The Way We Was: 1996 Week 25

The Way We Was

Jamie Lithgow

 After an eventful Great American Bash pay per view it’s time to take our regularly scheduled trip back to 1996 to catch up on all the happenings from Nitro, and also see what happened on the last Raw before The King of The Ring. Before we get started I feel I should keep you up to speed with events from the outside world; Scottish football fans’ hearts were broken and The Chicago Bulls won the NBA Championship. Business as usual then. Anyway, let’s get wrasslin’ in this week’s ‘The Way We Was‘ …


90s Raw Logo

A delighted Brian Pillman makes his first official WWF appearance

A delighted Brian Pillman makes his first official WWF appearance

It was the last episode of Raw before King of The Ring, and thus the last taping from a four week block. These episodes tend to be less eventful than others, and this week was no exception. However, there was one major development in the WWF this week; the signing of Brian Pillman. We saw footage from a press conference at which an emotional Pillman was full of gratitude for the WWF, especially after recent events in his life. What Pillman was referring to was the car crash that left him in a coma for 8 days. His ankle was also shattered in the accident and was subsequently fused in a walking position. Not only are the WWF showing great faith in a wrestler who is still recovering from a serious injury, they have signed him to the first guaranteed contract in WWF history. In the wake of Scott ‘Razor Ramon’ Hall and Kevin ‘Diesel’ Nash’s departure to WCW for guaranteed money, Vince McMahon has started to fight fire with fire in order to protect his roster.

In Other News From Raw –

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jake The Snake Roberts and Marc Mero have all advanced to the semi-finals of The King of The Ring. They join Vader, who received a bye after Goldust and The Ultimate Warrior fought to a double count out a couple of weeks ago
  • We saw the very first Stone Cold Stunner this week. Being used to seeing the kick-to-the-gut prelude, it was weird to see this prototypical version which was essentially a counter to a Savio Vega move
  • Speaking of Steve Austin, he has a voice! He even got to do a bit of guest commentary
  • Mr Perfect will be the special guest referee for the WWF Title match at King of The Ring
  • Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler battered Aldo Montoya in order to send a message to The Ultimate Warrior
  • We linked up with a WWF live event at which The British Bulldog cut a promo on Shawn Michaels and the pair had to be separated. So this live event featured a major angle prior to a PPV and had a full camera crew on hand, yet Raw was still pre-taped?
  • During Bulldog’s promo he called Diana, his wife, his “most prized possession”…
  • Harvey Wippleman is now a referee, and already he is the WWF’s most competent official. Goldust defeated Jake The Snake after throwing glitter in Jake’s eyes. Spotting the overwhelming evidence, Harvey reversed his decision and awarded the win to Roberts instead
  • Quote of the night goes to Jerry Lawler – “we need to get Goldust out here to give Marc Mero some artificial insemination”

Full Results

  • KOTR Quarter-Finals: Steve Austin defeated Savio Vega
  • KOTR Quarter-Finals: Marc Mero (w/ Sable) defeated Owen Hart
  • Jake Roberts defeated WWF IC Champion Goldust (w/ Marlena) via reverse decision.

Nitro Logo

He's back!

He’s back!

WCW are at war! I lost count of the amount times this was mentioned by the various announcers and commentators this week. After Eric Bischoff was powerbombed off the stage and through a table at The Great American Bash, “the outsiders” and their threats towards WCW are now the talk of Nitro. Apparently the likes of Hulk Hogan, The Giant and Ric Flair have all volunteered for the now confirmed six man tag at Bash at the Beach. That was nice of them, but the three names picked from the hat were Macho Man Randy Savage, Sting and Lex Luger. I should point out that the hat only had WCW’s top six performers in it, so no Hacksaw Jim Duggan or The Bootyman unfortunately.

In Other News From Nitro –

  • Rather a lot of Nitro was spent recapping the previous night’s Great American Bash PPV. To be fair, it was an eventful show
  • Virginia is very much ‘Horsemen Country’. The group were sooooo over, even the newest member – Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael – could do no wrong
  • Macho Man has been reinstated as a wrestler after a psychiatrist said he was OCD – one cool dude! In his first match back he faced Ric Flair – who else? – but predictably fell fowl of the reinvigorated Four Horsemen
  • Joe Gomez made his belated debut. And that is the last time anyone will give a shit about him…
  • After losing to John Tenta for the second night in a row, Big Bubba attacked the former Shark with a ‘loaded sock’. Given the ferocity with which Bubba was striking Tenta – and the noise it made – I assumed the sock was loaded with a tennis ball at the very worst. Nope, Bubba emptied dozens of silver quarters from it! No wonder Tenta looked to be in genuine pain
  • Mean Gene coined the term “outsiders” to describe the as yet unnamed duo formally known as Razor Ramon and Diesel
  • The only video recap from The Great American Bash was Eric Bischoff asking ‘The Outsiders’ if they worked for the WWF. The said no of course, they don’t want to get sued!
  • The newest ‘Glacier’ promo featured a man who looked exactly like Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat and claimed that he is coming to WCW in July. We’ll be waiting for him…
  • The war is on between the Four Horsemen and The Dungeon of Doom. The Giant called out all The Horsemen
  • Scott Steiner had a busy night. He first saved his brother from a Harlem Hangover and beat down from Harlem Heat before being battered by The Giant in the show’s main event. Scotty actually broke a wooden chair over the Champ’s back, but the big man no-sold it
  • Nitro’s quote of the night goes to Tony Schiavone – “In a show of unity here are two of the Four Horsemen”

Full Results

  • Rick Steiner defeats Stevie Ray
  • Joe Gomez defeats Disco Inferno
  • Arn Anderson & Chris Benoit defeat The American Males
  • John Tenta defeats Big Bubba (w/ Jimmy Hart)
  • Ric Flair (w/ Debra McMichael, Miss Elizabeth & Woman) defeats Randy Savage
  • WCW World Cruiserweight Title Match: Dean Malenko (c) defeats Rey Misterio Jr.
  • WCW World Heavyweight Title Match: The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) (c) defeats Scott Steiner

Ratings

3.4 plays 2.3 in favour of Nitro. That is a more accurate representation of the quality of each show. Nitro was miles better than Raw this week. I wonder if we’ll see Raw claw it back any time soon…?

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

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One thought on “The Way We Was: 1996 Week 25

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 26 | Ring the Damn Bell

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