The Way We Was: 1996 Week 34

Jamie Lithgow

On this week 20 years ago Sony decided to push back the release of their newfangled Digital Video Disc (DVD) player until next spring. Those pesky Hollywood studios are scared that putting their movies onto DVDs will see an increase in piracy. They’ll be looking forward to broadband internet then. Anyway, just as with modern day WWE, Summerslam was this week. Let’s see what happened at ‘The Hottest Event of The Summer’ in this week’s ‘The Way We Was‘ …

Summerslam 96 logo

The major headline from Summerslam was not Shawn Michaels’ predictable title retention against Vader; it was the heel turn of Paul Bearer. At the conclusion of a – through no lack of effort – uninspiring Boiler Room Brawl between The Undertaker and Mankind, Bearer refused to hand Taker the urn – and thus victory in the match – before aiding Mankind in a beat down of The Deadman. Bearer left alongside Mankind, ending a near six year run as The Undertaker’s manager. The Undertaker was carried to the back by a group of mysterious druids

If only it was a 2 out of 3 falls match...

If only it was a 2 out of 3 falls match…

In Other News From Summerslam –

  • As predicted, Shawn Michaels successfully retained his WWF Title against Vader. Michaels did endure a couple of scares though, with Jim Cornette calling for the match to be restarted twice after Vader had defeated the champion first via count out and then via disqualification. However, Vader was unable to find the illusive pinfall that would have won him the title before HBK scored with a moonsault.
  • Why was the Boiler Room Brawl not that good despite the best efforts of the combatants? Firstly, it lasted 27 minutes. Secondly, there was no commentary other than the odd “ooh” or “ah” from Vince or JR. Thirdly, due to much of the bout being filmed in the actual boiler room, there was very little in the way of audio from the crowd
  • Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw attacked Savio Vega after the Puerto Rican sensation’s match with Owen Hart. I was left wondering why Savio was booked against Owen, who he has not been feuding with, rather than Bradshaw, who he has been feuding with
  • The Smoking Gunns retained their tag titles in a four team elimination match that nobody cared about. I don’t know why The New Rockers and Bodydonnas were even booked in this match because they were both eliminated within the first few minutes
  • Speaking of The Bodydonnas, we won’t be seeing them again. Chris ‘Skip’ Candido sustained a neck injury at a house show last week and will require time off. This explains why he was wearing a neckbrace and why he never actually tagged into the match. The benefit of hindsight tells us that when he is cleared to return to action Candido will resurface in ECW
  • Jim Cornette was not amused by Clarence Mason’s attempts to poach Owen Hart and The British Bulldog. Mason was at ringside for both of their matches
  • You know how a typical Sid promo is hard to interpret due to his voice ranging from either very quiet or very loud? Well imagine trying to hear what he’s saying while The British Bulldog’s music plays in the background too
  • Jake Robert’s and Jerry Lawler contested the exact match you might have expected, only Lawler won. He cheated, of course. Roberts was subjected to a tirade of verbal insults and abuse from Lawler before, during and after the bout. Mark Henry – that weightlifter chap from a couple weeks ago – was on hand to chase King away. He’s been competing at the Olympics apparently. He did not have a medal to show off though
  • Todd Pettengill is freaked out by Boiler Rooms. Not everybody likes long pipes…
  • Goldust made advances towards Sable after his match with Marc Mero. She also garnered interest – harrasment is probably a more acurate word – from Mankind during the bout, but we’ll forget about that because the WWF sure did on Raw…

Full Results

Zipped up and skipped off

Zipped up and skipped off

  • Free for All match: Steve Austin defeated Yokozuna
  • Owen Hart defeated Savio Vega
  • The Smokin’ Gunns (w/Sunny) defeated The Bodydonnas, The New Rockers and The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim) in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship
  • Sycho Sid defeated The British Bulldog
  • Goldust (w/ Marlena) defeated Marc Mero (w/Sable)
  • Jerry Lawler defeated Jake Roberts
  • Mankind defeated The Undertaker in a Boiler Room Brawl
  • Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) defeated Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) to retain the WWF Championship

90s Raw Logo

Paul Bearer tried to justify his heel turn by saying that he is “sick and tired” of carrying The Undertaker. During this promo, and the opening match, the lights in the arena flickered on multiple occasions with JR insisting that it signified the presence of The Undertaker. Bearer rubbished this and attributed the phenomena to Mankind, who is now in possession of the urn. Uncle Paul then looked a bit silly when The Deadman’s presence was confirmed after the druids carried him to the ring. An unconscious Undertaker promptly woke up and summoned fire from the ring posts to scare the baddies away.

In Other News From Raw –

  • Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were deployed on commentary, albeit with Kevin Kelly sitting between them
  • The Intercontinental Title tournament got underway, with Owen Hart claiming a count out victory over his Camp Cornette team mate; The British Bulldog. Sunny was at ringside eyeing up the duo for her stable, much to Jim Cornette’s chagrin. She was more impressed with Owen, and even threw her coke over The Bulldog
  • Ignoring the storyline seeds sewn as recently as last night, Mankind will face WWF Champion Shawn Michaels at the next In Your House
  • Goldust earned a title shot at the upcoming Raw Championship Friday in a couple of weeks by winning a four man battle royal. We already know The Bizarre One won’t win because the hype for In Your House is not Mankind vs. The WWF Champion, it’s Mankind vs. Shawn Michaels
  • Yokozuna returned to Raw, and was inexplicably aligned with his former manager and hated rival; Jim Cornette. This situation is made even more bizarre because Yoko wrestled as a babyface the previous evening during the Summerslam Free For All. Just as he was defeated by Steve Austin the previous night, Yokozuna fell to Shawn Michaels here
  • We saw a video promo for ‘The Stalker’. Kevin Kelly called him “The Stalker Barry Windham”. Not sure if he was supposed to say all of  that…

Hirings and Firings

Could this guy heading to the WWF?

