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In the third and perhaps most significant month in the Monday Night War, we saw the first proper big clash as WCW hyped up Hulk Hogan vs Sting to go up against the live edition of WWF Monday Night Raw coming off the back of Survivor Series. Could Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart carry the burden of the main event?
1) Shawn Collapses
Coming off of the pay per view the WWF wanted a big angle for their live show, and in the main event they delievered it. Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart wrestled a very nice match, Shawn cleared Owen from the ring, before attempting to pose then collapsing. The final five minutes of the show were silent with medics, Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson tending to Shawn. Excellent segment.
2) Hogan vs Sting
Going up against that Raw show was WCW, and they went big in attempt to combat a big Raw rating after Survivor Series. Sting vs Hulk Hogan was a gigantic match for WCW, but putting it out on Nitro with little build seemed an odd move. The match was fine (ending, no surprise, in interference). As for the ratings – they won 2.5 to 2.3... but a hollow victory when you consider WWF were doing high 3s earlier in the year, and Ric Flair vs Arn Anderson drew a better number than that in October.
3) Diesel's Back
Where was this Diesel, eh? 24 hours after losing the WWF Title to Bret Hart Diesel found his mojo again. Coming out and cutting a promo on Raw bemoaning Vince for turning him into a corporate puppet. It wasn't a heel turn (yet), but the attitude that got Big Daddy Cool into the position to win the title a year ago was back.
4) Luger and Sting
Lex Luger turned heel in a slightly perplexing move at Halloween Havoc, aligning him with the Dungeon of Doom in a pairing that made little sense. But despite Luger and Sting being on very different sides of the line, WCW were playing up their real life friendship into a storyline. First, Luger talked Sting out of the Scorpion Deathlock applied on Flair, then Sting talked Luger out of an arm submission on Randy Savage at World War 3. We concluded the month with the pair teaming up in the main event of Nitro.
5) Bret/Diesel Sit Down
On November 13th we got an eight minute sit down interview with Bret Hart and Diesel, live but with both in separate studios. Both were babyfaces but the segment did a great job illustrating the believable beef between the two, and the mechanics of their match at the pay per view. The rationale was – the longer the match goes on, the more it favours Bret. As Diesel said: "I don't get paid by the hour". Super segment.
6) Hogan The Grim Reaper
Hogan's turn to the dark side was a bizarre one (even more bizarre when you consider how it ended), but this really took an odd twist when Hogan went from "Hogan in black" to dressing as the grim reaper. Segments were shot with him and Randy Savage both decked out in black wearing black face masks. Hogan wanted the head of Meng on a silver platter... thankfully he snapped out of this mess by the month's end.
7) The Kid (Finally) Turns
Man had this one been a while coming. The rocky relationship of the 123 Kid and Razor Ramon finally went south (after months of umming and ahhing) with The Kid, as special guest ref, costing Razor a match against Sid on Raw. While Razor likely would've been a stronger candidate to turn, at least it put an end to the saga, Kid linked up with the Million Dollar Corporation and the feud could start properly.
8) Match Voting
WCW weren't newbies to live match voting – they'd done it on occasion on WCW Saturday Night in the years prior, but November bought the first time people watching Nitro could vote on the main event match. The format saw a locker-room full of faces and a locker-room full of heels. Of course, the company were angling for Sting against Ric Flair and, with no surprise at all, that's exactly what they got.
9) Is Bret Scared Of Undertaker?
During a hideous interview segment between Bret Hart and Brother Love on November 27th, Brother Love teased Bret with the idea that he was scared of the Undertaker. It wasn't a significant moment – Bret would soon be in the crossface chickenwing thanks to Bob Backlund, but were we finally setting the stage for an Undertaker match that wasn't going to suck?
10) Great Wrestling
Nitro has been a mixed bag of wrestling – promising big matches but failing to deliver. But November 13th had an excellent match between Johnny B Badd and Eddie Gurrero and another strong main event with Sting and Dean Malenko. Good workers in good match shocker.
The Story Of The Monday Night War - October
Survivor Series 1995 Review
Could A Heel Turn Have Saved Diesel's Title Run?