World War 3 1995
Date: November 26, 1995
Location: Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
So after the whole mess that was the Hogan/Giant title situation at Halloween Havoc and a few weeks later, the title was declared vacant and put up in a, wait for it, THREE RING SIXTY MAN BATTLE ROYAL!!! (Bear in mind this is absolutely nothing like the Royal Rumble even though it’s exactly like it minus the time intervals. Later on they would drop any and all pretense and just have it be for a title match at Starrcade).
Anyway, this is the first one and it has big mess written all over it. The first problem is there weren’t 60 people on WCW’s roster. What makes this match funny is you’ll get all kinds of random jobbers that are like 55 years old and haven’t been on TV in about 8 years dug out of mothballs and put out there as a “top star”. Other than that…well there’s Sting vs. Flair. That’s about it. Let’s get to it.
Yes there are three rings in there. Ticket sales from the space the third extra is taking up….likely wouldn’t have been sold. Tony picks Hogan. Bobby picks Savage. Bobby had this really funny tendency to pick random people and have them be right. I don’t recall him ever picking a loser and I base that on about two battle royals that I’m thinking of. Bobby already changes his pick.
And now we go, and I sigh as I remember it, to this. Hogan, still in black, is with Sting and Savage up close to the stage. Oh before I get going on this, Sting and Savage are his best friends. Hogan rips off the black and is in his red and yellow. We scale back and there’s a bucket with fire in it that of course Gene doesn’t see until the camera does. And alas, Hogan has something in his hand.
He insists Sting and Savage will always be his friend. We’re T-minus 8 months from the NWO angle beginning. Ok, now we get to the REALLY stupid part of this. Apparently there’s a rumor that Savage has a bad arm injury. Note: Savage had been favoring his arm for MONTHS and it was all taped up for the better part of the summer and fall. That’s legit mind you. In other words, Savage’s arm was actually hurt in real life, and he’s incorporating that into his character.
And yes, I just explained kayfabe to you for a reason other than I’m afraid you’re a bunch of idiots. Hogan then says that Savage’s arm is fine and that the injury was a plan. In other words, he’s saying that the three of them did what Bret Hart did with his bad leg in his feud with Vince recently. Ok, that’s all fine and good I guess. It’s kind of stupid given how long the “plan” went on but I can live with that I suppose.
Sting finally puts the fire out to prevent a Fire Marshall Bill intervention. Hogan says “OBSERVE this” and holds up a piece of paper. Yes, he’s talking about the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, or a rag sheet as he calls it. In other words, Hogan is acknowledging the IWC who hated his freaking guts at this point.
Hogan talks about how the internet has the real scoop on things, since the WON says that Savage is really hurt and that The Giant is going to win the title tonight. In other words, Hogan more or less acknowledged that wrestling is scripted and fake, but says the three of them are going to go against what the script says. WOW.
We recap DDP vs. Badd, which is title vs. Kimberly. Page wants the title back and Kimberly is sick of it. Has there ever been a girl named Kimberly that isn’t hot?
TV Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Johnny B. Badd
This was good last month so maybe it’ll be good this month. Around this time, Badd was becoming a wrestler with annoying music and tights and had more or less dropped the flamboyant stuff. It made him FAR more bearable and the fact that his in ring work went WAY up helped him a lot also. He could have had a fluke run in the main event had it not been for the NWO and him leaving.
Page is starting to get into his traditional look here too and less grimy. You know it always felt like these two fought at every PPV and the reason might be that they came close to doing so. For some reason I just cannot get into this match or show. No clue why but it’s just not there. Page in blue and black tights is just odd looking for some reason. It’s weird seeing another ring over the post of another ring.
Kimberly holds up a card that says 10 (gimmick of her’s) for Badd to a huge pop from the audience. Page hits a ton of backbreakers and they’re working pretty well. These two usually had decent matches together and it’s working I think. Badd hits a tombstone for two. In a rather anticlimactic ending, Badd hits his combination finisher for the pin and Kimberly. Ok then. Ending just came from out of nowhere.
