Live From Florence, South Carolina
Editor’s note: Since this Nitro involves MENG, I am out of possible death by MENG, required to capitalize MENG every time I type his name.
Alex Wright vs Disco Inferno
I know that Inferno gets crapped on for some of his creative ideas in WCW (Alien invasion, invisible man, wrestling architect) but the gimmick is in so bad its good territory. The theme is catchy and obnoxious in the same way that Orndorff’s theme was and he gets decent heat. I’m still on the Alex Wright bandwagon, if he had brought in around the time of WCW seriously building a mid-card; I think he’d be remembered better. His areal moves are very crisp and look great, but man that Wunderkid and the dancing just killed him. The announcers are talking up everything else going on and Wright wins via backslide. Kind of weird to hype Disco’s Nitro debut to only have him lose in a few minutes. This was a filler match, used more to talk about the Hogan/Giant situation.
We get a Hogan promo and he’s wearing a comically oversized neck brace as he talks up his injury. Hogan begins to call him Giant a “stinky nasty Giant” and the first of many times that he would call him throughout this feud. Hulk makes the challenge for the Sumo Monster Truck Match, which would go down in infamy as a giant waste of money. Hogan manages to get in the super tasteless line about hoe Giant will be slammed and laid to rest next to his father.
Alright, I want to get something off my chest.
Now, we’re taking a break from the Nitro to review to talk about Andresploitation. I know many people consider the exploitation of Eddie Guerrero and Paul Bearer’s death as top-line exploitation; the Andresplotation is the worst in my mind, next to all the crap Fritz Von Erich pulled. One, Andre the Giant never worked for Ted Turner’s WCW and his only appearance was in 1992 for the twentieth Clash of the Champions, which coincided with the twentieth anniversary of pro wrestling on TBS. That’s it, and most of all the worst aspect is that this was Hogan-endorsed. Hogan wielded a ton of creative power and no doubt this was given the Hogan seal of approval. Andre made Hogan’s first reign with the belt and I dare say that WrestleMania III is the defining match of Hogan’s career. The stare down between those two at the Silverdome with the flash bulbs going off is still one of the great WrestleMania moments. Luckily the company put the kibosh on this after Andre’s family came out against the angle publically. The one thing I don’t get is that the company didn’t need to use Andre at all, all the company needed to do was have Sullivan talk up how he found this monster in the jungle. There, Andre free and goes along with the Dungeon recruiting monsters.
Randy Savage wants us to snap into some mechanically separated beef as Mean Gene is in the ring with Savage. We get a recap of the awesome confrontation the previous week and Luger makes his way to the ring. Luger cuts another solid promo bringing up that he earned the respect of Hogan and Sting through their battles but he doesn’t respect Savage. Luger challenges Savage to a match next week and first puts his title shot on the line, but retracts and puts his career on the line instead. Savage accepts and WCW is putting another big PPV match on free TV next week. While this came back to bite the company in the rear a few years later, this set Nitro apart from Raw. Vince realized that and began to slowly put bigger matches on free television, but not at the pace was at.
We get Halloween Havoc and I’m just going to say it, the graphics they’re using are laughably bad. First, you have Hogan and Giant morphing from still pictures into their respective monster trucks, and then the background they use is a bunch of goofy looking ghosts. It’s laughably bad and not the way to sell a big grudge match that saw an attempted murder. That wouldn’t even scare the target audience of Scooby Doo, Bischoff.
Kurasawa w/Col. Rob Parker vs Sgt. Craig Pittman
Wasn’t Pittman a sadistic drill heel sergeant a few weeks ago? Kurasawa was getting a decent push as they had him break Hawk’s arm, but weirdly enough he wasn’t a part of the awesome NJPW/WCW feud. He was teaming with MENG before they paper mache dragon’s mask on his head and sent him to the Dungeon of Doom. This is an odd match, Pittman was an amateur wrestler and competed in MMA so they book this like a weird shoot style matches. Kurasawa kicks the crap out of Pittman’s leg and works the arm, but hits a nice look backdrop on the concrete floor. Pittman rallies back by throwing head-butts to the gut, but Kurasawa picks up the win with a German Suplex. Interestingly enough, WCW was thinking of booking a UFC-like PPV in October, with certain wrestlers competing in “legitimate fights.” I’m just going to presume that Hogan would win.
