February 5th, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 21

Raw 146

  • The best wrestler the WWF has right now is Shawn Michaels, so starting the show off with him is definitely the right move. He and Diesel, the “Two Dudes with Attitudes”, face off against Yokozuna and the British Bulldog. When Shawn hits Yokozuna with Sweet Chin Music, he knocks the 600-pounder clean out of the ring which is where he stays because he’s too fat to pick up and roll back in. Not a totally satisfying win, but a win nonetheless for the Dudes.

 Too Sweet.

Too Sweet.

  • After the match, Cornette gets right in Yokozuna’s face and begins berating him, which prompts Vince to delicately and tactfully blurt out, “Cornette is verbally raping Yokozuna!” This show isn't even live, Vince. You’re not going to go back in during post and remove that bit of commentary? In any case, Yokozuna flips out and shoves Cornette hard. Owen Hart and the British Bulldog try to step in, but Yoko explodes and they both run off. I doubt this is a Yokozuna face turn, but could he at least be turning on his former companions? It might be a good way to build him back up. You know, if that was something that we wanted.

 Owen thinks that if he doesn't move, Yokozuna won't see him.

Owen thinks that if he doesn't move, Yokozuna won't see him.

  • The main event of the night is the Undertaker VS Bret Hart. The Undertaker has the upperhand when Bret accidentally knocks the ref out. As Bret begins making a comeback, Diesel interferes (just like he did at their match at the Royal Rumble), but this time he attacks Bret. Unfortunately for him, he’s still got heat with the Undertaker for costing him the championship, so Taker attacks Diesel. In response, Diesel smashes Taker with a chair and gives him a couple of Jackknife powerbombs while he's at it. At this point, Diesel is being booed and cheered in equal parts, which I think is a good place to be at. All three fight each other all the way back to the locker room. Do I smell Triple Threat Match on the horizon?

  • No Raw next week because of the Westminster Dog Show. If that’s the reason your program is getting bumped, maybe you need to seriously re-evaluate the quality of your product.

Nitro 23

  • WCW clearly figured out that the Four Horsemen are the most interesting thing about Nitro and are booking accordingly. Every Horseman is in a match tonight so get ready for non-stop screwy finishes.

  • First up is Chris Benoit VS Randy Savage, accompanied by Woman and Miss Elizabeth. After a lengthy match, Benoit goes for the tope suicida, but misses Savage and bangs smack into the railing. Savage tries to take advantage, but is distracted when Ric Flair and Arn Anderson confront him. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Woman runs up behind him and chokes him with a microphone cable. Macho Man just can’t catch a break. Hogan tries to help, but Flair sneaks up behind him and goes to town on the Hulkster’s already injured eye. Hogan starts to make a comeback until the Giant hits him with a steel chair. Savage finally chases everyone off with his own chair as Hogan lays there bleeding. Pretty good showing for the bad guys.

 The Four Horsemen and One Horsewoman.

The Four Horsemen and One Horsewoman.

  • Speaking of which, how about another match of just bad guys? Bad guys are very in right now, it would seem as The Taskmaster & Hugh Morrus take on Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. When Arn and Sullivan’s fight spills out towards the locker room, somebody from the darkness breaks a broom over Double A’s back. Who could that have been? The Yet-tay? Probably not. With Arn out of the picture, the Dungeon is free to beat Brian with a leather strap after Morrus hits him with a moonsault. I’m not really sure where we ended up with this one. We shouldn’t have the Four Horsemen spinning so many plates if we’re not going to get the time to flesh out all the plots.

  • Last but not least is Ric Flair VS Marcus Alexander Bagwell. When Bagwell taps to the Figure Four, Flair ignores the ref’s request to let it go and actually punches the ref out. Luckily for Bagwell, Savage needed more screentime so he runs out and chases Flair off.

Verdict: For the second week in a row, it’s a virtual tie for both programs. While I do love seeing the Four Horsemen get into trouble week after week, there just wasn’t enough development here to make me happy (Woman’s betrayal notwithstanding). Raw though is developing a nice little three-way feud with their top guys and may also be giving Yokozuna something fun to work with as well. That sense of freshness is what tips the scales in Raw’s favor this week.

Winner this week: Raw

Score to date: Nitro 18, Raw 3

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.7; Nitro - 2.9)