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The Great WWF/WCW Monday Night Wars Watch Along!

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It's Monday, which means the 2nd week of our Monday Night Wars escapade!

This week we have WCW Nitro that features a main event match for the World heavyweight title between the red & yellow Hulk Hogan and the newly-returning Lex Luger! Both Sabu and V.K Wallstreet make their debuts (Wallstreet faces Sting for the US title), while Macho Man Randy Savage takes on Scott Norton following their altercation last week!

The WWF Monday Night Raw offerings around this time I'm not looking forward to as much if I'm honest, but there'll be some decent material in there somewhere. 

This week we see Shawn Michaels defend the Intercontinental title against Sid, the feud between the 123 Kid and Razor Ramon start to gather some pace, while Goldust, Dr Isaac Yankem and the British Bulldog all make appearances.

I'm probably gonna watch Nitro tonight, then Raw tomorrow or Wednesday.

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Well in the first head to head, it was Nitro all the way for me. Raw was bookended by 2 enjoyable matches in Bulldog/ Razor and Shawn/ Sid that took up plenty of the show. The angle between Razor and the Kid was nice to see and well executed. I've never seen the origins of their feud before. Is this the start of the short 95 Bill Watts era? The Isaac Yankem and Smoking Gunns matches were truly worthless. Raw really was a completely different product in those days but it does feel a lot more RAW than it does now in the smaller arena where you can clearly see people sitting on the bleachers with the roof visible during matches. The production back then is much more agreeable.

Have to keep up the venue love for Nitro in the Knight Arena in Miama which is more of an amphitheater so the entrance way is super close to an oddly positioned ring, everything is so alternatively put together it all feels even more exciting.

30 seconds in Mongo has annoyed me, continued to do so all the way though until the dog appears again, what the fuck is it?

Match wise, Sabu/ Wright is enjoyable up to the shit in-ring finish and then silly reversal after that although the matches were decent again, it would have been nice to introduce a few more roster members during the show as it felt like we got the same people a second week in the row. The other 3 matches were fun and it seemed all to be setting up the angle for the end of the show. 

Not much more to comment on here for now. Are we watching Fall Brawl?

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12 minutes ago, simonworden said:

Are we watching Fall Brawl?

I certainly am. I'll be watching that at the weekend and will fire up my thoughts on Sunday/Monday. I think we should try to keep to the schedule as closely as humanly possible, with Monday shows watched and discussed during the week, and PPV's at the weekend with discussions late weekend or Monday.

Edited by David

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Going to try and get both shows watched tonight. Nitro lineup pisses all over RAW for me as it stands, with some nice continuity from the prior week. Will be interesting to see if they continue from their excellent debut.

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WWF Raw - September 11th. Never forget. 

 

They start off with a Summerslam recap. As I remember it was bollocks, apart from the ladder match. It's the new Fall season apparently. It's difficult to see how that's of any interest to a wrestling fan, as its on every week. We also have a recap of a Razor/Dean Douglas confrontation. Poor Douglas doesn't even get a cheap shot in here, Razor blocks his attempt and lays him out. What a sap. 

First match is Ramon vs the newly heel British Bulldog. I'm looking forward to this. Davey's cut his hair, so he looks the business. Well, he's still all bloated and that, but he always is. This is indeed a lot of fun. Nothing amazing, but I love Razor and I love Bulldog, so they'd have to do a lot to piss me off. Vince mentions this is the debut of Raw on Sky Sports. Nice, and a sad reminder that it won't be on for much longer in this timeline. For the finish Razor *barely* gets him up for a Razor's Edge, has the pin, but Dean Douglas breaks it up and attacks Ramon. 123 Kid makes the save, tussles with Dean. In a creative finish, 123 Kid fucks it up for Razor which sows the seed for a heel turn. 

After a break Vince interviews Kid and RR, and stirs the pot. Lawler talks all over this, and I mean literally talks over Vince at some points. It's annoying. Kid is hissy and they agree to a match next week. 

