Monday, 16 March 2015

Monday Night Wars: Issue 1

Marc Pearson makes his return to ATPW, and is joined by the debuting Royston Healy. Let's see what they thought of the first ever head to head between WCW Nitro and WWF Raw. Healy oversees Raw, whilst Pearson casts his watchful eye of Nitro. Would it be Michaels vs. Sid or Hogan vs. Luger that would come out on top?

11th September 1995


Live from the Knight Centre in Miami, Florida, it's the second episode of Monday Nitro. The fans on hand have been treated to FOUR dark matches, FOUR! Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater fought to a double count out with Harlem Heat, Shark defeated Mark Starr, Kamala pinned Barry Houston and lastly Jonny B Badd beat Ric Flair by DQ. Gutted to have missed ANY of those right?!

Bischoff, Heenan and Mongo on commentary. 

We start off by recapping last week's shocking moment where Luger challenged Hogan for the WCW Title. Bischoff tells us that Vader has gone awol and won't be part of Hogan's team at the PPV, this Sunday. WAIT, what PPV? At no point last week did you even once mention that there was a PPV coming up! 

Match 1: Alex Wright vs. Sabu (3 minutes, 58 seconds)

Mongo says Sabu is like a lot of linebackers he has played with, he'll run you down! Ok Steve, whatever you say! Sabu's debut match in WCW is fast paced. Sabu uses his body as a weapon a lot, doesn't botch anything and makes me wince when he sails into the guard rail. Wright looks equally good, hitting nice suplexes and dropkicks. In a nice sequence he goes for a moonsault, Sabu moves so Wright lands on his feet and instantly transitions into a perfect German Suplex for 2. But a piss poor looking victory gets the win for Sabu at about 4 minutes.  BUT WAIT, there's more! Sabu gets a table out and drives himself and Wright through it SO THE REF REVERSES THE DECISION! Mannn, good match let down by a crap finish then a bollocks decision! 

Gene Mean brings out Ric Flair to talk about Arn Anderson and the old times. Luger comes out, Flair puts Luger over, so Luger LEAVES! Why not eh! 

Match 2: Sting vs. VK Wallstreet (4 minutes, 13 seconds)

This is Wallstreet's debut in WCW. We get a graphic for Fall Brawl 1995 during the entrances, holy shit there's a War Games match, best watch that, eh? Commentators tell us that it's Team Hogan Vs The Dungeon Of Doom. Can't wait if I'm honest! Match is absolutely nothing. Sting gets a splash off the top to get the win 4:06. As a match this meant nothing BUT, IN THE MONDAY NIGHT WAR THIS WAS MASSIVE. During Stings entrance Bischoff told us the result of Monday Night Raw's Main Event between Sid and Shawn Michaels! There had been an unwritten rule in wrestling to this point about not giving away results for their TV shows as both the WWF and WCW used to tape shows sometimes months in advance. This match tore that rule up. If the people at Titan Towers disliked Bischoff before, they positively HATED him now! 

Match 3: Randy Savage vs. Scott Norton (5 minutes, 39 seconds)

Savage does a great sell of a bear hug in this one, the commentators stress how devastating the move is. Norton gets 2 off a great powerbomb and hits a pair of backbreakers and a powerslam. The match is good but Mongo's commentary is really grating as he constantly talks about Football, now I get that he is a former NFL star but this isn't football. Norton gets a T-Bone style draping DDT but when he comes off the top Savage is able to move, he starts a comeback but OUT COME THE DUNGEON OF DOOM. In a SHOCKINGLY BAD FINISH, Avalanche and Kamala try to get into the ring, Savage whips Norton into Avalanche WHO FALLS ON TOP OF NORTON SO SAVAGE CAN DROP THE ELBOW AND GET THE PIN! WTF WAS THAT?! Enjoyed the match, the finish would have made sense IF it hadn't looked so bad! 

Match 4: Hulk Hogan (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Lex Luger, World Heavyweight Championship. (5 minutes, 28 seconds)

Onto our main event. Luger comes out to his GENERIC BIDDLE MUSIC (TM OSW Review), it's a joy to behold it really is! Mongo says "There's a real man" when Hogan comes out. Heenan quips "What's Luger, a midget?" Superb stuff! Both men hit moves and refuse to sell for the other. Luger gets a powerslam and the rack, Hogan won't give up but Luger releases the move thinking he has won. He hasn't ,of course, and when he covers HOGAN POWERS OUT and Hulks Up, big boot, legdrop...BUT HERE'S THE DUNGEON TO BEAT UP HOGAN, BUT, they leave Luger alone. Out come Team Hogan to even the scores, they clear the ring but Hogan notices that Luger wasn't touched, before he can say anything we go to a break. I ASSUME THE MEN JUST STAND THERE WHILE WE ARE AT COMMERCIAL!

