ThunderStruck: WCW Monday Nitro Retro Review 09/04/95

Live from the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it’s the debut edition of WCW Monday Nitro!

Eric Bischoff and Steve McMichael are on commentary. They’re joined by Bobby Heenan, and Heenan doesn’t like McMichael. Bischoff hypes the WCW Champion, Hulk Hogan being in the main event.

Up first we have Jushin Thunder Liger coming to the ring! His opponent is Flyin’ Brian(Pillman). Pillman wins the match with a modified victory roll in roughly seven minutes. *** Outstanding match to kick off a great era of wrestling for Ted Turner’s company! Pillman was so underrated when you look at his cruiserweight ability during his WCW days in comparison to the lack of wrestling we saw from him in WWF.

We have a video promo from Sting hyping his match with Ric Flair tonight. Stinger really was more hype than in ring ability, no?

Mean Gene promotes the WCW Hotline at 1.49 per minute at 1-900-909-9900. Kids, get your parents permission before calling!

Batman Forever from Acclaim is now available!

Pierre Cardin’s Insatiable, the new fragrance for men is now available!

Eric Bischoff introduces a pre-recorded interview with Hulk Hogan at his Pasta-Mania restaurant. Hogan says tonight he puts the title on the line against Big Bubba(formerly Big Boss Man) and will defeat him with help from the Pasta-Maniacs! Yup, that really just happened.

Ric Flair challenges Sting for the WCW US Title! I covered this match in my Sting/Flair rivalry column back in the fall of 2011 and have watched it several times before.

Lex Luger comes out before the match with a surprise appearance(as he had just finished taping shows with WWF the day prior).

Flair and Sting give us a solid match that ends when Flair has Sting trapped in the figure four on the verge to submit. Arn Anderson comes down and interrupts. Flair lets go of the figure four and gets into a scuffle with Anderson. Flair gets the win by dq. Nothing special overall, but wonderfully historic for the first edition of Nitro.

Scott Norton shows up ringside and confronts McMichael and Bischoff about not being on the show. Macho Man shows up and challenges him. Bischoff won’t allow the match right now and has security hold Norton back. Fun stuff on this hot show so far!

We have a short video package hyping up Sabu! Talk about one of my favorite under-utilized performers. Perhaps he’ll appear on some of the upcming shows that I look at.

Mean Gene welcomes us back as he’s in the ring. He tells us he could’ve bought ten acres of land here in 1953 for 17,000 dollars. He announces the winner of the Harley Davidson Sweepstakes and then sends it back to Bischoff. I wish WWE would do stuff like that now.

Bischoff hypes WCW Saturday night with Johnny B. Badd taking on Dirty Dick Slater as well as Macho Man teaming with Sting to take on the Blue Bloods. We’ll also get an update on Fall Brawl, War Games on the show! I miss the old WCW Saturday Night programming.

We have a promo from VK Wallstreet, the new addition to WCW. Wallstreet was known as Mike Rotunda of the US Express where he teamed with his brother in law Barry Windham, Irwin R. Schyster of the Million Dollar Corporation, and is the father of NXT Champion, Bo Dallas as well as the father of Bray Wyatt. Wallstreet hypes what he’s going to do in WCW. Not much of an original gimmick, eh?

Big Bubba comes to the ring for his match. Commercial time.

Macho Man does a slim jim commercial. Loved these! Iconic was the word WWE used to describe it, and they weren’t wrong.

Hot pockets and tootsie rolls are advertised next on the commercial. Funny what products on the market stand the test of time, no?

Back to our show!

Hulk Hogan comes to the ring to take on Big Bubba in our main event, and the World Title is on the line!

Jimmy Hart is at ringside in Hogan’s corner. Hogan wins the match with the big legdrop in roughly seven minutes. Not much of a pure wrestling match, but very old school pacing and setup. Not bad, and definitely fun for the crowd.

The booty man, Kamala,and Kevin Sullivan(the Dungeon of Doom) come to the ring to go after Hogan. Meng is with them. Lex Luger comes into the ring to help Hogan clean house and they have a face off. Macho Man and Sting come out to stop the two from arguing. Commercial break!

Sunday Night NFL on TNT is hyped during the commercial as it’s the Eagles and Cardinals this Sunday night!

We come back and Mean Gene is in the ring to interview Hogan and Luger. Hogan says Luger has no business here. Luger says he’s here for one reason only, and that’s because Hogan is supposedly the number one wrestler in the world today. He says he’s here to take the belt from Hogan. Luger says he’s tired of playing around with kids(referring to WWF at the time), and he wants a shot. Hogan says he’ll be the champion forever, and there are thousands of Hulkamaniacs who stand behind him. Hogan messes up some of his words and offers Luger a title shot next week on a handshake deal. It’s on and Mean Gene hypes it. Sting holds back Luger as Macho and Hart hold back Hogan.

What a way to end the night! Solid action on the first ever edition of Nitro, and it only gets better from here! Thanks for reading!