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"I'm just going to fuck off for a while". It was a strong line filmed in the immediate aftermath of Wrestlemania (aired on April 15th), but this along with Bret's promo filmed in Germany was an incredibly strong segment. Nothing that airs on TV is a shoot, but you'd be forgiven for thinking this was given the content. Bret questioned the validity of the end of the ironman match, before saying “as I understand it there are certain wrestling organisations that seem to be throwing a lot of money around. I’m not greedy for money, I’m greedy for respect”
Giant World Title Win
Seven months, six WCW World title changes - it's not a pretty sight for a belt that has twice jumped between Ric Flair and Randy Savage before returning to the waist of the Giant. This was actually a really good finish to Nitro on April 29th (taped on April 22nd) – Giant got a choke on Flair while in the figure four, climbed to a standing position and hit the chokeslam. The crowd popped almost in shock, Nitro main events aren't meant to end cleanly!
Well this is different! Cactus Jack has gone away and been replaced by an eerie and mysterious masked character who pulls out his own hair, talks funny and finishes his matches by jamming his two gloved fingers under the tongue of his opponent in a (as yet to be named) nerve grip submission. His first target was to take down the Undertaker (April 1st) before looking incredibly strong in victory for the rest of the month.
Hogan 11th Hour Switch/No Selling
So Hulk Hogan was (and still would end up) scheduled to take some time off for a few months, originally being written out in a beat down by Giant on April 15th Nitro... except Hogan decided he didn't want to do that, so the attack happened, which Hogan proceeded to completely no sell. No only did it make mugs of Sting and Lex Luger (who had to sell the chokeslam later in the show), but also for the new champ.
April 8th - 4.7
Jeff Jarrett wasn't wrong during a promo on his return when he said he'd helped take the WWF to new heights – the Raw headlined by Jarrett and the Undertaker at the end of May last year held the record for Raw's highest rating (edging out Bam Bam vs Diesel from the month prior, which drew the same 3.9 rating but was viewed in fewer homes). With a week without Nitro, Raw did a 4.7, headlined by the TV return of Ultimate Warrior, but also a barnburning episode all around.
Too Much Coffee
Well, I suppose, at least it's not high heeled shoes being used this month... This time it was Woman who was using the "hot" liquid as a conduit to end matches on more than one occasion. Sigh...
Vader and Yokozuna
While Warrior was the big name promoted in advance for April 8th, it was the Vader and Yokozuna angle that was most memorable. With Yokozuna being sent away to see a weight loss specialist he was written off by several Vaderbombs to his leg. Officials put Yokozuna's leg in a make-shift splint before moving him (slowly) towards the back of the venue – via a FORKLIFT – to get him into an ambulance – at which point Vader promplty beat him up... again. Great stuff.
Bischoff Giving Away Results
Nothing new, although April 22nd is one of the clips you'll hear in the documentaries - "If you're think of tuning into the World Whining Federation, don't bother". He goes onto call Goldust a transvestite, before saying there will be wins for Vader (YAWN) and Mankind (BIGGER YAWN).
Shawn and Davey
It's a shame that Davey Boy Smith's stocks collapsed following his main event with Bret at In Your House 5. Since then Vince pigeon holed him back as a mid-card act. Then, once Diesel announced he was leaving Vince needed a main event for May's pay per view. While Bulldog felt like a lacklustre opponent, the April 29th Raw was anything but. After a machine-gun promo from Jim Cornette, Diana Smith says to Shawn "I know you want me", before Shawn says: "With all due respect, don't flatter yourself". Properly good stuff this.
Tag Team Action In WCW
Six months ago there was a decent claim to say that the tag team depth in both the WWF and WCW was fairly even… in that time WCW have recruited The Public Enemy, The Road Warriors and the Steiner Brothers. In that time, the WWF have… well, floundered a bit. WCW are firmly taking advantage with some really fun tag team matches filling Nitro.
Vacant IC Title
Since freeing Razor Ramon of the title a few months ago, Goldust’s Intercontinental Title run has been a bit… irrelevant. Not that his two week foray with Savio Vega was ground-breaking, it was at least nice to see the title get some showcasing, even if it was Goldust being stripped of the title before winning it the following week.
Parking Lot Brawl
A year ago WCW put on a “Falls Count Anywhere Street Fight” between The Nasty Boys and Harlem Heat that ended up taking place in front of a completely phoney concession stand. A year on, their parking lot brawl had about the same levels of authenticity (four cars – all pointing inwards, a guardrail all the way around the perimeter and room for about 500 spectators). But still, Lord Steven Regal and The Belfast Bruiser (Fit Finlay) had an extremely hard hitting brawl on April 29th Nitro, Regal winning after piledriving Finlay onto the roof of a car.
Diesel Put Over
"I'm part of the Kliq, isn't everybody?". With Diesel winding down his WWF career, it was perhaps a bit bizarre to see him getting so much TV time – but promoting the upcoming pay per view was more important than keeping Diesel off of television. Here he was, proving how much more natural he was in the role, on commentary during the main event of the April 8th show (a great show as a whole, that drew a record Raw rating).
Laying the foundation for Steve McMichael’s eventual in ring debut was Ric Flair confronting Mongo’s wife – Debra, in the front row of multiple Nitro shows during April. Quite what she was doing in the same place at multiple shows (even if two were taped on one night), will remain to be seen.
You don’t draw a record 4.7 rating unopposed without a bit of star power, and despite the April 8th Raw being perhaps the strongest since Nitro debuted, in needed some star power and in the Ultimate Warrior it had found it. The listless promo was predictable, the feud was perhaps a little flat, but Warrior was still a star.
Randy Savage and Ric Flair
I’m not sure these two interacted at any stage during April, yet Nitro had done a really good job at building the feud. Savage made light work of Bobby Eaton during on April 15th, but not before Eaton had goaded Savage with the figure four and a four Horseman shirt. Savage, during an aisle way interview with WCW Vice President Rob Garner the following week, got very angry. Flair, for what it was worth, was still parading around with Miss Elizabeth, and even left the “Randy Savage” name plate on the title belt.