– Yep, we’re reviewing old Nitros in chronological order. You can read the episodes we’ve already done here, in irregular order. Sorry.
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Please click through for the vintage Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for September 18, 1995.
This Week’s Pepe Costume: Cowboy
After a devil costume (in support of the Dungeon Of Doom) in week one and a sombrero in week two, Pepe gets a feature close-up “by popular demand” and a cowboy hat. The little hat has palm trees on the front, so I don’t know if he’s supposed to be one of those Kenny Chesney “beach” cowboys or what.
In case you were wondering if a closeup on Pepe would ruin the reaction shots from the people forced to broadcast alongside him, nope:
Heenan derisively shakes his head in silence, then holds his nose. You’ve got to wonder what the thought process was in putting together this announce team. “We’ve got the guy who runs the company and Bobby Heenan. You know who else would be great? An ex-football player with brain damage who can’t stop screaming nonsense. Oh, you know what else, HE SHOULD HOLD A SMALL DOG THAT WEARS COSTUMES.”
Mongo, on tonight’s show: “Let me tell ya baby, get Granmaw outta the bathroom, ’cause if you ain’t here, you’re gettin’ a bum steer!”
Mongo’s probably the only person in the world who could use a Kiwi colloquialism and “make your grandmother stop shitting during wrestling” in the same sentence. Next week’s Pepe costume: bathroom grandma.
Best/Worst: The Dungeon Of Doom Is Hilarious
Here’s what you missed at Fall Brawl 1995: Hulk Hogan won.
All right, fine, I’ll expound. Hulk Hogan could not f*cking lose in 1995, so of course his team defeated the Dungeon Of Doom in a War Games match. Hogan made the Zodiac submit to a chinlock. War Games ended WITH A CHINLOCK. It’s like when you play a wrestling video game and you’re 40 minutes into an epic match and your opponent just grabs you in a headlock and makes you tap. Per the pre-match stipulation, a victory in War Games meant Hulk Hogan got five minutes in the cage alone with Kevin Sullivan. During those five minutes, The Giant showed up and “snapped” Hulk Hogan’s neck. It was a full-on Schwarzenegger snap, too, with big arm motions and Hogan flopping around on the ground like a fish.
Sullivan and The Giant show up to Nitro in the back of an ambulance to rub it in, and Mean Gene gives Giant the most amazing wag of the finger about it. We’re still at that point in Big Show’s career where WCW was pretending he was Andre the Giant’s son (seriously), so Gene’s all WHAT WOULD YOUR FATHER THINK. It’s so good. I wanted The Giant to yell SHUT UP, MY FATHER IS KAMALA.
Worst: The American Males
1. Mongo: “I told ya get Granmaw outta the bathroom she’s got some real cuties to look at here.”
WHY IS YOUR GRANDMOTHER STILL IN THE BATHROOM. JESUS.
2. At Fall Brawl, Harlem Heat won the tag team championships from Bunkhouse Buck and Dirty Dick Slater, aka “Dickhouse.” Nobody called them that. Dickhouse’s manager, Colonel Robert Parker, is in love with Harlem Heat’s manager, Sister Sherri. This all becomes important later, and there’s a wedding.
Anyway, the opening match of Nitro is supposed to be the Bluebloods (Lord Steven Regal and Bobby Eaton, who’d entered that “I’m getting old, do whatever you want with me” Richard Morton part of his career) against the American Males, Scotty Riggs and Marcus Alexander Bagwell. You may know Marcus as that weird porn star with the airbrushed hat. Harlem Heat’s feeling confident, so they jump the Bluebloods backstage and offer to put their newly-won tag team championships on the line against the Males. This backfires when Colonel Parker shows up and carries away Sherri like he’s The Bodyguard, allowing Bagwell to reverse a pumphandle slam into a pin and win the tag titles. WHOOPS.
Note: I’m not totally sure how Sherri getting laid by wrestling’s Foghorn Leghorn makes your pumphandle slam worse, but here we are. The American Males are your new tag team champions.
3. The American Males are notable for having one of the greatest entrance themes of all time. It’s basically The Room as wrestling music.
“AMERICAN MALES! AMERICAN MALES! AMERICAN MALES! AMERICAN MALES! AMERICAN MALES! AMERICAN MALES! AMERICAN MALES! AMERICAN MALES!”
I find something new to hate about it every time I hear it. It starts with the classic American instrument — didgeridoo — then launches into a Devo-style announcement of the team’s name. That gives way to some late hair-metal crotch-rock about how you should “run for cover” instead of talking to the American Males, because they put girls in “critical condition.” So they’re either assaulting women, or f*cking them into the ICU. Either way, holy shit.
Worst: It’s 1995 And Ric Flair Has Nothing To Say
Ric Flair is angry. He also might need a little dental work.
But no, Flair’s angry because at Fall Brawl, Brian Pillman interfered in the Flair vs. Arn Anderson match and caused Flair to lose. Flair doesn’t really have a point but he’s got five minutes of mic time to kill, so he just points at the camera and screams, and ends with I’M GONNA KICK YOUR ASS. At one point he says “WOOOOO! Bwwwwwaaad idea,” which confirms that it’s a bwad idea to say “woo” before other words.
