May 6, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 31

Raw 158

  • I want to start out by saying neither Raw nor Nitro are particularly great this week, but for some reason Raw viewership is more than double what Nitro’s is. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. If you have any idea, let me know!

  • This episode features a running video segment wherein a woman claiming to be the ex-wife of a former professional wrestler, her face obscured by shadow, tells us that her life was ruined by Shawn Michaels when he attempted to seduce her. The smear campaign on Shawn Michaels continues!

  • The first match up is the 123 Kid VS Marc Mero with Hunter Hearst Helmsley as guest commentator. This is a good move because til now we haven’t really heard that much of Hunter on the mic. It also helps propel the story between him and Mero. The match itself isn’t all that great though as it consists primarily of an extended sleeperhold. Also the 123 Kid has grown a wispy goatee to really hammer home that he’s the evil version of himself now.

 The nemesis of the 123 Kid: the 321 Man!

The nemesis of the 123 Kid: the 321 Man!

 

  • Later we get a tag team match between the reigning champs, the Bodydonnas, VS Techno Team 2000. So clearly we’ve just given up on the tag team division completely.

  • Afterwards, Jim Ross does a quick interview with Jim Cornette while Vader stands there being an absolute weirdo and only reinforcing my opinion that he is a very simple-minded man.

I guess combining Cornette with Vader averages out to a normal IQ.

  • The final match of the night is The Undertaker VS Owen Hart with Goldust on commentary. We find out that Goldust will be facing the Undertaker in an upcoming casket match. So apparently the entire roster is just going to be beating up Goldust.

Nitro 34

  • We’re live from Daytona Beach, FL and our first match is Randy Savage VS Hugh Morrus. Hugh jumps the Macho Man and then puts on his hat and jacket to mock him while he’s down, but Randy goes berserk and stabs Hugh in the eye with his sunglasses before choking him out with the jacket. The bell begins ringing incessantly, but Savage refuses to let up. He even bodyslams the ref when he tries to intervene and then drops the big elbow on him. Eventually law enforcement has to come down to subdue Savage and escort him away, all the while the bell never stops ringing. It feels like absolute chaos.

 I reckon he's gonna have to pay a pretty steep fine for that one.

I reckon he's gonna have to pay a pretty steep fine for that one.

  • To cool down, the next match is Jushin Thunder Liger VS Dean Malenko. It’s just a good solid match that lets us calm down from the anxiety filled 5 minutes that we just had to endure.

  • Next is Sting VS Lord Steven Regal who is all taped up from his street fight with Fit Finlay last week. I don’t think Regal could take Sting on his best day, let alone with all these injuries, so I’m not really sure what the idea is behind this particular booking.

  • The final match of the night is the Giant VS Jim Duggan which, in typical WCW fashion, ends in chaos. When Sting runs in to help Duggan, Lex Luger also runs in and gets the Giant to leave without any further incident. Seeing this, Sting confronts Luger to find out why the Giant would listen to him. But then right as we’re starting to get into some interesting territory, the program just ends because they run out of time. So that sucks.

Verdict: I’m giving it to Nitro this week because it was just slightly more interesting. Raw still feels rinkydink to me as well which is something that needs to be addressed.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 22, Raw 9

(Television Ratings: Raw - 4.1; Nitro - 1.9)