The Way We Was: 1996 Week 38

Jamie Lithgow

The 1996 fall season has begun and Michael J Fox has returned to television with a sitcom on ABC called Spin City. Elsewhere, CBS are telling us that Everybody Loves Raymond. If they are referring to Raymond Rougeau then they are sadly mistaken. Let’s see if Sting was still feeling the love after the events of Fall Brawl and if JR had an update on the Razor Ramon/Diesel situation in this week’s ‘The Way We Was‘ …

90s Raw Logo

Gorilla Monsoon in his ever changing office

Gorilla Monsoon in his ever changing office

Once again, the big news from Raw was the developing story involving two contracted WCW performers. For the last couple of weeks Jim Ross has been stating that Diesel and Razor Ramon are coming back to the WWF. After the show opened with archive footage of the duo, JR kicked things up a notch and guaranteed that Big Daddy Cool and The Bad Guy would be live on Raw next week. Later in the show WWF President, Gorilla Monsoon, categorically denied that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash would be returning to the WWF and apologised to fans on JR’s behalf for any confusion caused. Immediately following this pre-taped announcement a disgruntled Ross stormed off commentary. JR would return after a few minutes to reiterate that he is not “hoodwinking” anyone and had a professional disagreement – not quite a full blown argument – with Monsoon, who was spliced into shot as he sat at his desk. With both sides adamant in their positions we were left in no doubt that Diesel and Razor will be returning next week, but it will not be Kevin Nash and Scott Hall portraying the gimmicks. If the WWF feel the need to position JR as a fall-guy in case this angle bombs – hmmm, I wonder if it will?! – then why waste time on it in the first place?

In Other News From Raw –

  • We reached the semi-final stage of the Intercontinental Title tournament. Marc Mero scored the upset win over Owen Hart while Faarooq defeated Sid by disqualification after the big man battered the Modern Day Gladiator with a chair. The final will be held on next week’s live episode of Raw and not at Sunday’s In Your House; Mind Games pay per view, as originally planned
  • Pat Paterson will be the special guest referee for next week’s tournament final
  • The Sultan made his debut. Under the guidance of Bob Backlund, the masked man is said to be missing his tongue after it was removed when he refused to speak during an interrogation by enemy forces. The hole in the logic of Jerry Lawler’s story was that the interrogators would have been American. So American soldiers chop prisoner’s tongues off if they refuse to speak?
  • For those unaware, The Sultan is the artist formally known as Fatu. I can understand why he omitted this part of his career from his Hall of Fame speech at least…
  • The Smoking Gunns will defend their Tag Titles against Owen Hart and The British Bulldog at Sunday’s In Your House. The Camp Cornette pair provided the distraction which cost the champs their match with Bob Holly and Alex Porteau . Both duos are heel tandems, as far as I’m aware
  • Jim Cornette treated us to a public workout against a jobber, who got the best of him until Vader interjected. Jim is preparing for a match with Jose Lothario on Sunday where he has promised to “unleash the beast”…
  • Mankind seems to think that if he defeats Shawn Michaels for the WWF Title at Mind Games that he too will become a “sexy boy”. Hearing those words said by that character was disturbing to say the least
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin joined Brian Pillman and Owen Hart and said that he is looking forward to what Bret Hart has to say at Mind Games on Sunday
  • On the contrary, we caught up with Bret himself who said that any talk of him appearing at Sunday’s PPV and a reconciliation with his brother is complete rubbish. The Hitman was competing on a house show in Durban, South Africa and finished his interview by again stating that he has yet to make up his mind regarding his future
  • Bret considering his future is not a mere wrestling angle while he takes some much deserved time off. In our timeline The Hitman’s  WWF contract has just expired, with his match against The British Bulldog in Durban being the final day of it. WCW are fully aware of Hart’s contract situation and have made him an astronomical offer, even by 2016 standards. He has been offered $9 million over three years. For context, that is in the same ball park as Hulk Hogan’s contract and would position Hart along with Hogan as WCW’s top earner. WWF’s offer is less financially rewarding but is a twenty (yes, 20) year deal, or in other words; a job for life. To make things more interesting, a year or so ago Hart publicly stated that he would never work for WCW and that he considers them second rate compared to the WWF. Sounds like The Hitman has some thinking to do…

Full Results

  • The Sultan (w/ Bob Backlund & the Iron Sheik) defeated Jake Roberts
  • Bob Holly & Alex Porteau defeated WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns (w/ Sunny) in a non title match
  • WWF IC Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Marc Mero (w/ Sable) pinned Owen Hart
  • WWF IC Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Farooq Asad (w/ Sunny) defeated Psycho Sid via disqualification