Rating: C. Like I said I just couldn’t get into this at all. It’s not bad but it’s far from what they did last month. The ending was just odd like I said. Not a bad match but I’ve seen far more. That and Badd winning again was what you expected. Not bad and a hot woman at the end so there we are.
Badd gives another YOU CAN DO IT speech after the match. That never went anywhere.
Big Bubba vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
They keep taping up their fists and punching each other. Yeah that’s all there is to it. You can only win by pinfall or knockout here. Duggan chases him down to ringside because that’s the kind of action you want kids to emulate. The fans chant USA for Duggan. You know what I would find funny? I’ve never gotten why the USA chants only work for Duggan. Bubba is from Georgia.
I’d love to see a heel pop up from a USA chant and become stronger than the patriotic face. I mean think about it: just because Bubba is a heel doesn’t mean he’s anti-American. I would find that hilarious for some odd reason. Then again I’m a rather odd person. Tony suggests this match will go 25-30 minutes. That’s FUNNY. It’s either that or scary. Bubba busts out an enziguri. It gets absolutely no reaction from the announcers but did you really expect otherwise?
Bubba works on the ribs. Not entirely sure why but ok. Oh and Duggan had gone through his history and said that he had a family history of taped fist champions. This got a full segment on Saturday Night once. I’m not making that up. Egads. The question comes up of which ring does this have to end in. The announcers don’t actually know and it’s a good question. Bubba tapes Duggan to the top rope which is smart but stupid at the same time.
Ah ok the knockout thing can happen while he’s in the ropes. Got it. Bubba charges at him and gets backdropped to the floor but his back slams into the apron. FREAKING OW! Three Point Clothesline hits and here’s the man formerly known as I.R.S. with a chain for no explained reasons. Bubba gets it and pops Duggan with it for the knockout. Bubba yelling at Bobby to tell the people how great he is sounds very odd.
Rating: D. Not bad for what it was I guess: two big guys hitting each other. Ending makes no sense but that’s WCW for you. Not awful and they had built up a small feud here so I can live with it. Not good or anything but it could have been FAR worse.
Flair is here and talking with Gene. We get the old school Horsemen lines so I’m happy. Flair talks down to Sting and says he’ll get the title back again. To say Flair is popular here is like saying Sly is kind of smart.
Luger and Jimmy Hart have something to say as well. Hart busts out a Savage impression that isn’t half bad. I’m surprised at that one actually. In a HILARIOUS moment, Hart lists off all these reasons why Luger is going to win the world title, much like any manager would do. However, Luger reaches up his hand clearly for a high five from Jimmy. Jimmy though gets into your standard shouting match with a fan and leaves Luger hanging there for about ten seconds and NEVER slaps his hand.
Seeing Luger pose for like ever and then just get left hanging is hilarious stuff to say the least. That cracked me up. To make this even FUNNIER, Luger starts to talk. Now I’m not one to normally notice things in interviews, but Luger could not more clearly be reading off a teleprompter or a script if his life depended on it.
He never looks up at the camera more than once in the interview and his eyes are clearly going back and forth reading stuff. He had no problem looking into the camera when he was posing so it wasn’t some “I don’t care at all” thing. This was one of the funniest segments I have ever seen and not a thing of it was intentional, which I think is what made it all the funnier.
Bull Nakano/Akira Hokuto vs. Mayumi Ozaki/Cutie Suzuki
What in the world….? Seriously, this is just thrown onto the card with NO explanation other than they’re great wrestlers that are here in WCW. There was a Women’s Championship in WCW but that wasn’t for over a year. I’ve heard of all four of these names but have only seen a decent amount of all but the third name listed. I’m going to have issues with keeping the second team apart as I know next to nothing about them.
