’s improvement in quality. I wonder how it performed against RAW.
TV Rating: 2.50
WWF Monday Night RAW
Taped from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Airdate: October 30, 1995 (taped 10/23)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Todd Pettengill performs his best (but not great) Dracula impression detailing the upcoming Intercontinental title match between Ramon and Owen as well as the broadcast TV debut of Goldust.
With Vince dressed like a prisoner and Lawler dressed like a surgeon, they open this Halloween edition of RAW. Much to Vince’s dismay Lawler makes an inferred steroid trial joke.
Match 1: Goldust versus Savio Vega
Summary: Nice bit of psychology to earn the victory; however, this match lacked excitement. More character refinement for Goldust may be needed.
Survivor Series Slam Jam with Dok Hendrix: the WWF title match between Diesel and Bret Hart will be no countout, no DQ, and no time limit!
Back in the locker room the 1-2-3 Kid tries to calm down Ramon.
Barry Horowitz and Hakushi settle their differences with Milton-Bradley’s Karate Fighters. Horowitz wins!
Match 2: Marty Jannetty versus Joe Dorgan
Summary: On commentary it was mentioned that Jannetty will face “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith next week; therefore, this was a tune-up match for Jannetty.
Next week Bret will team with Hakushi against Isaac Yankem and Lawler.
In the ring Vince interviews Smith with Jim Cornette while legal advisor Clarence Mason joins them. Cornette claims shenanigans with the winner of the IYH main event facing Bret at Survivor Series. In an effort to obtain justice while noting a technicality Mason demands a match between Smith and Hart. Next Cornette describes the wild card match.
As Smith cuts a promo on Jannetty the latter sprints to the ring and delivers a dropkick to Smith’s back. Cornette whiffs on a racket shot then eats a right hand and a flying back elbow from Jannetty. Following that Jannetty intimidates Mason who mimics George Washington Duke from Rocky V.
Prior to the match highlights of the tag title match from IYH are shown. The less said about it the better.
Match 3: The Smoking Gunns versus Phil Otis Apollo and Joe Rashner
Summary: SQUASH city for the tag champs.
Bret cuts a pre-taped promo on Diesel.
Promotional consideration paid for by WrestleMania: the arcade game.
Barry Didinsky shills faux title belts with accompanying 8x10 photos of the champions.
Paul Bearer promises the Undertaker’s return while warning King Mabel.
Summary: Pretty good match for a RAW main event. The finish sucked monkey balls, but the IC title had been bounced around enough lately.
It should be noted that during the match (thank goodness it’s taped, right?) the WWF Tour de Force segment is shown. On Friday (11/3) Shawn Michaels returns to Cincinnati, OH. On Saturday catch the WWF in Bowling Green, KY. The WWF invades Indianapolis on Sunday where I believe the Clique will hold up the show. Next Monday there’s a house show in South Bend so that you can miss RAW. How stupid!
After the match Yokozuna delivers a clothesline to Ramon followed by a leg drop. Just as Yokozuna and Owen double-team Ramon, the 1-2-3 Kid arrives. After pushing Owen away he lays into Yokozuna until eating a head butt. Yokozuna then delivers a leg drop to the Kid. I don’t believe there was any Worcestershire nearby.
All of a sudden Ahmed Johnson enters the ring. Yokozuna turns around and gets slammed! Holy earthquakes, Batman! The Bulldog charges in but thinks better than to attack the angry Ahmed.
Conclusion: Until the main event I would have written off this show as awful, but the main event showcased a really good mid-card match along with an exciting post-match angle to introduce the extremely strong newcomer. So how did this hot finish perform against Nitro?
TV Rating: 2.20
Who won? Heel turns against Hulkamania generate more viewers than a mid-card title match. In other words, WCW won this week for the first time in five weeks (including two ties). With the live interactive Nitro next week up against a hot tag match (Hart/Hakushi/Yankem/Lawler) along with a decent upper mid-card match between Bulldog and Jannetty things are looking up in the Monday Night War.
In other wrestling news during this week in wrestling history this occurred in Philly. Way to go, Steve!
Also, Brian Adams a.k.a. Crush was sentenced to five years’ probation after being arrested in March for purchasing steroids and possession of a stun gun. RIP Brian.
See you for week 9 of the Monday Night War!
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