RETRO Ratings: The First WCW Nitro For Fightful Select


  • I loved the intro. It brought back such positive memories. It was so different than everything WCW was doing at the time.
  • What didn't bring back good memories was Steve "Mongo" McMichael talking about "dicking around in the dirt." He was fucking miserable. Fortunately Bobby Heenan is there to help.
  • Speaking of different from everything WCW was doing -- lighting, presentation. This was a far cry. The Mall of America was a good move, in my estimation.
  • They couldn't have bought a new canvas? This one was dirty as hell
John Cena Reveals The Biggest Lesson He's Learned From Vince McMahon

Brian Pillman defeated Jushin Thunder Liger

  • Mongo calls Heenan "Bobby Hernia." Jesus. "Bobby the Stain" is another one.
  • Pillman and Liger are not on the same page at all on a headscissors takeover.
  • We gotta see Jushin Liger against Brian Pillman Jr at a Janela show eventually, right?
  • Liger using a surfboard and Nick Patrick not counting the pin are the true ying and yang of WCW.
  • Both men spill over the top rope and now it picks up. Pillman suplexes Liger over the top rope and dives from the top buckle onto Liger.
  • After a superplex, Pillman dropkicks Liger out of midair!
  • The spots here get crazier -- especially for American wrestling in 1995. A super Frankensteiner from Liger and a tornado DDT from Pillman.
  • Pillman scores the pin out of nowhere.
  • This was a good match, and another great way to set the tone that WCW Nitro was going to be different than WWF Raw.

Backstage crappenings

Sting vs. Ric Flair goes to a no contest

  • We see a short, sweet inset promo from Sting.
  • Huge "Luger" chants as Lex Luger appears. They pretend he's not a part of the show. He'd wrestled in a tag team title match two days prior, teaming with Michaels against Owen & Yoko. He'd filmed a WWF Superstars match against Mabel that never made air.
  • Sting hits a big press slam to start.
  • Both guys spill outside on a Flair body press, but Sting press slams him a lot.
  • Sting was the perfect smart foil for all of Flair's crap. We also see like the seventh press slam of this match.
  • Arn Anderson makes his way out to the ring.
  • Mongo tries really hard to prove he knows big words.
  • A Superplex from Sting, but Flair applies a figure four.
  • I'm not sure if they had agents for this show, but if so they did bad. A ton of press slams back to back, and superplexes in back to back matches.
  • Arn gets involved and stops the Figure Four. He brawls with Ric Flair.

Other Crappenings

  • After this mess, Scott Norton for some reason comes out and talks trash to Mongo McMichael. Randy Savage challenges Scott Norton to a match, and we get the corniest 1980s promo ever.
  • The perception here is that WCW has NO CONTROL over their own show.
  • We see a Sabu video. I wonder how different things would be with him in WCW. Sabu would wrestle four times for WCW, three Nitro matches and winning a Halloween Havoc match. Total in-ring time was about 14:30
  • Michael Wallstreet (IRS) is running a knockoff Million Dollar Man gimmick, with a knockoff Million Dollar Man suit. I'm pretty sure the dollar sign was used with glitter glue. He drops an IRS reference. He'd just jumped from the WWF, who he'd left at the end of July. He'd go on to LOSE to Sting in a U.S. Title match the next week, before reeling off a six match Saturday Night winning streak. He wouldn't appear on Nitro in a match til May, amd didn't win one until December 1996.

Hulk Hogan (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Big Bubba Rogers

  • Big Bubba (the former Bossman) does the Sean Waltman crank headlock. It's not nearly as effective when he does it, and I'll explain why it's flat out discouraged in a lot of low-level indy rings on the podcast.
  • Hogan turnbuckle smashes and punches Bubba.
  • Bubba gouges the eyes and does a rope hung senton.
  • For some reason, Bubba goes after Jimmy Hart. This didn't make sense. Hogan saves Jimmy Hart and blinds Bubba with a flag. What a dick.
  • Bubba gets a body slam and the Bossman slam, but Hogan kicks out at two.
  • Boot. Legdrop. Pin. This sucked.

Last promo

  • The Zodiac and Kamala, and the rest of the Dungeon hit the ring. Lex Luger makes the save but he and Hogan have a standoff.
  • Sting and Savage come out to keep them separated. I thought having only top guys in the ring at the end really added to how important the angle was.
  • Gene Okerlund is in the ring and asks what's going on.
  • Luger says that Hogan's WCW Title that matters. He's beaten the same people Hogan has, and been the same places he's been, and he's tired of playing with kids, he came to play with the BIG BOYS. This was a pretty solid burial promo on WWF.
  • Hulk Hogan buries WWF a little bit too, and says he knows all about when Luger started and what he's about. I really enjoyed this final angle....then we cut to Mongo's dog in a devil suit.
  • WHAT?
  • This episode of Nitro was really good.

Other notes

  • Raw had been pre-empted the prior weeks. The last card was Men on a Mission winning an enhancement match, 1-2-3 Kid beating Brooklyn Brawler, Taker beating Tatanka, PCO beating Scott Taylor, and Diesel & Bulldog against Men on a Mission.
  • The next time around, they came with Bulldog vs. Razor Ramon, Smoking Gunns beating Rad Radford & Brooklyn Brawler, Isaac Yankem winning an enhancement match, and Michaels defending the IC title against Sid. This was taped BEFORE Nitro.
  • The next TAPINGS featured Taker vs. Bulldog, Smoking Gunns beating Owen & Yoko for the Tag Team Titles, Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid, Owen Hart & Yokozuna & The British Bulldog defeated Diesel & Shawn Michaels & The Undertaker, Bret Hart against Yankem in a cage match.

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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