The summer is heating up, so cool off with a trip back to the winter of ’95 and Part Two of our WCW Christmas Special.
We sample the offerings from box office blowout Starrcade ’95, as WCW’s flagship PPV bombed like a Blitzkrieg pilot in 1941. Ted Turner’s coin counters may have been wanting for action in the days that followed, but what few punters coughed up to see this show had plenty to keep them occupied, including the eagerly-anticipated Triangle Match, which pitted Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Sting against one another. The stakes were higher than a glue-sniffing eagle here, with a shot at the hallowed Big Gold Belt awarded to the victor.
Elsewhere, there’s the fallout from groundhog day in the booker’s office in the main event and, most excitingly, we stage the inaugural TMNS World Cup of Wrestling. The competition sees our very own Los Liam and The Nitpicker slug it out for squared-circle supremacy, as they desperately try to avoid an unforgiving forfeit. There’s all the drama you’d expect with such a prestigious prize on the line and no shortage of celebrity endorsement, with guest commentary from someone you may believe is the actual American Dream, Dusty Rhodes himself…if you are very easily led.
After all that, only one question remains – why are you reading all of this when there’s so much gold to listen to?
Christmas ’95 saw a brief armistice called in the Monday Night Wars, but there was no time for no man’s land football between Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff, as Nitro went it alone for their Starrcade go-home show.
We saw all three competitors scheduled to feature in Starrcade’s triangle match take to the ring, as Lex Luger met Scotty Riggs and Sting went up against Big Bubba Rogers.
The pick of these triangle tune ups, though, saw Ric Flair and Randy Savage duke it out for the WCW title in a PPV-quality bout available at a pauper’s price…surely Bisch and the boys didn’t expect anyone to pay to see this match again any time soon.
That wasn’t all either, as we learn of a draconian punishment inflicted upon Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart made a new alliance and Craig Pitman successfully buried himself alive on network television. Shove that lot in your stocking.
Coming in hot from a short stint on the sidelines, the MNS boys are back with another dose of 90s nostalgia. This time we’re reviewing week 15 of The Monday Night Wars, as the run up to Christmas ’95 continues apace.
Raw held their festive bash the night before this episode aired in the shape of box office blow out, In Your House 5: Season’s Beatings. The sluggishness that typically follows company Christmas shindigs was evident here as Vince McMang and the gang served up a show that smelled worse than a Brother Love’s couch cushions after sprout-heavy turkey dinner. Hear our thoughts on the obituary of the definitely-not-dead Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker’s attempt to steal a soul and a surprise win for a Ric Flair rip off.
Meanwhile, on Nitro, the festive spirit is not lost as the omni-grafting Mean Gene yearns for a well-earned Egg Nog, while the charitable Mongo marks the season of giving by gifting pal William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry a prominent part in the Christmas production. In the ring, the real Ric Flair puts on a stellar performance, there’s a customary chunk of Hulk Hogan-inspired chaos and a strategically placed waste-paper basket gets stuffed with WWF gold in an infamous Wars moment.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a clash between in-laws and In Your House 5: Season Beatings sees two turkey-chewers from the Hart family dinner table collide with gold on the line.
We’ve got the champ, Bret Hart, taking on his sister’s lesser half, The British Bulldog, in the main event of this Yuletide PPV, with said sibling/wife, Diana Smith, spectating at ringside.
Preceding this nuclear family feud, there’s a treat for those whose ’95 Christmas wish list read ‘GIMMICK MATCHES’, with several underlines, as Henry O. Godwinn and Hunter Hearst Helmsley step into the swine’s squared-circle for a Hog Pen match.
As if that wasn’t enough (and it really should’ve been), we also witness King Mabel’s attempts to defeat The Undertaker at his favourite game in a Casket match.
The festive cheer doesn’t stop there either, with Owen Hart, Diesel, Razor Ramon and Ahmed Johnson, among others, in action across a blockbuster two hours – tune in to see what the MNS team made of all this.
The lads are back with another episode of mid-90s wrestling action featuring more comedy than you can shake a 2x4 at.
