In a new series, Jamie has abandoned modern day WWE and time travelled back to 1996. In ‘The Way We Was’ he shall be reliving and reviewing the week’s wrestling highlights from 20 years ago…
It’s the first week of 1996, a super-sized blizzard has besieged the east coast of the United States while us Brits have kept Michael Jackson’s Earth Song at no.1 for a fourth straight week. It all sounds a bit grim, so how did Raw and Nitro cheer us up?
WWE cheered us up with the Raw Bowl! What in the blue hell is that I hear you ask? Well, it was a four corners elimination tag match where the wrestlers dressed like American footballers and Vince McMahon crammed as many football puns into his commentary as possible. If my description has wet your appetite for the first, and only, Super Bowl inspired wrestling match then do not waste your time looking on the WWE Network. The NFL references were laid on so thick that WWE dare not air Raw #141 again, for fear of being sued. It’s not hard to find on the interweb though…
In other news from Raw –
- King Mabel lost in a matter of seconds to Diesel’s big boot. That’ll be the end of his push then…
- The only other match was a replay of Triple H and Henry Godwin’s Hog Pen Match from ‘In Your House 5’
- Jim Ross was referred to as “Jumbo Ross” by his colleagues
- Brother Love appeared in a couple of backstage segments during the Raw Bowl Match, but Vince McMahon spoke over him both times and we never heard what he was saying
- According to Savio Vega the Spanish digit for 1 is “uno”
- Mr Fuji accompanied Yokozuna to the ring for the Raw Bowl Match. I had no idea he was in the Fed as late as ’96!
- The show ending segment was one of those infamous ‘Billionaire Ted’ segments featuring ‘The Huckster’ and ‘The Nacho Man’
- The Smoking Gunns defeated Razor Ramon and Savio Vega, Owen Hart and Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji), and Sycho Sid and The 1-2-3 Kid (w/Ted DiBiase) in a “RAW Bowl” tag team Battle Royal
- Diesel defeated King Mabel
As ever Nitro was live and featured Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair for the WCW Title in the main event. I swear, get yourself on the WWE Network and watch a random episode of Nitro. There’s about a one in three chance of you seeing Hogan wrestle Flair. The match went to non-finish, obviously, and Flair retained.
In other news from Nitro –
- Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael’s chihuahua, Pepe, was dressed in an Uncle Sam outfit, complete with top hat
- Tension within The Four Horseman was teased when Brian Pillman mouthed off to Chris Benoit and Arn Anderson. Pillman also insulted the Dungeon of Doom
- The Giant was still being referred to as “the son of Andre The Giant”
- The commentators alluded to tension between Sting and Lex Luger, despite no outward evidence of such
- Steve McMichael blew off Craig Pitman’s attempts to recruit him as a mentor
- The Powers of Pain reformed for a match against Lex Luger and Sting. Shame they wrestled under masks as The Assassins
- After fending off The Dungeon of Doom and The Four Horsemen with a stool, Macho Man and The Hulkster closed the show by appearing to comply with some kind of dare by cramming as many clichés into a promo as possible. The lads did well.
- Randy Savage defeated Arn Anderson
- Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves) defeated Chris Benoit
- Lex Luger & Sting defeated The Super Assassins (w/ Col. Robert Parker)
- Hulk Hogan defeated Ric Flair (c) by DQ in a WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
In ratings news Raw somehow managed to win with a 2.6 over Nitro’s 2.5