As many of you know, every Friday – and sometimes Thursday – we like to revisit 1996 and have a good nose around. This week Jamie visited the 38th Annual Grammy Awards, went on an ill-advised road trip with 2-Pac and watched plenty of wrasslin’. All this and more in this week’s edition of ‘The Way We Was‘ …
After the controversy and excess of last week’s Brit Awards, what kind of shocking behavior did we see at the Grammy Awards? None, and Celine Dion won ‘Record of the Year’. America; you crazy cats! Elsewhere, Tupac Shaqur – who spent a good chunk of 1995 in prison – was arrested on firearm charges after he was found with a handgun in his car. Naughty boy, but who was a naughty boy – or girl, eh Sunny? – on Raw and Nitro…
With attention turning towards Wrestlemania XII, this week’s Raw featured the first showdown between WWF Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and challenger Shawn Michaels. Both men seemed to begrudgingly sing each other praises by saying they respect the other. Bret’s smirk gave away his true feelings while HBK’s puppy dog eyes were only slightly more convincing. In hindsight – and as a Bret Hart guy – it seems ridiculous that fans favoured the obviously disingenuous Michaels in this angle, but they did. The Hitman received a mixed reaction and even attracted a bit of heat after pointing out that it’s not his job to beat Shawn, rather Shawn’s job to beat him. Acting WWF President, Rowdy Roddy Piper, came out and put both men over – although his Bret Hart leanings were clearly visible. Piper then stated that he wants to see a decisive winner at Wrestlemania and thus made the bout a one hour Ironman match. The fans enjoyed this announcement; I wonder what they’ll make of the actual match…?
In Other News From Raw –
- The Undertaker played peek-a-boo with Diesel. After appearing and then disappearing from the ring, The Deadman appeared on the big screen and called himself “the master of mind games”. A clearly spooked Diesel tried to style it out…
- Speaking of Diesel, apparently he had a shoulder injury. There was no evidence of such, despite Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler’s constant references to it
- Sticking with Diesel’s match and Big Daddy Cool actually afforded Bob Holly a comeback. Unfortunately Spark Plug’s attempts to fire up were booed by fans. Poor Bob
- Vader attacked Yokozuna, turning Yoko’s 2 on 1 handicap match with Bulldog and Owen into a 3 on 1 affair. Ahmed Johnson and Jake Roberts made the save
- In a phone call the lasted almost the entire duration of Ahmed Johnson’s squash victory over Shinobi, Goldust turned his innuendos towards Roddy Piper
- Who’s Shinobi I hear you ask? That would be a pre-Leif Cassidy, Al ‘Al Snow’ Sarven
- After another Ultimate Warrior promo, Vince McMahon said he hopes Warrior returns. I wonder how much of this was Vince trying to convince us that he’s just a commentator and how much was him actually hoping Warrior shows up?
- Mankind was discussing his life of pain with George, a rat, in his most recent promo. He ended with the line “leave the light on, I’m coming home”. I don’t know if I should be creeped out or feel sorry for this guy. At the moment, it’s both
- Vince McMahon spent much of Jake Roberts’ match suggesting that we might get to see his snake. We did not. Fuck sake Vince
- Yet again Raw ended with a Billionaire Ted segment. This one was entirely pointless. Hulk Hogan and Macho Man are old and Ted Turner is a dick, we get it
- Jake Roberts defeated Isaac Yankem DDS
- Diesel defeated Bob Holly
- Ahmed Johnson defeated Shinobi
- Yokozuna defeated Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette) via DQ in a handicap match
Okay, so the big news in WCW did not come from Nitro. In fact, I’m not sure when this storyline development was revealed. WCW Saturday Night, perhaps? Well, remember this Booty Man chap that helped Hulk Hogan and Macho Man last week? Well apparently that was Zodiac from The Dungeon of Doom. He was an undercover spy working for Hogan all along. All well and good, but where are the fruits of his labour? Ric Flair won the WCW title from Macho Man a few weeks ago after Miss Elizabeth turned heel on Savage. The Booty Man failed to provide a heads up on that one, just as he did with Woman’s heel turn too.
In Other News From Nitro –
- Pepe was dressed exactly like his master, only cooler due to his tiny little Chicago White Sox hat
- Eric Bischoff gave away the Raw results, as he occasionally does. Raw really does sound grim compared to Nitro when you only consider the matches
- There was a noticeably high number of Chicago references on this show. Fair enough, but WCW were in Knoxville, Tennessee
- If I were in the habit of dishing out a MVP or Man of the Night award – which I’m not – then Lex Luger would win this week’s. As the heel partner of babyface Sting he has been fantastic, and this week was no exception. After a confrontation with The Road Warriors, which saw him agree to a Chicago Street Fight, Luger asked an annoyed Sting; “what’s a Chicago Street Fight?”
- A little old lady got right in Big Bubba’s face. I thought it was going to be an angle, but no. This was a genuine old lady dishing out some serious heat
- There was a guy opposite the hard camera wearing a Bart Simpson mask for the entire duration of the show
- Out-jobbering Bob Holly, Renegade – The Ultimate Warrior rip-off – sprinted to the ring and got there before his music had even started
- Jimmy Hart helped Lex Luger defeat Renegade. Sting, who has banned Lex from playing with bad influence Jimmy, wasn’t happy. Luger tried to play dumb when Sting confronted him about it
- The Road Warriors scored a shady victory the bigger, stronger, younger and more athletic Harlem Heat
- With Nitro about to overrun, Hogan was immediately beaten down after winning the six man tag main event. Liz then couldn’t get him handcuffed to the ring post which left Ric Flair time to hit The Hulkster just three times with his belt. What a mess
- Sting defeated Big Bubba Rogers
- Lex Luger defeated The Renegade
- The Road Warriors defeated Harlem Heat in a WCW Tag Team Title # 1 Contender Match
- Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage & The Booty Man defeated Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan & Ric Flair (w/ Miss Elizabeth and Woman) in a Six Man Tag Team Match
Five in a row for WCW. The live Nitro just pipped WWF’s pre-taped Raw by a decimal. It was 3.2 – 3.1. Over in Springfield, Homer filled in for a vacationing Smithers in Homer The Smithers. For reference, this Simpsons episode scored an 8.8.
You can read all previous ‘The Way We Was’ pieces here.