April 15, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 28

Raw 155

  • We’re skipping a week because Raw ran unopposed again last week. Don’t worry, all that happened was that Vader kayfabe injured Yokozuna’s leg, Ultimate Warrior is now also threatening to beat up Goldust for being gay, and Ahmed Johnson won an arm wrestling contest against the British Bulldog. So all in all, not much actual wrestling happened.

  • The first match of tonight’s show is Leif Cassidy (from the New Rockers) VS Wildman Marc Mero, accompanied by Sable. Vince and Lawler use this match to call up Diesel on the phone to discuss his beef with Shawn Michaels. This is such a bad way to develop story. It’s so much more impactful to actually have Diesel cut a promo on Shawn in person in the middle of the ring, the way WCW does it. This is probably a symptom of not taping Raw live consistently.

  • Next is Stone Cold VS Bart Gunn. Much like his match with Savio Vega, Austin is able to get an above average back-and-forth match out of his opponent. Interestingly, Austin is still using the Million Dollar Dream as his finisher and Ted DiBiase is still at ringside with him. I’m curious to find out how much longer both of those things last.

  • Vince then interviews Jim Cornette who is the mouthpiece for Vader who spends his time stomping around the ring and breathing out of his mouth. I honestly think Vader is as stupid as he seems.

I legitimately don't think he knows how to tell time.

  • Finally, Savio Vega faces Goldust for the Intercontinental Championship. When the ref gets temporarily knocked out, Goldust tries to use the belt to hit Savio, but Savio dodges and grabs the belt himself and connects solidly with Goldust’s head. The ref misses all this completely, but wakes up in just enough time to count the pinfall for Savio and declare him the new champ. Not so fast though! Gorilla Monsoon comes out and declares that this outcome is unacceptable. He strips Goldust of the title and declares that they will have a rematch next week with the winner becoming the Intercontinental Champion.

Nitro 31

  • Over on Nitro, Hulk Hogan’s in a handicap match against both Arn Anderson and the Taskmaster. Great, I love Arn getting buried week after week. After Hogan wins he gets to smack Jimmy Hart around a bit as part of the match’s stipulation, but the Giant comes out to confront Hogan who just bodyslams the Giant anyway. Hogan’s just the worst. What's the point of giving him a rival like the Giant if you're just going to squash him almost immediately? It's just not sustainable.

  • After that, Public Enemy fights the Nasty Boys in a no DQ match where they’re just beating each other senseless with metal trashcans. I don’t hate it, but it’s so ridiculous.

 And then they beat up that droid from Star Wars.

And then they beat up that droid from Star Wars.

  • The final match of the night is Ric Flair teaming up with the Giant to fight Sting and Lex Luger. The match gets thrown out by the ref when Woman throws coffee in Sting’s eyes. I guess it’s not Monday Nitro if it doesn’t have a confusing and chaotic ending.

Verdict: Raw’s not perfect by any stretch, but they’re telling coherent stories now unlike Nitro which seems to have lost that ability. Maybe Nitro can steal ECW’s gimmick and start focusing more on hardcore brawling matches. Those are the only things right now they seem to be getting right at all, especially if they’re going to keep pushing Hogan, burying what’s left of the Horsemen, and not giving the cruiserweights any screen time.

Winner this week: Raw

Score to date: Nitro 19, Raw 9

(Television Ratings: Raw - 3.1; Nitro - 2.8)