A Collective Review of WCW World War 3 1995 by Lance Augustine

Welcome back to the Collective Classic series, where we are diving into WCW Pay-Per-Views during the “Monday Night War” era. I covered WCW Halloween Havoc 1995, which was a dud, and now we are picking it back up here with the next month’s outing, World War 3. The main reason I started during this period was because it was right after WCW Nitro became a weekly Monday night show. My Fall Brawl 1995 review is here if you’re interested in that too.

World War 3 was a play on the ultra-popular WWF/E event, The Royal Rumble. WCW changed up the rules a little bit, with there being 60 men instead of 30, and added two other rings to their setup. Like WWE though, the winner of the match would either win the WCW Heavyweight Title if it were vacant at the time or be the next in line for a title shot.

The lasting image we had of Halloween Havoc was the Dungeon of Doom getting one up on Hulk Hogan. The Giant, with the help of The Yeti, defeated Hulk Hogan and won the WCW Heavyweight Title. The match came after both men were involved in a monster truck battle earlier in the night, which saw The Giant being pushed from the top of Kobo Hall. Again, as I said in my review, I can’t believe I wrote that sentence.

Leading up to this event, The Giant was stripped of the WCW World Title, and the winner of the Battle Royal at the end of this night will be crowned champion.  It can’t be any worse than the previous outing on Pay-Per-View, can it? Let’s find out!

WCW World War 3
November 26th, 1995
Norfolk, Virginia

The show starts with a typical hype package where WCW is “declaring war.”

There is a camera shot of the arena, and we are joined at ringside with Tony Schiavone and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Trust me, they aren’t the only announcers there. They welcome us to the event, and run down all the matches for the night, before throwing it down to “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

Gene is with The “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Sting and Hulk Hogan. Gene tells Hogan that a lot of people are picking him to win tonight in World War 3. Hogan talks about the Hulkamaniacs standing with him, and that he is standing with his two best friends, Sting and Savage. Hogan tears off the black shirt he is wearing and they burn it in a bucket on the stage. Hogan says he always has Sting’s back. Sting and Savage share the same thoughts on the mic to Hogan. Hogan talks more about the match tonight, while Sting puts the fire out with a water bottle. On camera. Hogan gets the crowd hyped up for the night, and we go to a video package for the first match.

WCW Television Championship Match
Johnny B. Badd (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page (w/The Diamond Doll)

The winner of this match also gets the managerial services of The Diamond Doll (Kimberly, who was DDP’s wife at the time). These two had a match last month, which Badd won the title from Page. During that match, The Diamond Doll seemed impressed with Badd, leading up to the events of this match.

The match begins with DDP working Badd into the corner. Badd fights out and both men roll to the outside. DDP maintains control and gets Badd in a headlock but is shoved off into the post. They roll back in the ring and DDP comes down on Badd with a double ax handle. He picks Badd up and whips him into the ropes but Badd ducks a clothesline and hits a crossbody for a two count. DDP rolls over and covers Badd for a near fall of his own. DDP takes him down with a shoulder block and comes off the ropes but Badd catches him and puts him down with a Samoan Drop for a two count. Badd grabs a headlock and they go to the mat. DDP gets to his feet and rolls BADD up for two but Badd maintains the hold and keeps it locked in. DDP fights out with some shots to the midsection and pulls Badd down by the hair. Badd recovers and locks an armbar on Page. DDP pulls him down by the hair again and wrenches down on the arm. Badd attempts to flip out of the hold but DDP pulls him down by the hair again. Badd kips up and pulls DDP down by his hair this time. DDP charges in but Badd ducks and Page flies over the top rope and down to the floor. Badd signals for a dive but teases Page in the ropes. DDP thinks he outsmarted him but Badd comes out with a plancha to the outside. Page gets back to his feet and covers up behind The Diamond Doll at ringside. He pushed her into Badd and takes him down with a punch to the head and tosses him into the guardrail before throwing him back in the ring. DDP stomps on Badd and whips him hard into the corner. He follows that up with a Belly to Back Suplex but doesn’t go for the cover. DDP stalks Badd and kicks him a few times in the back of the head. Badd tries to go for a Headscissors but Page catches him and slams him down in almost a Tombstone move. DDP continues working him over with a punch, and a big clothesline for a two count. He works Badd into the corner and hits him with an elbow, and whips him to the other side of the ring. He throws Badd into the corner again and charges in but Badd moves and DDP hits the post shoulder first. Page goes for a kick to the stomach but Badd moves and he whiffs. He recovers and hits a punch to the head of Badd but the advantage is short-lived and Badd takes him down with a shot of his own. Page comes in to try and get some offense but Badd blocks him and hits an atomic drop. Badd catches the leg of DDP when he goes for a kick and he hits a clothesline. He looks to the Diamond Doll who gives him the “10+” card and the crow explodes. Badd hits a Sitout Powerbomb and nearly gets a three on a close near fall. He throws DDP into the corner and charges in but Page catches him with an elbow that sends him to the mat. Page covers him with his feet on the ropes but Badd kicks out at two.  He throws Badd into the ropes and hits a spinning backbreaker and covers him for a two count but Badd reverses into a pin of his own and he gets a two count. Badd follows that up with some head scissors and goes to the apron for a splash but DDP gets the knees up. DDP goes for a Gutwrench Powerbomb but turns it into a gutbuster when he can’t get Badd up the whole way. He goes for it again but Badd slips out before Page hits him with a back elbow. He picks Badd up for a Tombstone but he reverses it and hits Page with it for a two count. Badd hits him with a strike and DDP goes to the floor again. Badd follows him out with a flip over the top and the crowd is super into Badd. Badd rolls Page back in the ring and hits a Springboard Legdrop and gets the win in 12:35.