Speaking of which, we see perennial woodsman Hacksaw Jim Duggan go head to head with the Total Package Lex Luger on WCW Monday Nitro, where Duggan’s terrifying tease has Los Liam diving behind el sofá. It’s not all scary though as we get another high-flying wresting clinic from WCW’s most consistent performer Eddie Guerrero, who’s up against the mysterious masked Mr. JL.
Over on WWF Monday Night Raw there are more frights in store if your name’s Chaparita Asari, who goes up against the formidable Aja Kong and her stunning moveset that has to up there with the most devastating in the business, as these two competitors square off in a cracking bout you’re not going to want to miss.
All that plus the heel Horsemen on home turf result in Hogan getting a not-so warm welcome, the return of an Art Attack stalwart that absolutely does not go to plan, and an appearance from a young Jeff Hardy who manages to make the very most of his TV time on Raw.
What’re you waiting for? Get that button walloped.
Ste, Jim and Liam return to ’95 to cast their eyes over another instalment from wrestling’s most famous ratings fracas.
Raw grant an unimaginable amount of air time to the most unpalatable of sources in a tasteless segment that has far outstayed its welcome…as Brother Love returns for another interview.
There’s plenty of time for talking this week though, as the good doctor Jeremy Unger gives us the skinny on Shawn Michaels’ concussion, Vince doles out a scolding and Bob Backlund’s descent into madness gathers pace.
Flick over to Nitro and an armistice may have been called following World War 3, but WCW’s best friends just can’t seem to get along. Desperate to curtail the treehouse squabbles of his top stars, Eric Bischoff has enlisted the services of an unseen ‘commission’ – find out the ironclad sanctions they’ve placed upon the great and good of TNT television.
There’s all this, and more, so let’s get cracking.
Three shows, three “giants” and three times the Mean Gene segments anybody could reasonably expect...
Never mind the rag sheets, this is where the real scoops are at! Join Ste, Jim and Liam for a comedy-packed run through of WCW’s World War 3 ‘95 PPV with a right mess of a main event.
We then deal with the fallout on Nitro the following night where, in amongst some superb Japanese women’s wrestling action, we get a whole lotta Hogan.
And as if that wasn’t enough, we also catch up with Vince McMahon and Co. to see what they had in store for us on Raw, where bonafide legend and new World Heavyweight Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart suffers some poultry-based ignominy after leaving his interviewer red-faced.
Finally, we’ll decide whether Raw or Nitro deserved to win the TV ratings battle that week before revealing which one took the gold in reality.
What’s not to like?! Let’s get cracking...
It’s a new year, but the same old tin hats are back on as we review our first Monday Night Wars battle of 2021.
First up, Los Liam gives us the low down from Survivor Series ’95, where the Undertaker delivers a royal beating and Bret Hart takes Diesel’s WWF title, much to the delight of…erm…Diesel, apparently.
The following night on Raw, HBK is at the epicentre of a medical emergency, Earl Hebner thrusts himself into the Oscar’s picture and there’s a heinous attack that earned Ted DiBiase more heat than Beelzebub’s blast furnace, in the eyes of one of the TMNS team, if no one else.
Then it’s over to Nitro where, fresh from their stellar night on our New Year’s Honours show, they plated up a free slice of Hogan v Sting, but it fell to a familiar moustachioed face to pull the programme out of the toilet.
Join us as we roll out the red carpet and wield Hulk Hogan’s Maid Marion sword to anoint the knights of the 1995 wrestling realm in the first ever TMNS New Year Honours List.
The debate is fierce as we look to bestow such prestigious accolades as Best Wrestler, Best Match and Jobber of the Year on the most deserving grapplers and, as we dole out the titles, we unearth a peculiar, yet absolutely logical pattern.
So put your glad rags on and be at the ready with your enthusiastic applause – let’s get awarding.
Audio credit: WWE Network
The numerous outtakes videos online and beyond show you that even the most accomplished of microphone maestros make mistakes sometimes. Well, if the pros drop the ball on rare occasions, you can imagine the terrible mess we make of almost every recording.
Having spent the last few months laughing at wrestlers getting things wrong, we thought we’d turn the tables on ourselves and serve up a selection of the mishaps we picked out from the Everest building up our cutting room floor.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year.