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WCW Nitro Episode 2 Review: The War Begins

Editorial note: I realized upon further review Arn Anderson was not wearing a windbreaker in the first episode. We here at The Camel Clutch Blog apologize for the fashion error.

From the Knight Center in Miami, Florida

First off, I have to give props to WCW as the Nitro set is pretty cool for its time. Nice amount of pyro and lighting, really a step-up from what they had been presenting on Saturday Night. The all-metallic motif would set the standard for pro wrestling sets for years to come. Two interesting notes, the commentators desk isn’t set-up by the entrance like it will be until 1999 and the ringside skirt is actually see-through in certain areas with colored lights behind them. Neat.

Mongo starts off with a “Where’s the Beef” reference, which was relevant around the same time that that the Bears last won a championship. Seriously, how could a team with that defense, Walter Payton and somewhat healthy Jim McMahon not win another championship? Oh, that’s right the team was full of egos, McMahon was made of paper, Payton was on the downside, the 46 defense was killed by the spread offense, Ditka was an egotistical prick who lost his players. Read any one of Drew Magary’s “Why Your Team Sucks” pieces on the Bear and you’ll realize that I’m not the only one that feels this. Also, the 1992 Cowboys would stomp a mud hole in the 1985 Bears and walk it dry. I also love that an excuse by some of the players of their only loss was that the game was on a Monday Night and they would win if it was on a Sunday.

Rant over. We get a recap of the closing segment which is still a pretty good segment. We then get the big news that Vader has gone “AWOL” and he has not filed the proper documentation with WCW. I guess that getting pounded by Paul Orndorff isn’t the proper documentation. We start off with Sabu vs Alex Wright!

Sabu vs Alex Wright

You know, I’m a fan of Alex Wright. Sure, the gimmick of being a German dancing Wunderkid is bad but he was a good worker. The announcers put Sabu over hard in this match, bringing up connection to the original Sheik and his willingness to sacrifice his body to win the match. Mongo stumbles upon a formula, realizing that since he sucks at calling wrestling, he’ll just talk about football. I feel like Nitro would have been a lot better with Bischoff and Heenan calling the action, they weren’t the greatest announce team, but it would have been better than Mongo rambling on. Bischoff and Heenan are at-least trying to call the action while Mongo talks about whatever he wants. This is a short but decent match, it’s a showcase for Sabu but Wright gets his offense in. Sabu picks up the victory via Arabian Press (As Bischoff calls it). Sabu beats up on Wright, puts him through a table and Nick Patrick reverses his call, giving Wright the DQ.

For some reason, I want to see a Sabu/Savage match. Don’t ask why, but this is coming from the same guy that thinks Chikara should book New Jack on a consistent basis. I have a thing for train wrecks, not in the Cronenberg movie Crash way, just like watching a good train wreck.

Mean Gene is in the ring and calls down Slick Ric himself, The Nature Boy Ric Flair. This is a pivotal promo, one week away from the match with Anderson and we need a killer promo from Naitch. Talk about the history and we get that for a bit. He brings up how the Horsemen stood for a symbol of excellence and also talks about going out last night. After reading up Flair’s continuous money issues and substance problems, these parts of his promo’s really aren’t that fun anymore. Luger comes out and Flair puts over his measurements and how he predicts that Luger will beat Hogan tonight. Decent promo, more of a hype job for the main event but it’s smart to have a guy like Flair hyping the big main event.

Michael Wallstreet V.K. Wallstreet vs United States Champion Sting

Yes, they changed Michael Wallstreet’s name to V.K. Wallstreet as a potshot to Vince McMahon. For those of you born under a rock, Vince’s middle initial is K. Bischoff spoils the main event of Raw and Mongo buries the Raw name. They also make a reference to how Wallstreet is now playing with the big boys and I’ve noticed that Heenan hasn’t partaken in any of the potshots. There isn’t much to talk about here, Sting runs through Wallstreet with ease in under a few minutes via top-rope crossbody. I do find it weird that you would dedicate time on the first episode to Wallstreet, and then have Sting run through him with little opposition. Was it so that Bischoff and Mongo could take jabs at Raw and Vince for a few minutes?

