Monday Nitro – February 5, 1996 – Requested So Here It Is

Monday Nitro #23
Date: February 5, 1996
Location: Jenkins Center, Lakeland, Florida
Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Steve McMichael

We’re FINALLY at the go home show for Superbrawl which would turn out to be an absolute disaster. Anyway this on paper looks like a decent card but I’m not completely sold yet. These Nitros are so hit or miss that it’s unreal. Anyway this should be ok and if nothing else we don’t have to hear about how awesome Superbrawl will be after this so let’s get to it.

By the way this is around the time when they started the overrun so these shows are going to get a bit longer.

Eric and company run down the card for tonight and talk about Hogan a lot. His eye injury is the main topic of discussion of course.

WCW World Title: Chris Benoit vs. Randy Savage

Yes please. Benoit is a Horseman here which is why he’s getting this show. He’s not well liked at all due to said affiliation and has zero chance of winning here but this should be fun either way. Please give them some time? Big pop for Savage as this is more or less his hometown. He has Woman and Liz here with him. Guess what would happen with them at the PPV. Just guess.

Now let’s make fun of WWF for a bit. Have to take care of that no? Benoit holds up the four fingers at Savage and the crowd doesn’t seem to care. Benoit was known as a guy with talent but he hadn’t proven a thing yet so this isn’t a real challenge. He takes over though and sends Savage to the floor. This was also normal though as Savage’s style consisted of 1. Get beaten up. 2. Get beaten up a lot more. 3. Elbow. 4. Win. That was how most Savage matches went for a few years including here. Well maybe not the last two but you get the point.

Savage can’t get anything going and Benoit chops away in the corner. There’s the snap suplex as Eric says that historically Superbrawl is one of the biggest PPVs in history. Swan Dive hits as this has been ALL Benoit. Benoit works on the back as apparently he isn’t trying to win so he can wear Savage down for Flair on Sunday.

Out to the floor goes Savage and Benoit tries a suicide dive to the floor but goes short and slams his head onto the foot of the railing. Sick SICK shot and totally legit it seems. Flair runs out to try to give Benoit a chance to remember what planet he’s on. Flair and Anderson beat down Savage for the DQ. Woman also turns heel and beats him up. Hogan makes the save with a chair.

Rating: B-. Given what they had here, this worked rather well. Savage is beaten down for the PPV and Woman turned heel. That spot with Benoit had to be at least partially botch as even Benoit isn’t crazy enough to do that on purpose. Pretty good TV match and always good to see Benoit get a chance to shine.

Savage is helped out so Hogan gets to talk now! The crowd is about 60/40 for Hogan here. Flair sneaks up on Hogan and hits him low. Liz can only watch. Flair goes after the bad eye as Giant comes out. BIG chair shot and Zodiac stops Giant for some reason. Savage comes back out for the save. Randy yells at Liz, asking why didn’t you warn Hogan. That’s a very good question. If you didn’t get it, Liz would turn on Savage at the PPV.

Kevin Sullivan/Hugh Morrus vs. Arn Anderson/Brian Pillman

Before the match we get a clip of their brawl the previous week. Sweet goodness I could listen to that Horsemen music for a long time. Bell rings after a break with Morrus vs. Pillman. I think this is Pillman’s last Nitro. Bischoff points out how scary it is to have Anderson be the sanest guy in the match. Pillman can’t hurt Morrus as this was when they wanted Morrus to be something special I think.

Big press slam puts Pillman down and the same goes for Anderson. We hear about the strap match on Sunday. I’ll post my review of the PPV at the end of this review. Make sure to check that out as it might be the most bizarre stories in wrestling history. Off to Morrus vs. Anderson and Anderson hits a spinebuster for no cover.

Pillman comes in, slaps Morrus and then tags in Anderson. I liked his insane bits back in the day like this. Anderson with a chinlock now as we haven’t had Sullivan in here for the majority of the match. Back off to Pillman and then right back to Anderson. Other than the opening I don’t think the Pillman has been in there longer than 15 seconds.