Smoking Gunns vs Rad Radford and Brooklyn Brawler. Rad Radford is a name that sticks in my mind way more than it should. This is crap. 

Goldust does a video where he goes on about the Undertaker, but I barely focus on that because I am struck by how shit his outfit is. I don't remember this look at all; he's got a cheap as fuck gold sparkly hat, bow-tie and jacket. He also couldn't be arsed to do his face-paint all the way down his neck. This is poor. 

Isaac Yankem vs Scott Taylor. I'd always assumed that Isaac Yankam was a one and done thing, so I am very surprised to see him here. Hard to see how anyone thought this gimmick would be good.

Todd Pettengill does his horrible thing for an update on the goings on in the WWF. More stuff about the Fall schedule. He takes a bizarre swipe at Mad About You, saying that NBC must have fuck all faith in it having moved it to Sundays. I've just looked it up, it ran for another 4 years and consistently drew ratings that dwarfed Raw's. 

Shawn Michaels vs Sid. Two top workers in their prime here. Sid bumps like Curt Hennig in there for a while. He does a kip up as well. He basically shows up HBK here, setting the bar as only Sid can. This is a great, great match. Oh, and I notice there's a goth in the first few rows and for a split few seconds I think it's someone dressed as Crow Sting. Once I realise it's not a time-traveller, but a fan of the shit film, I go back to the action. Shawn gets the win with 3 superkicks, that aren't Sweet Chin Music yet. He does a kip up to celebrate, but it lacks the finesse of Sid's. 

After a break HBK and Diesel do a promo about their up coming match with Owen and Yoko. Michaels is a pretty irritating babyface. Its one of those gash matches where you can win singles titles if you pin the champ. Then there's a preview where they show footage from next weeks show. I never realised they did that, I thought they just pretended it was live every week. 

Fun opener and a great main event bookend a big pile of cack, but overall I enjoyed it. How much of that is novelty remains to be seen. This is almost exactly where I stopped watching as a kid, so even though it might not be the best, I haven't actually seen a lot of the WWF stuff coming up so it's intriguing as well. 

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Great review gmoney. 

I have been watching Raw on the Network from its debut episode in 93' (and Nitro from September 95' onwards) and I am currently onto June 1996.

Jerry Lawler is very annoying when Vince (or anyone else) is interviewing talent by constantly talking over them or chipping in with some comment at the end of every sentence.  

I dont know if he has always done this in his career but it seemed very prevalent during this time.

Edited by Abe_Knuckleball_Schwartz

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WCW Monday Nitro - Episode #2 - September 11th 1995

And we're back! 

Bischoff opens up by saying Hogan vs Luger is the "Match of the Century!" - what's even more worrying is that I can imagine the WCW hierarchy running with that mindset at that time. 

Mongo's back. As is the mute button with subtitles.

Nice little recap of how we reached Hogan vs Luger. Probably goes on a little long considering we've only got 45 minutes to get through a fair bit on this show, but for a new fan tuning in after last week, it serves a nice aspect of continuity. It doesn't drag on anywhere near as long as the stuff WWE does to push recaps, so it's a winner in my eyes.

Kick off with the debut of Sabu! And he comes out with some beep-boop music which couldn't clash more with the whole character and vibe they're going for. His music sounds more like Alex Wright's music, than Alex Wright's music sounds like Alex Wright's music. Absolutely no messing about here, as both men make their entrances and get underway in the space of about 45 seconds. This is clearly set up to showcase Sabu, as he's getting all his shit in as quickly as he can. Baseball slide is followed with a plancha, but Wright dodges his chair-assisted leg drop and Sabu makes a right twat of himself by smacking his head off the floor. Bit of weird booking, as Alex gets on the offence and does the EXACT same moves Sabu performed during HIS shine period, except a lot better looking. Wright hits a gorgeous bridging suplex, and it's a shame he's got absolutely fuck all about him in terms of charisma or presence, because he looked really smooth here. Sabu wins. Like I said before, a weirdly produced one. Sabu's stuff probably looks a lot better in the dingy, grim bingo halls, because under the bright lights and snazzy production, his sloppy style just looks like he's lost out there. I wouldn't have picked Wright for his first match either, they were clearly on two different wavelengths, and there seemed to be more than one communication error. I blame Sabu.

