In week 3 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 mid-January 1996 and the Golden Globes were held this week. Mel Gibson scooped the ‘Best Director’ award for Braveheart and Jimmy Smits won ‘Best Actor in a TV Drama’ for his role as Bobby Simone in NYPD Blue. These references not 90’s enough for you? Okay then, From Dusk Till Dawn and Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood hit the cinema screens. Enough of that though, let’s see who was a menace to who’s hood on Raw and Nitro…
The big story from Raw this week was babyface Razor Ramon’s attack on heel Goldust, despite no physical provocation. It’s okay though, Goldust might be a gay! I may have oversimplified, but this is the gist of what happened. Prior to being attacked, Goldust directed some suggestive remarks towards Razor in an interview with Vince McMahon. Vince looked genuinely disgusted by Goldust and suggested that The Bizarre One was “praying on the homophobic fears of most men”. As a result, and after weeks of similarly suggestive comments, Razor lost his shit and hit Goldust with a bin before taking the fight outside to the snow. Ironically the only person who did not come across as a pervert or a bigot in this angle was commentator Jerry Lawler. King professed to not caring about Goldust’s sexual preference and theorised that his antics were probably just mind games.
In Other News From Raw –
- The Undertaker defeated Isaac Yankem in the main event. It was exactly as you’d imagine, only with half the number of Tombstone Piledrivers and no fire
- Prior to this match, footage from it was featured in a ‘coming up next’ video link. Hmmm, I wonder if Raw was broadcast live then?!
- Hype for the Royal Rumble finally reached a level to make viewers realise that the event is actually this Sunday
- The Ringmaster made his in ring debut against a jobber by the name of Matt Hardy. Hardy had short hair and resembled a young Gomez Adams
- A young Vince Russo appeared in this week’s Billionaire Ted skit. The gag this time was Ted trying to buy WWE’s New Generation Superstars, but they were “not for sale”. I wonder if Vince McMahon will still find this funny in a few months?!
- The Smoking Gunns defeated The Spiders in an unadvertised match that we joined in progress after an ad break. I thought The Spiders might be better suited to wearing skirts instead of masks…
- “I am the most exciting athlete in the WWF”. The words of a barely awake Shawn Michaels in his most recent video promo
- Sunny appeared in some vignettes, playing pool and having a bath…
- This was the third Raw of the year and still no sign WWF Champion Bret Hart, who is scheduled to defend his title against The Undertaker at this Sunday’s Royal Rumble. This isn’t an angle or a storyline, he just hasn’t been booked to appear
- Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Marty Jannetty
- The Ringmaster (w/ Ted Dibiase) defeated Matt Hardy
- The Smoking Gunns (c) defeated The Spiders to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship
- The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) defeated Isaac Yankem DDS
Over in WCW, Nitro was once again taking an altogether different approach. To counter Marty Jannetty vs. Owen Hart and The Undertaker vs. Isaac Yankem, WCW booked Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger and Ric Flair vs. Sting for the WCW Title. Bear with me here, this is what’s happening at the sharp end of WCW; Flair successfully defended his belt against Sting, albeit by shady means. Randy Savage was named as number one contender, but then lost clean by submission to Lex Luger. Hulk Hogan then tried (unsuccessfully) to persuade Savage to hand his title shot over to him. And WWF don’t even book their top names to appear on Raw…
In Other News From Nitro –
- Pepe kept things low key in a hat and bandana combo. He took a nap during the main event too
- The Four Horsemen and The Dungeon of Doom officially called a truce and formed an alliance
- Arn Anderson gave Brian Pillman a slap for being a dick and not dressing appropriately for their “business meeting” with The Dungeon. Anderson was dressed like a minister and was conducting business with a man wearing only yellow pants and a dressing gown…
- The Public Enemy debuted by defeating The American Males. Post-match they performed an insane Senton spot from the top turnbuckle to the floor, via two stacked tables and Marcus Alexander Bagwell
- The WCW Title match pitting Ric Flair against Sting was not the main event, Hulk Hogan vs. Meng was…
- There was a shit ton of Hogan merchandise visible opposite the hard camera
- The Total Package hit Sting by total accident to cost him the WCW Title…
- The supposedly intimidating Meng looked like he was heading to a masquerade ball…
- Eric Bischoff got the dates for next week’s Nitro the Clash of Champions wrong, more than once
- Hogan tried to persuade his tag partner and fellow babyface to step aside and let him have another title shot instead. And they wonder why fans boo him?
- Lex Luger defeated Macho Man Randy Savage
- The Public Enemy defeated American Males
- Ric Flair (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Sting to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
- Hulk Hogan defeated Meng (w/ The Taskmaster)
In ratings news, Nitro bounced back to absolutely tank Raw by a score of 3.5 to 2.4. Having watched both shows I’d say this was a fair reflection of each product. This week’s Friends was the big winner though, with a 20.8. It was The One With The Lesbian Wedding… wonder what Vince McMahon and Razor Ramon made of that?
You can read all previous ‘The Way We Was’ pieces here.