It’s been about 85% Horsemen here and Morrus is sent to the floor. Pillman sends him into the railing and the laughing dude is starting to laugh. Bischoff says we’re awaiting word from the coroner for word about Hogan and his eye. I give up. Sullivan vs. Pillman now and the fight is on. Sullivan bites his face and wants blood. Anderson saves his partner and Anderson gets a broom broken over his back by someone we can’t see. The Dungeon (Morrus/Sullivan) beats on Pillman with the strap for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Basic brawl for the most part but the Sullivan vs. Pillman was interesting to say the least. It was some of the best acting that has ever happened in wrestling and evolved into Benoit vs. Sullivan. This feud went on forever and thankfully the NWO came in to end it. Basic match but it set up the PPV match well enough.

Marcus Bagwell vs. Ric Flair

Bagwell is an American Male here. Woman is with Flair now. Somehow he looks a bit more effeminate than she does. Paul Orndorff pops up at the announce booth and says you never know when payback is coming. Nothing ever came of this I don’t think. After a quick break we’re back with the bell. Savage has taken Hogan to the hospital. Better than the coroner I guess.

Basic start here as Bagwell beats Flair down for awhile. Yep this is Flair Formula personified. Bagwell uses basic stuff and is all fired up to be in there and having some success with Flair. Flair gets in a cheap shot and here he comes. It’s the same thing every time but it works. Bagwell gets a rollup for two to counter the Figure Four. He misses a crossbody and hits the floor though.

Here comes Flair with some stomps. Back in and we get the Flair knee drop. They slug it out in the corner with Bagwell taking over. And never mind as he gets kicked in the face to take him down. Bagwell gets back up and gets a middle rope suplex for two. Slingshot splash eats knees and I think it’s time to go to school. Yep and it’s over.

Rating: C. Not bad here and a nice little quick shot for Flair before the PPV. This is fine for what it was supposed to be as Bagwell gets to rub elbows with Flair and Flair gets a convincing victory over someone that he should be able to get a convincing victory over. This was fine.

Flair won’t let go until Savage makes the save.

Tag Titles: Road Warriors vs. Sting/Lex Luger

This is the blue period for the Warriors that looks stupid. Animal vs. Sting to start. LOUD LOD chant to start us off. Animal might have a bad back here. Naturally Sting works on the arm instead. Sting controls to start and gets a top rope clothesline for two. We come to a pause and Sting shouts to the crowd. See, that’s smart. He keeps the fans from getting cold and just a shout like that can do it.

Off to Hawk and Luger now. Is Sting the weakest person in the match somehow? Big shoulder tackle takes down Luger so it’s off to Sting again. The guy with more singles success moves out of the way of a charge in the corner but can’t get the Scorpion. Off to Animal who is sent into Luger as the champions take over. Luger hammers on the back as the fans chant for the challengers (Road Warriors if that wasn’t clear).

We take an unannounced break as the building lost power apparently. Bischoff implies WWF had something to do with it. What the heck??? TNT is letting the show go on a bit longer because this is a big match, meaning we’re officially beginning the overrun. Front facelock as this match is really pretty boring. Powerslam by Luger takes down Animal.

Everything breaks down and Luger gets a suplex on Animal but walks into a powerslam with no referee. Jimmy Hart comes out of nowhere and slips Luger some big metal plate that is apparently used to keep doors open. He drills Animal in the bad back with it to get the pin to retain. At least it’s over now.

Rating: F+. This was absolutely awful. These four never were able to have a good match together and this was no exception. Sting and Luger didn’t care and the Warriors were so far past their expiration date that it was unreal. Bad match indeed and an odd choice to end the show.

The Road Warriors demand a title shot at the winner of Sting/Luger vs. Harlem Heat, whenever that happens.

Overall Rating
: C-. This was decent at times but at the end of the day it feels like it’s just there. Nothing really ever got going with it and while they kind of set up the PPV a bit at the same time this show didn’t need to happen and the PPV build would have been the same thing for the most part. Other than the Woman turn, nothing happened here at all. Not bad but not needed at all.

 

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2 comments

  1. noahconstrictor says:

    Was there really only 4 matches?

    This review seems REALLY short for a Nitro review.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It was only an hour back in the early shows.

    [Reply]

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