July 15, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 41

Raw 168

  • Today’s episode is bookended by the Smoking Gunns in singles matches. The show starts with Bart VS Ahmed Johnson, the IC Champ. The show ends with Billy VS Shawn Michaels, the World Heavyweight Champ. Obviously both Gunns lose because these matches are just preludes to the trios match at the next pay per view (In Your House: International Incident). Splitting the Smoking Gunns up just lends further evidence to my opinion that the WWF does not care about the tag team division.

  • The middle match is between Marc Mero and a plumber named TL Hopper, which is a bad name for a stupid gimmick. Maybe they’ll put him in a team with Duke the Dumpster and Tatanka and be the new Village People. The best part of this match is when they cut away to Stone Cold for 30 seconds to get his thoughts on Marc Mero.

  • The show ends with a fun little segment though, consisting of Jim Cornette luring Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson into a trap in the parking garage where Camp Cornette is lying in wait to ambush them. The whole thing is so contrived, but it’s fun and exciting and that’s all I’m asking for out of my wrestling programs.

Nitro 44

  • On Nitro, we’ve got all kinds of action. There are multiple tag team matches, multiple cruiserweight matches, a women’s match (featuring Madusa and Malia Hosako), and of course plenty of heavyweight action. In between all of it, we still have time for interviews and shenanigans. The WWF has got to be feeling the heat.

  • The second hour kicks off with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash defacing the WCW logo by covering it with homemade “nWo” signs while throwing up “too sweets”. Later, during a Big Bubba/Lex Luger match, they run in out of nowhere and beat up Luger. As they roll Luger’s body out of the ring, the two are joined by Hulk Hogan, wearing his all black get up from his dark side days. They help Bubba to his feet while Hogan extends the hand of friendship to Bubba. Just as he takes it though, Hogan signals to Hall and Nash who then put the boots to Bubba. It seems that nobody’s safe, not even the other heels.

 Their moms are gonna be pissed they ruined the good sheets.

Their moms are gonna be pissed they ruined the good sheets.

 

  • After all of this, the program ends with Mean Gene interviewing the Hulkster. Hogan says that he’s the greatest wrestler of all time and that he made wrestling what it is today. He ends by issuing an open challenge to the Giant and the rest of the locker room. If Hogan was hard to beat before, he’ll be impossible to beat with Hall and Nash in his corner helping him cheat.

Verdict: Raw is bumbling around with half baked matches involving plumbers and cowboys while Nitro is giving us evil Hulk Hogan and actual, entertaining matches. Nitro is still the clear winner.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 30, Raw 11

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.6; Nitro - 3.4)