Championship Standings as of January 1st, 1996:
World Heavyweight: Ric Flair – December 27th, 1995
United States: One Man Gang – December 27th, 1995
Television: Johnny B. Badd – October 29th, 1995
Tag-Team: Harlem Heat – September 27th, 1995
Welcome one and all to the very first WCW Monday Nitro of the year that changed it all for WCW.
Live from Atlanta, GA. Your commentators for the evening are Mongo, Bischoff, and Heenan.
Arn Anderson vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Macho attacks Arn right at the jump without even taking off his coat, so with the streamers flying, it looks like Arn is fighting a mummy sponsored by Starburst. Ha, a wrestler fighting a guy dressed like a mummy, that’s funny because it’d never ha—oh. Dammit. Mach’ is after the pin, but Arn is taking his time, working Savage’s arm, which is still taped up. He keeps it going until Macho tries to mount a comeback, but ends up eating a DDT for his efforts. Rope makes it possible for a break. Anderson tries to knock out Mach’ with the fistpack, but his best efforts get turned on him, giving Mr. Savage the pin. A decent match, but honestly, I was looking forward to more. Although with his arm still healing, I assume he can only do so much.
Macho gets the pin after clocking Anderson with a fist pack at 8:01 | **1/4
Steven Regal vs Chris Benoit
Bischoff tells us the results to the RAW Bowl, which was the first RAW I ever recorded, and loved the hell out of. This is a bit of a dream match, and something I’d like to see on PPV. Right off the bat they give you exactly what you’d expect, trading punches & head-butts before escalating to the suplexes & near-falls. After a jumping Tombstone, Regal rolls outside to collect himself, only to be followed by a jumping Benoit. Regal side-steps him, resulting in Chris eating the concrete, and allowing Steven to roll him back in and get the pin. Great stuff, and something I wish we’d have got on PPV. This was quick-paced & hard-hitting, delivering everything you’d except from the two.
Benoit eats the pavement, and then a pin at 5:41 | ***
On WCW Saturday Night, we’re gonna get The American Males vs Arn & Brian, while Lex Luger facs The Cobra! Take my money, baby.
The Super Assassins w/ Col. Rob Parker vs Lex Luger & Sting
I have no idea where the Assassins came from, other than the 1970s. Nothing spectacular here, honestly. A team from the 70’s, with a match story from the 80’s. Sting was the face in pearl the entire match, causing the crowd to pop like crazy for Luger once he finally tags in. Soon after, he throws one of’em in the Rack, while Sting throws the other in the Deathlock, as the crowd goes INSANE for it. Both SA’s tap-out. A decent tag, nothing spectacular. I never really dug the team of Luger & Sting, as I always found their matches to be rather predictable, and pretty bland.
Stinger & Sexy Flexy Lexy get the win via submission at 5:57 | **
Ric Flair © vs Hulk Hogan – WCW World Heavyweight Championship
I’d like to state for the record that I’m absolutely shocked that Ric Flair came to the ring first. Once the bell rings we get the greatest hits: Flair chopping & punching Hogan to no effect, Hogan tossing Ric from the top-rope, Flair chop-blocking, and of course, Flair not winning. At one point Arn Anderson shows up and clocks Hogan with the fist pack, to which the Hulkster complete no-sells, something I’ve never seen before. That’s flat out bullshit. Two things you always gotta sell are the fist-packs/brassknux, and the ball shot, otherwise, c’mon, then what are we doing here? This brings out the rest of the Horsemen, and since we’re in Horsemen Country, Hogan single-handedly deals with them. The Dungeon show up, and this brings out Macho to help. The match is alright, but didn’t get the time to get on par with their previous classics.
Match is a DQ at 7:54 | **
Afterwards we get an interview with Hulk & Macho, and they throw down the gauntlet against Flair & Anderson for next week. Hot damn.
Fun show this week. I’m looking forward to seeing Macho heal up 100% so we can get some real matches out of him. Benoit & Regal was great for the time it got, and hopefully we’ll see it on PPV. Hogan & Flair always have a decent chemistry, so this was more than a suitable main event for the show. Mach’ & Ric’s feud is right around the corner, and it’s so good it actually improved house-show business. We’ve also got The Alliance to End Hulkamania coming up, and after that, we head to nWo country.
Did you keep writing reviews for 1996?
He doesn’t write these anymore.