Live from Detroit, MI

Airdate: October 23, 1994

Attendance: 14,000 (8.595 paid, 3,000 no-shows)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

T. Graham Brown sings the National Anthem.

Interesting note: Tony and Bobby are stationed by the curtain rather than sitting at ringside. When WCW created Nitro the announcers would be stationed there.

Match 1 for the WCW World TV title: Johnny B. Badd (champion) versus The Honkytonk Man


Rating: *1/2

Summary: B-O-R-I-N-G. We all know the reason why Honky’s here, but he could have at least shown up in the ring with some talent.

After the match Honky gave Badd an atomic drop, but Badd no-sold it. Badd threatened another “kiss that don’t miss,” but Honky high-tailed it.

We revisit the Clash where Hogan was attacked by a masked man and the crowd went crazy! We fast-forward to Main Event on 10/9 where there were TWO masked men! Courtesy of “amateur video” Ric Flair and Mr. T were seen together in Chicago outside Michael Jordan’s restaurant.

Match 2 for the WCW World tag team titles: Stars and Stripes (champions) versus Pretty Wonderful


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Another great tag match between these guys.

Back in the dressing room “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair and Sensuous Sherri. Flair cuts a fantastic promo on Hogan and the career versus career match.

According to Tony, Flair put his career on the line tonight courtesy of Evad Sullivan. Footage of Evad punching his brother Kevin on WCW Saturday Night (10/9/94) is shown. Later that night Kevin returned the favor during a match where Evad tagged with Hogan against Flair and the masked man.

Match 3: Kevin Sullivan versus Evad Sullivan


Rating: ˝*

Summary: Only one word describes this match—NEXT!

We take a look back at the previous partnership between Arn Anderson and Dustin Rhodes followed by Anderson’s heel turn at Bash at the Beach. The unique thing about it is that it was the last match that Jesse Ventura called for WCW.

Match 4: Arn Anderson (w/ Colonel Parker and Meng) versus “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes


Rating: **1/2

Summary: The finish leaves something to be desired, but these guys did a decent job here.

After the match Anderson floors Rhodes with a left hand then plants him with a DDT as the crowd cheers him on.

Back in the dressing room Gene interviews Hulk Hogan with Jimmy Hart and Brother Bruti. Okerlund lists all the celebrities in attendance. Typical Hogan promo follows.

Yuck! We’re force-fed the atrocity that was the US title match from Fall Brawl. Be right back as I grab the Pepto…

OK, I’m back but my stomach doesn’t feel much better.

Match 5 for the WCW US title: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan versus “Stunning” Steve Austin


Rating: *

Summary: Blech! Can someone please pass me some gum or a mint? I need to remove the taste from my mouth this match left behind.

After the match Austin made Duggan eat the steel railing. Perhaps it tasted like the filet mignon at Michael Symon’s Roast. Back in the ring Duggan swung his 2x4 while Austin scampered outside the ring. At this point in Austin’s career he should have asked for his release instead of what occurred the following year.

Gene plugs the hotline then introduces Sting. Adorned In a tuxedo (and a pair of Oakley sunglasses) Sting makes his way to ringside.

Footage of the matches between Vader and the Guardian Angel at Bash at the Beach and Fall Brawl are shown. Afterwards on WCW Saturday Night (9/24, taped 9/20) Vader and Harley Race double-team Angel including a Vader bomb and a moonsault. On the 10/15 episode of WCW Saturday Night (taped 10/4) Angel handcuffed Race to the top rope but was denied from hitting Race with a chair by WCW head of security Doug Dellinger.

Match 6: Vader (w/ Harley Race) versus the Guardian Angel


Rating: ***

Summary: This bout was better than it had any right to be. Vader and Traylor continue to impress me.

Backstage Jimmy Hart is speaking with Mike Tenay and Chris Cruise about TNA dominating the ratings over on Destination America Hulkamania in WCW. Gene then introduces the Hitman! Bret Hart signs with WCW! Now we can get a resolution to the Hogan-Hart issue from Summerslam ’93! Oh, wait! It’s Thomas “Hitman” Hearns who would knock me out for confusing him with the Calgarian. He mumbles a few words. Unfortunately it sounds like he’s had too many hits to the head.

They show the meeting between the Rhodes and Nasty Boys again for War Games. However, after Fall Brawl ended, Colonel Parker’s Stud Stable attacked the Nasty Boys in the locker room. To say seeing Brian Knobbs shirtless is disgusting would be an insult to the word disgusting. Back on WCW Saturday Night the Nasty Boys fought Buck and Funk setting up this match.

Match 7: Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck (w/ Colonel Parker and Meng) versus the Nasty Boys


Rating: ˝*

Summary: Clever ending to a bad match. These teams did not mesh well whatsoever.

In the ring Gene introduces Bill Shaw who stands alongside former Detroit resident Eric Bischoff. They present Muhammad Ali with a plaque and a check honoring him for his charity work.

Match 8 for the WCW World title (steel cage): Hulk Hogan (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Sensuous Sherri)


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Over-booking aside this was an exciting match with a conclusive finish. Since there was no blood in War Games it was easier to understand why Flair didn’t blade here. As a result of this match Hogan supplants Flair as the face of WCW in 1994.

After the match the cage is raised Hogan and Mr. T celebrate the victory. Outside the ring Ali hands Hogan the belt. Suddenly the masked man enters the ring. Before he can hit him with the pipe Hogan turns around and blocks it. Hogan then nails him. Who is the masked man? The hood comes off and it’s…Brother Bruti…Hogan’s best friend in the whole world! Hogan is in disbelief. Kevin Sullivan enters the ring as does John Tenta. Powerslam followed by a huge elbow drop by Tenta. He then gives Hogan a running seated senton (formerly the Earthquake splash).

Sting runs to the ring, nails Sullivan, then delivers a top rope clothesline to both Bruti and Tenta. Sullivan and his henchmen head for higher ground as Sting protects the Hulkster. Heenan refers to Bruti as “Brother Butcher.”  Hogan gets carried back to the dressing room. Heenan is extremely despondent over the ending of Flair’s career.

Conclusion: Hindsight being 20/20 we know that Flair did not retire at this point in time. In fact he renegotiated his contract and returned in 1995. The point WCW was trying to make was that Hogan, not Flair, was the poster-boy for them.

Obviously we know what’s next for Hogan. Ed Leslie turned heel and joined Kevin Sullivan’s group (not yet named). The return of John Tenta (not yet named) adds another name to the list of wrestlers that Hogan has worked with in the past along with the Honkytonk Man and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Could more prominent former WWF talent be far behind?

The cage match is symbolic of the way John Cena is currently booked. That is to say that he beats the odds over and over again like a superhero. While this worked extremely well for Hogan in the WWF I am uncertain the WCW faithful wholeheartedly believe in Hulkamania. Cheers could be overheard when Hogan was getting beaten down after the cage match. We’ll see what happens from here.

According to Meltzer this was the final show on the initial contract Hogan signed with WCW. Obviously he signed a new one and will remain WCW World Champion. The buyrate for the show cemented Hogan as a money draw for WCW.

As far as the rest of the card is concerned the tag team title match as well as the Vader/Angel match stood out, but everything else was between mediocre and terrible. I hope this trend does not continue for WCW.

Here’s some wrestling trivia: Prior to the beginning of this show Brian Armstrong (Road Dogg) wrestled and lost in a dark match to Booker T. Oh, you didn’t know?

Will the Hulkster defend the title against Leslie at the Clash? See you then to find out!

Buyrate: 0.97

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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