Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Monday Nitro
January 1, 1996
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Ric Flair (12/27/1995)
WCW U.S. Champion: One Man Gang (12/27/1995)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (10/28/1995)
WCW World Television Champion: Johnny B. Badd (10/29/1995)
Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and that Emmy-award winning Steve “Mongo” McMichael.
Randy Savage vs. Arn Anderson
Arn cost Savage the belt at Starrcade, now they must fight. Right off the bat, Bischoff ruins the Raw Bowl for anybody flipping back and forth by saying that the Smokin’ Gunns win it all. He does this randomly throughout the night. These two are rockin’ and rollin’ to start. Savage connects with the flying double sledge, but then Arn drops him with an armbreaker DDT! And here we go. Arn goes all Anderson-style on Savage’s taped arm. One thing I’ve noticed in this first episode of 1996: Mongo is actually contributing to the commentary instead of berating Heenan the whole time. Maybe his New Year’s resolution was not to suck at his job as much as he did in 1995? Arn cranks on a stepover armbar like Ole used to do and grabs the ropes for leverage. Savage tries to fight back, but he ducks a punch and gets DRILLED with a DDT! Gosh I love that. Savage rolls near the ropes to save himself from sure defeat. Arn goes for another DDT, but Savage shoves him off into the ref. What ref Randy Anderson doesn’t see, won’t matter. Arn pulls out the taped knux from Starrcade. Before he can blast Savage, he gets nailed. Savage puts on the taped knux and it’s good night Arn. Ref wakes up and counts 1-2-3. (7:55) Pillman and Benoit come down to protest. **¼
Chris Benoit vs. Lord Steven Regal (w/Jeeves)
Well this is just a good idea here. Benoit NO-SELLS some headbutts from a knucklelock position and trips up Regal to give him a whole bunch of headbutts. That’s just brutal. Hank Aaron is in the crowd. Regal grabs a cravat. Mongo is enthralled with this hold and neither Bischoff or Heenan know exactly what to call that. Regal grounds Benoit for a bit, but he’s up with a release German suplex. Regal delivers a butterfly suplex for a couple nearfalls. Benoit nails Regal with a clothesline and wants a back superplex, but Regal elbows him off. Benoit has to settle for an electric chair drop, which is certainly effective. SWANDIVE HEADBUTT? There’s nobody there to hit, Mr. Benoit. Benoit wins a tombstone reversal exchange. That puts Regal on the floor to regroup. Benoit attempts a pescado, but Regal sidesteps him to cause Benoit to go splat on the floor. He rolls Benoit back in and covers him for 1-2-3. (5:42) Once again, a Horseman beats himself. **¾
Pillman and Anderson come out to meet Benoit in the ring with Gene Okerlund. Pillman is pissed that the Horsemen is down 0-2 five days after Flair regains the WCW world title. Benoit says that any wrestler who beats him only does so because he gets lucky. Pillman runs his mouth off to AA. Arn responds by telling Pillman that the primary job of a Horseman is to keep the belt on Flair, no matter what. See, it’s kind of a Ricky Bobby/Cal Naughton Jr. relationship. He also mentions to Pillman that he needs to chill out by starting unnecessary fights with the Dungeon of Doom. In comes the angry mob of Dungeon dwellers to get at the Horsemen, but Giant and Jimmy Hart hold them off. WHAT!
WCW Saturday Night! Watch it! 6:05PM eastern! TBS! The American Males take on Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman! Lex Luger battles the Cobra! Don’t miss it! It’s the MUTHASHIP! PAY WINDAHS AND ALL THAT PLUNDAH, BABY!
Sting & Lex Luger vs. The Super Assassins (w/Col. Robert Parker)
This is SO 1988! The Super Assassins are the Powers of Pain under edgier looking Assassins masks. Once this is over, Barbarian stays and Warlord goes back to the indys. No mention of Luger low-balling Sting at Starrcade. There’s just more of the same “Can Sting trust Luger?” stuff that’s been going on for months. Sgt. Craig Pittman stops by again to ask Mongo to manage him. WTF? How is Mongo qualified to manage anybody in WRESTLING? He declines Pittman’s offer and tells him that he’s a freakin’ Marine, so buck up and start destroying people like a REAL Marine can. In the ring, Sting is Stinger Splashing the crap out of the Assassins. Warlord tosses Sting out to Barbarian to drop him on the guardrail. Back in, Warlord applies a Canadian backbreaker for a while. The Super Assassins deliver a double running shoulderblock for two. False tag spot occurs and Luger acts pretty adamant to help his friend and partner. Instead of the Running Powerslam/Flying Headbutt combo, Warlord suplexes Sting and Barbarian comes off the middle rope to give Sting that extra push to the mat. REAL delayed cover on Sting thanks to ref Nick Patrick messing with Luger gets 1-2-NO! Warlord PLANTS Sting with a Powerbomb and heads up top. He misses a flying headbutt or something like that. HOT TAG TO LUGER! TORTURE RACK to Warlord! Sting cuts off Barbarian with the SCORPION DEATHLOCK! It’s over. (5:49) The crowd was going nuts for Sting and Luger. Good little power squash. *½
Gene Okerlund brings out Jimmy Hart and The Giant. Why did they stop Zodiac and Sullivan from getting at the Horsemen earlier? Naturally, Jimmy wants to work with the Horsemen to get rid of Hulkamania.
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan
Champ enters first, since Hogan is making his in-ring return. It starts off like most Hogan matches as he NO-SELLS everything. Flair chops Hogan around the ring until he tries that one time too many. He starts to NO-SELL again, but runs into an elbow in the corner. Hogan slams Flair off the top and clotheslines him to the floor. On the floor, Flair goes to the eyes. He whips Hogan into the guardrail, but he NO-SELLS that and clotheslines Flair down. Back in, Flair Flips into a clothesline on the apron. Flair chooses to go to the eyes AGAIN and clips Hogan from behind. He hits the Rolling Knee Drop to the knee and takes Hogan to school. FIGURE-FOUR! Hogan reverses the hold as Jimmy Hart runs down. Hogan goes over to yell at Jimmy only to get clipped again. Flair hits the suplex and covers for 1-2-NO! Hulk Up, three right hands, Big Boot, and the LEGDROP. Hogan grabs Jimmy on the apron. With the ref distracted with Jimmy, Arn comes in through the crowd and blasts Hogan with the taped knux! YES! NO! Hogan NO-SELLS! He punches Arn down and pulls the knux out of his trunks. GROSS! Hogan wins by DQ. (7:54) Benoit and Pillman attack, but Hogan nails them all with the knux. Wow. Hogan has all Four Horsemen down on their knees. Here comes the Giant with a barstool? As Giant rears back, Savage runs in and gets the barstool away from him. With the Horsemen high-tailing it out of the ring, Hogan punches Giant out of the ring with some help from the knux, leaving Hogan and Savage to stand tall in the ring. Standard Hogan/Flair stuff. **½
Coming up next, travel to a place of myth and fantasy (kind of like Stamford, Connecticut) where unicorns and elves inhabit the life (definitely like Stamford, Connecticut) and where a young hero seeks adventure and where evil demons threaten to destroy all. See Tom Cruise in Legend! You know Bischoff, Stamford Connecticut has other things besides WWE!
Gene Okerlund meets with Savage and Hogan in the ring. They make a challenge to Flair and Anderson for next week! That is, IF THEY GOT THE GUTS! Plus, Hogan and Savage have a secret weapon. And no, it’s not Sweetness. It’s taped knux. Alright, we out.