Post-match, Sabu, I can only describe, swan-dives himself through a table which Wright is sat at the end of. The referee reverses the decision and Sabu looks like a fucking idiot in his debut.

Flair's out here for a promo. It's a nice dynamic, this feud with Arn. He clearly isn't that chuffed about having to fight his buddy, but he's still going to take any shortcuts needed in order to beat him. Luger's out here again, mind! Flair creams himself over Lex, Lex blushes a bit and then walks to the back. Bit odd. 

Sting/Wallstreet up next. Bischoff instantly brings up the name change of V.K. Wallstreet (get it? get it??!?! lads???!!!!). Sting, just like last week is draped with colour, looking like an absolute star. What a great babyface he was. Bischoff casually spoils the main event of RAW! Cheers Eric, you cock. He also brings up Vader not signing paperwork as a reasoning for him not being around. That's amazing, as it gives me the image of Sabu lining up behind Hogan and Savage like at the DMV to sign his name for tonight's Nitro. Another aspect I like is the continual promotion of the main event for tonight. It doesn't detract from the match, and it provides the viewers at home with a hook to keep watching with the big names of Hogan and Luger. It doesn't take long for Sting to take over here, but Wallstreet shitcans him out the ring to get himself composed. Nice, logical wrestling. They wrestle a very formulaic, structured match, with Sting getting his crowd interaction spots in and Wallstreet cutting him off whenever needed to work the heat back. Sting gets the win with a big flying crossbody. Another odd debut. I don't know what the value of Wallstreet was at this point, but surely with a couple of wins, maybe a nice showcase win at Fall Brawl, and this could've been a solid enough TV main event. They kept things incredibly simple here, but kept it short enough. * 3/4.

Another quick transition, as we segue straight from one match into another with Norton and Savage. Norton looks like the hardest fucker in the world here. Savage's WCW music is truly horrendous. Norton doesn't bother waiting for Macho to get in the ring, because why would he? Another simple story. Norton's got the power, Savage is quicker. Macho is flying about to try and work Norton down, but Scott is able to retaliate to send him down. This crowd is so hot for Savage, it's incredible Vince thought he wouldn't be effective as an in-ring competitor. Norton's offence doesn't extend much beyond punches and forearms, but everything he does looks solid. He struggles to keep Macho in the air for a bench press, though. Savage is getting battered here, properly. Norton decides to go up high, but it costs him, as Savages counters with what Bischoff describes as a brainbuster (which, dear reader, it was not). Savage starts making his comeback, but the Dungeon are here. Norton drags Avalanche into the ring, inadvertently squashing him and Savage hits the elbow for three! Good idea to keep Norton strong, but the execution was shit. Savage winning with a flash pin or something would've been better, as Norton looked good enough delivering a beating for 90% of the match, and the Dungeon continue to look like fucking morons heading into Fall Brawl. **.

Main event time! They've left a decent enough amount of time. Luger makes his entrance with an awesome bit of cinemataography, the camera pans behind him whilst the fireworks and smoke are going off in front of him. He looks like an absolute star this show, rubbing shoulders with Flair, getting a big entrance and challenging for the belt in the space of an hour. All I can think of is why is this a television main event?

They start off like an epic, with both men jostling in tests of strength and backing each other into the corner. Hogan chain wrestles Luger down! Technical masterpiece. Luger no-sells Hogan's suplex, and Hogan does the exact same! This is excellent so far. Two huge guys, looking a million bucks, not giving one another an inch. It's a firmly Hogan crowd too, which makes sense with him being the established WCW star. Luger slams Hulk down and slaps the Torture Rack straight on! No waiting around here! Hulk's hand drops twice, but Luger drops him before the third, thinking he'd won. Great job to completely diminish your new top stars finisher in his debut, WCW. Eric's insisting Hulk was playing possum, which is a) false, and b) a weird excuse to make for your megastar babyface.

