WCW Monday Nitro

Airdate: September 11, 1995

Attendance: 5,500 (3,183 paid)

Hosted by Eric Bischoff, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Steve “Mongo” McMichael

In spite of being in the proverbial doghouse Vader is still in the introduction.

The “match of the century” according to Bischoff will take place tonight—Hulk Hogan versus Lex Luger! Mongo makes an ‘80s Wendy’s reference, and we thought Vince McMahon was out of touch. They show the end of last week’s episode where Luger asks for a title shot and Hogan agrees.

Bischoff announces that Vader is AWOL and won’t be part of WarGames at Fall Brawl.

Match 1: “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright versus Sabu


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Fast-paced match to warm up the crowd. That botch at the end looked bad though.

After the match Sabu kicks Wright out of the ring, makes him eat the apron, and sets up a table on the floor. He then mounts the top turnbuckle and drives Wright through the table. E-C-W! E-C-W! Referee Nick Patrick reverses the decision.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund is in the ring and interviews “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Flair cuts a great promo on Arn Anderson. Suddenly Lex Luger interrupts. Flair sells him like a used car. What was the point of Luger being there? Supposedly to join the Horsemen?

Eric shills Fall Brawl on September 17.

Match 2 for the US title: Sting versus VK Wallstreet


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Great debut for VK Wallstreet, no?

Disco Inferno debuts on WCW Saturday Night. Have your disco ball and leisure suit ready.

Match 3: “Macho Man” Randy Savage versus Scott Norton


Rating: **1/2

Summary: You were not going to see two wrestlers debut and lose in the same show without some protection; therefore, a screwy finish was necessary here.

Sullivan, Meng, and Zodiac join the rest of the Dungeon of Doom to chase Savage from the ring.

Eric makes another derogatory WWF reference as Luger makes his entrance.

Fall Brawl ad including the aforementioned AWOL Vader.

Match 4 for the WCW World title: Hulk Hogan (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Lex Luger


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Originally Vader was supposed to wrestle Hogan here and win the title; however, with Vader out of the picture and Luger having just returned to WCW the trigger could not be pulled. At least Luger had a fighter’s chance. I hope these two have another encounter in the future.

After the match Sting and Savage run in to assist Hogan with fending off the Dungeon of Doom attack. Interestingly the members of the Dungeon of Doom do not attack Luger.

After a commercial break Gene interviews Hogan about the 4-3 disadvantage for his WarGames team. Hogan and Savage call Luger out, but Sting sides with the former Narcissist. Even Jimmy Hart has to stand up for himself. While Sting votes yes for Luger, Savage votes no. Hogan makes the offer to Luger and he accepts with the promise of another title shot down the line.

Next week “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff will face Johnny B. Badd. Also the Blue Bloods will face the winner of the Nasty Boys/American Males match on the Main Event.

Conclusion: The concept of four matches in an hour sounds good on paper, but the last three matches definitely seemed rushed. Once again Nitro provides a solid show. Since they only promised some midcard matches for next week I wonder if the audience will watch it or switch the channel.

TV Rating: 2.50

WWF Monday Night RAW

Taped from Canton, OH

Airdate: September 11, 1995 (taped from 8/28)

Attendance: 1,600

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Highlights from Summerslam ’95 and the ladder match between HBK and Razor Ramon are shown. If you’ve never seen this match, check it out. It’s incredibly solid.

Excellent opener featuring wrestlers going at it on the roof of Titan Towers. Overheard were shouts of “Hey, that’s my spot! No, that’s mine! Long live the Clique!”

We also see the fight between Dean Douglas and Ramon after Summerslam.

Match 1: “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette) versus Razor Ramon


Rating: *1/2

Summary: I’m not exactly sure why Ramon didn’t do the job here as Bulldog was getting the big push.

After the match Bulldog military presses the 1-2-3 Kid and gives him a stungun. After a commercial break Vince interviews both the 1-2-3 Kid and Ramon. The 1-2-3 Kid challenges Ramon to a match next week. Ramon states that he made the 1-2-3 Kid “famous.”

Also next week WWF tag team champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna will face Men on a Mission.

Match 2: The Smoking Gunns versus Rad Radford and the Brooklyn Brawler


Rating: *

Summary: Good match to showcase the Gunns, but Nitro had a more competitive match going on.

Goldust vignette. But where’s the Blacktop Bully?

Levi’s and Skittles are this week’s sponsors.

Highlights of Summerslam are shown where Lawler assisted Yankem in his feud with Bret “Hitman” Hart.

Match 3: Isaac Yankem, DDS versus Scott Taylor


Rating: DUD

Summary: You could hear a pin drop in the arena while this match took place. Better things were on the horizon for Glenn Jacobs.

Todd Pettengill shills WWF In Your House 3 on September 24. Triple Header match will be the main event. WWF Champion Diesel teams with Intercontinental champion Shawn Michaels against WWF tag team champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna. All titles will be on the line. Additionally Razor Ramon will face Dean Douglas. Bret “Hitman” Hart will face Jean-Pierre Lafitte. Bam Bam Bigelow will face the British Bulldog. Lastly Savio Vega will face Waylon Mercy.

Barry Didinsky shills the Shawn Michaels hat and sunglasses.

Shawn Michaels cuts a promo in the hallway then shuns a ladder standing by.

Match 4 for the Intercontinental title: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels versus Psycho Sid (w/ Ted DiBiase)


Rating: **

Summary: This match was all over the place and didn’t tell a great story. If these two were to have matches in the future they should try to tell a better story. And yes, Eric Bischoff told the Nitro audience about the three superkicks that helped Michaels to win the match.

After the match Michaels performs a strip routine but doesn’t pull down his tights.

WWF In Your House 3 will be on September 24.

Back in the locker room Michaels meets up with Diesel. Dok Hendrix joins them in hopes of getting an interview. Diesel coins the phrase “two chaps with all the straps.”

Next week WWF tag team champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna face Men on a Mission. Highlights of said match are actually shown in order to truly tell the audience their show is taped. Also the 1-2-3 Kid will face Razor Ramon. While it sounds like a great selling technique if the show had zero wrestling competition it could possibly backfire against a live WCW Monday Nitro.

Conclusion: While this wasn’t a bad show for the WWF there was a 20-30 minute window that contained a promo for the upcoming PPV and two enhancement matches. That gap gave the TV audience every opportunity to check out what was happening on Nitro. Add to that if people paid attention to Bischoff and ignored the RAW main event the ratings war could fall out of favor for the WWF.

TV Rating: 2.20

Who won?

Amazingly WCW won the ratings war for this week by a score of 2.5-2.2. While Nitro was exciting and fresh, the recycled (and taped) format of Monday Night RAW felt a bit stale. Both shows promoted matches scheduled for next week, so we’ll see how the war fared going forward.

WCW Fall Brawl is next on the calendar, so stay tuned for that PPV reflection.

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

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