Discussion in 'Wrestling' started by BostonBob, Sep 4, 2020.
Monday Nitro debuted on September 4 - 1995 and it started a great period for wrestling fans:
That Mall of America setting for the first episode was so crappy, though the episode was still much better than Raw's first episode. Regardless, that kicked off a really entertaining period in wrestling. Maybe not great in the long term for wrestling but enjoyable at the time.
Do you know why they had the first Nitro at this location ???? It was because that dumb POS Hogan was opening up a new crappy Pastamania restaurant.
This segment aired during that debut episode proving that Hogan had anybody that mattered at WCW kissing his red and yellow butt.
I didn't know that, but it is always hilarious to consider the lengths that WCW went to in order to appease the Hulkster.
I saw that show on the network once it had all the wcw you need with some real good wrestlers and some crazy shit that makes no sense
I wish I was a tad bit older for the Monday night wars. Being a youngin I was easily worked into choosing sides and was staunchly WWF. WCW was the enemy and as a result, outside of tuning in a few times here and there, I deprived myself of some quality wrestling.
I hate any WWE production associated with the Monday night wars and how little credit they give WCW and how much they use it to put themselves over. But I guess history is written by the victor. Even more infuriating is places like WhatCulture who perpetuate the WWE centric version of things, or frequently take low shots on WCW and TNA whenever they can.
Whatcha gonna do when food poisoning runs WILD on you??!!
The Monday Night Wars series is among the most revisionist history you'll ever see, that's for sure.
One thing that's fascinating to me about discussing this time period online is the differing experiences different fans had. For me, I was online looking at the inside of the business like now but for many fans they talk about that being a time when they weren't following the business online.
It was tough early on for me to watch WCW. Didn't have the channel so that sucked. Then those black boxes came out and I was at least able to go to my uncles to watch the PPV.
I didn't even own a computer in my house during the Monday Night Wars, so following the business online had never occurred to me.
This was a big thing for me. When Scott Hall showed up on Nitro in May 1996, I had zero idea that he had left the WWF. I distinctly remember my family getting its first dial up modem (I think it was 14.4k, so super slow) around the same time since the first online article I remember reading was the Devils acquiring Phil Housley in late February 1996.
Gradually as I we got better Internet access, I could look up things like hockey prospects (this is when I found HF when it was primarily a prospects site) and wrestling sites. Having daily rumors added to the dynamic that hadn't existed before. I have fond memories of it taking an hour to download a poor quality 3 MB .wav file of the nWo B-team theme song.
I was lucky being on the West Coast since the initial years (1995-1998) for me the two shows weren't necessarily head-to-head. I could watch the East Coast feed of Nitro at like 6pm and then comfortably watch the tape delayed Raw at 9pm.
I also credit 'rasslin as being the ice breaker between me and my college roommates circa Fall 2000. Ended up living with a couple random guys and we didn't talk much initially. I came home one night and they were watching Raw, so I joined and immediately nerded out. They didn't peg me as somebody who would enjoy wrestling, but that became our weekly thing. To this day, we'll still try to have a get together for the Royal Rumble.
I am still bummed that I missed the last Nitro. By then, my class schedule was pretty hectic so I don't remember watching many Nitros/Raws in 2001/2002. In the moment, I suppose I didn't fathom the notion that Nitro could get canceled.
Canadians were lucky in that way too. We got Raw Monday nights but we wouldn't get Nitro until Wednesday afternoon.
If I'm remembering right, TSN would air Raw Monday nights, repeat Raw Tuesday at 4pm, and Nitro Wednesday at 4pm. Nitro after school every Wednesday is a fond childhood memory.
I didn't follow it online at all only rumors from people at school. Tbh it was more fun that way and during Monday night wars it was like most kids were watching so the rumors were flying.
The schedule was great. I think that there was also a time when the Nitro replay aired on Tuesday and Raw was... some other time. That plus Saturday wrestling that played in the morning, afternoon, and then early evening on TBS. It was pretty easy to follow what was going on in both promotions.
If you could stay up late enough you could catch an airing of Nitro late Tuesday nights on TSN.
We lived outside of the part of town where you could get cable TV, so my grandfather would set his VCR to tape Raw on Mondays and Nitro on Tuesdays. Wednesday after school I'd pick up the tape and settle in for a nice 5 hour block of wrestling action. Good times.
My biggest issue was people at school spoiling what happened on Raw when I got to school on Tuesday mornings as everyone (well males at least) in my high school was watching Raw back in late 1998-early 1999.
Circa Fall 2000: "Now that they have Russo, I could see WCW closing the gap in the ratings within a few months" -- Me aka what a mark
Trying to think of what Nitro moments I remember fondly:
- Rick Rude showing up, I ran straight to my phone to call my other buddy to turn on the TV.
- Bret Hart debuting, I was at school late working on the newspaper and for some reason my teacher had basic cable on the TV in his classroom. Part of me didn't want to believe that Bret really did go to WCW.
- Goldberg getting hot shotted over Hogan, albeit in the moment it was great TV
- Raven/Curt Hennig both debuting at the end of a Nitro, I remember rushing to my dial up modem to see if anybody had posted what happened after the cameras were off.
I preferred Nitro and watched it regularly, but liked plenty of the WWF back then. As WCW started to decline and then after WWF bought it I quite liked that WWF era.
I have some specific moments:
Flair and Benoit vs Hall and Nash in a tag match. I was a big Benoit mark and I thought they were going to win that match, but of course they didn't.
The Horsemen reuniting.
Any number of "Crow" Sting appearances at the end of Nitro.
Jericho's man of 1004 holds.
Raven and Kanyon promo where they went shopping with all of Raven's money.
Nash throwing Mysterio into the trailer at the back.
Scott Hall walking to the ring with a cocktail and the guys at the back coming out to get him.
Lance Storm's run.
Quite a lot really. IMO it's the best era of Wrestling for me even though it was far from perfect.
I think you mean by Fall 1999, by 2000 WCW was the shits.
Yup, I meant to update that post after having my memory jogged last night while listening to a random Bischoff clip on YouTube. Definitely remember watching the infamous pinata on a pole match with one set of roommates in Fall 1999 since I would abruptly move out by spring 2000 to refocus on school.
Now that stuff was good. Raven in WCW is underrated and Kanyon was just great.
I always felt like once WCW went with their rebranded logo and that wacky set to match in mid-1999, it was the end of the Nitro as we knew it and the beginning of the end for WCW.
To me it felt like the announcers were embarrassed by that point having to call out "welcome to the MOTHERSHIP!"
Except for Dusty Rhodes actually. He loved it. But making a logo after a hokey nickname for your show is... perplexing.
Best Nitro moments were Kanyon as ddp... BANG
Or Macho Man putting a chair in the middle of the ring and refusing to leave
Or Ernest The Cat Miller doing anything.
You forgot Jerry Flynn matches, if for nothing else than his theme music alone.
I attended my first Raw in spring 1999, so I was curious if Nitro ever made out in my direction. Only spotted one in Fall '97 and one early 2000. Definitely a stark difference between those two shows:
October 27, 1997 Monday Nitro results
January 24, 2000 Monday Nitro results
Separate names with a comma.