10. DDP as La Parka 7-9-1997
I don't know how many people remember this, but I thought it was very cool at the time. "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Diamond Dallas Page were in the midst of a pretty hot feud in the summer of 1997. On this particular episode of Nitro, Savage was set to face La Parka and everyone pretty much knew the outcome. But then La Parka put up one hell of a fight and eventually hit the Diamond Cutter. Page unmasked the place went nuts. He outsmarted Savage and while this might not be a particularly important moment in history, it was damn cool and as a kid, I loved it.
9. Lex Luger Wins The WCW Championship 8-4-1997
Since the inception of the nWo, Hollywood Hogan and that group ran roughshod over WCW. After winning the WCW Championship at Hog Wild in August of 1996, Hogan retained the title over and over for the next year or so, and nearly always through underhanded tactics. That all changed one night on Nitro when Lex Luger finally won one for the "good guys". He defeated Hogan for the WCW Title in another moment that got the crowd stoked. It was a cool moment as WCW was able to at least get one over on the nWo. Of course, this title reign did not last long and Hogan won the belt back a mere five days later.
8. Rick Rude Simulcast 11-17-1997
I guess maybe simulcast is the wrong word to use here, but Rick Rude was the first and I believe only person to ever appear on Raw and Nitro on the same night. If you don't know the story, Rick Rude was on Raw, which was taped the previous week. He jumped ship to WCW and appeared on their live episode of Nitro. As a fan, to see the same guy on both shows was crazy. To go from DX to nWo member within the same night was unheard of and was a shocking thing to see.
7. Lex Luger Jumps Ship 9-4-1995
With this episode of Nitro available on the WWE Network and highlighted on the first Monday Night War episode, you can go back and re-live this right now. Nitro aired it's first episode unopposed as Raw was not airing this week. Lex Luger has just wrestled a house show for the WWE the night before and nobody knew that he signed a deal with the WCW. Eric Bischoff kept it quiet and had him just walk out onto Nitro as he shouted to get the camera off of him on commentary. It gave Nitro a real feel to it, which it would keep for a while and it helped them dominant the ratings war for a long time.
6. Four Horsemen Parody 9-1-1997
Okay, I totally understand that Ric Flair and Arn Anderson were pissed at this, but it was damn funny. Kevin Nash is hilarious when he wants to be and this was one of the first times I really noticed it. He would reach his peak during the PCS in TNA, but this is about the Horsemen parody. Nash as Double A was genius and Syxx as Ric Flair was pretty solid. This is the Nash show with his "not bald spot, dog spot, but MY SPOT". If you haven't seen it, watch it and enjoy a hearty laugh.
5. Owen Hart Tribute Match 10-4-1999
Growing up, I was a HUGE Bret Hart fan and I was just as big of an Owen Hart fan. I was crushed when I found out that Owen passed away and Bret went away for a while. After returning, Nitro held a show in the same arena where Owen met his tragic demise and WCW allowed Bret Hart and Chris Benoit to go out and have a match in Owen's honor. What followed was an absolute classic and one of the best Nitro matches of all time. Seeing the Sharpshooter countered into the Crippler Crossface and vice versa was excellent and this match holds a special place in my heart.
4. Sting From the Rafters 1-20-1997
I enjoyed Sting as a kid, but I was never a big fan. Then he changed gears in 1996 and became the "crow" like character and I was hooked. Walking around the rafters and being mysterious was so cool to me. Quick note, think about how crazy it was that he went about a year without wrestling. One of the biggest names in wrestling, in the prime of his career, and he took a year off for character development. That's badass. Anyway, this was the first time that Sting descended from the rafters and it was an outstanding moment. I got goosebumps and thought it was one of the coolest things ever.
3. Chris Jericho Man of 1004 Holds and Conspiracy Victim 3-30 and 6-1-1998
I couldn't decide between these two moments. Really anything that Chris Jericho did from 1998-1999 was gold. The Man of 1004 Holds was a genius promo where Jericho brought out 90's printer paper and read off the fact that he knew four more moves than Dean Malenko. Even though he said ARMBAR more than a few times. Just hilarious. Then his conspiracy victim angle was just as good as he walked around the Nation's Capital with his hair tied up oddly and a suit. He complained to any and everyone that he was a conspiracy victim after losing the Cruiserweight Championship. You need to see it to truly enjoy it.
2. Goldberg Wins the WCW Title 7-6-1998
First things first, WCW really messed up by giving this away on free television and not making people pay to watch this huge showdown. Hollywood Hogan had reigned over WCW since 1996 and couldn't even be beaten cleanly by WCW's savior, Sting. So when he ran into the undefeated monster that was Goldberg, it should've gotten WCW a HUGE buyrate. However, they did it on free TV and it gave us an awesome Nitro moment. Goldberg beat Hogan cleanly in front of 30,000+ in the Georgia Dome and the roof nearly came off the arena. It was the last time that I can remember a crowd really going apeshit at a WCW show.
1. Scott Hall Debuts 5-27-1996
Nitro debuted and it was clear that the WWE had a bit of a threat on it's hands. Then shit got real on this night. The former Razor Ramon appeared in the middle of a match between two mid-carders, walking down through the crowd. The match abruptly stopped as Hall got a microphone and declared war on the WCW. Nobody knew what to think. It was as if the WWF was invading the WCW and people lost their minds. This was in an era before the internet and nobody knew what was going on. It was the start of the nWo and WCW's eventual dominant run for 84 weeks over Raw and the WWF.