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  1. This is my new thing now that I've watched my way through all the episodes of "Countdown" (both original and "8 out of 10 Cats" versions) that I can find on YouTube. Most of my comments will probably be rehashes of stuff we all say and argue about, so if you are reading this, lower your expectations accordingly (which really, you should have when you saw who posted this thread). Heck, I last watched through Nitro about nine years ago, so I'll probably rehash shit I said on this very board. Apologies in advance. I have been working out every day during the pandemic, so I should be able to finish these eventually, probably. I'm just going straight through Nitro with no stops for the according PPVs because I'm lazy and the autoplay moving from one Nitro to the next makes life easier when I'm running. Show #1 - 04 September 1995 "The one that starts it all in a Minnesota mall" I enjoy shows in weird places like malls. This just looks dope. I also loved all the WCW beach shows just for the setting. Give me more shows in unique locales. Brian Pillman looked a bit off against Liger - he'd been injured, I believe (and Bischoff mentions it). He still has a sweet dropkick counter as Liger comes off the top. It's an adequate match, but I appreciate that it's a statement of intent for Nitro going forward to lead off with a match that pops the crowd via slick, fast-paced work. They're not consistent about doing this in the first few months, IIRC, but they'll get there. Interviews. Hogan labors while shilling Pastamania. So, I'm actually at the point just before the main event of show number two, and Hogan is really struggling up to that point overall. He gets a bunch of kids on camera who are really into him, and actually he gets a solid pop in Minneapolis, but when he goes back to the south, he's a solid #4 behind Sting, Flair, and Savage in terms of popularity, and in that order. Honestly, Luger might actually be more popular than him upon the former's return, too. You can tell because every promo sounds kinda desperate. Like, he does the schtick, but he's really, really trying, and he stumbles over his words a lot more. This Pastamania promo isn't bad, but Hogan sort of screams neediness to me. IDK, maybe this is just me. I enjoy Mongo's idiosyncrasies on color, but he's doing a bit too much arguing/jabbing with Heenan. Sometimes, a simple WILL YOU STOP is enough of a response. Yes yes, we get it, this is where The Big Boys Play (TM). Sting and Flair have their standard solid match, TV version. Luger comes down (and it still feels like a HOLY SHIT moment 25+ years later), and Bischoff already shows a propensity for assuming that someone up North has come to fuck with WCW when he sees Luger in that magnificent dress shirt. Arn and Flair are feuding and Arn ends the match after attacking Flair for cheating. IIRC, this whole Arn/Flair feud is literally all a work to sucker Sting in for another asswhooping at the hands of the Horsemen. In fairness, Sting sees it coming and says he'll help Flair against Arn "for the kids," but that he'll put Flair in the dirt after the inevitable screwjob (which of course almost immediately happens). Hey, at least Sting wasn't a total idiot this time around. Sabu promo. Sabu coming into 1995 WCW instead of 1999 WWF is a real shame. He would have worn out his welcome eventually, but he would have fit right in with WWF's "two-minute TV match before someone gets DQ'd on a run-in or weapon attack" and "midcard PPV match where people are crash dummies for ten or twelve minutes" style of match layouts perfectly. He just doesn't fit in a clear niche for WCW in 1995. Also, that Sabu promo was '90s as fuck with the music and the video wipes. Watching it was the closest I'll get to taking a time machine into the past. I do not remember Rotundo/a coming in as Michael Wallstreet. I thought that he was always VK Wallstreet (and he would be next week). Former AWA wrestler Flapjack Scott Norton shows up at ringside randomly and is mad at former AWA toadie Eric Bischoff for some reason. Then Savage comes out and we get a challenge for a match next week. It felt chaotic. Nitro already feels like a show that you don't want to turn away from because something interesting might happen out of nowhere. Hogan fights Big Bubba in the main event. Hogan is absolutely dreadful, and for some reason he threatens to beat up Pee Wee Anderson just because Anderson forces him to break on illegal punches or holds. I never want to hear that "Hogan is actually the heel" is a DVDVR myth ever again. Bubba cheats, too, so we've got a heel vs. heel match here. This match is just about watchable, and solely because Bubba bumps and has some pretty good facial expressions. Hogan wins, Luger comes out, Hogan stumbles over his words and sounds like a dumbass (he has to stop and think for two or three seconds to come up with "I'll shake your...stinky palm" or some shit like that). Luger looks like a potential world champion. They'll fight for the gold next week. Good show! It felt a little chaotic; there's already a bit of variety to the ringwork; and though the three-man booth is learning how to work with one another, it was pretty darned listenable. I give it a solid Four Stinger Splashes out of Five.
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