When we come back Hogan is vexed but Sting vouches for Luger AND suggests he replaces Vader, then Jimmy Hart tells Hogan he should, Savage says Luger shouldn't be in the team. Hogan says that was the match of his life and asks Luger to be part of the team, Luger agrees but wants another title shot down the line. 

So there we go. While Raw was putting on nothing matches full of run ins and crap finishes, here we get crap finishes and run ins! Notice that all the new stars (Sabu, Wallstreet, Norton and Luger) ALL lost their debut matches! Show flashed by once again and is very easy to watch. Did NOTHING to promote the PPV other than the War Games match so it fails on that count!


Raw opens with a recap of what happened at Summerslam between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, then hypes both man's matches tonight with HBK facing Sycho Sid and Razor Ramon facing the British Bulldog. 

Match 1: Razor Ramon vs. The British Bulldog (7 minutes, 10 seconds)

A video replay of Dean Douglas grading Razor's performance at Summerslam, Vince McMahon plugs IYH3 Matches for both men with Razor vs Dean Douglas & Bulldog vs. Bam Bam Bigelow. Main focus of attack from Bulldog on Razor was the back after a hard fought ladder match at SummerSlam, this makes perfect sense to me. Vince and King constantly talk about what grade Dean Douglas would be giving Razor for this match, ok we get it, Douglas has a teacher gimmick! 

Douglas interferes in the match while Razor is covering Bulldog with the ref down, The 1 2 3 Kid comes in for the save but gets thwarted by Douglas. Douglas leaves then the Kid tries to help Razor however, Britsih Bulldog wins the match via DQ due to interferance from 1 2 3 Kid.

After the match Vince McMahon interviews Razor Ramon & The Kid in the ring. 
Kid brings up the fact that Razor also cost him a match the week before to set up a match between the two next week.

Promo Videos for Men on a Mission vs. Yokozuna & Owen Hart

Match 2: The Smoking Gunns vs The Brooklyn Brawler & Rad Radford (2 minutes, 46 seconds)

Brawler and Radford get the jump on the faces at the start of the match taking out Bart Gunn until Billy comes in for the save, then order is restored. Bit of a pointless squash match really that was won by Smoking Gunns getting the Pinfall Victory with a Sidewalk Slam/Leg drop combo.

A Promo video for Goldust is next on the show. 

Match 3: Dr. Issac Yankem vs Scott Taylor (2 minutes, 14 seconds)

Nothing more than a squash match, this match was too long for what it was. Yankem gets the win with the D.D.S

Next on the show is a promo for IYH3.

Match 4: Shawn Michaels Vs Sycho Sid (with Ted DiBiase), Intercontinental Championship (7 minutes, 21 seconds)

This was a much better match than I was expecting. This was the match Sycho Sid had earned at SummerSlam, that was replaced with the ladder match. Match starts off with HBK out wrestling Sid, so Sid goes out of the ring to compose himself, has a quick word with Ted DiBiase gets back in. HBK puts on a side head lock gets bounced off the ropes by Sid and attempts a running shoulder block which has no effect so tries the same move again and gets pushed out of the ring by Sid, managing to skin the cat before dropkicking Sid from behind. Sid gets back into the ring and puts on a side head lock of his own Shawn reverses it and goes for a Thesz press, however gets thrown straight to the ground, Sid uses his power to beat HBK in the corner, irish whip into opposite corner and goes to the outside. Sid follows Shawn outside and drops him onto the apron, DiBiase puts the boots to HBK outside the ring, ref starts the count, Shawn gets back in ring at 9, we then go to a short break. When we return Sid has on a bear hug locked on, Shawn squirms out but gets chokeslammed straight down to the mat which gets a 2. Sid goes for a power bomb which gets countered both men then start exchanging blows, HBK gets the better of this exchange and goes up top where he hits a flying cross body for the 2 count, Sid gets up very slowly and gets hit with a kick to the gut then a super kick followed Sweet Chin Music for the Victory for Shawn Michaels to retain the Intercontinental Chamionship.

Interview with Shawn Michaels & Diesel about IYH 3, he talks about righting all the wrongs in his life by reuniting with Diesel, Winning back the IC Title and avenging the loss at WrestleMania 10. Diesel finishes the interview by naming the team Two Dudes with attitudes saying after IYH3 they will be two chaps with all the straps. 

Next time: Raw - Owen Hart & Yokozuna vs. Men on a Mission Nitro - Johnny B. Badd vs. Paul Orndorff

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