The Way We Was: 1996 Week 42

Jamie Lithgow

We’re heading back to 1996 again where Donald Trump has silenced rumours of sexism by purchasing the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen beauty pageants. Nobody associated with those contests could possibly be sexist, right?! One place where sexism was rife in the 1990s was in wrestling, so let’s see what happened on this week’s Raw and Nitro in this week’s ‘The Way We Was‘ …

90s Raw Logo

Will the WWF deliver on their promise or will this constitute false advertising?

Will the WWF deliver on their promise or will this constitute false advertising?

This week we saw the go-home episode of Raw before In Your House 11: Buried Alive. With WWF Champion Shawn Michaels not booked to wrestle, the main attractions at Sunday’s pay per view will be a number one contender match pitting Sid against Vader and the unsanctioned Buried Alive Match between Mankind and The Undertaker. To hype the latter encounter we caught up with both men as they cut yet more promos from a graveyard. At Mankind’s grave it was pissing with rain, so he was covered in mud and looking creepier than ever. At The Undertaker’s grave – which is the same grave but shot from a different angle – The Deadman started filling in the hole he had been digging for the last three weeks. Before doing so he apparently forgot the concept of a ‘Buried Alive’ match by alluding to a desire to murder Mankind and bury his carcass. He said it in a cool, ‘Undertaker-esque’ way though, so it’s okay. To promote the Sid vs. Vader encounter both men cut promos on each other. Sid also attempted to distract Vader during The Mastodon’s match with Phineas Godwinn, but was unsuccessful as Vader flattened the pig farmer. Both guys also appeared during the show closing angle when a perfectly entertaining non-title match between WWF Champion Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin was thrown out due to outside interference from Vader, Savio Vega and Sid, with even fake Razor and Diesel showing up at ring side for some reason. Somewhat televising the outcome of Sunday’s match, Sid and his on/off friend HBK had a stand-off. Hmmm, I wonder who Shawn will be facing at the Survivor Series?

In Other News From Raw –

A sober Jake Roberts pretending to be sober while pretending to be drunk

A sober Jake Roberts pretending to be sober while pretending to be drunk

  • The oddly matched Faarooq and Sunny have parted ways, in amicable fashion. Having ditched The Smoking Gunns a few weeks ago, Sunny no longer has a wrestler (or wrestlers) to manage
  • We saw footage from last weekend’s Livewire where Ahmed Johnson – who was in the studio – had an argument with Faarooq – who was on the phone. Both men, but Faarooq in particular, played the race card while spewing stereotypical references to “the hood” “the brothers” and 2Pac… for some reason
  • JR is still playing a heel on commentary, sort of. More accurately, he’s still predominantly neutral just more assertive than usual and keeps bitching about Vince McMahon. His latest gripe is that Vince will return to the announce desk next week, replacing Kevin Kelly. JR even went all insider on us stating that Kevin Dunn can’t tell him what to do. Fourth wall, what fourth wall?!
  • Mr Perfect cut a very heelish promo about being perfect ahead of his in-ring return next week. Problem is, he’s supposed to be a babyface
  • Speaking of Perfect, he once again stole Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s lady friend. This was an even more impressive feet than usual because Helmsley took the precaution of handcuffing her to the ring post – as you might chain your bicycle to a railing. Upon trying to retrieve his date, Perfect decked Helmsley too. To make matters worse, rather than collect a DQ win due to outside interference, Hunter was counted out. It’s a good thing Trips was a dick to his date because otherwise he would have appeared as a very sympathetic character here
  • We heard how The Real Double J Jesse James met Jeff Jarrett (in a bar) and how Jarrett took James from nothing and left him with nothing. Erm, if James were to have spent the last year working in a bar would he still be the subject of these vignettes?
  • Oh, good news, With My Baby Tonight is going to be re-released… in case you didn’t get a copy last time
  • Steve Austin cut another promo on Bret Hart
  • We finally got a pay-off to the Jerry Lawler/Jake Roberts feud. After delivering a pre-match promo – which Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly spoke over – Lawler was faced by an apparently drunk Jake Roberts. This brought WWF President Gorilla Monsoon out to check Jake was able to compete. As it turned out Jake was faking it because as soon as the match started he nailed King with a DDT for win. Post-match Roberts doused King in whiskey and unleashed Revelations (his albino python) on Lawler. Hopefully that draws a line under this somewhat tedious and protracted feud

Quote of The Week

“I’ll be in the ring next week getting the job done”

Mr Perfect. Really?