This Saturday on WCW Saturday Night! Debut of Disco Inferno! Renegade vs Maxx Muscle! Big Bubba Rogers vs Evad Sullivan! Brian Pillman vs Alex Wright! Big Bubba goes from Nitro main eventer to working with a dyslexic guy with a bunny; Renegade vs Maxx Muscle could main event any middle school gymnasium. At least Pillman vs Wright sounds like a good match on paper.

Time for some Scott F’N Norton. This would be the point in the review that I’d put up a montage of Scott F’n Norton killing people in Japan.

Scott F’n Norton vs Randy Savage

Norton comes out and continues to spew trash talk at Mongo and it seems like they were trying to set-up Mongo/Norton. Man, they pushed Norton as an absolute beast during this match; he pretty much pounds Savage from pillar to post in the beginning as Bischoff talks about how Norton has crippled opponents in Japan. Norton busts out a brutal DDT when Savage has his legs on the third ropes, and that’s the best part of the match. All this hype and it sucks knowing that Norton floats around the mid-card from here until 1999 and this guy debuted in 1993 for cripes sakes. I know he had a successful run in Japan around this time, but man envision Vader and Norton tearing it up as a monster tag team. Mongo rambles on about football more as Savage begins to make his comeback. The finish is actually a good finish as The Dungeon runs out and of course Mongo has to Mongo it up. Mongo asks if Taskmaster, who was carrying some stick like object if he was going to turn somebody into a Popsicle. Alright back to the actual finish gets Norton on the ground after Shark falls on the legs of Norton, trapping him. Savage hits the big elbow for the victory. After the match, Norton argues with Shark.

Main event time!

For the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan ©w/ Jimmy Hart vs Lex Luger

Weirdly enough, they go right to commercial when Luger comes out, and the crowd is into Hogan so it’s not like the typical Hogan reaction from this time. Hulk starts off with some ground work and actually suplexes Luger, but Luger pops up and no sells it. Luger suplexes Hogan and Hogan does the same thing. From here it isn’t much of a match, but both men have the crowd going doing a minimal amount of work. Luger actually turns the tide and gets Hogan in the Torture Rack as the crowd goes wild. Luger thinks Hulk has passed out and drops him in what amounts to the stupidest moment I’ve seen in wrestling history. Luger goes for the pin; Hulk does his Hulk Up routine and drops the leg. The Dungeon of Doom runs out and begins to attack Hogan as the ref calls the match. It wasn’t a great match, but they had the crowd going with what they did. In this match, Bischoff takes his most brutal of pot shots towards Diesel, talking about how he was only a mid-level talent in WCW. Man that must have been awkward if Nash brought that up in contract negotiations in 1996.

The Amazing Friends run in to save the day, clearing out the Dungeon and it should be noted that in two weeks of Dungeon beat downs, they Dungeon wasn’t even booked to be big threats. No segments of the Dungeon laying out Hogan or anybody in the group, making them look very weak. The only guy in The Dungeon that has beaten on Hogan in the build-up is The Giant and he isn’t even in the match! Hogan and Savage are wary of Luger, pointing out that the Dungeon didn’t touch Luger at all. Savage then accuses Jimmy Hart and Sting of being in cahoots with The Dungeon. Sting vouches for Luger and urges Hogan to add him to the team. Savage is opposed and Luger isn’t cool with the idea as Sting tells him that if he doesn’t, it will make Sting look like a fool. Nah, Sting would do that in a few weeks, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Luger accepts and Nitro is off the air as the War Games main event is set. Heenan sells that the team is due to fall apart because of the tension and accuses Sting of being up to something.

Since next week is the Fall Brawl post-show, only two matches are announced. Johnny B. Badd vs Paul Orndorff and either The American Males or The Nasty Boys vs The Blue Bloods.

Overall, this episode was alright, not as good as the premiere but I’d give it a watch for Savage/Norton and Sabu/Wright. The commentary is awful thanks to Mongo and the potshots at the WWE are really unbearable. The bad news is that for all the potshots that Bischoff took including spoiling the results resulted in a 2.5-2.4 victory for Raw.

#FireMongo

The guy just sucks and I seriously think he has some type of brain damage based off how he commentates. I know that with his job as a football player, he probably has it but this is the special brain damage. Just awful.

 

 

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Robert Goeman

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman.

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