Welcome to WCW Nitro Week at Hooked on Wrestling!
As many of you know, I go back and watch old shows and give my own take on them here with my retro reviews. So for this week, I am going to have one Nitro review every day starting today! I will pick out one Nitro from every year.
We already talked about the first episode of Nitro on the first 3 Beers Deep Wrestling Podcast, so for 1995 I am looking at the second episode of Nitro! The first Nitro in a real arena for WCW in Miami, Florida.
Eric Bischoff says tonight will have the match of the century with Hulk Hogan defending the WCW Championship against Lex Luger. Talk about an over-exaggeration. He also says we will see Scott Norton (oh boy) and the debut of Samu. At least that is what it sounded like. He obviously meant Sabu. But it sounded like Samu.
We get a recap from the end of the Nitro last week with Lex Luger challenging Hulk Hogan for the title. Luger in the classic white puffy shirt that didn’t even fit the style of 95. Hogan agreed to defend the title as long as Luger shook his hand.
Bischoff mentions that Vader is AWOL. For those that don’t know, Vader got into a backstage fight with Paul Orndorff, and lost. Vader quit. He had just turned face and was on team Hogan heading into Fall Brawl.
Sabu vs Alex Wright
Here’s the debut of Samu, or sorry Sabu. Just from the beginning, you can tell that Sabu isn’t going to fit in WCW. Sabu huracanranas Das Wunderkind to the outside. Sabu sets up his chair and goes for a leap off the chair but Wright moves and Sabu goes flying into the guardrail.
Alex Wright dropkicks Sabu into the guardrail then hits a dive of his own over the top. Sabu doesn’t really look interested in selling as Wright hits a superplex off the top. Wright hits a German suplex then goes to the top, but Sabu meets him up there and hits a huracanrana off the top for the win, despite Wright getting his shoulder up at 3.1. Worst referee in the world Nick Patrick looks confused.
Speaking of worst referee in the world Nick Patrick, Sabu brings a table to ringside and sets Alex Wright up on it. Sabu dives over the ropes and puts Wright through it. Worst referee in the world Nick Patrick and his ugly mullet reverses the decision and Alex Wright wins via DQ.
Well, that was stupid. I can justify that finish with a wrestler doesn’t release a hold. But outside the ring after the match? No way.
Mean Gene is in the ring with Ric Flair. This is in the middle of the Ric Flair/Arn Anderson feud that neither of them really wanted to do. But Flair has already jobbed to Hogan numerous times so that ship has sailed.
Lex Luger comes to the ring in the middle of the promo. Flair hypes up Luger then Luger leaves after saying Ric is too much. Well alright then.
United States Championship: Sting (c) vs VK Wallstreet
Wallstreet, Mike Rotunda, IRS, whatever you want to call him, made his debut last week too. How come nobody remembers him debuting on the first Nitro like Luger? Oh yeah, because he is awful. Bischoff wonders what the VK stands for (for those that don’t know, Vincent Kennedy).
Eric Bischoff gives his first spoiler of RAW. He says Shawn Michaels beats the big guy (that would be Sid) with a superkick. Mongo says why watch a show that is named after uncooked meat. Well Mongo, I could wonder why I would want to watch a VK Wallstreet match.
Sting gets some quick offense in sending Wallstreet to the outside. Wallstreet is somehow already sweating like he has wrestled a 30 minute match. He isn’t even wearing his IRS outfit.
After some brief Wallstreet offense, Sting hits the Stinger Splash in the corner and then a crossbody off the top for the win. Wallstreet must have pulled a power play to not have to tap out to the Scorpion Death Lock (Ed’s note: in fairness, Sting used that diving crossbody almost like an extra finisher until he added the Death Drop to his arsenal in the Crow Sting era).
Macho Man Randy Savage vs Scott Norton
At least WCW was smart and put two awful wrestlers (VK Wallstreet and Scott Norton) vs two great wrestlers (Sting and Randy Savage). Could you imagine Wallstreet and Norton matches back to back otherwise? Talk about killing the ratings.
Norton attacks Savage as he is entering the ring. He looks at Mongo and says he is next. Oh great, Mongo vs Norton. Talk about nightmares. Of course this distraction allows Savage to get the upper hand and send Norton to the outside and hit his patented axe handle off the top.
Savage tries to go to the top again but Norton catches him and applies a bearhug. Norton starts working over the back of Savage. Savage is one of the best sellers of all time. And being great at selling makes your opponent look good and get the crowd to cheer for your comeback.
Norton makes the mistake of going to the top and Savage moves. Norton slams to the mat as Savage starts his comeback. The Dungeon of Doom comes out but Savage throws Norton into Shark, who then falls on Norton’s legs. This allows Savage to pin Norton for the win. How?
WCW Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs Lex Luger
Man, it sounds like even at this point the crowd is starting to not care for Hogan. The crowd reaction seems very muted. I guess the crowd does not care about the battle of former WWF Real Americans.
After two corner breaks, we get a drop toe hold from Hogan. I guess Hogan wants Meltzer to give this an extra star. Hogan suplexes Luger but Luger gets right up. Luger delivers a suplex of his own and this time Hogan gets up.
We finally hear some Hogan chants but they are met almost immediately with Luger chants. Bischoff actually addresses them, then calls this the “Match Made in Heaven.” I’m sorry, but there is only one Match Made in Heaven and it happened at SummerSlam 1991.
Bischoff says Hogan is a real champion unlike the WWF Champion that barely made it past mid level in WCW. Did Nash hear that before he signed in 1996?
Luger starts delivering some shoulder tackles then applies the Torture Rack. Randy Anderson doesn’t call for the bell like he would a few years later on Nitro. So Luger just drops him and thinks he won. That looked really stupid.
Hogan kicks out at two and hulks up to almost no response. Hogan hits the big boot and leg drop but the Dunegon of Doom attacks and Hogan gets the win via DQ. Bischoff points out that no one from the Dungeon of Doom attacked Luger.
Hogan brings that up in a post match promo as does Savage. But Luger’s always loyal friend Sting defends Luger and says Luger should be the fourth man for their team at War Games. Savage is freaking out because we all know Savage is psycho and doesn’t trust Luger.
Savage brings up that Jimmy Hart wasn’t touched either. Hart defends himself. Sting votes Luger in, Savage says no. Hogan asks Luger to be a part of the team, and it’s set in stone with the agreement of a title shot down the line.