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One of the most noteworthy months in Hogan’s career to date. One that saw him get booed, lose his mustache, get his neck broken (again) (kayfabe), reference himself to a murder trial, it was non stop. Hogan’s pivot came at the time when fans were starting to waver on him in certain areas, and the “turn” was clearly a toe in the water for Hogan potentially turning properly in early 1996.
2) All Proceeds Go To Charity
Not wanting to be left behind on the pop culture train, the WWF held a poll this month on their hotline inviting viewers to vote on whether they thought OJ Simpson was guilty or not. All proceeds going to an abuse charity. Not only was the poll in poor taste as it was, they didn’t even consult the charity – who later turned down the money not wanting their name associated with Simpson.
3) Standing On The Shoulders Of The Giant
If there was one thing WCW got right in October 1995 (on television) at least, is was the relentless, unforgiving push of The Giant - who chokeslammed everyone in sight. Luger, Savage, Sting, The American Males, The Nasty Boys; you name it – they got chokeslammed. Maybe it was all in the name of Hogan, but WCW deserve a lot of credit for it.
4) Shawn Gets Decimated
Shawn Michaels was quite violently attacked by what reports say was ten people outside a club in Syracuse. What was perhaps even more surprising was the fact that this was exactly the story that made it to television. Michaels did a phone interview after the incident being quite frank about what happened, and it cost him his place In Your House 4, and his title.
5) Shawn “Got Into A Fight With A Fan”.
While the WWF were going with the honesty route regarding the story, WCW weren’t. Now, you might be wondering how this story ever made it to Nitro (look no further than Mean Gene Okerlund’s Hotline promotions). But Okerlund, in promoting the Bill Watts departure (without mentioning Watts by name), also said “one of their top stars came off worse in a ‘fight with a fan’”. Indeed.
6) Lawler in the shark cage
Jerry Lawler vs Bret Hart is the beef that will seemingly never end. Here, in a cage match between Hart and Lawler’s personal dentist Isaac Yankem DDS, they said that if Lawler interfered he would be locked inside a diving cage and hoisted above the ring. Of course, Lawler interfered (in a match type designed specifically to stop intereference), so he got put in the cage and hoisted above the ring. It was a memorable moment with Lawler even managing to give himself a nosebleed.
7) Flair vs Anderson in the cage
A week prior WCW had Ric Flair and Arn Anderson face-off inside a steel cage. It was blowing a big match on free TV, but given what happened at Halloween Havoc there was no sense in waiting. The match, like most on Nitro, promised a lot but gave very little before Brian Pillman worked a distraction off the cage and Anderson hit Flair with the brass knuckles for the victory.
8) Go Big Or Go Home
October 9th probably represented the WWF’s first big counter punch in the battle for Monday Nights. The show opened up, unannounced with a six man tag team match between Owen Hart, Yokozuna and The British Bulldog against Champion Diesel, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. While these big multi-man tag matches would become staples for Raw for decades to come, in 1995 big name talent in matches like these were rare.
9) Owen, there you are!
Despite having a stellar 1994, Owen Hart seemed to vanish from the WWF upper card in early parts of 1995. He found some solace in a tag team with Yokozuna, but it would be October when his character finally found some renewed focus as a singles guy. After Shawn Michaels dropped the Intercontinental Title to Dean Douglas – who lost it to Razor Ramon, Owen Hart won a 20 man battle royal to face Razor for the title.
10) Manilla Gorilla
The WWF roster was hardly the home of great talkers at this time and, as Dean Douglas shows, they were hardly getting the best out of what they had. But as USWA talent started to get some focus on WWF television (PG-13, anyone?), James E. Cornette started playing a full time role on TV. More Cornette = more great Cornette promos. Bulldog wouldn’t have got his main event match without it, and we wouldn’t have met Clarence Mason, Cornette’s attorney!