Winner and STILL WCW Television Champion: Johnny B. Badd
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was a fast-paced match and another gem between these two guys. They wrestled at last month’s PPV and this match was on par with that one if not better. Johnny B. Badd was ahead of his time for his high flying ability and his chemistry with DDP here was very good. Badd was so over with the WCW crowd it wouldn’t be long after this when he would jump to WWF/E and become “Wildman” Marc Mero. I am sure they were hoping this crowd energy came with him.  Page played the heel well with hiding behind the Diamond Doll and putting his feet on the ropes for a cheap win. He didn’t even hit his full potential just yet and still, he was a solid performer. A good way to start the show. 

Post-match, Badd celebrates in the ring with the TV Title and The Diamond Doll gets in the ring as she is now his manager.  They embrace in the ring and Badd celebrates some more with the 10+ sign as they go to replays of the match.

Mean Gene plugs the now-defunct WCW Hotline 1- 900-909-9900 as he waits. He talks about the ongoing steroid scandal going on in the WWF right now and that they have late-breaking news about that. Spoiler alert, they just wanted to have you pay $2 a minute.  Badd joins him at the top of the ramp and says he taught Page some respect tonight. Gene asks Diamond Doll a question, but Badd cuts her off and said that he isn’t going to make her manage him if she doesn’t want to. Doll says that it is a night of mixed emotions and it’ll take some time to sort it all out. Badd says he is ready for war tonight and will be entering the World War 3 Battle Royal tonight.

Taped Fist Match
Big Bubba vs. “Hacksaw” Jim  Duggan

Duggan chases Bubba down the ramp hits him while he was on his way to the ring. Duggan has his signature 2x4 around his neck. He rolls Bubba in the ring and hits him with a punch to the face. Duggan tries to use the 2x4 but the referee tells him to put it away. Bubba takes advantage and hits Duggan with a right hand. Bubba tries to take Duggan down but he fights him off and clotheslines Bubba over the top rope to the floor. He follows him out and hits Bubba with a right and slams his head into the apron of another ring. He rolls him in that ring and continues to work on Bubba in the second ring. He pushes Bubba’s head between two ring posts and knocks him out to the floor again. Duggan gets the fans going with the “USA” chant as Bubba struggles to get to his feet. Duggan comes out with a splash off the apron but Bubba moves and he hits nothing but guardrail. Bubba slides underneath the ropes and hits Duggan with an uppercut on the outside. He rolls Duggan back in the ring and hits a couple of punches to the ribs. He follows that up with some shots to the head and some more kicks to the ribs. He chokes Duggan with his boot and Duggan rolls to the outside and into one of the other rings. Bubba follows him in and both men trade blows in the ring. Duggan catches Bubba’s foot but Bubba pulls out an Enziguri and hits Duggan as he gets back to his feet. Bubba rolls some more tape on his fist and punches Duggan some more in the midsection. Duggan fights back with some shots of his own and knocks Bubba to the outside with a shoulder block. Duggan comes out after him but Bubba hits him on the way out. He rolls Duggan into another ring and starts to tape Duggan’s hand to the top rope. Duggan struggles to get free but Bubba hits him with some shots to the head. Bubba taunts Duggan and comes off the ropes to take him out but Duggan gets a fist up that knocks Bubba to the mat. The referee helps Duggan get free and he knocks Bubba to the outside once again. Duggan follows him to the outside continues pounding on him. Duggan rolls Bubba in the ring and tears the sleeve off of his shirt. He slams Bubba down with a scoop slam and takes him out with a shoulder tackle. Wallstreet makes his way to ringside with a chain on his hand but is quickly taken out by Duggan and his 2x4. Bubba grabs the chain that Wallstreet dropped and hits Duggan with it as he turns around. Bubba is slow to get to his feet but Duggan is counted out and Bubba wins the match by knockout at 10:08.

