The Way We Was: 1996 Week 12

The Way We Was

Jamie Lithgow

We’re hanging out in 1996 again. This week saw Mel Gibson and his film Braveheart do the business at the 68th Annual Academy Awards. At least his re-telling of history got better in his subsequent movies. But seriously, with both WWE and WCW building towards pay per views, Raw and Nitro were both pretty good this week.  So, let’s get down to business in this week’s edition of ‘The Way We Was‘ …

90s Raw Logo

The big news in the WWE universe – which was more akin to a moderately sized planetary system in 1996 – is that Diesel has finally, 100%, definitely, no blurred lines, turned heel……. he’s also dead. Not really of course, I shall explain…

Since the Royal Rumble Diesel has been displaying heelish tendencies; to the point of battering Bret Hart and The Undertaker with a chair. Sounds like the actions of a full blown bad guy, but he has also continued his friendship with top babyface Shawn Michaels. That was until this past weekend. On Raw we saw highlights of WWE’s big Madison Square Garden show, main evented by Big Daddy Cool & HBK vs. Bret Hart and The Undertaker. During the match Diesel lost his shit and nailed everyone with a chair, including his pal Shawn Michaels. On Raw itself, Paul Bearer presented the big man with a casket. Upon opening the lid, Super Shredder came face to face with himself, or rather an impressively realistic waxwork. Diesel reacted as anybody would; creeped the fuck out!

In Other News From Raw –

  • Didn't I see you in Bridesmaids?!

    Didn’t I see you in Bridesmaids?!

    The pot returned from hiatus to direct more bass and jive towards the kettle in the latest Billionaire Ted sketch. It was an interrogation themed skit pulling references from 1992 film A Few Good Men. The theme of the segment was chastising Billionaire Ted for running smaller organisations out of business…

  • It was announced that Roddy Piper will face Goldust at Wrestlemania in a Backlot Brawl match, whatever that is…
  • Speaking of Goldust, he wrestled his entire match wearing a kilt and before he removed his wig he could have been mistaken for actress Rebel Wilson
  • Yokozuna isn’t Japanese after all. In a pre-recorded promo he spoke in fluent English with an American accent
  • Camp Cornette (British Bulldog, Owen Hart and Vader) accepted the challenge of a six man tag match at Wrestlemania against Yoko, Ahmed Johnson and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. Cornette foolishly accepted before learning that should his team lose he would be forced to spend five minutes alone in the ring with Yokozuna
  • Bret Hart received a surprisingly good reaction considering he was in San Antonio, the home town of Shawn Michaels
  • Speaking of the Wrestlemania main event, we got more training montages. Michaels came across as less of a sappy prick this week, but Bret Hart still came across as the more realistic human being
  • On the subject of Michaels’ training montage; the guys he was practising with were abysmal

Full Results

  • Davey Boy Smith defeated Jake Roberts via count-out
  • Goldust (c) defeated Fatu to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship
  • Diesel defeated Barry Horowitz
  • Bret Hart (c) defeated Tatanka to retain the WWF Championship

Nitro Logo

Just some of the wrestlers who will no doubt lose to Hulk Hogan and Macho Man at Uncensored

Just some of the wrestlers who will no doubt lose to Hulk Hogan and Macho Man at Uncensored

A correction from last week; I got my weeks mixed up, Uncensored is this Sunday, hence my confusion with how vague the details were on last week’s Nitro. This week’s show well and truly set the scene for WCW’s answer to Extreme Rules. Well, I say that, but despite knowing more words and people to associate with the main event I still can’t picture what this match will look like. Last week we learned about a “four tier cage” and this week we heard the terms “doomsday cage” and “gauntlet”. In terms of participants it appears to be The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Macho Man) vs. The Alliance to End Hulkamania. This side appears to consist of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan, Lex Luger, Brian Pillman, Chris Benoit and two large men who showed up at the end of Nitro. The men were not named, but one was Zeus of No Holds Barred and WWF in 1989 fame while the other looked like if The Warlord ate The Barbarian; he was huge! It’s significant that I mention this because apparently this large chap – Robert ‘Jeep’ Swenson – was initially named ‘The Final Solution’ but this was changed to ‘The Ultimate Solution’ when someone in WCW remembered about a little thing called the holocaust. Interestingly I heard no evidence of any name mentioned in relation to him or Thomas ‘Zeus’ Lister in this segment. I was therefore left wondering where the ‘Final Solution’ name was uttered prior to it changing…

These days people will pay good money to have eyebrows like this man

These days people will pay good money to have eyebrows like this man

In Other News From Nitro –

  • Sadly there was no dedicated shot of Pepe this week. That said, from what I could deduce he was dressed as the world’s smallest cowboy
  • Despite defeating Arn Anderson, The Booty Man’s association with the Mega Powers appears to have been scaled back. Instead he has attracted the interests of The Diamond Doll, who is at a loose end now that Johnny B. Badd has vanished. Oh, and yes, you read that correctly. The Booty Man defeated Arn Anderson
  • Brian Pillman – who is supposed to be fired, I think – jumped the guard rail in the main event to help his Horsemen team mates attack Savage and Hogan. He concentrated most of efforts on Macho Man, which could be an interesting feud going forward…
  • Selling the effects of last week’s off camera beating, Brian Knobs had his ribs taped… over his t-shirt!
  • We may have seen the last of Loch Ness. Nitro started with The Giant battering Nessy prior to the latter’s match with Lex Luger. While the assault took place in the aisle, cocky Luger made his full entrance next to the brawl, complete with poses and pyro. He claimed a count out win and was delighted with himself. I must say, Luger was really good again this week…. possibly because he didn’t actually wrestle?!
  • The Steiners tried to get revenge on The Road Warriors, and did to an extent. However, Animal still managed to once again use his spiked arm guard to defeat The Nasty Boys. Despite repeatedly cheating since their return it is not clear if The Road Warriors are supposed to be heels or babyfaces
  • The artist formally known as Zeus was ahead of his time by sporting some magnificent HD brows
  • Apparently a new superstar will be heading to WCW who competed at the 1992 Winter Olympics…
  • Quote of the week from Eric Bischoff: “Uncensored; one word comes to mind…Uncensored”

Full Results

  • Lex Luger (c) defeated Loch Ness by Count Out to retain the WCW TV Title
  • The Steiner Brothers defeated The Public Enemy
  • The Booty Man defeated Arn Anderson (w/ Woman)
  • The Road Warriors defeated The Nasty Boys
  • Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage defeated Kevin Sullivan & Ric Flair (w/ Woman) by DQ in a Texas Tornado Tag Team Match

Pepe's Fashion Corner

Ratings

Another in the ‘win’ column for WCW. Nitro’s 3.6 convincingly defeated Raw’s 2.9. Both were dwarfed by the 19.9 Friends drew on Thursday when Dr. Drake Ramoray fell down an elevator shaft, thus making Joey unemployed

You can read all previous ‘The Way We Was’ pieces here.

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2 thoughts on “The Way We Was: 1996 Week 12

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 13 | Ring the Damn Bell

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