Dungeon of Doom's in to stop Hogan hitting the legdrop, and here's Savage and Sting for your big brawl for a go-home show. Heels get ran out of the ring, and we return from a break with another electoral debate in the ring with the same four guys as last week. Hogan and Savage are on Luger's back, but Sting wants Luger on the War Games team! Savage is against this, for unknown reasons. Hogan wants Lex on their team, and Luger accepts if he gets a title shot! Brilliant piece of booking! Adds a lot of excellent intrigue to the main event. All I would change is having the DoD run in on Luger whilst locking in the Torture Rack, so when you do the inevitable Hogan/Luger rematch, you can do so with the hook of "Would Hogan have escaped?"

Another strong show. The undercard stuff was lacking this week, but the strength of the main event angle is enough to carry them through until Fall Brawl. Though I wouldn't have booked Luger vs Hogan so soon, and I wouldn't have booked it so that it looked like Luger would've dropped a defeat without the DoD interference. This gets another recommended from me.


 


 

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WCW Nitro - September 11th

 

So the second Nitro is in a conventional arena, but it still looks good. I've never really noticed before, but the commentator area set up is amazing. We've got Luger vs Hogan for the title tonight. Mongo annoys immediately. 

We've got Sabu vs Alex Wright first up. Sabu's music is just generic crap. I remember reading about Sabu in Powerslam and thinking he must be incredible. I was so disappointed when I eventually saw him in ECW, he just botched everything. These days I've grown to like him. He's got an aura, and he absolutely stands out in WCW. Pity he's here for about 3 weeks. Alex Wright looks good. If he wasn't so skinny he'd have been a much bigger star I reckon. This is not bad, Wright does a beautiful dropkick from the top rope, but Sabu wins in with a cool looking head scissors from the top rope. I don't think I've ever seen that before. This was a good showcase for Sabu. Oh. Hang on, he puts Das Wunderkid through a table after the match and the ref reverses the decision. Stupid.

Flair is interviewed in the ring by Mean Gene. Gene asks him what's going on between him and Arn. Ric is amazing here, railing at Arn for staying at the hotel and calling his wife and kids while Ric was out partying. What a loser. Luger comes out, and Flair puts him over as the Total Package.  

Sting vs VK Wallstreet. Man Called Sting is such a great song. Wallstreet's gear is awful. Mike Rotundo had some shitty outfits in his time. Eric slags off the WWF. This is alright. Sting does a brutal looking clothesline at some point, and wins with a body press from the top.  Always fun to see Sting. 

They trail Saturday Night, and the debut of Disco Inferno and Pillman vs Alex Wright. I bet that's good, actually. 

Scott Norton vs Macho Man is up now. This is amazing. Flash batters and bullies him. He does a powerbomb and a brutal draping DDT. As Randy makes a comeback, the evil Dungeon of Doom run in. Well, Shark and Kamala. They awkwardly hang out by the rope until Norton knocks into them. Shark then somehow falls forward onto Flash's legs, while Kamala goes the other way. This is absolutely terrible. Randy does the big elbow and Scott can't kick out because the former Earthquake is unconscious on his legs. Such a bad finish to a good match. Scott Norton look rock hard here. 

Hogan vs Luger is up. Huge match for a TV show in 95. Eric mentions the Randy is being seen to backstage by medics and might be out of War Games. Vader is also AWOL apparently. I take it that means Vader is gone from WCW? Hogan does his crisp, picture perfect technical stuff that he usually only showcases in Japan, where it's appreciated. They go back and forth and eventually Luger gets Hogan in the rack. I'm baffled when the ref starts trying to do the hold-up-the-arm sleep hold business. It doesn't make any sense and looks shit because the position Hulk's in, you can barely tell what his arm's doing. Luger then thinks he's won it for some reason - he is facing away from the arm, so fuck knows. Hulk then Hulks, but the DOD run in. Macho Man bolts in, absolutely fine so I don't know what Bischoff was on about with the injured stuff. Sting's there too and they clean house. Mean Gene wants to know what's going on as tension seems high. Hulk claims Luger gave him the match of his life... He and Macho accuse Luger of being against them and claim the DOD didn't go for him, but Sting is urging them to trust Luger. Randy starts to accuse Sting and Hart of being turncoats as well! They all eventually agree that Luger should replace Vader for War Games, but they don't know if they can trust him. Seems fine. I'm trying to think who in WCW could have been partner if it wasn't Luger? Johnny B Badd? Seems like they're backed into a corner. The stuff at the end with paranoid Macho and the mistrust between the four of them was great, but the end of the match was pretty crap. 

