The Way We Was: 1996 Week 41



Jamie Lithgow

We’re heading back to 1996 to a world where Crash Bandicoot is the top selling video game for the Sony Playstation and computer firm Apple surprised everyone by actually making a profit in the last quarter. To make you feel more at home in this crazy world of change, a member of the Clinton family was also involved in a presidential debate. Let’s see what was open for debate on Monday’s episodes of Raw and Nitro in this week’s ‘The Way We Was‘ …

90s Raw Logo

Big Daddy Kane

Big Daddy Kane

It is stating the obvious to say that today’s post is a tale of two shows, but it really is. By that I mean the gulf in quality between the WWF and WCW was laid bare for all to see this week. In true old-school wrestling fashion I shall aim to send you home happy, thus I shall cover Raw’s shit-fest first before looking at a superb episode of Nitro.

For the third week in a row JR’s introduction of a fake Razor Ramon and a fake Diesel was Raw’s biggest talking point. Big Daddy Cool version two made his Raw in-ring debut against Intercontinental Champion Marc Mero. Future Kane was actually accompanied to the ring by Jim Ross, who then took his place at the commentary desk amidst integration from Jerry Lawler and Kevin Kelly. Apparently JR is being investigated by WWF officials over the signing of the imposter duo. We also heard that Gorilla Monsoon is trying to void the contracts of Razor and Diesel too. Later in the show, Lawler revealed that so far the investigation has revealed that JR is a company Vice President and has an iron-clad contract. One would think an employer would know an employee’s job title and contract status without requiring an investigation? Ross quipped that bringing Diesel and Razor ‘back’ to the WWF was not “an outsider deal”. Back to the match, which was crap, and all commentators put over Diesel’s “more impressive physicality” as a not so subtle dig at Kevin Nash. We also heard from Razor during the match, who cut an inset promo consisting of his best Scott Hall impression – it wasn’t very good. He then appeared at ringside to cause the disqualification finish.

In Other News From Raw –

  • Raw’s other big news is that Jesse James aka The Roadie doesn’t rate Jeff Jarrett as a singer, entertainer or wrestler. The ‘Real Double J’ even offered Jarrett the chance to be his “road dog”
  • Based purely on noise, most of the heels – including Razor and Diesel – appeared to receive nuclear heat from the crowd. However, those of us with the sense of sight could see all the empty seats and the complete apathy on the faces of the fans that were present
  • The winner of the Vader/Sid match at In Your House will go on to face Shawn Michaels for the title at Survivor Series. Vader wasn’t happy because he feels he should be the number one contender after defeating HBK in a tag match last week. The Mastodon attacked Sid after the main event, but Sid no-sold a big splash and scared Vader away
  • A rambling and incoherent Bob Backlund claimed that The Sultan would be the next WWF Champion and also said that WWF officials had told him to wear sunglasses indoors so fans could not see his eyes. Answers on a postcard folks…
  • The Undertaker was still digging a grave for Mankind
  • Mankind was still playing in what appeared to be the same grave
  • Sunny would consider going back to The Smoking Gunns if they regain the Tag Titles. Well duh, following the tag belts is her gimmick
  • Speaking of The Gunns, Billy was looking particularly lean this week, even by New Generation standards
  • We saw an old-school Mr Perfect video package to hype his return to in-ring competition in two weeks. If it’s a baseball hitting or basketball shooting contest then Triple H doesn’t stand a chance
  • Next week on Raw the main event will be WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. At least we have something to look forward to

Full Results

  • Marc Mero defeated Fake Diesel via disqualification
  • The Smoking Gunns defeated The New Rockers
  • The Sultan defeated Aldo Montoya
  • Psycho Sid defeated Goldust (w/ Marlena)

Nitro Logo

If only adult colouring books were a thing in 1996

If only adult colouring books were a thing in 1996

WCW has reached a milestone; this week marked the first episode of Nitro to feature an extremely vocal, pro-nWo crowd. This kind of red hot crowd will become a staple for WCW over the next 18 months, but the fans in Savannah, Georgia, were noticeably the liveliest since the New World Order’s inception three months ago. Despite a largely pro-nWo crowd, the group still managed to attract copious amounts of heat in the show closing angle –

