Merry Christmas, and welcome to a special yultide edition of WCW Monday Nitro. Your hosts are Mongo, Bisch’, and The Brain.
Lex Luger vs Scotty Riggs
The show picks up after this match has started, with Luger strutting about. However, he doesn’t have much to strut about now as Riggs is actually taking it to him on multiple occasions. Honestly, this match is becoming better than it ever had any right to be, as Luger is selling like hell for Riggs, and they’re going all over the place. Eventually though, Riggs misses a missile drop kick, and the crowd goes crazy as they sense The Rack is coming up. Say what you will, but Luger was over. Damn good match to open up Nitro with.
Luger with The Rack submission at 6:13 | **3/4
Mean Gene talks to Stinger, who talks the same deal he has for weeks about Luger, Starrcade, and Ric Flair.
Big Bubba Rogers vs Sting
Something is up tonight, because these two went out there and delivered far beyond my expectations too. Usually these Nitro matches with Sting are nothing. He gets beat for a minute, then splash & Deathlock. But these two switched it up, goin’ an even back & forth. While brawling outside, Sting hits Bubba with a bulldog. Pretty brutal and certainly not something you saw you saw a lot of back then. Soon after, Rogers tries to suplex Sting off the top rope, but is instead cradled for the pin. Far more refreshing than the usual Sting finish we’d get. Another good one.
Sting pins Bubba with a cradle at 4:55 | **1/2
Mean Gene interviews Luger & Hart while wearing a Santa hat. Bad kids receive coal, while a bad Gene receives Anabuse. Luger says he’s the uncrowned champion, and while Hart starts talking, Sgt Pitman comes out, wanting to be managed. Hart says he came to the right place, but no go, as he isn’t nearly as ripped as Luger.
Dean Malenko vs Mr. JL
These guys tear it up right from the get go with multiple switches, reversals, and moves you weren’t seeing in American wrestling at a speed most couldn’t compete with. Dean dominates and before putting JL in a leg-lock and tapping him out, he takes him up to the top rope on his back, then throws him up in the air and sends him crashing into his knee gut first. Awesome. Unfortunately the match is drastically short, but still makes us 3 for 3 tonight as far as quality stuff is concerned.
Mr. JL taps out like he was Mrs. JL to a leg-lock at 3:41 | **
Ric comes out for an interview, which is promptly interrupted by Jimmy Hart, who says he wants to be ringside tonight for when Flair defeats Macho.
Ric Flair vs Macho Man Randy Savage © – WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Macho goes after Ric’s leg immediately, and puts him in his own Figure 4. Stealing someone’s finisher was always a guaranteed pop back then. Ric reaches the ropes, so the ref tells Randy to break because of the fact, but then Macho has a brilliant strategy of simply saying no he doesn’t. It’s great. Even the ref believes him and looks back at Ric to see if he does or not. With the commercial breaks and Starrcade coming up, this is an abridged version of most Flair/Macho classics, but this one still delivers. Unfortunately, it really starts to get going just as it ends, as Luger runs in to deliver a beat down on Macho. Regardless, it’s a great match and tops what is without a doubt the best WCW Monday Nitro I’ve ever seen.
Match ends in a DQ when Luger runs in at 14:33 | ***1/4th
Sting shows up to help out Macho, and once they clean house, we’re out.
Match of the Night: Every match was worthwhile tonight, but it’s no surprise that Flair & Macho take the honors. It was a lot of fun and you could see them both enjoying themselves, probably ecstatic that Hogan wasn’t around.
Move of the Night: I gotta give the honor to when Macho had Flair in the Figure 4, Flair reaches the ropes, and the ref tells Macho that he got hold of’em, and to break the hold. But Macho simply says “no, he doesn’t”, forcing the ref to second guest himself and check again. Everyone trusts Mach’. Honorable mention to Malenko’s SuperKnee, which would have won had Macho’s deal not made me laugh.
Announcer Moment of the Night: Nothing really stood out tonight.
Hell of a show, and so far the best WCW Monday Nitro I’ve seen. Every match had merit, there was no Hulk Hogan, and while the Dungeon was present, they actually delivered. Interviews were brief, and we didn’t have a million discussions about “can I trust you? can you trust me?”. Well, this is it for the year 1995 as far as Nitro is concerned. After this we have Starrcade, and then it’s a whole new year, a new year that should have been the landmark for WCW’s decades long success. However, we’ve still got a lot more Hogan & Dungeon to deal with before all that happens.