WCW Nitro lasted from September 1995 to March 2001. Throughout its time on television, WCW Nitro provided a lot of memorable moments. Here are ten of them, in no specific order of significance.
Lex Luger arrives on the 1st WCW Nitro
The first defection of the Monday Night Wars was a genuine surprise to wrestling fans and employees of the WWF at the time. Luger had been a midcarder for the WWF and decided to take a chance and go back to WCW and be involved in main event feuds. He would be presented as a heel for the first year or so in the company before having a decent babyface push in late 1996 through mid ’98. Long term the defection didn’t have much of an impact but it proved that anything could happen on WCW Nitro.
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash arrive in WCW
Razor Ramon and Diesel left the WWF within a few weeks of each other. Ramon (Hall) showed up first and made it clear that he was there for a reason and that he had a big man (Nash) coming with him. For the first time in awhile WCW became an interesting program and had two fresh wrestlers who hadn’t been in WCW for several years nor worked with the majority of guys in the company. Without question the debuts of the Outsiders is a factor in WCW becoming a popular company and won the Wars for as long as the company had.
Sting Walks Out On WCW
In the fall of ’96 WCW wrestlers and maybe even fans couldn’t trust Sting. They all thought he had joined the New World Order when a fake Sting attacked Lex Luger in a parking lot and left with New World Order members. Sting proved at Fall Brawl ’96 that he could be trusted but would walk out on his teammates at the event. Sting then went on Nitro the next night and walked out on the promotion. Sting would return as the Crow sting becoming the character that fans would love despite not saying a word for over a year.
Eric Bischoff Joins The New World Order
Bischoff, who had been the voice of WCW Nitro from the inception, joined the heel faction on November 18th when the New World Order attacked Roddy Piper and Eric embraced Hogan in the ring. Bischoff was known to be the WCW President so having him join the New World Order gave the group even more power and heel heat if that was even possible. It’s also a defining moment in Bischoff’s career as he would become a good heel character for WCW moving forward.
Goldberg Beats Hogan For The WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Ever since making his debut in September 1997 for WCW, Goldberg had been dominating the WCW roster and rising up the card. He won the WCW United States Championship on April 20th. That same night, Hogan won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Randy Savage. Just about three months later they would meet on WCW Nitro on July 6th where Goldberg was able to beat Hogan for his first and only WCW World Heavyweight Championship in a sold out Georgia Dome. It’s the match that made Goldberg a household name.
Ric Flair Returns To Nitro September 1998
After roughly seven months of Flair having a poor relationship with his boss Eric Bischoff, Flair returned to WCW Nitro on September 14th. It was also a reunion of the Horsemen and it’s an incredible segment all around. The emotion and crowd reaction attached to it is one of the best you’ll ever witness in wrestling. The segment proves how much Flair was loved and how poorly he was used during the Monday Night Wars.
Fingerpoke Of Doom
January 4th, 1999 is the date that WCW gave the middle finger to all their fans by screwing them out of the advertised Goldberg/Nash main event and replaced it with Nash/Hogan. We hadn’t seen a Hogan/Nash singles match so it wasn’t too bad, but what made it the worst decision in the history of WCW was the fact that it was a screw job to reform the New World Order. Hogan poked Nash in the chest and pinned him. The heel faction would beat down Goldberg as well. Just nothing good came from it.
Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit Tribute To Owen Hart October 4th, 1999
For over twenty minutes these two put on the best match in WCW Nitro history. It’s Bret’s last fantastic match and a match that showed fans how great Benoit could be with a top talent. It was a perfect tribute to Bret’s younger brother Owen, as well. If you haven’t watched it before, go out of your way to watch it. You will not be disappointed.
The New Blood Debuts
Vince Russo becomes a on-screen talent and leads a group of young, misused wrestlers to take the top spots from the older washed up guys. It was teased that Eric Bischoff would be the leader of the older generation of guys he brought it and pushed, but he instead joined forces with Russo. The angle would be a mainstay of WCW programming for three months before being dropped. It’s a big moment because April 10th was the restart of the promotion and this was the angle they went with. Less than a year later, WCW was dead.
The Last Nitro
March 26th, 2001 marks the final day that WCW Nitro was ever broadcasted on television. It took me over twelve years to actually sit down and watch the final show. WCW will forever be a favorite of mine and a company I enjoyed even during their not so great years. People may not realize it but WCW was huge for the success of RAW over the years.
What are your favorite memories of WCW Nitro? Feel free to leave them below!
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.