SCOTTY RIGGS vs. LEX LUGER (w/Jimmy Hart)- 4/10
The announcers spent the entire match talking about Luger, Flair, Sting, Savage, and Hogan. I don’t think anyone (including the ring announcer) even mentioned Riggs’ name until about four minutes into the match. Bobby Heenan would then claim that Riggs, who didn’t even get an entrance and who he and the other announcers had almost completely ignored, was a “major star.” Sorry. I’m not buying it.
GENE OKERLUND INTERVIEWS STING- He asks Sting why he, the most super-ultra babyface ever, is hanging around with Lex Luger, a heel. Sting understandably gets pissed at Mean Gene because Gene has been asking Sting and Luger this question for two months now, and their answers haven’t changed. Sting reiterates that he doesn’t like some of the company Luger keeps, but they are still god friends and always will be, and he hopes that he will be able to eventually bring Luger around to the side of right once again.
Sting says he wants to get his hands on Flair and says that WCW will beat New Japan in the World Cup of Wrestling at Starrcade. Then Gene AGAIN asks him why he and Luger are hanging out together! At this point, Gene is just being an ass.
STING vs. BIG BUBBA- 3.75/10
A boring match with a very creative finish.
During this match, it was mentioned in passing that Hulk Hogan had been “suspended for the rest of 1995.” Just mentioned in passing. And this wasn’t even the first time Hogan’s name had come up. Or even the second. Or the third. To make things even worse, there was absolutely no mentioned of WHY the Hulkster was suspended. They just assumed that everyone had seen last week’s show.
While hyping up the World Cup of Wrestling part of Starrcade, Bischoff was very careful to bill it as “the stars of New Japan” against “the superstars of WCW.” He does realize that they are partners in this thing, doesn’t he?
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS LEX LUGER & JIMMY HART- he asks Luger why he and Sting are hanging out together. Luger says it’s because they’re pals. I feel like I’ve seen this same interview fifty times over the past few weeks.
Luger then claimed to be the uncrowned champion and said he would remain the uncrowned champion until he won the title. Thanks for that great insight, Lex.
Then Sergeant Pittman came out and asked Jimmy Hart to manage him. Hart had Pittman take his shirt off, then made fun of Pittman for being fat. Gene was annoying as hell here. After one of them would finish saying something, he would turn around and face the other guy, hold the mic up and say “did you hear what he said?!” THEY’RE STANDING TWO FEET AWAY FROM EACH OTHER, AND YOU WERE HOLDING A MICROPHONE UP THE WHOLE F*CK TIME!
DEAN MALENKO vs. J.L.- 4.75/10
They changed Mr. J.L.’s name to just “J.L.” Yeah. Because that’s a lot better.
The match went less than four minutes, but it was all action, and was great for the time it got. With showings like these, it really does make you realize how dumb WCW was to stick Jerry Lynn in a stupid costume and give him an even stupider name. Malenko made J.L. submit with his famed finisher, the “Malenko Leg Lock.”
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS RIC FLAIR- I swear to G-d if he asks him about the relationship between Sting and Luger I will throw something.
Phew. Dodged a bullet on that one. He asked Flair about his world title match with Randy Savage tonight. Flair said he would win the title. Then Jimmy Hart came out and apologized to Flair for Kevin Sullivan’s confrontational words to the Horsemen last week. Then he said that he wanted to repay Flair for saving him from Randy Savage a few weeks ago by offering to be in his corner for the main event. Flair said okay.
WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: “Macho Man” Randy Savage(c) vs. Ric Flair (w/Jimmy Hart)- 7.25/10
Mongo told us that Savage wanted to kick Flair’s ass right now because Flair had done something to Savage’s father. That seems like it was a really hot angle. SO WHY DON’T YOU SHOW IT DO US?!
That explanation did shed some light on Savage’s aggressiveness and willingness to do things like use chairs or take cheap shots. They told a good story and both guys sold well, and as a result, we got the best match we have had on Nitro thus far, and not by a slim margin, either. Unfortunately (although, in hindsight, appropriately for the best match in the history of Nitro), it ended in a DQ (Luger ran in and attacked Savage).
Sting then came out, and before we could find out which of them he was going to help, Flair cut him off. Sing got the best of Flair and Savage got the best of Luger, then they bumped into each other and had a shoving match.
This was all fine build for the world title picture for Starrcade, but it didn’t really leave me with much of a desire to see the show. The thing I am looking forward to the most is the Flair vs. Sting vs. Luger #1 contendership match, and that is mostly just to see how these three guys do a three-way match in 1995.
If I were a fan at the time, I would probably care about the world title stuff, but most of these Japanese guys would be unknowns to me. The only three we know will be there are Tenzan, Chono, and Sasaki, and of those three, the only one we have seen on Nitro at all is Sasaki. Liger was going to be on the show… why not hype up Benoit vs. Liger? Or at least, you know… announce it. Or any of the other matches, for that matter. Alex Wright is getting an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title shot. Eddie Guerrero is facing Shinjiro Otani. Johnny B. Badd is going to face Masa Saito? Why not hype these matches up to make this whole World Cup of Wrestling thing look… you know… important and exciting? Even the three matches we do know (Luger vs. Chono, Sting vs. Sasaki, and Savage vs. Tenzan) have only been mentioned in passing, with no real hype surrounding them at all. WCW has built up their biggest show of the year, but only one feud- which comprises just two of the nine scheduled matches- has been treated as something we should care about.
Issues with the WCW vs. New Japan thing aside, I can’t call this a bad go-home show, but I think it was really hurt by feeling exactly the same as last week’s show. Luger wrestled and won a match, then Gene asked him about his relationship with Sting and about Starrcade. Sting wrestled and won a match, then Gene asked him about his relationship with Luger and about Starrcade. Savage defended the world title in a match that ended in a DQ. Last week had some important stuff occur for other storylines and this week had MUCH better wrestling, but the shows still felt completely the same. I think it would have been a lot more beneficial to give Benoit or Johnny B. Badd or Alex Wright wins on one of these shows instead of doing the same damn thing over and over again with Sting and Luger.
WCW, ECW, UPW, etc
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