It’s the Raw after SummerSlam and there’s all kinds of action brewing. Last night in the boiler room brawl, Paul Bearer betrayed the Undertaker and is now managing Mankind instead. It seems that this betrayal, along with removing the urn from the Undertaker, has killed him and a wake will be held for him later tonight. We’ve also got the first round of a tournament to decide the Intercontinental Champion as well as a mini battle royal to determine the number one contender spot. Our commentary team tonight is Kevin Kelly filling in for Vince alongside Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. That’s just about as good a team as you can ask for.
Right off the bat, we have the first round of the IC tournament and it’s Owen Hart VS his brother-in-law and Camp Cornette compatriot Davey Boy Smith, the British Bulldog. Neither man is happy to be facing the other, especially in the first round, but they both display an uncommon amount of sportsmanship towards each other, beginning with a good old fashioned handshake. When Owen gets thrown out of the ring, Davey Boy holds the ropes for him to re-enter. Later Owen returns the favor. Eventually Sunny comes down “to scope out the competition” and causes enough of a distraction to cost British Bulldog the match. Cornette furiously confronts her, going so far as to call her a “little slut”. Whoa, Jim! Watch your language!
Mankind and Paul Bearer now come down for an interview with JR. Bearer explains his actions by saying he’s tired of carrying the Undertaker for the last six years, which gets him a fair amount of heat from the crowd. Suddenly the lights flicker before going out completely while the Undertaker’s gong chimes. Druids then enter the arena chanting and carrying the Undertaker’s lifeless body. But of course, you can’t kill what’s already dead and Taker sits bolt upright, much to the horror of Mankind and Paul Bearer who scurry off to the back. The Undertaker enters the ring and strikes a pose while his music plays. This isn’t over!
We then have the battle royal to determine the number one contender spot between Stone Cold Steve Austin, Goldust, Sycho Sid, and Savio Vega. Sid gets immediately triple teamed and eliminated, resulting in him chokeslamming all three men before leaving. Austin is the next to go, which means I’ve once again checked out. Goldust ends up eliminating Savio Vega so it looks like he’ll be challenging Shawn Michaels for the World Heavyweight Championship soon.
The first match on Nitro is VK Wallstreet VS Hacksaw Jim Duggan. I don’t particularly care about this match, but during an interview afterwards, Hacksaw gives his two cents on the nWo and Hogan in particular. Hacksaw refers to Hogan by his real name (Terry) and I just think that’s interesting. I’m not sure if that was a purposeful choice or if Hacksaw just forgot to use Hogan’s stage name though.
Later on, Diamond Dallas Page faces Chavo Guerrero Jr. The young cousin of Eddie requested this match after DDP attacked Eddie after he won the Lord of the Ring title from DDP at Clash of the Champions the previous week. Chavo aims to get revenge on DDP tonight. And indeed Chavo does win, but DDP hits him with a Diamond Cutter after the bell and then manages to remove referee Nick Patrick’s belt from his pants and begins whipping Chavo with it before referee Randy Anderson is able to jump in the ring and put a stop to it. As Nick Patrick leaves the ring, Mean Gene stops him on the ramp and demands an answer as to why he didn’t stop DDP. Patrick is able to weasel his way out of answering, just like he weaseled out of responding to allegations of helping the nWo. I really like this angle. I’ve never seen it used before and Nick Patrick happens to be a decent talker so that’s an added bonus.
Soon after that, Sting & Lex Luger are set to take on Arn Anderson and Ric Flair, but before the bell can ring, Sting grabs a mic and asks that the two other Horsemen come down. After everyone arrives, Sting begins a negotiation between the two parties in order to save WCW from the nWo. The whole segment is really cool if you want to check it out.
Verdict: This week is much closer than usual. Both shows were putting out solid matches and interesting storylines. I’m going to give the edge to Raw though because they came out of nowhere with a bunch of great content, most of which was necessitated by having to scrap their plans with Ahmed Johnson.
Winner this week: Raw
Score to date: Nitro 33, Raw 13
(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.9; Nitro - 3.5)