After that, Gene is in the ring with Pillman and Anderson and this is an AWESOME promo from top to bottom. Pillman looks revitalized since he’s being booked properly since the Blondes in 1993. Pillman compares Flair search for a partner to a bum pandering for change at Times Square. The best part of Pillman’s promo is talking about their right to bear arms, their right to assemble (Pillman puts up the four fingers) and their right to put people in the hospital. Arn gets the stick and brings up that the better man won and Flair should know that once you attack one of us, two of them jump on you. The best part is Anderson running down the attempts made to get Sting and Savage to team with him. Arn brings up Flair trying to put Sting out of wrestling in 1990, and Flair beating up Angelo Poffo. This is the segment you must watch from this episode of Nitro.
This weekend on WCW Saturday Night! The DEBUT of Dusty Rhodes as co-host (YES)! Sting vs Johnny B. Badd! American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males, American Males! Plus, the Taskmaster and The Giant will be there. 6:05 Eastern Time on TBS!
GET THIS ON THE NETWORK! EXCLAMATION POINT!
We get a recap of Sullivan attacking Savage and Sullivan wearing a lifeguard jacket over his Taskmaster garb is still good for a laugh.
Randy Savage vs Kevin Sullivan
Man, I have to give Sullivan credit for booking himself into this position. You go from working with Evad Sullivan to big matches against Savage and being a part of the top feud in the company. Savage gets some pyro and it’s funny that Alex Wright has more pyro than the number two face in the company. This is a disappointment in my opinion. Sullivan’s forte is brawling and Savage is a very good brawler, so you’re expecting a wild and crazy brawl. What you get is Sullivan beating up Savage for most of the match before Savage makes his comeback. The Zodia shows up and gets a beating from Savage before Savage is disqualified for throwing Pee Wee Anderson aside. Savage continues to beat on both men until The Giant comes out and hits an awesome chokeslam on Savage. The jobber brigade runs out and they get chokeslam’s for their trouble. Alex Wright gets a big pop when he runs out and tries to come off the top rope but Giant catches him and locks in a bearhug. Giant hits a spine buster as Luger comes out and stands over Savage. Giant grabs him, but Luger gets a few good blows in before eating a chokelsam too. Sullivan is pissed that The Giant attacked Luger.
The match sucked, but this made The Giant look like an absolute monster wiping out five guys with ease. Sure, two of them were jobbers but The Giant looked like a real threat to Hogan and the chokeslam is built up as one-hit kill. Now excuse me, I must weep into my pillow that we never saw Vader vs The Giant. I know it would have sucked, but the visual of the match would make up for it.
Lex Luger vs MENG
MENG comes running out after the Giant attack the match starts because the ref is afraid of MENG. If MENG runs out and tells you to start the match and you say no, what do you think MENG will do to you? We get the announcement of Hogan showing up next week and this match is actually booked rather well. MENG beats on Luger, who is clearly out of it so Luger’s comeback is only in short spurts that MENG cuts off with ease. MENG hits a brutal piledriver and even a gutwrench backbreaker, before Luger begins to make his comeback. MENG will have none of that crap and hits Luger with the Golden Spike to get the victory. Bischoff puts over how The Dungeon of Doom has taken out Luger, Savage and Hogan in a short period of time.
We get Bischoff hyping up next week: Savage vs Luger, Hogan, American Males vs The Nasty Boys, Dean Malenko and the show cuts off.
You should definitely watch the Pillman/Anderson promo, but most of it can be skipped. A filler episode before the big one next week, but it continues the Savage/Luger feud which has been surprisingly good. I didn’t remember this feud as a kid, but it’s one of the better feuds that WCW has booked this year.