Winner: Big Bubba
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: That was a 10-minute match that featured punching, going to the outside of the ring and one scoop slam. I guess you could say that they utilized all three rings in the match so at least they switched up a little. Both guys work hard though so I gave them points for that, but this match screamed the flimsiness of WCW’s undercard at this time. The first match was back and forth action and this one definitely slowed down the pace. You gotta love Duggan though, man. 

After the match, Bubba rolls out of the ring and almost lands on Bobby Heenan at ringside. They show the replays of the match as Duggan slowly gets back to his feet.

They go back to Tony and The Brain and they hype up the World War 3 match which will crown a new WCW Heavyweight Champion tonight. They also plug CompuServe, which allows fans to interact with the company during the show. 1995 was a different time my friends. Tony talks about the grudge match coming up tonight between Sting and “Nature Boy” Ric Flair before sending it over to Gene who is with Flair.

Gene asks Flair how he is planning on taking on Sting tonight when Sting has nothing but revenge on his mind. Flair says that the Nature Boy will style and profile all night tonight. Flair says the Great One is back one more time, and whether you like it or not, he is the best thing going today. Gene talks about WW3 tonight and Flair says this has been his master plan the whole time. He will take everyone out and he will rule WCW one more time. Gene hypes up the match a little bit more before sending it back to the ring for the next match.

Cutie Suzuki and Mayumi Ozaki vs. Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto (w/Sonny Onoo)

Mike Tenay joins the commentary team as he normally did when they had matches with wrestlers that were from different countries. Also, Bull Nakano’s hair is simply my favorite thing about this match.

Nakano and Hokuto start the action off quickly by attacking the other women and taking them both down to the mat. Nakano and Ozaki are the first ones in for their teams when the referee gets things under control and Nakano takes her down quickly. She makes a tag into Hokuta who comes in and continues to stomps down on Ozaki. She takes her over to her corner and toys with her and puts her hand close to her partner but won’t let her make the tag. She does actually touch the hand of Suzuki multiple times but they just ignore it. She locks Ozaki in a chin lock and continues to taunt her partner in the corner. She works Ozaki back into their corner and Nakano grabs her other hand and starts to bite on her fingers. She makes the tag back to Nakano who comes in and bites on her hand again. She grabs Ozaki by the hair and drags her around the ring as Suzuki gets in the ring to try and break it up but fails. Nakano slams her down by the hair and picks her up in and choke as Hokuto comes off the top and they double-team her for a near fall. Ozaki tries to fight back but Nakano isn’t fazed and knocks her to the mat again. She takes her to their corner and they continue the double team assault. Hokuto gets the tag back in and throws Ozaki into the ropes but she reverses and hits a clothesline. She comes back with a DDT and rushes to make a tag to Suzuki, who was already halfway in the ring when she got to the corner. She comes in and takes Hokuto down with a dropkick. She puts her in a single leg crab and as Nakano comes in to break it up, so does Ozaki and she takes her down and they have both members in submission holds. Suzuki continues to work on the leg of Hokuto and outs her in a single leg crab again. Nakano jumps in the ring and pulls her off by the hair. Hokuto goes to her corner to make the tag and, I am not exaggerating when I say this, Nakano tagged her while she was already in the ring. Nakano goes for a clothesline but comes up short and Ozaki grabs her but Suzuki accidentally takes her own partner out with a dropkick. Nakano goes for a moonsault but misses and Ozaki and Suzuki hit her with multiple double stomps from the top rope but only get a two count. They try a double suplex, but Nakano powers them over with a double suplex by herself on both of them. She tags Hokuto who WAS ALREADY ON THE TOP ROPE and she comes off with a splash but misses. Nakano and Kokuto go for double Powerbombs but both women reverse them into a hurricanrana for a two count.  Ozaki and Suzuki come off the ropes with some clotheslines but only get a two count. Hokuto hits a Tiger Suplex and gets a two count. She follows that up with another suplex that looked like she broke Ozaki’s neck and gets another near fall. She tags in Nakano who destroys both women before making a tag back to her and Hokuto comes off the top with a double dropkick for a two count. All the women roll out of the ring except for Hokuta who climbs to the top and hits a flipping splash onto both Suzuki and Ozaki. They roll them back in the ring and Nakano picks Ozaki up on her shoulders and they hit a Doomsday Device but Suzuki makes the save for her team. Nakano and Hokuto take her over to the corner and slam her down with Nakano coming off the top rope with a Guillotine Legdrop and they pick up the win in 9:16.

Winner(s): Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto
Match Rating: 1.75/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This match was a mess, plain and simple. All four women tried their best, but the tag team rules were out the window for most of it. It looked like AEW’s tag team division out there. Nakano was obviously the star of the match and used a lot of her power to take out the other women. Suzuki and Ozaki had a good match but Nakano was too much for them in the end. The leg drop to finish was cool, but there were so many sloppy parts to the match that it was hard to rate it much higher than I did. Women’s wrestling has improved lightyears since the mid-’90s.

