September 9, 1996 - Monday Night Wars 48

Raw 175

  • The Intercontinental Championship Tournament continues with Farooq VS Savio Vega. As Farooq’s manager, Sunny gets quite a lot of screen time. Raw may lack quality wrestling and compelling storylines when compared to Nitro, but it tries to makes up for that with sex appeal. At least Sunny has a character and gets to talk on the mic. Sable and Marlena just stand around as eye candy.

  • Later TL Hopper (the plumber) takes on a newcomer to WWF, The Stalker, whose gimmick seems to be that of a deer hunter. He’s just wearing camo pants and camo face paint. During the match, JR takes a moment to apologize for breaking the story last week that Razor Ramon and Diesel would be returning to the WWF. He claims that because he announced it, the plans are no longer set in stone and there’s no word if the negotiations will continue or not. I have to say, I can’t believe there’s any validity to this “news” at all, considering how interesting the nWo angle is on Nitro.

 This guy's harder to see than John Cena.

This guy's harder to see than John Cena.

  • The final match of the evening is the Undertaker VS Salvatore Sincere. The announcers keep saying that Salvatore is undefeated, but as far as I can tell, this seems to be his debut with the WWF. So by that standard, I guess I’m also undefeated. Oh, and rest easy: the Undertaker ended Salvatore’s streak.

Nitro 52

  • WCW’s got a new tag team called the Amazing French Canadians (who used to be with WWF as the Quebecers). As they come out for their match against the Nasty Boys, they wave Canadian flags and ask everyone to stand as they sing the Canadian national anthem. It’s so weird that “foreigner” is still a gimmick at this point (and still is to this day). What is it that makes Canada so bad? Is it literally just because they’re not American? Anyway, during the match, a bunch of teenagers hired by the nWo are distributing flyers to the crowd that say “You haven’t seen bad, but it’s coming.”

 "WOO! I LOVE PAPER!!!"

"WOO! I LOVE PAPER!!!"

  • Soon after, Rick Steiner has a singles match against Lex Luger. However, Nick Patrick runs out during the bout in order to grab Luger’s attention. Apparently the nWo have shown up in the parking lot. Luger runs out to see Hall, Nash, Hogan, and the Giant plastering cars with the same flyers from earlier while Ted DiBiase stands talking to some unseen person inside a limo. Luger confronts the Million Dollar Man to figure out who's inside, only to have Sting exit the limo and suckerpunch him. Of all people: Sting is now revealed as the fifth member of the nWo. This might be a bigger betrayal than Hogan. Eric Bischoff is completely shaken for the rest of the program. He can’t believe that the man who had become synonymous with WCW had betrayed them.

  • The show ends with the WCW locker room all outside in the parking lot. The Horsemen and the Dungeon of Doom, the cruiserweights and the heavyweights, all the faces and all the heels are united together against the nWo. Seeing the odds stacked against them, the nWo beats a hasty retreat in a limo, but a second limo remains behind. Taking a page out of the nWo’s book, the WCW team comes together and spray paints the limo all over, not with “nWo”, but with “WCW”.

Verdict: Nitro is so much better than Raw that even the WWF is trying to tell us that Razor and Diesel might be coming back. Sorry Raw, that ship has sailed.

Winner this week: Nitro

Score to date: Nitro 35, Raw 13

(Television Ratings: Raw - 2.4; Nitro - 3.7)