In week 5 of ‘The Way We Was‘ Jamie has once again exposed a gap in the space-time continuum to find himself in the year 1996. The good news for us is that he is perfectly placed to bring us the latest happenings from the wacky world of WWF Monday Night Raw and the equally wacky WCW Monday Nitro…
February made it’s 1996 debut this week and if remembering this far back doesn’t make you feel old enough, then how about Nintendo announcing that it’s ‘next generation’ console – the Nintendo 64 – will be released in September. Still not feeling old? Well here in the UK Babylon Zoo’s Spaceman, which featured in a Levis advert, entered the charts at number one. In sports there were no major surprises in the fourth round of the FA Cup, a 36 year old Magic Johnson made his return to the LA Lakers and the Seattle Seahawks announced that they are moving away from Seattle…. really?! Let’s see how old this week’s wrestling news makes us feel then…
This week’s Raw revolved around Shawn Michaels – who else? – and his feud with Camp Cornette, in particular Owen Hart. Diesel – who I thought turned heel at the Royal Rumble – was booked as a babyface as he faced Camp Cornette’s British Bulldog and later came to Michaels’ aid when HBK was confronted by Bulldog, Owen and Yokozuna. Before this show ending confrontation there had been dissension teased within the ranks of the bad guys, with Yoko and Owen both botching interference during matches. By the sounds of it I think we may have tag team match to look forward to next week.
In Other News From Raw –
- Vince McMahon called Michaels and Diesel “two dudes with attitude”. If it was lame when Sting and The Steiners used that moniker in 1990 then I have no words for how that sounded in 1996…
- The British Bulldog was dressed like Obelix, from the Asterix comics
- Apparently legal action has begun against the ‘Billionaire Ted’ skits – they showed a blurry letter supposedly from one of Turner’s lawyers – but ignored its request to cease and desist because “we asked for it”…… we did?
- The theme of this week’s Billionaire Ted sketch – which was set at a press conference – was that WWE are the victims and that WCW want to put them out of business. Meanwhile, the pot from a couple weeks ago returned to cut another promo on the kettle…
- Lawyer Clarence Mason was enlisted by Jim Cornette to get Vader reinstated after he was suspended last week. Mason will be citing a lack of precedent as his defence. Interesting strategy…
- Henry Godwin’s cousin, Phineas, made his Raw debut. He went over with the worst pin I’ve ever seen
- There was a video promo from a mysterious man with only half an ear. Jerry Lawler thinks his name is Mankind…
- With interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon on the shelf, we were introduced to the acting WWF President; Rowdy Roddy Piper. Hot Rod, who was wearing two shirts under his leather jacket, said that the WWF roster was “confused” and he was going to “straighten them out”. He finished by giving Vince McMahon an airplane spin. Both the pot and the kettle were involved here too
- Diesel defeated Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette)
- Henry Godwinn & Phinneas Godwinn (w/ Hillbilly Jim) defeated Skip and Zip (w/ Sunny)
- Shawn Michaels defeated Yokozuna (w/ Jim Cornette)
The main story from Nitro is Hulk Hogan and Macho Man’s on-going issues with The Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom. However, it is a side story to this angle that is far more interesting. Dungeon leader Kevin Sullivan exchanged words with Horseman enforcer Arn Anderson, bear in mind that the two factions are supposed to have formed an alliance. Sullivan’s gripe was once again with The Horseman’s “Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman. It appeared as if Anderson was about to oblige by taking his belt off, but Sullivan and Hugh Morrus attacked him before he could give Pillman a whipping. Pillman hid while Anderson got a kicking, until Sullivan found him. At this point Anderson made the save. A pissed off Double A challenged Sullivan to a match, and Pillman appeared to back him up on that. Confused yet? Well in the main event The Horseman’s Ric Flair and The Dungeon’s Jimmy Hart and The Giant worked together like a well-oiled machine. I’m yet to determine if this storyline has great depth or has been given no thought whatsoever…
In Other News From Nitro –
- Pepe was in fancy dress this week. He was Dracula. No explanation was given as to why.
- Eric Bischoff sent his congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were defeated in the Superbowl by the Dallas Cowboys
- That’s five episodes of Nitro into 1996 and that’s the second Flair vs. Hogan match…
- Hogan was selling an eye injury, despite having a cut on his forehead
- Eric Bischoff claimed that last week’s Clash of The Champions was the highest rated show of the year. In terms of a wrestling show, fair point, it was. In terms of a TV show, it wasn’t even the highest rated show that night
- The Road Warriors made their Nitro debut. Animal no-sold a piledriver and they won. Sounds about right…
- Either Sister Sherri did an excellent sell job or Madusa legit knocked her out with a very clumsy looking suplex
- Jimmy Hart was wearing a weird Inception/Russian doll jacket that featured a picture of him wearing that exact jacket
- There’s a double cage match booked for Superbrawl, Superbrawl…. Superbrawl!!!
- Ric Flair (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Hulk Hogan (w/ Debra McMichael, Linda Bollea, Miss Elizabeth and Woman)
- The Road Warriors (Road Warrior Animal & Road Warrior Hawk) defeated The Faces of Fear (Meng & The Barbarian)
- Sister Sherri defeated Madusa
- The Giant defeated Randy Savage (w/ Debra McMichael, Linda Bollea, Miss Elizabeth and Woman) (c) by DQ in a WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Nitro won this battle, with a 2.8 share over Raw’s 2.4. Once again putting them both to shame was Friends. The One After The Superbowl, which was a two parter, scored a 29.6 which equated to just under 53 million viewers.
You can read all previous ‘The Way We Was’ pieces here.