Mean Gene is back and is pushing the hotline once again. I called once and my dad was pissed. He is soon joined by Jimmy Hart and Lex Luger. Hart says that “The Macho Man” is looking at the next WCW Heavyweight Champion in Lex Luger. Luger grabs the mic and says that they are looking at the flagship of WCW. He says that he is going to break Savage into a thousand pieces and he won’t even make it to the Battle Royal. They walk off and Mean Gene sends it back to the ring.

WCW United States Championship Match
Kensuke Sasaki (c) (w/Sonny Onoo) vs. Chris Benoit

Sonny Onno is getting his workout tonight with managing two matches in a row. Benoit had a Dark Side of the Ring piece about him that was released over the last couple of weeks and it was an emotional roller coaster, to say the least. John covered the documentary with his thoughts and I highly recommend anyone that is a wrestling fan to at least check it out. It’s hard to watch at parts, especially if you have a family of your own, but it is an eye-opening tale if nothing else. This will be the last time I mention it in a retro review going forward.

Both men lock up with Benoit working him over into the corner. Benoit hits some chops to the chest and stomps Sasaki to the mat. He gets back to his feet and works Benoit into the corner and hits some chops of his own. Benoit gets a waistlock in with Sasaki trying to escape but Benoit takes him down with a drop toe hold. Benoit puts him in a front face lock but Sasaki fights out and suplex Benoit to the mat. Both men get back to their feet and start to have a test of strength. Benoit gets the full advantage and locks in an armbar which takes Sasaki down to the mat. Sasaki gets back to his feet but Benoit maintains control and continues working on the arm. Sasaki hits an elbow to the midsection and takes Benoit down with some shots to the back and a couple of scoop slams. Sasaki covers him for a near fall. Sasaki hits a shoulder block off the rope and follows that up with a Gorilla Press Slam. He tries to work on the legs of Benoit but he powers out and takes Sasaki down to the mat. He rolls outside but Benoit is right behind him with a Suicide Dive. He slams Sasaki into the post and rolls him back in the ring, but only gets a one count. Benoit wraps his legs around the head of Sasaki as Sonny Onoo joins the commentary. Sasaki recovers and hits a power slam on Benoit for a two count. He picks Benoit up for a suplex, but he slips out and Benoit hits a couple of German Suplexes before Sasaki stops him from hitting the third one with an elbow. Sasaki picks Benoit up in a Tombstone, but Benoit reverses and hits the move himself. He climbs to the top and hits the diving headbutt but is slow to make the cover and only gets a two count. Benoit hits a series of chops and hits a Frankensteiner off the top rope and covers Sasaki but only gets a two count. Benoit continues the assault with some kicks, but Sasaki catches his third attempts and slams him down to the mat. He puts Benoit in a leg lock but he quickly gets to the ropes. Benoit hits a clothesline but Sasaki isn’t fazed and comes back with a clothesline. He picks Benoit up and hits a driver type maneuver and picks up the win to retain the title. The match went 10:00.

Winner and STILL WCW United States Champion: Kensuke Sasaki
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars 

Collective Thoughts: That was an average title match. As I was watching this I forgot how stiff and believable Benoit’s offense was. He really put himself out there and it looked like everything he did was real. Hitting the Frankensteiner from the top was a move he did early on in his career and it shocked me to see it here. He was very athletic for how deceptively big he was. Sasaki had a good outing here as well with both men hitting some chops and stiff blows. The Japenese wrestlers had a nice presence on this show and it was something WCW used, along with the cruiserweights, to separate themselves from the competition. 

After the match, Mean Gene is back and he is joined by The Giant, “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan and Jimmy Hart. Gene looks at The Giant and says that his father would be disgusted by his actions. This was still a time when they were booking him as Andre’s son. Sullivan talks about The Giant taking out the trio of Sting, Savage, and Hogan. Jimmy Hart pulls the mic away and says that the guys in WCW don’t know who they are messing with. The Giant takes the mic away and says that when he sees Hogan in the Battle Royal he is going to take him out. The Giant is fired up and looks into the camera and says that Hulkamania is over as they walk off. Gene sends it back to Tony and Bobby.

Tony and Bobby talk about the upcoming Pay-Per-View the next month which is Starrcade 1995. That’s the next one I’ll be covering here. Tony says that December 27th is on a Wednesday night, but the graphic says Sunday night so I am sure the fans were nice and confused about that one. He calls it “The Granddaddy of Them All”, which was Wrestlemania’s tagline. Bobby talks about the upcoming Battle Royal once again and says that Luger and Savage will not only be in World War 3 but also have to face each other one on one next. They show a package for how we got to this point between Luger and Savage. It shows Luger joining the Dungeon of Doom and shows them taking Savage out every week up to this point.