Bull and Akira are heels here and are managed by one Sonny Onoo, who would become a big time player here in like a month or so, but more on that later. Basically Nakano is an unstoppable monster and the heels do whatever they can to hurt her but it doesn’t really work. The idea of this more or less is that the faces have to try to beat Akira because Bill would snap them like a popsicle stick. They hit a pair of stomps from the top in a nice spot. That would hurt something fierce.
Crowd is warming up to this one quickly. Hokuto nearly gets her neck broken with a German suplex that was SICK. Nakano comes in and the massacre begins. We go to the floor for a bit but Bull and Akira hit a Doomsday Device followed by a guillotine legdrop to end it. I think Ozaki is dead. Apparently they did this the next night again with the same result. Ok then.
Rating: B. This was a pair of things: random and AWESOME. This came out of nowhere, wasn’t advertised at all, and was more or less never mentioned again. This makes no sense though as it was just freaking sweet. Sadly enough they really weren’t heard from again. Pay no attention to the Japanese invasion angle that was coming next month either that they would be perfect for. This is very odd indeed but we got a sweet match out of it so I can’t complain.
US Title: Kensuke Sasake vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit is a Horseman here and Sasake is champion here because of the aforementioned Japanese invasion angle that’s coming up soon. He beat Sting of all people in Japan for the belt and held it for like a month and a half. Benoit is that guy that went out there and stole like 4 shows in a row so they put him in the Horsemen because they saw the potential in him. Sonny is back for this one again.
Hokuto from the last match is married to Sasaki for you Japanese enthusiasts. Apparently Heenan sold half of WCW to Onoo. Ah apparently he had no right to do that so the deal doesn’t work. The announcers say the fans want the title back in the USA. That’s why they’re cheering for the Canadian. WCW announcers make me feel smarter. Benoit is still good but Sasake is only ok.
The problem is that I don’t think a lot of people know much about Sasake, meaning most people don’t care about this match. The problem compounding with that is that the match is rather boring. Benoit with the long hair is a good sight. Also he’s so young here but they know how great he is even then. Sasake is more or less all power and nothing more.
You could call it a contrast of styles to a certain extent but at the same time not really. Crowd is totally dead other than like 4 people. Onoo does some commentary here to again set up the angle a bit more. This angle is one of the most intriguing one ever but we’ll get to that one at Starrcade. Benoit busts out the Germans which mean nothing at the time. Benoit throws in a tombstone for good measure.
Heabutt hits but it’s 1995 so it doesn’t get a pin or a reaction. He throws out a rana and it’s total dominance by Benoit. Tony makes this dramatic statement that the last American to hold the title was Sting. You know, the guy that held it TEN DAYS ago. Sasake basically is no selling all of Benoit’s stuff and hits a Northern Lights Bomb (Snowplow) for the pin.
Rating: D+. This was just a weird match. For one thing, Sasake is rather pestering. I looked him up and it hit me as soon as I saw the name. He was a member of the Road Warriors in Japan. The style is very similar. Anyway, this match had no real flow. They started out pretty even and then Benoit dominated. Then Sasake just no sold stuff, hit two moves and won. Not terrible I guess, but this was just odd. Crowd hated it too.
Kevin Sullivan and the Giant say what you would expect them to say. Giant is REALLY bad on the mic at this point. “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m gonna kick your butt to Kalamazoo.” WOW. Did anyone ever explain why Taskmaster (what kind of a name is that anyway?) wore red and yellow?
We recap Savage vs. Luger, which more or less boiled down to Savage didn’t trust him. For once, his paranoid delusions were right and Luger did turn heel at Halloween Havoc. Savage won there, Luger won on Nitro thanks to interference from Giant. That’s about it.
Savage says he’s going to win both matches. This took forever of course. Savage saying he’s always jittery and how that’s part of his charm is rather funny for some reason.
Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger
And remember, Savage’s arm is FINE. Hogan and Savage have both said it, so ignore the massive bandage on his arm. Savage jumps him early as you would expect him to. Apparently everyone wants to be world champion. Heenan finally asks why Savage has a BIG FREAKING BANDAGE on his arm. Tony of course ignores him. Heenan point blank asks and Tony just won’t answer.
Savage gets a messed up beyond belief Boston Crab which he used last PPV. Well it’s a new move so I can’t really complain about a guy expanding his arsenal. We hit the floor for a bit. Savage throws him in the ring, goes up and the elbow hits like two minutes in. Ok then. Hart distracts of course since he’s a great manager. Luger is tossed again and manages to put the rack on Savage on the floor.
Not sure why but he did it anyway. Savage is out cold and Luger throws him back in. An armbar on a perfectly good arm mind you, ends it. Savage just passes out so he doesn’t tap but still, he lost to an arm submission when his arm was FINE. That’s why 95 in WCW was odd: Hogan and company made no sense.
If the whole IT’S FINE thing hadn’t been said, this would make perfect sense. Naturally we can’t have that though so there we are. Post match Sting comes down when Luger won’t let go. He whispers something to him and Luger lets go. Never was explained.
Rating: F+. This was very odd. I’m not sure what the idea was here but it came off oddly. This was like 5 minutes long and made me scratch my head. Who was supposed to look good here, because Luger got his head kicked in and would have been pinned in 2 minutes and then Savage got beat completely cleanly in like 5 total minutes. What was this supposed to be again?
We recap Sting vs. Flair. More or less, Flair was getting beaten down a lot and asked Sting for help. Sting more or less said you screw me over and I’ll kill you. Not really obviously but you get the idea.
Sting vs. Ric Flair
Why Sting didn’t just stay in the ring is beyond me but whatever. Sting of course beats the tar out of Flair to start and Flair runs to another ring. Ok then. This is almost face vs. face as Flair is in Flair Country and Sting is the most popular guy in the company. Naturally Russo would spend his life trying to turn a face that big heel right? And here are Sherri and Colonel Parker for no apparent reason.
Flair tries to walk and that of course doesn’t work. Sting gets taken down twice by the hair and nips up both times. That was cool looking. Is there anything this guy can’t do? Sting goes for his diving splash to the railing and of course it doesn’t work just like it never does at all. Every time Flair chops him, Sting gets stronger. Flair of course keeps chopping him. We switch rings for like the 5th time and Flair starts in on the knee.
We show Parker and Sherri again for no apparent reason. Heenan has a weird respect for Sting. Young heels, take note of Flair. He does such simple things and they make him a great heel. For instance, he asks the referee how much time is left then throws Sting over the ropes.
Totally illegal, but so simply done that it came off as instinct from Flair. Figure Four goes on and like an idiot, Flair slaps Sting. Nick Patrick pushing Flair is always funny. Sting starts his comeback, hits a top rope suplex and the Scorpion for the submission.
Rating: B-. It’s Sting vs. Flair, making it one of the pairings that starts off with a higher grade than most matches get. These two had insanely great chemistry together and this was no exception. It’s not one of their better matches but it did what it was supposed to do as it ended the mini feud they had going on. Can’t ask for more than that.
Heenan says no one that has wrestled already tonight will win the title. Ok then.
We recap what led to this which I’ve been over already. There will be a giant in every ring: Yeti, the Giant and Hogan. Hogan as a giant just sounds weird.
Hogan says what you would expect him to say. And I mean he says it for a LONG time. This takes like 2-3 minutes when it could have taken one.
Tony and Bobby have the belt. Even though Giant won it, it still says Hulk Hogan. That’s just amusing and sad at the same time.