Another fun Nitro, nothing outright bad on it like Raw and a lot to enjoy. I give Nitro the win this week. I'm not going to count weeks when they're not head to head.

Nitro 1 - 0 Raw

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I think it's clear that the first takeaway from this whole thing is that Mongo was the drizzling shits.

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2 minutes ago, David said:

I think it's clear that the first takeaway from this whole thing is that Mongo was the drizzling shits.

Utterly abhorrent. Either trying to get himself over or absolutely butcher the names of moves he's never seen before.

They hinted at something rumbling with him and Norton on Nitro - I pray that doesn't go anywhere.

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I finished up Fall Brawl tonight, few things to take away from it.

Is Johnny B Badd in  every opening PPV match around this time, I swear i've switched on plenty of cards to try out and he's been on them between 1993 and 1995 opening the up. A fine match against Pillman though and they really got me engaged by the end of the match with the time limit finish. I also enjoyed the foreshadowing of a Pilman heel turn here. As we can't watch Saturday Nights from 1995 it's hard for me to know how long this was going on for.

Sgt Craig Pittman vs Cobra was a real what the fuck, I don't know much about either of these guys but it felt more like this belonged in the 80's. 

Renegade Vs DDP - Kimberly was just stunning wasn't she? Never seen much Renegade and man I was surprised by how much of a rip off of Warrior he actually was. This felt more like a TV match than a PPV bout but was acceptable

Harlem Heat Vs Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck - Ok, can't say I paid much attention until Sherri and Parker make out. Again didn't really get this storyline.

Arn Anderson Vs Ric Flair - Is it any surprise this was match of the night? The video packaged helped set things up and the match was built nicely though. Even though the crowed didn't seem to know who to side with and went back and forth a few times. They did a wonderful job in building it up with the crowd turning on Arn in the end. I wish they had kept the camera on Ric a little longer in the end though. I know where this all leads and am seriously looking forward to it. Oh and Arn's DDT is wonderful here.

The dungeon of doom promo was weird.

Wargames- I'm going to be honest I didn't watch this as I used to have the WCW best of Wargames VHS and I remember this being pretty dull. If I am wrong let me know. I was very glad I had headphones in sitting next to my Vietnamese wife after hogans "We drank a gallon of agent orange" line, considering even 24 years after this kids are still being born with defects because of this and how much worse it was back then Hogan can fuck right off.

Overall an acceptable show, a little bit of a let down production wise after how good last weeks Nitro looked and I don't think they get much snazzier for at least another 18 months either. 

Edited by simonworden

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1 hour ago, simonworden said:

Sgt Craig Pittman vs Cobra was a real what the fuck, I don't know much about either of these guys but it felt more like this belonged in the 80's. 

 

I'm not going to do a review of the whole show, but I did watch Fall Brawl in the week and I honestly think this was my favourite thing on the whole show. I was expecting absolutely nothing, so it took my completely by surprise. It was hilarious, and really creative. 

The show in the main was fine. The PPVs are a completely different feel to Nitro though, it feels like it took place in a different world. I was a little disappointed by Flair/Arn if I'm honest, it didn't have a spark. I watched it a few days ago and I can't remember what happened for the finish. While the main event was dull as you say, I really like the faces dressing up in army gear and I enjoyed it overall. 

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On 8/7/2019 at 5:59 PM, David said:

I think it's clear that the first takeaway from this whole thing is that Mongo was the drizzling shits.