Gene is joined by Randy Savage. Gene says we have seen what has transpired but what is he going to do tonight. Savage says that he is ready for tonight and he is jittery for tonight but it’s part of his charm. He says that Luger is “The Total Package” but he will take him out tonight. Gene asks about the shape of Savage’s arm and he says his arm is fine. Savage says he likes to stay positive and that the talking is over. He leaves and heads down to the ring.

“The Total Package” Lex Luger (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Savage starts the action off quickly with a double ax as Luger gets in the ring. He continues working on him with some shots to the chest and gets his boot to the throat of Luger. He whips Luger into the corner and hits some shots to the head. Luger goes down to the mat and Savage drives his foot into the side of his face. He whips him into the other corner but Luger gets the boot up. Luger misses with a clothesline but Savage comes back with one. Savage locks Luger in a Boston Crab but Luger gets to the bottom rope to force a break. Savage knocks Luger to the outside of the ring and drives his head into the guardrail multiple times. He kicks Luger in the midsection and rolls him in the ring. Savage grabs him up and slams him down with a scoop slam. Jimmy Hart gets on the apron to distract the referee as Savage comes off the top with the Flying Elbow and covers Luger but gets up when he realizes the referee is distracted. Savage picks Luger up and throws him outside of the ring. Savage comes out behind and slams his head against the guardrail again. He tries to toss Luger into the apron of the ring but he reverses it and Savage is the one going into the apron. Luger puts Savage in the Torture Rack on the outside of the ring as Hart distracts the referee again. Luger drops him down and rolls back in the ring to break the count. Luger goes back to the outside and rolls Savage back in the ring. He rolls Savage to his stomach and puts him in an armbar on Savage’s bad arm. Savage is out cold and the referee calls for the bell. The match went 5:28.

Winner: Lex Luger
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: These two guys have always been a couple of favorites of mine so it was cool watching a match like this. I wish it was a little longer but they pushed the story a little bit further with Savage’s bad arm and Luger taking advantage of it. Luger has just jumped to WCW a few months prior and you could tell they were pushing him here. Savage dominated the first half of the match and Luger was on the offensive for maybe a minute of the whole match. I think I gave these guys a little extra love but the match overall was underwhelming. 

After the match, Luger refuses to let go of Savage’s arm. Sting runs down to the ring and has a staredown with Luger and says something to be as he finally breaks the hold.

They show a package showcasing the rivalry between Sting and Ric Flair. Last Month at Halloween Havoc, Flair teamed with Sting but turned on him the second he got tagged in. It was probably the best match on the show, though.

Sting vs. Ric Flair

Both men are involved in World War 3 which takes place right after this match. This was also the biggest rivalry in WCW history and Flair was the one who put Sting on the wrestling map.

The bell sounds and both men get face to face with each other. Flair is trash-talking but Sting is staying cool. Flair goes for a punch but Sting blocks it and levels Flair and it sends him out of the ring. Flair goes to one of the other rings but Sting follows him in there. He hits Flair and picks him up for a Gorilla Press Slam and tosses him down to the mat. He goes in to hit Flair again but Flair rakes the eyes. Flair his some shots before working Sting into the corner and hits a few chops. Flair struts in the ring and throws Sting into the corner but Sting reverses it. Sting climbs up and hits 10 punches. Flair goes to the middle of the ring and Sting hits a dropkick. Flair rolls out of the ring and gets into ring 3 as Sister Sherri and Col. Parker are shown walking down the ramp. Sting follows Flair into the other ring and Flair hits some chops but Sting isn’t fazed. He takes Flair out with some punches and clotheslines him over the top rope. Flair has had enough and starts walking up the aisle way but reconsiders and comes back to the ring. They have a test of strength, which Sting wins, and Flair tries to take him down with some chops to no avail. Sting picks Flair up in a Gorilla Press Slam again and sends him crashing to the mat. Flair goes to the outside again and attempts to throw Sting into the guardrail but he puts the brakes on. Sting comes back with a splash but Flair moves and he hits nothing but Steel. Flair grabs a chair but the referee gets it from him before Flair gouges the eyes of Sting once again. Both men get back in the ring and Flair hits Sting with a chop but String grabs him by the throat. The referee tries to get Sting off and Flair hits a low blow in the process. Flair walks over to Sting and kicks him in the midsection as Sherry and Parker are shown getting cozy on the stage. Flair whips him into the rope with Sting hitting his knees and Flair hitting another blow to the head. Flair hits a flying knee drop and struts some more in the ring. Sting gets back to his feet but Flair comes up behind him with a shot to the back. Flair kicks Sting’s leg out from under him and Sting hits the mat. Flair tosses Sting over the top rope and follows him out. Flair kicks the knee of Sting again and hits a chop to the chest. He rakes Sting’s face against the apron before rolling him back in. Flair hits a chop block and takes Sting down to the mat again. Flair grabs the face of Sting and picks him up for a Belly to Back Suplex. Flair locks Sting in the Figure Four and Sting that has Sting reeling. Flair slaps Sting in the face but that just fires him up and he rolls the hold over putting all the pressure on Flair. Flair gets back to his feet but Sting does as well and gets Flair with a backslide for a two count. He argues with the referee who pushes Flair down to the mat. He hits Sting with some chops but Sting no-sells them. Flair goes to another ring but Sting follows him. Sting hits another Gorilla Press Slam and goes to stay on the offensive but Flair rakes the eyes. Flair goes up top but Sting throws him off. He whips Flair into the corner and Flair flips over and Sting takes him down with a clothesline. Sting takes Flair to the corner and attempts another 10 punches but Flair slips out after five. Sting continues pounding on Flair and lift him to the top and hits a big Superplex. He locks Flair in the Scorpion Death Lock and Flair gives up.  They went for 14:30.