World War 3
Arn Anderson, Alex Wright, Brian Knobbs, Ricky Santana, David Taylor, Scott Armstrong, Sting, Joey Maggs, Pez Whatley, Disco Inferno, Meng, Stevie Ray, Mark Starr, Buddy Lee Parker, James Earl Wright, Lex Luger, Eddy Guerrero, Cobra, The Giant, Paul Orndorff, Khris Kanyon, Bobby Walker, Bobby Eaton, Chris Benoit, Randy Savage, Marcus Bagwell, The Yeti, Kurosawa, Hugh Morrus, Zodiac Man
VK Wallstreet, DDP, Scott Norton, Brian Pillman, Craig Pittman, One Man Gang, Super Assassin #1, Mr. JL, Bunkhouse Buck, Kensuke Sasaki, Mike Winner, Hawk, Shark, Steve Armstrong, David Sullivan, Scotty Riggs, Johnny B. Badd, Black Bart, Steven Regal, Dick Slater, Maxx Muscle, Super Assassin #2, Fidel Sierra, Kevin Sullivan, Jerry Saggs, Jim Duggan, Booker T, Big Bubba, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan.
If I’m right then the first twenty of that list are in one ring, next in another and the last in a third. No clue which is which but whatever. There are three teams of commentators: Tony and Bobby, Larry Zbyszko and Chris Cruise (I don’t know him either) and Dusty and Eric. Let’s get this over with as the word mess could be defined as this.
First of all there are three cameras and the screen is cut into three small shots. We’re not told which is which. Not that it matters as you CANNOT SEE A THING! Seriously, they’re so crowded and so small you can’t see anything. Once we get a ring down to ten they go to other rings until there are 30 left and they all go to one ring. That makes PERFECT sense right? Having 30 people at once in a ring couldn’t go bad could it?
Ok so Eric and Dusty have ring 2. Tony and Bobby have ring 1 and the other guys have ring 3. Got it I think. Cruise is trying but he’s annoying. Keep in mind this is all pre stuff and the match hasn’t started yet. I’m just killing time until everyone gets to the ring. Buffer calls it the best battle royal ever. They’re going to show the 92 Rumble? Ok now he just needs to shut up so we can get through the end of this. Ah there we are. Oh wait we have to do a ton of pyro first.
Ok ring 1 is the center ring. Got it. Hogan is there. I think Sting and Luger are in ring 2 with Giant. That puts Yeti in ring 3. Hawk fights Hogan. That’s very weird when you think about it. The problem becomes clear early on: FAR too people being eliminated. We have no one gone in the first minute or so. Never mind as Yeti is gone. Everyone goes after Savage but that doesn’t work of course. Hogan and Flair are on the floor fighting.
That’s another thing they improved on later as people keep going through the ropes and under them, making it very confusing. MIKE WINNER IS OUT!!! A bunch of heels go after Hogan. Guess how well that works. This three camera thing is idiotic. Knobbs puts Mark Starr out. See what I was talking about when I said too many jobbers? Three guys are out of ring 1. Hogan gets ganged up on again and does a nice thing of punches to get out.
That was far faster than I’ve ever seen Hogan throw them. Bagwell and Kanyon are out so there are 17 left in ring 3. Stinger Splash hits someone as Black Bart is out. Anderson and Luger are fighting on the floor but they’re both in still. Benoit and Savage are fighting. That’s a good sounding feud. Imagine that in 98 or so. Another jobber is out. Giant goes off and puts like 3 or four out at once which was really badly needed.
Sting vs. Giant is a fun feud. That ring is thinning out a bit. Ring 2 in case you care. In ring 1 a guy is taken out on a stretcher. Shockingly, all of the big stars are still left. Ring 2 is being broken up as we have ten left there. They went into ring one, so ring 2 is eliminated I guess you would say. Instead of dropping us down to two cameras of course, we stay with three. Brilliant.
Benoit hammers on DDP which is another solid sounding feud. Wallstreet is out, more commonly known as IRS. Norton is gone too. That’s enough and we head into the first ring as we have approximately 30 left. Screw the rules I guess. Savage beats on DDP. It’s about 2 years away but that was a great feud. Everyone beats on Hogan with Zodiac choking him with his boot. I say choking when I mean putting his foot about a foot from Hogan’s throat.