Could this guy be heading to the WWF?

  • Flex Kavana has earned himself a WWF contract after impressing officials at this week’s Raw tapings. Real name Dwayne Johnson, Kavana is the son of former WWF Tag Team Champion Rocky Johnson. I wonder if he’ll be any good?
  • Also earning a contract was Rick ‘Big Titan’ Bogner. Some say he looks a bit like Scott ‘Razor Ramon’ Hall, but most don’t
  • After securing the services of one Olympian in the form of Mark Henry, the WWF have began negotiating with freestyle wrestling Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle
  • The WWF are sweating over the future of The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith. As of Summerslam he has yet to sign a new contract, with his current deal expiring in just a couple of weeks. Rumour has it WCW would like to acquire Smith’s services and make him the fifth member of The nWo. Spoiler alert, the fourth member will be revealed next week…
  • Sean “123 Kid” Waltman is currently negotiating his WWF release

Full Results

  • WWF IC Title Tournament Quarter-Finals: Owen Hart defeated Davey Boy Smith via count-out
  • Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Freddie Joe Floyd
  • Goldust (w/ Marlena) won a 4-man battle royal by last eliminating Savio Vega
  • WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) defeated Yokozuna

Nitro Logo

The formation of a dream team. Also, why is Gene not wearing a jacket?

The formation of a dream team. Also, why is Gene not wearing a jacket?

With The Outsiders on holiday in Italy and Hollywood Hogan nowhere to be seen, Nitro – save for a brief and pointless Outsiders promo from Rome – was an nWo free zone this week. Problem is, with the vast majority of WCW’s eggs in the nWo basket, there was precious little to report. I guess the big story is that Sting and Lex Luger have called for a truce between them and The Horsemen. The main event of the upcoming Fall Brawl pay per view was scheduled to be The Four Horsemen vs. The nWo in a War Games match. However, Sting and Luger offered their services, in place of Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael. Flair and Anderson agreed that joining forces with Sting and Luger was for the greater good, with junior Horesmen members Benoit and Mongo bowing to whatever their senior partners decided was best. The worst thing about this angle was that there was supposed to be a match pitting Flair and Anderson against Sting and Luger, but The Stinger and The Total Package left as soon as Double A confirmed the deal. Even referee Randy Anderson looked confused. Boooo!

In Other News From Nitro –

It’s exactly what it looks like…

  • Macho Man Randy Savage inexplicably picked a fight with The Giant. The pair were booked in the show’s main event, but rather than keep an eye on the big picture – you know, the threat from The nWo – Savage attacked The Giant and his Dungeon of Doom team mates with a chair. Babyface Savage then took off, with The Giant running as fast as I’ve ever seen him move in pursuit
  • Prior to this, Savage stole Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s promo time. He must have heard Duggan bad mouthing Hogan and thought he’d join in
  • You know those awkward moments when you’re not sure if you should leave a room or not? After Macho Man stole Hacksaw’s promo time, Mean Gene gave Duggan the less than subtle cue “Hacksaw is gonna leave now”, but he didn’t. He just awkwardly hovered around the ring while Savage cut a promo on Hogan and The Giant
  • In a situation that’s gone so far that it’s no longer annoying, just funny; The Public Enemy faced The Nasty Boys… again!
  • Speaking of The Nasty Boys, they once again played their neutral card in the WCW vs. nWo feud
  • A still patched-up Ice Train wants revenge on Scott Norton
  • Nick Patrick was once again criticised, this time for making a half-hearted attempt to stop Diamond Dallas Page whipping Chavo Guerrero Jr. with Patrick’s own belt. DDP was forced to stop when referee Randy Anderson came down to assist. Patrick claimed that he was waiting for backup and his recent indiscretions have been blown out of proportion by “the media”
  • Quote of the week goes to Eric Bischoff: “nobody in WCW is paranoid about The nWo”

Full Results

  • Jim Duggan defeats VK Wallstreet
  • Chris Benoit (w/ Miss Elizabeth & Woman) defeats Earl Robert Eaton
  • Scott Norton defeats Disco Inferno
  • Dean Malenko defeats Lord Steven Regal
  • The Nasty Boys defeat The Public Enemy
  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. defeats Diamond Dallas Page
  • WCW World Tag Team Title Match: Harlem Heat (w/ Col. Robert Parker & Sister Sherri) (c) defeat The American Males
  • The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeats Randy Savage by DQ


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

2 thoughts on “The Way We Was: 1996 Week 34

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 35 | Ring the Damn Bell

  2. Yokozuna never turned heel. It was just a ruse for Cornette to attack Lothario setting up the match for Mind Games. Shown on WWF Mania was post match respect hug between Michaels and Yokozuna


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