Winner: Sting
Match Rating: 2.75/5 Stars 

Collective Thoughts: Classic Sting and Flair match with Flair trying all he can to get the upper hand and Sting foiling him for most of it. This match repeated a lot of spots and spent significant time outside of the ring and switching the rings that they wrestled in. It was a typical Flair match in the sense of him being a chickenshit heel and Sting chasing him throughout the entire match. Sting hit multiple Gorilla Press Slams and went for the 10 punches in the corner that everyone loves more than once. If I had one gripe it would be that this match seemed a little long and they could have shaved a few minutes off of it to the benefit of the match as a whole. This wasn’t the best match the two have ever had, but it was far from the worst thing on the show.

Post-match, Flair stays down in the ring as Sting walks up the ramp, only to come right back out, and they show replays of the match.

Tony and Bobby start to talk about the upcoming World War 3 main event and some of the storylines going into it. They mention Savage’s injury to his arm as well as Johnny B. Badd and DDP being worn out from their match earlier in the night. They go to a package talking about the stakes of World War 3 and why the title has been vacated in the first place. It’s time for the main event. They talk about each ring containing a giant man with The Yeti in one ring, The Giant in one ring and Hulk Hogan being in the third ring.

Gene is standing with Hulk Hogan. Hogan says that he is focused on The Giant tonight but is more focused on taking back his title. He said he has talked to Sting and Savage and that if they are the last three men remaining, they are marked men because regardless of friendship he will take them out. Hogan says that this Battle Royal is the biggest thing in wrestling and tonight he will prove that Hogan is the biggest wrestler in the world. Hogan asks what are you going to do when the goodness of WCW runs wild on you? Gene sends it back to the ring and we are ready for the main event.

Tony and Bobby are the announcing team #1 and have the Heavyweight Title at their table. The 2nd broadcast team is Eric Bischoff and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.  Bischoff says that the excitement is in the air and Rhodes adds that tonight they will crown a new champion and he will be the face of WCW going forward. Rhodes tries to send it to David Penzer but Bischoff cuts him off and they send it over to the third team of the night, Chris Cruise and “The Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko. Cruise says that in their ring will be The Yeti, an injured Randy Savage and The United States Champion Kensu Sasaki.

World War 3 Sixty-Man Battle Royal

As stated before, the winner of the match will win the WCW Heavyweight Title. The participants in the match are Scott Armstrong, Steve Armstrong, Arn Anderson, Johnny B. Badd, Marcus Bagwell, Chris Benoit, Big Train Bart, Bunkhouse Buck, Cobra, Disco Inferno, Jim Duggan, Bobby Eaton, Ric Flair, The Giant, Eddy Guerrero, Mr. JL, Chris Kanyon, Brian Knobs, Kurasawa, Lex Luger, Joey Maggs, Meng, Hugh Morrus, Max Muscle, Scott Norton, One Man Gang, Paul Orndorff, Diamond Dallas Page, Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Brian Pillman, Sgt. Craig Pittman, Lord Steven Regal, Scotty Riggs, Road Warrior Hawk, Big Bubba Rogers, Jerry Sags, Ricky Santana, Kensuke Sasaki, Randy Savage, Shark, Fidel Sierra, Dick Slater, Mark Starr, Stevie Ray, Sting, Dave Sullivan, The Taskmaster, Super Assassin #1, Super Assassin #2, Booker T, Squire David Taylor, Bobby Walker, Wallstreet, Pez Whatley, Mike Winner, Alex Wright, James Earl Wright, The Yeti, The Zodiac, and Hulk Hogan. Hogan was the last one out, and I am going to keep up with this the best I can.

