Monday Nitro (11/27/95)
Dan Hey: Eric Bischoff, Mongo, and The Brain host. Macho Man is the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion, having won the sixty-man battle royal last night at World War 3. He’ll be here later. There’s no controversy with Macho Man being the champion, states Eric; however, there is some controversy between Hogan and Savage. They’ll be face-to-face tonight. Controversy is the key theme tonight. Brain immediately claims that there is controversy over the battle royal, suggesting that officials may be reviewing the tape. He also waves a miniature Japanese flag.
Tangent: In summary, here’s how the crowning of a new champion has come about: Hulk Hogan lost the belt under suspicious (lest we overuse controversial) circumstances to a man with the words “The Giant” in his ring name. Only, The Giant would be stripped of the belt by company officials. Instead of a direct rematch, both Hogan and said “Giant” would have to compete in a multi-man match up at a future pay per view for the vacant title. Hogan will not be eliminated via the standard method of elimination specified for said multi-man event, allowing Macho to go on to be crowned champion without Hogan having ever really been beaten for it. You’ve got to hand it to Easy E for originality, haven’t you? That’s never happened before (cough: WrestleMania IV).
We get footage from last night’s pay per view. It’s not the “controversial” finish to the match but a promo from earlier in the night. Hogan is with Savage and Sting. He ditches the black attire and switches back to the more familiar red and yellow. A waste paper bin on fire symbolizes how the Dungeon are going to burn, apparently. The three of them are all thunder buddies forever, or something. That’s all we get.
Back at the desk, it’s announced that the recently-turned heel Lex Luger will team up with perennial babyface Sting. They’re facing two members of the Four Horsemen, reminding us that Luger was once in that stable. The word controversy is used at least once every ten seconds. This segment lasted about as long as a Shark match.
WCW Television Championship
Johnny B. Badd (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page
This is a rematch from World War 3. Johnny B. Badd has Diamond Doll with him. She’ll stab him in the back, says Heenan. Badd’s also back in possession of his confetti gun, but has also kept his Frisbees, too. Page brings out some flowers for his real-life missus by way of apology for his recent behaviour. It’s a distraction tactic, though, and he sucker-punches Badd in the side of the head as the bell rings. The action, however, is confined to the background, with Diamond Doll occupying the camera’s foreground at a low level angle, which really makes it hard to follow the action. Fortunately, I guess, it’s just Page working heat on Badd, with the only move worth calling being a tilt-a-whirl slam. There’s a chain in the flowers. Heenan and Mongo both claim that it’s a bracelet, but Eric ‘Oracle’ Bischoff knows that it’s a weapon. The commentary team also remind us of the controversy surrounding last night’s events, just in case we’d forgotten. DDP pleads for Doll to throw him the chain, but she throws it through his legs, allowing Badd to use it for extra weight in the Tutti Fruitti, a move which usually knocks his opponent out anyway. Why didn’t the referee see any of this? Doll is excited that Badd won; Badd is confused. There was nothing to this, but I’m knocking off half a snowflake for the infuriating camera angle and the terrible acting by Doll.
Final Rating: *
Bischoff brings up the controversy again. I suppose, according to him at least, it does create cash (and how did the company’s finances work out again, Eric?). They plug Luger and Sting. Mongo reiterates the numerous controversies.
Promo Time: Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan
For the second consecutive week, their promo takes place on the rampway instead of the ring. Good. They don’t belong near it. Sullivan and Hart are bickering because Sting convinced Luger to release an arm bar that he had locked on Savage’s injured arm last night, which, in Sullivan’s logic, would’ve eliminated him from the battle royal later in the evening. It’s Sullivan’s turn to bring up controversy now. Hart reassures him that he’s playing the long game with Sting and Luger, whatever that is. Sullivan leaves. Pointless but thankfully brief.
Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto
This is a treat. Raw was running Alundra Blazye & Kyoto Inoue vs. Aja Kong & Tomoko Watanabe, which was pre-recorded the week before. On this occasion, though, I won’t be complaining about Eric’s copycat tactics. Hokuto comes out dressed in a Hannya mask and massive red wig. She looks scary. There’s something about Bull’s hair, too: it’s impressively vertical. She must’ve applied a lot of whatever fluid is holding that in place.
They go for a fast, frantic, back-and-forth pace, showcasing innovate (at least in North America) moves. Nakano swings Ozaki around by her hair and throws her across the ring – twice. The match also plays around Bull’s strength amid the other girl’s aerial abilities. Cutie’s in now. She’s wearing some sort of white lace lingerie, but the long dark hair that covers her face makes her look like a yūrei (like Sadako in Ringu / The Ring). She hits an impressive dragon suplex on Hokuto for two, but then gets caught on a crossbody attempt into a fall-away slam. Bull comes in but misses a seated senton from the top. Ozaki and Cutie double team Bull, executing a double log roll and a double stomp from the top! Bull’s too big for a double suplex, though, and suplexes them both at the same time instead.
