August 26 - September 6, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 47

Nitro 50 & 51

  • For some reason, Nitro runs unopposed for two straight weeks. Normally I would just skip these weeks for the blog, but way too much happens for me to do that this time around. Also for some reason, Raw runs a show on Friday during that second week, so I’ve included that too. It’s also worth mentioning that this is the one year anniversary of Nitro. I guess for their birthday, Raw went dark and just let them run roughshod all over them.

  • The first episode begins with Billy Kidman VS Juventud Guerrera (no relation to Eddie or Chavo). Juventud looks great in his debut here. Tony Schiavone also does a great job of calling the match. He’s clearly been spending time with Mike Tenay who’s been teaching him what an enziguri and a hurricanrana are. Speaking of Mike Tenay, he’ll be joining the broadcast team permanently next week.

  • Soon after that we get a Hacksaw Jim Duggan match against the Giant, but the real story here is that the Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase, casually walks down through the crowd to sit front and center in the audience. What in the world is he doing here? He gives us the following cryptic clue:

"And next week, five." Is he with the Horsemen? Or the nWo? Who knows.

  • Chris Jericho debuts tonight against Alex Wright. Alex Wright gets counted out, but Jericho doesn’t want to win like that, so he asks the ref for a “no contest” instead. It’s a decent debut, but his appearance in the next episode against Dean Malenko really shows off his charisma and workrate. On top of that, he manages to beat the former Cruiserweight Champion. I foresee a bright future for this kid.

  • After that the Steiners defeat the Blue Bloods and I only want to mention it because the promo they cut afterwards is insane:

This is the funniest promo I think I've ever seen. Gene Okerlund is a true professional.

 

  • The first show ends with Sting and Lex Luger vs Chris Benoit and Mongo McMichael in a match to prove that Sting and Luger have the drive to team up with Ric Flair and Arn Anderson at War Games. However Hogan comes down during the match and distracts Mongo long enough for Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to knock him out before spray painting “nWo” on his back. They then enter the ring where Benoit gets Razor’s Edged and Sting gets Jackknifed. They both also get the same humiliating spray paint treatment as Mongo. Arn and Flair run in to help, but Hogan sprays Flair in the face and beats him down. The crowd then pelts them with trash as they leave the ring to go take over the broadcast booth where they get a few mocking jibes in before the program is hastily cut off the air.

  • The next episode ends even more wildly. The main event is the Dungeon of Doom vs the Four Horsemen. While that’s happening, Luger and Sting chase the crooked referee Nick Patrick out the back door only to discover Ted DiBiase just as he jumps into the waiting nWo limo. Sting picks up a freaking cinder block and smashes the window to try to get at him, but the limo speeds off. Not ones to give up so easily, the two of them hop into a nearby cop car to give chase. Back at the ring, the Horsemen win but the nWo shows up to lay a beating on everybody. Bobby Heenan can’t stand the heat so he leaves the arena altogether. The Giant runs out to lay the law down and protect his Dungeon of Doom buddies. When he reaches the ring though, it’s not the nWo that he chokeslams, it’s the Dungeon of Doom! The Giant is the fourth member of the nWo! Randy Savage comes out with a steel chair and takes out Nash and Hall but gets caught by Hogan and then chokeslammed by the Giant. They paint the nWo logo on his chest and a yellow streak down his back. They then once again take over the broadcast booth, making sure to rip off the WCW logo and spit on it. The Giant explains to us that even he had a price for the Million Dollar Man. He and Hogan finish the show by quoting the Nature Boy himself: “Whether you like it or whether you don't, the nWo is the best thing going today.”

Raw 174

  • Meanwhile on Raw’s “Championship Friday”, Sycho Sid defeats Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Marc Mero defeats Stone Cold Steve Austin, both during the Intercontinental Championship Tournament, Jerry Lawler challenges Mark Henry (who declines due to not having trained enough), and Bob Backlund brings out his new friend, the Iron Sheik who rambles incoherently into the mic until they’re forced to unceremoniously cut to commercial. Oh and I guess Shawn Michaels posed for Playgirl.

 Ooh, I wonder what Mario Van Peebles had to confess!

Ooh, I wonder what Mario Van Peebles had to confess!

Verdict: Hey Raw? Maybe take a few more weeks off. Nitro seems to have this Monday nights well under control.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 34, Raw 13

(Television Ratings - August 26th: Raw - N/A; Nitro - 4.2)

(Television Ratings - September 2nd: Raw - N/A; Nitro - 4.3)