The Way We Was: 1996 Week 28

Jamie Lithgow

As you may be aware from our Bash at The Beach bonus edition, it has been an eventful week in 1996. Hulk Hogan has turned heel, The New World Order has been formed and Alanis Morisette is still top of the charts with her album ‘Jagged Little Pill’. Some people have a lot to answer for, so let’s see what questions were asked on Raw and Nitro in this week’s ‘The Way We Was‘ …

90s Raw Logo

Is this how The Ultimate Warrior's WWF career ends? Spoiler alert, yes it is

Is this how The Ultimate Warrior’s WWF career ends? Spoiler alert, yes it is

The obvious big news from Raw this week concerns The Ultimate Warrior. Having no-showed live events in Indianapolis, Detroit and Pittsburgh he was suspended until further notice, unless he is willing to post an appearance bond to guarantee his presence at future shows. The reason given by Warrior at the time was to grieve the loss of his father who had recently passed away. However, Vince McMahon was well aware that Warrior was not particularly close to his father and did not buy this excuse. It has since been revealed that Warrior’s issue actually stemmed from what he perceived to be withheld royalties relating to his recently released comic; Warrior. Kayfabe WWF President, Gorilla Monsoon, opened Raw with the very real news that Warrior had been suspended for missing several dates over the weekend. To make things more interesting, this week’s Raw was pre-taped and – of course – Warrior was on the show. Bear in mind, the WWF were loath to admit that most of their shows were pre-taped, even in this exceptional circumstance.

In Other News From Raw –

Hogan wasn't the only 'third man' this week

Hogan wasn’t the only ‘third man’ this week

  • The gaping plot hole of The Ultimate Warrior wrestling a match directly after being suspended was casually brushed over by Vince on commentary
  • The match Warrior was involved in was against Owen Hart, and it ended in a disqualification after first The British Bulldog and then Vader got involved. The trio then battered Warrior, with Vader nailing him with a Vader Bomb. Warrior had to be helped to the back by officials. You would think this angle would have been the perfect way to write Warrior off TV and get the Camp Cornette guys over, right? Instead fans were made fully aware that they may not see The Ultimate Warrior again due to a legal dispute, and not because of anything the company’s three top bad guys did to him.
  • With Warrior suspended, Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson required a new tag partner for the main event of the forthcoming In Your House: International Incident. They teased us all night, but finally Psycho Sid was unveiled as their third man. Third man? Where have I heard that angle before…?
  • Upon hearing about The Warrior’s replacement, Jim Cornette immediately voiced his intention to pull his guys from any match with Sid. Cornette feels ‘The Master and Ruler of The World’ is mentally unstable…
  • To make this angle work, the promos from the good guys and Cornette were recorded at generic locations and added to Raw after the decision to suspend Warrior was made. Vince and King dubbed sections of their commentary to sew everything together
  • Brian Pillman tried to attack Savio Vega with his crutches, but JJ Dillon – who was not named on commentary – talked him to the back
  • Speaking of Savio, he wrestled a long-ass match with Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw. He won, but did get ‘branded’ after the decision
  • Question; does anyone understand Ahmed Johnson? I didn’t catch a single word, and he got a good amount of mic time this week

Full Results

  • The Ultimate Warrior defeated Owen Hart (w/ Jim Cornette) via disqualification
  • Savio Vega defeated Justin Bradshaw (w/ Uncle Zebakiah)
  • Davey Boy Smith & Vader (w/ Jim Cornette & Diana Hart Smith) defeated The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim)

Nitro Logo

From 'Bash at The Beach' to 'small gathering in a local park'

From ‘Bash at The Beach’ to ‘small gathering in a local park’

The obvious story in WCW is the revelation that Hulk Hogan was The Outsider’s ‘third man’ after he turned heel at Bash at The Beach to form the New World Order. Their immediate aims are not entirely clear, but what is clear is that they do not represent WCW – or WWF for that matter – and do intend to “take over the whole wrestling business”. So, what happened on the following night’s Nitro? Not a lot. Hogan wasn’t there and after briefly interrupting the main event The Outsiders kept things fairly tame in their show ending promo. Moreover, the show was held at an outside resort at Disney’s MGM studios in Orlando. In other words, the live Nitro following one of WCW’s biggest ever angles took place down the park on front of a bunch of tourists who had no idea who most of the wrestlers were, and likely did not watch or even hear about Bash at the Beach. On the bright side, WCW got to use the location for free, so we’ll be there next week too…

In Other News From Nitro –

  • Rey Mysterio Jr. is the new Cruiserweight Champion after defeating Dean Malenko in the opening match. Rey was probably the most popular wrestler of the night, owing largely to his eye catching aerial moves
  • Mean Gene asked most wrestlers he interviewed for their two cents on the Hogan angle. Even The Hulkster’s enemies, such as Arn Anderson and Kevin Sullivan, were disgusted with him
  • Everyone seemed to be pulling their punches when speaking; lots of proverbial “butts” were kicked, no “asses” though. I assume this was largely due to the Disney influence…
  • WCW must have known not to worry about crowd reaction on this night because they booked heel vs heel (Blue Bloods vs. Dungeon of Doom) and babyface vs babyface (The Steiners vs The Nasty Boys) tag team matches. For the record, The Dungeon came off as babyfaces because The Blue Bloods are English and I think The Steiners seemed to be more popular, but it was hard to tell
  • Incidentally, Colonel Parker hit Jerry Saggs with his cane to hand victory to The Steiners. Scott Steiner was unaware of the assist. It wasn’t clear if The Colonel meant to hit Saggs either
  • The impressive Psychosis, who debuted at Bash at The Beach, is now 0-2. He needs an easy win next week…
  • Sting was more upset with himself than Hogan and felt he should have known better than to trust him. He did tell The Hulkster to “stick it” though
  • Macho Man coined the term”Hollywood Hogan”
  • Mean Gene cut Jerry Saggs off while The Nasty Boy was delivering probably his best ever promo. Brian Knobbs let the announcer hear about it though…
  • Speaking of The Nasty Boys, they were the only wrestlers not to condemn Hogan. Knobbs said that while he did not condone The Hulkster’s actions, he did not see a great deal wrong with what he did. Interesting…
  • Glacier is no longer “coming in July” he’s back to “coming to WCW”…
  • The Outsiders offered Mean Gene a job with the nWo – he declined – and Hall debuted the term “this portion of Monday Nitro was brought to you by…”

Full Results

  • WCW Cruiserweight Title Match: Rey Misterio Jr. defeats Dean Malenko (c)
  • The Blue Bloods (w/ Jeeves) defeat Big Bubba & Hugh Morrus (w/ Jimmy Hart)
  • Eddie Guerrero defeats Psychosis
  • WCW Tag Team Title #1 Contendership Match: The Steiner Brothers defeat The Nasty Boys
    WCW United States Title Match: Ric Flair (w/ Debra, Elizabeth & Woman) (c) defeats Jim Powers
  • Chris Benoit defeats Sgt. Craig Pittman (w/ Teddy Long)
  • Sting defeats Arn Anderson

Ratings

Could this be lift-off for WCW Nitro? The events of Bash at The Beach appear to have made an immediate impact on the ratings

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

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One thought on “The Way We Was: 1996 Week 28

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 29 | Ring the Damn Bell

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