Nitro Logo

Hard to tell if this sign is pro or anti nWo

Hard to tell if this sign is pro or anti nWo

For the first time in a long time the big news in WCW is not the nWo’s most recent shenanigans. Instead, the focus has shifted towards Sting. We learned at Fall Brawl that Sting has not turned heel and that the man who attacked Lex Luger last week was actually an imposter employed by the nWo. However, The Stinger is not about to forgive and forget the fans, commentators and friends who so quickly turned their backs on him. Turning his back to the hard camera, Sting stood in the centre of the ring and reassured those fans who did believe in him, but told everyone who doubted him – including his best friend Lex Luger – to “stick it”. Stinger – who was scheduled to team with Luger in the main event – left the arena, leaving The Total Package to go solo against Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael. Poor Lex copped a beating from all of The Horsemen, partly due to the Sting debacle and partly due to him losing the WarGames match for Team WCW at Fall Brawl – he passed out while in a submission. A rumour at the time suggested that Sting had scored a role in the Jim Carey film Liar Liar, and would require time off for filming. Hindsight has proved that rumour to be false, so we shall wait and see if The Stinger shows up for work next week…

In Other News From Nitro –

  • The nWo has added a sixth member, despite them him clearly being the seventh man to join the group. Sean ‘123 Kid’ Waltman made his long awaited WCW debut by showing up in the front row of the crowd and being very sarcastic when asked questions by Mike Tenay. Later in the show, Waltman produced a very ACME looking remote control to release thousands of nWo flyers from the ceiling. He was then shown backstage with the New World Order who have christened him “Six” – it will be spelled Syxx once we see it written down. If he’s the sixth member then I have to assume that either Ted DiBiase (a manager) or fake Sting (a jobber) don’t count
  • Glacier made his Nitro debut to complete indifference. He defeated loud mouth Big Bubba and was afforded blue lighting for the duration of his match. His entrance was cool, I’ll give him that
  • Mike Tenay handled the interviews this week because Mean Gene is no more. His contract expired at Fall Brawl, before he and WCW could agree a new deal. Negotiations are still on-going though, so he may well return soon
  • In a quite disturbing scene, Miss Elizabeth – who reconciled with Randy Savage at Fall Brawl – was too scared to accompany Ric Flair to the ring. This was disturbing because WCW did not clarify that Liz was actually scared of the nWo and not Flair himself. Bear in mind, Randy Savage and Ric Flair have been embroiled in a bitter feud for months, with Liz being at the centre of it
  • Macho Man delivered an excellent promo where he stated that he is “down to one marble” before going ape shit on Scott Norton with a chair and getting disqualified
  • According to Eric Bischoff, the nWo have earned their own show per the demands they made prior to WarGames. I don’t recall them making any demands…
  • The commentators have started to acknowledge that the nWo has fans of their own. This is in 1996 and in 2016 WWE still go out of their way to sweep the fact that some fans cheer for bad guys under the rug
  • Konnan actually brought his Mexican Heavyweight Title belt with him this week. We always hear it mentioned but never actually see any proof of its existence. The title is a real one though; it is the AAA Americas Heavyweight Championship. When I say real I don’t also mean prestigious. Konnan was the first of two people to hold this title and there was an 8 year gap between the holders due to Konnan keeping the belt after it was officially vacated when he started to wrestle exclusively for WCW – which will happen in a few weeks
  • We missed the end of Diamond Dallas Page’s match with Ice Train because the director decided to cut to a group of young lads handing out nWo flyers instead. When we returned a towel had been thrown in and DDP had been awarded the match. After viewing the replay it would seem that DDP had grabbed a towel from Teddy Long and pulled it into the ring, giving the illusion that Long had thrown in the towel for Ice Train
  • We saw a vignette for Glacier detailing his history and training. While he looks like Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat his backstory more closely resembles Splinter from Turtles, only he’s not a mutated rat
  • The nWo played a recording of Sting’s voice that they used during last week’s ruse to prove that it was just that; a ruse. Erm, we kind of assumed that when the fake Sting was exposed at Fall Brawl…

Full Results

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr. pinned Juventud Guerrera
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Ice Train (w/ Teddy Long)
  • Mexican Heavyweight Champion Konnan (w/ Jimmy Hart) pinned Super Calo
  • Brad Armstrong pinned Hugh Morrus
  • Scott Norton defeated Randy Savage via disqualification
  • Glacier pinned Big Bubba
  • Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (w/ Woman) defeated Chris Jericho & Marcus Alexander Bagwell
  • Lex Luger defeated Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael (w/ Debra McMichael) via disqualification

Ratings

Nitro continues to hold its own while Raw struggles. I don’t think I’ve ever explained this here but Nitro’s 3.6 rating basically means that of all households in America with a television 3.6% of them watched Nitro on Monday. As a comparison, Friends returned for its third season this week with a 16.7 rating and 31% share. The 31% share refers to TVs that were actually turned on. I don’t have this information for Raw and Nitro, so we’ll just stick to ratings points instead

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

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Way We Was: 1996 Week 38

    • I got two words for ya…… Eric Bischoff! I forgot to mention how into Glacier’s match he was. With a martial arts inspired wrestler he now has something he can competently commentate on. Dude was having a ball telling us about Glacier’s kicks. Shame nobody cared.

      Like

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 39 | Ring the Damn Bell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s