The match starts with ring 1 being the focus right away. They go to a three-way split screen and they shoot over to ring #2. Luger is getting worked over in the corner and Bischoff and Rhodes run through some other of the combatants in their ring. DDP is shown working on Mr. JL in the corner and chokes him out. A lot of mid-card guys get eliminated early and they try and send it over to ring #3 where The Yeti has already been eliminated. Hogan and Flair are going toe to toe in that ring with Savage working together with Hogan. They go back over to ring #1 where Flair and Hogan continue working over each other with shots to the head. They go back over to ring #2 where Luger and Savage are continuing their heat and going after each other. The biggest name eliminated so far has probably been The Yeti. Road Warrior Hawk is working over Flair in ring #1 and they send it back to Tony and Bobby by that ring. The Shark and Sullivan almost eliminated Brian Knobbs, but he fights out. Booker T. nearly eliminates Sullivan but he kicks him away. They go back to Bischoff and Rhodes ar ring #2 where Knobbs eliminates Mark Starr. They go over to ring #3 where The Yeti is still the only man to be eliminated in that ring. Savage is being attacked by a lot of the other competitors and all of them take turns trying to eliminate him. DDP is chilling on the apron and Wallstreet hits him with a right hand but he stays on the apron. They go back to ring #1 where Buddy Lee was eliminated. Hogan is being beaten up by 4 men in the corner but fights out of it. They go back to ring #2 where they are talking about how dominant The Giant has been thus far. Harlem Heat works as a team but fails to eliminate the Disco Inferno. Luger is shown on the outside of the ring but he went underneath the ropes so he is still in the match. They go to ring #3 where 18 of the 20 men are still in the match. Hugh Morrus taking out a few guys as One Man Gang is working on Savage in the corner. They go back to ring #1 where a slew of wrestlers are trying to eliminate Hulk Hogan. They are down to 16 of the 20 original men. They go back to ring #2 where The Giant is continuing his dominance.

They go back to ring #1 where the Dungeon of Doom are working together to try and eliminate Hogan. He finally fights out and takes the fight to Big Bubba. They go over to ring #3 where they still have a good but of wrestlers left. they go back to ring #2 where The Giant eliminated 4 people including Stevie Ray of Harlem Heat. They go back to ring #1 where Tony announces that they are down to 12 of the 20. Hogan and Flair are working on everyone who moves. The competitors in ring #2 are making their way to ring #1 and Bischoff and Rhodes are done for the night. The Giant goes straight for Hogan and starts to choke him out. They go back to ring #3 where there are 10 men left. Arn Anderson and Lex Luger are shown going at it on the floor but they are both still in the match. Wallstreet is thrown over the top in-ring #3 as they send it back to ring #1. There is a stretcher coming out but they don’t say who is it for. Ring #3 is going to start to make their way to ring #1 and we are nearly down to a reasonable number of men. Savage and DDP are on the outside going at it, and we finally have a single camera shot with about 30 men left. One Man Gang grabs Hogan and starts to choke him out along with Sullivan. Big Bubba is on the apron of the ring but isn’t out yet. Anderson and Hawk are going at it with The Enforcer getting the upper hand. Johnny B. Badd and DDP continue to be at each other’s throat. Brian Pillman is working on Hogan and choking him with the top rope. They are down to 29 men at the point. Booker T. tires to eliminate Big Bubba but he hangs on to the ropes. Savage and Luger continue to pummel each other on the outside. Big Bubba is thrown over the top by Duggan but he climbs back in and eliminates Duggan himself. Hogan is working on Steve Regal in the ring, as Luger is still choking Savage in the corner. Dave Taylor is eliminated by Hogan and the Disco Inferno is out right behind him. Eddie Guerrero is on the top comes off to hit Arn Anderson. The Giant starts choking his stablemate in Hugh Morrus. Booker T. and Jerry Saggs are both eliminated by Hogan. They are down to 23 remaining in the match. Savage is still chasing Lugar around the ring as Hogan eliminated Sullivan. Savage and Luger work themselves into another ring away from the other action. Regal is eliminated. Hogan and The Giant lock up in the ring and continue to go at each other. Johnny B. Badd and DDP eliminate each other and Craig Pittman is right behind them. Benoit is thrown over the top and there are 16 men left. The Giant is choking Savage and throws him down to the mat. Meng is eliminated. Sting is working on Flair in the corner, as The Zodiac is eliminated by Hugh Morrus. Morrus is the next one eliminated. Pillman is eliminated by Sasaki but Pillman and Hawk are attempting to throw Sasaki out with Hawk and Sasaki both being eliminated after the scuffle.

