The Way We Was: 1996 Week 22

The Way We Was

Jamie Lithgow

Fire up the DeLorean, we’re heading back to 1996 again! Metallica are back with their first studio album for five years; Load. Wonder if it’ll be any good? Elsewhere, Pamela Anderson has become the world’s hottest mum after giving birth to a baby boy. Hope that’s enough pop culture for you because it’s been a busy week in wrestling, so let’s get down to business in this week’s ‘The Way We Was‘ …

My expert diagnosis; it's fucked, Vince

My expert diagnosis; it’s fucked

With a pay per view and a live episode of Raw, it was a busy week in the WWF… albeit for mainly the wrong reasons. So, what were these ‘wrong reasons’? Do the words ‘In Your House 8: Beware of Dog’ mean anything to you? If not then this was the infamous WWF PPV that fell off the air due to a severe storm causing a power cut in the arena. While fans in Florence, South Carolina, did see the full advertised card – albeit largely in the dark due to the lights not working – television viewers only saw the opening match and the main event. As Savio Vega was making his way to the ring for match number two, the arena was plunged into darkness and the live feed was lost. However, the show must go on and by the time Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog were making their entrances for the main event power had been restored. I should point out that generators allowed cameras to keep rolling – not the satellite transmitters though – and also allowed for limited lighting in the arena. In order to fulfil their PPV commitments, the WWF used Tuesday’s Superstars taping as a live broadcast for the missing section of Sunday’s card; Beware of Dog 2. So, if you decide to watch this show on the WWE Network don’t be confused with the main event being the second match and every subsequent bout held in a different arena. So, let’s tackle this in sequential order and see what happened on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday…

in-your-house-beware-of-dog

  • Prior to the PPV – and the power cut – The Smoking Gunns defeated The Godwinns to win the Tag Team Titles on the Free For All. Sunny – who exclusively manages the Tag Champions, whoever they may be – accompanied The Godwinns but ended up kissing Billy Gunn, which distracted Phineas resulting in him being pinned
  • The WWF Title match pitting Shawn Michaels against The British Bulldog ended in a draw after the old ref bump/German suplex/both men’s shoulders on the mat spot. Gorilla Monsoon said there will be a rematch
  • Oh, Shawn Michaels is being sued by Diana Smith. Clarence Mason used fancy words to explain why
  • There were a couple of ironically named dark matches held after the PPV went off the air – but with the lights on! Ahmed Johnson defeated Jerry Lawler and The Ultimate Warrior defeated Owen Hart

Full Results

  • Free For All: The Smoking Gunns defeated The Godwinns (w/Sunny) to win the WWF World Tag Team Titles
  • Marc Mero (w/ Sable) defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley
  • Shawn Michaels (c) (w/ Jose Lothario) fought The British Bulldog (w/ Owen Hart, Diana Smith, and Clarence Mason) to a no contest to retain the WWF World Heavyweight Championship

90s Raw Logo

  • This was the one live episode of Raw this month, and much of it was spent recapping the not live highlights from the previous evening
  • The King of The Ring qualifiers have started and according to Vince the tournament is to be held on the “WWF Network”…. the what?!
  • In the first qualifier we finally saw a Goldust vs. The Ultimate Warrior match. I was starting to think they had forgotten to end this feud. Don’t rejoice just yet though. Despite working a decent length match, it ended in a non-finish when Goldust bailed
  • Another comment from Vincent K. Nostradamus in this match alluded to Goldust being attacked by Ahmed Johnson should The Bizarre One drift too far from the ring. Erm, why, the pair aren’t feuding… yet
  • In the other qualifier, Ahmed Johnson suffered his first singles defeat (to Vader) after Owen Hart KO’d him with his plaster cast
  • As The Smoking Gunns are now Tag Team Champions, Sunny is now managing them
  • The British Bulldog will get another shot at Shawn Michaels’ WWF Title at the King of The Ring PPV
  • We saw – at least I think we did – highlights of Savio Vega’s victory over Steve Austin in a Caribbean Strap Match during last night’s power cut. So confident that Austin would win the rematch on Tuesday, Ted DiBiase put his WWF career on the line…
  • The show ended backstage when Goldust interjected himself and gave mouth-to-mouth to an unconscious Ahmed Johnson. The big man quickly woke up and was not happy…