At the risk of spoiling nearly 20-year old WCW storylines, this is one of the two written for Halloween Havoc ’95 that make little-to-no sense. The first involves monster trucks on a roof. The other is the Flair vs. Arn story, which turns out to be a long con for (you guessed it) everyone to turn on Sting. At Fall Brawl, Arn and Flair wrestled for 20 minutes until Pillman interfered. At Halloween Havoc, Arn teams up with Pillman to take on Flair and Sting. They wrestle for ANOTHER twenty minutes, and then everyone’s like BOOM, ROASTED and jumps Sting’s shit. It’s so weird. They could’ve just walked up to Sting in the back, said “hello” and punched him in the face. It would’ve saved them three months of planning and hurting each other.
Anyway, Flair’s gonna kick Pillman’s ass tonight. None of it has anything to do with Sting.
Best: Mr. Number One-derful
The highlight of this episode is ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff’s incredible WCW entrance music, which you may remember from Hulk Hogan’s birthday party from Raw back in August.
The announce team can not. stop. talking about how much they hate it. Shawn Michaels didn’t sell a Hulk Hogan big boot as much as the Nitro announcers sell Mr. Wonderful’s theme. They’re about to literally hang themselves from the set when they’re saved by Johnny B. Badd, whose entrance theme sounds like the f*cking ‘Saved By The Bell’ intro. This is GREAT, I guess.
Worst: This Match Is Also Badd
… great view of the shoulders there, ref.
If you’re not familiar with Johnny B. Badd, here’s what you need to know: WCW gave a former boxer with almost no wrestling training a Little Richard gimmick and put him over everybody for five years. A Little Richard gimmick. His finish was a punch. A Little Richard who could beat you by punching you once. Also, he had a confetti gun. DO YOU LOVE JOHNNY B. BADD YET.
Here’s an example of how confusing Badd’s booking was: at Fall Brawl, he goes to a 20-minute time limit draw with Brian Pillman. Pillman. He gets a pin 9-minutes into “sudden death overtime,” which is different from a NORMAL wrestling match that ends on the first pinfall because REASONS. That made him the new number one contender for the WCW United States Championship. The next night on Nitro, he loses clean to Mr. Wonderful in about four minutes. Mr. Wonderful, a man feuding with HIMSELf with help from Gary Spivey of the Psychic Companion Network. You know, the guy who looked like a big Q-tip.
Best: Kevin Sullivan Tries To Kill People On The Set Of ‘Baywatch’
The Dungeon Of Doom isn’t just trying to beat the good guys in wrestling matches; they are literally trying to KILL THEM FOR REAL, snapping their necks and trying to crush their throats with weights. Keep in mind that this is a heel faction that lives in a mystical castle and employs a fat man dressed like a shark.
Here’s what you need to know: the stars of WCW were asked to guest star on an episode of ‘Baywatch.’ If you don’t remember ‘Baywatch,’ it was 15 seconds of Pamela Anderson running down a beach in slow motion, followed by 59 minutes and 45 seconds of puberty blackout. The Macho Man is there, just casually pumping iron on the beach while a bunch of extras in Baywatch swimsuits stand around going YEAH COME ON LIFT WEIGHTS YEAH COME ON DO IT. The Taskmaster pops in from out of nowhere thanks to his BAYWATCH OUTFIT CAMOUFLAGE, shoves a beach dude in the face and tries to choke Savage to death with his own weights. When that doesn’t work, he gives savage some weak clubbing forearms to the back (excellent Plan B) and THROWS SAND IN HIS EYES. Ric Flair makes the save (wearing full gear, including kneepads around his shins, on the beach) and Sullivan gets thrown off the set.
To thank Flair, Savage immediately cuts a promo about how Flair can go f*ck himself. You should’ve just let the Taskmaster sand him into blindness, Ric.
Worst: Randy Savage And Lex Luger Look Like A Valentine’s Day Card
They’re mad at each other because they won last night. Babyfaces, everybody.
Best: Here Come The Monster Trucks
Oh God, where to even begin?
Hulk Hogan arrived to Fall Brawl on his “cherished” Harley Davidson motorcycle. He rides up to find Mean Gene and like, 15 of the whitest extras you’ve ever seen. It’s a semi-circle of people hopping up and down, thrusting sheets of notebook paper into Hogan’s face for an autograph. None of them are attempting to interact with him, they just exist in his presence. Between this and the Pastamania thing, I’m starting to wonder if Hogan’s 1995 entourage wasn’t just 30 of his relatives pretending to be fans.
So Hogan shows up and starts bragging from his motorcycle. About that time THE GIANT shows up to the arena driving A MONSTER TRUCK, because he is GIANT and that’s the only automobile he can drive. The Giant drives over Hogan’s motorcycle and smashes it. Hogan’s response is to approach the monster truck door and helplessly pound on it with double axe-handles while The Giant leans out of the window like Luke f*cking Duke and cackles. AND SCENE.
This is amazing, and we haven’t even gotten to the GIANT MUMMY parts.
Best/Worst: Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman
The main event is Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman, and it’s hard to enjoy for two reasons.
1. Good Guy Ric Flair in the 90s is so weird. He was never good for very long, so seeing him still so close to his prime just TROUNCING guys like Pillman and beating them clean with the figure four is … unsettling? I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel right.
2. All that stuff I mentioned about the upcoming turn at Halloween Havoc, which means in retrospect, all of this is fake. Well, a different kind of fake. Even if Flair and Arn had to handle “family business” on their own and decided to screw Sting later, they’re already in the planning stages here. The only other explanation is that they really, honestly hated one another, but were brought back together by their love of making Sting look stupid.
Next Week On Nitro:
The Nitro debut of the Disco Inferno, Sgt. Craig Pittman takes on the guy who directed Seven Samurai and MENG is here. And he’s got a HELMET.