You can see the tights between the gap. That’s pitiful. Pittman, like an idiot, puts a cross armbreaker on a guy. Pillman goes after Hogan. That’s just odd to see. 29 to go apparently. Bubba and Duggan put each other out. Dave Taylor vs. Hogan is weird to see. Luger has been on the floor for the majority of the match. That’s kind of smart. Screw the kind of part actually. It’s brilliant. Disco is out. Hogan vs. Booker T is ANOTHER weird combination.
Now why did these guys never get to fight Hogan other than in a massive mess of a match? Jerry Sags and Booker are both out. That puts us at 23 and you can see the ring FAR more clearly now. Savage and Luger fight in another ring, and when I say fight I mean do nothing of note. Regal is gone as Hogan and Giant start fighting. DDP and Badd go out together. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Pittman is out and we’re getting low on people now. Benoit is gone. 16 left. It’s mostly big names and a few midcard guys left. Kurasawa is out. He doesn’t get to sit on the throne of blood with the title I guess. Meng is out. Zodiac is gone. Sorry for just listing names off like that but there isn’t much else to say. Morrus is gone and I think that’s 10 to go. Bit more than that actually. Pillman is gone.
Hogan puts Hawk and Sasake out. That gives us ten left: Hogan, Orndoff, Gang, Luger, Savage, Giant, Sting, Guerrero, Flair and Anderson. Not bad. Orndorff remembers its’ 1995 and is tossed. The Horsemen go after Eddie but he gets out of a spike piledriver. He and Arn do a nice sequence. Naturally Eddie would do nothing for a LONG time after this. Flair gets a figure four on him for good measure. Savage tries to slam Giant but since HE ISN’T OVERLY STRONG it doesn’t work.
Eddie is out and we have 8 left. Savage is referred to as a former world champion and then chokeslammed. Hogan puts both Horsemen out, confirming that he is indeed better than you. The final six are Hogan, Savage, Luger, Sting, Gang and Giant.
Since getting rid of Anderson and Flair at once wasn’t enough, Hogan puts out Sting, Luger and Giant AT THE SAME TIME. Sweet goodness this gets ridiculous at times. Giant pulls Hogan to the floor but no one sees it. Savage dumps Gang out to WIN THE TITLE! Sweet. Oh look Hogan is upset. You put Arn Anderson, Ric Flair, Sting, Lex Luger and The Giant out inside of 40 seconds. BE HAPPY!
Rating: F+. This was more or less a disaster. The camera work is the biggest issue here. It is AWFUL. You flat out cannot tell what is going on for the majority of this stupid match and that just doesn’t work at all. That and the ton of jobbers being in there. I mean seriously, Pez Whatley? Cut this down by 15-20 guys and it’s FAR better. Other than that though, this was awful.
Post match, Gene comes out to talk to Savage, and, and I can’t believe this, HOGAN WON’T LEAVE!!! Yes, to everyone’s shock, Hogan throws a fit about how he should be champion and how he didn’t go out and how there is a cloud over Savage’s reign. Savage more or less says he’s champion and get over it. I love that.
The fans boo the heck out of Hogan here. For some reason Hogan says that we can look at the tape tomorrow on Nitro. Why not just look at it now? I mean you’re both here so why wait for a whole day? That’s WCW for you I guess. Anyway, Savage and Hogan make up for the thousandth time and after Tony and Bobby talk for awhile, we’re out.
Overall Rating: D. This was a one match show and the one match SUCKED. Like I said, you flat out could not tell what was going on at all. It was awful. This was WCW in a nutshell: big flashy match with no substance and hope that no one notices that it sucks.
Savage winning was a nice twist though as he wasn’t really expected, but Hogan complaining was just fitting for some reason. Other than that though, the show just wasn’t that great. It’s not bad really, but there’s nothing worth going out of your way to see at all. Decent stuff, but nothing great. Take a pass on this one unless you love ridiculous gimmick matches