With Ric Flair scheduled to face Macho Man in the main event, the nWo attacked The Nature Boy before he could make it to the ring. Present – but obviously not participating – in the attack was Miss Elizabeth, who last week met with Hogan and the New World Order. A furious Eric Bischoff demanded to know why she was there, forgetting that she is still Ric Flair’s valet. Eliminating any hint that she may have joined the nWo, Liz was backed into the arena by The Giant. When her ex-husband, Randy Savage – who was already in the ring – tried to make the save he was ambushed by Hogan and other nWo members. The Giant then carried Savage to the ring on his shoulder, but dropped The Macho Man when he slipped on the ring steps. Once in the ring Hogan spray painted around Savage’s unconscious body to symbolise a chalk outline. While Hogan was doing this The Giant held Liz and forced her to watch the continued assault. Hogan then took the microphone to a chorus of boos and said that he owns Liz. He then gave the all clear for the rest of the nWo to trash the announce desk, which prompted Syxx to come out in an nWo monster truck as the show went off the air.

In Other News From Nitro –

  • This may or may not be significant but The Giant appeared to steal Flair’s US Title during the attack
  • Jeff Jarrett made his WCW debut. The chain of events for Jarrett’s eventful introduction on Nitro were as follows; we heard that he would be debuting after being afforded an opportunity to perform by the board of directors; he arrived at the arena in a limousine and the announcers immediately assumed he had joined the nWo; He defeated Hugh Morrus with a Figure Four Leg Lock while Eric Bischoff expressed his frustration towards Jarrett; Double J cut a post-match promo on Hogan and made it clear that he will not be joining the nWo; he is now assumed to have a job with WCW and be a babyface
  • While delivering his pro-tradition/anti-Hogan promo Jarrett was bombarded with “NWO” chants
  • In a ‘what was the point in that?’ moment, we saw footage of Harlem Heat regaining the Tag Titles from The Public Enemy on WCW Saturday Night, having only just lost the belts to Rock and Grunge the previous week. As a result, Booker and Stevie are once again booked to defend against The Outsiders at Halloween Havoc. Speaking of which, Hall and Nash cut a promo on Harlem Heat during their match on Nitro – with Public Enemy, of course – from the crowd. Parodying Booker and Stevie by wearing nose strips, this was a cool idea from Hall and Nash but let down by the sense that they hadn’t actually thought about the content of their promo before delivering it
  • The Nasty Boys appear one step closer to joining the nWo after being handed their paperwork as a reward for watching Hogan’s back. I can’t help but feel that this will all end in tears. It didn’t take The Giant this long to join the group…
  • Macho Man was absolutely brilliant in a segment where he interviewed NASCAR driver Jason Keller while Mean Gene interviewed him. Keller drives the Slim Jim car which finished tenth at the weekend. Savage took joy in revealing that the nWo car did not finish the race after driving into the wall. At the end of this segment – where Macho Man appeared to be far more self-aware than usual – Liz came out to talk to him, but Savage told her to beat it
  • Eric Bischoff made another plea to Sting after hearing nothing from him since unveiling WCW’s Sting themed NASCAR car last week
  • Scott Steiner, who was absent last week but present this, will soon undergo surgery on a back injury
  • Chris Benoit and Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael scouted the Faces of Fear in preparation for their match at Halloween Havoc
  • Lex Luger vs. Arn Anderson is now official for the PPV too. Anderson currently holds the upper hand after attacking Luger with a chair
  • Nick Patrick says Macho Man will be fined $1 million for assaulting him and leaving him in a neck brace. Eric Bischoff claimed to be none the wiser regarding Patrick’s claim. By the way, Patrick is still refereeing matches while wearing his neck brace, which has only made him more oblivious to cheating heels
  • Rick Steiner avenged his loss to Chris Benoit last week by winning an equally entertaining rematch, albeit with a little help from Mongo’s briefcase
  • Some good continuity from Larry Zbyszko during The Outsiders promo on Harlem Heat: “how did they get on our frequency?” This one little comment explains why producers don’t just mute the nWo’s microphones

Full Results

  • Harlem Heat (w/ Col. Rob Parker & Sister Sherri) defeated Public Enemy
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Jim Powers
  • The Faces of Fear defeated High Voltage
  • Glacier defeated Mike Winter
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Hugh Morrus
  • Arn Anderson (w /Woman) defeated The Renegade


So the same number of people watched Raw and Nitro as last week, only this week a higher percentage tuned into Nitro? Not surprising really. Speaking of big percentages Friends scored an 18.0 rating (30.0 share) on Thursday with The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel

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


One thought on “The Way We Was: 1996 Week 41

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 42 | Ring the Damn Bell

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