We are down to the final 10 men which are Eddie Guerrero, The Giant, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, Ric Flair, Sting, Hulk Hogan, One Man Gang, Paul Orndorff, and Randy Savage. Everybody looks on as Sting splashes Guerrero in the corner but doesn’t go out. Orndorff is eliminated by Hogan. Guerrero and Anderson have an altercation and Guerrero hits a missile dropkick. The Giant is working on Sting in the corner as Flair slaps the figure four on Guerrero with Anderson helping him out and taking away Guerrero’s arms. Flair tosses Guerrero threw the middle ropes but he recovers and gets back in the ring. Anderson takes him down with a AA spinebuster. Anderson continues working on Guerro as Hogan and Sting double team Hogan. Anderson finally eliminated Guerrero. Hogan and Savage double team One Man Gang, as The Giant takes Sting down with an atomic drop. Luger goes between the ropes again so he is still in the match. The Giant hits a Chokeslam on Savage. Flair climbs up to the top but Sting catapults Anderson into him and it knocks him out of the ring. Hogan hits Anderson with a clothesline and he is out of the match. Flair runs over to the other ring and is livid. There are six men left. Hogan and Savage are doubling teaming One Man Gang, as Luger and Sting are trying to work together to eliminate The Giant. Hogan comes over to help and ends up eliminating The Giant, Sting, and Luger. The Giant pulls Hogan out of the ring under the bottom rope and they exchange blows. Savage eliminated One Man Gang and wins the match at 29:40.

Winner and NEW WCW Heavyweight Champion: “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: There is a lot to unpack in this mess. This had to of consisted of most if not all of the WCW roster at the time and it was evident who the last men remaining were going to be from the start. At the start of the match, it was almost impossible to follow since they were in like a 3-way split-screen. The Giant dominated his ring for the majority of the match and he played a big role in the ending of the match. Sting, Flair, Savage, and Luger all went after each other for a good bit of the match and the bad blood from their matches earlier in the night bled over here. Booker T. was very early in his career but held his own against some of the other talents, and it was cool to see Eddie Guerrero being in the final 10 with a who’s who of veterans in the ring. The ending was weird because they were focusing on The Giant and Hogan but missed Savage eliminated One Man Gang to win the match. Overall for a first outing, it was alright, and I think I rated it a little higher just because of the sheer talent involved in the match. My biggest gripe about the match would probably be the announcing and it was so chaotic that it was hard to follow. They tried their best, but like some of the match, it was a slop fest. 

World War III 1995: Randy Savage wins the first 60-Man Battle Royal

After the match, Hogan continues fighting with The Giant and is shocked to hear Savage being announced the winner since he went under the rope and not over it. He gets in the ring and pleads with the referee and tells him he went under the rope. Randy Anderson still declares Savage the winner and he is the new champion. Hogan confronts Savage and is still pleading his case in the ring. Gene gets in the ring and converses with the referee about what happened. Savage picks up the belt and is announced the winner once again by Michael Buffer. Hogan is frustrated and Gene says he understands his frustration. Hogan is pleading his case to Gene but Savage grabs the mic and says that Hogan is a friend of his but he is the champion and that he lives by it is what it is. Hogan asks the crowd is he went under the rope or not and the fans cheer loudly. Savage says that this his dream since he came to WCW but if there is a dark cloud over this than that isn’t how he wants to do things. Savage says he wants to see the film. Hogan interrupts him and says that tomorrow night on Nitro he will show him the footage and that he deserves a title match. Savage says that’s cool with him as they shake hands and share “Oh Yeahs” in the ring. Tony and Bobby talk about the outcome of the match as Bobby gets up from the desk to get some champagne and the show goes off the air.

Collective Thoughts: If you knew anything about these two men’s history, this type of finish shouldn’t shock you. Hogan never let Savage have his moment in the sun most times. Every time that I could remember Savage winning a major title, Hogan was attached to it in some way. This was a screwy way to end the show that had Hogan’s fingerprints all over it. I don’t remember off the top of my head how long his reign lasted but I know Savage didn’t hold the title long at all after this show. It’s a shame because Savage was a star in the business but could never get out of Hogan’s shadow. Go listen to his rap album if you don’t believe me. 

Overall Show Rating: 6 out of 10

This was the genesis of WCW becoming a player in pro wrestling and challenging WWF/E at the top of the mountain. The amount of talent on this show just from a sheer start perspective was rock solid. DDP and Johnny B. Badd had another match to start the show off with a bang. Those two had such good chemistry together and it made The Television Title feel like a big deal. Badd was so over with the crowd before his departure. The matches featuring the Japanese wrestlers were alright, except the Women’s tag team match being sloppy in parts. Sting and Flair added another match to their rivalry and while it wasn’t there best one, it wasn’t their worst either. Luger and Savage were at each other’s throat the weeks leading up to this event and it came to a head here. While the match was a little on the shorter side, it served its purpose for what it was. The first-ever World War 3 Battle Royal was a big ole mess, but at the end of the day, the last couple of minutes redeemed it. Savage winning was cool, but as I mentioned at the end, he never got out of Hogan’s shadow around this time. For what it was, the show overall wasn’t terrible, and it was a good way to lead into Starrcade which was their biggest show of the year.

What did you think of WCW World War 3 1995? Loved it? Hated it? Gearing up for Starrcade? Either way, follow me over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Support the site, support each other, wash your hands, and I’ll be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.