I Didn’t Know That…

Everyone knows that Faarooq’s finisher was called The Dominator. However, that was a reference to The Nation of Domination which hasn’t been formed on our timeline yet. Turns out the move was originally called The Tiger Bite, as mentioned by Kevin Kelly this week

Full Results

  • Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Phineas Godwinn (w/ Hillbilly Jim)
  • Jake Roberts defeated Jerry Lawler
  • Freddie Joe Floyd defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley via count-out
  • Faarooq defeated Alex Porteau
  • Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) defeated Steve Austin via disqualification

Nitro Logo

Poor Liz, Randy used to give her a push

Poor Liz, Randy used to give her a push

As we build towards Slim Jim’s Halloween Havoc and the WCW Title match between Macho Man Randy Savage and Hollywood Hogan, things are getting more and more personal for Savage. Firstly, unable to make Macho Man listen any other way, Eric Bischoff forced Savage to watch an overly long pre-recorded promo from his ex-wife Miss Elizabeth. Sitting on a swing and looking like a Mariah Carey video, timid Liz profoundly apologised and said that she wants Randy back. Either Savage is a tremendous actor or he was genuinely taken aback by this because his subsequent performance was pretty much exactly what you might expect from a guy hearing such things from his ex-wife. Ignoring Bischoff’s request for a reaction, Savage left the arena in an upset and confused state. Fast forward to the end of the show and the nWo showed up, with Liz being dragged along against her wil. Hogan, among other things, cut on promo on being able to push Savage’s buttons. A gaping plot hole was uncovered in this segment; why did Liz show up at Nitro in the first place? We already know she was at home in the week to record her promo, yet she still showed up at Nitro fully aware that the nWo would be looking for her and that she has – apparently – been ditched by The Horsemen. Either Liz is really stupid or she has indeed joined the nWo and Hogan’s claims about her being “the best actress in Hollywood” aren’t that far of the mark after all…

In Other News From Nitro –

This is the last time The Nasty Boys will be taken seriously, assuming they ever were

This is the last time The Nasty Boys will be taken seriously, assuming they ever were

  • Harlem Heat aren’t from New York, they’re from Texas! That is if Scott Hall is to be believed – spoiler alert, he’s telling the truth
  • Speaking of Booker and Stevie, they joined forces with their opponents (The Faces of Fear) to shoo away The Outsiders who appeared in the front row during their match
  • As per Nick Patrick’s request, Randy Savage has been fined by WCW. However, rather than the $1 million Patrick suggested, Savage has been fined $500 and will be suspended for the first five matches of 1997…. so what’s that in days?
  • Staying with Nick Patrick, Teddy Long was not happy with him after he clearly counted slowly for his man, Jim Powers, against Hugh Morrus. Tony Schiavone then accused Patrick of being the masked referee that appeared on NWO Saturday Night over the weekend. The clearly guilty Patrick denied the claim and accused the much slimmer Randy Anderson of being the portly referee in the balaclava
  • Nitro started with two rematches from WCW Saturday Night. In the first, Tony Schiavone made such a mess of the wrestler’s names that I had to rely on the replay of Saturday Night to understand what was going on. According to Schiavone, Dean Armstrong beat Brad Malenko in an upset hence the rematch
  • Another Rey Mysterio vs. Dean Malenko match could be on the horizon after Malenko brought Rey’s mask to the ring with him
  • Much to the delight of the increasingly rowdy fans, the nWo unveiled an nWo section in the crowd
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated The Cheetah Kid in what can best be described as Black Tiger Mask vs. Shit Tiger Mask. FYI, The Cheetah Kid was a gimmick portrayed by The Public Enemy’s Rocco Rock earlier in his career, but it wasn’t him under the mask here
  • Jeff Jarrett, and his strut, were really over with the rawkus crowd. In fact, he’s so over than he will be subbing for Ric Flair at Halloween Havoc by wrestling The Giant
  • Which nWo members have their own, individualised t-shirts? Hogan, of course, and Syxx. He wasn’t long in getting his six ball shirt on the merch stands
  • As predicted The Nasty Boys will not be joining the nWo. Resembling a couple of school pupils struggling with an assignment, the pair walked to the ring wearing nWo shirts and carrying their nWo contracts as Hogan was speaking. Apparently the confused pair were expecting more money, which Hogan admitted was mistake and that they were holding the wrong documents. Hogan then took issue with the fact that Knobbs and Saggs were wearing nWo colours without permission. As a result, the Nasty Boys copped a beat down and were made to look like complete chumps

Quote of The Night

“Dean Malenko; man of 1000 holds… moves… whatever”

Tony Schiavone. Here’s me thinking it would be at least another year before he stopped caring…


Full Results

  • Dean Malenko defeats Brad Armstrong
  • Jim Duggan defeats M. Wallstreet
  • Hugh Morrus defeats Jim Powers (w/ Teddy Long)
  • Lex Luger defeats Greg Valentine
  • Eddie Guerrero defeats The Cheetah Kid
  • Jeff Jarrett defeats Big Bubba Rogers (w/ Jimmy Hart)
  • Harlem Heat (w/ Col. Robert Parker & Sister Sherri) vs. The Faces Of Fear – No Contest

Ratings

The dip in wrestling viewership this week can largely be attributed to the San Francisco  49ers narrow victory over the Green Bay Packers (23-20) on the Monday Night Football. Elsewhere, Friends scored a 16.1 rating on Thursday as Giovanni Ribisi made his debut as Phoebe’s long lost younger brother, Frank Jr.

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

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2 thoughts on “The Way We Was: 1996 Week 42

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 43 | Ring the Damn Bell

  2. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 44 | Ring the Damn Bell

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