We momentarily forget the other controversies, as the commentators are actually putting this match over, even if Heenan can’t resist throwing in some stereotyping and dated (and frankly racist) puns – he’s supposed to be on their side! Cutie makes the save after Hokuto hits a powerbomb on Ozaki. The five second rule doesn’t seem to apply in this match, and she’s back in again, this time missing a crossbody off the top and hitting her own partner. A bridging belly-to-belly on the illegal Suzuki gets another two count. The faces recover to hit a double dropkick on Bull, who’s been caught going up top again. She spills out of the ring and the action follows.
The double teaming on Bull continues, but the future professional golfer is just too strong, and she floors both her opponents with a double clothesline. Hokuto comes in to hit the northern lights bomb on Cutie to win. This was a great match, especially for free TV. Lots of action, with some very good and innovative tag team wrestling on display.
Final Rating: ***¾
Hulk Hogan vs. Hugh Morrus
Morrus likes to laugh (Hugh Morrus – humorous, get it?). He’s the latest addition to the tedious Dungeon of Doom stable. Hogan is back out in his red and yellow. Bischoff references the controversy again, but claims that Savage is the “official” champion. Hogan starts the match by throwing his shirt in Morrus’s face. Classy. Later on, Hogan and Savage are going to watch some footage of the controversy. Heenan claims there are two opinions on the matter, then proceeds to list three: Hogan’s, Savage’s, and the referee’s. He also finds it funny that Hogan is now the former champion. Laughter is infectious, I suppose. Hogan tries a bit of mat wrestling, but it doesn’t last long. He takes a lot of boring heat, mostly just stomps and punches, yet Mongo puts over Morrus as a wrestler. Morrus’s only real move – a moonsault – looks way off, almost a moonsault headbutt. Hogan’s offence has included biting and eye gouging. And this is supposed to be the good side of Hulkamania. Controversy is mentioned some more. Hulk up, big boot, leg drop, finish. Standard Hogan squash with the new guy jobbing.
Final Rating: ¾*
Promo Time: Randy Savage
In a funny moment, Macho doesn’t see Mean Gene’s proffered hand for a handshake, so Gene has to forcibly place his hand in Macho’s. Savage is about to embark on a “reign of terror” whether it lasts a day or forever and a day. Mean Gene brings up the controversy. Hogan joins them before Macho can respond. They review the footage, only, it cuts out to static before showing Hogan actually going under the bottom rope. I’m half-expecting Cutie Suzuki to crawl through the television screen. Instead, The Giant comes out and chokeslams Savage on the concrete. He battles Hogan to the ring, getting the better of him. Sting makes the save as Giant is about to hit Hogan with a leg drop. Hogan grabs a chair and beats him with it up the ramp and through the curtain. To stir the controversy, Bischoff notes afterwards that Sting pulled Hogan off The Giant – “What’s that about?” Hardly.
Brian Pillman & Arn Anderson vs. Sting & Lex Luger
They tease Luger no showing, but he does show. Arn and Sting start the bout, with Arn immediately goading Lex, allowing him and Pillman to double team Sting. Sting reverses an Irish whip sending AA into Luger on the apron, knocking him to the floor. The gaffe is quickly brushed off, though, and Luger joins his partner in the ring to hit press slams. AA wants a time out – there’s no time outs in wrestling, Arn! He gets back in the ring and now he wants Luger. Lex takes it to both of them, sending Pillman off the apron with a double noggin-knocker. Lex sends Anderson spinning with his metal-plate-loaded forearm, which thankfully Heenan references. Luger is none too bright and doesn’t attempt a pin, instead tagging in Sting. Meanwhile, controversy is the order of the day on commentary. Sting has the Scorpion Death Lock applied on Arn; Pillman goes up top, but Luger shoves him off – right into Sting! Heenan believes it was an accident. Luger must be even more stupid than he appears, then, as he just shoved Pillman in the same line of trajectory that he had set himself up in. What did he think would happen? Luger gets suckered in again and misses the hot tag. All four men get in the ring. Sting gets the pin on Pillman, but eats a DDT from Arn immediately afterwards. Flair comes down for three-on-two, but Hogan returns the favour and makes the save. Sting prevents Hogan from sucker punching Luger. Lex takes a powder, then Hogan and Sting go face-to-face in the ring. You can feel the controversy bubbling. They stare each other down, but decide to shake hands and hug to finish the show.
Final Rating: **¼
THE NITRO RECAP:
Most Entertaining: Cutie Suzuki. Although, any or all four of the Japanese women could’ve claimed this one tonight, to be fair.
Least Entertaining: Eric Bischoff for his constant use of the word controversy.
Quote of the Night: “She’s kind of attractive in an Oriental way.” – Japanese sympathiser Bobby Heenan just can’t help his ignorance when describing his attraction to Bull Nakano.
Match of the Night: Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto.
Summary: Welcome to Monday Nitro: The Controversy Edition! Seriously, that word lost all meaning tonight. Controversially, we didn’t even see the main “controversial” incident. Aside from the women’s match, there’s nothing much to see – plenty to avoid, in fact. However, the tag match is definitely worth hunting down.