Full Results

  • KOTR Qualifier: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Goldust – No Contest, both men counted out. Neither man advances
  • The Smoking Gunns def. The Bodydonnas
  • KOTR Qualifier: Vader def. Ahmed Johnson

in-your-house-beware-of-dog 2

  • Ted DiBiase is gone after Savio Vega defeated Steve Austin, again. Well, more accurately Stone Cold defeated himself in what was actually a really good strap match
  • Goldust managed to defeat The Undertaker in a casket match after Mankind hid in the casket and attacked The Deadman

Full Results

  • Savio Vega defeated Steve Austin (w/ Ted DiBiase) in a Caribbean Strap Match
  • Vader (w/Jim Cornette) defeated Yokozuna
  • Goldust (c) (w/ Marlena) defeated The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) in a casket match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship

Nitro Logo

Waldo's in the second row, but where's Razor?

Waldo’s in the second row, but where’s Razor?

And now for the big story of the week, and pivotal moment in professional wrestling history; the unbelievably crap first ever two hour episode of WCW Nitro! Okay, so the show sucked, but that matters not because approximately three minutes of it was mind blowing. During The Mauler’s debut against Steve Doll, The Diamond Studd, sorry, Razor Ramon walked through the crowd and told “that Ken Doll lookalike” and “Billionaire Ted” that if they want war, they got a war. Razor then appeared right at the end of the broadcast to challenge Bischoff to bring three of his best guys for a fight in the ring. It’s on, WWF vs. WCW is on!

In Other News From Nitro –

  • Still no Pepe, but we did get a slightly homoerotic montage of Mongo and Kevin Green lifting weights
  • The new two hour format for Nitro features Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko on commentary for the first hour with Bischoff and Heenan handling the second hour. That’s good news while viewing Nitro, but bad news for my spellchecker when writing about it
  • As mentioned, The Mauler – Mike Enos – made quite possibly the worst debut ever. Despite foreknowledge that the big story about to unfold would be Scott Hall’s appearance, the commentators did nothing to help debuting Mauler prior to this most epic of upstaging. As Colonel Parker’s new man made his entrance, Zbyszko and Schiavone chose to discuss the trials and tribulations of Macho Man instead. At least people remember The Shockmaster…
  • WCW’s lack of preparedness for a two hour Nitro was clear for all to see due to the abysmal card and abundance of low card acts and jobbers
  • Fans laughed at Bobby Walker – I don’t know who he is either – after he slipped on the top turnbuckle just before claiming a victory
  • Ric Flair and Arn Anderson warmed up for their match with Kevin Green and Mongo by defeating The American Males. Alarmingly The Horsemen still required assistance from Woman to defeat this lowly tandem
  • Diamond Dallas Page continues to build momentum. That Diamond Cutter is starting to get over…
  • In order to prepare for his upcoming WCW Title match with The Giant, Lex Luger is “looking for Big Men”… to have a wrestling match with, presumably…
  • Speaking of Luger, he sparked a fight with his pals after he interfered in Sting’s match with Scott Steiner. Rick understandably jumped in and it all kicked off. Sting was not impressed
  • Lord Steven Regal called Alex Wright “junior Adolf” and was the only person to reference Razor Ramon en route to challenging Sting to a match. Classic Willy Regal!
  • Shark has left The Dungeon of Doom – yes, Shark is still around and The Dungeon is still a thing. He mentioned some sort of disagreement over a match at Slamboree, despite not even appearing at said PPV. In fact, we haven’t seen him in months…

Full Results

  • Arn Anderson & Ric Flair (w/ Miss Elizabeth & Woman) defeat The American Males
  • Steve Doll vs. The Mauler (w/ Col. Robert Parker) – No Contest
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeats Sgt. Craig Pittman (w/ Teddy Long)
  • WCW World Heavyweight Title Match: The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) (c) defeats Shark
  • WCW World Television Title Match: Lex Luger (c) defeats Maxx
  • Bobby Walker defeats Brad Armstrong
  • Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves) defeats Alex Wright
  • Scott Steiner vs. Sting – Double DQ

Ratings

Nitro are getting closer, but that debut two hour episode did not draw enough viewers to topple Raw. I wonder what effect an apparent WWF invasion will have on next week’s ratings though?

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

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One thought on “The Way We Was: 1996 Week 22

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 23 | Ring the Damn Bell

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