Rob Bartlett was worse imo.

Couldn't even muster a decent Vince impersonation. And I constantly found myself hoping that Savage would spark him out.

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WWF Raw - September 18th

Is this intro of Raw universally held up as the worst intro? It should be. The song is awful and fuck all exciting happens. This is a Thursday night Raw apparently, so no head to head. They begin with a recap of last week's Kid/Razor angle and this match starts us off

123 Kid vs Razor Ramon. I'm so glad Sean Waltman grew a beard, because he looks like a dopey goon without one. This is a lot of fun as you would expect. Razor dominates and does his cool snap chokeslam thing. Kid makes his comeback and gets on a long sleeper. The ref gets bumped which is the signal for Dean Douglas to interfere in his street clothes. Kid is out on the outside and Douglas runs in and does a splash from the top rope. Was that his finisher in WWF? It's crap. Kid crawls in and gets the tainted win, but it was done well, so 123 Kid could plausibly say he didn't know about the run in. Now Douglas is backstage, in his wrestling gear weirdly. He does a promo with a blackboard. It's not a good concept, but his delivery is good. There's a very goofy nails down a chalkboard sound effect. 

Kama and Tatanka vs Bob Holly and Savio Vega. Not looking forward to this. Kama and Tatanka now have Ted Dibiase's music. Does any other manager take over their charge's gimmick like that? Savio does some shit dancing and Holly has got the WWF logo on his arse, which screams jobber. Tatanka looks very flabby here, which can't have pleased Vince. I don't think he's around for too much longer. This actually isn't too bad, mainly consists of Ted's boys cheating. Fucking hell though, Kama nearly kills Bob with the finish. He catches him coming off the top rope with a powerslam, but he doesn't quite catch him right, stumbles and is late turning him round, nearly drilling him head first into the mat. That was scary. 

Razor cuts a promo on Dean Douglas and threatens to carve him up. A promo for Wrestlemania XI which is weird because it was ages ago, but they're showing it on TV apparently. 

Jean Pierre Laffite vs Brian Walsh, a jobber. He's pretty good as jobbers go. The pirate has nicked Bret Hart's jacket. Vince loved those angles in the 90s.  During the match Bret calls from the set of Lonesome Dove and you can tell he doesn't give a shit about this feud at all. Laffite has a proto-Mankind mask with his eye patch. He wins in short order and drapes a cheap Jolly Rodger over the fallen Walsh.

Yokozuna and Owen Hart vs Men on a Mission. In my memory Mabel fucked off immediately after Summerslam, but he's still here and with Sir Mo to boot. Long term UKFFers will remember Mo made it to the UKFF all time 50. Mo wears a crown as well, proving the the WWF doesn't have a real understanding of monarchy. This is heel vs heel, so there's a layer of interest beyond the two big lads. Owen's got a lot of heavy lifting to do here, poor bastard. Yoko and Owen ended up playing face here, because they're the bigger stars. After Owen takes a kicking for a while, he tags in Yoko which does get a cheer from the crowd. Eventually the big boys go at it, and it's actually not that bad as Yoko is talented and bumps like a champ for Mabel. It ends up going revering back to a tag match again and the heat is on Mo. How long are they going to go on for? Ok, now Cornette interferes and a bit of double teaming his enough to finish off Mo. This was OK, but went on too long. 

Diesel and HBK run down the tag champs and builds up their match with a stupid "all titles on the line" gimmick. Now Yoko and Owen are in the ring and Cornette does his best to try and explain the crap rules for the weekend. Yoko is gobbing everywhere, it's disgusting. Vince and  Lawler are in front of a green screen so it looks like they're ringside. It's shit compared to how ace the announcers area on Nitro is. King predicts the WWF title will change hands on Sunday. 

This started off great with the Razor/Kid match but there wasn't too much else exciting. Nothing really bad either though, but the big angles are still brewing so they're moving chess pieces at the moment with HBK and Diesel. 

I'll try to get a Nitro review up tomorrow. 

Edited by gmoney

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