This was the very first Nitro from Flair Country. In fact, not only was it from Flair Country, but it was from the very heart of Flair Country, Charlotte, North Carolina, the home of... NASCAR. That’s what they said. They acknowledged that this city was the home of an entirely different sport, but made no mention of the fact that it is the hometown of one of the most popular wrestlers in the company, who also happens to be a part of tonight’s big main event.
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. MR. J.L.- 4/10
Not only did this match get no entrances, but when the bell rang, the camera was still focused on the announcers doing their opening bit. The match was short, but had some pretty good action.
The announcers hyped up the fact that Eddie Guerrero would be one of the guys representing WCW against New Japan at Starrcade. Bobby Heenan noted that the Japanese wrestlers were currently in the US training “in the Smoky Mountains.” Huh. I guess now we know who Cornette sold his rings to.
GENE OKERLUND INTERVIEWS JIMMY HART & LEX LUGER- good build for Luger challenging Savage for the WCW World Heavyweight Title. It almost makes you wonder why they are doing the Triangle #1 Contendership Match at Starrcade as well instead of just giving Luger the title shot and booking some big Flair vs. Sting match (maybe in a cage to keep the Horsemen and Luger out).
DISCO INFERNO vs. MR. WONDERFUL- 0.5/10
Almost a complete squash, but Orndorff had his foot on the ropes when he pinned Disco. No one called out this bit of cheating. I did enjoy seeing him mock Disco’s dancing, though.
GENE OKERLUND INTERVIEWS THE HORSEMEN-
Only Flair, Arn, and Pillman came out. Flair’s pop was quieter than I expected, but it was definitely long. After two months, Mean Gene finally gets around to asking Pillman what it is like to be part of the legendary Four Horsemen (also making sure to note that Benoit was part of the group). According to Pillman’s answer, they are feuding with Hogan, the American Males, and Mongo. The only one of these that we have seen any evidence of is the feud with Hogan, which randomly started last week. He also referenced Paul Orndorff being advised by Gary Spivey of the Psychic Friends Network, which hasn’t been mentioned since the skit that it actually happened in back at Fall Brawl almost three months ago. If this was important, you’d think it would have been mentioned by the announcers during Orndorff’s match a few minutes ago.
Flair then started to cut a promo, but Paul Orndorff came out to yell at Pillman. He said that the only reason Pillman was a Horseman was that Orndorff turned them down, and that Pillman was just there to carry everyone else’s bags and chauffer them around. Pillman slapped Orndorff, resulting in a brawl, which Arn and Flair got involved in. Orndorff took a Horseman beatdown, then ate a spike pildriver from Flair and Arn onto the cement. The announcers could tell that this was going to “explode” before any punches were even thrown, but no security came out at any time, either before the fighting started or after it. Orndorff did a stretcher-job.
“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN vs. LEX LUGER (w/Jimmy Hart)- 0.5/10
They did stuff. The finish came when Duggan, the babyface, waited until Jimmy Hart was distracting the referee, then pulled tape out of hi tights and began to tape his fist up as if this was illegal. Luger bumped him into Jimmy (who fell off the apron), then won clean with the Torture Rack. That was pointlessly overbooked.
Bischoff then said that Masahiro Chono had better be paying attention because he would be facing Luger at Starrcade. What? I thought Luger was in the #1 contendership three-way with Sting and Flair. Will he have to wrestle twice or even three times on that show?
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS RANDY SAVAGE- in addition to defending the WCW World Heavyweight Title at Starrcade, Savage will also be facing Hiroyoshi Tenzan. He will also be defending the title next week on TV against the Giant.
RIC FLAIR & ARN ANDERSON vs. STING & HULK HOGAN- 6.75/10
It was announced that in addition to the triangle #1 contendership match, Sting would also wrestle Kensuke Sasaki at Starrcade but the US Title would not be on the line because New Japan said so.
Jimmy Hart came down to ringside and distracted the ref, allowing Luger to pull Hogan off the apron, ram him into the ringpost, and put him in the Torture Rack, which Sting had promised Hogan last week would not happen.
After that, the heels took over and worked Sting’s knee over until he made a short comeback then tagged in Hogan… who immediately ate a spinebuster just so he could no-sell it and Hulk up. The match was very good, but could have been better.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- very good.
Pillman jumped the babyfaces and the Horsemen beat them down. Arn and Flair worked over Hogan while Pillman worked over Sting. Luger came out and pulled Pillman off of Sting and told him to beat Hogan up instead, so Pillman did. Sting wanted to help Hogan. Luger stopped him at first, but when he realized that Sting going to do it no matter what, he just let the Stinger go. Savage also came out to make the save and the heels bailed.
Then Sting punched Savage!
They tried to play it off like it was an accident, but there was no way it was an accident. Hogan kept the peace between them, and Mean Gene came out for an interview. They recapped the whole situation, pushing the fact that the other babyfaces don’t like the fact that Sting is pals with the heel Luger. Hogan claimed to be “on suspension.” Yes. Just a few minutes after wrestling a match. Savage, for his part, completely misused the word “subliminally.” Hogan then remembered what next week’s main event was and plugged the Savage-Giant title match, and asked Sting to have their back.
The announcers did their show-closing rundown where Bischoff explained Hogan’s error. He was merely “on probation” and worried about being suspended.
Not a bad show from WCW, but it would have felt a lot worse if the main event was even just a little bit worse.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Bischoff miscalled a rib-breaker as an atomic drop. Those moves are both announcing 101.
WCW, ECW, UPW, etc
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