In week 2 of ‘The Way We Was‘ Jamie has once again time travelled back in his time machine to the year 1996 to bring us the latest happenings from the wacky world of WWF Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro. Without further ado…
It’s the second week of 1996 and the super-sized blizzard that started last week is still battering America’s eastern seaboard. Meanwhile, at the cinema, 12 Monkeys starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt is doing big business while 2Pac and Dr. Dre’s Mad Max inspired video for California Love is the talk of the music industry. So, let’s find out what the talk of the wrestling industry is…
The big news is that Shawn Michaels is not retiring, instead he will ignore advice from doctors and friends by entering the Royal Rumble. An absolutely shattered looking Michaels broke the news with all the enthusiasm of a fat kid at a salad bar during a pre-recorded Royal Rumble press conference. Gee, I wonder who will win the Royal Rumble match this year?
In other news from Raw –
- The entire outline of Goldust’s cock and balls was visible through his ill-fitting ring attire
- At the other end of the spectrum, Jobber Jeff Brettler wore an extra-large pair of multi-coloured pregnancy pants for his match with Ahmed Johnson
- Jerry Lawler cracked racist jokes during Hakushi’s match with Jeff Jarrett
- The ‘coming up on Raw’ vignette from the start of the show stated that a new Million Dollar Champion would be revealed – which did happen – and that he would be in action – which did not happen
- Ted DiBiase’s new Million Dollar Champion was revealed to be Bruce Willis… sorry, The Ringmaster. Vince thought he looked familiar, so did I…
- Vader’s forthcoming debut continued to be hyped via a Rocky IV-esque montage
- The Undertaker vs. Isaac Yankem was promoted for next week’s Raw. Wonder if they’ll ever have a rematch?
- Yet again the show closing segment was another Billionaire Ted skit, in which WWF chastised WCW for not testing it’s performers for steroids. A kettle was also accused of being black
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Hakushi
- Ahmed Johnson defeated Jeff Brettler
- Goldust defeated Aldo Montoya
In WCW things feel as if they are in a state of flux. While Raw clearly defines that wrestler A is feuding with wrestler B, Nitro features warring factions which each have internal problems of their own. Basically the uneasy alliance between The Horsemen and The Dungeon of Doom is proving just strong enough to compete with Hogan and Macho Man.
In other news from Nitro –
- Pepe was dressed in a rather dashing pilot’s jacket
- On first glance Nitro looked more impressive due to being staged in a larger arena. However, on closer inspection, there were a lot of empty seats
- The main event (Hogan & Savage vs. Flair & Anderson) was booked last week and emphasised at the start of the show. What a novel concept that is
- Eddie Guerrero picked up his biggest win to date by defeating Steven Regal, who downed Chris Benoit last week
- Speaking of The Crippler, he looked super crisp in his match with Alex Wright
- Lex Luger & Sting are now an official tag team, and not just guys that sometimes team together
- The stinger has started to grow his hair out
- Despite entering alongside Savage as a damage limitation exercise, there were still audible boos for The Hulkster
- Apparently Hogan and Savage are entering their first run as a team…
- This quote from Eric Bischoff regarding the main event says a lot about WCW – “a match that should be on pay per view.” Yeah, but instead it’s given away for free
- Chris Benoit (w/ Brian Pillman) defeated Alex Wright
- Eddie Guerrero defeated Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves)
- Sting defeated Diamond Dallas Page
- Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage defeated Arn Anderson & Ric Flair
In ratings news Raw edged Nitro again, scoring a 3.0 to 2.8 victory. To put this into perspective, E.R. was the highest rated show of the week with a 26.7. Seinfeld scored a 23.0 and Friends scored 21.00.
You can read all previous ‘The Way We Was’ pieces here.