WCW Monday Nitro 1/1/96
Happy new year! The WCW Championship will be one the line tonight. Ric Flair will defend his title against the returning HULK HOGAN! Additionally, Randy Savage has demanded a match with Arn Anderson!
Arn Anderson vs Randy Savage
Rad way to start the year off. "This is going to be a night." Yes, Eric. Every night is a night. Macho believes Arn cost him the title at Starrcade. He runs into the ring and gets stomped into the dirt. It quickly heads to the floor and we fight on Monday night, Maggle! Bischoff buries the RAW BOWL. I thought Macho was about to do a spinebuster. That would have been nuts. Arn goes after the arm that has needed surgery for at least 2 months. VINTAGE Anderson arm work. Arn does a fake punch to bait Macho into ducking so he can hit the DDT. I love that WCW fans always popped for the DDT or spinebuster no matter who it is against. A second attempt causes a ref bump. Arn gets his international object out. Macho steals it and gets the win after using it. Pillman and Benoit hit the ring and tell the ref about what happened. They keep talking about how out of control Pillman is, but he really hasn't done anything out of control besides mouth of to Orndorff for no reason.
Chris Benoit vs Steven Regal
Oh shit. I expect at least one suplex and at least 2 headbutts. Regal's right knee is heavily taped. He takes it to the mat right away. 3 headbutts! Hank Aaron is in the crowd, as this show is from Atlanta and Turner fucking loves him some Hank Aaron. Some mean chops and forearms here. Cravat snapmare. Regal is such a wonderfully mean piece of shit. Every thing he does has hate in it. Benoit gets sick of all those palms to the eye and dumps Regal on his head with a German suplex. Regal is probably the best dude at all the little things in the past 20 years. Maybe he doesn't have a list of 5 star matches to go back to watch, but he has so many small touches that makes everything feel real. Benoit misses the diving headbutt. Regal goes for a tombstone, which Benoit reverses. Regal rolls to the floor. Benoit comes out with a pescado that misses. Regal throws him back in and gets the pin. Bad start to the year for the Horsemen.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene has Arn, Benoit, and Pillman in the ring. Pillman is not happy with his partners. "Number one, Pillman, I'm not used to looking at the back of people's heads." Arn puts Pillman in his place, telling him that he's getting a little sick of Brian starting a lot of fires that he has to put out. The DoD come out. Giant pulls Beefcake and Sullivan away before they can get in the ring.
Saturday Night has Arn/Pillman vs American Males, Lex vs Cobra.
Super Assassins vs Sting/Lex Luger
No Jimmy Hart, because Lex respects Sting's dislike of his relationship with Jimmy. The last time these two were in a ring together was at Starrcade, and they both fought dirty. Sgt. Pittman comes to the announce booth to talk to Mongo. He asks Mongo to be his manager as Mongo also went from amateur to pro. In a completely different sport. WHAT? What a fucking loser this guy is. Mongo tells him to stop being a bitch, dude is a sergeant and to act like it. He's asking announcers who have no wrestling or managing experience? What a putz. If the angle is designed to do anything but make him look like a loser, it is failing hard. Well the first half of the match was in split screen, but since Pittman got denied again, Sting has been FIP with Lex hurting more than helping by arguing with the ref. Is it intentional? I think one of the Assassins is Barbarian. Wait. The other guy looks like the Warlord. This is the mother fucking POWERS OF PAIN. Why are they under a 70s regional wrestler's mask? Lex gets the hot tag and makes Barb tap to the torture rack as Sting puts Warlord in the death lock.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene talks with Jimmy Hart and Andre. I mean the Giant. If there is one thing Jimmy learned from being with Hulk, it is to always be ready to switch gears. "Time after time, you've hurt me emotionally, spiritually." Lol. The sensitive Giant.
Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan WCW Championship
Look at that, Ric honors Macho saying he'd give Hulk a title shot. Of course, he comes out first. I can't help but think all of the foam Hogans in the crowd were handed out. I wonder how many Flair/Hogan matches WCW would end up running. From 1994-2000. I'm going to guess at least 20. Ric does the weirdest Irish whip I've seen. It's like he decided to take a bump in the middle of it. Otherwise it is the standard Hogan/Flair match. I want to see Pillman go out and shoot on Hulk. Rub his bald head or something. You know, Hulk never got his rematch after Halloween Havoc. BUT, why should he get his title shot the first night after his suspension is lifted? Is he really deserving of a title shot after his actions in the past month? I think not. He should have to prove himself to be more well behaved an in accordance with the rules and regulations of World Championship Wrestling. Hulk hits the leg drop. Jimmy Hart jumps on the apron. Hulk goes after him. During this, Arn Anderson comes out and hits Hulk with the international object. The same thing that knocked Macho out cold at Starrcade. Hulk gets right up from it. Now, Arn is in the ring. The ref sees him. The ref sees him throwing punches at Hulk and Hulk hitting Arn. However, he doesn't call for a DQ until Hulk pulls the object out of Arn's trunks and shows it to the ref. Benoit and Pillman come out and THE ENTIRE FOUR HORSEMEN ARE BEGGING OFF FROM HOGAN. ALL FOUR MEN ARE COWERING ON THEIR KNEES IN FEAR FROM ONE MAN. What the fuck. The same Horsemen that was running full force with 3 people for a weeks. Now all four are quivering because Hogan has a roll of wadded up tape? Bullshit. Giant comes out with a bar stool. Macho is behind him and steals it. Sullivan and Beefcake pull Giant back. Zodiac says, "Friend ", and "Hurt", apparently referring to Hogan.
TO THE MEAN BROTHERJACKDUDE. Gene talks with Macho and Hogan. Hogan challenges Arn and Flair to a tag match. Macho drops all kinds of references in this. Tripping the light fantastic. Not just another Manic Monday. To infinity and beyond. Forever and a day.
Next week will indeed have Macho/Hogan vs Flair/Arn, as the championship committee were in the building and already scheduled it. Hulk's ego stroking is ridiculous. Not only does he immediately get a title shot after being suspended, not only does he no sell the same thing that completely knocked Macho Man out at Starrcade, but he also has the entire Four Horsemen on their knees, cowering and screaming in fear from just him. The same Horsemen that wrecked Sting. The same Horsemen that ended Orndorff's career 2 weeks ago. With only 3 people. Now they have 4 and they're complete pussies against Hogan? It was gross. And they did this in Atlanta. How could Bischoff not see why fans had turned on Hulk? Why would you run that angle in Atlanta? Do that in a WWF area. Do it in the North East. Don't do it at WCW headquarters.
Can't figure out why they'd bring the Powers of Pain back under masks and make no mention of who they are. Surely they could have found two young muscled up guys to do that for much less money. But they also put Hercules under a mask when he went to WCW for some reason. The PoP got their start in the Atlanta area. A Sting/Lex vs Powers of Pain match could have sold some extra tickets.