The Way We Was: 1996 Week 50

Jamie Lithgow

With 1997 fast approaching there’s been some notable comings and goings this week. After five years on the show, Pamela Anderson-Lee has announced that she is leaving Baywatch. Elsewhere, Apple (the computer people) have announced that Steve Jobs will be returning to the company after it purchased Jobs’ solo venture, NeXT  Inc. I wonder if this move will pay off? Anyway, let’s see who was coming, going and wrestling in this week’s The Way We Was

90s Raw Logo

"Graphic" was a poor choice...

“Graphic” was a poor choice…

If last week’s episode of Raw was bad, this week’s was absolutely terrible. The show was so bad that the storyline most worthy of discussion is Billy Gunn vs. Bart Gunn, purely because at least something happened. After Bart lost to Goldust, Billy cut a promo on Bart saying that he was the reason The Smoking Gunns won three Tag Team Titles. A dazed Bart then struggled to his feet and nailed Billy with a flurry of punches and kicks. The kayfabe brothers and former tag partners will face each other on Raw next week. I bet you can’t wait to hear about that?!


In Other News From Raw –

  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley was counted out in his match against Sycho Sid. This was intentional, a scared Helmsley crawled away from the psychotic champion
  • Bret Hart cut a generic promo ahead of his WWF Title match against Sid at In Your House 12 this Sunday. The reason for the vanilla flavour of his promo is that it was recorded two weeks before The Hitman’s confrontation with Sid, which was shown on Raw last week
  • Justin Hawk Bradshaw turned on his manager, Uncle Zebekiah, after the pair were defeated in a handicap match by The Real Double J Jesse James. Zeb did the job, obviously. As a result, Bradshaw branded his now former manager and is even more of a heel than he was previously, well, in theory…
  • There was an impressive Cactus Jack lookalike in the front row
  • JR called Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson a “jezebel”…
  • ‘WWF In Your House’ has been released for the Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn. If you’re thinking it looks a bit like a wrestling version of Mortal Kombat then it won’t surprise you to learn that it is made by the same people; Acclaim
  • Also being promoted just in time for Christmas is ‘WWF Full Metal: The Album’. Of the 14 tracks, 12 are wrestler’s theme tunes. Unfortunately, 6 of these superstars are no longer employed by the WWF. In fact, 4 of them are currently in WCW
  • The no holds barred match between Mankind and The Undertaker was enjoyable, if somewhat pointless. Surprisingly the psychology of this match was somewhat lacking. Taker spent the first half of the match targeting Mankind’s hand, so he could not apply the Mandible Claw. This included dropping the ring steps on The Deranged One’s digits. It was therefore surprising to see Mankind apply the hold without any discomfort in the closing moments. Ultimately Taker escaped and hit a Tombstone to win. The Executioner ran in afterwards for a fight with Undi’
  • George and Adam – the two loser wrestling fans from last week – were in the locker room at the Alamodome to hype The Royal Rumble
  • I assume the disclaimer shown at the start of Raw was in reference to this match…

Full Results

  • Sycho Sid (c) defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley by Count Out to retain the WWF Championship
  • Goldust (w/ Marlena) defeated Bart Gunn
  • Jesse James defeated Justin Bradshaw & Zebekiah in a Two On One Handicap Match
  • The Undertaker defeated Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) in a No Holds Barred Match

Nitro Logo

You may take our lives, but you will never take our FREEDOM!

You may take our lives, but you will never take our FREEDOM!

In the absence of Hollywood Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper seized the opportunity to gain the upper hand this week. Piper started the show with a promo in which he claimed that the WWF – he didn’t mention them by name obviously – insisted that in order to not hurt Mr T. he clench his fists inside his gloves during the pair’s boxing match at Wrestlemania II. The moral of this story is that Piper will not be “taking a dive” against Hogan at Starrcade, not that anyone thought he would. He finished off by insinuating the nWo are gay before calling out Hogan. At the mid-point of the show, Piper accompanied Ric Flair for a promo with Mean Gene. Flair put Piper over and offered his and The Four Horsemen’s full support. The Canadian Scotsman who is also somehow from Charlotte, graciously declined The Nature Boy’s offer, insisting that he wants to do it by himself. To end the show, Piper hit the ring and called out Hogan but had to settle for Eric Bischoff instead. Hot Rod nailed Easy E from behind and took him hostage as the nWo surrounded the ring. If you watch the WWE Network version of this show you will see Piper, Carolina Panther Kevin Greene and The Horsemen smash the nWo in a brawl to send the North Carolina fans home happy.


In Other News From Nitro –

Storyline or real life?

Storyline or real life?

  • Michael Wallstreet appears to have joined the New World Order. He was handed a piece of paper by Ted DiBiase after defeating Mike Enos. For this to be true two assumptions have to be made. 1; the piece of paper was an nWo contract and 2; the group have drastically lowered their standards, even from last week’s addition of Marcus Alexander Bagwell
  • If you like your lines blurred then good news, we saw a home video that was originally shown on WCW Saturday Night. In it Chris Benoit and Woman were shown sharing a bottle of wine. Speaking to the camcorder, Woman declared that she had left Kevin Sullivan and Benoit used a chess analogy to tell The Taskmaster that he had taken his queen. In the arena, Sullivan was angry at announcer Tony Schiavone for allowing the tape to be shown, as it was intended to be seen by him alone and not broadcast on TV
  • Meanwhile, Arn Anderson told Chris Benoit to come home from his tour of Germany and was annoyed at not knowing of Woman’s whereabouts. Someone clearly wasn’t paying attention earlier…
  • Debra went off on one regarding Woman again. Basically, Debra likes to be queen bee and with Woman also associated with The Horsemen that’s currently not the case
  • Ric Flair’s shoulder surgery must have gone well. He’s lost his sling and was moving more freely this week
  • In a promo with Mean Gene, Sonny Onoo either let his accent slip or did a really good American accent. It was not made particularly clear if Onoo is Japanese and can do an American voice or is American and can do a Japanese voice. Given that the purpose of this promo was to get one of these two realities over it would be fair to suggest that it did not go well
  • The Steiner Brothers called out Sting and demanded an explanation for his antics over the last couple of weeks. He did not respond, because he was not present at the show
  • An oblivious Diamond Dallas Page benefitted from outside interference from The Outsiders to advance in the US Title tournament. After his victory – over Jeff Jarrett – DDP told the nWo to “stop calling me”
  • As mentioned earlier, Kevin Greene made an appearance. He still hasn’t forgotten what Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael did to him earlier this year and promised to get even as soon as the NFL season ends

Full Results

  • Michael Wallstreet defeated Mike Enos
  • Hugh Morrus defeated The Renegade (w/ Joe Gomez)
  • Dean Malenko defeated Jimmy Graffiti
  • Meng & The Barbarian (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated The Nasty Boys
  • Chris Jericho defeated Bobby Eaton
  • Arn Anderson (w/ Steve McMichael & Debra McMichael) defeated Sgt. Craig Pittman
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Jeff Jarrett in a WCW US Championship Tournament Quarter-Finals Match
  • Rick Steiner vs. Scott Norton ended in a no contest

Ratings

Nitro dipped despite a relatively entertaining show and a less than thrilling match between Oakland and Kansas on the Monday Night Football. Elsewhere, Friends returned on Thursday from a short hiatus to score a below average 16.1. ‘Tis the season for crap holiday 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 50

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 51 | Ring the Damn Bell

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